... the unit of evolutionary survival turns out to be identical with the unit of mind. [note 1]
In contrast to the structuralist Lévi-Strauss, who tends to derive content from form, being less interested in functions than in what they reveal about underlying structures, Gregory Bateson is a functionalist in the sense that he is more concerned with the kinds of meanings which may be derived from close observation of the way things actually work. He examines phenomena in different fields, and although he is prepared to draw conclusions which are analogies between the structures of entities of widely varying kinds, this is in the service of a better understanding of the details of the way they function.
Without too much exaggeration it is possible - and may be useful - to say that each of the three thinkers examined in this book remains in a sense true to a primary scientific training. As someone trained in the natural sciences, Freud continues to be concerned with nineteenth-century medical, physiological and neurological models; Claude Lévi-Strauss, having been initially trained as a philosopher (in a specifically French tradition), remains interested in logical categories; Gregory Bateson, having been brought up as (and by) a biologist, maintains a keen interest in organic forms and the way they develop and interrelate.
As a way of illustrating the point about Bateson's functionalism, as compared with the different models with which each of the other two thinks, I shall give what, in this context, what will perhaps be an unexpected example: the differing concept each has of the phenomenon of consciousness. For Freud this is a self-evident given, known immediately and continuously by self-presentation. It is more even than that: it is the only thing which can be known for certain, it is the starting-point for any further consideration, it is the Freudian cogito - and is not unlike the Cartesian. He made this statement in the strongest possible terms in 1933.
As may be said of our life, it is not worth much, but it is all we have. Without the illumination thrown by the quality of consciousness, we should be lost in the obscurity of depth-psychology; but we must attempt to find our bearings afresh. There is no need to discuss what is to be called conscious: it is removed from all doubt.2
And he repeated this profession of faith in the last thing he wrote, in the chapter of An Outline of Psychoanalysis entitled 'Psychical qualities:'
The starting-point for this investigation is provided by a fact without parallel, which defies all explanation or description - the fact of consciousness. Nevertheless, if anyone speaks of consciousness, we know immediately and from our most personal experience what is meant by it.3
For Lévi-Strauss consciousness is less taken-for-granted, and, when subjected to some consideration, is seen to be an organising principle (in much the same way that for him the unconscious is also) an agency for the enforcement of structural laws, a means of recalling such things, for example, as a kinship system, which 'exists only in human consciousness [as] an arbitrary system of representations, not the spontaneous development of a real situation.'4 Consciousness, writes Lévi-Strauss, is only the expression, in the individual, of 'the universal laws which make up the unconscious activity of the mind.'5
For Bateson it is important to make a distinct separation between the two types of mental functions. He sees the situation as exactly the reverse to that in Freud, and that 'much of early Freudian theory was upside down.'6 For the later man, as opposed to being a self-evident given, consciousness is a mystery: precisely because it is not clear (yet) what its function is. As he writes:
It follows that all organisms must be content with rather little consciousness, and that if consciousness has any useful functions whatever (which has never been demonstrated but is probably true), then economy in consciousness will be of the first importance. No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels.7
The period of intellectual history between Freud and Bateson has been successful in determining that there are functions which are unconscious, and also what many of those unconscious functions are. In Bateson's view, it is the functions of consciousness which remain to be discovered.
Bateson's debt to Freud in this area is, therefore, not obvious. He seems almost to despise the greatest Freudian discovery: 'The Freudian view of the unconscious as the cellar or cupboard to which fearful and painful memories are consigned by a process of repression.'8 But, having taken on board the fruitful idea that a great many processes are able to be carried out without the benefit of consciousness, he was able to see this function of the unconscious, that, repeating part of and continuing the previous quotation: 'No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels. This is the economy achieved by habit formation.'9 It has been suggested that the human mind is very good at 'pre-symbolic thought,' and not very good at all at symbolic operations, in the sense of comparison with artificial intelligence machines which can carry out with much greater efficiency the symbolic operations that they have been trained to do.10 This level of pre-symbolic thought, I suggest, is precisely what Bateson is referring to when he speaks of economy: he is thinking of our great ability to think 'unconsciously'. As he concludes:
The unconscious contains not only the painful matters which consciousness prefers not to inspect, but also many matters which are so familiar that we do not need to inspect them. Habit, therefore, is a major economy of conscious thought.11
However, this is not in fact all that different from some of the things Freud himself writes, although he does not make the explicit link between 'order' and 'automatic activities' on the one hand, and 'the unconscious' on the other. In a late work, in 1930, he writes this.
Order is a kind of compulsion to repeat which, when a regulation has been laid down once and for all, decides when, where and how a thing shall be done, so that in every similar circumstance one is spared hesitation and indecision. The benefits of order are incontestable.12
I suggest that is quite clear that he is talking about exactly the same phenomenon as Bateson's 'habit [as] a major economy.' Freud had already written something very similar in 1901.
I know from other sources that it is precisely automatic activities which are characterized by correctness and reliability.13
And I might note in passing that something very similar has also been expressed by Lévi-Strauss, although on a more global scale.
It is, I think, absolutely impossible to conceive of meaning without order. ... If this represents a basic need for order in the human mind and since, after all, the human mind is only part of the universe, the need probably exists because there is some order in the universe and the universe is not a chaos.14
It seems to me that part of Bateson's debt to Freud was that he could take the notion of unconsciousness for granted, thus freeing him to examine other aspects of human mental functioning. There is perhaps a more subtle debt even than this so to speak negative one, in the inheritance of an interest in the systematicity of mental activity. Be that as it may, in these moments of insight in their thought (which the two earlier writers at least would perhaps not see as central) all three are reaching for some concept such as that of the mind-culture system, which proposes a systematisation of the 'order' of which they would all write, a systematisation which reaches simultaneously down to the level of the individual and up to that of the culture, revealing that order not as ethical, nor even static, but as systematic. I shall now continue with a discussion of Bateson's analysis of these levels and of this system.
I found that in my work with primitive people, schizophrenia, biological symmetry, and in my discontent with the conventional theories of evolution and learning, I had identified a widely scattered set of bench marks or points of reference from which a new scientific territory could be defined. These bench marks I have called 'steps' in the title of the book [Steps to an Ecology of Mind].15
This key quotation (almost an 'abstract' for this important book) identifies the levels of analysis at which Bateson works: 'schizophrenia' refers to his study of the use of communication theory in the analysis of individual breakdown; 'primitive people' refers to his work with family groups, particularly in New Guinea and Bali; and 'biological symmetry' refers to his large-scale theory-building, relating biology to psychology and anthropology. I shall look further at these three levels in what follows: family, group, culture.
