Chapter 9: Yaa-hoo! - a Living Sound
This sound of Kwatz! has never been understood by the intellectuals, and will never be understood by them. They understand only superficial words. Words cannot go as deep as sounds.
Rinzai is describing situations:
For instance, a true disciple would, upon arrival, give a shout.
Only a true disciple will have the courage to give a shout to the master, because it is a challenge - a challenge to transform him, a challenge to accept him for the journey, a challenge to take him in his caravan. The false disciple, who is only a student gathering fragments of knowledge here and there, will not have the nerve to give the shout. If he gives the shout he will receive the master’s staff on his head to put him right.
The shout needs your earnest inquiry, not just curiosity. And the difference is clear, it is a nuance. The sound is the same but the earnest seeker will have a power in his sound. If the seeker is earnest and gives a sound and the master is not a true master but only a teacher, then the disciple is presenting a tray of glue.
An incompetent master, who does not know that this is just an object, would step into the glue, putting on high airs with his learning.
It is a touchstone also. When a true disciple meets a true master there is no way of saying how the master will respond. But one thing is certain: if the master is not true himself, he will fall into the trap of the true disciple whose shout is a tray of glue. He will start thinking that he is a great master. He will put on high airs, and start talking like a parrot - he will show his learning. But the true seeker is not in search of learning or knowledge, nor is the true master interested in teaching.
The true master is interested in transforming your being, in bringing you home, in making you a host rather than a guest. You have been a guest in many forms, in many lives. The true master’s function is to show you the way home where you are not a guest but a host. Enough of caravansaries, enough of five-star hotels, enough of the friendly, familiar, businesslike, worldly reception as a guest. Unless you find the host you are going to remain superficial, just a personality.
The true disciple would shout again.
He would give another chance to the master, because it is thought to be a responsibility of the master not to be dishonest.