Stagnation of Perfection.

I will light a fire on an unreachable fang,

So that I won’t have to see that star,

So that I won’t let it tear at my throat.

Since childhood, I’ve always wondered what this quote implies. This anime, Bleach, has been a part of my growing years and has always set an example through its wise words.

Yet the above quote has always been a mystery. It still is. However, through this post, I would at least try to comprehend the surface level of these words.

I will light a fire on an unreachable fang,

Fang : (noun)

•a large sharp tooth, especially a canine tooth of a dog or wolf.

•the tooth of a venomous snake, by which poison is injected

•the biting mouthpart of a spider.

The name of the manga chapter, ‘A Star and a Stray Dog’ totally suggests that we are talking about the ‘fangs of a stray dog’ i.e. the sharp tooth of a stray dog.

The quote probably would be very confusing at the first glimpse. But it has an array if metaphors, which are subjective.

I believe that ‘lighting a fire on the fang’ implies

‘being guided by ones flaws’.

It’s like learning from history. Learning from ones mistakes and setting them up as a beacon to walk further in life. Sharpening oneself. And as you walk further with the burden of your flaws, your fangs sharpen. If you use your fangs, face troubles in life and overcome them, they remain sharp. Otherwise, they dull out.

The word ‘unreachable’ provides another enigma. It means setting up an ideal goal for oneself. And an ideal is something imaginative. Like a mirage. Once you attain an ideal, it seems unsatisfactory and one seeks out for more. It is the pursuit of life. And that’s what keeps us moving.

I will light a fire on an unreachable fang,

> I will believe in an ideal and keep moving on to pursue it. That ideal might be unreachable. But I will sharpen myself through all the experiences I come across in its pursuit. Developing my own senses, I shall run towards that mystic goal that I have set up for myself. And I shall follow the path it illuminates for me.

So that I won’t have to see that star,

I believe that the star is ‘perfection’. It is not an ideal, it is not a goal. It is a set standard, a norm which is so rigid, it never sways. Just like the fixed position of a pole star.

Isn’t it better to live a life where one doesn’t know what is to come rather than just staring at a single path?

>If you run behind your ideals, you will evolve. As you will never be satisfied. But if you just ponder over one path, the path of perfection, you will become stagnant. There are several ways to attain a goal. But perfection just expects one to follow one dictated path, to achieve a decided outcome. There is no novelty, no room for innovation. Just looking at a single light, so bright, so ferocious that it might blind one of their surroundings.

So that I won’t let it tear at my throat.

What is the fate of such people who are reluctant to change? They just follow the path of rectitude and it leads to their downfall. It betrays them. Many people might say

“Why would perfection betray us? Perfection is what is desired by everyone.”

Well if it is so, why isn’t anyone perfect? To which you might say that Person X is perfect in your eyes. Key word : your eyes. Perfection should be accepted by all. It has a universal validity. And hence it is so difficult to achieve. You cannot please everyone. Perfection is a one man show. You need to surpass everyone in order to become the ultimate being.

>And that IS why that path is tedious. You are not following that path for yourself. It is just to attain something approved by society. You refuse to accept anything other than the criteria prescribed to walk on that path. You shrug everyone off because they are a hindrance. Because you can’t deviate. It is a monotonous path. Experience doesn’t matter. As there is a single path which has to be followed without any mercy. And that will destroy you.

I will light a fire on an unreachable fang,

So that I won’t have to see that star,

So that I won’t let it tear at my throat.

>I’d rather set an ideal for myself and be unsatisfied with it. I’ll keep following it and sharpening myself through all the tribulations and different paths I take like a stray dog. I’d rather be imperfect than crane my neck until it hurts to peer at the unchanging light of perfection. Perfection is a single, rigid path. If I just keep that before my eyes, I will stagnate. And eventually, it will tear my throat i.e. it will lead to my downfall. Hence, I’d rather find my purpose on the evolving earth than dream about the unchanging stars.

