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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