Greetings to all of you.
Part 2 - Faith
In part 1 we focussed on religion. We will now focus on faith.
As I observe it, the faith of a person is usually not exactly the same as
the dogma of the religious society to which that person belongs. Even
Michael Faraday experienced it. As I now understand it, the inner faith of
a person is on a higher spiritual level than the inner knowledge of that
person. Faith emerges from knowledge just as knowledge emerges from inner
creativity. Knowledge emerges when creativity commutes with sensations as
a result of the sensory organs making contact with the world outside the
person. Faith emerges when knowledge commutes with information derived
from nature as well as the inner knowledge of other people. Hence this
inner faith has both knowledge and trust as its properties. This trust
involves similar knowledge of other people with nature acting as the
"umlomo" (medium carrying the information).
The associative pattern in the last sentence above on trust in faith
indicates to me that wholeness has increased from inner knowledge to inner
faith. This is typical of any emergence. So what about the other six 7Es?
Did they increase too? Yes. Consider, for example liveness
("becoming-being"). A scientist who believes that his/her own strange
discoveries are indeed scientific, promotes science far more than someone
applying a recipe derived from science to produce hundreds of scientific
papers. The faith of such a scientist is reflected in far greater
awareness to the history of science (largely determined by other key
scientists) than the recipe practisers. This is clearly manifested in the
gallery of Nobel Prize laureates.
We can work through each of the other five 7Es too. But by knowing that
all 7Es promote the creativity of a person, we may make the quick
conclusion that the creativity of key scientists is outstanding relative
to the rest of the scientific community. Is this conclusion empirically
correct based on historical studies? Yes. Consider fruitfulness as
example. Arthur Koestler found out some fifty years ago that the capacity
of key scientists to make effective connections between seemingly
unrelated topics is most outstanding among the scientific community. He
used this fruitfulness (which he called "bijection") for his definition of
creativity -- to connect two unlikely parts in a novel manner.
It seems as if I have digressed from communal religion to individual faith
in science. But what I wanted to show is that, for me, inner faith (and
definitely not ignorant assumptions) covers all walks of life, even
including science! Inner faith exhibits more of each of the 7Es than inner
knowledge. Any attempt to suppress the emergence of faith in individuals
or a religious organisation among them will consequently stunt the
increase in the 7Es seriously.
As for myself my faith rather than my knowledge guided my own mental
evolution. Whenever I had to give up (creative collapse) on some
conception as generally accepted knowledge or tradition, I did so in terms
of my inner faith and not merely my inner knowledge. Since faith has the
property of trust, I often had to search deep and wide through all
literature for knowledge similar to mine so as to check upon my faith.
Sometimes I had merely the writers of the Bible to work with.
My faith would become most dangerous if it is not self guided. So what
guides my faith? Unconditional, one-to-many love. In 1 Cor 13 St Paul
teaches us how this love-agape guides our whole spirituality.
If other people have the same dynamics, then I clearly understand the
disastrous consequences of curtailing religious activities by deliberately
impairing one or more of the 7Es. Firstly, not only is the development of
a person's inner faith suppressed, but also the development of that
person's inner knowledge underneath it and inner creativity at the bottom.
It happens because the 7Es guide also the evolution (morphogenesis) of
knowledge and creativity. Impair the 7Es and a person has to rely
increasingly on outer information which he/she also finds increasingly
difficult to comprehend. The person becomes, with all compassion intended,
an "information junky" or a memorising parrot.
For example, here in South Africa wholeness was deliberately impaired when
the electorate voted in 1948 for Apartheid against Jan Smuts and his
Holism. Thus it is interesting to study the course of wholeness in the
history of Christian theology in South Africa from WWII (1948) the next
fifty years. Combining this with a study of the course of wholeness in
education is most revealing. The Afrikaners of Smuts' generation and
earlier had a tacit inclination towards increasing wholeness. This
wholeness is necessary to sustain living in South Africa with its immense
diversity in nature and its peoples. This wholeness was also reflected in
the comprehensive system of education which they developed. However, as
Apartheid took its toll, this comprehensiveness gave way to vast
fragmentaristic and reductionistic thinking in all walks of life.
Secondly, by suppressing the person's faith, the person has to rely
increasingly on religious assumptions taken from dogma and rites. This
elicits much negative emotions and consequently religious intolerance when
encountering people of different religions. It becomes very difficult, if
not impossible, to see common grounds between different religions. The
actual differences become so fragmented that the only way to deal with
them, is to employ fundamentalism fanatically. Hence any religious
formulation not exactly the same as the own dogma and liturgy is
considered to be most evil and has to be dealt with extinction. In other
words, the lack of constructive creativity as a result of lack in the 7Es
is dealt with the only other possibility, namely destructive creativity.
After having discovered the 7Es some fifteen years ago, I suspected that
they play an immense role in guiding mental activities such as learning,
believing and loving. I have carefully examined for more than a dozen
years the faith of many people whom I admire very much in addition to
examining religions in general. I have come to the conclusion that the
reason why I admire them is because the richness of the 7Es is so evident
in their faith, knowledge and creativity. I am fully aware of the
tautologous nature of my examination -- seek in what you admire and expect
to find what gave you admiration in the first place. I admire indeed the
guidance of the 7Es in the evolution of all levels of spirituality.
Nevertheless, I cannot escape from my ultimate conclusion that strong and
energetic believers are also strong and energetic learners. Faith guides
the free energy dynamics in the morphogenesis of knowledge. This helped to
convince me that the 7Es permeate all the levels of spirituality, both in
content and form. To use Goethe's concept, the 7Es are the "Urphaenomen"
(archetypes) of the human condition.
On the other hand it led me to the insight how a higher emergent order in
a complex system enrich the lower orders through what I call the "back
action". For example, when a person seriously believes that wholeness is
vital to his/her faith, that person will follow as a "back action"
increasing wholeness in his/her learning. The subsequent back action of
the increased wholeness in that person's knowledge will increase the
capacity of that person to create holistically.
As a Christian I often have asked myself whether my own understanding is
common to Christianity. No, it is not. Christianity has evolved through
two millennia into a religion with many diverse branches: Coptic,
Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal with dogma and liturgy
typical to each. This evolution of Christianity (the history of the
Church) is very complex. As a result of my own studies, I suspect that a
difference in tacit awareness to some of the 7Es was a major factor in the
various bifurcations of the Church. For example, during the Reformation
the one party was more aware of wholeness (catholicity) whereas the other
party was more aware to sureness (scripture).
In part three I will describe the role which the 7Es play in my own
religion and faith.
With care and best wishes,
At de Lange <email@example.com> 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.