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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Metadata

  • Author: Robert M. Pirsig
  • Full Title: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • And, of course, when you discover something like that it’s like discovering a tooth with a missing filling. (Location 239)
  • And the more I probe and push on this subject of cycle maintenance the more irritated he gets, and of course that makes me want to probe and push all the more. (Location 241)
  • If you try to fix a faucet and your fixing doesn’t work then it’s just your lot to live with a dripping faucet. (Location 299)
  • It’s not the motorcycle maintenance, not the faucet. It’s all of technology they can’t take. And then all sorts of things started tumbling into place and I knew that was it. Sylvia’s irritation at a friend who thought computer programming was “creative.” (Location 312)
  • You always suppress momentary anger at something you deeply and permanently hate. (Location 314)
  • It’s all parts and relationships of unheard-of things that never make any sense no matter how often you hear about them. (Location 327)
  • All this technology has somehow made you a stranger in your own land. (Location 333)
  • But there are human forces stronger than logic. There always have been, and if they become strong enough in their hatred of technology that web can break. (Location 346)
  • I answered (Location 417)
  • I have kicked myself mentally a hundred times for that stupidity and don’t think I’ll ever really, finally get over it. Evidently what I saw sloshing around was gas in the reserve tank which I had never turned on. I didn’t check it carefully because I assumed the rain had caused the engine failure. I didn’t understand then how foolish quick assumptions like that are. Now we are on a twenty-eight-horse machine and I take the maintenance of it very seriously. (Location 423)
  • These were the technologists themselves. They sat down to do a job and they performed it like chimpanzees. Nothing personal in it. There was no obvious reason for it. And I tried to think back into that shop, that nightmare place, to try to remember anything that could have been the cause. The radio was a clue. You can’t really think hard about what you’re doing and listen to the radio at the same time. (Location 478)
  • Maybe they didn’t see their job as having anything to do with hard thought, just wrench twiddling. If you can twiddle wrenches while listening to the radio that’s more enjoyable. (Location 482)
  • they had something to do with it, but their own selves were outside of it, detached, removed. They were involved in it but not in such a way as to care. (Location 490)
  • Caring about what you are doing is considered either unimportant or taken for granted. (Location 503)
  • When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things. (Location 506)
  • “No.” I shake my head. It’s just a feeling. On a cycle you trust them and we stay at fifty-five. (Location 539)
  • The new ones start out as good-looking strangers and, depending on how they are treated, degenerate rapidly into bad-acting grouches or even cripples, or else turn into healthy, good-natured, long-lasting friends. (Location 780)
  • This condemnation of technology is ingratitude, that’s what it is. (Location 813)
  • He didn’t really see what was going on and was not interested enough to find out. He isn’t so interested in what things mean as in what they are. That’s quite important, that he sees things this way. It took me a long time to see this difference and it’s important for the Chautauqua that I make this difference clear. (Location 901)
  • I had had the nerve to propose repair of his new eighteen-hundred-dollar BMW, the pride of a half-century of German mechanical finesse, with a piece of old beer can! (Location 923)
  • John was going at it immediately and intuitively, grooving on it. I was going at it in terms of underlying form. He was going at it in terms of immediate appearance. I was seeing what the shim meant. He was seeing what the shim was. (Location 943)
  • A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself. A romantic understanding sees it primarily in terms of immediate appearance. (Location 1197)
  • Although motorcycle riding is romantic, motorcycle maintenance is purely classic. (Location 1207)
  • It pleases me that he should want to talk about his Henderson in this hundred-and-two sun. (Location 1326)
  • The application of this knife, the division of the world into parts and the building of this structure, is something everybody does. All the time we are aware of millions of things around us—these changing shapes, these burning hills, the sound of the engine, the feel of the throttle, each rock and weed and fence post and piece of debris beside the road—aware of these things but not really conscious of them unless there is something unusual or unless they reflect something we are predisposed to see. (Location 1344)
  • We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world. (Location 1350)
  • The discrimination is the division of the conscious universe into parts. (Location 1353)
  • Classical understanding is concerned with the piles and the basis for sorting and interrelating them. Romantic understanding is directed toward the handful of sand before the sorting begins. (Location 1358)
  • To understand what he was trying to do it’s necessary to see that part of the landscape, inseparable from it, which must be understood, is a figure in the middle of it, sorting sand into piles. (Location 1364)
  • When analytic thought, the knife, is applied to experience, something is always killed in the process. (Location 1374)
  • Something is always killed. But what is less noticed in the arts—something is always created too. And instead of just dwelling on what is killed it’s important also to see what’s created and to see the process as a kind of death-birth continuity that is neither good nor bad, but just is. (Location 1376)
