RE: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

From: Mati Palm-Leis (
Date: Tue Oct 07 2003 - 04:24:58 BST

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig"

    Paul & MOQ folks,

    I think the term that has been used before is lurker, which I am not
    totally fond of because of the social malfeasance that is implied. I
    guess benchwarmer might be more appropriate. I have been reading over
    the past three months with great interest this discussion/debate about
    the Intellectual Level. My personal interest revolves around a possible
    interest in writing a doctorate thesis with MOQ as a foundation to build
    an educational leadership paradigm. Nothing of great significance yet,
    however the process defining the Intellectual Level is a critical
    component. I have tended to stay on the sidelines while the heavy
    hitters go at it. It has been interesting to stay the least. With
    Pirsig's new letter I have also read with great interest and thought I
    might share a few comments before returning quietly to the sidelines.

    Upfront I would like to thank Paul for sharing his letter. I understand
    his concerns about having done so. I am reminded in LILA when Rigel
    takes a crack at Phaedrus ideas. Phaedrus stated that he should have
    seen it coming. I suspect Pirsig would understand the critical comments
    and expected them as a part of the MOQ "Celebrity" status he is.
    Personally I share your warm regards for Pirsig thoughts and comments
    and I also believe that he has made some important contributions with
    this letter.

    The first contribution of the letter that I see it is that he does not
    have the magic answer. It seems he has thought about this for sometime
    and has not committed to any definition or rational for defining the
    Intellectual Level. I am sure if he had a committed rational that would
    have helped he would have given it to us. Also he seems fairly
    comfortable in us trying figuring it out on our own.

    About three weeks I asked an Art Teacher/Friend and philosophical novice
    the following question, "Is Art Real, and if so how do you know?" She
    shot back, when Louis Armstrong was asked "What is Jazz" he replied,
    "Man, if you gotta ask you'll never know." We laughed and I loved her
    answer and it made even more sense when Pirsig made the comment that he
    was annoyed originally being asked what the intellectual level is?

    As to the importance of defining the intellectual level, simply put for
    myself it will promote a greater understanding about reality of the
    intellectual level just as MOQ has redefined the reality we have come to
    understand. As to Pirsig comments regarding Zen, I find Zen is a great
    mirror of what MOQ isn't. I have my doubts about Zen Buddhism being the
    stepping stone to the understanding of the intellectual level, but
    having said that I hope Pirsig is right about the reality of the
    definition lies in those of us who are intellectual. :)

    Next on my mind is Pirsig statement, "When getting into a definition of
    the intellectual level much clarity can be gained by recognizing a
    parallel with lower level." Thank you DMB for your comments on this
    subject. Agreed "something more" is what we are trying to understand
    and the values patterns that define it. Whatever the answer for what the
    intellectual level is, it should be a value pattern that can be easily
    delineated for the other three levels, and yet easily understood how the
    intellectual level is related to the three levels. Not an easy task but
    I think an important one.

    Finally I would like to thank Bodvar for his very important comment of
    his on 10/6 "At times I wish we would heed the point about a child
    understanding the Quality Idea and forget about these out-of-this-world
    definitions of intellect." One of the great tragedies of the SOM is
    that it has relegated philosophy to something that has little value and
    meaning to people lives and yet plagues it in so many ways. As an
    educator in the field I see it everyday. It is my hope that we can
    further the discussion that everybody can understand.

    Take care,


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