A synthesis by yoga professor Gregorian Bivolaru
There often is a tendency to oppose the will of asceticism and of denial of the touchable world – specific to yoga, to the systematical use of the manifestation, in all its aspects-which is specific to tantrism, or by other words to oppose the transcendence to the immanence and non-duality to duality. This presentation aims to match these concepts creating an original and exciting synthesis between Yoga and Tantra.
By these revelations we’ll realize gradually that in this world where everything is driven by the law of discontinuity, the tinny interstitial spaces between the action sequences actually represent those fissures where we have to jump without fear to reach the transcendence. The eternal present is there. As soon as we’ll have (by constantly implementing these ideas) the first ecstatic states we’ll be amazed to realize that reaching the illumination doesn’t necessarily require engaging ourselves in huge and spectacular actions.
Committing ourselves in full enthusiasm on this path we have to understand that the dangerous routine can only be changed into aware habit by lucid and detached observation; but this implies a radical inversion. Then, after we really accomplished these, we’ll continue to remain detached and will let our thoughts flow on…
To make it easier read this article we divided it in ten parts, which we recommend to read progressively for the proper understanding of the argumentation.
There often is a tendency to oppose the will of asceticism and of denial of the sense world – proper to YOGA, to the systematical use of the manifestation, in all its aspects which define TANTRISM. This is to oppose transcendence to immanence and non-duality to duality. This presentation aims to bring together these concepts by means of an original and exciting synthesis between Yoga and Tantra.
From the very beginning we have to mention that the conceptual and practical instruments that TANTRA provides are double-barreled weapons. Indeed, if often they can help the “fast penetration of the ignorance shroud”, they can evenly contribute to satisfy, comfort and strengthen the psycho-mental processes of our ego. And we know it is absolutely necessary to completely release ourselves from ego “before attaining the Self ( Atman) achievement”.
Therefore we must have a “giving up” attitude the very moment we act; this is what TANTRA calls “the non-action of action”, where the central axis consists of the permanent attention.
TANTRA determines us to discover that an aspect of the bottomless mystery stands in the fact that, the reality is containing us and we contain the reality, entirely and without discontinuity. Here we’ll explain this.
Reality, whichever it may be, cannot be seized but in terms of a vast totality (the MACROCOSMOS), which simultaneously includes all forms of manifestation and Conscience. Therefore we may say it comprises all the individualized beings, including our thinking that we conceive it with.
Our ordinary conscience, confined to the play of mental and intellect, enables a certain perception of the world for us. It enables us also to produce concepts regarding this subject and borrows, through RESONANCE, that reality which brings us tranquility. Anyway, this perception, which we call “ordinary” always is strictly individual.
2. The expansion of conscience field in Tantra Yoga
Our ordinary conscience, confined to the game of mind and reason, allows us a certain perception of the world. It also enables us to produce concepts regarding this subject and it borrows, by RESONANCE, that reality which brings us tranquility. Anyway, this perception, which we call “ordinary” is always strictly individual.
If we sufficiently enlarge our field of conscience, or better said, if we transform our perception area, not allowing anymore the conditioning intrusion of our mental, reason and classical observation- our perception then becomes non-ordinary (extraordinary), but it still remains individual. Still, now it doesn’t belong anymore to an “I” which is restricted to a sheer personality due to the luring reason and senses, but it acquires an impersonal dimension, revealing as if by magic our intimate relation with the Wholeness, the emphasis that our individuality, body and psyche, far from being autonomous, are permanently contained by this Wholeness. As a next stage it comes to reveal us our plenary identity with this Wholeness, and therefore they can perceive that in fact we comprise the entire universe (MACROCOSM) as a MICROCOSM.
But let us not deceive ourselves: for the time being our perception is but thinking. If thinking stops the world disappears for us – which doesn’t means at all that the world is unreal! –That means that the world we call “objective” is in fact a constant creation of our thinking (which is calling upon processes of RESONANCE); or to put it different it is an act of collective memory reiterating inside of each individual.
Living in the daily routine torpidity, we often came not to wonder anymore though facing the only fundamental evidence, that is: “I am”. I am perceiving the world. No one else but Me. And everyone of us is perceiving the world in this way, even at the lowest level of consciousness; by this “Me”, by this “I am”. It is enough to fall asleep and the world will vanish for us. For, can you say where is the world when we are deeply sleeping?
Obviously, when we wake up, we find it in the very same place, even though it had seemed to vanish away, because the collective memory preserves it. Our friends and bosoms who were awake during our sleep, will then assure us everything was going on as usually while we have been sleeping. Still, not even their testimony and our getting back in contact to the world after waking up, can make enough evidence. There is some conviction left that in the absence of perception and thinking the world simply dissapears for us. The only one who can have the experience of the reality is “Me” (everyone’s “ego”). But for this extraordinary feeling of “I am”, everything dissapears for us.
The central knot and the key of the problem, obviously in case you agree that there is a problem, can be found at this very point. Not even the smallest sensation or perception can be really shared only by spoken or written means. Those who imagine the contrary are trapped by the so called “communication”, a quite trendy concept nowadays, but which is often superficial and false. This is nothing but getting ordinary comfort, ideas exchanges that may be consoling, but somehow sterile. In fact, excepting the states of communion and emphaty, which are related to the innefable resonance procesess, we don’t communicate, because this is almost impossible. We are irremediably alone. Most of the people only understand this when they die!
