Bateson Reading Group - Video Dialogue - Week 3

bateson

(Mindful Ai) #1

Originally published at: https://www.metapsychosis.com/events/bateson-reading-group-2019-01-24/

Reading

Legend : GB=Gregory Bateson’s “Steps to an Ecology of Mind” ; NB=Nora Bateson’s “Small Arcs of Larger Circles”

Week 3

GB: Experiments in Thinking about Observed Ethnological Material
NB: Mental Mono-Cropping
NB: (inter)Facing an Ecology of Mind…

Readers Underground participants:

Geoffrey Edwards
Johnny Davis
Lucy Sames
Ryan Dexter
Douglas Duff

Recorded 24 January 2019

Johnny Davis leads the discussion with an introduction to this week’s reading. The group reflects on the patterns that connect, mono-cropping; loose and strict thinking; and meta-reflect upon previous week’s discussions. Johnny later leads the group in an exercise in sense making.

References:

  • Ian McGilchrist - Master and the Emissary (right/left brain)
    Johnny Davis leads the discussion with an introduction to this week’s reading
  • Mike Zundel: “Chapter 23, Bateson (1904-1980)” in The Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies, edited by Jenny Helin, Tor Hernes, Daniel Hjorth, Robin Holt
  • Mind and Nature - GB
  • Victor Turner - Liminality, Structure (any specific book @artex?)
  • Peter Jones- Upsidedown Gods
  • John Lilly- Center of the Cyclone
  • Maxwell King - The Good Neighbor
  • Nora Bateson article on Liminal Leadership

The Bateson Reading Group is a weekly series of virtual meetings, conducted via Zoom video conference, with accompanying discussion in the Readers Underground forum channel @ Infinite Conversations.

New members: Sign up for this group to learn how to participate.

Current members: please let the organizer (@Geoffrey_Edwards) know if you would like to join.

Zoom ID : 529 874 104


Cosmos Café [1/29] - William E. Connolly's Prelude from Facing the Planetary
(Douglas Duff) #2
Below is a “Liminal Layering” recorded on 1/23. Think of it as an appetizer for the main course offered in tomorrow’s Reading Group and in next week’s Cosmos Café on William Connolly’s Prelude to Facing the Planetary. Join us if you can for the January 29th Café.

“Johnny Davis leads a Clean Start with Doug Duff based around recent reads from Nora and Gregory Bateson and William Connolly in preparation for Week 3 of the Bateson Reading Group and the January 29th Cosmos Cafe, which focuses upon Connolly’s Prelude to Facing the Planetary.”


(Heather Fester) #3

I’ll have to miss the Bateson meetings, I’m afraid. I was only able to get one of the books from the library (GB) and can’t purchase the other (NB) right now. Also, I didn’t have time this week to catch up on previous calls, and after my first full day back at classes, I also won’t be able to finish the reading. What I need most for the next few Thursdays is to have a little easier morning since it’s a non-teaching day. That will also allow me to focus more fully on Plenum (can’t have two sets of readings prepared for one day at this particular moment in time). So, I apologize for being unable to follow through on the intention to participate–I really wanted to hang out with you all again, and this seemed like a good opportunity. I had my wires crossed and had him confused with David Abram’s Spell of the Sensuous, which is such a wonderful read as well. I’ll still plan to read some of the GB book and watch some of videos from calls (along with the Nora Bateson film). But, I miss everyone. (That said, the practice of being back in the swing of the semester and being absorbed in that rhythm was rich and full today.)


(Geoffrey Edwards) #4

Understood, Heather. I can relate… you lead such a busy life! If you want to drop in from time to time, if you are watching the videos, then you will be familiar with the discussion anyways!


(Douglas Duff) #5

Great discussion. I am posting my unedited notes here for posterity. Referenced books are listed near the top (this is a Wiki, so participants can list references I may have missed). The video recording will be processed and available sometime tomorrow. Thank you all!



Bateson Reading Group - Video Dialogue - Week 3
Gregory Bateson Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Nora Bateson Smaller Arcs of Larger Circles
Session #3:

Readers Underground participants:

Geoffrey Edwards
Johnny Davis
Lucy Sames
Ryan Dexter
Douglas Duff

Recorded 24 January 2019

References:

  • Ian McGilchrist - Master and the Emissary (right/left brain)
    Johnny Davis leads the discussion with an introduction to this week’s reading
  • Mike Zundel: “Chapter 23, Bateson (1904-1980)” in The Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies, edited by Jenny Helin, Tor Hernes, Daniel Hjorth, Robin Holt
  • Mind and Nature - GB
  • Victor Turner - Liminality, Structure (any specific book @artex?)
  • Peter Jones- Upsidedown Gods
  • John Lilly- Center of the Cyclone
  • Maxwell King - The Good Neighbor
  • Nora Bateson article on Liminal Leadership

The colleague whose work @Geoffrey_Edwards mentioned is Dr Emily Saulnier-Talbot, the one working on freah water ecologies.

