Re: MF Discussion Topic for December 2003

Date: Thu Dec 18 2003 - 17:18:53 GMT

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

    All Foci

    Sam said:

    > I take seriously RMP's comment in his letter to Paul Turner that
    > "When getting into a definition of the intellectual level much
    > clarity can be gained by recognizing a parallel with the lower
    > levels." So let us consider a hypothetical IQ test question set in,
    > say, 2050:

    > "As the atom is to the physical level, and the gene is to the
    > biological level, and the tribe is to the social level, so is X to
    > the intellectual level" - What is X?

    The Subject/Object divide naturally, what else?

    Mark 18-12-03: X to the intellectual level may be described as a static
    repertoire of symbols evolving in response to DQ. The manipulation of the
    repertoire is an artistic process responding to pre-intellectual harmony or Quality -
    and the creations themselves are new coherent relationships within the
    SoM is merely one such creation, and a genetically flawed one, as RMP
    indicates in ZMM. It is clear from this description of intellect that SoM is the
    product or mythos created by the intellect and not the intellect itself.

    > 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)'.

    Mark 18-12-03: A repertoire of symbols is always in an evolving relationship
    with DQ. However, the total repertoire is much more than one element, and it
    may be argued that it is impossible to isolate one element or symbol, rather as
    one cannot really isolate one atom, gene, tribe or idea. I do not feel RMP
    would use the language you suggest, as your language is analytical and therefore
    rooted in a methodology of symbolic manipulation attempting to describe all
    other symbolic manipulations of an unanalysable nature.

    > 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.

    Intellect cannot define intellect; no level can define itself.

    Mark 18-12-03: A static repertoire evolving in response to DQ is experienced
    but partly definable as a 'static repertoire' responding to 'DQ.' It is DQ
    which presents the 'mystical' flavour Sam is tasting in the RMP quote.

    > 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."

    To define is to state the meaning of words and I do believe pre-
    intellectual people defined constantly. When meeting other
    languages telling what words meant. This reflects the notorious
    reverting to the speaking/thinking intellect

    Mark 18-12-03: The phrase, 'static repertoire' does not define words does it?
    It basically says, 'All symbols representing static experience' and that is
    like saying, 'All numbers you can count with.' At the point of exceptional
    coherence between SQ-SQ tension there is no thinking - this is the
    pre-intellectual forging of new static patterns, which is then mistaken by many to be
    'thought.' Basically, pre-intellectual awareness is an aesthetic. e.g. the
    mathematician 'feels' his/her equation to be correct because it is elegant or beautiful.

    > I think this is both a cop-out and primary evidence of incoherence.
    > Either we can talk about the intellectual level in comparison with
    > the other levels or we can't.

    Sure it is a cop-out and sure we can talk about intellect. As a
    static level of the MOQ it is defined from MOQ's perspective and
    from there it is plain going.

    Mark 18-12-03: We can talk about the intellectual level. If we encounter a
    beautiful intellect we recognise the beauty. If we encounter a sour intellect,
    then we are repulsed.
    Also, the phrase, 'static repertoire of patterns responding to DQ' is a
    statement about the intellect.

    > I believe that we can talk about the fourth level of the MoQ. I
    > believe that the interactions between the levels can be delineated
    > with more or less precision, and I believe that the characteristics
    > of the static fourth level patterns, and the way in which they
    > respond to Quality can be discerned. My concern is that RMP's
    > delineation lacks Quality, simple as that.

    The intellectual level is not delineated (in the definition sense) in
    LILA - nor is any other level and Pirsig says is some letter to
    someone that he did not see the need to define intellect, he took it
    to be obvious. I did so too in the beginning, but in this discusssion
    it dissolved completely, and I arrived at the S/O definition to shore
    it up.

    Mark 18-12-03: The statement, 'My concern is that RMP's delineation lacks
    Quality, simple as that.' is an aesthetic one! But if we delineate the
    intellectual level as an aesthetic awareness of a static repertoire evolving in response
    to DQ, beauty is a primary concern.
    If beauty is not a primary concern, as ZMM indicates, then you must define
    Quality for us Sam.


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