Just curious how many people have read Robert Pirsig's book(s) and subscribe to his ideas?
In a nutshell his conclusion is that the irreducible factor of life and the universe is a creation force he calls Quality. Another way to look at it is if everything is a state transition diagram, the mysterious factor is something to be found in the transitions (dynamic Quality) rather than in the states (static Quality). Akin to some aspects of Zen and Eastern philosophy. He goes on to develop these ideas to say that you can build up increasingly complex static Qualities like atomic elements, compounds, even life, from what seems like nothing... but that intangible creative dynamic Quality is there, and yet not so easy to pin down. It isn't so much a thing as it is a force.
Right or wrong I find an odd sort of comfort in this understanding.