Quotes from reading:

GB:

So far I have spoken of my own personal experiences with strict and loose thinking, but I think actually the story which I have narrated is typical of the whole fluctuating business of the advance of science. In my case, which is a small one and comparatively insignificant in the whole advance of science, you can see both elements of the alternating process—first the loose thinking and the building up of a structure on unsound foundations and then the correction to stricter thinking and the substitution of a new underpinning beneath the already constructed mass….
…And if you ask me for a recipe for speeding up this process, I would say first that we ought to accept and enjoy this dual nature of scientific thought and be willing to value the way in which the two processes work together to give us advances in understanding of the world. We ought not to frown too much on either process, or at least to frown equally on either process when it is unsupplemented by the other. There is, I think, a delay in science when we start to specialize for too long either in strict or in loose thinking.
Nora:
This Language…
But the world…
On a personal level

  • p 111 Liminal

Improv + Telecommunications + Muddle + sensory deprivation + limit + transitional stage, rite of passage + sensory threshold +

@10:45 - Dream Experience: bridge —> angel —> kneel in reverence —. “Rise” —> finger between eyes, bolt of light “give up form” —> black void/sensory deprivation; new territory —> a voice from outside, oriented JD in space; notified as a pat life as a priest (unhealthy vibes) —> in waking life, all falls apart; this experience in liminal zone gave a sense of sanity.

“Life is but a walking shadow….
Sound and fury, signifying nothing”

*Nihilism runs deep in culture…passive nihilism
(Note 2 self : POST NORA ARTICLE)
(later process…sense making if able…searching for patterns)

  • sense making vs making meaning

@10:52 Various connections to “the pattern that connects” idea + readings
Geoffrey: science (loose and tight thinking) —> the non-scientific “lateral” vs “sanctions from above”

  • the sub-reading: Bateson after class-based relations/symmetries….the various “classes” allow us to see the Iatmul as if as jellyfish
  • Mind and Nature - the temporality of lateral and sanctions above/segmentation in relation to “classes”…(class of facts) …
    Serial homology -
  • (language) noun verb relations/sub-pred. Relations
  • link between the material world and the ideal world
  • liminal - thresholds as regulators (see thermostat) - see also my talk of high heat and low heat = the relationship between the threshold and the regulators. Another example of the loose/tight thinking.
  • left brain/right brain - example of the fallacy of concreteness (top/bottom; nested, etc. We need all) —> GB’s left is more present/NB =right

@11:06 - Johnny responds to L/R brain;
McGilchrist debunks this…he describes the “non-consciousness” aspects —> there is a tension and schismogenesis comes out of this.

  • THe paradoxes are flavors of the fundamental tension
  • The parabrain - nervous systems shuts down, shuts out (ie meditation)…this lifts the veil beyond the nervous system.

@ 11:10 Lucy

  • Victor Turner(anthropologist)
  • structure and superstructure related to the loose and strict thinking?

@11:12 Ryan - Moving across fields

  • he lived this form of logic in his work life

Lucy -

  • mentioned GB’s dolphin communication
  • lucid dreaming workshop - interesting

Doug - Fred Rogers
@11:17 John - Breaking down the (techno) wall; Into the fourth wall (telepresence and non-local effects)

  • eye-to-eye; one -way/two-way mirrors + technology + liminal zones + trickster’s character role/threshold figures + media/flat-screen talking heads + shared space/meaning making space

@11:22 Geoffrey + Monocropping

  • limbal (place between heaven and hell)
  • forward and backward thinking in GB + science as a Batesonian (applying patterns to various fields)
  • the schismo-manner of taking to extreme and returning; eidos/ethos; classificational errors

*NB puts into practice what GB writing about; she starts with an expertise in GB ideas and moves them forward; GB reading requires us to hang onto the ideas to do the transition into the next….becomes hairy or “bumpy” … into Nora’s Mono-Cropping (the one that excludes)

  • the group discussions allows the inter-disciplinary language to speak to each other…not one definition
    • the letting go of any process… (my thoughts are that I cannot bring it back)

@11:32 John Exercise in Sense Making

  • NBs meaning making and sense making —> ask where are we before making any meaning
  • take two objects imagine touching then touch
  • what is the different between the two objects
    *where is the difference?
    • what happens before/after the touch?
  • what kind of relationship is between the differences?
  • how old is that relationship?
  • does the difference have a size of shape?
  • is there anything else about the size or difference?

