LS Re: Explain the subject-object metaphysics

clark (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:42:07 +0100

> From: Diana McPartlin <>
> To: Multiple recipients of <>
> Subject: LS Re: Explain the subject-object metaphysics
> Date: Tuesday, April 28, 1998 7:37 PM
> Brett, Horse,
> So the self vs not-self split is the dualism from which all other
> dualism springs - the mother of all dualism!
> The subject-object metaphysics in its strictest sense refers to the self
> not-self split. But P seems happy to also use the term more broadly to
> include other dualisms and concepts that arise from this split. I think
> it's quite okay to use the term broadly as long as we understand what
> the essence of it is.
> Donny,
> How about: If I'm not myself who the hell am I?
> And Ken
> Can't cover everything in your post but you mentioned this before
> > My thought on the matter is that all of the elements as well as all
> > the life forms are self contained entities that require a certain level
> > of self protection to remain recognizable entities.
> That's how it appears to us stuck in the SOM, but we have to consider
> how it appears to non-intellectual beings. A tree doesn't see itself as
> different from the soil or the rain. A bird doesn't know it's a bird.
> You might speculate that some of the higher animals have glimmers of
> intellect but, for the most part, their existences move between dynamic
> and static. Animals protect themselves through pure instinct, they have
> absolutely no choice about it.
> Diana
> --
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  I have failed to make myself clear.
  What I was trying to say was that the ideal position for all of us to
arrive at is to look at the entire process from the viewpoint of
If we look at the sweep of evolution from the Quality standpoint we see
that there are no subjects and objects; all is the result of Quality
operating on the raw conditions set up in the beginning. All of the
latchings that have produced the current situation, and are still
operating, are part of a seamless whole. From the viewpoint of Quality
all is process.
  It is when we introduce sentience into the equation that we begin to
have the problems that Pirsig was trying to overcome. Sentience makes us
look back through the wrong end of the telescope and with our infinite
wisdom manufacture problems that are solely produced by our egos and
don't really exist.
  If I understand it correctly eastern mysticism bids us to submerge our
egos and see ourselves as part of the process.
   It seems to me that organic elements and molecules as well as plants
and other forms of life which we do not normally consider sentient
nevertheless have natural defense mechanisms which are used to maintain
their integrity. If we look at these latches, including ours, through
our end of the telescope we perceive the situation as Subject-Object
Metaphysics. I think what Pirsig was trying to tell us was to look at
the process through the Quality end of the telescope. Given the physical
organization of our bodies, which includes mind, this is a very
difficult point of view to maintain. Probably the best most of us can do
is to look through the telescope from the subject-object end with the
wisdom and knowledge to realize that there is a more satisfying position
available to us and keep trying to reach Nirvana.
  Without sentience there would be no interest anywhere in the universe
in looking through the wrong end of the telescope, therefore
subject-object metaphysics is a purely human concern and includes all
forms of dualism. We are the sand in the otherwise well oiled gears of
the process.
  Diana, you are as hard headed as my wife. You must be a Scotswoman.

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