The primary function of the intellectual level is as the maker, warehouser, and promoter of patterns.
It does not create qualities or values, per se, but attempts to gather, define, and order values
from all levels into useful and understandable patterns. It then attempts to make "higher level"
[intellectual] patterns to better order the whole or some portion of the whole. Because of this it
is very difficult, if not impossible, to clearly separate where the intellectual construct of a
pattern leaves off and the pattern itself begins. It fact one could say that Pirsig's SOM
"strawman" was constructed for the specific purpose of showing that the divorce of values from the
likes of "objective" and "intellect" is impossible.
In last month's thread Marco ,Bo, Mangus, and ram drifted into discussing the intellectual level
and touched on this problem:
> "The tests of truth are logical consistency, agreement with experience, and
> economy of explanation." (LILA Corgi ed. p. 121)
> Does Prsigs hirarchic division of the four realms of quality of the MOQ i.e.
> : Organic, biologic, social and intellecual REALLY meet with these tests?
> Not if they are organized strictly hierarchical. But they aren't. All levels
> are dependent on the levels below, and that isn't a hierarchical division,
> it's more like a dimensional division. First level patterns are one-dimensional,
> second level patterns are two-dimensional etc. This means that a Giant is
> three-dimensional, *at least*! It can also be four-dimensional, like a human
Over time, I also have come to think that the "strictly hierarchical" four stacked boxes level
diagram that Pirsig presented in his SODV paper can be misleading, especially in trying to visualize
and understand intellectual patterns and their relationship to others .
Recently I've taken to visualizing Pirsig's diagram as if you were looking at the side of a stack of
very thin transparent colored discs with each level a made up of innumerable discs in shades of one
color. [i.e., Magenta-Intellectual, Cyan-Social, Yellow-organic, and Red-inorganic.] Our experience
, prior to intellectualization, rather than a "strictly hierarchical" stack like Pirsig's diagram is
more like if
you dumped the whole stack on top of a backlit table so that if viewed from above it would be a
complex pattern of colors and shapes ranging from red to magenta and everything in between. And the
order from the table up is not all nice and neat with all the red on the bottom, yellow next, then
cyan and all the magenta on the top but any color can overlay any other [this symbolizing the
currently dominant level in that pattern, King of the Mountain] Even this is a "higher level" of
abstraction because in reality we are down in the pile trying to make sense of not only our own
colors, but those we
come in contact with, and all the while the discs are constantly moving around. No wonder I'm
confused most the time.
Some might say that this model violates the basic tenant of the MoQ with higher levels emerging
from lower with the moral "right" to dominate the lower ones. But emergence and dominance are two
separate issues. From an emergence standpoint the next higher level cannot be present without the
lower to evolve from. Or in other words you will not find an intellectual pattern floating around
all by itself. It's ugly stepchildren social, biological and inorganic will be tagging along
somewhere close. But once two levels exist it is a moral order and choice comes into play. While
higher level "should" and "can" dominate the lower, or the lower "ought not" dominate the higher, in
many cases, as our experience tells us, the opposite occurs. And there are many cases where it is
not only reasonable but crucial to the life that this is possible.
I could go on with the examples but this is getting long so if some one screams, I'll try to clarify.
MOQ.org - http://www.moq.org
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