The art at the heart of this entirely scientific and thoroughly literate book is the art at every one of our hearts; we may glimpse this art in ourselves repeatedly when we meditate deeply on questions like: "what really matters most is this life?" and "what do I most yearn for in this life?" and "who are the very most important teachers for navigating the treacherous socio-political swamps into which we have drifted?" and "How might I cultivate both my scientific and my spiritual integrity?" and "How do I fit into Mother Nature's grand scheme so I might best help defend her from the vicious threats imposed by our careless and misguided political, economic, military, religious, academic and scientific elites?
I am so moved by the book I have difficulty composing rational sentences; it calls for highly artful responses to our every moment and from our every breath and exemplifies how as well as describes how we can begin embodying this art.
Perhaps Mary Catherine said it best in the book itself with the book's penultimate chapter: "So What's a Meta For?"
I must soon order some of her own/other books.
As I mentioned in earlier reviews of Gregory Bateson's books, the reading is as challenging as it is rewarding; it is as scientific as it is artful; it is a spiritual oasis in a very rapidly self-destructing culture; it is very much all of these and more.
I am a bit puzzled about why so few contemporary prominent eco-scientists of high public profile ignore (at least in public) this brilliant and compelling science. Some have much admired his work; William Irwin Thompson has praised him highly as did Lynn Margulis some time ago - to mention two examples.
I do understand why the theologians & reverends would not like him. The Batesons (father & daughter) here demonstrate by example as well as by articulate explanation the depths to which they are lost in the very most distant past.