It is curious that Bateson should have chosen an image from the profession of surveying for his over-arching metaphor. As I shall show below, he uses an ensemble of models drawn from a number of different fields of human endeavour, including, most importantly, cybernetics, but also biology, engineering, communications and anthropology-sociology. I argue that his central model for theory-building is that of a system in a hierarchy of systems and sub-systems. Why then, writing in 1971, after virtually all of the Steps papers had been written does he foreground this more superficial cartographic metaphor? I suggest it reveals more about his ambition than about the actual models that he used. The phrase, 'a new scientific territory could be defined' is, I think, the heart of the matter: it reveals an enterprise of colonisation, with the explorer-discoverer surveying the scene before him, as if 'silent upon a peak in Darien.' As compared with the Freudian drive to establish a 'new science' (of psychoanalysis), the slightly less ambitious Bateson merely wants to plant his flag in existing territory, and give it a new - interdisciplinary - name. In the dynamic sense, he is the individual theorist who is moving towards this goal: the person taking the steps in the direction of this New World. In the static sense, he is also the carpenter constructing the steps which will lead up to fame and a place in intellectual history: the social engineer, in a sense, or conceptual engineer. So there is a promise in 'steps' of linearity, of progression towards a goal. But when this is combined with the second sense of the word, there is also a promise of arriving at a point by which a significant change of some kind will have taken place. Which brings us to a third connotation: the idea that 'steps will have to be taken,' change will have to be brought about by a program of action, which might mean, for example, introducing degenerative elements (that is, corrections) into a system: that would be 'taking steps.' Any change will not be revolutionary in one sense, however: capitalism will still require the services of surveyors to drive in the data pegs, establish the bench-marks upon which the claim to property ownership depends.
All of this has to be understood as being related a model with a key notion of levels. The notion of levels that I may be seen as having imported into my discussions of Freud and Lévi-Strauss are already present in Bateson, and arise, to some extent, from his personal history, and from the roles that he played at different times in his life. Although not in this order in time, he operated at different times at the level of the individual in the family setting - in psychiatry; at the level of social group - in anthropology; and at the level of nations, in his writing on culture, national character, morale, and so on - not to mention other interests in biology, evolution and epistemology. He himself explicitly mentions the use of 'levels' as systemic, in adapting the language of biology to that of cybernetics - as in this example from the Korzybski Lecture of 1970, when he refers to 'that hierarchy of differences which biologists call "levels,"' by which he means 'such differences as that between a cell and a tissue, between tissue and organ, organ and organism, and organism and society.'16 This is a good example of the systemic nature of Bateson's thinking: that this is not merely a quantitative distinction; it is a question of orders of magnitude which are significant, and which correspond to relatively autonomous systems. Or with the nature of mind: in another example of his use of the notion of 'level', Bateson writes about the 'multiple levels of which one extreme is called "consciousness" and the other the "unconscious."'17 The problem which then arises is that of the incommensurability between the decisive levels. There may be less difficulty with both these examples than with the question of the position of the individual in relation to the systems: family, social group, society, nation. In many of the areas with which Bateson deals there are systems existing at a whole series of levels, so that there are demonstrably systems within systems, raising the problem of their articulation. I shall deal with examples of what I see as two essentially distinguishable levels in what are also two of Bateson's key concepts: the double bind and schismogenesis.
Double binds are brought about in individuals by a confusion of messages within a system, messages which appear to direct the individual simultaneously in different directions, so threatening the individual with schism, internal self-division, or the threat of what R. D. Laing called becoming a 'divided self.'18 As a split is in reality inconsistent with the continuing existence of the individual, there is no choice (except in 'insanity') but to remain intact. When considering a system of a different order of magnitude, however, this logical imperative may not apply, and a real schism may occur. Study of the ¾tiology of such events gave rise to the notion that Bateson calls 'schismogenesis'. This was one of the major discoveries of the observation and thought which was involved in the 1936 publication of Naven. And although he does not make the direct connexion himself, it is revelatory to consider these two key Batesonian concepts together. In the later paper on the double bind (1969) he has decided to call this a 'transcontextual syndrome', referring more specifically to the fact that it is not merely a contradiction but actually about confusion of messages of different types, or from different systems, one of which should have included the other, to the exclusion of the possibility of the one context being confused with the other.19 This is, therefore, a matter of some complexity, in which the question of levels is crucial, as it is precisely the confusion between the levels - or, better, between separable systems - which is the genesis of the pathology. In the case of schismogenesis, however, the pathology arises out of a particular operation within the single system, and consists essentially in positive feedback: 'undamped or uncorrected positive feedback in the [same] system.'20 This feedback, which he elsewhere refers to (when writing twenty years before) as 'regenerative causal circuits,' tends to reinforce the identified behaviour even though it is destructive and would eventually result in the breakdown of the system.21 The systems in question consist of two or more sub-systems such as individuals, family groups, cultural groups or nations, and the larger system in which they participate is characterised by communications which reinforce pathological behaviour ranging from an armaments race on the largest scale, through internecine warfare, to pathogenic behaviour in a family setting resulting in a kind of victimisation of one member.
It seems, therefore, that a difference in level can mean a pathogenesis of a different kind. When data are regarded as being produced by a single system, as in the case of the system placed in the original double bind, symptoms are related to a failure to identify correctly the appropriate level or Logical Type of messages.22 When, however, it is a case of system containing two sub-systems, a 'vicious circle' begun by aggressivity or some other cultural characteristic, may be continued by being given regenerative impetus - otherwise known as positive feedback. So it is clear that a theory of levels is inherent in the Bateson corpus, and functional in the production of theory, as well as representing the different origins of Batesonian theory, in what we usually think of as different and separate disciplines.
Where they come together I think may be seen in the metaphor I have using in discussing these concepts: that of pathology. What Bateson proposes to use in dealing with both the results of the schizophrenogenic double bind and socio-cultural and political schismogenesis is, essentially, psychotherapy: involving a change in patterns of communication on the basis of an analysis of an unconscious conflict. This sounds of course like Freud, and is part of the general debt to Freud which Bateson also shares. The difference, though, is in the concept of 'unconscious' each employs, which I deal with elsewhere. Most important, however, is the identification of Bateson as a site where the integration of the anthropological and the psychiatric, individual and social, is attempted, which is the point of his positioning in the present argument. He is the site where symptom and diagnosis, pathology and therapy are most clearly identified as operating at the level of the cultural, and of the system.
Bateson's views on the function (and dysfunction) of communications in families may best be approached through the tiny glimpses of 'clinical data' that he recounts in the 1956 paper on the theory of schizophrenia that he wrote with his group of researchers of 'The Project for the Study of Schizophrenia.'23 In the first of these an emotionally withdrawn mother is clearly shown to be blaming her son for her own problem, by a very 'clever'24 use of ambiguous or, better, prevaricatory messages, which have the effect of putting him in what Bateson calls a 'double bind.' The point of the messages, in terms of their affective function, is what they imply, rather than what they explicitly inquire about. They take essentially the same form as the classic question: 'When did you stop beating your wife/husband?' where the question purports to be about time, when in fact, in terms of its strategic function, it is about the occurrence of the events that the question implies have taken place.
