Essays From The Master

Archive for October, 2009

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A vision of the path

The light out of darkness the darkness cast by light: a portrait of the path

The path is a circle, a center and a sphere, the Komuso is the center and the sphere of the void is the shadow of darkness cast by his inner light. First the Komuso ninja learns that all he believes, knows or suspects is both true and false. It is true if the ninja’s own will asserts so and false if the individual will asserts it not. Secondly the ninja learns that the very things that paint life with color, his senses, his desires, his dreams all stemming from his feelings which are in turn mental understandings of drives based on biochemical substances in the body are not as fixed as the world teaches and the ninja need not be wholly subject to them. Thirdly the ninja learns that it is his very own will that fixes what his fate will be, that it asserts the course in one’s life rather than any external powers that be. Fourthly the ninja learns that as great and cosmic as the will is the ninja exists in the flesh and while the flesh is ruled by the will it still must be dealt with as a reality. The mind says what is, the feelings say what that means, the will asserts what the mind and feelings have agreed upon, the body receives reality through the prism of the will and responds in accord with its nature that training has revealed.

Fifthly the ninja learns that while his spirit is infinite the present individual life is finite. The present may be but a drop in the ocean of time but once formed and after the whole of the ocean is changed by that single drop. The spirit is its own energy apart from all that is as is the energy of life its self to be partaken of by all that life mirrored in the image of breathing. As the energies and drives of life are transpersonal so is the ground on which they are played out, this ground being space. For all its transpersonal nature it is subject to individual influence and as such its structures maybe manipulated. As space is so is the body and thus to understand the forces of space is to grasp the same of the body as individual space. Sixth the ninja learns that because existence is a balance and struggle between the personal and the transpersonal one must master struggle i.e. warfare, in order to maintain one’s own balance. Seventh the ninja learns stealth as a means of freely moving and allowing others that freedom as well. One who is in stealth, in stealth being the meaning of the title ninja, is not doing so to be noticed or impress but rather is doing so to go unnoticed with no need to impress making the best proof of being a ninja having no one or few believe that you are a ninja. Part of stealth is allowing others to do as they will with no interference.

Eighthly the ninja learns to know his own, how his own link he to others and how that constitutes a world apart from the common that exists parallel to that of the common. As much as we are individuals we are drawn to those who agree with us and out of these links form societies whether they are acknowledged as such are not. Note that those who define themselves only by being against a given group, groups or individual are a part of what they define themselves by. Here we have the fox, viper, raven, bat, tiger, scorpion, cobra and dragon that serve to embody the arts of the path. Finally the ninja learns the way behind the arts, that of the moon. From the way revealed in the arts the ninja learns how to apply his skills as a trade, that his path as a ninja is his way of life and the role of such a life in world. The ninja looks within for the light and finds freedom in the shadows that such a light casts and then learns to look past his insights to what is beyond the individual.
The fox symbolizes philosophy and transitive nature of truth, the viper symbolizes the feelings of the individual as tools as props in ritual, the raven symbolizes the rituals and ceremonies that embody the will of the individual. The bat symbolizes mastery of the body as a meditation through which one seems to fly in the eyes of the world as a metaphor of personal mental and physical freedom. The scorpion symbolizes mastery of the transpersonal energies of life through which the ninja comes to understand the flexibility of space. The tiger teaches psychological warfare, unarmed and armed combat so that being protected the ninja is able to act as he wills without fear. The cobra symbolizes the skills of gathering data without assuming, disguise and the control of social interaction as a means of stealth that leads to individual freedom and release from attachment. The dragon symbolizes the society of the ninja, dealing with other schools and the formal rituals that enforce that society showing that no one exists in a vacuum. The moon symbolizes the way of the ninja as a way of life, and as a profession and its role in the world.

Here we have one practitioner’s complete vision of the Komuso path of the Silent Way the moon casting the light of the path as embodied in the eight arts of that path. The moon reflects the light of the sun and yet is its own light symbolizing the inner light that creates the shadows of the ninja. Like the moon the ninja hangs suspended in the void the eye that watches all unnoticed by the masses. Many years ago a youth heard the call in the night and learned the value of life through the ways of the assassin, knowing how fragile life is the same youth learned that part of having power is getting past the need to prove it. Knowing how ruthless his own nature is the Komuso ninja is able to see through to the petty drives that cause most actions in both himself if he is not mindful and in others. For all his knowledge and power, his truth the ninja is but one individual yet an individual trained and aware of what one individual can do. This is one being’s vision of the path as He walks it, let the reader take what can be had and be as mindful of his own path as the author is of his own.

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