Know Thyself: Padded Cells of Civilization

“This drama, this immense scenario in which humanity has been performing on this planet over the last 4000 years, is clear when we take the large view of the central intellectual tendency of world history. In the second millennium B.C., we stopped hearing the voices of gods. In the first millennium B.C., those of us who still heard the voices, our oracles and prophets, they too died away. In the first millennium A.D., it is their sayings and hearings preserved in sacred texts through which we obeyed our lost divinities.  And in the second millennium A.D., these writings lose their authority.  The Scientific Revolution turns us away from the older sayings to discover the lost authorization in Nature. What we have been through in these last four millennia is the slow inexorable profaning of our species. And in the last part of the second millennium A.D., that process is apparently becoming complete. It is the Great Human Irony of our noblest and greatest endeavor on this planet that in the quest for authorization, in our reading of the language of God in Nature, we should read there so clearly that we have been so mistaken….” –Julian Jaynes:  It’s interesting to note his religious/metaphysical background was of the New England Puritan, Unitarian variety, while the scientific discipline prevalent in his time (and which he was refuting) was behaviorism. LINK to Know Thyself chatroom

By Lara/Trace

KNOW THYSELF?? Sure, right. I am layered with opinions, some mine, some belonging to family or friends or professors or priests or quotes from books.

In my quest for self-knowledge and the origins of where my thoughts originate, I stumbled across the writings of Julian Jaynes.

How do we get to any level of understanding in our classroom of so-called “higher learning” ? How do escape from such monstrous human history aptly referred to as “padded cells of civilization.”

“God is right out here in Nature under the stars to be talked with and heard brilliantly in all the grandeur of reason, rather than behind the rood screens of ignorance in the murky mutterings of costumed priests….” Jaynes writes.  “What we must do must come from ourselves. . . . We, we fragile human species at the end of the second millennium A.D., we must become our own authorization. And here at the end of the second millennium and about to enter the third, we are surrounded with this problem. It is one that the new millennium will be working out, perhaps slowly, perhaps swiftly, perhaps even with some further changes in our mentality.”

If God is talking to me and you, what is the message? We need more disbelief? We need more discernment?

How could we fall so far so fast? (By far I mean our own direct communication and relationship with GREAT SPIRIT/GOD/WAKAN TANKA) (Time has a funny way of making events seems like yesterday)

Jaynes writes: “The erosion of the religious view of man in these last years of the second millennium is still a part of the breakdown of the bicameral mind.”

The bicameral mind is our mind before the padded cells, before civilization, before that fragile beautiful open mind that was replaced with religion and science and education. This was back when humans were known as savages and primal. When we heard voices, it wasn’t any hallucination (now medicated by those who call themselves doctors.)

“We sometimes think, and even like to think, that the two greatest exertions that have influenced mankind, religion and science, have always been historical enemies, intriguing us in opposite directions. But this effort at special identity is loudly false. It is not religion but the church and science that were hostile to each other. And it was rivalry, not contravention. Both were religious. They were two giants fuming at each other over the same ground. Both proclaimed to be the only way to divine revelation…”


How did we get so lost in this? How did we come to believe in sacred texts to the point of genocide as decreed by God (one example is the conflict in the Middle East)? How did we reach the point of belief in books when the authors have been dead for centuries and the content changed by politicians called Popes and Clerics?

As a child, I did hear a small quiet voice. (Even now occasionally, I can hear it when I first wake up.) As a young girl, I had no idea where it came from but the message kept me SANE in an insane environment, dominated with alcohol and screaming matches and obscenities.

I am asking this because I think we all deserve an answer? How do we KNOW THYSELF?




6 thoughts on “Know Thyself: Padded Cells of Civilization

  1. Poor Sylvia never found her answers and lost her life because of it. I once spent a w/e in a house she had lived in and lost a baby I was carrying so great was the power of confusion and overwhelmingness left behind. We must sit tight, be patient and kind to ourselves. ❤


    1. I do wonder about Sylvia, Von, and wonder if she had lived today, would she have found peace? I am so sorry you lost a child, very sorry, dear friend.


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