The reality is “what exists”, this means it is a totality without division, and not at all an amount of parts; and anyone of us can experience this indivisibility everytime he perceives that “I am”. This is how the reality is entirely and continously contained inside of everyone. But our state of captivity in the slumber of duality, although required such as for the world, triggers distorsion. The global experience of “I am” degrades itself and becomes the experience of the ego, an experience of argument and differentiation. The only chance that tantra (along with other spiritual paths) offers is for us to awaken.
3. Dualism versus non-dualism in the synthesis between Tantra and Yoga
In the introduction of this article we stated the synthesis between Tantra and Yoga enables us to solve the opposition between transcendence and immanence, between dualism and non-dualism. In the famous oriental text “Kularnava Tantra” there is a paragraph which goes to the very essence of this problem “The unique Brahman (GOD) consists of two parts, transcendence and immanence, absolute and LOGOS (word). Some understand me in a dualist manner, others perceive me in a non-dualist manner; but my deep reality is beyond dualism and non-dualism”. Thus we realize that in the vision of TANTRA system the supreme reality is a sort of immanent transcendence, an implicit order, and our supreme goal is to completely participate to it. We will further discuss this.
The questions regarding the nature of the Universe, our origin and destiny, require the Answers to be stated with the utmost rigour that reason can afford! And just because of this we assign it an exaggerated power.
The dualist conception somehow adapts much better to the visible world logic.
It is a poor and limited vision but rather reasonable, as concerns the strictly perceivable Manifestation. But the difficulties become almost overwhelming if we try to establish a relation with the un-manifested Consciousness. The phenomenon can be explained but their origin might trigger other problems.
How could we then connect the causality to whatever-lacks-cause? Thus the oriental philosophy SAMKHYA, being excessively careful to appear a complete one, which recognises the emergence of an immaterial principle beyond energy and its specific forms –admits the existence of a Self, of a Conscience. Still it does not reach a real conciliation, an interaction with the materiality, with nature. We may say it found a lame solution, which will stress the antinomy between the two principles.
This is the major problem of all dualistic steps. While restricting themselves to explain the phenomenal world, they can be accepted. But behind this, the conclusions here become radical and may even express some extreme theories like the manichaeism. Here the issue becomes fatal: the world converts itself into an obstacle in the Spiritual path, becoming an evil prevailing world, governed by the evil forces! The notions of good and bad also turn into fundamental concepts, same like the moral, and so on… If you take time to consider this, you can see where is it leads!
If the dualists function quite properly in our daily duality, they have genuine problems with the transcendence. As for the non-dualists, they have of course problems related to the world of phenomena.Advaita Vedanta or the classical Buddhism offers a non-materialistic vision which brings advantage to the spirit. Their approach appears to be less naive, more elevated and global. At a first sight, it seems to be “much more spiritual” or serious, but still is in some measure extremely ethereal; for they also lose themselves in useless explanations regarding the possible relations between the One and the multiplicity. From this point of view their concepts are not much more convincing. Their solution is almost always based on hiding the phenomena and the matter, which are thus labelled as unreal. The only reality is BRAHMAN (GOD), the Supreme Absolute endowed with a permanent power to create illusion – Maya, which allows the world to unveil itself in our eyes as an alienating dream: an evanescence having no consistency, but which our mind and senses take for real. If we had any propensity for polemic we could reply: in a Universe where all the existing forms are unreal, the very assertion and support of the world unreality is antinomic and aberrant.
If we plead that any manifestation is unreal, then this very concept, which is also emanating from our unreal mental, cannot be real! For the mental, the intellect and our thinking processes are surely part of this unreal manifestation. We thus reach a sort of extravaganza which we mask sometimes pretending we raise a judgement “from Sirius point of view”, or better said from the Absolute point of view. But then we forget that the Absolute has no point of view. It has no thoughts, no judgement, no notion and no cause. In His Reality he is both the existent and the non-existing.
In a way or another the two systems thus lead to an identical confusion, namely to repelling the world, but without offering an integral solution.
But let’s not consider ourselves defeated and better start from the premise that in fact any of the two statements above mentioned represents the half truth of the other one.
Some tantric schools, like the Kaula school of Kashmir, propose a vision of the reality where the separation between the Absolute and the world is no longer irremediable. But such schools are rare. They are then based on an extremely coherent argumentation and especially on the direct experience of the yogis who, as they attain the Wholeness, they can see the One in multiple and the multiple in One and live this reality as a “natural state”.
Of course, man doesn’t easily agree paradoxes. He usually finds them too uncomfortable and prefers the abusive simplifications, cause these are much more in accordance to the language of worldly reason and logics.
Indeed, the statement according to which it is indeed possible to integrate “what appears” (we’ll see later on what this expression means) with an unconditioned and subjacent conscience which is simultaneously present outside the phenomena, still being implied in the manifestation – which is functioning from the potential energy until the visible forms and the most dense objects – doesn’t really respond to the norms of the classic logic. More than ever here we get clogged in the limits of language. To realise the truth of this statement we even have to change our logic. In a two dimensions geometry the explanation is no far-reaching but remains correct. In a three dimensions geometry the explanation is broaden but becomes difficult and unsure. But because the universe (MACROCOSMOS) belongs to a mysterious geometry, having multiple dimensions – maybe even infinite – as some scientists already believe, any attempt to explain will be incorrect, if not rather impossible.
