The Pupil LO31085

Date: 05/01/04

[Host's Note: Andrew sent along a very nice image with this msg,
"Cycling Angels.." The image is at

  .. Rick]

Dear LO

'Art's about life and it can't really be anything else'. Damien Hirst.

'Hirst remembers going into a chemist's with his mother and wondering
why she could put her faith in drugs, yet had no faith in art. 'I
like the way art works, the way it brightens people's lives up but I
was having difficulty convincing the people around me that it was
worth believing in. And then I noticed that they believed in medicine
in exactly the same way that I wanted them to believe in art.'

In a recent posting At de Lange writes.

> I also had my bouts of megalomania on this list so that I am in no
>position at all to judge others. Meanwhile it became clear to me that
>in a true LO (Learning Organisation) there is no reason for any of its
>members to build a personally owned 'virtual temple'.

>Yet I think we have to learn how to discern between a person who owns
>a 'virtual temple' and one who has a 'passionate fury' (as Copernicus
>called it) for some definite advancement. An important difference
>between these two persons is the wholeness with which they act. The
>person who owns a 'virtual temple' feels feathers (little) for

At, thank you for this thing called ''Passionate Fury''...i presume
the advancement is not just ;-) a self advancement ;-)...alone...or
among one's simple peer group (closed shop)?

For all the ''papers'' and ''conferences'' and ''workshops''(sic) and
''meetings'' and ''symposia'' and ''treasure map'' MBA's et al it is
amazing to me how little the ''little people'' (Confucius) (''plain
people'') know about the stuff of these (what?) Templars ;-) (Psalm
115, v1 Hebrew Psalter Psalm 113, v13 Greek Psalter)

I can only speak (write -imagise) as i find. So i would like to say my
re(a)lation ;-) to you and your contributions here and elsewhere has
been a simple enough one ;-) like that of an ''apprentice to a
master'' - no less or more perfect than any other relations, but one
with a golden thread that leads me, anyway ;-), back to people who
have led without temples and by example, Jesus, Buddha, and Confucius
to name three and forward and outward to unimagined friendships

Marysa de Veer is someone I now know who has submitted herself to such
learningful relationships. Marysa has been an apprentice to masters in
her own fine art of book binding and book design and also to the
history of that art and craft by the study of its older historical
examplars. And the best of centemporary examples, of which, IMHO her's
count as one among ...not so... many ;-) through submission to
''open'' competition, a way familiar to living artists...not so
familiar i often think to erstwhile complexologists who deride the
lovely idea of sharing the original gift of a design or image as a way
to an opening of a wondow to the 'stranger' and prefer to lurk around
the closed communities of be Ph(u)D(ded) speciality.

At and LO, -- in thinking about a lot of things i came onto this,
which i place here because it says something about a much respected
and increasingly listened to artist, Michael Polanyi.

(Michael Polanyi), "-demonstrates that -- personal participation in
ones knowledge, in both its discovery and its validation, is an
indispensable part of science itself. Even in the exact sciences,
'knowing' is an art, of which the skill of the knower, guided by his
personal commitment and his passionate sense of increasing contact
with reality, is a logically necessary part. Polanyi writes, "... I
have come to the conclusion that the principle by which the cyclist
keeps his balance is not generally known. The rule observed by the
cyclist is this. When he starts falling to the right he turns the
handlebars to the right, so that the course of the bicycle is
deflected along a curve towards the right. This results in a
centrifugal force pushing the cyclist to the left and offsets the
gravitational force dragging him down to the right. This manoeuvre
presently throws the cyclist out of balance to the left, which he
counteracts by turning the handlebars to the left; and so he continues
to keep himself in balance by winding along a series of appropriate

A simple analysis shows that for a given angle of unbalance the
curvature of each winding is inversely proportional to the square of
the speed at which the cyclist is proceeding. But does this tell us
exactly how to ride a bicycle? No. You obviously cannot adjust the
curvature of your bicycle's path in proportion to the ratio of your
unbalance over the square of your speed; and if you could you would
fall off the machine, for there are a number of other factors to be
taken into account in practice which are left out in the formulation
of this rule. Rules of art can be useful, but they do not determine
the practice of an art; they are maxims, which can serve as a guide to
an art only if they can be integrated into the practical knowledge of
the art. They cannot replace this knowledge." Personal Knowledge.

