Re: MD quality religion

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Mon Apr 26 2004 - 22:54:21 BST

  • Next message: "Re: MD quality religion (Christianity)"

    Dear Platt,

    You wrote 19 Apr 2004 11:26:05 -0400:
    'I thought I did answer your questions. What am I missing?'

    When I summarized my questions as how do you pursue DQ and how do you know
    it is DQ, you answered 'by gathering in groups at concerts, in museums and
    in the great outdoors. ... I know it's really DQ when I
    experience it shining all around me as my static patterns disappear'.
    As for my original questions of 29 Mar 2004 23:27:30 +0200 (practical
    results? static patterns of value left in DQ's wake? social and intellectual
    patterns induced to migrate towards DQ?), I wasn't really happy with your
    unforthcoming replies of 30 Mar 2004 09:04:19 -0500 ('I'm happy. I have no
    idea. I hope so.') In your posting of 6 Apr 2004 16:07:14 -0400 you more or
    less repeated your answer to the first question as an answer to the second
    question ('Happier, wiser people.') and weren't really more forthcoming with
    your answer to the third ('It operates on both levels and would induce
    migration, you bet.').
    If that is all you can offer as of answers to my questions, than I'll have
    to accept that ... eventually. (-;

    By the way, do I remember correctly that you have been arguing before that
    DQ only operates on the highest static level nowadays?

    Can I interpret 'DQ ... shining all around me as my static patterns
    disappear' in the sense of your quote from Aziz Nasafi, i.e. as light that
    'shines through [static patterns] as through a window'? Does that mean that
    art (creating it or contemplating it?) creates some sort of mystical
    experience in you?

    You wrote that you deny the God of organized religions. That doesn't really
    clarify to me what God you mean.
    Is the alternative to 'organized religion' in your terms a religion without
    social patterns of value or would a religion with (purposefully) minimized
    social patterns of value (like Quakerism) also qualify? In what way would
    the God worshipped by such a better religion have to be different from the
    God of organized religions? Again: as Quakers we DO worship a God that can
    be interpreted as DQ. The static 3rd and 4th level patterns of value that
    define us (and that are necessary as 'springboard' towards DQ) are minimal.
    Quakerism is not unorganized, but its (comparatively limited) organization
    is such that I don't recognize your objections against organized religion as
    valid for Quakerism.

    You wrote:
    'sitting around in a circle waiting for someone to say something doesn't
    work for me'

    Have you tried?

    You continued:
    'The Quaker ritual is SQ wouldn't you say? Does it not lead to the DQ
    experience for some?'

    No, it is not the Quaker method that leads to DQ experience. It is the
    openness to DQ experience that does so. The very austerity and plainness of
    Quaker ways symbolizes for us this need for openness, but they are not
    essential. We recognize the possibility to experience God in/through other
    religious practices and outside religion.

    You also wrote 19 Apr 2004 11:26:05 -0400:
    'I think you're saying that static patterns to be static patterns require
    recognition by someone other than an individual. Not so. My memories are
    static patterns and are recognized by me exclusively.'

    We have been into this before. Yes, individual habits, memories and ideas
    constitute static patterns. The more meaningful/influential ones, that hold
    societies and systems of ideas (like the MoQ) together are shared by more
    people though. The point I wanted to make, referring to static patterns
    holding societies and systems of ideas together, was that their originators
    may be less important than their later participants.
    Let me use your art as an example: Say you have been creating watercolours
    for years in a particular way. You see a watercolour by someone else in a
    gallery and experience it as very beautiful. Being a watercolourist
    yourself, you see how that artist created that beautiful effect (which
    ordinary visitors don't see) and you decide to try it yourself. Whereas
    otherwise it might have stayed a unique piece of art, ending up in a museum
    cellar or a private collection, your copying makes it part of a pattern that
    reaches more people.

    You wrote also:
    'more people visit museums in a year than all sporting events combined'

    Maybe. I don't know figures. I have the impression however, that the balance
    goes in the other direction if you add all visits to museums and other art
    forms that attract an audience plus time spent on creating art by amateurs
    and professionals and compare it to visits to sporting events plus
    consumption of media-covered sporting events plus time spent on practicing
    some sport as amateur or professional. Unless you call Britney Spears and
    the like 'art' of course...
    I tend to include popular music, TV pulp (= most TV), commercialized film
    production etc. in 'art and culture' together with everything everyone does
    for a hobby, as I don't know how to distinguish between highbrow art and
    popular culture without confirming the claim of some elite that everyone
    should value what they value and ... what gives them social status. That is
    also why I am hesitant to recognize 'creating and contemplating art [and]
    pursuing beauty' as ONLY ways of pursuing DQ. What is someone appreciating a
    performance by Britney Spears doing differently than you are doing? Why is
    your pursuit 'pursuing DQ' and is having a great time during a Britney
    Spears performance not? I submit that for many, many people visiting a
    performance by Britney Spears or one of her colleagues (or a sporting event)
    is an experience that is undistinguishable from your experience when you
    experience beauty. Does that make their experience 'DQ experience' or does
    it throw doubts on your idea that beauty always refers to DQ experience?

    You misunderstood me when you wrote:
    'European elites are further along the evolutionary path than stupid
    non-European elites?'

    I wrote that 'unity in diversity' is ONLY 'in' among those PARTS of the
    European elite whose consciousness is far enough developed. I guess that's
    true for the American elite also.

    You wrote:
    'I wouldn't feel I was contributing to the betterment of mankind by
    encouraging gambling.'

    Neither do I. The ECF is not encouraging gambling, by the way. It is only
    profiting from it, which is bad enough.

    You ended with:
    'I consider it wrong to throw tax money at arts. Would you want your tax
    dollars used to fund a tour by Britney Spears? Whether the art centers of
    Europe would never have arisen without tax dollars is debatable. For
    example, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, one of the great museums of
    the world, was founded in 1870 by group of businessmen and financiers, not a
    bunch of government bureaucrats using money extorted from private citizens.'

    You can be sure that not a single tax Euro is used to fund commercial
    culture. Government budgets for art and culture are used to support
    diversity and innovation and ... unavoidably that which is traditionally
    considered beautiful (the so-called 'cultural heritage'). Don't forget that
    'government' in the time when Amsterdam became an art center of Europe
    (16th - 18th centuries) consisted of ... businessmen and financiers, who
    used governmental power (including taxation) to further their own interests
    (e.g. defending their trading vessels, protecting their wealth from thieves
    by putting them in houses for widows, orphans, sick, elderly etc., setting
    up hospitals to stem outbreaks of contagious diseases in their overcrowded
    city etc.). Other European art centers originated in powerful aristocracies
    maintaining artists at their courts for the sake of their social status.

    With friendly greetings,


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