Re: MD Where am I?

From: David Morey (
Date: Tue Oct 05 2004 - 18:48:49 BST

  • Next message: Chuck Roghair: "RE: MD Where am I?"

    Hi all

    I have a general comment, when we discuss too
    much at once we have no hope of understanding.
    Can we all try to discuss one thing at a time more
    in a given thread.

    David M

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Scott Roberts" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 7:29 AM
    Subject: RE: MD Where am I?

    > DMB,
    > > [Scott prev:]
    > > The MOQ says that I am a set of inorganic, biological, social, and
    > > intellectual SQ, capable of responding to DQ. I disagree with this
    > > definition, preferring to think of myself as a locus of DQ/SQ
    > >
    > > [Simon asked:]
    > > What's the difference?
    > >
    > > [Scott answered:]
    > > The difference is that I consider the Dynamic to be a part of me, and
    > > external to me.
    > >
    > > dmb says:
    > > I think this short exchange reveals a misconception on Scott's part. The
    > MOQ
    > > does NOT assert that DQ is "external to me". The MOQ asserts a concept
    > > self that does not allow such a thing to be possible. It is intended to
    > > REPLACE the concept of an isolated self opposed to an external world.
    > > MOQ says there is no self apart from the patterns. You ARE the patterns.
    > And
    > > ultimately these patterns are not seperate from the dynamic reality from
    > > which they emerge. The mystical reality is undivided, but metaphysics
    > > divides it anyway.
    > [Scott:] Then why does he say the self is a set of patterns capable of
    > *responding* to DQ? Saying that divides DQ from SQ unnecessarily. (And
    > 'external' does not imply 'external world'. In theism, for example, God is
    > considered external to the self and the world.) Why does he NOT say that
    > the self is where SQ and DQ meet, for example.
    > Ultimately, yes, there is no separation, which makes it odd that Pirsig
    > makes out that the goal of Zen is to go beyond all SQ.
    > >
    > > [Simon said:]
    > > Both 'me' and 'other than me' are static differentiations therefore
    > neither
    > > can apply to DQ. The MOQ is not dualistic in this sense i.e., the SOM
    > > sense.
    > >
    > > [Scott replied:]
    > > The error of the MOQ (and of SOM, and all nominalisms) is to see
    > > differentiation (categorizing, conceptualizing, etc.) as something that
    > only
    > > intellectual humans do, and as being a static covering up of something
    > prior
    > > and pure and dynamic. Instead, one should, in my view, see
    > > as dynamic and creative. Of course, one should not become attached to
    > > one pattern of differentiation.
    > >
    > > dmb:
    > > I'm trying hard to be polite here, but I have to say that this repeated
    > > point, that intellect (categorizing, conceptualizing, etc.) goes on in
    > > organic and inorganic world is very bad idea. Frankly, I'm tempted to
    > > something insulting about your intelligence. Instead, I'll simply ask
    > > IN THE WORLD DO YOU MEAN? You can't be saying that atoms and worms are
    > > capable of skillfully manipulating abstract symbols, can you? And why
    > would
    > > it be a problem to admit that such things are responding to reality in a
    > > much more primitive and limited way? Why do rocks have to have
    > "intellect".
    > > It seems very clear to me that the pattern of preferences that holds a
    > rock
    > > together has nothing to do with abstract symbols. Within the terms of
    > > MOQ, its just plain wrong and in the larger context of the forum, its
    > > too confusing to describe the first three levels in terms of intellect.
    > Why bother to explain to you what I mean if you pay no attention to it? I
    > said in an earlier post:
    > "Rocks, considered by themselves, are not intellectuals. But a rock is a
    > particular. It points to SQ, the laws of nature, including the laws of
    > rockhood, which are universals, which exist as universals whether or not
    > know what they are. If they were not universals, there could be no Quality
    > evolution, only mindless, mechanical evolution."
    > Since you responded to it, I know you read it, but here you are asking
    > can't be saying that atoms and worms are
    > capable of skillfully manipulating abstract symbols, can you?". It is not
    > atoms or worms that are manipulating symbols. Something Else is (which
    > might be called DQ, or Dynamic Intellect), and in so doing is able to come
    > up with new patterns. The individual atom or worm is a particular that
    > symbolizes the universal (the rules of behavior that they follow). I said
    > it before, rocks do not have intellect. They manifest intellect, much as a
    > word, which considered as ink on paper is meaningless, but as read is
    > meaningful. We normally don't know how to read rocks, though science
    > provides a sort of substitute. Barfield calls the ability to read rocks
    > "final participation". It's where we are headed.
    > >
    > > As for the idea that static patterns cover up, this is just another way
    > > saying that the world is an illusion. Its not to be taken literally. Its
