The war of ideas

If I was born in an Atheist family, perhaps I would be one of them. However, as soon as my umbilical cord got cut off, I was Christian. I didn’t have anything else to believe in, so I followed what most members of my community followed. When I got into the elementary school, I learned that not everyone was Christian. In fact, most of my friends were adherents of Buddhism, which shocked me for awhile. It was like, we were living in a different world, but on the other hand, we had many commonalities. As we grew older together, I was able to turn my friends into christians. I might be wrong because nowadays, people go to church to make friends, and they might be what they were used to be in the past. Nonetheless, I can confidently say that at least their mindset has changed in some way.

Conflicts in our heart never gets solved. It gets more vague as we grow old. Since I was so desperate to believe in the right thing, I had to be correct. I tried to find some of the mistakes that bible had made, and actually, there was a lot. It was such an immature move to make, and I learned that real belief comes from you, not from the bible or any other documents written by humans. My friends must have struggled to find the right answer, and they came to a conclusion that led them to go to church every Sundays. We all seek to find the right answer, and the right answer technically does not exist. It was us that formulated the right answer. I believe that even the extremists must have struggled to find the truth, and their own personal truth was to become the person they are right now, or they might still be working to find the ideal truth.

The Collision of Culture, Morality and Human Rights. (Extra Credit)

Culture is set from the belief by the certain group of people, but morality is set by your own point of view. The world has always been unjust, and there were only few who valued morality truly in their heart. Culture has shaped us in a way, so that we can’t get out of the cube that they created. Firm beliefs are often turning into stereotypes, and that’s what causes people to violate human rights. We can see some examples in The Good Earth, when Wang Lung treats women like a slave. Wang Lung was definitely a kind and moral person, but the culture has shaped him to feel nothing when it came to treating women harshly.

I don’t believe that I lived a moral life, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t give a thought about morals. Every time I add up the garbage onto my set of morality, the stinky smell of it creates confusion on which is garbage and which is not. I used to be very conscious on such things, but I don’t think I feel as much guilt nowadays. My consciousness of guilt just got numb very quickly without my own self noticing it, but I couldn’t bring my innocence back because the stinky smell is already too overwhelming. Maybe I would be able to cleanse myself if I just throw away everything I obtained throughout my life. I mean, erasing all of my memory to begin again.

Childhood Rebellion

In my case, teenage rebellion was unavoidable. I changed quite significantly in just a month, and I didn’t notice it by myself. Of course, my parents were surprised by how I acted so differently. At that time, I just thought that I was smarter than them, and I acted according to my willingness without following any orders that my parents gave. From then, I have been growing up slowly by finding more reasons to obey my parents.

At this moment in time, I cannot surely say that I have come of age because I still think that I have some rebellious thoughts hiding inside of my head. The major change since the day I turned rebellious is that I feel regretful for doing such things. That could be the sign of being mature.

When kids rebel, they don’t do it on purpose. They do it because they have knowledge. These knowledge is obviously hurting their relationship with their parents. In fact, these kids are just deeply wanting their parents to realize that they are right. Even though they are wrong, their immature brains can never understand the wisdom their parents are talking about. Parent are also too young to respond to this situation, and they get surprised by how they acted, so they respond to their kids in a wrong way. For example, fighting with them verbally. Kids will think that they won the fight, and they will keep being rebellious thinking that adults are so stereotyped and they had to be rebellious in order for their parents to realize how correct they were. They are caught in a vicious circle blaming each other on and on until the kid comes of age mentally.

Rumi

Part 1

Love has nothing to do with

the five senses and the six directions:

its goal is only to experience

the attraction exerted by the Beloved.

Afterwards, perhaps, permission

will come from God:

the secrets that ought to be told with be told

with an eloquence nearer to the understanding

that these subtle confusing allusions.

The secret is partner with none

but the knower of the secret:

in the skeptic’s ear

the secret is no secret at all.

With my mere understanding, this love poem from Rumi is revealing the “secret” of real love. Love was just a desperate need of receiving attention from one another after all. Love has no distinctive shape, so we can never fully understand its own purpose of its existence. We mostly rely on the luck when we love someone, so God decides who to love, and who to marry.

Secrets that should be known will eventually be told in a way that is easier to understand than how people hint at knowing secrets they shouldn’t say. It is also a God’s will that the secrets will be unraveled or will be kept. Even though the secrets will be spread, no one knows the secret except for the person who does. To the people who don’t believe in the secret, the secret is simply an insignificant statement.

Part 2

Title: Love

Love turns depression into delight

it beats the death and brings meanings to life.

Love brings the burning and newfound desire

to learn everything about the beautiful stranger.

