HAIKU IS A STATE OF MIND


If It’s true that haiku is a state of mind, as I believe it is, the next question is: What is the right state of mind for writing haiku? But before that you must answer this question: What is mind?

And that’s a question which pre-supposes that there is only one mind to bother about; it’s what in the ordinary way we usually assume to be the case. But it’s an assumption that can often lead us into a state of confusion.

What if we have more than one mind? After all there is the common expression, ‘I’m in two minds about that…’ What about three or four minds? Five or six minds? Enough minds managed by a single brain to sink a battleship? One part of me thinks that’s nonsense; another part thinks it’s an interesting idea; another part of me is willing to carry on reading these notes to find out what it might all be about.

Then I realise that I do have several minds with different purposes: one that focusses on making a living; one that likes meeting people; one that’s good at arithmetical calculations; another that concerns itself with the state of the world – and so on. I am a person of many parts.

We are not one person but many: you can check this out when you next have an argument with another part of yourself about what to do next; you will now be able to notice how you’re in a different frame of mind driving a car from when you’re cooking sausages, or feeding the cat, and so on…

On the other hand, it is certainly possible and often highly desirable to be single-minded. It will be an uncluttered state of mind – one that we’ve deliberately emptied out of all rival concerns. How do we do that?

Since each of our different parts is run by a particular ‘I’, let’s call them all ‘I’s. Becoming aware of the many different ‘I’s in your make-up – ‘I drive a car, I cook sausages, I feed the cat…’ – puts you in a very strong position to be able to manage the different parts of yourself: when you’re in an ‘I’ that’s driving a car you don’t need to bother about the ‘I’ that’s concerned for the cat getting fed; when one of your ‘I’s is angry with your friend another ‘I’ can stop it from showing it’s angry.

gathering up
storm-clouds –
the white peony

Long-time members of The British Haiku Society will remember the late John Crook whose haiku came from a Zen state of mind. He wrote a book called Catching a Feather on a Fan (1991) – an account of what occurred at a Zen Retreat at his place in Wales. The Retreat was managed by Zen Master Sheng Yen. The expectation for the retreat was that members would simply come to realise that we are not in control of our mind [or minds]; to find ways of getting to an awareness of this and to discover ways of calming the mind [or the many minds]…

Re-reading John Crook’s book after many years I was very conscious of my own need to substitute ‘minds’ for just one ‘mind’ and to adopt a Multiple-I standpoint which I got from GIGurdjieff: I had moved without realising it into Re-interpreting-I; there was an ‘I’ that had no intention of doing this when it started reading but it came over another ‘I’ that the way to control what Sheng Yen calls ‘monkey-mind’, one that hops about all over the place, is first of all to get to grips with the idea that we constantly flip from one state of mind to another, from one ‘I’ to another ‘I’. First become aware of this – it just happens.

Then it becomes possible to decide to be in an ‘I’ that’s appropriate for whatever you’re doing – single-mindedness…

The Zen Retreat was a silent six days except for Sheng Yen’s input which John recorded faithfully. The account starts with something very familiar to me after having read Alan Watts in the mid-sixties:-

(i) Body and mind are one. (ii) Internal and External are unified, (iii) Previous thought and subsequent thought are continuous…

No longer is there an experience of the mind separate from the body… No longer is the observer separate from the observed; and experience flows without time being split into now and then. These three conditions arise together… Once the mind is unified, so the one is guarded.

Here are three more ‘minds’: one that thrives on intellectual energy, one with an emotional grasp of things and an active, athletic, one – Thinking-I, Feeling-I and Doing-I. In Zen they focus together in One Point so that what goes on inside you is what’s out there & vice-versa.

