The Kaname of 神眼 Shingan

真是厲害的鏡頭 photo By *嘟嘟嘟*
Hatsumi Sensei has suggested that another reading of 神眼 shingan is kaname. As we study this years feeling it might become important to see with the divine eyes of shingan. To truly comprehend this principle requires we understand how to connect to the divine.

In my recent video about 不動座 fudouza, I suggested some symbolism that connected the heavens, down through the conduit of our physical bodies, and into the earth. The way Hatsumi Sensei describes this connection, it's not him doing the techniques, but they are being created through this connection. No matter your beliefs or religion, it is crucial to understand the foundations of Japanese symbolism to get the feelings behind our art.

Hatsumi Sensei says that one way to learn this is through Sanshin no kata that is connected to the heavens. It is connected through heaven, earth, and man (tenchijin). He further describes this as  天動説 tendousetsu, 地動説 chidousetsu, and 人動説 jindousetsu.

天動説 tendousetsu is a word that describes Ptolemaic theory in Japanese. This is what we also call geocentric. An old theory where the earth is the center of the universe. Everything is connected to this axis and everything revolves around it. In my video I described this as the axis mundi.

地動説 chidousetsu is the Copernican theory which is heliocentric. Here the sun is the center of everything where we and the universe are connected to revolve around that axis. This idea of revolving or pivoting is crucial for our understanding of kaname.

人動説 jindousetsu is a theory of dynamic human change and movement. In the esoteric varieties of this theory, the stars are directly connected to the human spirit and move as we move. They shine brighter or may even blink out in connection to our lives. This theory seems to stem from the Chinese Xuanye shuo 宣夜說 Firmament hypothesis. Here the tian (天 ten or even kukan) is an infinite space. Celestial bodies are light matter floating on it and move by Qi.

Modern science has made these theories obsolete. But the cosmology and symbolism may still have resonance for us. Jindousetsu becomes connected to ideas of relativity in science and futurism in art. As we move through the kukan, our frame of reference constantly shifts and the world is in dynamic change from our perspective.

Soke says this is connected to the body language of fighting. Being able to read your opponent's ability, temperament, defenses and attacks tells you which frame of reference he is operating from. So if you adopt a larger frame of reference (possibly even one that is connected to the heavens), you can easily manage his attacks. In effect he becomes unable to harm you because you are operating above and outside of his ability.

This is like taking the high ground in military strategy. A drone operator has no need for body armour because his enemy's bullets can never hit him. The drone pilot is operating from a different frame of reference.

If we connect to this type of dynamic change in our training, the waza become alive. Sensei says that because this is a living thing it changes. It's varying within its existence. In this way it is connected to everything else.

Don't be static, have 人動説 jindousetsu!


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