Cognitive and Neural Systems LO23861

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 01/31/00

Replying to LO23837 --

Dear Organlearners,

Gavin Ritz <garritz@XTRA.CO.NZ> writes:

>If I understand what you mean by spontaneity is that
>naturally all complex adaptive systems (CAS) close the
>gradients (genetics) automatically, or move to the
>bottlenecks (business) to release the tensions. Is this
>what what you mean?

Greetings Gavin,

What I mean is the following. Look at the FORM of
your first sentence in which I left only a few words to
accentuate the form:
".... spontaneity is .... all .... systems ... close [verb] ....
or .... move [verb] ....".
I hope that you meant to say that the system (in your
case the CAS) becomes SELF.

For Prigogine the system's becoming is "organisation".
For Kauffman the system's becoming is "complex adaptation".
For Maturana the system's becoming is "making" (poiesis).

These are "various trees" in "one forest". There are many
other trees too. But let us look at the "one forest" and not
the many "various trees". The "one forest" is the SELF of
the becoming.

As for neural systems, they cannot result in cognition when
they do not fire self. It may seem to be a trivial observation,
but there is an incredible mileage to it with a new world to

>I have not heard of this term before. Most of the textbooks
>I have read do not seem to mention this term.

How true.

Spontaneity is a systems property which unfolds in two categories:
spontaneous changes and non-spontaneous changes. A system changes
spontaneously when it changes self.

The history of the property spontaneity reminds me much of the history of
the property creativity. Little was written before WWII on creativity and
virtually nothing before WWI.

Perhaps spontaneity is a property which has at most only trivial value. On
another hand, the property spontaneity may lead to most powerful
conceptualisations. I myself have the insight that the collective
consciousness of humankind has to pass a certain level of richness before
the cognition of spontaneity will happen spontaneously for most humans.

Please take care not to confuse spontaneous with natural and
non-spontaneous with artificial. Spontaneous is not exactly natural and
non-spontaneous is not exactly artificial. A minority of natural events
are ineed non-spontaneous while a minority of artificial events are indeed

Here is an interesting study. Make a list of what you consider to be the
twelve most important subjects to the evolution of humankind, physically
and spiritually. Then go to a representative library and look up as many
books as possible on each subject. See if the topics spontaneity,
spontaneous, self-xxxx and auto-xxxx as well as non-spontaneous occur in
the index of each book. If they do, study what the text has to say on
them. If not, see whether the topics natural as well as artificial occur
and what is said on them. Do not read any of my contributions in the LO
archives on spontaneity.

>However all CAS seem to exhibit "spontaneity" from
>anticipation of future events.

Yes, how right you are. They "create" SELF their OWN future, even though
it generally may seem to be a mystery for us and sometimes even a
downright failure.

I have suggested a task above. It is specifically an "exemplar studying",
one of the five elementary sustainers of creativity. I am in no position
to force any of you fellow learners to do it. Furthermore, I now stress
that it is completely your own choice whether you do it or not. Should any
of you fellow learner now do it as soon as possible, you will act
spontaneously. Should you as far as you can forsee not do it for whatever
more important reason, you will act non-spontaneously to my suggestion.

I will now tamper a little with the learning system. May all you fellow
learners enjoy happy, curious and rejuvenated learning experiences on the
topic spontaneity. I cannot wait for your responses upon such learning
because I am about to burst with excitement. There is a LO dialogue on the

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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