Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:49 am

An Interview With Catherine Ingram
by Beth Draper
Posted on March 29, 2019




Since 1992, Catherine Ingram has led Dharma Dialogues, public events of inquiry into the nature of awareness and the possibility of living in awakened intelligence…


She is the president of Living Dharma, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to inquiry and service with offices in Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles, CA. Catherine also leads numerous silent retreats each year and is coming to Cape Cod this June (see calendar listing page 32).

She is the author of several books, including Passionate Presence: Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness (Penguin Putnam, 2003). Catherine has published approximately 100 articles and served on the editorial staffs of New Age Journal, East West Journal, and Yoga Journal.

Cape Healing Arts publisher Beth Draper interviewed Catherine via email recently. Here’s an excerpt from the Q & A:

CHA: What do you love the most about being a human being?

CI: I would have to say it is love itself, although love is also what has most broken my heart. Still, better to have loved, and all that. I find as I grow older that it truly doesn’t matter what stuff one has, what one has accomplished, who knows your name, where you have traveled. It really is, as the great ones always said, all about the quality of the love you share with your loved ones. And if one is lucky and is willing to take chances with one’s heart, that is, to let it break as needed, the circle of those one loves widens enormously. This is really the main treasure of life, as far as I can tell.

CHA: When your heart breaks, how do you mend it?

CI: My heart never seems to actually get mended. It keeps breaking wider open and holding more of the sorrow, but, coincidentally, it is also open to more joy and tenderness. Of course, that is how things work. I often say that there is a spectrum of feelings and that the more one is willing to feel on one end, the sorrow, let’s say, the more one is able to feel on the other end, the joy. It is perhaps safe to close off and try not to feel too much suffering, but it is not a rich way to live. It cuts off all passion and beauty as well.

CHA: In a society that barely acknowledges grief and grieving -- in fact, often squelches it -- how do you allow yourself to experience deep sorrow?

CI: I live among the brokenhearted. They allow it.

CHA: Of the seven qualities of awakened awareness that you discuss in your book, which one is the trickiest for you to remember -- and why?

CI: There are several that I seem to skip over or remember last on the list -- discernment, embodiment, genuineness. The ones I seem to remember most easily are silence, tenderness, wonder, and delight. Maybe because those are the most fun.

CHA: In your book, you describe discernment as a clarity of perception. The ability to clearly see what is instead of what or how we would like things to be. How do you reconcile “passion, focus, and intensity” with your excellent advice to “have a light relationship with your preferences?”

CI: It is a sense that things are blowing very quickly through one’s soul, if you will. Feelings, emotions, passion, pain -- all profoundly felt and released as quickly as possible. It is the experience of life in present awareness without resistance but also without clutching to a particular form or experience. Naturally, we have preferences. It is all a matter of how much we suffer when we don’t get what we want or when something or someone that we wanted leaves us. It is good to imagine one’s awareness as an open sky through which all passes and to “kiss the joy as it flies” as Blake said.

CHA: I see that your passion and focus lie with this process of being in present awareness.

CI: Yes, it is another way of saying that one lives in reality -- for in actuality, the present is the only time in which we exist, which is what makes it feel so much more alive than the trance-like dreams of past and future taking place in imagination.

CHA: How do you allow feelings of anger and jealousy to blow through you? Many of us were taught that these are “negative” feelings, especially when we feel them in regard to people we love.

CI: We have to learn to admit that negative feelings are a common experience, no matter how good we are trying to be or what spiritual practices we have engaged in. Jealousy, anger, annoyance, irritation, pettiness -- they all visit with unfortunate regularity. But the trick is not to take them personally or to be shocked by them. And then they have no power over you. The thought of jealousy that arises and fades in a few moments is not a problem. The jealous thought that Is denied and twisted into some kind of justification due to one’s own discomfort can often turn into unkind words and actions directed at the object of one’s jealousy. In these ways, the refusal to admit to negative thoughts can create all kinds of problems, as we so often see in spiritual leaders and masters who insinuate or even say that they are enlightened but whose behavior belies petty and desperate motivations involving sex, money, or power. I prefer to hang out with what Alan Watts called “divine rascals” -- those who know both their divinity and their rascality.

This peculiar linking-together of opposites -- knowledge with ignorance, cynicism with fanaticism -- is one of the chief distinguishing marks of Oceanic society. The official ideology abounds with contradictions even when there is no practical reason for them....These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. For it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely. In no other way could the ancient cycle be broken. If human equality is to be for ever averted -- if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently -- then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.

-- Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), by George Orwell

CHA: Fabulous! What would you like to share most right now with our readers?

CI: The thing I seem to most emphasize in Dharma Dialogues -- and would say to your readers -- is to not postpone living your life. There is a subtle way that we have of waiting for something to come or waiting to get rid of something we have (even in the case of extra body weight, for instance) and thinking that our real life will begin then. Your real life is happening now, and there is no guarantee for any of us how long that life will be. As we let ourselves live fully in present awareness, it is as though we are experiencing life at last. We are no longer waiting.

Source: Catherine Ingram
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:52 am

George Ohsawa
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19



Young Ohsawa in Paris, 1920

George Ohsawa, born Nyoichi Sakurazawa (櫻澤 如一), October 18, 1893 – April 23, 1966, was the founder of the macrobiotic diet. When living in Europe he went by the pen names of Musagendo Sakurazawa, Nyoiti Sakurazawa, and Yukikazu Sakurazawa. He also used the French first name Georges while living in France, and his name is sometimes also given this spelling. He wrote about 300 books in Japanese and 20 in French. He defined health on the basis of seven criteria: lack of fatigue, good appetite, good sleep, good memory, good humour, precision of thought and action, and gratitude.[1]


Ohsawa was born into a poor samurai family in Shingu City, Wakayama Prefecture. He had no money for higher education. Around 1913, he joined the Shoku-yo Kai movement, studying with Manabu Nishibata, a direct disciple of the late Sagen Ishizuka, in Tokyo. William Dufty describes the background ("Nyoiti" is a variant transcription of "Nyoichi"):[2]

The gradual introduction of sugar into the Japanese diet brought in its wake the beginning of Western diseases. A Japanese midwife, trained in the techniques of Western medicine as a nurse, fell ill and was abandoned as incurable by the Western doctors she had espoused. Three of her children died the same way. The fourth, Nyoiti Sakurazawa, rebelled at the notion of dying of tuberculosis and ulcers in his teens. He took up the study of ancient Oriental medicine which had been officially outlawed in Japan. Sakurazawa was attracted to the unorthodox career of a famous Japanese practitioner, Dr. Sagen Ishizuka. Thousands of patients had been cured by Ishizuka (through traditional use of food) after they had been abandoned as incurable by the new medicine of the West.

Ohsawa writes in his books that he cured himself of tuberculosis at the age of 19 by applying the ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang as well as the teachings of Sagen Ishizuka.[3]

Later he traveled in Europe and began to spread his philosophy in Paris.
It was in this period that he adopted his pen name "Ohsawa", supposedly from the French Oh, ça va, which means "All right" or "I'm doing fine" as a reply to the question "how are you doing?"). After several years, he returned to Japan to start a foundation and gather recruits for his now formalized philosophy. In 1931, he published The Unique Principle explaining the yin and yang order of the universe.[4]

After drawing attention during World War II for his pacifist ideals, he wrote a book that predicted Japan's defeat and was incarcerated, narrowly escaping death. After being freed from prison by U.S. General McArthur, he moved his institution to a remote area in the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture.

It is presumed that he got the Western name for his movement from a book written by Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, a Prussian physician. It is known that Ohsawa spent time in Europe with a descendant of Hufeland.

While he was in France Ohsawa wrote a number of books in French, which were published by Vrin Publishers in Paris. Among them were L'Ere Atomique (The Atomic Age), written during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In this book, as in all the books Ohsawa wrote, he devoted considerable space to explaining how macrobiotics can shed light on many social problems as well as the causes of war, and help bring about a world in which war will be seen as an outcome of an error of judgment, and discarded as an effective solution to social conflict.[5]

Ohsawa also created a stir by predicting the deaths of several notable people, including John F. Kennedy[6] based on the condition known in Japan as "sanpaku" (literally "three empty"), a traditional Japanese physiognomic diagnosis in which a white area below as well as to each side of the iris appears when the eye is viewed straight on. This anomaly was considered a sign of extreme fatigue that made one accident-prone and slow to react. Samurai were trained to watch for this feature to assist in determining how formidable an enemy would be in hand-to-hand combat. Sakurazawa Nyoichi used this diagnosis in his teachings and Ohsawa adapted it as a more general diagnostic indication of one's general state of health. The assassination of President Kennedy led Tom Wolfe to write:[7][8]

Abdul Karim Kassem, Ngo Dinh Diem, and President Kennedy, all sanpaku and, now, shot to death, all destroyed by the fate of the sanpaku, which is more than coincidence and should be an alarm signal to men and nations, say the Macrobiotics, for thus it has been demonstrated by their leader, George Ohsawa, Japanese prophet of the Unique Principle.

This article caught the attention of William Dufty, who, finding relief in the brown rice diet recommended by Ohsawa, became an advocate of macrobiotics, and traveled to Paris to meet with Ohsawa and publisher Felix Morrow. Ohsawa handed Dufty a package, and said, "Here is a lifetime of writing. Do your best with them. It's your turn."[9] In 1965 Morrow's firm, University Books, published Ohsawa's writings under the provocative title You Are All Sanpaku.

Ohsawa died of a heart attack at the age of 74.[10]


The following bibliography of the writings of George Ohsawa is from page 218 of You Are All Sanpaku:

• 1931: Le Principe unique de la philosophie et de la science d’Extrême-Orient, Paris : Vrin.
• 1932: Le livre des fleurs, Paris : Plon.
• 1952: Le livre du Judo, Tokyo : Sekai Seihu.
1954: The Two Great Indians in Japan, Sri Rash Benhari Bose and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, India: Sri K. C. Das.
• 1956: Jack et Madame Mitie (Deux Erewhoniens dans la Jungle dire "Civilization"), Paris: E.D.
• 1956 : La Philosophie de la Medecin d’Extreme Orient, Paris : Vrin.
• 1961 : Zen Macrobiotique, Bruxelles : I.D.M..
• 1961 : Acupuncture Macrobiotique, Paris : Sesam.

Translations by Ohsawa

• T. Nakayama (1934): Acupuncture et médecine chinoise vérifiées au Japon, Paris : Le Francois.

Japanese works

• Macrobiotics
• History of China From 2000 B.C. Until Today
• Franklin: A physiological and biological biography
Gandhi: A physiological and biological biography
• Clara Schumann and Her Father: A physiological and biological Study
• Translation and critique: The Encounter Between East and West by F. S. C. Northrup
• Translation and critique: Man the Unknown by Alexis Carrell
• The Fatality of Science

See also

• Japanese resistance to the Empire of Japan in World War II


1. Jon Sandifer (1998) The 10 Day Re-balance Programme: A Unique Life Plan to Dramatically Improve Your Health and Inner Well-Being, London: Random House, ISBN 0-7126-7136-6
2. William Dufty (1975), Sugar Blues, page 84
3. Carl Ferré, ed. (1994). Essential Ohsawa: From Food to Health, Happiness to Freedom. Avery Publishing Group. p. 213. ISBN 0-89529-616-0. 1912: Ohsawa re-establishes his health using Sagen Ishizuka's diet of whole brown rice, fresh vegetables, sea salt, and oil.
4. Georges Ohsawa (1931) The Unique Principle, link from Google Books
5. G. Ohsawa (2012) L'Ère atomique et la Philosophie d'Extrême-Orient, J. Vrin ISBN 2711641341
6. Tom Wolfe (18 August 1963) "Kennedy to Bardot, Too Much Sanpaku", New York Herald Tribune
7. Tom Wolfe (12 January 1964) New York Herald Tribune Sunday Magazine
8. William Dufty (1965) Introduction to You Are All Sanpaku, page 10
9. You Are All Sanpaku, page 39
10. Michio Kushi & Alex Jack (2003) Diet for a Strong Heart: Michio Kushi's Macrobiotic Dietary Guidelines, St. Martin's Griffin.

External links

• Original teachings of George Ohsawa on (in French)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:27 am

World Future Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/13/19



This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links, and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view. (July 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The World Future Society (WFS), founded in 1966, is a community of futurists and future thinkers.[1] Through publications, global summits, and advisory roles to world leaders in business and government, WFS members are credited with establishing the foundations of futures studies. Notable members and authors have included Buckminster Fuller, Herman Kahn, Gene Roddenberry, and Margaret Mead.

In 2018, World Future Society reestablished itself as World Future Society Presents LLC, d/b/a World Future Society®. Within the WFS membership community, the organization hosts ongoing projects, conversations, and events focused around topics including the future of human purpose, how we manage our societal systems, emerging technology, AI, and advances in education and neuroscience. Membership in the World Future Society is open to anyone worldwide.


The World Future Society was founded in 1966 by Edward Cornish, with the purpose of gathering together brilliant minds to tackle the current challenges affecting the world.[2][3]

By 1970, the organization had 4,000 members representing a variety of different backgrounds and industries, with chapters and committees in 56 cities across the globe. Prominent members and contributors have included Ray Kurzweil, Peter Drucker, Carl Sagan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.[4]


Beginning in 1971, the World Future Society has hosted annual summits, forums, and events. WFS Annual Summits have hosted as many as 7,000 participants at a single event. Today, the World Future Society hosts monthly online Q&As and virtual events in the World Future Society membership community with leading futurists, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors. Recent guests have included Rod Roddenberry and author and economist Ted Chu, Phd.[5]


Current board chair & CEO

Julie Friedman Steele: 2016–Present

Past presidents and executive directors

Amy Zalman: 2014–2016[6]

Timothy Mack, Esq.: 2004–2014[7]

Edward Cornish: 1966–2004


In additional to several print and electronic journals, WFS Founder Edward Cornish published Futuring: The Exploration of the Future (Oct. 2005).

The Futurist magazine

The Futurist magazine was established in 1967, with Edward Cornish serving as the founding editor.[8] From 1967 to 2015, it was a full-color bi-monthly magazine. Today, it is an online publication that reports on technological, societal, and public policy trends, along with topics related to the future of human purpose. The Futurist was nominated for a 2007 Utne Independent Press Award for Best Science and Technology Coverage.[9]

World Future Review academic journal

The World Future Society previously published the academic journal World Future Review. This journal was published independent from the World Future Society starting with Volume 8.[10]

Impact and Legacy

The first graduate programs in Future Studies were founded by WFS members in 1975 at the University of Houston and in 1976 at the University of Hawaii. Today, Future Studies is taught at hundreds of universities across the globe, and these methods are routinely used by businesses, governments, and consulting firms.

World Future Society members have also contributed heavily to advising businesses and governments worldwide on areas including public policy and decision making. Founder Edward Cornish himself served as an advisor to three U.S. Presidents, and WFS members were the head of leading foresight consultancies including SRI International, RAND Corporation, and the Global Business Network.

Additionally, WFS members helped found the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment
and the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, which was composed of more than 100 members of the U.S. Congress including Al Gore.


1. "World Future Society". World Future Society.
2. World Future Society (2014-07-11), World Future Society Legacy Video, retrieved 2018-04-10
3. "DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD | Earth Policy Institute". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
4. justin (2016-12-16). "Learning to Think Like a Futurist with World Future Society". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
5. "World Future Society". World Future Society. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
6. "Amy Zalman - School of International Futures". School of International Futures. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
7. "Tim Mack, Founder | AAI Foresight". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
8. Lewenstein, Bruce V (April 1987). "Was There Really a Popular Science 'Boom'?". Science, Technology, & Human Values.
9. "The Futurist Magazine Nominated for the 2007 Utne Independent Press Award". PR Leap. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
10. "World Futures Review - SAGE Publications Ltd". 2015-10-28.

