The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War - The Sense of the Void
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Sense of Total Removal, the Sense of the Void, the Sense of Presenting the Mind
Total removal means completely removing all sickness. Sickness here means sickness of mind. The thing is to get rid of all the sickness in the mind in one fell swoop.
The varieties of sickness are indicated elsewhere in this book. The general meaning of sickness is the lingering or tarrying of the mind. In Buddhism this is called clinging, and it is severely rejected. If the mind clings to one spot and lingers there, you will miss what you should see, and suffer unexpected defeat.
The expression "total removal" refers to the idea that one should get rid of all these sicknesses in one fell swoop. The sense is that one should totally remove all sicknesses and not fail to perceive "the only one."
Now then, "the only one" refers to the void. "The void" is a code word, which has to be taught secretly. It refers to the mind of an adversary. Mind is shapeless and immaterial; that is why it is "void." To see "the void, the only one" means to see the minds of adversaries.
Buddhism is a matter of realizing the emptiness of mind. Although there are people who preach that mind is empty, it is said that there are few who realize it.
As for "presenting the mind," the mind of an adversary is presented in the hands that grip the sword. The thing is to strike the adversary's grip before he even makes a move.
"Complete removal" is for the purpose of seeing that moment of imminent movement. The point is to get rid of all sicknesses at once, and not fail to see "the void."
The mind of an adversary is in his hands; it is presented in his hands. To hit them while they are still is called hitting the void. The void does not move, has no form, no motion. To hit the void means swiftly striking before movement.
Voidness is the eye of Buddhism.
There is a distinction between false voidness and real voidness. False voidness is a simile for nothingness. Real voidness is genuine emptiness, which is the emptiness of mind.
Although the mind is like empty space insofar as it is formless, the one mind is the master of the body, so the performance of all actions is in the mind.
The movement and working of the mind is the doing of the mind. When the mind is inactive, it is void; when the void is active, it is mind. The void goes into motion, becoming mind and working in the hands and feet. Since you are to hit the adversary's
hands holding the sword quickly, before they move, it is said that you should "hit the void."
Even though we speak of "presenting the mind" the mind is invisible to the eye. It is called void because of being invisible, and it is also called void when it is not moving. Although the mind is presented in the hands gripping a sword, it is invisible to the eye. The point is to strike when the mind is presented in the hands but has not yet moved.
If you suppose that this mind-void is nothing because it is invisible, yet when the mind-void moves, it does all sorts of things. Gripping with the hands, treading with the feet, all possible marvels are products of the action of this void, this mind.
It is hard to understand this mind by reading books; this is a path hard to reach by listening to sermons.
People who write and people who preach just write and preach based on traditional religious writings and lectures; those who have realized the mind at heart are rare.
Since all human actions, even marvels, are doings of the mind, this mind is also in the universe.
We call this the mind of the universe. When this mind moves, there is thunder and lightning, wind and rain; it does things like create unseasonable cloud formations and
cause hail to rain in midsummer, producing ill effects on humanity.
Thus, in the context of the universe, the void is the master of the universe; and in the context of the human body, it is the master of the human body. When dancing, it is the master of dance; when acting, it is the master of drama. When shooting, it is the master of the gun and bow; when riding, it is the master of the horse. If there is a personal warp in the master, one cannot ride a horse or hit the mark with a bow or a gun.
When the mind has found its proper place and position in the body and is settled where it ought to be, one is free in all paths. It is important to find this mind and