You don’t have to take political sides…Imagine that.
One great way to evoke that subliminal self that allows you to detect Quality is to watch the news. Can you sit through half an hour of CNN or FOX and allow yourself to be totally objective? Try it. It’s really hard! Your preconceived value system is dying to kick right in. Your cognitive biases are almost impenetrable. So many people of us either TDS or MAGA!
But it’s a really good exercise…and if you can do this, you may find you start coming up with some truly original opinions based on the Quality that we now know is certainly there. What you see as valuable will emerge if you let it.
And people who do this as a basis of their writing, theoretical work, or in conversation are usually much more interesting to listen to or read then someone following a party line, no matter how brilliant they are. These original thinkers are very aware of their confirmation bias, and circumvent it by allowing the subliminal self, allowing Quality, what they see as of value, to inform the content of their material.
One thing you will find about these people is they are very difficult to pinpoint politically.
Here are some examples who you may have heard of and who you can easily find on Youtube:
Jordan Peterson: A lot of the media will smear him as far right, but he declares himself to be a classical liberal. He has a lot to offer to both the lost young men of our time AND to women who want to learn how to ask for a raise or otherwise more assertive on the job. He seems to dislike Trump, but understands why he was elected as he is looking at the world through his own theoretical framework outlined in Maps of Meaning and popularized in 12 Rules for Life.
Scott Adams: the creator of the Dilbert comic strip claims to be to the Left of Bernie on social issues, yet he is primarily followed by Trump supporters, who he often has to warn when he is about to give credit to the left, which he does frequently. His lack of insistence on following a preconceived political stance, coupled with a high level of creativity (which often goes hand in hand with this state of being) yield useful and original solutions to seemingly unsolvable political and practical problems
Jonathan Haidt: In a lot of ways, his moral foundations theory illustrates how a person’s political beliefs are often contingent on their moral system – and moral systems can be very different for conservatives than for liberals. This knowledge alone opens up an avenue to entertain the possibility that there isn’t one way to see political beliefs.
Bret Weinstein, the evolutionary biologist gives a great lecture on being open-minded enough to reach across the aisle and that the real political difference is libertarian versus authoritarian – and you can test yourself, by the way, to see where you are – it’s the political compass test. Well, that is a good parallel the Quality state of mind in terms of looking at political issues, because a libertarian mindset is open enough to entertain opposing ideas, whereas the authoritarian mindset isn’t – the preconceived value mindset.
And naturally, Pirsig. You think he’s neither hip nor square, and in the book, you will find he has great reverence for an old-style American way of living, while having great reverence for the Eastern way of being, and a revolutionary philosopher – many fans who were what you could classify as hippies, nerds, and outcasts.
So this is a short reflection on implementing Quality in a couple of life domains – connection, getting along with people, and Mind, improving your intellect.