External links

• World Future Society (WFS) official website
• The Futurist magazine archives
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:43 am

Zen Macrobiotics: the art of rejuvenation and longevity
by George Ohsawa
edited by Carl Ferré



George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation Chico, California

Other books by George Ohsawa in English include: The Art of Peace; Cancer and the Philosophy of the Far East; Essential Ohsawa; Four Hours to Basic Japanese; Gandhi, the Eternal Youth; Jack and Mitie; Macrobiotic Guidebook for Living; Macrobiotics: An Invitation to Health and Happiness, Order of the Universe; Philosophy of Oriental Medicine; The Unique Principle; and You Are All Sanpaku. Contact the publisher at the address below for a complete list of available titles.

First (Mimeograph) Edition 1960
Second Edition 1962
Third (Oles) Edition 1965
Fourth Edition 1995
Fifth Edition, slight edits and index added 2013 Jul 1

© copyright 1995 by George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation
PO Box 3998, Chico, California 95927-3998
530-566-9765; fax 530-566-9768;

Published with the help of East West Center for Macrobiotics

ISBN 978-0-918860-73-6

Preface to the Latest Edition
by Carl Ferré

For the past fifty years many people have purchased, read, and been inspired by what has become known as “the flame of macrobiotics.” The third edition of Zen Macrobiotics by George Ohsawa was published by the Ohsawa Foundation in 1965 and was revised, edited, and annotated by Lou Oles and Shayne Oles Suehle. Thanks to their efforts Zen Macrobiotics contains some of Ohsawa’s strongest and most direct suggestions for rejuvenation and longevity.

When we became aware in 1995 that the seemingly endless supply of copies of the third edition had all been sold, we planned to reprint it in the same successful edition and format. However, Herman Aihara, founder and president of the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, wanted some misconceptions arising from the Oles edition corrected. He showed me a copy of the original mimeograph edition that Ohsawa himself printed in New York City in 1960. Following this edition, Librarie J. Vrin published Le Zen Macrobiotique in French in 1961. There also was a second English edition of Zen Macrobiotics between the mimeograph and Oles editions.

A careful reading of each edition showed that the Oles edition greatly improved the mimeograph edition and that there were two major differences. First, there were many sections added to the Oles edition from other Ohsawa writings. Since they have been part of Zen Macrobiotics for so long, we decided to leave them in the fourth edition. For those interested, the major parts added were the seventh condition of health added to chapter three, the entire chapter on yin-yang theory, most of the chapter on macrobiotic food for infants, and the entire section of appendices.

The other major difference is more significant. The mimeograph edition contained 240 recipes, of which only 50 appear in the Oles edition. There are many references in the Oles edition of Zen Macrobiotics to recipes in Zen Cookery. However, Zen Cookery never did contain all the recipes; also, the numbering system was not consistent with the numbers referred to in Zen Macrobiotics. Thus a lot of confusion has existed for many years.

It is with great joy that we announce the return of all the recipes from the original mimeograph edition to the new Zen Macrobiotics. These recipes will be very helpful in developing any cook’s intuition; however, they are not designed for those beginning macrobiotic cooking. Often there are no quantities of ingredients given, no cooking temperatures, no length of cooking times, etc. Those new to macrobiotic food preparation should first study Basic Macrobiotic Cooking by Julia Ferré to learn the procedures of whole grain and fresh vegetable cookery. This book makes a fine addition to any cook’s library. Also, many of the recipes in this edition of Zen Macrobiotics are spelled out more completely in Zen Cookery, previously also published as The First Macrobiotic Cookbook.

The main reason we decided to print the recipes as found in the mimeograph edition is that they show a side of Ohsawa that is often missed. The recipes themselves show a great variety of possibilities, both in preparation style and in ingredients used. Further, it shows that Ohsawa’s main goals and objectives were freedom, peace, and happiness. He taught that the best way to achieve these goals is through health and the easiest way to health is through eating appropriate foods for one’s condition. Over the years much more emphasis has been placed on proper eating than on the true objectives of freedom and happiness.

The greatest misunderstanding from Zen Macrobiotics in all its editions has been generated by chapter five, Ten Healthful Ways of Eating and Drinking, in which Ohsawa clearly states the best way to health and happiness is by following diet number seven—grains only and as little as possible to drink. According to Herman Aihara, this advice would have been changed by Ohsawa once he understood Americans better. After all, Ohsawa came to the United States for the first time late in 1959 and wrote and published Zen Macrobiotics specifically for Americans early in 1960 without much knowledge of local customs. His dealings with the West were almost exclusively with the French.

Ohsawa told Herman that the French always cheated on their diets and that is why he recommended a number seven diet as the best. In this way he overstated the case so that they (the French) would eat more natural foods. Again, according to Herman, Ohsawa had no idea that Americans had the will power to eat only grains for unusually long periods of time.

Today, the most common advice is to use the restrictive diet number seven as a fast for a maximum of up to ten days, especially if recipes similar to those found in the Principal Food chapter are used. Noting that some of the dishes in that chapter contain vegetables, it is questionable whether diet number seven was ever intended to be grains only. And, we can be fairly certain that eating only brown rice for extended periods of time was never Ohsawa’s intention.

The misunderstanding over number seven diet in the 1960s led to some controversy. Zen authors objected to Ohsawa’s linking of the spiritual practice of Zen with such an austere and restrictive diet. Many people still believe used the term “Zen” to capitalize on its popularity at the time. However, Ohsawa’s intention may have been more fundamental. The original title of his manuscript was Macrobiotics: The Biological and Physiological Foundation of Zen Buddhism. Ohsawa wanted people to realize that theory and practice are equally important. Just as meditation is key in Zen practice, eating appropriate foods for one’s condition is central to one’s spiritual growth.

Liberty has been taken in changing book references to those available today and comments have been added in cases of changed macrobiotic opinion. These have been indicated by inserting bracketed material—[ed.]. In this way advice that is no longer commonly accepted macrobiotic practice can be left for reference with today’s opinion in brackets for your evaluation. Still, in the interest of space and time, minor changes made in the Oles edition that served only to improve the work have been left without annotation.

The fifth edition contains a new index thanks to the tireless work of Alice Salinero and Kathy Keller along with minor edits by Kathy. The editor’s notes also contain minor corrections.

Whether this is your first reading of Zen Macrobiotics or your second or greater, we are certain you will benefit as countless others have by “the flame of macrobiotics.”

Preface to the Third Edition
by Shayne Oles Suehle

During his lifetime, George Ohsawa wrote more than 300 books and papers. This volume is considered the primer of the macrobiotic philosophy of Oriental medicine.

All of Ohsawa’s basic thought is herein touched upon. But to those previously unacquainted with macrobiotics and its many implications in the realms of ancient and modernized Oriental philosophy and science, perhaps the main thrust of the macrobiotic way of living is its rediscovery of ancient basic truths regarding health.

The general path of Western medicine, from the Greeks and Egyptians on to the giant research centers of the present, has been in the direction of seeking cures for disease. Oriental medicine, on the other hand, has for 5,000 years pursued a path whose goal has been the unity between the individual and “the way”—the way of nature herself, the eternal law governing all plants and creatures, the creation of an equilibrium between man and his biological destiny.

Western medicine has only recently begun turning its eyes toward this latter view, re-examining its own cure-oriented premise and gradually adapting its technology to ancient precepts of health. The amalgam of these two views is now known as “preventive medicine.”

Zen Macrobiotics, therefore, should be considered as a guidebook whose aim is happiness → through health → through nutrition.

In a period when the soil, water, and very air of this planet is being bombarded with contamination through technology, no single individual is immune from the ravages of being alive in the twentieth century. Under such a violent assault upon each person’s biological integrity, “preventive medicine” appears likely to be man’s best defense of his “biological castle,” his body.

Zen Macrobiotics, therefore, is presented to the reader as a last-best-hope. Health can be achieved. Health can be maintained. Man stands, precariously, between his dreams of a good world and his all-too-vulnerable mind and body.

It is the aim and hope of this book that each reader, by understanding its message, will find his own “way” to follow the dreams of his imagination through coming ever-closer to the biological dream of freedom from illness by preventing disease.

Forward: Two Ways to Happiness

Happiness is the goal of everyone in this world. But, what is happiness in the Occident, or more particularly, in the United States?

Happiness was defined by Oriental sages some thousands of years ago as a state of being that is determined by five factors:

1. A joyfulness resulting from a healthy, productive, and exciting longevity;

2. The freedom from worry about money;

3. An instinctive capacity to avoid the accidents and difficulties that could cause premature death;

4. A loving realization of the order that governs the infinite universe; and

5. A deep comprehension of the fact that one must be last in order to become the first forever. This implies the abandonment of the goal of being the victor, the winner, or first-in-line in any situation since the attainment of this goal guarantees one’s being last eventually. Everything changes in business, politics, science, marriage, in all of life—there is always a new winner. That which is the height of fashion today is out-of-date tomorrow. The man of humility, he who has no fear of being last, therefore, knows a contentment that is the essence of happiness.

Oriental philosophy—biological, physiological, social, economical, and logical in its scope—teaches the practical way to achieve such happiness. It prohibits the explanation by any teacher of the deep significance of the structure of the infinite universe and its order. The student must discover this significance, the path to happiness, for himself. Accordingly, there are no theoretical discussions, only practical ones. Schools and professional education are considered unnecessary, the makers of slaves. Further, the slave mentality is clearly seen as the cause of all misery and unhappiness. (It is interesting to note that the majority of great men have been autonomous— self-made.)

In this guidebook, I have avoided a complete explanation of the yin-yang philosophy of happiness, of the concept of supreme judgment and the keys to the kingdom of heaven for two reasons. First, so many works have already been written on the subject,1 and second, the intellectual/conceptual understanding of such philosophy is utterly useless if there is no practical result. To theorize is not enough; one must actually achieve a happy life that continually grows fuller.

The swimming of even the smallest fish cannot be mastered without first getting into the water. If you are interested in and excited by the Oriental philosophy that guarantees the five elements of happiness outlined above, please try the macrobiotic technique in this volume for a week or two. I can still recommend it after having taught it for more than forty-eight years; I am convinced that it is the fundamental way to happiness. The alternate way via philosophical, intellectual, conceptual, theoretical study is difficult, tiresome, endless, and disappointingly fruitless.

Above all, remember that this philosophy, that which I have called the Unique Principle, is practical. It is not merely another one of the medical methods that pretends to restore bodily health while actually increasing the number of sickly, diseased people through endlessly new pharmaceutical products and surgical operations. It is simply a practical discipline of life that anyone can observe with great pleasure. It restores both the health and the harmony of soul, mind, and body that are essential for joyful living.

Preface to the First Edition: From Health to Peace

All the great religions of man were born in the Orient—the light from the East. Thanks to them, the people of that part of the world lived for thousands of years with relatively few cruel wars. (This included the Japanese, whose country had always been called the land of longevity and peace.)

Yet, everything changes in this ephemeral, floating, relative, and limited world that we inhabit. With the importation of Occidental civilization, Asiatic and African countries that had been colonized gave up their traditional ways and naively and peacefully adopted the manner of the West.

Western civilization has since grown more powerful; war has progressively become more violent while modern science, which we admire very much, has emerged as the new religion of man.

May we hope that both this strikingly new, productive civilization and the ancient civilization of health, freedom, happiness, and peace will become complementary—the two arms of oneness?

For forty-eight years my goal has been to accomplish just this, and at last I think I have found the way.

You in the Occident should study our five-thousand-year-old philosophy. With this dialectical, paradoxical, non-violent tool you will be able to solve not only scientific, social, and medical problems, but you will discover the way to achieve happiness and freedom. Study and reach an understanding of our simple, practical, and stimulating viewpoint. Remember, we imported everything from the West for more than one hundred years, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not; it is now time for you to import this ageless, priceless treasure from the East.

First of all, learn about Eastern eating and drinking— macrobiotics, the structural basis for health and happiness.2

In Japan, for example, eating and drinking were once considered to be the most divine art of life. Whereas we, on the one hand, developed a method based on thought-out, well-established principles, Americans, on the other hand, appear to be guided only by taste and pleasure in their food habits.

Macrobiotics is the fundamental way of eating and drinking in the Zen Buddhist monastery where it is called “Syozin Ryori,” the cooking that develops the supreme judgment. This is consistent with the belief that physiology precedes and determines psychology. By contrast, what is customarily served in Chinese and Japanese restaurants in the United States appeals to the low, sensory judgment; it completely eclipses higher judgment. The true masters of Oriental cooking can prepare food according to macrobiotic principles that not only tastes delicious but also creates health and happiness.

You, too, can learn hundreds of ways to cook and eat, each one different from those usually found in restaurants, markets, and home cooking, and each one designed to promote your well-being.

If the food industry in America were to adopt and industrialize macrobiotic food and drink, we might witness the first food revolution in the history of mankind and the first all-out war on human sickness and misery.

To My Readers

If you should decide to study our five-thousand-year-old philosophy in order to realize infinite freedom, eternal happiness, and absolute righteousness, understand that you must do this on your own, independently, by and for yourself, as do all animals, birds, insects, and fish. First of all, make up your mind to conquer your sickness—not his or hers, but yours!

Learn the nature of your disease and its cause. If you are only interested in the disappearance of symptoms, difficulties, or pain, you have no need to study this book. This unique philosophy does not deal with symptomatic medicine.

Assimilate and come to understand the Unique Principle thoroughly; you must live it in your daily life. (The philosophy of Far Eastern medicine is quite sufficient—there is no need to read and memorize thousands of very complicated books.)

Observe the macrobiotic diet as it is explained. If you cannot find a specific treatment for the disease you are interested in curing, apply one treatment or another or combine several treatments described in Chapter 10—according to the symptoms you have. Do this cautiously and systematically and you will achieve success.

You yourself can be the creator of your own life, health, and happiness.

Table of Contents:

• Preface to the First Edition
• Preface to Second Edition
• Preface to the Revised Edition
• Chapter 1: Waste Lands
• Chapter 2: In the Wool-Shed
• Chapter 3: Up the River
• Chapter 4: The Saddle
• Chapter 5: The River and the Range
• Chapter 6: Into Erewhon
• Chapter 7: First Impressions
• Chapter 8: In Prison
• Chapter 9: To the Metropolis
• Chapter 10: Current Opinions
• Chapter 11: Some Erewhonian Trials
• Chapter 12: Malcontents
• Chapter 13: The Views of the Erewhonians Concerning Death
• Chapter 14: Mahaina
• Chapter 15: The Musical Banks
• Chapter 16: Arowhena
• Chapter 17: Ydgrun and the Ydgrunites
• Chapter 18: Birth Formulae
• Chapter 19: The World of the Unborn
• Chapter 20: What They Mean By It
• Chapter 21: The Colleges of Unreason
• Chapter 22: The Colleges of Unreason (cont'd.)
• Chapter 23: The Book of the Machines
• Chapter 24: The Machines (cont'd.)
• Chapter 25: The Machines (cont'd).
• Chapter 26: the Views of an Erewhonian Prophet Concerning the Rights of Animals
• Chapter 27: The Views of an Erewhonian Philosopher Concerning the Rights of Vegetables
• Chapter 28: Escape
• Chapter 29: Conclusion
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 1 of 2

Gregory Bateson’s Theory of Mind: Practical Applications to Pedagogy
by Lawrence S. Bale
November 1992
copyright© 2000 by Down 'n Out Press All rights reserved



This is how Jung describes the relationship of the individual to the collective unconscious according to this diagram:

I have often been asked about the "Geology" of a personality, and so I have tried to picture this after a fashion. Diagram 10 shows individuals coming out of a certain common level, like the summits of mountains coming out of a sea. The first connection between certain individuals is that of the family, then comes the clan which unites a number of families, then the nation which unites a still bigger group. After that we could take a large number of connected nations such as would be included under the heading "European man." Going further down, we would come to what we call the monkey group, or that of the primate ancestors, and after that would come the animal layer in general, and finally the central fire, with which, as the diagram shows, we are still in connection. [91]


A = Individuals.
B = Families.
C = Clans.
D = Nations.
E = Large Group (European man, for example).
F = Primate Ancestors.
G = Animal Ancestors in general.
H = "Central Fire."

