You are darkness when you are.
The whole question is of the ego.
But Ummon’s disciples perhaps miss the point; hence:
Later, in place of the disciples, he said…
…because nobody stood and said anything, the master himself had to reply.
“The halls and the gate.”
These are ways only Zen has used to express things which are intrinsically inexpressible. When he says, “The hall and the gate,” he is saying, the coming and the going. If you go all is light, if you come all is darkness. But Zen has its own way of saying things.
And again he said, “Blessing things cannot be better than nothing.”
He is saying, “There is nothing better than nothing – even blessings, blissfulness, ecstasies, cannot be better than nothing.” Again he is saying, “If you are nothing, you are light, infinite light. But even a small idea of ‘I’ is enough to destroy the whole thing.”
It illuminates itself, absolutely bright.
He gives a clue to the secret.
Flowers have fallen, trees give no shade;
Who does not see, if he looks?
Seeing is non-seeing, and non-seeing is seeing.
Here Setcho comes a little closer to Zen. Seeing is non-seeing because when you see something, your seeing is filled, just as a mirror is filled by the thing it reflects. Then there is no mirror, but only the reflections. But when there are no reflections, the mirror is. Empty it is – full it is not.
Seeing is non-seeing. What are your eyes, except small mirrors? When you are filled with objects you are blinded by those objects. When you attain to a state when you can see through, when your eyes are not only reflective mirrors, when they are transparent, reflections don’t deceive; reflections don’t become identifications. The eyes – even seeing – remain non-seeing.