When doctrinal debates were held at monasteries of old, flags of the respective teams and debaters would be posted at the gates. When the debate was done, the 'loser's' flag would be knocked down by the victor.
Is one of the arguments by Keizan in this week's reading that no readings at all are necessary for Zen Practice, and no argument as to the correct meaning? Keizan somehow seems quite well read in the Buddhist Sutras and history, well versed in doctrine, and an able debater.
Or is too much reading, or reading the wrong way, a bad thing? Ananda was a walking encyclopedia of everything the Buddha ever said yet, somehow, this was not enough. What was missing?
Is it more a matter of piercing to the heart of the meaning of the words ... which are sometimes needed, sometimes not?
Shall we debate the meaning of this? Is there even a gate to post our flags, or no gate at all? A gateless gate? Shall we see who knocks down whose flag first?
Another famous Koan ...
Our reading this week is Cook from page 36, and Hixon from page 43The wind was flapping a temple flag, and two monks were arguing about the flag. One said, "The flag is moving." The other said, "the wind is moving." They could not agree, no matter how hard they debated. The sixth patriarch, Eno, happened to come by and said, "Not the wind, not the flag. It is the mind that is moving!" The two monks were struck with awe.