RE: MD Self-consciousness

From: Paul Turner (
Date: Fri Oct 31 2003 - 12:31:06 GMT

  • Next message: "RE: MD Self-consciousness"

    Hi Scott

    > Paul:
    > Yes, sense perception refers to the creation of biological patterns
    > limits what is meant by "static patterns emerging from Dynamic
    > I think I see what you are getting at. Whilst the MOQ is an empirical
    > philosophy, its empirical reality is value, not just biological sense
    > data. This quote from ZMM..

    I think you're correct on this, though Pirsig first defines empiricism
    "[empiricism] claims that all legitimate human knowledge arises from the
    senses or by thinking about what the senses provide." [Ch. 8], though he
    goes on to include art and morality and "even religious mysticism" as
    "verifiable". Nevertheless, this attitude seems to me to [be] more than
    a little
    nominalist, since it looks to that which comes from the outside as
    privileged over that which comes from the inside.

    From a Dynamic point of view, the MOQ can be called nominalist. There is
    nothing fixed and eternal that intellectual patterns stand for. From a
    static point of view, intellectual patterns help produce and stand for
    structured reality, therefore the MOQ cannot be called nominalist.

    [Paul prev:]
    > "In the language of everyday life, reality and intellect are
    > >From the language of the Buddha's world, they are the same, since
    > is no intellectual division that governs the Buddha's world." [Lila's
    > Child p.567]
    > It seems to me that thinking in "the world of everyday affairs" is
    > entirely different from thinking "in Buddha's world," and as such, I
    > prefer to restrict intellect to the former - conscious, deliberate
    > activity such as planning, predicting, calculating, reasoning etc.
    > is perhaps where our disagreement about intellect lies.

    Yes. My objection to your preference is that we are doing metaphysics
    which requires us to leave behind the "world of everyday affairs". To
    that notion of thinking into one's metaphysics is the problem.

    I'm not sure I agree that metaphysics requires us to leave behind
    everyday affairs; I think the MOQ tries to ground metaphysics back in
    [static and Dynamic] everyday experience whilst providing a rational
    framework in which to incorporate more exceptional [Dynamic] experience,
    such as mystic understanding. As such, I think it is important to
    distinguish between the types of intellect/mind we are discussing and I
    think the MOQ is right to use the static/Dynamic distinction as its
    primary division to point towards non-verbal, immediately apprehended
    awareness and not have it become pinned down with limiting definitions.
    I also think it is right to limit a static definition of intellect and
    mind - one of my biggest problems with the many different schools of
    Buddhism is the varying and confusing use of "mind" [or at least in
    western translations of Buddhism].

    Of course, I think there is an overlap in one's overall experience,
    there is no road sign saying "You are now leaving static reality, come
    back soon," but I think Pirsig acknowledges this inherent problem of
    combining mystical and metaphysical terms...

    "Quality is indivisible, undefinable and unknowable in the sense that
    there is a knower and a known, but a metaphysics can be none of these
    things. A metaphysics must be divisible, definable, and knowable, or
    there isn't any metaphysics. Since a metaphysics is essentially a kind
    of dialectical definition and since Quality is essentially outside
    definition, this means that a "Metaphysics of Quality" is essentially a
    contradiction in terms, a logical absurdity." Lila p.73

    ...and goes on and does it anyway.
    [Scott to Matt prev:]
    Hence my adoption of the logic of contradictory identity, and why I
    that the MOQ is ultimately a failure. Again, I want to refer to Robert
    Magliola's distinction between 'centric' and 'differential' mystical
    "explanations". Centric explanations are like those you refer to above,
    Pirsig's Quality, DQ, and SQ terminology is a perfect example. As such
    leads the MOQ into error, by stating that mystical experience is "pure
    which leads to the gnostic consequence that SQ is evil, since it gets in
    way of experiencing pure DQ..

    Now I don't really think that that (SQ is evil) is what Pirsig thinks,
    why not? Differential mystical philosophy avoids this from the get-go by
    *starting* with contradictory identity. It doesn't allow the reification
    anything (and hence avoids what Rorty doesn't like about metaphysics) in
    one's terminology.

    The reification of Dynamic Quality is something I think Pirsig tries to
    avoid throughout Lila e.g. when he discusses latching and degeneracy in
    several contexts. However, I think you are right to draw out some of the
    conclusions from a metaphysical system which gives moral superiority to
    mystic understanding. I think the MOQ would say that it is in the
    contexts and circumstances of life that we avoid such outright
    reification and subsequent rejection of static patterns. After all,
    those static patterns include our families, partners, children and



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