The global vision that manifests in case of WISENESS requires a phase of interruption of the psycho-mental processes which, in themselves only allow the knowledge of a universe reduced at two or three dimensions. That’s why they say that mind must be disconnected. This implies a revision and replacement of all our values as well as of our usual functions. The first change means not to identify anymore to our mental processes; because it’s on this error that all the false convictions we have are based, all our half truths which are the results of our relentless need to split, to divide, to reason and reduce everything to concepts.
We will never be able to simplistically integrate the world materiality, the energy, form and space into the bright vacuum of Conscience, the conditional aspects into the unconditional, the personal into the impersonal, the past or future into the impersonal present. We will never be able to see and live the Totality that is simultaneously motionless Conscience and this ocean of moving energy – through a simple intellectual adhesion to some concepts, no matter how perfect these may be. This mere superficial acceptance would not change almost anything of our enslavement condition. Even the most uplifting ephemeral enthusiasms of mind will still let us prisoners of our own physical and mental conditionings, or of psychosis which characterises us. And thus all these mental constructions, all these spectacular scaffoldings, all these cultural and religious traditions, are but accumulated obstacles. We often fabricate them at wish, due to the fear of void and dead. But it seems that, for the social man and for the society, the meaning of the vision of Totality, is finally neither soothing nor desired.
4. The new discoveries of physics and Tantra yoga
It’s the new discoveries of physics that obviously urged us to the current approach. Among contemporary physicians, David Bohm is maybe the one who had the best intuition and who best succeeded in translating his equations into common terms. His expression “implicate order” seems quite inspired to me. His book” Wholeness and the Implicate Order” contains some extremely interesting chapters.
But because the fields of this science and the ones of metaphysics are of course complementary, we still have to avoid their amalgamation, because their means of approach are different. As its etymology indicates, the metaphysics is situated “beyond” physics, even this is only a matter of Aristotle treatises chronology. Still this fact remains significant: we have to pay attention to the mind abuses and moderate our enthusiasm. When physicists start plunging into philosophy or, even worst, into mysticism, this often generates a veritable catastrophe for the science, which risks losing its status.
By its traditional definition, the role of science is limited to observation, determination of some models, rigorous experimentation, finding some mathematical proofs, expanding, ordering and completing knowledge. Through its very semantic definition the science dissects, divides and analyses: it doesn’t unite. Its main sense is to cut up and not to know. Thus it cannot pretend about knowledge, otherwise it is surpassing its functions and is not anymore what it should be. Because, the wise men say, the true cognition is never just the sum of various knowledge.
The One (the Integer) is never the sum of its components, even if we suppose we know all of them. Let’s not take confuse and addition.
For better understanding we are going to appeal to some analogies which hopefully will better clarify for you the subject of world unreality or reality, as well as of its corollaries: duality or non-duality, determinism or non-determinism. We particularly hope we are going to prove the vanity of any logical discourse.
First of all it is preferable to focus our attention on clarity and avoid confusion, especially regarding expression.
Let’s note the words recall some reality but still they are made of some letters in the alphabet that by themselves have no meaning. The same words may be used, for instance to expose two contradictory theories, without modifying their meaning by that. They remain exactly the same but lend themselves to any possible arrangement. There we can say, by using a decreasing approach, that letters and words are more true than the theories we build by using them?
If we arrange the vocals, the consonants or even the words apparently at random we will get nothing to make sense. The result will be just nonsense (incomprehensible). This is what makes our point: these constituents of the coherent language which are the letters and the words belong to a universe of probabilities where indeterminism and hazard make the rule. One can never be sure this or that sign or word will be the perfect choice and will be placed in that specific place, nearby another, to give the best definition for a thought or to form a simple correct sentence. We are even less sure when it is about an assembly representing a sophisticated mental construction, as for example a system.
The indeterminism grows higher at the level of alphabets and their ultimate components, because the languages and dialects being multiple, their combination to create words and then significant phrases becomes infinite and less and less predictable. Still, thanks to these fundamental constituents which are the letters and the words, conveniently arranged, any concept and any system will subscribe itself to a perfectly deterministic order. Thus it will be known where it derives from and where it is leading. Here we are in the presence of an apparently irreducible paradox, which we can compare to that which is so much disturbing the modern physicists. But in our first example the custom baffled the contradictions. The language customs became so familiar to us that we don’t find at all necessary a unified theory to re-establish the relation between an expression and its constituents. The world of modern physics responds to a similar scheme, but it still didn’t contrive a synthesis. There are nowadays two schools of physics which are facing out and which we could compare, by keeping the proportions and some already mentioned reserves, with the confrontation between the dualist Samkhya and the non-dualist Vedanta. The two physics schools are also somehow searching for a “TANTRA” to unify them. And David Bohm’s vision certainly evinces propensity in this respect.
