Zitate von Robert M. Pirsig

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Robert M. Pirsig

Geburtstag: 6. September 1928
Todesdatum: 24. April 2017
Andere Namen: رابرت پیرسیق

Robert Maynard Pirsig war ein US-amerikanischer Autor. Sein erstes Werk Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten wurde zum internationalen Bestseller.

Werk

Zitate Robert M. Pirsig

„The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: I think that if we are going to reform the world, and make it a better place to live in, the way to do it is not with talk about relationships of a political nature, which are inevitably dualistic, full of subjects and objects and their relationship to one another; or with programs full of things for other people to do. I think that kind of approach starts it at the end and presumes the end is the beginning. 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 own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. <!-- p. 304 Ch. 25

„When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Disputed, This is attributed to Pirsig by Richard Dawkins in the Preface to The God Delusion (2006), p. 28, but cannot be found prior to that. It is obviously a paraphrase of the following from Pirsig's Lila - An Inquiry Into Morals (1991): „An insane delusion can't be held by a group at all. A person isn't considered insane if there are a number of people who believe the same way. Insanity isn't supposed to be a communicable disease. If one other person starts to believe him, or maybe two or three, then it's a religion." ( books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=51i6WkGn6qYC&q=%22An+insane+delusion%22; books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=WZtRAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA426)

„The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Ch. 1

„The Professor of Philosophy has made a mistake.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: The Professor of Philosophy has made a mistake. He's wasted his disciplinary authority on an innocent student while Phædrus, the guilty one, the hostile one, is still at large. And getting larger and larger. Since he has asked no questions there is now no way to cut him down. And now that he sees how the questions will be answered he's certainly not about to ask them. The innocent student stares down at the table, face red, hands shrouding his eyes. His shame becomes Phædrus' anger. In all his classes he never once talked to a student like that. So that's how they teach classics at the University of Chicago. Phædrus knows the Professor of Philosophy now. But the Professor of Philosophy doesn't know Phædrus. Ch. 29

„Phædrus knows the Professor of Philosophy now. But the Professor of Philosophy doesn't know Phædrus.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: The Professor of Philosophy has made a mistake. He's wasted his disciplinary authority on an innocent student while Phædrus, the guilty one, the hostile one, is still at large. And getting larger and larger. Since he has asked no questions there is now no way to cut him down. And now that he sees how the questions will be answered he's certainly not about to ask them. The innocent student stares down at the table, face red, hands shrouding his eyes. His shame becomes Phædrus' anger. In all his classes he never once talked to a student like that. So that's how they teach classics at the University of Chicago. Phædrus knows the Professor of Philosophy now. But the Professor of Philosophy doesn't know Phædrus. Ch. 29

„Uncle Tom's Cabin was no literary masterpiece but it was a culture-bearing book. It came at a time when the entire culture was about to reject slavery.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Afterword (1984), Context: Uncle Tom's Cabin was no literary masterpiece but it was a culture-bearing book. It came at a time when the entire culture was about to reject slavery. People seized upon it as a portrayal of their own new values and it became an overwhelming success. The success of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance seems the result of this culture-bearing phenomenon. The involuntary shock treatment described here is against the law today. It is a violation of human liberty. The culture has changed.

