Japanese worldview centered on the imperfect, the impermanent, the incomplete.
“There is beauty and humility in imperfection”
– Guillermo del Toro
The idea of the perfectly imperfect, for as Leonard Cohen sang in Anthem,
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
‘..a journey, and the journey itself is home.’
– Matsuo Basho
The process is just as important as the goal.
With so many beginnings and endings – end of the Western calendar year fast approaching and the new beginning, my birthday recently past, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ today, my cousin’s wedding tomorrow – it is easy to be swept aside and forget the point of it all. It is at these times that I am reminded of the following excerpt from Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith:
“Aristotle said that the best activities are the most useless. This is because such things are not simply means to a further end, but are done entirely for their own sake.”
And in doing so one fulfills one’s teleology: being human, and what being human means.
For those who wish to learn more and understand the Catholic faith better I highly recommend checking out Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, by Bishop Robert Barron. And for the more visually inclined there is the Catholicism DVD box set The Catholicism video series was also shown on PBS and was well received.
Becoming self aware and using this knowledge helps us to lead fulfilling lives. We have many tests/tools that evaluate personal characteristics to help with this such as EQ, MBTI and StrengthFinder so you become better at knowing yourself. Yet, how often is it taken into account what language/culture you are part of.
Let’s look at a real life example, a colleague of mine. You have grown up in China. Coming to the US and doing the MBTI test in English and Chinese results in significant differences. Then the next question is to what extent the latest MBTI test creators – originally designed by English cultural people – understand the Chinese culture and language to create an accurate test?
Becoming more self aware is great and it is nice to have tools that facilitate that. At the same time it is just as important to question the underpinnings of these tools, their possible biases and limitations.
Examples of the role language plays in behavior as well as links to interesting talks and more can be found here on the TED website.
“The only festival you can celebrate every day is life. So, erase all excuses and get on with the celebration! Life is not a dress rehearsal, so don’t wait for something drastic to happen.”
Deepa Malik – female paraplegic motorcyclist, international athlete, swimmer, restaurateur, car-rally driver, motivational speaker…..
There is something to be said about being in the moment, in the present.
“Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care,” This is the theme for World Environmental Day 2015.
Mahatma Ghandi said, “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” And so I question the choice of the word “consume” as part of the theme. Making it careful consumption does not make it better, just like taking a life in a humane manner does not change the fact that a life is being taken. It is an extreme example, a provocative one, I know. Spend some time thinking about what “consume” means and what it is associated with and let me know.
Here’s a story that my pastor shared today, on Trinity Sunday.
There were two workers along the highway, following each other. The first worker was digging a hole every 10 meters. His colleague was following him and filling up the hole with the mud that had been previously removed. A gentleman was watching this activity from the other side of the road. He finally couldn’t deal with watching this any longer and crossed over. He asked the workers, “Why do you dig holes and fill them? What’s the point of it all?” The first worker replied, “my job is to dig the holes, so I do.” The second worker said, “my job is to fill the holes and so I do what I am supposed to. Normally when our third member is here he plants trees too.”
The Trinity is like the 3 member tree planting team. You cannot separate the team and deal with just one or two, and be satisfied that it is done. You need all three who cannot be separated though they are distinct, thus we have God as one, and yet three in one, Trinity.
If you are interested in my previous thoughts on the Trinity I’ve covered it a couple times before. I’ve used the idea of Trinity to explore partner dance, and as dance poetry. I also have touched on the relational love that the Trinity represents when discussing how so often we lose the idea that faith and the Catholic Church is not about me (one), but us (the entire team), about the relational nature of love.