For anyone looking for my relationship with Paul Hewitt from 1957, look here


Burl Grey >
After reading Bertalanffy's 'General System Theory' (p.xxii revised edition 1973) and answering a question posed to me in 1979 by Gregory Bateson at an Esalen seminar:
I named my subject "SYSTEMS EPISTEMOLOGY".
I traveled to St.Cloud, Minn. in 1985 for a Symposium "on the Ideas of Gregory Bateson" where I met Humberto Maturana and Ernst von Glasersfeld.
The 'high point' of my life was June 1986 at theGordon Research Conference "The Cybernetics of Cognition".
In subsequent years I attended about 6 Conferences on Cybernetics in cities ranging from Ann Arbor and Chicago to Amsterdam and Philadelphia.
In Seattle 1992 we conferred with Brun and Maturana about "Language, Emotions, The Social and the Ethical".
In 1993/4 I lived in Washington DC and explored the 'think tanks' and attended two significant conferences:
[1] A Conference at Geo Mason "Mind, Brain and Complex Adaptive Systems"
[2]A Symposium by the Carrying Capacity Network where I met,the great Garrett Hardin who wrote 'the Tragedy of the Commons'.
I lived at Papillote Wilderness Retreat in the Dominica Rain Forest for the year 1995.
Today is February 10th 2004 and I've returned to live at Papillote
Today is September 11th, 2005 and I now live eight miles south of Brevard, NC on about ten acres my father left to the four of us children.

About Love
Love is the starting point for everything.
In the briefest terms, for the moment: We exist only as social animals.
There is some minimal stability necessary for any baby to survive and reproduce.
These minimal conditions for relationship can be called Love.
Our current state of knowledge and habits, for the most part, denies enough Love (relationship) for health and survival.
I offer a quote from the famous neurophysiologist Humberto Maturana

"... living in the negation of consensensuality, of love, and of ethics, as the foundation of our different manners of coexistence, constitutes the negation of humanity..." p.62 Conference workbook Seattle 1992.

This will eventually be a long and probably boring story but it will be my True story.
In 1924 Burl was born Anglo/Native American 98/2% in Miami Florida.My Culture was Appalachian/American (hillbilly) from Tennessee.
My Mother died when I was 3. I lived with ['MuhGranny' who chewd snuff which 'run' in the cracks around her mouth when she kissed me; I was 6.]Healthy at 2 but Asthmatic and Stuttering at 6. By 12 and overcoming my stutter I was surprised to find I spoke hillbilly!
By 14 I was in total rebellion against religion, racism and repression which got me banished from home.Before I was banished my 'well meaning' Step-Mother actually BURNED MY BOOKS which I bought with money made from a Miami Herald paper route.
Can you blame her?: After all I was reading about Science, Meaning, Religion and Sex. Baaad boy.
By 1939 I had read Bertrand Russell's "Why I'm not a Christian" and started on Arthur Eddington and Sir James Jeans popular books on Science.
In 1943 I was drafted into the US Army for 31 months.
I landed at Utah Beach about 30 days after D Day.
I was in the 51st Armored Infantry Battallion and survived combat all across France, Belgium, Germany and was moving toward Prague Czeckslovakia when we met the Russians as the war was over on May 8th 1945.
I have a bronze star and combat infantry badge but was never hit by shrapnel or bullets!!
I then served in the US Army of occupation where I traded my German pistol for a typewriter until October of 1945 when I went home to Miami.
I had taken the pistol from a dead German Officer many months before.
Yes, I was always an Atheist in a foxhole; albeit, my convictions wereseverely tested as I believed my death was certain so many times.

In 1951 my Dad had something important to tell me. He had changed his namebefore I was born. He was born in Illinois as George YOST into a very successful Familyhistory in Music, Railroads, Politics and Diplomacy. I could never forgive himfor surrounding me with and trying to make me a 'hillbilly'.

When I was discharged from the Army I got a job working for an Outdoor Bulletin Company called Franklin Webster.
Here is the first pictorial bulletin board I painted around early 1946.
About a decade later after I had become quite proficient as a pictorial painter I was assigned a new helper named Paul Hewitt. Since the painting stages were big and heavy, the company usually assigned a 'helper' to lift ladders, pull ropes and generally do lettering while I painted the pictures. I had many different helpers and drove most of them crazy because I loved to talk. Especially about science and belief systems.
This new guy was a great surprise because he actually enjoyed talking and would take home some of the puzzles I had collected.
He was memorable because after a few months he came to me and announced that he was returning to school to study Science... And I was delighted.
I never heard from him again.
That is until over forty years later in 1998 when the phone rang in the home where I was living with an old friend in Miami Florida. My phones were unlisted and I spent a lot of time on the internet in my upstairs room. My friend answered HER phone and told me a detective was asking about a Burl Grey.
My first thought was to worry what I'd done to interest a detective. When I went to the phone he asked if I remembered Paul Hewitt and, of course I did because of our unusual relationship way back in 1957. After forty years one would think the friends from then would all be dead.

Anyway, the next day Paul called me on my phone and we talked about the same way as we did all those years ago.
My greatest surprise was when he made me an offer I could not refuse! He sent me a check for $10,000.00 which I did not believe until it had cleared in the bank! And there were NO strings attached. Unbelievable! Even more unlikely was that he asked me to go to Hawaii and live rent free as long as I wanted in one of his condos. I went and lived there for over a year.

I'll write some more about subsequent events where his generosity with me was constantly evident.
He claims I was responsible for turning his life around and allowing him to become a very successful teacher and publisher of Physics books.

It does feel very good to have such praise but we all know that while an individual can stimulate another to think differently, the hard work he put in for several decades is what made him successful.
I'll write a little more about this and some related things later.

A few pictures of Burl's life.
A wide band is recommended as there are quite a few pictures.