The Crow's Dream

Philosophy, geekery, and the meaning if life, and what I read this week…

The Book of Tea

with 3 comments

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be alive without a supernatural entity to guide my every step. For a long time it seemed like there was no way to find meaning in life without a god or a path to perfection, but little by little, I began to realize that there was no need to heal the schism between the way I think the world is and the way I think it should be. I have talked a lot about savoring the moment and about learning to flow with the world by finding meaningful pursuits.

For the past couple of days I’ve been reading a book called simply “The Book of Tea“, by Kakuzo Okakura. In this book he talks about teasism, and what it implies. Now, I have not finished the book, so I don’t know if later on, he will delve in to the supernatural, but so far, I’m really enjoying it. Here is the gist of what I’m getting: 

Teaism is about learning to enjoy life in all of it’s ugliness. It is about the appreciation of the simplest things in life. About that moment of quiet that comes to you when you are sitting down and having a nice cup of tea, or eating a simple meal. It is the sense of removing the false and unnecessary in life. It is about living in the world. I think he explains it better. 

The Philosophy of Tea is not mere aestheticism in the ordinary acceptance of the term, for it expresses conjointly with ethics and religion our whole point of view about man and nature. It is hygiene, for it enforces cleanliness; it is economics, for it shows comfort in simplicity rather than in the complex and costly; it is moral geometry, inasmuch as it defines our sense of proportion to the universe. (From the first chapter). 

This is the sense of appreciation for life that I’ve been trying to cultivate. I’m not saying that I am going to become a Teaist, because that would be mere copying, but I do believe in the value of philosophical reflection and integration in one’s life. Some of the best periods of my life have been those of great simplicity and enjoyment of the little things in life, as well as of the growth of my skills in relationship to the world. I’ve been the happiest whenever I’ve been a part of the great conversation of life, be it though my senses or with my mind. this little book has reminded me what that means. 

Note: the book is available online for free if you want to check it out. It is a short read. Let me know what you think. 


Written by Hector

October 17, 2008 at 12:02 am

3 Responses

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  1. There truly is a sort of magic to behold in the simplicity of things…I can thank Thoreau for that. :3


    October 17, 2008 at 2:29 am

  2. Thank you. Teaism sounds exactly like my sort of thing. When I find a moment, I’ll give it a read.


    October 17, 2008 at 9:34 am

  3. @wisdomjunkie, I’m glad you found something for you in my blog. I’ll try to link to more free books I like from time to time. 🙂
    @Flayrah, what about Whitman?


    October 18, 2008 at 5:07 am

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