Sense of Emptiness: An Interdisciplinary Approach

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It is fluid and changeable, and thus in essence it is empty because it can adopt any form as needed. As Xunzi states: Beauty and ugliness, music and weeping, joy and sorrow are opposites, and yet rites make use of them all, bringing forth and employing each in its turn. A myriad of opposites exists within the vacant identity in equilibrium, rising to attain the needed harmony for each occasion.

This enables individuals to adapt to different social roles, and formulates a theory of personal identity that is based on the idea of the existence of basic similarities of all people. Another extension of this idea is the theory of reverence without selfdenial.

Sense of emptiness

As with meditation, Confucians aim to cultivate the self without detachment from society. The seeming asceticism in classic documents can be explained by practical reasons Ching , and in the Confucian view spiritual practices can be performed without deprivation. Reverence should include self-awareness so that ones morals can be cultivated along with ones mind. As Zhu Xi states: Reverence does not mean one has to sit stiffly in solitude, the ears hearing nothing, the eyes seeing nothing, and the mind thinking of nothing It means rather keeping a sense of caution and vigilance, and not daring to become permissive.

Seeing the literal and metaphorical concepts in Confucian thought, we will now examine how the manner in which the texts were written also reveals a specific idea of emptiness. Methodological Emptiness In a general characterization of Chinese philosophy, the theorist and historian Feng Yulan states that: Chinese philosophers have preferred to apply knowledge to actual conduct rather than to hold what they considered to be empty discussions about it.

Fung , 2. If we consider that the ostensibly incompatible views of Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism functioned within the same society, it seems clear that the philosophies encompassed more than what was directly stated in their respective canonical texts. For Confucianism, the following is apparent when reading its basic documents: not much is stated clearly, and there are few ideas that can be indisputably interpreted.

The intentional vagueness of Confucian texts can be seen as their attempt to ensure the widest possible applicability. They seem to have attained the perfect balance between a general approach, which can be applied to a vast array of situations, and a focused approach, which is useful when applied. This characteristic has been recognized as an element of Confucian discourse Mllgaard , which was especially developed in Neo-Confucianism with the introduction of spirituality Ching Neo-Confucisans do not seek an objective point of view Tu , but rather try to encompass every instance of subjectivity: When the Neo-Confucian master suggests to his students that the only way to take hold of a certain dimension of his teaching is to embody it ti-chih , he is absolutely serious.

The absence of a clearly articulated position on such matters is not a result of the teachers deliberate attempt to remain silent as a pedagogical device, but of his sincere determination to be truthful to the very nature of such a teaching. Even in some of the highly sophisticated essays emphasis is still on experiential understanding rather than the art of argumentation. The current structure of canons shows that the text was a base for consequent interpretations. Numerous comments from different periods of Chinese history have become a part of the original text, serving as guidelines but not limiting ones own interpretations.

If experiments were performed. Avoiding the pitfalls might be possible by predicting such challenges and designing ones research while keeping them in mind. Research on cultural differences to date shows the main difficulties in performing studies within a globalized world, namely: the risk of overgeneralization and the inability to perform adequate sampling. In the methodologies of Geert Hofstede and Richard Nisbett for example, we see that, in order to tackle the vast amount of variables, cultures are categorized as static entities that individuals belong to.

This is one approach that might serve as a basis for a future integrated theory if more researchers tried to view the phenomena differently, and then integrated their findings. The dynamics of cultural exchange in the modern world cannot be petrified for observation, but they might be dissected into different aspects which could then be connected to form a general picture. When researching China, this is seen in the necessity to examine all three influential schools of thought Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism in order to gain insight into the workings of Chinese society and culture.

Finally, a note on the research of cultural difference in general. Although a lot can be said about the differences of Asian and Western traditions of thought, there are also many similarities if one goes beyond the concrete definitions. The question of whether the two origins of civilization and culture are more different than similar remains open.

More importantly, we must stress that even a definitive answer to such a query would not necessarily be applicable today given the mentioned globalizing trend which has been apparent since modernization in Asia began. With the influx of technology, culture, and consequently scientific and political thought, as well as the intense migrations caused both by wars and by ideas of the pursuit of happiness, we can no longer take nationality or cultural background as a given condition in any type of empirical study.

Being Asian or Western is not something that is easily defined. One may adopt a flawed definition, leave it undefined as in Confucian texts, or strive to further the current aims of methodology and theory. References Allen, B. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 37, 3, Bell, D. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Billioud, S. China Perspectives, 4, Cahill, J. Confucian Elements in the Theory of Painting. Wright Ed. Chan, W. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy.

