Work and Free Energy -- The Dance of LEP on LEC: LO25635

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 11/14/00

Replying to LO25618 --

Dear Organlearners,

Gavin Ritz <> writes:

>For those of you who have read Stephen Covey's 7 Habits
>will notice that this is non another than the (p) (pc) balance.
>Production and production capability he used the example
>of the potential of the goose to lay the golden eggs and the
>golden eggs.

Greetings Gavin,

I am glad that you have pointed this Covey "habit" out as an example of an
entropic force-flux pair. Hopefully your pointing will be that one grain
of sand which, rolling down the slope of an unstable labile sand dune,
causes an avalanche of examples to follow.

(Leo, I really like this "one grain of sand rolling causing an avalanche"
as an alternative to the "one butterfly with flapping wings causing a
tempest elsewhere" which is fast becoming prosaic.)

>Why are people committed? Because they value (values,
>needs, culture, motives are closely related) what they do.
>What motivates them? It is non other than their needs,
>desires, hopes, fears and pain. This is easily provable.

(snip examples)

>Which is non other that the algedonic signal. It is the
>pressure -tension the invariant factor the intensive factor.
>The holo part of the whole.
>I have shared with you many times how it works and I will
>do so again. I am quite happy to walk this road again.
>The tension (or pressure) between our fears (pain) and our
>hopes, ambitions and ideals is the intensive factor.

I have to point out once again that when, say 1000 people, fit your
description exactly and understand it, then the 1001-th person comes along
who does not fit it and also understand why. Thus the description is still
incomplete for me. These 1001-th persons, although a small minority, is
just as part of humankind as the overwhelming rest.

>From my first conscious days up to my first encounter in the late
sixties with the pattern
. [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X > 0
of "entropy production" which Prigogine uncovered, I was just as much
a prisoner of the "algedonic signal" or "dialectical pair" as the next 999
people. In fact, they flourished in apartheid South Africa. The heart of
dialecticism is that Y has two and only two values, namely Y(2) and Y(1)
of which necessarily and without exception the one value must be "good"
and the other one must be "bad". But dialecticism, imbedded in the
paradigm of simplicity, failed to point out the following complexity of
issues like the following:

(1) The factor Y has to be intensive and not be extensive. In other words,
when the system gets scaled up or down, the factor Y itself will not scale
up or down, but remain invariant in magnitude. In human affairs
(sociology, psychology, etc.) such an intensive factor is then often
called a quality.
(2) When the factor Y has only two values Y(2) and Y(1), the labeling of
them by "good" and "bad" depends on which "side of the fence" the labeler
stands. The labeler on one side of will call Y(2) "good" and hence Y(1)
"bad" while the labeler on the other side will call Y(1) "good" and hence
Y(2) "bad". Thus the complementary flux /_\X for the first labeler will be
from Y(1) to Y(2) whereas for the second labeler it will be from Y(2) to
Y(1). In other words, the dialectics of the two sides will be symmetrical
mirror images of each other. Breaking this symmetry is one of the most
difficult things to accomplish as diplomatic initiatives in dialectical
conflicts illustrates. It amounts to convincing both sides to suspend LEM
(the Law of the Excluded Middle of logics) -- to "sit upon the fence
rather than taking a side of the fence".

(3) The setting up of a dialectical pair may generate in the long time an
even stronger dialectical pair (new variety) which will eventually cause
the the demise of the original dialectical pair. The ignorance to a
greater variety causes the demise of the lesser variety. How will this
happen? One way is to explain it by Ahby's law of requisite variety. But I
will do it in another way.

When the factor Y can have potentially many possible values of which only
two is actually operating, the dialectical conflict spill over when the
other values also begin to operate. Assume that the many potential values
are Y(1), Y(2), Y(3), Y(4), Y(5), Y(6) and Y(7) IN ORDER of increasing
value. Assume that of these only Y(3) and Y(5) originally operate. Label
Y(3) as "bad" and Y(5) as "good" so that the entropic force [Y(5) - Y(3)]
is now perceived as an algedonic signal or dialectical pair. The entropic
flux /_\X is then from Y(3) to Y(5). Let Y(6) appear on the scene.
Suddenly those people favouring Y(5) have to admit a new dialectical pair
(algedonic signal) [Y(6) - Y(5)] with an entropic flux from Y(5) to Y(6).
Thus they also begin to lose and not only to gain like before. To convert
their loss into a gain, they have to call Y(6) ("better" than "good" on
the scale from "bad" to "good") even "worser" than the "bad" Y(3). In
other words, the values which they use to absorb Y(3), will now have to be
inverted to absorb Y(6) too. And when the "worser" Y(2) actually appears
in the scene, they have to invert these inverted values once again so as
to deal with the "worser" Y(2) like they already dealt with the "bad"
Y(3). There is even more to it, but perhaps it is better to tell it with
an example.

