Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 00:59:40 BST
How about if we think about the levels by taking a look backward?
The idea of levels in Pirsig's thinking goes back to ZAMM, at least.
Mark 12-5-04: Is there textual support for this? You must remember that ZMM
presents many ideas which are abandoned as the MOQ is developed. For example,
the Classic/Romantic split no longer plays any part in the MOQ, and to attempt
to integrate it into the MOQ would be a mistake.
I suspect its
part of the "oldest idea known to man".
Mark 12-5-04: Quality is the oldest idea known to man. Levels are
intellectual postulations and as such may be termed intellectual Quality. Of course,
intellectual Quality is part of evolution theory.
In any case, the quote below we can
almost see what the MOQ levels looked like before they were born. In the
distinctions between physical, mental and value quietness we can see the
biological, the social/intellectual and the Dynamic...
Mark 12-5-04: The MOQ unites the theory of evolution with Quality. ZMM is
concerned with Quality. Lila is concerned with the MOQ.
"This inner peace of mind occurs on three levels of understanding. Physical
quietness seems the easiest to achieve, although there are levels and levels
of this too, as attested by the ability of Hindu mystics to live buried
alive for many days. Mental quietness, in which one has no wandering
thoughts at all, seems more difficult, but can be achieved. But value
quietness, in which one has no wandering desires at all but simply performs
the acts of his life without desire, that seems the hardest." ZAMM 265
Mark 12-5-04: This is the Way - the Tao. Remember the butcher's knife in The
edge of Chaos? The Tao is equated with Quality in ZMM. Lila unites Quality
with evolution theory.
I found a similar notion in The Guidebook to ZAMM. Below, Ron DiSanto is
commenting on the classroom exchange that promted the young Phaedrus to
leave India. When he'd asked his professor if the bombings at Nagasaki and
Hiroshima were just an ILLUSION too, the teacher said only "yes". The
structure of the MOQ was the furthest thing from DiSanto's mind when he made
these comments. In fact, they hadn't yet been born (Or rather published)
yet. Here he is explaining why it was apportiate for the young student from
the West to be shaken by the his techer's apparent indifference to such
slaughter. Still we see the idea of levels expressed in it...
..."I think it important to point out that he might have answered
differently without doing injustice to the tradition. He might have said,
for example, that there are levels of truth and reality. ...we who live on
lower level the level of empirical consciousness, must regard as real and
take very seriously events like Hiroshima, even though we believe that such
events disappear on the highest level. We are where we are, and we shouldn't
pretend to be where we aren't. When we say the things of the world are
mayic, illusory, we are speaking of what is true from a standpoint of the
Mark 12-5-04: The highest level is the viewpoint of the Buddha - the Dynamic
view point - enlightenment. Here there are no differentiation's, because it is
recognised that all (value) differentiation's are imposed. Evolution theory
is a product of differentiated thought. The MOQ unites differentiated thought
with Dynamic Quality.
What's my point?
I suspect reality itself is ranked and ordered somehow and
its not just us imposing our hierarchies.
Mark 12-5-04: I feel your suspicions are perhaps the result of a misguided
interpretation of the 'looking backwards' project. All hierarchies are
impositions. But, some hierarchies are better than others. And what determines which
are better? Quality. Hierarchies are Intellectual Quality.
The idea seems too old, too
pervasive, too useful and too well backed by evidence for us to do anything
but believe it.
Mark 12-5-04: You are talking about Quality, not differentiated reality.
If the universe were not so well ordered and ever striving
for more exquisite forms of quality, how could it have produced Kate
Mark 12-5-04: I laughed until i stopped.
All the best,
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