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Time-Binding

Module 2

Theory

In this module and the next we will explore two concepts which differentiate mankind from the rest of the animals and from other living beings.  These concepts are Time-Binding and Abstraction.  Time-binding will be the focus of this module.

Korzybski classified three levels of  “binding” in life-forms.  The simplest level is called “energy-binding,” that is, the storing of energy for later use.  All life-forms do this, but plants do only this.  The second is called “space-binding,” that is, moving from one place to another in order to accomplish various survival tasks.  Plants don’t do this but most animals do.  The third level is called “time-binding,” that is, the transmission of information and knowledge and abstractions from one time to the other.  It is through time-binding that we can know about and learn from the past, and through time-binding that we can pass on knowledge to the future.  The ability to time-bind also means that we have the capability to improve our condition, to change our “nature” over time.  This also means that we have the responsibility to do so, and to do so for the better, otherwise we will likely prove to be clever animals who were unable to use their unique brains to avert their own demise.
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