Re: MD Where does quality reside?

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Sun Oct 31 2004 - 15:54:52 GMT

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD Static and dynamic aspects of mysticism and religious experience"

    Hi Platt, Sam...

    On 31 Oct 2004 at 5:58, Mark Steven Heyman wrote:
    > msh wrote:
    > > He then goes on to say that Quality, in fact, is the ultimate ONE
    > > and that subjects and objects are created by it. This is the
    > > Quality that becomes the fundamental reality of the MOQ he
    > > attempts to define in LILA.

    platt said:
    > The ultimate ONE sounds God-like to me.

    > msh said:
    > Yes. Similar, I'd say, but without all those troublesome human
    > projections: Not loving or caring, but not hateful either, or
    > cunning or vengeful; without expectations or desire; without
    > opinions: no favored people or nations or baseball teams. Nothing
    > to kill or die for.

    to which platt replied:
    Pirsig is clear that DQ (the creative side of Quality) does care and
    has a burning desire for -- freedom.

    "Dynamic Quality is the pre-intellectual cutting edge of realty, the
    source of all things, completely simple and always new. It was the
    moral force that had motivated the brujo in Zuni. It contains no
    pattern of fixed rewards and punishments. Its only perceived good is
    freedom and its only perceived evil is static quality itself-any
    pattern of one-sided fixed values that tries to contain and kill the
    ongoing free force of life." (Lila, 9)

    msh says:
    I really like this paragraph. It says a lot about Quality, although
    it doesn't imply that Quality cares, only that it perceives. But I
    think we need to guard against mistaking analogy for fact. There is
    a sense in which the Sun "gives" life, but is it the same sense in
    which I give my nephew a bicycle? Human beings tend to sprinkle
    their discussions with poetry, (see?), especially personification.
    So when Pirsig here says Quality "perceives" the good of freedom. the
    evil of fixed values, I think he's speaking poetically, using
    analogy to make his point.

    sam also replied to msh:
    Does quality value? In other words, does Quality have preferences? I
    just have a suspicion that something crucial gets lost if we say no.

    msh says:
    As soon as you say that Quality has preferences, (if you mean it
    literally, not poetically), you've already personified Quality.
    Once you've made that personification, I guess there's no reason to
    avoid saying that Quality is the God of Abraham and Isaac, and yada
    yada yada. But this leap, for me, doesn't answer the mystery of
    existence; it merely adds another layer of clutter to my ontological

    sam asked:
    What does it mean to say that a valuation which we make (a phrase
    that needs unpacking and clarifying itself) - what does it mean to
    say that a valuation which we make is a discernment of Quality, or a
    response to Quality, or however we want to describe it?

    msh says:
    To me, the most useful analogy is to limit all of Reality to our
    solar system and think of Quality as the Sun. So, it's not inert;
    it's not a linguistic abstraction; and it doesn't "lure" anything
    anywhere. It's warmth and light nourishes and illuminates, and makes
    evolution possible without CAUSING evolution. Allowing a bit of
    personification for the purposes of the analogy, I'd say the Sun
    doesn't care about the earth or its inhabitants, not about Mark or
    Sam or Platt, or even the Boston Red Sox. Although this lack of
    caring and purpose seems to bother many people, it doesn't bother me
    because * I * care, * I * love, * I * create my own purposes. This
    is the ultimate Freedom, so what's not to like?

    Anyway, to get back to the subject of this thread, I say that Quality
    resides in everything. But we sometimes require some tuning to see

    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)

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