RE: MF Discussion Topic for December 2003

Date: Thu Dec 11 2003 - 10:31:07 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: MF Discussion Topic for December 2003"

    Hi All Focussers.
    Thanks Sam for raising this enigmatic issue again, and for your
    opening post that pointed most clearly at the salient points. I would
    have joined earlier but was struck by a lightning thursday last (the
    4th) and as I can't sit at Internet Caffs or such and compose letter I
    had to wait for a new machine to be purchased and configurated.

    I use Paul's post of 10 Dec. as a reference:

    > Sam said:
    > RMP has variously defined what the intellectual level is; it is the
    > level of independently manipulable signs. So I think that RMP would now
    > say that X is an 'abstract sign (standing for a pattern of experience)'
    > Paul:
    > I think that's right. One could say that the intellectual level is
    > composed of the different ways in which independently manipulable signs
    > bond to form patterns of thought.

    I recognizing Paul's MOQ expertise, and admire his rhetoric skills,
    but it's pretty clear that P. doesn't consider his own thoughts
    regarding intellect as more valid than anyone's else (no Papal Bull
    ..etc.). This is really admirable and doesn't detract from his great
    achievement in creating the MOQ (something I have said unto
    exhaustion) but the orthodox definition of intellect remains dubious.
    > Sam said:
    > At the end of his letter to Paul Turner, however, he retreats to a
    > mystical perspective on the intellect: "for anyone who really wants to
    > know what intellect is I think definitions are not the place to start.
    > Since definitions are a part of the intellectual level the only person
    > who will understand a definition of intellect is a person who already is
    > intellectual and thus has the answer before he ever asks."

    > Paul:
    > I think his point here is not that intellect is undefinable in a mystic
    > sense but that the process of definition and conceptual differentiation
    > itself *is* intellect. (As an analogy, it is like writing "How do I
    > follow the rules of English grammar?" or asking somebody "Can you tell
    > me what 'talking' is?") The boundaries of the process are realised when
    > one transcends conceptual differentiation, and I think this is where
    > Pirsig's inclusion of mystic understanding comes in. He isn't saying
    > that intellect is mystical, in fact he coined the term "preintellectual"
    > to distinguish mystic awareness from intellect.

    We seem unable to snap out of this mind/matterish frame of mind
    reflected by these analogies, that Q-intellect's problemes are to be
    likened with "thinking unable to define thinking" and/or "the eye
    unable to see itself" ...etc. We are "...still somists after all these
    years." to say it with Paul (Simon).

    The root of the problem lies in the fact that few people recognize
    the fact that intellect is supposed to be a static level, but rather
    regard it as in the fashion shown above: Abstraction per se. Some
    (Scott Roberts mostly) has shown that this leads to everything
    being intellect (a definition wielded by Jonathan and many more,
    but not from Scott's premises) who I most intensely would have
    liked to join in a thrust for a more "quality-like" intellect, but he has
    left the MOQ ....for this very reason!!!!'s frustrating.

    Paul is of course right in saying that Pirsig isn't saying that
    intellect is mystical and that the term "preintellectual awareness"
    says it all. What we mean by all these SOM's S-derivative: mind,
    consciousness, awareness, thinking ...etc. are of course the
    VALUE-PERCEPTION connected with intellect. But there are
    similar pre-static perceptions at all other levels. At intellect it leads
    to the subject/object value, but there is the ineradicable notion that
    this part of the ZMM describes another intellectual pattern being
    born, while it is MOQ taking leave of intellect.

    > Either we can talk about the intellectual level in comparison with the
    > other levels or we can't. Either we can develop some systematic analysis
    > and description of how the intellectual level functions and about the
    > static patterns that we can discern emerging, or else the level
    > collapses into DQ, whereof one must remain silent.

    Spot on!!!!

    > Either RMP is right
    > to say that "Grammar, logic and mathematics can be described as the
    > rules of this sign manipulation" - and we can therefore describe some
    > elements of the fourth level with confidence - or else RMP is right to
    > say that "the intellectual level cannot describe itself any better than
    > an eye can directly see itself."

    Right, Pirsig's initial intention when writing his MOQ was obviously
    that intellect is no mystical realm, but very much another static
    development, but then ...he somehow lost momentum and lapsed
    back into this somish mindish mire.

    In my opinion.

    Phew, this keyboard is of a different lay-out than my old one with
    the "delete, home, end, insert .." keys way off at the top. Grrr!!! Did
    not notice that when choosing it.

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