  • 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. (Location 1564)
  • Precision instruments are designed to achieve an idea, dimensional precision, whose perfection is impossible. (Location 1595)
  • I look at the shapes of the steel now and I see ideas. He thinks I’m working on parts. I’m working on concepts. (Location 1599)
  • The motorcycle is a system. A real system. (Location 1618)
  • But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. (Location 1624)
  • if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. (Location 1627)
  • I’ve noticed that people who have never worked with steel have trouble seeing this—that the motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon. (Location 1631)
  • that. All nature has is a potential for steel. There’s nothing else there. But what’s “potential”? That’s also in someone’s mind!…Ghosts. (Location 1638)
  • Solution of problems too complicated for common sense to solve is achieved by long strings of mixed inductive and deductive inferences that weave back and forth between the observed machine and the mental hierarchy of the machine found in the manuals. The correct program for this inter-weaving is formalized as scientific method. (Location 1716)
  • The logical statements entered into the notebook are broken down into six categories: (1) statement of the problem, (2) hypotheses as to the cause of the problem, (3) experiments designed to test each hypothesis, (4) predicted results of the experiments, (5) observed results of the experiments and (6) conclusions from the results of the experiments. (Location 1730)
  • That’s the main reason why so much scientific and mechanical information sounds so dull and so cautious. If you get careless or go romanticizing scientific information, giving it a flourish here and there, Nature will soon make a complete fool out of you. (Location 1736)
  • An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don’t prove anything one way or another. (Location 1756)
  • They are using the experiment as part of a program to expand their hierarchy of knowledge of the faulty motorcycle and compare it to the correct hierarchy in their mind. They are looking at underlying form. (Location 1778)
  • The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshipper or lover. The daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart. (Location 1815)
  • A lesser scientist than Einstein might have said, “But scientific knowledge comes from nature. Nature provides the hypotheses.” But Einstein understood that nature does not. Nature provides only experimental data. (Location 1829)
  • experimental method a flood of other hypotheses would come to mind, and as he was testing these, some more came to mind, and as he was testing these, still more came to mind until it became painfully evident that as he continued testing hypotheses and eliminating them or confirming them their number did not decrease. (Location 1837)
  • Did Einstein really mean to state that truth was a function of time? To state that would annihilate the most basic presumption of all science! (Location 1851)
  • Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive. (Location 1905)
  • He wonders if it is that which is making it difficult to concentrate on the book before him, but realizes that no, the book is just hard. (Location 1979)
  • To some extent the romantic condemnation of rationality stems from the very effectiveness of rationality in uplifting men from primitive conditions. (Location 2064)
  • what is the scientific empirical basis of causation itself? Hume’s answer is “None.” There’s no evidence for causation in our sensations. Like substance, it’s just something we imagine when one thing repeatedly follows another. (Location 2112)
  • Kant says there are aspects of reality which are not supplied immediately by the senses. These he calls a priori. An example of a priori knowledge is “time.” You don’t see time. Neither do you hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it. It isn’t present in the sense data as they are received. Time is what Kant calls an “intuition,” which the mind must supply as it receives the sense data. (Location 2128)
  • What we think of as reality is a continuous synthesis of elements from a fixed hierarchy of a priori concepts and the ever changing data of the senses. (Location 2140)
  • Hume has been saying, in effect, that everything I know about this motorcycle comes to me through my senses. It has to be. (Location 2143)
  • What Copernicus did was take the existing a priori concept of the world, the notion that it was flat and fixed in space, and pose an alternative a priori concept of the world, that it’s spherical and moves around the sun; and showed that both of the a priori concepts fitted the existing sensory data. (Location 2185)
  • His pursuit of what has been called the ghost of reason had been given up. That’s extremely important to understand. He had given up. (Location 2322)
  • Because he’d given up, the surface of life was comfortable for him. He worked reasonably hard, was easy to get along with and, except for an occasional glimpse of inner emptiness shown in some short stories he wrote at the time, his days passed quite usually. (Location 2324)
  • You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. (Location 2455)
  • When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt. (Location 2456)
  • I realize that although this is the authentic image of DeWeese himself, it’s also a brand-new person who’s been renewing himself continually and I’m going to have to get to know him all over again. (Location 2517)
  • What’s really angering about instructions of this sort is that they imply there’s only one way to put this rotisserie together—their way. (Location 2692)

