Haiku Tribute to Robert Pirsig

Inspired by Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, near the end of Chapter One.

Unlike yours truly who, in 1966, recklessly delegated my cycle maintenance, Pirsig worked on his own bike with devotion and found great peace of mind in doing it. Unlike many in his time, he did not shun technology per se, though he knew it was being misused. For him, Buddha resides everywhere for those who pay attention and paying attention to doing a good job of anything requires an enlightened peace of mind.

Persig’s book has been called “the most read philosophy book ever.” Perhaps this is true if we insist on a cover-to-cover read. I enjoyed it very much when I read it for the first time in 2015, studying it intensely. Touching and engaging (as is Persig’s life story) Zen is a work of genius when one considers the dryness and difficulty of traditional philosophy texts.


Author: mytiturk

Travelbug Minstrel: Strum for my supper, croon for my cuppa Search for a sign, write for my whine

4 thoughts on “Haiku Tribute to Robert Pirsig”

  1. Pirsig respected Socrates and the other true sophists; he figured they got a “bum rap” from Plato and Aristotle.

    I was 17 going on 18 in second year Honours Chemistry at the Catholic Loyola College in Montreal, when we were force fed a full course in Ari’s Metaphysics via a Gestetner-copied, mediocre, original, forced-to-buy, “book” by our professor, whose attitude during the whole thing was that engineers would, “a priori”, hate Aristotle. I got a 61. Saint Thomas and other greats, including the great Andalusian Moslem , Averroes, aside, I kind of agree with Pirsig that we in the west have become too enamoured of the scientific approach that has caused us to be dominated by technology, at great risk to our planet’s future. I am (for a decade or more now) a non-theist who survived that ancient (1962) course with an intact curiosity about philosophy, feel that my anger about where the world is headed is very un-Buddhist. I am trying to smile more… Tai Chi and Tonglen meditation helps – I need to commit to it every day…

    Thanks – yet again – for your encouragement to keep writing.

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