Essentialities of creativity LO17576 -Introduction

Mnr AM de Lange (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 18:08:21 GMT+2

[Host's Note: This msg will launch a structured series by At de Lange
about his essentialities. If anyone else is interested in delivering here
a planned set of pieces on a specific topic, please contact me to discuss
the idea. ...Rick <>]

Dear Organlearners,

Let us kick off with the request of

Winfried Dressler <>
> Subject: Practice in At's Emergent Learning (1) LO17441

> It is now a week ago that I suggested to learn some more about At de
> Langes seven essentialities. Meanwhile I got a lot of encouraging mails to
> proceed with this issue, so I hope for not only eager listeners (of course
> you are very welcome as well) but also for many contributions sharing
> experiences with whatever you understand to be "emergent learning" -
> either success or failure.

Before even listing these seven essentialities, allow me to make a few
comments. (The reason why I do not list them now, is to avoid endangering
your own emergent learning.) Each comment will begin with a heading in
CAPITAL letters. I will then describe some facets of that comment
important to me.

Please feel free to question me on anything. For example, English is not
my mother tongue and I speak it seldom. Thus it is very easy for me to
write something in a non-English way and thus to cause confusion.

I have worked the history of how I discovered them into my contribution
Creating a Passion for Learning LO17474, Thu, 19 Mar 1998 Please consult
the archives at <>

[Host's Note: URL is

Although I discovered these seven essentialities in one single
project, it does not imply that they have not discovered before
individually. To do so, would be hubris of the worst kind. For
example, Jan C Smuts, the father of holism ("Holism and Evolution",
1926), identified WHOLENESS as essential to evolution and human

It is impossible for any single human to go through all the books of
all times to find out who has previously discovered the
essentialities separately. But with a team effort, it would be most
exciting to trace the discovery of each essentiality as far back as
possible. For example, Leibniz's 300 years earlier identification of
"monads" (whole ones) corresponds to Smuts' wholes (holons).

Sometimes a person has identified a "thing" which that person
clearly considers as "important" and which is clearly an early
development of one of the seven essentialities. Unfortunately the
person has not related this "important thing" to creativity itself.
This happen often because creativity, even the word, is a post WWII
development. The clue then is to determine in what "aspect" this
"thing" is "important". If this "aspect" has anything to do with some
behaviour emergent to creativity such as thinking and constructing,
then in my opnion the person did identify an essentiality of
creativity. Leibniz's "monads" is again an example.

Anyway, each of us has immense tacit knowledge on all these seven
essentialities. For example, immediately after having read this
sentence, flip off the switch to the electrical mains where your
computer is plugged in. Did you do it? No.Why? There are many
reasons and WHOLENESS is essential to everyone of them. For
example: you want to read the rest of this contribution; you do not
want your computer cease functioning in an uncomplete manner.
Thus, consider your own tacit knowledge on them more important as my
articulation of them. Use your tacit knowledge to question my

When you articulate these seven essentialities, using your own tacit
knowledge as substrate, take care:
Literacy often becomes a curtain hiding secrets rather than
extending your vision through the eyes of others.
Let me explain what I mean. We have 11 major Banthu (black) languages
in our country South Africa. They are called Banthu languages because
they are uniquely related to each other. Although they do not readily
understand the spoken language of each other, they find it relatively
easy learning to do so.

Two hunderd years ago none of them had an ortography (writing
system). European missionaries developed ortographies for them. The
ortographic rules (sentences, words, spelling, phonetics) in one
Banthu language differ considerably from the rules followed in the
others. Thus learning to understand the WRITTEN languages of one
another is far more difficult than learning to understand the SPOKEN
languages. Would the missionaries have worked as a WHOLE and created
a generic ortography for all eleven languages, this problem would
never have occured.

Similarly, once our tacit knowledge have emerged into a higher form,
its expression may become a curtain to others. For example, I may
"express" my tacit knowledge on the essentialities in terms of
mathematics. Those of you who are not mathematical literate, will
find it very difficult to "read" me. What applies to mathematics,
applies to any other subject of the academical spectrum. Thus we must
be willing to teach our own mode of "expression" and learn the modes
of "expression" of others.