But the love you accept shouldn’t hurt you

The relationship you entertain shouldn’t cause confusion.

Like Rumi gave some idea of personal understandings of how he understood the concept of love, I gave my own realization of love through my experiences. Since Rumi talked about the purpose of the love, I talked about how love affects on you.

Culture and Morality

I believe that there is no such thing as universal when it comes to an idea of morality.  We all value or weigh one morality from one another, and it is fairly dependent on our state of mind. One’s personal belief in morality should be respected and preserved. I watched a movie called Taegukgi: Brotherhood of War, and it dealt with the killing in war and human trafficking. Young adults were forced to go out into war like slaves, and they killed the enemies in order to survive. It brutally played with our emotion by how these young adults had conflicts in their mind whether to kill the enemies or die. They had to think about winning this war and going back to their family, so they could kill these enemies. Some people with low morale took their own lives. It was an absolute turmoil happening in Korea back then. All these happenings were heavily dealt by their own set of morality. In this case, everyone had right to choose their own set of morality.

I strongly believe that one’s set of morality is neither right nor wrong in this world. Since this world cannot have universal morality, we need to adjust ourselves by having our own set of morality. Like it happened during Korean war, my set of morality is different with your set of morality. Some things are definitely wrong, but beside these odd cases, nothing should be judged, but be respected by others. Muslims cannot judge others for eating beef, Christians cannot judge others for denying slavery, and Buddhists cannot judge others for shouting gender equality. It depends solely on our own opinions, and we can never judge others for having different set of morality.

 

 

Human Rights

While most consider Gender Equality, Human trafficking, and Race and ethnic Discrimination to be the universal problems all across the world, some basic human rights are not even on the list to discuss. The presumption of innocence has been ignored by most of people, and it has only been considered by few people that are under the judicial branch. People tend to be very strict on the issues of human rights which are obvious on their sights. Even though the presumption of innocence is so frequently violated in many countries, people are surprisingly magnanimous on this issue of human rights. This human right is unlikely to be solved for we don’t give a thought about this issue. Maybe it might be because people have the range of whether to deliberate certain kinds of human rights, and it might be because the presumption of innocence is beyond that Maginot Line. When people talk about the person on a trial, they strongly believe in their intuition even though it is not a fact at all. Only from their looks, they determine whether he would be guilty or not. On the other hand, he, who is on a trial, is walking into court for his life. If no evidences are existing to support whether this person is guilty or not, the jury vote is initiated. His life is on citizens’ hands.

A Korean TV show, “The Signal,” deals with the idea of this human right. The detective from the past can have a communication with the detective living right now. The detective from the past asked “Something must have changed right? Is it still the same? If they have money and connections, can they eat and live well even though they act like an animal?” The detective living on the present day was jolted from the fact that nothing has changed. Innocent ones are locked up in the prison, and the corrupted ones continued their madness with the help of money and connections.

People aren’t perfect, and that is why we need our laws to be just. Without laws, we will be living in a world like hell. It wasn’t God who created these laws, so they aren’t perfect, but at least, they keep our consciousness alive. It was our free will to adjust the laws, and to live under these restrictions. Because of this, I believe that even though God has been instructing us to live in a certain way, it is our choice to live in different ways. For those reasons, I firmly believe that laws should change as time goes on to improve equality like it has been since the beginning of the world.

SIJO and JUEJU

SIJO

Filth

똥뚜간 지붕에서 모여앉은 물방울이

냄새가 지독해서 하늘높이 날라간다

똥이 더러워서 피하지 무서워서 피하나

Water droplets huddled together on the rooftop of an old toilet

Fly high to the sky because of the awful smell

They flee to avoid its filth, not because they are scared

In One’s Heart of Hearts

구름들이 머물던 산들의 봉우리들은

그 웅장함이 우리의 꿈이 되었다

안에 있는 추운 공기는 알지도 모른체

The mountaintops where clouds gather

Their grandiosity became our hopes and dreams

But we couldn’t know the cold air locked inside.

 

The Wind and the Sun

완두콩을 감싸고 있는 껍질은

완두콩이 부드러움을 가질때

마음을 놓고 그들을 놓아준다

Shells that encase peas

Once the peas obtain their softness,

They release their hearts and peas

Blind

황야의 무분별함이 낳은 눈먼자들아

군맹무상하듯이 식견이 좁은 자들아

멀리 보면 개과천선할지니 눈을 떠라

Those who are blinded by the wilderness’ indiscretion,

Those who have a narrow outlook like a blind man touching an elephant,

Open your eyes, for once you look further, you will be reformed.