The Story of Chinese Philosophy. Moore Ed. Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii. Chen, L. The Confucian Way. London: KPI.

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Chen, M. Diogenes, 56, 1, Cheng, F. Boston: Shambhala. Ch'ien, E. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 15, Ching, J. What Is Confucian Spirituality? Eber Ed. London: Macmillan Publishing Company. Chow, K. De Bary, T. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. De Bary, T, W. Sources of Chinese Tradition I. New York: Columbia University Press. Confuciu - maitre k'ong. Paris: Gallimard. Faure, B. Fraser, C. Psychological Emptiness in the Zhuangzi. Asian Philosophy,18, 2, Fu, C. Philosophy East and West, 23, 3, Fung, Y.

A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. A History of Chinese Philosophy. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. He, Z. Bu, Y. An Intellectual History of China. Hu, S. Confucianism and Contemporary Chinese Politics. Huang, S. London: Greenwood Press. Innada, K. A Theory of Oriental Aesthetics. Philosophy East and West, 47, 2, The Aesthetics of Oriental Emptiness. Milani Eds. Turin: Trauben. Jiang, X. Binghamton: Global Academic Publishing. Jrgensen, J. Leiden: Brill. Legge, J. The Four Books. Shanghai: The Commercial Press. Levenson, J. Confucian China and Its Modern Fate.

Berkley: University of California Press. Lin, Y. My Country and My People. Liu, J. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 32, 3, Lusthaus, D. Buddhist philosophy, Chinese. Craig Ed. London: Routledge. Makeham, J. London: Cambridge. New Confucianism: A Critical Examination. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Mllgaard, E.

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Is TU Wei-ming Confucian?. Dao, 6, Patt-Shamir, G. Pui, R. Prazne ruke. Beograd: Plato. Richey, J. Teaching Confucianism. New York: Oxford University Press. Shien, G. The Epistemology of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Philosophy, 28, Streng, F. Philosophy East and West, 32, 4, Sundararajan, L. Theory Psychology, 18, 5, Takahiro, N. Cheung Eds. Tan, M. Dao, 7, 2, Taylor, R. The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism. Tu, W. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press. Wang, R. Journal of the History of Ideas, 66, 3, Watson, B.

Zhuangzi, Basic Writtings. Xing, G. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 37, 2, Yao, Z. Typology of Nothing: Heideger, Daoism and Buddhism. Comparative Philosophy, 1, 1, Yearley, L. The Journal of Asian Studies, 39, 3, Yu, D. Nanhai: Nanhai Wenyi Chuban Gongsi. Zhang, D. Key Concepts in Chinese Philosophy.

New Haven: Yale University Press. Xuanru pinglun. Chengsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe. Zia, R. Chong ji xuebao, 5, In the history of Japanese poetry the name Matsuo Bash has always been connected with the poetic genre of haiku nowadays the most famous and renowned Japanese poetic form - which contains only 17 syllables grouped into three verses Although haiku was initially considered a poetic pastime, in time it evolved and became a highly aesthetic art. Matsuo Bash, who contributed to the development of haiku, is considered to be one of the greatest exponents of this art form and his poems are viewed as masterpieces of Japanese poetry.

He highly valued personal experience and considered it as an important element of true and sincere poetry. Concerning the fact that he, for some time, was practicing Zen Buddhism and was a great admirer of Taoist philosophy especially work of Chuang Tzu , it is clear that Zen Buddhism and Taoism had a great influence on his work.

Since the sense of emptiness is one of the fundamental principles in Zen Buddhism and Taoism, in this chapter an attempt is made to analyse his haiku poetry from perspectives of the following four elements: sincerity of poetry, forgetfulness, naturalness and lightness. These ideas form key principles of haiku poetry in general, representing special attitude towards life, nature, art and beauty which are all rooted in the sense of emptiness. Hototogisu kieyuku-kata-ya shima-hitotsu cuckoo disappearing-direction-VOC island-one In a direction of a cuckoo flying away, there is a lone island.

The poem shown in 1 is one of the well-known pieces by one of the best known and most significant Japanese haiku poets Matsuo Basho As it is obvious, Haiku has only 17 syllables divided into three. Its shortness naturally represents simplicity, a poetic form released from any excessive word or phrase. To an untrained mind, it may be difficult to comprehend this type of poetry.

