(As published in the Autumn, 2000 issue of Frogpond, Journal of the Haiku Society of America.)
In my early years of haiku writing, I easily accepted the prevalent credo being espoused on how to write haiku. This was, sometimes implied and occasionally expressed, as being: if the author's mind/heart was correctly aligned in the "proper" attitude, while experiencing a so-called "haiku moment", one merely had to report on the experience to have a darn-good haiku.
One reason for rejoicing in the acceptance of this view, was that it by-passed the old 5-7-5 barrier crisis. This was certainly a plus for the whole 70s haiku scene as there seemed a danger of the entire movement bogging down in fights, arguments and broken friendships.
Another advantage of this system of defining a haiku was that it bestowed near-religious honor on the author of a passable haiku. No one knew exactly why a particular haiku was 'good' but it was clear from the ku that the author had experienced a moment of enlightenment (or satori for the Zen inspired). If the moment was holy and the form fit in with the group's philosophy publishing the ku, the haiku was said to be an excellent one. This happened more often if the person judging the ku was a good friend of the haiku's author.