**

This is my interpretation but I wonder what Kubo-san, the writer of Bleach has to say about the quote. I’m sure he will delve even deeper into the words.

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(Images and definition from Google)

Click here for the previous post. (Fantastical Escapism.)

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Fantastical Escapism.

What is it about fantasy that makes it so enticing to us?

It’s majorly escapism. And in this day and age; in a world full of expectations and dilemma, escapism is a virtue.

Virtue – not in the sense of displaying morality, but as a habitual self rule. A rule to help oneself keep an arms distance away from this vice called reality. Reality is self detrimental. The more you indulge in it, the more it pulls you down.

It is a paradox. In reality, people expect you to be down to earth. But fantasy helps you reach the sky and beyond. Does it really matter what people say? It is your world. No one has the right to judge you. Fantasy is a world of your own standards.

A world of fantasy is often ridiculed by many as ‘delusion’. A world of warm colours and frolic which cowards escape too. Well, the initial part might be true, but the latter isn’t. Fantasy is basically wishful thinking. And don’t we all do that? I mean how many times in a day do our sentences begin with

“I wish…” ?

We all do this, regardless of we are cowards or not. A world of colours is an incentive for anyone and everyone.

For me, almost 90% of my life is spent in a fantastical world. The 10% of it is just like a formality because I am a human being.

How is it like to live in a fantasy?

First, you need to create that kind of world for yourself. Reality is monotonous. The daily routine of work or school is just like an automated well oiled machine. There’s nothing we can do about it. But in that monochromatic reality, you can create your own little world of rainbows.

Question things. But not in an intellectual way. Think about possibilities that cannot even exist. As long as anyone can prove them otherwise, no one has the right to refute them. When you see a cloud passing overhead, don’t just scoff at it. What if there’s an island in the sky?

I know this is purely wishful, but doesn’t it give you a moments smile rather than just disregarding it completely and getting back to reality?

Look at the horizon, what if there is a magical kingdom which exists where the sea actually meets the sky?

What if the moon is actually one retina of a supreme entity watching over us and the other eye lies dormant in another part of the universe?

You never know. It just riles up your brain. I love juxtaposing fantasy in this world. And after so many years, it has just become a part of my psyche. I can’t even sift reality and fantasy apart. For many, this might be immaturity, but for me, it is escapism. It is my virtue, which follows me like a vice. And ironically, I cannot escape from it.

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Fantasy is just a mechanism to deal with the stress of reality. But to many, many of us, it actually is our life. For the young generation, especially for the ones that intertwine themselves in fandoms, fantasy is something they develop innately. And then comes in concepts of alternate reality. It’s just another term for fantasy. We just believe that our world of fantasy actually exists in a different dimension. And this thought keeps us going. It keeps us happy.

Fantasy keeps that sparkle and child-like innocence alive. And those are very important. No matter how difficult life is, keep spark of curiosity alive. Keep believing, keep dreaming. Somewhere, out there, your wonderland exists. And while you walk on that path, leave a trail of fantastical hues for others to smile about.

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All images used are from Google.

Thank you for checking out this blog! Finally exams are over I can get back to blogging again!

Click here for the previous post. (Cruising Through Freedom.)

Cruising Through Freedom.

ありったけのゆめをかきあつめ

(Come on board and bring along all your hopes and dreams)

さがしものはさがしに行くのさ

(Together, we will find everything that we are looking for)

-One Piece opening 1 and Translation

Under the endless sky, above the sea, as you sail, nothing feels impossible. The horizon is far away. But we keep on chasing it, right to the other side of the world.

That is the adventure of life.

As I looked at the elevation and depression of the waves, I closed my eyes and let the wind hit my face. I stretched my hand towards the sea and at that moment, I felt free. Like I could achieve anything. A world full possibilities was lying before me.

There is not always a pail of gold or jewels at the other side of an adventure. Sometimes, we just set sail with dreams in anticipation of an adventurous journey.

