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Pirsig's view - underpinning his Metaphysics of Quality - is that Rhetoric precedes everything else in the way it expresses our response to Reality.

Dialectic, which is the parent of logic, came itself from rhetoric. Rhetoric is in turn the child of the myths and poetry of ancient Greece. That is so historically, and that is so by any application of common sense.

The poetry and the myths are the response of a prehistoric people to the universe around them made on the basis of Quality. It is Quality, not dialectic, which is the generator of everything we know.

Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine virtue. But aretê. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute.

Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric. He has been doing it right all along. . . .

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 07:13:37 AM EST
Just....got to...find....the right....words!


You know, did it start with maths?  You teach quality by training a person how to do things accurately, correct use of the correct tools, correct movements, build up a praxis built on specific foundations.  If you wish to plane a piece of wood, then....

How does that sound?  The more tools and techniques you learn, the better--if they're put to the correct use....you create quality?

Rhetoric (as I understood it) was the art of putting over one's thoughts on a subject.  I've simply held it in my head erroneously that it somehow sat in contradistinction with Veritas.  That Veritas (=quality, I think, in your model) is just....there....hey, you give me a chance to quote a Shakespeare sonnet!

My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,
While comments of your praise, richly compiled,
Reserve their character with golden quill
And precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
I think good thoughts whilst other write good words,
And like unletter'd clerk still cry 'Amen'
To every hymn that able spirit affords
In polish'd form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I say ''Tis so, 'tis true,'
And to the most of praise add something more;
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
Then others for the breath of words respect,
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.

But, I think I'm thinking educatively--that we need to educate each other as we can and when asked if possible--so the art of getting one's message across (of creating conviction = trust?  So there is some connection...bad faith, as afew wrote...curdles the cream, poisons the well...so find lots of wells and find a person whose cream is tasty!)  ...rhetoric is a tool to speed...?  To speed the transmission of the quality, the mindful quality--but I think that's only part of rhetoric.  There is also rhetoric for funerals, parties...well, that's what I've got so far from my look at the site papicek has given us--well...

If you need to translate a quality, maybe how to plane a piece of wood, here's the wood, maybe there's a workshop, and the person over there is explaining it all wrong--but that's okay; you're going to train your students, and they'll learn well....

But we all have to learn it all, whether we like it or not...because if I fail to produce quality, yet I still produce!  And maybe that guy over there, he got the bad teacher, the one who wouldn't know quality if it licked his ears--this teacher is insensible, it seems--and yet manages to have the worst teaching style, always shouting at the kids, blaming them if they fail to meet some standard of perfection he himself is far from....heh!

There is a refusal to learn, yet I believe--I think this has been demonstrated, but only in bursts--that humans can be brought to a level where "You don't have to do it.  It's okay!  Just find something you want to do, and try and get good at it."

And they do, because they believe completely in the support they are being offered...ah, 'tis rare, and fragile--  

Ach aye, ze dreamers....

Not just how to plane a piece of wood, but...everything....and as you learn how to add quality...I must be in Chrisland now...you turn a dreamy, fuzzy, vague, unreal map into an ever more accurate map, with positive (let's not this time ponder the quality of current nerve gasses) effects in ...tonight I'll call it "the outside world"...the effects are there, for good or ill...my buddhist moment...we choose how and if we deal with them, but we choose from a limited palate if....if we haven't been taught quality--or if we are blocked in our attempts to transmit it, such that we are maybe endlessly denied the space and/or the time--both of which (learning--and creating enough time and space in which to learn) are exacting for maybe the majority of humans--you have to be able to give up, basta, enough!  Okay!  Time off!  I need some quality time....away from these exacting and often repetitive processes....

Forty minutes, an hour and a half, an afternoon, a week, a year, a decade....and then....off!

But always adding quality--does that sound like part of what you mean by quality?

Heh!  Chris!

And...ah, I can't resist!  You gotta give this one two minutes.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Dec 4th, 2008 at 08:24:30 PM EST
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