My Individualism

In short, I ended up pondering on the expression “self-centered” and, to test this concentration on myself, I plunged into the reading of scientific and philosophical works. Now times have changed, and people who have any sense at all must understand the problem I have been talking about. But at that time, I had the intellectual level of a child and the world around me was hardly more advanced. In fact, I had no other way out.

from Soseki Natsume “My Individualism & The Philosophical Foundations of Literature” (Translated by Sammy I. Tsunematsu)

Kokoro

“You were mocking that couple just now. I think that mockery contained unhappiness at wanting love but not finding it.”
“Is that how it sounded to you?”
“It is. A man who knows the satisfactions of love would speak of them more warmly. But, you know…love is also a sin. Do you understand?”
Astonished, I made no reply

from Soseki Natsume “Kokoro (Translated by Meredith McKinney)”

Kokoro

It all struck me as very odd. But my intention in visiting him was not to study or analyze Sensei, so I let it pass. In retrospect, I particularly treasure my memory of that response to Sensei. Because of it, I think, I was able to achieve the real human intimacy with him that I later did. If I had chosen to turn the cool and analytical eye of curiosity on Sensei’s heart, it would inexorably have snapped the bond of sympathy between us. At the time, of course, I was too young to be aware of any of this. Perhaps that is precisely where its true value lies. If I had made the mistake of responding less than guilelessly, who knows what might have befallen our friendship? I shudder to think of it. The scrutiny of an analytical eye was something Sensei always particularly dreaded.

from Soseki Natsume “Kokoro (Translated by Meredith McKinney)”

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Uji, Kyoto, Japan in May 2015.