Imagination and Rigor In Harmony


In August 1978, Gregory Bateson, having attended a meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of California, wrote a memorandum to the board, and ended saying,

Do we, as a board, foster whatever will promote in students, in faculty, and around the boardroom table, those wider perspectives which will bring our system back into an apporpriate synchrony or harmony between rigor and imagination?

As teachers, are we wise?” (Mind and Nature, p 223)

In the introduction to his book Steps To An Ecology Of Mind, Bateson says, “The contemporary crises in man's relationship to his environment, can only be understood in terms of such an ecology of ideas as I propose,” (Steps To An Ecology Of Mind p xiii) and our failure so far to engage in corrective action about climate change may be seen as iconic of the absence in us so far of a harmony between rigor and imagination.

In her beautiful documentary movie, An Ecology of Mind, Nora Bateson, Gregory's younger daughter, quotes Gregory as saying, “The pathology of wrong thinking in which we all live, can only in the end be corrected by an enormous discovery of those relationships which make up the beauty of nature.” (Nora Bateson, 2010)

After completing the book Mind and Nature, Gregory wrote a poem about it:-

The Manuscript

So there it is in words
Precise
And if you read between the lines
You will find nothing there
For that is the discipline I ask
Not more, not less

Not the world as it is
Not ought to be—
Only the precision
The skeleton of truth
I do not dabble in emotions
Hint at implications
Evoke the ghost of old forgotten creeds

All that is for the preacher
The hypnotist, therapist and missionary
They will come after me
And use the little that I said
To bait more traps
For those who cannot bear

The lonely
          Skeleton
                 of Truth

(Angels Fear, p 5-6)

Gregory Bateson's poem makes the point that relational understanding is about the pattern he calls the lonely skeleton of truth. The skeleton of truth is the pattern itself abstracted from the instance in form where the pattern is perceived, or in Bateson's language, the map abstracted from the territory and it is lonely because Bateson challenges us to see and deal with the pattern itself, without our usual scaffolding of “for instances,” “for examples,” and “becauses” that return us to the territory of Cartesian dualism.

What is important about a harmony between rigor and imagination is “harmony between”. This essay proposes to look into how we can discover what it is to live in a harmony between rigor and imagination. When we speak about a harmony between rigor and imagination, we focus on the relation itself, the harmony between, or to put it relationally, imagination and rigor in harmony.

After Gregory died in July 1980, Mary Catherine Bateson, his first daughter, completed a book, Angels Fear, Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred, that Gregory had begun writing. Before he died he invited Mary Catherine to be his coauthor. In it Mary Catherine wrote the following:-

If we want to be able to talk about the living world (and ourselves), we need to master the disciplines of description and reference in this curious language that has no things in it but only differences and relationships. Only if we do so will we be able to think sensibly about the matrix in which we live, and only then will we recognize our affinity with the rest of that world and deal with it ethically and responsibly. Not only do we misread and mistreat meadows, oceans, and organisms of all kinds, but our mistreatments of each other are based on errors of the general order of not knowing what we are dealing with, or acting in ways that violate the communicative web. (Angels Fear, p 191)

In her memoir of her parents, With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, Mary Catherine Bateson said, “Once on an adult camping trip he [sc. Gregory Bateson] asked about the current state of thinking on what is called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the hypothesis that there is a causal link between thought and language, so that the patterns of thought of speakers of different languages differ. 'I suppose,' he said, 'that it's one of those things that cannot not be true.' I agreed but pointed out that efforts to prove it were unsatisfying. 'Get it said right,' he said, 'and then it will be self-evident.'”(With a Daughter's Eye, p 178)

In these times, enabled by the enormous power Cartesian thought has given us to master science and nature, rigor has taken prominence and imagination is alienated. Our thinking mostly exemplifies rigor, and imagination flourishes while isolated, in the domain of the arts, and in the hands of mystics.

In Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Gregory says, “The step to realizing -- to making habitual -- the other way of thinking -- so that one naturally thinks that way when one reaches out for a glass of water or cuts down a tree—that step is not an easy one.” (Steps To An Ecology Of Mind, p 469) The thinking he refers to is relational thinking. It is with relational thinking that a harmony of rigor and imagination can be realized.

Bateson said, “... we shall know a little more by dint of rigor and imagination, the two great contraries of mental process, either of which by itself is lethal. Rigor alone is paralytic death, but imagination alone is insanity.” (Mind and Nature, p 219)

Why is the step to realizing relational thinking not an easy step, in the sense, as Bateson says, of relational thinking becoming habitual? The principle of linguistic relativity of linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf can explain an aspect of why our thinking remains other than relational, and show us how we may open a way to a synthesis of rigor and imagination. Whorf's point is that our thinking draws on patterns of linguistic acculturation that limit or filter the range of patterns we employ in making sense of reality. The success of Cartesian dualism lies in the absence of grammatical forms in our linguistic acculturation that enable us to bring forward relational patterning in our thinking.

Whorf says, “We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscope flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds—and this means largely by the linguistic systems of our minds. We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way—an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language." (Language, Thought, and Reality p 272)

He goes on to say, “We are thus introduced to a new principle of relativity, which holds that all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe, unless their linguistic backgrounds are similar, or can in some way be calibrated.” (Language, Thought, and Reality p 274)

It follows from Whorf's principle that some speech communities may be party to an agreement to conceptualize reality non-relationally. When Bateson, in the movie An Ecology of Mind, speaks to people about his reality as being different than theirs, he alludes to, “The nature of the world in which I live, and in which I wish you lived, all of you, and all the time, but even I don't live in it all the time...”(Nora Bateson, 2010)

His concern, one that was the focus of his life's work, was to show us how to live in deep connection with nature, to show us how to enable in ourselves capacity to think relationally, and realize this in a synchrony or harmony of rigor and imagination. We do not readily think of failing to harmonise rigor and imagination as a condition of why we have so far failed to deal adequately with climate change, or with any of the many difficulties that face us as a consequence of the particulars of our acculturation, such failures as we sometimes refer to as collateral damage, or accidental side effects.

How we respond to the fact, for instance, of climate change depends on whether we believe the science, and if we do, how we evaluate the significance of what the science tells us is true. It is, in philosophical terms, a matter of both fact and value. Thus, to any individual, climate change may be true and significant. Climate change may be true but not significant. Climate change may be not true, but if it were, it would be significant. Climate change may be not true and not significant. People who believe it is true and significant will tend to take prompt and appropriate action. People for whom it is true but not significant will tend to accept the truth and not act on it. People who think that climate change is not true but nevertheless significant would tend to take action once they believed it is true. People who believe that climate change is neither true nor significant are unlikely to pay attention at all.

