Our "Occupy a New Story" series continues... Duane Elgin and Jeff Vander Clute returned as guest conversation starters for this exploration of a metaphor, first articulated by Peter Russell in the 1980s, which has become increasingly powerful as the world has grown more and more "wired."

For more background on the Global Brain concept, we highly recommend watching this video by Peter Russell, and you can also find inspiration here on the Great Transition Stories website.


Register for our Monday Vital Conversation Series
8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT

As always, we continue our conversation here on the forum, and as with our last New Story dialogue, we invite you to engage in person with friends, family and even strangers around this topic as well.  Here is the basic flow you can use for an in-person conversation: 

  • Set the overall context by suggesting that, rather than having a discussion or debate about whether or not there might be an awakening global brain, you are inviting a conversation in which we "play" with the possibility that this IS happening and we are all a part of it. 

  • Describe the basic concept of a "global brain."  You might note that the number of people on the planet is now about the same order of magnitude as the number of neurons in the human brain, and that we are all increasingly interconnected, thus allowing not only for far higher degrees of collective thinking, feeling and action but perhaps even for some form of "super-consciousness" to emerge.

  • QUESTION #1: Assuming a global brain is indeed awakening, what are the gifts you and other "awakened souls" might bring to its functioning?  
  • QUESTION #2: Imagine the gifts you and others have to offer magnified a billion times. What does this suggest about the possibility of the social transformations you would most like to see in the world being manifested?

We hope you will give this in-person conversation a try and then post back here to the forum about the experience.  And of course, feel free to post anything else here that might be of value to us as we contemplate this New Story together.

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LOL.  You're relentless, C.A.!  And of course, the global brain, being a product of our collective intelligence, is already informed by everything humanity has written, said and done, no?  How about responding to our question: In what ways have you experienced something that might reflect the awakening of a Global Brain?  

Hi C.A. 
Have things not gotten better yet? 

I mean, I have felt happier, as a result of the cafe.

Please don't stereotype men and women.

Your are only projecting your own prejudices and desire to "control things".

You don't have to "talk this out with me" in order for you to stop stereotyping men and women.

"Very few people want to respond" because we refuse to waste our time to teach you something that should be quite obvious to you.

By the way, using stereotypes is not so much of "a certain opinion" as it is outright prejudice, which in answer to your question, is completely useless.

Well-l-l-l, what I have experienced is the Global Glob, the mush that masquerades as consensus. As Ron Paul, the guy that offers Real Change said, if the Democrats have a bad idea and the Republicans have a terrible idea, and they compromise, they can come up with one horrendous mishmash.

Not to sound negative --but sound is in the ear of the beholder--the Global Brain Hypothesis is a bit too materialistic for me. And the awakening of the One World Brain, the hive mind, might only play into the hands of the smartest guys in the room. My take is that the Mind was there in The First Place and we are here to embellish the hell out of it, specialize in what our I Am Presence (a term already well-defined: I bet you get tens of thousands of hits on it) has to offer a weeping world. We are here to individualize as we collectivize, we are refections of a template called Christ Consciousness.

And that's my hardwon story, not all that starry-eyed...


Dear Daniel, 
Let's just hope that the 'smartest minds in the room' also happen to be the most morally developed. I think that is probably the case. I mean, it seems to make sense. Of course there are different ways to be smart, but not that many people are extremely smart and disinterested in anything other than themselfs, I believe...

Blessings to you.

On the other hand, I guess it is possible that there are people who are more interested in particular types of success and satisfaction than in really being happy all the time. I suppose there are ways in which I am also like that.

Ron Paul is also a Republican, so he too is part of the "one horrendous mishmash".

If you want a presidential candidate who "offers real change", then look to third party candidates like Jill Stein of the Green Party.

But why do we have continue on with representational democracy at all? If we are becoming a global brain, then representation is no longer necessary.

Also, you mean God Consciousness, not "Christ Consciousness". Only about a billion people on the planet are Christians. The other six billion people are not. A global brain requires spirituality, not polarizing religious dogma.


Great video and look forward to the Cafe Conversation this morning.

