Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Man of Reason Man of Faith


I assert that the man of Reason needs to coexist alongside the man of Faith.

Out of the dark ages we progress through science but we fail to thrive without Faith. We have faith in so many things from believing that the sun will rise tomorrow to getting water from the faucet. We have faith that a key will open a door or start a car. We have faith that the beer will give us a buzz at the bar. We have faith that if read to, children will develop a love for learning. We have faith always for many things.

The man of reason believes the man of faith to be childish believing in fairies and elves but I think we would find that the man of reason has about as much faith as we all do. The man of the reason sports the fashion that anything not explainable, not definable is not worth your time. But the truth is there are many things in this life that are not definable; this is because things are not finite and static. And what about Love?

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert M. Pirsig in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” suggests certain things like feelings and love carry a weight of undefinability. To define is to limit.

You define, you say that is all it can be and such things are limitless. You can describe but never define.

The man of reason would then assert that such things like Love do not exist. And how could that possibly be true? Love does exist but how would I prove it? I would prove it by the descriptive qualities of Love, no rigid structure could define Love, it is dynamic and ever-changing like water.

I believe in the yin-yang principle, where there is a balance in all things, reason, and faith. They exist not separately but together. Pirsig also suggests that the subject-object duel of dualism has no fight and that they both equally win. The I in the world is really the I or subject and the objects you experience in the world are just as important as you are. To me, there is a giving and receiving, a push and a pull, yin and yang equaling balance and order.

But so long as we like to fight, I am in it for balance. There is no man of reason isolated soley just as there is no man of faith. But together they make all the difference in the world and beyond. What is beyond conventional reality? I would say plenty! Nietzche‘s “overman” was over society’s conventions and beyond conventional reality.

It is high time that a lover of the arts shakes hands with those of science. It is in a balanced dual nature that we gain strength.

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