„As a metaphor - and I stress that it is intended as a metaphor - the concept of an invariant that arises out of mutually or cyclically balancing changes may help us to approach the concept of self. In cybernetics this metaphor is implemented in the ‘closed loop’, the circular arrangement of feedback mechanisms that maintain a given value within certain limits. They work toward an invariant, but the invariant is achieved not by a steady resistance, the way a rock stands unmoved in the wind, but by compensation over time. Whenever we happen to look in a feedback loop, we find the present act pitted against the immediate past, but already on the way to being compensated itself by the immediate future. The invariant the system achieves can, therefore, never be found or frozen in a single element because, by its very nature, it consists in one or more relationships - and relationships are not in things but between them.
If the self, as I suggest, is a relational entity, it cannot have a locus in the world of experiential objects. It does not reside in the heart, as Aristotle thought, nor in the brain, as we tend to think today. It resides in no place at all, but merely manifests itself in the continuity of our acts of differentiating and relating and in the intuitive certainty we have that our experience is truly ours.“

—  Ernst von Glasersfeld, pp.186-7 cited in: Vincent Kenny (2010) Remembering Ernst von Glasersfeld http://www.oikos.org/vonen.htm at oikos.org, retrieved Oct 11, 2012.
Ernst von Glasersfeld photo
Ernst von Glasersfeld
filósofo alemão 1917 - 2010
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„The great necessity is that we should act according to our thoughts, and think according to our acts. But while we are in thought we cannot really act, and while we are in action we cannot really think. The two conditions, of thought and action, are mutually exclusive. Yet they should be related in harmony.“

—  D.H. Lawrence English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter 1885 - 1930
Context: We are today, as human beings, evolved and cultured far beyond the taboos which are inherent in our culture. This is a very important fact to realise. Probably, to the Crusaders, mere words were potent and evocative to a degree we can't realise. The evocative power of the so-called obscene words must have been very dangerous to the dim-minded, obscure, violent natures of the Middle Ages, and perhaps are still too strong for slow-minded, half-evoked lower natures today. But real culture makes us give to a word only those mental and imaginative reactions which belong to the mind, and saves us from violent and indiscriminate physical reactions which may wreck social decency. In the past, man was too weak-minded, or crude-minded, to contemplate his own physical body and physical functions, without getting all messed up with physical reactions that overpowered him. It is no longer so. Culture and civilisation have taught us to separate the reactions. We now know the act does not necessarily follow on the thought. In fact, thought and action, word and deed, are two separate forms of consciousness, two separate lives which we lead. We need, very sincerely, to keep a connection. But while we think, we do not act, and while we act we do not think. The great necessity is that we should act according to our thoughts, and think according to our acts. But while we are in thought we cannot really act, and while we are in action we cannot really think. The two conditions, of thought and action, are mutually exclusive. Yet they should be related in harmony.

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