Learning and Grace. LO26356

From: Dressler, Winfried (Winfried.Dressler@Voith.com)
Date: 03/14/01

Replying to LO26327 --

Dear At,

just picking out two sentences out of a great contribution - with your
permission: "Please question me in whatever facet which you deem
necessary." ;-):

>It is easy to comprehend
>that grace and accountability are complementary rather than dialectical
>opposite. Opposites (antonyms) of grace are things mercilessness and
>violence while opposites of accountability are things like corruption and

Thinking of complementary duals, I like to check what one would be without
the other. What would be grace without accountability? What would be
accountability without grace? Then the answer to the first question would
be the opposite of accountability and the answer to the second question
would be the opposite of grace. I like this procedure, because it does not
only allow for a one-to-many-mapping of one term through many
complementary duals, but allows the same also for opposites.

I understand how accountability without grace - the
accountability-opposite of grace - lead to mercilessness and may justify
even violence. Mercilessness can be an outcome of exaggerated
accountability. But I don't see how grace without accountability - the
grace-opposite of accountability - lead to corruption and arrogance. How
could grace be exaggerated into corruption?

With this puzzlement in mind I arrived at

>This conception of grace by irreversible entropy production will not
>automatically lead to the birth or emergence of fully fledged grace. In
>fact, it may abort or immerge into a curse rather than grace. The
>potentially divine may become actually the demoniac.

If missing accountability was what leads to the immergence of grace into a
curse, then this type of curse would be the missing opposite of
accountability. I cannot name such curse as a special type, but I found my
thoughts delightfully expressed at the end of this paragraph:

>In other words, grace is not completely unaccountable itself, but
>has a striking complementarity with accountability through the seven
>essentialities of creativity.

I think of an experience yesterday which could serve as an example:

My daughter has piano lessons now for one year. She didn't learn very
much, no wonder, she didn't practice either. I left her the choice of
whether she wishes to continue the lessons or whether she wanted to stop
them. It was very clear from her reactions that she wanted to learn to
play the piano. So something has to change. I accompanied her yesterday to
her teacher so that we can agree on the future rules of the game. The most
important part was on how to practice. When I was a young boy I was forced
to practice. Although I suffered from this I am not good in guiding others
to practice either. So I expressed my expectation to the teacher to
support a positive attitude towards practice. She was always patient with
my daughter, with or without practice. I don't think this is helpful, but
the teacher talked of love to the children and the bad effects of any
punishment or negative feedback. I surely wasn't thinking of punishment,
but there must be a way in the middle.

In terms of accountability and grace I may say: My father stressed
accountability - no mercy for mistakes are the only way to avoid mistakes
from the beginning. Violent refusal was often on my side. My daughters
teacher is absolutely graceful to her, but the grace goes too far, she
allows to corrupt (ah! here it is, corruption as exaggeration of grace!)
the music. Because the aim of the lessons is to induce love for music -
and to practice out of this love (love-practice as reenforcing loop, the
push of practice, the pull of love) - such grace induced corruption of
music due to too little accountabilty for the music will turn out to be a
I guess this was an example of how grace can destroy learning - together
with my complementary experience how accountability can destroy learning.

Balancing accountability and grace is quite a big task. I feel more like a
chemical clock with oszillating K rather than constant K, be it more to
grace or more to accountability. And chemical clocks, I assume, need a lot
of free energy, without leading to higher orders, just stabilizing the
existing patterns. Ok, Winfried, stop that stream of thoughts and think of
the poor reader on the other side (anybody still there?).

Liebe Gruesse,



"Dressler, Winfried" <Winfried.Dressler@Voith.com>

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