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Mapping out Sacred Time

but that kind of spiritual garage sale that you get out of the vast majority of yoga, where you’re supposed to purge yourself periodically from your life and to the spiritual garage sale. And then you go and buy a bunch of books like the keep it simple, stupid books. Can we just start the day by saying, throw all that shit out? Okay. Like throw out the, keep it simple, stupid books and keep your stuff. Meaning like, because you’re just going to go out and get more stuff. It ends up being like a George Carlin joke. You go on vacation, you get away from your stuff and you’ve got stuff. You can bring it home. Then you got to get rid of your other stuff. It’s great. If you don’t know the George Garland, but you’ve got to look it up, but there’s certainly one of the they’re really sort of two very big distinctive socio-historical like who are these people? is really that’s, that’s, that’s a simple way to answer that question. The, “who are these people?” question in the history of the origins of these tantric traditions and that’s actually a reasonably good place to start. I’ll come back to my story. Um, and

In a certain way, it speaks to the complexity and the diversity of these histories. On the one side it’s probably fair to say that the first initiatives to the development of the history of tantric thought… it’s fair to say that the origins of the tantric tradition come from a deeply seated, charismatic tradition of the shaman, the holy person, the outlier-renunciant, and one of the ways we can map the history of tantra into the history of yoga is certainly to look for certain keywords and vocabulary and ideas that are there and not there. So let me give you a few handy clues. Once we pass into modernity, all of these histories become inclusive, composite – as Ray davies wrote, “It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world” and sorting it out is difficult enough for all the source-reasons in India, for example, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, not only doesn’t use the word or the concept of Kundalini, it doesn’t even know it, notwithstanding the fact that say that work of 195 or so threads, sutras, divided into four sections, almost undoubtedly does not all come from the single hand or particularly from one single period of time. It’s a collection, it’s a composite, all the ways in which we would sort of try to ask ourselves, well, how was it put together? How do you sort of parse it out and take it apart? That’s a much more difficult issue because we can’t do that with any kind of definitive scholarly affirmations, like we don’t have enough evidence to really say, okay, for sure this doesn’t work.

Let me give you another example. Somewhere 20 verses into the second book of Patanjali, somewhere around 2.20, 2.18, he begins yoga is eight things. He says yoga is ashtanga, the eight limbs. Now, if you take that section all the way to 2 52, those 30 odd verses, and you pulled it out, you would see that not only does that section hold together, coherently, but that everything before it and everything after it makes better sense without that. So that’s a process we call interpolation like his bit was kind of tossed in here and then it winds back and it moves forward. As sort of clear as that seems to be, if you wrap your head around, what’s going on on the text carefully enough, there’s just not enough historical evidence to actually make that argument. So the traditionalist won’t make that argument because they think it’s all of a piece and it all comes from one hand – Sage Patanjali, Maharshi Patanjali, Yoga Master Patanjali. (Misquoting Jesus)
They’re going to go through all of that, right? There’s there’s no critical historical perspective on the material from the traditionalists and the scholars are far too trepidatious to step into that mud pie, because as soon as you wrote that you would be discredited for not having enough evidence to prove it right? So scholarship in this subject almost always errors on the side of caution. When you turn that into history, it’s a very cautious place to go because the Indians don’t give us a lot to go on. You turn this back into the voices of traditionalist and all of this material becomes pre-interpreted according to the the traditionalists understanding. A better example of that idea, for example, would be every translation of the great Bhagavad Gita, which is a gateway text that nearly every sort of philosophical and visionary understandings in the Hindu tradition have to walk through the the Bhagavad Gita, have to address that text, it’s standard fair. It wouldn’t matter what theological side of the street you’re on, but any translation that is by Swami somebodyananda, and it wouldn’t matter which one it was, it’s already going to come from some or another point of view because translation is interpretation and in this case it’s heavily redacted to that viewpoint. A perfect example of this is the Hari Krishna edition called The Bhagavad Gita As It Is. So then you kind of inch yourself over, like flip the coin over, to what we might call critical historical scholarship and you’re going to get a lot of distance, a lot of really very careful tip-toeing around the issues.

And then you folks, because there’s a market, as it were over the last 30 years for interest in this subject, there’s this sort of third body of material that comes from self-proclaimed amateur expert, poet people, or other sorts of people. And they’re just making shit up, and what’s interesting is sometimes they’re making things up that are really interesting, they’re not without their creativities and abilities. Don’t mistake what I’m saying. The Stephen Mitchell translation of the Bhagavad Gita, for example, is not a bad text, it just has little to do with the text. It’s a beautiful work. It’s an interesting work, it’s a creative, redactive kind of, it’s, it’s a really interesting thing to do. Just has nothing. Let me give you a better example of that, just so that you all know that I would say 98% of the time, you see anyone quoting the great Persian Sufi poet Rumi, they’re quoting from a translation from a Georgia English professor whose name is Coleman Barks. I worked with Coleman on other onset protects and talk about making shit up. The reason you love Rumi is because Coleman’s really great. You’re really loving Coleman. That’s who you really love it because that’s not what it says. And he doesn’t read Persian. He doesn’t read Farsi. So he is somebody who kind of works out the Farsi form, word by word, and then he decides what he thinks it wants it. And then, then if it doesn’t say what he wants it to say, he just makes it say what he wants it to say. That shouldn’t disappoint you. That should tell you that he’s really good. Like, okay, you just got scammed, but nonetheless, he’s a really interesting guy.

Let’s go back to the center. So who were these people and coming out of the rise of the ascetical tradition.The ascetics were committed to two things, just to review very quickly. The ascetics were committed to the claim that the underutilized and cultivated human condition could be brought to an ecstatic fulmination, that there was truly for, for human possibility, a conclusion and they need, and they meant it to be conclusive. You don’t arise to the status of Buddha or Siddha or any of the words for freedom:  muktimoksha… and there’s there’s no backsliding. There’s no, like you don’t have another bad day. That’s that’s not in the cards. So all of those words that are used are all grammatically past passive participles, Buddha means awakened. It doesn’t mean in a process. It doesn’t mean an ongoing thing. It means done. And from which there is no backslash.

So the first issue of these traditions was there is a culminating and conclusive goal that was brought about principally by the powers of introversion. And that was their second great issue that this would not be found in the limited mortal and conditioned terms of a changeable world. This would be found in a process of radical introversion. And when you go to say an early first century text like the Bhagavad Gita in the second chapter, when Krishna starts to talk about the yogins, that’s a very complicated topic right there, because he’s going to use that word more than 150 different forms and he’s gonna really use it to express a lot of different sorts of achievements and attainments and ideas and values. You know that that text doesn’t really, the Bhagavad Gita is probably first, second century before the Christian era. You know, there’s no tantra yet, again, because of the vocabulary we don’t see any of the important words. We don’t have any notions. All of, all of the subtle body talk has nothing to do with chakras, there’s no notion of Kundalini that the vocabulary that is endemic that’s, that’s the tantric world together just isn’t there.
And the conversation that it’s arising in is not from that world yet. You can just see, they haven’t really arrived there yet. It seems pretty conclusive. And then when you read commentaries that lead back into the text, that’s really creative. That’s really interesting stuff, but that’s, but that’s because it comes later and they walk because in the Indian tradition, what they want to see things there that may or may not have been there because they’ve already come philosophically with an interpretation of the text, no traditional commentator on the Bhagavad Gita or any other texts, pre tantric tantric texts doesn’t already have, as it were their worldview game set match, tightly knit together, all worked out.
They’re going to make that text, say what they want it to say. So, because it’s really no different than turning on of avangelical TV in the morning, whatever they think that the tech, they already know what they want it to set. So they’re going to get it to say what they want it to say, no matter what it says, um, that’s going to be their task as, uh, and here’s an interesting term, scriptural interpreters, yoga scriptures. I can’t think of a more oxymoronic term because things aren’t written down for like script.  Scriptural means to write, you don’t write this stuff down, you remember it. They memorize it. They talk about it, but they don’t write it down. That’s a much, much later idea.

So the ethos of the sort of underlying values of the ascetics were that this exemptive state of realization, conferred power in the world, that when you were in the world, you were not only Teflon, truly just exempt from its terms, you had a certain kind of sovereignty over the world, and that’s why they really call these Raja yogas because they’re alternative forms of sovereignty. That notion of sovereignty over body over mind, over speech, dominion over the world is more than a control issue, – and there’s a kind of irony to it – they have complete management over it, but don’t want anything to do with it. They could do anything in the world, but choose not to.

Control creates control. There’s no doubt about that. The earliest, the earliest traditions way before the tantra are telling me that when you arrive at these exalted states, as you move through – remember the, the eight limbs are a vertical, right? You start at the bottle and as you achieve, you can kick away the rungs of the ladder because you have already been there, done that. And once you arrive in the states of the subtle body, that’s mere banality. And because, because they are really working from, from a bondage to liberation, gross to subtle model of the world, that’s how they’re orienting their work. So, so, so they, they do mean control, controlling oneself, confers control over the world. It’s very hard not to read that into the way they orient themselves. So I used to have to race from Harvard yard, back to the divinity school to go to this great class, which is lovely man, who was the most shy and retiring and, and introverted arc kind of stereotype of a scholar you’ve ever met. Like he was, he was so sweet. He was such a mole. Like he had to pull up, his little glasses could barely Mo mumble past the podium, but he really always had something interesting to say. So there were two doors into this classroom and I was late, never late as late. I came in the back door and I sat down I’m squinting. And the guy next to me, he goes, you know, I said, I realized that I couldn’t see anymore, but the kid in the front row was like an Elvis Costello lookalike without the irony. Like he, like, he had the pocket protector in the high waters and the, and his jacket was the same one he wore every day. And his lunch was on his tie. The jacket would sit over there. I’m outside of the room sometimes, and then went back over to him. But he was a piece of work. And in Boston, they’re called grinders, you know, like submarine sandwiches and it had cellophane on it. Right. So, so yeah, so crinkle that for, we need to close out of it while, while he consumed his grinder, Beldock cone had stopped, is straight straight, and it’s going like really loud.
And by now I’m laughing because professor karma is just like, and in the 11th century. So anytime this happens, I have like, I have like my LSD John Carmen flashback to the moment where, okay, sorry. So now yes,. No, if actually people achieve this, like some organization look at George’s guide or is this just a myth that people expect to? I mean, I,.
Well, all mythological – mythologies are real. The question is, in what way, they’re real. I’m going to go there. Um, I do like to tell the story of, well, let me just keep going and I’ll answer.


So, but one of the things that’s arising here in the early centuries, especially out of these charismatics is the notion that this liberative state, which now is the immortal not only confers power in the world and dominion in a certain dominion over the world, not only confers authority, as well as exemption from, from everyday terms. One of the things that it fundamentally exempts from is we get a notion… it quickly turns the tides towards physical alchemy, so that what begins as the spirit is liberated and matter goes on, right? And the Buddhist do an excellent job of describing this.
He arrives at the completion of Nirvana at 35 or 36 he’s Hey, I said, he has a distinguished 50 year career of teaching and conversation. He has a very bad night with a begging bowl from China of a Smith at age 82. And he steps into what the Buddhist called parinirvana. So the distinction between Nirvana and Pari Nirvana, is it euphemism in the Buddhist tradition to talking about how the liberated and exempted state of the awakened one moves from life to death.
parinirvana means his body has gone, but he wasn’t really in it. Certainly he hasn’t really been here subject to the terms of mortality for the last 50 years anyway, because literally he has arrived, Nirvana would be the extinction of suffering to what exactly it entails that for 50 years, he has to eat and sleep and carry on and probably has a couple of bad days, all of that is, is, is thrown up into the maelstrom of possibilities, but by the first century or so, we’re getting a different sense of what it would mean to be in complete dominion over the world, that the arrival at the immortal becomes dominion over the mortal. They really begin to talk about, this is also the first elaboration, the first distinction of Ayurveda, they’re not just looking to heal and create healing, palliative remedies to the human circumstance of suffering They’re looking for ayurc the word Ayurveda means longevity. And now they mean maybe a lot of longevity, a lot of longevity to maybe Lord Voldemort, like longevity, meaning they’re looking for the philosopher’s stone – they say they’re looking for physical immortality. Continuing on historically, there’s a very important and powerful strain in the origins of tantra and hatha-yoga that is looking to literally transmute, take the human condition to that place where physical death is simply no longer the outcome you would reverse the process. Let’s pause on that idea just to explain how they thought they could arrive at that. So here’s the idea: the principle that is the immortal soul ideologically is not an evolute of the world, it’s an assumption of reality. The thing that makes us, the reality that animates us, and the yogis and the tanstrikas come along and make this very clear that they want to call cettana, purusha, citta and  all the words for consciousness, the claim is that we as conscious beings, are the evidentiary proof that consciousness in some sublime and incipient sense, preexists our experience of it. Let me put it in a simpler way. Let’s fast forward to the ninth century Kashmiri Shavites make the point very clear. We are the proof that the world is consciousness because we couldn’t be conscious beings unless there was consciousness, unless some kind of principle of consciousness, pervaded, adhered, suffused reality itself. Now there’s a lot of interesting contemporary philosophy about this stuff. A guy named Thomas Nagel writes about this and others, there’s a lot of conversation about this among those who are not arguing for a God principle, but against the Neo Darwinist who are arguing that consciousness is an evolute of material reduction. So we want to understand what I mean by that. In other words, 3.8 billion years ago, there was a, there was a soupy concoction of material entities and the replicative recursive process that is life happened as a chemical reaction. That’s where Neo Darwinism goes. That’s where most of the argument arrives in the West these days as to how life happened. What was life? Life was a chemical reaction. It’s a little brutal, but it’s probably okay. Like everything we know points to that way being the case.

