Although it may be just a disagreement over what the "edge" is, I think we
disagree on a fundamental point (which I should point out is still a point of
contention between "great thinkers" everywhere). In short, I am proposing (and
interpreting Pirsig) to say that there is *NO* perception prior to the valuing
process. Far from "unfortunate", valuing offers our *only* possible connection
with reality. Let me quote from Pirsig's later book, "Lila"
<The Metaphysics of Quality ... says that values are not outside of the
experience that logical positivism limits itself to. The are the *essence* of
this experience. Values are *more* empirical, in fact, than subjects or
objects. Any person of any philosophic persuasion who sits on a hot stove will
verify without any intellectual argument whatsoever that he is in an undeniably
low-quality situation: that the *value* of his predicament is negative. This
low quality is not just a vague, woolly-headed, crypto-religeous, metaphysical
abstraction. It is an *experience*. It is not a judgment about experience. It
is not a description of experience. The value itself is an experience. ...
This value is more immediate, more directly sensed than any "self" or any
"object" to which it might be later assigned. It is more *real* than the
stove.> (emphasis is Pirsig's)
If true, there is no "original" to be had that is "unfortunately" filtered
by later applying values. When you refer to immediate experience pursued by
certain religions and drug users, I believe you are talking about *pre-
conceptual* experience, not *pre-value* experience. In the value dimensions I
outlined before, pre-conceptual experience would arise from Intrinsic valuing.
As I interpret it, the altered states you referred to are altered *value*
states, where one typically sheds one's habitual emphasis on extrinsic and
systemic value to make sense of reality, focusing instead on the pre-conceptual,
pre-expectation Intrinsic value dimension.
Although this is the Learning-Org list, not metaphysics-L, I think this is
still relevant because it is a critical point in one's "mental model" of
learning itself, which surely must have practical importance to L.O. and
consultants. If all learning arises from experience, and all experience arises
from one's values, then clearly understanding value in general, and the variety
of individual and organizational values, must be critical to understanding