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.

— Robert M. Pirsig

The most unexpected Robert M. Pirsig quotes that will transform you to a better person

The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.

98

The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.

94

Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best, 20 - 20 hindsight. It's good for seeing where you've been. It's good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can't tell you where you ought to go.

75

Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best, 20 -- 20 hindsight. It's good for seeing where you've been. It's good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can't tell you where you ought to go.

75

When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.

65

To live only for some future goal is shallow.

It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.

64

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.

55

What keeps the world from reverting to the Neanderthal with each generation is the continuing, ongoing mythos... the huge body of common knowledge that unites our minds as cells are united in the body of man.

49

The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you.

There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.

48

If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government.

47

Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind.

I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value.

42

The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.

40

About Robert M. Pirsig

Quotes 215 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.

38

My favorite piece of technical writing: Assembly of Japanese bicycle require great peace of mind.

35

You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been and a pattern seems to emerge.

30

Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster.

30

You are never dedicated to do something you have complete confidence in.

No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.

25

If you have a high evaluation of yourself then your ability to recognize new facts is weakened.

21

Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts.

Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.

18

We have artists with no scientific knowledge and scientists with no artistic knowledge and both with no spiritual sense of gravity at all, and the result is not just bad, it is ghastly.

17

If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion.

17

Art is anything you can do well. Anything you can do with quality.

16

The real purpose of the scientific method is to make sure nature hasn’t misled you into thinking you know something you actually don’t know.

15

New York has always been going to hell but somehow it never gets there.

15

That's all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel.

15

Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive

15

We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people's lives.

13

Why, for example, should a group of simple, stable compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen struggle for billions of years to organize themselves into a professor of chemistry? What's the motive?

13

We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.

13

We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk.

The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.

13

When you look directly at an insane man all you see is a reflection of your own knowledge that he's insane, which is not to see him at all.

13

The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha - which is to demean oneself.

12

Although motorcycle riding is romantic, motorcycle maintenance is purely classic.

12

From an endless beach of reality, we take a grain of sand and call it the world.

11

Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships.

11

For me, a writer should be more like a lighthouse keeper, just out there by himself. He shouldn't get his ideas from other people all around him.

10

The world comes to us in an endless stream of puzzle pieces that we would like to think all fit together somehow, but that in fact never do.

8

Civilization, or "the system" or "society" or whatever you want to call it, is best served not by mules but by free men.

8

You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy.

Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.

7

I argued that physical discomfort is important only when the mood is wrong.

Then you fasten on to whatever thing is uncomfortable and call that the cause. But if the mood is right, then physical discomfort doesn't mean much.

6

To an experienced Zen Buddhist, asking if one believes in Zen or one believes in the Buddha, sounds a little ludicrous, like asking if one believes in air or water. Similarly Quality is not something you believe in, Quality is something you experience.

6

No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

They know it's going to rise tomorrow.

6

The number of hypotheses available to explain any given phenomenon is infinite.

6

For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses.

6

Quality tends to fan out like waves.

6

A motorcycle functions entirely in accordance with the laws of reason, and a study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself.

6

It is always good policy to tell the truth unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar. Jerome K. Jerome It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I'm looking for the truth. and so it goes away. Puzzling.

6

So round and round you go, spinning mental wheels and nowhere finding anyplace to get traction. What the hell...is it?

6

When you've got a Chautauqua in your head, it's extremely hard not to inflict it on innocent people.

6
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