A Brief History of the Mind

The eternal mother hanging at the edge of time.

Somewhere very near the middle of this preface to a neat book, “A Brief History of the Mind” is the following terrific summary of how human consciousness differs from other species on Earth.

“We tend to see ourselves as the narrator of a life story, always situated at a crossroads between past and future, swimming in speculation. We can construct alternative explanations for how we got where we are, emphasizing one aspect or another as a path. Looking ahead, we imagine various trajectories. We refine our guesses, editing out the nonsense, and achieve a clearer glimpse of our crossroad choices.”

If you’ve poked around our site at all, you might have already noticed the similarity between this summary and our definition of Jaynesian Consciousness. This is a critical innovation, an ability that explains the proliferation of homo sapiens. Incredibly, despite the shared idea of what consciousness is between Julian Jaynes and William Calvin, they locate its origins some 47,500 years apart. Actually, there might be a good reason for thator expressed another way

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