What is love? LO22850

AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 23:26:29 +0200

What is love? LO22808
Dear Organlearners,

Nick Heap <nickheap@tesco.net> writes:

>I have a definition. Love is anything you do that leads to the
>healthy growth of the object of your love. So love is not a
>feeling, it is action.
>Here are two examples.

Greetings Nick,

I like your definition very much. Your two examples also illustrated well
what you mean.

I want to comment on your "healthy growth".

As I see it, the cycle of creativity swings between rugged and smooth
changes. For example, the budding of a leaf is rugged and its subsequent
development to maturity is smooth.

During the rugged phase both qualities (intensive) and quantities
(extensive) change dramatically, sometimes apparently even discontinuous.
Should we open our "entropy eyes", we will find that the entropy
production is high during the rugged phase. It drives the system to the
edge of chaos. Prigogine's Brusselator is a model to depict revolutionary
changes at the edge of chaos. During the smooth phase qualities stay much
the same while quantities increase gradually. The entropy production is
low during the smooth phase. The system heads towards the equilibrium
state. The Digestor is model to depict evolutionary changes close to

You "healthy growth" involves for me both revolutionary and evolutionary
creativity. Most people think of creativity as revolutionary creativity
while denying any gradual growth as also creativity. The problem with such
exclusive thinking is that one cannot fathom the origin of the free energy
which drives entropy production and thus the advancement to the edge of
chaos weher the novel things happen. It is like driving a car in a
sparsely populated region, not knowing where the next gasoline station is
to refuel the car.

Your second example concerns an almost deaf man. All the confusing
relationships between him and other people resulted from people responding
to him in an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary manner. They
experienced all the dynamics so typical of the Digestor such as
intimidation and predation.

When you say that love promotes healthy growth, it means for me that love
promote creativity in its widest sense. In other words, love does not map
only to changes at the edge of chaos, but also to changes close to
equilibrium. Thus love is not a one-to-one-mapping, but a mapping to all
facets during the cycle of entropy production and thus creativity.

My concept of "deep creativity" involves not only evolutionary and
revolutionary creativity among humans, but also among all other living
organisms and inanimate objects. Thus love is for me a mapping to all
these many self-organising entities. Your first example concerning the
gardener illustrates this mapping very good.

Nick, after having said that love promotes healthy growth, you conclude
"So love is not a feeling, it is action." Many people believe that action
is something with produces effect, but has no cause itself. Some people
even deny action itself as a cause, although it has effect. For all these
people the question "what causes action" has little, if any, substance.
They would love to know that love is action because the question "what
causes love" demonstrates for them how futile the cuasility (cause-effect)
principle is. Add to that the belief that God is love, how could one ever
say that God has a cause?

I go along all the way with the part that "love is action". This
makes a whole together with our description of love in words.
Words alone cannot depict love. Words can always be given
more than one meaning, despite all the efforts to restrict one
meaning to every word such as in the terminology of sciences.
It simply means that the concept of one-to-many-mapping
even applies to each word and its many possible meanings.
To know which (sually more than one) of the many meanings
of a word, even the word love, applies in a certain case, each
of these meanings as BEINGS has to be extended into a whole.
The extention in each case is an act or BECOMING so that the
whole is a being-becoming. (See
Essentiality - "becoming-being" (liveness) LO17651

The way how this whole locks into another whole to create a
more encompassing whole (connected wholes nested in wholes
as Smuts, the father of holism called it) is by sharing becomings
(actions). In other words, actions (becomings) operate as bridging
entities. It means that love as action is a bridging entity.

But I cannot go along with the conclusion that love cannot be a feeling
since it is action. This conclusion is based on the hidden assumption that
feelings are beings and not becomings. The most noticeable fact about
beings is that without entropy production they can persist through time.
Now, is feelings were beings, then without entropy production (an action
itself) they would exist forever. However, without entropy production
feelings cease to exist. There are no feelings at equilbrium. Feelings
intensify as we move to the edge of chaos where the entropy production is
very high. Thus feelings are actions themselves emerging from entropy
production. Consequently love as action is connected to feelings as other
actions themselves.

The obvious question is how love as action and feelings as actions connect
to each other? The key is to remember that becomings commute through a
being and vice versa beings commute through a becoming. Love and feelings
commute through beings.

Nick, you then end with a most important question:

>How do we create loving organisations? As love leads to
>healthy growth then we need them. In a loving organisation
>all the people within it and who interact with it would be
>growing and developing. Its relationship with the environment
>and its community would be that of the gardener, above and
>her garden.

I can conceptualise four very, very important organisational
creating organisation
learning organisation
believing organisation
loving organisation.
The question now is, do we need four separate organisations,
one specialising in creating, one in learning, one in believing
and one in loving?

When we look at each individual in an organisation, that individual is
capable of creating, learning, believing and loving. When creating,
learning, believing and loving have nothing to do with each other, then we
can ask the person to bring his/her learning to the learning organisation,
but to leave his/her creating, believing and loving at home or employ them
rather respectively in creating, believing and loving organisations.

However, making partitions between creating, learning, believing and
loving leads to many and grave spiritual disorders in people. Do I hear
some scepticists say "prove it by measurements"? For me it is far more
important to help these unfortunate people so that their creating,
learning, believing and loving can be reunited into one whole web of
spirituality. To help them, I have to find the cause which disrupted the
web of spirituality and point it out to that person.

In almost all cases the disruptive factor was
* at least one person
* acting through the power of an organisation
* because of lack of love and its power in that person self.
Should a learning organisation not discourage the use
of its organisational power to disrupt the spirituality of some
of its memebers by other members, then the LO would
cease to function if it ever managed to become a LO. In
fact, disrupting the spirituality of members of an organisation
is a sure way to prevent it from emerging to a LO. Why?

There are seven fundamentally different ways to disrupt the spirituality
of a person. Each way correspond to impairing one of the seven
essentialities of creativity. Take wholeness, for example. By making
partitions between creating, learning, believing and loving so that each
one has nothing to do with the other three, is a serious impairing of

Nick, I think that we have to seek the loving organisation in the learning
organisation as a higher emergent of it. Think of a LO as a plant. The
believing is the plant in flowering. The loving is the plant carrying
fruit which follows upon flowering.

We do get a few flowering plant species which are cleistogamous. They bear
flowers which do not open and are pollinated by a special mecanism in the
closed state. (The species of the genus Frailea in the family Cactaceae
are cleastoganous.) We also get some flower plant species which produce
microscopically small seed (like in the genus Aztekium of the fmaily
Cactaceae). However, closed flowers and micro seed are very rare among
flowering plants. Why should we in the garden of humans close the act of
believing (flowering) and miniaturise the act of loving (fruiting) in
organisations, overstressing merely learning as that which drives the
organisation into a LO? We may succeed in establishing a few odd
organisations as LOs , i.e few odd species as plants), but the great
majority of organisations will be exluded from becoming LOs.

I would love to read much more dialogue on the role love in
learning organisations. Thus I appreciate your contribution

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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