So, I don't want to ramble on about this, but just pick out, for my own interest, really, a pair of related insights which jumped out at me from Lila, and to which I think I may want to return at some point:
When you enter a movie theater you know that all you're going to see is 24 shadows per second flashed on a screen to give an illusion of moving people and objects. Yet despite this knowledge you laugh when the 24 shadows per second tell jokes and cry when the shadows show actors faking death. You know they are an illusion yet you enter the illusion and become a part of it and while the illusion is taking place you are not aware that it is an illusion. This is hypnosis. This is trance. It's also a form of temporary insanity. But it's also a powerful force for cultural reinforcement and for this reason the culture promotes movies and censors them for its own benefit.
Phædrus thought that in the case of permanent insanity the exits to the theater have been blocked, usually because of the knowledge that the show outside is so much worse. The insane person is running a private unapproved film which he happens to like better than the current cultural one. If you want him to run the film everyone else is seeing, the solution would be to find ways to prove to him that it would be valuable to do so, Phædrus thought. Otherwise why should he get he get "better"? He already is better. It's the patterns that constitute "betterness" that are at issue. From an internal point of view insanity isn't the problem. Insanity is the solution.
~Lila, pp. 408-409.
There's an interesting contrast with an earlier passage where Pirsig (again, writing of himself in the third person as Phædrus, his narrator character) reflects on a meeting with Robert Redford in a New York hotel (described pp. 278-284), about turning his preceding book, the bestselling Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, into a film...
That's what was wrong with making a film about his book. You can't film insanity.
Maybe if, during the show, the whole theater collapsed and the audience found themselves among the stars with just space all around and no support, wondering what a stupid thing this is, sitting here among the stars watching this film that has nothing to do with them and then suddenly realizing that this film is the only reality there is and that they had better get interested in it because what they see and what they are is the same thing and once it stops they will stop too. . . .
~Lila, p. 367
Bear in mind that these are just brief asides in a very wide-ranging book.
Yet this metaphor of film as cultural script (or scenaric universe) contains something essential, it seems to me.