Re: MD The Individual Level

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 14:10:00 BST

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    Hi Dave,

    First of all welcome to the discussion. I also have an interest in
    Wilber, but I find Pirsig superior. Wilber definitely has some
    interesting things to say about the reductionism of SOM, but I hope you
    note that he still writes about SOM whereas Pirsig has found a way out.
    Well, Wilber says we get out through advancing to higher stages of
    development, but Pirsig says that SOM is not a prerequisite for
    intellect. That is actually a somewhat controversial claim for this
    group, but I think it is true one and a fundamental difference between
    Pirsig and Wilber. What important differences do you see?

    On Apr 24, 2004, at 11:32 PM, storeyd wrote:

    > 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.

    Good point.

    > 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.

    I don't think that this is what DMB and Platt mean by domination. They
    are talking about being dominated by a particular level not trying to
    dominate a level.

    > 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?

    I'm not sure I see the difference.

    > 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
    > you
    > 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
    > development.

    Platt and I have had that discussion before, too. he feels that what
    it best is to be dominated by intellectual patterns, where I feel that
    what is best is balance--a sweet spot.

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