MD philosophology and towers of knowledge

From: Joel Kotarski (
Date: Wed May 23 2001 - 20:13:32 BST

Hi all and Bodvar:

It was good to see Bodvar drop back in.. I am very fond of his work, "the
Quality Event" so I was excited to see him back. I am also disappointed to
see he is unsubscribing.. A point he brought up inspired this message.

Since joining this group I've noticed a tacit assumption springing up in
slight ways that I want to call attention to. I can use a word from Pirsig
to lock on the concept (and at the same time illustrate it beautifully):
philosophology. A good metaphor to illustrate this rule is that only
someone who has command of entire tree of knowledge can expand its branches.

In a way, my use of the term "philosophology" invokes it on a micro-level.
One must have read Lila in its entirety, or at least the last part of the
book, to understand what I am talking about.

As we develop static patterns of intellect in any group, they tend to create
a structure that creates both power and exclusion at the same time. On one
hand, power is created because the platform is raised to achieve greater
heights of exploration for all familiar with the structure's architecture.
On the other hand, exclusion can result as the structure becomes like a
tower of knowledge to surmount before allowing further exploration.

The original Lila Squad explored some excellent topics and as time allows, I
am still feeling my way around the structure they left behind. Furthermore,
this discussion has been going on for years, so a lot of other topics might
have been explored.

Bodvar made a statement, "the MD is becoming indistinguishable from any
other Internet bla-bla site - perhaps with a 'quality' thrown in now and
then for
appearances' sake" (copyright 2001 Although since I am
new, I don't know the depth of what he is referring to, I question whether
this might be due to people's trepidation on "covering old ground".

When the list started, many people had climbed the "tower of knowledge"
Pirsig unveiled in Lila and everyone started from the same majestic
platform, staring out into DQ with a fresh set of tools. A nice
heterogeneous mix of diverse knowledge backgrounds invoked a set of
exploratory topics spanning a large set of intellectual directions. (That
is what Lila's Child was/is trying to capture in a more approachable form)

Now, there might be plenty of fresh travellers who just climbed the tower of
Lila to find this new forum for discussion with excitement. Let's not block
them by presenting another tower to climb before discussing. I know when I
finished Lila, the MoQ started picking up bits of knowledge from my past and
energising them in miraculous ways. Ditto for ZATAMM. That shows the
philosophy (not the philosophology) is GOOD.

Let's let this happen with the fresh arrivals. And if they are peering over
the edge of the second story of scaffolding of "Lila's Child" without
knowing it, then what harm is done if dynamic quality hits some of their
unique knowledge areas and presents a new insight?? This should get rid of
the reflex toward philosophology in the discussion.

On the other hand, someone (sorry I don't recall who right off) said
something about imagining the possibility if everyone in the discussion had
read Lila's Child. This is an exciting prospect. Could we create a
discussion forum that is equivalent to a traveller climbing the Zen
mountain, the Lila tower, and the Child scaffolding? That would indeed keep
the veterans exploring further and further heights with interest and present
a mindful challenge for newcomers while not excluding them.

What do you all think?


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