"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
- John Donne
Being that you are human, the temple bells in Japan toll or ring for you 108 times at midnight on New Year's Eve (除夜の鐘). That is because in Buddhism, everyone has 108 worldly desires (煩悩). When the bells ring, they symbolically cleanse or purify you so you start the year off fresh.
But maybe you want to ask what exactly are these 108 worldly desires. That's a fair question; I don't think most Japanese people have stopped to figure out all of them. Fortunately, that's where a quick Google search can come in handy (便利). So here they are in no particular order (Because, really, how can you rank worldly desires?):
|eagerness for power||lying||insidiousness||self-denial|
|greed for money||seducement||vindictiveness||insatiability|
|oppression||prodigality||lack of comprehension||obstinacy|
|calculation||unyielding||desire for fame||deception|
In the time it has taken you to read this far, the odds are one or more of these desires has crossed your mind. I'm guilty of "sarcasm (皮肉)" even now as I put the finishing touches on my first blog of the year.
But the point of this blog - and I'm sure there is a point here or else I'm guilty of "know-it-all (知的な横柄)" - is that New Year's is a chance to look ahead without regret; a chance to improve your personality and the way you act towards other people; and a chance to hear a lot of bells.
There's that "sarcasm again." Well, I have a whole year to work on improving myself.
Like me いいね on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter