Re: MD Lila's Child (SOM)

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Sat Aug 02 2003 - 20:05:33 BST

  • Next message: Steve Peterson: "Re: MD Lila's Child (SOM)"

    Hi Platt, (DMB, all)

    > I must have missed some background discussion that prompted your continuum
    > theory.

    No, you didn't. I just butted in with a thought I had on what Bo and Johnny
    were discussing about materialism and idealism in SOM.

    I have been thinking about how the SOMist doesn't realize he has a
    metaphysics and how it's difficult to nail him down on his position. He'll
    generally argue the materialist side that what is really real is that which
    has matter and energy, yet you can't pin materialism on him because he'll
    deny that he excludes consciousness and ideas from reality. He's content to
    live with such giant Platypi, hopping back and forth between materialism and
    idealism--the SOM dance!

    I sometimes think of SOM as substance-mind metaphysics. Does that make
    sense to you?

    >> Would you agree that the MOQ replaces separate subjective and objective
    >> realities that the SOMist must constantly shift between with a single
    >> reality that incorporates the two as on a continuum of experience that is
    >> entirely consistent with the experience of others to experience that is not
    >> at all consistent with the experience of others?

    > First, where is it written that the MOQ replaces S/O?

    I didn't mean to imply that the MOQ replaces SOM if that's what you mean by
    "replaces S/O." I think it rather includes SOM as an intellectual pattern
    or set of intellectual patterns, though S/O is replaced by static/dynamic
    as the first cut of Quality. Would you agree?

    >Second, how can I
    > determine the degree of my consistency of experience with others?

    You can't in an "objective" way. But my experience is that others seem to
    get the same 10 inches as I do when measuring the length of some object,
    but they don't always seem to get the same enjoyment out of the music I

    The SOMist says that the object really is 10 inches long. The object is
    real, and since we all get the same measurement, the experience of the
    object is real as well. It is "objective." On the other hand, the SOMist
    views my appreciation of music as "just subjective," in other words, not
    really real.

    As In understand it, the MOQ blurs this subjective/objective distinction of
    experiences. All humans will participate in very similar biological
    patterns since we all have such similar DNA. Humans in a particular society
    will participate in fairly similar social and intellectual patterns, but
    comparing humans in different societies we will find their social and
    intellectual patterns are quite different.

    I don't think it is important to measure the 'degree of consistency of
    experience with others.' I just see this idea of consistency as an answer
    to the ZAMM question about why all people don't experience Quality the same
    way. The question is asked because what is considered to be really real by
    most is that which we all seem to experience in the same way, in other
    words, that which is "objective." The question turns out not to be as
    simple as objective versus subjective experience. It is not an either/or
    distinction but rather concerns a "forest" of static patterns.

    > if I aspire to intellectual morality, why should I care much about what
    > others experience, others being a social level concern?

    Here we differ on our understanding of the MOQ. I don't think it makes
    sense for a person to "aspire to intellectual morality." I think of the
    levels as types of patterns of value rather than types of people. To me
    intellectual morality refers to the values that holds ideas together and,
    for example, applies to the moral superiority of 2+2=4 over 2+2=5. (Social
    values are that which hold societies and families together, biological
    values hold living things together, and inorganic values hold materials

    What I aspire to and what I see as the moral of the story in Lila is to not
    allow lower level patterns to dominate higher level ones while being open to
    DQ and simultaneously respecting the lower level patterns' role in the
    evolutionary process. Though I think you and DMB will agree that this is
    the type of morality that is recommended by Pirsig, I don't think it makes
    sense to say that this is a description of the morality of the intellectual
    type since most intellectuals are SOMists. The intellectual will surely
    respect intellectual morality and the socialite will respect social morality
    as the character Lila respected biological morality, but the MOQist
    understands and respects the entire hierarchy!

    As for why you should care about what others experience...I'm not sure where
    to start. When you say it is a social level concern I take you to mean it
    is a concern for social level people. (I'm beginning to wonder about this
    intellectual superman type of yours and DMB's. If he doesn't care what
    other's experience, I bet he's not much fun in bed ;-).) Anyway, I was
    thinking of metaphysics rather than types of people, dividing Quality rather
    than people.

    ..which reminds me of when I first thought about this. When Pirsig began
    introducing his static/dynamic cut of Quality, he emphasized that the first
    cut of any metaphysics is the most important. He said that SOM was a
    metaphysics of quality where the first cut was between subjects and objects.
    He also said that he thought of lots of ways of dividing Quality other than
    into subjects and objects. I wondered if anyone thought of any others or if
    other cuts have been discussed before on this list. Do you recall? I
    thought of diving Quality into 'experience that is consistent from person to
    person' and 'experience that is not' as a possibility which led to the
    question I posed earlier to Bo, Johnny, and Squonk.


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