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This seems to beg a ref to The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by J Jaynes, which I blush to admit I have not actually read (only reviews and excerpts) but has long, long been on my list of Books to Get Around To Sometime Soon.

If the right brain is wordless, then Jaynes' theory about "hearing voices" as an early stage of human bicameral cognition would be invalidated.  But I have always been intrigued by the notion, as I fancy was Neal Stephenson when he wrote about subliminal "programs" or incantations called "namshub" as a means of controlling human behaviour (in his magnificently and rivetingly incoherent novel Snow Crash).

An additional odd note is that recent neurological telemetry suggests that many mammals -- cats and dogs certainly, and probably quite a lot of others -- apparently sleep "in shifts", with one hemisphere sleeping while the other monitors the external senses (sight, smell, hearing).  Only half the brain ever sleeps at any given time.  I can't recall whether primates also exhibit this "shift sleeping" behaviour.

There is something quite fascinatingly eerie about the notion of our two brain hemispheres carrying on their separate lives with only the equivalent of a transatlantic data cable connecting them.  I rather like it -- it's alien and spooky enough to remind us how very strange we large mammals really are, and as if that weren't enough, what a perplexing mystery self-consciousness is on top of it.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 10:44:13 PM EST
If the right brain is wordless, then Jaynes' theory about "hearing voices" as an early stage of human bicameral cognition would be invalidated.

...what about if the right brain came first?  That the language centres kicked up in the left brain, started sending messages through and...language was the most efficient mechanism, first words as signifiers--as centres of attention: father, mother, brother, the sweet tree, the other sweet tree--okay, let's call the first tree the...ru-bee and the second tree we'll call: sweet.  

And they build the first list: ranking similar items in terms of similarity--and noting differences; maybe recalculating: Is the tree-like-the-wind really a tree, or is it more of a bush?  What makes a bush a bush?

On and on goes the left brain (in this model); and the right brain--who sees and acts is dumb.  But canny.  Maybe with connections down to the lizard brain.  Kill it and eat it or run away.

So the language centre mellowed--or the expression mellowed or widened to: Fight or flight.  So flight: must be one of the first concepts.  Now we run; this is flight.

Have you ever read Prometheus Rising?  My experience is congruent with circuits (in his tech model) one to five.  Beyond that I sometimes think, "Ah, yes!"  Sometimes I think, "Uh?"  And often I think...well....this is like reading a science textbook I don't really understand; I'm skipping past the equations so none of the words make much sense--

Maybe we can....how about: The right brain needs to learn as much language as is necessary to function most efficiently on this planet, right where it finds itself.  So senses on!  Sniff sniff.  What's that I smell?  And listen: what's that noise?  Heh!  Once it finds interesting smells and noises, the left brain can keep quiet--but what if the right brain is....evil?  What if it's a right brain out of a horror movie?  Severing its connections to the socially motivated left brain--

Maybe to survive on a desert island the left brain would be useful for the basic knowledge, but soon enough it would take a back seat--somewhere warm, with a lagoon full of fish--but no other humans!  No society--no human society, but lots of other societies--the fraternity of male fang-ants (named for their huge fangs)...

But it's only right now that I think: Who was Prometheus?

Now I'm thinking, "The birth of Gods in language, that the oldest gods are those written down first.  Oral tradition gods are discounted--folk animism.  But here we are at a classic festival: the days when there's an equal amount of light at night as at day.  From now on there'll be more and more light--as opposed to less and less dark--so wahey!  It's snowing!  Now we have hail!"

And no one to tell us how to celebrate it, certainly not the christian church, who were, I discovered today, tied to it because passover is an ancient festival tied to the first full moon after the spring equinox."

And I was lead down that track because I thought: I know nothing about Prometheus but what I am about to read.  I'll assume they're telling the truth (check the source!), ever on the lookout for weasel words, I suppose we must have a deep snake brain, or worm brain, chop it in half, it grows a new brain and a new tail and now it is two.  Or maybe some do, I never did the experiment.

Prometheus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prometheus is an ancient Greek God from the "Golden Age" of Greek mythology. The Prometheus myth first appears in the Greek epic poet Hesiod's (ca. the late 8th - early 7th centuries BC) Theogony (lines 507-616). He was a son of the Titan Iapetus by Themis or Clymene, one of the Oceanids. As a son of Iapetus he was also a brother of Atlas, Menoetius and Epimetheus. In the Theogony, Hesiod introduces Prometheus as a lowly challenger to Zeus' omniscience and omnipotence. At a meal marking the "settling of accounts" between mortals and immortals, Prometheus plays a trick against Zeus (545-557). He places two sacrificial offerings before the Olympian: a selection of ox meat hidden inside an ox's stomach (nourishment hidden inside a displeasing exterior), and the ox's bones wrapped in "glistening fat" (something inedible hidden inside a pleasing exterior). Zeus chooses the latter, setting a precedent for future sacrifices; henceforth, humans would keep the meat for themselves and burn the bones wrapped in fat as an offering to the gods. This angers Zeus, who hides fire from humans in retribution. Prometheus, however, steals fire from Zeus and gives it back to humans for their use. This further enrages Zeus, who sends mortal man the first woman, presumably Pandora (590-93): "From her is the race of women and female kind: of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful poverty, but only in wealth." Prometheus, meanwhile, is chained to a rock where his regenerating liver is eaten daily by a vulture. [2] Years later the Greek hero Heracles would shoot the vulture and free Prometheus from his chains.[3]

Hesiod revisits the story of Prometheus in the Works and Days (lines 42-105). Here, the poet expands upon Zeus' reaction to the theft of fire. Not only does Zeus withhold fire from men, but "the means of life," as well (42). Had Prometheus not provoked Zeus' wrath (44-47), "you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working; soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke, and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste." Hesiod also expands upon the Theogony's story of the first woman, now explicitly called Pandora. After Prometheus' theft of fire, Zeus sent Pandora to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus. Pandora carried a jar with her, from which she released (91-92) "evils, harsh pain and troublesome diseases which give men death."[4]

Yikes!