Since February 2011 I have been participating in a Linked IN "System Thinking World" group conversation regarding UN Secretary General Bo Moon's proclamation at the 2010 Devo meeting declaring that without revolutionary change in human thinking and behaviors we are on the precipice of global disaster in the predatory chaos. (Paraphrased into my words)  This thread has over 6,700 posts and over 10,000 participants in the "Systems Thinking World."  This is a community of generative intelligence that when I speak of the fourth development in the global brain notion of mind and I refer to it as "Cognition, Autopoiese, Biology, Communicative Competence" the distinctions are accepted as relevant to the appreciate inquiry and dialog.  Last week Helene who has guided and facilitated this phenomenal inquiry asked that I reflect on my suggestion of a "Generative Leadership Renaissance" to the group who is developing a book as we speak.  

I offer this post as a reflection of the new game I see arising and maybe relevant to the Occupy Cafe Movement:

Patric Roberts on 2012-09-01   ⋅   Post #2740 »
1.) Point of the Game: Build a Sustainable Earth Caring for Future Generations

(((We can observe masses of people now protesting, taking to the streets worldwide, and the question is what is they (I) (we) (us) want? My declaration of the point of the game is an invite/offer returning to an appreciative dialog of us being natural proprietors of our home, earth, within a framework of authentic leadership that generates participative engagement in our shared existence and concerns. A vision of a mutual future that cares, feeds and nourishes our kinship as Homo sapiens amans in a process of waking up in the realization~of~living with an enactive embodied approach as observer’s providing innovative creative intelligence to the converging breakdowns. I submit this is a joyful concern arising in momentariness based in a genesis manner of love, historic legitimacy in our coexistence within a living web of life, and our future is grounded in bringing forth sustainable human trust in social relations. Starting with a healthy autopoietic self growing a virtual identity in plasticity (instant change), beauty in adornment of one another presence by socially sculpting give~a~ways in activity, social relations based in peace and friendship, familial breakthroughs that face off hidden generational behaviors in courageous compassion and forgiveness, and meaningful promises in globalization (community local earthwork) producing a mood of joyful concern as a continuous creative reflective learning process in sincere competence as domain expert’s designing a new future world together.

Basically we are all in the same boat, orphans desiring a home, and now its time to remember a simple wise tune from kiddy~land and take a few baby steps in our trusted diversity realizing “all that rises must converge.” So here we go ~ Row Row Row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream! Maybe we can surprise our selves by having simplicity master complexity through our shared circularity operating naturally in our humanness?

Our shared kinship is occurring in a living cosmology and has the possible possibility of integrating the expert rowing of human commitments in a unified directionality within our immediate concerns and social engagements as an emerging participatory communitarian reality demonstrating a distributive justice in future global affairs.

Do you agree?
Or what is the point of the game in your assessments that can contribute to the declaration I have offered?
What is missing in forming an agreed upon unified agreement to the point of the game?
Is this offering of an interactive design ideal capable of designing a future world together?
Or is it a crazy mad man who is insane looking for utopia?

As you can see I live in the circularity of questions within experience of human concerns as an “arational” emotive human being, not in theoretical nonsensical reductive linear systems thinking. I am not convinced that there is any truth in what I say, and it may be an illusion of a mad man attempting to survive certainty of death in the present condition and situation arising. I don’t know and wonder.)))
10 months a
Patric Roberts on 2012-09-01   ⋅   Post #2741 »
2) Constitutive Rules of the Game: (What, who, where, how, winning the game)
Our earth is a living system is the Household of OUR Humanity
7 billion people play in the game as autopoetic Homo sapiens amans wise-sing up
Temporal existence is a cognitive reality based in human commitments
Political leadership is accountable in all domains of activity in human concerns
Converging breakdowns require instant trust and harnessing revolutionary innovations

3) Rules of Action: (allowances, prohibitions and requirements)
Militancy with arms must stop immediately everywhere wasting precious resources
Earthlings (Homo sapiens amans) own the earth in a shared proprietor responsibility
Tax the super wealthy 95% and invest in collaborative cooperative social entrepreneurs
Proprietary ownership of creative intelligence is not used for patriarchal power
Social violence with women and children is unacceptable and stopped immediately
Every human being is naturally entitled to water, food and care in brotherhood of man
Beauty is a creative self-organizing, regulated and sustaining value of our humanness
Learning in the 21st century is a lifelong contemplative integrating experience
New agreed upon praxis “I invite/request/offer X by Y ~ I promise X by Y.”
Earthling’s politics is no longer a civilized agrarian lawlessness-exploiting people
No one is entitled to any ~ thing and death is a facticity of natural law permanently
One’s own ecological footprint cares, feeds, nourishes integration in web of life

