Robbing children from their learning LO27194

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 08/30/01

Replying to LO27167 --

Dear Organlearners,

Dennis Rolleston <> writes:

>If I can try to explain in electrical control terms what
>has been on my mind for some considerable time:
>Hard wired systems are like having your hot water
>heated in a cylinder without a thermostat. It will boil
>itself dry and burn the element out.
>So we will add the thermostat - a degree of intelligence.
>The ability is always there for the element to burn out if
>the intelligence (thermostat) doesn't work any more.

Greetings dear Dennis,

Thank you for your passionate reply, telling how it is with Maori people
who had been dealt with in the abscence of learning organisations.

Perhaps intelligence is rather the electrical current feeding the element.
If it is, then is it not wise knowledge which acts as the thermostat?

>Perhaps PM means doing like the boss says - it is more
>conducive to survival in the jungle and in the "civilised" jungle.

I think you have said this with the tongue in the cheeck.

The last thing which PM (Personal Mastery) ever can be, using your
metaphor, is to copy what the boss has seemingly mastered. One might be
copying something which is not worth copying.

>Were the numbers of we Maori people of New Zealand
>the same as the Black people in South Africa our
>colonisation experience would more than likely have
>culminated in a similar situation - India and China were
>too big to colonise yet I'm sure the colonisation attempts
>have left its mark +ve or - -ve on their societies. Our
>battles in NZ end up in the Privy Council, a forum so
>foreign to Maori society I don't know why my people bother!

Dear Dennis, the situation in South Africa is even more complex. We do not
only have Black peopleS (Banthu peopleS) here, but also Brown peopleS
(Xhoi and San), Indian people, Malaysian people, European people and large
mixture of all these peoples.

The traditional way in which the Banthu peoples (plural means that there
are some dozen major Banthu nations like the Zulu, the Xhosa, the Venda
and the Zwana) resolved their conflicts before colonialism differed
completely from the Xhoi peoples (like the Nama and the Griqua). Now most
try to follow the European way which causes even more conflicts. Some are
forced by "external bosses" like the IMF to do it while some others assume
that it will become the best common denominator.

>Many of our Maori leaders of yesteryear, rather than
>notice that PM was being eroded, realised that their
>values, education systems, language was surely
>disappearing. The fight to restore them continues today.

I will not claim that the culture of a nation is "hardwired into the gene
pool" of that nation. But I will insist that it is extremely difficult as
well as dangerous trying to replace that culture with the culture of
another nation. One of the first things to break down, is the learning of
the children.

A person adheres to an external culture because within that person there
are certain "cultigens" ( I have no better name for them and not even
"memes" will do) going deep, deep down in the personality of that person.
Its like the roots of a tree going deep down into the soil. I have been
once into a cave where 150 meters below the surface the root of a wild fig
tree can be seen still as thick as a mans arm. The particular tree was
later identified by injecting a radioactive tracer into the root.

These "cultigens" begin to develop when the unborn baby is still in the
mother's womb. All the many, many chemical changes in the mother's body as
a result of how she reacts mentally towards external culture, her fears
and her joys, is shared by the unborn baby.

There are in South Africa some people who are genetically a Banthu or a
Xhoi, but who have the personality of an European and therefore wish to
associate them with the European culture. Even though few in number, they
suffer most when other people use genetical traits to guide their own

>Bitter sweet are the memories of my Grandmother
>showing me how to prepare sweet potato (Kumara)
>in a bed where they sprout new life ..."wait until the
>third set of leaves form then gently pull them from
>the parent tuba, leave them in a bunch in wet ground,
>then plant them like this out in the field".......and I got
>to dig and eat them as well. Not much rote in that

This reminds me of the Zulu culture. For example, one of the foods which
they are very fond of, is "amazi" (an indigenous curd of cow's milk).
Every Zulu, when arriving as a stranger at another village, knew that it
is forbidden to drink the "amazi" when offered to share in all the food.
That village would then also know, when the stranger do not take the
"amazi", that the stranger is a person of high culture. The women who
prepare the "amazi" (it is not a man's job) would then begin to make plans
how to make the person a friend of the village.

You can imagine when the fist white people came to visit Zulu villages,
being offered food, they also went for the "amazi" as "yougurt". You can
also imagine the shock which these Zulus had. You can imagine the
antagonism following and eventually the bitter wars. You can imagine how,
even today, when a Zulu from the rural regions coming into a shop
organised in the European manner, finds the shop owner willing to sell
"amazi" to a stranger. (Especially so because among Zulus the one thing
which was never bought or sold, even by bartering for other goods, was

>>Snip..... Now it is Zimbabwe and next it may be
>>South Africa. It is up to the rest of the world to help
>>these millions to restore their Personal Mastery.
>>Let us learn together how to do it. The longevity of
>>humankind itself depends on it...........
>I agree At and Mugabe for example is a highly
>educated individual?

Dennis, hatred can undo all the wisdom which learning afforded. It does
not matter how much education the person had. This is one of the most
fantastic things about Nelson Mandela. While in prison, he buried all the
hatred in him. When I saw him the first time on TV after he had been
released, it struck me like a bolt of lightning even before he spoke that
I could read it in his face and body language.

>>Please, let us put an end to robbing children
>>from their learning. Any learning without
>>wholeness is useless, except to produce
>>cheap slaves who think they are free.
>With all my heart At, yes, let us. I in my sphere
>of influence, you in yours, and each member of
>this list in theirs.

Thank you. This is what I want to read from the thousands of fellow
learners on our LO-dialogue. I pray that such words will be followed
by deeds. We have a saying in my mothertongue which is impossible
to translate into English with the same profound effect:
. Words pull, but deeds awake.
. "Woorde trek, maar dade wek."

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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