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Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

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  • Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

    I happened to stumble across this link the other day. I bet many folks here have read this fun and interesting book, and you young folks out there might want to give it a read. I was surprised to see that it's online and free.

    http://www.virtualschool.edu/mon/Quality/PirsigZen/

  • #2
    Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

    Ahhh, part of my youth and a pretty good read.

    I studied Taoism and some Zen Buddism before coming to this book. Actually it is good on two fronts. First it exposes the readers to some of the basic tenents of the Zen buddists. Second it shows how the west, and particularly Americans, interpret those ideas.

    It is funny the way a basicaly materalistic/individualistic society embraces ideals. Not unique but interesting.
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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    • #3
      Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

      this is a great book.. cool to know it's free online....

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      • #4
        Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

        Actually, the thread "Throwing myself on the fire" got me thinking about this book again, so I re-read it. The philosophy remains interesting, and it motivated me to fix my own (pedal) bike instead of getting a guy at the local sports store to do it.

        [drill][medic][conduct][tg-c1][tpf-c1]
        [ma-c2][taw-c1]

        Principles of good Sandbox Etiquette:
        Assume good faith - Be polite, please! - Work toward agreement. - Argue facts, not personalities. - Concede a point when you have no response to it, or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste. - Be civil. - Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we hadn't. Say so. - Forgive and forget. - Recognize your own biases and keep them in check. - Give praise when due.

        Treat others as you would have them treat you

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        • #5
          Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

          Great book. I haven't read it in years, and it had a few dry passages, but overall it was a pretty insightful read. Good to see it's available for free!
          Beatnik

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          • #6
            Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

            Nice find. I read this as a teen, a long time ago.
            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

            Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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            • #7
              Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

              Is it long? I can't see myself reading a book of any length on my computer. It would kill my eyes.

              Is this a book that I should definitely read? Some of the comments here make it sound like this is one of those eye-opening, life-changing books that you read in high school.
              Become a supporting member!
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              TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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              • #8
                Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                It's got its own Wikipedia page:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and...le_Maintenance
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                • #9
                  Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                  Originally posted by CingularDuality
                  Is it long? I can't see myself reading a book of any length on my computer. It would kill my eyes.

                  Is this a book that I should definitely read? Some of the comments here make it sound like this is one of those eye-opening, life-changing books that you read in high school.
                  You could print it out. IMHO it's definitely worth it. Eye-opening is more or less a good description.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                    yeah, it points out a lot of obvious things about human nature and cognition/perception... things that make you say "well duh, of course". And what's nice is that it's set to a narative about people riding motorcycles on a long trip....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                      I'm going to stop by the bookstore and pick this up...

                      For me, the novel that has changed the way I think more than any other is Illusions by Richard Bach. I think it's the closest thing to spiritual guidance that I've ever experienced.
                      Become a supporting member!
                      Buy a Tactical Duck!
                      Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                      TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                      • #12
                        Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                        Why don't you buy a little gold while you're out buying a free book?:icon19:

                        I'm totally kidding. I'd have a hard time reading something that long on the web too. I tend to print anything more than 2 pages.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality
                          I'm going to stop by the bookstore and pick this up...

                          For me, the novel that has changed the way I think more than any other is Illusions by Richard Bach. I think it's the closest thing to spiritual guidance that I've ever experienced.
                          That book had the same influence on me. My friend is actually just picking up his life with his gf to move to Australia, and I just (a week ago) recommended that book for him to read on the flight.

                          There's something to be said for letting go of clutching the river floor and seeing where the current takes you. :)


                          As for Z&TAAMM, I'm sure you can find it cheap at Half Price Books or any used book store. It's worth a read, though not as short/concise as Illusions.
                          Beatnik

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                          • #14
                            Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                            Magnum's "Do you believe in God" reminded me of this passage that I recently re-read:

