Essentialities - "connect-beget" (fruitfulness) LO18750

Mnr AM de Lange (
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 15:04:24 GMT+2

Dear Organlearners,

The essentiality "connect-beget" (fruitfulness) is the halfway mark.


"Creating a Passion for Learning LO17474"
< >
(About the history of the discovery.of the essentialities.)

"Essentialities of creativity LO17576 -Introduction"

"Essentialities and self-learning LO17610"

Essentiality - "becoming-being" (liveness) LO17651

Essentiality - "identitity-categoricity" (sureness) LO17823

Essentiality - "associativity-monadicity" (wholeness) LO18276

What remains for the future, are the other three essentialities:
"quantity-limit" (spareness)
"quality-variety" (otherness)
"open-paradigm" (openness)

Let us begin with a something humorous just to break the pattern of
seriousness. But remember the serious connection between jokes and the
essentialities. I hope the sprit of Africa in the following one will
not prevent you from enjoying it. May it help to learn you about the
essentiality "connect-beget" (fruitfulness)

Baboon sits in a tree. Giraffe, the tallest of all animals, walks by.
He stops, looks down at baboon and whispers: "A very good day to you.
How are you doing?" Baboon replies evenly, having something else on
his mind: "Fine thanks. I am looking at that lioness." Giraffe
whispers back: "My dear friend, take care of yourself. A fruitful day
to you" and moves graciously away.

Then elephant, slightly shorter, walks by. He stops, looks at baboon
at eye level and rumble from deep within: "Good day. How are you".
Baboon replies excitedly: "Fine. I am looking at that lioness. What a
lovely body she has." Elephant rumbles back: "Friend, take care. Good
day." and moves majestically away.

Afterwards buffalo, even shorther, walks by. He stops, look slightly
upwards to baboon and snorts: "Day. How are you". Baboon shouts hotly:
"Check that lioness. What a body. I cannot wait to get my hands on
her." Buffalo snorts back; "Take care. Day" and stampedes away.

Finally, lion, the shortest of the four, walks by to the lioness.
Without stopping he looks upwards and growls: "Hey, baboon, what are
you doing". Shaking badly, almost falling on top of lion, baboon
stutters: "Oh, dear me, eh, sir, I am just having a chat with the

One of the consequences of WWII is that people began to pay attention
to creativity. And as usual with important concepts, people try to
define creativity. It is most surprsing that this essentiality has
been used as the basis for definitions of creativity more than all
other facets of creativity together. These definitions are summarised
by the following theme: Creativity is the ability to CONNECT two
seemingly unrelated ideas so that a new idea EMERGE with novel

Please do not confuse this theme for the essentialitiy itself.
Fruitfulness means bringing things together which will result in a
change of qualities and quantities. But the theme is exclusive
because it uses the essentiality "quality-variety" (otherness) to
describe fruitfulness while ignoring the essentiality
"quantity-limit" (spareness). Thus the theme stresses only changes in
qualities (which happens at the edge of chaos), ignoring quantitative
growth (which happens close to equilibrium).

Note also that the theme stresses creativity as something
constructive. Thus speaking of destructive creativity comes as a
shock to someone who follows a constructive definition. The theme
also stresses creativity as property (ability) of structures (being).
Thus speaking of creativity as a process (becoming) also comes as a
shock. It is shocks such as these which made me realise that I have
to qualify seminally my concept of creativity as "deep creativity"
rather than trying to define it nominally.

Some people maintain that it is impossible to define creativity. It
is most peculiar that many of them are mathematicians and artists. Do
they know something which other people do not know? I think so. Yet
they seldom succeed in explaining why it is impossible to define
creativity. Why? Let me try to explain.

What do they know? "Be cruel to be kind"

The following is how I think about mathematics. Mathematicians
first have to create those abstract things which they want to subject
to logical analysis. It is the first golden rule of mathematical
thinking. The second golden rule is to create form out of content by
removing the latter -- and once the logic of the form has been
established, to use the result (form and logic) as content to create
a yet deeper form.

Although the first golden rule is constructive, the second golden
rule has a ring of destruction to it which very few of the common
definitions of creativity allow for. It is the same with creative
artists. They destroy almost as fast as they construct, driven by a
force which stupifies those who want to speak about it. Yet, when the
mathematician or artist finally have produced the creation, its
elegance, beauty and uniqueness are overwhelming.