Figure 1. Jung's diagram of the geology of the human personality (from Analytical Psychology, p. 133).

-- The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, by Richard Noll

Gregory Bateson was one of the first scholars to appreciate that the patterns of organization and relational symmetry evident in all living systems are indicative of mind. We should not forget that due to the nineteenth century polemic between science and religion, any consideration of purpose and plan, e.g., mental process, had been a priori excluded from science as non-empirical, or immeasurable. Any reference to mind as an explanatory or causal principle had been banned from biology. Even in the social and behavioral sciences, references to mind remained suspect. Building on the work of Norbert Wiener and Warren McCulloch,1 Bateson realized that it is precisely mental process or mind which must be investigated. Thus, he formulated the cybernetic epistemology and the criteria of mind that are pivotal elements in his “ecological philosophy.” In fact, he referred to cybernetics as an epistemology: e.g., the model, itself, is a means of knowing what sort of world this is, and also the limitations that exist concerning our ability to know something (or perhaps nothing) of such matters. As his work progressed, Bateson proposed that we consider Epistemology as an overarching discipline of the natural sciences, including the social and behavioral sciences: a meta-science whose parameters extend to include the science of mind in the widest sense of the word.

Ideally, teaching should entail an unending search for theoretical and methodological perspectives that inspire and challenge teacher and students alike. In that spirit, this essay presents an overview of the cybernetic principles that influenced so much of Bateson’s work, and discusses his understanding of the concepts information and communication, which are pivotal elements of his “cybernetic epistemology” and his theory of mind. The essay concludes with a brief rendering of Bateson’s “learning theory,” and since the essay reflects the highly abstract and formal tone of Bateson’s work, at various junctures along the way some of the practical applications that this complex material may have for pedagogy are indicated.

The Cybernetic Paradigm: A Brief Introduction

The term Cybernetics was coined by Norbert Wiener, at the end of World War Two, in reference to the, “entire field of control and communication theory, whether in the machine or in the animal.”2 As such, cybernetics has become a master concept which assimilated a number of analytic methods, including computerization and simulation, set theory, graph theory, net theory, automata theory, decision theory, queueing theory, game theory, and general systems theory. As is apparent in the wealth of available literature, cybernetic processes became discernible to many theorists, not only in biological systems, but also in the sub-organic and supra-organic world—from microphysics to organic life, through social groups, to the biosphere of our planet, and beyond.

The introduction of cybernetic principles led to the identification of systemic invariance or isomorphisms throughout the observable cosmos. Here we should note that whether or not employment of the cybernetic paradigm has been appropriate in each instance remains an area of dispute. Nevertheless, once perceived, the recognition of such patterns has fostered a valuable epistemic shift: from consideration of discrete “entities,” to the discernment of whole systems. The recognition of systemic patterns also initiated further disclosure of the logic evident in the behavior and interaction of systems, enabling theorists to frame the formal characteristics inherent in whole (e.g., cybernetic) systems. The properties of such a system are identified as fourfold:

1. The system is a holistic and cannot be reduced to its parts without altering its pattern. Artificially composed aggregates, wherein the constituent elements can be added or subtracted without altering the overall system are not included.

2. The system is self-regulating, stabilizing itself through negative feedback loops. Thus, cybernetic systems respond to information. They scan their behavior to determine its outcome, and if this “input” or feedback communicates a match with the system’s “coded requirements,” the system maintains its output, its behavior, in order to maintain the match (i.e., it maintains a steady-state). If the system “learns” that its coded requirements are not being matched, it modifies its behavior on the basis of such information.

3. The system is self-organizing. If a mismatch between sensory input and “internal code” persists, the system searches for, and encodes a new pattern with which to operate. Thus, in the passage of time, differentiation and complexification of the overall system may emerge through positive feedback.

4. Moreover, the system is understood as a differentiated sub-whole within a systemic hierarchy. The “environment” in which a system exists is also a whole system, a meta-system. Whether ecosystem, animal, organ or cell, systems consist of subsystems that operate within a hierarchy of progressively inclusive meta-systems. As a subsystem, the system’s characteristics and operations are co-determinative components of the larger system within which it is an integral component. Thus, a system may be understood as Janus-faced. As a whole, it faces inward, i.e., the system is concerned with maintaining its internal steady state; as a sub-whole, the system faces outward, responding to its environment (a meta-system) in a potentially infinite regression of relevant contexts.

Spurred by the enthusiasm with which cybernetics was received, systems research has been applied to many fields of scientific enquiry. Such research supports the evolutionary view that over time, through self-organization and mutual adaptation, systems tend to form structural hierarchies, i.e., they fashion progressively larger, more inclusive systems out of preexisting sub-systems. Furthermore, in the patterns they exhibit, these new systems generate unique qualities, including more complex organization and inherently novel forms of operation.

The view which has subsequently emerged discerns a complementary relationship between the morphic nature of systemic integration and systemic differentiation within a hierarchical universe. Systemic differentiation and integration are conventionally understood as delimited by the channeling of energy, matter and information to maintain and generate form.3 Also, through the cybernetic interaction of their patterns of operation, systems tend to complexify and form hierarchies. Hence, in the realm of astronomy, hierarchical restraints are understood as gravitational; in the hierarchy from microphysics to organic life, cybernetic restraints are understood as electrochemical forces; and in social and cognitive hierarchies, such constraints are understood as operating in the communication of symbols.4

Notably, such research has also revealed that this phenomenon is delimited by hierarchical restraints of a morphic nature.5 That is, in each of these realms the hierarchical constraints are related to pattern formation, not substance or quantity. Each step between the hierarchies advances the development of form toward increasingly complex organization. Also, systems proponents point out that in asserting the irreducibility of levels, the hierarchical view of cybernetic/systems theory conflicts with traditional monism, as well as with dualism and pluralism.6 That is, since hierarchical constraints produce both novelty and organization, causal or generative relations necessarily exist between the levels.

Hence, the cybernetic/systems view of observed reality is hierarchical: the universe is understood as a hierarchy of systems, wherein each higher level of system is composed of systems of lower levels. In this view, each level of the hierarchy cybernetically builds on more basic levels of organization: integrating pre-existing subsystems and micro-hierarchies into novel patterns; and fashioning new, more inclusive systems. Therefore, as observed in embryology, evolution and child development, growth and learning occur incrementally or step-wise. Whole systems never begin from scratch. Their growth is inevitably based upon the organization of pre-organized components. They are both delimited and enabled by hierarchical constraints that permit stability, economy, and speed in the unfolding of new forms of life and more inclusive hierarchical levels.

Since their introduction, investigation of the holistic, self-stabilizing, self-organizing and hierarchical traits formally identified in cybernetic systems has also spread into the social and behavioral sciences. Thus, the informational nature of cybernetic processes: including the concepts of feedback, mutual causality, and self-regulating systems—i.e., that cybernetic systems adapt to and alter their environments through sequences of self-stabilization around steady states—have been adopted and fruitfully employed in these disciplines.

Arguably, the most significant contribution of cybernetics to these disciplines stems from an appreciation of the informational character of the processes evident in cybernetic systems. Along with other vital insights, this view supports a collapse of the supposed dichotomies between “subjective” and “objective” data. Consequently, through the employment of the cybernetic paradigm, phenomena previously dismissed as non-empirical—including feeling, emotions, cognition and perception of meaning—were judged accessible and relevant to scientific inquiry. In summary, we may note that the principles underlying the cybernetic paradigm have been recognized as a valuable means of conceptualizing humankind, not only as a biological entity, but also as a social and cognitive being.7

Some scholars have objected to the “dehumanizing” effect of applying principles derived from machines to the study of human beings. Yet, the aim of employing cybernetic theories in the social and behavioral sciences has never been to reduce identity formation—e.g. subjective learning processes, unconscious symbolic processes, etc.—to the principles of system organization. What is claimed, is that cybernetics provides a legitimate analogy, although not an exact one, “which explains a much wider variety of outcomes in terms of the significance of information,” than has previously been available.8 As such, cybernetic principles also hold valuable insights for the field of pedagogy.

For instance, we may assume that a classroom of students (including the instructor) rapidly becomes a holistic system comprised of self-stabilizing, self-organizing personalities, each of whom perceives the class through their own set of past experiences, and each of whom is concerned with maintaining an internal, or personal, balance of predefined expectations and goals. Hence, any “new information” that enters the holistic, and mutually causal system of the class will be uniquely perceived and responded to by each personality within the class. Each personality within the class will receive-organize-translate information according to their own set of self-stabilizing patterns— patterns that have succeeded, over time, in allowing the “individual” to “fit” within the context of a learning environment. From this perspective teaching is a dialogical process in which the teacher’s primary role is one of establishing or communicating contexts wherein the students may effectively perceive and assimilate “new information.”

Since every person in the classroom is a holistic, self-stabilizing, self-organizing system, but also a participant in a larger more inclusive system—e.g., the learning environment or class, which also operates as a holistic, self-stabilizing, self-organizing system—a crucial component of the dialogical teaching process must include a recognition and enhancement of the “feedback circuitry” that enables the larger context of the class to operate as holistic system. As a holistic unit, the class develops it own history of interaction, and as anyone who has led a class will note, no one part of the system can effectively exercise unilateral control over the entire system. In short, the class co-evolves, and every member of the class develops their own strategies for appropriately responding to the messages of interrelationship(s) that govern a class’ becoming. In this intricate and complex process, an effective teacher must be skilled at dialogical and trans-contextual communication: i.e., communicating contexts wherein diverse systems (personalities) can effectively exchange information; recognizing and effectively responding to various manifestations of negative, positive and regenerative feedback; and, assisting students in the largely unconscious processes of learning to learn.

Envisaging the Negentropic Realm of Mind: A Realm of Communication, Information, and Learning

Our consideration of Bateson’s model of mind, his cybernetic epistemology, and his theory of learning, necessarily begins with his criteria of mind. The criteria listed below are intended to differentiate the phenomena of thought from the much simpler phenomena observed in material events. Hence, the six criteria of mental process are intended to provide a list, “such that if any aggregate of phenomena, any system, satisfies all the criteria listed, I shall unhesitatingly say that the aggregate is a mind and shall expect that, if I am to understand that aggregate, I shall need sorts of explanation different from those which would suffice to explain the characteristics of its smaller parts.”9

Criteria of Mind 10

1) A mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components.

2) The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by difference, and difference is a nonsubstantial phenomenon not located in space or time; difference is related to negentropy and entropy rather than energy.

3) Mental process requires collateral energy.

4) Mental process requires circular (or more complex) chains of determination.

5) In mental process, the effects of difference are to be regarded as transforms (i.e., coded versions) of events which proceeded them. The rules of such transformation must be comparatively stable (i.e., more stable than the content), but are in themselves subject to transformation.

6) The description and classification of these processes of transformation disclose a hierarchy of logical types immanent in the phenomena.

Bateson argues that using the above criteria the mind-body dilemma is soluble. He also asserts that, “the phenomena which we call thought, evolution, ecology, life, learning, and the like occur only in systems that satisfy these criteria.”11
From the above discussion of the cybernetic paradigm, the degree to which the informational nature of cybernetic process has informed Bateson’s criteria is readily apparent. One might insist that he has reduced mental process to the operations of cybernetic systems. However, he consistently maintained that the criteria are intended to be employed as an analogous and metaphoric model of mind. Above all, the criteria are intended for use as a tool of abduction, e.g., comparing that which is shared among apparently unrelated phenomena.

In part, the aim in this essay is to consider how the model of mind, or mental process that emerges from Bateson’s criteria of mind relate to the phenomena of learning. After all, it is “mind” that learns. Therefore, we should examine each of the criteria before moving on to discuss the practical applications of Bateson’s theory of learning.

1) A mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components. The model of mind mapped out by Bateson’s criteria is holistic, and as with all serious holism it is premised on an interaction of differentiated (as opposed to separate or individual) ‘parts.’12 Holistic systems require a differentiation of parts, or there can be no differentiation of events and functioning. Therefore, mind is understood as an aggregate of differentiated parts, which at their primary level are not themselves mental. These ‘parts’ in combined interaction constitute wholes, or whole mind systems. In more complex instances, some of the ‘parts’ of a mind system may fulfill all the necessary requirements of the criteria. In this case, these ‘parts’ are also recognized as minds, or subminds. In either case, mind or mental process is understood as immanent in, and emergent from “certain sorts of organization of parts.”13

With this foundation for understanding mental process, we may now consider the nature of the relationships within which mind is immanent, or out of which mind emerges, i.e., how the relationships between the ‘parts’ interact to create mental process.

2) The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by difference, and difference is related to negentropy and entropy rather then energy. Here, the informational nature of cybernetic process is first incorporated into the criteria, and we encounter a clarification of the concept “information,” as distinct from “energy” and “matter.” We are also introduced to the limitations of knowing in this model of mind.

Beginning with an idea as the basic unit of mental process, Bateson defines an idea as, “A difference or distinction or news of differences,” adding that more commonly we refer to complex aggregates of such units as ideas.14 Of course difference is a nonsubstantial phenomenon that cannot be located in space or time. The difference between an egg and an apple does not lie in the egg or in the apple, nor does it exist in the space between them.

In agreement with Kant, Bateson notes that even the simplest of objects “contain” an infinite number of differences, but only differences which make a difference are used in forming mental images—ideas, or aggregates of ideas. Mind responds only to the differences in its environment that it is able to discern. And in this process, the holistically bonded ‘parts’ that comprise mind systems act as a sort of filter or sieve, sorting, selecting and collecting and subsequently decoding information, i.e., differences, or news of difference.15 Ideas (news of difference, images, maps) about things is what get into the working circuitry of mind, but mental systems know nothing of “things-in-themselves” (Dinge an sich).16 In short, mind systems are influenced by maps, never territory.

This suggests why Bateson feels cybernetic models and metaphors are most appropriately applied to the realm of mental process, i.e., mind systems. Given the importance of information and communication in cybernetic theory, and the unique status of information (news of difference) as a nonsubstantial phenomenon that nevertheless influences, governs and controls a cybernetic system, it ought to be evident that cybernetic models best exemplify mental process. Thus, the use of energy and matter as explanatory principles is clearly inappropriate—except in those instances where they function as information and thus have communicational value.

