RE: MD What is a living being?

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sat Apr 26 2003 - 19:59:53 BST

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD the quality of eliminating taxes"

    Howdy Paul and y'all:

    dmb says:
    As I understand it, Paul is having trouble with the compatibility of these
    two statements...

    Pirsig writes:
    Lila is a cohesion of changing static patterns of
    Quality. There isn't any more to her than that. Ch 11

    Pirsig writes:
    Static patterns can't by themselves perceive or adjust
    to Dynamic Quality. Only a living being can do that.
    Ch 13

    Paul said:
    So the point is: If you add the statements together,
    Lila is no more than a cohesion of static patterns of
    Quality, therefore Lila can't perceive or adjust to
    Dynamic Quality.

    dmb says:
    This is easy. The heart of the issue centers on two key phrases: "a cohesion
    of static patterns" and "static patterns can't by themselves". Think of the
    cohesion as a forest. Elsewhere in the book, Pirsig describes persons as
    forests of static patterns, meaning a collection of various static patterns
    from various levels. That is the MOQ's definition of people. It is only the
    constituent static patterns in isolation, by themselves, that can't respond.
    Seen this way, the two statements don't contradict each other in any way.

    Paul says:
    Therefore, if living beings can perceive or adjust to
    Dynamic Quality they must be more than a cohesion of
    static patterns of Quality, which Pirsig states that
    Lila (a living being) isn't.

    dmb says:
    Think of it like this; when the cohesion that holds a living being together
    is broken, that is death. That is when the static patterns start to break
    down into their constituent parts and you become worm food.

    Paul said:
    Where does 'the ability to respond to DQ' come from?
    Pirsig clearly states that Static patterns of Quality
    don't have that ability 'by themselves'.
    dmb says:
    Where does it come from? Where does the universe and life come from? Hell, I
    don't know. Who does? I think the MOQ is based on what we observe about the
    world. The ability of static forms to respond is demonstrated in
    evolutionary movements among life forms, within social structures and in our
    intellectual descriptions. We can see it operate in the world on many levels
    even if the origins of it all are a mystery.

    Paul said:
    I'm not trying to find holes in the MoQ, I just don't
    see where 'living beings' (if no more than static
    patterns of Quality) get the ability to respond to DQ
    from (within the MoQ framework) when it is made clear
    that SPOQ don't have that ability. Are they a special
    category of static patterns? Do some SPOQ have the
    ability to respond, contrary to Pirsig? It seems that
    you have to add your own solution, for an interesting
    example, see Wim's response to this post.

    dmb says:
    I disagree with Wim and am deeply saddened by this suggestion. If the MOQ is
    properly understood no additional solutions are needed. Its a case of
    carpeting the world rather than simply putting on a pair of warm slippers.
    I'm almost, but not quite, angry about that kind of approach. As the result
    of it, I think the answers you recieved from Wim and others were misleading
    and confusing, if not flatly incorrect.

    Let me close by saying WELCOME and by saying the obvious; some people
    understand the MOQ better than do others, so be skeptical of what's posted

    Thanks for your time,

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