>> Yes, indeed. There is more to life than simply moving away from mechanistic patterns'. But I think there is more to it than that. This is what I'm trying to say - I think that we can 'move away from mechanistic patterns' in two ways. We can move away by finding another pattern or we can move away from the mechanistic patterns by suffering through those patterns which are in front of us and thus finding the Dynamic freedom within them.
> I think the MOQ would order that movement according to value,or moral
> codes, if that is what you are saying. We can move away from social
> patterns by either moving down a level to accent biological level
> patterns, like the hippies did, or move up a level to the intellect
> level. The former is seen as immoral while the latter is seen as
> moral. But according to the MOQ there is also a Dynamic morality:
> "First, there were moral codes that established the supremacy of
> biological life over inanimate nature. Second, there were moral codes
> that established the supremacy of the social order over biological
> life conventional morals- proscriptions against drugs, murder,
> adultery, theft and the like. Third, there were moral codes that
> established the supremacy of the intellectual order over the social
> order-democracy, trial by jury, freedom of speech, freedom of the
> press. Finally there's a fourth Dynamic morality which isn't a code.
> He supposed you could call it a "code of Art" or something like that,
> but art is usually thought of as such a frill that that title
> undercuts its importance. The morality of the brujo in Zuni-that was
> Dynamic morality." [Lila]
Yes, we can rank that movement according to any one of these codes. However, I'm talking about freeing oneself from those sorts of value judgements. For instance, we can even free ourselves from a pattern on one level by going to another pattern on the same level. Both being from the West, we know this kind of freedom pretty well. People shouldn't be treated badly for instance - they ought to be free to go do something else. This is the first type of freedom I'm talking about and we're both familiar with it..
>> Both of these types of moving away have their risks and this is why it is important to find a balance between the two. The trouble with the first way of course, is that what if we constantly 'find other patterns'. This is not Dynamic Quality, but chaos. The trouble with the second way of moving away, however is that what if those patterns we master aren't any good? What if, we actually have a choice not to do those patterns which we can master? What if a pattern to master is dropping a nuclear bomb? It's clear that we have a moral choice in all patterns which we can master, this is why we ought to master the best patterns we can.
> Well, the context would be of primary importance, wouldn't it?
> Dropping a nuclear bomb on an asteroid heading towards earth might be
> higher quality than letting the asteroid cause an extinction event.
> But was dropping a nuclear bomb on a city to end a war a high quality
> event? I suppose for the soldiers fighting on the Allies side in that
> war, it was. I don't know if there is such a thing as a moral choice
> so far as static quality goes:
> "To the extent that one's behavior is controlled by static patterns of
> quality it is without choice. But to the extent that one follows
> Dynamic Quality, which is undefinable, one's behavior is free." [Lila]
Yes, indeed. The context is important and a value judgement as to whether dropping that bomb is good ought to be made. If we are asked to drop the bomb, we have a choice to do so. Again, this is where the first type of individual freedom which we are both familiar with becomes important.
>> So with this in mind, the best thing to do is to find a balance. A balance between constantly finding other patterns, which if done too much can lead to chaos, and finding patterns which are as good as we can find and mastering those(which of course over time will inevitably become not so good patterns to master).
> I am unsure if I understand what you're saying. Again, I have a
> problem when you state we ought to master the best patterns we can
> master since doing so means we've closed our eyes to anything better.
> And it seems to me that as long as we act in the moment there will
> always be something better. Even the MOQ is seen as provisional. It
> works until something better comes along.
One does not need to 'close their eyes' to DQ by mastering static quality. For someone who is unenlightened, the static quality will be there blocking the DQ to begin with. Through mastery of static quality we can 'open our eyes' to the Dynamic Quality which is there all along.
>> Yes, see the world as new. It can happen at any time. Just, 'wake up'. Often times though, as you know, I think 'waking up' is preceded by some mastery of some such a static pattern. Not intentionally. There's no particular thing one can do to 'wake up'. But if there is some such a static pattern which is 'blocking' Dynamic Quality - the MOQ shows that you can once again experience Dynamic Quality by suffering through and mastering whatever static quality it is that is blocking it..
