livequality

Livequaliy is based on a new philosophy I have recently encountered and have found enlightening.

I recently came across a book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It is a book of philosophical nature that was supposedly very popular in the 70s. How many actually read it all the way through, I am not sure, I wasn’t around. I say this because it is a philosophical text far more than a novel, and I have heard from a few friends that have attempted to read it that it can be hard to get through for those who lack an appreciation for reading philosophical inquiry and writing. However, I am into this kind of thing, and thus found it very amusing and could see why it was such a hit back in the day…

The book uses a motorcycling trip as a backdrop to philosophical inquiry.  The trip is undertaken by a father (narrator) and son (Chris), joined for part of the journey by another couple, and the book covers the high and low points of the journey, starting in the vast countryside of Minnesota and ending along the ocean in California. Along the journey, the physical appearence of things around the narrator has its own importance, but the primary focus is on his thinking, which comprises the majority of the text. The trip itself serves as a way of grounding Pirsig’s (the author’s) thoughts into reality, giving this brilliant text’s philosophical wanderings an immediate purpose to a reader who might otherwise have not seen the connection.

I do not have the time or urge to completely summarize Pirsig’s philosophy as expressed in this book at the moment, maybe in a later post. For now, all I can say is that what he has done is taken the more romantic view of life that sees the “form” of things as beauty and the classic view of life that sees the underlying “function” as the only thing important and squashed them together in an attempt to show the world something beautiful. For me, it worked. It’s about seeing the beauty within function, or the “form” of “function” that  in itself can be beautiful if done correctly. It’s about bringing the two worlds, classic and romantic, together into  a desirable state he calls “Quality”. Something that possesses good “quality” means it must have a good “function”, which he argues inevitably brings about its own good “form”. In other words, the two worlds of classic and romantic need not be separated in the first place. If we keep an idea of “quality” in mind as we live and work, I think our world can become a better place.

This is the reason for “livequality”. The concept of “quality” can be applied, and originates in, the real world. If you do something with “quality” in mind, you will do it well. You “do it well”  because you regard function in such a way that good form will follow. Therefore, if you live with quality in mind, you will live well. If you work well, or if you work with quality, you are caring for your work.  To care is to work with quality. I hope that the care I have put into my writing and the life it is a reflection of shines as I bring my various thoughts and ponderings to the world. So now you know. I am here writing this because I care about this world and my work while I’m still a part of it. I wish to care for as long as I live. Here’s to making sure it’s maintained. I’ve pretty much decided I’m not going to let my passion for these things fade. I’m not going to stop thinking and caring. I hope you set the same kinds of ambitious goals for your own life. I think it forces you to be better.

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~ by Andru on January 7, 2011.

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