What I have learned of terrorism - Part 4. LO27212

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 09/17/01

Dear Organlearners,

Greetings to all of you.

To all victims of terrorism, we embrace you endlessly in our hearts.

In part 3 I described some characteristics of terrorism, the terrorist and
ourselves. Let us now begin with:

Part 4: Towards solving the problem of terrorism as an anomaly of modern

Whenever a terrorist attack had been launched in a country, its leaders
often declare that the terrorists as well as those who gave them shelter
and support will be dealt with force. I heard it so many times in our
country that I get sick when hearing it again. It led here to only an
increasing spiral of violence.

Do we realise that those giving shelter and support even includes people
in the country of attack? It is the very civilised behaviours of people
in, for example, hotels, restaurants and airliners which shelters and
support them too. Will they also be dealt with force? What makes the
civilised behaviours of people in the countries from which the terrorist
operates any different? Why should they know any better than the people in
the country where the attack happened? Will the force levied against them
make them learn?

How long have I not been trying to explain authentic learning! Can any
person be forced from the outside to learn? Yes, but then the outcome will
never be well formed. The spiritual deformation may range from the
undetectable and minute to the abominable like terrorism. Only when we
learn spontaneously by inner motivation do we have the capacity to improve
on what we have learned in the past.

What worried me immensely the past thirty years is how authentic learning
diminished globally. Since 1983 I realised that this is the greatest
anomaly in the present paradigm of civilisation, dwarfing all its other
anomalies which I have listed in Part 3. Terrorists have found by random
walk a domain outside the present paradigm of civilisation to operate
from. Civilisation and terrorists live in two completely different worlds
which neither civilisation nor they can comprehend. The terrorist lives
for death, but what does civilisation lives for? Can the present paradigm
of civilisation cope with any "religion of death"?

Some countries have explored the present paradigm of civilisation so well
that they have become very rich and powerful. They use many different
expressions like democracy, industry or free trade to refer to the present
paradigm of civilisation. They now want to force this paradigm on other
countries. Why? Some countries are not so rich and powerful while some
actually have lost this paradigm. Forcing this paradigm on others is for
me another anomaly of the paradigm. It is a sign that the present paradigm
cannot provide anymore for understanding the complexity of the present

Do these powerful countries have the correct paradigm to solve the problem
of terrorism? Let us take South Africa as example. Their leaders promised
to restore South Africa after apartheid, come hell or high water. But what
came was hell too hot and water too high. They rather withdrew their
investments and aid from South Africa, preaching from their countries to
us what we must do before making their promises good again. Should we not
execute with rote learning their prescriptions, they threaten us with even
more punitive measures. These punishments tell it all -- impairing some of
the 7Es in our national household.

Anyone tacitly aware of the 7Es, but in a deformed sense, will easily try
to resolve hurt with hurt. But in the terrorist the 7Es are extremely
deformed, so much so that they cannot answer to hurt with anything else
than hurt. In terms of my conception of the art of deep creativity, they
will use destructive immergences to counteract destructive immergences.
Destructive immergences happen when at the ridge of chaos through high
entropy production using vast free energy, one or more of the 7Es are too
much impaired. Thus the pending bifurcation ends up in a destructive
immergence to an order lower than the present rather than a constructive
emergence into a higher order. This destructive immergence is the very
kernel on which all "religions of death" grows. Trying to teach terrorists
with this kernel the road to freedom, peace, prosperity, the rule of law
and human rights is to teach them the road to hell. In retaliation they
will also show us the road to hell.

Levelling destructive immergences at destructive immergences to end the
latter seldom worked. Only when used with a well formed tacit
understanding of all the 7Es, will it work. For example, a fire in a
prairie or a forest can be prevented by making a fire-break. A fire at an
oil well can be extinguished by exploding a bomb (extremely rapid fire)
next to it. Cancer which causes death can be cured by killing cancerous
and normal cells with chemical or radioactive means. All these examples
involve highly skilled jobs. To seek out terrorists and kill them without
killing innocent bystanders is a highly skilled job.

Governments have been given the power of the sword. But since a sword cuts
to both sides, it has to be use very wisely and very rarely. St Peter did
use his sword once, but even in that case Jesus ordered him to put it
back, teaching us just how wisely and rarely it must be used. To stop
active terrorists by killing them rather seeking any other option is in my
opinion not a wise thing to do. It merely adds to the cause of terrorists
by feeding their terrorism.

