LS New age SOM (fwd)

Donald T Palmgren (
Mon, 17 Aug 1998 10:40:13 +0100

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 20:05:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Donald T Palmgren <>
Subject: New age SOM

GLOVE wrote:
. as far as #1 or #2 SOM...why dont we just leave it
at plain old SOM instead of complicating matters even further. besides,
i have no idea what you mean by that.
        Maybe I wasn't as clear as I thought, in my last post. A while ago
the LS atempted to define "SOM" and most of us settled on one of two
1) A metaphysical system built upon the ontalogical dichotomy of
(knowing)subject and (known)object -- ie. the seperatness of "in here" and
"out there."
2) A or not-A
(which I interpret as meaning: any form of dualistic thinking, anywhere
where phedrus "analytic knife" comes into play.)
        Bo has re-labeled these SOM and S-O thinking.

        Now, until we get around to attacking the SOM definition again
this is what we, as a group, have generaly hit upon. So if at some point
the majority of us come to agree that #1 is actually what pirsig ment then
we can go back to just saying "SOM" ... but until then, I sugested that,
for clairity, if you say "___ is SOM" then you identify how you use that
term (Me, personaly, like Bo, I use definition #1. Definition #2 is too
broad, leaving out both the "SO" and the "M"!) Or if you don't buy either
of those (like Magnus, for example, for whom I belive "SOM" means
aproxamatly what Derrida calls "logocentracism" -- the belief that there
are some set of Absolute facts which are true independent of our knowledge
of them), then kindly, briefly, identify what you do mean by "SOM" if you
use it.

        So to return to my origuinal point: You refered to th universe
creating itself "in a SOM-ish sense." Going by either of those
definitions, I don't know what the universe creating itself has to do w/
SOM. Either you have some other way of using the term "SOM" I'm not privy
too, or else you have some amazing logical insights about how "the
ontalogical dichotomy of S and O" means that the universe created itself.
Or else (as I suspect) "som" is in danger of becoming a label we slap on
something in order not to deal w/ it.
        Are you seeing my point now? It doesn't help to communicate the
MoQ to people and broaden pirsig's audience by throwing around terms in
ways that don't appear to make a hell of a lot of sense. So, again, maybe
it's just me, but when you refer to the "SOM-ish" the universe might or
might not go about creating itself... that has no meaning for me. I don't
know what you're refering too.


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