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LILA
Excerpts from a book by
Robert M. Pirsig
on
Values and Dynamic Quality
by
Gustaf Delin and Sven G Atterhed
The Forsight Group
www.foresight.se
Edited for publishing on www by Lars Wiberg
www.stemme-wiberg.se
Contents
Excerpts from a book ................................................................................... 3
LILA .............................................................................................................. 3
Excerpts and comments ............................................................................... 4
Metaphysics – The First Philosophy ........................................................ 4
A Value is Experience .............................................................................. 5
Dynamic and Static Quality ..................................................................... 5
Neither Socialists nor Consevatives Have Understood ........................... 6
The Metaphysics Provides the Vocabulary.............................................. 7
Science Contains an Eraser .................................................................... 8
Which Values is Science Unconcerned With? ......................................... 8
A Moral Battle .......................................................................................... 9
Nature Tells What Culture Allows Us to Hear .......................................... 9
The Hippie Revolution – a Moral Revolution ......................................... 10
The Hippie Mistake ................................................................................ 10
Biological Quality Necessary for Survival – but.... ................................. 12
Faith in Man´s Goodness is Disastrously Naive .................................... 12
A War between Biology and Society ...................................................... 13
No Culture Wants Its Legal Patterns Violated ....................................... 14
”Insanity” May Be a Step in The Right Direction .................................... 15
Index .......................................................................................................... 17
EXCERPTS FROM A BOOK
LILA
By Robert M. Pirsig
Published in 1991 by Bantam Books 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, N Y 10103
ISBN 0-553-07737-6
It took Robert Pirsig 17 years to come out with his second book after
”Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance”. It was worth waiting for,
I think. LILA is a novel about Phaedrus, the main character, as in ”Zen
and the Art...” and how he encounters Lila and her world. The subtitle
of the book is ”An Inquiry into Morals”. The story is intertwined with
Pirsig’s discourse on ”The Metaphysics of Quality”. The book is really
about values and value systems, as I see it, an issue that is bound to
be brought into focus in the next few years. Steven Jobs, 36 the
cofounder of Apple Computer and currently CEO of Next, Inc. recently
said on values;
”I don’t think we know what our values are anymore. I don’t think
anybody’s asked us these questions in decades. How else could
we have inner cities the way they are or an educational system in
the condition it is? What do we care about? What do we stand
for? What are our priorities? We simply don’t know, and we’re
already paying the price.”
Surprisingly LILA is also about Intrapreneurship, or the fundamental
issue of the balance between the new and the old, between chaos and
order.
(The above comments made by SvenG. Atterhed)
EXCERPTS AND COMMENTS
by Gustaf Delin, The ForeSight Group, February 14, 1992
Values provide the only basis for fully intelligible comprehension of
culture because the actual organization of all cultures is primarily in
terms of their values. This becomes apparent as soon as one attempts
to present the picture of a culture without reference to its values. The
account becomes a meaningless assemblage of items having
relationship to one another only through coexistence in locality and
moment - an assemblage that might as profitably be arranged
alphabetically as in any other order - a mere laundry list. (Harvard
Anthropology professor Clyde Kluckhohn)
Metaphysics – The First Philosophy
Metaphysics is what Aristotle called the First Philosophy. It’s a collection of the most general statements of a hierarchical structure of
thought.—that part of philosophy which deals with nature and the
structure of reality.
The fundamental nature of reality is outside language. Language
splits things up into parts while the true nature of reality is undivided.
Quality does not have to be defined. You understand it without
definition, ahead of definition. Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions.
Positivism is a philosophy that emphasizes science as the only
source of knowledge. It is an outgrowth of empiricism, the idea that all
knowledge must come from experience, and is suspicious of any
thought, even a scientific statement, that is incapable of being reduced
to direct observation.
A Value is Experience
A value is experience. It is not a judgment about an experience. It is not
a description of experience. The value itself is an experience. As such
it is completely predictable. It is verifiable by anyone who cares to do
so. Our culture has a blind spot here. Our culture teaches us to think it
is the hot stove that directly causes the oaths. But not so! The value is
between the stove and the oaths. Between the subject and the object
lies the value. It is more real than the stove.
American Indians are exceptionally skilled at holding to the everchanging center of things. That is the real reason they speak and act
without ornamentation.
Dynamic and Static Quality
Life can’t exist on Dynamic Quality alone. It has no staying power. To
cling to Dynamic Quality alone apart from any static patterns is to cling
to chaos.
Static quality patterns are dead when they are exclusive, when
they demand blind obedience and suppress Dynamic change. But static
patterns, nevertheless, provide a necessary stabilizing force to protect
Dynamic progress from degeneration. Although Dynamic Quality, the
Quality of freedom, creates this world in which we live, these patterns