Failure of Form?

Walking in the Powderhouse circle around 11:00pm on Friday night, passing another group of daring travelers.


I cannot feel my ears.

The wind rips around me,

silhouettes in the distance.



This week we read about the boy with the flute, the moving of the capital, and some reasons to be homeless. The idea of “shukke” came up in lecture 3 (Inouye, 2/6) and I gotta admit it sounds appealing. However, in REL 194 (Zen and Tea) we are currently reading about the history of Buddhist monks, and the rigid lifestyle doesn’t really grok with me. If “shukke” meant I could go to a new village and be a new person, that would be sick. Why take classes when I can just make a new name and catch fish? Writing that, I realize I obviously have my reasons for staying, but still. Concerning the readings: the story of the samurai that must kill due to their honor (even when they don’t want to!) is pretty sad, but it super reinforces the “form” concept of the course (Heike, Chp 9). It kind of breaks my ‘eart that the Minamoto guy AND the Taira kid felt rules were more important than life, because we’ve learned that “form” is there to sort of counteract “evanescence.” But here the “form” reinforces it. How’s that for personal reflection? Alternatively, the houseless Chomei (Hojoki, 29) had an evanescent fluidity that dwelled upon the chaotic nature of Mother nature and the stupidity of social norms. Reading about the disasters was interesting, but I feel like the guy didn’t fully flesh out his ideas on homelessness. The kids in class were pointing out that he’s still super lonely, and that none of us today could do what he did. So, if Chomei’s ideas were so profound, how come they’re not relevant today?

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