On 1/25/12, david buchanan <dmbuchanan@hotm...> wrote:
> Andre said to Mark:
> ...With all respect Mark: NO!! Experience (DQ) is first. After this we form
> concepts. "Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to
> intellectual abstractions". The attempts at describing this experience is
> secondary. Value will always come first, the descriptions second. When you
> are at the stage of forming a concept/trying to put into words what you
> experienced then you already are at the secondary, static level. ...You
> want to 'encase'/'encapsulate' DQ by making it part of the intellect? By
> making it part of the intellect you are making it into an intellectual
> pattern of value. ..
> dmb says:
> I think Andre is quite right and he says it clearly too. Think of the train
> analogy from ZAMM. In that image we can see that the boxcars full of
> concepts are always right BEHIND the leading edge of experience. The whole
> thing has direction and momentum and it would be a real train wreck if the
> boxcars full of static quality became detached from the leading edge - and
> yet the distinction between static and Dynamic is absolutely crucial for a
> proper understanding of Pirsig's thought.
Yes, I am not saying that Andre is incorrect. The discussion was
about whether we can form a picture of the "leading edge". If we
cannot, then the rhetoric is useless. For how can we discuss
something that has no understanding. This is at odds with your
request for intellectual Value.
> Pirsig quotes William James at the end of chapter 29:
> " 'There must always be a discrepancy between concepts and reality, because
> the former are static and discontinuous while the latter is dynamic and
> flowing.' Here James had chosen exactly the same words Phaedrus had used for
> the basic subdivision of the Metaphysics of Quality." (Pirsig, LILA, Chapter
> Please notice what Pirsig and James are saying about "the basic
> subdivision". The MOQ's first distinction is between static concepts and
> dynamic reality. There is always going to be a discrepancy, James says,
> because reality (the leading edge of experience) is continuous and flowing
> while concepts are chopped up and sorted into piles, stored in boxcars, or
> otherwise defined and latched.
The discrepancy which is alluded to is the exact same discrepancy
which is provide by sq and DQ. This discrepancy is used to describe
Quality, it is not presented as Truth. The box cars and leading edge
are only formed if you look at them from the outside. They are not
there as you are experiencing them. If we do not make that claim, we
are once again lost in a Cartesian dichotomy. I do not know how
better to explain this than I have.
As you know, as we are having concepts go through our heads, they are
completely dynamic. They appear and disappear. By grabbing on to
this process as static, one is completely ignoring the dynamic aspects
of their existence. I believe that MoQ requests we look more at
Quality than how it appears.
> All these static patterns are invented in response to DQ, evolved over time
> and the patterns that work are inherited by us through language and culture.
> "Man is a participant in the creation of all things." We've invented the
> whole of conceptual reality and yet these box cars are our reality and it's
> not something to be tossed aside as unreal or unimportant. Cosmos means
> order, baby. As Pirsig paints it, this static latching has been going on for
> few years. As Carl Sagan would say, billions and billions of static latches
> over billions and billions of years.
Yes, and DQ is invented in response to our experience. Without
experience we would not have come up with DQ. If you are pointing to
the Truth of something called DQ, then you are on the wrong track, and
heading into a train graveyard. Quality comes first!
No, we do not toss aside any of this as you say. What I am suggesting
is a balance. The static latching is not the sum total of our
reality, and in fact makes up but a small part of it. This is why
Pirsig promotes an understanding of Quality. That is, to show that
there are two sides to the coin. We provide descriptions (qualities)
of things as if the descriptions ARE the REAL thing. My example for
photons is directed towards that. A photon is neither a wave or a
particle, that is simply a qualitative description. It is an sq
parameter, not the real thing. But, as we say, DQ cannot be
encapsulated in such a way. In EXACTLY the same way we cannot
encapsulate sq. This I explained to Andre, and perhaps you have not
read this reply yet.
> "The physical order of the universe is also the moral order of the universe.