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title: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance longtitle: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author: Robert M. Pirsig url: , source: kindle last_highlight: 2017-11-17 type: books tags:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

rw-book-cover

Metadata

  • Author: Robert M. Pirsig
  • Full Title: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • And, of course, when you discover something like that it’s like discovering a tooth with a missing filling. (Location 239)
  • And the more I probe and push on this subject of cycle maintenance the more irritated he gets, and of course that makes me want to probe and push all the more. (Location 241)
  • If you try to fix a faucet and your fixing doesn’t work then it’s just your lot to live with a dripping faucet. (Location 299)
  • It’s not the motorcycle maintenance, not the faucet. It’s all of technology they can’t take. And then all sorts of things started tumbling into place and I knew that was it. Sylvia’s irritation at a friend who thought computer programming was “creative.” (Location 312)
  • You always suppress momentary anger at something you deeply and permanently hate. (Location 314)
  • It’s all parts and relationships of unheard-of things that never make any sense no matter how often you hear about them. (Location 327)
  • All this technology has somehow made you a stranger in your own land. (Location 333)
  • But there are human forces stronger than logic. There always have been, and if they become strong enough in their hatred of technology that web can break. (Location 346)
  • I answered (Location 417)
  • I have kicked myself mentally a hundred times for that stupidity and don’t think I’ll ever really, finally get over it. Evidently what I saw sloshing around was gas in the reserve tank which I had never turned on. I didn’t check it carefully because I assumed the rain had caused the engine failure. I didn’t understand then how foolish quick assumptions like that are. Now we are on a twenty-eight-horse machine and I take the maintenance of it very seriously. (Location 423)
  • These were the technologists themselves. They sat down to do a job and they performed it like chimpanzees. Nothing personal in it. There was no obvious reason for it. And I tried to think back into that shop, that nightmare place, to try to remember anything that could have been the cause. The radio was a clue. You can’t really think hard about what you’re doing and listen to the radio at the same time. (Location 478)
  • Maybe they didn’t see their job as having anything to do with hard thought, just wrench twiddling. If you can twiddle wrenches while listening to the radio that’s more enjoyable. (Location 482)
  • they had something to do with it, but their own selves were outside of it, detached, removed. They were involved in it but not in such a way as to care. (Location 490)
  • Caring about what you are doing is considered either unimportant or taken for granted. (Location 503)
  • When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things. (Location 506)
  • “No.” I shake my head. It’s just a feeling. On a cycle you trust them and we stay at fifty-five. (Location 539)
  • The new ones start out as good-looking strangers and, depending on how they are treated, degenerate rapidly into bad-acting grouches or even cripples, or else turn into healthy, good-natured, long-lasting friends. (Location 780)
  • This condemnation of technology is ingratitude, that’s what it is. (Location 813)
  • He didn’t really see what was going on and was not interested enough to find out. He isn’t so interested in what things mean as in what they are. That’s quite important, that he sees things this way. It took me a long time to see this difference and it’s important for the Chautauqua that I make this difference clear. (Location 901)
  • I had had the nerve to propose repair of his new eighteen-hundred-dollar BMW, the pride of a half-century of German mechanical finesse, with a piece of old beer can! (Location 923)
  • John was going at it immediately and intuitively, grooving on it. I was going at it in terms of underlying form. He was going at it in terms of immediate appearance. I was seeing what the shim meant. He was seeing what the shim was. (Location 943)
  • A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself. A romantic understanding sees it primarily in terms of immediate appearance. (Location 1197)
  • Although motorcycle riding is romantic, motorcycle maintenance is purely classic. (Location 1207)
  • It pleases me that he should want to talk about his Henderson in this hundred-and-two sun. (Location 1326)
  • The application of this knife, the division of the world into parts and the building of this structure, is something everybody does. All the time we are aware of millions of things around us—these changing shapes, these burning hills, the sound of the engine, the feel of the throttle, each rock and weed and fence post and piece of debris beside the road—aware of these things but not really conscious of them unless there is something unusual or unless they reflect something we are predisposed to see. (Location 1344)
  • We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world. (Location 1350)
  • The discrimination is the division of the conscious universe into parts. (Location 1353)
  • Classical understanding is concerned with the piles and the basis for sorting and interrelating them. Romantic understanding is directed toward the handful of sand before the sorting begins. (Location 1358)
  • To understand what he was trying to do it’s necessary to see that part of the landscape, inseparable from it, which must be understood, is a figure in the middle of it, sorting sand into piles. (Location 1364)
  • When analytic thought, the knife, is applied to experience, something is always killed in the process. (Location 1374)
