The Wolf, The Lamb, The Child and the Fishes LO31000

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 03/02/04

Replying to LO30989 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell wrote:

>When At dies, and like he says, he is not dead yet, so much
>will go with him, that he cannot pass on to others. Either
>because he knows so much there isn't time, or because he
>knows it so deeply it is incommunicable. And the same when
>anyone dies. How much wastage! how much loss! Can you
>imagine the horror if At, particularly At, but anyone, dies, and
>we have not taken the effort to learn as much beforehand?
>To learn is such a desparate priority... and the way is
>through closeness to those - all - that we can learn from. Or
>as you might say, through love.

Greetings dear Andrew,

You made me blush and wanted to hide. But internet is a public place
in which it is impossible to hide when participating. My passion is to
develop the passion for learning in other people. It is not easy to
write about this passion because i never want to be dogmatic about

>It is not linear time yet for the old desert wolf to lay down
>with the Lamb - i hear tell he plays with fish ;-) and he is happy.

I have not been happy the past six weeks with what happened to my
fish. I have imported some wild fish from Brazil to breed with them.
Unfortunately, they arrived with some disease and eventually all died.

Even though i kept them in quarantine, the disease spread to many of
my other tanks. The disease baffled me and my friends. Autopsies and
microscope work revealed nothing. I eventually concluded that the
disease is fish tuberculosis.

I began to read on tuberculosis whatever i could lay my eyes upon.
Humans, cattle, poultry and fish have each its own species of
tuberculosis bacteria affecting them. In contrast to other bacteria
the tuberculosis bacteria flourish in an oxygen rich environment. Thus
the normal oxygen-wise sterilisation methods are useless as i have
found out.

Some fish species like bird and bovine species can develop an immunity
to it. After a couple of weeks it struck me that only those fish
species coiming from so-called black water have no immunity to it. The
water is brown because of a lot of humic acids in it.

Then it began to make sense to me. My one friend, a veterinarian,
found in one of his books that phenol (the simplist of humic acids)
sterilises tuberulosis bacteria best. In other words, in black water
these bacteria cannot live so that fish species from such waters
cannot develop an immunity against them. The worst of it all are that
antibiotics are not effective against the tuberculosis bacteria.

Fish cannot get AIDS like humans can. Tuberculosis (TB) together with
AIDS are a deadly combination. Although TB usually first effect the
respiratory system, it can spread to any other organ and gland. Once
infected, that organ stops functioning so that death sets in. Even in
fishes the first sign is a need for air. But eventually in those
species which cannot develop an immunity against it, it is any organ
which may give up. It is confusing until one knows that the disease is

I always thought that virusses are the biggest risk in human
epidemics. But now i know that bacteria are equally dangerous. The
whole episode made me think a lot on human organisations and the
"diseases" they can get. Senge writes of learning disabilities, but
perhaps we should think in terms of learning diseases. Some may be
highly infectious as the TB bacteria for which little medication is
possible. The only hope is an immunity system which can respond to it.

What is the immunity system for human organisations? I think that it
is learning based on creativity.

>Part of me wants to write to At and say "At! teach me! Teach
>me everything! Teach me the most important thing! What do I
>need to know?!" There is so much... I would have needed to
>ask a millenia ago.... and in any case, I have other things to learn
>and other ways of learning that are my own. And the last thing
>At needs is scatty women he's never met taking up his precious
>time. But what would he say if I did ask him that? What could
>any wise teacher say to such a question... what is the most
>important thing, the thing that means I can learn everything I need
>to know, to cross that separation that prevents learning? I suspect
>I know....

Andrew, i can say only one thing -- learn how to learn and why to
learn -- the so-called other loops of learning.

Several years ago, after one of my contributions on learning to the LO
list, somebody wrote in private to me asking me to each him how to
learn. I was annoyed, but replied with patience in detail to him what
to do. How glad i was. In his next letter he told me that he was a
Christian in a Muslim country and how difficult that was to him. It
made me realise once again how precious the gift of learning is.

>Many years ago, somebody asked another wise teacher,
>"teacher, what is the most important thing?" and the teacher
>replied "love....... "

Yes, already Confucius knew this some 2500 years ago. It was for him
the cardinal virtue. And some 500 years later Paul wrote in his letter
to the Corinthians just why love is so important.

Can our organisations function without love? I do not think so. But i
find it strange that so little is written about it. Can the world
function without love? I read recentlly an article which made it clear
that were it not for God loving this world, it would have been hell to
live in. If only we can learn how to love as God loves us.

Love is the glue which keeps the world of human affairs from not
falling apart. What surprised most white South Africans when Nelson
Mandela was released from jail had been his genuine love for all South
Africans. Were it not for such love, our country could have fallen
apart as many others.

Love is not only a thing of the heart, but also of the mind. To love
any thing with the mind is to learn as much as possible about it. Is
learning possible without the slightest love? I do not think so. I had
to help many a student with learning problems. Almost without
exception i found that they tried to learn without love for what they
wanted to learn. My strategy was then to help them to discover their
love and then to base their learning upon it.

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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