Then Sheng Yen recommends Isolation, Non-dependence and Non-attachment

Isolation means keeping your self separate from the environment and from others. Isolation is an attitude of practice. Even though you are sitting and working with others, let it be as if you were the only one here, as if there was only one sitting place in the meditation hall, in the whole building. It is as if you are alone, a solitary practitioner in the mountains. It is important sometimes to withdraw and to be solitary, to be isolated and separate. Usually we are in constant interaction with the environment – our everyday worlds. We are disturbed by the ongoing concerns of the world, the news bulletins, the politics of the capital, new taxes, old commitments. All this involvement causes us to lose touch with our basic being. We get filled with the noise of the world. If you isolate yourself in practice, from past and from future, just being present, then you can see your self-nature more easily, without interferences.

The Haiku State of Mind is one that isolates itself from the noise of the world. No discursive thinking. No paying attention to distractions. The temptation when taken over by the haiku moment is to adopt worldly practices to express it in words – worldly poetic devices like simile & metaphor, poetic tropes. left-brain thinking, expressing an idea. These are all ‘interferences’. Avoiding anthropomorphism. Even words themselves are a problem – they represent over-identification with things, tempt you into thinking…

Sheng Yen:-

By Non-Dependence I mean not being concerned with what others are thinking, doing or saying. Most of our lives are spent in some sort of adjustment to other people who we want to influence in some way. Maybe we want to please somebody, or we feel obliged in some way; or we owe somebody a favour; or we may want to reject or harm somebody. We are driven by our involvement with others and cannot let it go. This is dependency. When we let ourselves be ourselves, we are not involved with others. We may still be concerned about other people but not dependent on their thoughts, attitudes or opinions.

What is highly desirable is to get to a state of mind…

…so that at any time and any moment you choose, you can free yourself inwardly from your world, from others, from the past, from the future, from the previous thought and the next thought. That is to find freedom. Yet if you then think you are free and have some wisdom, this is not so. You should not be attached to solitude or to experiences of relative freedom. When you are neither attached to independence nor to company then wisdom will manifest.

Both isolation and independence can result in Non-Attachment – to your self, to the all the ways in which you play safe. Playing safe is about depending on the way you’ve always done things in the past, copying other people. Conversely, being attached to putting yourself down in comparison with others.

A Haiku State of Mind is non-attached: the old-worldly ways of writing poetry are left behind, identification with old ways of doing things is to be avoided, capturing wandering thoughts, the ones that drift back into standard well-worn grooves, stopping them happening is doing the trick. It’s simple: as soon as you recognise that you’re hopping from one ‘I’ to another you can just stop it. Just observe what’s happening. Things are always happening. Don’t put anything between you and what happens. Haiku is just what happens. No comparisons, preferences or judgements and there’s no need to get worked up about it, no self-congratulation and no congratulation of others which only encourages self-congratulation.

All this happens in everyday life. There’s no need for any special discipline or pose; no need to take yourself apart from the world, swapping it for a bed of nails or a tub on a pole, monastery or nunnery – things happen in the world itself for instance…

ON A TRAIN JOURNEY
(27th July 2019)

turns out her handbag
on the carriage seat
pills & credit cards

sitting beside the debris
from her handbag
wrapping an old sandwich

long fingers
contemplating past events
– her long blond hair

built for a ballet
adjusting her pumps
– rain on the windows

tattooed lady
bent to the station exit
off the 8.30

This sequence happened in time, one thing after another, but each of the five moments was a present moment. Sheng Yen:-

If you make yourself one with the moment, you stop the thought. There is simply experience without time because, without thought, time becomes a continuous present. You have to discover for yourself what being one with the moment actually is.

When you make every thought a present moment, there is no continuity of time, no carry over from moment to moment. Everything is continuously fresh, like the water of a spring endlessly bubbling up into the open air. In such practice every moment is a rebirth. Here we have no thought succeeding thought, rather there is endless re-creation, an endless momentless continuity. As one ancient master has said; ‘One thought for a thousand years…’ Yet, in this thousand years, there are no thoughts. There is simply a continuous unbroken newness.

