In the absence of valid interpretations, we asked the author himself to unravel the mystery. And although, as he rightly pointed out, koans should not be explained, he made an exception for us, and here it is ‘exegesis’:
Life ain’t but ropes and balls: the tools of the trade and the potential falls are pretty much the same for everyone. Yet you can be borne - or perhaps choose to be - an equilibrist, a poor guy or a wise fella.
The first one resolves his inner self into action: he masters the art and just does his stuff, without much in the way of reflection. The poor fellow does reflect, but his reflection is tainted by fear and indecision and, inevitably, so are his actions: he is likely to drop the balls. The wise chap can walk and juggle all right, but his eyes are set, beyond balls and ropes, on the moon - all that is beautiful, light, and transcendent of our daily toil. He thus sails on happily. He might even have the impression that “things happen almost by chance”... and end up wondering what all the fuss is about.
Thanks to our personal Zen Master…