Upon finishing Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I was left much more affected than I’d been during the previous dozen chapters. The dense philosophy had lost my attention many times, but I kept reading, hoping that satisfaction was waiting by the end. And it was, although it took until the Afterward for things to really sink in.

Robert M. Pirsig explained the concept of time that the Ancient Greeks had understood. Often, we think of ourselves walking forward through time, facing tomorrow. This is inaccurate, as it fails to address two crucial elements of perception and time. First, we cannot see and we cannot predict tomorrow; thus we do not face it. Second, the past is never at our backs because we see it the entire time, however fading away it seems. So it is, then, that the author wrote, “They saw the future as something that came upon them from behind their backs with the past receding away before their eyes.”

We are walking backwards through time.

As this entry automatically posts shortly after midnight and the year changes over, I will find myself walking backwards. Everything in the past is in memory, everything in the future is uncertain. There are many things that cannot be changed no matter how much I worry over them; and so I must accept that. There are people whose beliefs are different from my own, and though I believe I’ve found truth, I must remember that it took time and a certain path I was on; and I must accept that, too. I must remember that I am only as human as the person beside me. I must remember that my life is as impermanent as anyone else’s, and that my life must not be wasted away.

There is an energy in this universe that science has not yet explained. It is everywhere and everything, and so it is this obvious that we overlook it so easily, because, simply put, we do not know how to look for it. It causes cells to grow into certain shapes and for specific purposes. It causes them to adapt to change when it must survive. Perhaps it cannot be seen, perhaps not measured, but this energy creates all life, and all life in harmony with it will experience the most beautiful understanding of their existence.

I am not yet there, but I’m sure that if I continue walking backwards, I will.