On that train journey I went through a number of ‘I’s: Observing-I, Being-amused-I (at the conjunction of ‘pills & credit cards’, Lining-up-I (the alignment of debris & old sandwich), Noticing-the-curiously-contradictory-beauty-I (she was strikingly beautiful, long fingers, agile body, tearing up old train tickets representing past journeys), Surmising-I (was she a ballet-dancer?), Turning-attention-elsewhere-I, Becoming-aware-I-was-going-into-thinking-I, Quitting-the-immediate-scene-I, Avoiding-thought-I… Going-way-outside-the-train-I. And then emerging into what I call Meta-I – the ‘I’ in this case that taps into a series of ‘haiku moments’ with a sort of swift objectivity. Says Sheng Yen:-

…cultivate going beyond thought …focus directly upon the present moment. There is no need to think about it. Just enter the present moment like a diver who has left the springboard. Plunge into it without judgement or consideration. When the diver dives, he lets go. There is only the long fall into the water, which takes no time …dive into the present moment, becoming thoughtlessly one with it. And you will find that every moment is indeed a rebirth.

The paradox is that if you have the intention to go somewhere beyond self ‘there must be first a firm sense of self. Someone who is all over the place, who changes mood or intentions with every shift in circumstance’ is not likely to be able to get to Meta-I, not likely to be able to stand outside their habitual loss of self – they dissolve in outside circumstances.

Going beyond all the usual distractions of worldly life helps to

…develop a larger sense of self. A major step in this progression is the discovery of the undivided mind, one in which the splits produced by discrimination are healed …internal and external become united, body and mind become one. Yet the unified mind remains of the same structure as the divided one. It has not yet gone beyond. It is not the no-self …a state of
being in which the self is absent. There is no self centre, no habit of self-reference. Everything else in experience is the same as before but the quality of being has become radically different. It is usually the case that the appearance of no-mind depends on the prior integration of the mind [integration of multiple minds or ‘I’s]. So long as self and its object are separate, the one regarding the other, there is duality. The split mind of discrimination cannot transcend its own habits. You cannot experience release into no-mind from a divided mind only from a unified one. And where there is no-self we may say there is no-mind. For, in this perspective, the ordinary mind is the activity of self.

I made no judgement about the woman on the train; Making-judgements-I was absent; I became the woman on the train, she was myself for an hour. No observer-observed relationship. My mind was divided – divided attention is a useful knack which can be used to help Observing-I to associate with Making-sense-I and then Doing-I (Scribbling-a-haiku-I). Unified-I joined all this up in No-mind, absence of thinking, just being in conjunction with the scenery. One thing simply followed another. The rain on the carriage window served as the exit point. And then the focus on externality – another woman, but bent & twisted, poor soul, charging along the platform – massive contrast. Just an observation.

I notice how I go in and out of No-mind; we are habitual occupiers of thoughts & feelings; all we can do is notice the changes, the flipping from one mode to another. A good start is to consider how foolish one would be to consider oneself expert at enlightenment. The word ‘idiot’, however, does contain the root that means being able to see clearly (the same ‘id’ in video) so there’s always hope! We just need not to be attached to anything. Especially what we imagine to be the things we know.

Knowledge is framed by our viewpoint. It is necessarily limited by the scope of intellection. If we spent a whole lifetime accumulating knowledge, it would still be like the mound of a termites’ nest. It is not at all in the same dimension as wisdom. [In Zen,] …wisdom is a state that is free from attachments, free from measurement, free from self-reference, empty of vexation. It cannot be found through accumulation, through adding to a pool of knowledge, or through measuring how far we are ahead of others. On that path we only pile confusion on confusion.

On the other hand, one just needs to be aware of what might be useful in a particular context, knowing what to do, how to feel – self-knowledge accumulates relevancy. Examine all your beliefs to distinguish what might be relevant.

…Just keep going in the right direction. Every single step is then an act of reaching the goal. Going on is the goal. The goal is in the going. If you run a race and your mind is on the winning post you split yourself into now and then. If you forget the goal and just place all your attention on the energy of running, you will suddenly find yourself there.

