Valentinus the learner? LO27330

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/01/01

Replying to LO27299 --

Dear Organlearners,

Lawrence Stevens <> writes:

>Needless-to-say, the religious leaders did
>not appreciate the message or the messenger.

Greetings dear Lawrence,

Thank you for a great contribution.

It often strikes me that when a person with profound faith issues a
warning on some behaviour how many people think that the applicability of
this warning (whether true or false) applies only in the context of the
religion with which that person is associated. In other words, outside
that religion the warning has no applicability.

For example, when St James writes that deeds speak stronger than words,
many people assume that it is a truth which only Christians can have. It
is not so. It ought to have been a truth which all Christians should have
embraced. But we know from the history of the Church that the deeds of
many spoke stronger of an unchristian behaviour than their empty words on
Christian behaviour.

"Walk the talk" is a truth which we find also in most other religions and
not merely the Christian religion. In fact, it is a truth which many
people practice and which have made many of them them indifferent to
religions because some religious people with some or other religion do not
practice it.

I live in a country where Christians often claim that when a person does
not "walk the talk", it is because of sin and there is nothing more to say
to it. This use of judgement for a lack in some behaviour as sin and doing
nothing to help the person out of this predicament, is the worst thing a
Christian can do as St James again carefully points out. Sadly, it happens
in other religions too. How often do we not point a finger to a fallen
person rather than kneeling beside that person to help her/him upright

In my opinion the reason why it may happen with any religious person has
nothing to do with some perceived flaw in the religion of that person, but
when that person substitutes authentic learning by rote learning. In rote
learning excessive stress is laid on the memorising of information, i.e.
"words rather than deeds". But in authentic learning the doing comes first
so as to get new sensations, emerging into additional experiences and then
additional tacit knowledge. Only then will the "kernels" in that tacit
knowledge allow the person to feed selectively on outside information
rather than memorising as much as possible.

Rote learning ("rote" from French for machine) does not only distort a
religion. It distorts any other subject under the sun which we can learn.
For example, rote learning in chemistry leads to so many misconceptions
that should a rote learner be given free access to a fully equiped
laboratory, a major accident would be inevitable. This is one of the main
reasons why a pregraduate student is never given free access to a fully
equiped laboratory

>For we all are both right and wrong in our
>understanding of the Divine and the demands
>that the divine-human relationship places on
>our human-human relationships.

I think of it somewhat differently. The key here for me is not the
"beings" right and wrong, but in my "becoming" to one of these tow
"beings". I am now clearly aware how through my life I have migrated
fractally in steps from "less right" to "more right", but sadly sometimes
also backwards. Goethe would have said that I have become aware of my
"Steigerung" (staggering) in truth.

Logic is concerned with true/false categorisations while ethics is
concerned with right/wrong categorisations. Since WWII some developments
took place in logic called "multinary logic" (many truth values) rather
than "binary logic" (two truth values). I think that the development of
quantum mechanics had much to do with it. This culminated in "fuzzy logic"
where the jump from one to the next value is a small quantum, beginning at
"false" with the first quantum and ending on "true" with the last quantum.
In all these developments the "false" and "true" of binary logic is needed
to fix their lower limit and upper limit of truth.

However, a different logic is also possible which we might call "fractal
logic". It consists of a small displacement followed by a slight rotation
on a "character matrix". These two actions are then connected into a loop
to have as many repititions of them as are feasable. The "character
matrix" has to have truth (logic) and least on other property of character
related to ethics, morality or aesthetics. Each slight rotation is to
another property of character followed by a small increase in that

To work with only the two values right/wrong in ethics is a "binary
ethics". Since I have last looked into ethics, there was not any serious
study in "multinary ethics", "fuzzy ethics" or even "fractal ethics". I
have come to the realisation that I cannot claim that "binary ethics" is
right while "multinary ethics", "fuzzy ethics" or even "fractal ethics"
are wrong.

Thus, Lawrence, I do not in any way imply in any way that your "For we all
are both right and wrong ..." is wrong. For example, in "fuzzy ethics" you
would only have been required to articulate "right" as "X%right" and
"wrong" as "(100-X)%wrong" (X ranging from 0 to 100 in quantum jumps). But
since nobody to my knowledge articulated before what I now have done, how
could you be wrong at all, except for me saying it -- and this I will not

I think we can all take lesson from the "intuitionistic constructivists"
in logic under leadership of Lutzen Brouwer. They accepted only truths
which could be constructed and thus were open to questioning by intuition.
(In other words, they used authentic learning to plot for them a course in
the growing study of truth.) Their work have resulted after many decades
in Category Theory, an unprecedented paradigm shift in mathematics. Should
we not do the same in all the other properties of character and not merely
the property truth?

How will we do it? The first clue is "to learn is to create". The second
clue is "to advance in character is to learn". This brings us right back
to Valentinus. It seems to me (after my too limited study of him) that he
was a very creative person with immense learning and extraodinary
character. It also brings us to an important difference between an OO
(Ordinary Organisation) and a Learning Organisation. In a OO a very
creative person with immense learning and extraodinary character may
easily be branded as a "bad egg" whereas in a LO that person will be at
home to the benefit of the rest of the learners in that LO.

Such a person is the one which you have refered to as the stonemason in

>So much so that, should the stonemason ever
>have the temerity to re-appear and correct us,
>we too would probably want to shut him up.
>Thereby demonstrating that we haven't learned
>much in the 2000 years since his last visit.

He came to help us transform our "rock-hearts" into "flesh-hearts".

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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