The seagulls doted over the sky and beyond as we went farther. They flew right overhead and swooped along my line of vision. For a moment, I felt mocked by their timeless freedom. But as human beings, we are not entitled to freedom, we need to achieve it – amidst the chaos of our thoughts.

The setting sun hovered right over the coast and shone on the sea. A sight to behold. As it sunk deeper and deeper, it wrapped around all the light within itself.

My eyes captured that moment into the expansive storage of my heart.

After half an hour in the heart of the sea, it was time to turn the helm. We traced back to the coast. As the shoreline approached, the high flying seagulls were replaced by the cawing crows, who, I believe envy the guts of the seagulls to stay away from the land.

As I felt the concrete beneath my feet, the polluted hair hit my face. I was back to reality. I turned back and looked at the sea, who merrily sang away, accommodating new people, who were about experience a similar half an hour of adventure.

Somewhere, far away, my dreams lie dormant. One day, our paths will converge. That is the hope that the sea gave me.

You can only achieve what you want if you free yourself from the shackles of the anchor weighing down your heart. And once the anchor is lifted, set sail and explore opportunities that are spread out before you everywhere. The world is an ocean of possibilities.

Let the current of life hit you on the face. Take a deep breath and stretch your hand towards the sun. The world is waiting to be yours.

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Click here for the previous post. (Historic Efforts.)

Historic Efforts.

481 years ago, on this date of March 17, a legendary warlord was born. Today, we all know him as Hideyoshi Toyotomi. His legacy lives on through his heart warming story and his words. On his birthday, I would like to talk a little bit about both.

Hideyoshi, as a child (he wasn’t called Hideyoshi then) was a waif, a peasant wanderer in search of adventure. At age 11, he strayed into the Oda clan, lords of Owari Province (roughly modern Fukui Prefecture). He served as “sandal-bearer” to the clan head, Oda Nobunaga (1534-82). Hideyoshi was one of the three great unifiers of Japan, along with Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

www.japantimes.co.jp

Hideyoshi-samas story is a typical ‘humble-to-hero’ story. But the path to success varies for everyone. And especially for someone surviving in the Sengoku Jidai (Era of the Warring States), success isn’t as easy.

As we’ve seen in the above story, Hideyoshi started off as a nobody. He wasn’t even ‘Hideyoshi’ at that time. He wandered from province to province, meeting new people, surviving alone.

Being in the upper echelon of the Oda prowess also wasn’t easy. Initially, he was just a ‘sandal-bearer’. From there, after gaining the trust of all his comrades and his Lord, Hideyoshi became one of the most trusted vassal of Oda Nobunaga.

And in my view, Nobunaga-sama is someone who is not very easy to please. This thought comes from the English translation of a Japanese poem, which Japanese children are taught to recite. It perfectly sums up the ideologies and personalities of the three great unifiers of Japan.

(1) 鳴かぬなら殺してしまえほととぎす

(なかぬならころしてしまえほととぎす)

Refers to Oda Nobunaga-“If the cuckoo does not sing, kill it”

(2) 鳴かぬなら鳴かして見せようほととぎす

(なかぬならなかしてみせようほととぎす)

Refers to Hideyoshi- “If the cuckcoo doesn’t sing, coax it”.

(3) 鳴かぬなら鳴くまで待とうほととぎす

(なかぬならなくまでまとうほととぎす)

Refers to Tokugawa Ieyasu- “If the cuckoo doesn’t sing, wait for it”.

-Source:

The Three Major Daimyō

Thus, you can understand where my perception comes from. Nobunaga seems very impatient. It’s his either his way, or a dead end. Gaining trust from Nobunaga is a feat in itself.

Hideyoshi had a way with words. We can understand this when he says, “Coax the bird”.

And Ieyasu seems like a very patient man.

Technically, I’ve noticed one thing, Nobunaga is at one side of the extremity and Ieyasu is at the other. Hideyoshi is like the balance between the two. A linking of two ideologies.

