I used to have a very different view, for sure. Certainly, my current view would be hard to understand for those who have not had my rather extreme experiences. Also, my understanding is founded in experience and hence is not a “world view”, in a narrow, ideological sense. To make my point even clearer: I am not abrogating responsibility by allowing for the fact that three-quarters of the way I am perceived has more to do with historical forces than anything I’ve personally done. To assume so would be to fall into a binary, either-or perspective on how reality is structured.
My current understanding of the world must necessarily be an extremely accurate one, since it has freed me up to fully be myself. I can react or not react to any situation without feeling that I’m responsible for outcomes that are merely historically generated. I’m more forgiving, more humorous. I can accept my own and others’ failings much more.
I’m also more truly an individual, since I choose to do what I do without wondering about others’ judgments of me. I think, “I like martial arts. Maybe I’m not good at everything I do, but this is how I like to pass my time right now.” I think, “I have to help my father write his memoirs. He was a real ape to me in the past, but that past is gone now, and here we are with an entirely different, historically generated present.’ I think, “Contemporary Western culture is certainly screwed up in my view, because its whole ideological construction seems to rely so heavily on hatred and contempt for ‘the colonial’ — the one who is at the basis of Western civilization itself.* But, luckily, this kind of training I’ve endured makes me appreciate the Japanese, and I have formed a lifestyle that I would not have had the courage for, had I not been pushed so hard towards it.”
*–i.e. Ideologically and psychologically twisted by group self-hatred, denial about present-day colonialism and projection of these issues of identity into people like me, who happened to grow up more recently in an actual colony.