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Bateson's Definition of Mind Extremely Useful Here...

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:22 am
by aesthetician
I studied with Gregory Bateson in the Seventies. I think it would behoove many Jaynes scholars to review his definition of "mind" (best book for this is Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity). It would appear that Bateson and Jaynes had no contact--pity, because they seem to have been reaching out towards one another (Bateson as scientist reaching out towards philosophy and psychology; Jaynes as philosopher/psychologist reaching out towards science) in their respective and monumentally original work. And both observed schizophrenics and schizophrenia in establishing substantial portions of their seminal theories and hypotheses.
For Jaynes scholars I think it would be particularly useful because Bateson beautifully shows how every entity that can be identified as a "mind" (individual human, species, community, culture, planet, solar system, etc.) DOES employ and exhibit consciousness--down to the subatomic level, beginning with the ability to distinguish between Is/Is Not, which is the primary and primeval basis for the differentiation between Self and Other.
In this light, it becomes easier to understand and perhaps even resolve many arguments about the definition of "consciousness" and one begins to perceive, experience and apprehend "consciousness" as a CONTINUUM THAT OPERATES IN RELATED BUT DIFFERING BANDWIDTHS OF ENERGY--EACH ONE WITH ITS PARTICULAR FORM OF LOGIC that resonates (interacts or intersects energetically), but does not necessarily equate, with the other bandwidths of consciousness.
In the light of Bateson's work, Jaynes' work becomes much less "antagonistic" to other theories, for a start. And one can begin to perceive Jaynes' definition of consciousness as a latest form of it, rather than a completely "new" one.