Not this week.
In class we discussed Hojoki and how its author was compelled to seek a life of “complete seclusion” (Lecture 2/6). To me it seemed like the main reason he did that was because he was getting old and running out of potential. Specifically he says “In this time, my best intentions foiled, I came to understand my hopeless luck” (Chomei)* Left without a family, he abandons worldly possessions and lives a quiet secluded life. It’s interesting that, as we get older, things stop changing as rapidly as they used to. Form dominates evanescence. By his fifties Chomei did not have a wife or children and seemed to accept that his luck wouldn’t change. At that age form settles in and it become harder (but not impossible!) to completely change the course of a life. I think this ties back to why people praise your first year of college as an amazing one: it’s overflowing with the possibility of who you can be (Lecture 2/6). Society values potential so when someone reaches the end of his potential and is unhappy it makes sense why he wants to turn his back on society.
*I have the book on my Kindle and it doesn’t have the pages marked so sadly I can’t provide a page number