Ever had a lazy moment and not felt like doing anything? Everyone has a hermit day or two once in a while, but we usually bounce right back into the whirlpool of life. Especially for the youth, who are full of life, vivacity, hope, and potential to change the world. They are the ones who will drive and lead in the coming decades. But in recent times this has been observed to not be so for an emerging age of Japanese youths. A satori 悟り generation or “enlightened” school of thought has emerged in Japan.

The Scripture Definition of Satori

Satori stems from Zen Buddhism and embodies the attainment of a state of consciousness and enlightenment. This also encompasses the realization of materialism, self-awareness and fundamental truths.

The Satori Profile

Satori youths are drifters who just want to go through the cycle of life, content with just barely getting by without achieving anything. They may be said to be jaded, and have no desire to truly live life. This has some similarities with the Hellenistic thought of stoicism, which preaches an abstinence from emoting and detachment of mind from the heart.

Being devout of wants and desires is characteristic of the satori generation in Japan. They do not want to travel or explore, they do not hanker after luxury products, they do not grovel for elite jobs, and they do not crave romance. They are risk-averse, minimalist consumerists who prefer things to be status quo. Are they enlightened, or resigned to fate? It is easy to hide behind a façade of resignation to take the easy way out of life. Without hope, ambition and most importantly a purpose, is life lived in vain? Some live a prudent sustainable life, while others use it as an excuse to be lazy and unmotivated. There are also similar situations such as in Korea, where the sampo generation has given up on the stereotypical Korean life story: a stable career and marriage, and then offspring to carrying on the family name.

The Derivations of Satori

These youths were born in the 80s, when the Japanese economy was booming. But when their time to enter society came in the 21st century, Japan had fallen from its prime and was struggling in the global economy. Unemployment, a lack of direction, financial woes and a murky future loomed over them. The satori youth took it all in their stride and developed a stoic attitude. They did not care about having a family, a career, a future; nothing was on their minds except an acceptable, satisfactory path to the end. “Why would I bring someone into this cold hard world?” is a typical pessimistic rhetoric from a satori youth.

A Deeper Understand of the Meaning of Satori

Satori is originally a state of enlightenment and realization. As important as this is, it is crucial to define the path of action after reaching this stage, which is when the epiphany happens. Carpe diem is an example. Thought and action incrementally working together make a purposeful ever-improving life.

In the “Lottery of Life” according to Warren Buffett, we may not choose the conditions of being born into this world, and many parameters may render some privileged or disadvantaged from the start. Nevertheless, being acceptably uninhibited, driven, and adept to change may very well be the path of satori enlightenment toward creating one’s fate.