Now enter the Indian world, because this is a really important point, and I have to begiin with the system that comes before yoga and before tantra called samkhya – the word means to enumerate, it means to count, and these are the folks who gave us the so-called 24 categories, the 24 principles, they called them tattvas – tattva means “thatness” the reductive principle that explains the process of experience. Now here’s the most important thing to know about samkhya, it starts with experience and it maps out from what we might call material reality through these 24 categories that are then are really ways of explaining how we human beings experience and understand the world. So the categories that samkhya is mapping – these 24 principles from the gross to the sublime, from the ordinary to self-aware cognitive self-expression, that process that they’re mapping is always – because they’re Indians – always a process of understanding human perception. So these aren’t material categories, these are categories about the world. These are categories about perception. That’s my point. Samkhya is explaining how we as human beings create our world, the way they do that is they say: we start in elemental material reality – which is a misleading way to put this, let’s say instead that they start at the foundational parts of perception, we start way down there and then they count up through the process of perception and the last three categories. When you get to the top of their ladder, right? are mind, ego, and judgment. manas ahamkara buddhi they call it, it’s a very famous term, the capacity to judge, to will, to choose, the word buddhi here is related to the word buddha all meaning awakening, Buddhi is the capacity in these systems to be discerning. It’s the ability to know, it’s the process of as a practical process for the judgement, as a cognitive process, it’s discrimination, it’s the sorting ability of a mind. It goes past your preferences, through the circulation of your brain, which is what they mean by the word manas here, all the way to this status of awareness.
So buddhi is awareness judgment, discernment, the sorting power, it’s the cognitive power, and here’s the most important point in samkhya and that is it’s entirely a material evolute. And in that sense, we arrive at the evolution of our own self-awareness, about having a mind through which all the senses and material processes are filtered. That creates a sense of ahamkara, I-ness identity, ego identity. So ego identity, the mind filter, all of this sort of floats to the top of the awareness being. And that’s the 24th category of these 25. (—–) Discernment, awareness, criticality, judgement, or something like that, we’ll call it judgment, is the process that maps change. “I knew, I didn’t know. I got it. I didn’t get it.” It belongs to the mutable world. The mind (this inner trinity of buddhi, ahamkara, manas) is just like all other things that change. Pause for a moment and think how genius this is. They really understood that changing your mind, such as it is, puts you in a mortal, conditional world, it puts you there. And so they’re defining human experience up until this point as a process of layering, a hierarchy of being from material-like things, gross or obvious things, to more subtle self experiences. Right? And so when you finally arrive at the experience, not just the mechanisms of the experiencer, samkhya does a brilliant thing. It maps you back. It solves what we in the West called the Cartesian problem. You know Rene Descartes, right? The, “I think, therefore I am” guy, right? Which says, the experience or the one having the experience is not the thing making the experience. This is what led to the split in our psych departments into two completely different things. And trust me, they hate each other very much. On one side, the brain and cognitive side, everything we’re thinking is a protein, or synapses firing, hormones or whatever. Like it’s all just neurons and shit, right? They want to explain everything through the material reductive process. But then on the other side, that you’re having an experience like, I like sunsets, or isn’t my puppy cute. All of that is completely separated out from the thing that’s making you see the experience, right? So your brain and cognitive function is not the same thing as your experiencer. We in the West, and the Indians knew this too… everybody knows this, they know that the machine that’s running you has a ghost in the machine. Samkhya’s claim is that the ghost in the machine appears to be no different than the materiality. The higher functions of the mind are just other ways in which the materiality appears. It’s just a higher evolute, that is an incredibly modern, sophisticated idea. But it’s not really a ghost, or in other words, it cannot be seen. We get that now… the neural networks of our meat-machine, our meat-computer account for reason, rationality, judgements, etc. This is the dream of AI, and you know, 30, 40, 50 years ago we thought any day now we’re going to figure this out. But there’s one little problem – and philosophers and neuroscientist have dubbed this, the hard problem of consciousness. Perception is well explained by the first 24 principles… but what about conscious experience itself? As  American philosopher Thomas Nagel defines it “the feeling of what it is like to be something” Why and how are all those  processes, the “buddhi, ahamkara and manas” of Samkhya, accompanied by experience? experience is irreducible. Unlike a clock, a hurricane, or the easy problems, descriptions of structures and functions leave something out of the picture. (There was an old woman who swallowed a fly.

Enter Samkhya’s last category, and enter Yoga, yes, there’s one more category. There’s a 25th category. And that’s the ghost. That’s, purusha, that’s the so-called spirit. That’s the real ghost tin the machine. That’s the experiencer of the machine that makes the experience. So Samkhya adds this category, and Yoga adopts it, and then yoga takes a really interesting, like now they’re really got a tango because I got two things right now. They’ve got somebody else at the dance. Think about it. What they’ve really managed to do is tell you this, that your soul is different than your experience of change. Remember they didn’t abandon those other samkhya categories. You have a mind, and then you have a preference maker that identifies your mind as you, you have an ego, and then you have this thing – called the buddhi – that kind of knows that it’s aware, it organizes all the sensations, sense-sations,  the memories, dreams, projections, narratives – all those things that are buzzing around in the mind, including those things we are unaware of, forgotten, suppressed, dissociated, etc. what is called by these traditions – the subtle body. Why do they call it that, well you don’t see those things. When you work with the subtle body samkhya says, you’re still working in the material mortal world of changeability, yoga adds and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra assumes you know this, adds this adds this next category which is called purusha spirit and says, oh no, there’s a part of you that is immutable, changeless, unconditioned, and undergoes no process whatsoever. It is the immortal self Supreme. And that supreme unsullied consciousness inhabits and pervades all things.

So this is the map. Now samkhya-yoga refers to these two systems working together. yoga’s claim that there was this other reality, this true spirit, this immortal self, which would also then be the divine self and the trouble they got in was this, instead of seeing that process of arriving at consciousness as a material evolution, which is our view, right?
Our view is time created consciousness in that gradual 3.8 billion years, over the last 4.2 billion in a 13.8 billion year, cosmos so far what we know, right? We see consciousness as an evolute  of a gradual process of development that is consciousness as an outcome full stop. India saw consciousness as a premise, not as an outcome that is, they saw that the universe must have possessed all these categories for us to possess any of them. So they’re not working from a gross world, created a subtle experience. They’re working from the idea that a subtle reality was always present. And so they can either see it as a devolution, there was consciousness and it goes down to matter, or they can see matter becomes consciousness because consciousness was always here because they’re working on a very simple plan, that the changeable process must be preceded by its possibility by its incipient presence. There’s a technical term for this., and it’s very important for understanding Indian philosophy. Do you want me to give it to you? I will anyway, it’s a little technical. It’s called sat-karya-vada – sat S A T, karya K A R Y A, vada V A D A. Now the word vata takes you all the way to the word word. So it’s what it means. So vada means doctrine or idea. It’s the word that the karya is sat. That is that the effect is present, what they mean by that is that the effect is preexistent in the cause. Let me give you their standard example. The reason wood burns to fire is because fire is latent as a possibility in wood, right? And that, so samkhya is going to argue that life consciousness is the sublime latent reality inherent in the material world [THE POLICE] It simply couldn’t come about if it weren’t already, incipiently potentially there, it’s a potency latency argument. Got it. That you can’t make things out of things that don’t have that possibility in that. That’s not a crazy way to think. One second contemporary physics says, look, if the universe were, as we understood it, if it were a degree warmer or a degree cooler, it wouldn’t have turned out the way it is. It’s the whole Goldilocks idea part, not too hot, not too cold. And so the possibilities of evolution have to be there has to be enough carbon. There has to be enough stress to be enough of what there is to make us possible to happen. The Indians are thinking exactly the same way,

But they went through this process where instead of seeing consciousness as an outcome, they saw it as a premise, as, as something that had to be there that in fact may not be correct from what we understand today about reality, but that’s how they organize their world, but they accomplished something very interesting. They wanted to tell you that almost all the ways in which you imagine yourself as a person, in fact, all the ways you imagine yourself as a person are not the real you, (now I add Yoga) They’re just this material part of you, you’re still confusing and conflating your mind, your ego preferencing, and your awareness principle with yourself. Whereas the self is really of a different order of being, because it doesn’t change. It is immortal. It has never undergone a process. Now that model holds fast from the first century for the only thing that’s going to happen to this 24 plus one material categories, add the self or what we would call prakriti and purusha, the only thing that’s going to happen in that model is they’re going to add to it. The tantras are going to come along, and just to make things easier, they’re going to add 11 more categories on top of purusha. They’re going to go from 25 to 36. And if you want to go way down the rabbit hole of the study of tantra, this is where you start to go to explain how they go about explaining the world. And this is what’s called tattva theory.

What they’re really doing is they’re trying to map the experience of experience. That’s what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to take what it is we call experience and literally of bring it all the way down to the most material level and then creating a pattern and say everything in the material category is changeable and what makes self purusha spirit different is that it has never changed. It has always been the same. The reason for that then is because they’re thinking there has to be a source for the experience itself.
It’s like arguing with a theist, like, well, where did the universe come from? It’s an argument for first principle. A lot of that is peeling away and our contemporary understandings about how things work, but that’s where they’re going.

So, so the alchemist’s interest is powerful here. The first interest in Ayurveda was, was, well, life is precarious and threatening and dangerous, the path to awakening is fraught with, well, they were Spinosans “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” They understood that. And life was short and you have to remember, this is ancient India, a long time ago, what’s life expectancy 30? If you make the cut, although India has always been a very fecund and resourceful place. Now we have lots of evidence that people live long. However, what causes death is entropy, the very notion that the animating force is one, mistaken. You don’t even know it’s there. You don’t really know what the source of your consciousness is. You don’t know your soul, which is the true source and cause of animating your physical reality. But your physical reality is also subject to the terms of mutability to the terms of change. It is itself entropic. Entropic as a simple idea, from order to disorder, creation is an unraveling. It’s a devolving, it’s a falling apart. And because no matter how hard you try to keep things, the same, they change no matter how much you want them to change, they won’t. So you’re fundamentally dissatisfied with the condition of change, but change is entropy in the Indian mind. And it’s the dust funny principle, right? You don’t even have to do anything, just don’t vacuum for awhile and they’re under your bed, right? Like you didn’t have to do anything to accumulate a mess, leave things unattended and they fall apart. So the ordinary direction of materiality is from order to disorder. They also understood that every moment of disorder is as orderly as it was going to be. Right. Do you understand what I mean by this? Spill the water in the bottle more orderly, right? As I spill the water, right? The problem is getting it back in the bottle, right? Because it’s, but it’s really an order problem. All of this is too complex, too many variables to get it back. But once it’s spill, the only thing it can do next is get more entropic, get it, at every moment, it’s perfectly orderly, but it could be more and less orderly with respect to different moments. Once I spill it, think about this, right? That’s the, that’s the most orderly it’s going to be the next thing it’s going to do after that, it’s just get worse. Right? So the Indian mind also sees time and place and identity in this model and Murphy is an optimist, right? So that when things go wrong, they go really can wrong. So the reason we die is that we’re in a process in which the life force literally kind of peaks and trembles, and then declines.

The rise of alchemy – of sadhana – in the model of samkhya-yoga has two agendas and they’re linked together. The first agenda is: realize the immortal part of yourself, and you gain dominion over the material to the point where the management of the march to death. And this is why Indian mythology and the history of yoga talks about yogis being hundreds, thousands of years old, once you get the big Kaboom is supposed to be a big Kaboom. Once you get the big Kaboom. Once you realize that the immortal that the power of the immortal self now, as the alchemists get hold of this idea, informs the mortal world. The dissipation of the life force no longer follows suit because you identify with this part of yourself that is the consciousness that is in you, and will always be. Once that consciousness identity is, as it were, secured in which it is no longer misconstrued with the contingency of the awareness consciousness, you gain mastery over the material thing that’s changeable and entropic you gain control over that.
Enter the alchemists. The basic old trope is realized beings live for centuries. Why? Because they control the entropic process of the material world. You’re no longer subject to it.

So every story tells you, you know, go to the great Mahabharata, Vyasa the great ascetic Yogi who’s not really all that ascetic since he’s the progenitor of the race. He’s telling the Mahabharata story four generations after everyone’s dead. The old saw of the epic is that Vyasa shows up at a ritual sacrifice of a king who’s the great, great, great grandson of the last Pandava, of a war, and he says, well, who are my ancestors? So this sort of ethos of alchemy is everywhere in the Indian tradition.  So while it’s going to get really interestingly wacky when the tantrikas get ahold of it, the idea that realization, however, that’s variously defined, confers dominion in a world in which its terms cannot only be subjugated and control, but the very processes in which you’re in can be, can be sublated, they can be reversed. They can simply be no longer apply. So full stop…. So why do we die? We die because the process of life as it materially distills within us, dissipates. The process of perfect replication fails. This is Indian genius. They understood why we fail. That is why we age, why we dis-ease and why we die. And that’s because we don’t replace ourselves perfectly with ourselves.

This is not a silly thing to think. You were, you were, you came into the world pre imprinted with uncountable generational identities. If you simply go to the DNA argument of our own of our own era, this is death and rebirth is not a completely silly idea. Which means that some way down there, you know, you could have a Woody/Arlo problem. Understand what I mean by that? Woody Guthrie died of Huntington’s disease. Everybody knows who Woody Guthrie is. (this land is your land). And his son would would take you out to Alice’s Restaurant where he can get anything you want.

The point of Woody and Arlo is that we now know that Huntington’s disease is on the Y chromosome and manifests in middle age and Arlo didn’t know he was going to get it. Like he had to pass a certain threshold in his life because it was cause he could have gotten just died when his father died. We now know it’s an inherited disease. How come some people make it and some people don’t? The Indian answer is karma and karma is causality. Karma is the inheritance of probabilities. Its history. It’s the consequences of the past in the present moving toward the future. That’s what they think it is. Karma is very simple. It’s it’s cause Allity probability and consequence. It’s an explanation of cause and effect and cause and effect is cumulative. Again, this is not fanciful silly thinking, this is observational. This is powerful, empirical observation. [MY NAME IS EARL] We’ve got ways of thinking about karma now that are exactly what we would call karma. Like it wasn’t Arlo’s karma to get that recessive gene. That’s a way we would put it now, but that’s karma. It’s that’s not to conflating a notion. I’m not really just saying they didn’t really understand the mechanisms of hereditary heredity any more than we did. Okay. Let’s stop for ourselves. But they did understand cumulative causality, the collection of consequences. If you don’t make the cut or you get cut off or you get into an accident, something awful happens to you, one way or another, he Indian explanation is there’s an imprint for that.

You have to remember that these are wisdom traditions. The wisdom traditions rely upon accountability and intelligibility. They want to look out at the world and they want to say, what’s mysterious to you is not mysterious to those who know, right? Because they’re working on an intelligibility principle, the world isn’t simply occluded, obfuscated… the theists go to big mystery. The yogis go, no, mystery is just dense, the thing about a mystery is it solvable. The solvability principle means that you could figure it out.
If you can figure it out, there’s a reason for things. If there’s the reason for things is called karma. So when someone says to you, “everything happens for a reason.” Let me translate for you. Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma. That’s what they just said. Okay. Now there’s a problem with that, when you get into a world that’s not only intelligible and figure out-able it’s, it’s that it’s determinative. That is where now wise your choices and your possibilities. If in fact what you’ve inherited is everything that could possibly happen. And by the way, it’s all kind of going to work out that way because all of these causes and effects because it’s so, so think of it this way. Think of it. If  causality is too tightly woven together, you don’t have any choices, because this is going to happen. And now you get into all the words for fate and destiny and determination. One way out of that is to say, everything happens for a reason, pause, comma, because God has a plan. Now you’re a theist. Got it. Don’t add the other clause, and you’re still in the yoga world, right? Of self-determination. But the question is how self-determining are you in a world in which everything that you can be has in some sense already been accumulated. If what you’re doing is only realizing what the potencies are you’ve inherited, then what kind of choices do you have? These are the sorts of things Indian philosophers think about because of karmic determinism. And so the contrast is how are you free? Think of it this way, it’s fixed and free, right? The more you fix the world, the more explanation you can give, but the more you fix it, the less freedom you have, the more free it is, the more you’ve got to go, okay, how come it’s not so fixed the less predictability you have because predictability is fixed ability. Get it like we live here. The fix is in meaning, you know, what’s already going to happen, right. That’s exactly what I mean by the fix. A fixed world is one where the outcomes are determining the odds of already spoken.

