Linji Yixuan [Rinzai Gigen] is the Tang Dynasty master from whom the Rinzai school of Zen descended. In the Chinese society of his time, the idea of a man without rank was difficult to comprehend; each person was expected to know his place within the Confucian hierarchy of responsibilities and obligations. One day, however, Linji told his disciples: “Over a mass of reddish flesh there sits a true man of no rank. This true man of no rank comes in and goes out of your face all of the time. If you haven’t identified him yet, do so now. Look!”
Dingzhou stood and asked, “Who is this man of no rank?”
Linji stood up, took hold of the monk’s robes, and shook him. “Speak! Speak!” he demanded.
Dingzhou, not knowing how to reply, remained silent.
“What a piece of dried shit this true man of no rank is!” Linji said, releasing the monk.
[Linji Yixuan – Zen Masters of China: 215-27, 234]