Understanding a creative thinker LO12941

Sherri Malouf (sherri@maloufinc.com)
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 10:59:48 -0500 (EST)

At de Lange has asked me to post this to the list...

>Sherri, when I read what Rick says about Maturana, I do it in a
>triadic way which I do with all novel thinkers.
>First I try to understand what the original thinker self (like
>Maturana) says in terms of his own terms of referance. This is a
>time consuming and chaos producing process. But I enjoy it!
>Furthermore, I often disagree with what the thinker says. But
>strangely enough, this disagreement seldomly concerns the
>thinker's own inferences because such inferences seem to be
>rational enough to me in terms of his world of referance. My
>disaggreements usually concern my own inferences which I make in
>terms of my understanding of the terms used by the thinker. Such
>inferences usually contradicts my own inferences with respect to
>my own referance system.
>Secondly, I try to understand the original thinker in terms of
>commentaries on his sayings. This is a terrible process - I
>almost hate it and I often neglect it. It is extremely time
>consuming and extremely chaos producing with less gains in order
>of being as the first way. The commentators usually have their
>own agenda, willfully or implicitly, openly or hiddenly, etc.
>Furthermore, their commentaries are more than often on the
>commentaries of others than on the sayings of the original
>thinker. Lastly, the commentators show by far not the same
>degree of creativity as the original thinker. For example, the
>original thinker may be immensely sensitive to wholeness
>(monadicity) whereas the commentator does not care for it, or
>even uphelds the contrary, namely fragmentarism.
>Thirdly, I try to understand the original thinker by translating,
>wherever possible, his term with my own term of referance
>whenever I percieve a correspondence between them. Sometimes it
>does not lead to emergences. But sometimes it results in the most
>wonderful emergences (insights), both in the understanding of
>the thinker and in my own epistemology.
>Let me give you one example. Maturana uses in his works the word
>'relationship' very much, as is also evident from Rick's notes.
>There are many different kinds of relationships. Does Maturana
>refer to all of them or a particular kind? All kinds of
>relationships may be classified in two categories: casual or
>causal (my epistemology!). Does Maturana actually refer to one
>of these two categories? My definition of commutation includes
>both categories, although it is easier to use for the causal
>categories. When I now substitute the word 'relationship' in
>Maturana's sayings with my word 'commutation', it follows the
>path of emergences! Some of the things which he says suddenly
>become crystal clear. Other things (upon which he often does not
>elaborate) becomes more immature, incomplete, begging.
>It is silly from me to expect from you to understand this
>example (Maturana: relationship=commutation :At) by following it
>to the letter. Whereas the concept (model) commutation has
>become very rich (complex) for me, it will have a poor (simple)
>meaning for you unless... Unless what?
>Unless the concept has become rich in the tacit dimension
>(domain) of your knowledge. This means that although you have
>never before defined (described in words) the concept yourself,
>you have been creating with it and on it all along your life.
>When you then try to conceptualise my definition, the thing
>which you learn mostly from me, is how to formulate it in words.
>Much of the rest of its richness you already know. In such a case
>it is not silly from me to expect from you to understand the
>If you understand commutation good enough, you will realise that
>the commutation in the third way is of a much higher degree than
>in the other two ways. It boils down to this: do not only make
>the thinker a part of your life (way 1), but also make you a
>part of the thinker's life (way 3).

sherri@maloufinc.com Tel:603-672-0355
LMA, Inc Fax:603-673-7120


Sherri Malouf <sherri@maloufinc.com>

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