What can they not speak of? "Thoughts which defy words."

First consider the reality within each of us. I see in my own
knowledge four levels in order of complexity:
* experential (sensory experiences) ,
* tacit,
* formal (expressed by language, art and science) and
* sapient (wisdom).
My tacit level of knowledge is that knowledge which I have not yet
articulated by any cultural means. My tacit knowledge emerges from my
experential knowledge just as my formal knowledge has to emerge from
my tacit knowledge. When trying to define creativity, my mode of
expression confines me to the formal (third) level. Yet my creativity
gave rise to each of these four levels and abounds in all of them.
How can I define creativity with words which refer to only the third

Secondly, consider the reality outside each of us. What about God? Is
He merely the Creator with no creativity left over? What about Bach
or Einstein? Do only some people have creativity? What about our
children and grandchildren? How much creativity must they lose
before society accepts them as fit? What about the phsyically or
mentally handicapped people who end up in institutions? How much
creativity must they show before we will care for them? What about
the rest of nature with its animals, plants and even ananimate
processes? On what grounds can we claim that creativity has merely to
do with humans? What about processes going on in the microscopic
world of atoms and the galatic world of stars? How can we ever define
creativity if we have to think of this complexity of the universe --
the Creation?

Yet, we have to begin somewhere. This is the very essense of
fruitfulness. That is why we have to think about definitions despite
their poverty because every definition will eventually carry its own
fruit. And when we encounter a definition of creativity which
connects two things seemingly so vastly different from each other
that not even in our wildest speculations we can visualise its future
fruits, let us all be patient and cautious as with any other
definition. I think here specifically of my own definition of
creativity which probably makes the wierdest connection of them all:
"Creativity is the result of entropy production".

When I get up in the morning, still dark, I flip a switch and
suddenly the light bulb shines. When I get into my truck, I turn a
switch and soon (after a few moans) the engine runs. When I get at
work, I press a switch and a little while later (after a few beeps
and flashing screens) my computer is ready. Should I feel delighted
with so many slaves to serve my commanding fingers -- almost like an
ancient king who merely had to snap his fingers to get results?

Why did God, our Creator, not supply us with a switch, a certain
thought of such a nature that when our neurons switch to this
thought, we begin to act like angels exactly as He commands?
Would it, with such a switching thought, not have been wonderful if
the general manager of any organisation could make all the employees
working perfectly? No, there would not have been any wonder because,
if I may dare say it in all respect, God would have had to scrap this
essentiality and with it His whole Creation. (Actually, it is the
case for each of the seven essentialities.)

This essentiality is the real switch of creativity while the
snapping of the king's fingers and the switches of our technologies
create an illusion. This illusion destroys our creativity. It is this
illusion which force us to denigrate the wisdom of God and to worship
the kings with snapping fingers.

I say illusion because we usually experience only the successes of
the switches. We become annoyed when we flip the switch and the bulb
blows out, turn the igntion switch and the battery happens to be flat
or press the computer's switch and the harddrive snaps. But such
mishaps seldom destroy our illusions because we merely buy another
bulb, battery or harddrive. Money merely creates its own kind of

How can we get rid of our illusions? By creating self a light bulb, a
battery or a harddrive. It is then when we discover that before we
can have a reliable product, we have to allow for many thousands of
workhours and many failures before our attempts will bear fruit.
This is what the essentiality fruitfulness is about.

Please note that the essentiality has nothing to do with the "sinfull
nature of humans" as many would believe. If the many "failures" were
sin, then we would have to scrap such things as vitamins, ensymes and
hormones in living tissue. Let me explain why.

A famous theory of physics is the Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT).
According to this theory the molecules of a gas are continuously
moving around. They sometimes collide with each other and with the
atoms of the container. The cummulative effect of their forces of
collision with the walls of the container is known as the pressure of
the gas. They may also collide with the atoms of a thermometer, thus
parting their kinetic energy to that of the atoms of the thermometer.
The cummulative effect of the kinetic energy on the density of the
atoms in the thermometer is known as the temperature of the gas.

>From physics we also learn that the collisions in KMT are elastic
collisions. All the conservation laws of physics work in perfect
order. Furthermore, time has no arrow. Thus the motions of the
molecules in the gas are reversible.

