After Kevin Flynn finished repairing Quorra, he had a discussion with Sam. When Quorra finally rebooted, he ended the discussion with this enigmatic phrase:

The old man's gonna knock on the sky, listen to the sound.

Is it a citation or a reference to something I don't get?

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    This is, I believe, some ancient Chinese saying. Seeing he have I-ching and dressed in robes more like traditional Chinese robes I would not doubt Kevin have some Chinese-like philosophies in his mind. – Maxthon Chan Feb 17 '15 at 7:16

This is a reference to a Zen proverb saying as published by David Schiller in The Little Zen Companion.

Knock on the sky and Listen to the sound.

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    I'm a tiny bit disappointed that this beautiful expression wasn't an invention of the writers. – Beta Jan 4 '13 at 16:29
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    Also note that The Little Zen Companion was published in 1994, 5 years after the disappearance of Kevin Flynn. There must be an older source! – DavRob60 Jan 4 '13 at 17:56
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    I never meant to imply that Schiller came up with the proverb - just that it was the only book I could find it published IN. – phantom42 Jan 4 '13 at 18:34
  • It was still pretty "Far out!!" Though – Monty129 Jan 4 '13 at 19:24
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    'Knock on the sky' doesn't show in Google ngram, so it can't be a terribly famous zen proverb or saying. At first thought, it sounds like a riff on 'bring down the thunder', which does show in ngram, likely as a US civil war thing: books.google.com/ngrams/… – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 30 '14 at 14:05

This is an old zen saying! The little Zen Companion was a collection sayings, parables, haiku, koan, poetry, and other words. From both Eastern and Western sources. It reminds me of the sound of one hand clapping.

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    So what does it mean? How is your answer different from the previously existing one? – Gallifreyan May 28 '17 at 16:24

I think Kevin was Just doing a Zen thing. He was pounding on the sky which I took as being silent.

He was just saying he was going to be still and give himself time to think and breathe. Like that first cup of coffee in the morning...

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Lets break it down,

  • The old man
    His father, Flynn

  • (is) gonna knock on the sky
    Clear his mind, meditate and/or pray

  • (and) listen to the sound.
    He is hoping for some insight or inspiration to help with the current situation, "listening" for the "sound" is "receiving" the "insight"

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Although its an old zen saying, in the context of Tron, I think it means that he was paging Alan. I think that is why Alan was at the arcade at the end of the movie. And if you remember from earlier in the movie, Clu was able to page Alan, so Flynn should be able to, as well. I could be wrong.

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    Er... what? Could you clarify what you are trying to say? – amflare Dec 18 '17 at 20:49
  • I guess what I'm trying to say is that Kevin flynn is the creator of the grid. If clue can page Allen, then it stands to reason the flynn can too. So when he said what he said, I think he meant he was going to page allen – user93859 Dec 18 '17 at 21:19

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