NotaBene .

Journal NotaBene Issue 46 (2019) Editor: Antoaneta Nikolova; A special issue based on a workshop in the frame of a project under MSCA, EC, H 2020, Grant No 753561

Topic of the issue: Western Perception of Eastern Spirituality

Befriending the Things around Us. Respecting the Soul of the World

Abstract: A generally unnoticed factor behind our current environmental predicament is a deeply dysfunctional relationship with the things around us, not just things of nature but also human-made things. Behind this dysfunction is an idea of things as inanimate, lifeless, dead. This post-Cartesian notion seems obvious to most people nowadays, but is in fact highly unusual when seen in the context of the history of human cultures. By contrast with our modern notion of animism (primitive peoples project their own psychology onto the inanimate world so that it appears animated), most cultures think that the world is pervaded by soul from the start (as in the Platonic anima mundi). An appreciation of the philosophical depth of the idea of the world soulor a world of qi energies in the Chinese traditionencourages us to befriend the things around us and treat the soul of the world (and the body of the earth) with greater respect.

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Haiku, pure deictism: Heidegger's experience of language, part 1

In a narrow sense, the article examines one characteristic of haiku of being a pure deictism (R. Barthes). This is done through Heideggers conception of language, developed in the essay From the Dialogue about Language. Between one Japanese and one asking (1953/54), one of the few places in the work of the philosopher where he himself acknowledges and discloses the special proximity of his late philosophy to Eastern thinking, and only place, to my knowledge, where he talks directly about haiku. The philosophical focus of the article is a basic, substantial aporia: the relation between mysteriousness as the differential quality of the Japanese image of the world, linguistically formatted, and the extreme closeness to concrete natural intuition/Anschauung (This!) an aporia maximally contained in the linguistic nature of haiku. More broadly, the article, a chapter in monographic research, discusses the eastern component in Heidegger in general.

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Haiku, pure deictism: Heidegger's experience of language, part 2

In a narrow sense, the article examines one characteristic of haiku of being a pure deictism (R. Barthes). This is done through Heideggers conception of language, developed in the essay From the Dialogue about Language. Between one Japanese and one asking (1953/54), one of the few places in the work of the philosopher where he himself acknowledges and discloses the special proximity of his late philosophy to Eastern thinking, and only place, to my knowledge, where he talks directly about haiku. The philosophical focus of the article is a basic, substantial aporia: the relation between mysteriousness as the differential quality of the Japanese image of the world, linguistically formatted, and the extreme closeness to concrete natural intuition/Anschauung (This!) an aporia maximally contained in the linguistic nature of haiku. More broadly, the article, a chapter in monographic research, discusses the eastern component in Heidegger in general.

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"Lighting one candle with another candle": Far Eastern Inspirations

Far Eastern culture is integrated and united around a core of mystical nature. The Western approach is characterized by differentiation and analysis. Therefore, haiku is not always regarded as an integral part of a culture in which a particular spirituality plays a major role. This study focuses on the task of tracing out the reception of Far Eastern philosophical thought, and in particular haiku, in the Western world. The issue is considered in the context of the dynamic picture of profound changes that alter Western civilization itself during the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries.

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The Relationship between Haiku and Koans in Zen-buddhist Philosophy

This text analyzes both the formal and substantive similarity between subgenres of waka poetry - haiku, tanka, renga, on the one hand, and koans, on the other. The possibility of such typological analysis is based on the Buddhist foundations of Old Japanese aesthetics. This is a specific worldview, synthesizing the ideas of the ephemeral beauty of transience, of the unspoken phrase, and the approaches to the fullness of being that are found in the sudden enlightenment (the instantaneous awakening).
Zen-Buddhism and the cultural orientations broadly associated with it, provide an ideal source of alternative creativity. It discloses the impermanence of the hidden meaning in life and the assumption that the universe or some fundamental issues in society could not necessarily be manifested in philosophical theories, but can be embodied in the performance of poetry, allegory, image thinking. It carries out a kind of philosophical criticism - the idea that with the transition from the epistemological to the ontological level, the so called common sense may exist in other branches of knowledge and modes of speech. Koans focus on non-standard, non-competitive mind, challenging the legitimacy of their own conceptual schemes. Haiku-language implies the unconditional, irreducible presence of nature which precedes all the artificially fixed meanings. The so called image thinking, or the ineffable mystery, encompasses the boundless and is opposed to the distortion of any natural discourses. In the process of getting rid of any sort of fixation, the substantive language should be forsaken the true Master knows how to explore all possible points of view. He inquires into all the perspectives regarding the truth of the Way, equalizing and transcending them at the same time. When uttering Do (Dao) he makes use of the various functional forms of poetic expression. As a kind of incarnation of the Great Ultimate, the speech is born in the empty mind just as the sound occurs in silence, so forgetting the words (Zhuangzi) is a precondition of any cognition. Zen-Buddhist accentuation on nonverbal knowledge reveals that the speech does not exhaust the fullness of meaning - on the contrary: a word can be understood through the present Void in every talk (making it meaningful). For Chinese and Japanese thinkers, the emptiness as a basic setting for the discussion of ontological problems has an axiological priority over the mode of presence and availability: the sage returns to the constancy of the absent.

