by Corry Shores
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Gregory Bateson ends his lecture "Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation" by quoting from the Book of Job. All Job's human successes mean nothing. He knows only the smallest fragment of whole system of nature. His needs are no greater than the other creatures. His knowledge will never come near God's. Humans cannot ever rationally grasp the workings of the whole ecosystem. So we must submit to its greater power and understanding.
2: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3: Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5: Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6: Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7: When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8: Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
9: When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
10: And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11: And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
12: Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
13: That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
14: It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15: And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
16: Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
17: Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18: Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
19: Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20: That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
21: Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
22: Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
23: Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
24: By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
25: Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
26: To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
27: To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
28: Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29: Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
30: The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
31: Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
32: Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
33: Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
34: Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
35: Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?
36: Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
37: Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
38: When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
39: Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
40: When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
41: Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
2: Canst thou number the months that they fulfill? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
3: They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.
4: Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.
5: Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
6: Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.
7: He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
8: The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
9: Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10: Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11: Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12: Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
13: Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
14: Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
15: And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
16: She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear;
17: Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
18: What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
19: Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
20: Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.
21: He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.
22: He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
23: The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
24: He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
25: He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26: Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
27: Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
28: She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
29: From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
30: Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.