RE: MD Is the MoQ still in the Kantosphere?

From: Paul Turner (
Date: Tue Dec 21 2004 - 19:04:07 GMT

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD Is the MoQ still in the Kantosphere?"

    Hi Sam, Chin

    Sam said:
    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.

    I think this is incorrect from a metaphysical categorisation point of
    view but there is something in what you say which I'll get to below.
    From the point of view of the MOQ as a metaphysical system there is this
    quote, taken from a transcription of a Lecture Pirsig gave on the MOQ in

    "When I was talking about [Quality] in ZMM I was referring primarily to
    Dynamic Quality."

    Therefore I think static quality is best understood as a dialectical
    addition, made in LILA, to the MOQ as laid out in ZMM and that Quality
    is not a third metaphysical entity but has actually been divided into
    two - its static and Dynamic aspects.

    Sam said:
    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.


    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.

    I'm not sure about that statement. First of all, a static pattern cannot
    be DQ; DQ is that which is not patterned. Secondly, Pirsig says that DQ
    *is* absolute in the sense that pure value, experienced as such, is the
    same for everyone. This quote is, again, from the 1993 lecture.

    "Dynamic Quality is the only part of Quality described in ZMM. It is the
    part of Quality about which everyone agrees. The experience of Dynamic
    Quality is the same for everyone, it is only the experiences and objects
    which are mentally associated with the experience which are different.
    There is no difference in the liking when the liking is independent of
    the things liked."

    I think that, generally speaking, experience is a combination of both
    static and Dynamic aspects of Quality together and both aspects
    contribute towards an overall value judgement. In this sense,
    *experience* is "relativised" but the DQ aspect of experience remains

    "Dynamic Quality is universal. No-one says that his liking for beans is
    any different to someone else's liking for carrots independently of the
    beans and carrots involved. When the differences occur they are the
    result of the static patterns which vary from one person to another."
    [Pirsig, AHP Lecture, 1993]

    Sam said:
    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.

    There is a problem that comes from intellectualising something which is
    best "understood" non-intellectually and the MOQ suffers from this. This
    quote, yet again from the 1993 lecture, touches on the problem.

    "There is the Quality of Zen and there is the Quality of the MOQ and
    they are not the same thing anymore because the MOQ is an intellectual
    static pattern and already it's been polluted plenty to get into that
    pattern. All of a sudden you're taking sides. You're picking and
    choosing and in Zen you're not supposed to do that. I'll give you that
    koan: 'the way is not difficult but it avoids picking and choosing.'
    That's a famous koan and the quality that is Quality is arrived at not
    by picking and choosing."

    But I think it is incorrect to try and make a *metaphysical* distinction
    between "Quality (the true nature of reality as undivided) and Dynamic
    Quality (the pre-intellectual cutting edge **which we experience**)." I
    think they are one and the same and the distinction is actually between
    how this one "thing" is understood by the "picking and choosing" of
    metaphysics and how it is understood by the direct simple experience of



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