TQM vs LO LO12021

Mnr AM de Lange (AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za)
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 12:50:30 GMT+2

Winfried Deijmann wrote in LO11865

> >I agree, creativity does not come from learning.

> I haven't quite understood your point in this posting. I need some more
> insights from you. But it triggered a lot of mixed feelings and questions
> in me. Now I want to cry out loud! So allow me to formulate a - IMO - key
> question:
> If creativity doesn't come from learning, where - in your opinion - does
> creativity come from?

Dear Winfried and other organlearners,

It is a very long contribution. Do not read it, unless you will regret
that your life has not changed forever.

I have the deepest respect and empathy for you and every other person who
have mixed feelings when dealing with the statement "creativity does not
come from learning". The reason is simply that I myself had such feelings
when I first forced myself to create that sentence about 15 years ago.
Maybe my feelings were even more intense than yours, but who will ever

Thank you very much for that question and 'inquiring' me for an answer. To
'inquire' means that you yourself had to become open enough to even
consider the mere possibility that the source of creativity might be
something else than learning. I respect and admire your openness. (Help me
with the English - I cannot find a better word than 'inquire').

Just to show that I can do something short. The answer to your question
is: human creativity results from the creation (dissipation) of entropy.
Now forget that you have even seen the answer.

Why had I to create the sentence "creativity does not come from learning"?
I created its as a conclusion to an empirical discovery which I have made
during 1982- 1983. This original discovery is the key to understand the
answer to your question. In other words, my answer above is not my opnion,
but based on what experimental results told me. (The details of that
experiment is not important now.)

Allow me first to explain what any original, empirical discovery is. We
all are so used to experimenting (physics, chemistry, biology) in a
schooling system, i.e. experimenting with what others have already
discovered previously, that we tend to forget what an original, empirical
discovery is. I will discuss an example, not from chemistry, physics,
etc., but from everyday life.

I will take Christopher Columbus as an example because he has a direct
bearing on your work, Winfried. He was an Italian navigator who discovered
America for Spain. He was not a mere adventurer. He lived in the times
when the creativity of the Italian ARTISTS did have a great influence on
the thinking of other italians. It was these very artists who provided the
context for the discovery of America.

Consider this discovery of America by Columbus. Columbus had this creative
idea that he will reach the east by sailing on sea. So he followed this
creative idea up with much creative preparations. Then he and his men set
sail, still relying on their creativity. Eventually a result emerged
(Ahoi, land, Oct, 1492). But the emergence finally proved to be different
from what he expected: not the eastern continent, but a western continent!

This about summarise what an empirical dicovery is. Forget your school and
university experiences of experiments. An experiment is not to prove or to
UPON AN SELFCREATED IDEA. We are not sure even if there will even be an
outcome and we are often shocked at what the outcome finally entails. But
note that it begins with the idea as Plato already has noted. Where does
the idea originate from? I do not know, except that it can get created.

With this description you will all realise that we all have made many
empirical discoveries. We will also realise that such discoveries define
another piece of evidence to show that creativity becomes before learning.
We will also realise that although we have created many such discoveries,
very few of them have been followed up by us and probably none has been
considered as of any value by our fellow humans. It is definitely my

But why do some empirical discoveries become milestones in the annals of
human history? Louis Pasteur, that giant discoverer of experiences,
himself had the insight to give us the answer. Great empirical discoveries
come to those who have prepared creatively their minds for it.
Unfortunately, this is not what we learn in most of our learning
institutions. These institutions shy away from God Creator and from
creativity whenever we wish to go beyond that which the mind already
knows. (See my reply to Keith Sandrock upon his LO11926 under the topic
'Disappointment - - No soul?')

Fortunately, I can witness through my own creatively planned experiences
to the truth of what Pasteur said. My mind was indeed prepared through my
own creativity to recognise what my empirical discovery during 1982-83
really was about. My preparation was done upon something which I tacitly
knew since childhood and which I created for the first time in words in
1970: "To learn is to create". This sentence, first subconsciously and
eventually objectively, haunted me all my life.

