A thought-provoking passage from a story Yam Gruel by the early 20th century Japanese writer Akutagawa:

“Yam gruel is a gruel made by boiling slices of yam in a soup of sweet arrow-root.  […]  It was regarded as the supreme delicacy. […]  Accordingly, such lower officials as Goi could taste it only once a year when they were invited as […] guests to the Regent’s Palace. […] On such occasion they could eat no more of it than barely enough to moisten their lips.  So it had been [Goi’s] long-cherished desire to satiate himself with yam gruel.  Of course, he himself did not confide his desire to anyone.  He himself might not have been clearly aware that it had been his life-long wish.  But as a matter of fact, it would hardly be too much to say that he lived for this purpose.  A man sometimes devotes his life to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled.  Those who laugh at this folly are, after all, no more than mere spectators of life.”

I have but one question for you today, but I’ll state it thrice:

Are you aware of what drives you and why?

What yam gruel are you still chasing?

Have you had a taste of life yet?

++++++++

Note to Mere Spectators of Life: if you happen to have the wisdom of merely noticing “what is,” without chasing it, I salute your equanimity!

Reference:  Rashomon & Other Stories, by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

 


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    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2011). Had a Taste Yet?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2011/05/had-a-taste-yet/

 

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Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. is the author of The Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, The Smoke-Free Smoke Break, and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.


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