Nothing happened this week.
Thus far into the course and its readings, it seems to me that there has been more focus on evanescence and change than on form. In “As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams,” the author chronicles her life in a lyrical and unencumbered prose. The novella is filled with birth and death; bridges and crossings and journeys; the quintessential elements of the human experience of her era. From chapter to chapter, it is difficult to tell how much time has passed. In her anecdote about the princess who runs away to a far-flung village because “It is no doubt a karma from some previous existence that has made me leave my traces in this province!” (49). In the Buddhist world defined by change, time does not deserve a special place in the relationship between cause and effect. This change “works against our desires to make reality comply with our need to rationalize and control its processes” and creates the Buddhist idea of duhka (Inouye, 26). In The Vimilakirti Sutra, we are presented with the cold, hard truth of the evanescent nature of the human body – “nothing teaches us the truth of change as effectively as our bodies” (Inoue, 36). Yet this same sutra also teaches the idea that “The body of Buddha is the body of the law” (Sutra, 103). To me, this seems to imply that despite the impermanent and ever-changing nature of the universe, there are still laws – forms – that it must obey. The seasons change, but they are predictable according to the laws and forms of the universe.