If you stop to think that you’ve arrived, you’re certainly not where you imagine you are.

strong wind
afternoon dragonfly
composed in it

20 thoughts on “HAIKU IS A STATE OF MIND

  1. Dear Colin,

    Thank you most sincerely for this amazing article ! The enlightening information would be helpful not only
    of would-be haiku students, but also people who may have mental health issues . I suffer from a long standing
    depressive disorder and since knowing you I have made tremendous progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The requirements of Haiku as a life lesson

    For the past few weeks, I have been variously accommodating visiting grandchildren, number crunching for my husband as an aid to his pursuit of freedom from “being” in business, packed, humped and cleaned for my middle daughter and family in their recent house move, accepted a last minute invitation to go to a “drinks party” hosted by a dear friend of my Husband’s who is visiting with his wife and family from Milan, where he lives.

    The activities involved in occupying a 14 yr old rugby player in his mother’s absence for 10 days or so – all involved intense levels of energy expenditure and ingenuity on our parts (individual and combined).
    The intense physical activity involved in moving house, particularly someone else’s house, were in their way tiring.

    Chatting to people whom I didn’t know at the “drinks party” was for me a strain and so I didn’t. My conversations were instead held with the delightful teenage children of my husband’s friend. One in his first year at Uni doing computer science – and the other in her last year of high school complaining that her this year’s form teacher was a philosopher and it was all he could think about and it was driving her crazy. And” EVERYTHING has to have something to do with philosophy”… (where is that wheelbarrow?) She wants to do medicine and is frustrated that Philosophy has so very little to do with it, and feels she is just wasting her time. The pity is that her frustration comes from the way the subject has been taught and the “mindless” exercises in translating words from Greek or Latin into Italian, in order to properly understand what is being said…

    These three different scenario’s appear to be separate and yet, letting go and “enjoying the moment” was the exact frame of mind needed to get through all of them without exhaustion.
    It wasn’t particularly being single minded – To being with I simply rallied the internal troops and got them marching to the same tune. Troops in this instance being those parts of me that might have got in the way.

    I have lately come round to this way of thinking…
    I think depending upon context, different parts of our brain fire up and our thoughts about those firings “come to mind” (singular you notice) in that instant we become a version of our self that represents that particular neural mish mash. (One self – One mind – One brain doing umpteen different things depending upon context – One body {physical representation of self})

    For repetitive activities like packing boxes – the left brain does the majority of the work, but for deciding what should be kept or thrown away or what should go in which box – that might take some Right/left brain activity. However because neither the possessions or the house move were mine, I began by asking which ever of the two adults whose possessions they were, for the answers to these questions, however, I found that my troops got a bit restless when this happened, and so I asked for their input in the decision making, and that led to more confusion, and so in the end I just did what I was originally asked and just put things in boxes… which doesn’t require much thought beyond that required for the efficient completion of the task itself.
    During the overall experience of this task, I noticed my “self” changing moment to moment – the more I asked questions, the more “I” changed; my state of mind changed, my language changed, and my state of contentment changed. Not until I stopped asking for external input that messed with my internal state, nor the internal input from those different aspects of my-self, let alone dealing with the comments that were coming from the unhelpful parts of me, did I experience contentment again. The journey to get there took about 2 to 5 minutes maximum.

    SO where is this going and WHAT on earth has it to do with Haiku? Of which I no almost nothing.
    I think it is that we do have a mind and we are a “self” but both of those objects are many faceted. Is this different to what Colin is saying.

    I think what comes to mind, and what self comes out to play, is dependent upon how our brain fires in specific contexts, and that is who we become in that moment. We are not fixed beings but ever in a state of flux.
    “I”’s and “Parts” are useful words to describe this process.

    Clearing the flux, through first coming to an awareness that this is what happens – allows for all sorts of possibilities – anything can happen.

    From Colin “first become aware of this – it just happens. Then it becomes possible to decide to be in an I that’s appropriate for whatever you’re doing – single mindedness”

    Whereas… Letting go of trying to attain a particular state of mind (in order to preserve my own sanity sometimes) is was led to the unified experience described by Sheng Yen. Not attempting to be in a particular state of mind.

