Tapestry of endings and new Beginnings, inching forever closer to Nirvana

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Research committee, Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts, Assumption University
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4 pages
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1st CA Creative Work Faculty Showcase 2015, 46-49
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“Asymptote as Nirvana (Continue on getting better even while knowing that it will never be enough)” Detail about the concept: In Buddhism, the ultimate goal is, or at least should be, to be released from this cycle of birth death and reincarnation and achieve nirvana. However, those of us who are not monks are all content with simply continue on with our lives within this cycle. So why are we not doing what Buddha wants us to do? Are we resigned to being doomed to meet with the same people who we wronged or who we righted over and over again? Thai version of Buddhism played down the aspect of achieving nirvana, so much so that some people forgot about it completely. Surprisingly, I found a resemblance of answer in Japanese culture. Japanese’s Buddhism fused with Zen beliefs and has less inten- sity than Thailand’s common versions, but there is one behavior that I feel is very telling and that is the idea of doing the same thing over and over again. Japanese people are very rou- tine. In the 2011 documentary movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the Japanese master chef Jiro Ono enter the train from the same spot every day for several years. But his life is not always the same. His works changed, but only a little bit. It’s a slowly evolving routine. This can be found in Japan’s other forms of media as well. Godzilla, Rockman (Megaman), the Sen- tai series. Western audience would often complain of the same formulaic stories being retold over and over again. But they are not the same, each time different, and each time, at least to the creator, bet- ter. So by living life, die, and then reborn again, are we actually moving closer to something? If we learn from our mistakes, then we are improving, but what exactly are we improving towards? Is it Nirvana?
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