RE: MD An atheistic system?

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Wed Feb 18 2004 - 04:50:38 GMT

  • Next message: Matthew Poot: "Re: MD SQ-SQ tension in Mozart's Symphony No38"

    Paul, David, Khalil and all:

    Paul said:
    Okay, is "non-theistic system" any better? ...if Dynamic Quality is to be
    equated with God, I think it is important to realise that it is not the
    supreme being of many theistic traditions.

    dmb replies:
    Yes. It may seem like a small thing, but I think "non-theistic" is far more
    accurate than "atheistic". I'm interested in going further, but not because
    I have any real disagreements with Paul. Its just that the topic is

    In any case, I think we can see Pirsig making a distinction between religion
    of the usual kind and mysticism. Not only is he taking care to tell us what
    kinds of things DQ can NOT be associated with, he's also telling us there is
    a rather profound connection between DQ and mysticism. Sure, we want to
    avoid things like low grade yelping or any static forms, but I think its
    important to recognize the "spiritual" message in Pirsig's work. I'm not a
    bit to surprize to learn that Khalil sees the MOQ in Islamic mysticism. We
    can see it in any kind of mysticism because they all share a common heart.

    "Quality can be equated with God, but I don't like to do so. 'God', to
    most people, is a set of static intellectual and social patterns. Only
    true religious mystics can correctly equate God with Dynamic Quality."
    [Pirsig, 1994]

    Pirsig in Lila chapter 30:
    "A lot of this religious mysticism is just low-grade "yelping about God" of
    course, but if you search for the sources of it and don't take the yelps too
    literally a lot of interesting things turn up."

    "If one considers the Bible to be the center of the Christian faith then it
    is evident that the Christian faith is dominantly social. Attention is
    sometimes drawn to various mystical statements in the Bible, but the
    fact that attention has to be drawn to them indicates how rare they are.
    ...Christianity is dominantly social and intellectual whereas these Eastern
    religions are dominantly mystic." [Pirsig, 2000]

    dmb continues:
    I think one of Pirsig's most important contributions in exploring the flaws
    of SOM, is to point out the distinction between the social level moral codes
    and genuine religious experience. The social codes are what basically passes
    for religion and being religious usually means little more than being
    obedient to these codes. Believe me, this is not what I or Pirsig are
    pushing. The religious beliefs subscribed to by the majority of Americans
    is, and I say this without exaggeration, childish and idiotic. At the same
    time, I think the MOQ describes a reality that is fundamentally spiritual.
    What that means, exactly, will have to be explored another time. My shift is
    over in seven minutes and I'm hungry.


    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Feb 18 2004 - 04:54:59 GMT