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Podium

Renku, Haiku, and Buddhism

It is commonly known that the one-breath poetic form of haiku evolved from the starting verse of Japanese rengathe linked verse form that is widely referred to today as renku. Not commonly known is that renku was shaped over time by Japanese poet-priests to become ultimately a Buddhist ritual designed to lead its participants on an imagined tour of the Mandala of All Creation with the sole purpose of helping them to realize the transience of the universe, thereby taking a major step toward enlightenment. This paper traces the development of renku and haiku to the present day to show how twenty-first century haiku poets stand at a crossroads: they can either continue Masaoka Shikis trajectory of de-spiritualizing haiku, or they can cultivate a more traditional spiritual understanding of haikus art and deep purpose.

This essay first appeared in David G. Lanoue, My Journal with Haiku Sprinkled in (HaikuGuy.com, 2019).
Joint publication of journals NotaBene and Haiku World, Issue 5, 2019

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The development of haiku in Germany in the 20th century until today

Based on the awakening interest in Eastern culture after the Paris World's Fair in 1896, begins in Germany the perception of haiku as a special and separate literary genre. Despite the cultural and language barriers and even more the political developments of the two world wars, haiku remains in the focus of a small but very interested literary public. This publicity expanded in the sixties and seventies through the spread of Far Eastern ZEN thoughts into the spiritual practice of Western cultures also in Germany. As a result, in the '80s and' 90s haiku associations emerged across the continents. Also the German haiku society, which was established 1988. Since the late 1990s, haiku outside of Japan has been influenced mainly by the globalization of Internet communication. In consequence the exchange of haiku across language barriers and cultures has given the haiku a new dynamic and meaning.

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Haiku in Romania, from the Orient towards the Orient of the mind

Our contacts with the Orient date back to ancient times, firstly with the Persians, the Mongolians/ the Tartars, the Turks, then with China, Japan and others. There are interesting different approaches to the two areas of the Orient the Tartar/ Turk: in spite of the common history, with the exception of a few daily used words, this contact produced no traces in literature; the contact with Japan related to haiku gave birth to a significantly nuanced approach and understanding that resulted in a new type of relating to the culture and spirituality of the Japanese archipelago. Our press has provided information about Japan ever since 1841. And also the beginning of the haiku genre in Romania could date back to the middle of the 19th century with B.P. Hasdeu. Important steps were made after 1930, when starting with haiku, with the anthologies of Traian Chelariu, Al.T. Stamatiad the interest for the Japanese history and spirituality kept growing and especially after 1989, thanks to the access to numerous information sources this change gained the implications that the ones who are interested are willing to give. Finally, haiku has contributed in its own way to making people fond of Japan and its spirituality and, starting from this point, towards what the Orient is to us, with its diversity and complexity.

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Minima moralia

The Way of Taneda Santoka

This essay is just a glimpse into the Dao of Santoka, who being confident of the purposelessness of existence and even more so despaired of his personal guilt and uselessness, is trying to bridge the gap until death reaches out for him by composing haiku.So the words, the meaning, the sounds are being twiddled and tinkered until they start sparkling brightly, which resulted in his unique haiku style.
Eventually and without aiming it, Santoka entered gloriously the pantheon of haiku masters and became one of the most read 20th century poets.
Joint publication of journals NotaBene and Haiku World, Issue 5, 2019

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Haiku: to enter the fullness of here-and-now

The paper will present one of the peculiarities of the Eastern worldview, which is expressed in haiku, namely the combination of a sense of fullness of the moment and its transitivity. We will look for the roots of this vision in the philosophy of Daoism, and in particular in the understanding of the achievement of the pivot of dao or the spring of emptiness at the core of every process from where any transformations are possible.

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Traditional Japanese Aesthetics in Contemporary Ceramics

he research article concerns the creation of decorative ceramic glazes with a specific surface vision and firing temperature range between 980C - 1050C. The glazes which are subject of this study have a specific texture, characterized by the assembling of the glaze into segments of different shapes and sizes, resulting in stripping of the lower layer (ceramic body or engobe). The purpose of the study is: (1) To create fragmented glazes using micronized zirconium silicate, which can be applied in the temperature range 980C - 1050C, suitable for red baked ceramics and chalk faience; The glazes thus created should have a clear texture and the ability to be tinted in different colors. This is topic of present interest, as there are no glazes for ceramics with a similar structure developed on the basis of zirconium silicate for red baked ceramics and chalk faience so far. The emphasis is put entirely on decorative glazes, which are a combination of technical parameters and artistic techniques, the totality of which influences their specific look.
Keywords: decorative ceramic glazes, crackle glazes, lichen glazes, variety of raw materials, technological process, glaze production technology, Vassil Harizanov

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Poiesis

"In a Heartbeat": Detelina Tiholova

Paintings, presented by Detelina Tiholova on the Days of Eastern Spirituality and Culture

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