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Imagine traveling state to state on a motorcycle the wind rushing through your hair and the vibrating of the engine massaging your body Imagine traveling cross-country on a Honda motorcycle on a seventeen-day journey Robert Pirsig and his son Christopher experienced exactly this Pirsig saw this journey as a way to rediscover himself after a mental breakdown to ponder the basic aspects of philosophy and to decipher the way people think His son was just along for the ride And from this adventure the basis of Pirsigs first book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was created Robert Pirsig was born on September 6 1928 in Minneapolis Minnesota Education played a very important role in Pirsigs upbringing After he finished his four years in high school he enrolled in the University of Minnesota Unfortunately he dropped out after only two years and he joined the US army shortly there after After completing his term in the service Pirsig returned to the University of Minnesota and received his BA in 1950 Later in his life Pirsig traveled to India to study philosophy at the Benars Hindu University In 1954 Pirsig returned to the Midwest and married his first wife Nancy James Pirsig lived in Nevada and New Mexico for a while and made his living as a journalist a science writer and an industrial advertising writer Later he returned to school and received his MA in journalism at the University of Minnesota Pirsig enrolled himself in a doctoral program at the university of Chicago in 1961 He taught rhetoric to undergraduates as a way to finance his studies While in Chicago Pirsig suffered a mental breakdown and was plagued by mental disorders These disorders later got so bad that he admitted himself to a state mental institution After about two years Pirsig left the institution and also left Chicago without his doctorate Then in 1968 he made his famous cross-country motorcycle journey from Minneapolis
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