Consider the fact that in the realm of communication and information, zero has a “causal” value because it represents a difference, it is different from one, and zero (quite literally, no ‘thing’) may thus be used to explain a response in both the realms of communication and mental process. In this context, quantifiable concepts such as power, gravity, and energy, etc. are applicable only in the so-called “hard sciences”—i.e., realms of explanation used in exploring the physical realm of material events. In contrast to cybernetic systems (including our computers), atoms, molecules and stones do not respond to information. There is no evidence that these entities scan their behavior for its result, nor do they modify future behavior on the basis of such information.

Thus, in contrast to Laszlo and others, Bateson feels we should reject the application of cybernetic feedback principles in describing and explaining atomic, subatomic and electrochemical realms of physical existence. He also believes that given the preponderance of metaphors and explanatory principles borrowed from the energetics and hard sciences, we must totally re-think most of the theoretical basis underpinning much of the social and behavioral sciences.

3) Mental process requires collateral energy. Although the interactions of mental process are triggered by difference, “difference is not energy and usually contains no energy.”17 Mental process requires some amount of energy (apparently very little), but as a stimulus the nonsubstantial phenomenon of difference does not provide energy. The respondent mind system has collateral energy, usually provided by metabolism. If we kick a stone, it receives energy and it moves with that energy. However, if we kick a cat or a dog, our kick may transfer enough energy to move the animal, and we may even imagine placing the animal into a Newtonian orbit, but living organisms generally respond to stimuli with energy from their own metabolism. In the control of animation by information, energy is already present in the respondent, the energy is available in advance of the “impact” of events.

4) Mental process requires circular (or more complex) chains of determination. Since the central themes of this holistic model are drawn from the recursive nature of cybernetic systems, there is a fundamental emphasis on circular causal chains in mental process. Here again, mind is understood as immanent in the combined interaction of the differentiated ‘parts’ of the system, and this interaction depends upon the existence of a network of circular, or more complex, chains of determination, i.e., the parts of the system are connected and interact within a closed circuit. Since the system is circular (i.e., recursive), effects of events at any point in the circuit will move around or throughout the system, eventually producing changes at the point of origin. Thus, “a special sort of holism is generated by feedback and recursiveness,” in the system.18

Moreover, in accordance with the regularities discovered in cybernetic systems, the closed circuitry—in combination with the effects of time—generates a holistic matrix in which no one part of the system can exercise unilateral control over the system as a whole. Each part is controlled by information moving throughout the closed circuitry of the whole system. Such systems are subject to the effects of time, and therefore, each part must adapt to the time characteristics of the system. Thus, each part must adapt to the effects of its own past action within the system.19 Hence, the mental properties of the system are understood as immanent, not in any one part, but within the system as a whole. For example, mental process (e.g., mind) is understood as immanent in the circuits of the brain which are complete within the brain; mental processes are similarly immanent in the circuits which are complete within the system, brain-plus-body; and mind is immanent in the larger system — person-plus-environment.20 The resulting image requires that we eliminate the commonly held notion that mind is to be identified as residing only within the boundary of our physical body, and is somehow radically separate from others:

. . . there is no requirement of a clear boundary, like a surrounding envelope of skin or membrane, and you can recognize that this definition [of mind] includes only some of the characteristics of what we call “life.” As a result it applies to a much wider range of those complex phenomena called “systems,” including systems consisting of multiple organisms or systems in which some of the parts are living and some are not, or even to systems in which there are no living parts.21

The resulting image also suggests that authoritative methods of teaching are not going to be as effective as apprenticeship methods of instruction. Like it or not, instructors cannot effectively foist their will upon the mind system of a class, nor upon any “individual” student within the class. One may exercise authority, but unilateral control is not a valid option, and any attempt to exercise dominance will only succeed if the student(s) “submits.” The end result of an authoritative “lesson” of dominance cannot be predicted or controlled, and although the students are often unaware of the fact, they are in control of their personal and collective dialogical learning processes.

We might want to pause here and consider how this inclusive image of mind suggests that the context of a classroom or a learning environment full of students ‘is’, or becomes, a holistic mind system —comprised of teacher, students, and technological extensions of mental process (books, computers, microscopes, etc.). Also, consider how the physical context of the classroom contains “context markers” (blackboards, desks, visual aids, the flag, etc.), that communicate the message(s) (information available only to mind systems) that this context is different from other locations, it is a learning environment.

We should also note that the feedback loops which maintain the holistic nature of the larger more inclusive mind system identified as “a class,” represent a fundamentally dialogical process. Thus, each person in a learning environment operates as a holist mind system in dialogue with themselves, while simultaneously participating in the (often silent) dialogue of the larger mind system that can be recognized as persons-plus-environment. Moreover, the mental phenomena described here undoubtedly reflect not only primary and autonomic process, but also the complex interaction of social behavior. If we are going to effectively create contexts in which students can learn, we would do well to have our methods parallel the dialogical principles that bond mind systems across a broad spectrum of primary and social levels of mental process.

5) In mental process the effects of differences are to be regarded as transforms (i.e., coded versions) of events which proceeded them. The phenomena of coding, an integral element of feed-back in cybernetic systems, is incorporated into the model through this criterion; and again, we should note that the model assigns unequivocal limitations as to what mind systems are capable of knowing, largely due to this phenomena. That is, the process in which information is translated and encoded into a new form—for only then is information available for further stages of a system’s performance—limits the perception of mental systems to images that are reminiscent of the shadows in Plato’s allegory of the cave.

The perspective added to the model by this criterion emerges out of information theory, but this is not a “garbage in, garbage out” use of the information processing model. After all, Bateson was one of the founders of the family therapy movement, and he does not suggest that our minds are simply an information processing apparatus. He vehemently opposed such simplistic and vulgar application of cybernetic theory. The model of mind drawn by the criteria applies to all mental systems, but on a gradation of complexity. The concept of “information in,” “information out” is appropriate enough for computers, and perhaps single cell animals; but clearly not for the complex interaction of families and classrooms, nor the personalities who—when bonded together through communication—form these more inclusive mind systems. The transformation of information referred to in this criterion is intended to include influences from the sum total of a personality’s contextual learning experiences, e.g., a construct of biological, cultural and social habituation.

This criterion also effectively places mental process in what Bateson refers to as “the world of communication,” which is a realm of explanation wherein the only relevant entities or “realities” are messages. This is the realm of mind, in which relationships and metarelationships, context, and the context of context—all of which are complex aggregates of information or differences which make a difference—may be identified in a potentially infinite regress of relevant contexts. Consider Bateson’s comparison of the Newtonian world and the world of communication:

The difference between the Newtonian world and the world of communication is simply this: that the Newtonian world ascribes reality to objects and achieves its simplicity by excluding the context of the context—indeed excluding all metarelationships—a fortiori excluding an infinite regress of such relations. In contrast, the theorist of communication insists upon examining the metarelationships while achieving its simplicity by excluding all objects.22

Bateson suggests that the world of communication (the realm of mental process, and learning) is a Berkeleyan world, but the good bishop was guilty of understatement. “Relevance or reality must be denied not only to the sound of the tree which falls unheard in the forest but also to the chair that I can see and on which I may sit.”23 Our perception of a chair is communicationally real, but in the realm of mental process—the world of communication—the chair on which we sit is only an idea, a message in which we put our trust. There are in fact no chairs or tables, no birds or cats, no students or professors in the working circuitry of the mind, except in the form of “ideas.” Dinge an Sich or things-in-themselves are inaccessible to direct inquiry. Only ideas (difference, news of difference, images or maps) and information (differences which make a difference) about “things” are accessible to mind:

Ideas (in some very wide sense of that word) have a cogency and reality. They are what we can know, and we can know nothing else. The regularities or laws that bind ideas together—these are the (eternal) verities. These are as close as we can get to ultimate truth.24

At this juncture, considering the importance of “context” in learning and pedagogical theory, we should pause and consider what exactly context might “be”? The list of criteria we have thus far examined suggests that: A context is nonsubstantial phenomenon which cannot be located in space or time. Or perhaps we should say that a context is a constellation of differences; not a ‘thing’, but rather a mental image or a map—a recognition of the differences that make a difference within a set of relationships. Here, it is interesting to note that the Artificial Intelligence movement (which has little in common with Bateson’s ideas, other than it also grew out of cybernetic theory) falters on the concept of context. The most powerful computers cannot be programmed to recognize and distinguish the differences that mark a given context as separate or different from any other context.

6) The description and classification of these processes of transformation disclose a hierarchy of logical types immanent in the phenomena. This final criterion applies the concept of logical types to the mutual causal and hierarchical characteristics of the cybernetic paradigm, and employs the result in the model of mental process. We have previously observed that mental process requires circular or more complex, causal relations, and that the closed circuitry of whole mind systems generates a holistic matrix in which the mental properties of the system are immanent within the working circuitry of the system as a whole. Thus, mental process is both immanent in, and inseparable from the realm of physical appearances. Mind is immanent in, and emergent from certain sorts of organization of parts. Nevertheless, mental systems are not isolated monads. They have the capacity to unite with other similar systems, thus forming systemic hierarchies comprised of differentiated sub-minds.

This view requires that we regard mind as an interpenetrating process that includes (or, is included within) other mental systems, in sequential moments of time. The mind system(s) in which sub-minds participate is thus discerned as a meta-system, where perceived levels of difference separate progressively abstract and inclusive levels of logical types. The mental properties of a sub-mind are co-determinative and mutually causal components of the larger mind system within which it is an integral component. Again, we find that like cybernetic systems, mind systems are Janus-faced: as a whole, the system “faces” inward, i.e., its dialogue with itself is concerned with maintaining the integrity of its internal steady state (the system’s knowing is its being); as a sub-whole, the system “faces” outward, responding to perceived differences in its environment, and differences communicated to it through pathways or networks of recursive circuitry within the larger mind system—the meta-system of which it is a differentiated part (knowing how to appropriately fit and adapt preserves the system’s being). All of which occurs within a virtually infinite regress of relevant contexts.

“Any object may become a part of a mental system, but the object does not then become a thinking subsystem in the larger mind.”25 When mental systems do unite with other similar systems, they become operational (i.e., “thinking”) subsystems, or differentiated sub-minds within a larger mind that is subsequently formed. Mental systems are thus understood as forming hierarchies of levels of difference; i.e., such difference as is evident “between a cell and tissue, between tissue and organ, organ and organism, and organism and society”:

These are the hierarchies of units or Gestalten [whole mental systems], in which each subunit is a part of the unit of the next larger scope. And, always in biology, this difference or relationship which I call “part of" is such that certain differences in the part will have informational effect upon the larger unit, and vice versa [the larger unit will have to have informational effect upon the subunit].26

With informational effects moving between or being exchanged throughout the system, the non-substantial phenomenon of difference produces substantial, i.e., “real”, effects. In keeping with Gestalt theory, this is a uniting or combining of information that results in a new order of information or the creation of a logical product—something more than simple addition. An apt analogy is that of self-organizing Chinese boxes, each one dialogically fashioning itself to fit inside the other, ad infinitum. This combining of ‘parts’ results in something more on the order of multiplication or fractionation,27 with each level of difference in the systemic hierarchy forming a pattern of interaction that represents a difference of logical type.

Bateson’s intent with this final criterion seems to mean that the description and classification of mind systems discloses a dialogical hierarchy of logical types, where each logical type—each level of mental process—is distinguished by a level of difference. Each level of difference also represents a context where similar systems may form larger Gestalten and operate as subsystems. Thus, viewed through the hierarchic structure of thought and the “world of communication” proposed by cybernetic theory, the hierarchies of levels of difference evident in the natural world are a result of informational patterns of interaction.

Self-organization, self-stabilization and mutual adaptation (all governed by informational feedback loops) act as hierarchical restraints that regulate something like an “osmotic” flow of information that is dialogically exchanged within and between the differentiated levels. Levels of knowing that we experience (for instance) as the “self;” that separation between our personal knowing/being and the knowing/being of the living environment—the natural world in which we live, sharing our interpretation of experience, learning, adapting, and growing; the world of mental process with which we co-evolve.

Characteristics and Potentialities of a Mind System

Below is a list of the distinctive traits and potentialities of mind systems that exhibit the six criteria. This includes all living organisms, as well as any component of a living system that fulfills all the criteria, and thus exhibits a degree of autonomy in its self-regulation and operation: for example, individual cells; organs; and aggregates of organs.

The model of mind advanced in this essay is a radically inclusive paradigm: extending the meaning of mind well beyond its previous boundaries; and where warranted, recognizing mental process in systems that do not include living components. Here we should also note that this model totally discredits the traditional view of arrogating mind to our species, alone. As we review these characteristics and potentialities of mind systems, we should bear in mind that the six criteria propose a holistic model of mind which operates as a totally integrated system. They are useful as a description and explanation of mental process only in combination, and we should expect any such mental system to exhibit the following distinctive traits or attributes:

1. Mind systems will exercise some degree of autonomy or self control: the recursive nature of feedback loops within the system’s circuitry give the system information about itself and allow the system to exercise self-regulation.

2. Mind systems will exhibit a capacity for death: either through the randomization or disassembly of the multiple parts of the system or through the breaking of the circuitry that gives the system information about itself, thus destroying its autonomy.

3. Mind systems will exercise the capacity of self-correction: thus, we may recognize that they exercise purpose and choice.

4. Mind systems will adapt to their environments through sequences of self-stabilization around steady states: therefore they exhibit stability (steady state), extreme instability (runaway), or some mixture of these two.

5. Mind systems will learn and remember: they exercise the ability to change and adapt in response to internal or external differences in their environment; and they fashion some degree of ordering or predictability through the stochastic process of trail and error.

6. Mind systems will exhibit some capacity to store energy.

7. Mind systems will be influenced by “maps,” never “territory.”

8. Mind systems will be subject to the fact that all messages are of some logical type: thus, the possibility always exists that they will commit errors in logical typing.

9. The culmination of our synopsis is the principle that mind systems will have the capacity to unite with other similar systems, and thus create still larger wholes.
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Part 2 of 2

The Logical Categories of Changing Mind: Bateson’s Theory of Learning

While highly formal and abstract, Bateson’s criteria of mind and the model of mind he presents offer valuable insights for pedagogy. His model of mind is intended to be understood as a relational process rather than a ‘thing’ that is somehow disassociated or separable from another ‘thing’ (the “body”). His insights introduce a rigorously formulated basis for what I call removing “ego” from the process of teaching, replacing authoritative modes of instruction with more dialogical modes of instruction, such as mentoring and apprenticeship. Taken seriously, his concept of mind insists that teaching must address the whole person—physical, emotional and intellectual—in dialogues that cut across a wide range of contextual boundaries and communication pathways.

One significant implication of Bateson’s holistic and dialogical notion of mind is that when the patterns of interaction we commonly refer to as “minds” actually do connect via communication, the relationship thus established triggers or releases a potential for change that may bring about a profound transformation of the “entities” involved, as well as the larger mental systems in which they are embedded. Hence, the insight that mental systems become thinking subsystems of larger holistic minds (more inclusive Gestalten) suggests that when genuine dialogue occurs, we enter into a process that holds the possibility of experiencing one another in a manner that is as integrative and consequential as that which is evident in the integration of a living organism.

Equally significant implications of Bateson’s work emerge when we consider his theory of learning. Bateson examined the phenomenon of learning in several essays written between 1942 and 1971. He presented his theory of learning from more than one perspective, addressed a number of related agendas, and fine tuned the details of his work over time. Since my aim in concluding this essay with an examination of Bateson’s learning theory is to help us explore the relationship between the phenomena involved in learning and the contexts of learning we attempt to established in a classroom, it is not be necessary to detail all the nuances of this sizable body of work.