So the alchemists come along and they say, why is it you disease and die? And their answer again, begins in sanity. Now in incentive, it begins the sane. What they understand is the process of human life begins to fail. They didn’t quite understand that it really is replicative failure. we don’t, we don’t replace ourselves perfectly with ourselves. We age, we grow old and then we die. Why? Because the process breaks down. That’s the first thing they said. That is actually totally true. They got that completely right. That’s what we understand the process breaks down.  But notice the other thing about human life, and they noticed this, that we are here not simply to replicate ourselves, but to replicate. That is to say, because the genius of human birth,  the way you know, you’ve made it is that you’re here again. If humans are 2 million plus years around every one of your ancestors survived to replicate everyone reproduced every single one. That’s like, you made the cut. Okay. And the Indian mind says you’re here making the cut.

Now enter Ayurveda’s early understandings. because they don’t really understand how babies are made. They never understand how babies are made. That’s a fact, okay. They don’t get the sperm ovum thing. We didn’t know that until very recently, ancient India never knew this. They knew a lot about sexual fluid, because we all do. But they didn’t know how the mechanism worked. This is what they did know, this is what they thought: They thought that the reason you’re here is to do that, that everything your physical body wants to do is devoted to that. They are perilously close to the brilliant Dawkins argument of the selfish gene. You’re not here for you, your genes. You’re here for them. Probably one of the most important books of the 20th century read Richard Dawkins, selfish gene. He really isn’t telling you are selfish, he’s really telling you that survival comes through the distillation of a replicative process, that our bodies are devoted to that, the selfish gene, it’s really an amazing book. People have so misused this idea like it’s, it’s made him sound like he’s saying there’s no altruism. There’s no goodness in the world. He’s actually telling you. No, no. The mechanism of your body is devoted to its survival. That’s all it wants. It doesn’t even want that by wanting that. That’s what it does. That’s every last bit. Life has only one agenda, that’s its only message. So the only thing it does, it goes again, it would prefer again exactly how it just did itself. It isn’t looking for change or development. It wants again. It wants to reproduce itself exactly the way it did. How does it explain purpose then? It doesn’t oh, much later on. We can explain purpose. But what this suggests is that it doesn’t need a purpose because it doesn’t have to have a purpose. All it has to have is a process. And all that process does is say again.

Here’s where the Indians enter into the conversation in an interesting way. They think all the food, all the air, everything you do as a manifest physical embodied beeing is devoted to making that energy of replication. Your whole body is a distillation of food to the principle they call ojas, which is the essential gooey distillation of the life force, the physical manifestation of which are sexual fluids, the subtle manifestation of which is life itself.  They really understood that sexual fluid… they didn’t know about ovums and eggs and women. And then they quit doing anatomy very early on because of cast. One of the reasons why medicine and Ayurveda in India fails to carry on and really become what it might’ve been is because much of it has to do with purity and danger issues associated with cast and gender. They stop. Almost all of the good evolutions of medicine happened in Buddhist communities up until around the second century, when Buddhism also becomes saturated with priestly class converts, priestly caste converts, they enter these monasteries where they give up name and family and they become characters of the community whose efforts are to relieve the sufferings of sentient beings. Medicine evolves in those places. But it starts to die out in the ordinary real world because there’s permissions and prohibitions about human contact. The erudite  learned custodians of wisdom, the upper caste who are carrying on Sanskrit, stop touching people. Everybody clear about that. <<One of the reasons that subtle body anatomy comes about, chakras and the rest, is because they have no idea what’s inside you. They wouldn’t touch it. They wouldn’t open you up. They wouldn’t look, that’s like icky. That’s a here, not there problem. That’s purity endanger problem. In India you’re cremated within 24 hours of your death. They have no idea what’s going on.

I know this is a pretty audacious claim which is a lot of subtle body theory is ignorance. They’re imagining what’s going on because they never look. They stop looking right around the first century. That’s a fact. Now I know this is reductive because I don’t think that’s why they come up with subtle body theory. But we do know they stop looking. Okay. Well what they do think, and this is really interesting – is that everything you’re breathing and doing is distilling ojas., which is actually not a terribly ignorant way of thinking. Like if you think about it, you grow up to reproduce. Like it’s the selfish gene argument. And when you kind of tip the scales and you’ll get past your expiration dates and you don’t really do that anymore, what you’re really witnessing is the dissipation of ojas. And there’s a whole industry devoted to that now. When your ojas is connected to your virility literally. I’m using that word across gender because the word vira, which is the Sanskrit word for heroic, is directly cognate to the English word virility. To be vira is to be viral, that is to be able to take the life force, which distills to your essence.

The ascetic path isn’t simply a refusal to participate in the world. It’s the reversal of the viral energies. In other words, think about it, let me be crass and put it simply when you release the fecund energies, you give up, you give up some of your life and you make end. And in a householder sense, you make more death. When you make children you advance the entropic process. You you’re not making more life, you’re making more death. Because all of those things you bring into the world they’ll die too, right? Unless the process stops going in that direction and then reverses the direction. Now you’re at the heart of the Indian alchemical notion, that reversal direction begins with the rise of the ascetic tradition. They’re not using celibacy as a moral category. Celibacy as a moral category is “I don’t share my sensuality which gives me the ability to create exactly the same boundary with everyone, because intimacy is a boundary of self-imposed bias.” Does everybody understand what I mean by that? When you’re intimate with someone, you’re not only share your stuff, you share it with them and not with everyone else. So celibacy as a moral category, it’s the Catholic church arguing, right? Why are the priests celibate? So that they can love everyone and they aren’t distracted into other love, but they’re not biasing their love, right? Because intimacy is a biased love, that’s celibacy as a moral argument. The celibacy argument is fundamentally to stop relinquishing your power to a world that’s consuming it. The fundamental distillation of your power is that everything your body is making is distilling to ojas. It’s distilling sexual power. Sexual power is the fundamental distillation. Everything you’re doing is making that. And it’s devoted to that. All the food, all the breath, everything else. And you are literally a leaky vessel. This is where pranayama and bandhas are invented. They are invented to create occlusions, to stop the leaking vessel. They’re not to feel good. The reason they give you health is they stopped the products from exiting and the products are what’s in the ojas. Your ojas is leaking prana and that’s what’s causing you to die. This is perfectly normal thinking for a medieval mind, which is when these doctrines are become fully matured and recorded in texts. But here’s the deal… these techniques do help us feel good, and they do heal, bit not for the reasons the texts propose. [Stanislav Grof].

But do remember that this is a civilization that gave us the Kama Sutra and plenty of tantra later on. Also, this is among the most misogynist and sexist civilizations ever to invent itself. And it’s the only continuous macrohistorical tradition with goddesses and heroines. Look for heroines in Western mythology. They do not exist. Almost impossible. India? They’ve got millions and we’ll go back to all of these. These are ironies, these are contradictions, paradoxes we could embrace. But you know, the goddess tradition is misogynist the heroine tradition is sexist. Go figure. Say nothing of homophobic.

So because brahmacarya, studentship in those yamas and niyamas, the reason that’s translated celibacy is because you’re not giving up your virility, you need that to do the studies. You need that for energy purposes. Now look at the alchemy, the sadhana, and the very famous term that turns up in the hatha-yoga and the tantra is urdhva-reta, urdha means above or upward, retas means sexual fluid, usually semen. The term hatha-yoga, you know, they want to get this to mean sun and moon, it’s all esoteric cosmic etymological bullshit on the one hand, and symbolic on the other. Not that it isn’t interesting and real, but the origin of the word is from the verbal root that means to force, to strike, to coerce, to compel hatha as a verbal root is onomopredic. [ormation or use of words such as buzz, chop or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to] It means this. That’s what it means. It means to strike. And it’s the sound it makes. That’s what the word hatha. Hatha-yoga is the alchemical word for forcing the process from going this way (down) to go in this way (up).

You are, you, you take you so bandhas, pranayama, asana. The first reason was to sit long enough to do those Vedic rituals. The word often it comes from the verbal root √as that means to sit. They’re not fooling around. They mean, sit. So the first reason that they were introducing seating such as it is, was literally to seat your perspective, right? You’re always in a seat, the mind, the body, the heart you’re in some vantage point and you sort of address the toughest, the heat that comes. But the second reason for asana was to make the heat, to make the tapas. And then we get very few ancient asanas. There’s probably no more than five or so postures that are more than 200 years old. And in India, that was yesterday. The whole big chart is late 20th century phenomena hooked into British gymnastics.
I mean, we get, we get brick shots. The second reason for asana was to impress your friends and scare your enemies. That is to demonstrate power and to internalize power and to create power and in that category.

And then the third reason was introversion to meditate. But the real power of the introversion is literally reversal or dwell with Donnington upside down this. You want to change the trajectory of life from life to death, from death to life. When you change the trajectory from death to life, you are moving in the direction urdhva to move the body in the direction of the immortal. You have to reverse the entropic process. You begin by reversing the entropic process by using the hydraulics of the breath, the energies of the breath are hydraulic to do what to force down the passages of the prominence to the center point in the base of the spine, where then those energies that would dissipate entropically and fall away will reverse up. And so down Ida, Pingala the two sides of the central nadis, the central breath passages. Now you’re all in tantric lore. You seal those off with the bandhas, the prana‘s direct energy. And literally you send it up otherwise you force this sublime energy Kundalini, the wrap thing, the kundala this particular style, and you extend it from this to that. You wake up the serpentine energy. But what the serpentine energy is, what’s rising up, is the sexual energy, which is being forced through three knots and five pivotal positions. Five chakras, three granthas. This is all standard, look it up.

But all of this comes from the alchemists to do this hatha. You have to force, compel the body to change directions because the direction you’re headed in is entropy and death. That’s where this stuff comes from. So they did it for contemplative reasons asana for dhyana. They did it for impressive reasons, that is to make tapas. They did it for introverted reasons to send the process in the other direction, what they believed, what they thought, was that when you completed the process, not only did this cause realization with the sublime, this other category, it caused a realization that interpenetrated the two. And so the immortal experience became the immortal body, and they weren’t kidding. The alchemists came to the conclusion that realization conferred physical immortality. That’s what they were about. To read at great length about that and with an unscrupulous assiduous with scholarly detail, go look at a book called the Alchemical Body by David White, where he describes these histories and traditions, and that’s where you’re gonna get sun and moon and, and fire sun, moon fire, there’s going to be the three analogs of the three main passages. There’s a whole mapping system, that’s going to reorganize the physiology of consciousness through these physical processes.

Now full pause, how do we reclaim this from craziness? And it’s this,  that the way you physically interact with the world does change your state of awareness. That is yoga always said how you act changes who you are. It’s the outside in is a viable way of addressing the human condition. You all know this. Some days you don’t feel like coming to yoga class. When you come to yoga, do a little asana and your attitude changes, right? Why? Because the outward world changes your innerstate, but the realization of the innerstate. confers power over the outer world. They also took that to be the case. You want to change your life, change your attitude. So how do you change the world? You change the world from the way your state is. What’s sitting behind this is not crazy. The claim that you arrive at physical immortality by reversing the trajectory – literally – of your sexual fluid. That’s a little crazy. Is this taken literally? Yes, it is. Is it taken symbolically and allegorically yes, it is. Are the literalists happy with allegory. Sure. They are. But they also are literal. They’re also physical about it. Does it then move over? Does it nudge all the way over to being an allegorical or symbolic way of talking about a process of self-transformation? Yes.

Most  Indian alchemy retains some literality it’s sort of like, it’s really no different than asking the Pope. Did he really rise from the dead? No matter how you push the guy, he’s going to go. Yup. It’s sort of like asking the Dalai Lama dude, are you really 14? Are you, where are you really the 13th right now he’s the 14th Dalai Lama. Right? And you say, are you really in the reincarnation of all the Dalai Lamas, it’s gonna look you square in the eye and he’s going to go. Yup. And our inner voice is going, you gotta be kidding. Right. And so where do you draw the line between, you know, the factual and the fantastic, or the factual and the fantasy, religions are always a little confused about that. They’re always a little conflated over these issues. That’s that’s enough to leave it there. Do the practices of hatha-yoga seem to confer a wellness that would sort of increase your sense of youthful vigor. Yes. So it’s not all just malarkey, let’s go there, right? Like there there’s a lot to the claims. Everybody got that? But they also went all the way to the Sorcerer’s Stone.

When you step into the world of tantric alchemy, because the world has figured itself because it’s it because death has fractured the one, right. Singularity is in mortality. That itself is philosophically not a stupid way to think, right? Why? Because literally there’s nothing other, if everything were one, there would be no cause for the relationship to deteriorate or to undergo any change.  So the tantric alchemists come along and they go: but look at the world, it has fractured, it has fractal lost. It’s kaleidoscopic really broken to put it back together is fundamentally the yoga. That’s why yoga is going to be translated, union or reunion, reclamation. So it’s a Humpty Dumpty project, it’s broken and you want to put it back together. As you begin to put it back together, all of the things that are the characteristics of its brokenness, no longer apply. What’s making it break is we keep adding to the breakage. We keep distilling to the immortal and then giving it up. We keep collecting and re-assuming the power that lies at the heart of the matter. And then we dissipated again. We subject it to the same principles of failure. Now, if that’s not bad enough, the world you’ve come in is fractured in its binary. So in tantric alchemical traditions, you not only have to force these two things back together, you have to take the process that would create death, the sexual process, and use that to turn it in an opposite direction, because each of us came in fractured over the binary, masculine and feminine. Now you’re into yin yang. Now you’re into all of this way, in which half of you is missing. Just go there. Tantric yoga goes not only is the world fracture, it’s fractured and binaries, put the dualism back together to the singularity, and you’ve got to take this thing and put it back together with that thing. Now, if you put those two things together properly, not this way, but this way, right then you wouldn’t create the third. You don’t want to create the third thing you got it.

These are the deer in the forest.

They come together and they make moodra and they have a conversation up here. The deer are in conversation. The deer symbolically in all of this war, by the way, stands for innocent sexual virility. The deer have only creditors. They’re not predators. So in India, mythology Celestials and all kinds of business and beings take the form of the deer in order to enjoy the sports of sexual relationships. And then they’re all musky and they’re smelly. And they like each other. Apparently deer booty is really ecstatic to the way all over that. Lots and lots of stories in Indian lore are about interrupting deer who are doing this during this. So this is murgi, the deer mudra, and it’s symbolic in tantric lore for the conversation of the forest, the forest to feelings, the forest of experience, the forest of consciousness, the forest of the unconscious. And you enter into this conversation with each other and the kula and the community of the heart, all of that in tantric lore. And you’re doing this, not this, that’s what the joke is. So it’s tantric alchemy, the sexual passion has to reclaim a process because if it culminates to it’s, as it were, ordinary worldly goal, if it’s merely for boga, that is enjoyment, rather than for moksha, liberation. You fail if you’ve missed it’s real tasks. So one of the things that the tantrikas, the vast majority of taunting, because want to tell you is that, is that worldlings only do things to enjoy the temporalities of the world, which are nothing but further incidents and advancements of the death process. We’re just giving up their fluids and making more life. And it’s just boga. That’s just the word for enjoyment. And it’s the word for sexual enjoyment, particularly.

