Date: Tue May 11 2004 - 14:50:58 BST
Please look at this Pirsig quote again. I think it says quite a lot about
Mark 11-5-04: dmb, The question is, 'What is a level?' This question has a
metaphysical basis in the MoQ which you are assuming without arguing for. Unless
you argue for the basis of a metaphysical description of what a level is,
people like Sam, who asked the question, will find ways to disagree with you.
The quotes you provide describe how levels form a moral hierarchy, but this
is not dealing with Sam's question.
"The MOQ resolves the relationship between intellect and society, subject
and object, mind and matter, by embedding all of them in a larger system of
understanding. Objects are inorganic and biological values; subjects are
social and intellectual values. They are not two mysterious universes that
go floating around in some subject-object dream that allows them no real
contact with one another. They have a matter-of-fact evolutionary
relationship. That evolutionary relationship is also a moral one."
This passage works as a handy conversion table when switching from SOM to
the MOQ. Subjects and objects are re-concieved as the four levels in the
larger system, but I think the evolutionary relationship that really does
the heavy lifting here.
Mark 11-5-04: Conversion tables are all very well, but we don't have to use
SOM at all. There is nothing stopping a SOMist arguing for evolutionary theory.
SOM creates a gap between subjects and objects that
leads to all kinds of problems.
Mark 11-5-04: I believe there is contained within the archives of this very
forum ample evidence for the veracity of this statement.
Among these is the gulf between mind and
matter, which creates the fictional little man looking out from behind the
eyeballs and the terrible secret loneliness and alienation of our isolated
Mark 11-5-04: The question of what a level is being lost here. If we may
establish an adequate metaphysical basis for a level the dispelling of permanence
Lack of permanence does not however deny the ego. There is ample evidence in
this very forum...
Even the battle between Modernity's correspondance theory and
postmodernism's anti-foundationalists is a result of this fictional gulf.
Mark 11-5-04: ...to suggest ego's are very much alive and kicking.
But by embedding subjects and objects in an evolutionary relationship, this
gap is bridged. (In the MOQ, the social level is like the connecting link
between mind and matter.)
Mark 11-5-04: This does not follow from the MoQ's description of what a level
is. If you can tell us what a level is then we may be able to examine the
validity of your assertions in the light of a value centred metaphysics.
This is why, I think, Pirsig has made a point of
saying that they are connected to each other in this larger system of
understanding and are no longer "two mysterious universes that go floating
around in some subject-object dream that allows them no real contact with
Mark 11-5-04: But what is a level? That is the Topic question for May 2004.
Once the underlying metaphysical assumptions are established the above may or
may not follow, but this is not the question.
The levels allow us to retain important distinctions, but
without creating these unwanted disconnections. The evolutionary
relationship Pirsig describes shows that they are very much in contact with
each other and are tied together in a series of evolutionary struggles.
Mark 11-5-04: There is no social pattern analogous to mathematics. Social
patterns and intellectual patterns are two discrete levels of evolution with no
interest in each other what so ever. This must be understood. There is no
analogous DNA pattern in Inorganic patterns.
When Dynamic Quality initiates a new level, the result is a totally new
configuring of previous patterns which values previous patterning in a negative
way; old patterns are there as a limiting factor in the evolution of the new
"...what the larger intellectual structure of the MOQ makes clear is that
this political battle of science to free itself from domimation by social
moral codes was in fact a MORAL battle!
Mark 11-5-04: A political battle is a social battle. Not an intellectual
How many political battles have you witnessed that have been intellectual?
Politics is run by celebrities, not ideas. Talk is cheap.
Science is valued because it provides political power to those who can
exploit the technology science generates. This must be understood.
Rhetoric is a precursor of science in the true sense of the word, not
Aristotle's, science is art, and is valued by politicians who can master it:
Thus, we can see the internet as a powerful technological tool with which to
disseminate information politicians would rather not have disseminated.
Politicians cannot control the net.
It was the battle of a higher,
intellectual level of evolution to keep itself from being devoured by a
lower, social level of evolution."
Mark 11-5-04: But what IS a level? And how and why do they do what they do?
In the MOQ, the social level has a relationship with both biology and
intellect, but they are very different kinds of relationships. This is a
central point of confusion for SOM, which does not make a distinction
between the social and intellectual levels of "mind".
Mark 11-5-04: dmb, this is all very well, but a reading of Lila tells us
this. You are telling us something we know, and if we don't know it by now, Buddha
The MOQ insists that a
lot of problems can be solved by sorting out those two different
relationships. The moral codes of the social level are designed to keep
biology under control, but in its relationship with intellect the social
level is the junior partner and its considered immoral to exercise control
in that upward direction. As the authors says, "that evolutionary
relationship is also a moral one."
Mark 11-5-04: Evolution from what, to what? What IS evolution and how does a
description of an answer to this Months Topic question help?
I feel i answered this question directly in my post?
Do you feel my answer is inadequate?
All the best,
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