The question of whether our relationship with nature is bringing to an end the possibility of nature sustaining human life on earth is a question that involves a synthesis of fact and value. Rigor is what determines fact, and imagination is what determines value. As Gregory Bateson said, rigor alone is paralytic death, and imagination alone is insanity. The science about climate is a matter of rigor. Those who accept that we are destroying the climate appear to believe that the scientific truth should inspire people to act. Those who value nature and care about what is happening to the climate regardless of whether the science is correct or not are seen as unreliable or even hysterical.

If relational thinking is the ground of rigor in harmony or in synchrony with imagination then we have some questions to answer. What is non-relational about the way we think? What is relational thinking? How do we access a capacity for relational thinking? What is the relationship between relational thinking and non-relational thinking? And finally, how does thinking evolve?

Near the beginning of the movie An Ecology of Mind, Gregory asks Nora, “How is thinking done?

Mostly while we drive a car, we think about driving, but not about how driving is done. We are equally disinclined to think about how we think while we are thinking. Here already we are in the realm of paradox. We can only think about thinking while we are thinking.

Perhaps the best place to begin thinking about thinking is to acknowledge that there is no point of reference where one can begin the process, other than to acknowledge that this is so, and then to begin right here in the absence of a foundation.

Descartes founded his thinking on the following:-

It is not possible for us to doubt that we exist while we are doubting; and this is the first thing we come to know when we philosophize in an orderly way.

In rejecting – and even imagining to be false – everything which we can in any way doubt, it is easy for us to suppose that there is no God and no heaven, and that there are no bodies, and even that we ourselves have no hands or feet, or indeed any body at all. But we cannot for all that suppose that we, who are having such thoughts, are nothing. For it is a contradiction to suppose that what thinks does not, at the very time that it is thinking, exist. Accordingly, this piece of knowledge — I am thinking, therefore I exist — is the first and most certain of all to occur to anyone who philosophizes in an orderly way.
(Selected Philosophical Writings, p 161-162, from Principles of Philosophy, Part 1, item 7)

Descartes' position relies on not doubting logic, on not doubting that philosophizing is to be done only according to his status quo understanding of what is orderly thinking, and on assuming that the meaning of the word 'nothing' is clear.

The paradox here is that paradox can allow for a way of philosophizing that is not limited to an idea of order implicit in res extensa, one that is not limited to the logic of deduction and induction, relying on truth by the relation of cause and effect, and can allow that there may be more to the relationship between stuff and nothing than is obvious.

In Angel's Fear, Gregory Bateson tells how, “For me, the Cartesian dualism was a formidable barrier, and it may amuse the reader to be told how I achieved a sort of monism – the conviction that mind and nature form a necessary unity, in which there is no mind separate from the body and no god separate from his creation – and how, following that, I learned to look with new eyes at the integrated world.” (Angels Fear, p 12)

He chose to express this in terms of a distinction taken from Carl Jung's Seven Sermons to the Dead. He says, “Jung‘s book insisted upon the contrast between Pleroma, the crudely physical domain governed only by forces and impacts, and Creatura, the domain governed by distinctions and differences.” (Angels Fear, p 13-14)

He goes on to say, “I think that Descartes' first epistemological steps – the separation of 'mind' from 'matter' and the cogito – established bad premises, perhaps ultimately lethal premises, for Epistemology, and I believe that Jung‘s statement of connection between Pleroma and Creatura is a much healthier first step. Jung‘s epistemology starts from comparison of difference – not from matter.

So I will define Epistemology as the science that studies the process of knowing – the interaction of the capacity to respond to differences, on the one hand, with the material world in which those differences somehow originate, on the other. We are concerned then with an interface between Pleroma and Creatura.

There is a more conventional definition of epistemology, which simply says that epistemology is the philosophic study of how knowledge is possible. I prefer my definition – how knowing is done – because it frames Creatura within the larger total, the presumably lifeless realm of Pleroma; and because my definition bluntly identifies Epistemology as the study of phenomena at an interface and as a branch of natural history.” (Angels Fear, p 20)

Near the beginning of Nora Bateson's movie An Ecology of Mind, the following short dialogue takes place between Nora and her father:-

Gregory. OK, now I want to make this big jump which is to the question of how do you think?
Nora. Me?
Gregory. How is thinking done?
Nora. By the brain in your head!
Gregory. That may be the part that does it, but that isn't how.

And Nora then poses, as the theme of the movie, the question, “How is thinking done?
(Nora Bateson, 2010)

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's approach to epistemology is sympathetic to Gregory Bateson's question, “How is thinking done?” and to relational thinking, and to Bateson's difficulties with Cartesian dualism and the separation of mind and matter, the separation of res cogitans and res extensa. Hegel asks us to investigate reality from the point of view that there is no foundation to begin from that is already known to be true. We are to engage with reality with openness, starting where we can, and taking the view that through engaging with an aspect of reality as a whole or as a system, understanding will emerge which validates the starting point. A circular process of thought brings us to philosophical truth by looking for meaning within the pattern of reality.

Hegel's approach validates Bateson's way of looking at patterns in reality, in the light of a chosen starting point, finding the differences that make a difference, and arriving at meaning through discovering the pattern that connects, validating the choice of starting point according to the outcome of the thinking process.

In Hegel's Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy, he says, “As objective totality knowledge founds itself more effectively the more it grows, and its parts are only founded simultaneously with this whole of cognitions. Center and circle are so connected with each other that the first beginning of the circle is already a connection with the center, and the center is not completely a center unless the whole circle, with all of its connections, is completed: a whole that is as little in need of a particular handle to attach the founding to as the earth is in need of a particular handle to attach the force to that guides it around the sun and at the same time sustains it in the whole living manifold of its shapes.” (The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy, p 180)

In section 7 of his introduction to The Science of Logic, Hegel says, “It thus appears that modern philosophy derives its materials from our own personal observations and perceptions of the external and internal world, from nature as well as from the mind and heart of man, when both stand in the immediate presence of the observer.” (Hegel's Logic, p 12)

Hegel in section 18 of his introduction to The Science of Logic says, “As the whole science, and only the whole, can exhibit what the Idea or system of reason is, it is impossible to give in a preliminary way a general impression of a philosophy. Nor can a division of philosophy into its parts be intelligible, except in connection with the system. A preliminary division, like the limited conception from which it comes, can only be an anticipation.” (Hegel's Logic, p 28)

