New morals always seem evil.

from Lila: An Inquiry into Morals by Robert Pirsig page 56 fiction ~4 min read

The tribal frame of values that condemned the brujo and led to his punishment was one kind of good, for which Phasdrus coined the term 'static good.' Each culture has its own pattern of static good derived from fixed laws and the traditions and values that underlie them. This pattern of static good is the essential structure of the culture itself and defines it. In the static sense the brujo was very clearly evil to oppose the appointed authorities of his tribe. Suppose everyone did that? The whole Zuni culture, after thousands of years of continuous survival, would collapse into chaos.

But in addition there's a Dynamic good that is outside of any culture, that cannot be contained by any system of precepts, but has to be continually rediscovered as a culture evolves. Good and evil are not entirely a matter of tribal custom. If they were, no tribal change would be possible, since custom cannot change custom. There has to be another source of good and evil outside the tribal customs that produces the tribal change.

If you had asked the brujo what ethical principles he was following he probably wouldn't have been able to tell you. He wouldn't have understood what you were talking about. He was just following some vague sense of 'betterness' that he couldn't have defined if he had wanted to. Probably the war priests thought he was some kind of egotist trying to build his own image by tearing down tribal authority. But he showed later on that he really wasn't. If he'd been such an egotist he wouldn't have stayed with the tribe and helped keep it together.

The brujo's values were in conflict with the tribe at least partly because he had learned to value some of the ways of the new neighbors and they had not. He was a precursor of deep cultural change. A tribe can change its values only person by person and someone has to be first. Whoever is first obviously is going to be in conflict with everybody else. He didn't have to change his ways to conform to the culture only because the culture was changing its ways to conform to him. And that is what made him seem like such a leader. Probably he wasn't telling anyone to do this or to do that so much as he was just being himself. He may never have seen his struggle as anything but a personal one. But because the culture was in transition many people saw this brujo's ways to be of higher Quality than those of the old priests and tried to become more like him. In this Dynamic sense the brujo was good because he saw the new source of good and evil before the other members of his tribe did. Undoubtedly he did much during his life to prevent a clash of cultures that would have been completely destructive to the people of Zuni.

Whatever the personality traits were that made him such a rebel from the tribe around him, this man was no 'misfit.' He was an integral part of Zuni culture. The whole tribe was in a state of evolution that had emerged many centuries ago from cliff-dwelling isolation. Now it was entering a state of cooperation with the whites and submission to white laws. He was an active catalytic agent in that tribe's social evolution, and his personal conflicts were a part of that tribe's cultural growth.

Phaedrus thought that the story of the old Pueblo Indian, seen in this way, made deep and broad sense, and justified the enormous feeling of drama that it produced. After many months of thinking about it, he was left with a reward of two terms: Dynamic good and static good, which became the basic division of his emerging Metaphysics of Quality.

It certainly felt right. Not subject and object but static and Dynamic is the basic division of reality. When A. N. Whitehead wrote that 'mankind is driven forward by dim apprehensions of things too obscure for its existing language,' he was writing about Dynamic Quality. Dynamic Quality is the pre-intellectual cutting edge of reality, the source of all things, completely simple and always new. It was the moral force that had motivated the brujo in Zuni. It contains no pattern of fixed rewards and punishments. Its only perceived good is freedom and its only perceived evil is static quality itself - any pattern of one-sided fixed values that tries to contain and kill the ongoing free force of life.

Static quality, the moral force of the priests, emerges in the wake of Dynamic Quality. It is old and complex. It always contains a component of memory. Good is conformity to an established pattern of fixed values and value objects. Justice and law are identical. Static morality is full of heroes and villains, loves and hatreds, carrots and sticks. Its values don't change by themselves. Unless they are altered by Dynamic Quality they say the same thing year after year. Sometimes they say it more loudly, sometimes more softly, but the message is always the same.

—Robert Pirsig, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, p. 56