“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.”
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, first published in 1974, is a philosophical fiction book, generally regarded as an American cultural icon in literature, described as an intriguing story about a man in search of himself.
The book describes, in first person, a 17-day journey by motorcycle from Minnesota to Northern California with the author and his son Chris. While travelling, he discusses and reflects on a number of concepts such as how some people percieve and go through the world in a “romantic”, groovy in-the-moment way, and some people are the opposite, seeing everything through a “classic”, hard-facts lens obsessed with learning from the past and planning ahead – he pinpoints why and applies this to his reasoning about quality (what is quality?), values and caring about what you do.
The more he reasons, the more he is about to lose his mind from the complexity and his frustration with why our value systems have become what they have are – but the writing is constantly entertaining, and he makes good use of the scenery from the travelling to illustrate what he means. The book can be a bit heavy at times, but very rewarding once you get trough those passages, because so many of Pirsig’s points are so spot-on.