In section 17 of the same work, he says, “The very point of view, which originally is taken on its own evidence only, must in the course of the science be converted to a result ̶ the ultimate result in which philosophy returns into itself and reaches the point with which it began. In this manner philosophy exhibits the appearance of a circle which closes with itself, and has no beginning in the same way as the other sciences have. To speak of a beginning of philosophy has a meaning only in relation to a person who proposes to commence the study, and not in relation to the science as science.” (Hegel's Logic, p 27-28)

Tom Rockmore, in Before and After Hegel, says about Hegel,“As he understands philosophy as a totality of knowledge conceived as system, as an organic totality of concepts produced by reflection, dependent solely on reason, he cannot admit a foundation of a Cartesian type. For Hegel reason is the final philosophical principle that has no need of another principle to found or ground itself. In other words, reason legitimates or justifies itself through its own result: the philosophical system.” (Before and After Hegel, p 74)

Descartes, relying on doubt to eliminate any idea that is less than one hundred percent certain, comes to the primary truth that thinking validates existence. From there he relies on chains of cause and effect to deductively arrive at other truths, providing that the thinking is done in an orderly manner, and that the thoughts are clear and distinct. This is the position that is the foundational value of our scientistic epistemology, the kind of thinking that dominates our realities, and the dominance from which Gregory Bateson sought to free us.

Descartes goes on to validate the existence of God inductively reversing the chain of cause and effect, with the same valuing of orderly thinking, involving thoughts that are clear and distinct, to arrive at a certainty that there exists a perfection of being that is known inductively, taking the idea that every imperfection we know points back in a chain towards an original cause that is perfection itself. By this method of induction Descartes arrives finally at the starting point.

Whether thinking deductively or inductively, Descartes maintains the concept of a primary truth and a chain of related causes and effects. The linearity of this pattern accounts for the pattern of thinking we know as Cartesian dualism. We are thus bound in our thinking to a pattern involving a chain of relations where we are either going towards or coming away from a primary truth.

It is pointed out by Tom Rockmore in his book, Before and After Hegel, that both Descartes himself, and modern science, virtually abandoned inductive thinking, leaving us with the kind of deductive thinking we associate with Cartesian dualism. (Before and After Hegel, p 60)

In Hegel's approach it is the primary truth, the chain of cause and effect relations, and the inductive or deductive logic that are dispensed with in favour of a paradoxical field of systemic relations that clarify the truth of the system in terms of a complex set of relationships. Understanding, that in the end validates the truth of the starting point, is carried out in a circular way that allows also for paradox, and that does not exclude speculative thinking.

Gregory Bateson takes as his starting point Jung's distinction between pleroma and creatura. The thinking of Cartesian dualism is seen to distort our relationship to life, to art, and to the sacred. Cartesian dualism has served us well in science. Rigor is friendly with science and imagination is friendly with life, art, and the sacred. Bateson's intention is to discover an epistemology that allows for harmony in rigor and imagination. Peter Harries Jones in his book A Recursive Vision, Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson, mentions that Bateson calls his approach an 'experimental epistemology'. (A Recursive Vision, p 89)

Descartes divided reality into res extensa, and res cogitans. Jung and Bateson divide reality into pleroma and creatura.

David Bohm, a quantum physicist, writes about the relationship between the physical and the mental. His paper called Soma-Significance: A New Notion of the Relationship Between the Physical and the Mental was completed at the very end of his life. In this paper Bohm suggests that the physical and the mental are universally or cosmologically in relationship and he speaks about this relationship as soma-significance. It exists as a pair of inseparable relations, the soma-significant and the sigma-somatic relations. (Mind in Time, chapter 9, p 181)

Bohm says, “The notion of soma-significance implies that soma (or the physical) and its significance (which is mental) are not in any sense separately existent, but rather that they are two aspects of one over-all reality. By an aspect we mean a view or a way of looking. That is to say, it is a form in which the whole of reality appears - it displays or unfolds - either in our perception or in our thinking. Clearly each aspect reflects and implies the other, so that the other shows in it. We describe these aspects using different words; nevertheless we imply that they are revealing the unknown whole of reality, as it were, from two different sides.” (rebprotocol.net/somasig.pdf page 2, paragraph 4).

In the glossary of Angel's Fear by Gregory and Mary Catherine Bateson mind is defined as follows:-

A mind is a system capable of mental process or thought.” Referring to Gregory's criteria for recognizing such systems, (which are listed on pages 18 and 19 of Angel's Fear,) she says, “They do not include consciousness nor do they require association with a single organism.” (Angels Fear, p 210)

While Bateson's idea of mind is defined initially in terms of creatura, Bohm's view is that mind is universally existential.

Bohm refers to Bateson in his paper, Soma-Significance: A New Notion of the Relationship Between the Physical and the Mental, saying, “One can refer here to a useful definition introduced by Gregory Bateson. Information is a difference that makes a difference.” (Mind in Time, p 200)

In Hegel's view, philosophy begins with dichotomy or difference or separation.

Antitheses such as spirit and matter, soul and body, faith and intellect, freedom and necessity, etc. used to be important; and in more limited spheres they appeared in a variety of other guises. The whole weight of human interests hung upon them. With the progress of culture they have passed over into such forms as the antithesis of Reason and sensibility, intelligence and nature and, with respect to the universal concept, of absolute subjectivity and absolute objectivity.

The sole interest of Reason is to suspend such rigid antitheses. But this does not mean that Reason is altogether opposed to opposition and limitation. For the necessary dichotomy is One factor in life. Life eternally forms itself by setting up oppositions, and totality at the highest pitch of living energy is only possible through its own re-establishment out of the deepest fission. What Reason opposes, rather, is just the absolute fixity which the intellect gives to the dichotomy; and it does so all the more if the absolute opposites themselves originated in Reason.

When the might of union vanishes from the life of men and the antitheses lose their living connection and reciprocity and gain independence, the need of philosophy arises.” (The Difference Between Fichte' s and Schelling's System of Philosophy, p 90-91)

Descartes' opposition of res extensa and res cogitans, Jung's (and Bateson's) opposition of pleroma and creatura, and Bohm's opposition of mind and matter are different dichotomies that draw us into thinking creatively, and therefore relationally, about reality.

Gregory Bateson's epistemological experiment is to look into the reality of mind in creatura, leaving behind Descartes' cause and effect thinking, seeking to discover the truth of reality without imposing either a starting point or a fixed epistemology that might limit our grasp of meaningful patterns. This is epistemology without Cartesian dualistic baggage. Without naming it as such, Bateson's epistemology can be seen to have embraced a Hegelian pattern.