In the selection from the transcript, the mother asks, when her son shrinks from an embrace that she offers but that she clearly (to an observer) does not desire: 'Don't you love me any more?' and when he shows evidence of guilt - confirming the implication that the problem is all his - she suggests: 'Dear, you must not be so easily embarrassed and afraid of your feelings.'25 Bateson's account continues: 'The patient was able to stay with her only a few minutes more and following her departure he assaulted an aide and was put in the tubs' (meaning that he was put into a strait-jacket and then into a warm bath, with the intention of calming him).26 One wonders why the observer(s) who recorded the events were not able to point out the transparency of the mother's mendacious behaviour and thus prevent the necessity for the kind of forced constraint that awaited the 'patient' in the 'tubs'. (Bateson himself writes: 'Obviously, this result could have been avoided ...') On the other hand, the interpretation of the two sentences takes up the next two pages, so perhaps they were busy thinking it through. The problem for the observer(s) - as it was for the 'schizophrenic patient' also - was that of logical paradox: the 'patient' cannot win. As the text expands his position: 'If I am to keep my tie to mother, I must not show her that I love her, but if I do not show her that I love her, then I will lose her.'27 This was the kind of thing that R. D. Laing was to elevate to the level of art in Knots.28
The other glimpse from the consulting room also concerns a 'schizophrenogenic' mother, this time with a daughter. The daughter is only given the one line to say, her first to the therapist: 'Mother had to get married and now I'm here.'29 Bateson has previously repeated the generalization that 'schizophrenic utterance is rich in metaphor,'30 and this is perhaps an example of the density of expression to which he refers, although not of what is called 'word salad.' Although Bateson does not analyse it in these terms, the situation summarised in the statement is a nice exemplification of the three themes of this book. The compulsion of the mother's marriage is the result of a requirement that applied generally at the time, the supertext: 'If you are pregnant you should if at all possible marry the father of the child-to-be.' Obedience to this injunction then results in the insertion of the mother and then the child, when born, into the cultural system of which this text is an integral part. And the system operates at two levels: that of the enforced parent-parent marriage; and that of the resulting parent-child nexus - the subsystem that the marriage system contains, in a nested structure. The child sub-system has, so to speak, broken down, as Bateson does point out, through the link between the two systems and the double ambiguities that flow across it. In each case, desire is in conflict with the relevant supertext. On the mother's side, the injunctions to marry and to love the offspring of the marriage are resented, resulting in the child being blamed for the compulsion. On the daughter's side, the complementary relevant moral constraints are gratitude for being given birth, and love for the mother, both of which are mitigated against by her knowledge of her mother's resentment of her very existence - the second meaning of 'here' in 'now I'm here' (the first being: 'now I'm in the psychiatrist's office', that is, 'I've been driven insane by the situation [or system] I find myself in.')
The continuation of Bateson's discussion contains a sort of parapraxis, by means of which he appears unconsciously to indicate what might have been an alternative to the situation as presented. He writes, 'Actually, all these suppositions [regarding the forced marriage and its consequences] subsequently proved to be factually correct and were corroborated by the mother during an abortive attempt at psychotherapy.'31 I refer of course to the idea of 'an abortive attempt.' It's possible to speculate that the one failure was foreshadowed by the other ('I can't help this woman [the psychotherapy was aborted] who couldn't help herself in the obvious way [the pregnancy was not aborted]') - but this must remain mere speculation. However that may be, the discussion makes it clear that the (would-be) therapist ran up against a systemic problem which was resistant to his intervention. Bateson explains: 'Thus the patient's life was a series of beginnings, of attempts at experience, which would result in failure and withdrawal back to the maternal hearth and bosom because of the collusion between her and her mother.'32 The collusion - which could be seen as the result of the women's perception of themselves as being both victims of the same double bind - the collusion (which etymologically means 'playing a trick or game together') is the device which completes the closure, the homeostasis of the mother-daughter system in this case, and thus resisting any attempt on the part of the therapist to intervene by the insertion of what Bateson would call a 'degenerative' element into the vicious circle represented by the resentment-resentment system.
There is another kind of collusion operating here - one about which Bateson is unable to speak: the collusion between himself and his patients, and between the institution that he represents - whether as 'therapist' or researcher is unimportant - and the larger cultural institution which includes injunctions such as the supertext referred to above: 'If you are pregnant you should if at all possible marry the father of the child-to-be.' Bateson is not interested in making any conscious comment about the existence of such cultural constraints (although I suggest that the use of the word 'aborted' to refer to the cessation of treatment is an unconscious comment), despite the direct relationship between such constraints and the mental health of his 'patients' - as it turns out, in an additional and related revelation, that the mother in question has also had a 'psychotic episode' ('Although the daughter had had three previous hospitalizations, the mother had never mentioned to the doctors that she herself had had a psychotic episode when she discovered that she was pregnant'33). Once again, the analyst is unable to speak about supertexts which impinge on him also, as they do on his clients: although Bateson is obviously aware (and is therefore not unconscious of it in this sense) of the direct relationship (in this case) of pregnancy to psychosis, he is unable to refer explicitly to it: and it is therefore part of a cultural unconscious in which he participates with the patient(s). It is evidence of the mind-culture system in which they all participate.
I turn now to the level of the social group, and to the example from Bateson's fieldwork, and firstly that conducted on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. What is fascinating about this fieldwork is the speed with which it turns into theorisation. Bateson tells his reader in the Foreword to Naven that he was 'hopelessly sick of field work' when he met Margaret Mead and another anthropologist and that they 'set me a new and higher standard of work in the field.'34 So perhaps it was not surprising that the Iatmul people he met and among whom he lived were later to become more a system than people: 'The Iatmul system, which is here used as a prototype of schismogenic systems ...'35 An earlier formulation is slightly more humanistic, but still reductive.
