Week 3: Decine, Failure, and leaving the world

Think about Decline, failure, and leaving the world

By Songwha Choi

            On Saturday morning, I awoke to find the world mantled in a sheet of white snow.

            Winter morning—

            All the world

            Turning white  


 The third week, we continually discussed that nothing lasts in life. It is true that in life there are always ups and downs. When we sung “The house is on fire,” it enlightened us to think about our lives’ decline and failure. I realized that even though I tried to succeed in my life, I might end in failure later. I think that failure is an also very important part of people’s lives. If I think about my life in this way, I do not need to try to get fame, money, and status aggressively. I should not struggle over tangible assets because those can easily be lost. I realized that I should focus more on intangible assets from now on. This idea definitely wakes me up from my ordinary life. “You don’t need money, you need enlightenment! “ (Inouye 9) If life is bad, why stick around (Inouye 20)? Maybe we cannot easily give up our obsessions. We should leave our lives as they are. Why do we try to be someone who is adored by other people. Why do we mostly try to be doctors, lawyers, and CEOs? We can just give up if we end up failure. Maybe I am not a doctor, or lawyer, but rather something else (Lecture 02/06). “Reality depends upon our mind alone” (Chomei 75). We also learned about the Japanese history of Samurai who were “the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan” (OED: Samurai). Samurai are familiar with me because I frequently saw the movies which are related to them. I felt Samurai act in obedience to the orders of their commanders, and they care about a sense of a loyalty. Professor Inouye taught that dew is another image of evanescence (Lecture 02/06). “A place of beauty has no owner so there is nothing to spoil the pleasure” (Chomei 67). This part of poem is one of my favorite parts of Hojoki. We might feel depressed because we do not feel beauty of nature. We can take some time to appreciate the beauty of nature unless we are slaves in a harsh world.

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