Hegel points out that reason opposes the absolute fixity that the intellect gives to the dichotomy. In Descartes' way of thinking, which the modern world follows whether this was Descartes' intention or not, res extensa and res cogitans are thought of as being fixedly distinct. When we discern that the fixity of this distinction is hostile to creatura, we are destined, unless we can become free of our fixed adherence to dualistic thinking, to try to discover a new epistemological fixity to fix this problem. If we think about the relationship between res extensa and res cogitans relationally, with a circular Hegel like epistemology we may understand that Bateson's experimental epistemology offers us an opening to discover harmony in the relation of rigor and imagination.

Bateson's work may be well described in his own terms as a search for the pattern that connects body and mind, and connects res extensa and res cogitans, in the realm of the creatura. The creatura is a context in which, when we observe the patterns there, we can look in Hegel's terms for the living connection and reciprocity of the antitheses within and among living organisms.

Towards the end of chapter three of Mind and Nature, Gregory Bateson says, “It is the Platonic thesis of the book that epistemology is an indivisible, integrated metascience whose subject matter is the world of evolution, thought, adaptation, embryology, and genetics—the science of mind in the widest sense of the word.” (Mind and Nature, p 87) He continues in a footnote, “The reader will perhaps notice that consciousness is missing from this list. I prefer to use that word, not as a general term, but specifically for that strange experience whereby we (and perhaps other mammals) are sometimes conscious of the products of our perception and thought but unconscious of the greater part of the processes.” (Mind and Nature, p 87)

In chapter five of Mind and Nature, Gregory Bateson speaks about abductive logic. “We are so accustomed to the universe in which we live and to our puny methods of thinking about it that we can hardly see that it is, for example, surprising that abduction is possible, that it is possible to describe some event or thing (e .g . , a man shaving in a mirror) and then … to look around the world for other cases to fit the same rules that we devised for our description. We can look at the anatomy of a frog and then look around to find other instances of the same abstract relations recurring in other creatures, including, in this case, ourselves.” (Mind and Nature, p 142)

He continues, “Metaphor, dream, parable, allegory, the whole of art, the whole. of science, the whole of religion, the whole of poetry, totemism (as already mentioned) , the organization of facts in comparative anatomy—all these are instances or aggregates of instances of abduction, within the human mental sphere.”(Mind and Nature, p 142)

Finally, he points out that, “Any change in our epistemology will involve shifting our whole system of abductions. We must pass through the threat of that chaos where thought becomes impossible.” (Mind and Nature, p 143)

Bateson, in turning to the creatura, puts to one side the deductive and inductive logics of Descartes and turns to abductive thinking to make sense of life and our relation to it. In doing so he steps into an open epistemology where patterns, relations, and context become the ground of reason.

Cartesian thinking mandates foundational rules of thinking which we call logic. One truth is deduced from another, logically. When Cartesian thinking enters into creativity, it is described as speculative, and follows the reversed cause and effect thinking that uses the same rules in reverse and is then called inductive logic. Speculation leads the thinker to theories that may or may not be correct. Deductive thinking is then used to test the theory experimentally. If the theory is deduced to be correct through experimental verification, it is considered true, and if not it is false. There is no abductive logic in Cartesian thinking. In Bateson's world, truth is demonstrated abductively.

In chapter one of Mind and Nature, Bateson remarks that, “Nothing has meaning except it be seen as in some context.” (Mind and Nature, p 14)

Later in chapter one, he says, “And 'context' is linked to another undefined notion called 'meaning.' Without context, words and actions have no meaning at all. This is true not only of human communication in words but also of all communication whatsoever, of all mental process, of all mind, including that which tells the sea anemone how to grow and the amoeba what he should do next.” (Mind and Nature, p 15)

It is interesting that we think and communicate a great deal without being explicit as to what is the context, and we don't attend to whether the context is clear to and understood by those with whom we communicate. It is as if there is no question at all about context, as if context is perhaps obvious, or universal.

Cartesian thinking takes both foundational and context from some known body of knowledge, a particular science. Education in the modern era is dedicated to providing a knowledge base we can treat as a context when we think deductively. As it is enacted, it might be more correctly called instructation, or inculcation. Education has become distorted to such an extent that people now expect scientific inculcation in living, creativity, and the mystical dimensions of life.

The rules and contexts of thinking become tacit or implicit rather than explicit, and are unconsciously called on to place communication and thinking in a context that we assume to be sufficiently shared universally that we can interpret our ideas and those of others according to these tacit contexts and rules of logic.

The tacit contexts and rules of logic involve a forgotten agreement to avoid abductive logic, to adhere to deductive logic, and also to engage with inductive logic.

The patterning of the tacit contexts and rules of logic is founded in the measurable and mappable characteristics of res extensa, and from there carried into metaphysics, so that we follow thinking patterns that render all possible thoughts as necessarily Cartesian.

In Meditations on First Philosophy, the First Meditation, Descartes speaks about res extensa as follows:-

This class appears to include corporeal nature in general, and its extension; the shape of extended things; the quantity, or size and number of these things; the place in which they may exist, the time through which they may endure, and so on.” (Selected Philosophical Writings, p 78)

When we venture into the realm of metaphysical thinking and communication about metaphysical realities we carry with us the learned logical patterning of Cartesian dualistic logic, thoughts with a certain beginning and deductive and inductive chains of cause and effect. Our thinking is then, when it is well done, rigorous, but not imaginative. Imagination, when we think speculatively in the Cartesian way, is put outside the realm of thinking, except in a very limited inductive way. We can be imaginative artistically and mystically. However these domains are generally thought of as conceptually deficient, lacking serious thinking capacities. The term “common sense” has become almost another way of saying, “stupid”, or “foolish.”

While the significant relation in Cartesian thinking is indicated by the words “because” and “therefore,” the significant relation in the abductive world of Gregory Bateson and the creatura, is indicated by the words “like,” and “similar.” Other names for abductive thinking are metaphorical thinking, and relational thinking.

The logic of abduction is all about one pattern being like another, or to put it another way, it is the logic of similarity, where two contexts share the same pattern. With abductive thinking we are able to look at reality's patterns, and find meaning there that while not necessarily scientific truth, is truth that is meaningful to us and our aliveness in this reality. Abducitvely perceiving patterns in reality is a non-scientific way to know reality. It is the way of knowing reality that exists and only began to be set aside when Descartes empowered us in limiting our thinking to science. We then allowed ourselves to become so fascinated with what we could do with science that we have on account of this fascination almost forgotten to live. Science and life are in conflict only from the point of view of science, as science is the thinking pattern that locks out abductive thought, while life allows that science has a place in life but not such that life and abductive thinking are rendered obsolete.

