Dreams are private myths, myths are public dreams. LO22040

AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 13:09:45 +0200

Replying to LO21990 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell < ACampnona@aol.com > writes:

>I was prompted to write about my 'insight' since it seemed to
>result from something Michelangelo wrote that seemed to
>connect/harmonise/amplify At de Lange's notion of 'building
>bridges' between the world of the physical and the metaphysical
>through understanding (learning) about, among many other things,
>entropy production. "Pui l'alma acquista, piu 'l mondo perde"
>which translated becomes, "In measure as the soul gains the
>world loses."

Greetings Andrew,

Michelangelo was a great thinker and not merely a great artist. I think
the two cannot be separated.

The soul gains through constructive creativity (emergences and
digestions). The material world (parent) loses in the upbringing of souls
(children). From an economical point of view, parenthood is the worst kind
of business enterprise imaginable, even though the joy of parenthood are
priceless because it cannot be bought. Likewise materialism cannot set the
price of spirituality, although souls have to grow with their roots in
this world.

I feel compelled to take Michelangelo one step further. "The soul's gain
enriches the world through its backaction". I do not say it to compete or
surpass Michelangelo. I say it because he is not here with us today to say
it himself -- he is not an immortal (like the "highlander" ;-). I say it
because I observe how his soul enriched our world -- his art functioning
as the vehicles for the back action.

A leader has to catalyse emergences, no matter how much chaos it takes.
The joy of leadership is the enriching backaction of the emergence.

>If one image of a living LO may be a 'living crystal' then
>Michelangelo may be a sufficient model or exemplar of how
>a 'passion for learning' can be fashioned to cause stone to
>become as 'fluid' as water. Or, as I once saw engraved into
>a painting by a complete novice in response to her own
>just freshly emerged/produced painting, " A Gentle Hub of
>Sweeping Boldness". I reckon even Michelangelo would have
>been impressed with that title.

Andrew, a growing crystal as a metaphor of life is incomplete since it
models only the one asymptote of creativity -- the asymptote where
emergents compete with each other in a win/lose strategy. The other
asymptote where the emergents collaborate in a win/win strategy to set up
a new order as the emergent cannot be neglected. It is easy to select
metaphors, but difficult to use them as models.

>Carving a statue into marble is about subtracting on one level
>and constructing to another so one might abstract at many? Did
>I say carving into marble? Maybe I meant to write carving out of
>marble? And that is not to mention the Pieta at all. Now where
>does that start and end its life? Where is the increase and the
>decrease in that?

In sculpturing we observe both constructive and destructive creativity at
work in one single examplar. The harmony needed between the two is
astounding -- one slip and that which remains out of the block cannot
suggest the emergent thoughts perfectly.

My late father was a diamond cutter in the sense of taking a raw diamond
and eventually delivering the perfect product. He was entrusted with the
big ones -- expensive, fragile and with akward shapes. He had to plan and
do everything, sawing, cutting and polishing. Several of the not too many
100carat plus jewels of the world are his work of art. His boss, a shrewed
businessman, one day asked him how he managed to do it. He replied that he
will stare intently at the stone, turning it around and around, imagining
how the Creator would look at it, dreaming how he would shape it into a
perfect form which will please the whole human spirit. His boss could not
understand him. My fathers greatest fear was that one slip would cause the
stone to shatter in more pieces than the dollars it could have earned.

In most other forms of art the constructive and destructive acts of
creativity have become separated through space and time because of
technology. Take painting, for example. Most modern painters buy their
paint and mix it as required. Thus the the only "destructive" act is the
loss of purity through mixing. But in the days before technology, like it
had been for Michelangelo, the painter had to produce his own paint. He
had to search for his own raw materials, taking along hammer and chisel,
stamper and mortar, pot and stirrer, ... But above all, he had to take
with him his dreams -- his art already created and his vision of how he
will communicate it.

Art cannot be experienced by staring unconnected at the artistic object.
Art can be experienced by creating the artistic object self. Art can also
be experienced by recreating it while in close contact with the artistic
object. As I perceive it, the person then has to observe every possible
detail in the object, dream with these details to relive every moment of
the artists creative course and finally seek confirmation of those dreams
in the forms which the object portrays. Thus, for me, there is a
remarkable convergence between the Scientific Method (SM) and (let us call
it) the "Artistic Method (AM)".

The only divergence I experience is in the third step. In the SM it is
falsification, to seek fallacies in the speculations, avoiding the
probabilities. But in the AM it is confirmation, to seek verity in the
dreams, searching for possibilities. Thus the SM homes in on
repeatability, but the AM takes flight into unique destinations. Almost
every day my creative efforts are seriously influenced by one or more of
the seven essentialities getting impaired. The scientist in me have much
patience because the scientific dimension can be repeated. There is no
loss. But the artist in me boils with rage because the artistic dimension
cannot be repeated exactly the same. The loss is irreplaceable. The dead
of the first born is a experience not to be repeated.

What troubles me very much about art is that when I apply the AM to an
artistic object, the process suddenly jams when I perceive that the
artist, metaphorically speaking, bought the paint rather than creating it
self from raw materials. Authentic emergences cannot be bartered and thus
fashioned. Yet here in South Africa people are deperately trying to do it
in all walks of life. If it is not available locally, import it rather
than endeavouring for its emergence. It is a sickening syndrome, even in
the world of business management. Obviously, I consider business
management not only as a science, but also as an art. Thus the lack of art
in the management of our local businesses and organisations troubles me
much. This lack of art is in my eyes a major factor in the lack of

The philosopher Hegel has pointed out that the artists are among the first
ones to become aware of an impeding pardigm shift (grand emergence) in
culture. The artist expresses this tacit (intuitive) knowledge in his/her
artistic object. Should we commute (not communicate) more with artists
through their artistic objects, applying the AM, our own tacit knowledge
of the creative course of time yet to come will grow tremendously.

Artists, unlike scientists, also deal with myths and chaos. Fiction, like
factualities, are part of reality. If we want to study the complexity of
reality seriously, we cannot neglect fiction ("deep facts"), nor chaos
("deep order"). Many myths had the uncanny quality of becoming facts --
fiction becoming faction. Ordinate bifurcations (changes in order) are
pushed by chaos. What has been characterestic in the life of artists in
general and innovative scientists in particular is becoming a major facet
in the science of complexity -- or should I write the art of complexity.

Thank you Andrew for communicating your thoughts with us. The artist, like
the scientist, has an essential role to play in any LO. Artists often make
other people feel uneasy. Some people try to get rid of the artist while
others depart from the artists. That is one way of getting rid of that
nasty feeling. The other way is to perceive that the uneasy feeling
signals something. What? The artist within you speaks. Your artistic
dimension calls for learning, for development into maturity. Use that
feeling as an entropic force to produce entropy so as to respond to the
free (potential) energy within you. The uneasy feeling will become
gradually less because the entropy production will have manifested in a
more mature artistic personality. You will not have to get rid of the
artist or depart from them again.

This is the way to go with every uneasy feeling in any LO when it concerns
something not wrong or false. Respond positively to it as an entropic
force rather than avoiding it negatively to avoid indirectly entropy
production. When chaos increases along the way, do not get frightened,
because a new order will emerge from that chaos. Meanwhile, prepare
yourself to experience the constructive emergence rather than the
destructive immergence. Use the elementary sustainer (one of five) "art
expressing" to aid yourself. Its value cannot be estimated.

Best wishes,


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> 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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