                            "My own opinion is that the intellect of modern man isnít that superior. IQs arenít that much different. Those Indians and medieval men were just as intelligent as we are, but the context in which they thought was completely different. Within that context of thought, ghosts and spirits are quite as real as atoms, particles, photons and quants are to a modern man. In that sense I believe in ghosts. Modern man has his ghosts and spirits too, you know."
                            "What?"
                            "Oh, the laws of physics and of logicóthe number systemóthe principle of algebraic substitution. These are ghosts. We just believe in them so thoroughly they seem real.
                            "They seem real to me," John says.
                            "I donít get it," says Chris.
                            So I go on. "For example, it seems completely natural to presume that gravitation and the law of gravitation existed before Isaac Newton. It would sound nutty to think that until the seventeenth century there was no gravity."
                            "Of course."
                            "So when did this law start? Has it always existed?"
                            John is frowning, wondering what I am getting at.
                            "What Iím driving at," I say, "is the notion that before the beginning of the earth, before the sun and the stars were formed, before the primal generation of anything, the law of gravity existed."
                            "Sure."
                            "Sitting there, having no mass of its own, no energy of its own, not in anyoneís mind because there wasnít anyone, not in space because there was no space either, not anywhere...this law of gravity still existed?"
                            Now John seems not so sure.
                            "If that law of gravity existed," I say, "I honestly donít know what a thing has to do to be nonexistent. It seems to me that law of gravity has passed every test of nonexistence there is. You cannot think of a single attribute of nonexistence that that law of gravity didnít have. Or a single scientific attribute of existence it did have. And yet it is still Ďcommon senseí to believe that it existed."
                            John says, "I guess Iíd have to think about it."
                            "Well, I predict that if you think about it long enough you will find yourself going round and round and round and round until you finally reach only one possible, rational, intelligent conclusion. The law of gravity and gravity itself did not exist before Isaac Newton. No other conclusion makes sense.
                            "And what that means," I say before he can interrupt, "and what that means is that that law of gravity exists nowhere except in peopleís heads! Itís a ghost! We are all of us very arrogant and conceited about running down other peopleís ghosts but just as ignorant and barbaric and superstitious about our own."
                            "Why does everybody believe in the law of gravity then?"
                            "Mass hypnosis. In a very orthodox form known as Ďeducation.""
                            "You mean the teacher is hypnotizing the kids into believing the law of gravity?"
                            "Sure."
                            "Thatís absurd."
                            "Youíve heard of the importance of eye contact in the classroom? Every educationist emphasizes it. No educationist explains it."
                            John shakes his head and pours me another drink. He puts his hand over his mouth and in a mock aside says to Sylvia, "You know, most of the time he seems like such a normal guy."
                            I counter, "Thatís the first normal thing Iíve said in weeks. The rest of the time Iím feigning twentieth-
                            century lunacy just like you are. So as not to draw attention to myself.
                            "But Iíll repeat it for you," I say. "We believe the disembodied words of Sir Isaac Newton were sitting in the middle of nowhere billions of years before he was born and that magically he discovered these words. They were always there, even when they applied to nothing. Gradually the world came into being and then they applied to it. In fact, those words themselves were what formed the world. That, John, is ridiculous.
                            "The problem, the contradiction the scientists are stuck with, is that of mind. Mind has no matter or energy but they canít escape its predominance over everything they do. Logic exists in the mind. Numbers exist only in the mind. I donít get upset when scientists say that ghosts exist in the mind. Itís that only that gets me. Science is only in your mind too, itís just that that doesnít make it bad. Or ghosts either."
                            They are just looking at me so I continue: "Laws of nature are human inventions, like ghosts. Laws of logic, of mathematics are also human inventions, like ghosts. The whole blessed thing is a human invention, including the idea that it isnít a human invention. The world has no existence whatsoever outside the human imagination. Itís all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in. Itís run by ghosts. We see what we see because these ghosts show it to us, ghosts of Moses and Christ and the Buddha, and Plato, and Descartes, and Rousseau and Jefferson and Lincoln, on and on and on. Isaac Newton is a very good ghost. One of the best. Your common sense is nothing more than the voices of thousands and thousands of these ghosts from the past. Ghosts and more ghosts. Ghosts trying to find their place among the living."

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                            • #15
                              Re: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

                              I had a hard time getting through it. It wasn't the easiest read, IMO.

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