- the way we construct our lives as we perform them
- the habits that underpin our lives
- the way we view our lives
(In talking about lives, I'm talking about the existence of organisations and organisational entities as much as about individual human beings - who are, of course, also organisational entities). Here's Bateson:
"What pattern connects the crab to the lobster and the orchid to the primrose and all the four of them to me? And me to you? And all the six of us to the amoeba in one direction and to the back-ward schizophrenic in another?
...What now must be said is difficult, appears to be quite empty, and is of very great and deep importance to you and to me. At this historic juncture, I believe it to be important to the survival of the whole biosphere which you know is threatened.
What is the pattern which connects all the living creatures?
...The parts of a crab are connected by various patterns of bilateral symmetry, of serial homology, and so on. Let us call these patterns within the individual growing crab first-order connections. But now we look at crab and lobster and we again find connection by pattern. Call it second-order connection, or phylogenetic homology.
Now we look at man or horse and find that, here again, we can see symmetries and serial homologies. When we look at the tow together, we find the same cross-species sharing of pattern with a difference (phylogenetic homology). And, of course, we also find the same discarding of magnitudes in favor of shapes, patterns, and relations. In other words, as this distribution of formal resemblances is spelled out, it turns out that gross anatomy exhibits three levels or logical types of descriptive propositions:
- The parts of any member of Creatura are to be compared with other parts of the same individual to give first-order connections.
- Crabs are to be compared with lobsters or men with horses to find similar relations between parts (i.e., to give second-order connections).
- The comparison between crabs and lobsters is to be compared with the comparison between man and horse to provide third-order connections.
My central thesis can now be approached in words: The pattern which connects is a metapattern. It is a pattern of patterns. It is that metapattern which defines the vast generalization that, indeed, it is patterns which connect."