Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values ❴BOOKS❵ ⚣ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values Author Robert M. Pirsig – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk At its heart, the story is all too simple a man and his son take a lengthy motorcycle trip through America But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, through mountain and desert, w At its heart, the story is all too the Art eBook ✓ simple a man and his son take a lengthy motorcycle trip through America But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, through mountain and desert, wind and rain, and searing heat and biting cold, their pilgrimage leads them to new vistas of self discovery and renewal Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mantenance is an elemental work that has helped to Zen and PDF/EPUB or shape and define the past twenty five years of American culture This special audio edition presents this adventure in a compelling way for the millions who have already taken this journey and want to travel these roads again, and for the many who will discover for the first time the wonders and challenges of a journey that will change the way they think and feel about their lives.


10 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

  1. Christy Christy says:

    Maybe it s unfair to give a poor rating to a book I read in high school However, I like to think that I was wise beyond my years and knew a phony, self congratulatory, pretentious buffoon when I saw one On the other hand, I did wear baggy overalls with Birkenstocks every day back then and wondered why I didn t have a boyfriend, so clearly I didn t know everything.But as I read through the reviews here, I am confronted by a rush of unpleasant memories about this particular reading experience T Maybe it s unfair to give a poor rating to a book I read in high school However, I like to think that I was wise beyond my years and knew a phony, self congratulatory, pretentious buffoon when I saw one On the other hand, I did wear baggy overalls with Birkenstocks every day back then and wondered why I didn t have a boyfriend, so clearly I didn t know everything.But as I read through the reviews here, I am confronted by a rush of unpleasant memories about this particular reading experience The narrator did indeed seem like a dick And he may have been okay with that, because I got the impression that he s one of those guys who doesn t care if he comes off as a dick, because his purpose in life is to Figure It All Out, and disseminate his impressive knowledge to the masses of sheep like mouth breathers who wandered into Waldenbooks and picked up a mass market paperback copy of his masterpiece Their lives will be changed The narrator is too busy unraveling the mysteries of the universe to bother with being likable It s a sacrifice, but someone has to do it We should be thanking him And this is just an aside, but part of me always wonders if there is something wrong with me, or if I m an elitist or delusional because I ve never read a life changing book That s right a book has never changed me I read as a kind of re affirmation of what I think I already know, somewhere deep down Or I simply read to experience the pleasure of a good story I ve put a book down and thought to myself, Boy, that was a good book I m in such a pleasant ponderous gloomy mood now Well done But never have I put down a book and thought, Before I read this, I was wandering around on this thing we call Earth with the wrong ideas about life people religion mechanical engineering, but now I have been enlightened From this point forward, my life will be different I will be a better person I don t know Maybe I just have a bad attitude, or think that I m smarter than everyone else Maybe I m no better than our friend Mr Pirsig If you think that may be the case, I suppose you can just ignore this review completely and read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.But If you think I m just like Pirsig, you would want to heed my advice about this book and avoid it, wouldn t you Aha You see, you can t like us both, otherwise the universe will implode Or will it Perhaps it is nothan a conundrum I have devised out of sheer malice and a masturbatory sense of self importance Perhaps I am full of shit You ll never know for sure You can t escape this philosophy ninja s intellectual trap Don t even try


  2. Clinton Clinton says:

    I feel like Robert M Pirsig has wronged me personally.