In the vast majority of yoga traditions, not just tantric traditions, you’re either a bukti or mukti. Buktii means enjoyment, mukti means liberation, Are you doing it for bukti, enjoyment? Which is by definition, contingent, conditioned, worldly, degenerate, ultimately, cause it degenerate to death. Are you doing it for mukti? For liberation? Patanjali came along and said, oh no, you have to take the pursuit of pleasure which is the epitome of bukti and turn it into a mukti, the act that liberates rather than bonds, rather than confides. Well, what would that entail? Well, one of the most important things it would entail would be the idea that you would be reclaiming in the missing piece of a fractured world.  Now you go all the way to some of the really fancifully gritty, interesting tantric practices. Um, does anyone know it? Vajroli mudra is? Because everybody wants to know, like, you know, like the nasty, all the nasty about tantra, this is really just gets you right down  to the really good stuff is, um, if that’s your cup of tea, but it really comes out out of alchemical Yoga. In the alchemical tradition, the path to realization must pass through the material world. This is no longer merely samkhya yoga. This division between matter and spirit has to be reunited and redefine into a singularity. The Vedantins thought that too, they didn’t think that there were two things. They thought that this matter thing was really a form of spirit. That’s kind of where Vedanta wants to go. The doctor wants to go all this stuff you think is entropic, all the materiality is just energy. All of that energy is in fact complete, whole, and singular. So all of that matter is just spirit. And all of that spirit is truly immortal. And all of this diversity is really one. Now you’re getting a very kind of clean non-sexualized Advaita Vedanta the tidy Whitey crew in saffron. But now enter the tantrikas who say, actually this materially fractured entropic world that samkhya took you all the way to awareness conscious has to be melded back into the spiritual realm. And so their ideas you’re going to have to work from the material and then literally interpenetrate the material into the spiritual, then once you arrive at that highest state in which everything is energy, again, you have reclaimed the entire process, but the basic alchemical strategy is you have to work from the material to the sublime, to the ecstatic states that are taking you out of this ephemeral world and into this sublime reality of energetic inclusion. That requires you to move from the material and down here in the material world it’s not just mixed up and muddled up, it’s essentially fractured. So alchemical yoga, hatha-yoga, tantra-yoga, is not only telling you, you have to reclaim the other half, they are also unambiguously telling you that only men can do it. Because they have to reclaim the feminine energy piece of the puzzle that has been fractured in the chronic process of diversification.

Nobody liked that. The demographic of yoga never likes to hear how how fundamentally sexist the the origins of hatha yoga, the origins of tantra,  I’m not making this up follow follow David White all the way through this argument. We all knew this centuries ago. So here’s the idea. The real problem is that some of the alchemists, the ascetical alchemists are cutting off release. Bandhas, pranayama is reversal. The other alchemists are doing that, but they’re also claiming that the fractured world needs to take this other piece of the energy, the feminine energy, and reincorporate it. To do this there’s two different strategies for this.
You either have the, my tuna, the copulation and don’t release and take the sublime energy of the feminine backend or in certain forms of what’s called varoli-mudra the semen is released, and then it’s withdrawn mixed with feminine sexual fluid. That substance is then further. That is either imbibed as such, or that’s put in literally a chemical process of mixing it with mercuric oxide, cinnabar, that make that distills it and they embody that substance as part of the reclamation process of the immortal. They’re are trying to make the sorcerer’s stone. That’s what they think. Finding people who really still do this, or talk about this. This is an interesting anthropology, but this is still definitely out there. All the crazy things you’ve ever imagined about India are all totally true. But that ritual is for real, exactly how the sexual fluids that are combined, are withdrawn, that’s a San Fernando valley issue. I don’t even know where to go with that. That’s a whole other set of projects that we won’t digress too. Sorry. That’s definitely the porn heartbeat, like a lot of weird stuff there, but that’s exactly what they’re doing. Cause they need the physical substance because you have to work from the physical material. You don’t have the physical material you need to complete the reversal process that penetrates to the sublime and then confers power back into the world.

Again, I don’t want to go off too far on this, but if I didn’t explain how alchemical tantra and some of the sexuality rituals that go with it, you’d never learn from anybody. No one’s going to bother, trust me. As soon as you try to read David White’s book, you’re going to give up because it’s serious and difficult and dense and scholarship it’s written for scholars and a handful of graduate students. What I want you to take away from this is don’t underestimate the figure of the physicalist piece of tantric yoga. This is a world about using the material to create the sublime. What I want to say is you do that every day in a yoga studio, you use the material experience of your physical embodiment to generate, to be creative, to be experimental and experiential, to something that you find sublime, which is a yoga gives you more than a workout. It gives you an experience of yourself. This is just that idea with a lot of exaggeration attached to it. Does that make sense with, with in a very big claim?

So, so all these Kumari poojas Shakti, coolest, cooler, yoga. These are all the words for the sexual poojas all have to do. When you sort of go to the contemplative side of the people who write about this, they all tell you that these kinds of sexual encounters have to, on the one hand be they they’ve got to have sort of masculine newness to them. Like they can’t really be your beloved because like, that’s your, like, that’s like the one you actually care for has to be somebody who gets you hire, but not somebody, you know, but they don’t have the thing that they, the masculine retas, the semen is the essential piece of the puzzle. So that women can’t assimilate that, it’s complicated, or they want to explain this, but basically you’re cut out of the deal, And my teacher thought it was vile. Reprehensible, misogynist, nonsense, full pause. Not only does he let the foreigner live in his house as a political act, that’s defiant of cast, right?

but we would walk into a temple together. And then as we would enter the sanctum, I would be like on his heels. And someone would step in front of me and say, not you because, and I tell you the singular best experience of my whole life as a privileged white male overeducated north American is having been denied entrance on the basis of race.

So, so yeah, when, when we came to these alchemical rituals, like this whole alchemical conversation, and then all of this sort of strange sexualities that are associated with first, remember that most tantric sex that you would find on the internet has nothing to do with having sex. It has to do with this alchemical distillation process has to do with the reclamation of essential fluids and the reversal of this process. That’s what’s what these endeavors are essentially about. They’re not like, can you keep it up all night? That is not the issue. When you’re talking about alchemical process, turning transmutation, turning one thing into turning one substance into another substance. Did you know that more than 70% of Isaac Newton’s writings are about alchemical process, how to make gold.  So it’s the transmutation of substances. Why is it so important in this particular period of yoga? Because they’re working in a model that wants to reintegrate the material and the spiritual and what you have to go through the material process to arrive at the spiritual, the sublime then inner penetrates, and permeates the material. And all literally becomes one substance. One reality is one substance. This is a non-dualist project. How do you turn the material world that’s diverse, plural and changeable into a singularity. And the answer is you have to reintegrate it as all one, literally  one thing Vedanta does that by talking about Brahman, the oneness, the expansive principle, they kind of idealize it and turn it into sort of a value in an idea and a kind of spiritual aspiration of an experience. Oh, I’m one with everything, that kind of thing, that sort of the Vedanta internet oneness, right? The Alchemist said, really you can’t, if you, because of the Vedantin answer to what do we do with the material world is that diversity and difference is essentially an appearance, an illusion. It’s Maya it’s ignorance. It’s really not, but it appears to be.

Because they reduced intimacy to material sexuality. But when you see the descriptions of the rituals, like you go to the 29th chapter of the tantraloka to think that that’s him, this is no intimacy in that at all. He’s just using it. It’s not relationship. This is material transmutation. And what women are to that is another is another feature of the recipe. You’re going to have to be reborn in man, to get to the place where you’re ready for that. In the karmic process, you’re just inferior. That’s a problem. Follow the blood, follow the blood because that actually becomes symbolically an important feature of understanding the Indian mind before the blood, during the blood, after the blood, right? The feminine world is divided into three phase feminine life is. The truth of the matter is that this wasn’t simply vulgar and crude and ridiculous, it was also misogynist and sexist. We can’t talk about tantra without talking about this subject. What I do I understand about the sex part is that it’s not sex for sex sake, it’s sex for liberation sake. It’s really a very simple strategy for 99% of all yoga. And that is bondage to liberation, enjoyment or freedom, fixed and bound or free and released. That’s the model.

She’s the power, but what you’re trying to do is reclaim the power. Literally reabsorbed the Shakti into the singularity principle. That’s Shiva. It’s reclaiming the power that was his to begin with. Because reclaiming the power that was his to begin with, to do that you have to reverse the process of ordinariness because ordinariness is death and extraordinariness is liberation. Ordinariness is enjoyment, bukti, and extraordinariness is mukti liberation, the exact opposite. Go all the way back to the origins of yoga, go back to early Buddhists. And everybody says the same thing. What is not liberation is suffering. What is not in this case freedom is fixed, is bound. What is not liberation is enjoying. Now can enjoyment be had from the standpoint of liberation, that’s the next piece of the puzzle. What the tantrikas want to do is tell you that once you’ve been liberated, all those enjoyments are also yours. They’re just no longer yours with the negative accrutiments of ignorance and death and limitation and conditionality attached to them.
Now the real sort of danger charlatanism of yoga and tantra, really raise their their heads, because what they’re really telling you is that the realized being not only has control and dominion over a world in which there are enjoyments, but is no longer bound to any of its rules. You’re not just free to, your free from.
And that’s where all the license of the tantrika or the yogi as a kind of manipulative sexual charlatan magician over the world, that’s where all that conversation comes from. Liberation confers upon the world not only dominion power over it, but liberation from its terms, which would include all of the ordinary boundaries that of social convention or of material convention, or even natural rules.

Now pause, and I’ll give you another reference. You want to follow this line of thinking all the way through to the liberated being is not only immune and excised from the ordinary and dominion over the ordinary control over the ordinary, but then license over the automatic, is empowered over the automatic, which means all of the things that apply to you no longer apply to them. Now you’re in the world where the rituals will include things like what they call panchamakara. Pancha means five, makara means M words, words beginning with the letter M. There are five words beginning with the letter M:

  1. madya – alchohol
  2. māṃsa –  meat
  3. matsya – fish
  4. mudrā – parched grain (fermented grain – possibly ergot?)
  5. maithuna – sexaul intercourse

