> What I have liked about some of the threads is their "realness" -- people
> expressing what is within them in a very real way. You can feel the heart
> and soul in some of the postings. My disapointment is that these are
> rare. I find there is a lot of intellectualizing, debate, and advocacy.
> Which is okay -- sometimes. Most of the time though it becomes boring for
> Why is it so diffcult for us to deal heart-to-heart?
> Why do we become so threatened when the human soul bares itself?
> If this list, where the primary risk is to be publicly known for having a
> soul rejects or avoids that level of connection, how can we hope to create
> it in organizations where the risk is much higher?
Dear Sherri and other orglearners,
You have begun a wonderful and important thread from my viewpoint. Thank
you very much.
In a certain sense you have answered your one question by the other one.
It is difficult for us to deal heart-to-heart because we become so
threatened when doing it.
Why threatened? Because there are other people who seek out open- hearted
people as victim or prey. Thus we have to solve a problem: how to avoid
becoming victim or prey other than closing your heart.
This problem has already been solved in a wonderful way by Jesus. After
some months of public ministry, He felt it necessary for His disciples to
get some heart-to heart experience themselves. So He sent them on an
evangelical crusade to the towns of Israel, giving them the following
1 Be sincere as the doves (pidgeons).
2 Be cautious as the snakes.
3 Do not remain with the unwilling.
We probably all know what is meant by sincerity, cautiousness and
willingness. But do we know why they form a remedy for our vulnerability
due to our openheartedness? Let me tell you about my experiences in wild
nature which is related to these matters. I hope that these experiences
will have powerful metaphoric value.
Upon my arrival in any place desolate of humans, all the animals flee away
upon my intrusion. The birds and especially the doves are the first to do
so. But after a while, when the animals begin to realise that I am not
preying, they come back, sort by sort. Usually, the first to accept my
intrusion are again the doves. Soon they will be walking around me,
pecking at whatever they found important, trying to avoid me by walking
around me rather than flying away. They have made peace with me.
To become an openhearted person, one must become a sincere person, a
Here in Southern Africa we have the greatest variety of snakes and large
numbers of many kinds. I have spend in total a number of years in the wild
deserts, arid savanahs and dry bushveldts. Up to now I have only twice
encountered snakes, once a black mamba in South Africa and once a cascavel
in Brazil. Hunters of game will not believe me. Most of them have
encountered many hundreds of snakes. Why then this apperent contradiction?
When I go in the wild, I open myself up to everything. But I also have a
special interest in succulent plants. They are usually rare and difficult
to spot. Thus I have to move slowly and with great concentration. My
behaviour affords the snakes an opportunity to feel the vibrations which I
make and thus to move out of my path. Snakes will only confront a person
aggresively when they feel trapped.
To become and openhearted person, one must become a cautious person,
acting on the first vibes in order to avoid a confrontation.
Here in South Africa we have a saying: 'hunt with only willing dogs'. I am
not a game hunter because I think it is much more exciting and taxing to
be a plant hunter. But I have had many hours of converstaion with game
hunters, listening to their wonderful stories. When setting out to hunt a
dangerous animal like a lion or a buffalo, the willingness of the dogs
often makes the difference between life and death. An unwilling dog will
easily bark at ghosts and lead you on wrong tracks. Finally, in the face
of deadly danger itself, they get so frightened that they cannot give you
any sign or they run away even before you have noticed it. The willing
dog, on the other hand, knowing that you are its companion, will even go
for death itself whereas alone it would never have done it.
To become an openhearted person, one must become a willing person because
this willingness is the cement of companionship and the lifeblood for
I should have stopped here because some readres are complaining to the
length of my contributions. However, there is stiil so much more
applicable to Sherri's clarion call. In fact, I still have to try and
answer her third question. I will do it with my special interest in
succulent plants. I know that very few of you have even taken notice of a
succulent plant and probably none have studied them in the wild. But I
think that what I have to tell, has great metaphoric value in answering
Sherri's third question. Furthermore, I was very fortunate to live in a
country where many such experieces are possible. So, put on your hiking
boots and hat and follow me.
There is an uncanny correspondence between succulent plants and
openhearted persons. Some plants have become succulent to reduce their
vulnerability due to changes in the climate. But simultanously they have
become very vulnerable to higher order animals because of their very
succulence. Their 'solution' to risky climatic changes have become
valuable to higher order animals who have not found a solution to the same
risk. Similarly, openhearted persons are extremely vulnerable because of
their very openness. Their openness is their solution to complex changes
in the lower orders of their environment. It will be the same when they
progress to higher orders. This makes them very dangerous. Whereas they
can shift their paradigms easily, persons considered to be higher
developed, got there despite their inability to shift their paradigm. They
merely shifted their sails. These opportunists of fortune fear the
openhearts because they can expose them. Therefor they hate them and wish
to destroy them.
