Case 45 Hõen's "Who Is He?"
Hõen of Tõzan said, "Even Shakya and Maitreya are servants of another.
I want to ask you, who is he?"
If you can really see this "another" with perfect clarity, it is like encountering your own father at a crossroads. Why should you ask whether you recognize him or not?
Don't draw another's bow,
Don't ride another's horse,
Don't discuss another's faults,
Don't explore another's affairs.
I shouldn't write or say anything about this koan or for that matter any koan. You either understand or you don't. You have either put in the untold hours of of zazen or you haven't. You have either experienced samdhi or you haven't. This "another", this master of Shakya and Maitreya is not something you can grasp intellectually with words and yet you know it contains and is the master of all the gods and buddhas. This is not about faith, no it is something that we can perceive. At times we personify it like in this koan but it is not an individual being. We can call it Being itself or Buddha or the Man of No Rank, or even God but these are just names. Names can carry us into the realm of duality and fill us with ideas. It is better not to give it a name, but if we are clear eyed and not filled with thoughts then we can perceive this master which is everything and no-thing.
One of the fallacies that we humans fall into is the idea of free will. It goes with the idea of an individual being. But in truth none of us are in charge, it is just another idea. The complexities of cause and effect are beyond grasping. Nothing happens independent of everything else because there is no everything else, there is only this master. "In all of heaven and earth there is only One and it is I."