Maturana Seminar LO13080

Mnr AM de Lange (
Tue, 1 Apr 1997 10:49:16 GMT+2

Lilly Evans wrote on 20 Mar in LO12972

> It is the conversation about Maturana seminar that has brought me into
> relationship with you again. (Is this commutation, At?).

Dear organlearners,

Lilly, thank you for your contribution. I have enjoyed it very much. Yes,
as a observing, thinking and responding human, you are a major
organisation. The thoughts of Maturana on specific things which Rick has
jotted down, are minor organisations. You have certainly reacted to them
in the sense that you have become more complex.

When we think of commutation in communication by means of languages,
things tend to get blurred because the two words sound so much the same.
However, it is easy to get focus again if we remember that commutation is
much more encompassing than communication. For example, we cannot care for
our pets or plants if we do not commute with them. We can commute with
them in them in a complex manner wtihout even communicating with them.

> I have waited for the whole opus before starting to read.
> This shows you my preference for holism and integration, a
> cultural bias that often sets me apart from the people I
> work with in the Anglo-Saxon cultures. (I originally come from
> Yugoslavia - as it was, and have been in England for over 20
> years now).

I understand and appreciate your preference for holism and integration. I
am not so sure that you got it from Yugoslavia. What I am definitely sure
of, is that you cannot be creative while not caring for what is essential
to holism and integration, namely 'monadicity' (oneness, wholeness).

Colin Garvi has posted in the newsgroup soc.culture.south-africa the
following jewel. Tell me what you think of it. It concerns Jan Smuts who
created the concept holism.

Smuts, in my opinion, must rank among the great
names of the 20th Century. Not only an archetypal
Statesman but as Philosopher and Botanist. Just
a single quotation from his _Holism and Evolution_
ranks him as a rare "prophet" seeing into the
nature of life and creation....

For we are indeed one with Nature, her genetic fibres run
through all our being, our physical organs connect us with
millions of years of her history; our minds are full of
immemorial paths of pre-human experience.

Our ear for music, our eye for art carry us back to the
early beginnings of animal life on this globe. Press but a
button in our brain and the gaunt spectres of the dim
forgotten past rise once more before us; the ghostly
dreaded forms of the primeval Fear loom before us and we
tremble all over with inexplicable fright. And then again
some distant sound, some call of bird or smell of wild
plants, or some sunrise or sunset glow in the distant
clouds, some mixture of light and shade on the mountains
may suddenly throw an unearthly spell over the spirit, lead
it forth from the deep chambers and set it panting and
wondering with inexpressible emotion. For the overwrought
mind there is no peace like nature's, for the wounded
spirit there is no healing like hers. There are indeed
times when human companionship becomes unbearable, and we
fly to nature for that silent sympathy and communion which
she alone can give.

Some of the deepest emotional experiences of my life have
come to me on the many nights I have spent under the open
African sky, and I am sure my case has not been singular in
this respect.

The intimate rapport with nature is one of the most
precious things in life. Nature is indeed very close to us;
sometimes closer than hands and feet, of which in truth she
is but the extension. The emotional appeal of nature is
tremendous, sometimes almost more than one can bear.

(From "Holism and Evolution", p.336f)

Credit should go to Piet Beukes for bringing Smuts
back to life for another generation of readers
and historians through his very readable books:

_The Holistic Smuts_, Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 1991
_The Romantic Smuts_, Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 1992
_The Religious Smuts_, Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 1994
_Smuts the Botanist_, Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 1996

Lilly, the opposite of monadicity is fragmentarism. You did not say the
following and probably will not say it: Is it not the fragmentarism of
the Anglo-Saxon culture which troubles the world so much? Conquer and rule
by fragmentation (division).

Let us take one example, the believe that a democracy functions in terms
of the fragmentation of the political will into political parties. It may
work like that in countries with a Anglo-Saxon culture or something close
to it, but it often does not work like that here in Africa. Here people
have rights depending whether they are in a majority or minority grouping.
Here the minority grouping always has less rights than the majority

Rol, thank you very much for your contribution on the family structure in
Western Africa. It is exactly the same in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Here a black person has much more brothers and sisters than the siblings
of that person's parents. This is merely one example of how more rights
are obtained by increasing the numbers in the grouping.

Not only has the minority grouping less rights than the majority grouping,
but the majority grouping has the right in terms of its gain in power to
reduce the minority grouping's right even more. It is not difficult to
infere the consequences of such a rule when democracy is thought to be
based on the fragmentation of the political will. Maybe this will explain
to you what is happening on the political front in Africa. But what I want
to stress is that the exportation of fragmentarism to Africa is creating

However, all is not that bleak here in Africa. Although the majority
grouping has more rights and can acquire even more while the minority
grouping has less rights and can even loose more, an individual has much
more obligations (responsibilities) in a majority grouping than in a
minority grouping. These obligations are usually strictly adhered to in
order to prevent the corruption of the majority and its leaders.

These obligations are often a mystery to foreigners. For example, a person
may have 6 fathers (five of them uncles) and 15 mothers (12 of them
aunts). The funeral of each father or mother has to be attended. When the
person asks for leave from work to attend the funeral of his/her father
the second or third time, it may be viewed as dishonesty and hence lead to
a dismissal! What foreigners usually succeed in, is to gragment these
pople from their obligations. Once that happens, there is no end to the
corruption of the majority.

Best wishes,


At de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education University of Pretoria Pretoria, South Africa email:

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