I 'recognised' the truth of this sentence implicitely since day one after
it emerged from the tacit level of my knowledge. I tried to falsify it
through observing whatever came my way, but to no avail. Rather, something
different happened. In many cases I became aware I formed false
perceptions, followed inconsistent theories, etc. The desire to know what
this sentence in total means and how my whole life is related to it, grew
from day to day. It made me a square peg in a round hole. Were it not for
her love, my wife would have divorced me for the madness of some of my

One of my strange decisions was, after obtaining with distiction a master
degree in fundamental physics, to switch over to practical research in
soil science (1968-1971). Thanks to God, it was there where I first was
confronted to observe chaos, order, bifurcations, emergences, etc. in
soils, but not having a single word in the literature to go on. Slowly,
through many bewilderments, I learnt myself that the Second Law of
Thermodynamics is responsible for all the nonlinear behaviour of soils.
Thus, when the book (Order out of Chaos) of Prigogine and Stengers came
out about 10 years afterwards, I was probably one of a few not to be
schocked or baffled by Prigogine's idea, namely that the Second Law for
irreversible processes were responsible for organisation in the material
world, inanimate and biological. My knowledge of this law then was still
on the inanimate level, but with Prigogine's help it quickly rose to also
encompass the biological level. In other words, through my own creative
efforts, I were able to recognise the role of the Second Law of
themodynamics all through the material world.

But, like Prigogine, I never suspected it to influence the abstract
spiritual world. Like Columbus, I knew that I would reach the eastern
continent by ship, but I never suspected that I would reach the western
contintent. I did not even think of such a possibility.

And like Columbus, I had a ship to travel. My ship was the sentence: "to
learn is to create". So I set out in 1972 for another voyage, one on the
sea of education. I was determined to go right into the lion's den to find
out what this sentence really meant. Believe me, all is mild and weak if
when one goes along with all the @#$%&*+= which are claimed as the holy
truth for education. But when one tries to practise and not merely say "to
learn is to create", the lions begin to feed. Suddenly I experienced the
wrath of scientists following their normal science. Read Thomas Kuhn's
book (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) to see how it works.

The first new continent to be discovered with my little ship was during
1982- 83. I discovered empirically that The Second Law of Thermodynamics
is responsible for human learning. (The details will be carefully
documented in my book in Chapter 2.) It was an immense shock to me. I
experienced how my paradigm shift accelerated through a warp drive, to use
Star Trek words. In other words, what was becoming real to Prigogine about
the material world, was beccoming real to me about the abstract world.
Entropy (and thus chaos, order, ....) was intimately connected to

All during those times I intuitively knew that creativity encompasses
learning and not vice versa. In other words, learning is a subclass of
creating. (This follows from "to learn is to create"). So, the next step
was to discover the role of the Second Law to creativity. Believe me, it
was night. But it was like a night in the wilderness - stars brightly
shining. We cannot reach those stars, but when they become visible to us,
they emit enough light for us to find our way in the darkness and thus to
complete our voyage. (It is these stars which we have to make shining on
this forum.)

I discovered the relationship between the Second Law and creativity by
discovering the seven essentialities of creativity. Again I endeavoured to
discover something else. In my first great discovery (entropy ->
learning), I noticed three strange patterns more intense than ever before:
becoming-being, sureness and wholeness. I became intensely aware that
would they become impaired, many great discoveries would not have been
possible. How then, were these three patterns related to knowledge in
general? I set out on a pattern hunting. I found out that many other
thinkers have also pondered on one or more of these patterns. But I could
not find a topic where they formed a unit.

