(pub. The Mountain Path, July, 1967. Posthumous Pieces (HKU Press, 1968) Part IV, Chap. 95)
Hello! What are you worried about? How do you know I'm worried?
God, or whoever it was, gave you a face for some reason or other? Birds not caught! My only 'face' is the original one that I had before my father and mother were born - and it can't look worried!
Right! And the worry? I've come to the conclusion, and finally, that Bob what's-his-name is not only a bore, but a mean and selfish sort of bastard! Don't you agree?
Why should I? You describe your Bob what's-his-name: mine is not likely to be identical. Damn it all, there is only one Bob in question, and we are both talking about him!
I am unable to agree! There are as many Bob what's-his-names as there people who know him, plus one. Metaphysically speaking perhaps, but the familiar phenomenal Bob is surely whatever he is!
Nonsense! There is no such being. What you are referring to is absolutely no thing whatever; 'he' is as devoid of objective existence as anyone else. As you or me?
Of course. Then what is he?
He is an image in mind. You have just described what he is according to your image. In my image he appears slightly different, and less objectionable. His own 'Bob' - as he appears to himself - is probably the hell of a fine fellow! But there must be something that he really is!
Nothing whatever, absolutely no thing. He has, rigorously, no objective existence or being. He is only appearances in mind, interpreted diversely in a space-time context. But whose appearances?
Ours: he appears to each of us as each of us sees him. What else is there for him to be? Very well, but his? His own appearance to himself?
That is also a concept, nothing but a concept - his is not different in kind, but only in interpretation. You are supposing that his own is something factual, but it is not. Would anyone believe that?
Probably not - unless he saw it. Conditioning is too strong. Then who could take it?
It is not a dose of salts! Just an almost painfully obvious fact. To whom?
Only to whoever can see that it must be so, that so it is, that it is fundamental, the very heart of how things are. And when he sees it, what then?
If he really sees it - for hearing it or reading it is not seeing that so it is - he surely at the same time sees through everything that needs to be seen through - for all the rest follows. Each of us needs to see it for himself and in his own way?
Each of us knows it for himself - if he is looking from the right direction. And what is that?
From whole-mind, always from whole-mind. Can one always do that?
Once should be enough. Let this one be it. It is better than all the ko-ans and co-nundrums that have ever been invented. Why is that?
There is nothing artificial about it! It is just plain true-seeing.