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Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
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Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals

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Rate it! You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating. (Avg. 4.5) Customer Reviews
ISBN: 0552995045
Release Date: October, 1992
Publisher: Bantam
Description: The author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance examines life's essential issues as he recounts the journey down the Hudson River in a sailboat of his philosopher-narrator Phaedrus. Reprint.
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0552995045
ISBN-13: 9780552995047
Publisher: Bantam
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Length: 480 Pages
Weight: 0.70 lbs.
Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.0 x 7.6 in.
Language: English
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ISBN: 0553299611
ISBN-13: 9780553299618
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: November, 1992
Length: 480 Pages
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Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0593025075
ISBN-13: 9780593025079
Publisher: BANTAM PRESS
Release Date: January, 1991
Length: 389 Pages
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ISBN: 0553180975
ISBN-13: 9780553180978
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: November, 1992
Length: 480 Pages
Weight: 0.50 lbs.
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ISBN: 0553077376
ISBN-13: 9780553077377
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: October, 1991
Length: 409 Pages
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5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsMetaphysics of Quality
Posted by Stephen Williams on 2/3/2008
Review of "Lila" by Robert Pirsig.

I loved this thought provoking story.

It is an impressive and engrossing book.

This book surpasses the intensity of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" in scope and in the development of the author's concepts of quality and value. It is a daring exposition on objective valuation and it offers a broad appeal. Pirsig shows his metaphysics of quality works in real situations and for life changing decisions.

Open up, expand your consciousness, read and enjoy this book.

I recommend this book.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsNot as interesting as "Zen," but more important
Posted by R. Wallace on 12/5/1999
Pirsig's Theory of Almost Everything. He divides reality into four levels: the most primitive Inorganic, on top of which sits the more advanced Biological, on top of which sits the even more advanced Societal...and on top of that is the Intellectual. Each level has its own morality, which is mostly opposed to the one above it. For example, the murder and theft that animals routinely engage in is moral for them, since they couldn't survive without it (and we couldn't survive without them). But for humans it is immoral and destructive, since we are on a different, higher moral level. (Interestingly, the Ten Commandmants are prohibitions against our animal natures, and when they are followed what springs up is a peaceful, prosperous, free-market society). One of the purposes of society (and this is not original with Pirsig) is to hold down our animal, biological natures. There are a lot of gems in this book, such as his discussion of William James Sidis (considered to have had the highest known IQ), of the purpose of celebrity (including his own) and his belief that the fundamental division of reality is into Static and Dynamic. Probably the culmination of a lifetime of his thought.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsReview of "Lila" by Robert Pirsig.
Posted by Stephen Williams on 5/22/2008
Review of "Lila" by Robert Pirsig.

I loved this thought provoking story.

It is an impressive and engrossing book.

This book surpasses the intensity of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" in scope and in the development of the author's concepts of quality and value. It is a daring exposition on objective valuation and it offers a broad appeal. Pirsig shows his metaphysics of quality works in real situations and for life changing decisions.

This story can expand your consciousness. Read and enjoy this book.

I recommend this book.


5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsMy perspective of Robert M. Pirsig's "Lila."
Posted by Anonymous on 5/19/1997

Robert M. Pirsig's "Lila" is one of the finest and most challenging books in print today. For those of you who have read his, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," (ZMM) and enjoyed the philosophical and mystical challenges there, "Lila" offers even more.

I have read "Lila" multiple times. I only recently discovered that lila in Hindu mythology means the never-ending dance of the Divine in an ongoing alternation between the World and the Divine and back again. It is like sacrifice of the Divine to create the World and then sacrifice of the World to create the Divine. Lila is this continual dance. I found the dance a strong metaphor of the main female character in "Lila" and her relationship to Phaedrus. I am unsure Pirsig intended this metaphor, but I suspect he did.

In both ZMM and Lila, Pirsig's prime pursuit is the definition and philosophy of quality. He conjoins the epic struggle of mankind to intuit and rationalize the mind-body, subject-object dichotomies. Note that Pirsig would emphasize intuition here and de-emphasize rational thought.

In "Lila" he accomplishes three major feats:
1) a non-dichotomous and holistic view of subject-object,
2) a moral value framework for sentient beings, and
3) rules for static and dynamic balance.

Holistically, he shows that reality is composed of three things: subject (mind), object (matter), and Quality. He says that objects precede subjects, subjects emerge from objects, and quality occurs where and when subjects become aware of objects. He develops this prescient philosophy while weaving a powerful human story of his quality events with Lila as he pushes his sailing vessel through the waters of the great northeastern US.

Second, he develops a beautiful framework consisting of four value layers: intellect, social, biological, and organic. Intellect is his highest value layer and organic is the lowest. He breaks the four layers into two groups: subject and object. The top two layers correspond to subject and the bottom two layers correspond to object. Each layer in the hierarchy has moral precedence over the other. Intellect has the highest moral precedence followed by social, biological, then organic. It is moral for the higher of two layers to dominate the other. It is immoral for a lower layer to dominate a higher layer. This is a profound discovery and for me it is the new value ethics. I see world legal structures eventually adopting this ethical system.

Finally, he unifies the static versus dynamic dichotomy. He shows that the world is both static and dynamic and if long-term dynamic world patterns are to work, good static patterns must latch to permit the next dynamic emergence. He does not say so, but I infer that just like his value framework, he sees a static and dynamic framework that scales from zero to infinite space-time intervals.

A careful read of "Lila" for those of you who know of quantum theory shows significant correlation to the concepts of the new physics. Many prominent folk have seen this correlation and Pirsig has presented on the subject in Brussels Belgium at the conference entitled, "Einstein Meets Magritte." Some of us see quantum mechanics as the layer just below the organic layer, and we infer more layers above intellect.

I suggest further reading for very interesting connections to "Lila:" Eugen Herrigel ("Zen in the Art of Archery"), Gary Zukav ("The Dancing Wu Li Masters"), Fritjof Capra ("The Tao of Physics"), Heinz Pagels ("The Dreams of Reason"), and Dana Zohar & Ian Marshal ("The Quantum Society").

Pirsig, among his peers and antecedents, in my opinion, has come closest to defining a new philosophical reality. Enjoy!

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsReview of "Lila" by Robert Pirsig.
Posted by Stephen Williams on 5/22/2008
Review of "Lila" by Robert Pirsig.

I loved this thought provoking story.

It is an impressive and engrossing book.

This book surpasses the intensity of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" in scope and in the development of the author's concepts of quality and value. It is a daring exposition on objective valuation and it offers a broad appeal. Pirsig shows his metaphysics of quality works in real situations and for life changing decisions.

This story can expand your consciousness. Read and enjoy this book.

I recommend this book.