    “No longer is there an experience of the mind separate from the body… No longer is the observer separate from the observed; and experience flows without time being split into now and then. These three conditions arise together… Once our mind is unified, (with itself and with our body) so the “one” is guarded.”
    The “one” not separate parts of the one, but the “one” …. The one is perhaps the vessel for all the aspects or parts perhaps.

    Isolation from all that anxt and argument going on all around – was my way to get pleasure from the simple act of packing boxes, the state of being isolated and separate whilst at the same time surrounded by mayhem.
    It was for me not a deliberate quieting of all the parts of me that would interfere, but the letting go of everything, and just doing the task as if it were the only thing happening. It became a moving meditation a place of peace.
    Did I achieve going beyond my self – did I feel that (Shen Yen) “everything else in the experience is the same as before, but the quality of being has become radically different”. Yes I think that was undoubtedly true, but “I” cannot say for sure. But this is what I experienced internally and externally, the task got done quickly without distraction.

    If someone had asked me if there is any pleasure to be got from the tedious part of moving house – I would have previously said no. (having done it something like 27 times in my life) Now – I would say undoubtedly! So long as you let go into no-mind.

    I especially loved this part of Colin’s piece as I have a tendency to be prone to the accumulation of knowledge. I kid myself that integrating it and regurgitating it, is helpful in someway.

    “Knowledge is framed by our viewpoint. It is necessarily limited by the scope of intellection. If we spent a whole lifetime accumulating knowledge, it would still be like the mound of a termites’ nest. It is not at all in the same dimension as wisdom. [In Zen,] …wisdom is a state that is free from attachments, free from measurement, free from self-reference, empty of vexation. It cannot be found through accumulation, through adding to a pool of knowledge, or through measuring how far we are ahead of others. On that path we only pile confusion on confusion.”

    In Emma’s experience, (the Italian teenager from the beginning), accumulating more “useless” knowledge about philosophy, is an encumbrance to chasing her dream of getting to University to study medicine of which she is certainly more than capable.
    And yet if she were to take this one snippet of wisdom – reaching her goal would be assured.

    First from Colin “On the other hand, one just needs to be aware of what might be useful in a particular context, knowing what to do, how to feel – self-knowledge accumulates relevancy. Examine all your beliefs to distinguish what might be relevant.”

    From Ancient wisdom – “everything is connected”

    Then from Shen Yen (?) …Just keep going in the right direction. Every single step is then an act of reaching the goal. Going on is the goal. The goal is in the going. If you run a race and your mind is on the winning post, you split yourself into now and then. If you forget the goal and just place all your attention on the energy of running, you will suddenly find yourself there.

    So really, it turns out I have written this for Emma – I shall give it to her on Saturday and we shall see what she makes of it and Colin’s piece.

    I didn’t know that was what I was doing or what I was going to day until I found myself just doing it.

    Thank you once again Colin.

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  3. Sounds like a busy time, Pat!

    Chatting to people at anonymous congregations is such hard work. I always avoid them. When committed, I long for somebody who will be happy to talk about Plato. At my second grandchild’s wedding celebrations recently I actually found somebody who was eager to talk about NLP & Mr G! Or rather they found me…

    What a shame about the philosophy student. When I was in Grammar School we were advised by older boys that if we could get the Greek master to talk about Stoics & Epicureans we could avoid a Greek lesson. We never did get him to do that but the idea gave me an abiding passion for philosophical distraction. Distractions are everything!