„He begins to discard things, encumbrances that he has carried with him all his life. He tells his wife to leave with the children, to consider themselves separated. Fear of loathsomeness and shame disappear when his urine flows not deliberately but naturally on the floor of the room. Fear of pain, the pain of the martyrs is overcome when cigarettes burn not deliberately but naturally down into his fingers until they are extinguished by blisters formed by their own heat. His wife sees his injured hands and the urine on the floor and calls for help.
But before help comes, slowly, imperceptibly at first, the entire consciousness of Phædrus begins to come apart — to dissolve and fade away. Then gradually he no longer wonders what will happen next. He knows what will happen next, and tears flow for his family and for himself and for this world.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: For three days and three nights, Phædrus stares at the wall of the bedroom, his thoughts moving neither forward nor backward, staying only at the instant. His wife asks if he is sick, and he does not answer. His wife becomes angry, but Phædrus listens without responding. He is aware of what she says but is no longer able to feel any urgency about it. Not only are his thoughts slowing down, but his desires too. And they slow and slow, as if gaining an imponderable mass. So heavy, so tired, but no sleep comes. He feels like a giant, a million miles tall. He feels himself extending into the universe with no limit. He begins to discard things, encumbrances that he has carried with him all his life. He tells his wife to leave with the children, to consider themselves separated. Fear of loathsomeness and shame disappear when his urine flows not deliberately but naturally on the floor of the room. Fear of pain, the pain of the martyrs is overcome when cigarettes burn not deliberately but naturally down into his fingers until they are extinguished by blisters formed by their own heat. His wife sees his injured hands and the urine on the floor and calls for help. But before help comes, slowly, imperceptibly at first, the entire consciousness of Phædrus begins to come apart — to dissolve and fade away. Then gradually he no longer wonders what will happen next. He knows what will happen next, and tears flow for his family and for himself and for this world. Ch. 30

„Lightning hits!
Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine "virtue." But aretê. Excellence. Dharma!“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: Lightning hits! Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine "virtue." But aretê. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric. Ch. 29

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„Anaxagoras was the first to identify the One as nous, meaning "mind."
Parmenides made it clear for the first time that the Immortal Principle, the One, Truth, God, is separate from appearance and from opinion, and the importance of this separation and its effect upon subsequent history cannot be overstated.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: The Immortal Principle was first called water by Thales. Anaximenes called it air. The Pythagoreans called it number and were thus the first to see the Immortal Principle as something nonmaterial. Heraclitus called the Immortal Principle fire and introduced change as part of the Principle. He said the world exists as a conflict and tension of opposites. He said there is a One and there is a Many and the One is the universal law which is immanent in all things. Anaxagoras was the first to identify the One as nous, meaning "mind." Parmenides made it clear for the first time that the Immortal Principle, the One, Truth, God, is separate from appearance and from opinion, and the importance of this separation and its effect upon subsequent history cannot be overstated. It's here that the classic mind, for the first time, took leave of its romantic origins and said, "The Good and the True are not necessarily the same," and goes its separate way. Anaxagoras and Parmenides had a listener named Socrates who carried their ideas into full fruition. Ch. 29

„Any philosophic explanation of Quality is going to be both false and true precisely because it is a philosophic explanation.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: Any philosophic explanation of Quality is going to be both false and true precisely because it is a philosophic explanation. The process of philosophic explanation is an analytic process, a process of breaking something down into subjects and predicates. What I mean (and everybody else means) by the word ‘quality’ cannot be broken down into subjects and predicates. This is not because Quality is so mysterious but because Quality is so simple, immediate and direct. Ch. 20

„Socrates is not just expounding noble ideas in a vacuum. He is in the middle of a war between those who think truth is absolute and those who think truth is relative. He is fighting that war with everything he has.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: Socrates is not just expounding noble ideas in a vacuum. He is in the middle of a war between those who think truth is absolute and those who think truth is relative. He is fighting that war with everything he has. The Sophists are the enemy. Now Plato's hatred of the Sophists makes sense. He and Socrates are defending the Immortal Principle of the Cosmologists against what they consider to be the decadence of the Sophists. Truth. Knowledge. That which is independent of what anyone thinks about it. The ideal that Socrates died for. The ideal that Greece alone possesses for the first time in the history of the world. It is still a very fragile thing. It can disappear completely. Plato abhors and damns the Sophists without restraint, not because they are low and immoral people—there are obviously much lower and more immoral people in Greece he completely ignores. He damns them because they threaten mankind's first beginning grasp of the idea of truth. That's what it is all about. Ch. 29