And now, I’ll talk about my favourite quote by Hideyoshi-sama :

Super resembling, isn’t it? The reason I love this quote is because it encompasses the essence of who ‘Hideyoshi’ actually is. These words sum up his entire life.

A peasant wanderer ➡ sandal bearer ➡ trusted vassal of Nobunaga ➡ one of the great unifiers of Japan.

But between these arrows, there is a long story to tell. A story of failures. A story of hurt, love, disappointment, trust and victory.

Hideyoshi is inspirational. He makes us realise that efforts are the only means to the end of success.

If privileged people are born with greatness, then there are people who achieve greatness.

Don’t lament if you are not privileged with the genius of intellect or luck. Work your way right up to the pinnacle.

Today, Hideyoshi’s name is spoken in tandem with Nobunaga and Tokugawa. It’s all because of the sheer effort that he put in. Even after 400+ years, we speak about him and hail him. Because he deserves it.

He set off alone on a journey. Years later, under Nobunaga’s leadership, he commanded troops during war.

Isn’t it just so awesome that how people can surpass their own social crises thorough perseverance?

If he can do it, so can we. In our own little ways. Everyone has a spark, you only need a little instigation to amplify it into an inferno of success.

***

I absolutely adore Hideyoshi for his hardwork and his interesting story. In fact, I’m (hopefully) planning to read this historic fiction, ‘Taiko : An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan’ in my summer vacation!

The novel traces the life of Hideyoshi from his childhood, fact mixed with fiction. Interesting, right? As a budding fan of Japanese history, this is going to be a perfect summer treat.

You can read the synopsis, some reviews and also check out a few preview pages here.

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Happy Birthday Hideyoshi!❤

Click here for the previous post. (Untitled.)

Untitled.

At that moment, my mind was a blank. I twiddled my thumbs and waited. No response. Was I so devoid of expressionism? Was it the fault of the upcoming exams?

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My brain was reluctant. I made a move to act, but pulled back. Nothing but blankness stared at me. A blue light kept flickering, imposing on my iris. The more I looked at it, the more guilt I felt. It was instigating me to think.

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I left the arena, my cowardice undeserving of a title. But my consciousness pricked me.

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I went back. I scratched my head and thought of a quote but my mind echoed the regarding flaws. I held my tongue.

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Everything was a blank.

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I scoffed and shut out my mind and picked up such a pace that now, you can read this.

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Yes, I had a writer’s block.

***

Thank you for checking out this blog! I hope you can relate to this post. Every writer’s dilemma. Do comment your views!

Click here for the previous post. (Yesterday’s Dream.)

Yesterday’s Dream.

(Image Credit : Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo)

She lifted her pompous fluffy dress a little so that her heel could make a crackling sound on the gravel floor. As she walked along the ancient arches of her fortress, the darkness of solitude gave out an empty echo.

Sunlight filtered through the overhead glass panes as the linear beam manifested itself on the opposite brick wall. A little farther, the rustling leaves suspended a sense of foreboding in the air.

The ten years had been a comatose dream. It seemed just yesterday that the kingdom was rejoicing for her coming-of-age ceremony. It was just yesterday that she was flanked by maids running helter skelter to get the right shade of blush for their young princess. It was just yesterday, that she was wearing an oversized dress whilst the seamstress was about to work her magic.

Yes, it was that moment when spontaneous cries surrounded the impenetrable castle. Metal clanked and red liquid flowed. The cheers for the princess turned into wails of help. It was just yesterday, that she was knocked out cold and locked away into the secret cellar by her mother to keep her away from the wrath of the war.

And now, ten years later, her dreamy eyes opened to a veil of darkness. She felt for the door and the rusty hinges didn’t show a moment of reluctance. She covered her eyes to protect her sensitive eyes; a decade of unawareness to the blinding sun.

Patches of dried blood everywhere, but not a soul to be seen. Broken swords and stories. Memories overwhelmed her temporarily amnesiac mind.

