We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be
~Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
“It is still broadly true that the coding and transmission of differences outside the body is very different from the coding and transmission inside, and this difference must be mentioned because it can lead us into error. We commonly think of the external “physical world” as somehow separate from an internal “mental world.” I believe that this division is based on the contrast in coding and transmission inside and outside the body.
The mental world—the mind— the world of information processing — is not limited by the skin.”
Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Gregory Bateson was a British Anthropologist with his nodal axis across Virgo and Pisces. His work is an incisive and elegant example of traveling from the space of already knowingness (Pisces) contained within the South Node, toward the space of expansion and exploration funneled toward inhabiting the North Node. As an expression of mutable chart components, he takes his inherent knowledge of infinitude and systematizes it, writes about it, dissects, analyzes (Virgo), and re-unifies it (Sagittarius Uranus). He absorbs information electrically from his atmosphere and produces a process to his knowledge.
“It is to the Riddle of the Sphinx that I have devoted fifty years of professional life as an anthropologist. It is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems.
A major difficulty is that the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx is partly a product of the answers that we already have given to the riddle in its various forms. Kurt Vonnegut gives us wary advice – that we should be careful what we pretend because we become what we pretend. And something like that, some sort of self-fulfilment, occurs in all organisations and human cultures. What people presume to be ‘human’ is what they will build in as premises of their social arrangements, and what they build in is sure to be learned, is sure to become a part of the character of those who participate.
And along with this self-validation of our answers, there goes something still more serious – namely, that any answer which we promote, as it becomes partly true through our promoting of it, becomes partly irreversible. There is a lag in these affairs.”
Gregory Bateson, Innocence & Experience