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37 Legal Stud. F. 83 (2013)
A Path to Meaning and Purpose

handle is hein.journals/lstf37 and id is 503 raw text is: A PATH TO MEANING AND PURPOSE

James R. Holbrook
On a recent trip with my nephew to northwest New Mexico, I re-
read Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.'
After visiting Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon and reflecting on that
journey, I now understand my life's search is for Meaning and Purpose,
in contrast to the search for Quality undertaken by Phaedrus and
described so poignantly by Pirsig in ZAMM. Quality deals with the
interrelations of subjects and objects; Meaning and Purpose are located
in the realm of interpersonal and transpersonal commitments. The
Acoma Pueblo poet, Simon J. Ortiz, in his book, The People Shall
Continue, speaks about these commitments:
We are all the People of this land.
We were created out of the forces
of earth and sky, the stars and water.
We must make sure that the balance of the Earth be kept.
There is no other way.
We must struggle for our lives.
We must take great care with each other.
We must share our concern with each other.
Nothing is separate from us.
We are all one body of People.
We must struggle to share our human lives with each other.
We must fight against those forces
which will take our humanity from us.
We must ensure that life continues.
We must be responsible to that life.
With that humanity and the strength
which comes from our shared responsibility
for this life, the People shall continue.2
Robert Pirsig wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in the
late 1960s and early 70s, following a turbulent era: desegregation and
INTOVALUES (New York: HarperPerennial, 1999)(25th anniversary edition of Pirsig's book
originally published in 1974).
2 Simon J. Ortiz, THE PEOPLE SHALL CONTINUE 23 (San Francisco: Children's Book
Press, 1977).

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