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

From: Glenn Bradford (
Date: Sat Apr 10 2004 - 23:16:50 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MF April 2004 - Metaphysics and the mystical reality."

    Rick, Hugo,

    Rick wrote:
    "I believe the quotes previously presented support the
    notion that Pirsig sees static/dynamic as only one
    possible metaphysical division of Quality. This would
    suggest that he does see "Quality" as more primary
    that DQ and SQ (if other divisions of Q are possible,
    than how could it not be 'more primary' than one
    particular split?). This is not to suggest a trinity,
    rather I think he's suggesting that static/dynamic (or
    any other metaphysical division like romantic/classic,
    subject/object) only exist as concepts within human
    understanding; Intellectually adequate, but ultimately
    incomplete descriptions of Quality, the undivided
    reality that exists prior to and could never fully be
    contained within any human understanding. But I hope
    we can discuss this some more as I believe Pirsig's
    writings on the subject certainly warrant further

    One could argue that SOM is a metaphysics (albeit one
    that no one completely believes), yet it makes little
    sense to call SOM a Quality metaphysics unless the
    constituents of its first cut are kinds of Quality,
    and this would only happen if you were convinced that
    subjects and objects are not really subjects and
    objects but instead kinds of Quality. In short, saying
    that SOM or any metaphysics you can think of is really
    a Quality metaphysics in disguise is less an insight
    than it is a demonstration of the extent of Pirsig's

    Pirsig says in LC that "ideas come first" except for
    DQ, which exists prior to ideas. So if this is true
    then how could Pirsig also think that the Dynamic part
    of static/dynamic Quality *only* exists as a concept
    within human understanding? Admittedly, there is a
    certain difficulty about using terms like Quality,
    Dynamic Quality, and static quality and being
    completely understood because they serve dual
    functions as ideas in and of themselves and as
    pointers to other aspects of reality, but since ideas
    and reality are so intimately intertwined in the MoQ,
    as they are in any metaphysics based on philosophical
    idealism, it is often impossible to set straight the
    system's interior logic.

    Hugo dug up the ch. 9 quote:
    "In the past Phaedrus's own radical bias caused him to
    think of Dynamic Quality alone and neglect static
    patterns of quality."

    His own radical bias makes him forget about static
    quality many times after the first 40 chapters. Check
    out how he throws around the term quality when he is
    clearly speaking of DQ in his 2000 letter to Bodvar.

    "Has anyone noticed that each book contains 32
    chapters? Put together is 64, just the number of
    hexagrams in the I Ching. Coincidence?"

    Oh for goodness sake.

    "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 think if you accept these examples, as well as
    Pirsig's metaphor about the menu and the food, as
    mystical, then Pirsig has done an adequate job of
    helping us understand the mystical in juxtaposition to

    "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."

    Certain detractors of the MoQ, including myself, have
    been saying these very things for a long time. For
    example, see the title of the review of Lila's Child
    by Struan Hellier at, and the first few
    sentences of the second paragraph.

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archive -
    MF Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_focus follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Apr 11 2004 - 16:11:31 BST