Courbet, Mendel and Geluk LO27198

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

Replying to LO27173 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell < > writes:
at the end of his contribution:


Greetings dear Andrew,

Thank you for a wonderful contribution, showing what to do when trying to
find the congruencies between an artist and a scientist.

We must tell fellow learners that "geluk" is a Dutch and Afrikaans word
having two meanings: bliss and serendipity=(blind luck). It comes from the
Frankonish word "luk" and is related to the Saxon "locian" from which the
English word "look" has evolved. In the proto Germanic langauge it seems
to have meant "to see the joy in the soul".

In your postscript you write

>(Mendel was an Augustinian monk who was encouraged
>to learn by his 'order' and took to the monastery gardens
>to do his learning, and by studying garden peas he set
>the foundations for modern genetic science. When he
>delivered his findings in an appropriate manner after a
>decade of studies via mathematics the audience rose
>silent at the end, and turned their backs and walked out
>on him...what shall we do with his gifts?)

I think that Johann Gregor Mendel and Michael Faraday were birds of a
feather. They even looked the same! Like Farady Mendel took to endless
learning as a child. His family was too poor to sustain his learning. That
is why he grabbed at the opportunity to become a monk.

I often wonder what would have become of biology should Mendel have lived
in England rather than Moravia, all other factors staying the same. Darwin
published his "Origin of the Species" in 1859 while Mendel published his
"Versuche uber Pflanzenhybriden" in 1866. Darwin's work took the world by
storm while Mendel's work, known to dozens of biologists, had almost to be
"redicovered" in 1900.

We who have a passion for authentic learning and learning organisations
should study the life and personality of Mendel carefully. He is the
"founding father" of a profound subject which today has the well known
name genetics. But because this great genius lived in a obscure country,
almost no information on him has been preserved. The purges of Lysenko
cannot be offered as the reason for it because before these purges there
was ample time to save all information.

I suspect that Mendel was as mental as Faraday. Whereas I still could
trace this for Faraday, even with much difficulties, it was impossible to
trace it for Mendel.

I think Jan Smuts, the "founding father" of holism, knew it. That is why
his almost weekly letters to Margeret Gillett, spanning over many decades,
despite immense duties, tell far more of the thought processes of this
remarkable person than his "Holism and Evolution" ever would do.

To reconstruct the historical Mendel is as difficult as to reconstruct the
historical Jesus. When comparing many such reconstrcutions of a person,
one thing has become very clear to me. Prejudices, whether science,
religion or whatever else, abound in such reconstructions.

Dear fellow learner, perhaps in your organisation there is also a Mendel.
How will you find out? There is only one way. Help your organisation to
emerge into a LO. Should you not find out, some outsider, perhaps even
decades afterwards, will find it out.

Why will you want to find this Mendel? I can give you one bad reason. Your
organisation will become one of the top ten money makers in the world. Why
is it a bad reason. To "locian", i.e. "to see the joy in the soul" of
someone like a Mendel is worth more than all the money in the world. It is
a tragedy of Bibliotheca proportions that we cannot "locian" the
historical Mendel.

Perhaps that very Mendel is you yourself. Have you ever given the
authentic learner in you more than a fair chance? The first step is very
diffcult, but crucial. I know it because I have helped many pupils and
students. To "locian" them afterwards were worth all the effort. What is
step 1? Stop having prejudices on yourself. You will make a mess of
reconstruting yourself just as all those "learned" people who tried to
reconstruct the historical Mendel or the historical Jesus.

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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