つれづれの記

The “Obvious”

As part of my reserach when creating “Shyou” (Nikkei BP/2013), I went to
worship during the Shikinen Sengu (Transfer Ceremony) at Ise Jingu Shrine.

What I felt in the embrace of the temple, and what I learned from talking to
people connected to the temple has helped the thoughts about how I viewed my
life to slowly solidify from their previously vague state.

In contrast to an abundance of nature, those of us who live in cities that
are built to make things convenient for humans tend to easily fall into the
belief that we can live alone. We look at ourselves, and hold only
ourselves within our grasp and consider that to be “life”.

But is that really the case?

Living things have parents, who have parents, who have parents and so forth.
Without our ancestors, we wouldn’t exist. There is a thread that links all
of us to our ancestors who lived and built their own culture and values. We
now live as a continuation of their legacy.

Looking at things from the side, people with “destiies” in this world, beget
more “destinies”, and all those who live in the same period have an effect
on each other. That’s what is meant by the Japanese phrase “okagesama”
(“thanks to you”).

You can’t see it, but “life” is something that encompasses everything. It
borrows from the time and space mentioned above, or rather, it is nothing
more then that that. Right? By cutting off that part of it, are we living
an illusion?

… it makes my head spin.

I saw the movie “(Zero) Gravity” at the end of last year. Wouldn’t we give
in and die to the despair of true loneliness before running out of oxygen if
we were alone in space and cut off from Earth? It sent chills up my spine.
(It was a great, stimulating movie. I don’t understand why the Japanese
title added “Zero” in front so I put it in parentheses.)

Well, today, February 11th, is National Foundation Day. If we look back to
ancient Japn, this will be Koki (Imperial Year) 2674.

It may be a bit vague, but I think that the real meaning of life is to take
the important things that have been passed down to us, share it with others,
and pass them on to the next generation. If there is any meaning to living
life as just an individual — a small part of everythig — that would be it.
It is having that as the center of your life that will allow you to live
freely.

Takehiko Inoue

2014.02.11

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