Re: MD The centrality of mysticism

Date: Wed Aug 06 2003 - 01:52:14 BST

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    DMB said:
    Yes. Its a confusing and monsterous phrase. Let's kill it. But I'd like to
    point out that those are the kind of phrases we're likely to re-encounter if
    you insist on reading "correspondence theories" into comments about
    creativity and spirituality. I mean, a large part of what I'm trying to say
    here is that such criticism don't make sense there. Correspondence theories
    and their rivals revolve around epistemological disputes. I was talking
    about art and the divine. The criticism you raised can rightly be applied to
    discussion of realism, idealism and other creatures of SOM, but it just
    doesn't make any sense in discussions of mysticism.

    You may be right. But I keep seeing metaphysico-epistemological points being made, so that's usually when I say something. When art and the divine make a claim to truth, I'm not so sure how to read that other than in a metaphysical or epistemological manner, quite possibly because that's how they've always been read before and I haven't seen anything to persuade me that they should be read a different way. But if you are just talking about art and the effect it has on a person, than yeah, no claims about knowledge there. Divinity I see very tied up in metaphysics, so I'm sure how else to read it, but I'll try and be attentive.

    DMB said:
    The distinction between static and Dyanmic
    Quality is flatened to the difference between stale and fresh, obsolete and
    functional. While newness and novelty are sometimes associated with DQ, the
    distinction goes way beyond that. You're really just talking about static
    quality and leaving the DQ of it. You're only talking about what's been left
    behind in the latest wake of DQ, as opposed to what was fresh in the olden
    days. Obviously, since DQ and sq are the first and most primary division in
    the MOQ, this is no small thing.

    I don't understand this. Or, at least, I'm not sure what you think I've left out, though I'm almost positive I have left something out that Pirsig wanted in, namely (at the least), DQ as undifferentiated experience, which makes no sense to the pragmatist.

    And I don't think I'm only talking about what's left behind. Hope is future orientated.

    And as far as cultural immune systems are concerned, everyone has them, we can't get rid of them. Our only hope, as ironists, is to react against them and try and take in new things, other ways of speaking. Pragmatists don't suppress mysticism. Pragmatism only makes the negative philosophical point that we should leave metaphysics and epistemology to a bygone era. And since occording to you mysticism has nothing to do with either metaphysics or epistemology, there's no conflict. If there is a conflict, it occurs somewhere else in a person's web of beliefs and desires.

    It seems to me that the same squinty-eyed approach to mysticism that you accuse me of can be applied to your approach to pragmatism. After all, you say, "It seems to me that all the pragmatist rejection of metaphysics, correspondence theories, foundations or seemingly any kind of truth claim whatsoever, are just an extension and even an exaggeration of the very thing Pirsig seeks to overcome." Saying "seemingly any kind of truth claim whatsoever" is an obvious misreading, I mean, misunderstanding of the pragmatist's negative point about truth.


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