an ecology of mind

is an excellent dvd, by Nora Bateson, about her father, Gregory Bateson, who wrote An Ecology of Mind. As usual here's are some selected quotes:
Without context, words and actions have no meaning at all. This is true of all communication... [Gregory Bateson]
A role is a half-arsed relationship. It's one end of a relationship. You cannot study only one end of a relationship and make any sense. What you will make is disaster. [Gregory Bateson]
I've been bothered a little bit the past few days by people who say, "What do you mean 'ecology of mind'". And approximately what I mean is that the various sorts of 'stuff' that goes on in ones heads and in ones behaviour, and dealing with other people and walking up and down mountains, and getting sick and getting well and all that. That all that stuff interlocks, and in fact constitutes a network, and you've got the sort of complicated, living, partly struggling, partly co-operating, tangle, that you find on the side of any of these mountains with the trees and various plant and animals that live there. In fact an ecology. [Gregory Bateson]
The division of things into parts tends to be a device of convenience, and that's all. [Gregory Bateson]
Wise men see outlines and therefore they draw them. [William Blake]
Madmen see outlines and therefore they draw them. [William Blake]
If a fool should persist in his folly, he would become wise [William Blake]
The difference that makes a difference is a way in which to define something in terms of its relationships, using contrast and context, instead of isolating it with a name. [Nora Bateson]
Krishnamurti said something like "You might think you're thinking your own thoughts. You're not. You're thinking your culture's thoughts." [Nora Bateson]
I guess I've been reading too much Alice. [Gregory Bateson]
The double-bind is a creative imperative. Its the moment when, because this doesn't work and that doesn't work, something else is going to have to be improvised. A creative impulse is necessary at that moment, to get out of the situation, to take it up a level. [Nora Bateson]
The combination of theme with variation immediately points you to something behind it. A formative principle. [Terrence Deacon]
He was often accused of talking in riddles and never coming to the point. The question he posed "What is the pattern that connects?" was never meant to be answered, because the patterns are changing. It was the act of questioning that he was pushing for. Knowing that the eyes behind that curiosity will be the most apt to give the patterns of connection room to wiggle as they perpetually self correct. And to see the beauty in that process. [Nora Bateson]
When you see process you see constant change. That's why Gregory was constantly quoting Heraclitus "no man can step into the same river twice". Because it's flowing. [Mary Bateson]
Only by the creation of change can I perceive something. [Gregory Bateson]
A man walking is never in balance, but always correcting for imbalance. [Gregory Bateson]
He asked the question "What is there about our way of perceiving that makes us not see the delicate interdependencies in an ecological system, that give it its integrity." We don't see them, and therefore we break them. [Mary Bateson]
Any kind of aesthetic response is a response to relationships. [Mary Bateson]
I hope it may have done something to set you free from thinking in material and logical terms, when you are, in fact, trying to think about living things. [Gregory Bateson]

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