BOOK OF EQUANIMITY, case 9
Now with the poor cat.
Now with the shocking koan. Are we involved in Cat slicing? Is Zen a way to cut flesh and bones and marrow of poor and inocent animals? The Bible is also filled with these sacrificial stuff, where brother kills his own brother, where even God allows his Son to perish on the Cross.
Are we a blood-thirsty tradition? I don't think so. The point of Nansen is clear. The whole assembly is dead silent. What is silent : their mouth, their head, their heart? When asked to speak, should they necessarily speak? What is required if anything here? Please dig this. Pick up the knife of investigation and have a go at your joints, life-blood vessels, cut down this blind mass of understanding. What is behind?
So Nansen challenges the assembly. "If you can say a word, I won't cut it? The assembly made no response. Nanzen cut the cat in two". What is cutting the cat? Who is doing it? You see, I often do it, I am a cat-cutter if I look at this being a sharp and witty way to represent to represent dualistic thinking. That's all we do, all day, cutting the world into pieces, cutting others from ourselves, cutting here from now, separating mind and body, looking at things or people being good or bad, great and not so great, going at war everyday from morning to evening and preaching peace with our dead lips. The words of reason, the law of men or gods, they all divide, painfully so reality itself. Killing the cat, everything bleeds.
Cutting is wise, cutting is great, cutting into one is the deepest and real answer. The action that cuts everything, even the cutting itself. How do we cut things into one, how do we behold the sword that slashes things into oneness, or rather into neither one, nor two? In our life, how to manifest this. cutting the cat into life, cutting others into oneself and oneself into others? How to we stop with the slaughter of everything and everyone?
Joshu's answer? What is it? Where do we get the real answer from? Where do we speak from when the world bleeds?
The story goes, a cat died. Every week many animals have to die to feed me. I don't kill them myself. I leave that to others. My family was a family of hunters so I grew up with animal corpses laying in the bathroom, wild rabbits, pigeons, even good cuts of dears and wild bores. I left that karma of killing and worshipping guns behind but I did not leave the karma of killing the world, of cutting reality into pieces. And then looking at the mess and wanting to solve the jigsaw puzzle. Not until I met this path. The path made it so clear that I was the war I wanted to erradicate, I was the quarrel, the fight, the noise, the mess...
So how does this practice makes two into one?