> RTA is both. This is exactly what the MOQ was claiming. It was not a new
> idea. It was the oldest idea known to man." (Pirsig, LILA, chapter 30)
> "Dharma, like rta, means 'what holds together.' It is the basis of all
> order. It equals righteousness. It is the ethical code. It is the stable
> condition which gives man perfect satisfaction.Dharma is duty. It is not
> external duty which is arbitrarily imposed by others. It is not any
> artificial set of conventions which can be amended or repealed by
> legislation. Neither is it internal duty which is arbitrarily decided by
> one's own conscience. Dharma is beyond all questions of what is internal and
> what is external. Dharma is Quality itself, the principle of 'rightness'
> which gives structure and purpose to the evolution of all life and to the
> evolving understanding of the universe which life has created." (Pirsig,
> LILA, Chapter 30)
I believe that Dharma as duty is a Kantian concept, where our duty is
to follow morality. This is not quite MoQ. In the quote above is
also referrence to the phenomenology of Mind as presented by Hegel.
Also, in short, it can be construed to The Will to Survive as
presented by Schopenhauer (or even the Will to Power of Nietzche). If
taken literally we must accede to these philosophers which I am not
sure that we are willing to do, for that gets complicated. We must
state how MoQ is different. I do not see posts clarifying the the MoQ
position here. As I am sure you know, the more you understand the
history of philosophy, the more ambiguou such a quote becomes. In
addition, Dharma has many definitions so Pirsig is using it
rhetorically. Dharma also means "the Way of God", or it can mean a
refuge from suffering. In fact, Dharma can mean almost anything these
days. As such, we must also clarify what Pirsig means by Dharma.
When I hear Dharma, it brings me back to On the Road, or the Dharma
Bums. This is not what Pirsig means, imo. If we have such vague
words meaning Quality, then we are in trouble, intellectually
speaking. There is no fuzzy wuzzy in the Intellectual endeavor. If
we speak of DQ we must explain exactly what we mean. We cannot hide
and say that we cannot do so because of some rule or another, that is
simply nonsense when having an intellectual discussion. In this forum
we would not confuse the words for what they represent. So, from the
analogy above, DQ IS the Present Moment, it has to be! I do not see
how one can argue otherwise. But, I am willing to listen to well
formed opinions on this. My opinions on this are in many many posts.
If indeed it IS the present moment, then everything happening in the
present moment is DQ, including the entertainment of concepts by the
brain. Concept formation or recall cannot be sq from the personal
level. That is, of course unless DQ is something else. And I do not
want to hear that DQ cannot be defined. That is not intellectual,
that is spiritual.
> The evolving understanding of the universe is all about intellectual quality
> and this forum should be too. I mean, it's quite alright for a person to
> have other interests but those who don't care what Pirsig really is and is
> not saying probably shouldn't be posting here. It's like joining a chess
> club even though you don't play. You're just going to spoil it for people
> who do enjoy the game.
I completely agree, except that we do not understand the universe, we
create understanding. There is a big difference. To understand
something implies that there is a fundamental Truth which lies above
Quality. Of Course Intellectual Quality is tantamount. This
intellect can point to regions that cannot be encapsulated by the
intellect such as DQ. However, we must always keep in mind that MoQ
is not purely made up of sq. It is very dynamic and cannot be
referred to in a historical perspective. What I read is much of is a
regertitation of old dead philosophers. This is, of course,
philosophology, and can certainly present how much the writerhas been
reading, but it does not point to independent thinking, I could care
less about knowledge, I want to hear ideas. But that may simply be
just me, but I can read all these things on the internet outside of
MoQ. It is indeed appropriate to bring in other views from the past
to provide bridges to understanding of MoQ. As Pirsig himself stated
in an interview that is posted on the MOQ site, new blood and
perspective is needed in MoQ to push it forward. It is far from a
historical metaphysics. My question is, who in this forum makes the
rules as to what Pirsig really is? Who lives in his head? I find
such aggrandizing to be somewhat naive.
> Sigh. Horse is so much nicer than I am.
Sorry I am so rough on you dmb, but I care. You are no leader until
you have proven yourself.