Tag Archives: Robert Pirsig

Other People’s Moments


We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people’s lives.
Robert Pirsig


Life’s hitch hiker that was me
Thumbing through the moments that make memories
Watching her come out
and her mother be just fine
reminding me of another time
but… never mind.
I watched them fight
father and son
The boy decided he needed to run
I remembered…No.
She left school to discover life
working minimum pay under taxes’ knife
shacking up and breaking up
occasionally making up
before beginning again
the cycles to… well again
I walk through their stories
and hear them whisper
the private public shared moments
relived in other peoples’ lives
— GA Rosenberg


blessings, G


Click on images to see full-sized:


Shadows and StormShadow and Storm by G A Rosenberg


Wands and WheelsSpokes and Wheels by G A Rosenberg


“Is it hard?’
Not if you have the right attitudes. Its having the right attitudes thats hard.”
― Robert M. Pirsig


Whenever I see, much less use, a phrase like ‘the right attitude’ or the right anything else for that matter, I find myself pausing. Right for who and in what situation. Surely what is right for me may not be right for someone else. Is there such a thing as objective right?
Well I have yet to find an answer where love and compassion were not the right attitude to have. Of course I’m using loaded terms here. By love I do not necessarily mean that new age soporific kind of love. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do to someone (for example someone who is about to harm others purposefully) maybe to injure them severely. Also when I say compassion, I definitely DO NOT mean sympathy. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for someone and want to give them what they want out of pity. Compassion involves awareness of who people are beyond what they show on the surface. When we feel compassion for someone, we tend to give them what they need, which is something quite different than what they want.
What other attitudes may be considered right? A key one for me is the realization that my answers are not complete and that there is always a new viewpoint to consider and integrate.
No matter how much I believe I know, any of it or all of it may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before and will be again and that’s ok as long as I don’t get so positional that I am unwilling to consider a new point of view. I love exposure to new ideas and viewpoints and when I come across one its like my birthday and christmas rolled into one.
I don’t have the arrogance to assume that love, compassion, an open mind and willingness to change are the right answers for everyone but they do tend to be the largest tools in my arsenal.
Blessings, G


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Rising From DreamsRising From Dreaming by G A Rosenberg



Shaky Ground


“You are never dedicated to 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 kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
― Robert M. Pirsig


When we find ourselves on solid ground we walk with confidence. We need no assistance.It is when we are most unsure of our footing that we call for support. This seems rather obvious on a physical level but it rings true also on emotional levels (we tend to surround ourselves with friends and family when we feel shaky). Robert Pirsig suggests this is true on intellectual and spiritual matters as well and this also sounds right. Compare a wise yogi or any person with strong faith and spiritual insight. While they may be open to people learning from them and vice versa, they seldom push their beliefs on others. The ones who clamour the most about saving the souls of others are often those most unsure about their own salvation.
Blessings, G


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Green Man 2013Green Man 2013 by G A Rosenberg


Psyche FlowerPsyche Flower by G A Rosenberg

Integral Quality

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.
Blessings, G


Click on images to see full-sized:


Body and Mind in SpaceBody and Mind in Space by G A Rosenberg


Design ElementsDesign Elements by G A Rosenberg