The ingredients of matter, under all its forms: liquid, gaseous or solid, don’t respond all to the same laws. At common perception the matter seems to be compact and it is ordering itself in a completely predictable universe. It follows thus the principle of causality. In contrary, the elementary particles which represent the fundamental constituent of matter, don’t subscribe to this law but they rather relate to the void, because their movements are apparently random. The small infinitum is thus indeterminist and doesn’t really obey to causality; its approach can thus be only probabilistic. Thus the physicists who consider themselves exclusive supporters of quantum mechanics are at risk to consider the materiality of a universe composed of particles whose movements seems to be random, being that unconscious and void, this is somehow doubtful. Therefore could the elementary particles of an indeterminist universe change status and combine to constitute the matter of a deterministic universe? If the first statement proves rightful it will naturally lead towards the concept of immateriality of the matter, whose compactness would be an illusion.
It’s logic that compels scientists to reason this way; that’s why they are sometimes tempted to confirm by their conclusions some illusionist metaphysics. For there is just one step from immateriality to unreality. Let us make it clear: we don’t reproach these physicists the fact they make this step but wish to underline the inadequacy mixture of different genus’s rather leads to confusion than clarity, and the extreme conclusions are almost always the outcome of an excessive hurry and zeal.
Finally, there is one more aspect which must comply with the first ones, the relativistic physics. The correctness of Einstein discoveries in this field cannot be doubted nowadays. The perfect verified theories of limited relativity and generalized relativity are in perfect accord with the determinism; while the quantum theories demonstrate in their turn, without any doubt, the fundamental particles universe is indeterminist. Thus it became necessary to study and find a link between these two approaches, both verified and confirmed, though apparently contradictory. It is a must therefore to produce a certified unified theory, which is not fulfilled yet, even if there are some steps already done in this respect. We cannot tackle here the details regarding the unified fields theory or the measure of gravitational waves.
5. The significance of contemporary physics discoveries in the light of spirituality
Some people say that “ADVAITA VEDANTA and the BUDDHISM are some illusionist metaphysics”. In this respect we can say the way they invite us simplistically “realize the world unreality”, the way most of the people express themselves about, they are totally illusionist. Have we realized so far the meaning of these words “Realizing the world unreality means to make the unreal real”?
To support this here we quote Tantratattva: “the matter is not to state or deny that this or that is unreal or not, but to know what is the real power we are endowed with to turn into unreal even a blade”. And we there are so many of us who don’t have this real power which would be the sole proof of the blade unreality!
As long as we continue remaining only at the words level it is very important to well understand the words significance and the way we use them: illusion, appearance, phantasm, unreality, dream, etc. If we give the term “illusion” (coming from illudere – to play with) the meaning of unreality, in its usual meaning, we limit the existence at its transcendent aspect and hide the phenomenon world assimilating it to a sort of collective hallucination.
The confusion then appears because we make all these words synonyms of the unreality. If we would but keep the true meaning of the term “illusion” we would be much closer to truth, because indeed there is about a play (which Hindus are calling LILA), which takes place in an deceptive manner, because it is usually tackled with by means of the reason and senses, which are confined in themselves. It is not also the case to fall in the opposite excess, sustaining the duality for good and all, because this is the opaque point of view, proper to ignorance, which allots the whole power to the reason, efficient instrument but which cannot adapt itself to those domains which are not convenient.
The tantrics often insist that energy is in fact not localize, this is it has no location, no residence (ANIKA), “because it is aware that it contains”, hidden or self-implied, infinite updating possibilities that “unfold” and “wrap up”, combining sometimes in the same unfold, in a dependence report which is ineffable and continuous, with a conscience without cause that it cannot be separated from at all. Shiva and SHAKTHI represent but aspects, unfolded or wrapped up, of their Totality. The manifestations, the worlds (including ours) are but some unfolded “appearances”, formal, ordered, but evolving, complicating themselves according to entropy, finally and above all, paradoxically perfect every moment they are noticed or observed. These manifestations don’t possess more unreality than material interdependence. The reality in the domain of “appearances” is a perpetual metamorphosis. And the appearance is “that what appears”: it can have the consistency of a rock or can be as evanescent as a phantasm, or it can be more or less unreal or can evolve toward certain material destiny, when its constitutive energy condensates itself into a mass (which we name MATTER). Then, dissolving in opposite direction, it always keeps in some plans a certain part of indeterminism, an undefined Karma of its global order. But this never is decisively important.
Thus in the vision of the TANTRA system duality and non-duality are in fact two half truths, they are just ways of expressing, whether convenient or not. The truth consists of discovering what they have in common. And the reality is always located in the common point of all contradictory statements. But reason doesn’t ever allow the access to this truth. We do not personally, effectively share this reality. And everything that promised us we can attain it, culture, philosophy, science, spirituality are doing nothing but taking us away of it.
Tantric philosophers considers our history can very well exist only for other people who didn’t reach the illumination if, of course this is amusing them and helps them adjust to the general evolution… Those who have really attained the highest spiritual illumination have this detachment because history does not at all interest them.
6. The problem of individuality in the oriental spirituality
This idea leads us to the problem of individuality. At first glance it may often seem quite a paradox having to give up for good any form of ego, any personal history, whereas individuality is, at least apparently, the favourite (not to say exclusive) way of manifestation for BRAHMAN (GOD), the one eager to know himself.
