Because, because, because LO26042

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 02/02/01

Replying to LO26019 --

Dear Organlearners,

John Zavacki <> writes:

>I have a lot of training and education in Jungian and
>cognitive thinking which I use to think about the
>relationships between, among, and across elements
>of a system. What is the connection between At's
>above quoted paragraph and the upstream and
>downstream objects in the conversational thread??
>If this thread were a transactional process with the
>acceptance of the new philosphy at stake, what would
>it's effect be on the skepic?

Greetings dear John,

In my mother tongue Afrikaans I will say "Jou doring". Literally in
English it means "you thorn (spine)". But as an idiomatic expression (note
the abscence of a verb which is the clue here) it means "excellent!" or
"authentic!". I recall some half dozen idiomatic expressions in Afrikaans
which use "doring"=thorn.

I will not go deeper into the paragraph which you have quoted otherwise
this contribution will become too lengthy.

I am very happy that you have brought in the sceptic angle. I know one
specific fellow learner who struggle in his Personal Mastery (PM) with
this sceptic phase of mind. It is not you. His name begins with an A, but
it is not me. So allow me to first go deeper into the sceptic angle,
tapping from my own PM.

As a kid and later a student, I knew what sceptic meant by having had self
fleeting experiences of it. In those times I explored life to its fullest
resulting in amazement at every corner -- reading, hobbies, sports,
touring, girls, you name it. Fortunately for me, drugs did not exist and
when a minor was caught with liqour, hell caught up with the responsible
adult. As a student my experimenting with liquor usually flopped.

Only in 1969 did I begin to think on the sceptic phase of mind. As a
researcher in soil science I found out that the physics and chemistry
which I learned at university, were too simplistic to get a grib on soil
dynamics. By the time I got to the fifth university library, seeking in
scientific literature something that will help me, I was already deep in a
state of scepticism. The reason? Up to 1968 I tacitly had the mentality
which I now will call the "Faraday stance -- mind over matter." The
apparently persisting lack of appropiate literature was shaking my
mentality and this flung me into scepticism for some six months. But I
recovered. The reason? Finally I took up a textbook on irreversible
thermodynamics by Ilya Prigogine. (In those days Prigogine had not yet
advanced to irreversible self-organisation). It gave me a flashing vision
how to get fruitfully into the dynamics of soils.

It was good experience because soon afterwards I had my second bout of
scepticism. At a religious gathering (my own church helped in its
organisation) a politician said in the very first sentence of his speach
"trust the government". He was a minister in the apartheid government. But
I had only one thought in my mind, nothing to do with aprtheid, but what
the Bible says "Do not trust princes and kings". So I took the issue up
with my local parish. Meeting after meeting all elders and the parisher
took sides with the minister, despite all my pleadings and arguments from
the Bible. Again scepticism took hold of me. The reason? I believed we
should heed the Bible as the word of God and here the whole parish board
was persistently heeding the word of that politician. But again after some
six months I almost instantaneously got out of that bout of scepticism.
The reason? An elder came to me, saying "Please forgive me for what I did
to you on the issue of trust". I said that I did not need to forgive him,
but that he must make it out with God. Within a week that elder died.
Suddenly I became aware of mysterious forces working, an awareness which
evaporated my scepticism. What force(s) controlled this man before the
Holy Spirit took over?

The third bout of scepticism took hold of me a couple of years later. The
reason? I never expected language to fool me. Allow me to explain. I left
the National Party (NP) which formed the apartheid government. I broke
off, not so much because of apartheid, but because of unchristain actions.
Later I became a founding member of the HNP, the H meaning
"reconstituted". I was under the impression that the HNP will act on two
"pillars", Christian principles and "autopoiesis". (I use "autopoiesis"
because it describes my tacit knowing at that stage best. I learned about
this word only some dozen years later.) But gradually I became aware that
the leaders of the HNP did something worse than the leaders of the NP. The
leaders will tell us what "Christian principles" mean -- followers are not
allowed to have own meanings. What these leaders did and what meanings I
gave to "Christian principles" were quite different. I believed that the
Holy Spirit is my highest spiritual teacher and here now men (who
professed to be Christians) were claiming that authority of the Holy
Spirit. In sheer sceptism I left the HNP. In a subsequent meeting of other
scepticists who did the same as I, a down-to-earth farmer relieved me from
my scepticism. The reason? He said: "Even you people who broked of from
the HNP are playing with words -- I do not want apartheid, whatever you
may call it." The phrase which the HNP members and all these dissenters
used for what I thought to be "autopoiesis" was "eiesoortige
ontwikkeling"=(autogenous development) as its closest English translation.
All during the time while I was thinking of "autogenous development" as a
radical departure from apartheid and thus using the conventional phrase
"eiesoortige ontwikkeling" to tell of my thoughts, they never self had in
mind a radical departure from apartheid! This "autogenous development" was
for them merely a superficial change.