When the part occupies the totality we are in trouble. There is nowhere for the rest of reality to go other than to hide alienated in the wings, and wait.

Where then do we find the thinking rules and the context for life? The context is not separate from the system but embedded in it as pattern. The rule of abduction is to find meaning in the pattern. This is the way of thinking that Gregory Bateson demonstrated and it is also of the essence of Hegel's thought. Meaningful rigor is discovered in patterns of reality. Meaningfulness is in the human utility we derive from understanding reality abductively.

We are in trouble when we try to synthesise abductive and Cartesian thinking. When we are clear about the difference, we are not.

We now have a partial answer to Gregory Bateson's question, “How is thinking done?” Thinking may be done as Descartes thinks, and it may be done as life thinks, but it must not be done otherwise. There is no such thinking domain as “pure thought,” an imagined realm of thinking that becomes a hell reserved for philosophical mindism, and mystical madness.

We have to find a way out of the box that limits us to Cartesian thinking, and Cartesian thinking will not be able to discover how this can happen. Gregory Bateson following Carl Jung stepped out of Cartesian dualism, abandoning the foundational context and rules of Cartesian thinking and looking in the system of life to see how life thinks. It is interesting to note that this involved separation from, but no loss of the possibility for Cartesian thinking.

The principal difficulty with such a learning project lies with unlearning the unconscious identification with deductive logic and scientific thinking which we associate with Cartesian thinking patterns.

When Gregory Bateson speaks about thinking patterns he distinguishes two kinds of syllogism, a Cartesian dualistic form, and an abductive form. In a paper called Men Are Grass: Metaphor and the World of Mental Process, presented in absentia to a meeting of the Lindisfarne Fellows on June 9th 1980, less than four weeks before he died, he said:-

The first is a syllogism in the mood traditionally called Barbara:

Men die.
Socrates is a man.
Socrates will die.

And the other syllogism has, I believe, a rather disreputable name,
which I will discuss in a minute, and it goes like this:

Grass dies.
Men die.
Men are grass.
(A Sacred Unity, p 240)

Gregory was publicly criticised by a reviewer who was 'unconvinced' about the rigor of his use of the grass syllogism, and he commented about this in the same paper as follows:-

So I took a very good look at this second syllogism, which is called, incidentally, 'Affirming the Consequent.' It seemed to me that indeed this was the way I did much of my thinking, and it also seemed to me to be the way the poets did their thinking. It also seemed to me to have another name, and its name was metaphor. Meta-phor. And it seemed that perhaps, while not always logically sound, it might be a very useful contribution to the principles of life. Life, perhaps, doesn't always ask what is logically sound. I'd be very surprised if it did.” (A Sacred Unity, p 240)

From the point of view of abductive thinking, a criticism can be made of Cartesian thinking that parallels the issue of 'affirming the consequent'. It is the issue of 'taking for granted'.

Later in the same paper, he goes on to point out that Cartesian dualism has come very late to life, and only became possible with the evolution of the capacity for language in human beings.

You see, if it be so that the grass syllogism does not require subjects as the stuff of its building, and if it be so that the Barbara syllogism (the Socrates syllogism) does require subjects, then it will also be so that the Barbara syllogism could never be much use in a biological world until the invention of language and the separation of subjects from predicates. In other words, it looks as though until 100,000 years ago, perhaps at most one million years ago, there were no Barbara syllogisms in the world, and there were only Bateson's kind, and still the organisms got along all right.” (A Sacred Unity, p 241)

In Bateson's syllogism of grass, there is no subject, only two predicates, and it is the function of the syllogism to identify one predicate with the other. This involves comparison rather than deduction. Nature mimes!

Language is essential for deductive thinking, while language is optional for abductive thinking. Nature thinks abductively without language. Abductive thinking in language is a way to think in communion with nature. The essence of an abductive thought articulated is in pointing out identical patterns found in multiple contexts.

The pattern of thought that made logic intrinsic to thinking was laid down by Aristotle. It might have been more accurate if Descartes had said something like, “I think logically, therefore it is logical I am.” Logic has been assumed to be a universal characteristic of human language until language communities were discovered in which logic is not intrinsic. Abductive thinking avoids deduction and it can be imagined that the discovery of the rules for deductive thinking were arrived at through abductive apperception of deductive thinking in action.

Benjamin Whorf drew further attention to the importance of the relationship between epistemology and language. The significance of language is in the relationship between a grammar and a lexicon. Grammar is knowledge about how to communicate with words. A lexicon is the repertoire of words and ideas employed by a language community. As children, initially we grasp our home language abductively. Subsequently if the language we have learned is also adapted to Cartesian dualist thinking we learn a theory of grammar and thereby enhance our epistemological capacity. Civilization in the western mind is associated with Cartesian dualism and primitive communities are thought of as those whose language remains solely adapted to abductive logic.

Whorf speaks about grammar and linguistic relativity as follows:-

The phenomena of language are background phenomena, of which the talkers are unaware or, at the most, very dimly aware—as they are of the motes of dust in the air of a room, though the linguistic phenomena govern the talkers more as gravitation than as dust would. These automatic, involuntary patterns of language are not the same for all men but are specific for each language and constitute the formalized side of the language, or its 'grammar'—a term that includes much more than the grammar we learned in the textbooks of our school days.

From this fact proceeds what I have called the "linguistic relativity principle,” which means, in informal terms, that users of markedly different grammars are pointed by their grammars toward different types of observations and different evaluations of externally similar acts of observation, and hence are not
equivalent as observers but must arrive at somewhat different views of the world. (A more formal statement of this point appears in my article of last April.) From each such unformulated and naive world view, an explicit scientific world view may arise by a higher specialization of the same basic grammatical patterns that fathered the naive and implicit view. Thus the world view of modern science arises by higher specialization of the basic grammar of the Western Indo-European languages.” (Language, Thought, and Reality, p. 282 – 283)

John M Ellis, in Language, Thought, and Logic, in speaking about controversial responses to Whorf's linguistic relativity principle, says that Whorf, “Shifted the emphasis of the argument from concepts in the lexicon of a language to the broader realm of grammatical structures.” (Language, Thought, and Logic, p 63)

Whorf also extended the understanding of grammar to include hidden or implicit aspects of grammar that are in use by a particular speech community but in a way that speakers do not know how they know these grammatical features of the language.

