MD Re: Kantosphere >> Pirsig 1993 Lecture ?

From: Ian Glendinning (
Date: Wed Dec 22 2004 - 21:18:40 GMT

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    Is that 1993 "AHP" lecture transcript available in the public domain ?
    I've not noticed this before. Could you give me a reference, and any
    background on how it came to be given ?

    Whilst we're on the subject, does anyone know anything about Pirsig's
    editorial supplement to his father's book in 1998, one year after his death.

    BTW the content of your post is very significant to me.
    Explains why I fall for the "quality" of ZMM (DQ), but not the metaphysics
    of Lila, despite being sold on the taxonomy of seeing distinct SQ and DQ
    parts of the whole.
    Thanks for this.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Paul Turner" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 7:04 PM
    Subject: 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.
    > Paul:
    > 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
    > 1993:
    > "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.
    > <snip>
    > 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.
    > Paul:
    > 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
    > absolute.
    > "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.
    > Paul:
    > 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
    > mysticism.
    > Regards
    > Paul
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