4) Rules of Strategy (Growing Wisdom Learned in Playing the Game Continually)
Denial is not a river in Egypt and will destroy the human race if continued another day
Virtual authentic leadership operates in generosity and are fed by the people in simplicity
Honest authentic emotive human communication happens in appreciative conversations
Every human being has value and works in joyful concern for a unified future of earth
We have unlimited grace in our common humanness and political power divides us
Technology is invented to solve human concerns not blind consumptive robotic activity
Eliminate ruthless Hedge Funds monetizing data to information in milliseconds
Create an EDGE Fund based in interactive design principles for ideal 22nd century
Return locus of control to personhood in dignity unleashing creative intelligence
Free independent crazy knowledge worker’s innovations in global performance engines
Eliminate patriarchy-demanding obedience (laws) negating freedom of human activity
Design By Invitation Only wise domain experts to share emerging Noosphere
Call for a new configuration of elder wisdom to begin guiding transformations
Stop all human suffering and offer visions of making history as ethical citizenry
Get everyone back to meaningful learning and work rowing in unified trajectories
Check scientific proclamations to cognitive science’s notion of structural determinism
Stop reductive linear ontological arguments of institutions denying factual conditions
Face the facts in transparency of secrets and hidden agendas in institutions today
Latter Mushin

"Occupy Cafe Flying Fish"

A piece of music to light up the cafe's great work!


pray you get it! 

The Global Brain Vital Café Conversation Monday

Participative engagement is the anew game we are inventing.  I cannot expect trust from another without trusting to reveal first what owns me in passionate desire?  Today’s call was a breakthrough in the café experience for me and requires I open up more deeply as a “flying fish” in Bateson’s distinction in authenticity and vulnerability as a committed observer and participant.  I am never again going to apologize for my verbosity in writing.  I read many posts in this Twittering Universe, the world, classics and traditions over and over and watch videos like Global Brain to be oriented to the domain of conversation.  I also read less everyday as I am called upon to respond to invitations, petitions and causes.  What I write are reflections as a prejudicial reporter from a very small pond of experience, yet, my humble offerings are breakthrough notions that have taken me a lifetime to feel, see, and know from the inside out.  I hate profanity, yet today bullshit and horse shit have become the only human utterances that makes sense to me in the American lexicon in creating deep trust from a sense of indignation id a toxic pool of denial, especially in education, religion, politics, and commerce.  So, please bear with me as I continue to barf up the maniacal ghosts in modernity, cry rivers in the brokenness and powerless I feel, and clear my voice in an eternal silence I am looking forward to in the days ahead.  We never know one another and our encounters are nothing but a gentle breeze bending the willow of existence rooted deeply in love.  Let us jump ship and love unafflicted by the breeze and sink deeply into the root presence of beingness and laugh, sing and dance to a new drummer ~ the human heart.  Boom Boom.....Boom Boom.....forever! 

My prayer is we become "Flying Fish in this Occupy Cafe" by artistically sculpturing our living together in love!

Notes Scribed by Mushin and Contributions to Appreciative Inquiry and Dialog

Invite yourself to imagine that there is a global brain and we are a part participating within it.

What are the gifts you bring to its functioning?

Val rapid city SD

Duane Northern CA

Phil San Jose

Mushin Boulder

Gifts U bring

Mushin offered appreciation to Bateson insights quoted in the film and an appreciation for cognitive science's contributions that are arising in appreciative inquiry and dialog. (Comments following report of circle)

Phil there does exist within our city, state, and nations a collective intelligence, and it doesn’t drop deep enough into the heart-centered wisdom we are.

Val I live from the heart and its not easy, and the greatest gift I can be is to bring it out into public conversations.  Humanity is dissolving in our midst and my strength is in the heart.  I want to have the courage and stamina to have the kindness and patience to keep bringing it forth into the community I am a part of.  I have a strong background in corporate consultancy, and it’s a difficult place to be vulnerable, I am learning to not take it personal, and keep going from the heart.

Duane, I hear collective intelligence, heart centered communication, appreciative inquiry, and right here in our own circle a global brain operating.

