Protection LO22723

AM de Lange (
Thu, 23 Sep 1999 15:41:39 +0200

Replying to LO22688 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfried Dressler <> writes:


>I wish to thank you for your contribution, which I enjoyed
>very much. You have painted such a rich picture (many)
>of the subject (one), that I hesitate to write starting with:

Greetings Winfried,

I want to second you and also to thank you for your own contribution.

>I think, you are dealing with the puzzling relation of protection
>and openness.

I used to think regularly about protection. But since Leo's contribution I
began to think much deeper about protection.

You are right in the sense that there is a direct connection
between the essentiality openness and protection.
protection --- "pro-"=before, "tego"=cover
Beschoetzen --- ??
beskerming -- "be-"=about, "skerm"=cover, "-ing"=action

>I am very aware, that I have just picked two bones out of
>that picture. And I am going to be even more outrageous.
>Instead of accompaning you on an exploring walk with
>respect to protection, I leave your subject and jump for a
>generalization. I hope to rectify this below.

Winfried, what you did to Leo's contribution, I am going to do to yours.
In your generalisation you ended up with the essentialities of creativity,
especially sureness and openness. I will take only the openness among
them as my bone and make my scope even wider.

What is the "cover" which is refered to in "protection"? Nothing else than
the border between the system SY and its surroundings SU (also a system).
Both the system SY and the surroundings SU make up the universe UN which
is the most encompassing system.

If we have a COMPLETELY closed border which result in what is technically
known as an "isolated" system, the topic protection becomes irrelevant. If
we have a COMPLETELY open border the topic system becomes irrelevant. In
other words, only when we have a border which is partially closed/opened,
both the topics protection and system becomes relevant. This is what you
also conclude at the end of your contribution:

>Openness becomes an essential part of that harness,
>and there is no protection without openness.

I think what we should first ask ourselves is why living systems have
"partially closed/opened" borders rather than completely open or closed

By the way, I love the word "permeability" to think about the degree
(partiality) of clossed/opened of a border. But I do not use it because it
is a technical word with an exact meaning. In my own mind I use the
Afrikaans word "deurlatenheid" (not in a dictionary) where "deur"=through,
"laten"=let (pp), "-heid"=hood".

The second thing which we should ask ourselves is whether our human notion
of protection is not really the result of an impairing (aberation) of our
own partially closed/opened border?

Let me motivate the second question. Have anyone of you ever thought of
the production of nectar in a flower as a protective measure? Well, if the
function of the specimen is to "ensure" (see the sureness here) the
propagation of the species, then attracting the pollinator with nectar is
a fine way of protection. But is it not a waste of free energy for the
flower to produce nectar for no reason?

Winfried, you write

>You talk of the flow of love. I don't see love flowing. I see love
>pulling, pulling through that coevolution.

Should you compare your viewpoint to that of Leo in terms of the
essentiality liveness ("becoming-being"), is it not the case that you
focus on "being" (of which differences cause entropic forces) while Leo
focus on "becoming" (of which changes cause entropic fluxes)? Should we
not try to see the harmony between "becoming" and "being" in love? But I
want to go even further with my questioning. Is "protection" not the thing
which comes to our mind when that harmony is diminished, i.e when liveness
gets impaired?

>You can reach love only with the strongest harness, protection,
>devolped on the path while constantly free energy is flowing
>irreversibly - producing entropy, creating order and growing
>this order to maturity.

When I consider your sentence as
"You can reach love only with ..... constantly free energy is
flowing irreversibly - producing entropy, creating order and
growing this order to maturity."
I am with you all the way. But the part
".... the strongest harness, protection, devolped on the path
while .... "
confuses me. You will have to explain it to me please.

As I now see it, protection is nothing else than changing the the openness
of the border, making it less or more closed. However it seems to me that
the higher the living system is on the ladder of evolution, the more it
changes in a sure manner the openness of its border. I cannot think of
this primary change as protection. My intuitive sense of protection is
rather as an secondary change based on the initial change of the openness
of the border.

I have often stressed that Law of Entropy Production has a
maximum-minimum pattern rather than merely a maximising
pattern. The change of the entropy S(un) of the universe UN
has to increase, but the change of the change of S(un) has
to decrease. Mathematically, using /_\ to sumbolise change
and >|< to symbolise "is smaller|greater than", we have
/_\ S(un) > 0
/_\ /_\ S(un) < 0

Creativity, for me, goes with the first pattern /_\ S(un) > 0.
That is why my definition for creativity is
Creativity is the result of entropy production.
(This definition seems to be far too novel for people who
define creativity as making novel connections ;-)
Just like entropy production leads to emergences, creativity
also lead to successive emergences in the sequence
learning-knowledge (lowest order)
believing-faith (intermediate order)
loving-love (highest order).
It is this highest emergent, namely loving-love which goes
for me with the second pattern /_\ /_\ S(un) < 0.

So what has it to do with protection? I observe a behaviour which
makes me very, very worried. Most people who now takes an
interest in creativity do it for protective reasons. In other words,
they associate protection (managing the border) with the lower
creativity <==> /_\ S(un) > 0
rather than with the higher pattern
loving-love <==> /_\ /_\ S(un) < 0
I have seen far too many management cases (based on this
lower order association) which develop into hell rather than

What has protection to do with a Learning Organisation? I think that one
hidden message in the Fifth Discipline is that by becoming a LO, an
organisation can protect itself much better than by making use of
destructive, negative and offensive measures. If this the case, it points
out that learning (first order) affords better protection that creating
(zero order). It also begs the pointing that believing (second order) is
best so that loving (third order) is even "better than best" (the
superlative case).

St Paul of the NT is a very rich thinker. One of his themes which confuses
people, is that love (agape) and not belief affords the Christian the
ultimate power to change the degree of openness of any spiritual border to
any extend. I must admit that I was also confused by this teaching, but
not any more.

I cannot but imagine how much this contribution is confusing to many of
you. If I did not love you all, I would rather have prefered not to make

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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