Re: MD Making sense of it (levels)

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Fri Apr 18 2003 - 10:20:59 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"

    Dear Scott,

    You wrote 17 Mar 2003 21:20:34 -0700:
    'My position is that Barfield has a much more thorough analysis of the
    difference between what Pirsig calls the social and intellectual levels than
    Pirsig does, and that without this analysis one cannot fully understand it.
    Hence the debates on this forum on what the intellectual level is. As I
    said, Barfield nailed this, while Pirsig is less definitive.

    I should add that I am not saying that there was no thinking until about 500
    BC. Rather, what happened then was starting to regard thinking as "my"
    thinking, and hence the birth of the subject and of the object.

    So, yes, there was always an intellectual level ("In the beginning was the
    Word"), but it only began to center itself in the individual human being
    around 500 BC.'

    It seems a bit inconsistent to me to say that Barfield dinstinguishes the
    social and intellectual levels better than Pirsig does, to accept Barfield's
    dating of the transition at about 500 BC and then to say that 'there was
    always an intellectual level'.
    Do you still have problems with dating that 'beginning' of the intellectual
    level at the origin of homo sapiens (50.000 - 100.000 years ago) and with
    identifying the distinction described by Barfield with a step in
    intellectual evolution and not with the step from social to intellectual

    I won't say that Pirsig was very clear, not in 'Lila' at least. His
    annotations in 'Lila's Child' provide essential additional clarity. My
    distinction between the social and intellectual levels as unthinking
    habitual (but not DNA encoded) behavior versus conscious motivations for
    action seems definitive enough to me, however.

    With friendly greetings,


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