Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Robert Maynard Pirsig
  3. » Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2010 10:11 am
I have been reading this book as of late, and I have liked what I have read so far. I am wondering if anyone else wants to do a reading group for this book. I have worked my way through about half of it, and it works on answering key aesthetic questions like "what is quality?"

The book is a hybrid of style which includes the novel, memoir, dialogue, and philosophical essay. The book seems to ultimately be interested in how, as human beings, we can tune up our lives, and live better as we are. It is then tied together through a motorcycle road trip story across the country, and seems to be a journal of sorts that looks into the thoughts, memories, and outlooks during a motorcycle trip to connect with the natural world.

The book is about values and quality, so it leaves a lot of room for perspective and perception. It is a perfect starter to discuss what our lives mean, how they could be better, and what it would take to actually take in action and planning to see that that project becomes a reality.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2010 11:49 pm
@Theaetetus,
yeah I would be into that although I have to either find my copy which I haven't seen since last decade, or buy one. I really loved it when it first came out.
 
doswizard
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 04:11 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;157572 wrote:
I have been reading this book as of late, and I have liked what I have read so far. I am wondering if anyone else wants to do a reading group for this book. I have worked my way through about half of it, and it works on answering key aesthetic questions like "what is quality?"

The book is a hybrid of style which includes the novel, memoir, dialogue, and philosophical essay. The book seems to ultimately be interested in how, as human beings, we can tune up our lives, and live better as we are. It is then tied together through a motorcycle road trip story across the country, and seems to be a journal of sorts that looks into the thoughts, memories, and outlooks during a motorcycle trip to connect with the natural world.

The book is about values and quality, so it leaves a lot of room for perspective and perception. It is a perfect starter to discuss what our lives mean, how they could be better, and what it would take to actually take in action and planning to see that that project becomes a reality.


I'm glad you mentioned this.

That book was a godsend in my Life as well as Alan Watts 'The Book: On the Taboo against knowing yourself'

I read 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence' like three or four times an have the unabridged audio tape readings as well. I would listen to the tapes over and over because they brought such clarity and peace of mind to my days.

I would have to say the author hides most of his argument behind the prose or format of the book, but basically if you want the feel of where he is coming from, it's an "angry at the shape of things to come" sort of book. It's nobody's fault that people don't bother with Quality nowadays. Quality is being exchanged for convenience in this hyped up fast pace modern society.

Pay particular attention to how he uses an analytical knife to split between the horns of the dilemma of Subjective/Objective argumentation and awareness. That is the most important part of the whole book because he discovers that Quality is the Source or Parent of the subject/object Orientation of the Majority of Western philosophy.

In my opinion, he could have gone further if he would have payed closer attention to David Hume, but he does set the stage for a Perennial philosophy today.

Hope you enjoy the read! The middle is more important than the End of this book for sure. I have found that one needn't go searching for better and more Quality. Ultimately, Quality will find them.

 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 08:15 am
@Theaetetus,
The Book by Alan Watts is one of my favorite books of all time. Now I have another classic to put along side of it. I have just worked my way through the middle section of Zen and Motor.. and I am in the final stretch. Now I wish I could go back and not laugh at the people that recommended a book about motorcycle maintenance to me.
 
doswizard
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 10:25 am
@Theaetetus,
Yes, 'The Book' is one of my all time favorites as well.

Watts alongside Pirsig is definitely a good combination. If you are having trouble finishing the read, I would recommend the unabridged audio cassettes or cds. Sometimes when you don't feel like reading it is nice to have some soothing voice reading to you. The audio version is read by a very soothing voice.

I really am not sure if people get the message though. Pirsig is trying to encourage people to come up with unorthodox solutions to everyday conundrums. He lists all kinds of Gumption traps and ways around them. This is like the subtitle suggests - "An Inquiry into Values"

The only other truly remarkable thing about the book is that he is coming out of a "Dream" after being put through Electroshock Therapy for insanity.

Quality is the underlying theme, but even quality could be regarded as a Subject, so he has not truly demolished the dilemma. Only David Hume goes so far as to use an Empirical wrecking Ball in order to demolish all Human Reasoning, leaving only the observer and their senses intact.......


 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Robert Maynard Pirsig
  3. » Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 05/23/2019 at 06:06:00