> We always experience Dynamic Quality. The mistake comes when the
> static representations of experience are mistaken for experience
Yes. However good is a noun. Static quality exists. This static quality, while provisional, is all we have. Yes it's important to remember that it doesn't really exist and ultimately there is nothing but DQ(as Marsha would like to constantly remind us), but good is a noun. And so the patterns are still important..
>> Of course some aspects will be worse and others better. This has been the case throughout history as well. As freedom increases so does low quality. But on a balance we can't deny things have gotten better. For the future we now have the MOQ, that's quite the asset no?
> It would of course depend in wide-spread acceptance of it, which seems
> unlikely at this point. But perhaps in fifty years, who can say?
Indeed. Though we can say that our discussion here, to some very small degree, and the MD in particular (to a much larger degree) will help determine how likely that is. So my conclusion is that the MD and discussions like this are very important. :-)
>> Yes exactly, and this is the 'freedom' I talk about below, and it is a freedom which the East is far more familiar with.
> I tend to disagree and perhaps I wasn't as clear as I might have been.
> Most all the inventions we take for granted today were invented in the
> West in an effort to better the life of as many people as possible.
> Even the quality standards of Japan were an invention of a Westerner,
> W. Edwards Deming.
Talking very crudely here but I think that the first type of freedom which we're more familiar with is going to result in more 'new' ideas and inventions than the type of freedom typically found in the East. This is because people in the West will be much more inclined to want to free themselves from some kind of suffering by doing something completely different(or inventing some kind of new technology) and thus not suffering through some such a tough situation or bad invention. However that said, I think that as the MOQ shows and as I've discussed, both kinds of freedom are still important.
> David H:
>> I think the MOQ brings this new perspective of freedom beautifully into a Western perspective. It expands what is our traditional narrow view of freedom (which is simply doing something else) and is expanded to include the freedom which is found in mastering those patterns of suffering which exist. Pirsig gave it a new name because it is more than simply 'freedom', so much more that it is unquantifiable. It is Dynamic Quality.
> Well perhaps. I think it is better to say the MOQ sees Dynamic Quality
> and experience as synonymous. Dynamic Quality is quantifiable. We
> cannot quantify it completely, however. And this is why we can never
> perfect or master anything. We can always do better.
Dynamic Quality is either quantifiable or it isn't. I don't see it as some kind of 'half quantifiable, half not' kind of entity. That sounds very 'fuzzy logic' to me. A definition of Dynamic Quality is not static quality. Static quality is quantity. Dynamic Quality is not quantity. Dynamic Quality isn't anything. It's not even a larger quantity that static quality cannot envelop. It's not even these words I am writing now. DQ isn't anything.
> Too, I do not believe our 'traditional' view of freedom is narrow at
> all. Check this out:
> "Freedom. That was the topic that would drive home this whole
> understanding of Indians. Of all the topics his slips on Indians
> covered freedom was the most important. Of all the contributions
> America has made to the history of the world, the idea of freedom from
> a social hierarchy has been the greatest. It was fought for in the
> American Revolution and confirmed in the Civil War. To this day it's
> still the most powerful, compelling ideal holding the whole nation
> "And yet, although Jefferson called this doctrine of social equality
> "self-evident," it is not at all self-evident. Scientific evidence and
> the social evidence of history indicate the opposite is self-evident.
> There is no "self-evidence" in European history that all men are
> created equal. There's no nation in Europe that doesn't trace its
> history to a time when it was "self-evident" that all men are created
> unequal. Jean Jacques Rousseau, who is sometimes given credit for this
> doctrine, certainly didn't get it from the history of Europe or Asia
> or Africa. He got it from the impact of the New World upon Europe and
> from contemplation of one particular kind of individual who lived in
> the New World, the person he called the "Noble Savage."
