Uncontrollable Nature of Life : Reading 'The Temple of Dawn'


Today I started to read Mishima’s "The Temple of Dawn".

This is the 3rd book in "The Sea of Fertility" tetralogy.

"The Sea of Fertility" is Mishima’s last work and it consists of 4 novels.

1st novel, "Spring Snow (1966)"

2nd novel, "Runaway Horses (1968)"

3rd novel, "The Temple of Dawn (1970)"

And when Mishima finished writing the last chapter of the 4th novel, "The Decay of the Angel (1971)", he committed suicide.

It was 25 November 1970.

I already read all 4 books a few years ago. Also, sometimes I picked up some chapters and read it over and over again.

This summer, I read "Spring Snow" and "Runaway Horses" from the beginning to the end for the first time in a few years.

I noticed that I was impressed by different things from my first read.

I was more attracted to Mishima’s detailed articulation of emotion and his sensitivity.

I found again how sensitive Mishima was. And I could not stop thinking about Mishima’s life.

One unfortunate (or fortunate) to read Mishima after 1970 is that we cannot ignore his death.

We cannot stop taking his life into consideration while reading his books.

His death and his life seem far more dramatic and eloquent than his works.

It’s very obvious that he had a huge pride of his own profession and his own art works.

His serious personality is so clear that we can feel from his novels, from anecdotes about him, from sub-stories that are told by his friends.

What anyone can easily notice when starting "The Sea of Fertility" is that an amount of pages gradually decreases toward the end of the tetralogy.

The length of the first 3 books, "Spring Snow", "Runaway Horses" and "The Temple of Dawn", is more or less the same. But, the last novel, "The Decay of the Angel", is relatively short.

It clearly shows the fact that "Mishima was in a hurry for death".

Mishima died due to suicide, not an unexpected sickness or an unforeseen accident.

So, we can think that it could be possible for him to spend as much time as possible to complete the last work of his life, and then die.

But, reality is different.

This is what I feel a strong "unreasonableness" in human life and in this world.

We, especially those who live in this modern days, tend to think that we can guide our life in a rational way, we can navigate ourselves, we can plan everything......,in other words, we can "control things in a rational manner".

But, even such a rational person, Mishima, failed to control it.

It seems the truth is that we are just taught that we can control everything, although we cannot in reality.

Even suicide, which is usually considered to be chosen with free will, seems uncontrollable.

Most probably "suicide" or "death" is not something we can choose anytime, but we are chosen by something/someone at a certain moment.

How are our will and our life connected?

Is it possible that our will make an action and make a change to our life?

Perhaps our will is merely an illusional, delusional notion that does not exists at all.