For instance, 1 contains a vocative marker -ya this function can be achieved also by -kana , which introduces a background of the scene, where a cuckoo flies away. However, this grammatical marker implies that while a bird flies out of the scene, its singing voice also disappears, i. In this silent background, one can imagine a distant island. As in any forms of poetry in the world, there are many literary techniques in the haiku poetry, but each technique expresses much more than an image or a scene a simple word can evoke. This special form forces poets to be in a certain state of mind to create a piece, by emptying his mind mushin and muga to cope with the paucity of syllables they can use.

This state of mind also distances them from a depicted scene, and most poems, like the one shown in 1 , a poet is evidently absent.


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Instead, he depicts the scene objectively and simply records it as if his mind is a clear mirror with an empty surface Pasqualotto , This can be also seen in terms of mushin emptiness of mind and muga emptiness of personality p. Marina Shchepetunina.

There are indeed other elements to formulate this poem, such as mononoaware fragility of objects, but sense of emptiness seems to be the prevailing factor, which can be seen in various forms: limited number of syllables, limited source of information, emptiness of mind, objectivety in poetry, etc. This chapter deals with such points and analyses how the sense of emptiness can be visible in the world of haiku poetry. First, the background of the haiku poetry is given with a historical review.

Then various influences such as Zen Buddhism or Taoism are analysed in relation to the haiku poetry, covering diverse features, e. Finally, we demonstrate how the emptiness can be important in interpreting the theme of some pieces of poetry. Historical background Haikai or haiku from the 19th century onwards originates from waka poem with 31 syllables In the Heian period , by division of the first part of waka poem from the second, arose a poetic game or renga linked verse in which the first participant tells opening verses , called hokku, and the another participant tells the next two verses , wakiku , adding them to the previous ones.

From the earliest. This is noticeable to an astonishing degree in all periods of the Japanese poetry. This poetic form has its source in the early Japanese poetry. For example, even in one of the oldest Chronicles of Japan, Nihonshoki , there are verses in the form of questions and answers that will be a base for early poems, and the later poetry compilations such as Mansoshyu a are influenced by Nihonshoki.

This form is called katauta and usually consists of three parts arranged in the syllabic pattern or , varying in length from 17 to 19 syllables. This length is very important because it points out a simple, direct and spontaneous question and the answer in same manner that is, in one breath.

Even with this simple question-answer type of poetry, it is possible to find the characteristics that are haiku: ellipsis, condensation, spontaneity and nakedness of treatment Yasuda: , Early Japanese poetic forms based on katauta and other important poetic forms were developed in successive order: sedoka, choka and tanka.

They are based on the syllabic pattern and this shows that the basic element of haiku is deeply stored in the poetic instinct of the Japanese which predicted the future poetic form today known as haiku. Although until the year of the term renga was not used, this kind of poetic form had been present in poetic anthologies since the Heian period Renga of that time was rich in humour and wit, expressed either for the immediate amusement of ones superior poetic skills or outwitting ones opponent. Renga reached its culmination during the Muromachi period However, young poets of the time were beginning to write humorous renga haikai no renga , where haikai denoted something amusing or playful.

So, throughout the history of the Japanese poetry, the succession of the serious by the witty or comic was a common phenomenon against the refined tanka, there appeared humorous renga; when renga became refined, then the witty haikai emerged. Even though haiku had a few composition rules, there were clear difference between haiku and renga. Haiku allowed the use of words, both Japanese and Chinese, that had been forbidden in the classical forms such as tanka or renga.

These words were called haigon. For popularization of haiku, and enrichment of haiku glossary because of usage of haigon , Matsunaga Teitoku and his Teimon school of haiku were responsible. Teitoku made great efforts towards advanced regulations that enabled haiku to make a big step forward and to be conceived and. Therefore, he is considered to be a poet whose merit is placing of haiku on the solid literal foundation. His greatest contribution to Japanese literature, then, was to elevate haikai to the position of a recognized poetic form Keen: , He succeeded in establishing a more conservative and more formal approach to haiku.

For him, humour was a kind of intellectual wit and he considered haigon to be the only difference between haiku and renga. Teitoku introduced clear and strict rules concerning the composition of haiku and strived to enrich the form of haiku with elegance and aesthetic sophistication of serious renga. As a contrast to Teitoku and his Teimon school, around the year of Nishiyama Soin began his work with his Danrin school. Soin emphasized the humorous aspects of haiku. The main characteristic of his school was fast linking of verses in order to practice free association. This new sensation of artistic independence enabled broader choice of subjects to haiku poets.

