I’m Willing to Embark upon the Journey of Self-Realization

He called a waitress to order another beer and lit another cigarette again.

I was a little nervous since he asked about my book. However, I thought that I do not need to conceal anything from him, since he just confessed his true feelings to me. Therefore, I decided to tell him about my past aborted efforts candidly.

“Hiro, it’s good for you that you’ve started something you like for yourself, and I am glad to hear that. About my writing business, I’ve struggled in vain to write for over eight years and haven’t produced any tangible things yet. The worst thing is that I haven’t been able to write any single line with my past efforts. But it doesn’t discourage me, for I know from the bottom of my heart that I want to be a writer and express myself. I don’t make myself hurry up right now; I am trying to be patient to wait to know about myself better. Without knowing about myself thoroughly, I can’t get started. Frankly, I don’t know how long it’ll take me to understand my heart, but I’m willing to embark upon the journey of self-realization. When I become forty-years old, perhaps? Ha-ha-ha…. It doesn’t matter to me anymore, but the important thing is that I’ll never give up. Maybe, I can get started writing my book in Mexico, who knows? Let’s see what’ll happen. By the way, you said before that you are very sad and regret your past life, but I see sadness and regret haven’t entered your heart.”

“Yes, Shogo, I’m not completely regretting my past life because of my family,” he replied with a bright smile, “you know, it’s sometimes good for me to go home and be surrounded by my wife and children. I don’t like going to an empty home. As you know, I tend to feel lonely easily and can’t stand loneliness. Whenever I go home after my work with an exhausted soul and see my children’s bright faces, I feel very happy as though my wearily toil were rewarded. I’ve had only one good thing in my life, having my own family. It’s so hard to feed one’s own family though. I shouldn’t let myself think all the time that I want to live your life and want to be like you. I should start thinking my life is as good as yours. But, Shogo, only you, among our mutual friends, still look so young. I really think you are the living proof that if one lives freely and does what his heart’s desire in all his life, he can stay young. Also, I think you’ll achieve your goal someday, because remember, Shogo, you’ve always accomplished everything that you’ve decided to do. This time, too, you’ll be a writer, but not an ordinary one, a great one. Don’t you think so, Shogo?”

“Yes, you are right about me, Hiro,” I replied gratefully, “I guess I will be a writer. To be frank with you, maybe, I’ve accomplished many difficult tasks in my life, but this is the most difficult one and will take time. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me for becoming a writer, but I’m pretty sure that someday I’ll become one. Thanks, Hiro, for giving me encouragement. I need it.”

Here he interrupted me with an anxious face and said, “Sorry, Shogo, I have to go. I didn’t know that it has been past 11:30 p.m. I’ve been enjoying talking with you so much, so I must’ve forgotten the time. My wife will be angry with me, but don’t worry; she knows you, and I told her that you are going to be away from Japan again. I’ll pay it, no problem, Shogo. Please wait for me outside. Don’t vanish yet, please.”

He marched out on the street and said, “I had a really good time, and I’ll miss you, Shogo. When are you coming back to Japan? I assume you have no intention to come back here, which I can see from your face. You don’t belong here, Shogo, you belong to the wide world. You’ll never learn how to adjust to Japanese society, ha-ha-ha. But it’s good for you to find out the places where make you happy. I’m not exactly happy to stay in Japan, but I have no choice, you have a choice. Enjoy Mexico, Shogo. If you ever come back to Japan, call me. I’ll call our mutual friends next time. So long!”

“I hope to see you again. Enjoy your life, too. So long, Hiro!”

To Find the Way to Oneself

I have always believed that finding the way to himself is each man’s only true vocation. I always think why it is so difficult for one to be true himself all the time? It is very simple – if he decides to be true himself and follows his own destiny, he will be different from others; he has to stand alone. However, I really think that even if one becomes alone and even if one feels unbearable loneliness, he must pay attention to his call from the innermost and must follow his own destiny relentlessly. I truly believe that every single individual has his unique vocation, so we should not feel embarrassed our own uniqueness and inner desire. We should cherish our own uniqueness so that we can become who we truly are. One must find his true vocation and inner call in order to be happy – that is the path he should follow. Hermann Hesse perfectly depicted the importance of seeking one’s own fate:

I did not exist to write poems, to preach or paint, neither I nor anyone else. All of that was incidental. Each man had only one genuine vocation – to find the way to himself. He might end up as poet or madman, as prophet or criminal – that was not his affair, ultimately it was of no concern. His task was to discover his own destiny – not an arbitrary one – and live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would -be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one`s own inwardness. The new vision rose up before me, glimpsed a hundred times, possibly even expressed before but now experienced for the first time by me. I was an experiment on the part of Nature, a gamble within the unknown, perhaps for a new purpose, perhaps for nothing, and my only task was to allow this game on the part of primeval depths to take its course, to feel its will within me and make it wholly mine. That or nothing!

I had already felt much loneliness, now there was a deeper loneliness still which was inescapable.

I made no attempt at reconciliation with Pistorius. We remained friends but the relationship changed. Yet this was something we touched on only once; actually it was Pistorius alone who did. He said:

“You know that I have the desire to become a priest. Most of all I wanted to become the priest of the new religion of which you and I have had so many intimations. That role will never be mine – I realize that and even without wholly admitting it to myself  have known it for some time. So I will perform other priestly duties instead, perhaps at the organ, perhaps some other way. But I must always have things about around me that I feel are beautiful and sacred, organ music and mysteries, symbols and myths. I need and cannot forgo them. That is my weakness. Sometimes, Sinclair, I know that I should not have such wishes, that they are a weakness and luxury. It would be more magnanimous and just if I put myself unreservedly at the disposal of fate. But I can`t do that, I am incapable of it. Perhaps you will be able to do it one day. It is difficult, it is the only truly difficult thing there is. I have often dreamed of doing so, but I cant; the idea fills me with dread: I am not capable of standing so naked and alone. I, too, am a poor weak creature who needs warmth and food and occasionally the comfort of human companionship. Someone who seeks nothing but his own fate no longer has any companions, he stands quite alone and has only cold universal space around him. That is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, you know. There have been martyrs who gladly let themselves be nailed to the cross, but even these were no heroes, were not liberated, for even they wanted something that they had become fond of and accustomed to – they had models, they had ideals. But the man who only seeks his destiny has neither models nor ideals, has nothing clear and consoling! And actually this is the path one should follow. People like you and me are quite lonely really but we still have each other, we have the secret satisfaction of being different, of rebelling, of desiring the unusual. But you must shed that, too, if you want to go all the way to the end. You cannot allow yourself to become a revolutionary, an example, a martyr. It is beyond imagining -“

Yes, it was beyond imagining. But it could be dreamed, anticipated, sensed. A few times I had a foretaste of it – in an hour of absolute stillness. Then I would gaze into myself and confront the image of my fate. Its eyes would be full of wisdom, full of madness, they would radiate love or deep malice, it was all the same. You were not allowed to choose or desire any one of them. You were only allowed to desire yourself, only your fate.