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We create the world that we perceive, not because there is no reality outside our heads, but because we select and edit the reality we see to conform to our beliefs about what sort of world we live in.

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Gregory Bateson (1904–1980) was an English anthropologist, social scientist, ecologist, and influential thinker of the twentieth century. He was an original advocate of systems thinking and cybernetics and inventor of the double-bind concept in psychiatry. He taught and wrote on subjects ranging from anthropology and epistemology to biology and evolution and was interested in how ideas can be approached in an interdisciplinary way.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageWe are often better served by connecting ideas than we are by protecting them.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageWhen forgiveness experts talk in binary language (’You either forgive the wrongdoer or you are a prisoner of your own anger and hate’), they are collapsing the messy complexity of human emotions into a simplistic dichotomous equation.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageUltimately, nothing in this life is ‘commonplace,’ nothing is ‘in between.’ The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageIf you treat man as he appears to be, you make him worse than he is. But if you treat man as if he already were what he potentially could be, you make him what he should be.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageBut one of the hallmarks of emotional maturity is to recognize the validity of multiple realities and to understand that people think, feel, and react differently. Often we behave as if ‘closeness’ means ‘sameness.’

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FindCenter Quotes ImageThis is how great intellectual breakthroughs usually happen in practice. It is rarely the isolated genius having a eureka moment alone in the lab. Nor is it merely a question of building on precedent, of standing on the shoulders of giants, in Newton’s famous phrase.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageYour perspective is always limited by how much you know. Expand your knowledge and you will transform your mind.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageWe can control our lives by controling our perceptions.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageOne day, someone showed me a glass of water that was half full. And he said, ‘Is it half full or half empty?’ So I drank the water. No more problem.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageWe read to know we are not alone.

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EXPLORE TOPIC

Perception