I decided to hunt for those patterns common to two exemplars superior in
creativity, the one from the material world and the other from the
abstract world. Hundreds of thousands of workers on each examplar had to
be very sure of the existing patterns in their exemplar. They did not need
to know anything about creativity, but their implicit creativity would
ensure enough patterns and thus the uncovering of the patterns of the two
exemplars. I decided on the chemical system (material) and the
mathematical system (abstract). Then my pattern hunting began. Again, it
was darkness with stars preventing a complete blackout. I had 6 bright
stars: entropy, creativity, learning, being-becoming, sureness and
wholeness. Soon afterwards (1984) I found out that mathematicians then
recently (+-1970) have connected three of these stars (the three
mysterious patterns) in a unit called Mathematical Category Theory.

I discovered 7 patterns of isomorphism between the chemical and the
mathematical system. Three of them were the enigmatic patterns. Toposlogic
was chemistry and chemistry was toposlogic. I was so greatly relieved to
have found any thing at all that I forgot all about creativity! But soon
afterwards, it hit me like a hammer between the eyes. These 7 patterns are
the seven essentialities of creativity (and thus learning also). Then the
next hammer hit me. They were also the seven patterns according to which
the the Second Law operates. One of Prigogine's greatest discoveries was
the equation describing mathematically how entropy is created (increases).
The seven patterns are vissible in this equation! If the equation is
changed in such a manner that one of the patterns is removed, the
resulting equation cannot describe mathematically how entropy is created.

The final step was deceptively simple. How to link the rest of the Second
Law (chaos, order, bifurcations,...) to creativity. There was still one
big empty space which set me on a discovery trip again. I finally
dicovered the Digestor as a model for evolusionary co-organisation and not
revolutionary self- organisation

In other words, Winfried, creativity comes from the Second (and the First)
Law of Thermodynamics. What Margaret Wheatly suspects for the world of
business and management, goes even beyond that. It encompasses the entire
abstract world, including human creativity.

> Answering my own question, I experience creativity as a result of an
> active artistic prosess in and between people. It's IMO a basic condition
> for learning besides the need for freedom.

How right you are. The clues to your further understanding will be the
phrases 'process in and between people' and 'need for freedom'.

> I experience activ participated artistic exercises as very important to
> create learning enviroments. Many of our clients have pointed out that the
> artistic exercises we integrated in our projects proved to be key-factors
> for succes.

You are right. This is exactly what Pasteur stressed. Now, in the years of
AIDS and CANCER, we need another Pasteur, a discoverer of creative
experiences. This person will have to be at least as creative as Pasteur.

> That's why I still don't understand why arts has so little
> priority in the LO-concepts and why there was so little response to my
> postings about "Arts in LO".

See my reply to Keith Sandrock. When we go beyond that which is known by
the mind, our creativity and the Creator comes into play. We usually are
too afraid to go beyond what we percieve as the limit of knowledge. I
salute artists because they do - they are daring and brave.

> Ironicly Scott Zimmermann was the only one
> that reacted by sending his "Square wheels" cartoon by fax. The cartoon
> shows some men pushing and puling a cart with square wooden wheels. Inside
> the cart there's a load of round wheels. But everybody is so bussy pushing
> and pulling that nobody notices these round wheels inside the cart. And
> this cartoon exactly visualizes my feelings on this subject: The key's are
> right there inside everybody, waiting to be discovered, explored and used.
> Why is it not seen?
> Help me on this one, please!

They have to look inside themselves. Emergences are mostly a matter of
self-organisation and seldom due to co-organisation. The reason is very
simple. Emergences are very complex and thus almost impossible to be
determined, predicted and controled by an outsider. It is already
difficult enough for the insider. Thus it it is important to become an
insider. How? You gave the answer: become creative! Believe in your idea
and go for it like Columbus.

I have to end now. Please see my response to Rick via Rol Fessenden's
response on Inner Circel -> Whole Circle. This response continues there,
but in a different mood.

Best wishes
- --

At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa
email: amdelange@gold.up.ac.za


"Mnr AM de Lange" <AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>