Haiku

  1. The essentialized, highly therapeutic form of a work of art, especially music, poetry, or literature, created by combining the opening of the work with its ending and removing the rest of the content. The result, when correctly done, has extremely high Life Energy, usually much higher than that of the original work from which it is taken. 1980s-present.
  2. Diamond’s characteristic black and white, highly essentialized, therapeutic paintings. He described these as haikus or haiku paintings also c. 2007-12, whereupon the term was then largely replaced by Stillpoint*. See examples.

Commentary: Diamond first developed the haiku concept in the 1980s as part of his research into finding ways to increase the therapeutic power of the arts, and it has remained important in his work since. The term is borrowed from the well-known genre of traditional Japanese poetry. As well as the miniature form, an important aspect relates to the breath: the seventeen-syllable length of traditional haiku is said to be just the duration of one breath. So a haiku of a piece of music, for instance, is the reduction of it, as it were, to a single breath. Similarly, his haiku paintings are created, in theory, in the space of a breath. However, this is more metaphoric than literal. In writing about the original Japanese poem, Diamond tells us that “in that breath span, there is a distillation, a crystallization, of the deepest feeling…. Although seemingly about the triviality of the moment, underneath [the haiku] conveys a powerful message of Truth…. [and] can manifest more Divinity, can more enhance our lives, than ten thousand lines of a less aspirational epic.” (Stillpoints: An Introductory Guide to Haiku Painting, ix). The idea then is to so distill a piece of music, for example, so that it reveals a “powerful message of Truth” lying dormant in its original expanded state.

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