In the study of cultural structure we take details of behaviour as our units and see them as linked together into a 'logical' scheme; whereas in the study of social structure we shall take human individuals as our units and see them as linked together into groups - e.g. as kin, as clan members or as members of a community.36
Bateson observed that the patterns of behaviour in the society he studied were such that whether on the one hand participants engaged in activities involving competition and rivalry - which he saw as 'symmetrical' - or whether on the other they exhibited 'complementary' patterns involving 'dominance-submission, succoring-dependence, exhibitionism-spectatorship, and the like:' in either case the behaviour patterns tended to escalate and lead to open conflict, or 'schism'.37 This was because, he found: 'The Iatmul system ... includes a number of regenerative causal circuits or vicious circles. Each such circuit consists of two or more individuals (or groups of individuals) who participate in potentially cumulative interaction.'38
Margaret Mead and he found, however, in their study of Balinese people, that their style of child-rearing, which exhibited patterns of deferral, was such that people growing up in that culture learned to accept and promote the insertion of degenerative elements into what might otherwise have been schismogenic patterns. The necessity for such interventions was, however, found to be only intermittent, as the ethos alone was able to maintain the steady state of daily life in most cases. Ethos is an important element in Bateson's work, which is of considerable interest in the present context, being closely related to the notion of the mind-culture system. He discusses the concept of ethos in some detail in Naven, in relation to the Iatmul. Later, in 1949, Bateson identifies a number of elements of Balinese ethos which work together to maintain the equilibrium of that society: Balinese people are not acquisitive, although they do economise: this is, however, for the purpose of spending lavishly on 'ceremonials and other forms of lavish consumption.'39 Balinese are 'markedly dependent on spatial orientation,' in both geographical and hierarchical senses: balance and appropriate elevation are essential criteria in the conduct of social actions. They tend to value activity for its own sake, rather than for any end toward which it may be intended. They enjoy working together on large projects; defer to the authority of the group - the village; and their judgements about the correctness of actions are based as much on a notion of ¾sthetics as on that of acceptability.
This ethos is continually reinforced and maintained, Bateson finds, by the way in which children are brought up. He describes a sequence of events in one particular case based on the photographic evidence he assembled with Mead, in which a mother teases her child in a sexual way.40 'Typically, the mother will start a small flirtation with the child, pulling its penis or otherwise stimulating it to interpersonal activity.'41 The child manifests excitement and attempts to respond but is gently repulsed by his mother. When the child shows his frustration in a tantrum the mother is merely amused. Bateson concludes that after a large number of these typical experiences a child will no longer trust the possibility of interpersonal involvement, but will in time achieve a generalised potentiality for involvement, as opposed to gaining satisfaction from specific intense personal relationships: 'It is possible that some sort of continuing plateau of intensity is substituted for climax as the child becomes more fully adjusted to Balinese life.'42
There are three elements of Bateson's Balinese analysis to which I would draw attention: firstly, there is the observational method that he and Mead employed, which gathers somatic evidence; secondly, there is the connection that he indicates between individual training and insertion into the social mores; thirdly, there is the important notion of ethos, which is to some extent independent of what happens to individuals in the way of specific training. With regard to the distinction between these last two points: Bateson is at pains to make it clear that although almost all people will over time be absorbed into that culture and that ethos in which they find themselves, each individual is a human first (or, as he often writes, a mammal: he even 'notes' at one point that 'men are mammals'43) and a member of a particular society second, and each has to be specifically modelled for that membership. And similarly at the collective level there are mechanisms in a non-schismogenic society which function to maintain the character of that society: in the Balinese case, the village council, the caste system, and the techniques for keeping the peace, and for deciding the outcome of quarrels, as well as the artistic and ceremonial expressions of the society. But whereas these collective elements belong in the category of ethos, the patterns of relationship between mothers and children belong in the category of 'Balinese character.'44
This apparently subtle distinction actually enables my project to take the vital step from the use of psychoanalysis in understanding what takes place at the individual level, as in Freud, to the usefulness of its application at the level of the collective, as in Bateson - to the mind-culture system. While Freud allows himself access to discourse at the level of greatest generality - that of culture - his analysis is derived from and still connected to his theory of individual development. Bateson shows us his understanding of psychoanalytic processes in his description of Balinese child-rearing, but his work permits the synergetic conjunction of psychological, cultural and social ways of understanding. Though he does not so call it, what he was involved in with both the Iatmul and the Balinese was the psychoanalysis of culture; and what he produces as a result is a metapsychology of society.
The practical importance of this work was clear when in 1949 Bateson was able to draw some implications for understanding the nature of the arms build-up in the Cold War.45
For the Batesonian psychiatrist-anthropologist, the family is a text which may be interpreted and translated: it offers itself to communications theory for analysis. And among the various levels of these family texts we shall expect to be able to discover the latent supertext that engenders the culture of 'the family' in its members, and also directs what are to be the dynamics of any specific family system. Bateson makes this point by describing and analysing the particular dynamic of the double bind. This function depends, in the case already discussed, on an generally accepted cultural agreement that 'love' is a desirable element in family structure and function and also that it should be capable of being expressed in a conventionally acceptable way. But the double bind system brings contradictory messages into conflict with each other.
Essentially a double bind is what in lay terms we might call a moral conflict: Bateson sees it is a failure to distinguish levels of Logical Type. It may also be a failure to choose which one of the two texts to interpret: idtext and supertext. The attempt to follow the dictates of both at the same time may lead to the paralysis characteristic of Bateson's cases. On the one hand there is the desire to maintain a loving relationship, on the other what seems to be a message that this is 'morally' wrong and will result in punishment in the form of the loss of the loved object. The first is a natural desire, a Trieb, the second is learned from the process of acculturation which includes dictates about the correct way to go about loving and expressing love. And anything concerned with the 'correct' way to conduct oneself is a function of the superego and involves interpretation of supertext. The ego, which has the task of moderation, fails to carry it out, being unaware of this unconscious conflict. The problem with couching the analysis in philosophical terms is that it is an analysis in terms of consciousness: it assumes implicitly that the subject is capable of conscious analysis of the elements of the conflict. Psychoanalysis shows that - although it is at least in part a moral conflict - it is nevertheless carried out 'in' the unconscious.
Bateson seems to have no use for the double bind model in the case of the anthropological data, having developed a more complex methodology in the course of this work. In fact, the model that is employed to analyse them starts out being almost too complex to be useful. Near the beginning of Naven Bateson draws up an impressive list of 'functions'. (He also identifies seven 'effects' to which the term 'function' has been applied.) He identifies five discrete functions, two pairs of which it seems to me are almost identical, in terms of the definitions he gives: 'structural' and 'eidological' - both of which have to do cognitive aspects of the culture; and 'affective' and 'ethological' - both of which have to do emotional aspects or needs in the culture. (The fifth is 'sociological'.) Bateson draws attention himself to this near-identity in making a point about 'standardisation', which is of course closely related to the unconscious processes on which my argument turns.
Apart from this difference in procedure, the ethological and eidological approaches to culture are very closely analogous. Both are based upon the same fundamental double hypothesis: that the individuals in a community are standardised by their culture; while the pervading general characteristics of a culture, those characteristics which may be recognised over and over again in its most diverse contexts, are an expression of this standardisation. This hypothesis is, in a sense, circular; it is supposed that the pervading characteristics of the culture not only express, but also promote the standardisation of the individuals.46
For Bateson the processes which carry out this standardisation procedure are behavioural: that which he can observe. It is perhaps only in his discourse on 'preferred types' that he comes close to a recognition of less demonstrable criteria: but even here he mainly discusses behaviour. The kind of confusion that this absence of a cultural unconscious in the theory promotes is evinced in this next quotation, in which the author is contrasting Iatmul ethos with that of 'our own community:' whichever that may be.
