Re: MD Socratic Mysticism and Pirsig

From: MarshaV (
Date: Thu Dec 16 2004 - 19:40:43 GMT

  • Next message: MarshaV: "Re: MD Socratic Mysticism and Pirsig"

    At 12:19 PM 12/16/2004 +0000, Sam wrote:
    >Mystics are those who know the tradition so well that they are free to
    >develop or change it; or, to bring out and make explicit those Qualities
    >within the tradition that had previously been hidden. It's what Pirsig
    >talks about when he describes the welder, or when he describes the art of
    >motorcycle maintenance - the motorcycle and the mechanic are one, and
    >there is a complete fluidity, a complete absence of constraint - but it is
    >*specifically* built on all that has gone before. I think this is also
    >what Mark Maxwell is talking about when he describes the 'sweet spot' of
    >coherent static patterns. Which is why I don't think you can get to that
    >stage unless you have first attained some sort of mastery of the
    >accumulated static patterns; it would be like a novice mechanic getting
    >'with it' and shearing the threads off a screw because he hadn't yet
    >acquired the basic 'feel' for how tightly to twist it. Such a novice
    >mechanic, if they then turned round and claimed to be 'with it, going with
    >the flow, in tune with the cosmos etc' would be considered a right prat -
    >(we're back to my spiritual masturbation point again) - in other words
    >there are always criteria for assessing the Quality of what is claimed to
    >be mystical.

    Dear Sam and Chin,

    I don't agree with the master/novice analogy. It's more being in total
    awareness. That can happen to a novice with very little training, if he's
    in total concentration, or mindfulness. You don't necessarily need many
    years, or a teacher. But they might help a lot if one tends to overthink
    everything. Do you think their are levels of mystical experience?


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