Pleroma & Creatura

[Jung] points out that there are two worlds. We might call them two worlds of explanation. He names them the pleroma and the creatura, these being Gnostic terms.

The pleroma is the world in which events are caused by forces and impacts and in which there are no "distinctions." Or, as I would say, no "differences."

In the creatura, effects are brought about precisely by difference.

In fact, this is the same old dichotomy between mind and substance.

We can study and describe the pleroma, but always the distinctions which we draw are attributed by us to the pleroma. The pleroma knows nothing of difference and distinction; it contains no "ideas" in the sense in which I am using the word.

When we study and describe the creatura, we must correctly identify those differences which are effective within it.

The creatura is thus the world seen as mind, wherever such a view is appropriate. And wherever this view is appropriate, there arises a species of complexity which is absent from pleromatic description: creatural description is always hierarchic.

[...] there are differences between differences. Every effective difference denotes a demarcation, a line of classification, and all classification is hierarchic. In other words, differences are themselves to be differentiated and classified.

[Gregory Bateson]
Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p.461-3