RE: MD The Individual Level

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 03:12:53 BST

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    Steve said to Platt:
    I agree that the MOQ levels help us to understand people.
    My point was that dominance can't be primary because dominance is
    relative. Do you see my point that there is no way to say whether a
    person is more dominated by inorganic patterns or biological patterns
    than social patterns? How could we know whether gravity or breathing
    are more or less influential that some social patterns? (Actually, I
    guess I would say that inorganic patterns are more dominant than
    biological patterns which are more dominant than social patterns which
    are more dominant than intellectual patterns for every single person.)

    dmb replies:
    When we say a person is dominated by the values of a particular level, all
    the ones beneath are included. Since we all require inorganic an orgainic
    quality to simply be breathing, we don't often go that low. (Although, the
    character named Lila didn't have much social quality.) The idea of talking
    about people in terms of the level of values that dominate them, is to
    recognize those conflicting values in the primary place they manifest
    themselves; in us. And its a matter of opitmum performance, so to speak. We
    all are subject to gravity and must eat. We all have social roles that we
    fulfill more or less. But do intellectual values also significantly inform
    your values? That may not be true for everybody. I see people express
    hostility toward things intellectual all the time. I see people defend
    social level values in their stead all the time. The values people believe
    in and defend tells you what the person is made of, what sort of trees
    dominate his forest. And in an evolutionary scheme such as Pirsig's, this
    tells us a great deal about what level of development we've achieved.

    Steve, I can't help but think there is an unspoken reason for your dislike
    of this basic idea. Are you in a confessional mood, perhaps? Why can't we
    say that so and so is driven by social values if Pirsig does just that
    dozens of times? I mean, your resistence to the idea doesn't really make
    sense and so I suspect there is something you're not saying. It just a


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