2

Perceptions

2 of 4
kanji

Everything exists according to its own nature. Our individual perceptions of worth, correctness, beauty, size, and value exist inside our heads, not outside them.

    Watermelons:
    Even they
    Can manage themselves.
                                                — Ransetsu

Consider the melons of the field. They toil not; they simply sit there enjoying their melonhood.

When Issa returned to his native village for a visit, he found that the flies did not share his perceptions:

    My native place!
    Even flies bite me.

Shiki gives us a glimpse of a vast field at the foot of a range of mountains, with clouds clouding overhead and the tiny figure of a farmer farming:

    As innocently as the clouds
    He tills the field:
    Under the Southern Mountains.

Clouds, mountains, man, fields—fulfilling their own natures, neither dominating nor being dominated. Not apart, yet not together.

To learn the nature of each field we till and then to till it in accordance with its nature—there harmony exists, and creativity.