For Bateson, the key to understanding the learning process is the phenomena of change, context, and the recognition of context of contexts. “The whole matter turns on whether the distinction between a class and its members is an ordering principle in the behavioral phenomena” which we call learning.28

The word “learning” undoubtedly denotes change of some kind. To say what kind of change is a delicate matter. However, from the gross common denominator, “change,” we can deduce that our descriptions of “learning” will have to make the same sort of allowance for the varieties of logical type which has been routine in physical science since the days of Newton. The simplest and most familiar form of change is motion, and even if we work at that very simple physical level we must structure our descriptions in terms of “position or zero motion,” “constant velocity,” “acceleration,” “rate of change of acceleration,” and so on.29

Bateson employs the theory of logical types to delineate a set of five classes of learning labeled Learning 0 through IV, with each higher class encompassing the lower classes of learning. Learning IV is a special type of learning that is not readily accessible, and since this level of learning “probably does not occur in any adult living organism on this earth,”30 our focus is necessarily limited to examining Learning 0 through III.

Before continuing, we should note some of the difficulties posed by language. The terms “higher” and “lower” convey a considerable surplus meaning, with “higher” suggesting a “superior” value and “lower” suggesting an “inferior” value. In this discussion of learning theory we should not fail to recognize that the first four levels of learning are potentially available to everyone. Just as the class “furniture” is no better or worse than the subclasses included within it—”table” or “chair,” for example—Learning 0 and Learning I are also to be understood as no better or worse than Learning II or Learning III. All four are potentially a part of the human experience and thus equally important. It is precisely our awareness that this is the case which is commonly difficult to perceive and understand.

Learning 0: Zero learning is “the simplest receipt of information from an external event in such a way that a similar event at a later (and appropriate) time will convey the same information: I ‘learn’ from the factory whistle that it is twelve o’clock.”31 This type of learning represents a context where a person exhibits minimal change in response to an item of sensory input, be it simple or complex. Learning 0 lacks any stochastic process, i.e., it does not contain components of trial and error, and it is typified “by specificity of response, which—right or wrong—is not subject to correction.”32 This level of learning may be identified in phenomena that occur in various contexts, and here a brief list of such contexts may help illustrate the intended meaning:

(a) In experimental settings, when “learning” is complete and the animal gives approximately 100 per cent responses to the repeated stimulus.

(b) In cases of habituation, where the animal has ceased to give overt responses to what was formerly a disturbing stimulus.

(c) In cases where the pattern of the response is minimally determined by the experience and maximally determined by genetic factors.

(d) In cases where the response is now highly stereotyped.

(e) In simple electronic circuits, where the circuit structure is not itself subject to change resulting from the passage of impulses within the circuit—i.e., where the causal links between “stimulus” and “response” are as the engineers say “soldered in.”33

Although Learning 0 does not contain a component of trial and error, at this level of learning we are capable of at least two types of “error.” If the context offers a set of alternatives to choose from, one may correctly employ the information that signals these available alternatives, but choose the wrong alternative; or, one may misidentify the context and thus choose from a wrong set of alternatives.34

If now we accept the overall notion that all learning (other than zero learning) is in some degree stochastic . . . it follows that an ordering of the process of learning can be built upon an hierarchic classification of the types of error which are to be corrected in the various learning process. Zero learning will then be the label for the immediate base of all those acts (simple and complex) which are not subject of correction by trial and error. Learning I will be an appropriate label for the revision of choice within and unchanged set of alternatives; and Learning II will be the label for the revision of the set from which the choice is to be made; and so on.35

Learning I: In common, nontechnical parlance this level of learning is generally what we mean by the term “learning.” It is often referred to as trial-and-error learning, instrumental learning, or conditioning. “These are cases where an entity gives at time two a different response from what it gave at time one.”36 This level of learning covers a broad range of phenomena, including rote learning, a rat learning which turn to make in a maze, and a person learning to play a Bach fugue. In essence, Learning I may be recognized when, with repeated practice, new responses occur.

Here, it is important to note that without the assumption of repeatable contexts there can be no learning of this sort . . . “we may regard ‘context’ as a collective term for all those events which tell the organism among what set of alternatives he must make his next choice.”37

Without the assumption of repeatable context (and the hypothesis that for the organisms which we study the sequence of experience is really somehow punctuated in this manner), it would follow that all “learning” would be of one type: namely, all would be zero learning.38

If all learning were zero learning, all behavior would be genetically determined, and we would be little more than genetically programmed automatons, in which case our physical, emo-tional, and intellectual life would amount to Pavlovian responses. However, if the premise of repeatable context is correct, “the case for logical typing of the phenomena of learning necessarily stands, because the notion ‘context’ itself is subject to logical typing.” Either we reject the notion of repeatable context or we accept it, and by accepting it, we “accept the hierarchic series—stimulus, context of stimulus, context of context of stimulus, etc. This series can be spelled out in the form of a hierarchy of logical types as follows”:

a) Stimulus is an elementary signal, internal or external.

b) Context of stimulus is a metamessage which classifies the elementary signal.

c) Context of context of stimulus is a meta-metamessage which classifies the metamessage. And so on.39

Bateson insists that the concept of repeatable context—and by extension the above hierarchic series of contexts—is a necessary premise for any theory that defines learning as change. Moreover, “this notion is not a mere tool of our description but contains the implicit hypothesis that . . . the sequence of life experience, action, etc., is somehow segmented or punctuated into subsequences or ‘contexts’ which may be equated or differentiated by the organism.”40

This all raises the question as to what sort of creatures we are that we can identify a context, or further, that we can recognize a repeatable context, or a context of contexts? Since we may respond to the “same” stimulus differently in differing contexts, what is the source of information necessary for us to recognize the difference between Context A and Context B? To answer these questions, Bateson introduces the term “context markers,” and employs this term to designate the signals or labels with which humans and quite likely many other organisms classify or differentiate between two contexts.

When we enter a classroom on the day of an exam, everyone in attendance knows that on this day, for the duration of the examination, their activities will differ from those of other times in the “same” classroom. Similarly, it is reasonable to assume that when a harness or some other apparatus is placed on a dog, who has had extended experience in a psychological laboratory, the smell and feel of the equipment, as well as the setting of the laboratory, all act as signals with which the animal marks that he is about to undergo a series of not unfamiliar contexts. Such sources of information may be referred to as “context markers,” and at least for humans, there must also be “markers of contexts of contexts.”41

When we attend the performance of a play, the playbills, the stage, the curtain, and the seating arrangement, etc., act as “markers of context of context.” If a character in the play commits a crime, we do not go out and summon the police, because through these “markers of context of context” we have received information about the context of the character’s context. We know we are watching a play. In contrast, Shakespeare uses a twist of irony in Hamlet when, precisely because Claudius ignores several “markers of context of context,” the King has his conscience prodded by the play within the play.

In the complex social life of humans, a diverse set of events can be identified as “context markers.” If I pick up my keys, for whatever reason, my wife is apt to ask where I intend to go. In this instance, my keys are a “context marker” that for my wife signals my intention of leaving the house. By way of example, Bateson offers the following list:

(a) The Pope’s throne from which he makes announcements ex cathedra, which announcements are thereby endowed with a special order of validity.

(b) The placebo, by which the doctor sets the stage for a change in the patient’s subjective experience,

(c) The shining object used by some hypnotists in “inducing trance.”

(d) The air raid siren and the “all clear.”

(e) The boxers handshake before a fight.

(f) The observances of etiquette.42

The notions of repeatable context and defining “learning” as change are not foreign to the field of pedagogy. For centuries, instructors have tacitly recognized and fashioned context markers (employing visual aids, and other less obvious means), as I indicated earlier in this essay. What I find most valuable (most practical) in this theory of learning is the elegant clarity with which Bateson focuses our attention on the phenomena of context, repeatable context, and context markers as somehow central to understanding and encouraging those changes we designate as “learning.”

Learning II: The next higher level or logical type of learning entails changes in the process of Learning I, or learning about learning.43 Learning II is recognizable as “corrective change in the set of alternatives from which choice is made,” and this includes “changes in the manner in which the stream of action and experience is segmented or punctuated into contexts together with changes in the use of context markers.”44

Simply put, Learning II represents the generally unconscious phenomena wherein we learn about and classify the contexts in which learning takes place. For example, when we first learn to play a musical instrument, it usually takes a considerable amount of time to play with few errors. Yet, as we continue to play and learn new pieces, the speed with which we learn to play at the same level of performance increases. We have learned a pattern or class of behaviors, for instance “guitar playing,” and we are able to progressively transfer skills acquired in learning one member of that class, “folk guitar,” to another, “classical guitar.” For anyone who has contemplated the processes involved in this type of learning (riding a bicycle, mathematical and language skills may also be included as examples) it is evident that much of this kind of learning takes place outside of our awareness.

Bateson argues that, “an essential and necessary function of all habit formation and Learning II is an economy of the thought processes (or neural pathways) which are used for problem-solving or Learning I.”45 The phenomena of learning occur within a hierarchy of perceived and classified contexts and meta-contexts in which our percepts are continually being verified or contradicted. However, as with typing or riding a bicycle, Learning II affords us the advantage of not questioning the details of our actions. We may carry on “without thinking.”46

Some types of knowledge can conveniently be sunk to unconscious levels, but other types must be kept on the surface. Broadly, we can afford to sink those sorts of knowledge which continue to be true regardless of changes in the environment, but we must maintain in an accessible place all those controls of behavior which must be modified for every instance. The economics of the system, in fact, pushes organisms toward sinking into the unconscious those generalities of relationship which remain permanently true and toward keeping within the conscious the pragmatic of particular instances.47

Learning II amounts to habit formation, e.g., it allows generalities of relationship that remain true to settle progressively further into the unconscious, and we should note that this pattern of learning is not restricted to classifying the contexts of acquired skills, such as operational tasks. Consider the premises for what is generally referred to as “character,” or definitions of “self.” In this instance, Learning II saves us from having to continually re-examine the abstract, philosophical, aesthetic, and ethical aspects of many sequences of life. For precisely this reason, Learning II can create problems for anyone attempting to reconstruct the context of the classroom system.

. . . Learning II is a way of punctuating events. But a way of punctuating is not true or false. . . It is like a picture seen in an inkblot; it has neither correctness nor incorrectness. It is only a way of seeing the inkblot. . .

The practitioner of magic does not unlearn his magical view of events when the magic does not work. In fact, the propositions which govern punctuation have the general characteristic of being self-validating. What we term “context” includes the subject’s behavior as well as the external events. But this behavior is controlled by former Learning II and therefore it will be of such a kind as to mold the total context to fit the expected punctuation.48

In other words, patterns of learned behavior regarding our interrelationship with the milieu in which we are embedded tend to become more and more generalized and come to determine the bias of a person’s global expectations. Consequently, one may then anticipate that one’s existence is orderly and structured, or simply chaotic; mostly punishing, or mostly rewarding. These more general relational patterns develop early in life and quickly drop out of awareness, and since what is learned is a way of punctuating events, what then happens is that we tend to mold our environment to fit the expected punctuation.49

The self-validating nature of this process renders it notoriously difficult to reverse because the personality involved is unaware, and he or she will unconsciously manipulate their perception of the environment to fit their expectations, and subsequently bypasses other learning opportunities. For instance, overcoming the expectations of a “fit and proper” learning environment, whether from students, parents or administrators—expectations controlled by former Learning II, and therefore, largely unconscious—poses a difficult task for anyone attempting to reconstruct the learning contexts of the classroom system.

Still, we are called upon to “educate” our students, and a close analysis of the words we use to describe the patterns of relationship and definitions of “self “ commonly called “character” reveals that no one is dependent, liberated, or competitive, etc. in isolation—all perception and all learning are essentially interactional. It follows that if (as scholars such as Bateson and Klaus Krippendorff suggest) in the operation of our perception we are all cartographers, then our role as educators is to communicate contexts and meta-contexts wherein our students may construct, explore and reexamine some of their most fundamental reality constructs. The “context markers” we broadcast will signal meta-metamessages with which the students may choose to punctuate or classify the context of their lives. If we are successful in our task, the dialogical learning environments we fashion can offer our students an experience “like entering the cartographer on the map he or she is making.”50 Like the border on a map, our “context markers” frame the information within the dialogue, setting the stage for the emergence of self-discovery.

In such systems, involving two or more persons, where most of the important events are postures, actions, or utterances of the living creatures, we note immediately that the stream of events is commonly punctuated into contexts of learning by a tacit agreement between the persons regarding the nature of their relationship—or by context markers and tacit agreements that these context markers shall “mean” the same for both parties.51

In the above quotation, note that Bateson brings the contemplation of “contexts of learning” back to a discussion of systems, involving two or more persons, and the nature of their relationship. Although he does not plainly state his intention, we can fairly assume this reference to systems is a context marker that refers to his theories concerning mental process. Also, note the importance of “tacit agreement” and “context markers” in the operation of the stream of events that may lead to the change in punctuating events that he designates Learning II, e.g., the largely unconscious process of “learning about learning.” This suggests that in structuring the contexts of our classroom(s), we must be able to present and successfully communicate context markers in our postures, actions, and utterances—as well as in the physical layout of the learning environment—such that the students can enter into the tacit agreements that enable Learning 0, Learning I, and Learning II.

The above leads to our consideration of Learning III. This type of learning involves a radical modification or expansion of one’s set of alternatives, e.g., “Learning III is change in the process of Learning II, e.g., a corrective change in the system of sets of alternatives from which choice is made.”52 This level of learning can be identified as a radical shift in perspective, or as developing the ability to cross the “boundaries” of different learning types.

The very definition of this type of learning suggests that paradoxes and logical difficulties arise when we attempt to apprehend such phenomena in logical discourse. Yet, without claiming personal knowledge, we may suppose that at this level of learning previously constricted awareness is released and new frames of reference are accessible. Here, Bateson cautiously observes that:

Learning III is likely to be difficult and rare even in human beings. Expectably, it will also be difficult for scientists, who are only human, to imagine or describe this process. But it is claimed that something of this sort does from time to time occur in psychotherapy, religious conversion, and in other sequences in which there is profound reorganization of character.53

The profound reorganization of character that characterizes Learning III limits the usefulness of this level of learning for our discussion, but may disclose something of the nature of learning that has been left out of our previous discussion. First we should note that there can be a replacement of premises at the level of Learning II without the achievement of any Learning III. Hence, the profound reorganization of character indicative of Learning III is not a transposition of subclasses at the level of Learning II. However, such a transposition (exchanging one set of habituation for another) in and of itself must certainly be an accomplishment worth noting. Yet, the question remains, how are such transpositions achieved.

Bateson suggests that one is “driven” to level III by “contraries” generated at level II, and it is the resolving of contraries that constitutes “positive reinforcement” at level III. I would suggest that since all learning cannot be the product of rote memorization, the experience of contraries, and their subsequent resolution, is the key to understanding much of what “moves” one through each of the previously discussed levels of learning: Learning 0, Learning I, and Learning II. Therefore, we may employ Bateson’s concept of Learning III as an extreme example of all transitional experience “between” the levels of learning.

Precisely because it constitutes learning about Learning II, Learning III proposes paradox. Learning III may lead to either an increase or a limitation, and possibly a reduction of the habits acquired in Learning II. “Certainly it must lead to a greater flexibility in the premises acquired by the process of Learning II—a freedom from their bondage.”54 My point is that we may make similar observations concerning the relationship between the punctuation of experience that occurs between Learning 0 and I, or between Learning I and II.