To take punitive measures against countries which harbour terrorists, is
also using destructive immergences against destructive immergences. This
is a crude strategy which never worked, even though it seemed to work
sometimes. Much of the present problems of countries in Southern Africa
developed because the peoples failed increasingly to learn authentically
as the very result from such punitive measures. The same can be said of
North Korea and the same awaits Iraq. These measures signalled to learners
that it is OK to impair the 7Es, even when they recognise this merely
tacitly. It is not OK because such an impairing put an end to authentic

The present paradigm of the powerful countries allow them only to treat
the symptoms of terrorism like stronger safety precautions and creating
fear by reacting self with fire to fire. It does not allow them to resolve
the causes by solving the problem of terrorism. They will need a new
paradigm which will enable them to operate on a higher level of
complexity. They will need a paradigm which also addresses most of the
anomalies of present civilisation and not merely terrorism. The new
paradigm will have to provide solutions for all these anomalous issues,
otherwise it will not be good enough. The present paradigm is patently not
good enough because of these very anomalies which have manifested
themselves, including terrorism.

The new paradigm will have to involve life rather than death, spontaneous
behaviour rather than forced actions, peace rather than war and love
rather than hate. The new paradigm will have to involve authentic learning
rather than rote learning. The speeches of leaders are nothing but sources
of information. In today's complex world with its immense sources of
information their speeches are microscopic specks. Yet these specks are
most important because they need to reflect how their followers think
among the deluge of all information.

You are the followers. You have an immense responsibility to inform your
leaders how you think, especially in all the anomalies of the present
paradigm of civilisation. When these leaders insist on principles or
actions which you cannot agree with, ask them in a civilized manner to
explain it to you. Also tell them of your own gut feelings, but remember
that the articulation of this tacit knowledge is extremely difficult.
Should you succeed and should your leader be the personality which you
need, then you and your leader will find agreement. You will then have
accomplished a profound task, namely to make your leader aware of tacit
knowledge which he/she also had, but never articulated before and thus
most probably never have put into action.

Please take extreme care of polling questions giving two or more answers
to choose from. They are just about as dangerous as terrorism self. They
do not give you an opportunity trying to articulate your own tacit
knowledge. Thus they kill off the emergence of your tacit knowledge into
formal knowledge. Please, also take extreme care of opinion formers. They
usually select experts to express the opinions which they want to get
shaped in the mind of ordinary citizens. By this they force your own
opinion away, or cause you to fear articulating your own tacit knowing.
Here in South Africa after every major terrorist attack, people talked
authentically. But after a few days the opinion formers took over.

Please keep your temperament cool in these tribulating times. If not, you
will become disorientated as I will be explaining in another LO-topic with
the concept of landscapes. We here in South Africa as well as many people
in communistic countries have gained immense experiences which you will
actually also need to experience self so as to emerge to the tacit
knowledge needed to articulate the new paradigm. I pray that the latest
terrorist attacks on the WTC and Pentagon are the very last needed for
such experiences.

Here in South Africa the terrorists against apartheid called themselves
freedom fighters. This is an important clue. Terrorists believe, whether
true, false or fuzzy, that they have lost some or other vital facet of
their freedom. Thus truth, faith and freedom are integral to the
characterisation of the terrorist. If we do not have a paradigm by which
we can understand how truth, faith, freedom, rights, responsibilities and
the rule of law are related to each other in one complex whole, how can we
expect to characterise the terrorist? Fortunately for us here in South
Africa, the faith of the terrorist or freedom fighter was not connected to
a particular religion. Thus fanaticism for or against a particular
religion did not raise its ugly head. This gave me the opportunity to see
terrorism for what it is -- a "religion of death".

After the dismantling of apartheid and as part of the national healing
process, the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) held its
hearings. Confessions from both sides (government and freedom fighters)
on subversive and clandestine operations were heard. It was soon clear
that both sides practised "terrorism". On the governments side it was
called "covert operations". It also became clear, although few (perpetrators
and victims alike) could understand or believe it, that many of these
(1) were so disorientated that they believed they were doing the right thing
(2) had no idea of the devastating outcome of their operations
(3) would never again commit acts of terrorism
(4) want to serve the community in some or other constructive manner.

While following some of these hearings on TV and reports on them, I became
deeply under the impression how many of the "terrorists" from both sides
wanted to articulate their own hurt with their brand of terrorism. The
only way they could articulate that, was to hurt the other side with
destructive deeds. It may seem utterly foolish for me to write "The only
way they could articulate that", but I mean it.

