Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance

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johnh
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Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance

Post by johnh » 01 Jul 2013, 17:59

Reading ZAMM and thought some fellow readers might enjoy some diaolgoue. Can't help but think of Wayfarer as I read.


In the book the Author notes how John loves riding the motorcycle but want's nothing to do with learning "how" the bike works. To John the bike is not a some of parts but just "is". When the bike isn't working it is broke and the experts should fix it. In fact whenever the author seeks to enlighten John on the inner workings of the bike he gets negative reactions from plain being ignored to resentment or anger. On the other hand the author can't fathom not knowing the motorcycle inside and out and seeking to understand and balance all elements and seeks constantly to tune the motorcycle throughout the journey while John and sylvia just ride. The two approaches are later described as "romantic" and "classical"

This brought a few things to mind for me:

1) I have noticed 2 reactions in general by people in a faith crisis.
a) Romantic Approach: WTF? The church is not what I thought it was. The is BS I am out of here! This person feels betrayed and angry. The church went from "is" to "isn't" and now they are pissed...time spent, moeny donated, sexual exploits missed, etc....they bought a freaking lemon. These folks frequently give up on religion all together (no more motorcyles for them).

b) Classical approach: Still WTF? Then delving deep, striving to understand the "why" things are the way they are. This person may still stop believing in the divinity of the church but might even keep going as they approach religion as a living thing anyways and take out their emotional toolkit and "tune" the spiritual vehicle and try to continue on the journey. Many may change brands (go to a different church) or eventually abandon religion for humanism or may find a middle way. I think the key difference is this person finds some harmony and has noticeably less anger. Not judging the angry person as the anger may be justified....but I think we all must admit to being or at least witnessing a lot of anger in the faith crisis world.

Another Item.

I believe that many people in a thoughtful faith are classical thinkers. In fact I think classical thinkers are more likely to run into faith crisis as they by definition probe the inner workings of things. I believe this explains the frustration I have seen many experience, including myself, when talking to our friends and family.

In my own life my wife came to mind as clearly a Romantic thinker. If I try to bring up church history stuff or questions or concerns I get rebuffed. We finally had a heart to heart and I said "Do you want me to talk to you about this?" (talking about rough stone rolling...the most positive history book I know of). Her response? "Nope". To her, the church is the church. She wants nothing to do with the facts and is fine riding on the emotions of the religious experience. This is not a wrong way, for her, and I think I am committing a form of emotional assault by trying to force knowledge on her..shouldn't I just let her "enjoy the bike"?

I don't comprehend not wanting to know. I go to church, pay tithing ( a bit begrudging now on the tithing I will admit) but still find some value in the ride....I am just trying to find out what parts of the bike are still valuable to me....I suspect I will be removing and adding parts to the existing frame but will end up still using that framework....but I HAVE to know the truth and the truth MUST make sense....but that is just how I ride.

Ok...enough babbling...thoughts?

Ray DeGraw
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by Ray DeGraw » 01 Jul 2013, 18:15

My wife is very smart, but when it comes to religion, she is a feeler who follows her heart; I am a thinker who follows my mind - but works on balancing both my mind and my not placing undue value on my mind over my heart.

She is the string; I am the kite. Without me, she would struggle to rise; without her, I would lose my grounding and burn up in the sun.

Together, we work really well. If I tried to change her, both of us would suffer.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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cwald
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by cwald » 01 Jul 2013, 20:21

Great OP.

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  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 02 Jul 2013, 10:46

