A Story about Paper LO25353

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 09/18/00

Replying to LO25327 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew "Campnona" < ACampnona@aol.com > writes upon my:

>>Tell her that the vast majority of us still have to catch
>>up very much on her walking the talk.

>Thank you At for your deeply knowledgeable, encouraging
>and wise message, I will be passing everything on directly.
>Yes, in every picture of her working there her face is pointed
>toward the children and their work and not the camera.

Greetings Andrew,

My meassge may seem to be wise, but it is not when thinking about those
very children. I have faced you and fellow learners, but not these
children in need.

Last Saturday I invited another PhD (botany) with me on a botanising trip
to the deep portion of the "Steelpoort valley" some 400km from Pretoria.
We visited three localities of succulents. It is extremely dry there
because of the "rain shadow" caused by two high mountainanous systems, the
"Strydpoortberge" and the "Drakensberge". I was physically flat when
arriving back at home -- driving and climbing mountains for twenty hours
are becoming fast too much for me.

>Yes, in every picture of her working the children's faces
>are beaming 'light' as flickering candles in a 'dark wood'.

On three occasions we were approached by adults, asking whether we are
bringing work to their region because their children are hungry. I felt
like bashing my brains against the rocks. Creating jobs ought to be
something coming from within rather than waiting for jobs to be exported
to the needy as is promised by politicians.

>[Later this week the scientific community produces a
>report that may well show that such 'professional
>benefactors' set the bridge for AIDS to jump from one
>species to another because they used unethically and
>without anyone's foreknowledge the pancreases of
>chimps in making drugs then tested them on black

Dear Andrew, there is not merely one "guilty party" here. For example. I
was looking at children playing in the muddy remains of a river. Many
severe diseases make use of a cycle of hosts (living on land and in water)
in which the pathogene has to develop trhough its various stages. I wish I
had a microcope there to show these kids the microbic monstors in that
muddy pools.

Another example. I was looking at pigs and chickens kept next to each
other. Some of the most dangerous mutations in viral diseases happen
because of a repeated jumping from the one species to the other, taking a
gene or two from the new host each time. The common influenza is a typical
case, involving humans, pigs and ducks as living in close proximity in
East Asia dictates.

>The speculation falls upon the nature of immortality's
>effect upon society. It seems that society would fall into
>two types, the 'procrastinators' who lack all and any
>urgency, there is time for everything and there are those
>who become 'manically hyperactive' seeing the potentia
>to do everything. But something is waiting in the wings
>isn't it? Do you sense it? Have you ever experienced it?
>The 'dead hand'. It stopped all projects, large and small
>alike, paralysing all. What was it? It was the voice of
>'experience' AKA "Been there, seen that, dunnit". When
>every man's father, his father and his father is on hand then
>"there is no end to the hierarchy of consultation"
>Prof. Barrow, Cambridge University.

Dear Andrew, I have explained how I understand this is happening to
Winfried in terms of "errors" and "apologies" in reply to his "Mental
forces LO25329". See is you can create any understanding from it or can
point serious "errors" out to me.

Yes I sense and feel it with every cell in me as was the case last
Saturday. For example, I was standing against a mountain slope inspecting
the fruit of Euphorbia barnardii. Down below at a small village a sound
system was blaring out the latest pop hits. I could see young and old
sitting in the shade, letting the sound pump out all authentic thoughts
which they may have had. Not even my crazy exploring on that mountain
slope had any effect on them.

We have travelled past many thousands of destitute shacks during the whole
day. I have not seen a patch of vegetables growing at even one of them. I
have observed the perfect example of capitalistic consumerism, people
having to buy everything which they need, material and mental. When I
arrived back at home I was dead tired -- a kid could have knocked me over.
But I sat another three hours before I went to bed -- my mind was too
painfully awake of what I had observed the whole day. My dear wife had to
command me to sleep.

Yesterday I did not have the mental free energy to go to church as usual.
I think I am lying. I actually did not dare to go -- the sanctimoniousness
of us all would have been too much for me. When we stiffle the rituals
and lithurgy in the religious level of our spiritual life, can we
convincingly claim that we have pleased God Creator? I do not think so.

>And, you know At, for all the prestige of the people I
>'virtually' meet, here and elsewhere, attempting to
>cultivate seeing it as a more and more a developing
>whole, and increasingly clearly out of the mists of
>complexity I see that 'buzzy' inertia overcoming entire
>organisations, economies, nations.

I see it too, but here in Southern Africa it is still a trickle compared
to the stream needed. In my pessimistic moments I sometimes wonder if it
is more than a trickle elsewhere. Sometimes I wonder where learning would
be most effective, among those who have the material means to make a
difference or among those who have to make the difference without material

Take wholeness, for example. There is a "explicit" wholeness in the way
how organisations are developing, making them more powerful and richer by
the month. But when we look deeper into the "implicit" wholeness, do we
not shudder because of what we observe? Wholeness is necessary for health.
People healthy in spirit are smiling people. Look inside these
organisations. How many people in them are smiling?