Phil offered questioning about rejection and non-accepting attitude that is present in Val's comments? Duane all of us have experienced it in denial.  Someone must be blamed.   Val keeping it heart centered is difficult and people staying in the intellect.  I can’t go there without crying.  From the head to heart is the longest the journey.  Making fun and teasing me is their business and no matter what my background is to be heart centered and coo coo.  Two opposite directions.

Phil this reaction is not just crying, rage comes to mind, harassment murder, rape and suicide. 

Harvest of the group!

Dyck expansion of the shaping and morphing of the question.  Personally getting something out of the gift.  The ego mischief-maker that wants to have its own identity

Michael Roberts the brain is not awakening its evolving, indigenous people know this, going into a forest every plant tree is unique and interconnected

Second conversation how does the global brain story inspire us into

Jeff inspires me about occupy the global brain and heart is here and its possible, what was hard before and is now possible, manifesting action in revolution, viral twittering universe happening now harnessing the global brain.

Ben things that used to be difficult and now possible.

Margret Mead quote

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,

committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead


Willing to die for it, not me? I can now be part of that small group and developing those intentional endeavors and be me.

Dunne adding to Ben and Jeff ~ Flash Mobs of Love and how important it is to understand its not just the brain, intellect, it is happening in the central nervous system of our bodies in feel.  Whatever is happening outside is mirroring neurons releasing our empathy and integrating action of an emergent global movement.  Occupy Café is a place this is happening.

Pia we are occupying our bodies with presence, being present with everything and lighting up, and through presence we can move to a new order and level of wholeness and a new different world.

Jeff 1922 Pierre de Chardin predicted humanity would blossom into a new spiritual awakening called the Noosphere, our collective consciousness as humanity.

Peter global brain point to inherent oneness.

Consciousness by Gallup Poll

1994 asked 1,000 people do you want deeper spirituality? 20% Yes

1997 (?) asked same question and 80 % (?) Yes

We are on the move and big changes are happening.

Ben I love the way the emotional component is being brought into the café conversations and the feel in collective space.

Duane we need to be aware also of the problematic difficulties when entire groups of people go through deep changes.  Freud noticed in history that entire societies could become psychotic, go crazy and experience psychosis generationally.  We must be aware how it can go awry and continually call people back to the heart and harmonizing the heart with others.

Second group breakouts Imagine the gifts in your circles are magnified a billion times what types of social transformation do you see manifesting in the world.

Phil small group committed to ____ fill in the blank.  What are we going to commit to today in this circle?  Connecting a few, where is the place for this to happen from the occasion of this call?  I believe this is happening throughout the world in thousands upon thousands of small groups.

Val thank you for acknowledging me in the last harvest conversation.  Calls like this ground me, provide guidance and appreciated encouragement.  My greatest imaginary gift is to start to feel as self-doubts fall away, the invalidating authentic pain as I try to fly.  One human to another and hold the highest intention and I am willing to die for it.  Emotional 


Duane Truth reconciliation in South Africa Nelson Mandela no more compromise, deep compassion, power of truth

Harvest what meaning had value or meaning?

Harvey legitimacy of all of our points of view.  Speaking and generous listening.

Shika appreciated Harvey’s reflection and gratitude.

Daniel mirror neurons unity church sermon on Sunday ?? Songs still vibrating out in the world.  Neuron of global brain working in many ways. 

Heather thanks Dyck and fear of intimacy get me out of thinking brain and my body holds a deeper truth.

Duane our whole community tenderness and fragility, Mushin warrior and collective mourning and its Ok cry and sharing our own our brokenness and merging together into our wholeness. 

Michael the most profound communication in communicating in silence and the whole global mind was communicating. 

Dyck thank heather that I stimulated new thought and its such a great that disagreement is the construction of


Jeff echo gratitude for silence and effective actions.  Major opens in transitional stories and where the insight in praxis that we can take into everything.

Duane silence speaks with unceasing. Let the words you speak worthy of the silence we speak.  Great demonstration of how our global brain connects with the mirror neurons.

Pia it’s powerful and physically affecting our bodies.  Continue the conversation in families, friends and intimate vulnerability.  Thank you Jeff and Duane for the gift.  Thank you for your contributions and exchange gifts, contribute on the navigation bar. 

Jitendra touched on the next Occupy Heart Café call is changing time to Thursday 3:00 Pacific and will continue to deepen in the depth this call has offered.   

