Robert M. Pirsig Quotes

Enjoy the top 422 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Robert M. Pirsig.

Robert M. Pirsig Quotes

People arrive at a factory and perform a totally meaningless task from eight to five without question because the structure demands that it be that way. Theres no villain, no "mean guy" who wants them to live meaningless lives, its just that the structure, the system demands it and no one is willing to take on the formidable task of changing the structure just because it is meaningless.
— Robert M. Pirsig —

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

— Robert M. Pirsig

If someone's ungrateful and you tell him he's ungrateful, okay, you've called him a name. You haven't solved anything.

— Robert M. Pirsig

The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called yourself.

— Robert M. Pirsig

If you eliminate suffering from this world you eliminate life. There's no evolution. Those species that don't suffer don't survive. Sometimes the insane and the contrarians and the ones who are the closest to suicide are the most valuable people society has. They may be the precursors of social change. They've taken the burdens of the culture onto themselves and in their struggle to solve their own problems they're solving problems for the culture as well

— Robert M. Pirsig

To reach him you have to back up and back up, and the further back you go, the further back you see you have to go, until what looked like a small problem of communication turns into a major philosophic inquiry.

— Robert M. Pirsig

It is a kind of nowhere, famous for nothing at all and has an appeal because of just that.

— Robert M. Pirsig

To doubt the literal meaning of the words of Jesus or Moses incurs hostility from most people, but it's just a fact that if Jesus or Moses were to appear today, unidentified, with the same message he spoke many years ago, his mental stability would be challenged. This isn't because what Jesus or Moses said was untrue or because modern society is in error but simply because the route they chose to reveal to others has lost relevance and comprehensibility. "Heaven above" fades from meaning when space-age consciousness asks, Where is "above"? But the fact that the old routes have tended, because of language rigidity, to lose their everyday meaning and become almost closed doesn't mean that the mountain is no longer there. It's there and will be there as long as consciousness exists.

— Robert M. Pirsig

I was an outsider who seemed more interested in attacking what was being taught than learning from it.

— Robert M. Pirsig

I know what it is! We've arrived at the West Coast! We're all strangers again! Folks, I just forgot the biggest gumption trap of all. The funeral procession! The one everybody's in, this hyped-up, fuck-you, supermodern, ego style of life that thinks it owns this country.

— Robert M. Pirsig

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

— Robert M. Pirsig

A culture-bearing book, like a mule, bears the culture on its back. No one should sit down to write one deliberately. Culture-bearing books appear almost accidentally, like a sudden surge in the stock market. There are books of high quality that are a part of the culture, but that is not the same. They are a part of it. They aren't carrying it anywhere. They may talk about insanity sympathetically, for example, because that's the standard cultural attitude. But they don't carry any suggestion that insanity might be something other than sickness or degeneracy.

— Robert M. Pirsig

The buddah can reside in the gears of a motorcycle as easily as in a flower on a mountaintop. To believe otherwise is to demean the buddah; which is to demean one's self.

— Robert M. Pirsig

Between the subject and the object lies the value.

— Robert M. Pirsig

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