To their intelligence – whatever they have of it, it will seem a maddening phenomenon. All that is beyond their reason they call mad. Only what is reasonable is acceptable. In this way the reasonable man confines his reality to the very small circle of his mind. Only the irrational person – capable of going beyond reason – opens the doors of the beyond.
Rinzai is trying to explain that the shout can be used in many ways.
“And sometimes a shout is not used as a shout”
– but as a salute.
“How do you understand all this?”
As the monk was thinking about it, Rinzai gave a shout
– the shout is Kwatz!
He then turned to the assembly and said, “You monks should be very careful about all this. When host and guest meet each other, there is always an exchange of words or discussion, in which are exhibited either the form appropriate for the moment, the function in full, expedient devices with either joy or anger and incomplete manifestation, or the rider on a lion or the Lord of Elephants.
A small sound can do many things because it has no meaning. You can use it in different devices. Two friends meet – not just familiar ones, acquaintances, but friends, connected deep down in their roots. They both will give the shout to show the whole universe, “We are one.” When a man for the first time becomes enlightened he gives a shout, not to anybody in particular but to the whole existence, “Let it be noted that I am no longer an ignorant and unaware man.” His shout is existential language.
In Zen they have symbols which are very significant. When you are out of yourself roaming around the world, you may be immobile in the body, but your mind is roaming around. This roaming mind is a guest, and the unchanging consciousness within you is the host. So there are many possibilities….
Two guests may meet who both are out of themselves. Their shout will be very shallow, just an etiquette. They themselves are not thick enough, just a thin facade. But it can happen that a guest can meet a host. One who has arrived is a master; when you come to him you are coming to a host. Your shout will be a declaration: “I am ready.” The master’s shout will be a declaration: “You are accepted.”
Sometimes it happens that two hosts meet – both masters. They will give a shout which will penetrate to the very foundation of existence.