Two Offerings from Mushin: 1st Bateson and 2nd Vision of Mead

If you put God outside and set him vis-à-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore as not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will be yours to exploit…If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate, or, simply, of over population and over-grazing.

The Horse, the Magpie, the Buffalo, and the Hoop Integral Leadership Review August 2008 http://www.archive-ilr.com/archives-2008/2008-08/2008-08-dialogue-c...

Bateson Reference in the Interview by Andrew James Campbell Relevant to the flea leaving the elephant and seeing the whole elephant = wholeness in the appreciative conversation today on the global brain.

Bateson…and thence to

“…An organization’s culture cannot be fully understood by the organizational members immersed in its life, for their attempts to see their own culture will be through the lenses that are also the culture, or as the Chinese proverb so beautifully puts it: 'The last one to know about the sea is the fish.”

It is also impossible for an outsider to see and understand the culture, as the culture is communicated differently to outsiders than insiders and the richness of the culture has to be experienced through deep participation.

To overcome this paradox culture requires a rigorous discipline of action research that combines both internal and external perspectives and transcends the limitations of both through a process of dialogue and challenge between different system positions. This process is supported by the methodology, tools and approaches of action research that combine what has been described as third-person, second-person and first-person research.

First-person action research/practice skills and methods address the ability of the researcher to foster an inquiring approach to his or her own life.

Second person action research/practice addresses our ability to inquire face-to-face with others into issues of mutual concern. Third person strategies aim to create a wider community of inquiry. The most compelling and enduring kind of action research will engage all three strategies

Third-person research can help us look at the patterns of language, story, behaviour, activity, emotions and relationships that shape the flow of organizational life.

First-person action research can help us move from immersion in the organizational culture back into structured personal reflection on how that culture has impacted our own being. For what a culture cannot directly tell you, it communicates through your emotional experience as you engage with it. This movement from action to reflection requires structured approaches and methods, whether drawn from phenomenology and psychodrama, psychotherapy or shadow consultancy.

Second-person research can help in providing a joint space where insiders and outsiders can collaborate together to help the insiders become 'flying fish' and freshly perceive the sea they are swimming in and the outsiders to more fully experience the cultural impact. This form of action research can also be greatly enhanced by using tools and methods that enable the culture to enact and exemplify itself, such as storytelling, use of drawing or enacting the unwritten induction with the rules of 'What everybody needs to know to flourish around here, but nobody will tell them directly'. It is often through the medium of aesthetic representation in art, drama, music, etc. that a culture can be more fully expressed and empathetically appreciated. This is a notion that Bateson held dear throughout his working life, from his early studies of the Iatmul people in New Guinea and his art collections and photographs from Bali to his late conversations with his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson. See also Style, Grace and Primitive Art and A Theory of Play and Fantasy. Bateson distinguished between: what he termed 'zero learning', the acquisition of data or information that does not create a difference or change. (All Bateson materials above and below from this paper:

A centennial tribute to Gregory Bateson 1904–1980 and his influence on the fields of organizational development and action research by Peter Hawkins Bath Consultancy Group Action Research Volume 2(4): 409–423 Copyright© 2004 SAGE Publications London, Thousand Oaks CA, New Delhi www.sagepublications.com DOI: 10.1177/ 1476750304047984)

'Learning I', in which skill learning is acquired through trial and error selection of a possibility within a set of options; and

'Learning II', where second order or double loop learning occurs through shifting the frame or set in which one is making level one choices.

These 'distinctions’ have become central to understanding not only different orders of individual learning, but also the distinctions between operational learning and strategic learning in the life of the organization. In knowledge management it has become central to understanding the distinctions between data, information, knowledge and understanding. However, in the pursuit of knowledge management many organizations have ended up with growing their data warehousing to the extent that it drowns out information, or have created information overload in a way that suppresses the creation of new knowledge. This echoes the sentiment of T. S. Eliot who wrote in ' The Rock': Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The development of double loop learning and organizational understanding is constrained by the lack of wisdom and what Bateson termed 'Learning III'. For double loop learning to be enabled there is a need for level three or treble loop learning in organizations.

It was not until 1971, seven years after he originally wrote the paper, that Bateson revised his theory to include Learning III. This is defined by Bateson as ‘Change in the process of Learning II, e.g., a corrective change in the system of sets of alternatives from which choice is made'.