John and A, in each of these three bouts of scepticism I described its
cause (the first reason) and its remedy (the second reason). I was by then
much aware that during each bout of scepticism my own learning took a
serioud dip. But how to avoid it? The lovely high school pupils taught me,
their teacher! I observed them closely and found that those with most
authentic learning were also very sceptic. Their sceptic attitude would
often make me frustrated and angry because it seemed they were judging me
while it also meant more work for me to help them. However, I discovered
that they merely had a sceptic phase of mind. It would last for a lesson
or two, but soon it would transform in the curious phase of mind with
delightful questions pouring out of them. This would usually frustrate me
in another sense -- they would take over the course of the lesson, leaving
me no control. It was then for the first time I learned what midwifery
really is -- to facillitate self-learning rather than "controlling

The following is how it is for me -- it may be different for you fellow
learners. I think that the sceptic phase is the mind's first line of
defense. It operates from the tacit level of knowledge. (The first line of
defence from the experential level is something different with much more
intense bodily manifestations.) This sceptic phase is the tacit
recognition that some or other mental change is about to happen which
requires caution. It transforms into the curious phase through the back
action of the higher levels of knowledge trying to fathom this tacit
knowing with questions. But when even higher levels of spirituality gets
shaken, their back action paralysis the higher levels of knowledge so that
the curious phase cannot kick in. This leaves the tacit level brooding in
its sceptic phase, resulting into a bout of scepticism.

In my first bout of scepticism my faith in mind over matter was shaken. In
my second bout my faith that other people also have faith was shaken. In
my third bout my faith in communicating our faith to each other was
shaken. The lack of wholeness in my spirituality kept me brooding so long
in the sceptic phase. I was not aware of how being shaken in faith could
emperil the lower levels of my spirituality. Today I know that every level
of my spirituality gets shaken when it approaches the edge of chaos. I
know of the pending bifurcation at each shaking event and I know how to
guide it (often needing several immature attempts) into an emergence for
the next level. One day I will tell you how my level of love got shaken so
much that I was on the verge of commiting suicide.

John, I am glad that you mentioned Carl Jung because he was convinced that
the wholeness of the psyche was prerequisite to its health. I have a
similar conviction, but it involves all seven essentialities of creativity
and not merely wholeness as one of them. But let us focus on wholeness.

Since my childhood I often tried to connect the meanings which I formed by
reading the Bible to meanings which I formed by reading other books which
in some way connected to good, right, true and beauty. When I entered
university, it became a quest. Through strange circumstances, I enrolled
at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PUfCHE)--
my father wanted me to go to the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS)
while my mother had the University of Pretoria (UP) in mind. Today I know
it was good for me to be at the PUfCHE because it provided me with an
environment in which I could pursue my quest somewhat peacefully. I can
only speculate what could have happened at WITS (perhaps the most
anti-apartheid institution in SA of those days) or UP (perhaps the most
pro-apartheid insitution).

But I soon learned even at the PUfCHE that I have to be quiet about my
imaginative speculations needed in my quest. The dialogue which I needed
to help trimming my thoughts almost invariable led to judgements which did
me no good. For me it was important that even the scientific facet of my
knowledge and my faith should connect as one whole. It was also one of the
missions of the PUfCHE, but strangely (in those days for me) I was too
progressive. I was following, to use your words, an "upstream and
downstream" of thoughts between my faith and knowledge whereas most others
(of actually a minority with respect to this unique mission) who did try
to connect these two levels were following a "downstream" of thoughts.

I would, for example, say to myself the following. Do not believe what the
first two chapters of the gospel of John says, but merely assume that it
may be true. Should the Word have created all, then that Word cannot be
the Voice. The Voice would need matter because sound waves can travel only
in matter. But for this Word to have still any meaning, I will have to
scrap the "sound" of "sound waves". What is left over are waves. Now what
waves can travel where there is no matter -- only electromagnetic waves,
pure energy! So Creation began with a massive release of pure energy from
which matter had to evolve. Did I not learn in Physics 2 that matter is
"frozen energy" according to the Special Relativity Theory of Einstein.

