Re: MD liberals, conservatives & suffering

From: Scott R (
Date: Sun Aug 31 2003 - 02:47:30 BST

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    What I think it undermines is not SOM as being superceded by the MOQ, but
    the S/O divide as being superceded. Yes, SOM did not appear until the 17th
    century, in tandem with the scientific revolution. But the S/O divide had
    gradually been developing since long before then. Where Pirsig goes wrong,
    in my opinion, is that, while SOM is a high quality intellectual static
    pattern of value, the S/O divide is not, and he does not make that
    distinction. Since SOL is a given in just about every thought presented here
    and everywhere, there is no way we can say we have superceded it. SOL is
    just "there are things independent of me" (like tigers), and though we can
    claim that Quality "precedes" the divide, that does not make the divide go

    This is why I say that the S/O divide should be seen as a case of the DQ/SQ
    divide. It's too ingrained in us to be called a *static* pattern of value.
    Instead it is how the DQ/SQ divide takes form when we think, perceive, feel,
    and act, in our current stage of consciousness. Even in mathematics, where
    the thoughts are not SOL-based, there is nevertheless a perceived difference
    between the mathematician and the mathematics. Only in peak experiences is
    the divide momentarily overcome.

    - Scott

    ----- Original Message -----
    > Hi Scott,
    > I agreed with what you said here, but I was wondering if you felt it
    undermined the monolith of
    > 'subject-object metaphysics' which is put up by Pirsig as the opposition
    of the MoQ. I'm coming to
    > think that SOM as such only really kicked in after the scientific
    revolution and - as you point
    > out - it doesn't really apply to those intellectual systems (often
    neo-Platonic) which emphasise
    > participation. (As did medieval Christian theology, in parts, of course).
    > Cheers
    > Sam
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Scott R" <>
    > To: <>
    > Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2003 4:09 AM
    > Subject: Re: MD liberals, conservatives & suffering
    > Jim,
    > No, Barfield's 'participation' is not equivalent to 'attitude'. The word
    comes from classical and
    > medieval philosophy, and referred to a commonality between the human and
    the world that allowed the
    > former to know the latter, so the relation between them was seen in the
    middle ages as one of
    > microcosm and macrocosm. Barfield's thesis (based mainly on changes in
    word meanings, anthropology,
    > etc.) is that in earler times that commonality was experienced as a
    spiritual aspect of the world, a
    > stage of consciousness he calls "original participation". Gradually, as
    intellect developed, this
    > experienced spirituality lessened, and finally died out completely by
    around 1500 AD, and so now
    > instead of describing our relation to the world as microcosm/macrocosm, we
    describe it as
    > subject/object. However, according to Barfield, participation has not
    ceased to exist. Rather, we
    > have lost conscious awareness of it. "Final participation" will come about
    when we regain conscious
    > awareness of it, but without losing our intellect.
    > - Scott
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