A register of system rules LO29122

From: Winfried Deijmann (deijmann@dialoog.net)
Date: 09/05/02

Replying to LO29085

Barry Mallis wrote:

>What is it, Winfried, that so often makes brevity so powerful, at least
>for my pea brain? Is it the seven plus or minus two rule regarding the
>breadth of possible, considered thought at any given moment?
>In any case, I do so much like your sentence:
>>'An educated mind is useless without a focused will and dangerous without
>>a loving heart'
>To which I add one which I came across last year:
>Talent without character is empty.

Hi Barry,

I have never heard of 'the seven plus or minus two' rule. I have even
never thought of the idea that 'the breadth of possible, considered
thought' might be caught into an algorithm or a calculation. Probably
because my talent when it comes to mathematics is nihil.

But your question 'What makes brevity (so often) powerful?' is a simple
but essential question. When I try to answer it my primary answer is: Life
itself. On second thought that is perhaps a breve but not powerful answer.
Allow me to write here how this quote came to me.

I must have been around 18 years old when I actually 'heard' the quote
somewhere inside me. After I dropped out of school I lived for a short
while in London - alone and lonely- and was pretty mixed up by what the
future might have in mind for me. I worked in a garage putting
alarm-systems into Jaguars, Bentleys and Rolls Royce's. But I was unsure
about what to do with my life and I especially was confused about the
question 'to what purpose?'.

And it is in those lonesome moments something or somebody (an angel???) or
whatever drops whatever necessary in a persons heart to get him or her
back on track, thus turning loneliness into a glorious event. It was this
quote that came to me and because in all honesty I didn't know where it
came from I made it an 'unknown author' quote for a while. After a few
years I also skipped the 'unknown author' because I discovered that all
spiritual life, all concepts should be free available and accessible to
everyone; in other words I support the idea of free spirit for everyone.
Ever since the quote is my personal guide and Credo for my live and work.

The answer to my question 'To what purpose?' I found to be: 'Purpose is
life itself'; to live it in accordance with one's given talents and
maturing personality. I quit my job, returned to Holland, studied and
became a schoolteacher at Waldorfschools. Ten years later I shifted focus
to consulting, counseling and training and discovered that working with
adults meant for me: to integrate IQ with EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and
CQ (Creative Intelligence).

>To which I add one which I came across last year:
>Talent without character is empty.

The last three years I have been intensively studying and working on
the issue of Talent and Character. I also posted a contribution to
this list about the subject in a reply to:
Talent without Character LO26910. (I can't remember the author of
that contribution, sowwy..)

I don't agree with you that talent without character is empty, but quite
the opposite. Talent without character is like a Vulcan waiting to burst
out. Character without Talent is a time-bomb ticking slowly but consequent
to time zero. At the end of this posting I will get back to this. Let me
first explain my view on talent and character.

Lasting (Talent) versus dynamic (Character)

All humans have a set of lasting, stable characteristics that are partly
determined by genetic and hereditary factors. These characteristics that
are essentially based in the past form a reservoir of talents, split into
what I call 'nature' and 'mental constitution'.

Talent can unfold but only under the agency of character. As opposed to
talent character is dynamic and changeable. It enables development and the
actualization of latent talent. Within the sphere of influence of
character we find the (changing) capacities that may be used to any end
and the (also changing) motives, grounds to any action.

Consequences for the learning process

With talent as a base, character as a formative force and orientation as
coloring, every human being functions within his or her possibilities. The
development of personal capacities is the effect of a learning process.
This learning process takes place through the personal connection that
people make with themselves and their surroundings while putting their
talents at use. With this personal connection people set off their own
transformation process that leads to qualities referred to as knowledge,
skills and attitudes. The degree to which people are connected to their
own motives determines the outcome, the result of this learning process.

If we want to be able to solve people's functioning problems - whether in
attitude, behavior or achievement - it will be indispensable not to only
analyze and correct the visible behavior, but to try and understand the
whole inner system of possibilities and limitations of that personality -
ourselves included: for it is by understanding OURSELVES that we create
understanding for others.

It is important to look at the impulses underlying behavior. In some
situations perhaps we will find that the learning process has come to its
natural end, that the possibilities of this/a particular talent are simply
exhausted. On the other hand, instead of limitations we might as well
encounter new possibilities for self-development, unexpected, sleeping

The above text is my own latest deeper consideration on my quote. Below I
describe how I see it actualized.

When people cannot unfold their talents under the agency of character this
is what you get:

In extremo 'Unfocused will' is the expression of talent erupting like a
Vulcan in shootings, gangbangs and socccer-games where hooligans find an
unplanned outlet for their frustrations. It is talent without character.

Enron, World.com, the WTC disaster and Catholic priests abusing children
are expressions of 'educated minds', time-bombs: Well prepared and
silently planned actions by people knowing exactly what they are doing.

What they all have in common is the loss of orientation, loss of 'a loving
heart', the understanding of others. When there is no longer a personal
connection, people will still set off their own transformation but in one
of the above described disastrous directions. It is that simple.

Winfried Deijmann


'An educated mind is useless without a focused will and dangerous
without a loving heart'


Winfried Deijmann <deijmann@dialoog.net> (by way of Richard Karash)

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