LS Re: Soc. and Int values

Platt Holden (
Fri, 7 Aug 1998 19:07:20 +0100

Hi Donny, Magnus, Bo and LS:

I wholeheartedly agree with Donny's description of the Social Level as
"marked by rituals and institutions" as opposed to "the social pattern
of a
fish" proposed by Magnus. Social patterns, in the sense that Pirsig uses
those terms, did not exist before humans emerged from the universe.
are no bridge clubs among fish cells.

But when Donny says "And it is well within the animal kingdom that we
'S-O thinking,''' I beg to differ. Implicit in S-O thinking is not just
consciousness but also self-consciousness, that baffling extra dimension
awareness that distinguishes humans from animals. You cannot engage in
Subject/Object thinking without being aware (i.e., recognizing) yourself
the Subject. Donny's cat doesn't preen itself in front of a mirror.
chimps have been known to recognize themselves in a mirror, so they are,
Bo suggests, "on the verge of copying human abstract ability.")

Historically, S-O thinking began (as Donny correctly describes the
beginnings of the Q-Intellect) around the 6th century when a tribesman
turned to his companion and said, "I'm somebody." Since then, the
collective mentality (that Hegel champions) has gradually been replaced
pervading a sense of self and self-reliance (that Emerson champions).

Finally, I was taken by Donny's statement that "An electron does
such-and-such because the universe values that reaction to so-and-so."
sounds like the universe is conscious (sentient) at the inorganic level.
Can you value something without being aware? Before we leave the topic
the nature of Pirsig's levels, I'd like to see us discuss the question
whether some form of consciousness exists at ALL levels. I side with
who think it does. And Pirsig's "B values precondition A" suggests he
consciousness at all levels, too.


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