metanoia organizations LO25138

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 08/10/00

Replying to LO25118 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfried Dressler <> writes:

>You have applied transdisciplinary thinking. What I am
>going to write about is more that sort of lateral (associative)
>thinking, that uses your benzene-model in order to "explain"
>two different kinds of relationships in an organization, which
>Senge uses within the context of "Team-Learning".
>Let the benzene ring be a potential core of an organization,
>the potential for a culture, "smell", "aroma". This core starts
>to become actualized when members relate to this core.
>"ortho", "meta" and "para" are sleeping in the pure benzene
>ring, none of them activated or disactivated.

Greetings Winfried,

I had to stress (and exemplify) my transdiciplinary thinking here.
Organic chemists would perhaps not approve the words which I have been
using, but I excuse myself on the grounds that I have not been conforming
to disciplinary thinking in our lovely topic. Transdisplinary thinking is
not in dialectical opposition to disciplinary thinking, but actually
complementary to it. Furthermore, as you have self realised,
transdisciplianry thinking is prerequisite to lateral thinking so as to
let the possibilties emerge which are needed for lateral thinking.

In the diagram of the benzene ring
. (1)
. C
. / \\
. C C (2 - ortho)
. || |
. C C (3 - meta)
. \ //
. C (4 - para)

I have shown only how the carbon (C) atoms are linked TOGETHER. I have not
shown how to each C atom a corresponding hydrogen atom H is linked. Please
remember that the formula of benzene is C6H6 and not merely C6.

Perhaps I should have done it. Please be patient because there I will come
to sense in this madness. I will now do it as

. (1)
. CH
. / \\
. CH CH (2 - ortho)
. || |
. CH CH (3 - meta)
. \ //
. CH (4 - para)

I would have loved to draw the bond (and electron pair represented by a
stroke |) between each C and H. But this is not easy with ASCII code.

Compare the latter structure with that of cyclohexane which is as follows:

. (1)
. CH2
. / \
. CH2 CH2 (2 - ortho)
. | |
. CH2 CH2 (3 - meta)
. \ /
. CH2 (4 - para)

Both are ring structures. Benzene is made up from six CH units
looking like
. *
. * C -- H
. *
while cyclohexane is made up from six CH2 units, each
looking like
. H
. * /
. C
. * \
. H

Each CH has three single electrons (indicated by *) why each CH2 has only
two single electrons. Two single electrons, one on each side, are needed
to join two CH on either side of a CH, or two CH2 on either side of a CH2.
It is that third single electron at the CH which, together with the five
from the other CH members, which gives benzene its aromaticity!!!. They
are also called the "pie" electrons because they are situated and move
perpendicular to the plane of the ring. almost in a fashion looking like
the Greek letter P ("pie").

These "pie" electrons are responsible for the extraordinary properties of
benzene. Every bond between any C and its H is called "localised" bonds.
It simply means that the two electrons of the bond between a C and a H
move only between these two atoms. Likewise every bond between a C and a C
in cyclohexane is also localised. But in benzene we have to distinguish
between a primary (called "sigma" by chemists) bond and a secondary
(called "pie" by chemists) bond. There are six primary C--C bonds in
benzene C6H6 just like in cyclohexane C6H12. But benzene has three extra
secondary bonds responsible for its aromaticity.

These three secondary bonds are not localised like all the primary bonds,
but are actually distributed all over the six angled plane as two rings,
one on each side of the plane. In other words, every "pie" or "aromatic"
electron eventually MEETS each of ALL six C atoms in the ring. Judy Tal in
her delightful contribution LO25114 has stressed how important this
MEETING is. I can merely add that this MEETING should not be localised
between two people as in a discussion, but between all people involved as
in a dialogue. (That is why I always use the word "dialogue" with
hesitation because the "di", rathe than the "dia" may mean "involving
two". I would have prefered to use "polylogue" to stress the inclusivity
of the dialogue.)

When we compare the chemistry of benzene with that of cyclohexane,
cyclohexane has nothing of this "sleeping ortho, meta and para
potentialities". In other words, substituting a H on a CH2 with NO2 will
not influence at all the ortho, meta and para positions. But substituting
a H on a CH in benzene with a NO2 results in this profound activation of
the "ortho" and "para" positions. Why? Because of the EMERGING aromaticity
from the six "pie" electrons!
I am so happy because for the first time ever I can give a
clear (hopefully ;-) example of a "creative collapse". By letting
cyclohexane C6H12 give up 6 H of the 12 H atoms bonded to
the C6 ring, six electrons are released so as to emerge into the
two aromaticity rings when functioning as DELOCALISED "pie"
electrons. The reaction can be described as
. C6H12 ==> C6H6 + 3H2
This can be accomplished by blowing pure (i.e. not having
any oxygen mixed with it) cyclohexane C6H12 through a
almost red hot iron pipe. The iron functions as a catalyst
and the high tempreature drives cyclohexane to the "edge
of chaos".

Benzene is a known carcogenic substance. Why carcogenic? The links
bewteen the two DNA strands are made up between four nucleotides --
adenine, guanine, cyotsine and thymine. The nucleotide adenine has an
aromatic character just like benzene. Thus benzene can bond by way of
London forces with adenine involving their aromaticity rings. A benzene
ring sitting upon the adenine nucleotide causes an obstacle for the very
complex enzyme DNA-polymerase when it has to duplicate the DNA helix. Thus
it cannot find the adenine underneath the benzene ring and so leaves a
hole in the subsequently produced DNA. This merely one hole (one tooth
absent) is too slight a change for the immunological system to track down.
When the hole occurs in that part regulating the growth of the cell, it
may very well lead to unrestricted growth, i.e. tumor cells.