Beyond the necessary components of rote learning and habituation, one is most likely driven, or nudged, into “higher” levels of learning through paradox and contraries. Similarly, any skill or ability that is integrated into one’s mental system through the process of resolving paradox and contraries will lead to greater flexibility in the premises that govern the “lower” levels of learning. This “resolution of contraries” will, in itself, positively reinforce one’s having learned a given “lesson.” In structuring the contexts of a classroom system, we certainly should not attempt to drive our students into a Learning III experience. However, we should be able to learn how to fashion challenging contexts, which allow for safely experiencing contraries and paradoxes. Apparently, this is the experience that is needed in order to nudge one’s “self” into “higher” levels of learning.

One final word concerning the processes involved in Learning III. In a sense this entire essay has been an invitation to the sort of “reorganization of character” that characterizes Learning III. Our brief examination of the holistic, self-regulating, self-organizing, mutually causal (hence, dialogic), and hierarchic characteristics of cybernetic systems was intended to set the context for considering a major portion of Bateson’s work. Given the fact that it is mind that learns, the explication of the holistic and dialogical model of mind which emerges out of Bateson’s criteria of mind—including his understanding of information, and his concept of the “world of communication”—was intended to prepare the contextual frame for considering Bateson’s learning theory. Clearly, the views thus presented invite the reader to reexamine commonly held dualistic notions concerning the “self,” as well as similar notions concerning the relationship between “self” and “other.”

Bateson’s views thus propose a radical reexamination of the principles that govern the instructor/student/classroom system. To be sure, the principles examined in this essay are not the only means of reaching the conclusions I have incrementally drawn along the way, nor do I claim that the principles here presented, and the conclusions here drawn are the only viable rationale around which we should reconstruct the classroom system. My intent has been merely to offer an alternative optic (one of many such valuable resources) through which we may view learning and pedagogy. These concluding observations are not simply standard disclaimers, offered as a means of conveniently bringing the essay to closure. It is my conviction that if the ideas presented in this essay are taken seriously, they call for a profound reorganization of the way we approach instruction and learning in the classroom. In this sense the above is an invitation to the sort of “reorganization of character” that is the hallmark of Learning III.


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

------. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1972.
------. “Afterword.” In About Bateson, pp. 235-247. Edited by John Brockman. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977.
------. “The Message is Reinforcement,” in Language Behavior: A Book of Readings in Communication. Janua Linguarum: Studia Memoriae Nocolai Van Wijk Dedicata, Series Maior, no. 41, pp. 62-72. Edited by Johnnye Akin, Alvin Goldberg, Gail Myers, and Joseph Stewart. The Hague and Paris: Mouton & Co., 1971.
------. “The Cybernetics of ‘Self’: A Theory of Alcoholism.” Psychiatry, 34 (February 1971): 1-18; reprinted in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part III: Form and Pathology in Relationship, pp. 309-337.
------. “Form, Substance, and Difference.” General Semantics Bulletin 37: 5-13. The Nineteenth Annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, delivered at New York, January 9, 1970; reprinted in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part V: Epistemology and Ecology, pp. 454-471.
------. “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication.” in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part III: Form and Pathology in Relationship, pp. 279-308. [Expanded version of “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication, and the Acquisition of World Views.” Paper presented at the Wenner-Gren Symposium on World Views: Their Nature and Their Role in Culture, Burg Wartenstein, Austria, August 2-11, 1968.]
------. “Style, Grace, and Information in Primitive Art,” in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part II: Form and Pattern in Anthropology, pp. 128-152.
------. “Minimal Requirements for a Theory of Schizophrenia.” A.M.A. Archives of General Psychiatry 2 (May 1960): 477-491; reprinted in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part III: Form and Pathology in Relationship, pp. 244-270.
------. Comment on “The Comparative Study of Culture and the Purposive Cultivation of Democratic Values,” by Margaret Mead, in Science Philosophy and Religion; Second Symposium, Chapter IV, pp. 81-97. Edited by Lyman Bryson and Louis Finkelstein. New York: Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., 1942; reprinted as, “Social Planning and the Concept of Deutero-Learning,” in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part III: Form and Pathology in Relationship, pp. 159-176.
Bateson, Gregory, and Bateson, Mary Catherine. Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987.
Brockman, John, ed.; Bateson, M. C.; Birdwhistell, R. L.; Lipset, D.; May, R.; Mead, M.; and Schlossberg, E. About Bateson. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977. “Afterword” by Gregory Bateson.
Krippendorff, Klaus. “The Power of Communication and the Communication of Power: Toward an Emancipatory Theory of Communication.” Communication 12 (July 1991): 175-196.
Laszlo, Ervin. Introduction to Systems Philosophy. New York: Harper Torchbook, 1973.
McCulloch, Warren S. Embodiments of Mind. Cambridge, Massachusetts: M.I.T. Press, 1965.
Vickers, Geoffrey, Sir. Value Systems and Social Process. New York: Basic Books, 1968.
Whyte, Lancelot L. “The Structural Hierarchy in Organisms.” In Unity in Diversity: A Festschrift for Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, pp. 271-285; Vol. 1 of 2 vols. Edited by William Gray and, Nicholas D. Rizzo. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1973.
Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics—or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1948.


1 Warren S. McCulloch, Embodiments of Mind (Cambridge, Massachusetts: M.I.T. Press, 1965). McCulloch was a key member of the group that did the original work in cybernetics, and he is referred to by Bateson more often than any other modern scientist.
2 Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics—or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1948), p. 11.
3 However, following Bateson many theorists reject the use of energy and matter in this context—except in those instances where they act as information and thus have communicational value.
4 Ervin Laszlo, Introduction to Systems Philosophy, pp. 57-117; also, pp. 177-180.
5 Lancelot L. Whyte, “The Structural Hierarchy in Organisms,” in Unity in Diversity: A Festschrift for Ludwig von Bertalanffy, pp. 271-285, edited by William Gray and Nicholas D. Rizzo (New York: Gordon and Breach, 1973), p. 275.
6 Ervin Laszlo, Introduction to Systems Philosophy, p. 175.
7 Sir Geoffrey Vickers, Value Systems and Social Progress (New York: Basic Books Inc., 1968), pp. 176-209.
8 Ibid., pp. 183-184; see also, pp. xi-xxii.
9 Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1979), p. 92.
(Hereafter — Mind & Nature)
10 Ibid., p. 92.
11 Mind & Nature, p. 92 [emphasis mine].
12 Ibid., pp. 92-94.
13 Ibid., p. 212.
14 “Glossary,” in Mind & Nature, p. 228.
15 “Form, Substance, and Difference,” in Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology (San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1972), pp. 457-461 (Hereafter — STEPS).
16 Ibid., p. 459
17 Mind & Nature, p. 100. Qualifying the word triggered, Bateson notes that, “Firearms are a somewhat inappropriate metaphor because in most simple [nonrepeating] firearms there is only a lineal sequence of energetic dependencies. . . In biological systems, the end of the lineal sequence sets up conditions for a future repetition,” p. 101n.
18 “Afterword,” in About Bateson, Edited by John Brockman (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977), p. 243.
19 “The Cybernetics of ‘Self ‘: A Theory of Alcoholism,” STEPS, p. 316.
20 Ibid., p. 317.
21 Gregory Bateson and Mary Catherine Bateson, Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987), p. 19; this work was posthumously reconstructed, edited and co-authored by Bateson’s daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson.
22 “Minimal Requirements for a Theory of Schizophrenia,” in STEPS, p. 250.
23 Ibid.
24 Mind & Nature, p. 191.
25 Ibid., p. 94.
26 “Form, Substance, and Difference,” in STEPS, p. 464.
27 Mind & Nature, p. 86.
28 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 282. Bateson addressed learning theory in several essays. The above, written in 1964 and given its final form in 1971, gives his definitive accounting on the topic. Also see, Gregory Bateson, Comment on “The Comparative Study of Culture and the Purposive Cultivation of Democratic Values,” by Margaret Mead, in Science Philosophy and Religion; Second Symposium, Chapter IV, pp. 81-97, edited by Lyman Bryson and Louis Finkelstein (New York: Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., 1942); reprinted as, “Social Planning and the Concept of Deutero-Learning,” in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part III: Form and Pathology in Relationship, pp. 159-176; also, “The Message is Reinforcement,” in Language Behavior: A Book of Readings in Communication, Janua Linguarum: Studia Memoriae Nocolai Van Wijk Dedicata, Series Maior, no. 41, pp. 62-72, edited by Johnnye Akin, et al. (The Hague and Paris: Mouton & Co., 1971).
29 Ibid., p. 283, n 3. Subtly maintaining his distinction between the mental and physical sciences, Bateson notes that, “the Newtonian equations which describe the motions of a ‘particle’ stop at the level of ‘acceleration.’ Change of acceleration can only happen with deformation of the moving body, but the Newtonian ‘particle’ was not made up of ‘parts’ and was therefore (logically) incapable of deformation or any other internal change. It was therefore not subject to rate of change of acceleration.”
30 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 293. Bateson’s description of Learning IV clearly marks it as a special instance of learning: “Learning IV would be change in Learning III. [Which probably does not occur, but . . .] Evolutionary process has, however, created organisms whose ontogeny bring them to Level III. The combination of phylogenesis with ontogenesis, in fact, achieves Level IV.”
31 Ibid., p. 284.
32 Ibid., p. 293.
33 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 284.
34 Ibid., p. 286. Bateson notes that, “There is also an interesting class of cases in which the sets of alternatives contain common members. It is then possible for the organism to be ‘right’ but for the wrong reasons. This form of error is inevitably self-reinforcing.”
35 Ibid., p. 287.
36 Ibid.
37 Ibid., p. 289.
38 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 288.
39 Ibid., p. 289.
40 Ibid., p. 292.
41 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 290.
42 Ibid., p. 290.
43 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, pp. 292-293. Bateson notes that “various terms have been proposed in the literature for various phenomena of this order. ‘Deutero-learning,’ ‘set learning,’ ‘learning to learn,’ and ‘transfer of learning’ may be mentioned.”
44 Ibid., p. 293.
45 Ibid., p. 302.
46 “Style, Grace, and Information in Primitive Art,” in STEPS, pp. 128-152; see, p. 148.
47 “Style, Grace, and Information in Primitive Art,” in STEPS, p. 142.
48 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, pp. 300, 301.
49 Ibid., p. 301.
50 Klaus Krippendorff, “The Power of Communication and the Communication of Power; Toward an Emancipatory Theory of Communication,” p. 192.
51 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 298.
52 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 293.
53 Ibid., p. 301.
54 “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication,” in STEPS, p. 304.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:46 pm

I Do Not Believe in Ghosts
by David L. Miller
New York Times
November 15, 1987



ANGELS FEAR Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred. By Gregory Bateson and Mary Catherine Bateson. 224 pp. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. $18.95.

KENNETH BURKE once said, ''A person has the right to worship God according to his or her own metaphor.'' Gregory Bateson's metaphor came to be ''metaphor'' itself, as his anthropology crept, like Yeats's rough beast, toward a new vision of religion. This is made interestingly plain by Mary Catherine Bateson's intelligent and loving editing of her famous father's last manuscript (he died in 1980), ''Angels Fear.''

At the end of his life, Bateson believed that ''we are not going to get far unless we acknowledge that the whole of science and technology . . . springs out of and impinges on religion.'' The way was prepared for this view in ''Mind and Nature,'' in which Bateson affirmed a holistic unity among human mental processes and culture and biology. He described there how this connection is only comprehensible metaphorically, particularly in metaphors which are familiar from religion.

For Bateson, ''it becomes evident that metaphor is not just pretty poetry, it is not either good or bad logic, but is in fact the logic upon which the biological world has been built, the main characteristic and organizing glue of this world of mental process.'' Indeed, metaphor is the clue, the link to what others may find diverse and oppositional. ''Metaphor'' itself is thereby the metaphorical connection between science, cybernetics and epistemology, on the one hand (''this book is not much concerned with truths about things - only with truths about truths''), and, on the other hand, poetry, parable, anecdote, humor, play and myth (''it is time to reverse the trend which since Copernicus has been in the direction of debunking mythology''). As Mary Catherine Bateson properly remarks, her father's method is ''insight through analogy.'' ''Angels Fear'' is an essay in discovery, an uncovering of ''the natural history of the relations between ideas.''

This is all bound to bother those who feel that the work attempts to reinvent the wheel of being, that it is one more instance of science coming late to what philosophers and theologians have known all along. It is also bound to irritate those who deem amateur philosophizing and theologizing hopelessly unsophisticated. Such readers will think that the ideas of Wittgenstein, W. V. O. Quine and John Searle render this book epistemologically beside the point, that Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida make it look naive in literary terms and that it is theologically simplistic in the face of the work of Mircea Eliade, Paul Tillich and Bernard Lonergan.

Bateson anticipated those objections: ''The logic boys say they have new and better models.'' But the fact is that, by reading this work of the Batesons through such prisms as are provided by conventional academic wisdom, a reader may rush foolishly to conclusions that even angels would fear. For in fact, ''Angels Fear'' is not one more instance of the cultured despisers of religion experiencing evangelical rebirth.

Bateson is holistic, to be sure, but he is not literal about that; ''uniformity is surely one of those things that becomes toxic beyond a certain level,'' he says. He is against dualisms, but he is not using religion to fill the gap between mind and body, ideology and politics, subject and object, thinking and feeling. Rather, he names the connection between these opposites with a paradoxical image borrowed from C. G. Jung, who in turn took it from ancient Gnosticism - ''pleroma/creatura.'' Implied in this image is the idea that the fundamental connection is not between two substances, mind and matter. Rather, mind (or Bateson's ''god'') is the pattern and fabric, texture and weave (pleroma) in all matter (creatura).

Unlike the adherent of conventional piety (or conventional scientism, for that matter), Bateson affirms discontinuity and difference as an integral part of order in the world: ''This gap is inevitable and necessary.'' ''All knowledge has gaps.'' ''Gaps are a characteristic of Creatura.'' Bateson knows that his perspective is metaphorical and indirect. He speaks eloquently and compellingly in praise of secrecy and noncommunication, precisely on behalf of the goal of openness and connection, and he gives many examples - from Coleridge, Greek myth and cybernetics - of metaphor in everyday life. For Bateson, the ''angel'' (the Greek word originally meant ''messenger'') appears in the gap rather than in the certainty. He detests the literalism of current cultural pieties: ''I do not believe in spirits, gods, devas, fairies, leprechauns, nymphs, wood spirits, ghosts, poltergeists, or Santa Claus. (But to learn that there is no Santa Claus is perhaps the beginning of religion.)'' ''When the bagel is eaten, the hole does not remain to be reincarnated in a doughnut.'' In Bateson's religion, ''in the asking of questions, there will be no limit to our hubris; and . . . there shall always be humility in our acceptance of answers. In these two characteristics we shall be in sharp contrast with most of the religions of the world. They show little humility in their espousal of answers but great fear about what questions they will ask.''

BATESON lived in the gaps, betwixt and between. Not that he, or the book, idealizes the absurd. Mary Catherine Bateson has masterfully pulled together what must have been a hodgepodge of several years of reflections. As a connecting device, she engages her father in dialogue about the book and its ideas. The imaginary conversations are often constructed from notes of real ones, but just as often they are purely fictive. This strategy works. It aids the reader and is appropriate to the content of Bateson's argument.

