Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi

Listening to: Maaya Sakamoto - Loop
Feeling: Down


Loosely translated, the above title means, 'One is all and all is one". I've gotten this quote from Full Metal Alchemist actually and I thought it was really meaningful.

The Elric brothers were dumped on a deserted island to fend for themselves for a month while trying to figure out the meaning to that so that they can train alchemy under Izumi (episode 28). If you care to read, the below conversation transcended before they came upon the answer...

Ed: We talked about what would happen if we died, right?

Al: Yeah, I said that everyone would be sad

Ed: That's a personal perspective. From a more practical perspective, even if I die the world will continue to rotate as though nothing has happened.

Al: A very small existence, right?

Ed: Well, if this small existence of mine dies, then the body is left behind. We're destined to be broken down by bacteria and to become nutrients for plants. But, those plants will nourish herbivores, and those herbivores will nourish carnivores... It is all progressing naturally, on a subconscious level.

A large flow that isn't visible to the naked eye, I don't know if you call that the universe or the world, but Al and I are both only a small existence within that large flow.

Each one is part of the whole, but it is the cumulation of each one that makes the whole. This world is unknowingly flowing by and obeying a great law.


The answer to 'Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi' that they came upon was:-

"Zen wa sekai, Ichi wa ore"

Meaning 'All is the World and I am just one" (not the age, idiot!)

While the outcome of the answer still baffles me, I am actually very much intrigued by the conversation that came before the answer. It's true, we human are so involved in ourselves that we do not even see what happens around us. All we think of is 'Me, Me and Me'.

Something fucks up in the office and you think, 'Shit, I am such a loser, this is the end of the road,' and shit like that. Your boss yells at you and you think you're the saddest person in the whole wide world, no one can be more unlucky than you are and stuff like that. It is only human nature. We are a 'Me' person.

Many things had been going through my mind lately. Mainly about 'me' and 'Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi' came to mind after having a long conversation with G today about some problems I had recently. I realized that I had been thinking about 'me' so much that I didn't really had so much of a thought of my parents or the people around me. Think about it this way, we are all intertwined circles. Everyone's got their problems, what makes yours any more bigger than theirs?

Most of us knows that for a fact, but sometimes when we indulge in our own miseries, we tend to forget or lose track of the problem itself and the problem blows out of proportions. My problems are bigger than yours, I would think. Or, what would YOU know? My problems are so complicated you do not even want to start on it.

But hey you know what? A colleague of mine just lost her mom, her one and only parent because her dad passed on a few years back... And I am bitching about my brother being stupid.

"A large flow that isn't visible to the naked eye, I don't know if you call that the universe or the world, but we are only a small existence within that large flow."

If I were in my colleague's shoes, my world would have stopped spinning by now. But the world is still spinning for me, because I am not that colleague... But even if something like that were to happen to me, the world will still continue its orbit. Not stopping even once to allow you to catch your breathe; how's that for life?

I feel as though I am losing perspective in life and I am indeed feeling more than a little jaded. Like that Avril Lavigne song, I am losing grip. Sometimes I wish that I don't fret as much because things will eventually straighten out. Hey, life so goes on. Cruel ain't it? That's my personal perspective of my life now, but in practical perspective, I am just that tiny dot on Google Earth that is insignificant to the rest of the world who don't know me. And I am trying to deal with that... After all, I am just one of the circles that is intertwined with a dozen or so others....

There are times when I am driving or going about doing my daily chores when I suddenly think I've finally understood the meaning of 'Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi' but as quickly as the realization came, it's gone. Still elusive, I guess this is one thing that will remain a question to me until the end of time.

Post Script: I was reading through this before I posted and I didn't really get what I was trying to say as well, oh well... I am trying to zoom out of my life that's it!


2 comments:

* Dream Weaver * said...

I totally agree with you on the whole "me" individuals that we are though lately I seem to feel more about the things around me... wierd when you suddenly feel pain for a stranger and want to cry when you see something so profoundly sad. But although I have begun to notice more things/people around me, I still think about my insecurities and my misery (how ever small and silly they are) and moan about it... but when I remember about the other poor souls in this world, I shut up. Its hard finidng this balance in us... we live in too materialistic a world. *SIGH* one day we will understand "Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi" though I feel the more you look for something, for some meaning in things/ in life, it will elude you...

Pinkity said...

Maybe it's all about finding balance in life, I thought that was true too but I guess too often we go off track and start forgetting about what we are out looking out for in the first place. And when we finally remember, one day we start all over again and somewhere in the middle, lose track and start again, and again and again...

But, at least we realize...