Gateless Gate 35

Gateless Gate (Mumonkan, Wumenguan) #35
Chien's Soul is Separated

Personnel and Date
  • WUZU "Qingyuan" Fayan (Goso Hôen, 1024-1104, 20th gen), disciple of Baiyun Shouduan
  • Date guess: ca. 1084
Case (Shibayama)
Wuzu asked a monk, “Chien and her soul are separated: which is the true one?”[1]
[1] “The woman Chien and her spirit separated. Which is the true Chien?” (Aitken);
“A woman split her soul; which was the real one?” (Cleary);
“[at a funeral], ‘This beautiful woman has died and her spirit has departed. Which is the real person?’” (Guogu);
“Twain-Beauty’s sky-spirit fled to a life with her true love, leaving her earth-spirit to live on at home. Which was the actual Twain-Beauty?” (Hinton);
“Chien and her soul are separated. Who is the true Chien?” (Low);
“Chien, the Chinese woman, had two souls. One was always sick at home, and the other was a married woman with two children, living in another province. Which was the true soul?” (Senzaki);
“Chien’s souls separated from her being. Which was the real Chien?” (Sekida);
“Chien and her soul are separated; which one is the true Chien?” (Yamada).

Wumen's Comment (Shibayama)
If you are enlightened in the truth of this koan, you will then know that coming out of one husk and getting into another is like a traveler’s putting up at hotels. In case you are not yet enlightened, do not rush about blindly. When suddenly earth, water, fire, and air are decomposed, you will be like a crab fallen into boiling water, struggling with its seven arms and eight legs. Do not say that I have not warned you.
Wumen's Verse (Shibayama)
Ever the same the moon among the clouds;
Different from each other, the mountain and the valley.
How wonderful! How blessed!
Is this one, or two?

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