Re: MF April 2004 - Metaphysics and the mystical reality.

From: Hugo Masse (hmassevirtual-moq@yahoo.com.mx)
Date: Fri Apr 09 2004 - 15:14:04 BST

  • Next message: Glenn Bradford: "Re: MF April 2004 - Metaphysics and the mystical reality."

    I'd like to draw your attention to the following quote
    (LILA, pg. 139)

    "In the past Phaedrus's own radical bias caused him to
    think of Dynamic Quality alone and neglect static
    patterns of quality." This is from chapter nine, when
    the story of the Zuņi brujo leads him to consider the
    DQ-SQ division to be better than the S-O one.

    What this passage says is that the Quality prior to
    this chapter nine (i.e. all of ZAMM and the first
    chapters of LILA) was DQ. In those 40 chapters (ZAMM
    32 + LILA 8) DQ equals Quality. But not all of the
    Quality there is. Only that which is being discussed
    by Pirsig: DQ = Tao = "manito" = "God" (p. 138) Maybe
    elsewhere he is not so precise, but this could be due
    to the fact that he was stating what was already
    stated here. Don't you find it awkward to talk about
    DQ, especially to the uninitiated?

    It would be like saying that ZAMM could be subtitled
    "A descent into the Yin" when one is not told that
    there is also a Yang. For the reader of ZAMM, Yin is
    everything, Yin is the Tao. In this simile, LILA
    should be subtitled "But there is also Yang... Yang1,
    Yang2, Yang3 and Yang4... and Ying" and we finally get
    to see the big picture.

    ZAMM is quasi-mystical. It is not so entirely since a
    mystical explanation of reality cannot be given orally
    or in written, since "the fundamental nature of
    reality is outside language". (LILA, p. 72) ZAMM uses
    language to explain Quality (or, now we know, DQ)
    therefore it is not purely mystical. Zen masters do it
    all the time, but they had the advantage of other
    practices: Meditation, Koans, Dokusan (interview
    master-apprentice), etc.

    Nevertheless, Pirsig departs of mysticism when he
    starts defining. When there is more than one kind of
    quality in his explanation... His explanation, that he
    intended to be "a bridge between the understanding of
    the Indians (mysticism) and the understanding of the
    anthropologists (rational thought, science)" (LILA,
    pp. 72-73).

    Another way to see this is that ZAMM is more "ZEN" and
    LILA is more "THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE". Has
    anyone noticed that each book contains 32 chapters?
    Put together is 64, just the number of hexagrams in
    the I Ching. Coincidence?

    I'd like to compare the Quality described in Pirsig's
    MOQ as lava. The one that is flowing, too hot to be
    contained is DQ. But here and there, lava gets to cool
    down and form a crust. It becomes solid, cold,
    immobile, static. But it is the same matter.

    Does his explanation help us understand mystical
    reality? As much as a description of the colour red
    help us "see" the colour red. "taste" guacamole (Did I
    tell you I am Mexican?), "smell" roses, "feel" a
    baby's skin, "hear" Mozart... mystical reality is
    there to be experienced, not to be explained.

    I would equate the MOQ with a ZEN philosophy for the
    XX-XXI century western thinkers. It enables you to
    talk about reality in metaphysical terms without the
    risk of being mocked and turned down as "new ager" or
    just "mystical", "unscientific", "illogical", etc.

    Good "good" days for all of you,

    Hugo Masse.

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