Re: MD myths and symbols

From: Scott R (
Date: Tue Aug 12 2003 - 00:42:04 BST

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    > > If we drop those SOM assumptions, then we can agree with the Egyptians
    > > that their civilization was built by their gods, and that their gods
    > > weren't numbskulls
    > Egyptians believed that their gods built their civilization? I hadn't
    > heard that one before. Sounds speculative to me. I wonder if the slaves
    > who built the pyramids thought gods lifted those stone blocks into
    > place.

    Look at what they say: (this or that) god or muse inspired me. Prophets
    taught, not thinkers. And so on. By "built", of course, I am referring to
    social patterns, not physical ones.

    > > Now from our point of view, "their gods" has to be
    > > reinterpreted, to be something more like Quality thinking for them, as
    > > Quality thinks for the biological world.
    > How does Quality "think" for the biological world? Can you provide some
    > examples?

    No. I can only say that it is impossible for the biological world to come
    into being from inorganic patterns. This is also unprovable, but so is the
    reverse assumption (materialism).

    > > (In fact it is an open question
    > > in my mind about our own thinking: is it me thinking or is it Quality
    > > thinking through me (distorted by existing patterns)?)
    > Quality "thinks." That's a new one on me. Are you saying that because
    > DQ is the creative force and that what we witness looks as if it was
    > created by thought that DQ thinks and creates with purpose?

    Yes, subject to the mythic qualification. That is to say, Quality thinking
    is not human thinking, and Quality's intentionality is not ours either. Only
    to say that human mental verbs are better at pointing to Quality than human
    physical verbs.

    > P
    > > > Be that as it may, do you also see a distinction between intellect and
    > > > the intellectual level as presented in the MOQ?
    > S
    > > I see a distinction between intellectual products (static patterns of
    > > value) and intellectual activity as being the important one to maintain.
    > > With this distinction it is no difficulty to see that there were
    > > intellectual products as far back as their are records. The issue is the
    > > their source, namely, who or what was doing the intellectual activity
    > > that produced them.
    > You appear to be saying that you doubt that all intellectual activity
    > arises from the human brain, that Pirsig's "collection and manipulation
    > of symbols created in the brain" is only partially right at best.
    > Again, the question: What source of intellect other than the human
    > brain?

    Yes, more than doubt, I'm convinced that the brain cannot produce intellect,
    or sentience for that matter, by itself. But notice that Pirsig says "in the
    brain", not "by the brain". I do not deny that the brain is involved in our
    thinking or sensing, but do deny that the brain's spatiotemporal activity
    alone can produce our thinking or sensing. Pirsig (from LC #67): "The MOQ
    says that Quality comes first, which produces ideas, which produce what we
    know as matter." The brain is matter, so there must have been an idea of the
    brain before the brain. And an unthought idea does not seem to me to make
    much sense, so there must have been (non-human) thinking before there was a
    brain. So, in the human, I would say that ideas and purpose and so forth
    exist independently of the brain, but the brain is used as a tool to make
    them happen in a way that lets them be expressed while we are physical -- to
    align with our sense perceptions, for example. And, of course, so that they
    can be spoken or written.

    - Scott

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