  3. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    When I was quite young my brain said to me, after a particularly long and stoned session listening to Pink Floyd and discussing philosophy, oh give me a break So I said to my brain, there s no need to be so rude, and my brain said, no seriously, I can t handle this any, really, let me take a break So it did and I ve been operating on brain stem alone ever since I don t know it s made that much difference.I wonder if the author s brain was thinking like mine was Certainly when I was When I was quite young my brain said to me, after a particularly long and stoned session listening to Pink Floyd and discussing philosophy, oh give me a break So I said to my brain, there s no need to be so rude, and my brain said, no seriously, I can t handle this any, really, let me take a break So it did and I ve been operating on brain stem alone ever since I don t know it s made that much difference.I wonder if the author s brain was thinking like mine was Certainly when I was reading this book and sort of enjoying it 2 stars worth , I was also thinking I am just too old to be reading this sort of cod philosophy, too old and not stoned enough I read other people s reviews and have to conclude that they all saw something in this book that impressed them as deep and me as deeply populist Either way, I didn t really enjoy it and it only gets two stars because the writing was ok, the book wasn t arduous to read, some parts of it were interesting and enjoyable.I wasn t that keen on the author s exploration of his mental breakdown either I find when other people tell me the dreams they had last night, or I have to read them in a book I turn off as well I really don t know why, nor do I know if others also feel this way When telling last night s major really interesting dream to someone else, I ve never said, Do you find this as boring as I would if it was you telling me Actually that s a load of guff, I don t tell other people my dreams because I suspect they would be bored rigid and neither do I tell them about my mental breakdown when I saw three rainbows in the sky and didn t kill myself because I couldn t find a nightie that was suitable See, boring I kept thinking that Roberts the author of Shantaram and Pirsig would get on really well They could sit in cafes in foreign parts swapping tales of derring do, drugs and their fascinating insights whilst waiting for an audience to join them That s a bit mean spirited as Pirsig is a great dealappealing as an author and person than the somewhat sleazy Roberts, but I think you get what I mean And I will say that it s quite readable, the travel descriptions are very well done, the characters, apart from the hero, are in general interesting but I still couldn t get into it.Anyway, it s a Sunday, much love and an extra star


  4. Richard Richard says:

    There are three threads weaving through this book none of which, as is pointed out, has much to do with either eastern philosophy or with motorcycle maintenance The first is a straightforward narration by a man riding across the country with his young son and two friends a married couple This evocative travelogue is by far the most enjoyable aspect of the novel.The second element is a sort of mystery as that man struggles with his memory it s gradually revealed that he s on the road both t There are three threads weaving through this book none of which, as is pointed out, has much to do with either eastern philosophy or with motorcycle maintenance The first is a straightforward narration by a man riding across the country with his young son and two friends a married couple This evocative travelogue is by far the most enjoyable aspect of the novel.The second element is a sort of mystery as that man struggles with his memory it s gradually revealed that he s on the road both to escape his past and to attempt to remember it.The last thread is where the book just falls apart Through the narrator s dialogue with himself, Pirsig puts forward his ludicrous philosophy of quality, which essentially holds that quality, whatever that might be, is somehow the fundamental reality of the universe If that sounds like nonsense then you understand it perfectly.When we find out why the narrator had lost his memory in the first place, the answers don t live up to any expectations we might have been unfortunate enough to have developed


  5. Katherine Katherine says:

    After years of people saying, Oh, you re a philosophy major Have you heard of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance You should read it I finally broke down and bought a copy I am usually wary of books that seem to hold promises of sweetness and light and spiritual awakening, in this age of The Purpose Driven Life and Silver Ravenwolf.My thoughts on the book, even months after reading it, are still mixed Artistically, I do think it s a polished and respectable piece of literature It s After years of people saying, Oh, you re a philosophy major Have you heard of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance You should read it I finally broke down and bought a copy I am usually wary of books that seem to hold promises of sweetness and light and spiritual awakening, in this age of The Purpose Driven Life and Silver Ravenwolf.My thoughts on the book, even months after reading it, are still mixed Artistically, I do think it s a polished and respectable piece of literature It s well written and compelling But my philosophy major side is hesitant about it I don t know much about Zen Buddhism, so I can t speak for how Pirsig treated that aspect, but the rundowns on philosophy made me anxious in the way that Philosophy for Dummies makes me anxious you have to assume that the author s interpretation is one that is valid And sometimes there was enough value judgment language that it felt like the text was conveniently interpreting the philosopher at hand, as opposed to fairly.It s a good book, and I recommend it, but I also recommend readingabout the philosophies Pirsig touches on, eg Kant, Hume, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, etc Anything that turns people on to philosophy can t be all bad, after all