> "The idea that "all men are created equal" is a gift to the world from
> the American Indian. Europeans who settled here only transmitted it as
> a doctrine that they sometimes followed and sometimes did not. The
> real source was someone for whom social equality was no mere doctrine,
> who had equality built into his bones. To him it was inconceivable
> that the world could be any other way. For him there was no other way
> of life. That's what Ten Bears was trying to tell them." [Lila]
> Dan comments:
> If anything, the traditional Eastern view of freedom is narrow
> compared to Western views. The caste system in India (where the Buddha
> lived and taught) is a prime example. Japan and China also have their
> own rigid caste systems keeping the social strata in place.
> I would say the traditional freedom of the East is to look inward
> while the traditional view of freedom in the West is to look outward.
> This looking inward was probably a reaction to the rigid social
> patterns that made it impossible for those in lower castes to rise
> above their position in life. No?
If you see the Eastern view of freedom as narrow or comparable to the freedom of the West then I think you are misunderstanding the point. They are apples and oranges and two very different types of freedom. Eastern 'freedom', is not about running away from a bad situation or caste system. It is about finding the Dynamic Quality within that system. By mastering that system until it no longer exists. This stark difference between the two types of freedom is emphasised by Pirsig where he writes:
"For example, you would guess from the literature on Zen and its insistence on discovering the 'unwritten dharma' that it would be intensely anti-ritualistic, since ritual is the 'written dharma.' But that isn't the case. The Zen monk's daily life is nothing but one ritual after another, hour after hour, day after day, all his life."
> Could be. I think the man known as the Buddha lived in India, though.
> Buddhism didn't make its way to China and Japan until centuries later.
Yes. I suppose this is why Pirsig said Centuries rather than Millennia…
>> Yes, as said above, I don't deny any of these issues with the current world economy. My emphasis was on the attitude of workers in Asia. Or perhaps more accurately, the culture of people in Asia generally. There are signs it's changing but traditionally there has not been this emphasis on individual liberty like there is in the West. This is what the MOQ does. It sees value in both kinds of freedom.
>> Further to this - finding the Dynamic Quality in static patterns on a factory floor does not take a lifetime to find. As you say, all it takes is a change in perspective. But a way of finding that Dynamic Quality is by mastering those patterns. By becoming whatever it is that you're doing, by suffering through those static patterns and discovering the Dynamic Quality that is there all along. If you have ever been to a place to a place like Japan or read about it or seen it on TV - it's this sort of attitude - that you can achieve Dynamic Quality through mastery of anything you are asked to do, is what sets it apart so much from the West. The MOQ shows metaphysically, in the same metaphysical system how the freedom of the West and East works, that to me is quite amazing..
> "Phaedrus saw nothing wrong with this ritualistic religion as long as
> the rituals are seen as merely a static portrayal of Dynamic Quality,
> a sign-post which allows socially pattern-dominated people to see
> Dynamic Quality. The danger has always been that the rituals, the
> static patterns, are mistaken for what they merely represent and are
> allowed to destroy the Dynamic Quality they were originally intended
> to preserve." [Lila]
> Dan comments:
> What I take this passage to mean is that the perfection of static
> quality is a representation of Dynamic Quality and not Dynamic Quality
> itself. By ritually perfecting static quality we run the very real
> danger of unintentionally destroying the Dynamic Quality we are
> searching for and trying to preserve.
Having found an interesting Pirsig quote yesterday I'm going to re-emphasise the importance of 180 vs 360 degrees enlightenment. Here's the quote which is very clear about how 180 degrees enlightenment is a pursuit for enlightenment and 360 degrees enlightenment is the pursuit for perfection..
"Perhaps this problem is created by the absence of a distinction between enlightenment and unenlightenment. In unenlightenment morality is a progress toward enlightenment. In enlightenment this process is supplanted by moral perfection." - Copleston annot.
I understand your concern about perfection. I mean it implies some kind of fixed finality. DQ, however, is the goal from an unenlightened gateless gate point of view. But then, once that goal is achieved, it's realised as the source all things. So seen as the source of all things it's realised that things can always get better and this is why, once enlightened, the pursuit for perfection continues. Dynamic Quality is not perfection. Perfection is what one endlessly pursues after 180 degrees enlightenment.