Walking to Tisch during the snow storm on Thursday
White coated trees
sway in the wind
as the snow falls
As discussed in earlier responses and lectures, “enlightenment comes when we see the world for what it really is” (Inouye, 51). However, many are unable to detach themselves from the “meaningless fantasies” (Inouye, 52) that distract us. One of the only ways to become fluid in this floating world is to master form, or katachi, the counterbalance to evanescence that in turn reaffirms our reality. In this sense, every act is “an expression of meaning and identification” (Inouye, 57) that needs to be executed with precision. By doing so, the metaphysical and physical world can be tied together visually and spatially. Religion also has a framework that its believers follow, and therefore, has katachi. This is why for Buddhists, atheists are regarded as dangerous people because they have no framework to abide by, according to Merton. By believing in a non-changing, metaphysical world, people now have something to compare their evanescent, floating world with. In order to accept these two contrasting sides, mu (nothingness) needs to be emphasized. This concept believes that “to be absolutely nothing is to be everything” (Merton, 109). That is to say, by keeping oneself and one’s mind vacant, one is allowing things to float in and to get absorbed. In other words, if one is nothing, then one has the potential to become everything through one’s receptiveness. People who practice sports, for example, are trained to perfect moves so that they can do them without thinking. When they achieve this level of skill, they are able to become more aware of their technique and those around them, thus enhancing their own receptiveness. This exercise, too, exhibits a similar goal in hopes of allowing us to perfect certain skills such that we can understand form and become nothing in order to fully absorb all that we learned in class.