So why are these the transgressive categories? Because part of part of the claim of liberation is that I would dare to do what you would not even consider thinking.
It’s an alterity theory, or antinomian idea, superiority is otherness. And otherness is one way to mark superiority, as otherness is immunity to transgression. Like the so-called Patriots who stormed the Capitol.. I don’t recognize this illegitimate government. It’s the same thing effectively. I would dare you to cross the spot. OK, we’ll break down the barriers because I’m a free sovereign being. So the time that it goes of the transgressive ilk, right, are saying freedom is expressed by the ability to do things that would otherwise come, are otherwise prohibited or trans or understood to be transgressive, but otherwise would also infect you. You would be.
So when you see all the bottles at the Cooma, Mila, you know, bumbling up, stoking the Chillow with the clouds of smoke, the claim is not simply we ingest poisons. You know, that get you high. The real claim is we don’t get high at all. You would get hot.
We can do what you would not dare approach lots and lots of superiority story about it’s sort of fantastic, kind of clean again, tidy Whitey Vedanta story about this that follows the Shanker is around. So the story goes, but Shonk or the great advice of the daunted is OnDeck energized, conquering the directions on pilgrimage with his, with his four great disciples. And they stay, they walk along day and they’re thirsty and they ask for water and they wait for the girl to drink any drinks, water.
And they go, okay, we can drink the water. And they walk the rest of the day and they come to a place and the guy, and they asked for water, but the guy says, I have no water. All I have is liquor. Eric, you know, the coconut Palm, that stuff will light you up. Um, it’s now illegal because they can’t like the government’s so political, like, because they can’t control the, they want to control the moonshine cause they can’t make money on it.
Okay. So, so they come across the moonshine and chocolate drinks, the moonshine, which would otherwise be like, Ooh, you know, like no intoxicants, no, no impurity. It’s a purity, the Dodgers security model. Right? So you don’t take the impurities, see what the topic is. They’re doing, they’re inviting the impurities and tonic. So Vedanta comes along and says, oh no, that would be in pure, but Shaundra drinks. That why? Because he’s immune, right. He’s excised. And then the disciples go well, like he did it. That’s cool. And then they drink. Then they come to the next guy and it’s a Smith and he has water.
He has the water. He has no liquor, but he’s got molten iron and Shakara drinks that, and the lesson is you can’t do it. The girl can do it.
That’s the Vedanta unless the topic has come along and look at that story. And they go, what it was because the real issue is unless you can take the poisons and not be poisoned, you’re not really exempt. So what’s poisoned to you is is nectar to us. And that nectar is neck. Darrious such as it is, but it is not intoxicating. It would do all those worldly things to you, but it does nothing of the sort to us.
So why do they do it in some sense? It’s demonstrably. You have to remember that. Now let’s pause there because yoga has always been committed to the idea that the practices produce demonstrable results, right? Plus you may the town to show me the money. If you can’t, if you can’t show that you’ve got it, you don’t have it. Tonto went very far in the demonstrable category.
One of yoga’s best qualities is to say things that are real are things that can be done. Again, there are things that can be proven. They’re evidentiary. They have efficacy the capacity to produce repeatable results, efficacy, right? And the efficacy mark here was if you’ve achieved, you can show it yogis resort to the mystical unseen only under duress, whatever mystical states they ordinarily claim for themselves have demonst, concomitant, demonstrable evidence that the rest of us would get food and over.
We’ve got to get the big, Ooh, that’s, that’s the story. Fast forward again, if you have different kinds of stories. So I’m sitting in up us foyer where we sat all day and then right. Four or five o’clock they start this sort of ersatz Darshan line starts at the, at the gate. People come to see him every day. They want seats for their children.
They want to settle their marital disputes. They want to know how to negotiate a financial district. They’ve got all kinds of stuff and oppose the Wiseman. It’s very interesting. And I kind of retreat to the staircase. That’s, you know, on the foyer, there’s a staircase and I would sit in the staircase and listen, and no one would think that I knew what was going on, except I had it. I could follow the conversations and I would, he would take people through, like he would do all kinds of wonderful things like Jedi wonderful things. Like some guy would be really animated. Like I’m leaving this woman, he’s sitting next to his little wife. And she was like, this just terrified and scared.
He’s ranting about, you know, what a horrible person she is and how he’s going to leave her, what he’s going to do. And I put, would look at him and he go, you’re not going to leave your wife.
And I would say to myself, these are not the droids you’re looking for. You know, he had that kind of like, cause he just had this sort of this incredibly charismatic, good, very sweet authority. And he would sort of take you on that journey to, well, this is what you really want. So this guy comes one day and he’s fresh from the sidebar Bosch rock. And I felt like me even today was deeply conflicted over the sidewalk because everyone knows the sidewalk. You get a big hairdo. There was of Shirdi was this sort of mousy little guy who did a lot of saintly things.
And then there’s this other guy who in the last 30 years was called also called Sai Baba and ice called heritage thought. Cause he had a big Afro. He just died a couple of years back. The reason I’m all deeply conflicted is that he, he built hospitals and did I camps schools.
And they don’t a lot of really kind of good work in the world, but he was really famous for like having these huge gatherings where he would produce holy ashes out of thin air. And then he would produce watches, very famous, like, look, go YouTube, this side, Baba watch trick, like go do that. You’ll find it. It was all really there because India gotta remember, this is the civilization that gave us the rope trick, who we, who we could. Right. Do. Why? Because it is the entire ethos of the civilization is spiritual achievements have demonstrably worldly consequences.
What’s the point of having an interior life unless it has demonstrable results in the world that that’s actually a really commendable notion. So we’re sitting in the foyer one day, this guy shows up who’s a neighbors live. So I dunno how we knew him. He, this, this middle-class guy and he comes over and the conversation is sort of like a dare.
A sort of a, the subtext of the conversation is I saw CIBA. He’s a great being. And he made the booty, you know, the white ashes, shy lights smear on their heads, which stand for Jeff and sex and Moonlight and which is what they stand for. And then he makes a, and the sub whole sort of any hall subtext is can you do that? Cause you’re a putative great being, oh, Mr. Grapiness Nope was like, he never gave a shit about any of that.
Right. So, and then, and then, and then he was so generous to this guy because it was all like a Darby doomy kind of conversation of, and it was, and this guy was genuinely, wow. He really thought this happened. And I put the guy leaves and I go, I go off, what do you think of that? And he goes, watches, how about world? Peace?
Like you just thought like, like what a silly thing, you know, if you’re going to put yourself to a task, why not actually matter? That was his objective. On the other hand, we were very conflicted because this guy also did a lot of really great work. So on the one hand, he’s a charlatan. And on the other hand, because he’s using trickery and manipulation. Cause I don’t know. Cause you know, watch this walk. If the two things are true here, he does good work. And he’s a charlatan. Everybody clear about that. That’s my opinion about it because does the magician pull a rabbit out of the hat?
Yes. That’s a trick. Rabbits come from other rabbits. They don’t come from that. So we know watches don’t come from thin air. So it’s uh, I’ve always was a no magic guy, right. But Indians love magic. So, and don’t forget that tantra was the magical tradition. It was the place where magic took on magic is this, this is what makes Indians love magic. The achievement of inner wisdom has demonstrable material results.
The accomplishments of body, mind, and heart have, have repeatable consequences for the world. That is not a crazy thing to think. Can that become abusive? Manipulative and crazy? Absolutely not. That seems perfectly clear to me. Probably seems driven. So don’t dismiss it, but try because there, because they really were after something that we would call science, can you do the experiment twice per head? That’s serious business.
And then if you can do the experience, show me the money, right? Like, like chaired experience is real experience that how overboard can that get media blessed the way over let’s push this forward. Okay. So every tantric tradition has two pieces to it, to itself, whether it comes from these ascetical modalities or whether it emerges out of these household traditions of hiding in plain sight, like I said, I was going to give you a reference.
If you want pause. If you want the wacky far out their version of the householder, you want to go back to an old book written by my pal, Robbie Swoboda called a Gora at the left-hand of God.
And here you have what I call up the ante tantrum left. The one way the later Todrick traditions is talked about is, is it’s called left. Right? And Ms shut up, which means mixed up. We have another category called left, right? And what’s called some male and the comp the more than that’s my own tradition, but the right side of these traditions, we’re, we’re attempting to sort of sustain the semblance as a bromance of Dominical period of I didn’t like those because I was evidenced that he wanted to break those rules except he didn’t break those rules except the day.
Right. So for him, they weren’t, it wasn’t all tidy and clean. It wasn’t because, right, right. Side traditions or purity traditions attainment is cured. Thank you for that. Left-side traditions are impurity as attainment. Get, it will dare to do what would be otherwise offensive.
So impurities attaining the way you would recognize realization on the left-hand is impure bite. That is by conventional standards. So to give you an example, I mean, Swoboda his book, there’s a whole series of these that, and he, and, you know, Robbie swears that Winola and under the girl who’s in, it was a real guy. And so did Carlos Casteneda tell us Don long, this real that’s also bullshit. So do you know the cast Denita? You do know the cast that Nate, his PhD from UCLA was revoked, right?
Yeah. Because the second book after the teachings of Don Juan, the journey to Exelon was the better part of his PhD dissertation and quite curiously, the Don law and the Indian shaman, who he shares the Mescalin with and all the rest, and then becomes his disciple, which is really very much a tantric story. Um, no one ever sees him, no one ever.
No, there’s no evidence of this guy. Um, early on in, you know, the teachings of Don Juan is this the first book, it’s a diary of Carlos, Casteneda his relationship to this shaman esoteric teacher. Right. And, um, and he talks about how he has this friend who introduces him to Don Juan who’s, this Yakima, Indian who he, who goes to Sonora, Mexico and meets him on his front porch. And so the whole story starts from there, right? No one ever met Casta Neda’s friend, no one ever.
There’s no evidence anywhere of Don Juan’s instantiated human reality. So a lot of people think that Carlos did a lot of Mescalin in a Mexico city hotel room and had a very vivid imagination about all the things he experienced in sod. So when I started to study this material, part of the problem was that in the household or tradition, first of all, the, you know, like how are you going to find these esoteric living in a cave, you know, dope Rosta hair, Ash, smeared, outlier shamans.
Well, actually next time I’ll bring the photograph of the bottle. You know, whatever the bottle of my office, I have a photograph. Mike, does you guys, I have a photograph of a guy. I spent a month in a cave with who, when you look at it, you can’t believe it’s a photo because this guy lives in a cave. Um, so, so we did find some of those, but more interesting was is the other side of this tradition is what you would call the hiding in plain sight householders. So a lot of tantra came from the Clark Kent by day Superman at night, get it like in other words, they have an exoteric social reality and they have an esoteric spiritual practice, which in many esoteric cases would include this sort of drifting to the left transgressive idea.
So now you enter Robbie Swoboda is world of Agoura at the left hand of God.
His contention is that his group Vemo Ananda is an ordinary everyday guy who lives in an apartment complex in Bombay. But that book starts with them. Ananda meditating on the, on the decomposing corpse of an infant in a cremation, a partially decomposed infant in the cremation bed, as a way of saying he would dare do you know, he’s he is excising himself from all the sentiment of ordinary connectivity to a world that would otherwise upset you.
And the real answer is this stuff is real. It happens, just get with whatever is really you get when it is really real would include all of these offensive and transgressive deeds. And once, but once you start there and notice it like, like how much weirder can you get? Like where do you go from that? Right. So it becomes an up the ante mob, but a lot of the exoteric esoteric, the overt Kovar sensibilities of Todrick has happened inside these household or traditions.
Whereas the Buddhists put it in a curriculum like you move along and then you get to the book in that sort of the last stages. When you study in the Buddhist monastery, you sort of get to the Anita, the unsurpassed tantra, and then that’s all kind of laid out for you. And then you have to get all the, all the secret stuff orally in the Hindu traditions, hinges weren’t ecclesiastical. They were clannish. So they taught inside familial lineages. So all of the limbs. So when you entered the teachers’ household, the assumption was exoterically for appearances sake, you would be part of caste community.
You just raise your, you know, your family looks like ordinary hinders, and then behind closed walls, when you do the poojas, when you do the rituals, when you do the practices and the motivations, then you’re off in esoterical. And so the real quick, so there was this sort of right left shift and the right side would be pure for the world, but in pure for the like NPR SF, esotericism, but purity in the exoteric world.
And that would be the way to do it. Right? So then, then you get the secrecy idea filtering into tantra. How about had nothing to do with any of these ideas, but this is the way the tradition historically organized. Let’s keep going. So well, let me give you the distinction. Cause there’s other ways in which this manifests to assuming to Marty to up up the idea was that was, was this simple exoteric spirituality is customary religion, holidays, familial stuff.
Hachem, Matcham dispatch, um, four wheel religion stuff, all this stuff that you should be mindful and respectful of because it traverses the world with civility.
Whereas he would use the word spiritual to be, to recognize your claim on your deep, personal interests, in your conscience, in your own experience. Yeah. The reason he could do this is because of this basic stratagem of the way Hindus do their business and the. Well, let me put it in tantric terms. All tantric traditions have what’s called a and a new possum.
Sid S I D D H a N T. Ed Siddhanta is the one word and opossum Oupa Asana is the second word. It’s awesome. With a UPA in front of him. Who possum, let me explain the words. Siddhanta is, is the, until the conclusion of one’s attainments, a Siddhanta is a doctrine, a theory. It’s a vision of the world. It’s a, what you think nature, culture and conscience is telling him it’s a worldview.
The doc advised that the Dante has dozens of those. And everybody’s got a Siddhanta everybody’s everybody’s got assumptions, evidence, reasons, and religious conclusions. Everyone’s got to sit down. Think of it as a belief system.
You pasta it’s the practice system. Cause the word literally means to sit nearby. It’s it’s it’s the, it’s the system of putting it into setting it into motion. Lots of now, now here’s, here’s an interesting feature of this Siddhanta is for hinders are either very formal or very private.
So your family Mike belong to a Siddhanta. This would be no different than saying we were raised Episcopalian. It’s like, there’s a catechism for that. We were raised Catholic or Methodist or whatever. And you go like, this is so think of the sedans as your catechism in a formal sense. It’s a formal body of teachings and Hindu philosophers go to great lengths to nuance their sedans. That’s why, when you say something like advice of a Dante non-dues to the Dante and you go back to say, Sean Crow, who’s the pivotal eighth century character of that tradition.
What you find out is it chunker is Siddhanta is a very particular thing. It’s a series of ideas and arguments and values. And it’s formal. It’s a philosophical, formal understanding of what you think. The, what do you, what do you think the world’s doing? What do you think you can do about it? Where would you want to end up? It’s a theology now, but here’s the interesting piece. Hindu’s either have very formal theologies or very private theology.
What I mean by that is in a house like mine, where my teacher’s family are Brahmins and then they’re broadens and they’re mostly come from ship based traditions. And then those Shivah based traditions give them different sorts of outlets of piety and practice and custom and tradition. But for the most part, Hindus don’t care what you believe to make this abundantly clear. And this is really a very interesting feature.
If you come with us, for example, on the pilgrimage in south India, we literally go from temple to temple, to temple, right? We see the gods. We see all kinds of fantastic, beautiful rituals, no priest, no one in the temple, no lay person, no priest would ever ask you what you believe.
There’s no doctrine whatsoever. None you, if, and then what Americans, foreigners will do it. They’ll ask the police. They’ll go, well, what am I supposed to think here? Like what, what do you believe? And they kind of look at you. Like they don’t even get the question because that’s your business. Like as Siddhanta SKO, they’re either very formal or they’re entirely personal and private. Let me put it another way. It’s a very good argument to be made for the way in which belief trails way, way behind other categories of spirituality for hinges.
This is very hard for us to understand. We are not only civilization, the Western model. Theisms not only bequeath us notions like belief systems. They teach us to have beliefs, but we are a culture that believes in belief. We think beliefs are really important. They don’t, they think beliefs are very not important in comparison to other things.
And that would be particularly whether you’re well behaved or not. When you, so when you go, for example, to not draw this temple, no one will ever ask you what you think, what you believe. There’s no catechism. There’s no litmus test. There’s no boxes to check. No one will care. What they’ll care about is stand here. Not there, right? Do this. Don’t do that. If you’re a woman in your hair is down, please put your hair up. It’s all.
Orthopraxy no orthodoxy. Get it. Orthodoxy needs, correct words. Doxy, doctrines orthopraxy is correct practice. So they’re their orthodoxy is or the practice. That is what you believe is what you do. So, so all they care about is your behavior. They don’t really care about your belief. This is very hard for us to fathom because we, you know, there’s a certain way in which that’s true.
Like, I don’t know if you’ve ever had that experience where like you literally walked through the Vatican portals and you go, oh shit. And then some of you, some part of you knows that like the guys in the Michelangelo uniforms won’t do anything to you. If you’re mildly well behaved, but you do feel like put your, put your whole inner being is telling, saying this to yourself. If any of this shit were true, like you’re just going, like, what the hell is the story here? Because there’s not only a story here.
There’s a story you’re supposed to have, right? When you walk into that Hindu temple and there are a Jew and there are that many images and that much artistry and that much, that same sense of evocative overload of narrative, myth, ritual, aesthetic, the Hindu case is, and you go, what does this all mean? The first answer is they don’t know either. Okay. Really? They don’t know Jack or his best friend.
They’re always asking me. Okay. Because it’s my business to know. But they don’t know because they largely don’t care. It’s not, what’s important. You don’t walk in there to be inculcated into a belief system. You walk in there to participate in a kind of semiotics, a sign and symbol system of evocative awareness. It’s it’s, it’s what I used to call the theater of memory.
You’re what, oh yeah, yeah. But belief is a distant feature of the way these systems work. So they either have very formal Saddam does, or they have very private and personal stuff. So that it’s win-win which when you think about it, it isn’t all that ridiculous. Like, so you’re sitting, so say you go to like the, one of the, one of the cholesterol holidays, you know what I mean?
By that? Like, it’s Easter. Like you never go to church, but to go with your mother, you have your family to church on Christmas Eve, go there. It’s just for an example, we’re Passover. You don’t do anything Jewish when you go to Passover. Right? And, and if you actually interrogated people in the pews, you would get as many stories as they have experiences. Right. Even though there’s a formal, Siddhanta, there’s a good thing. Kat, there’s a formal set of belief.
That Pope had a very interesting moment this week, right? This is the whole idea that he called this woman in Argentina who wanted to know if she could take communion. And he said, and they had a private conversation. Well, the formal view of the churches, no, she’s divorced. She can’t take communion. End of story. Right. And then today, Russ Doha in the New York times, what a jerk he is, right? Writes this whole piece about this, about, about this sort of conflict between like what the, because Roscoe’s, well, it sends the message. Even the Pope doesn’t believe this stuff, right?
Because he seems to have said to this woman it’s okay, it’s between you and your conscience have your own story. Right. And which violates church teaching church teaching is Siddhanta Hindus have only formal Siddhanta and no one knows him. And no one enforces them.
No one enforces her belief is not an enforceable process. It’s not a conscience. There’s no conscience of guilt for these folks. Does that make sense? It’s not there. Well, we find that refreshing cause we live. Cause you can’t walk into the Vatican. You know how you walked through that portal and you’re like parents St. Petersburg without going, whoa, I can feel the doctrine in the air. Right? You’re breathing belief. Right? These folks, when you walk into the temple, first of all, you’re just too wigged out by how much it’s going on. But you also think, but you’ll walk in thinking this is a belief system and I don’t get it.
What is it? And the correct answer is they don’t care. They really don’t mind. They’re not interested. If you ask each one of them might have their own belief system. So, but they’re, so their religion is not a belief system. Their religion is we do this. This is what we do.
When we were starting doing, or my mother-in-law wanted us to do all the stuff. And I was like, well, what does it mean? Why are you comfortable doing it? And I was like, no,.
Bettina, Meredith Bengali. The answer is we do this because this is what we do. And we do it like this, not like that. Right? So last, last summer, I, one of the great stories of my life is that in the last few years we’ve had this, I’ve had this Indian, this south Asian man who’s, who’s an oncologist, retired from the hospital at the university. I’ve he’s been my Sanskrit students. And his grandfather was actually bill Hondas.
Gandhi’s primary school principal. So these are good. Dorothy Brown ones from Roger Cook, very old, old family stuff. Right. And the, he came in the seventies and he’s a doctor and he’s this lovely, beautiful soul. And of course the hilarious part is that the white kid from New Jersey teaches the Indian paraben. And then his daughter announces last year that she’s going to marry this African man from Malawi who she’s met in graduate school.
