Hi Jan Anders,
Thank you for the condolences. I am not sure if I have used up my
post allotment for the day, but here goes.
At the expense of providing an opinion which has already been much
discussed, I can say something about the "morality aspect" of Lila,
which as you say is an inquiry meant to give us something to think
about. It is not necessarily intended to give us answers.
What Pirsig seeks to impart is a projection of what we humans term
morality into the universe at large. As I have suggested in the past,
what we have is the human version of morality. This is an expression
of ours, but can also be considered as an expression of the universe.
What is required to take this leap is to consider aspects of morality
and try to extrapolate them to everything.
Morality colors free will. So to begin, one must ascribe free will to
the universe at large, which Pirsig does. I agree with this. Photons
are making choices as they cross the universe. These photons do not
experience time (as we do) so the choices are of a different nature.
That it would seem determined is simply because these photons are
making the "best choices" and seemingly always do the same thing.
Morality is about good and evil. This is a standard Zoroastrian
dichotomy which is used as analogy for existence. What is missing in
this form of presentation is the interaction between good and evil
(thus forming a triad of "powers"). For logical reasons this
“interactive property” must exist separately from Good and Evil for it
to transform either one. Morality comes into play in such
The arrow of Quality is biased. Therefore, there is a skewing towards
"good" as opposed to evil. This is no different from the notion that
when the universe "banged", there was a slight bias towards our form
of matter as opposed to "anti-matter". One could say that MoQ is a
positive manner by which to interpret existence. The trick is, of
course, leaving the human form of morality and traveling to that which
gives our morality its substance. An analogy would be the different
forms that water takes depending on its container. It may appear
different in a glass than a lake (or snowflake), but it is all water
from the same source.
As an inquiry into morals, Pirsig attempts to imbue one's awareness
with the Quality that he feels. That is, the static world of
appearances is governed by more than just the material. It is
governed by free will and choice. By elevating the rest of existence
to our human level, the universe takes on a different color. What can
result from this point of view is an increase in compassion, just like
that which results from Buddhist doctrine and practice.
In terms of the periodic table:
The term illusion is used in different ways. So, I am hard pressed to
answer your question.
With science we group things in useful ways. Such grouping is a
creative process. When we create constellations of the stars, we
could say that such constellations are illusions, but I don't think
that would be the proper word for them. I would call them useful
constructs. The same goes for the periodic table. Using the periodic
table creates more meaning (at least for the chemist), and is useful
in the transformation of matter (Alchemy in its physical embodiment).
It should always be stressed that all science is provisional. The
periodic table seems to work well right now, but there is no reason to
doubt that a better manner of interpretation will come along.
The direction of Quality presupposes a tendency toward “betterness”,
whatever that may mean to you. Betterness is a moral choice. By
interpreting this grouping as a moral process, we imbue such elements
with a ranking equal to our own. From this comes a sense of
“partnership” rather than domination; of belonging rather than
alienation. Quality is a manner of relating to the world at large.
Hope this answers your question.
On 8/9/12, Jan Anders Andersson <jananderses@teli...> wrote:
> Thanks for your answer. Sorry about your father.
> I have just one more question to this:
> 9 aug 2012 kl. 07.20 wrote 118:
>> I am afraid that Pirsig's
>> grasp of evolution is rather rudimentary. In fact, as I recall he
>> dismisses the discipline of Science as futile since it creates more
>> questions than it answers. Therefore the manner in which Pirsig uses
>> the term "evolution" must be taken in context. I provide "reports"
>> with every post I deliver. Perhaps I am the writer from abroad
>> "somewhere in Qualityland" reporting from the embassy. I simply tell
>> others what it is like to live in the realm of Quality. Perhaps my
>> words and examples are different from Pirsig's, but they are
>> completely consistent. Trust me.
>> I commend you for "exploring" alternatives. I, for one, am all for
>> that. Just be careful since there are many in this forum that will be
>> calling you names before long. I have no need to build a new MOQ from
>> scratch. Everything I present is consistent with Pirsig. At least
>> nobody has said anything to the contrary (except call me names). If
>> you pay attention to WHY Pirsig writes what he does, rather than what
>> he writes, you will get a better idea of Quality. He presents a
>> metaphysics from the viewpoint of Quality. This is exactly what I am
>> doing (believe it or not).
> The subtitle of Lila is "An Inquiry into Morals". What is your picture of
> these "Morals", are, for example, the Periodic table an illusion or what?
> Jan Anders
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