"Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it's a shame more people don't switch over to it. They probably think what they hear is unimportant but it never is."
(Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974, italics added)
the trick, I believe, is learning how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
most of us --- from what I'm told --- have incredibly busy minds, which fill our lives with chatter, both good and bad. it's a skill to disentangle the negative, unhelpful pieces from those that are real and true, and it's a skill I have not yet mastered.
I know better, yet I still at times get sucked into that mire of negative ego-talk: you can't do this, you won't make it, nobody likes you, you stink, you're ugly and slow and never good enough and you most certainly can't ride up that big hill . . .
I listen politely, then take a deep breath and tell that part of my brain to be quiet.
and I work hard to fertilize the wheat. it likes to be listened to, and it likes to be acknowledged for its wisdom. I can feel its little chest puff up with pride each time I repeat the positive affirmations it strokes me with.
you can do it, you are on the right path, you're right where you're supposed to be, you can do this, you can climb any hill you choose to . . .
so I agree with mr. pirsig.
(primarily in that listening to/watching TV is not the best use of our time).
and perhaps that negative chaff is worthwhile, as it gives us something to overcome. keeps us on our toes. challenges us to prove it wrong.
I'm going to focus on a diet of wheat.
because it was wheat that got me through that 130 mile ride yesterday, and it will be wheat that gets me through whatever gets thrown my way.