For many of us it goes without saying that people are very observant to their history. They create archives, libraries, data base. Everything is put down and stored. When they miss written sources, they have archaeological excavations, then rush to plan the future and in some situations they rave about evolution. Here the symptom of a visceral fear in facing the final disappearance grows obvious, the loss of own personality, fear to forget all these traces: the supreme and goalless justification to assure man his future has a great importance in space and time. Contrary to the general conviction most often we do not live in present but in past or in future. What we take as present is but a past or a future which are more or less close; the present instant is almost always past or about to come. In tantra the true present is the abolished time, the unique DURATION. But man is often horrified by this, just as he is horrified with the black colour or by silence; he is losing his head and his short memory is leaving him. Moreover, finding out the precarious state of this personal memory and its tendency to hide itself in oblivion, man creates a collective memory, under the form of traditions and history, at which he can appeal anytime, on any sign of weakness, which makes him sure of the world continuity and especially helps him feel less lonely.
Without this culture his grounds would collapse and his ego would dissolve, because, as it is known, it has no consistency out of its own references which he maintains in order to survive. The perfection inside duality, dark but necessary for the world to be as it is, leads in a natural way to the confusion between Ego and the Supreme Self (ATMAN).
Culture and heredity seem at various degrees amounts of individual conditionings resulting from everyone’s memory of received impressions ( Samskara) time. If the collective history and culture have an educative value, they cannot pretend at all to trigger, or at least to favour our liberation because they are the very product of our conditionings. Therefore how could they free us from them? Knowing these we realize we are irremediably obliged to return to “I am”, which, of course, crosses every individual.
But instead of keeping us steady at this point, we always propose ourselves to qualify it, allotting it various attributes. Thus, we are confronted with our body, intellect, profession and finally with the character, having a personal history, taking himself seriously, having a “personality” and a free will, although very negligible. In this respect, having a personality is always somebody else’s problem and never the problem of the Supreme Self (ATMAN).
For our Supreme Self (ATMAN) has no history. It has no cause. It is the centre by means of which we reach the revelation of the beatific void, the central axis wherefrom all discourses blench and around which everything organizes and works. Without him nothing sustains, nothing tides up and nothing exists. It is the coherence itself. And without wheel, or by other words, without world, it cannot be outlined; he becomes BRAHMAN (GOD), the Self, neutral and undetermined.
Thus, without this personal body, without this privileged and individual way of manifestation, the real I, who is the Supreme Self (ATMAN) would remain always outside our power of understanding, existing in his impersonal way. (Thus we can realize that any paradox is life giving, because brings us closer to the truth, still it is better to avoid to arbitrarily abuse paradoxes, just to impress, to shock or to seem intelligent).
To put this in Sanskrit terms we can say that ATMAN, the Supreme Self, the purest and highest Conscience of “I am” is nothing but The Eternal Self, or in other words it is BRAHMAN (GOD) perceived in an individual way. By itself, at the reason or conversational level, BRAHMAN (GOD) remains just a concept: “that one”, the Supreme Self (ATMAN), a sort of “this or that”. On the contrary, our “I” can be concretely perceived just because of “I am”!
In this respect it is even very helpful not to use other terms to denote this aspect and especially the word “soul”, which is a constant source of systematic and dangerous confusions. Some terms should be simply erased from the vocabulary, because in many situations they give birth to prejudices, to preconceived opinions, to disorder, to intentions and to what it is considered to be “a priori”. The simple fact we sometimes think of this terms is enough to fall in the claws of the worst conditionings.
Also we shouldn’t forget that even the usage of most common words, less charged by that ancestral pathos, by all those attempts to explain – don’t push us themselves, even by one little step towards truth and don’t offer us the key to settle ourselves in the centre (the Supreme Self), where we might observe the wheel rotation from the inside, without interfering it. Their use sometimes is like of a thorn which we use to remove out another one that just entered our skin. After we finish the operation both thorns became useless for us and we throw them away. It is still interesting to note that the clear wording of a concept ca, get useful, for it gives birth to questions about the validity of that very concept and thus helps us recognize the imperative necessity to overtake the concept in order to live reality.
Our personal history, made up of all our received and accumulated impressions, belongs to this quite superficial layer. Our ego is the end of the chain. We should use it only when necessary. But it holds the entire place and it takes all powers. Our history refers to our ego not to our Supreme Self (ATMAN). For the Supreme Self, it is just a quite ridiculous anecdote.
7. Effort or non-effort on the spiritual path
There is also another, quite delicate contradiction in the Tantric way of thinking. It flows from the fact that, on one hand, it is said in the Maharthamanjari treatise “Pursue to remain perfectly aware the way you are and don’t make anymore efforts because the goal is already attained” or in Nrimha Uttara Upanishad: “Realize that indeed there is no disappearance nor formation. There is no one to chain, no one to act, no one to need liberation and no one to be liberated”. On the other hand it’s necessary these phrases not to be taken literally, because, the way they are stated, they would but invite to a spiritual benumb and to a childish situationism making any attempt for spiritual realization became futile and meaningless. We are going now to clarify which is the just attitude of the spiritual searcher who has to, according to Patanjali, “practice the effort in non-effort and the non-effort in effort”.
