Ellie Hjemmet(may her tribe increase) tipped me to the title psychologist/actor/writer/ lecturer here and abroad whose book published in 1976 about the bicameral aspect of the ancient peoples’ brains(and may his book’s title forever RIP!) created a thunder of disa-greement & a lightning of perception/assent!
Wikipedia asserts that his book’s theme was that ‘ancient peoples lacked consciousness’, with the term meaning they were not thinkers about thinking, aware of their awareness, so consequently when one part of their brains messaged the other half it was assumed that the given perception–e.g., that thunder rumbled, Thor was striking the air above. (With his short-handled stone hammer–intriguing detail!)
The example is mine–a Norwegian, I of course refer to the Norse Aesir, Odin the chief God, as Zeus was for the Greeks, ad infinitum. Popular theory re the birth of the alphabet is that the Phoenicians, over-the-waters-traders as my Viking ancestry were for varied reasons, needed to have a lexicon for materials and payment and perhaps began with icons that became signalled, abbreviated to ‘letters’/hieroglyphs for our and other languages grew to alphabets–the name itself indicating Greek letters with names other than our wont, which is simply to sound the letters.
What I found worthy of consideration is that in Jaynes’ introduction to his book (and when you Google him, you’ll forgive my avoiding his title!) he cites examples of earlier writers using objects with shape and real existence as metaphors for their thoughts. For Augustine, it was to think of his ‘plains and caverns of my memory’. ‘the mountains and high hills of my imagination’–metaphors of mind, Jaynes states, are the world it perceives. When the railroads and their steam locomotives dominated the world, the mind was described as a seething mass of chaos inside the human form.
Ergo, my suggestion that that voice speaking to ‘ancient peoples’ brain, could be identified as a God shaped as were the hearers of the messages–and in The Serpent Stick Ishmael concludes that God was a metaphor for people in their own shapes. Insofar as Eve existed, women are not in her form but she is as are women because that was the only form in which ancient peoples (in the eastern Mediterranean) could think of their progenitors.
And so it seems rational to think ‘In the Word was the beginning. . . . .’ since we must believe that the ‘word’ came much, much later than the beginning of homo erectus.
Don’t you think?