„The world of underlying form is an unusual object of discussion because it is actually a mode of discussion itself.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: The world of underlying form is an unusual object of discussion because it is actually a mode of discussion itself. You discuss things in terms of their immediate appearance or you discuss them in terms of their underlying form, and when you try to discuss these modes of discussion you get involved in what could be called a platform problem. You have no platform from which to discuss them other than the modes themselves. Ch. 6

„What is essential to understand at this point is that until now there was no such thing as mind and matter, subject and object, form and substance. Those divisions are just dialectical inventions that came later.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: What is essential to understand at this point is that until now there was no such thing as mind and matter, subject and object, form and substance. Those divisions are just dialectical inventions that came later. The modern mind sometimes tends to balk at the thought of these dichotomies being inventions and says, "Well, the divisions were there for the Greeks to discover," and you have to say, "Where were they? Point to them!" And the modern mind gets a little confused and wonders what this is all about anyway, and still believes the divisions were there. But they weren't, as Phædrus said. They are just ghosts, immortal gods of the modern mythos which appear to us to be real because we are in that mythos. But in reality they are just as much an artistic creation as the anthropomorphic Gods they replaced. Ch. 29

„I don't know his whole story. No one ever will, except Phædrus himself, and he can no longer speak. But from his writings and from what others have said and from fragments of my own recall it should be possible to piece together some kind of approximation of what he was talking about.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: Now I want to begin to fulfill a certain obligation by stating that there was one person, no longer here, who had something to say, and who said it, but whom no one believed or really understood. Forgotten. For reasons that will become apparent I'd prefer that he remain forgotten, but there's no choice other than to reopen his case. I don't know his whole story. No one ever will, except Phædrus himself, and he can no longer speak. But from his writings and from what others have said and from fragments of my own recall it should be possible to piece together some kind of approximation of what he was talking about. Ch. 6 Identifying his "destroyed" personality as "Phædrus"

„It is the little, pathetic attempts at Quality that kill.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: The city closes in on him now, and in his strange perspective it becomes the antithesis of what he believes. The citadel not of Quality, the citadel of form and substance. Substance in the form of steel sheets and girders, substance in the form of concrete piers and roads, in the form of brick, of asphalt, of auto parts, old radios, and rails, dead carcasses of animals that once grazed the prairies. Form and substance without Quality. That is the soul of this place. Blind, huge, sinister and inhuman: seen by the light of fire flaring upward in the night from the blast furnaces in the south, through heavy coal smoke deeper and denser into the neon of BEER and PIZZA and LAUNDROMAT signs and unknown and meaningless signs along meaningless straight streets going off into other straight streets forever. If it was all bricks and concrete, pure forms of substance, clearly and openly, he might survive. It is the little, pathetic attempts at Quality that kill. Ch. 30

„They are just ghosts, immortal gods of the modern mythos which appear to us to be real because we are in that mythos. But in reality they are just as much an artistic creation as the anthropomorphic Gods they replaced.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: What is essential to understand at this point is that until now there was no such thing as mind and matter, subject and object, form and substance. Those divisions are just dialectical inventions that came later. The modern mind sometimes tends to balk at the thought of these dichotomies being inventions and says, "Well, the divisions were there for the Greeks to discover," and you have to say, "Where were they? Point to them!" And the modern mind gets a little confused and wonders what this is all about anyway, and still believes the divisions were there. But they weren't, as Phædrus said. They are just ghosts, immortal gods of the modern mythos which appear to us to be real because we are in that mythos. But in reality they are just as much an artistic creation as the anthropomorphic Gods they replaced. Ch. 29

„The bones and flesh and legal statistics are the garments worn by the personality, not the other way around.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: They had made the mistake of thinking of a personality as some sort of possession, like a suit of clothes, which a person wears. But apart from a personality what is there? Some bones and flesh. A collection of legal statistics, perhaps, but surely no person. The bones and flesh and legal statistics are the garments worn by the personality, not the other way around. Ch. 7

„Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric.“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Context: Lightning hits! Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine "virtue." But aretê. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric. Ch. 29

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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