Not always having the good-luck – or bad-luck, depending how we see it – to be suddenly projected into the reality of the “natural state” with the power of an cataclysm and even against our will (this is sometimes producing, in very exceptional cases), we see ourselves constrained to use some mean crutches.
We have to admit from the very beginning that reality is not changing, only if we consider it evolving according to the concepts we use to tackle it. All that is changing is our functionality in the frame of the RESONANCE processes relating to it. Those we call “the enlightened alive” can state, without the smallest imposture, that nothing has happened to them. They function perfectly, in a ULTIMATE reality which has neither beginning nor end. But I can assure you that for the organized society they bring a lot of troubles, they are sort of destructive examples.
For the incredibly lots of people who exclusively function in duality, in social institutions and who follow well defined moral codes, for those who are in a chronological time, having a history and a three dimensional space, the passage to illuminated conscience represents an astounding experience. For the wise man instead who is firmly anchored in this state of consciousness, which he is plenary living from the very beginning, no experience exists at all.
And still in this situation nothing decisive happened. We even could compare this with a birth: the new born, and later on the grown up, can never speak about the experience of his birth. But even this analogy is very pale because there cannot exist an adequate comparison between birth in the conditioned life and birth in the Total Consciousness. To speak about experience, past, future you must be on this side of the river and not on the opposite one.
“What exists” doesn’t really have a past and a future, excepting few furrows, some “appearances” which come in the movement of this implicate order. The unity cannot be modified. The breach becomes sensible only in those cases of ignorance and infirmity, when a being has limited perception. If there is an illusion indeed, this is the precise point where it can be distinguished and not on the reality of physical phenomena. The illusion, a real phantasm, is not the world but the deformed manner we interpret it as being independent or illusory, real or unreal, according to the vision of some thinking school or another. This is a kind of farce our mental is playing to us.
For an ordinary human being, drowned in agitation and in his various preoccupations, the functioning of an “enlightened alive” cannot remain but an enigma and a paradox. Otherwise, most of the time he doesn’t even realize that there is any difference, because the enlightened one doesn’t have any apparent particularity. Thus, it makes no sense to talk about him because it is impossible to claim that we could ever understand him as long as we indulge ourselves in our ordinary condition. It would be a nonsense and a deception.
That’s especially why the statements of wise men sometimes seem so disconcerting to us and some other times so very common, that at a first glance we can take them as truisms or incitations to laziness, indifference, vegetative life or simply groundless provocations. In such situations we can take those who utter these statements for some jokers, or some dolts, or some mentally disturbed persons or some humbugs; which is amusing them as well… And this will go on until the moment evidence will impose itself and the authentic answer at all our questions and efforts will be revealed as being the very suppression of any question. When the mind doesn’t pose anymore questions this is the very answer. This is the proof we already went on the other shore and then, suddenly, we understand there is no any other shore!
But our chance to reach this shore is almost null because the very wish or will to reach there becomes the main obstacle; our ego and our attachments are moving toward the supreme goal, toward “spiritual” aims and we don’t even guess that often we’ll stick in the mud for good and all. We continue to “do” but this time in the sublime. Then what to do in order not do? We should do nothing. But we know, non-action doesn’t mean nothing! Which thus will be the just attitude to make from non-action a reality of the awakening and not torpor? What should we do to avoid taking egotistic attitudes of our own will? And how to successfully forget about ourselves without falling asleep?
How then can exist the smallest attempt, at least an appearance to do some exercise if the wish to reach somewhere is absent? Without wish, without effort and will, without the hope for some result, without doing, the notion of scope seems to be itself an inconsequence, an abstraction, not to say an absurdity. Still, the absurd is having a hidden power!
The non-action belongs to the world order, to the cosmic harmony (MACROCOSMIC), to Dharma. The action belongs to the worldly logic.
8. Will and spontaneity in Tantra yoga
We definitely have to agree we can do nothing by using our mere egoistic will; as soon as we want something in this manner, the doors will close. This is the reason why the prevalent ascetic paths, mortifications, strong-minded yoga, the ultimatums of incontestable dogmas of religious and moralist traditions, also the systematic practice of encoded and standardized virtues seems more likely be a kind of guilty mystifications rather than a path toward spiritual freedom. They are based upon the egoistic wish, the egoistic will and the egoistic hope of getting a fruit, or a profit and thus all these are but obvious manifestations of ego (WHICH APPEAR TO BE LIKE THAT ONLY FOR THE LUCID AND DETACHED EYE).
In order to act indeed spontaneously, without any act of egoistic will, it becomes necessary to utilize a subterfuge. We could call it a kind of trick or play. Because there is always something playful in this attitude which resemble with that LILA (the divine, cosmic play) we have mentioned before, the great divine, cosmic play of unfolding and wrapping-up. The only imperative think then will remain the vigilance, the full, permanent attention, but not the focus on something specific: first of all we must become enough vigilant in the state of wakefulness, then slowly in the dream state and later on in the state of deep sleep for finally sending away for good the listlessness and unconsciousness from our being. In this respect it is necessary an attention lacking any turmoil and emotiveness (thus emotiveness must disappear, but not the emotion). This will thus be a focus lacking a precise object and which is not longing for some result; it is then a kind of suspension able to create a kind of superior state of availability. We have thus to learn to become non-critic profound observers, to see at the same time the unfolding actions as if we were dissociated of them, still keeping untainted the power to coordinate them in an impeccable way, thanking to our senses now turned toward interior and somehow disconnected from mental.