Soin and his followers considered their first aim to be playfulness and their only wish was to make people laugh. They introduced everyday speech in haiku. A poet that was trained in both Teimon and Danrin styles but who also continued to improve both his personality and his poetry was Matsuo Basho. By the end of the 17th century he had created his Shomon school of haiku that soon became filled with artistic sincerity. He believed that haiku should not be used only as a word game but also as a way of lyric expression of the first three verses of renga hokku into an independent poetic form.

The accomplishment of Basho in the history of the Japanese poetry was in abridgment of the traditional Japanese poetry and in its improvement. Prior to his time, haikai had been more an urbane game or pastime than serious poetry, and hokku was part of it.

With his keen literally sensitivity and superb command of the language, Basho explored all the potential that had been dormant in the verse form. He was a daring explorer: he used slang terms, he borrowed from Chinese, he wrote hokku in eighteen, nineteen or more syllables.

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Even more important, he endeavoured to make hokku true to actual human experience, to what he saw, thought and felt, with all sincerity and honesty In brief, he created serious poetry out of what had largely been an entertaining game. Ueda , 3. Denying the values of the samurai and the common people, Basho devoted his life and poetry to the way of elegance. As a poet, he supported the idea of introduction of personal experience into the poetry.

Therefore, one cannot ignore the influence of Zen Buddhism and Taoism on the. Note, however, that this date has been hotly debated. According to Nihonshoki , Buddhism was officially introduced into Japan from Koerea in , when the king of Paekche sent a mission to the emperor of Japan bearing presents including an image of Sakyamuni in gold and copper and a number of sutras.

However, current scholarship favors another traditional date for this event, Aoki , Buddhism became connected with the Chinese thought in the first century B. The Chinese pragmatic mind reacted to the Indian Buddhism by focusing on its practical aspects and developed them into a type of spiritual discipline named chan, which is usually translated as meditation.

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The chan philosophy was accepted by the Japanese in the 12th century by the name of zen. That is the reason why Zen Buddhism represents a mixture of three different schools of philosophy and three different cultures: it is a way of life that is typically Japanese which also reflects Indian mysticism, Taoist love towards naturalness and spontaneity as well as consistent pragmatism of the Confucian mind. As a philosophical and religious movement which had a great influence on the Japanese art and the way of life, Zen Buddhism also found its way to haiku poetry.

According to Blyth , 64 , the art of haiku is as near to life and nature as possible, as far from literature and fine writing as may be, so that asceticism is art and the art is ascetism. As for the aesthetic principles that are present in haiku poetry, largely influenced by Zen Buddhism and Taoism, it is possible to observe that all these principles emerged from the sense of emptiness, as the rest of the chapter reveals.

Generally, the influence of Zen Buddhism on haiku poetry could be observed in the following characteristics: i. Timelessness and infinity These principles arise from emptiness because there is neither time nor limitations in this sense. In haiku poetry, this is evident in the choice of subjects poets usually write about simple matters from everyday life. However, they try to depict universal order of the nature through simplicity. There are no insignificant things, which. Simplicity and implication These principles are implied in the very shortness of a haiku poem.

For that reason, a haiku poet does not tell depict or explain everything clearly, but only suggests. Consequently, it is possible to have many interpretations of one poem. The emptiness awakes readers imagination which completes the poem and becomes an active participant in it. Words in haiku poetry alluding to emptiness enable countless possibilities of other words, but also of other sensations and interpretations of the same poem. Synchronisation The only thing that actually exists is this very present moment, while the past or the future is nonexistent.

This may first appear to be synchronic, but its implication is that beauty is limitless and undying, cf. Unity of subject and object We have already mentioned this principle. In haiku poetry, a poet should be unified with the moment and the object of his poem. Matsuo Basho depicted this principle in his well-known teaching about the pine and the bamboo: Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo.

And in doing so, you must leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Otherwise you impose yourself on object and do not learn taken from Sanzoushi, complied in This saying suggests that writing poetry requires the unification of a writer with an object they observe. Once this unity is achieved, words flow out and poetry writes itself, revealing some hidden beauty of nature. When a writers mind is not attuned to the nature, writing poetries ends up creating numerous subjective forgeries. All these above mentioned principles are nicely expressed in the following Bashos poems.

Let us take two examples shown in 2. The theme of this poem is purity, represented by a white chrysanthemum, as described in the poem itself, and the winder coldness, which is implied by this flower. It is obvious to observe purity based on the whiteness, but its meaning is strengthened by the winder coldness, which is considered to cleanse ones mind. In this way, a flower metaphorically refers to a human mind, i.

