Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rock Logic vs Water Logic

A rock is solid, permanent and hard. This suggests the absolutes of traditional thinking (solid as a rock). Water is just as real as a rock but it is not solid or hard. The permanence of water is not defined by its shape.

A rock has hard edges and a definite shape. This suggests the defined categories of traditional thinking. We judge whether something fits that category shape or not. Water has a boundary and an edge, which is just as definite as the edge of a rock, but this boundary will vary according to the terrain.

Water will fill a bowl or a lake. It adapts to the terrain or landscape. Water logic is determined by the conditions and circumstances. The shape of the rock remains the same no matter what the terrain might be. If you place a small rock in a bowl, it will retain its shape and make no concession at all towards filling the bowl. The absolutes of traditional thinking deliberately set out to be circumstance-independent.

If you add more water to water, the new water becomes part ot the whole. If you add a rock to a rock, you simply have two rocks. This addition and absorption of water logic corresponds to the process of poetry, in which new images become absorbed in the whose.

We can match rocks by saying this shape 'is' or is not' the same as another shape. A rock has a fixed identity. Water flows according to the gradient. Instead of the word 'is' we use the word 'to.' Water flows 'to' somewhere.

In traditional (rock) logic we have judgements based upon right/wrong. In perception (water) logic we have the concepts of 'fit' and 'flow.'

The concept of 'fit' means: 'Does this fit the circumstances and conditions?' The concept of 'flow' means: 'Is the terrain suitable for flow to take place in this direction?' Fit covers the static situation, flow covers the dynamic situation. Does the water fit the lake or hole? Does the river flow in this direction?

Truth is a particular constellation of circumstances with a particular outcome. In this definition of truth we have both the concepts of fit (constellation of circumstances) and of flow (outcome).

In a conflict situation both sides are arguing that they are right. This they can show logically. Traditional thinking would seek to discover which party was really 'right.' Water logic would acknowledge that both parties were right but that each conclusion was based on a particular aspect of the situation, particular circumstances, and a particular point of view.

We must note that we are so immersed in our rock logic system that water logic will at first seem so pragmatic that 'anything goes' and there is no way of making judgements or getting a decision. This is not so at all. Water will not flow uphill or against the gradient. The behaviour of water is well defined and so is the behaviour of water logic.

Edward de Bono, I Am Right You Are Wrong

Water Logic leads to:

*constructive thinking instead of destructive thinking
*exploration instead of argument
*design instead of analysis
*ideas instead of information
*concern for the future instead of obsession with the past
*operacy (taking action) instead of knowledge
*creative thinking instead of critical thinking
*perception instead of (linear) processing
*wisdom instead of cleverness (perception is the basis of wisdom)

PS. Pick-up is rock logic. Seduction is water logic.


Anonymous Anthony said...

Objective > Subjective

January 22, 2011  

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