27 March 2012

Elitism and the Lightning Path: A Discussion of the Rocky Horror Tantra Book

Following is a quote from the introduction to Rocky Horror Tantra (see previous blog post for more) and ensuing conversation/debate between Rahasya and Anne-Marie Clulow, a tantric practitioner.

"The first task of any teacher of tantra is to scare you off the idea all together. This is a compassionate measure designed to spare those without the calling, saving them considerable effort, pain and time.

Tantra is also known as the Path of Bliss, the Lightning Path and the Royal Road.
 Bliss, because pleasures and pains are embraced, not avoided. Bliss is the integration, the encompassing acceptance, of life’s pleasure and suffering as one suchness.
 Lightning, because the path is notable for its extreme speed.
The Royal Road, because it is a path designed (at least the Buddhist version) originally for the elite of a culture, who’s worldly involvement and responsibilities make a monastic life impractical.

The personal characteristics that produce achievers in any area of human endeavour are essential to tantra: Ambition, determination, responsiveness and especially hubris."

Hmmm. And scared off I would have been. And run I did. And hide. And fear. And then...
You cannot not do it.
You can send any challenge into the universe.
And you cannot not be it.
I am looking fwd to reading this book, as for so long my inner voice/guide/channel told me to learn through my own experience, not through those of others. That my learning had to be my own, that my path was unique. In my opinion I believe that true of everyone now, and I subscribed differently for a long time. Rahasya, I often do not agree with you, finding many things that you say elitist. Yet, I am so grateful to you. For what would any of this be if we were all in agreement? And what does Tantra teach if not acceptance of everything? Part of my path presently is truly listening to those I do not agree with. If I have gathered anything from your posts, it is that you would not be offended by this at all, that you enjoy a great debate, and that your views on many things do not subscribe to the norm?
And I had to look up hubris!! Hahaha!!!

A lovely word, Anne-Marie, and it looks to me like you have at least your fair share of it :)

Elitist - absolutely!

Special forces soldiers consider themselves an elite among the military, although 'regular' soldiers could be offended by that idea.
 Tantra is not something 'everyone can do'. It just is so. Just like not every enlisted man has the capacity for special forces work.
 Acknowledging actual differences is not a superiority/inferiority thing though, any more than Inuit are 'superior' human beings because the handle cold that would kill other people.

Tantrikas often would not wish what they have to go through on anyone, even if they have a worst enemy.

I agree with some of this, and disagree too. False dichotomy... As it is not an either or actually.
I agree that it would be easier to not have this calling which I have perceived through my experience as being a conduit to energy outside of myself as well as using my own sexual energy to specifically channel into another's body, enabling a body experience that leads to many things, emotional release, insight, visions, change in consciousness, increased sexual energy and heightened energy for actual physical healing too. I would have preferred to wear white and meditate a shitload like the Buddhists. Until I saw the hypocrisy of not being able to save a drowning woman because you can't touch a woman, yet completely missing the point of the original precepts of do not kill. Obviously, allowing to die was seen differently. I was
tired of splitting hairs. I wanted something that encompassed all, did not judge, did not deem itself "better than" I wanted to be "holy" not dealing with the nitty gritty of people's bodies.
So I agree with the not wishing it on your enemy, yet I have also known a deeper more connected space in healing than almost any other space. Meditating, singing ( sometimes) and making love are the only other places I have that "flow" although I am wary of terminology as often it leads to dissent if it is not the same as others' .
I do feel that Tantra in the form of opening to self, balancing light and dark, the fullness of the human experience and linking the spiritual journey with sexual energy is not only to be mainstream, but an absolute necessity to the awakening of mankind's consciousness as we move into a new era. Many spiritual teachers in differing modalities are beginning to awaken to the linking of all energies in the body to raise consciousness.
If the folk in the Tantric world keep it elite, and don't share practical ways to open energy up for people to have their awakenings is that not the ultimate separation? Maybe all are not meant to be healers or teachers, but how does keeping it elitist truly share love in its most unconditional form?

"If the folk in the Tantric world keep it elite, and don't share practical ways to open energy up for people to have their awakenings is that not the ultimate separation?"

One better known example, which means that it is not very well known outside of tantra, is the practice called Mahamudra, aka Sacred Union.
This is commonly (in the greater world of tantra as therapy, healing, sexuality, poly, bdsm, etc) taken to mean 'penis in vagina' sex.
In the old and dusty schools, it is ritualised and has mostly lost its power/function.
The 'elitist, secret' version of this practice is a neurological bonding of the masculine and feminine energies within.
Some of the method is known, some is hinted at in old literature. I have taught 'partial' and 'diluted' versions on what we call 'practitioner level' workshops.

The reason for all the caution is simple. It is a seriously dangerous practice. It has very powerful real-world consequences.
If, for example, someone suffers the usual Western condition of a divided, divisive, mutually antagonistic relationship between their inner masculine and feminine aspects, this practice will add rape, not love to that relationship.
This is likely to make the inner war so intense that it consumes all the person's prana (nerve-system energy). This means they become completely inwardly focused and have no outward energy, no capacity or capability of communicating outside of their own mind. In other words, a psychosis. Likely permanent.

We deal in love and other very powerful energies. It is part of our compassion and responsibility that we are careful in how and when we apply them.

Someone who hides the matches when you are in a room full of dynamite may be your friend.
Rahasya, I can only speak from my own experience and from my inner guide. You have more experience than I. I have much to learn and experience, so even though I don't understand this, I will listen to your book. Yes, I get the concept of passing "dynamite" to those who have methods of dealing with it. Perhaps I saw elitism where there was caution. In my learnings with Taoism that concept of passing down carefully to avoid the misuse of "dynamite" has purpose.
Perhaps I have been guilty of drawing conclusions through vocab and words and for that I apologize :)

No apology – I enjoy this discussion much.

As people read on, I wait for much more difficult criticism/exploration (wince).
I did find a lot of it very difficult to read aloud. Different from the quiet hours over the last few years, just me and the muse, just writing it down.
My favourite question so far emailed by a listener/reader:

"in your audio book, when you said Wendy had "ruined 3 or 4 men during her training" Were you speaking figuratively or literally? Might I ask what form of "ruin" are seekers likely to face? (The rocket scientist risk calculator is buzzing in my brain.)"

and, yes, he is a rocket scientist.

…  The discussion continues in the Rocky Horror Tantra FaceBook group.

Listen to the Rocky Horror Book Introduction:

Track 1 Track 2 Track 3

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