In politics we have the labels "left", "middle" and "right". Usually the
dialectical pair is set up between "left" and "right". Then an "ultra
right" (or respectively "ultra left") appears on the screen which causes
the "right" to fight on both sides, the "left" to the one side and the
"ultra right" on the other side. To maintain their position as
dialectical predator, the "right" faction now has to use a "double set" of
standards, one for the "left" and its mirror image for the "ultra right".
The "right" who remained relatively intact with respect to the "left"
moving towards it, now begins to move towards the "left" because of the
"ultra right" appearing. When the "ultra left" appears on the scene, the
issue complicates because the "left" now has to do the same as the
"right". Thus both the "left" and the "right" begin to move to the
"middel" so as to fight the dialectical poles on the outer sides of both.
However, in the "middle" they find themselves in a stable equilibrium so
that the "ultra left" and "ultra right" become the dialectical pair of the

(4) The increasing preoccupation with the dialectical pair [Y(2) - Y(1)]
causes and increasing ignorance to the entropic flux /_\X and thus and
increasing ignorance to complementary pairs like Y x X. The mind gets
preoccupied with "being" and ignorant of "becoming". Eventually the
dialectical pair itself is seen as the beginning and end of everything,
rather as something which can come to life and die away itself. Thus the
"becoming" close to equilbrium and especially at the edge of chaos become
a mystery to many.

I can offer a very good example in terms of the [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X > 0
patterns of "entropy production" itself. Not many people have yet realised
that these patterns of "entropy production" can be used to explain and
even replace dialecticism. However, their number are gradually increasing
as a trickle becomes a stream and eventually will turn into a flood.
Should we carefully examine these people, their preoccupation with the
entropic force-flux pairs is rather astounding. They never ask themselves
what makes these patterns emerge in the first place and in the last place
will cause their immergence. It is the availability of "free energy" in
the system and in the surrounding systems -- the dance of LEP on LEC as we
may call it. Even Progogine says very little on "free energy", except for
an occasional cursory note. In a comprehensive monograph on non-equilbrium
thermodynamics like that of De Groot and Mazur, the concept of "free
energy" is not even mentioned once! These entropic forces and the
force-flux pairs they give rise to entails all.

As Gavin puts it:

>All the above are a mixture of physical and mental
>needs. These are non other than the pain -pleasure
>principle. The key drivers of mankind.

As I grew older, and especially since my Christain rebirth some thirty
years ago, I began to struggle understanding not only the 1000 persons,
but also the 1001-th person. St Paul, for example, is a magnificent
example of the 1001-th person, the one who does not fit with the 1000
persons, yet who can become like any one of them so as to let some of them
also experience the Love of God. Thus also began my struggle to understand
myself as possibly a 1001-th person -- someone who kept on asking
questions and got mostly trouble for doing so.

[When I think of Jesus of Nazareth, I have to change my ratio from the
1001-th to 100,000,000,001-th person thinking of all humans who lived
before and after him.]

At first most of the messages of St Paul had a peculiarity in them for me.
Part of each message was very clear and the other part was very obsure.
(From now on I will use my own descriptions, unfamiliar to you, rather
than trying to find conventional descriptions saying what I want to say.)
It was almost as if there was a [C(clear) - C(obscure)] entropic force in
many of his messages, the C represent my "conceptivity" (conceptual

I could identify with this myself very much with his metaphor of "now we
look into the mirror, but one day we will see transparently". I could
perceive very well how the value C(clear) was determined by what I do know
in general. So I began to question myself: "What do I not know so that I
end up with the value C(obscure)?" Hence I began to search in far too many
books for the answer, assuming that I will find the answer in one of them.
Eventually I began to question my assumption. Why should I find the answer
outside me? Do I not perhaps know the answer self, not knowing that I know
it? I know that this sounds ridiculous, but in those days I did not know
formally Polanyi's concept of tacit knowledge. I had only tacit knowledge
on tacit knowledge and this I expressed with the horrible description of
"meta-epistemological base".