But let us get back to the LO! The "aromatic ring" consisting
of "pie" electrons which each will eventually MEET every C
atom in the ring reminds me very much of the way a paradigm
works. See my recent contribution
Paradigm Shifts in LOs LO25112
Benzene C6H6 has a paradigm whereas cyclohexane C6H12
has lost that paradigm. Benzene can be reconverted into
cyclohexane by treating it with hydrogen. Guess what is this
reaction called by chemists -- reduction (also hydrogenation)!
In other words, reduction by hydrogen in organic chemistry
is a know destroyer of aromaticity!

How about organisations? Is reductionistic thinking not one of the main
causes for a "paradigm lost" rather than a "paradigm shift"?

>An electron-acceptor like NO2 can relate such as to add
>to the complexity and get electron share. This NO2 relation
>reminds me of the normal transactional relations of organizations
>and it's members: I relate to such an organization, that will
>bring me the most reward - what can I get out of it. The
>immediate benefit for the organization is added complexity.
>Such an organization will exhibit normal thinking patterns:
>"orthonoia" and paranoia (what about paranormal? Machiavellis
>fortune comes into my mind.) In this organization, metanoia
>is disactivated - the notion that single loop learning disactivates
>double loop learning comes into my mind.

Yes, yes, yes. The double loop needs the aromaticity to function. Double
loop learning is impossible with a "paradigm lost".

>An other case occurs when an electron-donator like CH3
>relates to the core. Here the focus lies on contributing - like
>in community building rather than business building. In this
>case, the metaphor tells, the meta-position becomes activated
>while the other two are disactivated.
>This thinking drives me to many questions

Wonderful. Now your imagination has been switched on so that you can begin
to speculate (phase 2 of scientific thinking). Do not rush to soon to
phase 3 (falsification).

Perhaps in my example I should have compared NO2 with NH2 rather than with
CH3. In both NO2 and NH2 it is the N atom which gets bonded with the C
atom in position (1). The NO2 tries to pull the "pie" electrons out of
the ring, thus almost breaking the aromaticity. The result is
"ortho"/"para" activities. The NH2 rather pushes the "pie" electrons back
into their orginal distribution, thus restoring the aromaticity. This
result is "meta" activities.

With this I want to illustrate that it is this not the atom (in the
example above the N) bonded to the C at position (1) which changes the
activity of the the remaining five C atoms in the benzene ring. It is the
atoms further away on the other side of that N (hydrogen H or oxygen O).
The N here merely acts as mouthpiece or "unlomo" (remember the
"associativity" pattern) of wholeness.

The general pattern is as follows. Think of any atom Y connected to the
other side of the N as the C of C6H6. We will generalise N itself to X
where X is then the mouthpiece (facilitator). Should this Y pull (like in
the case of oxygen O) an electron stronger than a C atom in C6H6, the
"ortho"/"para" positions are activated. But should this Y pull (like in
the case of hydrogen H) an electron weaker than a C atom, the "meta"
position is activated. The X atom is merely the mediator here.

These atoms Y which are ON THE OTHER SIDE of the FIRST INCOMING and hence
ORIENTATING group XYY... where X makes effective contact with the C in the
aromatic ring can serve as a metaphor for the Shared Vision (SV). If the
SV of the organisation calls for a strong and localised pulling of values
out of the organisation, the activation will be the "artho"/"para"
positions. But if the SV calls for a strong and delocalised restoring of
values back into the organisation, the activation will be in the "meta"
position. Thus it it is very important to look at the "pull out" or "push
back" character of the SV.

Winfried, since you are one of the few who have paid attention to how I
have discovered the seven essentialities, prepare yourself now for a
surprise which will rock you out of your seat! The distinction between
"pull outs" and "push backs" is vital to toposlogic! I think that this
indicates how I would have answered your next question:

>Why do you write that NO2 and CH3 are complementary
>duals, rather than dialectical opposites? What does one
>have to do with the other?

What we have here is the push-pull complementary duality, one which Leo
Minningh is very sensitive to.

For example, the two essentialities fruitfulness and spareness are a
"push-pull" complementary dual.

>Did I get you right that CH3 or another electron-donator cannot
>react with benzene directly but only in a substitution reaction,
>substituting NO2 or another electron-acceptor?

Yes, this is what makes chemistry so complex -- causing students to revolt
and lecturers to get grey hair too soon ;-)

>In how far is the second case with CH3 more complex than
>the first case? For instance in terms of entropy and free
>energy. Is there a specific advantage for e.g. building more
>complex molecules/organizations when the meta-position is
>activated compared to ortho- or para-position?

Please, let us not go into the actual details of the chemistry because the
relativity required will drive fellow learners also into revolt.

Yes, the meta posisiton seems to play a much richer role in biochemistry
than the ortho-para positions.

>And talking about aromatic molecules, can one smell the

The best is to actually experience self smelling the differences.
Ask a chemist with a well equiped store of organic compounds
to let you get a sniff at each of a pair like
C6H6 C6H12
C6H5-Cl C6H11-Cl
C6H5-NO2 C6H11-NO2
C6H5-CH3 C6H11-CH3
The first member is aromatic while the second member is not.

>Finally it seems appropriate if you could expand a little
>bit on the relation between lateral, associative, similarities
>based, metaphoric thinking with ..................


>Then you may go on a little further, and still a little further

So what has become of "emergent learning" my dear friend?

The delightful contribution of Judy Tal LO25114 speaks so much of this

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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