I know what you mean. Disagreement can sometimes lead to frustration.
It's been my experience that this kind of frustration is almost always
associated with unmet expectations.
I too have felt an increasing sense of dissonance. Not with you or with
our conversation but within me. I feel like I have reached the end of my
"yellow-brick road" and that I have met the wizard behind the curtain.
This is no criticism of Pirsig or either of his books. I still maintain that
both are excellent reads. I often find myself citing bits and pieces from
them. The material on gumption is my favorite. Neither is this a
criticism of you or our conversation. I have come to think of you as a
friend and, except for a minor speed bump, our conversation has always
been high quality communication. I've enjoyed it immensely.
When I began this conversation back in 12/20/2005 with the question,
"Where is theism in the MoQ?" I honestly didn't know where it would
wind up. I have since come to learn that the Metaphysics of Quality,
according to Pirsig's two books, does not provide a satisfactory
response, for me, to faith, hope and love. And because my expectation
was that I would find it in the MOQ I'm disappointed and a little frustrated.
But it's like you said, "no fault, no blame."
You suggest a way forward.
"As the MoQ points out, we need to keep the social level stable, so
that we can continue the intellectual discussion. With too much
dynamic interaction, we could lose the static structure we need to
make progress toward a better (more harmonic) state. We need the
freedom to let our ideas out, or it would be dull, and worthless. But
we also do not want too much freedom. We need social constraints
like respect and patience, too much freedom would cause a break
down, a loss of the platform we now have. So, we go forward into the
unknown. There is tomorrow, and we have no idea what could
I like your suggestion about balancing structure and freedom. And I
agree, the MOQ speaks very well to this. But because of my interest in
things that appear to be outside of or at least on the fringes of the MOQ I
would suggest an additional constraint and a caveat.
I sense that the reason the MOQ is silent in the areas of faith, hope and
love has something to do with the very personal nature of these things.
To speak about these things in the abstract will not, I fear, bring us close
to understanding what these things are really all about. I'm not
suggesting we share personal and intimate details about our lives. I'm
suggesting that, should the conversation proceed in this direction, that
we keep the theoretical and abstract sharing to a minimum. That stuff
can be good. But too much of it tends to obscure more than it
enlightens. I think it would be best if we speak about what we know and
what we don't know about these things.
The caveat is that, as a man who maintains a love relationship with
Jesus, I may use language that would tend to inflame other people's
sensibilities. If this becomes a problem then I'll have to bow out of the
Also, if the conversation proceeds in a direction that I disagree with, but
is consistent with the Metaphysics of Quality, then for the sake of
harmony, I'll keep quiet if I don't have anything positive to say or if I feel
I've exeeded my self-imposed limit of probing questions. Too many
probing questions can also be a bad thing.
Onward and downward!
"Zen is the 'spirit of the valley,' not the mountaintop. The only Zen you
find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there."