The Split Brain Theory

The discussion on mind brain separation brought to my mind Julian Jayne's theory of the bicameral mind. Interestingly enough, the person having a split personality, today diagnosed as an illness, was in the past perhaps considered a prophet.

This theory was first brought to my attention when I was doing research on religions and the origins of religion. It is well known today that we have a split in our brains; basically is is considered to be two sided. This is the actual definition of bicameral. Bi meaning two and cameral meaning mind. Or something like that.This theory was thought up by Dr. Julian Jaynes in his book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which you'd probably rather not read. It is sort of boring, unless you are really into the whole concept. in a nutshell, the theory states that for thousands of years humans weren't conscious in the same way that we are today. He said that the two halves of the brain were separate in that one half was the 'man mind' and the other the 'god mind.' (My terms there, not his.) Basically the god-mind controlled the man-mind in something akin to a puppet master pulling strings.So you had a society made up of schizophrenic members. That was the norm. If the god-voice was loud enough, perhaps it would start to dictate and the man-mind would write down the thoughts. These were the basis of early religious writing. (Remember I am just paraphrasing the theory, not necessarily espousing it.) The more the god-mind was conscious, the more likely the person was to become "the voice of god" or better known as a prophet. This went on for quite a long time. Eventually through evolution of our minds, the two halves of the mind blended and the god part became our consciousness.Today if someone hears voices in their head they are considered mentally unbalanced. Thousands of years ago they were revered. Are we making progress here or what? Maybe not. Are the voices really just a part of someone's more primitive state, or are they perhaps actually communication from another plane? I know this is 'out there' and I am not saying one way or another what is truth with a capital T. I know I don't know one way or the other.I do believe that prophets of old merely had to convince themselves that they were hearing god, and then convince others of the fact; then a new religion could start. It still is happening today. Are the charlatans in fact messengers from god? There are new religions forming all the time. To have more acceptance, many of them a branches of established religions. You can look at the Lutheran movement, if you want to go back in history a ways, or you can check out Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses for early 20th century examples. Newer examples might be Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate or militant Muslims.It is a scary thought to think that all the rules and commandments might just be the product of split personalities thousands of years ago. Another thing to think about it is, what if someone who is locked up in a mental institution really is a true prophet of God, but is in a rubber room and can't get the message out.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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