In 1938 while he was teaching at Yale, Whorf worked with a colleague, G. L. Trager, on a document called The “Yale Report”: Report on Linguistic Research in the Department of Anthropology of Yale University for the Term September 1937 – June 1938. Whorf became ill in late 1938 and died in 1941. Whorf's draft of the report was not published until Penny Lee included it as an appendix in her book, The Whorf Theory Complex A Critical Reconstruction, in 1996.

The unfinished document indicated that it would consist of two parts, part 1 being The Synchronic or Non-historical Aspect and part 2 being The Historical Aspect. Only a reconstructed part 1 became available and consisted of two sections, Division A – Configurative Linguistics, and Division B – Configurative Linguistics and Cultural World-Outlook – Ethnolinguistics. There were however some outline notes found that pertain to part 2.

In item 4 of Division A, Whorf speaks about configurations of grammar, including grammatical classes.

He talks about grammatical categories as being distinguished by grammatical markers which may or may not appear in or near the sentence which demonstrates the marker. The grammatical meaning of a marker that appears is called a phenotype and the grammatical meaning of a marker that does not appear is called a cryptotype. A marker which appears is described as overt, and a marker which does not appear is described as covert, and the occurrence of the covert marker is called a reactance.

In English, for example, in the sentence, “I hear it,” the tense is overtly marked as 'present' and the gender of what is heard is overtly marked as 'neutral'. Present tense and neutral gender are phenotypes marked in overt categories, the present tense of the verb ' hear' belonging to a grammatical category, and the neutral gender of the pronoun 'it' belonging to another grammatical category.

In the sentence, “I hear,” the tense of the verb 'hear' is again overtly marked as 'present', while the absence of a pronoun indicates a reactance which is meaningful and therefore grammatically significant, and is a cryptotype. The grammatical meaning of this cryptotype conveys that the person speaking is aware of hearing, and the significance of the statement can only be grasped in the context of the discourse. We know what is being said, but we can only give it significance when we also know how the speaker in general understands reality and specifically in relation to the statement, “I hear,” what is the background story in which the statement is contextualised.

If the statement, “I hear it,” is expressed in a particular context where we are are also being informed what 'it' refers to, the statement is an effective communication. If however we are left not knowing what 'it' is, the statement may either be meaningless or generate a reactance which can be decoded and gain significance within the communication because it calls out a cryptotype of the speech community. For example if a person has recently had ear surgery for deafness and says “I hear,” the communication is meaningful based on a cryptotype. The hearer would need to understand about deafness and the biology of the ear and the nature of a surgical intervention for deafness to make sense of the statement, and members of a speech community are able to participate in this communication despite the grammatical covert marking that accompanies the statement.

If we are only to expect overt grammatical marking, then we restrict ourselves to the domain of the syllogistic logic of Cartesian dualism. Here, in order to make sense of utterances we have to know where to begin, how to infer by a deductive thought process what an utterance means, and which standardized learned body of knowledge to call on as context.

When we can think both abductively and deductively, and we are able to be cognizant of both the phenotypes and cryptotypes of a grammar, we arrive in a domain of knowing where a harmony of rigor and imagination can be in play. The call to resolve multiple opposed thoughts into one single idea is rooted in a Standard Average European Cartesian dualistic worldview where there is a cryptotype operating that cannot allow that reality is complex in a way where multiple ways of knowing reality may coexist in the knowing of thinkers, each way of knowing rigorous and complete in its own right.

The grammar of a given language, with both overt and covert features, determine what way speakers can express thought in language. A reactance, being evidence of a covert category, is an experience where the framer of a particular utterance experiences a grammatical discomfort that gives the message, “To speak this way violates a grammatical rule,” and at the same time the rule violated is not explicit in the grammar, but is nevertheless known to the language community as violating the rapport between the grammar and the worldview of the language community.

Whorf's thinking is abductive, in Bateson's and Hegel's sense. His and his colleagues' approach to linguistic research took the stance of understanding grammars of languages they investigated without any foundational opinion about the grammars and discovered the rules and categories, both overt and covert, by studying the languages in action amongst speech communities. Whorf descibes how enriching this approach was.

When linguists became able to examine critically and scientifically a large number of languages of widely different patterns, their base of reference was expanded; they experienced an interruption of phenomena hitherto held universal, and a whole new order of significances came into their ken. It was found that the background linguistic system (in other words, the grammar) of each language is not merely a reproducing instrument for voicing ideas but rather is itself the shaper of ideas, the program and guide for the individual's mental activity, for his analysis of impressions, for his synthesis of his mental stock in trade. Formulation of ideas is not an independent process, strictly rational in the old sense, but is part of a particular grammar, and differs, from slightly to greatly, between different grammars.”(Language, Thought, and Reality, p 272)

Like Bateson, Whorf points out the great variety of ways perceptual impressions of the same reality may be differently understood. We concern ourselves more about sameness than about difference, and believe that there is a right way to decode our impressions and agree about what reality truly is. It doesn't occur to us to investigate different ways of understanding. People who understand reality differently can come to believe that they are thinking defectively if they are not on board with the status quo way of knowing, if they deviate from the linguisitic and cultural norms of their communities. Who wants to be abnormal? The tacit and unconscious agreement we subscribe to through our cultural and linguistic identity is, as Whorf says, “An implicit and unstated one, BUT ITS TERMS ARE ABSOLUTIELY OBLIGATORY; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organization and classification of data which the agreement decrees.” (Language, Thought, and Reality, p 272)

In the case of Standard Average European languages, we have inherited the syllogistic form first pointed out by Aristotle. Descartes supercharged the form by adding a worldview based on linear mapping and measuring of res extensa, so that it slowly became unacceptable in the mainstream of thought to entertain any idea that is not accountable to a known scientific context. Whorf's work was criticised for being abductive, and therefore not scientific. We, the speakers of Standard Average European languages have become weakened in our ability to engage in original thought to the extent that the business world now pays a premium for thinkers who can 'think out of the box' and yet this thought is coming out of the very box that the originators, unconscious of their embeddedness in the box as they speak, are unable to understand in a clear way what they themselves are saying. This exemplifies Gregory Bateson's point that rigor without imagination is paralytic death.

Whorf's understanding of cryptotypes was the beginning of a new approach to the relationship between language and thought. The study of a wide variety of languages brought to light a great variety of elegant and sophisticated ways of knowing, thinking, and communicating that exist among speech communities, and it is clear that Standard Average European syllogistic thinking is a very narrow and specialised way of thinking that can be thought of as an epistemological thoroughbred designed to run in the steeplechases of science. It is neither needed nor adapted for common sense day to day thinking. It is urgent for us to follow the lead of Gregory Bateson and actually change the way we think at a linguistic level.