OK, so now I can account for the "earth had waste and formless" of Gen
1:2. But what would Gen 1:2-3 mean which tells about how God created light
and thus day and night by commanding it by speach. So perhaps earth began
to revolve around its axis. But this cannot be because Gen 1:1 says that
there was water all over the earth. With a not revolving earth the bright
side will be baked dry while the dark side will have only ice. Thus the
creation of light and the distinction between day (light) and night
(no-light) must mean something else. Was God telling me to take head of
differences in what was about to follow, for example, differences as to
what was created on each of the subsequent days?

So my mind went on and on, endlessly creating meanings from scientific
texts as well as biblical text which would ever so slowly converge upon
each other. I was gradually learning that text, as is with any other kind
of information, has no meaning in itself. I had to create the meaning self
within my mind. This landed me often into hot water because most experts
claimed that I have to stick to the meaning which they reckon the
information has. For example, I vividly remember how in Chemistry 3 I was
the only one among some thirty students who failed a test in theoretical
chemistry. They memorized the solution of the quantum mechanical equation
for the hydrogen atom -- the better the memory, the better the mark. I
solved the equation in a way which was meaningful to me (and much shorter)
and got one mark only for the equation itself. I was forced for the rest
of that course to write verbatim what the lecturer wrote on the board.

But it helped me immensely afterwards as a teacher to help pupils to
create meaning from information rather than trying to extract meaning from
information, or even worse, to memorise information. I became formally
aware that "to learn is to create". I must tell of an event which happened
in my fourth year as a science teacher. I was called to the pricipal's
office. Inside was the principal of the school and the inpector of
science, the oversear of science teaching in all schools. I suspected
nothing. Ever so nicely they asked me how I teach and I informed them.
Suddenly the inspector told me to stop teaching like that. He told me to
instruct what is written in the official text book because that would make
the marking of the external examination papers of my pupils possible. The
examiners did not have time to puzzle out what my pupils meant with their

I did not fell into a bout of scpeticism again. I was rather furious, but
kept it deeply hidden. So for the rest of the year I teached my pupils to
first say what they mean and then say it again in that way which will
please the examiners. All of them and I worked us to death, pleasing the
masters while also mastering personally.

John, as for your phrase "the acceptance of the new philosphy at stake", I
really do not offer any new philosophy. Obviously, philosophies had been
made since the days of Plato and they will be made in future again.
Someone might try to make a philosophy of what I am doing. I am merely
telling all you fellow learners of something which I am intensely aware
of. The closest which I can describe it is the "art of deep creativity".

I am reminded of Jan Smuts, the "father" of holism (Holism and Evolution,
1926). After having received several honorary doctorates all over the
world for this work, he was invited by the students of WITS to give a
lecture on holism. Smuts began by saying that he is only a humble seeker
of truth and beauty like each person sitting in front of him. Holism,
despite the "ism", is not the philosophy of wholeness. Wholeness is the
increase of wholes. Wholeness is for him the driving force of evolution,
biological and spiritual. It begins physically with atomic particles and
culminates spiritually in the personality of every human. Holism is his
report of how he understand this evolution is happening. Each of his
audience who gives a personal report of evolution in a wholesome manner is
also a holist.

This lecture was given some dozen years before my own birth, not more than
a dozen miles from where I was born. I missed it by the dozens in the
space-time continuum of Einstein which Smuts knew so well (see Holism and
Evolution), better than any professor of physics in South Africa at that
time. It would have taken me another dozen years after birth to become old
enough to take an interest in what Smuts had to say and another dozen
years to listen intensely what he had to say. But after another two dozen
years I think I knew what he meant in what he had to say. I wonder how
many of the students sitting that night in front of him could create such
a meaning out of what he said that they understood what he meant.

John, you write:

>I have not run the statistics on the use of this dramatic
>element of writing which At uses often, I don't even
>remember what to call it, but I ask to to give it a read
>and a reread to think how At would conclude that ......

I merely try to tell as closely as possible what is in my mind. I know
that once that telling gets onto screen, it becomes devoid of meaning and
knowledge. I know that some fellow learners may want to create meaning
from it so as to compare it with their own personal knowledge. Thus I try
not to obscure what I want to tell with what I eventually manage to tell,
but rather try to clarify it with whatever in my power. Yet I do not try
to fool around in somebody else's mind with a clever use of language.
Firstly, I have hurt others too much by self using language too mediocre.
Secondly, English is not my mother tongue so that often I do not know how
to say it in English, especially when English does not want to do what I
can do with my own mother tongue Afrikaans. It is then when I follow the
wisdom of Smuts once again: "When in doubt, do the brave thing." I write
and wait for the responses, ready to undo and try again.