  6. Michael Finocchiaro Michael Finocchiaro says:

    Robert M Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceI can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight thirty in the morning I have read Zen probably four or five times The clinical precision of the author is apparent in all the detail here left grip , eight thirty The self reference of the author looking at his own watch will become a leitmotif as the entire book is about the author looking deep into his own soul so deep in fact th Robert M Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceI can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight thirty in the morning I have read Zen probably four or five times The clinical precision of the author is apparent in all the detail here left grip , eight thirty The self reference of the author looking at his own watch will become a leitmotif as the entire book is about the author looking deep into his own soul so deep in fact that the real author became temporarily insane between finishing Zen and starting the sequel Lila The author is definitely a morning kind of a guy, already rolling down the highway early in the morning The fact that he looks without taking his hand off the grip, gives us a very cinematic presentation of this otherwise banal scene Also, the mundane nature of riding a motorcycle and looking at a watch and finding the even important enough to write about centres us on the cycle itself and foreshadows the many allusions and allegories that will come between philosophy and cycling.There is an extended analogy between the state of mind of Pirsig as he tunes and tweaks his motorcycle and his concept of quality as the leading edge of a train in time I always found it helpful to recall and think about The relationship between Pirsig and his son is a focal point of this book and poignant without faltering towards the pathetic There was a very great tragedy in Pirsig s life when his son was killed some years later, and naturally, Pirsig s already feeble mental state was shattered again This book takes place during the son s adolescence and it is striking to see how these two communicate and how Pirsig is eventually able to connect with him.This book is a great introduction to philosophy, particularly Zen Buddhism and I get somethingout of it each time I read it Truly a masterpiece I highly recommend also reading his follow up book to this called Lila.Zen for me remains a go to book for solace and reflection I deeply mourn the passage of Pirsig as a misunderstood and under estimated thinker and writer R.I.P


  7. Mason Wiebe Mason Wiebe says:

    I must start by saying that this is one of my favorite books ever Although it is deep and complicated and takes a lot of focus to read, I feel that there are a lot of great messages here in the author s search for Quality This was my second time reading this book, and I liked itthis time Interlaced with stories from an across the west motorcycle trip with his son and some friends, Pirsig tells the story of his past in an almost former life before being admitted to a mental institution a I must start by saying that this is one of my favorite books ever Although it is deep and complicated and takes a lot of focus to read, I feel that there are a lot of great messages here in the author s search for Quality This was my second time reading this book, and I liked itthis time Interlaced with stories from an across the west motorcycle trip with his son and some friends, Pirsig tells the story of his past in an almost former life before being admitted to a mental institution after going crazy in his pursuit of Quality He often uses the motorcycle as an analogy, as well as climbing mountains With what many would see as too much depth and detail but not me , he dissects the ideas of rhetoric, quality, the scientific method, technology and many ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers and tries to take down an entire academic department in the search of a unifying truth god connecting force I don t really feel that there is a lot that I can say to do this book justice in a short review form like this I ll just write up a bunch of underlined quotes instead physical discomfort is important only when the mood is wrong Then you fasten on to whatever thing is uncomfortable and call that the cause But if the mood is right, then physical discomfort doesn t mean much Caring about what you are doing is considered either unimportant or taken for granted That s the first normal thing I ve said in weeks The rest of the time I m feigning twentieth century lunacy just like you are So as to not draw attention to myself Nobody is concerned any about tidily conserving space The land isn t valuable any We are in a Western town But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory If a revolution destroys a systematic government , but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government There s so much talk about the system And so little understanding If the purpose of scientific method is to select from among a multitude of hypotheses, and if the number of hypotheses grows faster than experimental method can handle, then it is clear that all hypotheses can never be tested If all hypotheses cannot be tested, then the results of any experiment are inconclusive and the entire scientific method falls short of its goal of establishing proven knowledge Sometimes it s a little better to travel than to arrive You look at where you re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you ve been and a pattern seems to emerge And if you project forward from that pattern, then sometimes you can come up with something But what s happening is that each year our old flat earth of conventional reason becomes less and less adequate to handle the experiences we have and this is creating widespread feelings of topsy turviness As a result we re gettingandpeople in irrational areas of thought occultism, mysticism, drug changes and the like because they feel the inadequacy of classical reason to handle what they know are real experiences The trouble is that essays always have to sound like God talking for eternity, and that isn t the way it ever is People should see that it s never anything other than just one person talking from one place in time and space and circumstance It s never been anything else, ever, but you can t get that across in an essay The allegory of a physical mountain for the spiritual one that stands between each soul and its goal is an easy and natural one to make Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships Some travel into the mountains accompanied by experienced guides who know the best and least dangerous routes by which they arrive at their destination Still others, inexperienced and untrusting, attempt to make their own routes Few of these are successful, but occasionally some, by sheer will and luck and grace, do make it Once there they becomeaware than any of the others that there s no single or fixed number of routes There are as many routes as there are individual souls He was just stopped Waiting For that missing seed crystal of thought that would suddenly solidify everything Any effort that has self glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster When you try to climb a mountain to prove how big you are, you almost never make it And even if you do it s a hollow victory In order to sustain the victory you have to prove yourself again and again in some other way, and again and again and again, driven forever to fill a false image, haunted by the fear that the image is not true and someone will find out That s never the way The holiness of the mountain infused into their own spirits enabled them to endure farthan anything he, with his greater physical strength, could take Care and Quality are internal and external aspects of the same thing A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who s bound to have some characteristic of quality They have patience, care and attentiveness to what they re doing, butthan this there s a kind of inner peace of mind that isn t contrived but results from a kind of harmony with the work in which there s no leader and no follower The material and the craftsman s thoughts change together in a progression of smooth, even changes until his mind is at rest at the exact instant the material is right Or if he takes whatever dull job he s stuck with and they are all, sooner or later, dull and, just to keep himself amused, starts to look for options of Quality, and secretly pursues these options, just for their own sake, thus making an art out of what he is doing, he s likely to discover he becomes a muchinteresting person and much less of an object to the people around him because his Quality decisions change him too And not only the job and him, but others, too, because the Quality tends to fan out like waves The Quality job he didn t think anyone was going to see is seen, and the person who sees it feels a little better because of it and is likely to pass that feeling on to others, and in that way the Quality tends to keep on going.My personal feeling is that this is how any further improvement of the world will be done by individuals making Quality decisions and that s all.God, I don t want to have anyenthusiasm for big programs full of social planning for big masses of people that leave individual Quality out These can be left alone for a while There s a place for them but they ve got to be built on a foundation of Quality within the individuals involved We ve had that individual quality in the past, exploited as a natural resource without knowing it, and now it s just about depleted Everyone s just about out if gumption And I think it s about time to return the rebuilding of this American resource individual worth There are political reactionaries who ve been saying something close to this for years I m not one of them, but to the extent they re talking about real individual worth and not just an excuse for givingmoney to the rich, they re right We do need a return to individual integrity, self reliance and old fashioned gumption We really do What is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good need we ask anyone to tell us these things


