Lectures, learning, leadership, LOs LO19830

Fri, 13 Nov 1998 11:01:38 EST

Replying to LO19799 --

Greetings, At.

Thank you for your commentary on my remarks on lectures and sermons. I
would like to comment on your remarks.

> It is not the mode of delivery (lecture or sermon) which cause this range
> of responses, but the differences between the mental models of the speaker
> and listeners:- forced indoctrination vs spontaneous dialogue, closed
> judgements vs open questioning, rigid orthodoxy vs moderate counseling,
> etc.

You are factually in error here. There are those who reject the lecture
and the sermons a priori, as "modes of delivery".

Your own lectures, At: do you begin with fixed opinions subject to
revision, or with a system already fixed and in place? For example, are
you really open to the possibility that your "7 essentialities" are
neither seven nor essential--or is this mental model of yours a rigid
orthodoxy immune to modification, a set of immutable categories that are
as timeless as that other numbered set, the 10 commandments?

> >"The sage on stage," the critique goes, should be
> >replaced by the "facilitator," the "guide by the side."
> The same spread exists here from spell bound through sleep bound to war
> bound. Fortunately, more facilitators are aware of the differences in
> mental models and their consequences.

How do you know this, At? How do you know that around the world more
facilitators are aware of the differences in mental models and their
consequences? Can you really have evidence for this judgment? Are you not
making a baseless judgment here of the kind you criticize in others?

> It is my task to help people to develop within themselves the power to
> change.

It is also my task, and the task of all of us here who see themselves as
knowledge workers and this as a learning organization. You do not have a
task that is in any way different from mine.

So: my problem is this:

How do I help you to change?

How do I help you to see that your essentialities, your theology, all that
you teach here are mental models that you have constructed with language,
language you have woven together out of the stuff of your life experiences
and the language of others you have absorbed and rewoven?

How do I help you to see that you like so many everywhere live in the
mental models of your own construction: that your mental models are no
more "true" and immune to the critique of dialog than any others?

Here, for example, is a piece of your mental model:

> Why is this happening? I will refrain from drawing a rich picture. I will
> make only two marks. Generally and fundamentally, it is because of two
> interwined paths, the one leading to eternal life and the other to eternal
> death. Specifically, it is because the leadership of teachers are slowly
> deteriorating. >>

How do I help you to see that this is a mental model, a "judgment," not a
picture of timeless truth, a belief that is not "reasonable," in which
case it could be falsified, but a statement of religious faith which is
immune to dialog, a mental model to which you cling and will continue to
hold because of the comfort it brings?

Next I want to help you to see a technique you often use here which I
think quite deceptive, and quite dangerous:

> >Premise:
> >
> >A "discipline" is a "community of discourse": a way
> >of looking at the world through the lens of a specialized
> >rhetoric, a vocabulary.
> The Romans first used the word "disciplinum" to refer to the method of
> drilling people to the obedience and subjection of an appointed ruler to
> make them accepting the ruler as leader. The "disciplinum" was one of many
> methods which the Romans used in their clever strategy of "rule by
> parting"="divisio". They refered to this strategy is the one "belonging to
> the gods"="divinus".
> A modern description of this process would be "apartheid". The vocabulary
> of each discipline concerns only a PART of reality. Reality which has no
> division, had been cut APART to rule over it. The ideology of APARTheid is
> used to keep these pieces APART. One outcome of this ideology, two
> millenia later, was the policy of "racial apartheid" (1948-1992) in South
> Africa.
> But there are also many other outcomes which still exist today. One of
> them is "academical apartheid".

What you have done here is something you do well and often. By a process
of linguistic sleight of hand you have mangaged to assert that the
disciplines that undergird our civilization: the natural sciences, the
human sciences, such disciplines as grammar and rhetoric and geometry and
physics. . .are equivalent to racial apartheid.

Really bad stuff, At, and you should not be encouraged to think this way,
no matter how gently you do this kind of manipulation.

> Although the messages may appear to some people to be a
> monologue, I am ready for every sentence in them to develop into a
> dialogue. I hope sincerely that by my writings I can stimulate our
> dialogue on this LOList and our dialogue among humankind. >>

If this so, At, Rick will allow this message to be printed, and we will
have a dialog.

> Yes, I am involved in one and only one competition. It is
> the competition between the two interwined paths, the one leading to
> eternal life and the other to eternal death.
> No, I do not have or want a following. Those on the path to eternal life
> have only leader -- the one who walked it first.
> yes, the lecture as with any other method of teaching outlives its critics
> when it serves humankind to get and proceed on the path leading to eternal
> life.

What you are able to do, among other things, At, is to find ways to avoid
Rick's ending of the discussion of Christianity: what you have said above
is, to non Christians, offensive as well as untrue.

Steve Eskow



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