A further difference between the two systems is implicit in what I have already said: in our own community the sub-groups which split from the parent are usually, perhaps always, formed of individuals whose divergent behaviour is based upon some form of doctrine. The danger to the status quo in our communities is the man who discards the cultural norms and who, either articulately or by example, 'teacheth other men so.' Among the Iatmul, who, it seems, normally regard the rules as things to break if you are strong enough, this situation does not arise. Their fissions spring not from conflicting doctrines but from rivalry between individuals or groups.47
There is a self-contradiction in the use of the 'normally' in the sentence in which it appears. 'Rules' and 'norms' are, I suggest, almost synonymous: so that if it is 'normal' to break the rules, then that is just one more rule, although perhaps operating at a higher level of generality. Bateson claims that the difference between Iatmul and Western (?) societies may be observed in the fact that a splinter group from the former would be likely to have a different doctrine, while one from the latter would have the same set of norms. I think that this is a highly questionable assertion with regard to the first part, though I cannot go into a lengthy exemplification here; and I also suggest that any kind of description which judges that one group of the human race - one society, culture, or nation - is radically different from that to which the speaker belongs will always give rise to a suspicion of some kind of racism, or perhaps better, what Said calls 'Orientalism'.48 The really remarkable element in Bateson's argument, however, is in the paragraph which follows the one already quoted, in which he shows that the fission which 'continually threatens the Iatmul community' hardly ever results results in schism. This is partly because of the structure of the community, in which affinal relationships cut across the patrilineal systems and provide a counterbalance to them, but also:
the patterning and ubiquity of the affinal relationships are such as to ensure that whenever a quarrel reaches serious dimensions there shall be some individuals marked out to act as peacemakers, to intervene between the disputants...49
So much for the marked difference between 'them' and 'us'! Both types of communities, I suggest, have similar structures and functions at an unconscious level, rules which patrol the boundaries of normality and acceptability. It is not so much that 'in every society, divergences from the cultural norm are liable to threaten the integration of that society'50 as that divergences from the cultural norm are in a sense included in the norm: rules and norms are always subject to contestation; and this is what in the Freudian model the continuing but unconscious struggle between id and superego is all about.
What Bateson's description of Iatmul society does contribute are additions to the range of supertexts. Some of those which are referred to are familiar: the myth of the culture hero and the ¾tiological myth, the cultural precept, and so on. An additional type of supertext that Bateson adduces is that of 'preferred types' of personality: the man of violence, and the man of discretion (he gives no preferred types for women, who are presumably limited to the same ethos, whether by the 'natives' or by the anthropologist).51 Bateson tells us that 'in mythology these two types are contrasted.'52 This will not surprise anyone who reads his description of each of them with an ear for unconscious processes, as they are actually archetypes, rather than social types of any particular group, and correspond neatly to the characteristics of id and superego. To show this I shall have to quote the descriptions at some length.
The natives regard two types of man with approval. The first is the man of violence and the second the man of discretion. Of these the violent type is the most admired, and such a man is described with enthusiasm as 'having no ears.' He pays no attention to what is said to restrain him but suddenly and recklessly follows his assertive impulses. [Bateson used one such as an informant] ... and indeed this man was a little too sudden and unstable even for Iatmul taste. They regarded him as somewhat 'cranky' and warned me against him when I took him as an informant. In this capacity he proved more curious than useful - very enthusiastic, but too hasty and astonishingly inaccurate. He seemed indeed to lack all power of critical thought and to have no sense of logical consistency. When his contradictory statements were presented to him he had no realisation of their incompatibility.53
It is these last two sentences which remind me irresistibly of the characterisation of the id from Freud's 1915 paper on the unconscious from which I have quoted above. Contrast this now with the superego man.
The more discreet type is, I think, generally heavier - more pyknic - in physique and quieter and rather more at ease in his public appearances. He it is who is the repository of mythological knowledge, and it is he who contributes erudition to the totemic debating and keeps the discussion on more or less systematic lines. His balance and caution enable him to judge whether to expose his opponents' secrets or merely to indicate by some trifling hint that he knows the secrets, such a hint being tantamount to a threat of exposure. He knows how to sit quietly in the debate carefully watching his opponents to judge whether they really know any of the important secrets of his clan or whether their trifling hints are only a bluff to frighten him into ceding some point.54
This preferred type would be associated with the superego as the determinant of kinds of cultural text, the 'cultural superego,'55 which 'observes, directs and threatens,'56 and as an agency for the control of what is allowed to be uttered.57 The striking thing about this exemplar of supertext is his silence, which stands for, is the sign of, 'the unconscious.' He controls by those supertextual agencies - knowledge, erudition, and caution - which the culture sets up to maintain the homeostasis of the system.
Other additional types of supertext that Bateson exemplifies include: behaviour, as a social model; and stories - again, as precedents. Certain kinds of behaviour are carried out as a patterning of, for example, correct social relations, respect, and so on. In the avunculate wau-laua relationship that is the central concern of the naven, the ceremonies of the book's title, the participants engage in extraordinary behaviour, including transvestism and other cross-gender role-playing as a way of demonstrating appropriate forms of deference, respect, succouring, dependence, and so on. Similarly, stories about behaviour are recounted as precedents, rather in the way that precedent functions in courts in the Common Law, to indicate what is expected. Bateson mixes myths with stories about named people, living or dead, suggesting that the Iatmul would do the same, and would make the point with whichever kind of story they felt demonstrated it with greatest clarity.
I have already mentioned the function of familial relationships in ensuring the control of schismogenesis: affinal relationships cut across the patrilineal systems and provide a counterbalance to them, as well as providing peacemakers to intervene in disputes. I suggest that the imparting of the knowledge of the various memberships to which each individual owes allegiance also performs a supertextual function, which comes into play in such situations.
But the most striking - because superficially alien - means of engendering a cultural superego possessed by the Iatmul is that of initiation. This includes brutalisation of various kinds, especially scarification with bamboo knives, but also involves what Bateson calls 'a process whereby the novice becomes contra-suggestible to the female ethos.'58 He is referring to a point in the initiation process when the (male) novices are treated as 'wives' by the initiators 'whose penes they are made to handle.'59 Bateson continues:
Actually resort to such sadistic treatment only occurs in rather extreme circumstances in the case of wives, but it is perhaps true that the men would like to believe that they treat their wives as they do their novices. ... Each of these elements of culture is based upon the basic assumption that the passive role in sex is shameful.60
Bateson does not explain why he sees this behaviour as 'sadistic', and we must simply trust the ethnographer in his view that the rationale for 'bullying [the novices] into expressions of the wifely role' is to convince them that this undignified and inappropriate, so that they will come to have a clearly differentiated Iatmul-masculine perception of how to behave, as opposed to a sympathy with the woman's point of view which the boys may have acquired in being brought up by women.
