Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

Date: Sat Oct 11 2003 - 22:45:14 BST

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    In a message dated 10/11/03 9:28:07 PM GMT Daylight Time, writes:

    > David Morey asked:
    > 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?

    Hi David,
    From Lila:

    "He could only guess how far back this ritual-cosmos relationship went,
    maybe fifty or one hundred thousand years. Cavemen are usually depicted
    as hairy, stupid creatures who don't do much, but anthropological
    studies of contemporary primitive tribes suggest that stone age people
    were probably bound by ritual all day long. There's a ritual for
    washing, for putting up a house, for hunting, for eating and so on - so
    much so that the division between 'ritual' and 'knowledge' becomes
    indistinct. In cultures without books ritual seems to be a public
    library for teaching the young and preserving common values and
    information." [LILA, p.442/443]

    If ritual and knowledge become indistinct then, while social patterns are
    very much dominant there also evolves intellectual value of increasing
    sophistication - and this may have been happening for tens of thousands of years before
    knowledge became so sophisticated that it began to dominate social patterns?
    It is know known that observing the behaviour of others induces copy cat
    responses in the brains of the observer. This may be one of the factors in master
    and student relationships; the student observes and learns without being

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