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The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
– Robert M. Pirsig
The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.
The study of the art of motorcycle maintenance 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.
Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions.
The solutions all are simple – after you have arrived at them. But they’re simple only when you know already what they are.
For me, a writer should be more like a lighthouse keeper, just out there by himself. He shouldn’t get his ideas from other people all around him.
The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
When somebody goes outside the cultural norms, the culture has to protect itself.
The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I’m looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.
It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.
I have money, fame, a happy wife, our daughter Nell.
We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people’s lives.
The funny thing about insane people is that it is kind of the opposite of being a celebrity. Nobody envies you.
Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a thirty thousand page menu, and no food.
Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.
Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.
The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain.
It is not good to talk about Zen, because Zen is nothingness… If you talk about it, you are always lying, and if you don’t talk about it, no one knows it is there.
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.
What I am is a heretic who’s recanted and, thereby, in everyone’s eyes, saved his soul. Everyone’s eyes but one, who knows deep down inside that all he has saved is his skin.
I really don’t mind dying because I figure I haven’t wasted this life.
To live for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.
If you stare at a wall from four in the morning till nine at night, and you do that for a week, you are getting pretty close to nothingness.
The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.
One geometry cannot be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous.
Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best, 20 – 20 hindsight. It’s good for seeing where you’ve been. It’s good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can’t tell you where you ought to go.