She climbed the twisting stairs, three at a time, as the hem of her dress tore through the sharp screws of the railing. She made her way to the armoury.

Discarded her grandiose attire and put on a metal suit. Threw away her hair ornaments and donned a helmet. Pulled out her rings and held a sword. Flung her heels across the room and substituted them with spiked shoes.

All those years of sword training would not be for naught. Even if there is no horse waiting to be saddled, her feet are sturdy. Even if there is no kingdom to protect or fall, she will proclaim the dictum. Even if there is no enemy in sight, she will scavenge the remains.

Because every princess doesn’t wear a tiara.

This is for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt

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Click here for the previous post. (Instinctual Intellect.)

Instinctual Intellect.

      Tokugawa Ieyasu was the first Shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate. The above is one of my favourite quotes by him and is appropriate even in the 21st century; though it was spoken more than 400 years ago.

     No matter what the era, illusions and delusions about fellow mortals have always led to individual ruin. 

Let us discuss the quote in parts:

Persuade thyself that

     These three words are a message within itself. You are the only one who can pacify yourself. You are the only one who can ruin yourself with toxic thoughts. It’s your decision. You are the only one who has the authority to persuade yourself and change your own opinion. Don’t get influenced by others. At the end, it all boils down to what you want to perceive about yourself and your surroundings. 

     In this context, Tokugawa Ieyasu san wants us to coax ourselves by understanding the truth of human nature.

imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals,

     Human beings are the epitome of disharmony in terms of emotions. We are guided by the flow of our thoughts, impulsive to the core, and we succumb. That we act on instincts makes us different from each other. We set different standards of reality and act according to it. At the end, it all boils down to ‘Me’, ‘Myself’ and ‘I’. 

     Thus, everyone acts according to their own motivations. And when things don’t go our way, they are just an eyesore. When we expect something from someone, we impose our view of reality on them. This, of course, is our flaw. And when the person is not able to fulfill them, we get disheartened. But in actuality, they were just acting according to their version of reality, which unfortunately turned out to be different from ours.

     In this sense, none of us are perfect in each other’s eyes. And when things do not match our reality, they cause discomfort. Distortion of thoughts. And as an intellectual species, the haywire of thoughts and emotions is an inconvenience

     The quote wants us to realise that every single mortal will act according to self instinct. And instincts are meant to come naturally. Just as sheeps follow the shepherd, humans follow the trail of individual desire.

and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.

     After you acquaint yourself with the fact that every human being will surely differ from your expectations, emotional resolution will arise.

     As I said previously, things that don’t go according to our will are a hindrance. When we free ourselves from the false thought that people will keep up to our criteria, we save ourselves from the trauma. There is no discontent in thought and everything is clear like a summer day. Discontent causes turmoil. It obstructs day to day activities and prevents us from thinking straight. And as intellectual beings, a loophole in the thought process can cause severe decisive consequences. 

     And this in turn leads to despair. We survive in a vicious circle of thoughts. Despair makes us question our lives and affinities. And that is detrimental. It makes us question and generalize humanity. 

“Why does this only happen with me?” 

“Why is this world so cruel to me?”

are thoughts that bother us. 
     Actually, it’s all in the mind. If we convince and immune ourselves to human thought and behavioural process, we can have a peaceful mental status.

Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.

-Tokugawa Ieyasu

     Always keep in mind that no one can ever be at the exact pedestal that your thoughts lead you to. There are discrepancies. The fact that we can’t actually understand each other’s reality is a human flaw; an imperfection. This has caused inconvenience since time immemorial. But do not let this sway you. Do not let this disrupt your spirit. If you accept this fact, you will be free from disappointments and disarray.

(Symbol of the Tokugawa clan. Image source- Google)
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Do comment your views and suggestions about this format of quote interpretation.

Interpretation of a quote by Date Masamune. (Of Rectitude and Benevolence)

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