Where to begin? Well, my name is Jessica and I am 22 years old. I have been a practicing Buddhist since the age of thirteen when my Christian parents released me into the wide world of spirituality, telling me that I must find the path that suits me best.
I was first introduced to the idea of questioning reality in high school. This may sound odd, but in a town of 1,500 people one doesn't learn to question much. My English teacher had us read Plato's parable of the cave in The Republic. I was fascinated. For months afterwards, I walked around looking at all of my classmates like they were chained down and watching shadows. In fact, I still feel that way when I see them at weddings and reunions. But majoring in Philosophy never occurred to me since I realized I had to make money to live.
Two years into college and frustrated with not being able to decide on a career path which was both lucrative and enjoyable, I ran into a friend who was reading ZMM in a coffee shop. Without his recommendation, I would have never given it a second glance. Although "Zen" intrigued me, "Motorcycle Maintenance" was not my cup of tea. I thought it looked like any other weird spin-off of the Zen movement such as "Zen and the Art of Cooking" and such. But I read it, and the day I finished I enrolled in my first philosophy class.
At the beginning of my third year, a superfluous amount of factors led to me having a nervous breakdown. I dropped out of school and took a semester off to regroup. I read ZMM again, and found LILA in my hometown library; the copy of which I still possess since I marked in it so much the library wouldn't take it back. (I bought them a new copy.) When I returned to school in the winter I became a philosophy major, despite the pleas from family and friends. I have never regretted my decision. I will graduate at the end of this year with my Bachelor's and will continue my work in graduate school, hopefully to end up teaching at the college level.
I am fascinated with the MOQ and seem to work it (consciously and unconsciously) into many of my own philosophical writings. I will be leaving to study in China very soon, (with my books) and will return to write my senior thesis on the MOQ and Eastern thought.
I am hoping to learn much from the discussions here, and once I feel comfortable, to be able to comment myself on what I believe. Thank you Mr. Pirsig, for your wonderful journey, and thank all of you for wanting to come together to discuss such an amazing metaphysics.