Motorcycle Zen

Motorcycle Zen is a philosophical stance and state of mind that originated and was developed on the Zensylvania website and podcast.

  1. Origins
  2. Etymology
  3. Philosophical Stance
  4. See Also
  5. References & Notes
  6. External Links
Between the horns of dualism.


The term Motorcycle Zen first appeared on the Zensylvania website and podcast on September 22, 2021 at 19:21. Eric Adriaans used the term to describe several concepts and rhetorical methods observed in Robert Pirsig’s 1974 book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Motorcycle Zen is an abbreviation of Pirsig’s iconic book title but is not intended to be a faithful mirroring of its ideas.


The term Motorcycle Zen is derived from the words motorcycle and zen.

The word Zen is from the term assigned to a specific set of philosophical positions, aesthetic practices and daily-living techniques which were formalized in Japan from the seventh century through to the present.

The word Motorcycle is a compound word denoting a two- or three-wheeled motorized vehicle. The root-word motor indicates a rotating mechanism or machine that imparts motion by converting energy from one form (eg. electricity, fuel) to another (eg. mechanical energy, experience) . The root-word cycle is derived from bicycle or tricycle, which more typically refers to two- or three-wheeled vehicles where a human serves as the motor, converting energy into motion via pedals, a chain and gears.

Philosophical Stance

In Zensylvania, motorcycle is intended to be interpreted as a metaphor and potential avatar of the self in consideration of the human condition. In usage as a metaphor, the term may include a range of motorized and non-motorized vehicles in addition to the two-wheeled variety.

Motorcycle Zen, as used in Zensylvania, is an open-minded, contemplative inquiry into formulation of a coherent, logical, necessary personal philosophy which offers the opportunity to individually reconcile twenty-first century human experience and allows every element of our experience to be interpreted.

The stance surveys and incorporates elements of alternate philosophies, perspectives and fields such as stoicism, pragmatism, Zen, process philosophy, biosemiotics, mathematics, machine learning and logic on a contingent (provisional, limited-extent) and instrumental basis.

See Also

References & Notes

  • This is the first post in a new design theme and a general overhaul of the website beginning December 2022.
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External Links


This page was last edited on 11 December 2022.

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