The Joy of Learning LO23836

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 01/27/00

Replying to LO23773 --

Dear Organlearners,

Don Dwiggens < > writes

>I'd like to take At up on this, to see if there's more to
>discuss about the role of Joy as a driving force for individual
>or organizational learning (I'll leave it for later, or someone
>else, to address the "other adjoints"). I've recently come to
>realize its central role in driving and shaping my choices and
>way of doing what I do (I recently raised some eyebrows in a
>meeting of the Los Angeles Software Process Improvement
>Network by stating "I believe that software development should
>be a joyful experience"). Here's a handful of thoughts on joy
>to kick things off:

Greetings Dwig,

Up to now only Winfried Dressler (LO23795) responded to the dialogue on
this topic. It ought to make us feel depressed.

But yesterday a most interesting incident happened.

A colleague of mine and I used to have much dialogue on authentic
learning. Then he just broke of the dialogue. I went to visit him a number
of times to keep up the fruitfulness, but he became vey aloof, yet
remaining polite. Eventually I concluded that he just went back to the old
ways of teaching.

Yesterday he came to visit me in my office after more than a year. His
face was radiant with Joy. After some polite greetings, he could not keep
it suppresed anymore. He exclaimed: "I now know how important Passion is
for learning". (It made me think immediately of you Dwig.) I asked him
why. He told about some experiences. He went on telling about his plans
how to accommodate passion in learning. No, it is almost as if he wants to
organise learning on passion. He had some brilliant ideas.

Then I asked him: "What about the bedfellows of Passion?" He began to
frown. I continued: "Joy, Curiosity, Peace". The look of Joy on his face
became completely transformed to the look of Curiosity. He became
seemingly elusive again, wanting to leave. But I then knew he wanted to
think. He did not need me any more for his own authentic learning.

As I walked with him out of the building to see him off, hundreds of
students were walking from lecture hall to lecture hall. I asked him to
point any student to me who were doing anything with the slightest sign of
passion: walking, talking, frowning, etc. His answer? "Some of them must
be very good poker players."

What is happening to our universities? I have been to two others in/around
Pretoria the past week. The same as here -- no "generative adjoints".
Thank you Winfried for suggesting this term in your reply (LO23795).

Our university has incorporated an intricate evaluation system so as to
fund excellence, using indicators like publications, patents, congresses,
pass rates and number of post graduate students. It can give excellent
account of every percent of money spent.

What price can we fix to generative adjoints like Joy, Passion and
Curiosity? Can we actually buy and sell them?

>- Remember the book "The Joy of Sex"? I sometimes think
>that what disturbs me most about pornography is the lack
>of joy that's communicated by it.

Yes. It is impossible to buy or sell Joy, although the price of pleasure
can be bartered so as to clinch any deal on it. Although the "sex
industry" is a vivid demonstration of it, it has nothing to with sex! It
has actually to do with the degradation of the generative adjoints. In
other words, the same can happen to knowledge as to sex. Do we want a
vivid demonstration for this too? Look what goes on in the "knowledge

Thinking of sex gives me another metaphor of describing the emerent phase
of authentic learning, or the inventive phase of creativity. It is an
"orgasm of the mind". Adults ought to understand this seeminly shocking

But it need not be shocking for someone learning about organisations. The
word "organisation" comes form the Latin "organicus" which means "organ"
-- a whole of the inner. The Greek translation is "organon". The word
"orgasm" comes from the Greek word "orgasmos" which means "to be excited".
Al these generative adjoints have a sheaf around them: excitement. This
word comes from Latin "ex"=out and "cito"=call. In other words, the
generative adjoints "call out from within".

Prigogine stresses from time to time that dissipation ("entropy
production") leads to long-range "forces". He means by it that a local
entropy production in part of the system will cause definite changes in
another part of the system far away. He often uses the chemical clock
reaction (a cyclic emergence of colourful chemical compunds) to illustrate
this insight.

What kind of insight? He does not say. So I have to try and do it. It is
the insight into the "associativity" pattern of the essentiality

However, even for that, it merely concerns "entropy production" in the
physical world. What about "entropy production" in the spiritual world
should it also be possible there? If possible, what spiritual things will
then illustrate these long-range forces nicely? What about the generative

Joy in creating. Joy in learning. Joy in believing. Joy in loving. Joy
whenever a birth (emergence) in the spiritual world happens on whatever
level. Joy without the "associativity" pattern of wholeness is impossible
-- impaired essentiality. In other words, Joy has to be shared with other

Likewise the other generative adjoints have to be shared. This is one of
the reasons why I consider the Learning Individual to be incomplete. It
has a complemetary dual which is nothing else than the Learning

>- And from poetry:
> The Best Friend

Thanks. It is beautiful

With caring and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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