A Scale from "lie" to "truth" LO16464

Mnr AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Fri, 9 Jan 1998 18:37:10 GMT+2

Replying to LO16438 --

Dear Organlearners,

Steve Eskow" <dreskow@magicnet.net> writes:

> I thank you for your long and thoughtful explication of your beliefs and
> your position. I wish that we native speakers of English could express
> ourselves with your clarity and force in that tongue.


Thank you for your kind words. I makes me feel better, but I still
struggle with the English.

Please do not see attack on you in what follows.

> You and I, At, live in different lifeworlds, different mindworlds.
> Realistically I see little hope of a meeting of those minds. Useful
> exchange, yes, as you try to make your "truth" clearer, easier for the
> resister like me to understand. But meeting, no. You have made it clear
> that you are willing to help others learn to see your truth--but you
> yourself have achieved, after a long struggle, truth, and you have little
> left to do but polish that truth and help others grasp it.

We are form different worlds in many respects. But we have to live
together one one earth. I see no hope for any one of us to travel to
another planet like mother earth.

It is not true that I want to help others to see my "truth". But it is
true that I desperately want to help them to become more creative to
discover their "truth" themselves.

The Creator is not in a hurry. Nature is not in a hurry. But of all living
species (bacteria, plants, amimals), humankind has become the impatient
species. (The Scriptures identify this as the original sin of humankind.)

Whereas the rest of the universe, when it produces entropy, follow the
course of the minimum rate of production, humankind follows the course of
maximum rate of production by virtue of its superior creativity. It
pollutes the material and the abstract world with this gross
overproduction of entropy and all its manifestations. Thus humankind has
driven itself to a grand bifurcation which is finally about to happen. It
is close to pay-back time. But how will we ensure an emergence rather than
an immergence upon this bifurcation?

Humankind is not only the impatient species. It is also the learning
species. But having become the impatient species, it has jeopardised its
role as the learning species precariously. Thus through the grace of the
Creator humankind was given teachers all along its route of development.
(Again the scriptures have much to say about Jesus as the greatest of them
all - the "Didaskalos".)

I have little to teach. It can be summarised in a sentence of 5 words.


The rest we must all learn as individuals and as organisations.

> You are then a great classic type, the true believer, the prophet who has
> found the truth and who spends his life trying to bring others to the
> light he has found.

I agree, as far as it concerns my last two sentences.

> So: you will be patient and kind with me and others, who for reasons of
> their own can not or will not grasp your "truth": but you will continue to
> believe that the rest of us have "mental models" while you have none,
> since your vision is not a mental model but the "truth."

If "to learn is to create" is a mental model and not a profound truth of
the highest order, then, as far as I can see it, humankind is doomed to


> So, with little hope of changing anything, here goes.
> The seven essentialities are neither essential nor the empirical truth:
> they are a mental model.

No. I will easily refute you with one simple example.

Suppose we have to paint a picture.

Consider only one essentiality, for example "quality-variety". Let us deny
this essentiality and see what happens to our task. We will have to use a
canvas and paint of the same colour, say cobalt blue. Thus we will have to
paint a picture with cobalt blue paint on a cobalt blue canvas.

It is not necessary for me to work through all seven the essentialities.
We are creative enough to know what the results will be in each case - no
creative result.

Thus I have demonstrated that they are both essential and empirically

> Entropy is a mental model. Its shaping of the physical world is in doubt:
> and there is no value in trying to export the physicalist notion of
> "entropy" to the "world" of "mind." Mind, world, and entropy are all
> linguistic constructions that you have formed into a house in which you
> dwell happily: but your house is a house like all others, a dwelling for
> you, and not the "truth."

Steve, please do not give the impression that I am infatuated by
"entropy". I have written clearly that entopy is that which is needed to
maintain the present organisation (structures and processes) of energy.
The present is fleeting - one moment a partcular present is there and the
next moment it has transformed to another present. Because the present is
fleeting, I cannot care but little for it.

I have stressed how different "entropy production" (dissipation) is from
"entropy". "entropy" is a "being", something of our making, first created
by Sidi Carnot. Students have to memorise (painful learning) by means of
"Carnot cycles" that "entropy" is a "state function". However, "entropy
production" is law (better known as the second law of thermodynamics - a
universal and phenomenological law), something to be discovered, but never
a thing of our making. Our makings of it is how we articulate it and
interpret it.

Entropy production is necessary to create additional entropy for the
universe, entropy needed to maintain future organisations when they
present themsleves. The future is forever before us so that we better have
to care much for it. By now it should be obvious that "entropy production"
is our link to the future.

> Literature--and your narrative is literature of high quality--is not "self
> organizing," any more than a jigsaw puzzle is self organizing. Entropy and
> self-organization did not create the theory, or the model, or the fiction,
> of the seven essentialities: a man named At, a creature shaped by the
> language and "paradigms" of his time who took the pieces of language
> available to him and rearranged them in a new story called The Parable of
> The Seven Essentialities, which he finds interesting and useful and
> accurate, and thus, in a remnant of that piece of his heritage which is
> Cartesian, "true".