Thus, without personification of white chrysanthemum, the main theme of this poem is hard to achieve. The poetry itself is very. In addition, what this piece suggests is also generally applicable to human mind at any time of the year as long as one can think of winter. In this sense, the beauty of this piece is timeless and one can even appreciate it present day. Shiragiku-no me-ni tatete-miru chiri-mo-nashi white.

As in other forms of arts in general, a masterpiece often represents not simply an artistic form, but also various cultural and philosophical backgrounds. Haiku poetry is not an exception, but its additional beauty is timelessness, and any good pieces can be equally appreciated regardless of time. Influence of Taoism on haiku poetry Bashos school of Shomon, emerged in the period during which the Chinese style prevailed in haiku circles since the end of the s until late s.

However, a stronger influence on his poetry was exerted by Chuang-Tzu, one of the founders of Taoism. A strong force behind the development of the Chinese style was a determination to elevate haiku to an art comparable to the best of the Chinese poetry. It also represented dissatisfaction with frivolous plays of words in the previous haiku as well as an effort to seek more profound connotations of the haigon other than that of waka and renga.

The philosophy of Taoism largely influenced the principles of naturalness and lightness, as discussed in this section, and also had impact on the Japanese Zen Buddhism. The influence of Taoism on haiku poetry is evident through several features, e. Each of them is examined separately below. Spirit of carefree wondering shoyoyu An important event in Bashos career was his settling in Fukagawa The joy that he felt in solitude and simple life prompted him to set on a long journey to follow the ways of nature and return to it.

In this way, this principle influenced the ideas of poetic eccentricity fukyo and elegant unconventionality furyu. Fukyo poetic eccentricity celebrates the poorness, the solitude, the uselessness, the idleness and the unstrained condition, while furyu elegant unconventionality marks aesthetic ideal of rejected secular values and seeking of beauty in the life style or mentality liberated from all material constrains and devoted to art.

Basho himself rejected his samurai ancestry and decided to be in solitude and on a constant journey in order to live his poetry to feel the places he was writing about. Since he spent a large part of his life on journeys, he wrote a series of travel journals that contain much of his best known haiku. Integration of these poetic ideals was expressed through Bashos ideal of poetic sincerity or fuga no makoto. Basho used this term often to indicate the very source of the most important artistic, basic and supreme power, without which valuable poems could not be possibly composed.

Basho thought that this idea was a revelation of the way of heaven and of the true man, which could be compared with Chuang-Tzu: Knowing what it is that Heaven does, he lives with Heaven. Knowing what it is that man does, he uses the knowledge of what he knows to help out the knowledge of what he doesnt know, and lives out the years that Heaven gave him without being cut off midway this is the perfection of knowledge. However, there is a difficulty. Knowledge must wait for something before it can be applicable, and that which it waits for is never certain.

How, then, can I know what I call Heaven is not really man, and what I call man is not really Heaven? There must first be a True Man before there can be true knowledge. Peipei , Naturalness shizen Naturalness here refers to an idea of following the ways of the nature and return to the nature. Along with the maturing of Bashos style, the tradition of carefree wandering shoyoyu was given a crucial importance and it became a base for his principle of following the nature and returning to the nature.

Bashos poetry could be called the poetry of nature or naturalness. In his lectures concerning poetic values, Basho widely used Taoist terms to describe the state of poets mind and principles of composition, including zka , process of nature , shizen , nature, naturalness ,. However, it is sometimes difficult to separate the influence of Taoism on his poetry from the influence of Zen Buddhism, since, needless to say, Zen Buddhism was formed under the influence of Taoism. Zka is the term taken from the work of Chuang-Tzu, and it includes a number of key Taoist ideas. In short, zka primarily refers to action, the flow of the Tao, and is an actual reflection of the Tao.

Existence of all things and beings is a direct outcome of the flow of the nature.


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  • Therefore, every being spontaneously and naturally embodies Tao, and by following the flow of the nature, at the same time one follows the Tao. The principle of harmonizing things with the heavenly equality originates from this idea. This principle is present in the work of Chuang-Tzu and refers to the state of absolute liberation of any conceptual limitations and to harmonizing with the nature: What do I mean by harmonizing [things] with the Heavenly Equality?

    Right is not right; so is not so. If right were really right, it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument. Waiting for one shifting voice to pass judgment on another is the same as waiting for none of them. Harmonize them all with the Heavenly Equality, leave them to their endless changes, and so live out your years. Forget the years; forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home. The idea that strengthened Bashos belief and his critical tendency that one should follow the nature and return to the nature was the fact that Chuang-Tzu thought that the Way or the Tao was something abstract, something that existed beyond reality that it was the way of things as they really were in their natural condition.

