Gregory Bateson: An Introduction

Posted on October 13, 2010 by Jeff Bloom


I had the fortunate opportunity to spend five weeks with Gregory Bateson during the summer of 1975. Gregory was an extraordinary man with a huge heart and phenomenal mind. In 2004, his last wife, Lois, mentioned to me, “you know Gregory had a big mind, but he thought with his heart.”

My interest in connections and in patterns that connect is primarily due to these five weeks with Gregory Bateson. Although he towered over almost everyone, his huge presence was a mixture of kindness, intense curiosity, rigorous intellect, and quiet reflection. Even at that time, he was concerned that we, as human beings, had already harmed the environment to such an extent that it may have been too late to save ourselves.

I think it is out of this concern that the notion of connection is so very important for all of us. Without connection, we risk separation(disconnects) from ourselves, from one another, and from the environment with which we are so intimately intertwined.

  • What is the extent of the disconnects we experience today?
  • What contributes to disconnections and separation at various levels (self, others, environment)?
  • What is the extent of the connects we experience today?
  • What can help create more connects (connections) to self, others, and environment?
  • Rather than pursuing school curriculums that lead to deadening our children, what alternative approaches can we take to help enliven our children?
  • How can we combine heart and a rigorous sense of intellect in pursuing connections?

Please join me in these explorations….

(originally posted April 6, 2008)


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