In his many letters and especially in the letter to the Romans Paul takes
much effort to describe the main entropic force of the Old Testament (OT),
namely [W(sacrifice) - W(law)] where W is the Will of God. However, he
then takes as much effort to describe the "new revealed power" of the NT
as not the difference of two values of one entity, but as one singular
entity of which L (love) is the supreme. Love L has many possible values
like faith, hope and grace. This L had power even over the entropic force
[C(clear) - C(obscure)]. In terms of how religion was presented to me by
our community, this did not make sense. But in terms of my relationship
with my pupils and students it did make sense. I love those with more
C(obscure) just as much as I love those with more C(clear), eventhough
those with C(obscure) gave me grey hairs.

Eventually I became aware how, like Job, I was continually drawn into one
dialectical pattern to the other which prevented me from getting done what
I loved to do. What did I love to to do? I began to think as deeply on
authentic teaching as I was trying to think on authentic learning. I loved
to be a mentor, a spiritual midwife. But is a spiritual midwife not needed
for spiritual birth? So what is a spiritual birth? Is it not the
forthcoming of something new? Is it not a whole which involves both the
Y(2) and Y(1) of the difference [Y(2) - Y(1)] and which furthermore
involves both the entropic force [Y(2) - Y(1)] and entropic flux /_\X of
every entropic pattern [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X > 0? Is this not a new whole
which is more than the sum of all the [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X > 0 parts,
namely the total "entropy production"? What new whole comes forth from
this total "entropy production"?

I cannot describe to you how much my mind was in turmoil -- the chaos of
becoming. Sometimes I was acutely aware of my mental emergences, but
sometimes they happened while I am sleeping. My emergence to the concept
of a constructive emergence was such a sleeping emergence. Up to some day
I was still wondering what the answer was and from some latter day I was
beginning to articulate the tacit answer within me. As with respect to
the [W(sacrifice) - W(law)] versus L(hope, faith, grace, ..) problematic,
I began to see that I was foolish to accept these two as dialectical
pairs. The former is rather the past of lesser complexity and the latter
rather the future of greater complexity. The shift from the past (old) to
the future (new) is no dialectal pattern itself, although the slide from
the present to a future less complex than the past is dialectically
opposed to it.

In other words, the irreversible progression
. [W(sacrifice) - W(law)] x /_\Z => L(hope, faith, grace, care,...)
had as its opposite the irreversible retrogression
. [W(sacrifice) - W(law)] x /_\Z => H(dispair, dissent, hostility, hurt, ...)
Only then I began to appreciate the fact that my curiosity was a greater
"power" than the "entropic forces" which it lead me into as a result of
questioning. I had been merely assuming without questioning that my
curiosity was the entropic force [C(clear - C(obscure)]. I began to perceive
how my curiosity as a greater "power" was actually intimately related to
my past spiritual emergences rather than to the even further past "entropic
force-flux" pairs leading to such emergences. I began to perceive how it
was intimately connected to "free energy" rather than indirectly connected
to entropic force flux pairs. I began to think of curiosity as an "adjoint of
constructive emergences" within my spirituality. Thus I began with a new
exciting exploration into other adjoints such as happiness and tranquility.

I began to understand the whole not only as more than the sum of the
parts, but as the part of a greater whole which become more and more.
Finally I was shaking off the hold of the paradigm of simplicity on me. I
was venturing deeper and deeper into the dance of LEP on LEC, dancing not
only with entropic force-flux pairs, but also with the "free energy"
which led to them and to which they also will lead.

Sublime "free energy" is like Love. St John calls Love the law of perfect
freedom. St Paul says that Love never fails. St Peter says that Love
covers all failures. Jesus says that Love judges not, but saves. For me
sublime "free energy" is that "free energy" which gets released by a
"creative collapse" -- to give up rather than to import so as to gain in
the higher levels of spirituality. The ultimate manifestation of sublime
"free energy" is Love.

