“Just Old Chinese Philosophy”

Chinese fishermen with cormorants – Photograph by Bobby Joshi

Student: I’ve got a couple of Chinese poems translated by (Kenneth) Rexroth that each have three sentences if you want an example (of tri-partite structure)

AG: Rexroth has a fuzzy brain. Do they fit?   I don’t want a example if it doesn’t fit!.

Student: Well…

AG; Let’s try one

Student: It’s got three sentences – “In The Evening I Walk By The River” – “The frozen river is drifted deep with snow”

AG: Okay

Student: “For days, only a few spots near the bank have stayed open/In the evening when everyone has gone home,/The cormorants roost on the boats of the fishermen”

AG: “..on boats of the fishermen”? – That’s got four (lines)

Student: Well, three sentences..

AG: Yeah, he’s.. Well, I was applying this (theory) to haiku, although I think though, (that) apparently, it applies to flower-arranging.  And. you see, with flower-arranging that Heaven-Earth-Man principle is, you get your bowl, and you put in a big clunk, the central, the first thought, the first flash, like, you put it down,  and then the next thing you put it, naturally, you’ve got to relate to it, and you  know, connect it somehow to something, or make some why? out of it, or some design out of it. And the third thing is a little comment on it on the relation between the first two, when you’re arranging three.. a flower-arrangement with three elements, like a big chrysanthemum, a little daisy (so you might have the daisy sticking out that way and with the chrysanthemum going way up this way) and mabe a little sprig of green in the middle going like that – so that would be like Heaven-Earth-Man again, like the little sprig of green sort of commenting on the relationship between Heaven and Earth – Man being the mind that binds Heaven and Earth, that brings Heaven and Earth in relationship, or recognizes the relationship, or uses them both at once, or works between them )

That’s just old Chinese philosophy,  because there are aesthetics also. You’ve heard… most of you have heard some of this, haven’t you?, heard of this system?

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-seven minutes in and concluding at approximately thirty-nine minutes in]

One comment

  1. …An evening breeze stirs.
    But winds end like other
    Things that matter.
    After three days it blew itself away
    And left the sea smooth
    Alone with the fisherman….

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