Changing Another Person LO19909

AM de Lange (
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 16:44:55 +0200

Replying to LO19854 --

Dear Organlearners,

Rick Karash <> wrote:

>I see a number of interesting lines of exploration in the
>recent exchanges here. One of these is the question of
>changing other people.


>5. We DO change people all the time. Every interaction
>with another person leaves behind in their memory and
>nervous system some artifact of the interaction that
>changes the person to some degree.

Greetings Rick,

I agree fully with this observation.

>From this observation I want to move to another one, namely the
"reactivity" associated with the change. Under "reactivity" I include many
topics such as the "rate of change", the "diversity of forces" causing a
change and the mechanisms for change.

I view the material world and abstract world as two connected sides of one
world and not as two worlds with an immense abyss between them as most
people perceive them. But whether there is an abyss or not, we must try to
understand the reasons why the notion of such an abyss came into the
mental models and world views of people at all. One very important reason
is the difference in reactivity between these worlds.

Let us think about revolutionary (or saltotorial) changes in these two
worlds. By revolutionary changes I mean the emergence of radically new
entities from old entities, something like Darwinian evolution.
Revolutionary changes in the material world happen very slowly. But in the
abstract world they happen extremely fast. This difference in rate of
change is so great we may easily perceive an abyss between these two

To summarise the above: it is typical of the human species to make FAST
changes because of the way in which its neurological system works.

Fast changes is what makes us humans.

But I become increasingly convinced that we are not aware of our ability
as humans to make fast changes. We endeavour to make faster and faster
changes, thus outpacing not only the rest of nature, but also fellow
humans from different societies. Thus many humans in the fast lane begin
to force fellow humans and the rest of nature to enter the fast lane also.
This is fatal to those humans in the fast lane as well as all other slower
humans and increasingly many different species from nature. Perhaps this
is a main reason why some people resist changes stubbornly. Whereas they
should have resisted the uncontrolled increase in the rate of change, they
reject change altogether. This is contradictory to life because there is
no other living species rejecting change.

Super fast changes is what will dehumanise us.

>So, I propose a question here: What can we say about
>changing other people? What's right and ethical? What
>To support the dialogue, I'll summarize my principles in this area:

(snip, 5 beautiful priciples)

May I add a sixth one?

6 Take it slowly. Although the mind can outpace the rest of the world in
changes, the mind needs this world to live in. Allow another person to
change by self-organisation rather than forced organisation. Respect the
rates at which nature is changing.

>Please add your thoughts about changing other people.

Rick, there are a number of other principles which I would like to add. I
hope to do so at some later time.

But the priciple above is the one which I want to add first.

I must also pay tribute to two teachers who taught me this principle best.
The one is St Paul who writes in his letter to Thimoteus that the source
of all our calamities began in heaven itself because of the haste of a
certain angel.

The other one is a plant species in the Namib desert, the oldest desert of
all. The species is Adenia pechuelli, belonging to the passion flower
(grenadilla) family Passifloraceae. I have written about this species
before. I had to use all my wits in cultivating them successfully. They
taught me "We will never allow you to rush us." How I wish you could all
have a look at them. Right in front of me is a photo of a female between
1500 and 2000 years old. Rick, if I send you a bitmap or jpeg image of
her, is it not possible to make it somewhere available for fellow learners
to look at?

Best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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