Robert M. Pirsig Quotes
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The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.
When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.
The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
One of the most moral acts is to create a space in which life can move forward.
Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value.
The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.
My favorite piece of technical writing: Assembly of Japanese bicycle require great peace of mind.
Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions.
Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster.
You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been and a pattern seems to emerge.
Making an art out of your technological life is the way to solve the problem of technology...Art is anything that you can do well. Anything that you can do with Quality.
If you have a high evaluation of yourself then your ability to recognize new facts is weakened.
Is it hard?' Not if you have the right attitudes. Its having the right attitudes thats hard.
We have artists with no scientific knowledge and scientists with no artistic knowledge and both with no spiritual sense of gravity at all, and the result is not just bad, it is ghastly.
If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion.
The real purpose of the scientific method is to make sure nature hasn’t misled you into thinking you know something you actually don’t know.
Art is anything you can do well. Anything you can do with quality.
That's all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel.
New York has always been going to hell but somehow it never gets there.
Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive
When you look directly at an insane man all you see is a reflection of your own knowledge that he's insane, which is not to see him at all.
When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things.
We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people's lives.
We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.
From an endless beach of reality, we take a grain of sand and call it the world.
The buddah can reside in the gears of a motorcycle as easily as in a flower on a mountaintop. To believe otherwise is to demean the buddah; which is to demean one's self.
Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the physic predecessor of all real understanding.
In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty.
Although motorcycle riding is romantic, motorcycle maintenance is purely classic.
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.
If you run from technology, it will chase you.
That which destroys the old mythos becomes the new mythos.
Civilization, or "the system" or "society" or whatever you want to call it, is best served not by mules but by free men.
Even though quality cannot be defined, you know what quality is.
I think now the trace of egotism may have been the beginning of all his troubles
You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.
For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses.
So round and round you go, spinning mental wheels and nowhere finding anyplace to get traction. What the hell...is it?
A motorcycle functions entirely in accordance with the laws of reason, and a study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself.
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.
No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow.
The number of hypotheses available to explain any given phenomenon is infinite.
When you've got a Chautauqua in your head, it's extremely hard not to inflict it on innocent people.
Quality tends to fan out like waves.
If someone's ungrateful and you tell him he's ungrateful, okay, you've called him a name. You haven't solved anything.
I have been a lifelong Democrat. Like all ideas, though, the Democrat ideas need to be dynamic. It needs to be kept current.
Absence of Quality is the essence of squareness.
One geometry cannot be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous.
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.