..and yet, you know, i think this is how many proceed today, esp. in
the so called ''social science'' of ''social progress'' many grand themes and new titles...i will leave it
tacit as to what i might be exploring, and then others may go even
further with some personal learning.

I know Marysa - like me has been ploughing these fields of LO for a
while...When in real life i lose courage, faith, and ''personal
meaning'', i find i can come and go in these archives and rediscover
deeper things, which set me out to where i am now, in part and whole
..and the slippage of the finding of a desert wanderer in some field
of ''quantum qualia'' has proven a rich experience, so long as you do
not sit too directly below the fractal tree itself, lest it fall ;-)


"In order to discuss the role of the social in the construction of
personal knowledge, according to Polanyi it is important to keep in
mind the distinction between the concepts of 'personal' and
'subjective' in his epistemology.This is because, in the past, this
epistemology was mistakenly thought as directed toward subjective
knowledge. The difference between those two forms of knowledge --
personal and subjective -- lies in the individuals' commitment to
verification and validation of their premises or results, within any
given system of beliefs. Subjective knowledge does not require any
such necessity: Our personal participation [in an act of tacit
knowing] is in general greater in a validation than in a
verification... [However] both verification and validation are
everywhere an acknowledgement of a commitment: they claim the presence
of something real and external to the speaker. As distinct from both
of these, subjective experiences can only be said authentic, and
authenticity does not involve a commitment in the sense in which both
verification and validation do.(Polanyi, 1962, p.202)

Thus, the search for verification and, mainly, for validation -- that
leads the individual to transcend his/her own subjectivity -- gives to
personal knowledge a public character. On the other hand, how much
such a knowledge is based on the social is described to us through
Polanyi's concept of tradition."

There is a way familiar to you and i, as artists, that may be less
familiar, ''open'', to others here...and for clarity i am going to
quote from the author above as to what Polanyi saw as a possibility
for what the gurus call community practice (thought they called it
community of practice --so subtle;-)

Polanyi was one of the precursors of the concept of communities of
practice, more specifically, in the case of scientific practice in the
middle of the 20th century However, he introduced such a concept in
terms of tradition, a system of values that describes how knowledge is
transferred within a social context: Polanyi wrote...

"An art (e.g. the doing of ....leadership. complexity, learning,
painting, original design, philosophy, and sciences) which cannot be
specified in detail cannot be transmitted by prescription, since no
prescription for it exists. It can be passed on only by example from
master to apprentice. This restricts the range of diffusion to that of
personal contacts... [for example] while the articulate contents of
science are successfully taught all over the world in hundreds of new
universities, the unspeciafiable art of scientific research has not
yet penetrated to many of these... To learn by example is to submit to
authority. You follow your master because you trust his manner of
doing things even when you cannot analyze and account in detail for
its effectiveness. By watching the master and emulating his efforts in
the presence of his example, the apprentice unconsciously picks up the
rules of the art, including those which are not explicitly known to
the master himself. These hidden rules can be assimilated only by a
person who surrenders himself to that extend uncritically to the
imitation of another. A society which wants to preserve a fund of
personal knowledge must submit to tradition... we accept the verdict
of our appraisal, be it at first hand by relying on our own judgment,
or at second hand by submitting to the authority of a personal example
as carrier of a tradition." (Polanyi, 1962, p.53)

I dare say that resonates for you Marysa? Others?

