Tag Archives: philosophy


20130923-225146.jpgWhere is motorcycling in a cycle of philosophy that transcends modes of expression? If you look at the trends in analyses of literature, it begins with Structuralism: naming and categorizing everything, looking for definitions. Next comes Deconstruction: finding the shortcomings of rigid categories and seeking to point those out. Finally is Modernity: seeing that these two radically different schools of thought were, in their time, widely accepted, and therefore resisting analyzing text beyond what is obviously apparent (often going one step further into nihilism). This cycle of philosophy corresponds with anthropology, social philosophy, and so on. In the Victorian age, it was all about defining classes and those who belong in which, following strict guidelines. Entering the twentieth century and “melting pot” social identity brought along the Deconstructionist school of thought, where everything is acceptable and roles/definitions/categories cannot be established. Next came Modernity, where we are stuck now, where most think “why bother with such a fickle society? I have my own beliefs and there’s no need for a collective identity”…some go further into nihilism. Who knows…soon the cycle will restart. How does the freedom of the road and the solo pleasures of two wheels fit into the progress of philosophical thought?

Zen and the Shadow Rider

We riders have more time than others to think. Whilst you’re looking at the road your mind is also looking internally.

So it’s as if you’re looking at a mirror and you see a mirrored version of yourself. Sometimes, it’s as if life is a hall of mirrors, what you see is a version of yourself according to where and who you are that point. Have you ever been hypnotised whilst riding by your own shadow? Sometimes, when the sun and the road are just right it’s as if you have a ghostly road companion. But who are they?
You are what you are in terms of being burned by our experiences (a rather dramatic phrase but we’re made unique by our own individual histories) and this gives us the definition for interaction with the world that is unique to us. However, it can also be detrimental to us as individuals if we develop or celebrate negative habits. It’s the quality of our own ‘lens’ that dictates how we see the world and that in turn dictates who we become in the long run. It is our responsibility to maintain the quality of our beautiful, precious, ‘lenses’. This is difficult, challenging and complicated. To break down the types of interaction that we routinely have, how we converse with those around us and what we actually do whilst we consume information is helpful. I think about a model whether we’re consuming or creating information.
Firstly, it’s important to consider who and in what manner you are interacting with people to determine whether that’s healthy.
Secondly, it’s interesting to look into how you choose to spend your time; whether you develop your brains’ capacity for analysis, abstract thought and logical reasoning.
Thirdly, its then how you share that information. How you share the product of your thoughts and your previous experiences and your personal desires and drives. This is bound up in your unique ability to converse, write, photograph, or create artistic form.
Fourthly it’s the medium by which others (and you) receive information. The more polished you are at broadcasting, the more clever you are at interacting in any medium, the greater the return you get. This reciprocal process means you receive higher quality information, more relevant to you, potentially even crafted for you, from people who are creative and wise. The life metaphor here is essentially you receive back mirrored versions of yourself.
Make sure you are living well, living authentically, true in your actions and give of yourself to others. With this we can then begin to see our riding as a time for thought and inspiration as well.