I’m not sure what Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was about but I do know that it blew my mind. I like Robert M. Pirsig because he seems to be one of those geniuses of infinite intelligence who is also just a regular guy who talks about regular stuff in plain language.
Zen mentioned a number of things with which I don’t have much familiarity, like Aristotle and, um, motorcycle maintenance. Lately I’ve been reading How to Win Friends and Influence People for about the fifth time (the original version, not the jacked up “updated” version) and I’m noticing now that I see it a little more clearly now that I’m more familiar with the things it references. I didn’t really know anything about Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt the first time I read it but now I do. I have a new respect now for how well-educated Dale Carnegie must have been. I’m betting that I’ll be able to see Zen in a new light some years from now after I gain some more knowledge and life experiences. Maybe someday I can even ride a motorcycle from Minnesota to California so I can really have some reference points.