Learning III is difficult to understand, and has often been misunderstood by other writers. This is probably inevitable, for, as Bateson points out, “Learning III is likely to be rare even in human beings”. Learning III involves a transcendence of the ego-world, where experience is orientated to and made sense of through some rational self—'what I call my character'. Thus it is the realm, which, according to Wilber, can be talked of only in symbolic, mandalic and paradoxical language.

According to Bateson, '”[T]o the degree that a man achieves Learning III…his self will take on a sort of irrelevance. The concepts of self will no longer function as a nodal argument in the punctuation of experience.”

If, as a prerequisite to Learning II, I have developed the ability to shift the framework within which I am making choices, then a prerequisite to Learning III must be the ability to shift the underlying premises and belief systems that form these frameworks.

Bateson’s references to the transpersonal dimension of Learning III are elliptical with references to a Zen master he once heard and the writings of the visionary mystic Blake of whom he said: “He knew more about what it is to be human than any other man”. Despite this tangential linking, the implication that Learning III involves a shift to spiritual and transpersonal realm is clearly there, for, as Bateson explains, Learning III is:

…a world in which personal identity merges into all the processes of relationship in some vast ecology or aesthetics of cosmic interaction. That any of these [people] can survive seems almost miraculous, but some are perhaps saved from being swept away on oceanic feeling by their ability to focus on the minutiae of life. Every detail of the universe is seen as proposing a view of the whole.

But he also writes: “[C]ertainly it must lead to a greater flexibility in the premises acquired by the process of Learning II—a freedom from their bondage…but any freedom from bondage of habit must also denote a profound redefinition of self.”

What seems crucial in understanding this distinction between Learning II and Learning III is that the latter occurs when the person cannot replace one underlying framework by which he lives with another—for example, deciding to quit being a Christian and to become a Buddhist; or to quit being an alcoholic and become an ex-alcoholic—but must also be aware that both these paradigms or worldviews are systems, frameworks, or spectacles through which we view the world. It is when we are able truly to let them go that we enter the domain of Learning III. The person has to let go of self-definition as an ex-Christian or as a Buddhist and embrace a sense of self which is non-definitional in terms of either outward characteristics or frameworks of belief.

That said, I suggest there are two ways of thinking about Learning Ill, one more helpful in everyday life than the other:
One way is to follow the implications in Bateson that Learning III is a state of enlightenment, attained by only a few, such as Sufi or Zen masters, or Castaneda's Don Juan. The other more useful way of viewing this level is that it provides temporary access to a higher logical level of awareness where we have the space to become free enough of our normal perspectives and paradigm constraints to see through them rather than with them and thus create the space to change them. By definition, it is possible to change the way one double-loop learns only if there is some temporary access to Learning Ill, for it is spiritual learning in worldly organisations, rather than Ashrams, which is the focus.

By the 1960s and 1970s Bateson had become one of the first powerful voices to speak about the developing ecological crisis facing our planet. Some time before other commentators, he showed how our current environmental crisis is rooted in our epistemological mind sets.

Bateson writes about our epistemological errors, which he describes as “the ideas that dominate our civilization at the present time date in their most virulent form from the industrial revolution.” Bateson also shows how these beliefs are rooted in a theology that separates God from Creation and creates a merely transcendent God separate from Nature:

If you put God outside and set him vis-à-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore as not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will be yours to exploit…If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate, or, simply, of over population and over-grazing.

If we now revisit each of these false and dangerous beliefs we can look at what we would put alongside them as an antidote or cure, that would help us overcome the human/nature dualism. You might at this point like to write your own antidotes for each of the Bateson statements before comparing them with the ones that I have written below:

a) It’s us against the environment.
We and what we call environment are interdependent.

b) It’s us against other men.
Win-lose always becomes lose-lose.

c) It’s the individual (or the individual company, or the individual nation) that matters.
The unit of survival is organism plus environment. We are learning by bitter experience that the organism that destroys its environment destroys itself.

d) We can have unilateral control over the environment and must strive for that control.
Nature was before, will be after and is greater than that small part of it that is human beings.

e) We live in an infinitely expanding 'frontier'.
There are limits to growth.

f) Economic determinism is common sense.
90% of what is most important cannot be measured by economics. Money as the measure of all things actually serves to impoverish us all.

g) Technology will do it for us.
Technology, on its own, will merely accentuate our own abilities to destroy our selves and our environment. You can not solve a problem from within the thinking that created it.

