Life is meant to be this difficult. This is my greatest realization. In many ways, I felt unprepared for the realities found in this age--defined by my abilities, qualities, skill sets and responsibilities. In many ways, I was not ready to grow up. But with the drastic changes needed in troubled times comes the added feelings of survival. The politico-socio-financial oligarchy are the rare persons who may feel secure of their status. And yet, number crunchers and statisticians will agree that the only thing with 100% assurance of occurring is our passing. That is the bitter and unavoidable destiny of life.
So, why live? If life is finite, then why do we bother setting out to accomplish much? In effect, as President Ikeda asks of us who live in the 21st century, what is the purpose of life? In Buddhism, we find that our life is just as the ocean ebbs and flows, a rhythm of the cosmos. It is this same rhythm that we tap into that allows us the ability to accomplish what we set out to do. The rhythm of the four seasons, of life and death, of war and peace and of cause and effect, these aspects of the Mystic Law allow us to better understand the inner functions of the universe. But we still have not explicitly answered the question, what is the purpose of death. President Ikeda states time and again that the purpose of life is to BE happy. I like to clarify here that the purpose is to be happy, not to become happy sometime in the future. Even in the dusk of life's winter, we can be happy. And even in death, we hold a mission of cosmic enormity.
With Masako's passing, I realized that we carry a unique mission that pervades far beyond any one lifetime. Masako continues to encourage me, even though she may not be physically present.
The purpose of life is to be happy. The purpose of death is equal; in life and death, we must be equally happy.
It is in the difficult times that we must find our obligations. In the film "Finding Forrester", at the narrative pinnacle, Sean Connery's William Forrester reads some awe-inspiring, but unfinished words, illustrating that, "Losing family obliges us to find our family; not always the family that is our blood but the family that can become our blood. Should we have the wisdom to open our door to this new family, we will find that the wishes we had for the father, who once guided us, for the brother who once inspired us..." and for the sister, who once cheered for us, actually continue to do so well beyond their life. I have found those whom I now consider my blood. But I want to include more into this family. Once more, I want to possess the wisdom to open the door to a new family.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I've been listening to this song a lot lately, from a Fort Collins local band. It's been an interesting listen.
It started when I heard them on the local radio station, doing an acoustic version. The lead singer explained that the antecedent story to the song was this quote, stated by someone familiar to the band: "Some people indefinitely wait to live life." At times, I've felt that I've been one of those people, indefinitely and conditionally waiting to life life. Now is the time to wake up and stop waiting for something good to happen. I've been resting on my fortune my entire life. once more, I've got to stop waiting.