Becoming More Whole Through Nature LO31032

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 03/23/04

Replying to LO30990 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell < > wrote:

>Heaven knows how i found his work. I think the chain went
>from a list serve on Evolutionary biology and or complexity,
>that was talking about the inventor of ''Process Grammars'',
>Michael Leyton was someone who i shared some of my arting
>with a few years back, in the fateful summer of 2001...and
>another listserver connected to that was the Time and Physics
>one, on which peter Beamish shares his wondrous journeys
>into the collective soul of the great whales et al. ( species
>of which, with the massively long fins has a name which means
>''great wings''...and makes me think again, of Angels)...

Greetings dear Andrew,

You have introduced an important issue here. Wholeness is as essential
to a LO (Learning Organsation) as it is to nature. Peter Senge says
that wholeness is issential to a LO. But one has to be actually a
member of a LO to experience just how vitally important wholeness is
to a LO.

The same applies to nature. One has to become a member of it for a
time long enough to learn experientially the wholeness in nature. This
intimacy cannot happen by buying in on some ecotour. Ecotourism is the
fastest growing sector in the economy of many countries the past
decade. This about summarises why i do not think an ecotour will help
a person much to learn more about the wholeness of nature. Allow me to
go into more detail.

(1) The ecotour has too many participants.
I have explored many deserts, sometimes on my own and sometimes
with some friend who also loves such exploring. I have acted twice as
guide to bunches of people. In both cases each bunch failed utterly to
integrate with nature.

(2) The ecotour has too short a duration.
I have experienced in most of my desert journeys that it takes at least
three days to stop thinking of civilisation, especially what is valuable to it.
It takes about a week to bond with the animals and plants in a desert.

(3) The ecotour provides little time for meditation.
Once you make a startling discovery, you must let your mind meander
over all to which it is related before moving onwards. In other words,
you must integrate that discovery into your already existing body of
knowledge to become knowledge too.

(4) The eoctour relies to much on the expertise of the guide.
The guide makes sure for food and shelter. The guide make sure what
has to be done in the case of any particular accident. The guide makes
sure for some overstay at a lodge every few nights so as to avoid "cold
turkey" among tourists because of the lack of civilisation. All this prevents
growing into the wholeness of nature.

(5) The ecotour neglects focus points which generate passion.
Each tourist has a passion for something like flowers, insects or scenery.
When some tourists discover a unique flower, they have to leave it too
soon so that others in the tour can discover a unique insect or scenery.
Too many "wows" and too little "hmms". This too short intimacy is
deadly to that passion.

The list above is by far not exhausted.

Apart from living self in nature and studying it, i like to read books
of others who lived naturally in nature too, be it a scientist, an
explorer, an arists or simply a lover of nature. In such a book i find
how the author's experiences, deliberate observations, involuntary
perceptions, meditations and philosophical enquiries blend into one
mighty whole. This wholeness is for me notoriously absent (unpersonal)
scientific papers on ecology, botany and zoology. And so is the degree
of wholeness in any of them.

Television programs on nature has a schizofrenic outcome. Those
viewers knowing the wholeness of nature form radically different
perceptions than those viewers who have still to become intimate with
nature. The former use the program to fire their own imagination while
the latter think of it as a factual report. The former seek all the
links in the program leading to a hreater understanding of wholeness
while the latter is unaware of the wholeness even when deliberately
told by the commentator. In other words, programs on nature fails too
reach out to those who need such reach-out.

The artificial fragmentation of the study of nature into subjects like
physics, chemistry, geology, metereology, microbiology, botany and
zoology had been my greatest difficulty in a holistic understanding of
the wholeness of nature. I had to make hundreds of connections between
these subjects which are not be found in the textbooks on them. When
observing any complex phenomenon in a desert, all these subjects have
to blended into one subject before i could fully appreciate the
wholeness concerning that phenomenon.

>Today, in our "market-oriented" cultures, we continually hear
>that competition is the natural way for humans, just as, it is
>claimed, it is in nature. This, we are told, is "survival of the
>fittest, the strongest", and it will ultimately yield "progress".


>So, in these observations in daily life, I claim that we do not see
>"competition" operating, we see love, mutual respect, caring.


Confucious was born about 551 BC. In other words, he lived in about
the same times as the prophet Daniel. At 22 years he decided to become
a student of and a teacher in the values which make humans humane.
What a mission. His wisdom and the Analects of his followers guided
the Chinese cilvilisation for another 17 centuries. The basis of his
wisdom is that love is the cardinal virtue in a human.