    Therefore, anything that was in its natural state was perfect and beautiful. So, Bashos maxim of learning about pine from pine and about bamboo from bamboo precisely summarizes his poetry of nature. In order to achieve sincerity of poetry fga no makoto , a poet should eliminate subjectivity and enter into the object. In this sense, sincerity of poetry is defined as a true revelation of the nature of all beings. Sincerity of poetry is in harmony with the transformation of the nature and the revelation of its truth in reality.

    Basho called this kind of poets quest the awakening of the lofty by returning to the common and the ordinary. The awakening of the lofty here means making constant efforts to achieve the sincerity of poetry to follow the nature and to return to the nature as well as ones. Basho thought that haiku had three elements: i. Tranquility and solitude sekibaku are its moods. Even when one enjoys fine food and the company of a beautiful woman, one should find a true joy in humble solitude; ii.

    Fry taste is its quality. Even if dressed in embroiled silk and satin, one should not forget those wrapped in woven straw; iii. Fky poetic eccentricity is its language. Ones language should stem from the emptiness in order to perceive the substance of things. These three elements do not imply that a person who is low aspires to the high but rather that a person who has achieved the high perceives things through the low Peipei , As we can see, Basho thought that a man should discover lofty and high in ordinary and common and to express high through low.

    Only when a person returns to common and ordinary, can he conceive high principles. However, ordinary and low does not mean vulgar and primitive. They represent common, plain and basic everyday life, immediate reality, everyday poetic practice, common everyday speech. In the poetic sense, this is true and sincere. Basho thought that returning to the common was actually returning to the nature and the natural. One of Bashos contributions was in achievement brought about through a reconsideration of the energy residing in traditional poetic vocabulary and a restoration of its vigour by means of an exquisite combination of this language with the common or vulgar.

    He was the first to show poets how to look with a poetic eye upon the ordinary and prosaic incidentals of urban and rural Edo life and to prove that these could be used as the raw material for poetry that could rival both waka and renga at their peak Kawamoto: , Silence, tranquillity, permanence and fashion In the late poetry of Basho, Taoist ideas largely influenced the thematic characteristics of his school of Shomon.

    Basho himself contributed to the development of style and themes of the school. The notion of kanjaku carefree idleness and tranquillity was considered to be the poetic quality reached by frequent use of the words shizuka quiet and sabishii sad. Besides tranquillity and solitude, Basho used another two key terms in his lectures and they are fueki permanence, and ryk fashion,.

    Kyorai one of Bashos best students , recorded one of his Masters lectures on fueki permanence and ryuko fashion. These principles may be found elsewhere in the world, and may not be necessarily associated. The Master said that some haikai styles remain unchanging for thousands of years, while others are fluid with the passing of time. Although these two are spoken of as opposite sides, they are one at the base. They are one at the base means that both are based on sincerity of poetry fga no makoto.

    If one does not understand the unchanging, his poetry has no base; if one does not learn the fluid, his poetry has no novelty. He who truly understands the fluid will never stop moving forward. He who excels at a transitory fashion can only have his verse meet a momentary taste, once the fashion changes, he becomes stagnated.

    Fueki permanence and ryuko fashion represent two fundamental aspects of Bashos poetry and they have a basic preposition: a binary construction that is present in poetic creation and that consists of something unchanging that is in constant change. In this way, two opposite aspects are unified in the idea of sincerity of poetry. Of course, sincerity of haiku means truthful, spontaneous poetic attitude unlike those pretentious and artificial. Oseko 11 states that [t]his is very important theory of literature, to see both aspects of all things.

    Although everything is changing, the truth of nature and human life is not changing. Literature based on this can have an eternal artistic value. In this way, fueki permanence and ryk fashion represent dialectic aspects of Bashos poetry of the nature, while sincerity of poetry implies both the constant flow and the unchanging principles of the nature.

    Introducing these dialectic terms into haikai theories, Basho and his followers were seeking balance between continuity and reconstruction, tradition and novelty. Basho described verse as being composed of these two elements, and this combination of characteristics can also be said to apply to the position of haikai in this period. In that it could as art transcend the age in which it was written it was permanent and in that it changed with the times it was fashionable. Bashos art was permanent for it encapsulated the indigenous sensibility; it was also fashionable, for it provided a form of expression for a significant group of writers who had left samurai warrior society and were not connected with chonin common people culture Kato: , Emptiness of mind, abandonment and inaction wu-wei Along with the formation of his notion of following the nature and returning to the nature, Basho came to use the term of kyo emptiness to denote the emptiness of the mind as the essential condition of artistic perception and expression.

