A few quotes about quality from Robert Pirsig:
“The result is rather typical of modern technology, an overall dullness of appearance so depressing that it must be overlaid with a veneer of “style” to make it acceptable. And that, to anyone who is sensitive to romantic Quality, just makes it all the worse. Now it’s not just depressingly dull, it’s also phony. Put the two together and you get a pretty accurate basic description of modern American technology: stylized cars and stylized outboard motors and stylized typewriters and stylized clothes. Stylized refrigerators filled with stylized food in stylized kitchens in stylized homes. Plastic stylized toys for stylized children, who at Christmas and birthdays are in style with their stylish parents. You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start because no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style. Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.”
― Robert M. Pirsig
“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 heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. ”
― Robert M. Pirsig
“I like the word ‘gumption’ because it’s so homely and so forlorn and so out of style it looks as if it needs a friend and isn’t likely to reject anyone who comes along. I like it also because it describes exactly what happens to someone who connects with Quality. He gets filled with gumption.
“A person filled with gumption doesn’t sit around dissipating and stewing about things. He’s at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what’s up the track and meeting it when it comes. That’s gumption.
If you’re going to repair a motorcycle, an adequate supply of gumption is the first and most important tool. If you haven’t got that you might as well gather up all the other tools and put them away, because they won’t do you any good.”
― Robert M. Pirsig
A friend of mine on Facebook today asked ‘what is quality in thought and statement?’ The word quality itself brought to mind Robert Pirsig’s book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which is a very long response to that very question. After reading the above quotes and considering the question for a bit, it strikes me that there is a definite link between the idea of quality and the idea of integrity. After all what is integrity but a combination of internal consistence, honesty and an examination of whether the integrity holds or whether things have to be re-evaluated. It is easy to rest on one’s past integrity and claim to always hold it yet each day we encounter new things and add on to our knowledge and awareness of the world. Each time we add something to our consciousness base, we need to examine the whole to make sure the integrity holds. The times I have ‘leaked’ the most have been times when I have prided myself on past consistency without examining the present state of things.
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Body and Mind in Space by G A Rosenberg
Design Elements by G A Rosenberg
“George smiles to himself, with entire self-satisfaction. Yes, I am crazy, he thinks. That is my secret; my strength.”
― Christopher Isherwood
It is doubtful that I will ever see life in the same way that the majority of people in my environment do. On the day that this ceased to be a concern for me I felt liberated. No longer would I try to wear a reality view that fit me worse than the borrowed suit I wore to my brother’s wedding. No longer would I try to follow the crowd while my inner voice shrieked and howled that this is not how its supposed to be. Instead of worrying how others see me I have given myself a much more difficult criteria. I now have to act in accordance with how I see myself. The biggest difference is that when I put the view of others ahead of my own inner self, part of me died. Every time I act with the integrity of my being, my life shines brighter.
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Aeon by G A Rosenberg
At the Jewel’s Centre by G A Rosenberg