“The true task of radical emancipatory movements is not just to shake things out of their commonplace inertia, but to change the very coordinates of social reality.” ~ Zlavoj Zizek
Governing the precept that we all wish to leave a healthier more peaceful world to our children, it stands to reason that our actions be both healthy and peaceful. Violence is both unhealthy and not peaceful, except when it is being used in self-defense to uphold the health and peace of the individual or community. It is for this reason that a position of nonviolence is the healthiest position to uphold. But, peace does not imply pacifism, and so that’s where the covert, proactive, amoral agent that is the Meta-ninja comes into dynamic play.
One of the core tenets of Buddhist thought is ahimsa, or nonviolence toward all living beings. This was the root of the nonviolent movement promoted by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Through ahimsa one sees how everything is connected. And if one sees how everything is interconnected in a single dynamic universal construct, then one sees how we’re all connected interdependently, despite our individuality. As Rumi said, “Everything you see has its roots in the unseen.” A kind of self-as-world, world-as-self dynamic emerges that changes the finite game into an infinite game.
This interconnectedness reveals itself as an interdependent “feeling” that we experience when we’re in the throes of deep meditation, when we’re dancing, sparring, writing, playing music, even when we’re viewing an amazing sunset or a starlit sky (eco-melting). Some call it “the flow state,” or “being in the zone.” Modern day ninjas call it “going Meta.”
Going Meta is seeing the big picture. It’s connecting the dots that most people aren’t even aware are there. It is third-eye illumination and visionary insight. As Robert Greene said in The 48 Laws of Power, “In the land of the two-eyed, the third eye gives you the omniscience of a god. You see further than others, and you see deeper.”
Going Meta is going full-frontal Boss-mode on your thousand and one inner voices. It’s texturing fear with courage and anger with humor. As L. Michael Hall, PhD explains in this article on the subject: “Going Meta is texturing the primary state with the thoughts and feelings of another state. When we do this, we thereby layer in a new quality of richness to the experience. This is why “respectful and considerate anger” represent so much richer an experience than just plain anger at someone or something. And when we texture in calmness, rationality, self-control, etc. to anger, this texturing makes the primary experience of anger a very different experience. It changes the feeling tone of the primary state.” That’s going Meta.
As for the concept of the ninja, or shinobi (one who steals away), it goes beyond mere ninjutsu. Historically, a ninja was a covert agent or mercenary skilled in the martial arts. The basic functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination and guerrilla warfare. Modern ninjas are secret warriors who have updated these traits, adapting them practically, nonviolently, and strategically to mesh with the new world.
Modern ninja warriors are street-smart, mind-body-soul hackers. For the body, think: stealth, speed, diversion, parkour, rock climbing, cross training, martial arts, and American Ninja Warrior. For the mind, think: psychosocial detournement/recuperation, culture jamming, Psychogeography, legerdemind (sleight of mind), cognitive guillotines, and reverse psychology. For the soul, think: entheogenic tools, hacking God, individuation of the ego, self-actualization, Zen, and mindfulness meditation.
Meta-ninjas are body-hacking, mind-hacking, soul-hacking ninjaneers par excellence. They are re-programing outdated programs, rewiring faulty wiring, un-matrixing the Matrix through red-pill proactivity, and reconditioning obsolete cultural conditioning through covert means. But here’s the catch: they’ve gone Meta, which means they have managed to square the circle of violence begetting violence by hacking the cultural code. In short, they strategically practice the art of fighting without fighting. They have taken Sun Tzu’s sage advice, “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”and ran with it.
They have gone “next-level” regarding the violent world that surrounds them. They have truly implemented the secret power hidden deep within the philosophy of every single martial art ever written: martial arts should only ever be used for self-defense and self-discipline, never for violence, fame, or greed. As such, they are light and fluid, having shed the heavy skin of self-importance. Hooked to infinity, they have chosen to let go rather than be dragged by circumstance. Because of this, violence has become a petty superfluity, an obstacle easily adapted to and rerouted, like the energy of a punch is rerouted in Aikido.
Through existential wit and psychological flexibility, Meta-ninjas have learned how not to linger with the pettiness of the offense but to transcend the offense through a humor of the most high. Through trickster-goddery and transcendent fuckery, they have learned how to reorganize violent energy into vigorous serenity. They do this “on the fly” with in-the-moment emotional alchemy that transforms the would-be violent scene into a counting of coup, realizing that the cultural leveling mechanism inherent in the art of counting coup (shame) is far superior to lowering oneself to base anger and ignorant violence in order to make a point or teach a lesson. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a clear conscience afterward.
Apropos, Meta-ninjas have transcended law and order. They intelligently and strategically use the tool of civil disobedience to reveal the weak and outdated links in the chain of obedience that have strangled freedom and liberty for far too long. They have gone beyond the rightness and wrongness of things and into a field ripe with sense and nonsense pointing the way toward the Cosmic Law of healthy and unhealthy. As Friedrich Nietzsche profoundly surmised, “Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions. Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil.”
At the end of the day, Meta-ninjas are compassionate rebels and radical leaders. They are hidden in plain sight, covertly transforming order into disorder into reordered order, like a boss. They take neither no nor yes for an answer. They dig deeper, discovering the no within the Yes and the yes within the No, through yin-yang crushing tomfoolery and Meta-elegance. They are smashing courage into your complacence, daring you to rise up like a lion or be slaughtered like a lamb. They are drawing a line in the sand of the human condition: it’s time to get busy progressively evolving into a healthy, sustainable, nonviolent future for our species or get busy regressively devolving into an unhealthy, unsustainable, violent future for our species.
The Meta-ninja is the one unselfishly convincing you to believe in the former before constructs of entrenched power have a chance to selfishly brainwash you into succumbing to the latter.
About the Author: Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
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