But we must also try to establish a common "expression" (see "generic
ortogrpahy" above). And with a common "expression", I do not mean
something like the ortography of English. The ortography of English
has "developed" through the centuries into probably the most
inconsistent and incoherent ortography of all languages by a process
of scraping together rather than creating from first principles. When
I think of a common "expression", I have two things in mind. The one
thing concerns metaphors common to the daily lives of all of us. The
other thing concerns developing a terminology for deep creativity
and self-learning.

The concept "essential" is used in the phenomenology of Husserl in a
very definite sense. It is anything which is essential to the
manifestation of any phenomenon. For example, the five disciplines
which Peter Senge has identified to learn more about a LO, are
essentials. Another example, organs like the heart or brain are
essential to a living human.

Husserl said that something is essential to a phenomenon when, should
we try "to think that thing away", the phenomenon ceases to manifest
itself. He calls this "thinking away" the process of "eidetic
reduction". Do not be fooled by the word reduction in this term.
"Eidetic reduction" is, as intended by Husserl, not a form of
reductionism The goal of eidetic reduction is never to obtain a less
complex result. The goal of eidetic reduction is to find a definite
element/feature/attribute/pattern/subcomplex in something complex.

Here is a fine example coming from your world of experience to test
the idea of eidetic reduction. Is a leader essential to any human
organisation? (Iwould love to see how you handle this one). And just
to give your paradigm a slight bump, here is another example. Is the
element carbon essential to any human organisation?

I use the word "essentialities" rather than "essentials" for definite
reasons. The seven "essentialities" are a special kind of essentials.
It means that all the "essentialities" are essentials, but that only
seven of all essentials (millions of them) are the "essentialities".

It is very easy to split any essentiality into two or more fragments.
When I list them you will see why. By fragmenting one or more of
them, the result (fragments and unfragmented ones) will have eight or
more entities. The resulting entities will be essentials, but not
essentialities any more. It is a little more difficult to lump some
of them together so that the result has less than seven entities.
Again they are essentials, but not essentialities any more.

The essentialities are seven in number. Each essentiality is
incredibly complex. For example, wholeness involves, among many
other things, each human as a whole. Think how physiology and
psychology trace the complexity of humans as wholes - how much more
complex is the wholeness of reality not? If anyone thus think that
he/she has discovered an eighth essentiality, first make sure that it
is essential and then make sure it does not fit into the complexity
of one of the seven essentialities.

It is almost as if I cleverly devised a trademark or copyright on the
seven essentialities. It is not the case. I have discovered them
while hunting for corresponding patterns between two examples of
superior creativity, the one material (chemical system) and the other
one abstract (mathematical system) - See LO17441. I discovered seven
patterns. Only after their discovery, did it dawn on me that they are
essential patterns. Then came the process of eidetic reduction to
make sure that they were essential to least chemical and mathematical
creativity and that there were not any other essentials.

Obviously, I had to report (publish) the discovery of the seven
patterns somewhere so that other people could check on my becoming.
It is then for the first time when I experienced how destructive any
lack in these essentialities can be. Referees in chemistry are not
able to follow the mathematics and referees in mathematics are not
able to follow the chemistry. For both of them the whole venture
seemed to be crazy. Why should any sane person try to make such a
connection between mathematics and chemistry? It is like finding
corresponding patterns between human organisations and biological
organisms. Twenty years ago it would have been a crazy idea, but the
Santa Fe institute helped to normalise the idea. (When you get to the
list of essentialities, read this paragraph again and see how many
essentialities you can identify in it.)

The discovery of the seven corresponding patterns has to be
documented somewhere, eventhough it will be a black hole to many like
Einstein's General Theory of Creativity. It will be done in chapter 3
(The bridge of adjunction) of my book. Those who are able to follow
the adjunction, will realise why there are seven patterns and not any
other number of them. Now, the number seven has a unique meaning in
ancient literature (wisdom, religion, cabalistic). It is the number
for completeness. Let us try to keep it that way. Let me explain.

I have know these essentialities for 14 years. Whenever somebody
points something out as essential to creativity, I try to connect
this essential effectively with one of the seven essentialities. When
I do not succeed, I often get this desparate urge to create an eighth
essentiality. But I refrain myself from doing so because such a
construction will initiate the destruction of the completeness of the
number seven. So I keep on struggling to connect this essential with
one of the existing essentialities. Eventually I do exceed, and in
all such cases, a deeper understanding of that essentiality emerged.

