LS: Trying to Get in Under the Wire

From: Peter O'Neil (poneil@MCI.NET)
Date: Thu Sep 30 1999 - 21:46:26 BST

...tick tock, tick tock... Which time zone takes precedence???
If this makes it to the list any (and all) responses would be
welcome privately.

Hello Everyone:

With the topic focus shifting after today and the
high quantity of high quality posts, I want to
capture (latch onto) some of the ideas I've found
intriguing. I do this to help make sense of them
for myself and to introduce more of my experiences
with these posts to you.

As will become clear, I'm "mind-numbingly unclear"
on many of them. But I agree with DLT that this is
very GOOD! Perhaps this state of being "mind-
numbingly unclear" is a kind of half-way house
transition between SOM and the MOQ. Part of the
sought after transformation procedure.

Perhaps it can be (is) the squad's motto. :-)

First a debt of gratitude to Bo for suggesting the
topic, responding to my private SOLAQI query
and prodding me to "de-cloak" and stop lurking,
and to all the contributors for raising the bar on
intellectual humility and honesty. Having members
from around the globe is a great way to keep from
being too parochial. I will try to keep up with your
boundless energy and your deep penetrating
thoughtfulness towards the posts in the months
ahead. My ability to do so, however, remains to be
seen. :-) Especially since I've been running 4-5
days behind. This post is more of a scattered,
impressionist shot gun blast as I try to beat the clock.

Re-reading Greek history again _post_ Pirsig (AP)
gave the writings a meaning I never saw or understood
_pre_Pirsig (BP). Going back in time and becoming
re-grounded in the battle of the Good vs the Truth
has very High Value for me.

The notion of "mind at the social level" that Bo and
David B discussed early in the month has stuck with me.
It seems that much of what commonly passes for
ideas (Intellect) more properly fits at the social level.
Most everyday conversations seem to reflect a non-
deliberateness or unawareness or a dis-connect between
the words used and their meaning. Why are (how can)
people, no matter what their formal level of education or
training be referred to as "clue full" or "clueless." The origin
of the apparent distinction seems to be that the latter group
has a heavy dose of social conformity and not using Intelligence
to reflect on or question underlying assumptions. How
does one "flip" from one to the other? Anyway, the
"mind at the social level" might be a good future topic.

Marco wrote: "...we must live with a continual doubt about
truth, opinion,...about everything. Doubts are necessary if
you want to be Dynamic." When I read this I started
wondering "what is doubt?" Is it the (Pirsigian) sense
we experience when truth is not enough or when words
fail to adequately capture and describe experience?
This too seems like a whole new topic.

Diana's noting the language discussion of Sept '97 sent
me reading that month's posts and added to my respect
for all you who've been struggling with these issues since
the squad formed. It also demonstrated how as issues
and topics are returned to after the passage of time how
much farther along (evolutionarily speaking) the dialogue
is and the Quality of the members contributions. Your
experiences with each other, just as our experiences
re-reading Pirsig, always result in new meanings and value.

The map metaphor (taking a step back) introduced by Diana,
later expanded by Magnus with the coffee cup, and recursive
ability are important Intellect level tools. I think Marco and Bo
are onto something about using the notion of "intelligence"
to mean something different than the Intellect level. There
appeared to be consensus during the "Bi-Cameral Mind"
posts that brain development (emergence of intelligence ??)
was/is a significant contributor. We'll have to see how this
plays out if Diana's "what's next behind door number 5"
gathers more preferred votes for October.

The many posts on and about language started by Denis
really got everyone's juices flowing. Denis and Roger you are
to be commended for pushing me (us) so far out to the edge that
I started asking myself fundamental (ontological) questions
like "do I really understand Pirsig or have I been caught in
some blind rut and can't see beyond my nose?" You've
provided much to be further considered and highlighted
how little I've thought about the role of language in the MOQ.
Given that you (Denis) are apparently a linguistics graduate
student, perhaps you can post some web accessible papers
(preferred) or books. Here in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
language research is dominated by Noam Chomsky (past)
and Steve Pinker (present). What is the Parisian view? As I
read your posts, you seem to be with Pinker in conceiving
of language as an "instinct". Yes? No? I fully concur with
your Sept 26th post: "we don't really understand the social
level at all, IMO." We've been in it most of our lives, now
trying to stand on our tippy toes we can see part way out
but not all the way yet.

