5 Jun 2009

Bateson, Coupled Cybernetic Flows, in Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity

by Corry Shores
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Coupled Cybernetic Flows

Gregory Bateson

Mind and Nature:

A Necessary Unity

Ch. IV

Criteria of Mental Process

Criterion 2. The Interaction between Parts of Mind is Triggered by Difference

In life and its affairs, there are typically two energetic systems in interdependence: One is the system that uses its energy to open or close the faucet or gate or relay; the other is the system whose energy ‘flows through’ the faucet or gate when it is open.

The ON position of the switch is a pathway for the passage of energy which originates elsewhere. When I turn the faucet, my work in turning the faucet does not push or pull the flow of the water. That work is done by pumps or gravity whose force is set free by my opening the faucet. I, in ‘control’ of the faucet, am ‘ permissive’ or ‘constraining’ ; the flow of the water is energized from other sources. I partly determine what pathways the water will take if it flows at all. Whether it flows is not my immediate business.

Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. London: Wildwood House, 1979.

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