But this reverance for love finally began to fade away. So someone had
to lead the Chinese civilisation back to love as the cardinal virtue
of a person. It was Chu Hsi ( 1130-1200) AC who combined the
traditional values of Confucianism with advancements in Chinese
knowledge over 17 centuries. Here is what he had to say on Love:


   To-day we shall endeavor to understand what is the meaning of the
word "love". Wise men of the past expounded it frequently, one in one
way and another in another. Their use of words and the meanings
attached to them differ, but when we have definitely ascertained what
the meaning is in each case, and when we have collected together and
carefully examined their statements -- scattered as they are like the
stars -- we shall find that this is the invariable interpretation, and
that it is everywhere consistent. In the definition of love as "The
principle of affection and the virtue of the mind ", which is given in
the Collected Comments, affection is solicitude, and solicitude is
feeling; its principle is love. In the phrase, "The virtue of the
mind," virtue, again, is simply affection, because the reason why love
is called the virtue of the mind is that it is the source of

   The statement, "Love is the principle of affection," regards love
as divided into four. Love is the principle of affection; affection
for men or for other creatures is the manifestation of this principle.
Righteousness is the principle of obligation, reverence is the
principle of respectfulness, wisdom is the principle of moral
discrimination. Principles are invisible: it is from the sense of
affection, obligation, respectfulness and moral insight that we know
that there are the principles love, righteousness, reverence, and
wisdom in the mind -- what are termed the virtues of the mind. But
this ability of love thus to include the four virtues is in its
pervading operation, in what is called "preserving in union the
conditions of great harmony." Love is a principle of life. To be
without love is to be dead. Man is never without love, it is simply
clouded by selfish desire. When he "master self and returns to right
principle", love is still found to be present.

   It is manifest that we should use our efforts in all kinds of
virtuous conduct, but how are we to ascertain what they are? All kinds
of virtuous conduct are summed up in the five cardinal virtues-love,
righteousness, reverence, wisdom, sincerity-and the five cardinal
virtues are summed up in love. Therefore Confucius and Mencius simply
taught men to seek love. To seek love is to make seriousness the
ruling principle, and thus to seek the lost mind. If we can do this we
shall have found the truth.

   When, having thus clearly understood love, we come to practice it,
we must "master self and return to right principle." When we go abroad
"we must behave to everyone as if we were receiving an honored guest,
we must employ people as if assisting at a great sacrifice, and we
must not do to others what we would not wish done to ourselves." This
is to practice love.

   To say that when selfish desire is absent we have love is allowable,
but to say that the absence of selfish desire is love is incorrect. For it is
simply that when selfish desire is absent love is made manifest, just as
when there is nothing to choke the channel water can flow freely.

   To-day, upon investigating the gracious teaching of wise men of the
past, we find that their aim was that men should practice it in their
own person and act in accord with its doctrine, cultivate inward
rectitude and conquer selfishness, make all forms of frivolity,
meanness, self-exaltation, and contempt of others dissolve into
nothingness, and that we should preserve and never lose the honest and
kindly, just and upright character of our original mind. This is love.
Practice and effort in it may differ according to its degree in each
man's disposition, but the important thing is in energetic practice to
reach ripe maturity.

   Altruism is without feeling, love has the feeling of affection.
Altruism pertains to law, and love pertains to personality. What is
altruism but "the mastery of self and the return to right principle"
with the elimination of every atom of selfishness? What is love but
"attachment to parents, love of the people, and kindness to other


>.......that you could travel the WHOLE world
>starting out from the one idea...but i have now
>forgotten what that was...;-)

I think i know, but i will not tell so that fellow learners can keep
on wondering.

Just to see how much wholeness has become a "treasure map" in the
world of business, i used Google's advance search engine and typed
into the first window
   wholeness economy
I got 25 200 hits. I also tried
   wholeness consultant
just to make sure. I got 15 600 hits. Then i replaced it with
   wholeness in nature
in the second window. I got 50 hits. I then decided to see how many
sites do not mention big shot names to lend authority to their site by
typing the names
   Smuts Goethe Bohm Jung
in the fourth window. I still got 33 hits. Hurray to them.

I cannot say "how far have we got astray from the teachings of Chu Hsi"
since he was not part of western civilisation. So i decided to use Google
as follows:-
first window (each word occur)
   creation humankind
second window (exact phrase)
   love of creatures
I got a mere 14 hits. Compare this with in only the first window
   love consultant success
I got 467 000 hits!

The movie "The Passion of the Christ" is becoming a hot topic here in
South Africa too. Jesus Christ tried to teach his audiences about love.
As i understand it personally, his passion up to the last minute was in a
sense "wholeness in love" since he was a healer (wholemaker) in body
and soul. The purpose of his death was to heal our relationship with
God. So i decided to use Google with in the second window
   wholeness in love
I got 24 hits. This i replaced with only in the first window
   wholeness business
because who would ever think of "wholeness in business". There is
rather much more "business in wholeness" to be made. I got 78 400

Thank you Andrew for a wonderful reflection. I wanted, unfitting to my
true temperament, to present a far more cynical picture to shock
fellow learners.

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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