Thursday, December 03, 2009

Collision without prior knowledge

I came to a Haiku meeting ("Kukai") at Yugawara, a famous Onsen (hot spring) retreat, about one hour from Tokyo.

The meeting was organized by Madoka Mayuzumi, my good friend and a famous haiku poet.

I took the bath after a strenuous and yet enjoyable haiku session. A hot spring is a godsend for a schedule-pursued, overworked brat like me. I stretched my arms and legs, and took a deep sigh.

After thus bringing back life to my system, I was putting my clothes on. In Japanese Onsens, it is customary to have an official notice of the effective elements contained in the hot spring water in the room next to the hot spring. It is somehow required by law, I think. Anyway, I have somehow made it my custom to read the list of effective elements only after I have taken the bath.
It is just a matter of taste. I don't like to pre-configure my mind. I would like to dip myself into the hot water without consciously knowing what the experience is supposed to do for me. If I had preconceptions, it would "taint" the purity.

The philosophy is not just for taking the hot spring. Knowing the factual details only after the actual experience has become my way of life. Since we know so little about the conditions of life, collision without prior knowledge seems to be the only way.


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Anonymous said...

Should work for onsens or top-notch restaurants where one would already have a good sense of the level and nature of the experience to expect and any pre-configurations would thus not only be unnecessary but should also carry the risk of ruining the "purity" of the experience. Having said that, however, there are risks associated with most other experiences in life and it is always good to have gatekeepers and words of wisdom to listen to before one takes a plunge, I think. I have made a lot of mistakes in my younger years, some critical ones, and have gradually learned to become more careful in what I get into, such as taking any part in the investment proposed in the other anonymous blog comment...

yuzu said...

I have not understood philosophy yet.