The Ninja Delusion -- How Acceptance Can Block Understanding
Updated: Oct 28
Acceptance is imperative to understanding reality, if we use those words synonymously. However, like a double-edged sword, it can blind us at the same time from trying to improve our understanding. If we simply accept notions at face value and do not bother to contemplate on their existence, then we might find ourselves deluded by our own lack of thinking.
And even to think "properly," a.k.a. to be aware of your own fallacies, is something that might require a deeper awareness and curiosity. If we do not recognize or accept the flaws in our thinking, especially our biases, then we might delude ourselves even further.
Thus is the truth: Something that isn't necessarily as clear as the light of day. Without being skeptical on many levels, it might stay away from us. After all, some notions are not as they seem. Further inquiry might be necessary.
Have you heard of the ninja myth? That is such an analogy as to how many of us might just accept things as "fact" with little to no question.
To better understand reality, we should realize that not only one side is to be accepted. Other points of view must be tolerated in case we are wrong. Likewise, to avoid criticism entirely is a sure path to delusion, or the belief that we know what we do not. In that sense, many of us are delusional or certain about knowledge that is not tested for its worth.
However, the reality is that ninjas were not the mysterious, supernatural beings that they are often portrayed as. They were simply skilled warriors who used stealth and deception to achieve their goals.
The ninja myth is a reminder that we should not accept everything we hear or read at face value. We should always be skeptical and question everything, especially when it comes to things that we do not know much about.
Have you asked yourselves if that is indeed the truth about ninjas historically? This article will try to be more factual, and I have added links to some videos for you to watch.
People criticize the idea of the ninja, or the shinobi, as a romanticized falsehood. We might be deluded by the media into believing they are accurate. I still think it is dumb to depend on fiction for a representation and teacher of reality. Reality can be studied directly. Why would it require representation? I'm not sure. For greater wisdom? Most likely, but wisdom and concrete facts are not the same.
Some people claim that ninjas were nothing more than military spies, mercenary assassins, and saboteurs. Operatives who worked in espionage and counterintelligence could, in fact, be anyone. By the way, it's called hiding in plain sight. I am not even sure if ninjas exist today as they might have before.
Therefore, if they're right, then the idea of silent, heavily disciplined, masked men and women might have been nothing more than a fantasy. A fantasy many were deluded by popular culture to believe was reality. The "ninja" we may believe existed could have been just everyday people with a particular set of work skills, just like with any worker.
Critics of the myth also claim that there isn't really any historical evidence for these spies being extremely powerful as well. However, commenters can argue that maybe it was because they were so good at their job that no evidence was left when they assassinated. However, evidence can be destroyed before discovery, or even fabricated.
Amusing, isn't it? A lack of historical evidence fills in the shoes of historical evidence. I don't know; perhaps they are right. I'm trying to keep an open mind. A counterpoint can lead to opposite conclusions, either way.
Another thing that is amusing is how romanticizing falsehoods gives them a demand for consumption. Some people might claim that they wish to steer clear of delusions, only to fall victim to them due to their lack of skepticism. Hence the expression: "Wearing blinders". By "romanticizing," I refer to their biased glorification that exceeds feelings of doubt.
I'm not saying that ninjas didn't exist at all. By "myth," I refer to our misconceptions of them. By this reasoning, I think they weren't really unique, because the work they did was in demand in every other country and/or society. It's unreasonable to think that only Japan had use for espionage, planting misinformation, and so on. These functions are still in demand as long as they're needed (anyone can be a spy, and they're still useful to this date).
By the way, there might be people who pretend to be ninjas but are not. I am referring to people who claim to have extraordinary abilities, such as teleportation, the ability to float above ground, and even the ability to cause massive damage with the touch of a finger or slap. I will link another video for you if you are interested.
(Fake martial arts may be called "Bullshido.")
Insights From the Philosocom Sensei
Historical inaccuracies are a great problem if we just accept them as accurate. We may claim that it's not our jobs to understand the past, for that is the role of historians. However, even if it isn't our line of work, we can still develop some interest, right? Curiosity. Learning for the sake of debunking our own thinking.
It's like with philosophy, because you wouldn't necessarily be considered a philosopher if you just pondered once or twice on philosophical questions. The fact that it might not be your occupation does not have to mean that others should do the thinking for you. You can do it yourself as well. Cleaning your apartment does not make you a janitor by itself, and so on.
Another insight in that regard. Please be mindful to not give in too much to positive bias, either. Accepting falsehoods such as this because "Ninjas are cool", is not a good reason to not test your beliefs.
Also, supporting and/or adoring a figure, such as a sensei, might blind you from realizing that he or she isn't always right and/or wise. Anyone can be incorrect, including historians. Including those who see themselves as ninjas.
Finally, another thing to remember: To keep the fantasy going, some might intentionally lie. Paid or just for the fun of trickery.
Videos, as promised:
Feel free to study the subject further on your own. More sources can be found. The point of this piece is to use something as an analogy to make a point. Other myths or doubtful fantasies can also be used.