Succulent plants have developed wonderful and extraordinary means to
protect their vulnerability. Similarly, when wishing to become an
openhearted person or meeting other open-hearted persons, one must know
how openhearted persons protect their vulnerability. Some succulent plants
'went underground' by developing huge subterranean storage organs, leaving
very little above the ground to betray their true nature. Similarly, some
openhearted persons make use of this underground technique. Other
succulents developed a heavy armour of thorns. Simliarly, some openhearted
persons have become horrible spiny like old Scrooge. Some succulents have
become masters in camouflage, giving the impression of a lifeless pebble
or of another weed in abundance. Similarly, some openhearted persons act
very different to what they realy are like the Joker. Some succulents have
stuffed themselves with poisoning, irritating, nauseating or psychodelic
substances which only a few animals can tolerate. Similarly, some
openhearted persons are intolerable to all except those who have the
It should be clear by now that the openhearted person should develop some
protection, that many types of protection are possible, and that
penetration of that protection should be made possible in order for the
really needy to make contact.
The physiology of succulent plants is also different to that of ordinary
plants. For example, they follow the CAM respiratory cycle rather than the
Krebbs cycle of ordinary plants. In the day time their stomata remain
closed to prevent a loss of moisture. Thus in the night they both take up
carbon dioxide and liberate oxygen. In order to do that, they had to
devise many different chemical pathways. This means that openhearted
persons are much more in need of lateral thinking than others. They need
to be more creative in order to survive.
The continuance of a succulent species is seldomly based on a large number
of offspring and an autonomous delivery of the offspring. They often make
far more use of the complexity of their environment (climate, geology,
insects, plants and animals) to prepare and deliver their offspring, using
a far greater variety of things than ordinary plants. (One would actually
think that they prefer things such as storms, flies, rats, etc.)
Similarly, openhearted persons often have a keener sense of 'deep
symbiosis' than other people, mixing at greater length with the 'outcasts
of society'. They are also much more interested in the quality of every
contact rather than making contact with many other persons.
Last, and not the least, succulents have often exteremly low population
numbers in comparison to other plants. For example, six years ago I
rediscovered a succulent plant called Euphorbia albertensis. The original
description was based on one plant founded 80 years ago! Many have hunted
for it. I managed to find find two plants again. A very old farm worker
assured me that in his 70 years he have seen two or three of them. This
means that there are probably less than 50 plants in the wild. I collected
some seed. Last year I exported 25 of them, keeping 5 for my own seed
production. Next year I will be exporting another 25, thereby matching
what nature has to offer. Soon I will replant 50 of them back into
habitat. Eventually, everybody interested in them will have some while
nature will also be rejuvinated. However, the simple fact remain: they
will always be rare with a vulnerable status. Similarly, most kinds of
openheart persons will be scarce and even very rare. It will be difficult
to find them. Once we are in the position to aid the appearance of a
certain kind of openhearted person, we should do our utmost to let it
Sherri, I hope that I have answered your third question. An openhearted
person is someone who is willing to even share a paradigm shift on the
spiritual level. An openhearted person is very vulnerable and thus has to
protect this vulnerability. Learn them how to protect themselves. The best
protection is to become deeply creative. Teach them how to open up that
protection in order to allow other openhearted persons to contact them.
Teach them the antidotes to overcome cautiously, but also sincerely, the
protection of other openhearted persons. Teach them that openhearted
persons will always experience more loneliness because of the fewer
numbers involved. Teach them that they have to make so much more of their
moments of joy through experiencing emergences. Teach them that learning
creatively makes the difference in life.
Finally, I think that there are more openhearted revelations on this
maillist than we are able to discern. Many such revelations exist, but
most of them happen in the protection mode! Do not ask me to point them
out, except in a private tutorial situation, because it will not be fair
to destory such wonderful protections. Try to pierce through the
protection mode if you need to make more connections. Be patient because
few have developed the inner power to reveal themselves also in the
unprotected mode. And if they do and some of the pain comes through,
comfort them with your caring and love. I do not think that we have reason
to be disappointed any more, except if we remain ignorant.
At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa
"Mnr AM de Lange" <AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>