Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

2008-05-11 Switzerland 210

Photo: Trail near Zermatt, Switzerland

Here is a quote from one of my favorite books. . .

“To the untrained eye ego-climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical. Both kinds of climbers place one foot in front of the other. Both breathe in and out at the same rate. Both stop when tired. Both go forward when rested.

But what a difference!

The ego-climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment. He puts his foot down an instant too soon or too late. He’s likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees. He goes on when the sloppiness of his step shows he’s tired. He rests at odd times. He looks up the trail trying to see what’s ahead even when he knows what’s ahead because he just looked a second before. He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about somewhere else, something else.

He’s here but he’s not here.

He rejects the here, he’s unhappy with it, wants to be farther up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then IT will be HERE. What he’s looking for, what he wants, is all around him, but he doesn’t want that because IT is all around him. Every step’s an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.”

― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values


Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — 2 Comments

  1. Hiking has always been a way for me to escape both the past and the present and live in the now. That is why I never wear a watch. It is the place and the time I can enjoy the present. I call the hikes I lead “Smell the Roses” hikes.

  2. That is good because I find that in nature, time doesn’t exist. When we get outside our world of time and obligation, time no longer seems so important. It usually seems to just fall away.

    Thanks for commenting Nadine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>