Essays From The Master

Archive for March, 2010

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The ninja’s secret place

Knowing the no-place

As I seem to be on a rant on the Komuso mantra I thought I would keep going. The third verse of the mantra is “I have no home; I make the void my home.” This third verse goes with the third of the Nine Levels of Power that are a part of Kuji Kiri that being, “harmony with the universe.” It is held by many that the common man avoids isolation but that the superior man makes isolation his refuge. Reference to social rank aside the saying about the two types of men points out many secrets for the ninja. First before any ninja took on a mission they did ritual to shift there awareness away from there families and homes and toward the identity and reality needed for the mission. Secondly by asserting that his home is the void the ninja has a refuge for his mind to go to in moments of great stress. For some this concept is a means to prepare for death by willing themselves into the void at the moment of death rather than actually dying. By asserting his home is the void the ninja enables himself to endure being questioned about his home again this is a means of protecting secrets. The void as home metaphor allows the ninja to withstand pain because his body is not his “home” his body is.

By making his inner vision of the void his “home” the ninja is able in his mind to build an inner temple or sanctum in which can be placed objects that represent knowledge that the ninja has so that be recalling the object the proper knowledge is brought to mind. The Komuso Ryu teaches that the inner temple has nine levels, one for each Way of the ryu, each level has five rooms one for the mind, one for the emotions, one for the will, one for the body and the last for the individual life force. This inner temple’s rooms are accessed by meditation and use of the proper mudra, hence the mudra sometimes being called keys in some texts. In the inner temple or dojo the ninja can train without moving by remembering his training which allows the ninja to occupy himself when held in a cell or when undercover for prolonged periods. In much the same manner the tools of ritual can exist only in the inner temple and thus the ninja never runs the risk of them being found by others.

The void is symbolic of the Wu current (that of power and image) of the Kokoro which is the realm of such things as archetypal images and racial memory as well as the other realities that quantum physics has become aware of. The void as home asserts that the resources of the ninja are limitless and the ninja is thus able to “program” his body to go far beyond the limits of the average person. On a psychological level the void represents the unconscious and asserting that it is one’s home makes it conscious and thus under one’s control and along with that the systems of the body that are unconscious. By making the void home the ninja is in part touching on those primal areas of the brain that “civilization” has driven into the realm of mysticism.

This verse of the mantra and the lore that goes with it is intended to show that the individual has what it needs within and thus can endure anything. No one is without resource or recourse and this inner home no one can take from the individual. This verse of the mantra resonates with the element of fire as it deals with where one attunes one’s will as a focal point. The ninja is a king as it is he that measures his realm which is part of what makes the ninja free to be and move in ways others can not.

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