When this kind of backing becomes a habit for us, or even an automatism, we can say we really “undertake” without thus losing the state of witness. Then only we start concretely to feel that the world moving outside of us and our static conscience are not vexing and opposing one another. Then is possible to “act” as if you didn’t act and it is then possible to speak about an effort without effort or about a detached ardour which for others seems to be an extraordinary nonchalance. The effervescence maintains these spontaneously, the things keep on coming and going; we are inside and outside in the same time. Soon we will feel that there almost is no inside or outside; everything is something continuous without any hiatus. The sense of possessiveness disappears, same as the ones of distinguishing oneself, guiltiness or self respect. We don’t pose questions anymore, don’t search for justifications, and the ceaseless chattering of mental breaks off. The senses are working free now, and life continues with its beauties and horrors, but it no longer is that riotously sea swinging on its surface our little boat, risking to shatter it on the exteriority reefs. We could say we perfectly integrated in our being this sea which can no longer sink us henceforth, because we already are an integral unique part.
Tantric philosophy often insists on the non-doing of actions and on the idea of non-doing of doing, even explaining that living an action through non-action is a divine, concrete and extremely amazing reality. Such understanding of non-action is neither the negation, nor the contrary of action, nor a parody, nor an insidious praise for laziness. Then the non-action consists of a complete transformation of habits, which once becoming aware, instantaneously leads tot the continuity of the present or, by other words, out of temporality.
Pursuing to understand some may ask themselves: it is really the non-action a non-identification with all that is a part of the existential reality, a kind of witness position? And these witnesses state it is really the ultimate position which man can access in pursuit of his Self?
The tantric thinking often pursues to clearly separate “non-doing and doing” and “non-doing from act”. For some this statement could not be the most inspired. The non-doing is to be understood as a state of “to be”; it is thus impracticable because to rely on any exercise is devaluing and even annulling it. The state of non-doing in fact means the anchorage in an abolished time, in this perpetual present without any reference to the past or future. This doesn’t means at all that actions cease to go on, but due to the unconditioned offering of the RESULTS of the actions to GOD they don’t generate anymore personal consequences in future. They thus subscribe into the divine cosmic order and don’t ever draw those effects which usually feed and then condition the psycho-mental life of man, weaving and chaining his future. They have thus a sole function: to maintain the world. They don’t bring fruits to us anymore because they were already offered to GOD and just because of this, they are perfect.
Because for most of the people “not to do” remains inaccessible for their understanding and practice we’ll again use a subterfuge: we’ll anticipate practice, systematically exercising ourselves in the non-doing of acts. Because any particular action has its own non-doing, and the more they are, the more they contain a greater variety of non-doing. To sample this, in the tantric teachings there are given many examples of activities which, if practiced in such a opposing way, they could rapidly direct us toward a permanent state of non-doing. All these basically offer us a way to put ourselves almost always in an extraordinary state of availability. Nothing else.
This ideal position and also that of a witness that we previously referred to have a lot in common. In fact, under various forms and images the tantric thinking often refers to the same things.
9. Relating to the being spiritual center
Drawing back to the example of the wheel spinning round one Supreme centre, that we reach by revealing in our being the beatific void, we can say there are three ways to refer to this centre.
The first one consists of ignoring this Supreme centre, or considering it as negligible. For reason it is so abstract that even the idea it may exist could only raise in some situations but disdain. This is the ostrich attitude that sinks its head in the sand, attitude which is currently adopted by materialists and the lazy ones; this conception is that of dualism without the smallest conscious allusion.
The second one consists of setting oneself in the Supreme centre of the wheel, considered as the exclusive reality and the identification to it. In other words this implies to realize the transcendence. It represents in fact receding in the unconditioned consciousness, which is the solution already suggested by the vedantic non-dualism. We can of course be satisfied with this solution; once the witness consciousness is fixed, we can thus became the witness of the consciousness (because in fact this is what it is bout), which represents already a finality and a solution for liberation. But then we do nothing but concealing the wheel.
The third one, which belongs to tantrism, the most strict, is a global ending, a genial emancipation which doesn’t modify at all the world order and the reality of the “appearances”. This means thus to be situated in the Supreme centre of the wheel, it means to realize through direct revelation the Supreme Self (ATMAN), and then to observe in a detached way the wheel spinning without interrupting our activity (still unconditionally offering all the fruits of your actions to GOD) and also totally live the manifestation and the Supreme Self (ATMAN) as being permanently integrated into a total simultaneity. Then only all acts of wakefulness, dream and sleep, and finally even the moment of death, become acts of conscience and thus the coherence of “I am” is continuous.
Still we have to underline there is no term to fully, accurately define this ineffable immersion in the superior conscience where there is neither attention nor vigilance, which are then completely assimilated.