David B helps keeps (my) feet on the ground: "It seems language
is common to both social and intellectual levels but as Denis
described there is an important distinction. Language is social
because it holds and conveys meaning, but Linguistics is
intellectual. Meta-language is intellectual. Talking is social.
Talking about talking is intellectual."

Rather than language as the beginning of the Intellectual level,
language appears to mark the social level achieving
independence from the biological level and latching on.
As the language ability continued to evolve and include
recursive reflection, perhaps we see the seeds of the Intellect
germinating and sprouting. As Pirsig and David quote
  Niels Bohr, "We are suspended (socially) in language."
Language is an expressive means to communicate our
customs, norms, ways of doing things, as well as ideas,
emotions, meanings, patterns (of our experiences). I concur
with Magnus: "A language is nothing without intellectual
patterns..." and Marco: Social > Language > Intellect [or
intelligence (my insert)] > Int Level; the "emergence of
Language was the first small step of Intellect [intelligence].

The Denis & Roger vs Bo & David tag team match was/is
great spectator sport. :-) I must admit to experiencing more
comfort in an odd way with Bo & David. I say odd because
their posts required me to think and work harder to appreciate
their points of view. I find Denis & Roger's posts easier to
read and easier to agree with. So easy that the seductiveness
feeling was uncomfortable and started me wondering if the
"big easy" is the all in the "mind" fallacy trap. Also, I can
have pictures in my head of ideas, characters, events, etc
as models that I can "run" as simulations but never be able
to fully describe in words without a whole lot of difficulty if
ever. Words are not necessary for me to think about some
parts of or even all of the model (IPoV). Our pre-intellectual
experience of reality (aka Dynamic Quality) is wordless, yet
we very much sense it, value it, and THEN make meaning
(translate it into SQ words & ideas).

Given the subsequent back and forth posts, I believe both teams
are actually close to each other in intended outcome and meaning,
but (wide) gaps still remain in being able to describe/express/
find the necessary bridging language. Since I'm still in a
relatively early evolutionary phase understanding the MOQ
(asking more questions than having answers) compared to
the rest of you, I certainly could be all wrong here.

Another issue that I still struggle with grasping is Bo's
SOM = Intellect, even when mid-month he says its "misleading,
therefore SOLAQI (Subject-Object Logic as Q-Intellect)."
An important insight (delusion??) for me this month is, as noted
above, the notion of a "social mind". I am very comfortable with
SOM = social mind but am probably just displaying my
naiveness about the SOLAQI as it relates to the MOQ
in saying this. Bo, Quality (Dynamic Quality) is beyond
and all around Intellect. Its almost like SOM is stuck
somewhere between the Social and Intellect levels and
its that "stuckness" that is confusing (at least for me).
Bo says "SOM's parent is the Social level! That makes
SOM and Intellect identical. Exactly."

Yes, I see SOM's parent as the Social level and SOM
as Intellect competing as a (the dominant) IPoV with
value and the Good. I need to re-read this months posts.

The transformation procedure - do we need one or many?
How do we know what one looks like? I suspect lots of
tests will be required. Any volunteers? :-)

Riskybiz9 writes:
"The MOQ isn't the verge of a new fifth level, it is a crucial
stage in the evolution of the Intellect. Intellect is leaving
the primal waters of mythology (even the scientific one)
and is learning to walk on its feet! And the firm ground
under them is QUALITY."

Yes, well said.

David B your Sept 25th LS Substance and stuff writing
is superb and again helps keep feet firmly on the ground
preventing wild flights into abstract distractions.

Marco, I've enjoyed your Latin and Greek language
derivation lessons this month. As one who spent two years
taking Latin in high school (and enjoying it), it has been
nice to be reminded of its importance and usefulness today.

And this too:

"Now we have a new form of Agora, the NET, and new forms
of school groups like MOQ.ORG. If we look at the present
situation, the NET is a big risk for the GIANT. And the Giant
is afraid."

Thanks everyone. This has been an exhilarating month.

Go Brujo Go!

Peter -

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