Whorf says, “The task of formal grammar ends when the analysis of all linguistic configurations is completed, but the characteristics of a language are by no means fully accounted for then. It still remains to indicate the type of experience and kinds of referents referred to by different grammatical classes, for l[an]g[uage]s may here differ widely. Our ordinary ways of classifying referents, as being 'things', 'objects', 'actions', 'states', etc. are quite unsuitable for this work, as they are themselves names for partitionings of experience resulting after it has been grammatically classed, and circular definitions or mere confusion will result from applying them as if they referred to the conformation of reality itself. Terms like 'subject', 'predicate', 'actor', 'agent', 'function', 'cause', 'result', are equally misleading or useless in any other than a strictly grammatical sense, defined for and by each particular l[an]g[uag]e and referring only to the patterns therein and not to external reality. It is, e.g. quite legitimate to talk about 'the agent' in a given l[an]g[uag]e where the term has been defined or illustrated, but it is not to say that two different l[an]g[uage]s of widely different type are alike in their treatment of the 'agent'. In such a use it is not clear what 'agent' means. It is impossible to break up the flow of events in a non-arbitrary manner into 'subject', 'actor', 'predicate', etc. as if there existed external realities of this sort. We, to be sure, may analyze a phenomenon as ‘boy runs’, but another l[an]g[uag]e is capable of analyzing it 'run manifests as boy’. In describing differences between l[an]g[uage]s in such respects we must have a way of describing phenomena by non-linguistic standards, and by terms that refer to experience as it must be to all human beings, irrespective of their languages or philosophies.” (Language, Thought, and Reality, p 354 - 355)

Whorf is here agreeing with Bateson and Hegel that there is no meaning except the meaning that is intrinsic in the context or system at issue.

Whorf had begun to set out an innovative approach to abductive thinking. He died with his work incomplete and it was much misunderstood and misinterpreted, likely largely because the mainstream of academic linguists did not have capacity for the kind of thinking in which he excelled. Like Bateson, Bohm, and Hegel, he has been followed and appreciated by a minority of thinkers and scholars, and were it not for the work of Penny Lee in thoroughly researching his legacy and making his work available in her 1996 book, The Whorf Theory Complex, his innovative beginnings might have been lost. There is a wealth of insight about thinking, language, and reality in Whorf's work that can yet be called on. In her book, Penny Lee has laid down pointers to where the work can go, and her exposition of the Whorf theory complex is more than a scholarly exposition of Whorf's nascent thinking. It is itself a work of creative scholarship.

Whorf proposed the name Configurative Lingusitics for the study of the relationship between language, thought, and experience. His idea of 'configurative' parallels Hegel's idea of understanding through finding the pattern that is intrinsic to the system. Penny Lee refers to this as an abstractive process of thinking and the idea appears to be close to if not the same as Bateson's notion of abductive thinking. He proposed the term 'ethnolinguistics' for the aspect of configurative linguistics that looks into linguistic difference among cultures. The varieties of different ways of thinking may allow us to understand the range of thinking and communication patterns within human capacity. The difference between synchronic and historical linguistics may be about the difference between how languages are in present usage and how they evolve and change. It is very much part of Whorf's view that language differences are the norm such that it becomes important to have an overview of the linguistic process and Penny Lee suggested that the term 'metalinguistic' is in use to name this aspect of linguistic understanding. It becomes necessary for each party to a communication to have metalinguistic understanding and awareness of their own ways of thinking, and that they engage in a process of interpersonal calibration so that each may be accurate about the meaning of the other.

If we are to change the way we think, we must begin as Bateson suggested by getting free of the dominance of Cartesian dualism, and bring into play a robust capacity for abductive thinking. To go in this direction we have first to understand how we think, and then enter into a transformative process of letting go of our unconscious adherence to our status quo way of thinking, in order to open in our own thinking process to new ways of thinking.

Getting free of the dominance of Cartesian dualism is something like shedding a skin. Passing through the chaos where thought becomes impossible is the sign of a successful shedding.

The question arises as to how we change the way we think. Is it a case of learning to think differently? If it is, then it can be done the way we learn any new accomplishment. It will be something that is in our hands to implement with conscious purpose. Bateson called this kind of learning deutero learning, or learning two. Or is it something else? What is the context for this learning?

Bateson thought and wrote extensively about learning. The key thoughts he brings to learning are related to the theory of logical types, to the theory of the double bind, to context, and to his typology of learning.

Bateson used the theory of logical types to speak about levels of abstraction and the importance for a thinker of being accurate about the relationship between contexts and their associated levels of abstraction. There are higher and lower levels of abstraction and a thought in a higher level belongs to a different context than a thought in a lower level. The thinker needs to be aware of a higher context than the context where thinking is focused. In the most basic kind of thinking, the thinker reacts to an environmental stimulus. In the next level of thinking the response of the thinker to an environmental stimulus is not reactive but considered. The response is thoughtful and based on both knowledge and experience. In the third level of thinking, the thinker is thoughtful about the thinking process they are in. There is thoughtfulness about thinking itself. In the fourth level of thinking, the thinker is able to be thoughtful in many different thinking contexts. This level may be thought of as the level where the thinker is free of any particular thinking context and easily moves between a range of thinking contexts including the complete absence of thinking. Bateson named these levels learning zero, learning one, learning two, and learning three, and he spoke about a fifth level, learning four, which may be thought of for now as a placeholder for what is beyond learning three, and which might, provisionally, be occupied by our idea of God.

It is interesting to see that the language used to speak about thinking and learning is itself drawing metaphoric capacity from a res extensa idea of reality. Although difference between types, contexts and levels are communicated, the metaphor is of things, of levels, of kinds, of doing, of changing, of moving, of learning, of purposiveness, of measurement, higher and lower, more, less, many, and most, of abstractions counted or enumerated, of presence and of absence, of including, and so on.

This arises because we speak with a Standard Average European semantic and it carries with it a res extensa worldview. Without these features of our language and thinking we cannot think at all. As we become aware that our Standard Average European language and culture double binds us insofar as we are locked in by it to Cartesian dualistic metaphor and to a Cartesian worldview, and so also to a primitive capacity for abductive thinking which refers to patterns seen in or modelled on space time extensionality. This primitive capacity for abductive thinking is bound also to a Cartesian worldview.

