I seems as though we are progressing towards blending our views. This
can come about through discussion so long as we do not get stuck in
camps of minutia. I believe we have the same intention so I continue
this in good faith. Since we both know where we have got so far, I am
deleting some of the history below, and moving forward.
On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM, David Harding <davidjharding@gmai...> wrote:
> Hi Mark,
>> I think that Pirsig must be careful here, for that statement can be
>> interpreted in many ways. I am not sure if Pirsig is an expert on
>> Vedic knowledge, but I would doubt it since that takes many many years
>> of training. "not this, not that" is of course a translation of the
>> Neti Neti, which is actually NOT "not this not that". I am sure you
>> know this so this statement is for others who become confused by this.
> I really don't think it's all that ambiguous. Dynamic Quality isn't anything. It's not this, not that, not anything.
Yes we can say that for to ascribe it as something is sq, but to
discuss something we must have something to discuss. In this sense it
is a topic of discussion whether or not it is or is not anything. It
is with this hope for agreement that I continue.
So you correctly say that the
>> "unravelling" is value driven. However, it is not unravelling at all,
>> it is structure building. There is nothing to unravel.
> I think it is unravelling. It's creation. It's art.
What I mean by nothing to unravel is this: Unraveling implies that
something already exists to be unraveled. If anything we are
"raveling" things. That is we are "creating a ravel". This is what
the formation of concepts does. It creates bundles where none
existed before. Art is the creation of something new, not the
exposition of something old. So yes, we are partaking in creation,
not in unravelling a piece of art that already exists.
> Gravity is a concept. Everything we can talk about are concepts. But does that mean there exists just concepts?
No, I would never say that there exists just concepts. This is a
point that you and I can agree on. Gravity is a concept which POINTS
TO something. It is that something that lies before the concept that
I am referring to. It is of course "not anything" in the same way
that DQ is not anything, as you state. For to say that it is
something is just the concept.
> I think that quality is fundamental, not concepts. While all we can talk about is concepts how did the concepts get here? These concepts were selected based on how good they are. It is the quality which the concepts describe that is fundamental. What about that quality? What is it exactly? The MOQ would say that we can break this quality into two. sq and DQ. sq we can talk about. sq is every thing. sq is every thing in an encyclopaedia. Is gravity in an encyclopaedia?
These concepts were not selected from somewhere, they were created,
but I think that is what you mean. We create the concepts which best
represent what we are intuitively appreciating at the time. The
quality that the concepts describe can also be said to be "not
anything" if I understand your use of the term. SQ is not everything,
it is just a representation of what we want to talk about. We create
concepts from the "everything" you are bringing in. Sure, we can say
that sq is every thing in an encyclopedia provided we are speaking of
a static encyclopedia. But new things are entered into it all the
time aren't they. Therefore there is more to an encyclopedia then
what is in it.
No, gravity is not an encyclopedia. The manner in which we represent
gravity can be found in an encyclopedia, but that is not gravity, that
is just a conceptual representation of what we deem to be gravity. It
will of course change in its conceptualization through the ages. The
concept of gravity is not fixed. Gravity itself is not anything.
> Now DQ.. is that in an encyclopaedia? DQ isn't anything.
No, DQ is not an encyclopedia either. We can agree on that.
>> I never said meaningless. In fact there is great meaning to the
>> undefined. I thought I made this clear. Yes, it is a human ability
>> to be able to define. In that way we can converse about things.
>> However, these definitions are not meant to replace, they are just
>> tools. Of course there is more than just these minds of ours, but
>> those are from which we speak. I can't imagine thinking like a plant,
>> can you? However they have their own presence which is as valid as
> I disagree a plant is as 'valid' as us. We humans are capable of far more things than a biological plant.
Well spoken like a true human. From the human perspective I will
agree with you that we are "far more" that a biological plant. It is
good to be arrogant at times ;-).
>> OK, I think that is correct by my view. Science opperates in the same
>> way, always has. Science is a progressive metaphysics.
