Climbing the mountain

To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.

But of course, without the top you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides.

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

I’ve been reading Robert Pirsig. His writings are deep and he did live a fascinating life as well not to mention all that he has had to suffer for his intellectual and philosophical genius. He truly thought deep into ideas and extended them in ways I have not seen many modern man do. And it takes some kind of mind, lifestyle and disposition to do that.

I think he offered by far the most compelling argument for life not being about winning competitions and reaching goals; and recognizing that the process to the goals stand out as even more significant than reaching the goals themselves. This significance gives life its meaning and depth.

We all intuitively kind of know that. Which is why no matter how satisfying reaching some sort of goal we had previously set for ourselves can be, we know it doesn’t last. We may know it only when we experienced it or we may know it before hand. Yet it was hard not to just choose to reach the goal, because it seemed to be what was making life worth living. Pirsig on the other hand, saw that most of us are so caught up with those goals that we lose sight of the process to get there and how valuable that process is. And how much each step of the way player is really what makes up our lives in and of themselves – significant events with their own merits.

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