johnh wrote:Reading ZAMM and thought some fellow readers might enjoy some diaolgoue. Can't help but think of Wayfarer as I read...the other hand the author can't fathom not knowing the motorcycle inside and out and seeking to understand and balance all elements and seeks constantly to tune the motorcycle throughout the journey while John and sylvia just ride...I believe this explains the frustration I have seen many experience, including myself, when talking to our friends and family...In my own life my wife came to mind as clearly a Romantic thinker. If I try to bring up church history stuff or questions or concerns I get rebuffed. We finally had a heart to heart and I said "Do you want me to talk to you about this?"...Her response? "Nope". To her, the church is the church. She wants nothing to do with the facts and is fine riding on the emotions of the religious experience. This is not a wrong way, for her, and I think I am committing a form of emotional assault by trying to force knowledge on her..shouldn't I just let her "enjoy the bike"? ...but I HAVE to know the truth and the truth MUST make sense....but that is just how I ride...thoughts?
Some of my thoughts on this book are in another thread I created earlier in the book review section (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2560). It's been a while since I read it so I don't remember a lot of the details but the main initial impression I had of it was that I felt like the author was really over-thinking it with some of these points and at the time I wasn't particularly interested in the questions he was so concerned with or the answers he came up with not to mention that I had a relatively suspicious view of Eastern religions/philosophy where I mostly associated them with weirdness. I still think Pirsig overstated the overall significance of some of his conclusions and pulled some of his basic assumptions completely out of left field. However, the book definitely got me thinking about some of the answers I had always just accepted and I started to gradually re-evaluate how much I could really trust what I had always been told and what was most important and why after that.

Where I think Pirsig actually was on the right track was with his attempts to draw attention to the idea that many people have made the mistake of trying to reduce everything down to the understandable and predictable nuts and bolts or essentially the science of it while largely neglecting or dismissing some of the subjective value judgments or basically the art involved in what we are doing. So I appreciate that he was trying to restore some balance and synthesize different ways of thinking, I'm just not sure that anything like this can ever be done once and for all in a lasting way and it seems like we need constant reminders to avoid drifting too far one way or the other. One thing I remember hearing sometimes on StayLDS that sounded similar to these general ideas was the suggestion that we should always try to make sure we are trading up when we make changes. Sometimes it seems like disaffected members or ex-Mormons are so obsessed with one isolated thing like truth that they lose sight of the big picture and are willing to suffer and sacrifice their own best interests trying to fight the Church when it would be much easier to just let the Church be wrong sometimes without worrying quite so much about it.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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SamBee
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by SamBee » 04 Feb 2015, 07:59

I read this book last year. So that's an excuse for me topping this, and I'll come back to it later.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 06 Feb 2015, 00:02

SamBee wrote:I read this book last year. So that's an excuse for me topping this, and I'll come back to it later.
Thanks for bumping it up. It was next on my to read list but I've misplaced it. I was just thinking of it two weeks ago.
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all." God, according to Futurama

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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SamBee
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by SamBee » 06 Feb 2015, 04:06

He had to submit it to over a hundred publishers and yet it became one of the best sellers of the seventies.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LookingHard
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by LookingHard » 06 Feb 2015, 06:10

SamBee wrote:He had to submit it to over a hundred publishers and yet it became one of the best sellers of the seventies.
The only negative I can comment on is, "Dang, other book to put on the list of books I need to read." I don't have that much time to read. But the analogy hits me as I HAVE to know how things work. I have been that way from birth. I was rebuilding lawnmower engines before I was in young mens.

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SamBee
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by SamBee » 06 Feb 2015, 08:20

LookingHard wrote:
SamBee wrote:He had to submit it to over a hundred publishers and yet it became one of the best sellers of the seventies.
The only negative I can comment on is, "Dang, other book to put on the list of books I need to read." I don't have that much time to read. But the analogy hits me as I HAVE to know how things work. I have been that way from birth. I was rebuilding lawnmower engines before I was in young mens.
A quote from the book:
“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. ”
I find personally television eats into my reading time. That's why I hardly watch it these days. And if there's anything I'd like to watch I get it recorded.

I get so much more out of reading than television. I get to do the dreaming with reading... with television, it tries to tell me what to dream. Also, if you commute by bus, train or plane, take a book, it's a good time to read.

For a digest see here -
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_M._Pirsig
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LookingHard
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Re: Faith Crisis and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenan

Post by LookingHard » 06 Feb 2015, 12:08

Almost all my TV time is from the discovery channel or the science channel - both with heavy use of the FF button. I never hear more than 2 seconds of a commercial. In fact I usually "feel" a commercial coming on and I have my finger on the ff button. Actually to be more correct I use the "advance 30 seconds" button. Most shows take 8 pushes of the button to get you to the resumption of the show.

I wish they had an option to run the shows in like 1.2 speed, so I could finish a show even quicker.

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