Daughter the what father the sangha what buddhists

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DAUGHTER: The what? FATHER: The sangha . What Buddhists call the clergy. Any information is altered when it is incorporated in an establishment. DAUGHTER: I know. You would like to see them part of the development of a new religious view as they change their views of the body-mind relationship but you get uneasy when you think of that view getting institutionalized or established. FATHER: Mmm. We have to have in mind a floating devotion. Devotion to a floating creed. DAUGHTER: And try to find some way of combining consistency with a kind of pluralism at least pluralism is what I thought you meant when you spoke of the medley of beliefs at Esalen, most of which you thoroughly disagree with, as somehow protecting the species from obsolescence. As if the prevalent mechanistic ideas were a sort of moncrop, like genetically uniform fields of wheat, and even superstition could provide a degree of resilience, like the diversity in a wild population. You want to be careful you don‘t get misunderstood when you talk about heresy, which reminds people of the Inquisition. FATHER: The issue of consistency is the issue of how things fit together, not whether they are the same .
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Our ideas about medicine and about the patient have to fit together with the patient‘s own experience . A certain consistency is necessary to integration, but uniformity is surely one of those things that becomes toxic beyond a certain level. DAUGHTER: Still, Daddy, it must be hard to find a way through the different kinds of nonsense. FATHER: Well, yes. But the game is worth the candle. [[p_069]] VII Let Not Thy Left Hand Know (GB) Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. Matt 6:3 In the processes we call perceiving, knowing, and acting, a certain decorum must be followed, and when these quite obscure rules are not observed, the validity of our mental processes is jeopardized . Above all, these rules concern the preservation of the fine lines dividing the sacred from the secular, the aesthetic from the appetitive, the deliberate from the unconscious, and thought from feeling. I do not know whether abstract philosophy will support the necessity of these dividing lines, but I am sure that these divisions are a usual feature of human epistemologies and that they are component in the natural history of human knowledge and action. Similar dividing lines are surely to be found in all human cultures, though surely each culture will have its unique ways of handling the resulting paradoxes . I introduce the fact of these divisions, then, as evidence that the domain of Epistemology of mental explanation is ordered, real, and must be examined. In the present chapter I shall illustrate, with a series of narratives, what happens when these lines are breached or threatened.
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  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

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