It makes me think of an intense dialogical exchange. But i think we
never forget as many do that the truest dialogue is with nature. That
is what Len McComb always taught me, that is what i found in At de
Lange, many and expanded ''understandings'' of nature (under-standing
is ''to bear the weight of --for the other'' ;-) so that in him i
re-discovered the variety celebrated in McComb..."whose art is quite
unlike any other artist in its variety in all European history." Giles
Auty, The Spectator... ;-)...and Prigogine said the same, and said to
keep the inner eye open for the ''fantastically'' strange ideas,
because they are the ones ;-)...and Picasso who saw i the giraffe the
proof he needed to know that God was an artist ;-) too ;-)...and that
could lead me to ''angels'' and Sheldrake, and ''morphic fields'' and
Pierce's triadic ontologies, and my own splits and blooms of love in
the fields of learning...(please see attached file ;-)

Marysa, once i know that you stood in the face of a fire and you
linked into a line of living people, ...standing in line as history
itself burned, handing down the fractal line to the future restored
;-) You ran to the flames when you saw the smoke...Aha! How many will
run away when the new clouds of smoke signals fire over the horizon?

I was taken with one thing in you letter here ;-) that experience of
the eye of the African elephant, you likened to Buber's experience of
the horse; when he was a young boy on his parent's farm. Remember how
it was in Buber's account that it was his inner thinking, his tacit
quantum qualia, that the horse saw through, and so thereafter nothing
was ever the same again. So it may have been with you, in the
elephant's eye.

"The wisdom of 20th century physical science has established the
primary role of energy-fields in the physical world (Bohm and Hiley,
1993; Laszlo, 1995). Structural or energetic interconnectedness
between living systems and their physical environment has also been
established in biology and cognitive science (Maturana and Varela,
1980, 1987). However, the problem of today's management practice is
that "most of us have not seriously cultivated the 'state of being'
needed to work with fields" and "there is nothing in our development
as professionals that has aided this cultivation" (Senge et al).
Clearly, we need to develop our collective capacity to work with the
"subtle field of thought and emotions" (Senge et al) through
trans-cultural energy-field cultivation in order to facilitate the
production of empathetic, "superconductive," shared energy environment
(Bohm) in which deep organizational learning and profound change can
be initiated and sustained. In other words, our task is to develop
collective learning and "knowledge conversion" practices and
techniques for "building a 'field' of interaction" (Nonaka and
Takeuchi) or "knowledge enabling context" based on "active empathy"
and care (von Krogh et al). In essence, the challenge for strategic
large-scale transformative change in multi-national organizations is
how to facilitate the integration of systemic cultivation of creative
cognitive capacity for "structural coupling" (Maturana and Varela) of
the collective mind/body energy field. In leadership, the most
profound challenge has become "one of being 'in front of a blank
canvas,'" i.e. to develop the capacity for "precognition" - sensing
and actualizing "emergent potentials" (Scharmer, 2001). In engineering
design, the challenge is to develop "methods and processes of bringing
the mind into a holistic mode of enlightenment so that the vision of
practical solutions of the task given are in harmony with the
evolutionary processes of the world" (Boelskifte and Storen). The need
of linking the state of health and well-being with world ecology and
sustainable development has become increasingly urgent (Brundtland,
Ehrenfeld), while the cultivation of such a state through experiential
knowledge in interconnectedness, even though existing since ancient
times, has only been recognized recently by reflecting scientists and
health professionals (Bohm and Peat, 1987; Eisenberg, 1995; Porkert).
These challenges cannot be met in a fulfilling way without exploring
systematic cultivation of the collective capacity for structural
coupling and dynamic interconnection of the human-nature energy-fields
(Husemoen and Zhang). The proposed project will thus focus on the
question of how to facilitate collective energy, creativity, and
innovation in leadership and engineering design towards profound
strategic transformative change."

I know what my artmaster's would say, "Andrew, study nature as she
reveals herself to you."

A simplicity they seek on the other ...far side of complexity ? You
will know such people - they shine - even in the darkness, they shine
- below even the threshold of one graviton - they shine - and they
call out from there. Woven in and passing through the eye of the
cosmic pin. How many angels?

Marysa, Master Schopenhaur said, ''- a light needs an eye equal to it
in order to shine''...Mmmmm ;-)



Polanyi by Cristina Frade
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais -- UFMG
Fields of Wisdom, Internet paper (Senge et al).
(My PK ;-)


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