Big self, small self?

A visiting Zen monk asked, “You say that our own mind is the unnamable void; do you mean the mind of the big self or the small self?”

Louie Wing said, “Do your big self and your small self wear the same sized shoes?”

The monk said, “Many Zen teachers talk about a big self and a small self. Are you saying that the teachers of Zen are wrong?”

Louie Wing said, “According to Zen, all notions of self, big or small, are illusory. Grasping these illusions as reality only shields you from reality. You must simply cease all such conceptualizations and then you will realize the unnamable void and your own mind are not different.”

The monk said, “What do you mean when you say, ‘the unnamable void and your own mind are not different’?”

Louie Wing said, “It is simply your own effort to grasp them that causes you to make a distinction between them.”

The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing