>>> I would suggest there are differing paths to freedom, not different
>>> kinds of freedom. It appears to me that RMP links Dynamic Quality with
>>> freedom and static quality with constraint. While there are many kinds
>>> of constraint I do not see that there are different kinds of freedom,
>>> only different paths to it.
>> How are different kinds and different paths different? It's freedom - they are but two different paths away from the same static quality suffering.
> One is the journey the other is the destination. There are many
> journeys to the one destination. I take it we agree?
In some ways. However, I think there are actually two destinations of the same type. Both types are important.
>>> No one would be asked to drop a bomb. It seems to me they would be
>>> ordered. They would have no choice as long as they followed the
>>> dictates of social quality patterns put in place by the military. If
>>> they followed a higher Dynamic calling then they would have a choice.
>> They do have a choice to drop the bomb or not though. They could simply not drop it regardless if they've been ordered or not. There's always a certain level of freedom in everything. Even at the subatomic level, though minute, it exists. This is 'DQ at work'.
> What makes a good soldier? Is a good soldier one who follows orders?
> Or is a good soldier one who questions orders?
My hypothetical example of whether we ought to drop a bomb was perhaps not a good one. There's too many variables at play - if pigs could fly how high could they fly? My original point however still stands. That is that it's good to find a balance between the freedom found in the East and West respectively as they each have their own risks. If we are always concerned with mastering patterns without regard for our own individual choice to master something else, then such an outlook comes with consequences. Another example would be working for a criminal. If we simply do not question our work for that criminal and seek to master the patterns related to working for that criminal then this of course has bad consequences.. But if we simply choose to do something else all the time - then this results in chaos. This is why a balance is important between the two types. Such a balance can be found by mastering the best patterns we can..
>> Well in light of the Pirsig quote I provided earlier, I'm going to embrace the idea that we perfection is someone one pursues after 180 degrees enlightenment. If we are unenlightened then what it is we seek is Dynamic Quality. That undefined betterness. However after enlightenment, I think (as per Pirsig's quote) we turn our attention back towards the patterns and try and make them as good as we possibly can. That is, we try and get them perfect. Yes that is an ultimately unattainable goal, but the MOQ acknowledges that we are alive and cannot help but act. I think if we perfect a static pattern we are Dynamic Quality. You're right that this seems like a contradiction. For how can something perfect be anything but static? However I'm not speaking from the perspective of ideas. That is, the concept of perfection in and of itself forever and ever. I'm speaking based upon experience. If we do something enough and master it until the point of mastery. If we have truly mastered it - just like something perfect - it cannot get any better. And experience shows that Dynamic Quality and static quality can exist without contradiction through this ritualistic mastery of that static quality. This process of the pursuit of perfection through mastery Pirsig dubs 'the oldest idea known to man' in Lila. Here's a quote from Lila where Pirsig links rta, this ritualistic mastery and the concept of perfection:
>> "'Rta, which etymologically stands for "course" originally meant "cosmic order," the maintenance of which was the purpose of all the gods; and later it also came to mean "right," so that the gods were conceived as preserving the world not merely from physical disorder but also from moral chaos. The one idea is implicit in the other: and there is order in the universe because its control is in righteous hands . . ."
>> The physical order of the universe is also the moral order of the universe, Rta is both. This was exactly what the Metaphysics of Quality was claiming. It was not a new idea. It was the oldest idea known to man.
>> This identification of rta and areté was enormously valuable, Phasdrus thought, because it provided a huge historical panorama in which the fundamental conflict between static and Dynamic Quality had been worked out. It answered the question of why areté meant ritual. Rta also meant ritual. But unlike the Greeks, the Hindus in their many thousands of years of cultural evolution had paid enormous attention to the conflict between ritual and freedom. Their resolution of this conflict in the Buddhist and Vedantist philosophies is one of the profound achievements of the human mind."
>> You could say, as Pirsig seems to imply, that we pursue the fixed idea of perfection after we have experienced enlightenment. We never get there though. This is implied in the MOQ. A static quality perfect pattern can never fully capture Dynamic Quality. It never gets it right. It's inevitable that those 'perfect' patterns over time become not so perfect requiring new, better rituals and patterns, and on and on.
> I don't think it is implied in Lila that we can achieve perfection; it
> is stated quite categorically that we can't:
> "But he felt that you can't expect a perfect system of organization of
> "Trying to create a perfect metaphysics is like trying to create a
> perfect chess strategy, one that will win every time. You can't do it.
> It's out of the range of human capability."
> "It's like trying to construct a perfect unassailable chess game. No
> matter how smart you are you're never going to playa game that is
> "right" for all people at all times, everywhere. Answers to ten
> questions led to a hundred more and answers to those led to a thousand
> more. Not only would he never get it right; the longer he worked on it
> the wronger it would probably get."
> Dan comments:
> Since I have also stated that enlightenment doesn't exist I cannot
> really speak to that. But it seems to me an enlightened being would
> realize the world is imperfect and it will always be imperfect.
> Instead of trying to make the imperfect perfect, the enlightened being
> would instead just sit and watch the grass grow by itself. No?1
No. Enlightenment and indeed Buddhism can be mistaken for some kind of nihilism. Or this kind of 'such is life' kind of attitude. "Life is suffering" - such is life. But that's not enlightenment. Enlightenment isn't about going off into a cave and removing oneself entirely from society forever. Nor is it about how life is suffering and that's really bad - end of story. It's about working through that suffering and seeing that this suffering is only provisional. And see, the Dynamic Quality which is the source of all this suffering… Perhaps if I draw I diagram…
sq --> DQ (180 degrees enlightenment - insight that there is more to life than 'everyday affairs')
DQ --> sq (360 degrees enlightenment - taking this insight and applying back to sq in search of perfection(never-ending))
Once one has gone off to a cave and experienced 180 degrees enlightenment. Then there is the long process of taking this insight and applying it back to our everyday lives in search of static quality perfection. Of course that never happens, as Pirsig points out, there's no such thing as a perfect system. But we're alive and we cannot help but make these static quality distinctions so we might as well try and get these distinctions as good as we can.
>> Yes. Perhaps the confusion here is with the two worlds of the MOQ.. That is, the world of Dynamic Quality(the Buddha's world) and the world of static quality(the language of everyday affairs). I think it might help our discussion if we distinguish which world we are speaking from. As Pirsig writes:
>> "The confusion here seems to result from the two languages of Buddhism, the language of the Buddha’s world and language of everyday life. In the language of everyday life, reality and intellect are different. From the language of the Buddha’s world, they are the same, since there is no intellectual division that governs the Buddha’s world."
>> They are only synonymous from the perspective of the Buddha. From the perspective of everyday affairs we experience Dynamic Quality and static quality. Of course, not simultaneously, but at different times.
> Well, I think when we speak we are always speaking from the world of
> everyday affairs. That doesn't preclude us from seeing Dynamic Quality
> and experience as synonymous. Dynamic Quality isn't some mysterious
> nothingness cloaked in obscurity. It is the cutting edge of
> experience. We are always in touch with it just as we are always in
> touch with static quality.
> We just have to wake up.
Yes - words can always be turned into intellectual concepts and thus are not Dynamic Quality. We can only ever speak using the language of everyday affairs. That's why it's wise to say Dynamic Quality is 'not this, not that'. It avoids, somewhat, the issue of someone turning those words into intellectual concepts. But they still are intellectual concepts. That's why Dynamic Quality is 'not this, not that' and not even the phrase 'not this, not that'. And not even my previous sentence. Ad infinitum. Words are static things and Dynamic Quality is not static.
However, does this mean we don't experience Dynamic Quality? Does this mean we cannot speak from this world of Dynamic Quality? A world which is not intellectual distinction after intellectual distinction. A world which a finger points at but is not the finger. I think we can. Regardless of how well or badly I'm doing it right now, I've read things which do indeed point to this place and I've seen it alluded to many times. These words might be static quality themselves but they point to a different place entirely. So I disagree that we are always speaking from the world of everyday affairs. Yes, we always use the language of everyday affairs to speak, but the place where we are speaking from could be two very different types of Quality.
>>> is value in representing experience through intellect so these
>>> patterns exist.
>> In the world of everyday affairs there is value in doing this yes.
> And this is the world of everyday affairs?
Are you trying to speak to the value of some such a static quality? Yes. We are trying to make an intellectual distinction whether something is everyday or not. So I would say what you've just written is from the world of everyday affairs.
>> That's right they don't. However I never claimed anyone in either culture likes to suffer. Freedom by definition is freedom from static patterns and the suffering which comes with them. Both cultures offer ways of freeing oneself from that suffering. Freedom in the west is commonly known as having the freedom to go and do something else. Alternatively freedom in the East is known as mastering the patterns in front of you so that they no longer grate and they're gone.
>> The way freedom in the East works is very different to freedom in the West but still very pragmatic... If you start out doing something new for the first time, you will often have to think very consciously about it the first time and not necessarily be very good at it. The voice inside your head also will be very loud because of this low quality situation. But as you do that thing more and more the voice inside your head will quieten down, and as these patterns start to wane in their attention for your consciousness - your awareness of the fundamental undefined quality will increase over time. That is until eventually 'pouf'. No more thoughts of doing, no more thoughts even of you. Just a wondrous unfolding of doing.. It's at this point one experiences 180 degrees enlightenment. They then have the long arduous task of applying this experience back to other parts of their life in the endless pursuit of static quality perfection. This is how the East manages much greater social cohesion than we have traditionally in the West. They are able to incorporate static quality and Dynamic Quality without contradiction.
> I know nothing of the East other than what little I have read and most
> of that was written by Westerners. I don't believe all those people in
> the East are Buddhas, however. I think they are for the most part much
> like you and me.
I don't think that people in the East are Buddhas. They strive for things in a way that is similar to how the Buddha did hundreds of years ago. Regardless, if you don't think that people in the East are much different from people in the West in their philosophy and outlook on life then I suppose there's not much I can say..
>> I'm saying experience isn't anything yes. That is what I'm saying. Experience isn't anything. (From the perspective of the Buddha). But experience is Dynamic Quality and static quality. (From the perspective of everyday affairs).
> I guess I have to wonder how you know the perspective of the Buddha.
> But never mind. I would have to say the opposite applies from reading
> the quote you supplied earlier:
> "The confusion here seems to result from the two languages of
> Buddhism, the language of the Buddha’s world and language of everyday
> life. In the language of everyday life, reality and intellect are
> different. From the language of the Buddha’s world, they are the same,
> since there is no intellectual division that governs the Buddha’s
> Dan comments:
> It appears that (he is saying) in the language of the Buddha's world
> there is no intellectual division between reality and experience, thus
> experience is everything. It is uncluttered by the intellect.
Yes, that's right. In the language of the Buddha's world there is nothing but Dynamic Quality. Aka 'experience isn't anything'. As there is no intellectual division that governs his world. But in the language of everyday life - intellectual distinctions are still important so we can say that Dynamic Quality and static quality are different things.
>> Perfection or completeness - they both sound good to me.. The moral complete, perfect order of the universe. Fear not perfection or completeness, as Pirsig mentions many times - they're always provisional :)
> Perhaps it is a matter of semantics.
Yes, it is semantics but semantics are important in the world of everyday affairs. Hence the discussion board I suppose….