The potties are incredibly generous, inclusive, lovely people. They’re like all for it. And in fact, these Malawi people, they came to the Hindu wedding, like, sorry, isn’t that great. And the next day we had a Christian wedding and it was like all African and they’re standing there dancing and singing. And in this incredibly uptight white congregationalist church is such a good scene. Like we had such a party, but so Dr. Pond is like, has to go. So he says, his daughter wants a full-on Vedic wedding, like a real Hindu wedding.
And now he’s like, you could just shoot like so wigged out. Where’s he going to do that in Rochester? He’s going to have to get a priest from Cleveland and they’re going to have to find a venue. And then they’re going to have to build a fire and I’ll do it in my front yard and I’ll do the mantras.
So last summer I did a full on Vedic wedding in my front yard. So with 150 good draughty Browns. Now the only thing that you know, when you do that is you cannot fake it because they have no idea what you’re saying, but they know everything that should be done right. Last down to the last one. And it’s the one person in the room who will take offense is the one you’ve got to get. Right? Because in that, in that, the girl in that room, in this case was his Elvis sister. If I could please her, everybody else was falling line and the pleasure was not, the pleasure is I did it.
It just, so does that make sense? Because that’s ortho, this orthodoxy is, orthopraxy what you believe is doing it, right? Not what you think it means, what you think it means is yoga business that you do it the way we all expect it to be done. That’s our business.
That’s a very hard thing to fathom. But again, in the top of that, it makes perfect sense because in a sense, it’s saying your outward acts will change your interviews, bill evolve, your interviews and your interviews create your out or ask, but your interviews are yours. They’re not mine. I don’t have any big, I can never know what you’re experiencing. I can give you the tools to cultivate your experience, right? That’s what teachings do. So first point is sedans are either very formal or very private.
Now let’s pause on the formal parts of the Siddhanta is just to make sure we understand what that means. The vast majority of yogas, the sedans says begin with you were in bondage and there was a teaching deliberation and the Siddhanta explains to you what liberation is and how it is you got in bondage and what that state of and what happens as you approach liberation and what liberation would confer upon you in the world.
Everybody clear what we mean by that. So what does it mean to be free is a conversation they have, what is liberation is their sedans. And they end, they deeply disagree over that. The same way Christians disagree over what salvation is or heaven is, or anything else about doctrine. They’ve got as many views of that as they have views.
Yeah. They all, they have as many views of what it means to be free as they have sedans and they all deeply disagree. So for example, many of them shit. So, so think of the, tantras literally as a body of teachings or as a body of, of work, think of it like a Bible when they come along, they’re theologians, when they argue with each other and they say, oh no, that guy’s version of the Bible is wrong. My version is correct.
Mo all of the commentaries are written in exactly. That polemical tone. There is no commentary. That goes, oh, everybody’s okay. You know, I’m okay. You’re okay. Those guys were okay. No, no, no. If you they’re wrong about what liberation is, they’re not really getting liberation. Liberation is getting the argument right. There is doctrinally. Fastidious has any tradition and they’re arguing for their point.
And now that’s not insane either because who holds an opinion that they don’t think is true. And when you hold somebody up and if you think everybody else’s opinion is just as good as your opinion, you don’t have one, right? So they don’t. So tolerance in the Hindu tradition doesn’t mean all of those other versions of liberation or truth. They’re not perennialists, they don’t go, oh, we’re off. They don’t go. We’re all going to the same place. That’s that’s Western 20th, 21st century yoga, bullshit. That is not true. They don’t think we’re all going to the same place. They think those guys got it wrong.
That’s what they really think. What they’re not willing to do really is Pitchfork. You, you know, they don’t have an inquisition. They don’t have a mechanism of exclusion, ostracization they don’t have, and they don’t do that over beliefs.
It wouldn’t occur to them to sort of burn you at the stake for your beliefs. Does that make sense? Metaphorically? What? Oh, well, that’s a different thing. They don’t hate them because they’re Muslims. They don’t hate them for their beliefs. He’s fucking hated. That’s all different. There’s lots of reasons to hate people, but doesn’t come to the top of the list. Okay. So tolerance doesn’t mean your views or your views are okay, because one, this means we’re all going to be the same. There’s no sort of, there’s no sort of Neo the daunting inclusionary.
Oh, the Christians that are going, we’re all going to Brotman it’s all going to be one that is a total Swami bullshit. Nothing in the traditions says anything like that, but they really think is unless you get the argument right. In the formal sense, you’re not going, you, you, you aren’t getting the liberation and we own all resolved at the same thing.
You’re just wrong. You’ll just die and be reborn until you get it. Right. Okay. But what they really don’t have is any social cultural mechanism for enforcing or caring about how beliefs would make that determination. Why? Because they are tolerant over they’re tolerant over beliefs without thinking you can be without validating. It does that make sense? Based on care. What’s the Bernie for the stake, for his behaviors. They don’t like what you do, or they don’t want you to influence them.
So if you come and try to change my people from doing what they’re doing, like convert my people from doing what they’re doing, to what they’re doing, to what you’re doing, we’re going to burn you out for your beliefs, but for fucking, with our water behaviors. Right? Sounds like crowd control. Well, it is it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s socialization. Poss religion is socialization and the hinges are kind of okay with that.
I was leaving in the once. You know, I’d been there a really long time without always sent me home. And I was going home in the Christmas time. And I’m like, I really hate Christmas. Tonya was like thing. And that this and that, that I feel oppressed by it. And I say to him, you know, I’m going home to this. And he looks at me. He goes, you help your mother with that tree. If that’s what she wants, I go, why’d ya. I don’t believe in any of that. He goes, belief, that’s your business, the tree, that’s your mother’s business. What’s your family’s business. What does it cost you to do that?
So he thought that he thought that he thought the stakes were well, if the stakes were high, that that would be different. But the stakes were well. Okay. So the Sudan does, are either very formal when they’re very formal. They’re very rigorous. Don’t think that Hindus are like, wishy-washy tolerant about this. They were fastidious serious argument, serious arguments about what they think is at stake and how they think you’re going to get there. Okay. But as beliefs go, it’s 95% of it is all private.
And the topic is really like the private side of that. And the way you know, that is very interesting. I’ll give you an example and we’ll move on. The great philosopher who writes out the Siddhanta called Trico. The triadic world is the Kashmiri Shai bite named WNL looked up his principle disciple who survives his name, shaman Raja. When shaman writes his commentaries on every page, every page, not every other vision, every page I can point to a place where he is in direct disagreement with his teacher.
While at the same time he’s honoring and touching his Lotus feet. He’s he says, he’s. He says, this is my teacher, right? What they’re really telling you is that the Siddhanta is your experience. And so there’s room for diverse views. The last thing I would ever want would be to tell me what to believe. Because if you go back to stay in the middle of the things, ask any question, look for the black SWAT. But you, you begin to look at the strategies of learning your, your experiences have to be what’s real now.
So then what are the teachings as teachings? Like as they’re, as they’re they’re God they’re they’re God or their kind of basic parameters, but the real issue here, isn’t in the Siddhanta it’s in the impossible. How do you get near to this? The pasta then takes you to, we’ve got time to do this.
It takes you to the five categories that are going to make you a tantrika there’s five ways. You’re going to be a Thompson and all of those five ways crystallized around you pasta and think of a pasta as practice. But think of practice. Now, I’m going to give you a monkey wrench. Think of practice as ritual, because ritual is the way in which an ordinary behavior becomes a narrative of self-awareness ritual is the way an ordinary behavior becomes a narrative of self-awareness ritual is the way you tell yourself a story, but mostly you do things that you would otherwise do.
Let me give you a simple example. We’re about to go to graduation. We’re going to put on a funny costume and we’re going to March in now we’re going to sit down and we’re going to stand up. We’re going to sing some songs.
Some people are going to say some shit, and then you’re going to walk out, right? So for the most part, things you do are things you would do. Anyway, you get dressed up for an event, right? You would dress each other in ways in which you tell stories and narratives and declaim, the nature of nature and your social position and your world. And you create rites of passage and understand relationships, right? You do very Wondery things, but you, the reason you formalize it is, you know, that you’re doing that, right?
So, and one of the principles of the Tom codeine is that the awareness of being in the ritual, the knowing that, you know, you’re doing that gives you this space of awareness and contemplation and understanding where in that formality of behavior, you create an opportunity to assimilate, receive, address, interpret experience a possibility.
Let me give you another way of thinking about this. If you go to the mat tomorrow, right? There are rules, no touching. Can’t take pictures, right? If people are there to enforce the rules, think of those as the priests, right? And think of the museum as a temple, and you kind of like decide, you’re going to stand in front of this painting and someday, and you, and on one day, like, so you’ve, you’ve been before and you go back and the reason you, and the last time you went, you, you remember all I was here and you may or may not remember what you did, but something happened to you, right?
And then you come back and then something else happens to you.
So you create this opportunity in this form of behavior, in this encounter of relationship, with image, narrative story, mitos aesthetic experience, to have an experience, the formal that you know, that you’re doing it. You’re not just opening an art book on your table, but you’re kind of going, you’re ritualizing the event by attending, you know, the museum like going to the service, you know, like going to the graduation, attending the wedding, whatever it is you’re doing, right.
That the awareness of doing it changes now, here’s what the topic is. Also. Now you could come to your graduation, hung over indifferent, not giving a fuck you’re there because your parents came and you have to go and you don’t even barely remember what happened. But the topic is, think that if you go through the ritual, it changes you because you don’t have to mean it to have it have consequences.
We’ve all had a 91. If you had a one night stand, you know, that’s true. You don’t have to meet it to have consequences. All you have to do is do it to have consequences. So your awareness is in some sense, optional to a ritual, right? And when it is, it’s kind of, and it desiccates, you, you don’t, you don’t like, and the Telefonica says, don’t make your awareness. The option of the ritual know that, you know, you’re doing it. It is put that space of as put that spirit, open that space of opportunity to consider what you would put in that space.
So original was an opportunity to create a narrative of relationship.
There’s a relationship that that’s good. And the relation to the relationship in the museum is with the painter and with the guards and with the other people who have gone to the museum at the graduation, it’s the event. It’s wherever you’re graduating. It’s the people who were there. It’s who shows up, right? It’s the stand up, sit down. It’s all the event. So original Korea. And with that event is unbearably some story or another, right? That’s why it’s a narrative of opportunity because the ritual usually comes with a story. And that story is really usually a myth.
And even when you go to a graduation, it’s a mythic, it’s, it’s a reality with a mythic consciousness, right? You wear the funny costume and the costume is symbolic. It’s symbolic of what? Symbolic of different kinds of learning. And why is mine hot pink? When it’s supposed to be Crimson was a kind of, it’s actually a Crockett and Tubbs error of Harvard in the middle eighties.
That’s like sort of a Miami vice Harvard road because of when I graduated, um, the colors are Crimson, but mine. So I pick, um, picks my favorite color. Um, but, but it’s symbolic of, you know, why is it, you know, why there’s a hood in academic gowns? It’s for alms alms. When they walked through town, people would put arms in your hood because you gave up. Cause it’s a vocation of learning. It’s a sacrifice of learning, right?
So there’s all of this. Like, you don’t have to know anything about what’s going on, right? And yet all of this symbolic imagery is informing the narrative.
So every time it has a Siddhanta and your lineage usually has a formal Siddhanta, but most lineages don’t impose any formal Siddhanta when you hear people talk about authentic contract, they usually are espousing a particular Saddam without the notion that somebody else’s Siddhanta could be completely different. I’m often accused of being not real or inauthentic. I’m actually the guy who had an Indian teacher, not the one who’s inventing one. No.
Um, and his views were wildly heretical in comparison to almost every other. Siddhanta he, my uncle thought himself a traditionalist because he was in conversation with tradition. And most of his conversation with tradition was not like that.
Right? I mean, he was more than contrary. He was heretical that didn’t make him less. The guy down the hall from me who said, he’s actually a Maronite Catholic priest is so far off the Catholic reservation, but I’m sure, but I can tell you, Kurt thinks of himself as a Catholic, even though he disagrees with everything, the church, virtually everything he says, we used to have black smoke jokes about the last book becoming a no black smoke here. It’s like, wait for this guy to die.
I mean, hilarious. But in other words, kerosene is just somebody else’s view of what their orthodoxy is. What I’m telling you is that orthodoxy is a plural of diversity and contention in all of yoga. So when anyone ever says, well, this is the real meaning, or this is the real teaching. Just let all the lights go on in your head and go.
That’s what they think, right? That’s their view. And I can guarantee you not only any number of more views, there are, there are contentions challenges and contradictions to those views anywhere you look, all you have to do is be encyclopedic enough to know what they’ve re, know what they’ve all said. We can help you do that. If you want to learn every last little bit of every topic, a tradition has a Siddhanta. What I would say is they all think they’re right.
Cause who doesn’t to which I would also say it’s none of my business. If I’ve always taken up, up, up, up, up with the one who taught me this quotation from Thomas Jefferson, who said, whether a man has one, one God of 20 gods, um, if he’s not reaching into my pocket or breaking my leg, his religion is not my concern.
So which didn’t mean that he agreed with you where that he endorsed your views or he’d that he even approved of them. What he meant was it’s your conscience, not mine. That’s a very, very Hindu way of thinking about the world. What he would care about is if you were picking my pocket or breaking my leg or doing that to somebody, I cared about you. We care a great deal about that. So who possum Palestina is ritual because ritual and what the topic that doesn’t want is mere go through the motions, desiccated, meaningless ritual.
But, but the meaning isn’t in necessarily in the meaning, the meaning is in the, do it, let me pause and make this point clear. I said, there are five elements. This’ll take you right to the heart of the Hindus, right? To the heart of what happens when you see Tom, the first of the five elements is Dave atop.
The gods, the gods Siddhanta of the gods might be everything from the gods of the fractal realization of a singularity whose power you’re appropriating. They really are gods because there really is a divine energy and you’re tapping into it. I would call that the right side of the equation. The more theistic side of the equation, who are the gods, the gods are the representation of the singularity.
The singularity is power and the power is offering itself in varying degrees of access. By the way, in which you address can create a relationship with the divine who are the gods, and why is the divine plural? Because it’s fractal cause it’s kaleidoscopic. It doesn’t appear as a singularity. It appears as a multiplicity and there are 330 million dots. At the very least on the far left of that side, you might find someone like me who thinks that the gods are the ways in which we see ourselves, the ways in which we experience our own experience.
So who are the gods? They’re the ways we understand. We understand the diversities and pluralities of the natural world of how culture creates itself and of the formulations of our own conscience, tomato clinically, very simply the gods. The gods tell you that your every character in the story, your Frodo, you’re the ring. You’re Sol rod. You’re the shyer. You’re everything in the story. You’re everyone in this story, you’re all the heroes are all the villains. They are your mythic consciousness revealing to you.
And so this Siddhanta of my own tradition, where, well, who are the gods? What are they for? They are the keys to the access of imagination, dreams, and the unconscious. There are particular leverage into the reflection, the mirror and the prism, the refraction of your own experience. There, you, that’s a pretty heretical left side of the equation. As you drift to the writer side of the equation, the gods represent an encompassing energy, uh, that we would call the divine is SRE the power.
And you are accessing that liberate, that singular force of the universe. I personally don’t have quite as mystical a sense of that. I, I would say my side of the equation is Mo is almost entirely. Him is entirely humanist. And secondly, who were the gods, there, there are ways in which we, we allow the imagery of the diversification of a symbolic narrative. The gods all have symbol.
They all have their, their, I can have graphs, right? They tell us, they tell us symbolic stories. We can know their myths. We can know their stories. We can other images, but we can use them as mirrors and prisons. I said, mirror, you’re looking back at an imperfect image of yourself as a prism. You’re looking at yourself and you’re literally just shattering it into. So how many more, that many more, what the Tajik world wants to tell you is that there are as many gods as there are thoughts, feelings, impressions, ideas, dreams, images, mythic constructs, all of the possibilities are literally in an unimaginable fractal multitude.
The more you can connect, the more you can relate to the more you can draw your identity through any one of these portals. So the next phase of the gods in the ritual is that almost all of us have, what’s called the David top. That is a God that is up particularly one. We like one that we, that we relate to when it confers a sense of connectivity to ourselves.
So my own tradition is shocked up or goddess based. That’s very, and it’s very south Indian. So, but our issue, uh, moves between various versions of the goddess, particularly when she’s in the queenly beneficence, when she’s wearing her blood and ferocity in the somewhat dissimulate form of, of a house holder queenly presence, she’s called Raja that is th th the goddess who is the queen of Kings.
So she wears a red sari, which is the simulated blood of Cali. So instead of the natural, she’s a much more in she’s in she’s cultured to a nature goddess, the nature goddess us right there, and she’s right there. So, but, but in other words, how does it, and then my teacher’s tradition was all not to Raja. That’s another set of traditions and values. And then it’s a huge, expansive notion of the dancer. And of course he is neither masculine nor feminine, but is both.
And then plus one is something else you’re supposed to, as Rogers is both masculine is he’s called that concept are my traditions concept is called some Melena, which means commingled two things make a third thing. So every time you create a relationship in which you, you begin to stake out the beauty of an intimacy, clear boundaries, no limits. We know where we go. We know where we don’t. Then you and I have a third thing. We have our relationship, which is a gift to each other.
Now myself increases. Now you become a David taught to me because I see myself as you, but as more than me like that. So what, who are the gods? The gods are the ways in which we create a relationship in which the gifts of a world greater than ourselves become part of our conversation. Part of our narrative, part of our connectivity in a very practical sense.
Since everyone in this room can do something I can’t do. You are all Deva touts to me. You all bring light to a life in which your gifts become my assets. When we create a relationship rooted in the mutuality of that light, that’s what the word David tell means. Take you all the way, the word divinity, the sounds, what we’re beating to shine. When you bring the light of the gods, you bring the shadow possibilities. Now you’re going to really contract for cause the more brightly you burn, the more shadow you cast, right?
All of you who have done something that burns brightly means you’ve left behind plenty of shadow. The real question is, are you going to bring that to, and I want that you want all of you to be present light shadow darkness. All of that is David. The point of the day of attack to the tonic guy.
It’s the same as it is to the Hindu. And that is you are better off with it in the most explicit forms. So the ritual now is going to have who jobs like, we’re not just going to invoke entourage, and we’re going to have an entourage because the end here over on my side of the left side of the equation, you would have an Terajah for the evocative presence. In other words, that is you enter the ritual, not others on the right side, you would enter the ritual to accomplish a certain set of objectives.
Like we are moving along a path to a kind of realization in which here we’re going to, to this ignorance, we’re going to do this to fear. We’re going to do this to anger. You’re kind of plotting out and mapping out a strategy of empowerment. Well, and good move that far over to the other side.
And what you’re really doing is creating the opportunity of experience where you don’t know what’s going to happen. But you do know that when you enter into that scenario, something happens to you. Let me give you a really simple, stupid example of this because I am a child of rock and roll. But you know, like when your favorite song comes on, like it, it it’s evocative. It makes you think of someone, something, a scenario. Sometimes you laugh. Sometimes you cross and let you turn it off and don’t care. Sometimes you weep. But in the tradition, I was reared in.
Whatever happens to you is the point because you’re here to save her, the experience of being human. You’re not here to kind of get something, all the things you’ll get. You’ll get that’s all, that’s all kind of written into the imagery. He holds the fire of the solution in his right-hand heel to the drum of creation and fiber dissolution in his left, the drum of creation in his right. He sustains the world with his rearward leg. He offers grace for this, with his clingy potty, graceful upturned foot. He invites you to yoga.
Never, never be without fear. He reveals and conceals his heart. There’s a, there are a million stories of iconographic symbolism. All of that is gala.
Did we get the flavor of what’s going on here? Part that’s all just one thing. That’s all the first element of a five-part Richmond. That’s why we need the gods. We need the gods to tell us these stories and to evoke this experience, they play your song. The ones you really like. That’s like your tastes that’s through the ones you’re going to latch on to, but every God is connected to every other guy. Why? Because the second piece of this story, the second piece of the ritual is Mancha and Mancha is the code behind the browser and the code behind the browser.
