> Writing a metaphysics of Quality is degenerate BECAUSE metaphysics has to be
> intellectual and static but the mystic reality (DQ) is neither static nor
> intellectual. DQ is the primary empirical reality that all of our static
> concepts have to answer to. Another way to say it is that intellectual
> static quality (abstract concepts) always follows from, are derived from and
> are secondary to pre-intellectual experience (DQ). The MOQ is, strictly
> speaking, a matter of bringing DQ, the primary reality, down to the the
> level of secondary abstractions and derived concepts. Actually, it's not as
> bad as all that. DQ remains undefined and the MOQ is a bunch of ideas
> arranged around that mystic focal point. About the focal point itself, we
> don't say much and when it is talked about it's usually in terms of what DQ
> ain't. It ain't static and it ain't intellectual but that's exactly what
> metaphysics must be. And there is nothing inherently degenerate about
> intellectual patterns of quality. The problem arises when we abuse the
> abstracting function, when we make ideas more real or more important than
> the reality they come from. This is, strictly speaking, a matter of breaking
> the highest moral code. Words cheapen it. It really does feel kinda sleazy
> even now.
I am not sure how you are using the term degenerate here. For if
something degenerates it reverts back to DQ. I also would not say
that DQ is primary. For DQ and sq cannot exist without each other.
Like a window opening cannot exist without a frame.
Otherwise I agree with your caution on the persistence of the
intellect. While words may not cheapen, they certainly can control.
It is this sense of control that can be destructive. Your words ring
true to me since they are pointing away from words.
> Those who confuse these things might come to the absurd conclusion that the
> MOQ is outside of thought and language, that words can't be defined and
> ideas have no particular meaning. The MOQ is given to us in two published
> books and it's filled to brim with thoughts and ideas and words with
> particular meanings and definitions. The mystic reality it talks about is
> not given to us in any book, especially not the ones that say otherwise.
Yes, meaninglessness is rampant. We create meaning! To create
meaninglessness is destructive in the same way democratically voting
in a totalitarian regime (as may be happening in the Middle East) is
destructive. To assume that a defintion is binding and encompasses
all of what the concept is, is also destructive. Definitions are a
rough tool used for conversation to express ideas. They are not the
idea. A definition of a dog is not the dog. Definitions are
agreements, and certainly we must agree on them for them to be useful.
When speaking metaphysics about the nature of things, this comes from
the inside, and so it is not unusual that phrases can mean different
things to different people. That is why rhetoric and explanation is
necessary. Anybody can quote verses from the bible. But that is
meaningless. They are just words on a page.
I would caution against using the two books to literally. Pirsig is
painting a picture, but MoQ is not the paint on the canvas. It is
expressed in the best way he can muster, but his actual awareness of
such a thing is entirely separate from the words. Both books can be
read at many different levels, and probably none approach what he is
experiencing. Many other descriptions can be used for Quality so long
as they are consistent. There are many ways to skin a cat. If we do
not respect this, we are left with dogma.
I do not think the two books were meant to be bibles.