I have written earlier "If anyone thus think that he/she has
disovered an eigth essentiality, first make sure if it is essential."
What does it mean? It means that the possible eigth essentiality,
like the seven essentialities must be essential to certain
phenomena? What are these phenomena?

Does emergent learning qualify? Yes, provided we establish by means
of eidetic reduction that it is the case. (It means that we have to
show that emergent learning fails when we deny any one of the
essentialities.) But so does any other emergent phenomenon qualify,
like the birth of a baby or the birth of a tornado. Do only
emergences at the edge of chaos qualify? No, what about things which
happen close to equilibrium, for example, a bud developing over weeks
into a mature flower, or stalagmites and stalactites taking a hundred
years to grow a centimeter in lenth? Again we have to establish by
means of eidetic reduction that they are qualifying phenomena. Add to
this Winfried's discovery (to his amazement by using the
Picture-Pixel model) that each essentiality is necessary to increase

Thinking of all the bewildering examples given above, it becomes very
diffuclt to find a common name for the all. If I ask you to
articulate from your own tacit knowledge such a name, most of you
would answer without hesistation that they are "changing phenomena"
or "changing systems". You are right, but you have not said enough
and thus confusion may arise. One of the essentialties is
"being-becoming" (aliveness). Change is a very basic/general
becoming. We thus may reduce the "changing phenomena" to "becoming"
which is but one attribute of them. This will be wrong.

I want to offer you another name, namely that they are "creative
phenomena" or "creative systems". By doing so, I know that it will
not correspond to your idea of "creative". For example, the majority
will view "creative" as an adjective pertaining to only humans and
their creations. Likewise they will view creativity as an attribute
of only humans. I passionately want you to change your viewpoint, but
you must do it yourselves. Thus I will qualify my concepts as "deep
creative" and "deep creativity". This difference between my "deep
creativity" and your "creativity" will act as an entropy producing
force, driving all of us to the edge of chaos where emergences and
especially emergent learning happen. Hopefully we will be able one
day to throw the qualification "deep" away.

Now, consider the bewildering collection of "(deep) creative
phenomena" above. The seven essentialities are essential to every one
of them. In other words, the seven essentialities are essential to
the "(deep) creativity" of each example in the collection. This is
why we may then call these seven patterns the "seven essentialities
of (deep) creativity".

The constructive managing of an organisation is also a creative
venture. Thus we may easily think and speak of them as the seven
essentialities of managerial practice. The research work of a
scientist is also a creative venture. Thus we may equally well think
of them as the seven essentialities of scientific research. Problem
solving is a creative venture. Thus they are also the seven
essentialities of problem solving. The possibilities are as much as
the possible creative ventures.

At first I saw the seven essentialitties as existing independently
of each other. But this was my merely my training in mathematics,
physics and chemistry showing through. I soon realised by way of my
won emergent learning that, although they are mutually different as
we ever can wish for, they are not independent of each other.

In mathematics, for example, we are "trained" how to deal with 3 D
space in terms of 3 axis perpendicular to each other, each dimension
D "independent" of the other two. Yes, we are trained, but we are
seldom allowed to learn emergently ourselves. If the three axis are
independent, how is it possible at all to align them perpencidular to
each other?

In chemistry, for example, we are "trained" in the chemical
properties os the element carbon, and then later on,
independently form it, in the chemical properties of the element
carbon. How can these two sets of properties be independant of each
other if the elements consist of the same fundamental particles
(portons, neutrons, electrons), the only difference being in their

Think of a husband and wife. How often, after a couple of years
married to each other, conflicts arise because of the things which
they do independently of one another? Slowly these conflicts begin to
destroy the symbiosis between them since their marriage. Divorce
becomes inevitable unless they each begin to learn about themselves
through the other partner. The identity of each partner need to
develop through their interdependency.

