Blog Archive


Monday, January 3, 2011

"Consciousness is not Necessary for Sense Perception"

this theme "Doing everything twice" is recurring again and again and again

Tea at the Palaz of Hoon

probably OOO surplusses ye olde Wallace as more Correlationism/ all from the Mind. I suspect, yes, a now outmoded poet still softly rings in our ears providing some comfort but otherwise nothing. Yes, we do find ourselves strange in OOO, but only in the first meet, in the face off with our own experience; at least that's my impression. I've been revelling in the new Object Oriented Philosophy for some time now. Poets of the great outer Bank probably have intuited OOO before (I expect there are plenty of examples). Or better: now poetry comes back to the front of the class? My initial reaction to OOO was "GREAT: now we can talk about Rilke's Angels properly". I've still yet to do that. Although this has strictly nada to do with the visiting apocalypse it was at the moment of their visit that I had, for perhaps the fifth time in a decade, found that all routes point to Stevens. This is of course a trick of the eye. IN FACT, it is more like a feature of Consciousness. Remember Julian Jaynes notes that NARRATIZATION is a sine qua non feature of CONSCIOUSNESS. Also conciliation and absolutely key SPATIALIZATION. Although I am not exactly sure where I am going with this, it seems to me that it is possible now to worhl out some form of agreement..with ourselves.  Metzinger, Harman, Meillassoux, are all clearly on the case. Lehar has done a marvelous job of opening up my eye at least to the how images are functionally put together, isomorphically imputed... and that is certainly SPATIAL. So when the Horsemen visited, in fact they'd done me a favour because all that was happening (at the moment I had keyed into STEVENS again) was a strict narrative AND a CONCILIATION (with my own past interests), which is useful but isn't philosophy; it's just Consciousness doing its thing. Now, as far as OOO goes here, what seems to me to be important is that all the other objects can come into view (maybe consciousness doesn't yet seem to see them but it may have known they are there). But here is where JAYNES' theory departs from most others: he suggests that vast chunks of living, learning, doing, even being are taken care of and done almost automatically anyway (in fact CONSCIOUSNESS can interfere with this process!).... as Tim suggests, consciousness does somehow here appear as a default option. However, Jaynes is suggesting a little bit more than that (understatement of the century) by suggesting that Consciousness comes after Language (even if it is built from it). Consciousness arrives during the period when the old Gods voices are no longer heard. (it has arrived in fits and starts over the last two thousand years).... coming about as a result of PANIC that the visual and auditory basis of an individual's living experience shifts from a previously secure option (listening to the Gods). Jaynes is brilliant at evocating that time during which we experienced the auditory GODS as really VERY REAL, and our subjective experience of the visual world was then much more fused (that statue is the GOD). Believing that it was possible to have and be in a society that didn't yet know Consciousness (subjective sense of I) is the pre-requisite for Jaynes and as far as I can tell, he's the only one that really gives a super-plausible explanation for Cortez "success" (sic) as it was, all evidence points to the fact that the Aztecs were as bicameral as the "West" was during Greek and pre-all that time. “The preposterous hypothesis we have come to is that at one time human nature was split in two, an executive part called god, and a follower part called man. Neither was conscious. This is almost incomprehensible to us.” Preconscious humans did not have an ego like ours; rational thought would spring up in a late stage of history, especially in Greece. However, orthodox Hellenists usually do not ask themselves why, for a millennium, the Greeks relied on instructions coming from a group of auditory hallucinating women in Delphi, even in times when they were threatened by their enemies. To explain similar cultural phenomena, Jaynes lays emphasis upon the role that voices played in the identities, costumes and group interactions; and concludes that the high civilizations of Egypt, the Middle East, Homeric Greece and Mesoamerica were developed by a primitive unconscious.

 It's as interesting to me now as when I first read Jaynes not only because this does explain something that could have everything to do with how "we" view the past and its accomplishments (how the pyramids were built. check that WHY the pyramids were built) but also now because as we are in a latent and clear REVIVAL of bicameral voices.... (the RIGHT brain's been activated more in the last fifty years than ever before....) that CONSCIOUSNESS itself may have (seems to be reaching) an evolutionary moment, a trajectory implied; as it realises itself, is it now free to integrate the unintegrated bicameral mind?

Here's What Did Survive Yesterday's Visit from the Four Horsemen

Yesterday was a drag

I had an apocalyptic moment. My arm brushed the computer, the power cord outed and four hours of labor vanished into the slipstream, quite happily without a word of goodbye leaving me with all that happy inertia to distribute. If that's what the apocalypse is then I'm dead set against it. A most uncomfortable experience (apologies Ecology Without Nature. I had transcribed yr Rice talk and was just about to send it to you) when the four horsemen arrived.