What about Prometheus Unbound?

Hold on, what about Prometheus bound?

Prometheus Bound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The play is composed almost entirely of speeches and contains little action since its protagonist is chained and immobile throughout. At the beginning, Kratos (Force), Bia (Violence), and Hephaestus the smith-god chain Prometheus to a mountain in the Caucasus and then depart. According to Aeschylus, Prometheus is being punished not only for stealing fire, but also for thwarting Zeus' plan to obliterate the human race. This punishment is especially galling since Prometheus was instrumental in Zeus' victory in the Titanomachy.

The Oceanids appear and attempt to comfort Prometheus by conversing with him. Prometheus cryptically tells them that he knows of a potential marriage that would lead to Zeus' downfall. Oceanus later arrives to commiserate with Prometheus, as well; he urges the Titan to make peace with Zeus, and departs. The titan next tells the chorus that the gift of fire to mankind was not his only benefaction; in the so-called Catalogue of the Arts (447-506), he reveals that he taught men all the civilizing arts, such as writing, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, architecture and agriculture.

Prometheus is then visited by Io, a maiden pursued by a lustful Zeus; the Olympian transformed her into a cow, and a gadfly sent by Hera has chased her all the way from Argos. The Titan forecasts her future travels, telling her that Zeus will eventually end her torment in Egypt, where she will bear a son named Epaphus. He adds that one of her descendants (an unnamed Heracles), thirteen generations hence, will release him from his own torment.

Finally, Hermes the messenger-god is sent down by the angered Zeus to demand that Prometheus tell him who threatens to overthrow him. Prometheus refuses, and Zeus strikes him with a thunderbolt that plunges Prometheus into the abyss. [1]

And Prometheus Unbound:

Prometheus Unbound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This first Prometheus Unbound is thought to have followed Prometheus Bound in the Prometheia trilogy attributed to the 5th-century BC Greek tragedian Aeschylus; The text of the Unbound is lost to us except for eleven fragments preserved by later authors.[1] Nevertheless, these fragments, combined with prophetic statements made in the first play, allow us to reconstruct a broad outline of the play. Based upon a lengthy fragment translated into Latin by the Roman statesman Cicero, it has been argued that the play opens with Prometheus visited by a chorus of Titans. Though Zeus had imprisoned them in Tartarus at the conclusion of the Titanomachy, he has at long last granted them clemency. This perhaps foreshadows Zeus' eventual reconciliation with Prometheus in the trilogy's third installment.

Prometheus Unbound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shelley

The second Prometheus Unbound is a four-act play by Percy Bysshe Shelley first published in 1820. It is inspired by Aeschylus's 'Prometheus Bound' and concerns Prometheus' release from captivity. However, unlike Aeschylus' version, there is no reconciliation between Prometheus and Zeus in Shelley's narrative. Instead, Jupiter (Zeus) is overthrown, which allows Prometheus to be released. Shelley's play is closet drama, meaning it was not intended to be produced on the stage. In the tradition of William Wordsworth and the other poets creating what we now call Romantic Poetry, Shelley wrote for the imagination, intending his play's stage to reside in the imaginations of his readers. Shelley wrote another play called The Cenci at almost the same time - perhaps moving from one text to the other. This other play was meant to be produced and has been done in New York[1] and elsewhere from time to time. What is remarkable about Shelley writing both plays and at the same time is that while Prometheus Unbound is an exalted, idealistic vision of a perfect bloodless revolution, The Cenci is a horror-stricken Macbeth-like drama of injustice, showing that Shelley was not naive about the realities he sought to change through his writing.

Shelley's own introduction to the play explains his intentions behind the work. He defends his choice to adapt Aeschylus' myth - his choice to have Jupiter overthrown rather than Prometheus reconciled - with:

" In truth, I was averse from a catastrophe so feeble as that of reconciling the Champion with the Oppressor of mankind. The moral interest of the fable, which is so powerfully sustained by the sufferings and endurance of Prometheus, would be annihilated if we could conceive of him as unsaying his high language and quailing before his successful and perfidious adversary. "

Shelley compares his Romantic hero Prometheus to Milton's proto-Romantic hero Satan from Paradise Lost.

" The only imaginary being, resembling in any degree Prometheus, is Satan; and Prometheus is, in my judgement, a more poetical character than Satan, because, in addition to courage, and majesty, and firm and patient opposition to omnipotent force, he is susceptible of being described as exempt from the taints of ambition, envy, revenge, and a desire for personal aggrandizement, which, in the hero of Paradise Lost, interfere with the interest.

Now, can anyone--relate to that ;)

And I was wondering, Gaianne's around, if s/he can maybe read something behind the original myth--I'm still looking forward to the diary on the ancient astronomies!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 07:27:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
</one of those evenings>

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 07:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry,

"And I was wondering, Gaianne's around, if you can..."

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 07:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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