Indeed, here we have to realize that on one hand, the permanent attention, the continuity of this conscience of “to be” which we prove when we live the extremely refined sensation of “I am” and which leads to non-action – is preceding any notion, including the Absolute. It is thus the sole accessible reality, the sole important constant, the sole possibility of emancipation and spiritual liberation. But on the other hand, however essential it could be, it still persists to remain part of the experience domain. It is the subtle conscience of being witness of the Entire Consciousness. Here already there is no more experience, no more wish to reach some scope, no discipline attention, not even “I am”. Only the eternal present remains in an abolished time, without historical references or memory and it still perfectly and profoundly understands the world in its entire unfolding and in all its developments. The eternal present or the lonely presence. Everything is now in a complete order. Nothing changed, but now we finally know it.
Or, according to the great tantric philosopher of the Kaula school, in XI century, Abhinavagupta: “the plenary and non-differentiated living, in One (GOD), releasing the unfolding of separation, the multiple, this is the supreme achievement of a yogi”.
10. Exemplification: the Sexual continence
The tantric theory by no accident mentions multiple “stops” during passionate love making with no final discharge (EJACULATION). Many people ask themselves how to do for all these become genuine spiritual projections and escape the identification process, rather infernal by its irresistible hypnotic power. For the tantric initiated THE TRANSFIGURED AND ENDLESS LOVE IS A BEATIFIC EXPANSION THE TWO LOVERS, WHO BECAME THEN ONE, EXPAND THEMSELVES FROM THE FINITE TOWARD THE INFINITE.
Tantric philosophy has always considered that appealing to an ascetic attitude never leads to total unconditioning and it obstructs the appearance of real spontaneity.
Nevertheless, there is some effort previously required to transmute our sexual potential into energy and then it is absolutely necessary to purify and properly distribute the resulting energy to became able to attain liberation by means of it. To render it in some visionary manner we could say that in such ecstatic love making everything must happen by itself. At some extent these sublime processes of RESONANCE with the high spheres of love and divine harmony must somehow be unleashed, also with our help, in a united, transfigured and loving couple.
It is quite significant that in this respect tantric philosophers don’t speak of LOVE as a moral value, but only about the divine play of energies. Even during the passionate LOVE MAKING, always finalized in countless ecstatic orgasms, but which ends without discharge (EJACULATION), the redoubled attention exercise must be continued without interruption, without eagerness, and without any calculus, free but implacably.
The maximum amplified attention, especially during the passionate love making which ends without discharge, will spontaneously extend as by itself when the plenary conscience will awake and impose in us. In doing so it will always enhance inside of us gradually. But to accelerate the apparition of this moment we mostly need this kind of attention, because it can be incredibly helpful.
A very easy method in this respect is to stop at times and focus during our fusions; the stops will be short in the beginning, 10-20 times, not more than 1-2 minutes each. There cannot exist during our love making any internal or external constraint so pressing for us not to afford these short moments when we pursue to be as much ATTENTIVE on us; we will long to remember of self. We will then offer us and our lover short moments of immobility and total attention when we become very much aware of our breath, which will became miraculously calm and rhythmic and we will then touch the background state of silence. These moments of SPONTANEOUS and FLASHING stops aim just like other things, to interrupt the normal flowing of time and they also remove the propensity to restlessness, and finally set in our being a state of void.
If we constantly practice these SPONTANEOUS and FLASHING stops of our activities, which will be particularly applied during love making, the best moments being those when both lovers are drawing close to orgasm, we will can thus avoid the discharge (EJACULATION) and at a certain moment we will get access to the un-expugnable citadel of the profound Supreme Self (ATMAN), the ultimate centre of wheel, the cyclone eye. This ineffable state of stability will then gradually become precise, until it will became constant and will install in our being an unshakeable equilibrium, able to hinder for ever any emotional drift. We will then easily learn through practice to employ all means that may help us as vehicles. If we apply this technique and improve our transmutation and sublimation process we will soon use for our spiritual awakening the very paroxysms that would otherwise swallow us. But now we will perfectly control them and thus we’ll “ride the tiger”.
After a few months only anyone will realize that the ample and intense moments of sexual pleasure, (NEVER FOLLOWED BY DISCHARGE (EJACULATION)) as well as those of pain, surprise, courage, danger, mystery, adventure, contain a formidable and ineffable power of propulsion, on condition that we know how to properly sublimate and conduct them at all levels of our being. To attain these we must first of all learn to swim in the storm. We’ll thus discover that the peaks of these paroxysms contain beatific voids which are also some mysterious passages toward the great opening of non-action. Gradually, through these revelations we’ll realize that in this world where everything is driven by the law of discontinuity, the small interstitial spaces between the action sequences actually represent those fissures where we have to jump without fear in order to reach the transcendence. The eternal present is there. As soon as we attain (by constantly enforcing these ideas) the first ecstatic states we’ll be amazed to realize that reaching the illumination doesn’t necessarily require to engage ourselves in huge and spectacular actions.
Committing ourselves full of enthusiasm on this path, we have to understand that the dangerous routine can be changed, only through lucid and detached observation, into a conscious habit; but this implies a radical inversion. Then, after we really accomplished these, we’ll continue to remain detached and will let thoughts flow on…
The specific tantric methods and techniques, not only the erotic ones, will fully help you (if firmly and correctly practiced) to realize that in this respect, A OUNCH OF PRACTICE IS WORTH TONES OF THEORY. As a final advice, it is very important to always keep in your sight that in TANTRA, THE MASTER WILL ONLY BE HE OR SHE THAT PUTS INTO PRACTICE).