Bateson's liminal stance is understood best when he speaks about the ''unacceptable solutions'' to the mind-body problem represented by supernaturalism and materialism: ''Very simply, let me say that I despise and fear both of these extremes of opinion and that I believe both extremes to be epistemologically naive, epistemologically wrong, and politically dangerous. They are also dangerous to something which we may loosely call mental health.'' So he takes as his task ''to explore whether there is a sane and valid place for religion somewhere between these two nightmares of nonsense.'' Especially, he hopes that the metaphoric view may provide ''a new and badly needed humility.''

I believe there is a clue to this humility, and to this book, in the shifting title. Bateson began the writing in 1978. His daughter tells us that it was to be called ''Where Angels Fear to Tread,'' but that he often referred to it as ''Angels Fear.'' She retained the latter. This title appropriately, if subtly, calls up notions of angelic reticence and humility rather than an image of fools rushing into religion. But there is also a hint of a missing apostrophe in the title, like the one omitted in Joyce's ''Finnegans Wake.'' This opens the possibility that fears may be viewed as angelic. For in profound fears one may discover a response to the question the anthropologist shares with the Sphinx and the Psalmist: ''What is the human?'' Deep in such fears are the angels - ''deep unconscious philosophies,'' as Bateson calls them. ''The myths in which our lives are embedded . . . are built deeply into character, often below awareness, so that they are essentially religious, matters of faith.'' It would seem that Bateson knew both the humor and the truth in some wag's saying: ''A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a 'meta' for?''

David L. Miller, the Watson-Ledden Professor of Religion at Syracuse University, is the author of ''The New Polytheism'' and ''Three Faces of God.''
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:02 pm

Great chain of being
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/14/19



1579 drawing of the Great Chain of Being from Didacus Valades, Rhetorica Christiana

The Great Chain of Being is a hierarchical structure of all matter and life, thought in medieval Christianity to have been decreed by God. The chain starts with God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, commoners, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals and other minerals.[1]

The Great Chain of Being (Latin: scala naturae, "Ladder of Being") is a concept derived from Plato, Aristotle (in his Historia Animalium), Plotinus and Proclus. Further developed during the Middle Ages, it reached full expression in early modern Neoplatonism.[2][3]


The Chain of Being is composed of a great number of hierarchical links, from the most basic and foundational elements up through the very highest perfection: God.[4]

God sits at the top of the chain, and beneath him sit the angels, both existing wholly in spirit form. Earthly flesh is fallible and ever-changing, mutable. Spirit, however, is unchanging and permanent. This sense of permanence is crucial to understanding this conception of reality. It is generally impossible to change the position of an object in the hierarchy. (One exception might be in the realm of alchemy, where alchemists attempted to transmute base elements, such as lead, into higher elements, either silver or, more often, gold—the highest element.)[1]

In the natural order, earth (rock) is at the bottom of the chain; this element possesses only the attribute of existence. Each link succeeding upward contains the positive attributes of the previous link and adds at least one other. Rocks possess only existence; the next link up is plants which possess life and existence. Animals add motion and appetite as well.[1]

Man is both mortal flesh, as those below him, and also spirit, as those above. In this dichotomy, the struggle between flesh and spirit becomes a moral one. The way of the spirit is higher, more noble; it brings one closer to God. The desires of the flesh move one away from God. The Christian fall of Lucifer is thought of as especially terrible, as angels are wholly spirit, yet Lucifer defied God (who is the ultimate perfection).[1]


Orthodox Christian icon of nine orders of angels

Each link in the chain might be divided further into its component parts. In medieval secular society, for example, the king is at the top, succeeded by the aristocratic lords and the clergy, and then the peasants below them. Solidifying the king's position at the top of humanity's social order is the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings. The implied permanent state of inequality became a source of popular grievance, and led eventually to political change as in the French Revolution.[5] In the family, the father is head of the household; below him, his wife; below her, their children.

Milton's Paradise Lost ranked the angels (c.f. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite's ranking of angels), and Christian culture conceives of angels in orders of archangels, seraphim, and cherubim, among others.

Subdivisions are equally apparent among animals. At the top of the animals are wild beasts (such as lions), which were seen as superior as they defied training and domestication. Below them are domestic animals, further sub-divided so that useful animals (such as dogs and horses) are higher than docile creatures (such as sheep). Birds are also sub-divided, with eagles above pigeons, for example. Fish come below birds and are subdivided between actual fish and other sea creatures. Below them come insects, with useful insects such as spiders and bees and attractive creatures such as ladybirds and dragonflies at the top, and unpleasant insects such as flies and beetles at the bottom. At the very bottom of the animal sector are snakes, which are relegated to this position as punishment for the serpent's actions in the Garden of Eden.

Below animals comes the division for plants, which is further subdivided. Trees are at the top, with useful trees such as oaks at the top, and the traditionally demonic yew tree at the bottom. Food-producing plants such as cereals and vegetables are further subdivided.

At the very bottom of the chain are minerals. At the top of this section are metals (further sub-divided, with gold at the top and lead at the bottom), followed by rocks (with granite and marble at the top), soil (subdivided between nutrient-rich soil and low-quality types), sand, grit, dust, and dirt at the very bottom of the entire great chain.

The central concept of the Chain of Being is that everything imaginable fits in somewhere, giving order and meaning to the universe.[1]

The Chain

St Thomas Aquinas classified all beings by rank.


God is at the top of the chain and is also external to creation. God exists outside the physical limitations of time and space. He possesses the spiritual attributes of reason, love, and imagination, like all spiritual beings, but he alone possesses the divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. God serves as the model of authority for the strongest, most virtuous, most excellent type of being within any category.

Angelic beings

Angels are beings of pure spirit who have no physical bodies of their own. In order to affect the physical world, angels build temporary bodies for themselves out of particles of earthly elements.[6] Medieval and Renaissance theologians believed angels to possess reason, love, imagination, and, like God, to stand outside the physical limitations of time.[7] They possess sensory awareness unbound by physical organs, and they possess language. They lacked, however, the divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God, and they simultaneously lacked the physical passions experienced by humans and animals. Depending upon the author, the class of angels is further subdivided into three, seven, nine, or ten ranks, variously known as triads, orders, or choirs. Each rank has greater power and responsibility than the entities below them. The most common classification is that of Pseudo-Dionysios adopted for example by St. Thomas Aquinas.[8]

• Seraphim (seraph is the primate, or superior type of angel)
• Cherubim
• Thrones (Ophanim)
• Dominions
• Virtues
• Powers
• Principalities
• Archangels
• Angels

The mediaeval scala naturae as a staircase, implying the possibility of progress:[9] Ramon Lull's Ladder of Ascent and Descent of the Mind, 1305

For Medieval and Renaissance thinkers, humans occupy a unique position on the Chain of Being, straddling the world of spiritual beings and the world of physical creation. Humans possess divine powers such as reason, love, and imagination. Like angels, humans are spiritual beings, but unlike angels, human souls are "knotted" to a physical body. As such, they are subject to passions and physical sensations—pain, hunger, thirst, sexual desire—just like other animals lower on the Chain of Being. They also possess the powers of reproduction unlike the minerals and rocks lowest on the Chain of Being. Humans have a particularly difficult position, balancing the divine and the animalistic parts of their nature. For instance, an angel is only capable of intellectual sin such as pride (as evidenced by Lucifer's fall from heaven in Christian belief). Humans, however, are capable of both intellectual sin and physical sins such as lust and gluttony if they let their animal appetites overrule their divine reason. Humans also possess sensory attributes: sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. Unlike angels, however, their sensory attributes are limited by physical organs (they could only know things discerned through the five senses). The highest-ranking human being is the king.


Charles Bonnet's chain of being from Traité d'insectologie, 1745

Animals, like humans higher on the chain, are animated (capable of independent motion). They possess physical appetites and sensory attributes, the number depending upon their position within the Chain of Being. They have limited intelligence and awareness of their surroundings. Unlike humans, they lack spiritual and mental attributes such as immortal souls and the ability to use logic and language. The primate of all animals (the "king of beasts") was variously thought to be either the lion or the elephant. However, each subgroup of animals also has its own primate, an avatar superior in qualities of its type.

• Mammalian primate: lion or elephant
o Wild animals (large cats, etc.)
o "Useful" domesticated animals (horse, dog, etc.)
o "Tame" domesticated animals (housecat, etc.)
• Avian primate: eagle
o Birds of prey (hawks, owls, etc.)
o Carrion birds (vultures, crows)
o "Worm-eating" birds (robin, etc.)
o "Seed-eating" birds (sparrow, etc.)

Note that avian creatures, linked to the element of air, are considered superior to aquatic creatures linked to the element of water. Air naturally tends to rise and soar above the surface of water, and analogously, aerial creatures are placed higher in the chain.

• Piscine primate: whale
o Aquatic mammals
o Sharks
o Fish of various sizes and attributes

The chart would continue to descend through various reptiles, amphibians, and insects. The higher up the chart one went, the more noble, mobile, strong, and intelligent the creature in Renaissance belief. At the very bottom of the animal section, we find sessile creatures like the oysters, clams, and barnacles. Like the plants below them, these creatures lack mobility, and are thought to lack various sensory organs such as sight and hearing. However, they are still superior to plants because they have tactile and gustatory senses (touch and taste).


Plants, like other living creatures, possess the ability to grow in size and reproduce. However, they lack mental attributes and possess no sensory organs. Instead, their gifts include the ability to eat soil, air, and "heat." Plants did have greater tolerances for heat and cold, and immunity to the pain that afflicts most animals. At the very bottom of the botanical hierarchy, fungi and mosses, lacking leaf and blossom, are so limited in form that Renaissance thinkers thought them scarcely above the level of minerals. However, each plant was also thought to be gifted with various edible or medicinal virtues unique to its own type.

• Trees, with the primate: the oak tree
• Shrubs
• Bushes
• "Crops" (such as wheat)
• Herbs
• Ferns
• Weeds
• Mosses
• Fungi


Creations of the earth, the lowest of elements, all minerals lack the plant's basic ability to grow and reproduce. They also lack mental attributes and sensory organs found in beings higher on the chain. Their unique gifts, however, are typically their unusual solidity and strength. Many minerals, in fact, were thought to possess magical powers, particularly gems. The mineral primate is the diamond.

• Lapidarical primate: diamond
• Diamonds
• Rubies
• Emeralds
• Sapphires, etc.
• Metallic primate: gold
• Gold
• Silver
• Iron (and steel)
• Bronze
• Copper, etc.
• Geological primate: marble
• Marble
• Granite
• Sandstone
• Limestone, etc.
• Minute particles (gravel, sand, soil, etc.)

Natural science

From Aristotle to Linnaeus

Linnaeus' classification of animals with mammals ("Quadrupedia") first and worms ("Vermes") last, echoing the scala naturae

The basic idea of a ranking of the world's organisms goes back to Aristotle's biology. In his History of Animals, where he ranked animals over plants based on their ability to move and sense, and graded the animals by their reproductive mode and possession of blood (he ranked all invertebrates as "bloodless").[10]

Aristotle's non-religious concept of higher and lower organisms was taken up by natural philosophers during the Scholastic period to form the basis of the Scala Naturae. The scala allowed for an ordering of beings, thus forming a basis for classification where each kind of mineral, plant and animal could be slotted into place. In medieval times, the great chain was seen as a God-given ordering: God at the top, dirt at the bottom, every grade of creature in its place. Just as rock never turns to flowers and worms never turn to lions, humans never turn to angels. This was not our lot in life. In the Northern Renaissance, the scientific focus shifted to biology.[11] The threefold division of the chain below humans formed the basis for Linnaeus's Systema Naturæ from 1737, where he divided the physical components of the world into the three familiar kingdoms of minerals, plants and animals.[12]

Scala naturae in evolution

The human pedigree recapitulating its phylogeny back to amoeba shown as a reinterpreted chain of being with living and fossil animals. From a critique of Ernst Haeckel's theories, 1873.

The set nature of species, and thus the absoluteness of creatures' places in the great chain, came into question during the 18th century. The dual nature of the chain, divided yet united, had always allowed for seeing creation as essentially one continuous whole, with the potential for overlap between the links.[1] Radical thinkers like Jean-Baptiste Lamarck saw a progression of life forms from the simplest creatures striving towards complexity and perfection, a schema accepted by zoologists like Henri de Blainville.[13] The very idea of an ordering of organisms, even if supposedly fixed, laid the basis for the idea of transmutation of species, for example Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.[14]

The Chain of Being continued to be part of metaphysics in 19th century education, and the concept was well known. The geologist Charles Lyell used it as a metaphor in his 1851 Elements of Geology description of the geological column, where he used the term "missing links" in relation to missing parts of the continuum. The term "missing link" later came to signify transitional fossils, particularly those bridging the gulf between man and beasts.[15]

The idea of the great chain as well as the derived "missing link" was abandoned in early 20th century science,[16] as the notion of modern animals representing ancestors of other modern animals was abandoned in biology.[17] The idea of a certain sequence from "lower" to "higher" however lingers on, as does the idea of progress in biology.[18]


Allenby and Garreau propose the Catholic Church's narrative of the Great Chain of Being kept the peace for centuries in Europe. The very concept of rebellion simply lay outside the reality within which most people lived for to defy the King was to defy God. King James I himself wrote, "The state of monarchy is the most supreme thing upon earth: for kings are not only God's Lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called Gods."[14]

The Enlightenment broke this supposed divine plan and fought the last vestiges of feudal hierarchy by creating secular governmental structures that vested power into the hands of ordinary citizens rather than divinely ordained monarchs.[14]

However, scholars such as Brian Tierney[19] and Michael Novak[20] have noted the medieval contribution to democracy and human rights.

Adaptations and similar concepts

The American spiritual writer and philosopher Ken Wilber uses a concept called the "Great Nest of Being" which is similar to the Great Chain of Being, and which he claims to belong to a culture-independent "perennial philosophy" traceable across 3000 years of mystical and esoteric writings. Wilber's system corresponds with other concepts of transpersonal psychology.[21]

In the 1977 book A Guide for the Perplexed, British philosopher and economist E. F. Schumacher wrote that fundamental gaps exist between the existence of minerals, plants, animals and humans, where each of the four classes of existence is marked by a level of existence not shared by that below. Clearly influenced by the great chain of being, but lacking the angels and God, he called his hierarchy the "levels of being". In the book, he claims that science has generally avoided seriously discussing these discontinuities, because they present such difficulties for strictly materialistic science, and they largely remain mysteries.[22]

See also

• Figurative system of human knowledge
• History of biology
• The Ladder of Divine Ascent
• Natural history
• Plane (esotericism)
• Sphere of fire


1. Arthur O. Lovejoy (1964) [1936], The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-36153-9
2. "This idea of a great chain of being can be traced to Plato's division of the world into the Forms, which are full beings, and sensible things, which are imitations of the Forms and are both being and not being. Aristotle's teleology recognized a perfect being, and he also arranges all animals by a single natural scale according to the degree of perfection of their souls. The idea of the great chain of being was fully developed in Neoplatonism and in the Middle Ages.", Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy, p. 289 (2004)
3. Edward P. Mahoney, "Lovejoy and the Hierarchy of Being", Journal of the History of Ideas Vol. 48, No 2, pp. 211-230.
4. Lovejoy, (1964). This theme permeates the book, but see e.g. p.59
5. Censer, Jack R. Censer; Hunt, Lynn (2001). Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. Penn State Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-271-04013-0.
6. Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica (PDF). p. 588 – via Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
7. Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica (PDF). pp. 603–605 – via Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
8. Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica (PDF). pp. 1189–1191 – via Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
9. Ruse, Michael (1996). Monad to man: the Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology. Harvard University Press. pp. 21–23. ISBN 978-0-674-03248-4.
10. Singer, Charles. A short history of biology: A General Introduction to the Study of Living Things. Oxford 1931.
11. Allen Debus, Man and Nature in the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978).
12. Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema naturae per regna tria naturae :secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin) (10th edition ed.). Stockholm: Laurentius Salvius.
13. Appel, T.A. (1980). "Henri De Blainville and the Animal Series: A Nineteenth-Century Chain of Being". Journal of the History of Biology. 13 (2): 291–319. doi:10.1007/BF00125745. JSTOR 4330767.
14. Snyder, S. "The Great Chain of Being". Retrieved 2017-01-05.
15. "Why the term "missing links" is inappropriate". Hoxful Monsters. 10 June 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 10 September2011.
16. Prothero, Donald R. (1 March 2008). "Evolution: What missing link?". New Scientist. 197 (2645): 35–41. doi:10.1016/s0262-4079(08)60548-5. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
17. Ehrlich, Paul R.; Holm, R. W. (1963). The process of evolution. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-07-019130-3. OCLC 255345.
18. Ruse, Michael (1996). Monad to man: the Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology. Harvard University Press. pp. 432–433, and passim. ISBN 978-0-674-03248-4.
19. Reid, Charles J., Jr (1998). "Book Review | The Medieval Origins of the Western Natural Rights Tradition: The Achievement of Brian Tierney" (PDF). Cornell Law Review. 83: 437–463.
20. Novak, Michael (1 October 1990). "Thomas Aquinas, the First Whig: What Our Liberties Owe to a Neapolitan Mendicant". Crisis Magazine (October 1990).
21. Freeman, Anthony (2006). "A Daniel Come to Judgement? Dennett and the Revisioning of Transpersonal Theory" (PDF). Journal of Consciousness Studies. 13 (3): 95–109. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
22. Pearce, Joseph (2008). "The Education of E.F. Schumacher". God Spy.