Thirdly, I am now deeply aware like Wittgenstein that whatever the
language, that language has an incredible influence on the personal
knowing of those using that language. This would make the users of that
language slaves of that language. This cannot be since we have to be free
to explore endlessly things with eternal value. Thus the users of that
language will have to correct that possible enslavement by making the
langauge to do what they want it to do. Me and my dear wife often have a
dialogue on how as kids (and seemingly everybody else) we used Afrikaans
freely to tell what we meant, but that now we have to conform to standard
Afrikaans when telling what we want. Only when I speak with the few
remaining people much older than me, or with people living in the desert,
I know that it is not this "yuonger-older" issue. There are indeed some
Afrikaans speakers still living who make magic with the langauge --
oblivious to such a thing as "standard Afrikaans". My awe for them has no
bounds. Since I know by far not enough the grammer of Standard English, I
often do to English what I could have avoided. But sometimes I know that I
am bending on purpose the English to tell what I want to tell. Whether
that "dramatic element of writing" which you write of apply to my bending
(ignorant or on purpose) of English, I cannot know because I cannot become
a different person reading me.

John, you ask

>What is the connection between At's above quoted
>paragraph and the upstream and downstream objects
>in the conversational thread??

I have created with much verbalage a context with which I will now give
you my answer. The "connection" for me is wholeness -- wholeness inside me
and wholeness outside me -- deep wholeness.

I do hope that you get other aswers too so as to help you with trimming your
own answer.

You also ask

>If this thread were a transactional process with
>the acceptance of the new philosphy at stake,
>what would it's effect be on the skepic?

I cannot answer this question directly because I cannot become another
person. But should another person do something similar to what I have
done, I would have become most sceptic almost as fast as a flash of

I do hope that you get other aswers too so as to help you with trimming
your own answer. Allow me to add something which I think is vitally
important to show once again what my "art of deep creativity" involves.

As soon as possible I would allow my curiosity gained by many past
emergences take over my sceptic phase. I would use "entropy production" as
necessary condition and the seven essentialities as sufficiency condition
to create a meaning which I think come as closely as possible to what the
author self meant. This creating is always complex and time consuming as
many of my writings show. Finally, I would ask myself, does this "closest
meaning" withstand the test of unconditional love? Should I detect the
slightest "constraint" of love in me, I know that I was wrong and begin
right over again. I used to do it many times, but love makes me wiser.

I really do not know what word to use for what I have used "constraint".
When I do this testing, I do it in my mother tongue, saying to myself "het
jy die mens regtig lief met die skryf?" The English would mean something
like "have you honestly loved this person with your writing?" This word
"regtig" is a curious word in Afrikaans. It can stress any quality like
good, right, true and lovely. The "regt" ("reg" in Afrikaans) is still a
leftover from Dutch meaning ' law'. The suffix "-ig" does what prefixes
like "-full" and "-ous" do in English. It is impossible to say in English
"jy is regtig mooi" for it will come out as "you are lawfully pretty". And
to say "you are honestly beautiful" sounds not too honest for me. The
phrase "you are really lovely" (two adverbs!) would have been much closer.
Oh, why cannot we have in English words like "regtig", "lekker" and
"gesels" covering the entire spectrum of synonyms plus having a unique

So, back to "constraint" -- the phrase "regtig lief" itself syntactically
means "law in full of love". Hence that last test means: "do you comply in
full to the law of love with your writing to this person". Any "not comply
in full" is exactly this "constraint" which I mentioned above. If "entropy
production" and the seven essentialities for me cannot reach into my
highest level of spirituality, namely one-to-many-love, then I have not
allowed the divine in me to guide them completely. The only thing which
can sustain the eternal commuting (dynamical connecting) of our
spiritualities, is the divine coming from God. Creativity which does not
serve both the divine and God can become the most devastating capacity of
any human. I have studied too many examples from history to question this

Should we take this "unconstraimed love" out of the "art of deep
creativity", the remainder will sooner or later become purely diabolical.
We "regtig" do not need something worse than nuclear bombs, biotoxins and
mind programming. Yet I am convinced that at least I am in dire need of
the "art of deep creativity". I am telling you fellow learners of it so
that you can compare your own need to it, thus learning more about

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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