Priest Mimoyan of Mount Wutai always held a two-pronged pitchfork. When he saw a monastic coming, he would hold up the pitchfork and say, “What kind of demon has made you leave the household? What kind of demon has caused you to wander? If you can say it, you will be killed with this pitchfork. If you can’t say it, you will be killed with this pitchfork. Say it now, quickly!”
Student: “What should the monastic say in order to avoid being killed with the pitchfork?”
Master: “He should snatch it away from the master and threaten back to kill him if he couldn’t say.”
If you can say what can be said, you will be killed.
If you can’t say what can’t be said, you will be killed.
You should be able to say what can’t be said.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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