AG: Yeah. My own interpetation was (is) first flash, without words – this is a (the) description given by Chogyam Trungpa, in that last class, of the actual process of thought-form as discerned through the experience of meditating, observing thought-forms. So there’s the first flash (which is) nameless, as, the brightness of the sun, or, say, a face in the crowd. Second, an identification of it, or the name of it, or recognition of what it is – “my brother”, or “the sun” – Then, third, there’s an after-thought which automatically comes to mind in the form of your own take on it, or comment or moral or lesson, or point, or – third-thought, or (a) pointing (out) of relationship.
Now I had been talking before of haiku in terms of two dissimilar images (or) polarized images united by a lightning flash in the mind, relating them. I think his (Trungpa’s) description is more classic and probably more accurate to functioning of mind itself, but I think only through sitting, or some kind of observation of (the) formation of thoughts in the mind, would you actually begin to discriminate – How does the mind actually operate? (and the whole point of this course is “How does the mind actually operate?”). And if you can figure that out, can you then create a poetics on that basis? I guess that’s all understood, isn’t it? In other words, what I was talking about was a kind of naturalism, but the naturalism was, although I was talking about seeing external objects and making use of those, the whole point was, “What was your first thought?” (and then, “what was the second thought?”). Trungpa suggested the third thought.
And, in considering the classic haiku of Basho…that we didn’t (get around to) cover in the list
An old pond
Sound of a frog jumping in
Splash of water
Everybody knows that haiku? – Has anybody not ever heard that? Everybody who has heard it, can you raise your hand? [majority of class raise their hands]. So it’s pretty universal. It’s a universal haiku. So let’s dig that a moment, because [Mitchell ? (sic)], I guess it was, and I, the other day, finally translated it almost perfectly. We finally arrived
at the perfect American translation of the classic Basho. Our version was.. – [(Allen is momentarily put off guard – “I need attention, Kate. You should have sat. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been so distracted”)]
The “kerplunk” is accurate because the Japanese haiku actually has at its end an onomatopoeic word for the sound of a frog jumping in water, and “kerplunk” fits the bill. ”Kerplunk” is actually perfect (for) that.
“Frog jump” – the equivalent in Buddhism would be nirmanakaya – the world of names and forms – “kaya” – world – the world of names and forms. The union of Emptiness and Form, of dharmakaya and nirmanakaya is the Body of Bliss called samboghakaya. S-A-M-B-O-G-H-A-K-A-Y-A – dharmakaya, nirmanakaya, samboghakaya [the Trikaya]. There’s always been that triple conception in Buddhism. They correspond also somewhat (to) Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana. It also corresponds to the Buddhist notion of ground – old pond, the first flash – path – the recognition – and fruition – the personal application or comment. The Vajrayana would correspond to the fruition, personal application, comment.
Samboghakaya, traditionally is the union of Form and Emptiness, which is our own Intelligence which comprehends both Form and Emptiness.
So the ideal poem or the ideal haiku would contain Emptiness, Form, and some kind of jokey humorous blissful understanding of both – co-existence. There’s a funny kind of intellectual structure possible. As to whether or not it actually applies, this general theory, you’d have to do it by examining haiku themselves.