Bateson writes very clearly of the problems we have created by choosing the wrong unit of survival.

In accordance with the general climate of thinking in mid nineteenth century England, Darwin proposed a theory of natural selection and evolution, in which the unit of survival was either the family line or species of sub-species or something of that sort. But today it is quite obvious that this is not the unit of survival in the real biological world. The unit of survival is organism plus environment. We are learning by bitter experience that the organism that destroys its environment destroys itself.

We have to move from just fighting for saving this species or that, to working with the preservation and development of living ecologies; from thinking of the environment as a thing, to seeing that it is a complex web of connections; from seeing it as other to experiencing it as part of us. There is no self, no nature, only nature self.

Conclusion: a Participative World View

As Bateson writes, “The most urgent task is to ‘think anew', but thinking is not enough? The most urgent task is to connect anew, to connect in the world through what a number of people are describing as a 'participative consciousness’.”

Reason writes: we can only understand our world as a whole if we are part of it; as soon as we attempt to stand outside, we divide and separate. In contrast, making whole necessarily implies participation: one characteristic of a participative worldview is that the individual person is restored to the circle of community and the human community to the context of the wider natural world.

I was recently inspired to return to an in-depth reading of Bateson by reading the doctoral thesis of Noel CharIton entitled A Sacred World: The Ecology of Mind, Aesthetics and Grace in the Thought of Gregory Bateson. I was fascinated by his references to Bateson’s use of the term 'Grace'. In Steps to the Ecology of Mind, Bateson writes, “Aldous Huxley used to say that the central problem for humanity is the quest for grace.” He goes on to define Huxley’s notion of grace as a quality that many animals have of being able to exhibit 'a naiveté, a simplicity—which man has lost—characterized by a lack of self-deceit and a harmony of movement.

This is a different use of the term 'Grace' from the religious notion of grace found in both the Christian and Islamic traditions where grace is seen as an unearned gift or benefit from God. However, the two notions dovetail beautifully in a systemic perspective. The more we align and are in service to the greater systemic whole, then the more graceful and harmonious are we in our own living and movement. Internal harmony is only possible when there is harmony in the collective circuits of mind and in the wider ecology. Only when we live gracefully in service of the greater system of which we are part do we receive the grace of beneficence bestowed from the greater system on its parts.

Bateson’s ultimate search was for a fundamental belief system that would help us live more fully, more harmoniously and more appropriately in and with our fragile world. The new paradigm had to be 'neither supernatural nor mechanical', for both positivistic science and religious dogma have led us to an alienated existence tottering on the edge of ecological disaster.

At the end of his life he wrote:

I find myself still between the Scylla of established materialism, with its quantitative thinking, applied science, and 'controlled' experiments on one side, and the Charybdis of romantic supernaturalism on the other. My task is to explore whether there is a sane and valid place for religion somewhere between these two nightmares of nonsense. Whether, if neither muddleheadedness, nor hypocrisy is necessary to religion, there might be found in knowledge and in art the basis to support an affirmation of the sacred that would celebrate natural unity.


Patric responds:


It is wonderful that your spirit is soaring in exploration and creativity. Did you know that Bateson, Maturana and Flores met yearly for a number of years during the summer, I believe in Boulder, Colorado. It was I believe an open conversation and few people attended but they speculated with one another.

This idea of the 'Fly Fishing' is interesting. I was at a sacred masculine initiation in 2000 and I had gotten up early in the morning to see the sunrise and was sitting on a dock in a state of contemplation. I was contemplating living in nature consciously and seeing it as a like a Plutonian implosive reactor for realization-in-living for humanity and the earth. No definition, no identity, no words, just being in nature and experiencing 'what is’ Is-ing with nature. While sitting on the dock in front of a beautiful small pond a bird started flying around my head and a fish started jumping out of the pond right in front of me. Participatory learning IS experience in nature itself.

Today as I reflect on the experience I see that it is the 'Biology of Love' embedded in the hard-wired 'meta genetic roots’ of our nature that provides this experience of wisdom naturally in living. Trusting the universe and life we love to experience in the moment.

