Resistance to Change LO24682

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 05/26/00

Replying to LO24677 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfried Dressler <> writes:

>Warning: I have done again, that I have tried to avoid for quite
>a while. This will appear to be somewhat insider-talk for those
>who don't enjoy At's writing as I am doing.

Greetings Winfried,

It is impossible to enjoy with rote behaviour.

You are walking a wise path. Think about religions and the sacred books
they use. These books reveal to them the tellings and doings of their God.
What do you think would happen if any sacred book revealed all which can
be said and done? How voluminous would such a book be? How long would it
take to study the whole of it?

Why do I then write what you prefer wisely to keep tacit? Like Socrates
once said, I also have to become a fool so as to learn what wisdom is. I
am a fool for writing so much, but at least I have the courage to do so.

>Here are three questions which you can ponder over in your
>own learning.

(They concern fear and its relationship to creativity.)

>I can imagine that you have formed these questions while I
>was writing my second mail to Sajeela on domination and
>partnership. Now that you ask the questions I can see that
>I've responded to them. But if you'd have asked them before,
>I wouldn't have been able to answer them the way I did. Isn't
>this interesting?

Yes, it is. I myself would never have been able to formulate them were it
not for my experiences in our beloved country. Apartheid (deliberate
fragmentaion of wholeness) took hold in the minds of good people. Why?
Because of fear for what they tacitly knew on destructive
creativity.Whereas their knowledge on destructive creativity was/is tacit,
fear was articulated from the pulpit to the podium, from the farm to the
shop, from the craddle to the grave. Some did it deliberately while others
did it in resonance. It is of no use trying to blame anyone. What is
useful is to do the courageous thing when in fear. Find out exactly the
becoming-being of fear. Creep up right to lion's nose if you want to smell
its foul breath.

>On the question why there may be some 'irrational fear' left
>after overcoming the rational fear - no, I must say: after utilizing
>the legitimate reservations - I am very grateful for the clues you
>gave on inertia stemming from rote knowledge and rote belief.

Bear in mind that I am a fool for articulating certain things which you
wisely keep tacit. You said that I gave you the clues. Wisdom is that
tacit knowledge (intuition, gut feeling) -- and not I -- provides the
powerful clues!!! Where does tacit knowledge resides? Where does tacit
knowledge comes from?

I feel like hammering my head into a wall because trying to teach this
wisdom to students in a class (in public) has very little effect.
Eventually those who do not heed this wisdom, will come with great
distress (in private) to my office. It is only then when real midwifery
can begin, setting these students on a path of authenctic learning.

>My understanding of Mortys Decision Maker process in your
>terminology (trying to be fruitful) is following:

I had been trying to get hold of his work in our local bookshops and
libraries. I cannot express myself on it, except for what Morty has told
us on this LO list. Since I suspect that it involves what I call "ordinate
cyber loops", I think that it will help us much in our understanding of
Systems Thinking.

>Somewhen, due to overwhelming evidence by an intense flow
>of experiences some knowledge arise from it which condense
>into a belief. This belief emerges authentically.

You are an artist with words -- condense <==> emerge!!

>But the backaction is still active. This leads to the dynamic
>that fragmented beliefs start to shape knowledge and finally

All beliefs, even authentic ones, shape knowledge and even experience by
way of back actions. The difference is that authentic beliefs shape them
authentically -- what an oxymoron ;-)

>The belief has crowned itself king and by making any
>experience consistent to the belief the feedback loop is
>closed again. This is a very, very good thing and must be
>acknowledged as such.

Here I differ slightly. Every UNAUTHENTIC (apocryphal) belief crowns
itself as king. Authentic beliefs rather serves the higher order of
unconditional love.

>It is a kind of immune reaction to destructive events. It is like
>stopping to breathe and shut the mouth while diving.

Yes, even apocryphal beliefs can resist destructive events like an
immunological reaction. That is why it is very silly to criticise even
apocryphal beliefs -- silly for people from various religions to criticise
one another. But often an apocryphal belief does what AIDS do -- destroy
the immunological reaction itself. This is the case when the belief -- and
you should already have felt the gooseflesh forming -- concerns something
vital to the content or form of creativity!

That is why we never should stop a child's imagination. This imagination
is the condensate of the childs creativity! We should rather help the
child how do connect this inner condensate to the condensate in the
outside world! By stopping the child's imagination, we force an apocryphal
belief into him/her that he/she will be remain ignorant on emergences

>What the Decision Maker process basically does in my
>understanding now is that those fragmented beliefs are
>identified in an appreciative manner (the lever is caring love!)
>and suspended into a greater whole. When this happens,
>new experiences can serve again as the source of the ordinate
>feedback process.

The way in which you understand it, sounds wonderful!

You keep on speaking of FRAGMENTED beliefs. Perhaps there are six other
kinds too. Perhaps there are even beliefs which have to do with
jeopardising the content rather than the form of creativity. What do you

>Dear At, thank you for cautioning me not to confuse content-
>und form-resistance with Mortys challenge. I think I don't.
>I see the unique additional contribution which he makes. It
>is not sufficient to deal with the establishment of the seven
>essentialities alone, it is not sufficient to deal with entropic
>forces and fluxes as if one could design a brandnew system
>from nothing.