> Yes, science is open in this same way; however it's foundations like SOM or the scientific method are not open in this way. Within the MOQ, even its foundations are open to being replaced by something better.
I am not sure what you mean by its foundations. Every time you put
your hand in the shower to see if it is warm yet, IS the Scientific
Method. If this is a closed method, then you may be referring to
"open in this way" in some other way. The foundation of science are
to question and provide answers in the same way you check the water
temperature of a shower. If the shower water is the right
temperature, then the investigation stops, until the next shower.
This is a foundation for our experiential existence. Of course
experience is always open by nature.
So the scientific method is no different from what you do every day.
It can ge more complex of course while you check the shower others
have invented the locomotive engine.
>> I am not quite sure why you say that. Perhaps your interpretation
>> does not fit what I am trying to say. We all know what truth is, and
>> it is not "any word on the planet". I am speakin of "truth" which
>> occurs before we make any conceptual framework of it. Bumping into a
>> tree in the dark of night is Truth. Unless you want to say that such
>> a thing is simply an illusion. If this is the case then it is you who
>> are making the concept of truth prior to conceptualization
>> meaningless. There is truth within Quality, my friend.
> I see. You seem to be using the term truth as a scientist would. In the objective sense. That is 'before concepts'. But I do not think any such truth exists. Truths are ideas. There are truths about biological and inorganic quality certainly but these truths are intellectual and not the quality they represent.
I am distinguishing between the truth of concepts, and the truth to
which the concepts point. Of course this second truth can "nothing at
all" as you say. It is outside of the conceptual. Therefore it
cannot be "something". The concepts we form are not Truth, they are
>> I am not sure what you mean by Good. Is the currently accepted truth
>> about death by the intelligencia good? Is the fact that we become
>> anhilated and cannot return in another life time Good? This is the
>> accepted truth in our day and age amongst the intellectuals, but in my
>> opinion it is far from good. Please explain what you mean by Good, or
>> "high quality", because I do not think we see it in the same way.
> I'm surprised every time you ask me to define, or what I mean by Good. If there are truths which aren't good, then they aren't good. I think what you may be referring to is that a truth to one person is different to a truth of another? The truth of something can be culturally determined just as the good can. But does that mean there is no such thing as good?
Well if I surprise you by asking for clarification, I suppose it is a
good surprise. I am simply trying to understand what you are
presenting. You do not have to respond to my question, but that would
not be in the spirit of this discussion.
As I understand it you are proclaiming that some truths are not good
because they are not good. Fair enough.
I am not talking about a cultural perspective, in fact I am trying to
distinguish the "cultural perspective" from the personal relationship.
So, I ask that we move away from the cultural perspective as a means
to proclaim that there is no such thing as Good or Truth. This is the
trap I seek to present, and the means for getting out of it if one
falls into it. This is the trap of relativism. I think that we agree
>> Again you seem to miss the whole point of my rhetoric. The
>> definitions is not the laugh. It is only a definition. The laugh
>> itself is undefinable, it is an occurrence. There is no way to
>> suitably define it. Again, I must warn you about thinking that the
>> definitions (sq) are the thing being defined (DQ). If you do, you get
>> caught up living in an sq world. MoQ is supposed to lead one out of
>> this mind-set that you seem to be promoting. We are not stuck in an
>> sq world. Please try to understand that. We live in a DQ world.
> I know that mark. And I certainly don't doubt your good intentions. But it's so easy for someone, anyone to come along and say, oh so that right there is DQ! And miss it completely..
Yes, we are simply talking about something. I only point to the topic
of our conversation. As you say, there is nothing that can be missed,
and I fully agree with that. By living in a DQ world, we are not
subjecting it to the apparitions of sq. This would be a shame indeed.
We could not live in an sq world for it would only be a world of
concepts. The concepts are simply a means for conversing, not the
real things they are pointing to.
>> If Truth as intellectual
>> value is something that you find to be true, how do you go about the
>> ranking of this truth? If what is true is the highest intellectual
>> pattern, then who's intellectual pattern do you choose? You seem to
>> be sliding into the meaninglessness of relativism here, unless I
>> misunderstand what you are trying to say.