Further reading

• Arthur O. Lovejoy: The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (1936)
• E. M. W. Tillyard: The Elizabethan World Picture (1942)

External links

• Dictionary of the History of Ideas – Chain of Being
• The Great Chain of Being reflected in the work of Descartes, Spinoza & Leibniz Peter Suber, Earlham College, Indiana
• The Chain of Being: Tillyard in a Nutshell
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:53 pm

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/14/19

Holism (from Greek ὅλος holos "all, whole, entire") is the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts.[1][2]

The term holism was coined by Jan Smuts.[3][4]

Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts PC, OM, CH, DTD, ED, KC, FRS (24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950) was a South African statesman, military leader, and philosopher.[1] In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. Although Smuts had originally advocated racial segregation and opposed the enfranchisement of black Africans, his views changed and he backed the Fagan Commission's findings that complete segregation was impossible. Smuts subsequently lost the 1948 election to hard-line nationalists who created apartheid. He continued to work for reconciliation and emphasised the British Commonwealth’s positive role until his death in 1950.[2]....

From 1917 to 1919, he was also one of the members of the British Imperial War Cabinet and he was instrumental in the founding of what became the Royal Air Force (RAF). He became a field marshal in the British Army in 1941, and served in the Imperial War Cabinet under Winston Churchill. He was the only person to sign both of the peace treaties ending the First and Second World Wars. A statue of him stands in London's Parliament Square.....

As Colonial Secretary, he opposed a movement for equal rights for South Asian workers, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi....

Smuts and Botha were key negotiators at the Paris Peace Conference. Both were in favour of reconciliation with Germany and limited reparations. Smuts advocated a powerful League of Nations, which failed to materialise.....

Smuts' formulation of holism has been linked with his political-military activity, especially his aspiration to create a league of nations. As one biographer said:

It had very much in common with his philosophy of life as subsequently developed and embodied in his Holism and Evolution. Small units must develop into bigger wholes, and they in their turn again must grow into larger and ever-larger structures without cessation. Advancement lay along that path. Thus the unification of the four provinces in the Union of South Africa, the idea of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and, finally, the great whole resulting from the combination of the peoples of the earth in a great league of nations were but a logical progression consistent with his philosophical tenets.[55]

During his service as Premier, Smuts personally fundraised for multiple Zionist organisations.[64] His government granted de facto recognition to Israel on 24 May 1948 and de jure recognition on 14 May 1949....However, Smuts was deputy prime minister when the Hertzog government in 1937 passed the Aliens Act that was aimed at preventing Jewish immigration to South Africa.....

Smuts lobbied against the White Paper of 1939.[67], and several streets and a kibbutz, Ramat Yohanan, in Israel are named after him.[65] He also wrote an epitaph for [Chaim] Weizmann, describing him as "the greatest Jew since Moses."[68] Smuts once said:

“ Great as are the changes wrought by this war, the great world war of justice and freedom, I doubt whether any of these changes surpass in interest the liberation of Palestine and its recognition as the Home of Israel.[69]

One of his greatest international accomplishments was the establishment of the League of Nations, the exact design and implementation of which relied upon Smuts.[70] He later urged the formation of a new international organisation for peace: the UN. Smuts wrote the first draft of the preamble to the United Nations Charter, and was the only person to sign the charters of both the League of Nations and the UN.

-- Jan Smuts, by Wikipedia

Alfred Adler considered holism as a concept that represents all of the wholes in the universe, and these wholes are the real factors in the universe. Further, that Holism also denoted a theory of the universe in the same vein as Materialism and Spiritualism.[3]:120–121

Synopsis of Holism and Evolution

After identifying the need for reform in the fundamental concepts of matter, life and mind (chapter 1) Smuts examines the reformed concepts (as of 1926) of space and time (chapter 2), matter (chapter 3) and biology (chapter 4) and concludes that the close approach to each other of the concepts of matter, life and mind, and the partial overflow of each other's domain, imply that there is a fundamental principle (Holism) of which they are the progressive outcome.[3]:86 Chapters 5 and 6 provide the general concept, functions and categories of Holism; chapters 7 and 8 address Holism with respect to Mechanism and Darwinism, chapters 9-11 make a start towards demonstrating the concepts and functions of Holism for the metaphysical categories (mind, personality, ideals) and the book concludes with a chapter that argues for the universal ubiquity of Holism and its place as a monistic ontology.

The following is an overview of Smuts' opinions regarding the general concept, functions, and categories of Holism; like the definition of Holism, other than the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the editor is unaware of any authoritative secondary sources corroborating Smuts' opinions.


Wholes are composites which have an internal structure, function or character which clearly differentiate them from mechanical additions, aggregates, and constructions, such as science assumes on the mechanical hypothesis.[3]:106 The concept of structure is not confined to the physical domain (e.g. chemical, biological and artifacts); it also applies to the metaphysical domain (e.g. mental structures, properties, attributes, values, ideals, etc.)[3]:161


The field of a whole is not something different and additional to it, it is the continuation of the whole beyond its sensible contours of experience.[3]:113 The field characterizes a whole as a unified and synthesised event in the system of Relativity, that includes not only its present but also its past—and also its future potentialities.[3]:89 As such, the concept of field entails both activity and structure.[3]:115


Darwin's theory of organic descent placed primary emphasis on the role of natural selection, but there would be nothing to select if not for variation. Variations that are the result of mutations in the biological sense and variations that are the result of individually acquired modifications in the personal sense are attributed by Smuts to Holism; further it was his opinion that because variations appear in complexes and not singly, evolution is more than the outcome of individual selections; it is holistic.[3]:190–192


The whole exhibits a discernible regulatory function as it relates to cooperation and coordination of the structure and activity of parts, and to the selection and deselection of variations. The result is a balanced correlation of organs and functions. The activities of the parts are directed to central ends; co-operation and unified action instead of the separate mechanical activities of the parts.[3]:125


It is the intermingling of fields which is creative or causal in nature. This is seen in matter, where if not for its dynamic structural creative character matter could not have been the mother of the universe. This function, or factor of creativity is even more marked in biology where the protoplasm of the cell is vitally active in an ongoing process of creative change where parts are continually being destroyed and replaced by new protoplasm. With minds the regulatory function of Holism acquires consciousness and freedom, demonstrating a creative power of the most far-reaching character. Holism is not only creative but self-creative, and its final structures are far more holistic than its initial structures.[3]:18, 37, 67–68, 88–89


As it relates to causality Smuts makes reference to A. N. Whitehead, and indirectly Baruch Spinoza; the Whitehead premise is that organic mechanism is a fundamental process which realizes and actualizes individual syntheses or unities. Holism (the factor) exemplifies this same idea while emphasizing the holistic character of the process. The whole completely transforms the concept of Causality; results are not directly a function of causes. The whole absorbs and integrates the cause into its own activity; results appear as the consequence of the activity of the whole.[3]:121–124,126 Note that this material relating to Whitehead's influence as it relates to causality was added in the second edition, and of course will not be found in reprints of the first edition; nor is it included in the most recent Holst edition. It is the second edition of Holism and Evolution (1927) that provides the most recent and definitive treatment by Smuts.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

The fundamental holistic characters as a unity of parts which is so close and intense as to be more than the sum of its parts; which not only gives a particular conformation or structure to the parts, but so relates and determines them in their synthesis that their functions are altered; the synthesis affects and determines the parts, so that they function towards the whole; and the whole and the parts, therefore reciprocally influence and determine each other, and appear more or less to merge their individual characters: the whole is in the parts and the parts are in the whole, and this synthesis of whole and parts is reflected in the holistic character of the functions of the parts as well as of the whole.[3]:88

Progressive grading of wholes

Smuts suggests "rough and provisional" summary of the progressive grading of wholes that comprise holism is as follows:[3]:109

1. Material structure e.g. a chemical compound

2. Functional structure in living bodies

3. Animals, which exhibit a degree of central control that is primarily implicit and unconscious

4. Personality, characterized as conscious central control

5. States and similar group organizations characterized by central control that involve many people

6. Holistic Ideals, or absolute Values, distinct from human personality that are creative factors in the creation of a spiritual world, for example Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

See also

• Antireductionism
• Antiscience
• Atomism
• Emergentism
• G. E. Moore § Organic wholes
• Gaia hypothesis
• Holarchy
• Holistic education
• Holism in ecological anthropology
• Holism in science
• Holon (philosophy)
• Interdisciplinarity
• Organicism
• Organismic theory
• Panarchy
• Polytely
• Synergetics (Fuller)
• Synergy
• Systems theory
• The Story of 'the Blind Man and the Lame'
• Writers:
o Christopher Alexander
o Buckminster Fuller
o Arthur Koestler
o Howard T. Odum
o Allan Savory
o Eric Scerri
o Herbert A. Simon
o Victor Skumin
o Ken Wilber


1. Oshry, Barry (2008), Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life, Berrett-Koehler.
2. Auyang, Sunny Y (1999), Foundations of Complex-system Theories: in Economics, Evolutionary Biology, and Statistical Physics, Cambridge University Press.
3. Smuts, Jan Christiaan (1927). Holism and Evolution 2nd Edition. Macmillan and Co.
4. The first publication of Holism and Evolution was by Macmillan and Co. in 1926. Smuts published a 2nd edition in 1927 and there have been at least three subsequent reprints; Compass/Viking Press 1961, Greenwood Press 1973, and Sierra Sunrise Books 1999 (a version edited by Sanford Holst). The full text of the 1927 2nd edition is available on the Internet Archive site, and this is the source used in updating the Holism page.


• von Bertalanffy, Ludwig (1971) [1968], General System Theory. Foundations Development Applications, Allen Lane.
• Bohm, D. (1980) Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7100-0971-2
• Leenhardt, M. 1947 Do Kamo. La personne et le mythe dans le monde mélanésien. Gallimard. Paris.
• Lipowski, Z.J. "Psychosomatic medicine in seventies". Am. J. Psychiatry. 134 (3): 233–244.
• Jan C. Smuts, 1926 Holism and Evolution Macmillan, Compass/Viking Press 1961 reprint: ISBN 0-598-63750-8, Greenwood Press 1973 reprint: ISBN 0-8371-6556-3, Sierra Sunrise 1999 (mildly edited): ISBN 1-887263-14-4

Further reading

• Descombes, Vincent, The Institutions of Meaning: A Defense of Anthropological Holism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2014.
• Dusek, Val, The Holistic Inspirations of Physics: An Underground History of Electromagnetic Theory Rutgers University Press, Brunswick NJ, 1999.
• Fodor, Jerry, and Ernst Lepore, Holism: A Shopper's Guide Wiley. New York. 1992
• Hayek, F.A. von. The Counter-Revolution of Science. Studies on the abuse of reason. Free Press. New York. 1957.
• Mandelbaum, M. Societal Facts in Gardner 1959.
• Phillips, D.C. Holistic Thought in Social Science. Stanford University Press. Stanford. 1976.
• Dreyfus, H.L. "Holism and Hermeneutics". The Review of Metaphysics. 34: 3–23.
• James, S. The Content of Social Explanation. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, 1984.
• Harrington, A. Reenchanted Science: Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler. Princeton University Press. 1996.
• Lopez, F. Il pensiero olistico di Ippocrate, vol. I-IIA, Ed. Pubblisfera, Cosenza Italy 2004-2008.
• Robert Stern, Hegel, Kant and the Structure of the Object, London: Routledge Chapman Hall, 1990
• Sen, R. K., Aesthetic Enjoyment: Its Background in Philosophy and Medicine, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1966

External links

• Media related to Holism at Wikimedia Commons
• Brief explanation of Koestler's derivation of "holon"
• Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article: "Holism and Nonseparability in Physics"
• James Schombert of University of Oregon Physics Dept on quantum holism
• Theory of sociological holism from "World of Wholeness"
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:55 am

Social and Resource Development Fund: "About Us"
Accessed: 4/15/19




Social and Resources Development Fund (SARD) is a non-profit organization established in 1997 by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to help mobilize resources and support development efforts of Tibetans living in South Asia. Its head office is located at Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India. It works in almost all development areas including education, health, livelihood, skills training, environment, culture, arts and crafts, capacity building, gender empowerment, relief and rehabilitation, shelter, governance, institutional building and advocacy. It endeavors to support a minimum level of development for all sections of the community but focuses primarily on marginalized groups, including women, children, the youth, elderly people and people with disabilities.

To achieve its mission, SARD acts a nodal agency for development assistance provided by bilateral, multi-lateral and other institutional funding agencies such as EU, USAID, DANIDA, Tibet Fund etc. Over the years, it has gained vast experience and the capability to coordinate and implement a wide range of humanitarian and developmental programs, in partnership with various Departments of the CTA and other civil society organizations. It is permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to receive any amount of donations and foreign contribution for relief and development purposes, and was assigned with permit No 182450041. All donations received by SARD are exempted from tax.

NED [National Endowment for Democracy] programs in dictatorial countries vary along a spectrum of possibility. Although there are no opportunities to work inside North Korea at the present time, a very different picture emerges in a country like China, where the Endowment is able to aid both external programs that provide access to independent ideas and information and that defend human rights, including those that support the rights of the Tibetans, and internal programs that promote democratization, worker rights, and market reform....


Training Programs

China (Tibet): Tibetan Youth Congress organizes intensive leadership-training courses for Tibetan college students in India, facilitating their involvement in the political struggle for democracy and human rights in Tibet.....

Tibet: The Social and Resource Development Fund provides one-time grants to Tibetan grassroots organizations, associations and ad hoc committees working to inform and educate their communities about democracy and human rights.

-- A Survey and Analysis of "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003": Hearing Before the Committee on International Relations House of Representatives, 108th Congress, First Session, July 9, 2003
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