Did Moshe Say This? (Need Your Help)

I was a little embarrassed recently when someone asked and I could not find the source of a Feldenkrais quote that I had put on my qoutes page (recently moved from my old blog). Perhaps you can help. Did Moshe say this?

"There are multiple descriptions of the same real world situation. The only justification for language is to empower yourself. If the verbal description you create of the situation you find yourself in leads to paralysis and ineffectual behaviour, then throw those damn words away and find yourself a new set. There is always some useful description of the world that empowers and gives you choices and your task, if you are going to use words at all, is to find that set of words."

I am a little suspicious now as the phrase "multiple descriptions" and the related phrase "double description" are ones that Gregory Bateson used many times. It was one of his signature ideas. Here are some notes on the idea from my friend Tom Malloy (deceased) who taught a class called "Mind and Nature" at the University of Utah:

Double Description is the minimum case for the general principle that the emergence of new knowledge requires multiple descriptions of the territory. For example in a relationship (say, a couple) new knowledge emerges from the two independent descriptions of reality found in the maps of the two people. In a family there would be more than a double description, there would be multiple descriptions. It is important that each description be honored so that in the interaction among them new knowledge can emerge.

Tom did not use the word "map" in a literal sense.

Anyway...if you have come across the quote above in a Feldenkrais context, let me know. For now, I will mark it as "in dispute" and I will likely take it off the Feldenkrais quotes page.

cheers!

ryannagy
I am a lifetime fan of the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, a blogger and internet marketer living in Mexico. I create and sell kick-ass downloadable Feldenkrais series such as my Easy Feldenkrais Series and Feldenkrais Classics series. You can find my other Feldenkrais products at Feldenkrais MP3. I occasionally organize online conferences related to brief therapy and Ericksonian hypnosis: Psychotherapy Conferences

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