Our principle means of accomplishing binding of time is symbol. But our capacity to symbolize is dependent upon and integral to another process, which Korzybski called “abstracting”. Abstracting is the continuous activity of selecting, omitting, and organizing the details of reality so that we experience the world as patterned and coherent. Korzybski shared with Heraclitus the assumption that the world is undergoing continuous change and that no two events are identical. We give stability to to our world only through our capacity to re-create it by ignoring differences and attending to similarities: although we know that we cannot step into the “same” river twice, abstracting allows us to act as if we can.

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  1. Conscientious Objections