Yoshizen's Blog

Rimbaud and Zen Mind

Rimbaud-Small White Elephant-2-A09A5632

There was yet another funny coincidence.   At my friend’s party, I met a designer/

planner who happen to know an artist friend who also run a café called

Small White Elephant, which happen to be in my area.

As she suggested, I paid a visit to the café and met a guy, Dale who run it.

Dale was a painter, we got a common talk in the art. — so, while showing my work

in Youtube and the photos in this blog, I talked about what and who influenced me.

As I mentioned my taste of the Surrealism art and the Symbolist poet Arthur

Rimbaud, Dale jumped up, went to his jacket’s pocket to fetch a small book.

It was a Rimbaud’s Poem, [A season in Hell].


When I use the words “funny coincidence” it’s implying “Karmic encounter” =

no rational connection or likely happening situation still, from the hidden history

or life’s context, the pathway got to cross, of which only the heaven knows it.

And my life is having so many of them.  

If not, I’m not in here, or even this blog didn’t exist. —– looking back, have I ever

chased anybody and met ? (I mean, from a reputation, I sought to meet the person.)

NONE. I am completely passive. (of course, it exclude the case on the business =

like interview and photograph somebody = it was for the editor’s needs,

not necessary my interest)


In my teens, I started to read Osamu Dazai = rather popular choice of  “ a kind of

young people then” and I read all of his work include the letters.

In the same time, I also read the books written by the opposing group of Dazai,

critiques, poets etc.   A critic, Hideo Kobayashi and the friend poets were all

influenced by a French Poet Arthur Rimbaud. —– then, I end up with this Poet.

—– I’ve talked about this story in a post. [My starting point (2) ] (I might be the first person

in the history to connect Rimbaud to the Psychological mechanism of Zen mind.   🙂 )


—– (Quote of the post)

< What makes reading of Rimbaud Poems somewhat common with Buddhists Pathway

was, that his approach to be a Boyant (Seer / Watcher) in Alchemy of Life was,

to examine the own mind again and again, deeper and deeper, exposing everything

like a dissected dead body = effectively made his own mind (and the life) a completely

detached dried object.  Detachment while having cut-off the Emotion, will lose 

the tag of the SELF, hence creating a state of mind, similar to the Buddhists’ Selflessness.

(This process is very similar to the Hinayana Buddhists practice  = Process of  Self-denial )

And as Rimbaud’s subject, include his own life became a detached object without the 

emotional attachment, it was described as a metaphorical object or the Symbol =

thence his poetry was called Symbolism.  (This detachment was the self-alienation too, so that

Rimbaud called the state of mind before, as a slumber of the animal

—– he missed it with tears, but it was too late) > 


The modern trend of the art then, Symbolism, Surrealism and Dadaism were all try 

to find the way to express “True reality” of the existence or the human mind.

So that, all of them created uniquely formed style, since they thought that to express

straight as perceived, couldn’t show the reality or truth. —– with the idea of Freud,

they thought, since there was something behind of our mind, there couldn’t be the

straight raw expression (so, they tried autonomous writing “Automatism” etc with

futile results.)   What common in those attempt was that they tried to replace the 

subjects with something related or not so related.  =

Symbolism used the objects somewhat related or looks like, as a metaphor.  

Surrealism tried with unexpected one and Dadaism denied any connection. 


Though, there was an inherent trouble departing with raw expression = as it was

a two-step conversion, first, it needed to observe the feeling, then to find a symbol to

replace it = When the original mind, perception was “observed”, its Subject became

an OBJECT = It mean, he is no longer the innocent author. —– Even if it was the

own mind/perception, it was now the separate entity = OBJECT.

(For instance, even a hot love, when it was observed as an OBJECT and written down

like a stage act, down to the every movements of sexual act, it is no longer the love but

the words in the pages of DOCUMENT. =

That was how Rimbaud’s poem “A season in Hell” was created.  And Rimbaud

described it “Je me vois me voir” = I see myself seeing myself.)

In this process, not only the own mind/perception became separate object, but crucially,

the Mind lost the connection to its “Emotion” therefore, the own mind is no longer

connected to the SELF.   His life became a Puppet show remotely played.

(Self couldn’t define the own place without having tethered to the own Emotion !)

(When Alzheimer sufferer lost the connection to the emotional region of the brain,

his/her identity, the recognition of the family also gone.)


Unlike most of the Surrealists, Dadaists who has been a part-timer = “Pretender” for

the sake of their art,  Rimbaud was a full-time Symbolist, he lost the raw feeling of the

“Live-view”, hence the sizzling excitement of the life.  So, he try to sex-up the life, such

as with absinthe, heroin or to play homo-sexuality etc which didn’t bring any solution.

—– on the end, lured by a false excitement, he left to the Abyssinia.

———- (And the other trouble of the Rimbaud’s poems to a reader was, —– as they

were written as narrations, after a while, his words became the reader’s words and

gradually they seeped into the bottom of the subconscious, then “who I am” would be

slowly eroded. = in the end, we will be left in the middle of nowhere alone, without

identity = it would be our Abyssinia.)

[] * * * * * * *

Fundamental difference of Selflessness and the Detachment of Rimbaud against

the Buddhist was, —– to Rimbaud, it was the unexpected by-product.

But to the Buddhist, it was the requisite way to reach peace of life and ultimately

the Enlightenment.    In contrast, Rimbaud wanted to have a true reality of the life

which should enhance the excitement though, to became Voyant (seer / watcher) 

gave him the opposite effect.

—– ? ? ? to give a thought,  ISN’T IT strange, nobody did gave him an advice or after

100.000 years history of human culture, why such wisdom haven’t been established ?

—– then think more, ? ? ? ? ? —– Have we got a wisdom in the first place at all ?

What is the wisdom ?

—– Very basic morality ? Such as that, DON’T do wrong or bad otherwise the society,

and ultimately you will get a repercussion and suffer. —– And the way to see what is

wrong or bad. —– In reality, the burst majority of the practical detail on the

“life’s how to do” is open to the person to experiment on the spot, and find the answer

by themselves. = It’s mean that existing / ready-made “Wisdom” is not more than an

Opinion, since even the people, so-called “Burst majority”, among them, non of two

Karma is the same, and operating strictly individual base.   This was the reason why,

Lord Buddha ordered to his disciples “Don’t believe what others said. Think yourself”=

Simply because, the answer will be different, person to person.

—– (This was originally intended to be the 700th post —– though, it gone to banana.   😀 )



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