Essentialities and self-learning LO17610

Mnr AM de Lange (
Tue, 31 Mar 1998 15:12:13 GMT+2

Replying to LO17576 --

Dear Organlearners,

This is a follow-up on my
Essentialities of creativity, introduction LO17576

It concerns a topic so important that I did not want to include in the
introduction, fearing that it might be overlooked among all the things
mentioned in the introduction. The topic is:

How can we manage our self-learning of these seven essentialities?

Let me quickly list the seven essentialities to refresh your memory:
"becoming-being" (liveness)
"identitity-categoricity" (sureness)
"associativity-monadicity" (wholeness)
"connect-beget" (fruitfulness)
"quantity-limit" (spareness)
"quality-variety" (otherness)
"open-paradigm" (openness)

The subject above is about "Essentialities and self-learning".
Self-learning is constructive creativity happening in the mind of a
person through emergences and digestions. The self-learning can
involve any topic. If one or more of the seven essentialities of
creativity are impaired, the self-learning of such a topic will be
seriously impaired and may easily not even happen.

In this contribution we will not consider the self-learning of any
topic, but we will consider specifically the seven essentialities as
the topic to learn. It SEEMS as if we have the viscious circle of
self-referance of Bertrand Russel here. Let me explain. Since we do
not know enough of the seven essentialities, each of us wants to know
more of them through self-learning. But since we do not know enough
of the seven essentialities, At de Lange said that the self-learning
will be impaired or may easily not even happen at all. Thus it seems
that many of you may not succeed in learning self about them - that
you will have to copy the result of the self-learning of At de Lange
and others who did succeed.

However, we do not have a viscious circle here because the knowledge
of each of us has a tacit dimension. Our tacit knowledge is that part
of our knowledge which never before has been articulated in words or
any other form of expression. Each of us, because of our immense
creative experiences, have a profound tacit knowledge on the seven
essentialities. It is this very tacit knowledge on the seven
essentialities which will assist us in learning self more of the
seven essentialities in a formal (articulated) manner.

Thus, the first major facet of our self-learning of the
essentialities will be to let our tacit knowledge on them emerge to
the higher level of formalised (articulated) knowledge We will have
to struggle to put into words those things which we know, but never
have commited to words before. This is the first thing to do if you
wish to participate. Hence
you cannot participate as only a reader - you must participate also
in writing.

Once you have articulated some of your tacit knowledge on a specific
essentiality, allow it to interact with the articulation of ther
partcipants. In other words, after you have learned emergently about
an essentiality, be ready to learn digestively about that
essentiality. It menas that you have to participate in a the dialogue
on that essentiality. If your articulation have sufficient qualities,
you will observe how it corresponds to and even obviate the
articulations of others. If your articulation is inferior, you will
observe how others feed on it with the effect that their own
articulated understanding grows. This is the "prey-predator" effect.

Since the digestive phase, unlike the earlier emergent phase, always
has this "predator-prey" interaction, let us respect each other's
understanding in the spirit of love. Do not try to make a kill at all
costs and do not kill for the mere sake of killing. Kill only if you
cannot feed without having to make a kill. This is how all predators
in nature behave.

If you feel that you are the prey rather than the predator, repeat
the articulation of your tacit knowledge. Try to articulate higher
qualities - qualities which you have not ariculated before. Use you
intuition. Concentrate on the things which you feel will make a

We cannot rely on our tacit knowledge indefinitely. If we merely rely
on our tacit knowledge, it will eventually become depleted. Thus
each of us will also have to create knowledge on purpose, even with
respect to the seven essentialities. This will again happen first
emergently and then digestively.

How will we create knowledge on the seven essentialities? Each of us
will have to do it by primarily by observing consciously our own
learning of ANY topic (including the seven essentialities). It is
seems to be easier to observe consciously the learning of others, but
that is an illusion. We do not really know from moment to moment how
another person thinks - we merely have from time to time that
person's articulated responses to work from, responses which we
notoriously misinterpret.

