spontaneous RESPECT LO24086

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 02/28/00

Replying to LO24061 --

Dear Organlearners,

Lana Choi <ecospirit@mail.com> writes:

>Still, I confess that I basically think there are three key
>patterns for interpreting things simply:
>- - unity / oneness O
>- - dualism / contrast / opposition + | - (yin/yang)
>- - diversity / multiplicity / uniqueness oO@o-0-oQO*0
>(Please bear in mind these are just rough descriptions.)

Greetings Lana,

I bear in mind that they are rough descriptions. They seem
to correspond respectively to the following three of my seven

The other four are

It is possible to work these four into the three above to make them hyper
complex essences, but I do not think it is wise to do so.

>I often focus on the dualism aspect, myself, as I believe it
>is the crux of tension that could lead us to better harmony
>and 'oneness' or perhaps increase our awareness of the
>oneness of life. In this way I believe we can start healing
>ourselves and hence live in better relation with each other
>and the entire planet.

The dualism "dualism / contrast / opposition" which you speak of, is most
difficult to understand for many fellow learners. They perceive dualism as
two opposite beings -- thesis and antithesis. (Call them "entropic
forces" if you want to.) However, these opposite beings have evolved as a
result of a "becoming-being" pair. Thus the "opposite being pair of the
present" is nothing else than the outcome of "becoming-being pairs of the
past". Meanwhile, "becoming-being pairs of the present" which we are
incidently not aware of are already causing the "opposite being pairs of
the future" and hence a spiritual illness which we do not yet even expect.

>I completely agree self respect (and self love) is very much
>the key thing. However, I think what you are addressing about
>African and European people is something I tend to see in
>dualistic patterns, such as a west/east, individualism/communalism

Let me arrest in any possible confusion and misunderstanding now. I wrote
that I myself was struggling with a phenomenological problem -- what
property is most distinctive of people who borrow creations rather than
creating them self.

I had no racial, religious, class or sexist distinctions in my mind. I
was struggling with what I considered as a "hot problem" in learning --
what is distinctive to leaners when they borrow a concept by rote learning
rather than allowing that concept to evolve through experience and tacit
knowledge by authentic learning based on creativity.

Dear Captain Kitching certainly did also not have the dichotomy between
Europanism and Africanism in mind -- he loved all his fellow humans too
much. But he was also a realist -- desert experiences help one in this
respect. He was extremely concerned why African people could not embrace
European values -- one of the hotest problems of the continent on which we
live. He managed to draw a conclusion which helped me very much -- lack of
respect and thus lack of ownership.

I love him far too much to judge his conclusion. It is easy to do so. For
example, on the American continent it involves European and American
Indian cultures with very much the same outcome. In multicultural
countries like Rwanda, Spain, Yugoslavia or India it involves different
peoples of the same nation. It is not necessarily a dichotomic problem,
but rather a "digestor" problem in which the "winner" or "predator" takes
all, even respect, leaving all kinds of prey and not merely one opposition
in shambles.
>Although I am not African and I should not really speak about
>anybody's truth but my own, I would say that my observation
>is that Africans don't "not respect" Europeans...If anything,
>people from countries of the east and south OVER RESPECT
>Europeans and give away their self-respect and personal power.
>They may then perhaps resent it and react in other ways, or
>more often, take it out on their fellow people.

I am very glad that you have spoken out in the fair manner in which you
did. I have specifically wrote that they (in that case Africans) do not
respect the creations of others (in that case of Europeans). Perhaps I
should have added, like you, that they generally do respect Europeans.
Many of them still have, like pres Mandela, a high esteem for the dignity
of fellow people irrespective of whatever in their origin. But you know
how it goes -- articulate some of your tacit knowledge and people begin to
think that it is all which you have articulated -- the rest can't be

What I wrote and now wish to stress is that people (irrespective of colour
or creed or something else) who have to borrow creations rather than
creating themselves usually have less respect for such creations than the
original creators. Obviously, there are many exceptions which help us to
establish a tentative rule here since there are many ways in which people
can react to their creative disposition. However, reacting with little
respect for the creations themselves is in my mind the major way of
reaction as a result of such a creative disposition.

What we need to do is to become aware of those resons which force people
to borrow rather than create self. One of the most important reasons is
the time constraint placed upon people. Jan Lelie has discussed in
another recent contribution this time constraint. Allow me to point out
that the most important reasons why students and pupils opt for rote
learning is the time constraint which the educational system places upon
them. This rote learning works for some time, but eventually the learner
cannot keep up with it. Im=n the long it creates havoc in our educational

>However, it is definitely worth noting that people often are
>like sheep and have a "herd mentality". They don't want to
>stand out and they like decisive leadership. So in the above,
>I am not trying to hold imperialism or colonialism responsible
>for everything--I believe that it is a two-way relationship. Like
>men and women. Yet both need to shift in their concept
>and use of power--personal and otherwise. This all adds up
>to issues of self-respect, but as you so aptly described in
>your talk with your friend "Captain", true self-respect makes
>the boundaries invisible. You see yourself reflected in the other.

I agree with you that it is senseless to single out one or two scapegoats.
The situation is far more complex. But, strangely enough I believe
somewhat like you that it is the result of our thinking about
relationships. But I see it as our affliction with the equivalence
relationship "=" of being and thus our negligence of the order relationsip
">" of becoming as I am trying to set out in the topic "To become or not
to become". This "=/>"brings us back to the "yin/yang" operating in our

>However, the truth is that in most of the world, power is not
>shared equally. For example, generally men hold more social
>power than women.

Not in my family! My wife and three daughters jump like tigers on me and
my two sons should we even try to abuse any power ;-)

But let me proceed more seriously. I think the red herring here is the
phrase "equal sharing of power". The word "equal" involves the equivalence
relationship "=" of being. But power involves the order relationship ">"
of becoming! What we actually ought to do, is to care for people despite
their origin ("hard-wiring" -- colour and creed) such that they can become
powerful AND CARING through their own evolution. But this is something
which I intend to give attention to in the topic "To become or not to

>Anyway, I digress. My point is that largely populated,
>community-oriented cultures often do not have a strong
>sense of individuality. It is often frowned upon and discouraged
>within the culture. The western/northern/European cultures
>tend to be highly individualistic and strongly encourage
>self-reliance and individual success. The extreme can
>sometimes lead to much of the conquest-oriented nature,
>but also the isolation and social alienation, that characterizes
>North America.

Lana, how right you are. It is exactly the same problem here in Africa.
But here we have proceeded to a grave situation. The community-orientated
cultures are now disintegrating at a most alarming tempo with nothing to
replace them. The result is the tragic destructive immergences which you
read and see in your news bulletins on Africa. This creates in the West
itself a false sense of "security" on the self-reliance and individual
success -- the importance of "dassein" creativity and the triviality of
"mitsein" creativity.

Few people seem to understand what a LO is about. They try to employ
"dassein" creativity to aid their learning of the LO whereas such
understanding emerge from "mitsein" creativity.

>I'm sorry this isn't as clear as I'd like it to be. But hopefully,
>I am able to respond to some of the points you made and
>that it is understandable.

Lana, your contribution is very clear to me and I am grateful for it. Your
personal insights are valuable to understand what the LO is about. It is
not a strategy for business to make more profit or to become the winner
among all. Thank you very much.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> 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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