Robert M. Pirsig Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 115 quotes)
The law of gravity and gravity itself did not exist before Isaac Newton."...and what that means is that that law of gravity exists nowhere except in people's heads! It 's a ghost!"Mind has no matter or energy but they cant escape its predominance over everyhting they do. Logic exist in the mind. numbers exist only in the mind. Idont get upset when scientists say that ghosts exist in the mind. its that only that gets me. science is nly in your mind too, it s just that that dosent make it bad. or ghosts either."Laws of nature are human inventions, like ghosts. Law of logic, of mathematics are also human inventions, like 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. Isac Newton is a very good ghost. One of the best. Your common sence is nothing more than the voices of thousands and thousands of these gjosts from the past.
Programs of a political nature are important end products of social quality that can be effective only if the underlying structure of social values is right. The social values are right only if the individual values are right. The place to improve the world is first in one's heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.
We see much more of this loneliness now. It's paradoxical that that where people are the most closely crowded in the big coastal cities in the East and West, the loneliness is greatest. Back where people are so spread out in Western Oregon and Idaho and Montana and the Dakotas you'd think the loneliness would have been greater, but we didn't see it so much. The explanation, I suppose, is that the physical distance between people has nothing to do with loneliness. It's the psychic distance, and in Montana and Idaho the physical distances are long but the psychic distances between people are small, and here, in primary America, it's reversed.
If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves. . . . There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding
There is a perennial classical question that asks which part of the motorcycle, which grain of sand in which pile, is the Buddha. Obviously to ask that question is to look in the wrong direction, for the Buddha is everywhere. But just as obviously to ask the question is to look in the right direction, for the Buddha is everwhere.
This inner peace of mind occurs on three levels of understanding. Physical quietness seems the easiest to achieve, although there are levels and levels of this too, as attested by the ability of Hindu mystics to live buried alive for many days. Mental quietness, in which one has no wandering thoughts at all, seems more difficult, but can be achieved. But value quietness, in which one has no wandering desires at all but simply performs the acts of his life without desire, that seems the hardest.
The primitive tribes permitted far less individual freedom than does modern society. Ancient wars were committed with far less moral justification than modern ones. A technology that produces debris can find, and is finding, ways of disposing of it without ecological upset. And the schoolbook pictures of primitive man sometimes omit some of the detractions of his primitive life - the pain, the disease, famine, the hard labor needed just to stay alive. From that agony of bare existence to modern life can be soberly described only as upward progress, and the sole agent for this progress is quite clearly reason itself.
What was behind this smug presumption that what pleased you was bad or at least unimportant in comparison to other things? … Little children were trained not to do “just what they liked’ but … but what? … Of course! What others liked. And which others? Parents, teachers, supervisors, policemen, judges, officials, kings, dictators. All authorities. When you are trained to despise “just what you like” then, of course, you become a much more obedient servant of others — a good slave. When you learn not to do “just what you like” then the System loves you.
You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidencein. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to risetomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people arefanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kindsof dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are indoubt.
The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality. The tree that you are aware of intellectually, because of that small time lag, is always in the past and therefore is always unreal. Any intellectually conceived object is always in the past and therefore unreal. Reality is always the moment of vision before the intellectualization takes place. There is no other reality.