chapter  16
10 Pages

History of consciousness: Primate rituals

In this chapter and the ones that follow, we will trace the phylogenetic story of psyche’s evolution as progressively more elaborate brains designed ever more complex societies and the ritual behaviors to maintain them. We begin in this chapter with monkeys and chimpanzees, and will also entertain some speculations on Australopithecines and Archaic Humans. In every case ritual has been used to strengthen and differentiate social structure and to prepare the group as a whole to meet future tasks. Before making this argument, however, we will need to discuss how we are approaching our central unifying theme, ritual.