Tag Archives: philosophy

The Search For Truth

Apple and wormWhat do we really know? I mean, really, really know to be the absolute truth?

Imagine you have an apple in your left hand and another apple in your right hand. You should probably know that you have two apples. Now imagine someone comes along, takes one apple from you, takes a bite of it, and hands it back. You don’t quite have two apples anymore, do you? You have one apple and most of another apple. Even if you took the bite from the apple instead of someone else, you don’t still have two apples. It’s close, but not quite two whole apples. That bite of apple is now inside of you. In fact, it’s now becoming a part of you. It’s being absorbed, turned into energy, and what isn’t turned into energy will become waste. You turned a bite of apple into part of a human being.

Let’s back up, back to when you had two whole apples, one in each hand. You decide you’re going to eat the apples, but maybe you’re going to wash them and cut them up first. As you’re getting ready to cut up the first apple you notice on the bottom a very small hole created by a worm. It isn’t really of much consequence and when you cut up the apple you see that the hole inside the apple has closed up, the worm has come and gone long before the apple was picked, the apple healed for the most part leaving only an almost imperceptible hole in the bottom through the skin of the apple. The worm’s bites are hundreds of times smaller than the first bite you take, but are no less real. The worm had its meal from your apple, turned that bite of apple in to energy and waste for itself, and left behind most of an apple for you. Most of it. A whole lot of it, but not all of it. So now it looks like you didn’t even have two apples in the first place.


The preceding is an excerpt from a work in progress.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle Repair In ProgressAbove is a current work of art in progress. It is my 1996 Triumph Thunderbird. Against my better judgement I purchased it at the end of last summer and it’s been one of the best mistakes I could make. It’s difficult to explain the way it makes me feel when it’s running well. I almost feel guilty that a material possession could bring me so much joy. Just before the end of October last year one of the carburetors gummed up and left me stranded. When I discovered the problem I knew that I couldn’t just take it to a mechanic to fix. It was something I had to at least try to do myself so that I could understand what makes it tick. This is part of the lesson that I learned from Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Before we get too carried away here, it’s important to note that this book is not about motorcycle maintenance and not about Zen Buddhism either. It is a philosophical inquiry into Quality, a problem the narrator first encountered as a professor and continues to examine during a 17-day motorcycle trip with his son, Chris. Continue reading