In this post, Being, doing, having, I wrote about what happens when writing appears:
Then, after the writing appears, I read what has appeared. And then I judge its quality.
That’s what it is.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
From out of the depths of the unconscious appears a memory of Robert M. Pirsig’s book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZMM). I’ve read ZMM several times. Or several Past Me’s have each read it once.
ZMM and Pirsig’s other book Lila are about quality. Or, as Pirsig says, Quality. With a capital Q.
What is Quality?
I know what Quality is to me. You know what it is to you. So does Pirsig.
Quality is what’s important.
In his books, Persig describes what he calls his Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ). Here’s part of the description, from Wikipedia:
Quality,” or “value,”… cannot be defined because it empirically precedes any intellectual construction of it, namely due to the fact that quality (as Pirsig explicitly defines it) exists always as a perceptual experience before it is ever thought of descriptively or academically.
Quality is the “knife-edge” of experience, found only in the present, known or at least potentially accessible to all of “us.” Equating it with the Tao, Pirsig postulates that Quality is the fundamental force in the universe, stimulating everything from atoms to animals to evolve and incorporate ever greater levels of Quality.
According to the MoQ, everything (including ideas and matter) is a product and a result of Quality.
So quality is all around us. And we know it when we see it. And it is the fundamental force in the universe.
Works for me.
I don’t cause the words that appear on the screen to appear. I sit. I intend. They appear.
But after they appear—and sometimes as they appear—I read them. And here’s where I do something. I make decisions.
I make Quality decisions.
If the writing that appears has “insufficient Quality”—and I know what that means—then I intend that something better appears. Then I wait for it to appear. If I’m typing, I wait for my fingers to make some words appear. Words with greater Quality.
Lather, rinse, repeat until what manifests has sufficient Quality. Then I may move to publish it.
If I don’t get the necessary Quality, I may abandon what I’ve started.
But that’s all that I do. I’m a Quality gatekeeper.
I say: this has enough quality to post.
And so I will.
And then, a high-Quality victory lap.
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