> I think the confusion here is the term "highest intellectual pattern". This term seems to suggest some sort of ranking. If something is ranked, then where does the first thing come from? We've actually had this discussion before about sq patterns in general. As I said then, I don't think that you need more than one quality to 'rank' it. If there is one, then that's the best pattern.
OK, I understand you. When you present the word "highest" you are
pointing towards usefulness. As there is no ranking I am fully on
your side for this one. We do not select amongst intellectual
patterns to find the highest one. We can agree on this. "Best" is
not a relative term in this case.
>> > The thing itself is the static quality. 'Doing something' could be
>> > biological, social or intellectual quality. It depends on what it is that
>> > your doing but these things are all static quality. We do have words for
>> > the actual doing. Running, Reading, Thinking, these are all doing words no?
>> No, the thing itself is NOT static quality. The concept of the thing
>> is static quality. Again, I must warn you of confusing the concept
>> with the thing it is representing. A word is a word, nothing more.
>> Yes, a word is a form of sq, but it is only a word. When we speak of
>> what we are doing that is static quality. The doing itself without
>> any conceptualization is dynamic, pure DQ. It is the intimate
>> connection between us and everything else. It cannot be defined.
>> Definitions do not even approach what it is. This is a very important
>> concept in MoQ. Our simplification of things do not, even nearly,
>> represent what they are, they are just agreements.
> I think there is a fine line here with our disagreement. You argue that everything is a concept. I agree with this argument but with a caveat. That caveat is that, everything is a concept in so far as it is good. So while it's true that our minds create the world in which we live, and it's true that our definitions are sq. They are not the only sq. It is a good idea also, that our ideas represent the sq of the other levels. I think this is a large part of our disagreement so if you have more to say on this then please do.
No, I do not argue that everything is a concept. Concepts are
concepts, nothing more. All our minds do is interpret the world. If
we created the world, we would be living in a world without DQ. So If
you are in agreement with me there, there is no disagreement. The
idea of levels is static quality. The idea of levels does not exist
outside of static quality. What exists outside of static quality is
not anything as you say. We cannot even say that it is "not this, not
that", because that is a concept in itself. We do not live in
concepts, we create them.
>> Yes, what comes from the whacking at that instant is pure DQ. Once we
>> conceptualize them they are represented by sq. This is the whole
>> purpose of trying to Whack somebody out of the sq dream. If you state
>> that DQ is not this not that, you are not really saying it IS "not
>> this not that", you are pointing away from sq. I am not capturing DQ
>> into sq, so don't believe such a thing. Perhaps you are doing such
>> capturing. I am outside of such a thing. I am pointing to the nature
>> of sq. Again, I guess I can't explain this well.
> Well yeah, I'm not sure what you mean by your "outside of such a thing". I don't think anyone can avoid defining things. There's not a person alive who hasn't defined something in some way. The best way to define DQ is by pointing at what it is not rather than what is it. Everyone knows what it is…
Most of the things you experience are not defined. There would not be
enough time in the day to define them. I agree with your
formalization of how one should talk about DQ if we do not want to
talk about it.
>> > Your travels are still sq. The concept of your travels represents other sq
>> > things which you did while you were on your travels.
>> > > >
>> No, they are not. They are sq when I conceptualize them. The travels
>> themselves have nothing to do with sq. I am speaking of that which
>> lies before the concepualization. It is the act of doing those things
>> that I am pointing towards. Again I must warn you about confusing the
>> "representation" (sq) for the thing it is representing (DQ).
> Yes Mark, and I don't deny that you are doing that you are pointing at the DQ and not the sq. But my point is that what you were doing before you 'conceptualised' travelling was sq travelling.. And yes, I'm fully aware that we only know this on reflection..
How can something that we do that we do not conceptualize be sq? This
does not make sense to me. I am speaking of the traveling before
conceptualizing. The traveling that occurs in every moment. This
happens before we have time to conceptualize. We do not
preconceputalize what is coing to happen each and every moment. At
that point it is still DQ. I do not know how to make this any
clearer. Perhaps you reply will allow me.
