Tag Archives: zen

Outlawry and the metaphysics of Quality – Zen, Persig et al

tabby thinking it over 2

Tabby:  So what does all this airplane talk have to do with the metaphysics of  quality?

Me:  Giving ourselves quality in life comes in a lot of forms, but each trail we take leading there relies on our personal determination to define what we believe is quality.  Although it’s remotely possible some larger social or governmental entity will offer the opportunities, it’s no priority with them.  They’re concerned with something they define as ‘the greater good’.  Keeping people on the sidewalks, off the grass.  If a person sees the need to walk on the grass, to lie on it, to find the quality in it, he’s going to have to find a way to get there without going to jail.  You have to find awareness of the grass, and you can’t be aware of it until you’ve experienced it.

Tabby:  But at least they’re keeping the dogs from crapping on the grass..

Me:  That’s right.  And if you’re planning to crap on it you’d destroy the quality you hoped to find there.  But if you allow the fact someone in control is afraid you’ll crap on the grass to keep you off it so’s to make sure you don’t you’ve lost a chunk of life you’ll never recover.  A piece of the quality of living gone because someone else might have violated it if they’d gone there.

Tabby:  People can’t see the damned grass anyway, right?  They walk right past it without seeing anything.

Me:  Mostly they don’t see it because they‘re somewhere else.  They‘re thinking about something they think is in the future, where they‘re having lunch, or something someone said an hour ago.  They’re walking past that grass and have a vague intellectual awareness the grass is there, but that’s only half of where quality lives.  The flash of instant ‘seeing’ it before the mind has time to intellectually define what it’s seeing is where quality hides.  And because they don’t experience the quality of the grass they have no respect for it.  They’re minds assign it no value.  They take a rhetorical crap on the grass without ever knowing they’ve done it.

Tabby:  So that’s why the people posting the signs want to keep them off the grass?  So they won’t take a rhetorical crap on it as they go by?

Me:  No.  The people posting the signs think they’re doing it to protect the grass for the ‘greater good’ of all those people and dogs going by who won’t see it.  Sign posters couldn’t care less about what people experience as they go by.  They think it’s the separation between the people and dogs, and the grass that’s important.

Tabby:  I’m glad they do it, anyway.  I hate eating grass after a dog’s peed or crapped on it. 

Me:  But you can’t taste it until you get past the signs.

Old Jules

Advertisements

Advice and Consent

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Ring

Me:  Wassat?  The damned telephone?  Where the hell is it?  Ahh!  Under that.  Get off there, cat!

Ring. 

Me:  [scowling.  Into the phone.] This better be good.

Telephone:  Old Jules?

Me:  Who’s asking?

Telephone:  This is George Armstrong Custer MacGruder.  I’m calling for the president.

Me:  President of what?

Telephone:  President of the United States.

Me:  What?  The black guy?  Tell him I don’t vote.

Telephone:  He knows you don’t vote.

Me:  Then why the hell are you calling?

Telephone:  He reads your blog.  Hopes you’ll answer some questions.

Me:  I don’t want some president nosing around in my affairs.  I don’t stick my nose into his business.  He needs take care of whatever it is he does up there.

Telephone:  Nothing he’s tried so far is working.  He’s casting around for ideas.  desperate.

Me:  That’s laudable, anyway.  You’ve got the wrong number.  I don’t have any ideas.  Tell him to take up Zen.  Learn to use the I Ching.

Telephone:  I Ching?

Me:  Yeah.  The Book of Changes.  Chinese.  Divination.  Confucius.  All that.  The John Richard Lynn translation of Wang Bi’s the best one I’ve found.  Yarrow stick method.  Damned coins will throw you off.    Tell him to pay close attention to the changing lines.  You still there?

Telephone:  I’m taking notes.  Sorry.

Me:  Anything else you need?  I’ve got things to do here.

Telephone:  So you’re saying the President needs to consult an oracle?

Me:  You said nothing else is working didn’t you?

Telephone:  Can you think of any other advice you’d like to give the President?

Me:  I don’t give advice.  Except I advise you not to call me again.  I get pissed off sometimes when people bother me.

Telephone:  Could he send you an email?

Me:  As long as he’s not trying to sell anything, persuade me to vote, or ask my advice.

Telephone:  Thanks.

Me:  Sure.  Anytime.

Old Jules