  8. Riku Sayuj Riku Sayuj says:

    Plato s Phaedrus said, And what is written well and what is written badlyneed we ask Lysias or any other poet or orator who ever wrote or will write either a political or other work, in meter or out of meter, poet or prose writer, to teach us this Modern Phaedrus said, And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good Need we ask anyone to tell us these things I keep re reading passages from Zen and the Art and Tao of Pooh and Siddhartha and try to make sense in the context of everyday Plato s Phaedrus said, And what is written well and what is written badlyneed we ask Lysias or any other poet or orator who ever wrote or will write either a political or other work, in meter or out of meter, poet or prose writer, to teach us this Modern Phaedrus said, And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good Need we ask anyone to tell us these things I keep re reading passages from Zen and the Art and Tao of Pooh and Siddhartha and try to make sense in the context of everyday life which is where I firmly believe any philosophical questions need to be answered If it is not applicable in your kitchen, it is not real philosophy and quite strangely the answers seem to come from tying in the learning from these metaphysical and spiritual works with a book like The Story of Stuff neither a great book nor a literary achievement or a leap in thinking but it helped me understand the real meaning of the word materialism when I read it in parallel with these other books I will try to give an expanded review soon as a blog post at my blogAnd Then I am Ph drus, that is who I am, and they are going to destroy me for speaking the Truth You can sort of tell these things


  9. Charlotte Charlotte says:

    OK, maybe I m being a little too harsh I actually enjoyed the idea of the cross country motorcycle ride, the details about motorcycle mechanics, and especially the portrayal of the narrator s relationship with his son The son was the best part of the whole book Unfortunately, there wasn t much space for sonny, because dad was too busy advertising the author s brilliant philisophical insights Evenunfortunately, the insights weren t brilliant, and consumed hundreds of tedious pages It o OK, maybe I m being a little too harsh I actually enjoyed the idea of the cross country motorcycle ride, the details about motorcycle mechanics, and especially the portrayal of the narrator s relationship with his son The son was the best part of the whole book Unfortunately, there wasn t much space for sonny, because dad was too busy advertising the author s brilliant philisophical insights Evenunfortunately, the insights weren t brilliant, and consumed hundreds of tedious pages It occured to me to wonder whether the author was trying to make the point that the narrator was a pompous idiot however, the intent seemed to be for the reader to be blown away by the brilliance of the narrator s philosophical insights, and hence by the brilliance of the author who conceived of the narrator and the philosophical insights I can t believe I made it through 380 pages of this


