I The Disciplines


What is a discipline? A discipline is a set of rules that are composed of two parts: the essential part and the arbitrary part. The essential part is what gives the discipline its power; it is the reason that the discipline exists. The arbitrary part is what gives the discipline its form and substance. The discipline cannot exist without the arbitrary part.

For example, surgeons wash their hands before surgery. If you were to watch, you would see that the handwashing has a very particular form to it. The surgeon does not wash hands by simply soaping them under running water, as you and I might do. Rather, the surgeon follows ...

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