Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I was recently reminded of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. This book was very valuable to me for several reasons but most of all it helped me recognize why I find so much enjoyment in certain material objects. 

In the book, Pirsig’s main character split the world into two segments. The first segment was populated by people who want to understand how things work, take pride in the mechanics of a machine, the craftmanship that went into creating that object and the enjoyment in making it perform the intended task.  He contrasted this to the other side of the world with people who would rather not understand the mechanics behind an object and simply get enjoyment from the ultimate purpose of that object.  In the case of the book, motorcycles were the machine most frequently referenced but this comparison goes far beyond bikes and physical machines. 

Pirsig points out the need to enjoy the process, not only the outcome.  The appreciation in his eyes is greatest when the parts of a whole are truly appreciated for their contribution to the experience.  When you enjoy the journey, the destination will never be a disappointment.

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