The end of all this is the adoption by the novices of the masculine ethos, but it seems that the first step in inducing this process is to compel the novices to behave as women, a sufficiently paradoxical method ...61
Other moments in the process are more straightforward, however, and usually involve the engendering of pride in the male ethos, typically in the acquisition of endurance in the suffering of pain.
In a footnote, Bateson indicates the power of the inculcation process as such when he himself becomes involved in the support of the induction.
Nowadays it is often necessary to initiate boys who have been away to work for the white man and who return as grown men still unscarred. Under these circumstances such revolts are especially common and I was twice called upon by the initiators to help in the preservation of the system.62
He does not tell us how he helped: perhaps he did not assist in holding the unwilling victim while they were cut, but rather in persuading the novices that even he, an outsider, could see the necessity for the process. I see this intrusion of the observer into the field of observation (with the attendant risk of a Heisenberg uncertainty effect) as evidence of the power of the superego. Cultural identity, the continuity of cultural existence, is so important that even a sympathetic outsider may become involved with the inscription of supertext - perhaps in response to the poignancy of this particular example, which takes the process of inscription out of the realm of the metaphorical or symbolic and into that of the literal, in much the same way as in the Kafka story 'In the penal colony,' where the letter of the law is literally cut into the body of the criminal who has broken it.
I turn now to a consideration of the place of art in this discussion of (super)text in Bateson's system, and his 'central question:' 'In what form is information about psychic integration contained or coded in the work of art?'63 There are two separable aspects to Bateson's use of art in his development of theory: firstly, he sees art as a medium of communication; secondly, he sees it as therapeutic.
For Bateson, but in the terms of my argument, art (and Bateson discusses mainly 'primitive art') is a coded message from the mind about the nature of mind, about its own nature.
Art becomes, in this sense, an exercise in communicating about the species of unconsciousness. Or, if you prefer it, a sort of play behavior whose function is, amongst other things, to practice and make more perfect communication of this kind.64
Taking the example of Isadora Duncan, he suggests, following a statement she is supposed to have made herself, that her dancing is its own interpretation, and that, by definition, therefore, any further explication would be nugatory.65
I believe that what Isadora Duncan or any artist is trying to communicate is more like: 'This is a particular sort of partly unconscious message. Let us engage in this particular sort of partly unconscious communication.' Or perhaps: 'This is a message about the interface between conscious and unconscious.'66
At two points, Bateson creates an image to pose the problem of self-consciousness: in one it is a television set that he imagines requiring to give an account of its own working;67 in the second, he envisages a man on a 'moving stairway (or escalator) about whose position he is trying to communicate but whose movement is itself a function of his efforts to communicate.'68 But he seems to think that a work of art is about as close as we get to carrying out the impossible task of communicating the nature of an act while at the same time being engaged in it. 'Clearly, [the artist's] task is impossible, but, as has been remarked, some people do it very prettily.'69
Despite the metacommunicative nature of the work of art, however, in that it carries with it the code for its own interpretation, it still requires the act of translation, because it is not immediately clear to the observer/receiver what kind of code is being used, nor, in every case, that translation is possible or even desirable - such being the continuing power of the notion of l'art pour l'art.
So artists, it is claimed, have privileged access, denied to the normal citizenry, to unconscious material. Secondly, they have the ability to create images, or what Freudian theory would regard as thing-presentations. Thirdly, they are capable of transmitting the code for the interpretation of these images (potentially, into word-presentations) in a sort of parallel track of information laid down together with that of the art-work itself. They would rarely, however, also have the ability to carry out the translation which is finally required if it is seen as necessary to interpret the art-work. But it is not only artists who have such access. It is also available, writes Bateson, through dreams, religion and intoxication. The same problem of translation obtains,70 but it is nevertheless required, because it is only with the assistance of these means (art, intoxication, dreams, spiritual ecstasy) that the systemic nature of the mind can be experienced by the otherwise unaided consciousness.71
... mere purposive rationality unaided by such phenomena as art, religion, dream, and the like, is necessarily pathogenic and destructive of life; ... its virulence springs specifically from the circumstance that life depends upon interlocking circuits of contingency, while consciousness can see only such short arcs of such circuits as human purpose may direct.72
This is a brilliant insight, bringing together Bateson's notion of the very limited nature of consciousness, which relies so much on habituation and what he calls 'deutero-learning' - briefly, the ability to learn how to learn. So much depends on our having access to the big picture of the mind, including its huge range of unconscious functions, and for that we are dependent on the insights already mentioned, including those of artists.
Bateson carries out a detailed analysis of a Balinese painting, which is reproduced as a frontispiece to Steps to an Ecology of Mind. He analyses this text in terms of the skill needed to produce it, and also in terms of its pattern - or 'redundancy', as he prefers. But it is in terms of its composition that he finds an answer to the question that he wants to put to the art-work: how does it go about 'correcting a too purposive view of life and making the view more systemic?'73 He points out that the painting that he chooses to discuss is divided into two contrasted halves, one, the lower half, full of turbulence, while the other is imbued with serenity. (He also points out the work is capable of a 'Freudian' interpretation - meaning an interpretation in terms of of vulgar sexual symbolism - one which he does not reject, but includes in the complexity of the work as a whole.) But whereas Claude Lévi-Strauss (whom he also mentions earlier in the paper) might have seen the same opposition, and found a mediating term to relate the two halves, and in this structuralist way have given a meaning to the painting - Bateson takes a functionalist stance, because he includes in this interpretation the context of creation and reception of the art-work. As Bateson says himself: 'The question becomes dynamic rather than static.'74 He ends this long paper with this brilliant peroration.
In final analysis, the picture can be seen as an affirmation that to choose either turbulence or serenity as a human purpose would be a vulgar error. The conceiving and creating of the picture must have provided an experience which exposed this error. The unity and integration of the picture assert that neither of these contrasting poles can be chosen to the exclusion of the other, because the poles are mutually dependent. This profound and general truth is simultaneously asserted for the fields of sex, social organization, and death.75
The 'unity and integration' is not only in the picture; it is also asserted to be in the dynamic relationship between three elements: the artist, the painting and the society which values it. The painting is in itself a supertext. It may well assert something which may well be a 'profound and general truth;' what is more certain is that in the local context of its creation and reception, it is an artefact which embodies and transmits a view of the culture. Bateson makes it clear that the synergy of subject matter, technique and composition results in the existence of a work which is crucial for this culture's self-understanding. So that, rather than conclude the analysis with the painting as such, Bateson is finally interested in what can be learnt from the study of it about the relationship between mind and this particular cultural expression.
