Development of a Natural Consciousness

The Ninja aimed to develop kiai consciousness, i. H. they wanted to become through and through natural beings. For this one must experience the working of the cosmic laws or the universal consciousness directly on oneself. To do this, one must observe nature with an open mind and understand one’s own connection to all things. This leads to self-awareness.

For this they used two different systems of contemplation of nature – the godai and the gogyō.

Five Elemental Manifestations

The godai derives from the mikkyō and teaches that all physical aspects come from one source and can be assigned to one of the five primary elemental manifestations:

  • Ku (Emptiness) or the origin of subatomic energy, the nothingness, the beginning of all things
  • Fu (Wind) or the gaseous elements
  • Ka (Fire) or the energy-giving elements
  • Sui (Water) or the liquid elements
  • Chi (Earth) or the solid elements

The Creation of the Universe

To understand the principle better one can e.g. consider the creation of the universe in this way.

In the emptiness (ku) polarity and electromagnetic charges arose. From this came the atoms and electrons and thus the various gases (fu). When these gases reacted with each other, it was on the energy-yielding plane (ka). The resulting molecules became vapor (sui). Eventually solid matter (chi) emerged from this.

This example is of course a very simplistic representation of creation, but it can be used for understanding. Concerning humans, the bones, teeth, muscles and eyes would represent solid matter. The bodily fluids liquid matter, body heat and combustion would represent the fire and respiration would represent the air. The emptiness would show up in the ability to speak and communicate.


Human consciousness can also switch back and forth between these levels. When consciousness is at the earth level, one is aware of one’s own stability. There is resistance to change and movement, and one wishes for things to remain as they are. Rocks are a good example of this level. They don’t move, don’t grow, and don’t change without action. The earth is assigned the color red and is located at the base of the spine. A fighter at this level is unperturbed, has a stable stance, and withstands any attack. It’s like fighting a boulder.


When consciousness is at the water level, one is aware of one’s feelings and bodily fluids. Adaptation and response are characteristics of this stage. One reacts to all events and has gloomy feelings. The best example of this level are plants. They grow and adapt to environmental conditions, but cannot dominate their environment. The color associated with the water element is orange. The seat is the hara, the lower abdominal cavity. A fighter at this level is always on the move, dodging and making sudden, unexpected moves. One has the impression of fighting against the waves. They retreat and strike again.


At the fire level of consciousness, one is aware of its dynamic, expansive nature. One has feelings of joy and warmth and strives to subjugate the environment. You are aware of your mental and physical potential. A good example of this level are wild animals. They can remember, they can think, they seek pleasure and joy. The color yellow is assigned to this element. The seat of this element is in the solar plexus, at the lower tip of the breastbone. A fighter at this level fights with fierce determination. He fights hard and fiercely. It’s like fighting a brush fire, the harder you hit the flames the harder it burns.


When one is at the level of consciousness of air one feels wisdom and love. One recognizes his intellect and his benevolence. One feels compassion and understanding for others. The color assigned to this element is green. The center of the chest is considered to be the seat of the element. A fighter at this level fights defensively. He protects himself, but does not deal much damage to the opponent. He intercepts attacks and redirects energies. It’s like fighting against the wind. He dances around you without being able to catch him.


The emptiness level of consciousness brings about creativity and the ability to shift from any level to the other. The color blue is assigned to this element. The neck is considered its seat. There is no struggle at this level. Thoughts, words and deeds create a situation where a fight doesn’t even happen.

The Elements in Daily Life

Each of these levels of consciousness can appear both negatively and positively. With earth the positive effect could be stability, the negative self-destructive stubbornness, with water the positive effect could be flexibility, the negative sentimentalism. A possible positive effect of fire could be aggressive vitality, a negative overwhelming fear. With the wind, a positive effect could be wisdom and love, a negative effect spirituality that conceals the truth.

Whether it’s dealing with fear, joy, boredom, what movies you love, what drives you, how you handle arguments, or what advice you give, all of these factors fall into one of the most elementary levels. Most people are in a transition between levels, but some have also settled on a level. One cannot speak of good or bad here, everything is correct and adjusted because everything is a part of the universe. In this way one can understand what motives a person has or what problems torment him.

Text: Stefan Imhoff