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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Author Robert Pirsig Dies   You are logged in as Guest
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BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mainte... 

Robert Pirsig, author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," published in 1974, passed away Monday. In June 1974 I had just been accepted into the U.S. Foreign Service and was undergoing training at the State Department in preparation for my first assignment to the American Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Pirsig's book had just been published, and I took it to Bulgaria and read it through twice. Pirsig's book detailed a motorcycle trip throughout the Western U.S. that he took with his son. He subtitled "Zen" "An inquiry into Values."

The book presents Pirsig's take on various philosophical elements, both Eastern and Western, and he praises the ability to work with your hands and complete a job well done, as in maintaining and fine-tuning a motorcycle. I still have my copy of the book bought in 1974. One of Pirsig's observations that I remember to this day is, “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

I haven't re-read it since Bulgaria, but I suspect much of it still holds up today.

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 26 2017 15:21:16
 
Piwin

Posts: 2087
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Ma... (in reply to BarkellWH

R.I.P.

The first time I read ZMM was as part of a work assignment in college. I was rather distraught after reading it.
He discussed quality and attempted to reconcile objectivity and subjectivity, reason and experience, in a way that pulled the issue out of the realm of mere philosophy and into the real world.
When everything is said and done, I don't think he managed to reconcile them. It might be a insoluble question. But he succeeded in making it something personal, not just some abstract intellectual exercise. I understood Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy" in a whole new light after that.

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"When I'm dead, I'm going to forget everything – and I advise you to do the same."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 26 2017 19:40:09
 
gondorbell

Posts: 52
Joined: Mar. 10 2018
From: Finland

RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Ma... (in reply to BarkellWH

Barkell :) I have always like also Lila, the second book. I read those two books every 5 years of soething...great stuff.



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“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” -Tom Waits-
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2018 10:48:14
 
Brendan

Posts: 157
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Ma... (in reply to BarkellWH

The professional academic philosophy Internet seems to have missed his passing entirely.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2018 13:55:24
 
gondorbell

Posts: 52
Joined: Mar. 10 2018
From: Finland

RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Ma... (in reply to BarkellWH

:)

Faidros was right.

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“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” -Tom Waits-
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2018 14:11:27
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