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Volume 33.2
Summer 2002

editor's speculations


Bob Spiess

Perhaps it may be said that a relation or analogy exists between intuition in haiku and light, in that both illuminate.

Haiku should not be cryptic or esoteric, for in the words of the T'ang hermit poet Ssu K'ung-T'u: "When words include no hidden plans, buddhahood is near."

Authentic haiku poets intuitively feel that in nature there is no alienation, that everything belongs.

An important aspect of haiku is its recognition of the togetherness of things in a moment of time (i. e. haiku's use of juxtaposition of entities), not their apparent unrelatedness when superficially perceived.

With haiku we are obliged simultaneously both to perceive outside ourselves and to none-egolessly journey within.

For haiku poets, Blake's: "If the doors of perception were cleaned, we would see everything as it is : infinite." And somewhat in the same vein, over two thousand years before Blake, Gautama said when he achieved enlightenment under the bo tree (pipal-Ficus religiosa) and thereupon became Buddha: "Wonder of wonders, all things intrinsically are the Buddha nature."

In speaking of haiku R. H. Blyth says: no rational elements, no logical thinking as such, is to interfere or come between us and the thing that is at one and the same time itself alone, and yet includes all other things." Haiku, Vol. I, p. 322, original edition.)

All entities, all phenomena, are dependent upon each other, are related to each other, and so interwoven that each entity is the point of intersection of all the universe's lines of force. And the haiku poet who is sensefully aware of this is more readily able to create the better haiku. (Prompted in part by a passage of Lama Anagarika Govinda's.)

Haiku is finding, bringing to light, and distributing the treasure that is within every entity.

Although science, by its myriad manifestations, is the ongoing exploration of reality, haiku does this better through Its intuitional poetry.

Gratitude and a smile belong to haiku poets, too,

The riddle that confounds the intellect: that the haiku as opener and that which it opens to are the same.

Most haiku poets appreciate animals and celebrate them: their aliveness, grace, their perceiving of and egolessly living in the present. And well it may be that haiku poets are in touch with certain depths of themselves that reach far back in time, as evidenced by cave paintings, where we feel that those who depicted the animals felt kinship with them as shown by the skill with which they rendered the animals in their various motions and activities.




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