On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 9:06 PM, David Harding <davidjharding@gmai...> wrote:
> I'm still very keen on knowing your views on what I've written and I just can't understand why you're so disappointed when my response contained either agreement or further elaboration. What more do you want? Can you please at least respond to some of the substance of what I've written - where I either disagree or I have sought to elaborate on what you've written - or alternatively perhaps elaborate more on why you're so disappointed?
I fear I've been short with you and I am sorry about that... I get
that way when I am on the brink of finishing a manuscript; attempting
to tie up loose ends and bring the story full circle begins taking up
most of my waking moments as well as the entirety of my dreams. Your
'yeahs' began to sound a bit condescending (I know that's not how you
meant it) and I became put out by it. I've tried to do better here...
> One more time..
>> Of course not. Right practice pertains to all artistic endeavors.
>> Consider for a moment a baseball player going through a hitting slump.
>> He has practiced countless hours, played innumerable games, and faced
>> many and diverse pitching opponents. Now he cannot seem to get a hit
>> to save his life. So what does he do?
>> He goes back to basics. He works with coaches examining his swing for
>> flaws. He spends extra time in the batting cage working out the kinks
>> that may have crept into his game. The one thing he does not do is
>> seek to forget those carefully honed skills until they're gone.
> Yes, but how do kinks creep into his game? If he has previously mastered the art of batting, I think it is because he has lost sight of the undefined source of all things and that his batting has become too rigid and static. In other words he has 'lost touch'.
> I agree with you, I don't think the way to get back in touch is to purposefully 'forget' those patterns. But I don't think that is what Pirsig is talking about when he uses that term. What I think he is talking about is that if you do something enough times over and practice it enough times over - eventually you'll master it without even having to think about it. At this stage you could be said to have 'forgotten' how to bat and are a masterful batter.
I don't think so. That seems like saying once a person has mastered
the art of writing they forget how to write. I tend to look at any
artful endeavor as a Dynamic unfolding... one which the artist is
never in control. And I think that is what Evans is saying as well...
that there must always be a static reference point in the Dynamics of
>> Now... if he is into meditation, he may sit quietly at times. And he
>> may see how the mindfulness of meditation may spill over into greater
>> attention in his aim to hit a baseball. But those skills are never
>> gone, and if they are, he may as well retire.
> Well, I think that so long as his physicality stays, with practice, he can always be a masterful and professional batter.
Not if he forgets how to hit the ball!
>>> David H:
>>> While, as Zen Buddhism claims, we don't need to go to school to experience Dynamic Quality, it does take training and sacrifice to get good at something and experience Dynamic Quality on a regular basis...
>> I agree it takes right practice to become skilled at any endeavor.
>> However, experiencing Dynamic Quality is more about letting go. We
>> experience Dynamic Quality all the time. We just cover it up in a
>> shimmering cloak of intellectualism.
> Yeah. And as I am arguing here, the only way we can let go on a regular basis is through practice.
I would say one way of letting go is through right practice... but we
experience Dynamic Quality directly any time we 'lose' ourselves in
the moment while fully engaged
>>> Yeah. But where does that new form come from?
>> Ah! Now that is an interesting question! I should think anything
>> completely new and un-looked for arises in response to Dynamic
>> Quality. In order to uncover it, we steep ourselves in whatever we
>> happen to be engaged in at the moment and then forget about it. That
>> isn't to say the original form is gone, however! Without that as a
>> reference, the new form has no foundation.
> Indeed. We can certainly get something new by doing something else but that doesn't solve anything. The only way to really solve things is by engaging the static quality which is the 'problem' and mastering it to the point where it no longer is (sq).
If we have nothing to latch onto, no reference point, then the Dynamic
advance is meaningless.
>> Dave H:
>>> I think it's only from mastering of the old form that the new, better, form can appear. The old forms are still there as Bill Evans claims - they're just made better as a result of mastering the old forms to the point where he 'mastered them with such proficiency, that they become an unconscious part of his nature. He got so used to them that he completely forgot them and they were gone. There in the most monotonous boredom the Dynamic Quality could be found.' And as DQ is the source of all new things, new patterns were created.
>> Again, we may forget about the original form but it is always there,
>> lurking under the surface, waiting for a moment of clarity when we
>> suddenly see how we can weave something new into the old. I would say
>> Dynamic Quality isn't found in boredom so much as in the 'ah-ha!'
>> moments when everything becomes clear, if only for an instant.
> I think that generally it is boredom which we find just before the 'ah-ha' moments of clarity. Well this is certainly true of me. Like trying to read ZMM or Lila for the first time. I'll have read a paragraph over and over again until I'm so bored of reading it and then... ah-ha!
Really! I seem to have the opposite experience. Indeed, if I find
reading to be boring I am unable to continue reading it... which is
why I am not into philosophy as a rule. I find it all so very dry.
I've read ZMM and Lila many times and each time I get a different take
on them since my life experiences have grown and evolved.