Zen and the Art

I’m just finishing up reading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence. Not what I was expecting, but a fascinating read overall. I did however have to take some breaks and now need to re-read it or at least skim it over again to get the full effect.

Who else has read it, and what did you think? Pirsig makes some pretty heady philosophical points in his discussion of what he calls “Quality.” I don’t like his metaphysics, but I think the overall message about caring about what one is doing and creating - about Quality - is pretty much dead on. Some interesting quotations as well:

“The real cycle you’re working on is the cycle called ‘yourself.’” - Pirsig

“The study of the art of motorcycle maintenence is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon.” - Pirsig

“And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good - need we ask anyone to tell us these things?” - Plato, Phaedrus


It’s among my very favorite books, and in many ways one of the most important I’ve ever read. It kindled my interest in philosophy- there’s a good chance I’d have never read Plato if not for Pirsig.

My username is partly a tribute to that book.

Sounds similar to Japanese philosophy and martial arts.


I loved it