Japanese culture lesson for you today wrapped up inside a reminder to all the ladies who, like me, have a bad habit of tricking themselves into falling in love too easily.
Ok, so I was reading this manga “Kimi Wa Pet” (sidenote: Snarkysnatch, you should check this out if you have ANY interest in mangas, it’s about a successful ball-busting bussinesswoman who takes in a young homeless male ballet dancer as a pet, for some reason it made me think of you ^.^)and they mentioned something that I just can’t get out of my head. They were talking about these two kanji “IN and “EN” which, apparently, according to buddhist teachings, have a very interesting relationship to eachother.
In the story they said: “A thing can only come into being when the immediate cause (IN) and the indirect cause (EN) are associated with eachother.” The characters in the story then used this as a jumping off point for a very complex discussion about how people end up together and how to tell if it’s meant to be or not which lasted for an entire chapter. The main character thought she had it all figured out and told her friend that obviously she and her boyfriend had “EN” because they had ended up at the same school together and in the same class, where she had fallen for him, and then they later re-entered eachother’s lives at the same company and started dating. There was such a small chance that they would end up in the same place like that, so obviously they have “EN” and are meant to be together. Her friend, however, had a different view on the subject. She said that being put in the same place is an OPPORTUNITY to be together, and that falls under “IN” and you can have “IN” all day but that doesn’t neccesarily mean that “EN” is present, and therefore doesn’t mean you are meant to be together.
Now, I found this all REALLY thought-provoking, but it doesn’t do a very good job of actually explaining what “IN” and “EN” are. So after several hours of googling, I finally found a much better explanation that I would now like to share with you:
So to go back to the explanation by the best friend from the manga: IN is the window of opportunity when the universe sees fit to put you in front of another person. EN is unfathomable force that decides what is meant to be permanent and what is meant to be only temporary. You can have opportunities or “IN” but they won’t result in anything if you don’t have “EN”. In fact there’s probably people you see (thanks to “IN”) every day, but have never talked to and never remember the next day because there’s no “EN” between you too. Kind of a lonely thought…
Anyway, if you put the two symbols together they make “Fate”-A chance meeting or opportunity that presents itself by fate. Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things. Sometimes used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.
I’m thinking about getting a tattoo of it. I think it’s a really healthy thing for a lot of girls (including me) to remember. Just because a guy catches your attention and likes you back, doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together. Maybe you’re meant to be friends. Maybe you’re meant to date a little, learn from each other, and then move on. And maybe that guy who you think just keeps weirdly popping up for no reason, is actually full of “EN” and you just haven’t figured it out yet.