Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Julian Jaynes on spontaneous divination

with one comment

Think of some problem or concern in a vague kind of way. Then look out the window suddenly or around where you are and take the first thing your eye lights upon, and try to ‘read’ out of it something about your problem. Sometimes nothing will happen. But at other times the message will simply flash into your mind. I have just done this as I write and from my north window see a television aerial against a twilight sky. I may divine this as meaning I am being much too speculative, picking up fleeting suggestions from flimsy air—an unfortunate truth if I am to face these matters at all. I again think vaguely of my concerns and, walking about, suddenly cast my eyes on the floor of an adjoining room where an assistant has been building an apparatus, and see a frayed wire with several strands at the end. I divine that my problem in this chapter is to tie together several different strands and loose ends of evidence. And so on.

Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Written by nevalalee

July 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

One Response

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