Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

From: David MOREY (
Date: Fri Oct 10 2003 - 21:40:30 BST

  • Next message: David MOREY: "Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig"


    Can ritual exist without language.
    Could humans copy each other's actions
    visually and form rituals? If so is ritual a form of intelligence?
    Is ritual the manipulation of the visual language?

    David (mad dog) Morey
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Wim Nusselder" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003 10:41 PM
    Subject: Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

    > Dear Bo,
    > You indeed got me wrong again 9 Oct 2003 09:54:05 +0200:
    > '[the intellectual level] Not a value??? This strongly indicates a
    > mind-intellect where the rest of experience exist as symbols, thoughts or
    > ideas - which is old SOM.'
    > I have no idea what you mean with 'a detached mind-intellect where the
    > of experience exists as symbols, thoughts or ideas'. Mind = intellectual
    > level, according to Pirsig (in 'Lila's Child') and I see nothing wrong
    > that. Detaching that from 'the rest of experience' and saying that that
    > of experience consists of symbols, thoughts and/or ideas seems very
    > to me. If the mind is anything it is symbols/thoughts/ideas (that stand
    > the rest of experience AND for parts of itself, when it symbolizes/thinks
    > about/forms ideas about symbols/thoughts/ideas).
    > So that can't have been what I meant.
    > I wrote 'The intellectual level ... is not a value but the sum total of
    > patterns of value of a specific type'.
    > Would that be more acceptable to you if you read 'The intellectual level
    > is not A value but the sum total of the PATTERNS OF value of a specific
    > type'?
    > The intellectual level definitely IS value (just like the whole rest of
    > experience). I had problems with limiting it to just A value in your
    > definition of the intellectual level as 'the value of seeing
    > symbol-manipulation as different from the rest of experience'.
    > You continue with:
    > 'people of old used language [manipulated symbols] without "knowing" that
    > words are symbols standing for
    > something else. Thus what heralded Intellect was the DISCOVERY of this
    > schism. ... And Jaynes' bi-cameral theory is a very good description of
    > this inside-out-turn happened.'
    > I agree that before say the 3rd century BC people didn't know that they
    > manipulating symbols, that using words didn't imply direct contact with,
    > power over and participation in reality. This bi-cameral mind theory may
    > (from what I read on this list) very well be a good description of how
    > people's minds 'worked'.
    > I agree that thinking about thinking, knowing that the 'something else'
    > words symbolize differs from the symbols, knowing your own thoughts from
    > those of others (or from those of Gods), did mean a huge change.
    > But ... I still disagree that this change was THE change from social
    > patterns of value to intellectual patterns of value. Even before the 3rd
    > century BC the 'standing for' relation in the patterns of value was there,
    > even if people didn't know it for what it was. They definitely did
    > experience something different when running into a tiger, when running
    > a human being 'dancing' a tiger and when hearing someone else shrieking:
    > TIGER!'.
    > The patterns of value maintained by copying (symbolic) rationales (e.g.
    > associating a strong tiger with a healthy people and therefore wanting to
    > like a tiger) WITHOUT knowing a symbol for a symbol were not essentially
    > different from the patterns of value maitained by copying rationales WITH
    > the knowledge that they were 'only' manipulating symbols.
    > How can 'experience that a symbol is different from and YET LIKE SOME
    > EXPERIENCE' evade your understanding? 'Is different from and yet like' is
    > just a redescription of 'stands for', the element you liked in 'it is the
    > "standing for" relationship that characterizes 4th level experience'.
    > With friendly greetings,
    > Wim
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