You are more than 100% right, if that was possible. Perhaps you still
"belief" that I work from the bottom to the top. Were that not "kicked"
into us by our physics training? No, working from the bottom to top is an
irreversible process, just as is working from the top to the bottom is a
different irreversible process. In chenistry it is simple to understand
this -- both analysis and synthesis are irreversible processes. But they
are so different that only a minority of chemists can practice both

When one enters a desert, there is not a "best place" for entry. One
either enters it from wherever one has approach it, or one flees away from
it in fear. Once one has entered it, one has to be prepared that life
there is most irreversible.

As I said before, if we want to keep up with Kaokoland elephants in the
Damaraland desert (a rocky one), one will have to do what they do,
covering in one day what the best of human runners barely manage to do
(see Comrades marathon).

>One also has to deal with those lonely wholes, created
>authentically in the past, became fragmented over time
>but which are still trying to do their best.

That is why we have to be vigilant for constructive creativity. Once we
give in to destructive creativity, what was authentic will become sooner
or later debased.

>At, how sure are you that there is such a thing like rote
>learning or rote believing? This is a serious question, perhaps
>the most serious one I have ever asked you.

Such a serious question has to be matched by honesty.

Why the "or"? Why not also "rote loving". Because of things which happened
in my life as a kid (it has nothing to do with sex!), I was forced into
"rote loving". I kicked against it like the must untrustworthy mule ever
to have lived on this earth.

I am as sure as I am writing here. Allow me first to describe once again
what I mean by the word "rote" in creating, learning, believing and
loving. It comes from the French in which it means "machine". I mean by it
that the human mind takes by DEMAND a piece from of creativity, knowledge,
faith or love, make an undistorted copy of it in the mind and then
reproduce this copy undistorted on DEMAND so that it is almost
"authentical" ( ;-) to the original piece taken. In other words, it is a
completely REVERSIBLE interaction between the "world-outside-person" (the
SUrrounding systems SU) and the "world-inside-person" (the
self-organising SYstem SY).

I have deliberately connected to this REVERSIBLE/irreversible issue
because Einstein with his remarkable mentality was one of the few to
declare explicitly that this issue is not only a question of knowledge,
but also a question of faith! We know that he firmly declared that he does
NOT believe in irreversibility. Interestingly enough, he was wise enough
not to judge others who believed the converse. Among them was Eddington,
one of the few cosmologists who understood Einstein's theory of relativity
as well as Einstein himself and acknowledged even by Einstein too.
Eddington BELIEVED that irreversibilty is the most important feature of
the universe!

Consequently I want to emphasise as strongly as possible that the issue of
rote mental behaviour is as complex as can be. Those who want to seek a
simple answer and give shortcut claims are barking up against the wrong
shrub. That is why I am fully aware of just how important this question is
to you.

Winfried, shall I ever forget how many years I have struggled with this
question too. You know from my contributions long ago how I became aware
of irreversibility as a result of "entropy production" in my research on
soils and how it helped me to manage the complexity of the soil system.
Afterwards in education and our multicultrural society I had thousands of
experiences just how destructive rote mental behaviour was on the
creativity of people. It took many years for my tacit knowledge on rote
mental behaviour to condense because it involved so much complexity. But
try as I could, I could not articulate it. (Fred Nichols would love to
read this ;-)

In the meanwhile, I spent much time on studying creativity in which
innovation became the focal point. I gradually became more excited as I
realised how much the innovative phase of creativity had to do with
immense "entropy production" (getting to the "edge of chaos" as people
later began to express it.) Here and there I even managed to articulate
my tacit knowledge on this relationship. Nevertheless, I became tacitly
convinced that creativity is a most important manifestaion of
irreversibility. Thus my problem increased -- how can rote mental
behaviour be related to irreversible creativity? I could not find any
connection, despite all my trying.

But then, in the early eighties, as a result of Prigogine's remarkable
work on irreversibility and chaos-order, people suddenly began to jump on
the bandwagon of chaos-order while leaving the irreversibility behind!
When people jump on bandwagons leaving half of their belongings behind, it
makes me very suspicious. It is as worse as parents saving themselves from
a sinking boat while their children are drowning, or a goverment making a
costly war while a large portion of the nation is dying from famine. When
people jump a band-wagon, look for the truth and righth which they leave

I soon realised that "getting to the edge of chaos" was but one phase of
creativity. It was like chemistry. When one synthesise something, its
bubbles, smokes and explodes which indicate how far the pushing is from
equilibrium. But when one analyse something, the most confident data
requires a pull towards equilibrium as closely as possible. That is why it
is so difficult to become both an analyst and synthesist -- one has to
cultivate that art of swinging between these two extremes in a most
exquisite rhythm. With this insight my problem became even greater -- how
to observe irreversibility at equilibrium where all the literature tell
that everything happens reversible!!!! ;-);-)-;)

Can I tell how many nights my last thought before falling into sleep was
"Who is right, Einstein xor Eddington"? (xor means "exclusive or", either
the one, or the other, but not both.) Can I tell about my many nightmares?
Can I tell how many mornings I woke up with this question as my first
thought? But from my desert experiences I knew that I had to keep on
looking for the Lithops (little plant lokking like a pebble) camouflaging
itself so well.

