Fri, 7 Aug 1998 19:18:22 +0100
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Date sent: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 22:41:38 +0000
From: Bodvar Skutvik <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Multiple recipients of <email@example.com>
Subject: LS Re: Four Levels of Being--E F Schumacher
> I have the feeling that if not someone puts down the foot we'll
> soon be a NewAge group discussing how matter was
> spiritualized and/or number of angels on pinheads.
I couldn't agree more Bo. A great deal of the discussion recently
has been getting far too 'cosmic', which is why I've held back for a
There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this topic and as
far as I can see most of it is due to trying to fit a litre of beer into
pint pot. The litre of beer being Quality and the pint pot the 4 levels.
This is what happens when intellectual catagorisation attempts to
limit reality with pigeon-holes and strict demacation lines.
As I see it, there is a continuum of value. Just as science sees
space-time as a continuum which has a continuous NOT discrete
structure. The METAPHYSICS of Quality organises this continuum
into a structure for the purpose of intellectual order. The MoQ is
NOT reality, it is the map with which we find our way around,
adding to it as we go. At the moment it is a bare outline with very
> I have. I think there are very few things, or words in the
> vocabulary,that exclusively maps to one level only. Actually, I
> think most, if not all, things are a fuzzy mix of all levels. I'm not
> supporting fuzziness here, I'm pointing out the difficulties with the
> thing division.
Magnus also wrote:
> You have huh? Let's see, imagine a small society, say a
> spaceship on an interstellar voyage to a nearby star. The trip will
> take several decades and every crew member have a specific job
> during that time. Suddenly, one of them dies, but the brilliant
> crew is able to build a replacement robot that does the job of the
> dead crew member so that the society can survive. One by one,
> the human crew members die but all are replaced by robots.
> When the last human dies, the robot crew replaces her also and
> carries on.
> Now, what is this? Is it still a society? Is it not? If it's not,
> when did it cease to be a society? If it is a society, where are the
> biological building blocks? Or is a society not dependent on
> biological building blocks?
Actually Magnus, it would appear from your description that you
see things in a fuzzy way too. Both of the above examples are
fuzzy desriptions. Degrees of membership to intellectual catagories
and to the underlying reality.
Subject and object have not disappeared from our world view, just
the SOM. An incorrect metaphysics. When value creates reality it
doesn't refer to the MoQ handbook, it just does its thing. Mental
gynastics to fit value and hence reality into little boxes just doesn't
work - this is what SOM found.
I also don't accept the Schumacher view of MoQ any more than I
accept Tielhard de Chardin's view as some sort of precursor to the
MoQ. Sorry! There may be similarities but the differences are much
greater. I haven't read Wilber so I can't really say much on this.
So as I see it, the 4 levels, as discrete catagories, is a mistaken
view. This is not to say that there are not 4 levels, but that they are
present to varying degrees in the constituents of reality.
I disagree in some ways with Donny regarding the social patterns
not existing in animal groups. It may be that there is a greater
DEGREE of social value in a city or a university or a human social
system but that does not mean that the same value does not exist
to a lesser extent in a group of whales or elephants or ants etc.
Again it is fuzzy. A greater degree of biological value and a lesser
degree of social value. There is a degree of all the levels in any one
of the above, different degrees of value existing in each. If you were
to make the patterns of value into colours then there would be
varying degrees of colour and thus different shades in all that we
observe and catagorise (and everything that we aren't aware of as
And come to that I think that it is very likely that there are levels
(values) above and below the 4 we're talking about - but I'll leave
that for a later post.
Anyway I'm away on my hols, so I'll join in again when I get back.
"Making history, it turned out, was quite easy.
It was what got written down.
It was as simple as that!"
Sir Sam Vimes.
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