But the story of sol tax and the indians in iowa is a

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chants, some Gregorian, some secular Elizabethan, and so on. But the story of Sol Tax and the Indians in Iowa is a heavy story and I was perhaps a cad to throw it at MacBride. After all he had not, I suppose, intended to commit the party to so religious an occasion and was only afraid I might breach the decorum, the patina in which such rituals get covered and made safe. I had used that same story in 1969 on the first day of a Wenner-Gren Conference at Burg Wartenstein in Austria. I was chairman and had gathered about twenty thinkers, biologists and anthropologists and others, to try to discuss aesthetic determination in human and animal behaviour, the same general question that had led me to try LSD: Do aesthetic factors play a role in changing what animals and people do in their relationships? It was a good group, but in the opening of the conference, I told the Sol Tax story in order to lay on them a standard of integrity. Kommentar [d24]: A good group, indeed. It included Warren McCulloch, Anatol Holt, Barry Commoner and Gordon Pask! More info at - seminars-symposia/wenner-gren- symposia/cumulative-list-wenner-gren- symposia/we-39 Kommentar [d25]: … as an attempt to make the left hand know what the right hand does. Given the calibre of the participants, a superfluous exercise that turned out to achieve the exact opposite of its intended purpose. “‟Well intended‟ is the opposite of „well done‟” (“Gut gemeint ist das Gegenteil von gut gemacht”) -- this German proverb not only describes this situation, but also appears to match the pattern Bateson discusses in this chapter.
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In the story, the Indians perceive that it is nonsense to sacrifice integrity in order to save a religion whose only validity whose point and purpose is the cultivation of integrity. The Indians declined to save their religion on those terms. My gathering of scientists took a look at the story and panicked. They [[p_076]] thought that the Indians were perhaps being unreasonable or overzealous. Perhaps ―holier th an thou .‖ And so on. They took a worldly view of the whole story. So I lost my conference that first morning and after that for eight days we were trying to find our way back to an integration of the group. We never did succeed in doing so. Something useful or interesting can perhaps be said about religion and behaviour by combining the Sol Tax story with the story of the Ancient Mariner and the sea snakes … when he blessed them unaware … and then there is the importance of a knowledge of natural history. When I raised these matters at the prayer breakfast, I wanted to point to the remain implicit not to be said in so many words and perhaps killed by the many words but implicit in the setting of the stories side by side. Here I will try to spell out the questions: First about cameras and photography.
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  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

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