Re: MD The Individual Level

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Mon Apr 26 2004 - 14:50:01 BST

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    Hi Steve Peterson,

    > Not really. 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.) What I mean when I say that
    > Muslim fundamentalists (or any kind of fundamentalists) are dominated by
    > social patterns is that they are more dominated by social patterns that
    > most other Americans are.

    Here's DMB's answer, better than anything I could say::

    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.

    > > The
    > > intellectual level is dominated by individuals who value the patterns of
    > > their independent thoughts more than unthinking conformity to social
    > > patterns. That's another reason why I think a better name for the
    > > intellectual level would be the Individual Level.
    > The intellectual level is not dominated by individuals since
    > individuals are identified or defined by the patterns that they
    > participate in. (Lila doesn't have Quality. Quality has Lila.)

    Let's be clear that when I refer to individuals I'm talking about human
    beings, not parts of wholes. Both the social and intellectual levels, the
    subjective realms, consist of human beings, all of whom are made up of the
    four levels plus the capacity to respond to DQ.
    > However, the intellectual level is built on the social level as every level
    > is built upon the levels below, but to call the intellectual level the
    > individual level since it is built on individual human beings would be like
    > calling the social level the animal level since it is built upon animals
    > (homo sapiens) and calling the biological level the molecular level since
    > it built on molecules.

    The reason to call it the individual level is as I've described--a level
    dominated by individuals who value the patterns of their independent
    thoughts more than unthinking conformity to social patterns.

    > > Patterns are 'structures of perception?' Interesting. Please elaborate.

    > That is the most appropriate dictionary definition I could find. I
    > imagine Pirsig would be even more irritated in being asked what a
    > pattern is than he was about being asked what intellect is.
    > n 1: a perceptual structure; "the composition presents problems for
    > students of musical form"; "a visual pattern must include not only
    > objects but the spaces between them" [syn: form, shape] > The first one
    > "perceptual structure" seems to fit best. What do you
    > think?
    Not a particularly helpful definition. I guess that patterns as
    'perceptual structures' might have something to do with those cultural
    glasses we all have by which we make sense of the data of experience. The
    question is do the patterns exist independently of perception?

    > I mean I usually think without thinking of
    > myself thinking. I don't see any great mystery in "disembodied intellect"
    > by calling intellectual patterns patterns of thought.
    I think it's a fundamental error to disconnect humans from thoughts, just
    as it's wrong to disconnect humans from the social and intellectual
    levels. It's abstract thinking without regard for human individuals that
    accounts for the slaughter of millions by totalitarian governments.

    > > Having high regard for individuals is an intellectual pattern--freedom of
    > > speech, of religion, trial by jury, one man one vote, etc.
    > That's not what I mean. I'm saying that a statement is true or false
    > regardless of who is saying it.
    And I'm saying that a statement is neither true or false unless somebody
    says it.

    Best regards,

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