QuickRead presents a summary of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig:
An Inquiry Into Values.
You may be asking yourself, "What do Zen and motorcycle maintenance have in common?" Well, you'd be surprised! While Zen typically deals with meditative and spiritual practices, motorcycle maintenance deals with nuts, bolts, and greasy parts. However, if you want to live a balanced life, you'll need to embrace both. Motorcycle maintenance describes those who are classically minded, those who enjoy science and look at the world more rationally. On the other hand, Zen describes those who think romantically, those who enjoy the arts and experience the world through emotions. They see the world as a whole while ignoring the details. You may find that you already identify yourself as one or the other, right? According to Pirsig, however, balance and quality come from balancing the two mindsets. In fact, many problems and conflicts arise when classically minded people can't understand the romantic mode of thought and vice versa. So how can we combine the two and learn from one another? Well, you can begin by following Pirsig on a motorcycle as he tells the story of how a single road trip led to enlightenment. As you read, you'll learn why romantics avoid fixing things, you'll become introduced to Phaedrus and his search for Quality, and how Quality can lead to a balanced, harmonious life.