The browser is the gods, the world you’re seeing. It’s the gods. That’s why the first advice I give you when you come to the temple with me is don’t close your eyes. You didn’t come to the temple to meditate with your eyes closed.
The temple is meditation with your eyes open. You didn’t have to do asset to get here. Just keep your eyes open. You want to see all the possibilities of the evocative experience. Just keep your eyes open. Every brick, every, every statue, every thing everyone who’s ever been here is here. Let it all seep in through all the senses. Synesthesia CLI see it, taste it, hear it, feel it, touch it, let it all in don’t that it’s because of the day, the top is called stool.
It’s the overt sense. It’s the outward form of every possible inner experience. That’s why there are so many of them. That’s why the slightest nuance and you know, like, well, this Ganesha is holding a Lotus, but that one is holding a news. Well, once you know the symbolic valence of all those particulars, thousands of them now, you’ve now, now, now, now pause here.
This is a really important point. We can deconstruct say not to Raja all day. So we’ll do it for you in a million ways. We’ll come back and just symbolically take them all apart. I’ll show you all five clips, five actions, five powers. The narrative goes on and on the myths will take us three, four days to tell we’re going to do not to Roger Pooja this summer at my house in Bristol at our summer camp. Come, it’ll be great. Good fun. I’ll teach you how to do this, but here’s the real point. Once you’ve kind of assimilated enough of the story, what I would do, but for, so if I came in to give you three weeks of 12 hours a day of the stories, myths, iconographies symbolisms of not to Raja.
I, all I would do is look at the image. Why? Because this is a zip file to me, right?
And what you’re really doing, like for, for you, you’re sort of learning this. You’re still unpacking this, but when you actually encounter the image, it’s all happening anyway. See what? Yeah. It’s a shot of the entire teaching. So the reason to have the gods is they are zip files. They’re a good stock of the entire body of lore. You may not know that you may have no idea what’s going on here. Why is this going to put the call petition to God? Why is this gone about the call? Um, what are the times about, you know, why is this, Ganesha this winter, that one, those all have stories and narratives and symbolisms.
But when you come in front of the image, it does something to you. And the reason it does that in Indian mind is that it holds the collective memory of all of that teacher.
It’s a repository of that lore of that symbolism of that entirety of historical content of symbolism. And what is it doing? It’s provoking your imagination. It’s delving into dream worlds and showing you passageways, but it’s really doing it’s, it’s holding the collective unconscious. It’s holding the summation of these possibilities. And what are the hinges doing? They’re telling it in 330 million different ways, each one, a different avenue alleyway into the subconscious unconscious realities on the very simple premise, the three-fourths of yourself is completely unrevealed to you.
Which means that when you come in front of the images, you don’t even have to know what they mean. They will do things to you because you’re literally in this case, looking at about 2200 years of, of symbolism in this form, which is holding the previous 2200 years easily. Now I’m not even exaggerating right. Of the cultures sensibility of what does it mean to be in a natural world, to be part of a social reality called community and culture, to have a human experience of conscience of one’s being, that’s a pretty grant, pretty grand agenda, but it really is access to the subtle experience of human possibility.
That’s their goal. The reason you would bring that in ritual so that you would do these things so that it would have something to you. Let me give you a different example. You know how like, like if you’re a real Mozart geek, I used to do this, I don’t do this anymore. You would like, I used to like study the libretto and the score before I would go to, which is my favorite one or Don Giovanni. But when I got there, I didn’t bring it with me and follow along. I just want to have the experience. Sometimes you laugh sometimes a cry.
Sometimes you like it. Sometimes you don’t, but you learn it not to like, just not for penetrate. You don’t learn it to kind of like, okay, I got it. You learn it to get it. And then you go and then you learn it to enjoy it, to love it, to have an experience, to let it be, to let it do something to you. Now, th the tantra claim is this the one who studies it and assimilates it and takes it seriously and really learns all about it has a better experience.
Just has more experience. Not because you’re going there going, Hmm, this was most probably hopper, but because all of that is inside. I could cellular at that point, you take, you assimilate the teaching and the wisdom, you know, you spend years studying it. And then when you have the, you have the rich wall, it just all unfolds for them. It all just speaks to you. And the idea is, well, if it’s going to do, it’s going to do, it’s like strange magic to you, whether or not you understand what’s going on, but the more you would understand what’s going on the richer, like the farther down into your mitochondria, it’s going to get like the further in the more it’s going to saturate your inner being, you’re going to actually access an imprint, your own unconscious experience.
That’s the day, the time.
And they want you to keep your eyes open and do the rituals over. Let’s call it. But here yod made the sacrifice be outward so that the transformation is the sacrifice. The sacred becomes inward. The second piece of the five or the month plus the month, quite simply are the code behind the browser. They are the streaming message system. They’re the sip, they’re their critic. They, they, and they work in criticality. They hold a certain kind of sequencing, body of information.
They function according to rules. Those rules have to do with repetition and initiation and how you learn them and how you recite them. But they, they are also evocative. So their power lies in message before meaning message before meaning it is, the sequence of sounds has, is in a, is, is a sequence of energy. The sequence of energy is no difference than say a sequence of DNA it’s code in these.
And that code works. Now, let me just give you a tiny little bit about how mantra works. Macho works by what’s called by principle called, called Monica Malini. Monica mountain is the little sophisticated, but it’s really cool. The word mark burka, M a T R K a mock Turka means it’s the diminutive of the word mother. It means little mother, Martha and Malini. M a L I M a L I N.
Hai means Garland. So motha Kamala means the Garland of little mothers. What are the little mothers? The little mothers are the 51 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet because all of them are ma are mocked. They’re the mother of the universe. Why? Because the universe is a body of energy that, that end folds and unfolds itself as a sequence of relationships. It sequences relationships, it tells you not anything can happen.
Things happened in a certain way, the certain way in which things happened, it’s called mafucka.
It goes the explanation of karma. It’s the explanation of order. Monica is what makes for Dharma a world that holds together. Why? Because the sequence of letters in sanscript begins with the first sound you can utter, which is the sound before the first letter of the alphabet. The first letter of the alphabet is the first sound you could utter. And that’s the short vowel way. Every subsequent letter is the next is, is literally literally the next letter in the sequence of sounds that sequence of 51 letters divides into sets.
There are valves and consonants, the consonants divide into seven sets of five plus three, and it’s now you’re off to the races. But the concept of Monica is that the world didn’t unfold. Anyway, it M it unfolded serially, successively, sequentially through a process of its own movements of articulation. Those movements come from. The Manteca works.
As you enunciated in your mouth, literally across your path from back to front, they go, they end. When they reach all the way to the front, they go all the way to the back and they create the next step. The next set. And then the next step. So you think of the Monica. Monica is this idea. The world is an orderly place in the unfolding sequence of energy. That creates a systematic body of information. And that’s exactly how the alphabet works. That’s the concept of Mazak, which means that the letters are always in the same order.
We call it up to shut up, shut up, which the word, it’s a play on words and what the word fuck should. I mean, indestructable meaning this is the way it always is, but it literally means from art to shop, which is the last sound and to get from Arctic Krisha and mafia is to follow the order of the alphabet.
Like that. There’s a way to do it. And the, in the Indian mind, this literally follows a set pattern. So the world didn’t happen. Anyway, it happened the way it did. Now, the reason it’s called Metallica, this is really fascinating is that it didn’t have to happen this way. This is just one way it could have happened, but this is the way it did happen. So think of Martha as these are the orderly rules of the world. Like this is what makes two and two, make four, hold up really well. This is what makes mathematical equations work out.
Why? Because it’s because, because it doesn’t tell you anything can happen. It tells you when things happen, they happen like this it’s reliability order. It’s that idea. Now, now it gets really interesting. Marvin’s name is, is the idea that any one of those 51 spots is simply an opportunity for any one of the 51 letters.
So Molly takes the order of the alphabet and says, as soon as you put a letter there, now you only have 50 letters left, but whichever one, but, but anyone. So, so think of it this way, mantra, because the idea that the order is fixed, Melanie is the idea that you’re at a slot machine, right? Uh, 51 spots, get it. And they’re all spinning. All 51 letters are on every wheel. And when the first one stopped, when anyone stops all that letter is out of the sequence.
Got it. So how many, how many versions of 51 letters could there be? Actually, I think it’s 51 factorial, right? So, but, but here’s the idea. The world is both orderly and it mutates and accidents happen. That is the sequence is utterly. The sequence is fixed except the sequence messes up, but the sequence doesn’t mess up by anything. The sequence messes up itself, get it the same way your DNA does it.
So what mantras do is they either perfectly sequence or they sequence with a principle of mutation and the mutation is called Molly and Molly is literally an accident, right? So monitors are called because what the mantras do is they keep reordering the world. But in a certain way, accidents creep in. If the accidents Creek didn’t creep in there wouldn’t be pollution.
There wouldn’t be growth. But the creeping in of accidents, isn’t necessarily always a good thing. Since most accidents fail, right? When it is a good thing, it’s a very good fit. So the mantras are the code. That’s creating the appearances. How does the code work order and randomness, but rent order doesn’t mean an order means a certain fixed sequence, but randomness doesn’t mean anything can happen. Randomness means the sequence doesn’t work out the same way every time, even though it’s supposed to.
Right, right. When your DNA goofs up, it’s the same four letters, right? It’s just that it doesn’t sequence properly. It’s the same idea in mantras. You can come back. We’ll talk about this at great length. We have a really good online course about mantras. If you want to learn really thick, dense explains all of this thoroughly and with a little less urgency than the clock is giving us right now. So monstrous the second piece. Why? Because you need the code that runs the system now mantra.
So it puts men. So, and the code is message before meaning, but the, but the mantras, because they’re tantric, I also have meanings because the mantras can also be words. Now, Ms. Shivaya salutations to shiver as a, so think of that basic mantra. Now, Ms. Shivaya salutations to shut up. That’s its meaning, but its mantra is not my shit.
Ah, yeah, that’s it. That’s the order of letters. That sequence creates that image. Literally Nama Shivaya is Shiva’s DNA. That’s his sequence. Got it. That’s the idea of the mantra. That should mean something. It means salutations to shut up. That’s that’s not the same thing as, as its message its messages. This thing is that sequence. Cause everything that is is a sequence of energies. That’s its message how you construe it.
What it means. That’s another level on top of that now. So now you have the two most important pieces you have the day about the gods who are the visualization of the narrative. And you have the monthlies, which are the code that creates everything you say. Now there are three other pieces and they’re very simple. Once you understand these, the next one is moodra moodra is the process by which you take what is outside and imprinted inside the word moodra I mean, DRA in seal or imprint, and you have to think, think the image I want you to have to take with you is literally of a wax seal.
You create a negative to a positive. So what you put outside, you take in and what you create inside, you put out the task of the ritual is to assimilate in print and then to imprint pack. You want the way you think and feel to imprint the world, to create contour its texture and understand depth and formulation. You want that world to do the same thing to you. So what mood was are traditionally in the rich wall, our gestures.
So the oral mudra, the moodra of mood. So undulating, mudra, Julius to moodra with Tada is awesome. We get what I just said. So to the awesome, the mountain pose, right? It’s the basis of all other poses undually is the basis of all other movies. So you don’t do this as a seal. This is a mojo. So Y so you’ll always hear me say, underline was you put the heart before the heart, because this is the Lotus of the heart, the way you do this move properly.
It’s like that one too. So that it looks like the folding of a Lotus and the unfolding of the, that you do it like butterfly fast. It looks like, just did that, but it’s actually 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and unfold. And here are the two stocks and there’s the muddy pond and there’s the EDA and the Pingala and then the middle. And here’s your heart card here. So you’re telling yourself again, you’re going back to the narratives, back to the symbolism.
But what you’re doing is you’re creating an imprint.
Now, all of them, all of the day of the they’ll have a sequence of moodra, right? Or they’ll have a particular motor like that’s Ganesha. So this is the elephant goad, and you hold it up in this direction and you can see that it’s the stick with the thing that, that he holds in his hand, it’s the UNHCR HSA, the goat, that kind of prods and pokes things around. It’s two uncautious facing each other, hold it down. And you can see that here’s his tusk and there’s his trunk. And there is two years, you get it running through the forest and I’ll put water spout.
Right? So, so moodra is gesture, right? It’s the way in which you think of a gesture now, as anything that you would make, like a gesture of friendship would be the way you look at someone or address someone, or you create an innuendo or a nuance of relationship because you’re creating an imprint.
You’re leaving an imprint. If I’ve left it with any imprint, I hope it’s authenticity. Like you got a little bit of the real me, right? I try not to like, be like, you’re saying, well, what’s the imprint. Like who do I think this person is? How do I create, how do we take outside the inside, inside out? How do I assimilate? That’s the practice of moodra yantra Yon. Mongola this word means device. These are the geometric designs, right? So the Tibetans make Tom because, you know, with all the celestial, but he saw was we really like triangles and squares and circles and other kinds of things, especially that famous Sri chakra, non interlacing triangles, five over facing four, Sue we’ll show these to you.
This is the heart of the ritual that I was reared in. You can map that onto your body can map that onto these are maps.
These are maps. What are the maps supposed to do? The maps always do maps, always do three things for you. They locate you. They tell you here not there. This is not that now not then. Right? They give you a way to orient. They create a sense of some apps are lock-in utopic and contrary. That would be a long story with their locket. If they tell you how to find your way around, I’m here. Not there they’re utopian because they take you to a place like, you know, like when you like, like watching a really great movie or getting into house of cards or game of Thrones or whatever you’re doing, this is a young truck you’re entering a world, get it.
You’re entering a whole structure. You’re entering an architecture of characters and thoughts and relationships. Right. And if it’s really good fiction or really good story inside that house, that’s why they’re called palaces and cities, young fellas, chakras, Mondelez they’re reels of consciousness.
Right? So they, they function as, as roadmaps, but then they function as places where when you go there, you enter that world. They’re very geeky. If you know what I mean? Like you can get very into, you know, like when you’re reading one of those books, like you’re in alert, like you are in all of you’re in the world, you’re in the, you know, the map of middle earth. Well, it either tells you like, either look at the map to go, oh yeah, order’s over there. That’s flocking. But it’s utopia. Like you’re in middle earth.
Get it. And you’re kind of, oh yeah, there are dragons and dwarves and elves lightsabers and whatever world you’re in. Penny, penny, penny, whatever world. They’re like watching a big bang. That’s a yantra getter. What? I mean like you’re inside a world. That’s a utopic world because you live inside that construct.
Contrarian is that, is that the contrarian map is one that shows you that what a ritual does is it points out the relationship between the way things are and the way you wish they were, the way things are. And the story you’re telling, which is, which is not the same. Let me give you an, we get a very simple example. Anybody ever been to communion? Yeah. Well, yeah. They put the little wafer in your mouth, right? And they say, OD hop Corpus ma’am, which is what they would say.
If they were saying any black, this is my body. Right. Which is a little bit, which is where the term Hocus Pocus comes from. Why is this Hocus Pocus? Because he didn’t put the body. He didn’t put a piece of Christ in my mouth. He put fish food. It used to be fishery. Now it’s like the Protestants make it like whole grain bread or some bullshit.
Sounds got to be gluten free. Right? It’s communion. Gluten-free now that’s something Christian should argue about. But my point is that it points out the difference between what you’re told that is and what it is. Get it. In other words, the ritual doesn’t solve a problem. That’s what a locket of map does. A ritual doesn’t end. Does it only get you into a world? That’s what a utopic map does. A ritual tells you that what you’re doing is, is, is not what you’re doing.
Get it, it points out this discrepancy. It makes, which is a cause to think about it. Because when somebody says, you know, bless your heart. Like congratulations at a wedding. That’s a contrarian thing. Because on the one hand, they mean it on the other hand, it’s like, what does that mean? Right. It opens it up to the conversation. The more exaggerated example is this is my body.
And you go, wait a second. That turf like fish. Right. But you know that the story counts. So the relationship between what you’re being told and what you have to construe it to be is an opportunity for meaning, right. To opportunity for contemplation. But it’s an incongruity. Cause you go, it’s like, when the know we’re about to go to graduation, you’re going to stand up. And I’m going to say with all the rights and privileges conferred to you, by the degree to which you are recorded, would you like fries with that?
I mean, I’m going to say like, that’s what the president is going to say. And you’re going to sit down here. They’re going to go do something just happened. Like what the hell? Just that I don’t feel any different or do I, or you go, I feel really like, you know, if you’ve ever like you like the reason to get married is that when you go through the ritual, you’ll go, wait a second.
Nothing really happened. Except I feel completely different. Except something really happened. Except I feel really different. Is everybody clear about this? What we’re getting. So that’s a contrarian ritual. It’s an opportunity. It’s a boxer engine. It’s an opportunity to go, wait a second. Something is happening here. Yeah. This put the symbol creates an opportunity of causality is opportunity of this because it’s a ritual because you’re doing something. Let me give you, let me, let me, let me summarize so we can leave. Cause we need to leave. Right? It’s five or five 30, something like that.
Yeah, fine. Okay. When you come with me, come with me because this is the most fun you can have wearing a sari. I promise I’ll wear a sari when we do it next time. Right? And you can wear a Doti all the rules. So, but when we go into the Hindu temples, I always say to the pilgrims, I go, look, leave your eyes open.
I only give you a handful of instructions because it’s a no belief to belief, free zone. As a tantric zone, you’re going to find DaVitas and mantras and mudras. Everyone’s going to make various gestures and movements, right? And you’re going to feet. You’re going to find yantras big structures and worlds and maps. You’re going to see all of this stuff. And I’m going to say, look, when you see them, do the ritual to the day in the temple, you’re going to, this is what’s going to happen. You’re going to say to yourself, either something very sublime is going on or these people are playing with dolls.
And the answer to that is yes. So that’s the see the incongruity. There are the fifth part. I said there were five. It was David mantra. Moodra yantra right. So there’s the gods. The mantra code, the mood gesture, the unthread, the worlds, and the fifth part is called Neassa Nya. LSA, which means, which means putting it on yourself means wearing it literally means leading it out that is put it on.
And the ASA is you become the gods. This is you. And the ASA is that’s me. You lay all the mantras on your hands and on your body, you lay your mantra in the mind, you lay it all out, you exchange it, you imprint it in it. You interconnect with it. Neassa you lay it out. You systematically lay it at. And then you say, and then you can either lay it out with purposes and goals and meanings, which you can have, or you can lay it out and go, I wonder what will happen.
And I guess to me, the answer is yes. And the richer that project becomes and the more you sort of endeavor to learn the more it’s and it’s like, anything else, like the more fluent this becomes, the more sort of the less, the less strange and exotic it is, but it really, all it is, is a way in a certain way of asking yourself, where am I? Where am I in this world? And what do I want? And how would I Orrick? And really the core of it is this simple time for that is the way in which you extend and traverse the power of relationship, everything about being human.
It’s creating a relationship with value and that’s what kind of religion. And this is simply a series of strategies, techniques, images, projects that create relationships with valley. They tell through essentially the mechanisms of body, speech, mind, but the mechanisms of symbolic consciousness, where the Indians really Excel it’s right there. You know, like if we want to know more about ourselves, we have to uncover the recondite mysterious three quarters of ourselves.
We don’t access. And the question is how to get there. And these folks said, this is a really interesting and compelling way to access your imagination, your dreams and your unconscious, which to which we all belong. Okay. Thanks a million. Thanks for coming.
There are courses online. If you want to take them there’s courses on tantra and she had a Sutra Kashmiri, Shai bites. There’s one on mantra. That’s a really good one on Venetia, right? To me, there is a summer camp. There’s four days of immersion in Bristol, New York, near our house, which we make eminently affordable. We do one over the 4th of July, one in August, right? To me, I’ll send you the info. It’s really, really fun. There are people just like you from all over the world that come, they come from all over the world and it’s a blast to learn together. And we go to India and, and come before it’s gone and I’ll take you places you can’t believe.
It’s really good. Fun. Thank you so much. The reason I make that invitation is you’ve made such an invitation to come. Thank you so much for your time and effort. So grateful. So happy. Thanks for getting me out of the house.

