Hi David, Not to worry, sometimes I use sharp rhetoric for effect. The purpose is to shake some sense into somebody. Although I think that Marsha is unshakeable since she doesn't understand what I or others are trying to point out. If fact she enjoys the antagonism displayed in my post, for that is what she lives for. She likes to stir things up so that she gets some attention. Me? I am always chill since I am coming from a place where things do not bother me. This is what comes from being humble. It is great freedom. So my opinions are simply that, I have nothing invested in them, and they can change as I learn more. My reality is simply my reality. If I can share it with somebody, great, that is why I am here. I have no intention of convincing others that it is the Best ever.
With that in mind, I will address your comment below. Please do not take the rhetoric personally. This post was not written for you alone.
On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM, David Thomas <combinedefforts@eart...> wrote: > > If you look at my brief exchange with DMB you will see that analogs is all > you get. Analogs of analogs. That's what "the myth of the given" is all > about. Here is a snip from a Ken Wilbur interview: > > "WILBER: The myth of the given is one of the book's primary topics. It is > the belief that the world as it appears in my consciousness, as it is given > to me, is somehow fundamentally real, foundationally real, and that > therefore I can base my worldview upon whatever presents itself to my > consciousness. For example, I might see a rock in front of me; I take that > as real. I have an experience of anger; I take that as real. But the whole > point is that what our awareness delivers to us is set in cultural contexts > and many other kinds of contexts that cause an interpretation and a > construction of our perceptions before they even reach our awareness. So > what we call real or what we think of as given is actually constructed‹it's > part of a worldview." > http://www.andrewcohen.org/andrew/post-metaphysics.asp > > And then RMP in ZaMM pg 146: > > "In our highly complex organic state we advanced organisms respond to our > environment with an invention of many marvelous analogues. We invent earth > and heavens, trees, stones and oceans, gods, music, arts, language, > philosophy, engineering, civilization and science. We call these analogues > reality. And they are reality. We mesmerize our children in the name of > truth into knowing that they are reality. We throw anyone who does not > accept these analogues into an insane asylum." > > Now you might think that when he closes this paragraph with this: > > "But that which causes us to invent the analogues is Quality." > > That at least quality is real, a given? Nope. It's just an analog for > reality which is an analog for quality. But it's good. > > Dave
Dave, this is the false paradox which you have set up. By saying that anything we think of becomes somehow fantasy because it is not the direct thing will not lead you anywhere. When you step on a thorn, do you consider that to be real? If you don't, then you are farther out there than I have imagined. You are stuck in the conceptual world and therefore stuck in static quality. It takes one who thinks too much about these things to get into that cage. It also begs the question of what you think reality is?
Let me use the following example. Through the use of our eyes, we receive light at different wavelengths who's energy is absorbed. This transformed energy is then converted into electrical signal through a well studied process. This neuronal activity then travels to the back of our head, where in the dark, there is a system which creates an image of what we have seen. Therefore what we see is not the light, but the image created. So, we can say that this image is not the real thing.
However, can we also say that the workings of our eyes and the resulting image is not real. That is, do we imagine something when there is nothing there? We could, of course say that light is not real, and that, in fact nothing is real. But where does that take us? There is a strange notion that reality is something that occurs outside of us, and that somehow we are separated from this reality through some God given power. I would like to know, how can we separate ourselves from reality in this way. The only conclusion would be that there is no such thing as reality. This would mean that we have made a word up for something that doesn't exist. I would have to ask then: why did we make this word up?
If you can show me some way, using clever rhetoric, that our thinking is somehow not a real process, then I will consider your view that any analogy is not real. For an analogy is something that we create from real things. There is nowhere in that process where it becomes unreal. Studies have shown that thoughts can be stimulated by placing electrodes in the brain during brain surgery. Here we have the direct stimulation of thought. I suppose you could say that we are imagining that such brain surgery is even taking place. If so, then I know where you are coming from. In my opinion, thoughts are as real as anything else, even if the mechanism for self awareness is not known. People do not remember or act when the electrical activity in their brain is not there.
Also, the fact that electroconvulsive therapy was used in the past to "normalize" a manner of thinking, would also point to the fact that such thoughts are real. I believe Pirsig can testify to this. So, how can you say that what we think is not real?
It seems to me to be a manner in which you separate yourself from dynamic quality. People can live in DQ alone, despite what Pirsig says (one cannot live in DQ ALONE). But even if not, both DQ and sq make up out ability to think. So, I would have to say that you have severely misunderstood what Pirsig is trying to explain. All he says, is that we should not confuse the words for what they represent, because they are two DIFFERENT things. One cannot take that statement and say that the process by which thought is created is unreal. That just does not make sense. It would be like saying that a painting is not real, because it is only a representation. Most people would agree that a painting is real. It is only those who go too far with a simple description in a book that start to question what reality is. It does not take an educated mind to know what reality is. Perhaps what it takes is a mind with some common sense. :-).
I know you are trying hard to convince others that what we think is fake. But I do not think you will get many takers on this. Most people do not like to live in a fantasy world. Just because you make a representation of something does not make such a thing fake. It is a representation. What Pirsig is saying is: Be careful that you do not get stuck in the world of thought. This is why he berates metaphysics for its arrogance. It would seem, my friend, that you have not taken that advice to heart. Sure there are thoughts and there are many other things. They all exist, they are all real. Nothing phony about having a thought. Besides, what is not real about seeing a tree? Sure it can be "seen" in many ways, but what is wrong with our way?
Besides, can we not invent something that is real? I am afraid that Wilbur has followed the same wrong turn that you have. Perhaps he is not real either.
Quality is Quality, it is not an analogy for anything. Only the concept is an analogy. Please, get real.