JUEJU

Dream

Like stars on the night sky,

Bright, splendid, and gorgeous

Even though you can’t reach them

Their vagueness is their beauty

Synesthesia

Repeated imaginations are a result of deficiency

Of something that sank deep into one’s heart

Like the common aspect of every art is incompletion

People tend to dash into the direction of pleasure

Hyangga and Sijo

Hyangga was first appeared during the reign of Silla. This is the first poetry that had an idea of standardization. Most of Hyangga had a feeling of Buddhist, and it told the life of Hwarang. This became the base of most Silla citizens’ thoughts and ideas. It prayed for nature, life, and ideal world. It showed concerns toward realities.

咽嗚爾處米

露曉邪隱月羅理

白雲音逐干浮去隱安支下

沙是八陵隱汀理也中

耆郞矣皃史是史藪邪

逸烏川理叱磧惡希

郞也持以支如賜烏隱

心未際叱肹逐內良齊

阿耶栢史叱枝次高支好

雪是毛冬乃乎尸花判也

흐느끼며 바라보매

이슬 밝힌 달이

흰 구름 따라 떠간 언저리에

모래 가른 물가에

기랑의 모습과도 같은 수풀이여.

 

일오내 자갈 벌에서

랑이 지니시던

마음의 끝을 따르고 있노라.

 

아아, 잣나무 가지가 높아

눈이라도 덮지 못할 고깔이여.

 

As soon as it breaks through

Does not the moon again

Chase the clouds across the sky?

In the azure depths of the stream

Shines the image of Kiparang

And so I seek the mirror of his soul

Beneath the waters on the river’s pebbled bed.

Just like the high pine branches

The hwarang shrugs off the winter snow.

Above is the Hyangga of In Praise of Kiparang. This Hyangga is the unique and symbolic hyangga among all others. Even though most of other Hyangga are written in 4-4-2 rhythm, this one is written in 5-3-2. It explains how Kiparang, one of the leader of Hwarang, is noble-minded and dauntless. Moon describes Kiparang’s noble character. High pine branches to describe his lofty spirit who never get flinched by hardship. Winter snow is the trials and hardships Kiparang has been through.

 

Sijo is one of the korean literary genre that has the longest history. It amplified the feeling of traditional poetic form of korean people. It was written in between some huge range of time period.

 

이몸이 죽고 죽어

일백번 고쳐 죽어

백골이 진토가 되어

넋이라도 있고 없고

님 향한 일편단심이야

가실줄이 있으랴

 

Should I die and die again,

Should I die a hundred deaths,

My skeleton turn to dust,

My soul exist or not.

What could change the unswerving loyalty

Of this heart toward my lord?

 

This sijo, Single-Minded by Jeong Mong-Ju is revealing the loyalty toward the King, Yi Bang Won. There is some kind of conspiracy behind this Sijo. The observation of Jeong Mong-Ju’s life concludes that even though this Sijo shows the loyalty toward the King, his actions did not. Jeong Mong-Ju is the man who denied the position of the King, Yi Bang Won. Also, Yi Bang Won murdered Jeong Mong-Ju brutally on the bridge of Seonjuk. After his death, Yi Bang Won showed appreciation on his poetry which does not compliment to his actions. We can understand the reason hiding behind this when we learn about a man Jeong Do-Jeon. He was a threat to Yi Bang-Won’s position because the citizens supported him instead of Yi Bang-Won. On the other hand, Jeong Mong-Ju was nothing, so Yi Bang-Won appreciated Jeong Mong-Ju’s  works instead of Jeong Do-Jeon’s to hide his excellence. Appreciating Jeong Mong-Ju’s loyalty shows dislike towards Jeong Do-Jeon. That is why Yi Bang-Won revealed this poem saying that this poem is about loyalty toward himself even though it was about the kingdom before his reign.

Senior Year

Looking to the future is complex. It requires vastly different kinds of sources to at least guess what would come next. These guesses can be right or wrong, but they always create some sort of Fears because our guesses mostly fail to correctly recognize the real future that is waiting for us. Nowadays, many people put their hands on my shoulder, but I have no idea what they are here for. That is what I’m afraid of. The fear that rushes into me is not just an ordinary fear, but it is my instinct that detects these kind of people before I even realized they were here.

These kind of people can be beneficial, but scary in some way. They are selfish, and they can do anything to benefit themselves. For my senior year, I hope that there are no such vile people around me, for I have experienced them in the past. They leave like they were just a mirage, and it hurts me every time I let go of these kind of people. I am still excited about a new year of high school that will fill me with more successes and failures.

The wise man had said, “The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” I want to be that righteous person with righteous people around me. I’m hoping not to make another mistake like I have done before. I’ll be filtering from now on. ^^