LS Four levels of being (fwd)

Donald T Palmgren (
Mon, 17 Aug 1998 10:40:41 +0100

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 21:17:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Donald T Palmgren <>
Subject: Four levels of being

On Wed, 12 Aug 1998, clark wrote:

> Could it be that the beginning of the social level should be at the
> level
> of the development of the chlorophyll molecule and the evolution of
> plants.

        I think there is a lot of bending and twisting of pirsig's ideas
going unrecognized around here. My favorite definitions of the 4 levels
is where he goes:
The laws of nature (physics)
The law of the jungle
The law (as in: judiciary law)
The rules of logic and scientific method

        Let's see if we can remind ourselves of that. Do you think that
'the law' (judiciary law) is involved in the development of the clorophyll
        If you strech these 4 types of patterns so far then they become
very much less usefull, lower quality, and (when you strech it as far as
Magnus where a rock is made of all the patterns) they become pretty close
to meaningless.
        (I find it really weird, by the way, that I'm arguing this way,
because the 4 levels is one area in LILA that left me pretty unconvinced,
but here, I'm really just trying to get an agreement on what pirsig wrote

        And I think it's important to see how each level begins, as has
been said, in the servace of it's predecesor, but then it gains it's
freedom and, in my lingo, becomes a life of its own.
        So, the levels do build on one another. you CAN'T have any level
w/o the levels bellow it which support it, but you can have a level w/o
having the levels above it.
        And I'll use this again to say why I have trouble w/ the SOTAQI
idea. SOTAQI leaves out the way Int. builds upon the Social. First, in
order to have social patterns (the law) you must have S-O consciousness
already in place. Second, w/ the interpritation of Int. patterns I'm
advocating, it shows in a clear way, how Int. patterns grow out of social
patterns by unpacking the social nature of proof. A proof is whatever
settles an argument in the best -- most socialable, most moral -- way.
Arguments involving *multipal parties*. A proof is a chanel of
communication. A fact, the result of a proof, is something which freely
circulates among social parties. A fact which can't be communicated (via
proof) is like money that won't circulate; IT HAS NO VALUE.
        The game analogy (used 1st by Durkhime and popularized by
Wittgenstein) is very usefull here. Think of a scientific fact (like f=ma)
as the "winner" of a scientific proof. It's like the winner of a chress
game. You can't have a winner in a chess game if there is no such thing as
chess (and the definition of a game is the rules of the game). And you
can't have a game of chess w/o having chess players. The game *lives* by
*embodying* itself in the players. In the same way: you can't have a
scientific fact w/o science, and you can't have science w/o scientists.
*Scientist* is a *social role* one assumes, puts on like a costume,
animates the way an actor animates his character. The character lives by
being thus animated. When you prove something, you start out by,
implicitly, assuming the role of a prover, and projecting your audience of
"proovies." And as Durkhime (and Goffman) said: The game and the players
arise ricipricoly together. One is defined by the other. Both live only
through the other. This reciprocity is what Hegel refered to as "the
Spirit" -- The I that is a we and the we that is an I. 'What is
consciousness,' he askes, 'if not the unity of the particular
individual and the universal everyman?'

        pirsig's "laws of logic and scientific method" clearly come into
being as a social phenominon. They arise out of social patterns. But,
when you just say S-O thinking you muddell the whole thing up. Like
I said, that's complaint #2. Complaint #1 is that most people can see that
you have to have (S-O)consciousness before you can have society (or at
least the two arise together) anyway, so it screws-up the progression.

        So, pirsig says:
the laws of physics/chemistry
the law of the jungle (Darwinian stuff)
the law, judiciary law, man's/sociaty's law
the rules of logic, reason, the scientific method
        (BTW, you can substitute "evaloative process" for "law" and
you've got perfect MoQ-speak.)

        Who doesn't buy that?
                                TTFN (ta-ta for now)

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