Re: MD Is the MoQ still in the Kantosphere?

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Tue Dec 21 2004 - 03:57:38 GMT

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD Understanding Quality And Power"

    Hi Chin,

    > I stopped my reading long enough to answer to this. It was my understanding
    > that you stated something to the nature that you can't have a mystical
    > experience outside the tradition, and that in order to have a mystical
    > experience, you first had to master the tradition. This is where I thought
    > you were getting mysticism confused with SQ/DQ. If I am wrong in my
    > translation of what you actually said, I'd be tickled to hear what you meant
    > as this is where I felt we were so far apart.

    It's the emphasis on 'mystical experience' as such which I think is misleading. I think there are
    spiritual paths; I think the point of the spiritual path is to walk along it; I think the emphasis
    on 'experience' is derived from empiricism, and if you don't at some level buy into empiricism
    (which I don't, but which the MoQ does, despite it being part of SOM) then it's not "experience"
    which validates the mysticism. More broadly, I don't know what it would mean to have a mystical
    experience that was completely separate from a wider understanding. If you have an experience which
    cannot be described then you cannot describe it, which means that you cannot make it a part of who
    you are, it's not part of your self-description. As soon as you are able to talk about it, then
    you're using the language that has shaped you to incorporate the experience into your on-going
    narrative. This is why Christian nuns don't dream about the Buddha, not because the Buddha and
    Christ represent two different styles of mysticism. If you study the reports of religious experience
    (go to for a sample) you'll see that people always describe
    them using their own language (not a surprise, surely?), and that the experiences reported are
    diverse. There isn't a 'common core' to which they all correspond, lying beneath the different
    descriptions. 'Sometimes the whole weight is in the picture', as Wittgenstein once said, ie not in
    an intellectual abstraction from the picture.

    What I was most disagreeing with DMB about was his comment "As the JNANI website explains, Western
    religions tend to be of the devotional sort and tend to deny that there is any other kind. It seems
    pretty clear to me that this has been your position, Sam." I'm not denying jnani at all, so far as I
    understand it, nor do I think I, or pretty much anyone who contributes to a forum like this, could
    be accurately described as having a bhakti orientation. (BTW I think his website is full of #!$ when
    it's describing Christianity, but I can't see the point in running through all the places why. I
    will if someone's interested).

    > Sam says) - This was a surprise to me, but it ties in with the
    > various discussions we've had here and in the MF section, especially about
    > whether Quality is
    > separate from DQ/SQ (my perspective) or whether DQ and SQ are in a
    > source/expression relationship
    > (your point of view, as I recall).
    > This is also confusing to me, as I felt Quality was actually divided into
    > SQ/DQ, the SQ was the definable Quality, while DQ was not definable, and
    > that you only knew it was DQ once it became a creation that then became SQ.
    > It is a matter of SQ discreation and DQ creation, but neither are dependent
    > on the other.
    > If everything is Quality, how could Quality be outside anything?

    This is from a post I sent to MF in April: As I understand the MoQ there are three elements:
    Quality, Dynamic Quality and Static Quality.

    Quality is reality.
    Dynamic Quality is the pre-intellectual cutting edge of reality
    Static Quality is the pattern of value that dynamic quality leaves in its wake

    So in terms of how we can understand and explain our experience (experience being the basic 'stuff'
    of reality - and the MoQ being a variant of empiricism) what we have are: our static patterns (eg
    our accumulated language); our 'dim apprehensions of things too obscure for its existing language'
    which is DQ; and we also have all those things which we don't have any comprehension or intimation
    of whatsoever - the totally unknown and unknowable.

    The reason why DQ and Quality need to be distinguished is because if they are identified then the
    MoQ collapses into solipsism, in other words, MY appreciation of DQ is not contextualised by my
    static patterns that have led me to this point; no, my appreciation of DQ is a direct appreciation
    of all that there is.

    Quality is bigger than DQ. But DQ is the interface between any particular set of static patterns and
    Quality itself. It's like saying a person is the skin - because the skin is what you touch, what you
    relate to. But there's more to a person than the skin - to argue otherwise is superficial.

    I think the heart of what I am trying to argue is that DQ is a relative term not an absolute term.
    Whether a particular pattern is DQ or not depends upon its relationship with the SQ surrounding it.
    When Socrates was teaching his students he was teaching them to realise something that he already
    knew - that didn't make it any less dynamic *for them*, ie for the static patterns that were
    interacting with Socrates' static patterns.

    So when you (DMB) say: "The true nature of reality is undivided. That's the pre-intellectual cutting
    edge of experience" I think you are eliding the distinction between Quality (the true nature of
    reality as undivided) and Dynamic Quality (the pre-intellectual cutting edge **which we
    experience**) because the latter is relative to the static patterns it is based in.

    I still consider Quality to be the mystical reality, and the reason why the MoQ works is because it
    is an 'open' system, that is, it allows for an appreciation of the unexpected, and therefore room to
    change. But DQ changes, when they have Quality and are not degenerate, result in SQ fallout, and the
    process carries on and repeats and repeats, journeying ever deeper into Quality itself. DQ is the
    lure that draws us on, it is not the destination. And that DQ can operate through existing SQ
    patterns, dependent on the interaction with other SQ patterns. When the baby discovers how to walk,
    this is surely a DQ moment - even though it has been done millions of times before.


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