  10. Natasha Natasha says:

    I just re read this book and HAD to annotate it because it sent my head swimming I d studied quite a lot of philosophy since I read it a year and a half ago and so the philosophies didn t go over my head this time.First, I must say if you find the narrator off putting, rest assured that the protagonist is NOT the narrator The narrator is the nemesis who has eclipsed the protagonist the story reveals their struggle The introduction of my edition hints at this, but apparently some people haven I just re read this book and HAD to annotate it because it sent my head swimming I d studied quite a lot of philosophy since I read it a year and a half ago and so the philosophies didn t go over my head this time.First, I must say if you find the narrator off putting, rest assured that the protagonist is NOT the narrator The narrator is the nemesis who has eclipsed the protagonist the story reveals their struggle The introduction of my edition hints at this, but apparently some people haven t gotten that as I ve read comments of several people complaining about the narrator Robert Pirsig s genius in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is to insert classical forms of thought into the backdrop of a cross country motorcycle trip He piques our interest by waxing philosophical in an effort to get to the root of the ghost story haunting him He succeeds in creating the quintessential philosophy book of the 20th Century It turns out that the motorcycle is a symbol of the soul.A brief summary of Pirsig s chautauquas follows, but bear in mind that this list is informational, whereas his book is spirited and transformational Chautauqua means talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer p 15 There are two ways of experiencing a motorcycle 1 Romantically riding a cycle down a mountain road, invigorated by the wind rushing past2 Classically familiarizing yourself with the working parts of the machine, developing a feel for how tight to secure the bolts.Romantic experience is in the moment Classical experience connects the past to the future, allowing us to build on previous knowledge 1 Systems of Components and Functions physical working parts which we come to know either a Empirically knowledge gained by the sensesb a priori knowledge gained intuitively known without prior experience 2 Concepts Ideas with the potential to be realized the thought precedes the creation of the physical object.a Inductive ideas start with observing specific examples and end with a general conclusion.b Deductive ideas start with general knowledge used to predict specific observations.Connecting the Romantic to the Classical is Quality To care about something will increase its quality.Pirsig creates an analogy comparing knowledge to a railroad train that is always going somewhere Classic Knowledge is the engine and the cars Romantic reality adds the dimension of time it is the cutting edge of the experience, the moment in time Traditional knowledge is the body of classic knowledge plus the history of where the train has been Quality is the track the preintellectual reality or the moment of vision before the intellectualization takes place p 247 What carries the train forward is a sense of what is good It is understood intuitively and enhanced by skill and experience If your train gets stuck, understand two things o Being stuck eventually produces real understanding as you look for the solution in your train of knowledge A classical experience o Don t be afraid to stop and analyze you can see in patterns not only the physical object but the idea or function of the object Eventually you will be able to break through barriers.Creative energy is gumption or enthusiasm enthousiasmos means literally filled with theos or God appropriate since God is the inspiration of creativity.Gumption Traps An examination of affective, cognitive and psychomotor blocks in the perception of Quality p 305 1 External Setbacks 2 Internal Hangups a Inability to learn new facts slow down and decide if the things you thought were important are really important or if the things you thought were insignificant areimportant than you thought.b Ego falsely inflated self image let your work struggles teach you to be quiet and modest.c Anxiety opposite of Ego you re afraid you won t get it right so you freeze up or don t try work out your anxieties on paper p 315 Read about the topic, organize your thoughts on paper remember even the best make plenty of mistakes.d Boredom take a break, rest, or clean out your space.e Impatience results from an underestimation of the amount of time the job will take p 317 allow yourself plenty of time to finish the job, break the job down into smaller goals.Quality is understood in Western Culture as ar te excellence.Quality is understood in Eastern Culture as dharma duty to self.Early cultures used Rhetoric to teach Quality in terms of virtue, but after some time the technique of rhetoric was corrupted by the Sophists as ethical relativism pp 376 77 Socrates took issue with the Sophists and established dialogues or the Dialectic discussions through which the Truth can be arrived at Excellence became subordinate to Truth Rhetoric fell from its supreme position of Excellence Quality to teaching mannerisms and forms of writing and speaking.Quality, Pirsig discovers, is the Tao, the great central generating force of all religions, Oriental and Occidental, past and present, all knowledge, everything p 254


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