I will describe how it happens with me. When I learn a
topic consciously, it is impossible for me to learn also consciously
how I learn that topic. Why not? I cannot learn in an enquiring
manner two distinct topics simultaneously. In other words, it is
impossible for me to do syn-learning.[Greek: "syn"=together.] But I
do learn about the one topic for a short while, switch over to the
other one for a short while, switch back to the first one, etc. etc.
In other words, it is possible for me to do para-learning (see
multitasking in computers). [Greek: "para"=beside.]

The seven essentialities are involved in the self learning of any
topic. They themselves form a topic. I can learn about them as a
topic when I learn any other topic. Although I cannot do it by
syn-learning, I can do it by para-learning. When this happens, I
learn a little bit about the topic, then "sort of stepping away" and
learn a little bit about the essentialities, then switch back by
"sort of stepping closer" and learn a little bit more about the other
topic again, etc, etc.

I can learn about the essentialities as a topic when I am
creating consciously (and not necessarily buzy learning) anything
else. Again I have to employ multitasking. Let me explain how.

In my own self-learning of the seven essentialities, I observe and
question all my creative acts and not only learning as a creative
act. My creativity can result into constructive and destructive
outcomes. I learn from both.

When my creativity resulted in a destructive outcome, I search for
the essentiality (sometimes more than one) which has failed. I try to
figure out why the essentiality has failed. In other words, my
self-learning now focus on that essentiality. It usually lead to the
emergence of another facit of that essentiality which I was not
conscious of. Then I try to create again, bearing in mind my newly
acquired knowledge on that failing essentiality and what it entails.
I often have to repeat this process of "stepping back and
closer" several times. Thus I have become convinced that trying to
succeed is just as important as the actual success itself.

When my creativity resulted in a constructive outcome, I often
proceed impatiently to the next challenge. This is wrong because I
have learnt that I can learn as much from my successes as from my
failures. Thus it requires much more self-discipline to learn from my
successes. What I then usually do, is as soon as a constructive
outcome surpises me, I use that surprise as sign to search for that
essentiality which played a decisive role in the constructive
outcome, eventhough I know that all the six others also were
necessary. Here I have to rely very much again on my intuition.
It usually points to some tacit knowledge which I was unaware

Sometimes, when I have learnt something about a topic, I force myself
deliberately to learn more about that topic by making use of the
seven essentialities, one after another. It is then when the
articulated knowledge of other people become very important to me,
i.e. searching the literature. I do it as follows.

I take one of the essentialities, say "quality-variety" (otherness)
and then establish its role in the topic. Then I deliberately try to
establish more "quality-variety" (otherness) in the topic. (Edward
DeBono will call this deliberate lateral thinking.) Consider as
example creative problem solving. I will question myself why
porblem-solving is related to creativity. Then I will question myself
about other things also related to creativity in a manner
corresponding to the relationship of problem-solving to creativity.
Eventually I will arrive at a number of other things.

I will repeat the process with the other six essentialities.

I also use this process to learn about the seven essentialities
themselves. Let us say that I want to learn more about the
essentiality "associativity-monadicity" (wholeness). I then take, as
above, the essentiality "quality-variety" (otherness) to see what
other facets of wholeness I still have to learn about. I will often
go to the library, moving from floor to floor, and see what I can
uncover from various points of view (mathematics,physics, botany,
law, history, psychology, theology, etc.) I usually forget completely
about time, causing myself trouble for not keeping up with other

I found it impossible to learn more about an essentailaity by
forcing that very essentiality to learn more about it. In other
words, I cannot use, for example, otherness to learn more about
otherness. At first I was surprised by this inability. Eventually it
helped me to discover a property very basic about all emergences.
Emergences are always assymetic and transitive rather than symmetirc
and reflexsive. For example, when something emerge from a pupa, it is
not another pupa, but a butterfly. When something emerge from a
pollinated flower, is is a fruit and not another flower. In other
words, emergent learning always lead to an irreversible result.

Best wishes


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

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