    Rallying the internal troops (parts or ‘I’s) and getting them to march to the same tune sounds like a good strategy for coping with party gatherings – what was the tune? At my grandchild’s celebration I practised non-labelling till I was assailed by the oddish woman who seemed to want a basinful of NLP & Mr G then it was easy – some very familiar ‘I’s came out to play. Though she asked questions, I’m not sure she was actually really listening…

    I absolutely agree with the fundamental way of thinking to which you have lately come round, Pat. Multiple ‘I’s are run by the only brain we have; one self bearing one name, one body too, especially, creaking with rheumatics etc; one neural mishmash – that of a fifteen-year-old-I in my case, though sometimes it feels an 81-year-old-I. The oneness of things is unarguable. It’s what goes on inside the oneness that counts for me. We’ve only one brain but many minds (one of my minds calls them ‘I’s for the sake of simplicity…) I’m often in more than two minds about that though; wearing one of my several hats I go into overdrive, like now. Another of my ‘I’s notices that, present company excepted, other people’s minds can be very dubious – takes one to know one.

    Of course, Habitually-responding-I says that, in the situation you found yourself (one of your selves) there’s a Packing-boxes-I that you’d have to be in to do the task properly – according to the dictates of ‘I’s that occupy the Left Brain – nothing arty-crafty about it. But it’s necessary to move to a Right-Brain-I or even a Limbically-motivated-I to makes sure you’re doing what another ‘I’ imagines the other person who’s involved really wants to happen.

    I find that Really-contented-I is the one whose appearance is stimulated by DIY-I. External input is very demanding – it messes with what’s on the inside… It’s a mirror of what goes on when one ‘I’ of one’s own is in conflict with another one occupying the mishmash of the very same brain.

    What’s all this to do with haiku? !!

    My straight answer, which is not in the original post but could have made its way there, is that every haiku comes from a different ‘I’…

    shadows of two moths
    circling each other
    in the corner of my eye

    ephemeridae
    scudding dots lit by sunlight
    against a dark hedge

    coolness of the breeze
    on an unaccustomed seat
    – sun-drenched garden

    These are the last three Haiku-writing-I scribbled in its notebook. Three ‘I’s

    1. Being-distracted-I, Changing-focus-I
    2. Observing-I
    3. Feeling-relief-from-heat-I

    Now, while I’ve been spasmodically in Writing/thinking-I there’s an ‘it’ that’s shifted to Moving-furniture-I to Mending-a-chair-I to Avoiding-self-justification-I to Being-secretly-in-a-towering-rage-I…

    We have one mind but many different selves is what I might say on a good day.

    I completely agree with what you say, Pat, when you say:-

    ‘I think what comes to mind, and what self comes out to play, is dependent upon how our brain fires in specific contexts, and that is who we become in that moment. We are not fixed beings but ever in a state of flux. ‘I’s and ‘Parts’ are useful words to describe this process.’

    ‘Clearing the flux, through first coming to an awareness that this is what happens – allows for all sorts of possibilities – anything can happen…’

    That’s right. Mr Gurdjieff suggests that we regularly ask ourselves what ‘I’ we’re in hourly (more or less) in order to assess whether we’re in the best one for what we happen to be doing!

    This was a version of that:- ‘first become aware of this – it just happens. Then it becomes possible to decide to be in an I that’s appropriate for whatever you’re doing – single mindedness…’

    It’s very interesting that just letting go of the trying for a particular state of mind leads to a unity. Maybe Nothingness is the ideal state of mind; the trying is already another state of mind: Aiming-for-a-state-of-mind-I !

    Being in Nothingness enables anything to happen. An interesting thing to test out: being in Nothingness (unity – Meta-I, perhaps) ‘surrounded by mayhem’. What’s that like?

    Nothingness, no-mind = ‘letting go of everything’… ‘moving meditation a place of peace…’

    I think this does ‘…achieve going beyond my self…’ Then it’s: ‘just do it…’ Strangely, one can get outside the self… Not a lot of people would agree with that.

    Knowledge (plenty of it to create a Rich Picture) is admirable so long as one never identifies with it – that’s a loss of self. Wisdom is in disidentification… Then one can just pick up whatever ‘might be useful in a particular context…’ ‘Going on is the goal. The goal is in the going…

    I do the washing-up with Marilyn Monroe by my side: “Come on, Colin, let’s do the washing-up together…”

    Thanks, Pat!

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    1. Thank you once again Colin – and so – can we use “mind” in this context as a collective noun perhaps? e.g. a Mind of “I’s”?

