Re: MD What have you freed lately?

From: Matt poot (
Date: Tue Apr 20 2004 - 17:05:11 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD SQ-SQ coherence and the Biosphere."


    Just a quick question: Why is freedom in the MoQ a moral force? Would it
    be wrong / worse to associate freedom with things both moral, and out of the
    moral arena?

    Just wondering


    P.S. to myself, I wonder if i'll get a reply

    >From: "Platt Holden" <>
    >Subject: Re: MD What have you freed lately?
    >Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 09:00:32 -0400
    >Hi Steve Peterson,
    > > On Mar 30, 2004, at 4:35 PM, Platt Holden wrote:
    > > >
    > > > "Dynamic Quality is the pre-intellectual cutting edge of realty, the
    > > > source of all things, completely simple and always new. It was the
    > > > force that had motivated the brujo in Zuni. It contains no pattern of
    > > > fixed rewards and punishments. Its only perceived good is freedom and
    > > > only perceived evil is static quality itself—any pattern of one-sided
    > > > fixed values that tries to contain and kill the ongoing free force of
    > > > life." (Lila-9)
    > > >
    > > > Of all the passages in Lila, none is more significant than this one.
    > > > describes how Pirsig views the mysterious mystic force he calls
    > > > Quality. First, it is a force, an energy, drawing all creatures great
    > > > small towards betterness. Second, it created and continues to create
    > > > everything new under the sun. Third, its highest good is freedom from
    > > > static patterns.
    > > >
    > > > So I keep asking myself, "What have you freed from a static pattern
    > > > lately?" Unfortunately I can only answer, "Nothing special."
    > > >
    > > > Perhaps in raising two children I’ve had a hand in freeing them from
    > > > static patterns of childhood dependency. That’s about it, but at least
    > > > it’s something.
    > > >
    > > > What patterns have you broken? What have you set free? How have you
    > > > responded to DQ? Is there a brujo among us?
    > > >
    > >
    > > Pirsig had something else to say about freedom in his afterword to ZAMM:
    > > "The hippies had in mind something that they wanted, and were calling it
    > > ``freedom,'' but in the final analysis ``freedom'' is a purely negative
    > > goal. It just says something is bad. Hippies weren't really offering any
    > > alternatives other than colorful short-term ones, and some of these were
    > > looking more and more like pure degeneracy. Degeneracy can be fun but
    > > hard to keep up as a serious lifetime occupation."
    > >
    > > DQ puts freedom in a positive light. The DQ/sq split suggests how we
    > > necessarily have to speak in negative terms about freedom since freedom
    > > lead to dynamic improvement. We always knew that there was something
    > > about freedom. The MOQ helps us to articulate it.
    > >
    > > However, Pirsig's connection between degeneracy and freedom still
    > > applies. Though from the DQ perspective all static patterns are evil,
    > > there is no dynamic improvement without static latching as Leland
    > > out.
    >The many examples I used of how individuals freed previously static
    >patterns to create new static patterns were anything but degenerate. All
    >of their dynamic improvements were latched and contributed to evolution.
    > > I think this is where Mark's thinking about dynamic-static tension and
    > > sq-sq coherence comes in. From each static level's perspective every
    > > level is evil as is DQ in it's ongoing assault on the stability of
    > > patterns. From the DQ perspective every static pattern is evil. It is
    > > from the Quality perspective that the two are reconciled in the whole of
    > > the One. Freedom may be the highest good from the DQ perspective, but
    > > the Quality perspective, DQ is only one kind of Good that needs to be
    > > integrated into a "sweet spot."
    >Many individuals experience 'sweet spots' without changing static
    >patterns. What counts are those, like the brujo in the Zuni story, who
    >bring about a break in a generic and long standing static pattern
    >affecting the course of evolution towards betterness.
    > > Pirsig said "This book offers another, more serious alternative to
    > > material success...It gives a positive goal to work toward that does
    > > not confine." There is a positive goal (sweet spot) because of static
    > > latching of betterness. Without the static latching, DQ could only be
    > > understood in negative terms rather than in terms of betterness.
    > >
    > > Talking about DQ, freedom, and mystical experience alone without static
    > > latching seems to me like the Hippie's talk in that it's not any real
    > > alternative to static patterns since there is no way to be a living
    > > and be literally free of static patterns. It just doesn't make sense to
    > > think of freedom from all static patterns as absolute good. Perhaps DQ,
    > > freedom, and mystical experience perhaps can be fun but hard to keep up
    > > a serious lifetime occupations. I've never had a mystical experience, so
    > > don't know.
    >Agree. Just having a lot of mystical experiences hardly qualifies as
    >moving evolution forward.
    > > Anyway, breaking static patterns does not necessarily increase freedom.
    > > In fact, doing so can decrease freedom, so I think "what have you
    > > freed?" needs to be clarified. Freeing a sick patient from germs is
    > > good, but freeing your 13-year old from her curfew could be
    > > catastrophic.
    >I thought it was clear by the examples I cited that I was referring to
    >static patterns on the scale of the brujo rather than mundane day to day
    >choices. My raising two children hardly qualifies, but I was grasping at
    > > If we want to talk about freedom as a positive as we Americans love to
    > > we should be talking about freedom to flourish or something like Mark's
    > > sweet spot rather than freedom from all static patterns. Instead of
    > > a negative, I would define MOQ informed freedom as the condition of
    > > openness to dynamic improvement.
    >Mere openness to dynamic improvement, while admirable, accomplishes little
    >unless one takes action as a result to replace a ubiquitous static pattern
    >with a better one offering more freedom.
    > > Social conservatives can argue that society's laws help make us free
    > > since we could not flourish as human beings without society. Liberal's
    > > talk about how to create the conditions for more people to flourish.
    > > Perhaps the two groups could even find some common goals if they can
    > > to see freedom in a positive light as the sweet spot in a DQ/sq
    > > relationship.
    >I don't buy the notion that freedom in the MOQ is a 'sweet spot.' Freedom
    >in the MOQ is DQ, a moral force whose "only perceived good is freedom and
    >its only perceived evil is static quality itself-any pattern of one-sided
    >fixed values that tries to contain and kill the ongoing free force of
    >life." (Lila, 9) But your reminder of the need for static latching and
    >possibility of degeneracy is well taken.
    >Best regards,
    >MOQ.ORG -
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