Bateson believes that 'the mental world - the mind - the world of information processing - is not limited by the skin.'76 For Freud, however, the mind does end at the skin - or perhaps the cornea would be more to the point. He writes:
We can best arrive at the characteristics of the actual ego, in so far as it can be distinguished from the id and from the super-ego, by examining its relation to the outermost superficial portion of the mental apparatus, which we describe as the system Pcpt.-Cs.77
Rather than being interested in what the human organism sees, he is more concerned with the limitations on its perception, with what blocks it sets up, with the distorting mirrors that create false images, and with the screens on which are projected substitute figures. Rather than the place of the mental system in the larger system within which it is imbedded, he is concerned with how the apparatus works in itself, and particularly with those workings which are least obvious.
Freud extended the understanding of the mind inwards and in greater complexity than previously. He was interested in the interactions of this system with the outside world more as part of the analytic process which assisted in the construction of this understanding. Bateson, however, extends such an understanding outwards, into the environment. For Bateson, however, mind crucially includes context. Coming from biology, and looking epistemologically forward towards evolution, he tends to see neither the individual nor the discrete system, but rather the network of systems of which it is one part.
Freudian psychology expanded the concept of mind inwards to include the whole communication system within the body - the autonomic, the habitual, and the vast range of unconscious process. What I am saying expands mind outwards. And both of these changes reduce the scope of the conscious self.78
It is therefore necessary for this argument - as it is for Cultural Studies generally - to read both men together: Freud with the various systems, Ucs, Pcs, Pcpt.-Cs; and Bateson with what he calls his 'cybernetic epistemology,'79 his mind-culture system, or what, following the systematic nomenclature of the early Freud I have called 'system MC' (by analogy with such terms as 'systems Ucs, Pcs, Cs.'80).
Batesonian analysis, like Lévi-Straussian, is typically, meta-analysis. As Bateson writes - and I can imagine reading this in Lévi-Strauss also: 'It is the very rules of transformation that are of interest to me - not the message, but the code.'81 This is one of many ways in which Bateson expresses the nature of his real interest: in the context, rather than the content.
Bateson's term for what I am calling the mind-culture system is 'context': a term occurring with increasing frequency in his work, particularly from about 1971. In earlier work, such as the 1942 paper on 'Social planning and the concept of deutero-learning,'82 he uses the word in the more limited sense that would have been utilised by behavioural psychologists and educationists, in speaking of 'classical Pavlovian contexts,' 'contexts of instrumental reward or escape,' of 'instrumental avoidance,' of 'serial and rote learning,' and so on.83 But by the time he comes to write the short essays that were written specifically for the 1972 first publication of Steps to an Ecology of Mind, the concept has broadened and become much more central to Bateson's epistemology, as his interest shifts to phenomena of larger scope, such as questions about the nature of evolution. He looks both back to the previous development of evolutionary theory and simultaneously forward to the linguistics of his own time, in discussing, for example, the perennial issue of the connexion between form and content.
... the mysterious and polymorphic relation between context and content obtains in both anatomy and linguistics; and evolutionists of the nineteenth century, preoccupied with what were called 'homologies', were, in fact, studying precisely the contextual structures of biological development.84
For Bateson, there is a level of abstraction at which studying biology and anatomy is to be working on the same data: 'both grammar and biological structure are products of communicational and organizational process' in that:
The anatomy of the plant is a complex transform of genotypic instructions, and the 'language' of the genes, like any other language, must of necessity have contextual structure. Moreover, in all communication, there must be a relevance between the contextual structure of the message and some structuring of the recipient.85
This theory of the context of communication ('without context, there is no communication'86) can then be applied to any phenomena in which there is 'communication' in however broad a sense of the word; and Bateson brings it to thinking about cats, steam engines, horses-and-grass, dolphins, and leaves, to name but a few of the items in his various fields of interest. But he does of course include human beings, both at the level of interpersonal interaction (as in the schizophrenia papers) and at the level of the social group, society, culture, and nation. Thus he writes in 1969 in the later 'double bind' paper that 'to act or be one end of a pattern of interaction is to propose the other end. A context is set for a certain class of response.'87 The words to emphasise are: 'to act or be one end of a pattern,' in that it makes the point that it is not necessary to be talking about volitional acts for this notion to have relevance. Human beings too may be caught up in patterns of interaction without either being aware of their parameters or being able to vary their occurrence - without, that is, becoming aware of them.
In fact for Bateson both the animal - whether human or not - and its environment are caught up in the same process of mutual adaptation which is evolution; and the point he wants to make is that it is more correct and useful to think of change as occurring in the ecology - the system that contains both the horse and grassy plain - rather than merely in the horse alone.88 For my argument, however, the usefulness of Bateson's discussions is to be found in the clarity of his exposition of the horse-grassy-plain system as a system - an exposition similar to that concerning the system made up of the Identified Patient, her or his family members, the therapist, and the observer(s), and also similar to that containing several Iatmul villages, or a Balinese mother and child in their village context, or the system maintaining an armaments race between nations or between dinosaurs. (With regard to the last point: 'The progressive increase in size and armament of the dinosaurs was, as I saw it, simply an interactive armaments race - a schismogenic process.'89) Bateson provides his own succinct summary (as far as Steps to an Ecology of Mind is concerned):
In a word, schizophrenia, deutero-learning, and the double bind cease to be matters of individual psychology and become part of the ecology of ideas in systems or 'minds' whose boundaries no longer coincide with the skins of the participant individuals.90
It is in the later book (1979), Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, that Bateson expatiates on this theme - as might be expected from the book's title. Here he relates his early training as a biologist and evolutionist to the questions and fields that came to interest him later, and he comes to see everything as having meaning in terms of context and relevance: 'Context and relevance must be characteristic not only of all so-called behaviour ... but also of all those internal stories, the sequences of the building up of the sea anemone.'91 Bateson writes on many occasions that meaningfulness requires relationship and functional structure: context - perhaps most simply and eloquently in this passage from Mind and Nature:
And 'context' is linked to another undefined notion called 'meaning'. Without context, words and actions have no meaning at all. This is true not only of human communications in words but also of all communication whatsoever, of all mental process, of all mind, including that which tells the sea anemone how to grow and the amoeba what he should do next.92
He characterises the way evolution works in the simplest possible terms, as 'thinking in terms of stories,'93 because, for a story to have any point, any reason for existence, there must be connectedness between the parts and across the levels. He suggests that all minds, including those of human beings, redwood forests and sea anemones, must be thinking in this way for there to be 'relevance in every step of phylogeny and among the steps' - thus bringing us back to the earlier book and to its central metaphor.94
For my project it is most felicitous that, right at the centre of the passage in which Bateson is setting out his ideas about context, he chooses to use one of the most central of Freud's concepts: the notion of transference in psychoanalysis. He suggests that we think of the environment in which the psychoanalytic process takes place as being a particularly striking example of a context which is symbolically demarcated by closing the door - although he means this, as he writes, in the sense of the world of ideas and not merely in a behavioural sense. Then the geography of the room becomes a signifier of the process of transference.95 This idea fits in well with the informing idea of 'story', as the client comes with stories, in the sense, as before, of the patterns of relevance which are intrinsic to the person: 'The patterns and sequences of childhood experience are built into me.'
