NotaBene .


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.

Key words: haiku, koans, Zen-Buddhist philosophy


PARALLELS OF THE 'YIN-YANG' CONCEPT IN EUROPEAN CULTURE (The Western Reception of the Ancient Chinese Symbolism)

This paper explores some Western receptions of the Chinese concepts yin yang and their philosophical reflection as primordial symbolic system. The assumption of the underlying homology in the Universe as a whole suggests that there are related orders of events, analyzed in the so called correlative thinking in Early China. The holistic view draws systematic correspondences between various levels of reality, e.g. the human, the world of nature and the cosmic unity. According to the theorists of quantum mechanics Heisenberg and Bohr there can be found striking analogies between Ancient Daoist thought and the principle of complementarity, concerning fundamental subatomic relatedness. C.G. Jung calls the Daoist approach the synchronistic way Yijing (the cosmological Book of Changes) involves the study and classification of events wherein meaningful interdependence transcends space, time and causality as a determining factor. Very close to the model of The Great Ultimate, representative for the yin - yang relationship, virtual particles in atomic physics correspond with one another in some basic aspect, even in some cases their identities are contained one within the other.

Key words: Eastern philosophy, modern science, synchrony, yin, yang, Dao, taiji