Sunday, November 19, 2006

Robert Pirsig interview

Tim Adams interviewed Robert Pirsig for the Guardian. Pirsig is the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance--the bestselling book rejected by the largest number of publishers, according to the Guinness Book of Records--and Lila.

Among the subjects they cover: anxiety, depression, the death of Pirsig's son, and the road trip that inspired the classic book.

A few "Pirsig's pearls" are appended at the end of the interview:
· The Buddha resides 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.

· Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a 30,000 page menu and no food.

· 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.

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

· The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
--Marshal Zeringue