The leverage of language LO24546

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 05/03/00

Replying to LO24491 --

Dear Organlearners,

Roger Key <> writes:

>>(5) How much are mental emergences prevented by denying
>> interactions between mind and brain through maintaining
>> an abyss between the abtsract and material worlds?

>5. Who knows? Did Pirsig not suggest that the abyss is
>infact the leading edge of learning and thus he defined it as
>Quality and that Quality and arete were lost to Western
>learning the moment that the romantic-classic, object-subject
>and abstract-material dichotomies were invented by Greek
>philosophy. I guess if the mental emergences that are
>denied are denied by the death of Quality. I am hopeing that
>this question was not driven by my dissociation of abstract
>from material. If it was I need to re-visit my communication

Greetings Roger,

You have replied to so many things which I was responsible for that I have
now to duck that repsonsibility by focussing on one very important thing
which I have quoted above.

First of all, I became aware of Pirsig's wisdom after I began to trace the
evolution of people's understanding of one or more of the seven
essentialities. I encountered him by focussing on the essentiality
otherness ("quality-variety") -- Zen and the art of motor cycling. I once
had the opportunity to listen to him in person and was pleasantly surpised
with his integrity.

I do not think the Greeks invented what you and Pirzig have ascribed to
them. I merely think that they were much more conscious (even on a tacit
level) on the basic patterns involved in "entropy production". For
example, their enquiring into "panta rhei" (all flows) has not been
equaled again in the entire history of humankind. So is it also with there
awareness to "dichotomies".

The two sides of a dichotomy sets up a difference with remarkable
strength. This difference, together with its corresponding flow,
is the necessary ingredients in the basic "becoming pattern"
        difference x flow > 0
as I have been arguing in the topic "To become or not to become".

Some two and a half millenia ago people in various parts of the world
(little Asia, far East, central America) were unusually aware of the main
details of this pattern (and not necessarily how the details fit
together). With this awareness they produced much entropy in the spiritual
which led to remarkable emergences (and immergences!) in human culture.
Humankind was then at the edge of chaos as it is now swinging once again
fast to the edge of chaos.

I think what we now have to learn is that many "dichotomies" have served
their time. By keeping using them as entropic forces rather than trying to
understand entropic forces closer, we will lose more in future by way of
destructive immergences than what humankind has gained two and a half
millenia ago by way of constructive emergences. This inversion of the
benefits happens because content and form are different. The rhythm of
content (i.e the dynamics of "deep creativity") is pretty much the same
since the Big Bang. But the harmony of form (i.e the mechanics of "deep
creativity") have complexified persistently through the ages.

We live in a world different in form to that of the world two and a half
millenia ago as a result of our own human creativity. What has once
happened to prokaryotic cells four billion years ago (see the topic On
Cells and Learning Organisations) is now happening to humankind once
again. In order to survive, humankind will have to shift its paradigm as
never before. This will require an unprecedented creative collapse from

The prophet Hosea in the Bible had some unique understanding of the
inversion of what seems to have been in order. Some people like Maturana,
Pirzig and now even you too are becoming once again sensitive to the fact
that what seemed to be in order is not in order after all.

How should we respond with our learning to such an awareness? We should
begin to question once again even that which seems to be obvious to
everybody as well as that which is not obvious to anybody. Socrates gave
us a great example. However, let us learn from that very example -- never
confuse questioning with judging because the outcome is fatal like mixing
gasoline with oxygen. One little spark made by one ignorant fool can
destroy much -- taking many millenia to reconstruct and even then never
getting quite the same (Dollo's law).

By the way, what has become of all the nuclear warheads set up during the
cold war? Even a president can act foolishly from time to time. It is when
they persist with such foolishness and we do not call them to order when a
little igonrant fool like me or anyone else can make that little spark
which will have the butterfly effect which may destroy so much.

James in the NT warns us that the tongue is the worst little spark creator
which can put the world ablaze. He ought to know because of what happened
to Jerusalem. Such is the leverage of language.

With care 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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