When compared to the statement "that which has no value does not exist" how is it we "know"
that there is more than the "shoe box"? When speaking about the intelligible we are meaning to "know"
it, to have a conception of experience thats what makes experience experience, the very fact that it is
intelligible, that it has value. That having been said, one could make the arguement that since "empirical reality"
is primarilarly composed rationaly, making "empirical reality" a high Quality idea, the shoebox IS the sky.
The emphasis being on "that which has no value, does not exist." If the "primary empirical reality" is
that "which does not exist", why does all life migrate towards it? how is it Primary? how is it "known"
better and more primary than conceptually? than understanding it in some sort of capacity because
to understand something is to value it in some sort of capacity.
RMP:"Some of the most honored philosophers in history have been mystics: Plotinus, Swedenborg, Loyola, Shankaracharya and many others. They share a common belief that the fundamental nature of reality [DQ] is outside language [sq]; that language splits things up into parts while the true nature of reality is undivided. Zen, which is a mystic religion, argues that the illusion of dividedness can be overcome by meditation."
RMP: ....Mystics will tell you that once you've opened the door to metaphysics you can say good-bye to any genuine understanding of reality. Thought is not a path to reality. It sets obstacles in that path because when you try to use thought to approach something that is prior to thought your thinking does not carry you toward that something. It carries you away from it. To define something is to subordinate it to a tangle of intellectual relationships. And when you do that you destroy real understanding."
I struggle with this somewhat because since reality is largely composed of thought, HOW we think
of things brings us closer to clarity certainly NOT understanding or failing to understand experience or ceasing
to is being carried away from it. "Real understanding" is an "understanding" after all. eh?
Well, Pirsig does say that DQ is primary. He calls it "the primary empirical reality", for example.
The concept of degeneracy, in this case, is a matter of trying to make DQ (the primary empirical reality) fit into concepts. In one passage, Pirsig describes this as a container problem. Which is bigger than the other? Which could fit inside the other? Can all ideas fit inside of empirical reality? Sure, why not? Can all of empirical reality fit inside ideas? No, of course not. That's why DQ can't be defined. It's like trying to put the sky in a shoebox.
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