Thus Zen is also a liberation from the dualism of thought and action, for it thinks as it acts–with the same quality of abandon, commitment, or faith. The attitude of wu-hsin is by no means an anti-intellectual exclusion of thinking. Wu-hsin is action on any level whatsoever, physical or psychic, without trying at the same moment to observe and check the action from outside. This attempt to act and think about the action simultaneously is precisely the identification of the mind with its idea of itself. It involves the same contradiction as the statement which states something about itself — “This statement is false.”

The same is true of the relationship between feeling and action. For feeling blocks action, and blocks itself as a form of action, when it gets caught in this same tendency to observe myself or feel itself indefinitely–as when, in the midst of enjoying myself, I examine myself to see if I am getting the utmost out of the occasion. Not content with tasting the food, I am also trying to taste my tongue. Not content with feeling happy, I want to feel myself feeling happy–so as to be sure not to miss anything.

Like a sword that cuts, but cannot cut itself;
Like an eye that sees, but cannot see itself.

One stops trying to be spontaneous by seeing that it is unnecessary to try, and then and there it can happen. The Zen masters often bring out this state by the device of evading a question and then, as the questioner turns to go, calling him suddenly by name. As he naturally replies, “Yes?” the master exclaims, “There it is!”

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