Re: MD Dealing with S/O

From: Scott R (
Date: Wed Oct 01 2003 - 03:46:01 BST

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    > From the narrow viewpoint of SOM, yes. But I think the MOQ offers a more
    > expansive viewpoint. Of course intellect is subjective but it is not
    > subjectivity itself. For example, in Robert Pirsig's hot stove experiment,
    > he says the mystic will tend to jump off the stove faster than the
    > intellectual. Intellectual patterns of value tend to take us farther away
    > from reality instead of bringing us closer.

    I questioned this interpretation in a recent post to Platt, to which no one
    has replied. Here it is again (I've added another bit at the end):

    "When the person who sits on the stove first discovers his low-Quality
    situation, the front edge of his experience is Dynamic. He does not think,
    "This stove is hot", and then make a rational decision to get off. A "dim
    perception of he knows not what" gets him off Dynamically. Later he
    generates static patterns of thought to explain the situation." [Lila, ch.

    Pirsig seems to be ignoring his own warning about confusing the MOQ meaning
    "dynamic" and "static" with the way the words are used in physics. There is
    nothing Dynamic, in the MOQ sense, in jumping off the stove. Instead, it is
    the body following the static biological pattern, called a reflex. In fact,
    the only way the Dynamic could come into play in this situation is if
    someone highly disciplined in mindfulness is so focused on the here and now
    that he could block the reflex and stay on the stove. So (in the next
    paragraph) where Pirsig guesses that the mystic will get off sooner than the
    subject-object scientist, I think he has it backwards. In practice, of
    course, they will get off at the same time, since they will both obey the
    reflex, but it is the mystic who has the possibility of choosing to get off.

    [Added now]. One might object that I am ignoring the business of the "front
    edge of his experience", but why should I postulate that there is such a
    "front edge"? All this example shows is that a biological reaction happens
    more quickly than thought.

    - Scott

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