Fall, Emptiness, and Reflexivity
Fall, Emptiness, and Reflexivity
  • Jo, Samsup
  • 승인 2007.11.03 17:53
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Now it’s fall. Though the global warming is not exception in Korea, fall is now surely here. Ginkgo trees on the way to Sookmyung are turning to yellow and will shed all their leaves in a few weeks. Fall is a harvesting season as well as emptying season. Yesterday I and the students of mentor walked together in stone wall street of Duk-su Palace, sitting in the Seoul art museum to relish fall.

One of the most memorable books that I’ve read is “non possession” written by Bub-Jeong, a Buddhist priest. His essay has a power to humble and purify the contaminated hearts toward worldly possession. Bub-Jeong wrote “I am shamed and feel shabby. I don’t feel shabby when standing in front of someone who possesses more than I. I feel shabby when standing someone who owns purity and simplicity. ”

I cannot hold everything with my two hands. God only allows the appropriate amount of possession that I can hold, carry and eat. The paradox is that the poet can not write the poem with his or her feeling of satiety.

Honestly I am struggling with two different values on the opposite continuum – possession and emptiness in my everyday life. One real desire is called with different labels such as self actualization, performance, and goal achievement. In contrast, the other desire called simple life or plain, is getting weak in voicing its truth in these days. I am not saying that the life with less wealth deserves to pursue. I am saying the living should be balanced with possession and sharing, meaning count. See the trees shedding their leaves.

Fall reminds us the life cycle– birth, growth, withering and death. The good news is that the death is not permanent death. The death is temporary recess, waiting for splendid revival in spring. There are three most common regrets that the people say in their last moments of lives; Why I did not endure at that time? Why I did not give away more to people? Why I did not enjoy the life? What’s the implications of these three regrets?

The foliage and shedding leaves are beautiful scene as well as lesson of nature. I recommend you to read “non-possession” in the foliage season.

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