There are people who select one single phrase which is half hidden, and half revealed, and from that doubt is born. So, they search heaven and earth, run around asking others and keep themselves busily occupied. But the man who has nothing further to seek does not pass his days arguing about ruler and robber, this and that, is and is not, form and essence, and other vain propositions.
‘One single phrase which is half hidden, and half revealed’ means a koan, Zen question, which is often explained as being half hidden and half revealed, since we cannot grasp what it means by accepting it just as it superficially seems and sounds, that is, by interpreting it literally. That is why those who try to understand the one single phrase by following words and forms cannot do so, even though they ‘search heaven and earth, run around asking others and keep themselves busily occupied’. They should grasp that which is beyond what their eyes and ears meet. ‘The man who has nothing further to seek’ implies the true-Self that we are looking for. We should remember that the true-Self we are anxious to see is always with us and at leisure all the time, even when we are busy searching heaven and earth, running around asking others.
Student: “Who is the man who has nothing further to seek?”
Master: “He is with you now but not asking me.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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