Homo sapiens amans LO26490

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 04/06/01

Dear Organlearners,

Greetings to all of you.

Andrew Campbell metioned H Maturana's concept "Homo sapiens amans" several
times. The "homo" in Greek means "same" whereas in Latin it also means
"man". The "sapiens" is form from Latin and means "wise". The "amans" is
also formed from Latin and means "wise". Than you Andrew!

In all of biology (micro to macro) each species (living or fossil) is
given a two barrel name. The first name, always written with a capital
letter like the H in "Homo sapiens" refer to the "genus" to which that
species belong. Sometimes a genus have more than a hundred species and
sometimes it can have only one species. The idea of the "genus" is to know
which species are closely related. Closely related genera are then grouped
together to form a "family". Humans belong to the family called Hominidae.

The second name is then used to distinguish that species from all other
species in that genus. For example, apart from "Homo sapiense" we also get
the extinct species "Homo erectus".

So where dit this third name "amans" creep into the picture? Maturana was
too much of a biologist to make a simple error like this because three
names are not allowed.

Well, sometimes a species is very complex. In this complexity several
varieties may then be distinguished. For example, in the massive Amazon
river the fish species "Symphysodon aequifasciata" has three distinct
varieties which can be found at various rivers tributary to it. One such a
variety is "Symphysodon aequifasciata ssp haraldii" honouring a certain
person with the name Harald. In a technical report that "ssp" (subspecies)
will always be used, but in popular works it is dropped so that they will
speak of "Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldii" or even shorten it into "S
aequif. haraldii". Perhaps it is in this way we should think of "Homo
sapiens amans".

One of the biggest problems in biological taxonomy is to make sure whether
a certain population of interbereeding individuals is a new species or
merely a new variety of a complex species. The general idea is that if
that a newly found population can interbreed successfully with viable
offspring with a different population, then it is merely a subspecies of
the already known species.

In that case the two species will be, with the fish example
"Symphysodon aequifasciata ssp aequifasciata"
"Symphysodon aequifasciata ssp haraldii"
In the case of " "Homo sapiens amans" we then ought to think of
"Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
"Homo sapiens ssp amans"

In nature there is always one or more reasons why two subspcies who can
interbreed (which has to be proved in aticificial circumstances) , do not
interbreed. For example, the two populations may be separated too far to
make interbreeding possible. The two populations may also differ in colour
having something to do with the sexual propagation.

Now, should we think in terms of the two subspecies
"Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
"Homo sapiens ssp amans"
then such a distinction makes only sense when the two spp do not
interbreed although they can interbreed. This brings us closely to the
basic idea of apartheid
"Homo sapiens ssp whites"
"Homo sapiens ssp non-whites"
Here the distinction was in terms of skin colour.
I do not think that Maturana would ever had such an idea in mind, nor would I
fall for it. Yet, in order to think of
"Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
"Homo sapiens ssp amans"
there must be not only be a definite characterestic in which the two
"subspecies" could be distinguished, but also a way in which prevents them
from "interbreeding" although they can certainly "interbreed". Should such
an "interbreeding" happens, then this distinguishing characterestic would
get mixed into both "subspecies" so that they become one variable species.

I have put the "subspecies" and the "interbreeding" in the previous
paragraph in quotation marks to stress that we are not dealing hear with
the physical world, but with the spiritual world. The first two names in
"Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
"Homo sapiens ssp amans"
deal with physical entities, but the third name in each with a spiritual entity.
Thus, by writing:
"Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
"Homo sapiens ssp amans"
we transcend from the world of millions of known biological species into the
world of human spirituality.

When we get two subspecies in a biological species, they have at least one
physical gene in which they differ so as to give them different
So in the case of
"Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
"Homo sapiens ssp amans"
we will have at least, but perhaps only one and very significant, "spiritual
gene" in which they differ. What would this gene be?

For me this "spiritual gene" would be that which steers the whole of the
person's spirituality. In the traditional philosopher (lover of wisdom)
the gene would have the value "wisdom". But in "Homo sapiens ssp amans"
that gene would have the specific value "love".

Where do we find "populations" (societies, organisations) of "Homo sapiens
ssp amans" which do not "interbreed" with "Homo sapiens ssp sapiens"
although such "interbreeding" has to be possible after all? In other
words, where would we find collections of people who carefully guard the
value "love" in that gene which steers their spirituality?

Two thousand years ago the apostles had the vision that in the churches
(parishes) of Jesus Christ this gene "love" would be be carefully guarded
so that every member of a local church would carry the gene "love". But
already, before the first century AC was over, Jesus warned christians
through His evelations to the apostle John that in seven of the churces of
Minor Asia this gene of "love" was getting mixed up through
"interbreeding". Another nineteen hundred years demonstrated how easily it
was for churces to give up on the gene having the value "love".

What can we learn for our own day to day living in all walks of life (and
not necessarily for christianity) from the history of the all the churces
of Jesus Christ? Please understand me -- I am not trying to preach
christianity here, but I am rather trying to learn from the failures of
chistianity so as to enrich our every day life whether we are Christians,
Moslems, Buddhists or even atheists. In other words, I am trying to to
learn in what manner can we whatever our religion live together as "Homo
sapiens ssp amans" such that the value "love" of the gene which steer our
spirituality is preserved.

In my thirty years of interaction with the desert I have learned a most
profound lesson -- all nature's preservation is accomplised by production
rather than conservation!!!

As for myself, I firmly believe that Authentic Mental Behaviour (AMB) is
one of the keys to preserve the value "love" of this profound gene in the
spirituality of humans. As I have explained in the past, "irreversible
self-organisation" (Prigogine) and "autopoiesis"-selfmaking (Maturana) are
integral to AMB. We will each have to produce AMB to preserve "love".

But AMB refers only to the individual whereas genes, physical for
popluations and spiritual for societies, have to do with collections of
individuals. In other words, when people organise themselves according to
"love", AMB is not enough. What is also needed is something which I would
call for the moment "authentic organisational behaviour". So how would we
articulate this "authentic organisational behaviour" closer?

What about a Learning Organisation for articulating this "authentic
organisational behaviour" so as to preserve the value "love" of that gene
which steers our spirituality? We will have to produce Learning
Organisations so as to preserve the value of "love". But this is exactly
what so many fellow learners want to know.

How do we produce Learning Organisations?

One thing I know for sure. We have to conceive LOs mentally in love-agape.
Should a CEO decide "Our organisation will become a LO" while not loving
each of the members of his organisation unconditionally, that decision
will hit the dust.

Thank you Rick for your caring love as host of our forum.

[Host's Note: You are very welcome, At. Thank you, to you and all our
authors, for your contributions here. ..Rick]

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

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.