Our conversation of becoming is interesting because no matter how talented the 'flying fish' may be it needs to be seen, conversed with, and reflected upon by others who can see the experience and value it. Your assessments, suggestions, questions, and confirmations are assisting me in 'feeling' the freedom and beauty of 'who I am.' Your relationship (seeing, conversation, passion) right now opens up space for the 'flying' to be the right of consciousness in this moment of existence. One is only crazy when they have an interpretation of reality that is contrary to the structured culture one is embedded in. What Maturana and Verela gave me many years ago was the freedom to be autopoietic as an "observer of the observer" as a stance in consciousness interpreting human experience in the moment. It has been a 'character building experience.'

The 'fying fish character' has ‘blind spots’ and one of the most amazing points of this third loop is the loss of 'self-importance, self-preservation, self-identity' as a construct to generate, maintain or sustain. The stripping of a notion of a 'transcendental locus of control or stability' is a crazy notion to explore. And the experience 'opens an experience' of momentariness where there are no beliefs, NO MIND, and human experience in all its terror, chaos, confusion and beauty of flying like a Monarch Butterfly.

My Dharma name was given to me in the Hollow Bones Order is Mushin, the 1st Sensei of the Mankind Project. I do not know what this means; it was an experience to discover. Mushin means "No/Know Mind." Most people who know me would agree that 'Patric' is crazy. 'Flying Fish' is a crazy experience to behold and fear is one of the reactions one can have when you leave the 'medium' and find 'freedom.' What I am happy about in this moment is that I feel I am beginning to enter into experience with a host of 'flying fish' through you. Your 'seeing', 'feeling', 'sensing' is an artistic dance on the pond of my existence and blessing in swimming through today in a new way. I am eternally grateful and can't wait to visit Europe and meet you in your Garden of Eden.

Love=Legitimacy-in-coexistence=flying fish

On Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 2:50 PM, Andrew Campbell:


Patric, you wrote, “1st, being present in your sit-u-ate-ness is always a suspension of 'egoic self-referencing of self-identities, importance, guilt and deception’”.

You wrote:

A cognitive entity enters into direct experience of being human in present moments that are transformative to a previous point-of-view and in doing so no longer is reactive to the situation emerging in the medium. The imperturbable deep hard-wired biological meta genetic wisdom (sensing) 'heart-felt-sense' emerges as an ‘observer of the observer.’ The crown of the creative generative principle ‘refection’ in the universe emerges as an ‘autopoietic experience’ behind the dance of all the virtual identities that constitute, sustain and maintain the notion of ‘self.’ The ‘monkey mind’ based in dualistic emotional contradictions is calmed down, peace is instant, and an inner world emerges in silence, secrecy and solitude that is forever beyond thinking, thoughts, words, and action.

The Many that comprise any fragmented one becomes><transforms into a One among the many fragments. Evolution is increasing Wholeness.

You also wrote,

One is home at the center-of-the-universe and connected with ALL LIFE. The 'autopoietic paradox' is experienced directly as a human being. Realization-in-living is not a theory, concept, striving it is a releasing of the monkey mind fixated memory of emotional contradictions to experience ‘what is’ in direct cognitive experience as a human being. From this ’zero point' there is no memory, no future or past, one is present in the momentariness fully, completely and has no definition. The 10,000 virtual identities that are singing, dancing and screaming in the ‘collective consciousness of humanity in ignorance’ are embraced in compassion and the learning hence forth in bringing forth a world is ’developing skillful means’ in service. Everything is already always perfect!

I choose to home in on the phrase "From this ’zero point' there is no memory, no future or past, one is present in the momentariness fully, completely and has no definition." Please navigate to
then http://www.community-intelligence.com/blogs/public/2006/08/chance_a....

Then you wrote,

The creative generative principle that constitutes, sustains and maintains All Life does not make junk, rather a 'Biology of Love' where legitimacy-in-coexistence is ethically experienced moment-to-moment in presencing with one another. In the experience of this ’autopoietic paradox' a realization-in-living from the deep rooted biological understanding of Homo sapiens amans there is no ruler/ruled, leaders/followers, laws/criminals, rich/poor, life/death there is the experience of being present in-the-moment as the eternal infinite reality of beingness itself in the action of creation. Possibilities are beyond our imagination as we embrace our role in creation at the center of conscious reflection within creation. The mystery of living becomes a new ethical behavior of having legitimacy-in-coexistence for the presence of another in the heart-felt-sense constituting human nature itself. The biology is love is realized in living and designing a world together. Everyone has a part to play and every child born in this world is appreciated, nurtured and cared for by the entire global village.






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