A small dialogue on the “will” of Tantra, that will being of the higher self, true self, liberated self. TAT TWAM ASI!
Eastern metaphysical tradition describe sexuality as the most universally accessible means to transcendental Unity. Sexual worship or magic(k) is a legacy of many traditions: not simply Indian/Tibetan Tantra or Chinese Taoism, but the early magickal texts of ancient Egypt. Mystical writings of Hebrews and Greeks, alchemical practitioners of medieval Europe, and ancient , pre-mysoginistic Arabs.
Do as Thou wilt: The concept of Will (Thelema in Greek) is familiar to members of the O.T.O., students/researchers of Aleister Crowley, and those familiar with Sir Francis Dasherwood. Crowley states, in his *Confessions* that he wanted to “form an archetype of a new society…in which each human being has his own definite object in life…and has every right to fulfill this purpose and none to do anything else.” (Hill & Wang, Confessions, p. 848). Crowley has stated that sexuality and divine consciousness were integrally joined to one another. The many similarities between O.T.O./Thelemic thought and Indian Tantric tradition may seem surprising; in fact Crowley embraced Tantra and was said to have been initiated by a Tantric Master. The 1880′s O.T.O., founded or reclaimed by Theodor Reuss and Karl Kellner, embraced and expanded such traditions. Reuss and Kellner were both instructed by two Indian Tantric Masters and an Arabic sexual magician in sexual secrets–Tantra –sex magick. Crowley was appointed leader of O.T.O. and wrote prolific books, both of his own power and those channeled or revealed to him by Beings from other realms.
Tantric Will: Tantra, like O.T.O. and other esoteric paths, has been misunderstood and maligned throughout history. Thelemic “Will” has been said to be the Will of the higher Self, rather than the vortex continuum created by following any whim that catches one’s fancy. Similarly, Tantric Will espouses the traditional Hindu idea of the Self as opposed to the self. (s)elf-will can be folly; Self-Will is Liberation.
Long-established western religious and cultural training have recognized narrow norms of sexual behavior, creating barriers that restrict spiritual growth. Parents, religious organizations, and social institutions, unfortunately, have all too often caused lives filled with frustration. Attempting to force oneself or another to conform to restrictive “norms” of sexual behavior restrict individual development, lead to guilt feelings, and may lead to perversion of the sexual instinct and act. Yet an honest break with “norms” as expression of Will and bid for Liberation, have historically led to alienation and ostracism–or in the most extreme manifestations of repression of Will, imprisonment or even execution of those individuals truly seeking to follow the Will of the Self.
In the past few decades, sexual taboos have begun to be broken, inhibitions cast aside; freeing sensual and sexual joy from the burden of guilt and castigation. This is a positive development, but under Tantric tradition, may be *dangerous* unless accompanied by proper physical/mental/emotional maturation–which lead to the spiritual and are absorbed into it.
Simply put, Tantric Will dictates that sexual Liberation must be pursued sincerely (as it *must* be, if the true Will of the Self is engaged), or Tantric practices used as a “mask” for those seeking free sex, will inevitably lead to a feeling of emptiness and meaningless, and cause psychic depression; or, alternately, muddy the karma of *false* Tantric Masters, who become sorts of psychic vampires, feeding on the sexual energy and submission purely offered by unaware partners.
Tantric Will assumes that each individual is responsible for his/her own actions, and that those who refuse to shoulder this responsibility will ultimately be barred from any real Tantric evolution or progress. The sexual bond is a means to liberation from the limits of the (s)elf and a path toward the Self. The sharing of the Secrets implies giving as well as taking, and those for whom Love, Trust, and Will are interdependent and even synonymous are usually the ones who make the most progress on the Red Tantric Path. (Red Tantra-sexual practices, for the initiated, celebrated with a partner/partners. White Tantra-solo practices, for the initiated; may be meditative only, or involve ‘astral sexual union.’ Note that no distinction of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ separates the White from the Red. It is a matter of Self-Will, circumstance, and spiritual evolution/revelation.)
Each of us has come into the world through the power of the sexual act. Each of us who has experienced sexual love has had a taste of ecstasy; a drop of the Nectar. Those who disdain “pleasures of the flesh” or refer with superiority and bigotry to the inferiority of the “Left-Hand Path” refuse to recognize that renunciation of the flesh is at worst, foolish, leading to a cycle of repression/eruption; and, at best, simply *one* path to enlightenment, far from the *only* or *best* one.
Tantric Tradition of Recognition of True Self-Will.
Tantric neophytes should strive to create a dynamically charged state of mind, stemming from the belief that there is meaning and purpose to one’s life. Again, Crowley has expressed a similar philosophy (see, above, Confessions). This state recognizes and identifies with the primal energy that creates all, puts one in touch with the Source of being, and allows limitless capacity for evolution.
This state should be practiced in all areas and become a sort of basis by which we gauge our actions in the world. It is true Self- Will: the recognition of the Divine within the Self, a commitment to the Self, and part of the process of evolution.
Many barriers and doubts about Self-Will come into play. Meditation, Prana and Hatha Yoga, and simple examination of motive should lead one to recognition of true Self-Will vs. whim or whimsy. Evocation of high spiritual ideals in even the most mundane tasks can bring them to the realm of the spiritual; evocation of this state of mind brings exquisite joy. Open your Self and the truth will manifest.
Tantric Yoginis evoke divine creative energy; and embody the Jungian “anima” archetype.
Rather than separate “flesh” from “soul,” Tantric Will teaches the unification of body, mind, intellect, intuition, and spirit. Through consecration of all parts of our being, we integrate them and achieve the exalted state of true Self-Will. Emotions and lust can be transformed into transcendental ecstasy.
According to Kaularahasya: “Where there is only worldly enjoyment, there is no release. Where there is only release, there is no worldly enjoyment. But both worldly enjoyment and release are in the palm of the hand of those devoted to the True Self Within.”
According to Advayasiddhi: “By those same deeds which create bondage for dualistic beings, one can be liberated from the bonds of the world. The secret is that the act must be accompanied by non-dualism between ‘fleshly’ and ‘spiritual’.”
Recognize your freedom of choice, refine your higher Will! The dependency created by habit must be broken, one must master habit. Sexual habits are the most restrictive. The Kama Sutra says: “Love resulting from the constant and continual performance of some act is called love acquired by habit.”
Any *intentional* act of Will has magical potency and is far superior to habitual or unintentional acts. Habits inherited from parents or through social conditioning are difficult to break; they provide a false sense of security, but restrict entire ways of life and conscious choice. By ignoring or sublimating the Will of the Self, such ingrained habits obliterate awareness and stunt growth and evolution. Once the initial fear of change is overcome, the rewards will be instantly realized. Tantra requires adaptability in the area of sexual love. All eastern sexual magic teachings point to the need for uninhibitedness, spontaneity, and the willingness to “Do As Thou Wilt.” According to Tilopa: “The louse of habit is (s)elf-originated, and (S)elf-destructed. Kill this louse and find the Teaching.”
From the CHANDOGYA-UPANISAD:
Where there is ecstasy, there is Creation.
Where there is no ecstasy, there is no Creation.
In the Infinite, there is ecstasy;
There is no ecstasy in the finite.
Through diligent preparation and practice, and through deliberate cultivation of reflective attitude and openness to the Self, one’s true Self and true Will will be revealed.
DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW.
LOVE IS THE LAW;
LOVE UNDER WILL.
TAT TWAM ASI: THOU ART THAT.
D. Yogini Padma Ushas Suryananda, other sources as cited.
(c) 1993 Rose Dawn Scott.