  • Something is always killed. But what is less noticed in the arts—something is always created too. And instead of just dwelling on what is killed it’s important also to see what’s created and to see the process as a kind of death-birth continuity that is neither good nor bad, but just is. (Location 1376)
  • 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. (Location 1564)
  • Precision instruments are designed to achieve an idea, dimensional precision, whose perfection is impossible. (Location 1595)
  • I look at the shapes of the steel now and I see ideas. He thinks I’m working on parts. I’m working on concepts. (Location 1599)
  • The motorcycle is a system. A real system. (Location 1618)
  • But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. (Location 1624)
  • if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. (Location 1627)
  • I’ve noticed that people who have never worked with steel have trouble seeing this—that the motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon. (Location 1631)
  • that. All nature has is a potential for steel. There’s nothing else there. But what’s “potential”? That’s also in someone’s mind!…Ghosts. (Location 1638)
  • Solution of problems too complicated for common sense to solve is achieved by long strings of mixed inductive and deductive inferences that weave back and forth between the observed machine and the mental hierarchy of the machine found in the manuals. The correct program for this inter-weaving is formalized as scientific method. (Location 1716)
  • The logical statements entered into the notebook are broken down into six categories: (1) statement of the problem, (2) hypotheses as to the cause of the problem, (3) experiments designed to test each hypothesis, (4) predicted results of the experiments, (5) observed results of the experiments and (6) conclusions from the results of the experiments. (Location 1730)
  • That’s the main reason why so much scientific and mechanical information sounds so dull and so cautious. If you get careless or go romanticizing scientific information, giving it a flourish here and there, Nature will soon make a complete fool out of you. (Location 1736)
  • An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don’t prove anything one way or another. (Location 1756)
  • They are using the experiment as part of a program to expand their hierarchy of knowledge of the faulty motorcycle and compare it to the correct hierarchy in their mind. They are looking at underlying form. (Location 1778)
  • The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshipper or lover. The daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart. (Location 1815)
  • A lesser scientist than Einstein might have said, “But scientific knowledge comes from nature. Nature provides the hypotheses.” But Einstein understood that nature does not. Nature provides only experimental data. (Location 1829)
  • experimental method a flood of other hypotheses would come to mind, and as he was testing these, some more came to mind, and as he was testing these, still more came to mind until it became painfully evident that as he continued testing hypotheses and eliminating them or confirming them their number did not decrease. (Location 1837)
  • Did Einstein really mean to state that truth was a function of time? To state that would annihilate the most basic presumption of all science! (Location 1851)
  • Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive. (Location 1905)
  • He wonders if it is that which is making it difficult to concentrate on the book before him, but realizes that no, the book is just hard. (Location 1979)
  • To some extent the romantic condemnation of rationality stems from the very effectiveness of rationality in uplifting men from primitive conditions. (Location 2064)
  • what is the scientific empirical basis of causation itself? Hume’s answer is “None.” There’s no evidence for causation in our sensations. Like substance, it’s just something we imagine when one thing repeatedly follows another. (Location 2112)
  • Kant says there are aspects of reality which are not supplied immediately by the senses. These he calls a priori. An example of a priori knowledge is “time.” You don’t see time. Neither do you hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it. It isn’t present in the sense data as they are received. Time is what Kant calls an “intuition,” which the mind must supply as it receives the sense data. (Location 2128)
  • What we think of as reality is a continuous synthesis of elements from a fixed hierarchy of a priori concepts and the ever changing data of the senses. (Location 2140)
  • Hume has been saying, in effect, that everything I know about this motorcycle comes to me through my senses. It has to be. (Location 2143)
  • What Copernicus did was take the existing a priori concept of the world, the notion that it was flat and fixed in space, and pose an alternative a priori concept of the world, that it’s spherical and moves around the sun; and showed that both of the a priori concepts fitted the existing sensory data. (Location 2185)
  • His pursuit of what has been called the ghost of reason had been given up. That’s extremely important to understand. He had given up. (Location 2322)
  • Because he’d given up, the surface of life was comfortable for him. He worked reasonably hard, was easy to get along with and, except for an occasional glimpse of inner emptiness shown in some short stories he wrote at the time, his days passed quite usually. (Location 2324)
  • You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. (Location 2455)
  • When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt. (Location 2456)
  • I realize that although this is the authentic image of DeWeese himself, it’s also a brand-new person who’s been renewing himself continually and I’m going to have to get to know him all over again. (Location 2517)
  • What’s really angering about instructions of this sort is that they imply there’s only one way to put this rotisserie together—their way. (Location 2692)