RE: MF Discussion Topic for May 2004

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Wed May 12 2004 - 03:52:03 BST

  • Next message: "Re: MF Discussion Topic for May 2004"

    How about if we think about the levels by taking a look backward? The idea
    of levels in Pirsig's thinking goes back to ZAMM, at least. I suspect its
    part of the "oldest idea known to man". In any case, the quote below we can
    almost see what the MOQ levels looked like before they were born. In the
    distinctions between physical, mental and value quietness we can see the
    biological, the social/intellectual and the Dynamic...

    "This inner peace of mind occurs on three levels of understanding. Physical
    quietness seems the easiest to achieve, although there are levels and levels
    of this too, as attested by the ability of Hindu mystics to live buried
    alive for many days. Mental quietness, in which one has no wandering
    thoughts at all, seems more difficult, but can be achieved. But value
    quietness, in which one has no wandering desires at all but simply performs
    the acts of his life without desire, that seems the hardest." ZAMM 265

    I found a similar notion in The Guidebook to ZAMM. Below, Ron DiSanto is
    commenting on the classroom exchange that promted the young Phaedrus to
    leave India. When he'd asked his professor if the bombings at Nagasaki and
    Hiroshima were just an ILLUSION too, the teacher said only "yes". The
    structure of the MOQ was the furthest thing from DiSanto's mind when he made
    these comments. In fact, they hadn't yet been born (Or rather published)
    yet. Here he is explaining why it was apportiate for the young student from
    the West to be shaken by the his techer's apparent indifference to such
    slaughter. Still we see the idea of levels expressed in it...

    ..."I think it important to point out that he might have answered
    differently without doing injustice to the tradition. He might have said,
    for example, that there are levels of truth and reality. ...we who live on
    lower level the level of empirical consciousness, must regard as real and
    take very seriously events like Hiroshima, even though we believe that such
    events disappear on the highest level. We are where we are, and we shouldn't
    pretend to be where we aren't. When we say the things of the world are
    mayic, illusory, we are speaking of what is true from a standpoint of the
    highest level."

    What's my point? I suspect reality itself is ranked and ordered somehow and
    its not just us imposing our hierarchies. The idea seems too old, too
    pervasive, too useful and too well backed by evidence for us to do anything
    but believe it. If the universe were not so well ordered and ever striving
    for more exquisite forms of quality, how could it have produced Kate


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