Bur consider now two gases A and B which can react chemically with
each other (for example hydrogen and nitrogen which can form
ammonia). Kept apart, the KMT surely applies to each of them. Mixing
them together, the KMT also seems to apply to the mixture. Molecules
of A and molecules of B do not only collide (elastic and reversible)
with their own kind and with the walls of the container and
thermometer, but also collide with each other. Millions of collisions
between a molecule A and a molecule B will happen elastically and

But once in a while a collision between A and B happens which is not
eleastic, not reversible and not conservative. In such a collision A
and B penetrates so deep into each other that they join each other to
form a new molecule, say AB. We say that such a collision is
inelastic, irreversible and productive. In short, chemists call it an
"effective collision". It requires two things. (1) The two incoming
molecules must have sufficient kinetic energy (becoming) to penetrate
each other deeply. (2) The two molecules must connect each other
geometrically favourable. Each of the molecules has its own shape. In
this shape much of the molecule is stable, except for one or two
reactive spots (centres). Thus when they connect each other, even if
they have sufficiently high kinetic energy, they must connect through
their reactive centres.

The millions of elastic, reversible and conservative collisions which
do not fail one of the laws of physics are exactly the ineffective
collisions which fail to react chemically. The few inelastic,
irreversible and productive collisions which fail some of the laws of
physics are exactly the effective collisions which do not fail the
laws distinctive to chemistry! These effective collisions (plastic,
irreversible and productive) are a fine example to explain what the
essentiality fruitfulness is about.

The more complex A and B becomes, the less the number of effective
collisions when compared to the number of ineffective collsions. To
promote the number of effective collisions, nature makes use of
catalysts such as some vitamins, hormones and ensymes. The catalyst
grab one of the molecules firmly , say A, and to force its reactive
centre into a more prominent position. Thus it becomes easier for B
to hit A just where it hurts most. The more complex A become, typical
of biological compounds, the more complex the catalyst must also
become, precisely matching the geometry of A in an asymmetrical
image (key and lock match).

Is there something sinful to vitamins, hormones and ensymes? No,
they are needed to increase the ratio of effective to ineffective
collisions -- to decrease the ratio of failures. The catalysts are a
metaphor for how parents, teachers and managers should function. They
should grab the subject, expose its reactive centres more prominently
so that the learner has a better opportunity to make effective
contact. What they never must do, is to grab the learner and expose
the reactive (vulnerable) centres of the learner.

Biochemical catalysts (promotors of fruitfulness) are a wonderful
example that the universe is a learning organisation. But so is also
the Teacher (didaskalos) who came 2000 years ago to grab subjects
(topics, not followers) and to expose their reactive centres more
prominently so that learners could make better effective contact with
God. The Teacher did not complain about the learners' failures, but
encouraged them to succeed.

Think of a fruit from the day of pollination until the days of
ripening. Think of a baby from the hour of conception until the hours
of birth. What can we infer from these examples? Creations are not
created instantly. The more complex a creation, the longer its
creation time.

Each creation has an intrinsic creation time. It is possible to
dilate (lengthen) the creation time. It happens when one or more of
the seven essentialities are impaired. On the other hand, improving
the essentialities will reduce the creation time until it has reached
its intrinsical value. However, it is impossible to reduce the
creation time beyond its intrinsical value.

This last sentence has a very important bearing on learning
individuals and learning organisations. We learn by creating and
those creations take time. Should we try to force too many learning
creations in a fixed time span, some of them will simply not happen.
It is then when we try to supplement the learning with "innocent"
memorisation up to vile plagiarism, taking posession of what does not
belong to us.

What is even worse, we begin to believe the falacy that such
noncreative practices would promote our creativity and learning.
Again the essentiality fruitfulness stands between us and this
falacy. It is very difficult to make effective contact with thoughts
which are alien to us, eventhough we may succeed in convincing others
that they are our thoughts.

The role of this essentiality (as well as the other six) in
leadership cannot be stressed enough. A leader (whether it be a
parent leading her child, a teacher leading her pupils or a manager
leading her organisation) has to lead his followers through the
entire meaning of this essentiality - not only the one effective
contact, but also the numerous ineffective contacts. Each ineffective
contact ("failure") has to be valued in such a manner that the
follower gains at least tacit knowledge from it. By complexifying the
follower's experience, the follower becomes prepared to make
eventually that one effective contact needed. Thus a leader has to
have great patience with followers and their so-called "failures".