>> > >
>> > > I can claim that it is NOT sq. I do not see why you would say it is.
>> > > Would you consider the manner in which you look out before
>> > > conceptualizing to be sq? I think you are confusing what I am
>> > > presenting with the words I am presenting it with. I can say that I
>> > > am in the presence of DQ all the time, this is why I like what Pirsig
>> > > wrote. If you want to believe it is sq, that is fine by me, but it is
>> > > not.
>> > >
>> > Yes, I would consider 'the manner in which you look out before
>> > conceptualising' to be sq.
>> Then we have different defintions of sq. I can live with that.
> Well this is why we're having this discussion.. To bring harmony to our different understandings. I can only live with with it when there is such harmony. Right now I don't think there's such harmony, but I think it's getting better :-)
I agree, but if you consider the moment before conceptualization to be
sq, it seems to me you are bringing sq into the realms of DQ. I like
to keep DQ and sq separate. SQ is after it is conceptualized. You
indicate that it is before. Do this is a fundamental difference that
is one of definitions. Perhaps there is harmony there, give it a try.
How is it that sq exists in the pre-intellectual if that is what you
mean. I can be convnced.
> I don't claim that intellectual quality 'replaces' what it represents. Far from it. What I do claim is that it does represent the other levels. No one would say that the concept of arm didn't represent the things in front of us..
Yes, it does represent it. But the concept of "arm" is not the arm.
we create a concept to make it something. It exist prior to any
conceptualization. The arm is not anything, just like DQ. We agree
that we can conceptualize, but that is just an agreement.
>> but even that idea of yours above will eventually be replaced by something better and thus on a certain scale could be said to be 'wrong'.
>> > >
>> > Yes, I agree, fundamentally we can't define anything. Things change and thus
>> > we always get it wrong. But we're alive and picking up bar ladies and
>> > discussing Metaphysics on a discussion board is a part of life.
>> Yes, when we define we are agreeing on things so that we can exchange
>> ideas. This is a fundamental ability of being human, and is extremely
>> Grand. Just look at how creative we can be. We have developed such a
>> complex form of exchange that I am continually astonished by it. We
>> can present pictures in words!
>> We get nothing wrong unless you think the act of creativity is wrong.
>> Far from it, we are doing things right. Let us not confuse what is
>> for what we represent it to be, however.
> Yep. But then I guess even that idea of yours above will eventually be replaced by something better and thus on a certain scale could be said to be 'wrong'. That's what I meant anyways..
Every second is replaced, can't get away from that. So I agree. :-)
> Well as you can probably guess I guess I will criticise.. I think it sullies the clean distinction between DQ and sq. You keep saying that you know of a 'DQ tree' or a 'DQ interaction' but DQ cannot be captured into concepts like this. DQ is before concepts. DQ isn't anything. Even if your intentions are pure, these words of yours of a 'DQ tree' can be taken very easily by someone else and turned into sq. If I say, "oh that's just the 'DQ tree' over there" or "oh that's just someone's 'DQ intentions'". Then I think this really misses the mark. We end up just talking about sq and losing sight of what DQ is. DQ isn't anything.
No it doesn't . It simply points to a whole world that exist before
conceptualization. Such a world is not any thing until we
conceptualize it. All of this is DQ, it cannot be otherwise, imo.
This is a very clear distinction. One is conceptual the other is not.
Certainly the thing we form a concept of such as tree must exist
before we form a concept of it. But as far as our intellect is
concerned it is not anything. Before it has a concept, that is, it is
represented with the brain, surely it must exist. If it were sq at
that point that would sully the water, wouldn't it? Isn't this the
whole point of the pre-intellectual?
I still do not understand how you view sq. In my simple understanding
of what you are presenting, it seems to be everything and therefore
leaves DQ out of the metaphysics. DQ becomes sq when we interpret it
and form an image. Surely there is a time before that. I think this
need more discussion when you find the time.