8th October 2003 - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

During a transatlantic flight to New Orleans I read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values" by Robert M. Pirsig. In the after word Pirsig tells us how we appear to meet the future from behind while looking at the past; thus he never set out to write a culture-bearing bestseller, it just appeared at the time of writing had more quality than not writing it.

The book of a personal journey into a motorcycle enthusiast’s mind, in search of what makes life tick, is really great reading. What is Quality? Is life without Quality worth living….? Not that Pirsig answers these questions as much as he reflects on them in his own view; the answers should be answered by each and every one of us. The term enthusiasm originally comes from Greek and means "full of Theos" –full of god- and Pirsig suggests that perhaps this word has lost some of its meaning in modern life.

If we think of things or issues on which we are enthusiastic, my guess is that excellence in these fields seem easier to achieve; perhaps the best we can do is strive for excellence with our lives. Excellence could lead one to a more holistic view upon life; because true excellence can not exists within a narrow mind; we need to understand the boundaries to excel….

Is Excellence really finding the Quality in ourselves….?

As can be seen in this resume more questions appear than answers, and indeed this is how this book affected me. A truly thought provoking and highly recommendable book in my opinion.

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Updated 2003-10-08

 
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