      Nothingness surrounded by Mayhem? – was like having one’s self in a protective bubble – aware of what was going on in a distant, vague, on & off sort of way, but not affected by it.

      It was certainly a lesson – it reminded me of when the kids were small persons – as a Mother I learned to distance myself, shut off from the noise of whatever ilk, whilst at the same time being distantly on watch for dangerous moments. There’s something about a child’s tone of cream when it’s real danger or hurt.

      That was quite useful at the time all those years ago. I only used it in extremis to keep myself sane because there were so few years between them all it was quite stressful at times. I had no idea what I was doing at the time of course – I just did it. Along with many other Mother’s I know.

      A lovey antidote to a somewhat frantic summer, was to absent myself in Portobello Edinburgh, it has a wonderful vibe, completely chilled, it was only for five nights, but very replenishing none the less.

      Thanks for the interaction as always.

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  4. p.s. “Multiple ‘I’s are run by the only brain we have;” – by the way – whether one considers that we have only one brain depends very much on what is meant by “brain.”

    It is true to say that we only have one in our heads, but some would hold that there are more elsewhere. Whether we call those mechanisms a brain – depends upon what you hold to be the mechanism and structure and purpose of a brain.

    ….. Just playing of course.

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    1. Mindful-of-I’s or Mind-full-of-I’s might offer a nice double meaning!

      I’d say that when you, Pat, had/have little persons swarming around you you went/go naturally into what I call Meta-I. Your account makes me feel bold enough to say that – it’s the ‘I’ that takes itself apart (as it were). Used to be called ‘Helicopter Vision’ in my long ago daze of running Staff Development courses. Those were the days.

      Perhaps Being-in-Edinburgh-I was a kind of Big Chunk Meta-I which entertained a lot of passing Multiple-I’s !

      And, of course, continuing to play with you, Pat, I’m completely sold on the idea that the whole body is the brain – I’m specially conscious of that when these old fingers, as one terminus and indicator of brain/body activity go diklectick for a moment.

      For any haiku-writer whose ‘I’s might just have got as far as reading this (unlikely), in relation to the penning of haiku, which is where all this maybe started, there are so many dire examples of hycoo on the Internet, produced by Everyday-common-or-garden-I’s that I despair greatly about authentic haiku’s being dumbed right down. People who persist in arrogantly calling themselves ‘haijin’ imagine that the activity is to do with the ‘Being-inspired-I’ that suddenly gets an idea for writing a ‘proper poem’ when it’s actually about being in Meta-I, completely empty of hebdomadal concerns. Haiku come out of Nothingness. Being also a writer of what I call ‘proper poems’ – ones that go on and on way beyond three lines – I’m well aware of the difference between writing a haiku and writing a poem: a haiku writes you in a flash while the emergence of a ‘proper poem’ can take days and is the result of making connections and working on neuronic, whole body/brain conceptual disgorgements.

      I am, of course, a totally committed fan of Deepak Chopra! The whole of our being is a brain which contains a Mind-full-of-I’s.

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      1. Yes diklektic fingers are a bind – plus the fact I never notice how bad things are until after I’ve posted something.

        So when all’s said and done, and if my understanding resonates with yours… a Haiku poem is the expression of an experiential immediacy, whereas a longer poem is more of a culmination of the connectedness of an intellectual process?

        Anyway, thank you for your indulgence and for coming out to play.

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  5. ‘…a Haiku poem is the expression of an experiential immediacy, whereas a longer poem is more of a culmination of the connectedness of an intellectual process…’

    That’s it exactly! I would (and do) argue that haiku is not a poem – it’s the momentary expression of an existential state of being. So, there are haiku and ‘proper poems’… !!!

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      1. You know more than 90% of people who call themselves ‘haiku-writers’ do. The Internet is stuffed full of hycoo… (in my humble opinion and remembering that my wife says I’m never humble…)

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      2. All part of being part of the merry bank if seekers as Patrick once put it. Seek to learn/understand – always. X

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