RE: MD Pirsig's conception of ritual

From: johnny moral (
Date: Tue Feb 11 2003 - 22:52:29 GMT

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    DMB: "Is there anything I can do to get you to respond to the thoughts
    and quotes about the transition period?"

    I had some thoughts about what you said there. Specifically, that the
    beginning of the intellectual level, aka the birth of philosophy, was when
    people began to question the static social patterns and rituals and demand
    justification for them. But I don't think they had to question rituals or
    their validity or usefullness in order to develop intellectual static
    patterns. Rather, after comfortably feeling secure in social situations
    thanks to rituals, it became possible for principles such as democracy to
    develop and to begin to repeat as intellectual patterns. I don't think
    intellectual patterns required any cutting away of ritual vines, but rather
    required the vines themselves. Yes, that's the axe I'll be grinding in all
    my posts.

    What Plato did by insisting that the sophists know why they were teaching
    the rituals was to encapsulate the good. Doesn't Pirsig imply that Plato
    caused some harm by doing that? That he should have let the Sophists just
    continue to teach rituals for their own sake, without trying to encapsulate
    and justify everything?

    >From: David Buchanan <>
    >To: "''" <>
    >Subject: RE: MD Pirsig's conception of ritual
    >Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 20:05:14 -0700
    >Sam says: this is precisely what I'm trying to avoid - or rather, not
    >just postpone temporarily. This is where the meat of our disagreements lie.
    >I said earlier "are our disagreements a) over interpreting Pirsig, b) over
    >applying the MoQ to religious ritual, c) about our different understandings
    >of religious ritual, or d) something else again?" I think if we are really
    >going to get anywhere in our thinking - if we truly are going to make each
    >other think - then a little clearing of the ground before engaging mano e
    >mano would be useful.
    >DMB says:
    >I have to say that I'm disappointed. Don't you have anything to say about
    >those hundreds and hundreds of words I worked so hard to send? I feel
    >cheated. Is there anything I can do to get you to respond to the thoughts
    >and quotes about the transition period? Are they not relevant to the
    >question of Pirsig's conception of ritual?
    >Sam said:
    >So: please could you condense that (very interesting) post into a
    >of element 3 (or other elements) so that we can gain some clarity over our
    >agreements and disagreements with respect to Pirsig - and *then* our
    >agreements and disagreements with respect to the rest. I'll then pause to
    >see if anyone else wants to join in the conversation before continuing.
    >DMB says:
    >Maybe its just a matter of style, but I feel that the issues are far too
    >complicated and inter-related to be well served by the short "elements".
    >may recall that in nearly every case I said something like "Right, but its
    >more complicated than that" or "yea, but its important to remember that.."
    >or "I think this needs to be more precise" and stuff like that. All this is
    >a clue that I just don't think we can nail these things down in a few
    >sentences. I think it short-changes the complexity and importance of the
    >issue. But I'll try if you insist. Unfortunately, it'll have to wait. Its
    >time for me to go home.
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