RE: MD The Individual Level

From: storeyd (
Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 04:32:15 BST

  • Next message: storeyd: "MD religion of the present"

    Just to add in here: the lower levels are foundational, or fundamental, as
    wilber claims, they are universal and necessary, but they are partial,
    especially in their freedom. higher levels can do more than lower levels,
    they have more posssibilities. and that makes them more significant, more
    conscious, because they can free up and actualize possibilties latent in lower
    levels that those levels COULD NEVER DO BY THEMSELVES. this is the difference
    between actualization and domination. for example, when I sit here writing,
    with the intent of inspiring understanding between our separate minds, all the
    social patterns (the language we use, the technology with which we convey and
    express it), all the biological patterns (the bodies which use the tools), and
    the inorganic patterns (the material stuff out of which the bodies and the
    tools are made), I am freeing all of these lower levels up to do things they
    could never do alone, and so this act, on the intellectual level, is a
    creative addition to those lower levels, another level to the tower of
    development. however, domination is when a higher level of developmemt usurps
    the lower levels for its own purposes, it severs itself from those lower
    levels by denying their reality, which basically means blowing up the levels
    beneath you (for example, the view of biological determinism, which is a
    product of the intellectual level, says that all human experience is reducible
    to biological mechanisms, which is not only a lower level of quality, but a
    performative contradiction. it's an abuse of the intellectual powers that the
    inorganic, organic, and social levels possibilize. this is the "tax" that
    reason has to pay for its speculations, but most modern debtors refuse to pay
    because they do not believe in the cosmic IRS. So Steve, it's not a question
    of which patterns are more dominant, but which are more prominent. What, very
    simply, are their patterns of behavior? A heady intellectual who neglects
    both his bodily health and his social relationships and responsibilities is
    just as if not less low quality than a person who is nasty towards
    intellectuals. it's not so much about what level you're at as it is about
    see, once you realize that the name of this game is not about domination
    (which is the m.o. of SOM, dominating reality, truth, nature, the other,
    etc.), then development can resume. if not, then we have a case of arrested

    Idea for a discussion topic: the relation of the MOQ to
    psychology/psychoanalysis, especially in terms of pathology, neurotic fixation
    (as the dominance of any particular static-level). Any thoughts? I find it
    interesting that there are, crudely, three main approaches: depth psychology
    (prepersonal, prerational, deals witht the past), ego psychology (personal,
    rationally oriented, live for the present, etc.), and transpersonal psychology
    (transrational, deals with future potentials, realsm beyond the intellectual
    level); note too that these three forms correlate with our threefold
    experience of the structure of time as well. furthermore, the unfolding of
    these three fields, historically speaking, is perfectly chronologcial. Depth
    was all about Freud, then Jung, etc.; Ego began with anna freud alter; and
    transpersonal began in the 70s in the united s,tates, and is still in its
    infantile stages. This is encouraging, because it suggests that there is a
    progressive movement to psychology in general. it's also thought provoking to
    look at this geographically as well. Depth psyche began in Europe, and still
    holds sway (breeding such outrageous theorists as jacques lacan), while ego
    psyche really caught hold, and continues to dominate, in the States. However,
    anomalies within ego psychology and rationality in general lead to the
    emergence of transpersonal psyche, found, of course, on the west coast in
    california, where it continues to expand and diversify as we speak. This
    dovetails well with Pirsig's commentary about the difference between
    euro/victorian culture and the US/american indian motif, the derivation of the
    new values, etc., where we see that western culture, at it end in the west,
    reaches and reunites with its own repressed self, the ancient wisdom stuff.
    this is a treasure trove of discussion material. any takers?

    >===== Original Message From David Buchanan <>
    >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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