The difference between an ordinary organisation and a Learning
Organisation (LO) is that members of the latter know how to make
effective contact among themselves. This is why the LO is an
organisation which bears the fruit which its members desire.
In an LO there is also less dilation of creation times so that things
happen more swiftly. Lastly, in a LO there is not only one fixed
leader, but as many leaders (effective contacters) as the different
situations require.

A LO will not emerge with all the members of an organisation making
simultaeously effective contact. Why? The more the number of things
and their complexity to make simultaneously effective contact, the
far lesser the chance for it to happen. What ususally happens, is
that two people (three may already be a crowd) make effective
contact. The more complex of the two acts as substrate. The result
acts as a complexer substrate for a second effective contact
involving a third less complex person. This process repeats itself.

For example, consider building a house. Earth is the first substrate.
Earth plus the foundation become the second substrate. Earth plus
foundation plus walls become the third substrate, etc. Like Rome
a LO will not be built in one day. The LO begins to emerge at its
first substrate -- the leaders who do not shy away from complexities
of reality. The second substrate is the teams formed around a leader.

Why do we have to make effective contacts ("connect-beget") if the
essentiality wholeness means that everything is connected? Wholeness
is not only a being, but also a becoming. Wholeness can increase. The
more we make effective contact with all life around us, the more
whole we become. In human culture it is especially the fragmentations
which we have to bridge.

But we have to be careful because wholeness can also decrease through
effective contacts. For example, an important way to become a more
wholesome person is to live from time to time in nature with as
little culture as possible. However, should a lion make effective
contact with me, my physical wholeness would end in a few minutes. I
can prevent such an effective contact in two different ways. The
first is to fend off the lion with force (technology). The second is
to learn about the feeding habits of a lion and thus avoid tempting
a hungry lion.

Some of us have great difficulty in understanding the essentiality
"identity-categoricity" (sureness). Assume that we want to establish
the identity of some being. The being consists of a few reactive
centres while the rest is unreactive. By making effective contact
with the reactive centres, we have established only part of the
identity. The worst thing we can do, is to ignore the identity in the
unreactive rest. Almost just as worse, is to make assumptions about
the unreactive rest. We rather have to devise new means how to make
effective contact with the rest which seems to be unreactive.

One example is the knowledge of each of us. We can make effective
contact with each other's formal level of knowledge. But what about
the other three levels (experential, tacit and sapient)? Another
related example is a person disabled in some manner such as a motoric
disability. We will find it extremely difficult to make even contact
with that person's formal level of knowledge in the way we make
effective contact with "normal" persons.

Consider the essentiality "becoming-being" (liveness). The way for
beings to make effective contact is through becomings. In other
words, a becoming is the "umlomo" for beings. Similarly, the way for
becomings to make effective contact is through beings. What happens
when the being fails to be the umlomo for two becomings? For example,
what happens when the becoming (process) creativity make contact with
a being (creator) without the being making contact with another
becoming (process) like learning or entropy production? Creativity
then appears to be a property rather than a process - a property
which often fail to manifest itself.

Not all effective contacts are favourable. Nature is full of warnings
against effective contacts, e.g. brightly coloured insects, bitter
tasting fruit and prickly spiny coverings. Likewise much of our
culture has been developed to prevent effective contact. Paints
prevent corrosion - the effective contact between oxygen and reactive
metals. Housing and clothing shield us from a harsh climate. Gem
stones and precious metals have a very low reactivity.

In modern theories on complex phenomena such as economics, politics
and creativity, some people begin to stress an unqualified openness
when they become sensitive to the essentiality openness. To open up
fully is an act of death. Merely consider biological organisms. They
all have a protective skin (epidermis) which prevents unqualified
effective contacts. In this protective skin there are regions
(orifices) controlling what goes in and out. The more complex the
organism, the greater the diversity and the more selective the
orifices. Insensitivity to the essentiality fruitfulness and
escpecially that some effective contacts can be harmful, results in
all kinds of perverted behaviours.

We have passed the halfway mark.

Best wishes


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

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