top of page

Folklore Of A Selfish Scholar

Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge...

Good morning people. So, in case you guys haven't noticed, I have changed my website name and address. I know it can cause a lot of inconvenience for you guys but, in my defence, I was just trying to do something different, which didn't include changing everything but, then somehow this happened and now I don't know how to change it back. Please bear with me.

So, today I decided to write about Japanese folktale because I love stories. This one originates from Kyoto, the Shrine centre of Japan. There lived a Shinto scholar (Shinto is a religion), whose name I don't know. This dude was very religious though. He lived a very simple life but he was often distracted from his prayers by the bustling city. He felt that his neighbours were polluting him. Not throwing garbage in his house or acting all cuckoo in front of important people, his pollution was different. He felt that they were polluting his soul. So, this guy decided to take a journey. A cleansing journey of the body and mind known as - Harae. He decided to visit the Hie Shrine for this purpose. The journey took all day but, he decided that it was worth it. After returning, he felt such peace and contentment that he decided to do this pilgrim journey another 99 times. Now, this is what I like to call commitment. Or as some scholars might suggest, a waste of time. But, before jumping to conclusions, how about we complete the story. So, this guy would walk the path alone, ignoring any distractions in his quest for balance. Over time, his devotion revealed the invisible world of spirits that exists alongside our own. He began to sense Kami (Shinto holy spirits). Still, he would speak to no one. Spirits or humans. He was determined to avoid contact with those who had strayed from the path and become polluted with Kegare (defilement). After paying his respects for the 80th time, he set out for home once more. But as the night approached and he was nearing his home, he heard strained sobs in the air. He tried to ignore those moans but couldn't sway himself. He located the source of cries. It was a cramped cottage with a despondent woman outside. When the scholar asked her to share her sorrow, she explained that her mother had died recently but no one would help her with the burial. His heart sank after hearing this. Now, if he would help the woman, it would defile his spirit. But, as he listened to the woman's cries, his sympathy soared. He helped the woman at last. Even if it meant that he would not be a pure spirit.

The next day, he decided to go back to the shrine. To his surprise, the usually quiet temple was filled with people, all gathering around a medium who communicated directly with Kami. The medium, an old woman, approached the man and smiled. She took his hands in hers and whispered a blessing only he could hear. She thanked him for his kindness.

This is when the scholar discovered a great spiritual secret: Contamination and corruption are two very different things. Filled with insight, the scholar set himself back on his journey but, this time he stopped to help those he met. He began to see the beauty of kindness, compassion and humanity everywhere he went, even in the city he'd previously shunned.

I would now take leave by reminding you that we are freaks, we are fragile and life is not a problem to be solved but, a reality to be experienced.

Goodbye and see you next Sunday...

Love Scarlett😊


26 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

Lao Tzu

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page