Outer Game Contribution

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Re: There is No Insane
Posted by Todd Leigh on September 29, 1998 at 17:17:58:

In Reply to: There is No Insane posted by Andy on May 01, 1998 at 12:45:13:

Robert Pirsig, in his novels _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_ and _Lila_, but especially
in the latter, discusses insanity with respect to the central idea of his novels, that value, or
"Quality" is the touchstone of reality.

He says that the moment of our perception of the complete fabric of reality is "Quality", and our
valuation of reality at that moment is what defines us and our world.

He goes on to relate this concept of reality as value to many ancient religious ideas and philosophies,
including Zen.

In the second book he expands on this idea, and discusses Quality as the center of reality with respect
to many of the problems and dilemmas of modern life, among them insanity.

His suggestion is that, in an "insane" person, a different set of values from the social norm has been
selected by that person, in response to biological or social "real" events that are worse for that person
than the "insane" values. This different way of perceiving the world is what causes society to label the
person insane, and to try to convert the person back to the social value norms.

One concern he has is that "insane" people are operating on the dynamic edge of quality, selecting values
that are outside of the static social values that work for most people, but which need to change if society
is to evolve.

These books, especially _Lila_ have a lot of connections to the core wave theme, including discussion of
"primitive" societies use of hallucinogenics that echo "Alien Dreamtime"'s proposal that such use bound
ancient societies together.

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