The same with the seven essentialities, and especially our
conceptualising of them through SELF-learning. It is impossible for
each of us to learn self about one essentiality if we deny one or
more of the remaining six essentialities. All seven essentialities
are essential for the emergence of any concept within us, even when
the concept happens to be the articulation of one of the seven

That is why out tacit knowledge (intuition, sixth sense) is so
important to us. We have enough tacit knowledge of the seven
essentialties. Furthermore, as our formal (articulated, expressed,
explicit) knowldege on one of the essentialities emerge and grow, our
tacit knowledge on all seven of them grow even more complex. Our
formal knowledge can never beat out tacit knowledge - it can only
follow suite.


As I foresee it, we will have to organise the SUBJECT LINE of our
project carefully for archival purposes. The following are
possibilities. The first seven are obvious. Note that each
subject begins with "Essentialities...."

Essentialities - "becoming-being" (liveness)
Essentialities - "identitity-categoricity" (sureness)
Essentialities - "associativity-monadicity" (wholeness)
Essentialities - "connect-beget" (fruitfulness)
Essentialities - "quantity-limit" (spareness)
Essentialities - "quality-variety" (otherness)
Essentialities - "open-paradigm" (openness)
Essentialities of creativity, introduction
Essentialities and bifurcations
Essentialities and entropy production
Essentialities and creativity
Essentialities and self-learning
Essentialities and learning organisations
Essentialities and system thinking
Essentialities and communication

"becoming-being" (liveness)
"identitity-categoricity" (sureness)
"associativity-monadicity" (wholeness)
"connect-beget" (fruitfulness)
"quantity-limit" (spareness)
"quality-variety" (otherness)
"open-paradigm" (openness)


The akward dichotomous names in quotation marks can also be called
the "seminal" names of the essentialities. The names next to them in
brackets can be called the "nominal names" of the essentialities.

A nominal name of a thing can never be used to explain that thing.
For example, if we think of the word "chemistry" as a nominal name,
we can never explain that nominal name as
"chemistry" is about "chemistry".
It is plain foolish to do so. But if we know that the very essence of
chemistry is "chemical reactions and chemical structures", then we
can explain the nominal name as
"chemistry" is about "chemical reactions and chemical structures".

If there is no shorter way to describe the very essence of chemistry,
then the phrase "chemical reactions and chemical structures" is the
seminal name of chemistry. The adjective "seminal" pertains to seeds,
germs or primal elements as well as the germinative, productive or
complexifying power of such embryonic or rudimentary entities.

In the same manner the akward seminal names of the seven
essentialities allow us to develop a conceptual meaning of them in
terms of our own creativity. I have created these seminal names on
the strength of my discovery and understanding of them. It took me
about five years before I was satisfied with the result. I will not
want to change them again because of the butterfly effect through
their seminal value.

It is not my task to fix the nominal names in brackets. I do not even
think that we must fix the nominal names in terms of words taken from
modern English. We must be quite willing to accept a word form
another langauge if it matches the complex meaning of an essentiality
best. Thus I selected a name having an etymology in "Old English" as
close as possible to the meaning of the essentiality as its nominal
name, trying to avoid a name with a Latin or Greek etymology.

You will notice that I used previously for the seminal name
"quantity-limit" the nominal name (limitedness). However, the word
"limit" has a Latin etymology and also occurs in the seminal name.
Thus I have changed the nominal name to (spareness) which is an

I also used previously for the seminal name "quality-variety" the
nominal name (rangeness). Although this word does have a Saxon
origin, it also has through the influence of French on English a
Latin etymology. Thus I have changed the nominal name to
(otherness) which is in my mind also an improvement.

Please note that although I want to preserve the seminal names, I
have readily changed two of the nominal names. Thus I set an example
for what you also can do. If you find that, for example, after we
have discussed thoroughly the essentiality "quantity-limit"
(spareness) that the word (scrimpiness) is a better fitting nominal
name for this essentiality, change it by all means. It does take a
few years for us to become slaves of tradition.

Think about my introductory comments and form your own opinion.
opinions. Let us have a dialogue on those opinions.

After about a week, let us proceed to the subject
Essentialities - "becoming-being" (liveness)
Think about processes and structures, verbs and nouns, methods and
principles, operations and operands, and not the
least, about "entropy production" (the dynamic movie) and "entropy"
(the static picture). Let your mind roam over all the possibilities,
creating a brain storm as never before.

Best wishes


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

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