Bateson on structures

During transformative moments in one’s thinking, I find that I turn to the writers and thinkers who first inspired me to examine the human condition more closely. In my case, the usual suspects are Heidegger, Bateson, Bakhtin, and Levi-Strauss. (And that’s something of the order in which I encountered them.) A recent survey of cyborgs and cybernetics on the web, [50 POSTS ABOUT CYBORGS][50], reminded me of one of my favorite essays by Gregory Bateson, which has, to my dismay, remained critically under-appreciated or under-read, “Style, Grace, and Information in Primitive Art.” In particular, they pulled a great quote from the essay:

> No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels.

If you want to read the essay for yourself, it’s available via [Google Books][gb] — the link is to a search for the quote which takes you to the essay as it appears in an anthology on the anthropology of art.

[50]: http://50cyborgs.tumblr.com/
[gb]: http://books.google.com/books?id=1ohH1JPQwEMC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=No+organism+can+afford+to+be+conscious+of+matters+with+which+it+could+deal+at+unconscious+levels.&source=bl&ots=py_eA8jHkT&sig=RyyGMp3k-PMJBTz7YjX1GGNTpk8&hl=en&ei=ZmuTTLjUCMX7lweD-bWoCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=No%20organism%20can%20afford%20to%20be%20conscious%20of%20matters%20with%20which%20it%20could%20deal%20at%20unconscious%20levels.&f=false