This was definitely my favorite chapter in Nine Gates. This response also took me a ridiculously long time to write because I have pretty mixed feelings about what Hirschfield is saying. To me, this chapter really encouraged exploring the fuzzy edges of personhood and personality and what it means to be any one thing rather than another. It seems like Hirschfield is encouraging reaching a state similar to Buddhist enlightenment, or multiplicity, or indeterminacy, etc. to better understand the world and improve your poetry. As someone with mental health issues, that concept can actually pretty difficult and scary to wrap my head around. I do think it a beautiful idea and I may just be reading too much into it. In seeing one as equal to everyone and everything else, empathy and compassion can develop in new ways and so can writing. The idea of monks being "recyclers and composters” as a method of achieving enlightenment and also recognizing unconventional forms of intimacy was really beautiful and inspiring to me. I love nature imagery and it is the main thing I want to get better at when writing.