Let’s continue our review the five elements that form the base for To-Shin Do training from the inside out. In this issue of Ninja Now, we”ll look at the water element.
Theme – Knowledge leads to power
Sui no Kata water element dynamics are the tactics of power and knowledge, self-discovery, strategy, and individuality. This is the cool science of learning secrets for success. You apply disciplined training to develop your skills. You learn to use strategic timing, distancing, and positioning to win against an aggressive attacker.
The water element reminds us of how good it feels to know what is really true about life, understand what our personal strengths and weaknesses are, and ultimately come from a place of inner natural knowing. The primary water motivation is the need to know and understand. We want to know the truth about “what’s what”. We want to know that we are “right”. We want to believe we see things as they truly are, regardless of what we might hope things to be. We want to know who we are and who we are meant to be. We seek clarity. We want to know all the secrets of life.
The water element influence produces people who are idea oriented and seeking new options, innovations, and concepts, but who may quest so deeply for answers that that little concern is given to social considerations. In its most positive manifestation, this is a scientific self-determining personality, removed from hopes and fears, coolly observant from a distance, operating from intuitive gut level response. People under the water influence see themselves as truth-seekers and tend toward introversion and reserved but direct speech. This is not necessarily coldness, but more of a need to keep distance between self and others for more clarity, and then speak the truth.
Positive Water “Investigator”
The positive water influence produces scientists, inventors, and trouble-shooters who discover the secrets for turning confusion into clarity. Like the heroes of detective stories and spy novels, when we are under the influence of the water element we use all at hand strategically to meet any challenge. The water element also inspires researchers and explorers who turn generations of dreams and superstitions into knowledge of reality seemingly overnight.
Positive water sometimes produces what is referred to as wizardry. As mysterious guides like King Arthur’s magician Merlin, Frodo’s mentor Gandalf, or Luke Skywalker’s teacher Obi-wan, these knowledge bearers show us the way to find our strengths. As genius technicians they change our worlds with their insights and inventions. Such people epitomizing the water influence can appear enigmatic, secretive, and powerful.
The positive orientation to scientific knowledge becomes a form of wisdom in which any given situation or encounter is seen clearly as though reflected in a mirror without emotional biases or prejudices and that can grasp the way to bring into clarity that which must be. Strategic, clever, scientific and knowledgeable would be words typically used by others in describing a “positive water” type.
Negative Water “Schemer” and “Mad scientist”
In its most negative form, this water element results in an isolated personality, cold and cut off from all concern for others, even seeing all others as potential enemies. People characterized by the negative water influence are often hard to get to know, as they feel distance is safety, whether in terms of social, physical, or cultural differences. Change advocated by others is embraced only as long as it is perceived to be to one’s strategic or tactical advantage.
Weak negative water inspires the “office schemer”, the sneaky trickster out to topple those who have bettered him, and preferably in a manner in which the victims don’t even realize what has happened. We feel confused by their jargon and misdirection and assume they know what they are talking about, and that is exactly how they get their way.
Strong negative water is characterized by the mad scientist who creates a monster through lack of human considerations. Negative water also creates the antisocial hermit genius who willfully uses technology to threaten or destroy life. This may appear as cold self-determined values being inflicted on others to force into being ones personally held concepts and rationalizations about how things “should be”. Dealing with people is difficult for these types because they are frustrated by how others “just don’t get it”.
As a limitation, the water personality can easily get caught up in relating only to that which brings knowledge, even at the cost of lack of effectiveness or never achieving their true purpose. We can become so involved with information that it obscures our perspective rather than assist us in better defining our position. Defensive, aloof, cold, and scheming would be words typically used by others in describing a “negative water” type.
Negative Expression → → Positive Expression
Distant → → Empirical
Angry → → Adamant
Manipulative → → Tactical
Selfish → → Committed
Intellectually fixed → → Knowledgeable
The mandala symbol for the water element is the vajra “indestructible diamond thunderbolt”, cool and crystal clear like the best of scientific investigation. From Western symbolism, the open book of knowledge or the laboratory test tube could represent this value. The essence of timeless unconditioned truth, the water influence is further symbolized by the color royal blue and placed in the east in relation to the other elements.