Re: MD Dealing with S/O

From: Dan Glover (
Date: Fri Oct 03 2003 - 23:50:39 BST

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    Hello everyone

    >Subject: Re: MD Dealing with S/O
    >Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 18:48:13 +0200
    >Hi Dan.
    >2 Oct. you wrote:
    >BO prev:
    > > >A very short version of my objection is that most people - Pirsig
    > > >included - tend to define intellect as the ABILITY to manipulate
    > > >symbols. I want it to be the value of the symbol/experience DIVIDE
    > > >itself. Can you see the connection to ZMM about "gravity sitting 'out
    > > >there' waiting for Newton to discover it"? Like P. of ZMowards a I
    > > >that there were no symbols (different from experience) until the
    > > >intellectual value CREATED this schism, while so many want to see
    > > >symbols "sitting out there" waiting for someone to start manipulating
    > > >them.
    > > I remember you once brought up Helen Keller as an example of how the
    > > intellectual level operates. Recently I happened across a biography of
    > > Ms. Keller and enjoyed reading it very much. In it, she mentioned how
    > > she had a sudden insight when her teacher ran water over one hand
    > > while spelling "water" in the other. Until that moment, Ms. Keller
    > > didn't understand how to collect and manipulate symbols. I think you
    > > could say at that moment, she suddenly understood subject and object
    > > metaphysics. But it was her intellect that allowed that understanding,
    > > not subject object metaphysics itself. So I don't see how SOM can be
    > > the intellect in this case.
    >First let me say that I am sorry to have alienated you. Squonk's
    >opinion I could not care less for, but with you it's different. I may have
    >a cocksure style, but this I have practiced from day one. Likewise
    >have I wielded my SOLAQI idea unto exhaustion, so what's wrong all
    >of a sudden? I can't see the great sin in pointing to things we
    >disagree with - with each other and even with Pirsig.

    Hi Bo

    You haven't alienated me at all; my apologies if I've made it seem so.
    There's nothing wrong with your SOLAQI and I didn't mean to suggest there
    is. I just don't agree with where you're taking it -- that doesn't mean it's
    wrong. While I may not be championing the idea you know I've at least tried
    to understand what you're saying to the best of my ability. There's nothing
    wrong all of a sudden, rather the work I put into Lila's Child has perhaps
    changed how I once viewed the MOQ. I trust my viewpoint has changed for the
    better but there are times when I wonder...

    Hopefully you know I'm not being abusive like some people in the discussion
    group are prone to being. I'm just here to understand and make myself

    >You are right about Helen Keller "suddenly understanding the S/O"
    >but her initiation was so special as to be called "through the back
    >door". As Pirsig says in his letter, ancient cultures had language yet
    >weren't Q-intellectuals. Now, most people - ancient and modern -
    >usually learn to speak as very young by hearing, but HK was deaf and
    >blind and had no language before the said episode, so she entered
    >the S/O reality simultaneously with (slightly ahead of even) language.
    >In a flash she understood the difference between the symbol realm
    >and the "water" realm. After that she quickly developed the skill of
    >manipulating symbols. While - as said - people of old could speak and
    >thus manipulated symbols without being on the intellectual level.
    >About "intellect that allow understanding" is the fallacy of treating
    >INTELLIGENCE as the INTELLECTUAL level. This Pirsig also does
    >and it creates a lot of confusion. (see my comments to the letter in a
    >coming message)

    Let's consider the person who attempts to teach a dog to read and write.
    Surely no matter how many times they write "water" in one paw while running
    water over another paw, the dog will not form an understanding as to what
    the person is attempting to communicate. The dog lacks the intelligence to
    understand an intellectual symbol like a word. A dog has evolved other
    traits to survive.

    > > I'm not sure how the integrity of the MOQ as RMP envisions it can be
    > > maintained without coming to an understanding with annotation #67. It
    > > ties in with so much of his thinking that rejecting it amounts to
    > > rejecting the MOQ. We are of course free to develop our own
    > > metaphysics but like Mr. Pirsig says, it should be named something> else
    >to prevent any confusion.
    >I met the MOQ through ZMM and LILA and it is this I defend against
    >some of the the annotations in LC. What is it so offending with that,
    >and why should it require a separate name?. The MOQ is a marvelous
    >creation and I axcept all its fundamentals and my admiration for Pirsig
    >it limitless, but when he grates my logic...well sorry if it grates your

    Personally, reading Robert Pirsig's annotations in Lila's Child for the
    first time opened my eyes to a number of ideas that I'd missed reading ZMM
    and Lila (both several times). I look at LC as sort of a synthesis of RMP's
    ideas in regards to the ambiguities raised by members of the Lila Squad. I
    think the book is invaluable to understanding the MOQ as RMP intends it. It
    could be I'm wrong. It's true that I've been told by more than one person
    that LC is a pile of crap. I've seriously considered whether it should even
    be published at all or not. I get the feeling you might think not? I even
    thought about just sitting on the document, keeping it for myself so to
    speak. Maybe share it with a few close friends. Maybe. But that seemed wrong
    somehow. I suppose only time will tell. I keep working on LC to make it
    better and if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

    > > Static levels are Quality so if they are illusionary then so is
    > > reality. And if Quality=Reality then Quality is illusionary as well.
    >Please Dan. This is Pirsig's point when - for instance - he he spends a
    >considerable time railing against the illusion of intellects
    >independence of society. But it's a good illusion which has given us
    >the modern world. This goes for all levels, they are discrete yet
    >dependent on the former. The illusory quality of the static levels is
    >what links the MOQ and Zen Buddhism IMO.

    Yes, I can see that.

    > > I don't use words like "illusions, hallucinations, schizophrenia"
    > > since these are terms for what I take to be biological diseases of an
    > > abnormal brain. If (in ancient times) the brain was biologically
    > > different than now, such intellectual patterns of value would have
    > > been considered normal and not abnormal at all. I believe that was
    > > Jaynes' point, not that humanity suffered from collective
    > > hallucinations although it's the easiest thing in the world to think
    > > they did. This reminds me of the passage in ZMM where Chris asks his
    > > father if he was really insane and his father answers, no.
    >...... but this more than anything proves the MOQ as a rebel pattern.
    >Intellect can't but see this (above) as abnormal, but we who have
    >obtained the MOQ view off-set to intellect can see a new context.
    >Intellect can never change its S/O pattern. That view was that allowed
    >the father's remark to Chris.

    We seem to be comparing apples with oranges. It seems a bit of a reach to
    say intellect can never change its S/O pattern. I'll have to give it some

    >The intellectual level is NOT thinking/understanding, so it's perfectly
    >possible to think quality thoughts and understand the Quality

    But if the intellect is the SOM division, is it possible to think quality
    thoughts and understand Quality Metaphysics? Are you saying that we all here
    in this discussion group are operating in a sphere beyond intellect? I have
    to say, I'm struggling to understand a lot of what is said here so I don't
    feel all that intellectual, much less beyond intellectual.



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