> Hi Marsha,
>> I sense you might be frustrated by my point-of-view. I don't know what to do about that. My MoQ point-of-view is not something that needs to be caught in a cage and released in the wild. And neither is it something that needs to be domesticated to perform linear-thought tricks in order to stay. My definition of the 'self' or 'individual' within the MoQ and my definition of 'static patterns of value' represent, more and more, the better point-of-view, imho, and doesn't leave me stranded outside or locked inside of experience, but places me in the middle. Well, in the middle when I stay mindful. And it amazes me that my point-of-view conjures up so much animosity.
> Okay, so your ideas are better. What do you mean by ' leave me stranded outside or locked inside of experience, but places me in the middle'? Can you explain that more? Or not really?
Not stranded outside (objectively) and not locked inside (subjectively). Places me in the middle would be the MiddleWay or Quality perspective.
>>> Do you suffer? Do you experience pain in any way?
>> Yes, of course I sometimes suffer. And I do sometimes experience pain, too. I am too often caught in static patterns that are self-centered. What about you? Do you suffer? Do you experience pain? Does thinking of "static patterns of value as every thing" help? How?
> Yes I do suffer. Does thinking of static patterns of value as everything help me to deal with this suffering? In some ways. But I think more to the point the MOQ helps to deal with this suffering. Thinking of static patterns of value as everything - points to the suffering. It is because static patterns exist that we suffer. Static patterns are suffering.
I might quibble with this phraseology. It seems to me it is not the static patterns, but grasping or rejecting the static patterns as if they were permanent, unchanging and real.
> This is because we can't ever truly 'capture' reality. In the end, living is a degenerate activity. Metaphysics is a degenerate activity. Try as we might, we never get it 'right'. We try and capture a changing reality into a fixed, defined, thing. I'm using words now, and you speak words as well. These words represent things. But these things aren't Dynamic Quality. Because Dynamic Quality isn't anything. So we always, even unintentionally, end up defining that which cannot be defined. And because we do this, we get 'stuck', and we suffer.
You get it, but you do not need to stay stuck if you watch your flow of patterns. Suddenly you see them for what the are at their very core. Suddenly they become like works-of-art hanging on a wall and you are consciously evaluating them. They are bits and pieces of you, and you may consider their usefulness.
> With this in mind, I think that not only does the MOQ point to our suffering - it also offers us a way to free ourselves from this suffering. It points out a way to actually free ourselves from these static patterns. The MOQ says that rather than our typical everyday, Western, notion of freedom. The one which you and I grew up with. You know, the one where 'freedom' means doing something else. If we're suffering.. we should be 'free' to do something else. That is go and do some other thing, some other pattern - there is actually another type of freedom seldom talked about in the West. People are often surprised at how hard Asians people work without complaint. And I agree with Pirsig where he says that he thinks it is because they cracked this issue of freedom a long time ago..
I wish RMP had recommended insight meditation and mindfulness more, but maybe it was not a tool he needed. To watch how your mind works is something to behold. But the explanations the MoQ offer are very wise.
> "From the literature on Zen and its insistence on discovering the unwritten Dharma, that it will be intensely anti-ritualistic, since ritual is the written Dharma. But isn't the case. Zen monks' daily life is nothing but on ritual after another. Hour after hour, day after day, all his life. They don't tell him to shatter those static patterns to discover the unwritten Dharma, they want him to get those patterns perfect. The explanation for this contradiction is the belief that you don't free yourself from static patterns by fighting them with other contrary static patterns, that is called bad Karma chasing its tail. You free yourself from static patterns by putting them to sleep. That is you master them with such proficiency, that they become an unconscious part of your nature. You get so used to them you completely forget them and they are gone. There at the center of the most monotonous boredom of static ritualistic patterns, the dynamic freedom is found."
Zen is but one Buddhist path. I found Nagarjuna's intellectual deconstruction very powerful. My nature is to deconstruct, so I could work and rework it, but then again RMP deconstructed a subject-object world with as much vigor. Bo helped me too (and I am grateful.) The initial hook offered by ZAMM was a big one. It was honesty and trust. I believed RMP. I believed he had fallen into the abyss and survived. It was instant trust, and strong, and essential.
> In other words. We don't free ourselves from our pain and suffering by running away from it and pretending that it doesn't exist. We free ourselves from our suffering by living through those patters. By fully accepting their existence. By getting those patterns perfect!
My way is not to get those patterns perfect, but to understand their nature: conditionally co-dependent, impermanent, ever-changing and conceptualized.