No my friend, this man called At is primarily shaped by "entropy
production" and its myriad of manifestation, both inside him and outside
him. He made many, many mistakes in his life, but also managed to correct
many of them. This gave him experience and the first mental emergent based
upon it called tacit knowledge. Thus he was able, once he was prepared
through the Caretaker by many other incidents, to recognise these seven
essentialities for what they are once he managed to "articulate" them to
higher forms of articulation, natural and artificial.

Yes, much of At's heritage is Cartesian (Rene Descartes). But he is also
fortunate to have lived during the lifetime of Ilya Prigogine, his senior.
It is Ilya who had to discover not only that the second law is about
entropy production and chaos, but also that it was about self-organisation
in the material world. Were it not for that discoveries, At would not have
had the slightest change. It was At who had to discover empirically that
entropy production also governs the abstract world of mind.

It was a dazzling discovery. I will document it carefully in chapter 2 of
my book. It was the beginning of a grand paradigm shift which still not
has finished. Yet you have the audacity to tell me that "you have little
left to do but polish that truth and help others grasp it". No my friend,
my mind has not deaccelrated, it is accelerating everincreasing. Every day
I rise to new levels of awareness.

I will not describe it. I will rather refer to the description given by G
Leibniz more than three hundred years ago. What a giant among the
intellectual giants is he not! He was (at least) co-discoverer of
"infinitesimal calculus", usually attributed to Newton. Even the symbolic
notation we use today was due to Leibniz. He first artculated the concepts
of "monad" (the whole) and "function" (the essence of transformations). He
first ever realised that it is possible to compute the workings of the
mind. For this realisation he created the word "calculemus", but everybody
else began to coin it with infinitesimals. We have entered the computer
age - the realisation of one of Leibniz many dreams.

The piece which I urge you to read, is a fragment which later became known
as "The philosopher's dream". I cried when I read it because it was
describing something which was happening to me, more than three hunderd
years later. It begins with the sentence: "I was happy to be among
humans, but not happy about human nature" later on he writes the celesial
messenger said to him in his dream: " You ... will go with us from world
to world, from discovery to discovery, from perfection to perfection. You
will pay court with us to the Supreme ... " [Becoming-Being].

[If Rick will allow it, and you people really want it, I will type in this
extraordinary three page fragment. (I do not even have a scanner to make
it easier.)]

[Host's Note: Yes, At, that would be fine. Such a piece is no longer
restricted by copyright. ...Rick]

> So: I repeat again that in one sense we in this forum all illustrate the
> problems of the "learning organization".
> We ourselves are often in the powerful grip of our own constructions of
> reality, and refuse to acknowledge that they are no more "real" or "true"
> than those models held stubbornly by those we try to change.

Entropy is produced by force-flux pairs. (In my book I will try to explain
in ordinary langauge what they are and how it happens.) Two contrasting
statements of the "truth" creates such a force. The ensuing
dialogue/debate is the flux. The manifestation of the entropy so produced
will be chaos of becoming to many observers. But for a few of them it will
finally drive the production of entropy to the saturation point.

For those fortuante ones who are senstive to all seven essentialities and
honour them, a new understanding will emerge - the entropy produced will
also be manifested as order of being. As Lebniz have articulated the
celestial messenger: "Your understanding, being fortified from on high,
will discover everywhere the brilliant emlightenments of the Devine Author
of things; you will observe only wisdom and happiness where men
customarily find nothing but vanity and bitterness."

> I admire your construction, At, while continuing without hope to want you
> to understand that it is indeed a construction, a story shaped by a mind
> rearranging the stories that it has inherited from the past.

But Steve, I do understand it as a construction. I have never denied this.
You could almost have typified me as a constructivist. Why? Most people
(those who know something about entropy) know "entropy production" by the
name "dissipation" (dispersion of fragments). Some also know it as
"irreversible processes". Prigogine uncovered the other side of the coin
which is "construction". Allow me to quote from the preface of his book
"From Being to Becoming": "Second, irreversible processes play a
fundamental CONSTRUCTIVE role in the physical world; they are at the bases
of important coherent processes that appear with particular clarity on the
biological level."

A story?

Why am I writing stories? I have already written above
"To learn is to create".
My book will rest on another pivotal tenet:
"Entropy production results into creativity."

The same with our dialogue.

I have to create entropy and follow its manifestations to completion in
order to do what I so despearately want to do - to help all people to
emerge to a new level of creativity.

How should I do it? Let me tell you another story. Socrates has
articulated it perfectly as follows more than 2500 years ago: "Well, my
art of midwifery is in most respects like theirs; but differs, in that I
attend men and not woman, and I look after their souls when they are in
labour and and not their babies. The triumph of my art is in thoroughly
examining whether the thought which the mind of the young men brings forth
is a false idol or a nobel and true birth."

These words anounced the birth of the addolosence epoch in the creativity
of mankind when it had to leave the childhood of its creativity. Humankind
is now about to leave that second epoch for the third one, the adulthood
of creativity. It cannot happen without a birth. Do you hear the cries of
humankind in labour? It is deafening. It raises the hair and quickens the
pulse. Do you feel it? Humankind needs midwifes. That is what learning
organisations are for! This is what this list is for! I see it happen
almost every day - and that is not a story.

> All the best.

More to you. Remember, this is what emergences (births)
are about - more than the same.


At de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education University of Pretoria Pretoria, South Africa email: amdelange@gold.up.ac.za

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