Father did so and so; my aunt did such and such; and what they did was outside my skin. But whatever it was that I learned, my learning happened within my experiential sequence of what those important others - my aunt, my father - did.96
The story, as it were, continues: the analyst takes over for the nonce the part played in the client's story by his father,97 and Bateson writes that this way of viewing the analyst is the essence of the transference, which he includes within his notion of context. Transference is
... a universal characteristic of all interaction between persons because, after all, the shape of what happened between you and me yesterday carries over to shape how we respond to each other today. And that shaping is, in principle a transference from past learning.98
This shaping is not confined to the patient, but definitely extends also to the analyst, who 'must be stretched or shrunk onto the Procrustean bed of the patient's childhood stories.'99 The transference, the relationship between the two, evolves in its own unique way, according to the context of its own story.
Bateson concludes his discussion of context by making explicit the particular analogy that he has in mind.
I am drawing an analogy between context in the superficial and partly conscious business of personal relations and context in the much deeper, more archaic processes of embryology and homology. I am asserting that whatever the word context means, it is an appropriate word, the necessary word, in the description of all these distantly related processes.100
This is of course a different analogy to the one presented in this book, but its citation here is intended to clarify the central analogy in my argument. Bateson proposes the notion of context as a link between the individual and the evolutionary processes that maintain an intelligible relationship with the environment on the largest scale. My argument is a subset of this: that individual and culture develop in relation to each other and homologously with each other. If Bateson has been able to establish - as I suggest he has - the mode of meaningfulness that he expounds, then my model will follow from his.
referring to the Bibliography
1 Bateson 1987 : 491.
2 1933a, SE 22: 70.
3 1940a , SE 23; quoted and translated Bettelheim 1985 : 79-80.
4 Lévi-Strauss 1972: 50.
5 Lévi-Strauss 1972: 65.
6 Bateson 1987 : 135-6.
7 Bateson 1987 : 143 [italics in original].
8 Bateson 1987 : 135.
9 Bateson 1987 : 143.
10 Dunne, Robert: personal communication. Camerer & Johnson 1991.
11 Bateson 1987: 141.
12 1930a, SE 21: 93.
13 1901b, SE 6: 273.
14 Lévi-Strauss 1978b: 12-13.
15 Bateson 1987 : 18.
16 Bateson 1987 : 464,
17 Bateson 1987 : 129.
18 Laing 1960.
19 Bateson 1987 : 272-8.
20 Bateson 1987 : 324.
21 Bateson 1987 : 126.
22 Bateson's reference for the Theory of Logical Types is to the Principia Mathematica: Whitehead & Russell 1910-13, though Russell's essay 'Theory of Logical Types' (1910) has been published under his single authorship.
23 Bateson 1987 : 201-27; the authors of the paper are given as Gregory Bateson, Don D. Jackson, Jay Haley & John H. Weakland: first published Behavioral Science, 1, 4.
24 Bateson uses the word 'masterful'.
25 Bateson 1987 : 217.
26 Bateson 1987 : 217.
27 Bateson 1987 : 218.
28 Laing 1972 .
29 Bateson 1987 : 218.
30 Bateson 1987 : 205.
31 Bateson 1987 : 219.
32 Bateson 1987 : 219.
33 Bateson 1987 : 220.
34 Bateson 1958 , 'Foreword': x.
35 Bateson 1987 : 126.
36 Bateson 1958 : 25-6.
37 Bateson 1987 : 108-9.
38 Bateson 1987 : 126.
39 Bateson 1987 : 116.
40 Bateson & Mead 1942: pl. 47; pp. 32-6.
41 Bateson 1987 : 112.
42 Bateson 1987 : 113.
43 Bateson 1987 : 123.
44 Bateson 1987 : 112.
45 Bateson 1987 : 108-9.
46 Bateson 1958 : 33.
47 Bateson 1958 : 107.
48 Said 1985 .
49 Bateson 1958 : 107.
50 Bateson 1958 : 106.
51 Bateson 1958 : Chapter 12, The Preferred Types: 160-70.
52 Bateson 1958 : 162.
53 Bateson 1958 : 161.
54 Bateson 1958 : 162.
55 1930a, SE 21: 141-3.
56 1933a, SE 22: 62.
57 For example: 1933a, SE 22: 61.
58 Bateson 1958 : 133.
59 Bateson 1958 : 131.
60 Bateson 1958 : 131-2.
61 Bateson 1958 : 132.
62 Bateson 1958 : 133 n.
63 Bateson 1987 : 129.
64 Bateson 1987 : 137.
65 Bateson 1987 : 137.
66 Bateson 1987 : 138.
67 Bateson 1987 : 136.
68 Bateson 1987 : 138.
69 Bateson 1987 : 138.
70 Bateson 1987 : 139.
71 Bateson 1987 : 145.
72 Bateson 1987 : 146.
73 Bateson 1987 : 147.
74 Bateson 1987 : 147.
75 Bateson 1987 : 151-2.
76 Bateson 1987 : 460.
77 1933a, SE 22: 75.
78 Bateson 1987 : 467.
79 Bateson 1987 : 467.
80 For example: 1915e, SE 14: 187; the use of these abbreviations goes back to 1895 and the 'Project for a Scientific Psychology': they were first published in 1900a.
81 Bateson 1987 : 130.
82 Bateson 1987 : 159-76.
83 Bateson 1987 : 171-2.
84 Bateson 1987: 154 [italics in original].
85 Bateson 1987 : 154.
86 Bateson 1987 : 408.
87 Bateson 1987 : 275 [italics in original].
88 Bateson 1987 : 155.
89 Bateson 1987 : 155.
90 Bateson 1987 : 339.
91 Bateson 1980 : 23.
92 Bateson 1980 : 24.
93 Bateson 1980 : 24 [italics in original].
94 Bateson 1980 : 23.
95 Marianna Torgovnick analyses the geography of Freud's consulting room in terms of the framing of the client by the cultural artefacts: dipus and the Sphinx, and so on. Unfortunately she has misread 'Gradiva' as 'Gravida', which allows her to gloss this figure as a mother 'looming large', because of the translation which then becomes possible of 'Gravida' as 'walking or pregnant woman.' She explicitly repeats the error at the end of the essay, so it is not 'merely' a slip. Torgovnick 1990: 196, 208.
96 Bateson 1980 : 24.
97 I use the masculine pronoun following Bateson, who is writing as if it were himself who is the patient.
98 Bateson 1980 : 24.
99 Bateson 1980 : 24.
100 Bateson 1980 : 24-5.
New: 8 August, 1996 | Now: 22 January, 2018