Daily exercise is moral. There I said it. This is an unusual sentence but one that is logically correct and actually also more truthful and honest than any other statement about exercise.
It's a sentence that I can only say because I'm using a metaphysics that is built for this 21st Century. A metaphysics that allows us to move beyond all traditional interpretations of morality and place even everyday activities into a moral context. A moral context that isn't just logically true for me in my place and time - like our current morality would say, but it's true and moral for all people, everywhere.
I can say this because I can philosophically and logically justify the sentence using the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ). Because unlike Zazen as described in an earlier post, exercise, as static quality; does have clear qualitative justifications for why its a good thing. In fact, whilst it is fundamentally a biological activity - it’s actually something that’s good on every level and this is really why it’s so moral to do every day.
And as an aside - this is also another reason why the celebrities I wrote about in my previous post are so good. They show that you can do professional level exercise and yet maintain a moral vegan diet at the same time - both things supported by the MOQ.
Personally I’ve recently been spending up to two hours a day at the gym doing various cardio and strength based exercises. But for someone who has limited free time for exercise, studies are increasingly showing that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective way of getting fit and healthy in an extremely time limited way.
Along these lines please enjoy a video above showing a daily HIIT routine that basically anyone can do so long as they are honestly pushing themselves through.
The Metaphysics Of Quality (MOQ) points out that as social values exist; celebrity culture is unavoidable. Because of this we should thus encourage those celebrites that are moving society in a better direction. Two of those celebrites are Rich Roll and Nimai Delgado.
Two vegan athletes, breaking stereotypes of vegan protein deficiencies and showing that you can still live a healthy life and actually thrive on a purely plant based diet.
I’ve written before about the morality of a vegan diet and that’s why these two athletes are celebrites supported by the MOQ.
Enjoy a preview of their chat above or you can listen to and watch the whole podcast here.
Ultimately nothing exists. Science thinks matter ultimately exists - but experience shows that it doesn't. And ideas - what are they beyond thoughts about experience? What are ideas exacly? What are words - what is anything?
So try to catch that essence of the universe and it seems like you can't do it. In fact experience shows the ultimate essence of the universe is both infinitely describable, yet indescribable!
“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” - Lao Tzu
But at the end of the day we're alive and we can't help but speak, define and create things. Especially as Lao Tzu demonstrates; about the ultimate essence of the universe. That's why it's good instead to make statements such as 'Quality exists and is the ultimate source of everything', because we can't help but speak and so it's best if we define things as best we can.
Yes, it's true that we can deny that Quality exists and deny that it's something we know before we speak about or define, and many do - but this is dishonest. You can't get out of bed in the morning without deciding that it's better to do so.
And so instead, if we're being honest; it's best that everything we do and say is in alignment with this ultimate essence of the universe.
But how do we best do this? How do we best experience and become intimately acquainted with this ultimately indescribable essence of the universe? How best do we make it an intrinsic part of our every day lives and so live in accordance with it?
To answer that I point to Zazen and the instructional video above.
By dramatically simplifying our actions to the point where we 'just sit' we are able to experience this essence. With no distractions and no thoughts to hide what is right in front of us all the time in each and every moment - we can experience and become acquainted with what Zen calls the 'original self' and the Metaphysics of Quality ultimately calls 'Dynamic Quality'.
Some great news for the week is that there looks to be a great Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance documentary in the works. See above a clip of an interview with David Buchanan who I've spoken with many times online over the years.
David has an unparalleled understanding of the Metaphysics of Quality - particularly around how it relates to the philosophical tradition of american pragmatism. I'm sure with his involvement (no matter how small) the quality of this documentary will be greatly increased!
I believe the creators are currently looking for funding which you can do whilst they travel the route of the book - here.
Best of luck to them and hopefully this will kick off some well needed - renewed interest in Pirsig's original book.
Metaphysical support for the University of Chicago in its fight for Intellectual Morality. There's a great short documentary on the uniquely strong value the University of Chicago places on the intellectual value of free speech. And before I go on - there's actually much crossover here with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The university was attended by the author Robert Pirsig where he had an infamous showdown with the Chair of the Committee on Analysis of Ideas and Study of Methods. And it was the universities president Robert Maynard Hutchins who was a close colleague of the Chair and who had reformed the university into a mirror of what Pirsig uniqely terms in ZMM 'Aristotilean Quality'. But as also mentioned in the book; this reform led to a clash against those who wanted a more value-free 'scientific' education, as well as an eventual clash with Pirsig who didn't agree with the low quality Aristotilean definition of Quality..
Phædrus didn't know quite what to make of this clash. But it certainly seemed to be close to the area he wished to work in. He also felt that no values can be fixed but that this is no reason why values should be ignored or that values do not exist as reality. He also felt antagonistic to the Aristotelian tradition as a definer of values, but he didn't feel this tradition should be left unreckoned with. The answer to all this was somehow deeply enmeshed in it and he wanted to know more.
Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
And in along the same lines in the movie..
'Hutchins' envisaged something like a military academy for the mind. One grounded in a demanding core curriculum.'
Rob Montz - 'Silence U Pt. 3: Can the University of Chicago solve the campus free speech crisis?'
Despite a very clear disagreement about the metaphysical place of Quality - it's clear however, that the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) supports the University of Chicago's latest stand for free speech discussed in the documentary. As always - we can use the language of the MOQ to break down the problem into its core evolutionary components and beautifully show why it's moral..
Firstly, the MOQ agrees that students around the world shouldn't need to be shielded from certain ideas they find painful or confronting. Such thinking comes from one of biological suffering where society morally supports and comforts those in pain. But ideas are intellectual, not biological, and so it's moral for our culture to allow a voice to ideas that are challenging to confront and this will eventually change our ideas for the better.
'Those species that don't suffer don't survive. Suffering is the negative face of the Quality that drives the whole process. All these battles between patterns of evolution go on within suffering individuals.. And Lila's battle is everybody's battle, you know?'
Robert Pirsig - Lila
And secondly, the MOQ also agrees that students shouldn't demand universities refuse to 'give a platform' to ideas they disagree with. Whilst universities and colleges are cultural institutions, they are much more than this and seeing them as exclusively cultural, is to undercut the intellectual values they are set up to protect and preserve. In other words - it is true that who they give a platform to is in some way a cultural statement, however few cultural statements could be better than for an intellectual forum to actively demonstrate the intellectual value of free speach. Giving a voice to those ideas on the periphery or in opposition to those they agree with is just such an intellectual demonstration.
Thirdly, if they are concerned about the strength of certain bad ideas to take hold within the culture, then it's possible they have not appropriately confronted the issues themselves or rightly asked that of others. Which indeed according to the MOQ is the intellectually moral, and perhaps socially difficult thing to do.
And so finally, in this battle for free speech - in all cases it's clearly between those who are seeing things through a social lens at the expense of intellectual morality. Of course equipped with the Metaphysics of Quality - students could avoid grave errors in logic such as this and be far more likely to choose those ideas that are the best. But until that point, the MOQ still uniqely and rightly calls those seeing things through the social lens as immoral and acting against the intellectual quality of evolution and what's right.