Then, one day, as I help students in chemistry II with their analytical
practicals which involved Ostwald digestion, the whole insight which I had
been seeking condensed within me. I have told it all as best as I can
under the topic The Digestor on this very list. Winfried, do you still
remember the extraodinary reactions of fellow learners in this topic ;-)?

Suddenly I realised that "REVERSIBLE rote metal behaviour" is but a "poor"
copy of "IRREVERSIBLE digestive mental behaviour". By "poor" I do not
mean that it looks very different to it. I rather mean that it looks very
much like a superior counterfeigted note! We have to look very, very
careful for the differences, but once we have spotted them, it is easy to
tell the differences. However, and I repeat HOWEVER, to know the
differences one has to have an AUTHENTIC note with which to compare the
counterfeigted note. In other words, should we want to spot the
differences between "REVERSIBLE rote metal behaviour" and the digestive
phase of "IRREVERSIBLE mental behaviour", we each need the latter to do

Dear Winfried, perhaps you will now ask me "Can I trust your notes on
IRREVERSIBLE mental behaviour to make a comparison on?" In that case my
answer will be "Do not ever trust me or my notes." Why? The moment when
you trust me, you make use of "REVERSIBLE rote metal behaviour"! Thus you
will NOT find all the differences, if any. Can you trust yourself? Yes,
but only on one CONDITION -- when it all finally condenses into
UNCONDIONAL love because this is the final test for constructive

Here is some differences between "rote metal behaviour" (RMB) and
"authentic mental behaviour" (AMB). Please note that I do it with great
hesistation because of the dialectical (constructive/ /destructive) nature
of creativity. Thus it is better to burn these notes rather to dispute
them because they are merely my opinions as an ignorant fool.

* RMB is reversible whereas AMB is irreversible.
* RMB tries to catch up with both the digestive and bifurcative
  phases of creativity in the same way whereas AMB uses two
  ways, one for the digestive phase and a different one for the
  bifurcative phase.
* RMB seeks an empty space in mind to fill it up whereas AMB
  seeks a rhythmic dance between content and form of body and
  mind which becomes ever increasing complex as the personality.
* RMB justify itself in finding an application which leads to a final
  evaluation ("bottom line") whereas AMB continually gives birth
  and then foster the newly born to maturity.
* RMB makes one-many into a dialecticism whereas AMB
  promotes the complementary duality between the one and many.
* RMB flourishes on bullies dominating underdogs called
  euphemistically peer grouping whereas AMB seeks ubuntu in
  colaborative cooperation.
* RMB causes followers by destructive creativity whereas AMB
  makes stewards who want to serve without forcing control when
  they have to lead.
* RMB seeks war to end looming wars whereas AMB seeks
  harmony of peace between digestions and creative collapses.
* RMB sanctifies any means by lofty goals and vice versa whereas
  AMB purifies itself by creating constructively, even in its
* RMB makes everything banal, even love, whereas AMB gives
  joy in discovering the sacredness of Creation.

Dear Winfried, have you ever imagined how much hurt and confusion is
caused by "rote loving"?

Last night (Thursday) during our weekly Bible study session, a question
came up which we attended to two weeks ago. I then felt very sad that the
others brushed the question so quickly away. Last night we again got to a
citation which made Adri, a dear lady, exclaim once again "I do have a
problem. How can we see God?" So the the rest of the team tried to answer
her from every possible angle, perhaps noticing that the frown on her face
became intenser. It is impossible to write here what all has been said.

After some half an hour, Ben who leads the study, suddenly realised that I
have not said a single word up to then. I replied that I was observing
them because I am, after all, a scientist too and science begins with
observation. All eleven the others (my dear wife felt iller than me and
stayed home) suddenly frowned at me. So I had to come up quickly with a
summary of my observations. "You are all avoiding Adri's question like a
black hole, afraid that it will pull you in." This loosened their
thoughts, then trying to give Adri some AUTHENTIC answers. The ensuing
dialogue was one of the most rewarding I ever have observed and in the
prayers afterwards it became clear to everyone.

I did not say much last night because I will have to articulate too much
tacit knowledge to do so. But Winfried, I will ask you the following
question and I think you will understand how deep it is. Can we expect to
see God Authentic Love when we try to do so with "rote loving"?

Winfried, I have tried not to avoid your question like a "black hole". But
these "black holes" of physics, are they not strange things? You can
observe them, but you cannot see into them unless you go into them not to
come out again.

Its like sending someone to Mars to tell us how life becomes there. Space
technology is so advanced that it could have been done already a dozen
years ago. But this technology is so feeble that it is not yet possible to
bring the person back. I will go and so will a number of others also. But
nobody wants to send anybody on a DEATH MISSION, although millions will
get killed by inciting war. How many fellow learners know that the
greatest adventures of authentic explorers came because of the willingness
to create the ultimate collapse when the arrow of time asks for it?

Blessed is the child who can follow up imagination with doing.

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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