    Chuang-Tzu discusses the emptiness in terms of the Taoist way of cognition as follows: Listen not with your ears but with your mind. Listen not with your mind but with your primal breath. The ears are limited to listening, the mind is limited to tallying. The primal breath, however, awaits thing emptily. It is only through the Way that one can gather emptiness, and emptiness is the fasting of the mind. This point is clearly expressed in a haiku he composed in , as shown in 3.

    This piece is accompanied by a painting of a winter mountain. It metaphorically symbolises Buddhist God, since its stillness impersonates a person with the Buddhist enlightenment achieving emptiness, getting rid of all thoughts in their mind and keeping it empty. The emptiness is an important concept in the philosophy of Taoism only emptiness is all inclusive. The emptiness is a prerequisite for understanding and feeling of the Tao and to feel the Tao is to be absolutely free from subjectivity.

    A very important principle necessary to achieve this is inaction Chinese wu-wei; Japanese mui or non-interference with intuitive contemplation. This term is often misunderstood. Wu-wei denotes natural, unforced action actually, it means following the nature and achieving the naturalness.

    The naturalness denotes changing with all things. In order to achieve this, one should abandon his mind , Japanese wasure; Chinese wang, literally means forget , step out of himself and enter the course of the nature. Only after unifying with the changing of all things, a man can achieve the state of changing.

    The unity of self and the cosmos is a fundamental argument of Chuang-Tzus philosophy. One way to achieve this unity, according to Chuang-Tzu, is to abandon the self and enter in the course of the nature or, in Taoist terms, the course of the heaven and the. The literary significance of emptying mind is in its application to artistic perception by which a poet can achieve unlimited creative force. Those who limit themselves with formal rules and seek conceptual principles should be ranked in the middle level, while those who go beyond formal rules and forget wasure conceptual principles are the immortals of the art.

    However, although Basho went beyond formal rules and forgot the conceptual principles, he did not deny traditional principle which states that one should not imitate the achievements of great men of the past, but try to seek what they sought after. Lightness karumi As a critical term, karumi lightness could be seen in renga before Basho, but medieval renga masters mostly used it to discuss the mental relaxation of the beginners.

    However, karumi was a crown of Bashos work, denoting simple and plain expression which could transfer poetry of the nature. As an ideal state of poetic mind, karumi means to remove the conceptual heaviness and to let intuitive perception and contemplation lead the composition. In that sense, karumi denotes the same mental state which Basho explained by the terms of emptiness and inner force: Lightness means to say immediately what one sees without forcing it, whether in the opening verse or the second verse.

    It does not mean easiness of diction and light-heartedness of taste; it refers to the naturalness of a poem that emerges from ones inner depth. Peipei , In composing a poem, there are two ways: one is a natural way, in which a poem is born from within of itself, the other is to make it artificially only with technique. If we continue our study of haikai all the time very hard, a good poem is spontaneously born out of the artistically elevated heart.

    If not, it doesnt come out naturally, then, only a fake is made superficially only with technique. Oseko , 9. As we can see, karumi is a poets real understanding of the principle of the naturalness. Basho himself explained that karumi denoted naturalness of a poem that emerged from the poets inner depth.

    Bashos interest in Chuang-Tzu began with his search for suitable concepts and principles that could help him reform haiku of that time. This deep interest finally led him to forget conceptual principles and to accept light spontaneity. Peipei: , Interpretations of emptiness in Bashos haiku poetry As described so far in this chapter, there are various kinds of emptiness implied in haiku poetry.

    The basic principle stems from the influence of Zen Buddhism and Taoism, but it has extended to the status of literary arts. As mentioned in the earlier section on historical background, the haiku poetry developed from renga, and only the first three verses were kept. The literary sense of emptiness may stem from this development, i. This missing second half is perhaps what we observe as emptiness in haiku poetry, and its expression became elevated to the status of arts based on religious and philosophical influence.

    The artistic form of haiku poetry is shown here, exemplifying two aspects of human perception, vision and hearing. A common technique is that poetry does not overtly express a specific object, but it is merely implied. This method achieves simplicity of form and at the same time absorbs listeners or readers into a scene depicted in each scene. The vision and hearing are perhaps the most basic human perceptions and they are what Basho used to imply emptiness. This basicness is perhaps useful in helping the audience to be a part of the scene.