About Sunday morning

Sunday Morning Contemplation is informed by Eastern and Western contemplative traditions. The first, lectio divina has its origins in 6th century Europe. It unfolds in four steps or stages: reading (lectio), reflecting (meditatio), responding (oratio), and silent abiding (contemplatio). Our Eastern inspiration come from the Indian Upanishads (800-200 BCE), where contemplative practice consists of three steps or stages: listening (śravana), reflecting (manana), and meditating (nididhyāsana or dhyāna). Our contemplative practice on Sundays embraces both approaches, and each contemplation will be based on a reading from either tradition.

The texts and teachers I have chosen played a significant role in my life and I believe have much to offer. I will read presellected texts, slowly, with pauses between verses or quotes. The readings will be accompanied by soothing background music. To lessen distraction, I suggest participants close their eyes and listen. However, the screen will display the text so that people can choose to read along or mute the sound and read on their own. If there is time remaining after the contemplative period, participants can choose to either leave or stay for a short discussion.

As a preface to the reading, I will provide a 10-15 minute introduction to the text. When relevant, I’ll review facts about the author/teacher’s life. I will also present a brief explanation of the terms and language encountered in the reading.

Finally, when the contemplation is over, all texts read will be available online to read and/or download at any time on the website.

What I mean by
The Symbolic Life

This website makes liberal use of classical Indian visual art and refers mostly to traditional Indian texts (for example, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras) in the courses, seminars, and discussions on offer. However, I am not presenting lessons in Hinduism; in fact, teaching mainstream Hinduism is neither my area of interest nor expertise. Rather, my interest in Yoga and Tantra is grounded in the concrete situation in which we find ourselves, in the places where we arrive and from which we depart. Beginning in the here and now, we will explore the underlying meaning of the symbols, stories, images, philosophies, and techniques found in Indian philosophical texts and practice, in light of our world and our current circumstance. We will excavate the meaning of the aphorisms and teaching stories; the symbolic figures of gods, people, and nature; and the sometimes terse, sometimes poetic, philosophy of the texts. Thus, in referring to the Symbolic Life of Yoga and Tantra, I mean not just the symbols themselves, but the rich explication of life that the symbols represent.

Our lived, concrete situation is wonderfully captured in the Sanskrit word loka, whose ancient meaning is “the world.”  The root meaning of both the Sanskrit loka and the English locate (and local, locale, and location) is identical. In the ancient Indian mind, the world is where we are located, in our current circumstance. Thus, the meaning of the symbols of Yoga and Tantra can occur only in the now, in the places where we find ourselves, and not in any imagined ancient and/or foreign world.

To emphasize our place of origin and return, I use the terms “archetypal” and “symbolic” quite frequently. Archetypal meaning is associated with the universal and collective aspects of human experience—what we intimately share with all others regardless of culture or era or epoch—while symbolic language forms a bridge between the realms of the universal with the culturally specific and local. Symbols are the scaffolding upon which human beings build a world and imbue it with meaning.

Think for a moment of pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, hatred and love, and greed and generosity—universal experiences that ancient Indian thinkers called the dvandva-s. This Sanskrit term is a combination of two words, or rather, one word spoken twice: the word dva (meaning the same as the English “two”) duplicated. Dvandva is commonly translated as “the pair of opposites” or literally “the two-twos” (dvadva). The ancients who coined this compact symbol gave voice to an archetypal human experience that can be further unpacked to reveal deep insights into the human condition. Once we gain an understanding of the various symbols of Yoga and Tantra, we can further excavate their meaning and the archetypes they convey, and thus gain access to, in a practical and meaningful way, the vision of life experienced by the sages. These insights are available to us and are still relevant today, as are the resilient and adaptable techniques and forms of practice that can help us lead richer and more fulfilling lives