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Eastern and Western Views of The End

Today, a short look at differences between the Eastern and Western viewpoints in viewing time, endings, and death. Also, peach blossoms!

The End is Beautiful

Generally ends are not celebrated much in the West, expecially not ends of lives, which are usually considered sad and somber affairs.

In the East it is not so, at least it wasn’t traditionally1. The End is sad, yes, but it is also necessary and beautiful. You see, while in the West we tend to see time as a straight line from the Beginning to the End, the Eastern belief is that time is a circle that goes and goes forever, ever repeating, like the seasons. What was will be. So you see, death is not the end, just an end, but also a new beginning.

It is in part this belief in a cyclic time that allows for appreciating and even looking forward to endings. The cherry blossoms are so beautiful because they are only alive a few weeks (but don’t worry, they will be back next year); our lives are so beautiful because they are only for 90 or so years (but don’t worry, we will be reborn somewhere and will be back).

Loath to let spring go, Birds cry, and even fishes’ Eyes are wet with tears. ~Bashō

Daily Photo: Floating Away

Near the end of Spring all the beautiful blossoms fall and it is beautiful; for a few brief days the streets and gutters turn pink and white.

Pictured in today’s photo are fallen peach blossoms. Even in their death is beauty.

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  1. These days young people in the East are throwing away their traditional beliefs and adopting Western ones. 

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