Gregory Bateson’s Legacy

I  just skimmed/read a most excellent “review” of Gregory Bateson’s key
“PRESCIENT WARNING” as to the paradox of “CONSCIOUS PURPOSE” in relationship to the survival/thrival of humankind.

Phillip Guddemi
Bateson Idea Group, Sacramento, California

This is a 2010 review/analysis of Bateson’s 1968 invitational conference. In this conference he attempted to present/discuss what he outlined in STEPS TO AN ECOLOGY OF MIND to a gathering of some of the “best minds”. The conference was chronicled by Mary Catherine Bateson in OUR OWN METAPHOR, and satired by Arthur Koestler in his novelette THE CALL GIRLS.

The conference and critique has been an impetus and foundation for much of my own conceptualizing over the decades. I have referenced it in many of my writings. From a quite different perspective from mine, Bateson attempts to call our attention to our own critical limitations: We Humans Are Not as We Believe Ourselves to Be. This “fact” has become one of my primary themes. I deeply believe that “humankind coming to terms with our potentials/limitations” is essential for our survival/thrival.

I highly recommend you devote a few minutes to skim this essay. It conveys the profound significance of the contemporary relevance of Bateson’s powerful insights. I wish I had time (& competence) to study and link parts to my own ideas (Up2Met, OLLO).  I hope to return to this post and add useful links.

Gregory Bateson is THE one person I most identify with as having a similar “mind”, as I. Yet, I don’t believe he lacked visual imagery or was on the autistic spectrum, as am I. I identify with the MSC (Magnitude/Scope/Complexity) of his conceptual schemes.  I have an old audiotape of his lecture, where after talking about a topic, he asked his audience to “hang it on a peg” (like a recently killed animal from hunting for food), to return to later. Gregory recognized that anything he said was but a small component of a much larger conceptual scheme.

I am not aware of his commenting on how the synthesis of these many topics is impossible to “experience in consciousness” or “present in a finite document”.

When you skim the review of Gregory’s achievements, don’t attempt to fully comprehend all the details and the overall gestalt. This is impossible. Try to “grok” the significance and accept/appreciate each of our contributions to the emergence of a nu HUMANITY.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.