Re: MD MOQ: Involved or on the Sideline?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 20:22:29 BST

  • Next message: Joseph Maurer: "Re: MD Violent or non-violent"

    Hi Scott,

    > As I said to Mark, he (Mark) is not referring to hippies in the above, but
    > to the New Left, the Civil Rights movement, and so your criticism here is
    > misdirected, as is Mark's criticism of Pirsig. But what I want to say is
    > that there was high intellectual quality in the hippie movement. It was
    > largely drowned out by low quality stuff --and by misunderstanding from the
    > non-hippie social environment, but there was a nugget of good quality in
    > the mix. Primarily, it was raising the awareness of alternate states of
    > consciousness, and that these could be liberating. Could be, please note,
    > not necessarily would be. Pirsig's peyote experience, for example. In
    > general, there was an expansion of awareness of non-European,
    > non-materialist cultures, both indigenous and Eastern. SQ was dynamically
    > challenged and superceded. In fact, I would regard ZMM as a high quality
    > outgrowth of many ideas that had their origin and/or development, in hippie
    > ideas.
    Maybe so, but I don't think Pirsig is endorsing the drug culture nor do I
    think the knowledge of non-European cultures that expanded during the 60's
    was necessarily a good thing. As Pirsig wrote:

    "American writing on Zen during this period showed this confusion. Zen was
    often thought to be a sort of innocent "anything goes." If you did
    anything you pleased, without regard for social restraint, at the exact
    moment you pleased to do it, that would express your Buddha-nature. To
    Japanese Zen masters coming to this country this must have seemed really
    strange. Japanese Zen is attached to social disciplines so meticulous they
    make the Puritans look almost degenerate." (Lila, 24)

    As for the msh's worship of the New Left, a phrase borrowed from Pirsig
    describes it well --"a destructive form of degeneracy."


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