In a sense, Ch'en Ts'ao reveals himself. He cannot help but reveal himself, and somebody who is resting in unconcerned clarity sees that. That's Tzu Fu. Ch'en Ts'ao parries Tzu Fu's circle with a swipe of negation. But if you follow the path of negation, make sure that you go all the way. Negate negation. Nagarjuna kept repeating that refrain endlessly. Be careful that you don't settle in the quagmire of emptiness. Don't get stuck. Or, more colorfully, as Yuan Wu's footnote underlines, "If you nick somebody, make sure they bleed to death." Don't stop halfway. Don't stop anywhere. Because if we leave something unturned, if that circle isn't complete, that place of holding is where the fear and anxiety will start crystallizing.
"Ch'en Ts'ao has just one eye," Hsue Tou says. Tzu Fu responds by turning around and disappearing into his room. After all, what's the point, right? He is continuing to play out Ch'en Ts'ao's script, to see if Ch'en Ts'ao can notice himself. There was another exchange between Tzu Fu and his attendant, similar to this. The monk asked him, "What is the hidden essence?" Tzu Fu said, "Close the door behind you when you leave."
In his "The Bodhisattva's Four Methods of Guidance," Master Dogen lists giving, kind speech, beneficial action and identity action as the four ways that bodhisattvas extend themselves for others' sake. Given that identity action is all-encompassing and beneficial action is all-encompassing—and Dogen stresses that we need to understand this teaching this way—why separate that all-encompassing reality into two domains? Or are there two domains? Every koan, including this one, must touch down upon this tension. Is identity action exclusive or inclusive of beneficial action? Identity action is non-difference. Self and other are one. And there are self and other. Dogen says, "Action means right form, dignity, correct manner. This means that you cause yourself to be in identity with others after causing others to be in identity with you. However, the relationship of self and other varies limitlessly in accordance with circumstances." There are millions of ways that we interact and a limitless number of ways that identity manifests itself.