Understanding Kongo Zen Shorinji Kempo.
Kaiso Doshin So classified his works into ‘esoteric’ and ‘exoteric’, depending upon their intended audience, and the word ‘esoteric’ came to be applied to those doctrines of philosophy such as Kongo Zen that were taught only to a few disciples.
Kongo Zen has scientific connotations, originally applied to the properties of nature which are not readily perceptible (and including such forces as electricity and magnetism). The term extends then to a knowledge of those hidden sympathies and correspondences, which are the basis of consciousness.
Kongozen is linked to the world, natural and supernatural, and based upon a view of hidden forces and practices to reveal or harness these. It is largely independent of religious belief, so that astrology, numerology or alchemy take very similar forms whatever the practitioner’s religion or lack of it.
To simplify this conceptual philosophy, Kongo Zen is directed towards the supernatural and symbolic, noumenal and spiritual. This is expressed in Shin-Tai-Chi.
ShorinjiKempo was used as a bait by Kaiso Doshin So and hence it was exoteric. Any one can train in the martial practice and assume that he has mastered it. But true mastery lies in the esoteric training of “Shin” which is practiced in various stages termed as; Tempo, Chi-I, Chi, In Yo, Kyo-Jitsu, Tai and Shin.
Kaiso beautifully explained this by comparing Kongo Zen to an iceberg. The gigantic mountainous iceberg which remains largely hidden below the surface of the water leaves a bit of itself visible to the naked eye above the water surface. That part of the iceberg visible to naked eye is ShorinjiKempo.