The significance may now be clearer of Bateson's comment, “Any change in our epistemology will involve shifting our whole system of abductions. We must pass through the threat of that chaos where thought becomes impossible.” (Mind and Nature, p 143)

It is impossible to learn to think differently precisely because we think the way we do. Yet paradoxically, we can evolve our way of thinking and it is absolutely available once we grapple with the paradox that we can't do it out of conscious purposiveness.

If we take another look at what Bateson has said about learning, this time looking purely for significance of difference and relation, we may be able to see that what is essentially involved is thinking that is not purposive, contexts that have an inside / outside relationship, worldviews that transcend res extensa, and capacities for abductive semantic thought and articulation that emerge from our newly realised worldviews. We may also begin to answer the question of what we are involved with when we want to change the way we think. It will not happen because we purposively set out to transform our thinking. It will involve recognising the double bind we are in, the difficulty of not knowing how to spring ourselves free from thinking only out of a Cartesian worldview, opposed with the sense we have that we can realise abductive thinking that synthesises a harmony of rigor and imagination. We can be assured that we will pass through the chaos where thought becomes impossible, and if we don't yet know that we have passed through this chaos, then we can be assured that our thinking is still embedded in a Cartesian dualistic worldview. We can be clear that we will be engaging in a kind of learning that transitions us from living inside the status quo worldview to living inside a worldview that contains not only the worldview we now know as status quo but myriad other worldviews also. The primary consideration is that the Cartesian dualistic worldview will not any more dominate our thinking capacity to the exclusion of all kinds of relational abductive worldviews.

The success of Standard Average European thought culminating in Cartesian dualism is that it enabled rigorous thinking in matters relating to res extensa. The truth and falsehood of ideas combined with procedural thinking relying on deductive and inductive logic is our status quo way of thinking. We have invested almost everything in learning to think step by step along chains of cause and effect, where the language semantics are innately adapted to enabling expression of ideas based on foundations that are known to be true, foundations which have been scientifically verified and proven to be either true or false. We are immersed in this way of talking, thinking, and writing, both consciously and unconsciously, to the extent that we believe it is the only way we can be rigorous in our thought. We don't yet realise that it is a cul-de-sac in thinking. We believe that without science there can be no rigor. We dismiss the idea that people who think differently can be rigorous thinkers.

Rigor arises out of seeing order in a pattern. The capacity we have for seeing order is called reason. We have become conditioned culturally to think that without deductive and inductive logic there is no rigor, yet as Gegory Bateson tells us nature has been rigorous through all of evolution without needing deductive and inductive logic. Abductive logic can be rigorous, and its rigor depends on the accuracy of making sense out of the innate patterns in reality, out of abducing or abstracting the rigor of pattern innate in life and in the cosmos itself. Because of our specialisation in Cartesian dualism we have let go of trusting ways of speaking and thinking that are attuned to rigorous abductive thinking. We have tried to squeeze all of reality into a res extensa thought pattern. Those of us who can't abide this habit find ways around it. It really is not true that if something is not scientifically proven it is not reliable. We imagine that if we think abductively we will lose the ability to think scientifically. Cartesian dualism entrances us in the idea that there has to be one overarching explanation of everything. We can buy into this only because we believe that objectivity requires us to be outsiders. This is so deeply built into our thinking that the basis of our grammatical understanding is the sentence structure subject, verb, and object. The idea of subjective rigor is foreign to us. As long as this is so we will not be able to know reality from the inside (albeit from the outside too, if we so choose), and we will remain caught up in reconciling what does not need to be reconciled, in trying to be scientific instead of living, when we could live, and be scientific. When you discover the donkey is pushing the cart, there is only one thing to do, once you come through the embarassment, and that is to unhitch the donkey and get the cart behind the donkey. There is no problem about having the donkey push the cart from time to time, but as a way of life it is not satisfactory. Scholars and thinkers read Gregory Bateson and think, mistakenly, that they can deutero learn abductive thinking.

Paradox is meaningful only in relation to Cartesian dualistic thinking. Nature and life are inherently paradoxical. There is no need to 'resolve' paradoxes unless they occur inside the realm of Cartesian dualism. There is no need to find an integrative science that explains 'everything' unless you actually do want to be God, or to make science the new religion. Living the delight and abundance of no fixed orthodoxy is the best orthodoxy. We can be grateful to Gregory Bateson and to other courageous thinkers like Whorf, Hegel and Bohm, for showing us the way out of the box of Cartesian dualism, and we can be grateful to Aristotle, Descartes and all for bringing to maturity the non-relational perspective on reality.

Standing outside life without first standing inside is madness, and it is the disease of science, while standing outside life is the genius of science. How did we get to be so confused?

Imagination and rigor in harmony relies on Bateson's lonely skeleton of truth!

References:-

1. Bateson, Gregory. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. Northvale, N.J., London: Jason Aranson, Inc., 1972, 1987.

2. Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. New York, E. P. Dutton, 1979

3. Bateson, Gregory. A Sacred Unity: Further Steps to an Ecology of Mind. New York, Harper Collins. Ed. Rodney E. Donaldson, 1991

4. Bateson, Gregory, and Bateson, Mary Catherine. Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred. New York, Macmillan, 1987

5. Bateson, Mary Catherine. With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. New York, Morrow, 1984

6. Bateson, Nora. An Ecology of Mind: A Film by Nora Bateson. Oley, PA, Bullfrog Films, 2010
    (anecologyofmind.com)

7. Descartes, Rene. Descartes, Selected Philosophical Writings. New York, Cambridge University Press. Eds. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, Dugald Murdoch, 1998.

8. Ellis, John M. Language, Thought, and Logic. Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1993.

9. Harries-Jones, Peter. A Recursive Vision Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson. Toronto, Buffalo, London, University of Toronto Press, 1995.

10. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy. Albany, State University of New York Press. Trans. H. S. Harris and Walter Cerf.

11. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Hegel's Logic: Being Part One of the Encylopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830). Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1975. Trans. William Wallace. 


12. Lee, Penny. The Whorf Theory Complex: A Critical Reconstruction. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1996.

13. Mind in Time: The Dynamics of Thought, Reality, and Consciousness. New Jersey, Hampton Press. 2004. Eds. Allan Combs, Mark Germine, Ben Goertzel.

14. Rockmore, Tom. Before and After Hegel: A Historical Introduction to Hegel's Thought. Indianapolis and Cambridge, Hackett, 1993, 2003.

15. Whorf, Benjamin Lee. Language, Thought, And Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. Cambridge, MIT Press. 1956, 2012. Eds. John B Carroll, Stephen C Levinson, Penny Lee.