They were caught up in the web of rote learning. Their capacity to
articulate their tacit knowing constructively was almost non-existent. If
only they could have retained their authentic learning as children. But
the military organisation to which they belonged was the last nail in
their coffin. The hammer was rote training under the supervision of the
sergeant major or his likes so as to preserve the unity and discipline of
the armed force.

The TRC also had to determine monetary compensations for the victims. In
my opinion this was the weak point of the TRC. Money can compensate for
material losses, but it can never set right the wrongs done on a spiritual
level. Money cannot substitute seeking truth and reconciliation. Money
cannot buy authentic learning.

Trying to characterise terrorism within the context of war is also futile.
For example, it is often said that war is initiated by certain conventions
like defying an ultimatum or invading the sovereignty of a nation.
Terrorism, it is said, does not heed to the conventions of declaring a
war. However, the conventions of initiating a war are not static. The
conventions in the 14th century were different to the conventions of the
18th century and vastly different to the conventions of the 20th century.
Terrorism stresses that the conventions of declaring war is forever
changing and thus not ontological.

It is often claimed that a conventional war is fought by certain rules.
However, most wars had been won by exactly throwing some conventional
rules overboard. Terrorism goes to the extreme by never fighting according
to expected rules. It is often claimed that conventional wars are fought
been professional armies respecting the lives of peace loving private
citizens. However, most wars had been won by enlisting private individuals
who would never have declared war themselves.

It is often claimed that in conventional wars casualties among
non-military people are minimised. However, the dropping of the two
nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki silenced even this claim. It is
often claimed that war gives the enemy a fair chance. However, most wars
had been won by secrecy and catching the enemy by surprise. Terrorism
just break the existing rules to the extreme so as to win. They involve as
much innocent citizens as necessary to win. They act so secretly that
nobody actually know who they are.

Its often claimed that each side in a war will know when it has won or
lost the war so as to end the war. However, terrorism as a "religion of
death" knows no end as long as death fuels it. A war against terrorism has
no end like conventional wars. Terrorists rather are, what would be called
in ecology, the pioneers of a new dispensation after an ecological
catastrophe. They are the masters in opportunism. They feed upon any
paradigm in the process of dying. Should we keep that paradigm any longer
alive, they will just have more to feed upon. The only thing which can
stop terrorism is the shift to a new, complexer paradigm.

Through the ages terrorists present their cause in the present paradigm of
their time as a great injustice whereas in the future paradigm it would be
merely a solvable social problem. Terrorists are masters in warfare based
on the present paradigm of their time because they simply do not heed to
that paradigm any more. However, they cannot articulate the future
paradigm except by acting destructively towards it too. Thus they are
apocalyptic figures as the apostle John warned us through the revelations
of Jesus Christ to him.

Is modern terrorism the apocalyptic ordeal coming upon us? Does modern
terrorism announce the end of times? While looking at the news networks
CNN, SKY and FOX, I got the impression that many people were contemplating
the end of all times. I wish I can assure you that it is not. I can only
say that on the day of the crucifixion, the people of Palestine were given
by Pontius Pilatus the choice between the teacher Jesus and the terrorist
Barnabas. I think that once again we will have to choose wisely.

Seeing on TV how the two airliners crushed one after another into the two
towers of the WTC was as shocking to me as to every one else. I felt
immensely sad for all victims. But simultaneously my mind rushed over the
many things of terrorism which I have learned. Some of it I have written
up in this contribution so as to help you with generating you own
enquiring thoughts ("logoi"). It took me six days (and niights) to work
through it all. You cannot expect to study it in any number of days less.

Terrorism on the massive scale as it now happened in the USA is the
clearest signal that we will have to shift the simplistic paradigm of
present civilisation. There is just too much information on weapons of
mass destruction available to leave the problem of terrorism unsolved.
Terrorists did not develop these weapons. Perhaps the real apocalypse will
come when terrorism as a "religion of death" joins the "expertise of mass
destruction". Thus we will not only have to solve the problem of
terrorism, but also the problem of weapons of mass destruction.

To solve these anomalies as well as the many others of our present
paradigm, will require enquiring thoughts ("logoi") from each of us rather
than merely our leaders. May God help us with this task in understanding
what constructive creativity is about.

Let us pray for those who want to understand terrorism.

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

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