RE: MD quality religion (Christianity)

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Apr 11 2004 - 02:18:44 BST

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD quality religion (Christianity)"

    Sam and all:

    Sam said:
    I can't present an argument for Christianity independently of how I
    understand the MoQ - because my
    argument can't be separated from that account (I can't argue for how
    Christianity can be integrated
    with a 'standard' MoQ if I don't believe that can be done - and how could I
    argue for something I
    don't believe in, other than as an academic exercise?

    dmb says:
    If I follow, you're saying that Christianity can't be "integrated" into
    Pirsig's MOQ, but it can be "integrated" into your understanding or your
    version of the same. Is that right? And may I assume that the version of
    Christianity you're integrating is the church in which you are employed? And
    may I assume that you are not very gainfully employed? ;-) Ha! I haven't
    taken a vow of poverty, but it sure has worked out that way! Just kidding.

    Sam said:
    How I understand the MoQ still has four levels (if not more) - inorganic,
    organic, social and
    eudaimonic. Of particular concern are the last two, which I see in the
    following ways: the social is
    the realm of our language, our forms of life, and the realm of mythology. It
    is the level of the
    stories that we live by. The eudaimonic is the realm of individual
    judgement, including (but not
    restricted to) the discriminating intellect, which can perceive the social
    patterns it observes.

    dmb says:
    This is so much like the MOQ that I think it would hardly be different from
    keeping "intellectual" as the name of the fourth level and simply insisting
    that intellect level includes individual judgement and is not otherwise so
    limited. But there's more to the name "eudaimonic" than just that....

    Sam asked:
    So the question for me is: which mythology allows for the full flourishing
    of the fourth level, or,
    in other words, which social level pattern allows people to hear the music
    for themselves?

    dmb says;
    There are several things I'd like to say at this point, but will restrict
    myself to the fourth level. If I follow, you're saying that the fourth level
    is where people hear the music for themselves. This tells me that the 4th
    level in your version fuses static intellect with the mystical. Is that
    right? You seem to imply this several more times...

    Sam said:
    The life is important for it is in the life of that particular human being
    that we see a portrayal
    of what the fourth level looks like. It is Quality incarnated in human form
    - which is the most
    profound way in which we can relate to Quality.

    dmb says:
    Here you seem to equate the fourth level with capital "Q" Quality. Again
    static intellect and the mystical are fused into one. And below you do the

    Sam said: so far as we can identify with and be animated by the Quality which
    animated Jesus, we too can function at the fourth level of Quality.

    dmb says:
    I think Jesus was animated by DQ and functioning at the fourth level is
    better achieved by study and education, but that would be a standard reading
    of the MOQ. And that's not really our concern at the moment. I hope you see
    what I'm getting at. Its not that you've failed to draw the line between
    social and intellectual patterns. Its not that your fourth level includes
    too much or that the MOQ's excludes too much. Its that fusing static
    intellect with DQ in this way basically undoes the most primary division of
    the MOQ; the static/Dynamic split. Don't get me wrong. The standard version
    of Pirsig's intellect is open to DQ and fully capable of genuine creativity,
    but "hearing the music requires" the temporary suspension of "thought" in
    the usual sense of the word. Coming up with a new hypothesis is just as
    remarkable in some ways, but it is simply not the same as a religious
    experience found in a vision quest or on the road to Damascus.

    Funny thing is, I consider myself a MOQer and a Christian and see no
    contradiction at all. I don't have to modify the MOQ or Christianity in
    order to achieve this integration. I do have to qualify that, however, and
    say that the mystical forms of Christianity are about the only kinds that
    work. As far as I know, anyway.

    Sam added:
    (Of course, I would also claim that this mythology was a true story, that it
    described the course of
    life of a particular human being, but I don't think it appropriate to debate
    that element in a MoQ

    dmb says:
    Really? I didn't quite figure you for a literalist. I'm not sure I can
    accept that about you. I mean, in order to believe the story is true, in MOQ
    terms, doesn't a person have to be willing to accept things that defy facts,
    logic and otherwise assert social level myths over intellect?

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