    > an
    > > idea about the ineffable. Its a way of distinquishing the world of
    > everyday
    > > experience from the world as it is revealed in different states of
    > > consciousness. The difference is stark. A mystical experience is often a
    > > life-altering, mind-blowing, and deeply profound experience. I suspect
    > that
    > > if you'd ever had one you'd be far less interesting in undermining the
    > > distinction between that kind of knowledge and intellectual knowledge.
    > [Scott:] I've consistently said that there is a distinction. But what I
    > have said seems to not matter.
    > >
    > > Scott sad:
    > > Or as Nishida Kitaro might put it: the self exists by negating itself,
    > > negates itself by affirming itself. This is an example of his logic of
    > > contradictory identity. If one ignores it, for example, by just
    > > the concept of self, one falls into nihilism, and not the Buddhist
    > > Way". The Middle Way is about keeping one's thinking in an undecidable
    > > state, neither rejecting nor affirming the self.
    > >
    > > dmb sez:
    > > Hmmm. As you've presented it here, I'm having trouble seeing the
    > difference
    > > between the "logic of contradictory identity" and plain old
    > [Scott:] It cannot be understood without actually trying to think it.
    > Here's what I said on it before (in a post to you 9/12):
    > "...any examination of mental activity will bottom out in an irreducible
    > contradictory identity (or polarity), which is that two concepts are
    > needed, which define each other at the same time that they contradict each
    > other. For example, continuity and change, or universal and particular.
    > There is also a third word required, for example, awareness,
    > value, or intellect, that might be said to be "in-between" the other two
    > concepts, and might be said to be produced by their interaction, or might
    > be said to produce the two. Or one might say that all three exist as a
    > triunity. This three-way business is irreducible, hence I assume it is
    > always present in everything. Our intellect, and our language, shows this
    > best. Hence, I say that Intellect and Quality are two names for the same
    > (non)-thing."
    > >
    > > [Scott:] I am aware that Pirsig considers the MOQ to be, as he puts it,
    > > anti-theistic, not just atheistic. Of course he is referring to theism
    > a
    > > belief in a personal God, and there is none of that in the MOQ. However,
    > > unless mysteries like "where does intellect come from" get better
    > > than "DQ created it", the MOQ verges on the theistic.
    > >
    > > dmb says:
    > > Well, the MOQ's explantions might be a mystery to you, but I fail to see
    > how
    > > theism or faith follows from that. The MOQ is not a creation myth, its a
    > > evolutionary metaphysical explanation and its assertions are based on
    > > empiricism.
    > [Scott:] Are they? How does one empirically justify the statement that "DQ
    > is the leading edge of experience"? My senses do not inform me of any
    > leading edge, much less that it is appropriate to call it DQ. But that's a
    > whole other topic, which I address a bit in another response.
    > [DMB:]> Pirsig paints a picture of evolution as a process of ever
    > > expanding levels of value, increasingly complex patterns of preferences.
    > > These patterns do not exist IN the world so much as they ARE the world.
    > And
    > > in within this evolutionary unfolding, one level gives birth to the next
    > so
    > > that intellect is the level that transcends the social level, is born of
    > the
    > > social level of values. I do not find this mysterious in the least.
    > [Scott:] Can you tell me how it is done? That is, how did the social level
    > give birth to the intellectual? Without an account, there is a mystery.
    > [DMB:] > As I
    > > understand it, nothing in the social sciences or biological sciences
    > > contradict this interpretation. And as a student of intellectual
    > > the idea that intellect only arrived on the scene seems not only right,
    > but
    > > absolutely brilliant in terms of explanatory power. The tricky part is
    > when
    > > we turn back to the undivided reality. The tricky part is when we turn
    > back
    > > to the notion that the world is an illusion. And again, we ought not
    > > this too literally, we ought not take this to mean that the world is
    > a
    > > meaningless hallucination. Remember that immediate reality is undivided
    > and
    > > that the DQ/sq split is one of those necessary illusions, one of the
    > > divisions that is inherent to thought and language itself. I think the
    > > paradoxical meaning of Sri Ramana Maharshi's pithy summary expresses
    > > Pirsig is doing with the DQ/sq split....
    > Again, what senses inform us that immediate reality is undivided? I sense
    > things and events, not an immediate reality. This is another whole other
    > topic.
    > - Scott
    > MOQ.ORG -
    > Mail Archives:
    > Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    > Nov '02 Onward -
    > MD Queries -
    > To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Oct 05 2004 - 18:51:26 BST