>And now for the real exciting part about time.
>Time is both and extensive and intensive factor.
>I spoke about the (DO) and (CF). on earlier threads.
>Here is the paring (chronos time) (kairos time) -At
>you might remember our arguments on this issue.
>(Time as measured by our clocks) (time as measured
> by our intention)
>We now have a very interesting thing that time is both
>an intensive and extensive quantity. Recognised by both
>Progogine and Jaques. (At 90 degrees to each other)

Yes, I remember these arguments very well. However, not even one of the
measurable physico-chemical quantities up to now has ever presented itself
as both intensive and extensive in even the slightest sense. I do not here
speak with LEM, but I speak merely of experience. Scale any system with
clocks in it up or down. Not one of the clocks in it will alter the
reading of time in it, although the number of clocks will get scaled too.

As for time itself, its relation to "entropy production" has been noted as
far back as the cosmologist sir Eddington who often said that "entropy is
the arrow" of time. Prigogine and co-workers finally managed to show that
the supe operators "entropy" and "time" of star-hermitian quantum
mechanics are complementary to each other. Whereas "entropy" is extensive,
"clock time" is intensive. Thus you will have to show me HOW "chronos" is
intensive and "kairos" is extensive rather than expecting me to accept
THAT it is the case.

As for myself, I became deeply aware of how "clock time" (perhaps your
"chronos"), although it help us to describe evolutionary situations close
to equilibirum because of low and slow "entropy production", it usually
fails us to describe revolutionary situations at the edge of chaos because
of high and fast "entropy production". The Brusselator of Prigogine is a
model for latter situations. This led me to search for a model for the
former situations, an endeavour which eventually resulted in the Digestor.
It was only then when I began to understand formally what I knew tacitly.
Some of the time (sic) I was aware of "clock time" and some of the time
(sic) I was not aware of it. When operating in the region of the Digestor
I was aware of "clock time" and when operating in the region of the
Brusselator I was oblivious to it. I began to observe students closely and
found much the same applies to most of them. I began to study the great
masters in art. Those who cared to inform us, said the same.

Today I understand why "clock time" works with the digestive phase (or
asymptote) and not the bifurcative phase. Clocks are specifically designed
to produce as little entropy as possible so as to measure time in a linear
and egalitarian fashion, i.e. every next second to be exactly equal to the
previous second. Close to equilibrium changes are small, much the same and
almost reversible. However, far from equilibrium, changes are large, much
different to each other and definitely irreversible. We have yet to design
and manufacture clocks suitable for measuring time at the edge of chaos.
However, I think there will be little demand for them because the very
bifurcation demand our full attention so as to ensure a constructive
emergence rather than a destructive immergence.

Perhaps your "kairos" is the perception of time at the edge of chaos. If
it is, then it "kairos" is also intensive since entropy is extensive,
whether close to equilibrium or at the edge of chaos. On the other hand,
perhaps you "kairos", especially when you speak of it as intention, is
"entropy production" itself. It was nobody else than Max Planck, the
grandfather of quantum mechanics who persisted with interpreting entropy
as the propensity of nature despite the increasing popularity of the
interpretation of entropy as chaos. You will have to find out for

>Time and motives will never be far apart.
>The love couple in a "fluxing and forceful"

Entropy production according to patterns [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X > 0 can be
seen as a motive. But I wish to point out that behind this "entropy
production" the "dance of LEC on LEP" can also been as motive. This dance
culminates in Love which is supreme. There is no couple in love like
couples in love become one -- no pairing, but one becoming.

>Maybe you might see now why I have used
>time as the basis for my personal taxonomy.
>Something nice and "creative" to ponder over.

Yes, thank you, I understand you better. I like your link to "creative",
but I fear that few will apprecaite any contemplation between creativity
and time with entropy production as its complementary dual.

I would suggest that should you visit South Africa again, try to find one
of those rare and enigmatic monoliths called a "lunsklip" (linch stone).
Let your thoughts meander while becoming one with nature at such a

Unlike the monoliths erected by human civilizations (many too ancient to
know anything else about them) every "lunskip" sculptured by the whole of
nature has a clear message: the rubbed outlives the rubbers by eons. To be
able to withstand rubbing, any loose aggregate has to become solid rock.
The problem with modern education (the one erected globally on a loose
aggregate of refereed and published papers) is that it produces profusely
learners as loose aggregates while resisting the emergence of learners as
solid rocks. The latter can withstand rubbing but the former not. As for
me and my midwifery, I will not allow in my presence any rubbing against
any learner other than me so as to get even with me. I love learners and
will protect them with all the power avialable to me.

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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