    Let us first examine a piece shown in 4 involving the visual perception. In this scene, a nocturnal bird, night heron, cannot be seen due to the darkness of a stormy night, but only heard. The use of koe birds cry clearly aids the audience to imagine a presence of a bird, and by using a sound, this poem implies its visual presence. Seeing an invisible object in essence deals with the sense of emptiness, which also adds the artistic value to this piece of poem. Another perception, hearing, also plays a crucial role in Bashos work. The pieces shown in 5 and 6 draw particular attentions in this respect.

    These two poems deal with the theme of silence. In 5 , silence is overtly mentioned by sizukasa silence, which clearly signifies the theme of the poem. However, this is not the case in 6 , and on the contrary, the only mention concerning hearing is made about the presence of sound of. The first verse depicts a quiet and tranquil scene around a pond. This is not a simple pond, but an old one, which refers to the stagnation of water which has remained there for a long period of time.

    In addition, the silence is even more emphasized by the action that disturbs that silence a jump of a frog into the water. This shows the Zen comprehension of the world and life the eternal flow of time is shown by a fraction of a moment and the silence is implied in its unity with the noise that disturbs it. Furu-ike-ya, kawazu-tobikomu mizu-no-oto old-pond-VOC frog-jumping water-GEN-sound In an old pond, as a frog jumps in, there is a sound made by a splash of water. These examples show that the physical or visual absence of an object does not mean its actual absence, but by emptying the physical or visual space Basho opens it for other alternatives of perception.

    However, it may be possible to draw a different interpretation that by empting the space he denies the idea of emptiness, since in his haiku something is present although often just by sound or a hint. So emptiness here can possibly mean emptiness of obvious things in order to deny emptiness, since it is packed with things which can be seen only after emptying our mind. This idea corresponds to the concept of beauty in Zen Buddhism, muga p. Of course, since idea of emptiness does not imply nothingness, physical or visual absence of the object does not mean its total absence.

    In this way, emptiness merely suggests, rather than describes, and it is condition or warranty of existence and efficiency of abundance cf. Vinji iovi This stems from the acceptance of emptiness in the basic philosophy and religious world view of the Asia society in general, and the haiku poetry has elevated its status to an art form. Conclusions As presented in this chapter, the key principles of poetry of Matsuo Basho, and haiku poetry in general, are: sincerity of poetry fuga no makoto , which can be achieved through naturalness of verse; abandonment wasure is an important principle that denotes inaction and abiding in emptiness that leads to forgetfulness of oneself, of all thoughts, ideas, theories and rules.

    By doing so, a poet can enter into the realm of naturalness shizen and lightness karumi of style. Finally, it is possible to claim that haiku poetry, as a product of the Japanese mind and culture, expresses a way of typically oriental thinking and understanding of life, nature, beauty and art that reveals and respects universal laws of nature and truth. Because it is based on naturalness and lightness, both deriving from emptiness, haiku poetry through constant changes nourishes the unchanging universal values of the nature. References Aoki, E. Japan: Profile of a Nation.

    Tokyo: Kodansha International. Blyth, R. The genius of haiku. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press. Kato S. A history of Japanese literature, Vol. Kawamoto, K. The Poetics of Japanese verse Imagery, structure, meter. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Keen, D. Appreciations of Japanese culture. Oseko, T. Bashos Haiku. Published by T. Oseko, produced by Maruzen Co.

    Pasqualotto, G. Estetika praznine [Aesthetics of Emptiness], Beograd: Clio. Peipei, Q. Poetics of the natural: A study of the Taoist influence on Basho. Ithaca: Columbia University Press. Basho and the Dao: The Zhuangzi and the transformation of haikai. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Ueda, M. Basho and his interpreters: Selected hokku with commentary. Vinji iovi, S. Yasuda K. The Japanese haiku: Its essential nature, history and possibilities in English. Tokyo: Charles E.

    Tuttle Company. This chapter gives insight into the problem of the philosophicoreligious background for perception of space, found in Japanese aesthetics. Japanese aesthetics is claimed to have as its characteristic feature a special focus on the ground rather than on the central object.

    The idea of emptiness k Japanese as absence of objects and absence of inner subject is deeply rooted in Japanese philosophy Ueda This chapter traces the religious and mythological meaning of k and questions connecting points between this basic Buddhist idea and its counterpart in the coexisting Shinto religion.

    While it is recognized by some scholars that in animism, which formed the basis for Shinto, there is no place for an emptiness concept cf. Tamura , central Shintoist texts were recorded in the period of active perception of Chinese culture and the influence of its concepts on the records was inevitable. In this chapter, we examine the understanding of k as sunyata Sanskrit , as it was represented in intricate detail within Indian philosopher Ngrjunas thinking in the 2nd century AD, and later introduced to Japan.

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