Re: MD SQ-SQ coherence and the Biosphere.

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 16:22:40 GMT

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    Hi Mark,
    > Mark 22-03-04: Hi Platt,
    > You say here, '...a process that took place long...' as if evolution is not
    > happening right here and now? As an intellectual postulation, Evolution is
    > happening all the time and at all levels simultaneously, here and now.

    What is evolving at the inorganic level? At the biological level are you
    aware of any new species lately? I haven't seen much evolution at the
    social level since the Civil Rights Act. As for the intellectual level,
    nothing has evolved in philosophy that I know of since Pirsig published
    "Lila." All the really new stuff has come from science and technology.
    What I'm driving at is that according to the MOQ, only living beings can
    respond to DQ. Evolution now is human-driven and isn't occurring at all
    levels simultaneously as claim.

    > MoQ terms this is described in two ways: 1. The event stream (DQ). (SODV)
    > 2. Static patterns migrating towards DQ. (Lila.)
    > Static patterns emerge from DQ and yet are migrating towards DQ.
    > We may accommodate these two apparently contradictory points by postulating
    > a relationship between SQ and DQ derived from experience: Coherence.

    As I said before, 'coherence' has to do with thoughts, not with
    relationships. (If you want to use 'coherence' as physicists do in
    describing laser light and such, it would be helpful to say so. But I
    don't know why you find it necessary to call upon scientific jargon to
    describe your theories. Pirsig uses good old plain English. :-)

    > "Value, the leading edge of reality, is no longer an irrelevant offshoot of
    > structure. Value is the predecessor of structure. It's the preintellectual
    > awareness that gives rise to it. Our structured reality is preselected on
    > the basis of value, and really to understand structured reality requires an
    > understanding of the value source from which it's derived." [ZMM Ch.24]

    Yes. This describes the creative energy of Dynamic Quality leaving static
    patterns in its wake.

    > In the Metaphysics of Quality, (Value is a synonym for Quality, so in the
    > above quote we may regard Value as Quality) Quality has two aspect, SQ and
    > DQ. Therefore, to paraphrase: 'Our structured reality is preselected on the
    > basis of a relationship between SQ and DQ.'

    I really don't see the significance of "relationship." If you split
    anything into two aspects or parts, there's bound to be a relationship
    between the parts.

    > "The Dynamic reality that goes beyond words is the constant focus of Zen
    > teaching. Because of their habituation to a world of words, philosophers do
    > not often understand Zen. When philosophers have trouble understanding the
    > distinction between static and Dynamic Quality it can be because they are
    > trying to include and subordinate all Quality to thought patterns. The
    > distinction between static and Dynamic quality is intended to block this."
    > [letter from Robert Pirsig to Anthony McWatt, quoted in "Pirsig's
    > Metaphysics of Quality"]
    > Thought patterns cannot deal with DQ, but thought patterns ARE patterns,
    > and share a relationship with DQ as described above: 1. The event stream
    > (DQ). (SODV) 2. Static patterns migrating towards DQ. (Lila.)

    About this migration of static patterns towards DQ. The only place I find
    Pirsig talking like this specifically is about Lila and patterns of life.

    "Lila is composed of static patterns of value and these patterns are
    evolving towards Dynamic Quality . . . All life is a migration of static
    patterns of quality toward Dynamic Quality." (Lila-11).

    Later Pirsig writes:

    "And beyond that is an even more compelling reason; societies and thoughts
    and principles themselves are no more than sets of static patterns. These
    patterns cannot by themselves perceive or adjust to Dynamic Quality. Only
    a living being can do that."

    So the 'migration' is limited to living beings whereas you thesis seems to
    imply that its descriptive of the entire evolutionary process, including
    the evolution of the inorganic level. Something's amiss.

    > Mark 22-03-04: Thought is patterned. Patterns are migrating towards DQ.

    Patterns of life are migrating, not all patterns.

    > Patterns emerge from DQ. These are accommodated in the term Coherence.
    > Coherence can be extreme - severe. This possibility is right outside
    > everyday experience, but when encountered, can be a revelation. An example
    > would be to be in the presence of a master artist. The coherence of a
    > master can influence (raise coherence of) the open student dramatically. In
    > exceptional situations, coherence may approach opaqueness to DQ:

    Let me put this in my own words and see if you agree. Patterns emerge from
    DQ. Sometimes when these patterns emerge in your presence you feel a sense
    of awe and wonder. You might even experience a feeling of unity with the
    whole world, a peak experience where words like patterns and DQ fall so
    far short of describing what you feel as to be meaningless. This
    experience of total bliss might happen as you listen to a concerto
    performed by master violinist.

    I hope this comes close. If not, I'm lost as to what you mean.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Best regards,

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