Wednesday, May 27, 2015

History lives and breathes

It seems to me that one of the most unfortunate things about human beings is their inability to feel the living breath lying behind and supporting them in their everyday lives. History is by no means a mere succession of long-past events to be arbitrarily explained and interpreted by modern man. Like the gradually accumulating rings of a tree, history lives and breathes in our everyday lives. Only those who can feel this life in the midst of the present moment are truly fulfilled. I think that much of the alienation and emptiness of modern life is caused by an outlook completely oriented toward the present, a present which has been cut off from its roots in history. Such an outlook is out of touch with its own foundations—it has, in a way, abandoned the source of its own life. 
Takashi Hirose, Lectures on Shin Buddhism (1980), posted on Tricycleblog, A Blog of All Things Buddhist, Brought to You by Tricycle: The Buddhist Review,, 3/10/06. (The site is no longer up, but you can read it on the Internet Archive.)

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