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Here’s a link to Chen Weiming’s commentary on the section we’re discussing.
He says of “suddenly hidden, suddenly appearing” that it means, “The empty and full are not fixed; their transformations are unfathomable.” (xu shi wu ding; bianhua buce)
Then he comments on the phrases about the left feeling pressure and emptying, etc. He says “These two phrases explain the meaning of ‘suddenly hidden, suddenly appearing.’ When I am sticking hands with the other—and sense (jue) pressure on the left side—then that point on my left side that adheres with my opponent changes to empty. The right side is the same. The meaning of ‘disappears’ (yao) is ‘unfathomable’ (bu ke zhuomo). There should not be the slightest resistance, thereby causing him to land on emptiness at any point, [and leaving him with the feeling] of getting no purchase whatsoever (wu ke ru he).” —my rough trans.
I like Chen’s explanation here. His use of jue “to sense, perceive, feel” supports my reading “When the left feels weight, then the left empties. When the right feels weight, then the right is gone.”
Question: Does "spirit" refer to the mysterious? Reply: Yes. There is also the line, "That which 'penetrates when stimulated' is spirit." Hengqu [Zhang Zai] explained spirit in another way, referring to that which is in two places [at once] and therefore cannot be fathomed, indicating [the processes of] creative transformation. He said, "Suddenly here, suddenly there: it is spirit." Question: How do you speak of it within human beings? Reply: Consciousness (zhijue) is certainly spirit. If you cut your hand then your hand perceives pain. If you cut your foot then your foot perceives pain. This is certainly spirit. "Spirit is responsive, and therefore mysterious."
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