Unlearning LO24248

From: Morty Lefkoe (morty@decisionmaker.com)
Date: 03/24/00

Replying to LO24236 --

In response to At's communication LO 24236

Dear AT:

Thank you for taking the time to compose such a detailed reply to the
conversation I started on unlearning.

To be quite honest, I had a difficult time following some of your
biological analogies and metaphors, but I think I got the gist of it.

Perhaps the statement that struck me the most was: "It is especially the
learner's capacity for caring love which has to increase. This is what our
world is desperately in need of." I agree totally. And then, At, I would
reply to your statement by asking you: What is the possibility of someone
increasing his capacity to love if he has learned: People are dangerous.
They cannot be trusted. People are bad. I am worthless. Etc. Etc.

Can someone opens his heart and mind to others if he has learned that that
activity is dangerous. That no one is interested in what he has to offer.
That he has nothing worth offering. ETC.

You said you disagreed with my statement: "Unlearning, I submit, is the
most important activity one can engage in to facilitate innovation,
change, and new learning." To clarify my intent, unlearning will not in
itself produce new learning. It will not produce love, a better education
system, or anything of value. But if one does not unlearn whatever is in
the way of those goals, then nothing, including creativity however
defined, will allow us to reach those goals.

When we start off as a child, we are open to learning. There is nothing in
the way. We ask questions and often consider the answers we come up with.
At some point we learn something about ourselves, people, and life. That
becomes "the truth" for us. We consider it to be a fact. Learning can be
"rote" or complex or "authentic." Unconscious or carefully and logically
considered. There clearly is a significant distinction between types of
learning. But once something is learned, regardless of how, it is

At that point, we no longer ask questions about that particular issue.
Why should we? We already know the answer -- which we learned
"unconsciously" or through a process of questioning, logic, etc. So
either we don't look at this issue any more, or if forced to, we view it
through the filter of our belief, i.e., through what we have learned.

All of our attempts to innovate, change, and learn new things are colored,
filtered, affected, hindered, and largely determined by what we had
previously learned. Unlearning what we had previously learned only
removes the barrier. It does not in itelf produce any innovation, change
or new learning. But the unlearning is a precondition to these three

If my comments reflect an ignorance of something you tried to communicate,
I'm sorry and I ask that you try again.

Regards, Morty

> It took myself more than a decade to become aware that the act "learning"
> (which I prefer to call "auhentic learning") is not simple, but rather
> complex.
> I personally belief (and this is not a mere assumption) that
> CREATING is the most important activity. But then we will
> have to enrich our concept of creativity. My own effort I call
> "deep creativity". I am fully aware that it has many
> imperfections, but I do all what I can to set an example.
> My greatest anguish is that what I do I do it as a learning
> individual. It is the result of my "dassein" creativity in which
> I have incorporated "mitsein" creativity as far as possible.
> The effective manner to change for the better the future of
> humankind and not merely a few humans is by Learning
> Organisations (LO). It is not effective as Learning Individuals
> (LI) and organisations of LIs, but which have not yet emerged
> into LOs. Last, but not the least, it is not effective as my
> "painting rich picture" on "deep creativity".
> Rick, to change slightly your wording, I would say that
> "Learning Organisations is the capacity for effective action
> which will benefit humankind".


"Morty Lefkoe" <morty@decisionmaker.com>

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