FW: MD Beyond Liberalism?

From: David Buchanan (DBuchanan@ClassicalRadio.org)
Date: Mon Mar 08 2004 - 01:35:01 GMT

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    David MOREY asked:
    So how seriously do we need to take the value
    of the intellectual level. How are we going to get more
    people on this level and off of the dominance of the social
    level. I think that mal-functioning aspects of the social level,
    such as inequality and the failure to reduce working hours,
    is making progress currently impossible.

    dmb says:
    How seriously should we take it? Pirsig says the social/intellectual
    conflict is the theme song of the 20th century. He says its an earthquake, a
    hurricane, a period of evolutionary transformation. I take it pretty darn
    seriously. As I understand it, the main problem with effecting a smooth and
    successful transition to an intellectual culture is not just resistance from
    the social level. The problem is with intellect itself. (SOM) In its
    historical struggle to free itself from society, intellect has gone past the
    independence it sought and become disconnected, disassociated and divorced
    from its parent level. Scientific materialism has gutted the world and left
    it devoid of spirit, morals and the like. The social level is responding to
    SOM in an especially violent and hostile manner because this flaw declares
    so much of the social level to less than real. There is bound to be conflict
    in any transitional period, but SOM's attack on the social level has given
    rise to fundamentalism, fascism and other forms of the reactionary right.

    Ken Wilber:
    "When only objective its with simple location are really real, then the
    mind itself is a tabula that is totally rasa, utterly blank until filled
    with PICTURES or representations of the only reality there was: objective
    and sensory nature. There is no real SPIRIT, there is no real MIND, there
    is only empirical nature. No superconsciousness, no self-conscious, only
    subconscious processes scurrying endlessly, meaninglessly, in a vast system
    of interwoven its." A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYTHING pages 264-5.

    Ken Wilber:
    "Only objective its with simple location were really real. The entire
    dimensions were completely gutted, and the ghost in the machine began its
    sad and lonely modern moan, a haunting cry made all the more plaintive in
    that it had not even the power to attract attention."

    Pirsig says essentially the same thing:
    "the metaphysics of substance...regards both society and intellect
    (subjects) as possessions of biology (objects). It says society AND
    intellect don't have substance and therefore can't be real. It says biology
    is where reality stops. Society and intellect are ephemeral POSSESSIONS of
    reality." (Lila page 265.)

    "A scientific, intellectual culture had become a culture of million of
    isolated people living and dying in little cells of psychic solitary
    confinement, unable to talk to one another, really, and unable to judge one
    another because scientifically speaking it is impossible to do so." (Lila
    page 283)

    dmb says:
    It seems that Pirsig and Wilber both agree about the problem. And the way to
    solve that problem is to repair the flawed intellect. If our culture is
    going to be dominated and guided by intellectual values, then SOM must first
    be replaced. The independence of the intellect doesn't require that relegate
    all spiritual and moral matters to the social level. The birth of intellect
    does not mean we MUST divorce science from spirituality or morality from
    philosophy. This is only a symptom of the metaphysics of substance, not
    intellect itself. And its not accident that Pirsig and Wilber agree that the
    solution lies in a philosophical mysticism, because it successfully
    dissolves the SOM problem.

    Ken Wilber:
    "I always found it fascinating that both William James and Bertrand Russell
    agreed on this crucial issue, the nonduality of subject and object in the
    primacy of immediate awareness. Now we have to be very careful with these
    terms (radical empirisism) because "empiricism" doesn't mean just sensory
    experience, it means experience itself, in any domain. It means immediate
    prehension, immediate experience, immediate awareness. And William James set
    out to demonstrate that this pure nondual immediateness is the "basic stuff"
    of reality, so to speak, and that both subject and object, mind and body,
    inside and outside, are derivative or secondary. They come later, they come
    after, the primacy of immediateness, which is the ultimate reality, as it
    were. Of course, virtually all of the mystical or contemplative sages had
    been saying this for a few millennia, but James to his eternal credit
    brought it crashing into the mainstream ... and convinced Russell of its
    truth in the process. Russell had a rather tin understanding of the fact
    that the great comtemplative philosopher-sages - from Plotinus to Augustine
    to Eckhart (Pirsig's favorite mystic) to Schelling to Schopenhauer to
    Emerson - had already solved or dissovled this subject/object duality."

    "Some of the most honored philsophers in history have been mystics:
    Plotinus, Swedenborg, Loyola, Shankaracharya and many others. They share a
    common belief that the fundamental nature of reality is outside language;
    that language splits things up into parts while the true nature of reality
    is undivided. Zen, which is a mystic religion, argues that the illusion of
    dividedness can be overcome by meditation. The Native American Church argues
    that peyote can force-feed a mystic understanding upon those who were
    normally resistant to it,.." LILA (ch 5)

    Thanks for your time,

    Thomas Jefferson in a letter to George Washington, January 4, 1786:
    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but
    laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human
    mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries
    are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the
    change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with
    the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which
    fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen
    of their barbarous ancestors."

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