@11:37 Geoffrey responds

  • difference between sense and meaning (Deleuze)
    Doug

@11:44 Ryan An Exercise in Leadership

  • the liminal and the questions of relationship grounded the group in an orientation; the luminous/blissful realization of the patterns attempts to ground the patterns…the body/nervous system ties in the relationship into the One Mind + where are we in this moment in relation to others

@11:46 Lucy

  • describes objects and the experiential difference; envisioning sensory experience as “data” (wood as line, as pattern); a diagram of sensory experience

@11:49 John

  • the recginal (as described in my explanations) and the imaginary; missing in our society…need to Update our epistemologies
  • imaginal has a reality

@11:53 Geoffrey

  • scientist exploring human made fresh-water ecologies (new rivers forming from logging areas); Laos bombing craters used as water supply…does this change the way we understand ourselves as humans (reminds me of the Earth/Nature’s way of existing around us)
  • what is ecology of mind, what is mind of ecology
  • NB quotes
    • We have a body that does not read the environment
  • “the mind and the brain…”

@11:59 Lucy

  • responds to mind/brain

@12 John

  • NB non-academic

Doug - Cusa quote

@ 12:05 Geoffrey

  • integrating the sacred in the sciences as a sacred exercise

@12:07 Lucy

  • Lucy Dreaming + Telepresence
    (Doug takes a break)
    John expands on telepresence + sensory acuity

@12:17 Geoffrey

  • sacred/spiritual as distant from dysfunctional systems (typically)
  • pathologies +
  • dreams - inverted logic (stable emotions/ unstable environment)
  • lucid dreaming and interaction of the everyday world with body…in dreams, the body is less interactive…what about lucid dreams?

John - the body is a lucid dream; Yoga Nidra inducing a “cosmic theatre” + optional physical experiences (non-gravity)

Closing Statements
@12:28 Ryan

  • Jung’s sense and intuition; NB gives a methodology to move in the in-between; giving an embodied logic.

(john davis) #6

Give up form!

" Praise the world to the angel, not what can’t be talked about.
You can’t impress him with your grand emotions. In the grand cosmos
where he so intensely feels, you’re just a novice. So show
him some simple thing shaped for generation after generation
until it lives in our hands and in our eyes, and it’s ours.
Tell him about things. He’ll stand amazed, just as you did
beside the rope-maker in Rome or the potter on the Nile.
Show him how happy a thing can be, how innocent and ours;
how even grief’s lament purely determines its own shape,
serves as a thing, or dies in a thing — and escapes
In ecstasy beyond the violin.”
Rilke


(john davis) #7

A Liminal Gesture. I am a Double. The Stranger within Me salutes the Stranger within You.

.


(Douglas Duff) #8

…who in his craft repeated one of the oldest gestures in the world.
Rilke | To Alfred Schaer, February 26, 1924

Yes, the craft of the human.

My great grandfather, a silent memory now…

(wrinkled face in time,
times around homemade hearth
and freezing child-feet slip-falling
into the dug-out pond
with the frogs plopping
into murky waters),

…left us with numerous baskets, woven with care, woven as passing human time passed in retirement. I have attempted a few bending of branches, some whittling of sticks. I never witnessed him in the weaving process. I imagine I too would “stand amazed,” sitting for hours in silent reverie and not-so-silent reverence, with face alit, glowing with cherubic glee. I like to think of @Geoffrey_Edwards as a grandfatherly figure as he weaves his scarves while reflecting upon the Cosmos.

What will be my generation’s craft?
What will be our gestures? Our other-worldly forms?


This one is for you, my howling lone wolf:

. . . Evening, when the measure skips a beat
And then another, one by one, and all
To a seething minor swiftly modulate.
Bare night is best. Bare earth is best. Bare, bare,
Except for our own houses, huddled low
Beneath the arches and their spangled air,
Beneath the rhapsodies of fire and fire,
Where the voice that is in us makes a true response,
Where the voice that is great within us rises up,
As we stand gazing at the rounded moon.

Evening Without Angels | Wallace Stevens

the great interests of man: air and light, the joy of having a body, the voluptuousness of looking.
—Mario Rossi

Why seraphim like lutanists arranged
Above the trees? And why the poet as
Eternal chef d’orchestre?

Air is air.
Its vacancy glitters round us everywhere.
Its sounds are not angelic syllables
But our unfashioned spirits realized
More sharply in more furious selves.

And light
That fosters seraphim and is to them
Coiffeur of haloes, fecund jeweller—
Was the sun concoct for angels or for men?
Sad men made angels of the sun, and of
The moon they made their own attendant ghosts,
Which led them back to angels, after death.

Let this be clear that we are men of sun
And men of day and never of pointed night,
Men that repeat antiquest sounds of air
In an accord of repetitions. Yet,
If we repeat, it is because the wind
Encircling us, speaks always with our speech.

Light, too, encrusts us making visible
The motions of the mind and giving form
To moodiest nothings, as, desire for day
Accomplished in the immensely flashing East,
Desire for rest, in that descending sea
Of dark, which in its very darkening
Is rest and silence spreading into sleep.

. . . Evening, when the measure skips a beat
And then another, one by one, and all
To a seething minor swiftly modulate.
Bare night is best. Bare earth is best. Bare, bare,
Except for our own houses, huddled low
Beneath the arches and their spangled air,
Beneath the rhapsodies of fire and fire,
Where the voice that is in us makes a true response,
Where the voice that is great within us rises up,
As we stand gazing at the rounded moon.


(john davis) #9

Thank you, Doug, for sharing these poems, fresh from the liminal zones.