[UMC] getting unstuck [pt. 3]

a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.  


Serial narration


This “[UMC] …” series of 3-minute readouts on the present climate within the United Methodist Church [UMC] (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (‘reset’ here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (last week), is meant to be generative, not definitive. “Compatibilism” [and its attending humility (Micah 6.8)] is key to “The 95% solution.” This is ‘part 3’ of looking at getting unstuck through applying Edward de Bono’s ideas; and it’s ‘part 20’ of the overarching “[UMC] …” series.



Comparison [cont.]

At the end of part 2 we took a peek at the distinctions between traditional thinking [TT] and lateral thinking [LT]. We’ll look more closely at what Edward de Bono means by TT (Greek gang of three [GG3]; “rock logic;” “tabletop logic”) next week; but first some clarification regarding my final point last week:
Water logic seeks to stowaway in the flow to where an idea leads, i.e., provocative possibility —> logical affirmation. 
So, “stowaway in the flow,” what did I mean?
Well, it’s the difference between active (LT) and passive (TT) information systems. A key distinction and point of differentiation between “rock logic” [TT] and “water logic” [LT]:
With these models [TT & LT] we see a sharp contrast between two very different systems or universes. In the passive system [TT] information stays exactly where it has been put and we move that information around as we wish and according to whatever rules we want — for example the rules of logic or mathematics. In the active system [LT] the surface and the information allow the information to organize itself in some way, for example into patterns and sequences. (I Am Right You Are Wrong, [IARYAW] pg. 62-3)
The importance of this difference between the two systems is that in virtually all our information systems we have used the passive model. We store information in a passive way and we move it around according to some rules. All our thinking systems are based on this model. It now seems increasingly likely that the brain does not work like this at all, but as a self-organizing system in which information organizes itself into patterns. (IARYAW, pg. 63)
Stated a bit differently: 
At the base of the system [TT] is the powerful word ‘is’ and its opposite ‘is not’ (leading to the powerful principle of contradiction). (IARYAW, pg. 65)
We can say that a rock ‘is’. It is not going to let us down and change into something else. There is the sense of an independent absolute. Water is very different from rock, but just as real. It flows. The emphasis is on ‘to’ rather than ‘is’. Water flows according to the gradient (context). It takes the form of the vessel in which it is placed (circumstance). (IARYAW, pg. 8)
The other type of system is the ‘active’ system. There is no outside logical operator. All the activity takes place within the recording surface. The information is active. The surface is active. The information interacts with the surface to form organizations, sequences, patterns, loops, etc. (IARYAW, pg. 8)
A very simple example of an active (self-organizing) patterning system is given by rain falling onto a virgin landscape. In time, the rainwater forms itself into streams, rivulets, and rivers. The landscape has been altered. There has been an interaction between the rain and the landscape. There has been activity. Further rainwater will flow along the channels that have been established. (IARYAW, pg. 10)

Po and flow

Dr. de Bono calls ‘po’ a “(re)laxative” (Lateral Thinking [LT], pg. 225).
In LT de Bono writes:
The function of po is the rearrangement of information to create new patterns and to restructure old ones. These two functions are but different aspects of the same process but for convenience they may be separated. 
      • Creating new patterns
      • Challenging old patterns

These two functions can be expressed in another way:

      • Provocative and permissive: putting information together in new ways and allowing unjustified arrangements of information.
      • Liberating: disrupting old patterns in order to allow the imprisoned information to come together in a new way. (LT, pg. 227)



Patterns exist in nature and are created as a product of mind. Dr. de Bono writes:

The first function of po is to create arrangements of information that do not arise from either of these two sources. Just as no is used to weaken arrangements that are based on experience so po is used to generate connections that have nothing to do with experience. (LT, pg. 227)

Next week we’ll continue our (loosely held) comparison of TT and LT.



Significantly, TT and LT are grounded in passive and active information systems, respectively. Different universes that commingle.
“Rock logic” (Giorgio) and “water logic” (Ralph) ….
Next week: [UMC] getting unstuck [pt. 4]. [this post ~800 words (3-min. read)] 


Your thoughts?



6 thoughts on “[UMC] getting unstuck [pt. 3]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s