>Let me own up to something. People like May frighten
>the living **** out of me.

They do not frighten me -- they are the ones who will make the difference.

What frightens me is that they may be too ignorant of the complexity
involved and thus will waste their valuable work. Like Jesus have said,
if we want to built a tower, then we will have to make sure what is needed
to complete it.

The problem is that adults ought to calculate the costs. But kids ought
not to. To destroy their innocence with our ignorance is so terrible that
it is better for us to bind rocks around our necks and commit suicide in
some deep river.

>Fromm identified five types of character within society
>and culture each and among them any society permits flex.
(SNIP, four characters)
>Then, as if for relief he identifies the Productive character,
>The "normal" person, capable of 'genuine' love attachments
>to others, demonstrating ..."man's ability to use his powers
>and to realise the potentialities inherent in him/her."
>Importantly Fromm locks self-love and love for others.
>Respect comes with it, for free!!! This genuine love implies,
>"care, respect, responsibility and knowledge." Not an
>affect(ation) but, "-an active striving for growth and
>happiness of the loved person rooted in ones own capacity
>to love."

Yes, one has authentic respect for something when one has created itself.
And to create it, one needs "entropy production" from below and love from
above as the push-pull pair in the most encompssing ordinate cyber loop
known to me.

I have reached the point where I recognise one and only one dialectical
pair -- constructive and destructive creativity. Only the fifth character
of Fromm is concerned with constructive creativity all the way. The others
slip up persistently in some definite aspect of creativity along the way.
Jesus' parable of the sower sowing seeds tells us a lot.

>I was driving through Oxford last week and I passed a
>large Victorian villa and outside it PROCLAIMED
>'The University of Georgia at Oxford'
>There may be no end to that ingenuity. I say, pray
>that there is. It will fail soon enough.

What is the difference between that university and one in which more than
95% of its academical publications are nothing but the generation of new
information (not knowledge) according to a proven recipe? When will
ordinary folk become wise to this intellectual sausage making?

What is the difference between a church proclaiming Jesus as its spirtual
head and a bazaar which sells cheap Jesus artifacts? When will ordinary
folk become wise to this religious suasage making?

>Well, I ask you, what are we building here and
>where is "here" to and for you today?

Dear Andrew, I am fully aware how material wealth can help one to
accomplish things. For example, if I did not have a (somewhat
dillapidated) truck or money for fuel (which would have fed poor people
with 300 loaves of bread) I would not have been able to do the trip last
Saturday -- and write today somewhat disillusioned about it all.

But matter is for me primarily the "umlomo" (commutator) in
the associative pattern of wholeness
. mind * matter * mind
rather than
. matter * mind * matter
It seems as if I am setting up a dialectic here, but it is just
one outcome of the constructive-destructive dialectic of creativity.

When I think of the world of today, I think of a world almost ready, if
not already, falling apart from its very seams. When I think of myself and
what I am building, it is to help other people to become aware through
authentic learning of the need for constructive creativity as well as to
let go of destructive creativity. This is the only use which I see left
over for dialecticism.

What will help us to understand constructive creativity better?

Stories like your "A Story about Paper" for sure, especially when such a
story becomes the topic of a LO-dialogue. Academical argumentations have
become almost powerless because of the complexity involved. It becomes
more diffcult by the day to distinguish the corn from the chaff. Perhaps
the best demostration is in the very concept of "entropy" as we often have
experienced on this LO-dialogue.

But one cannot sit and suck the story out of your thumb. The story has to
be at least authentic. Furthermore, it has to fire every learner's
constructive creativity. So we again complete the loop to "what is
constructive creativity". It is for this reason that I have developed what
I call the "elementary sustainers of creativity". Up to now I have
identified 5 of them. It is possible to subject each of them to academical
investigations. But without that deeper knowledge of them, they still work
exquisitely for people whatever the label other people could hand around
their necks. It is with them that we can break the stiffling loop of
customs and protocols.

Think about these elementary sustainers:- dialogue, problem-solving,
game-playing, exemplar-studying and art-expressing. Think about May's
endeavour. See if you can make a connection. Perhaps this is the reason
why you have written

>Let me own up to something. People like May frighten
>the living **** out of me.

As I have said earlier, when young kids in an elementary school live with
these sustainers during play-time OUTSIDE the classes (even though sadly
not also during teach-time INSIDE the classes), I feel not afraid for the
future. But when I see pupils at a secondary school and how little of the
kid is still in them, a deep sadness (rather than fright) comes over me.
Then I am reminded of Einstein's immortal words to the affect that we
ought to thank God that not all the scools have destroyed all the
creativity of all the people. Let us all be thankful for people like May
who is rediscovering and employing authentic schooling.

I pray that we will not become scavenging animals seeking the spirtual
carcasses of fellow humans to make a living. In the physical world
scavengers play a vital ecological role, but with the best intention
possible I cannot justify such a scavenger role for our "spiritual

Tell me, is there a place for scavengers in a Learning Organisation?

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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