(Continued from Hatha Yoga, Sex Rituals and Tantra’s Shadow)
“Wow,” you may be thinking. “A spiritual path where sex is seen as a path to the divine! Sign me up!” But here’s the catch. Firstly, Tantra as a whole does not support the actual practice of sexual rituals. Only one offshoot branch of Tantra does, and that is a branch not generally condoned as a viable path by Tantrism as a whole due to its inherent spiritual dangers. These dangers are part of the second catch.
Secondly, when a spiritual aspirant begins to look at matter and the body as vehicles for spiritual evolution and personal transformation, he begins to walk the razor’s edge journey to spiritual enlightenment. He must learn to discern between the ego’s tricky wanting and expansive evolution. He must learn to balance the relationship between Nature’s involutionary tendency, that is, the rootedness of being in form, and the evolutionary cosmic play as it unfolds spiritually.
A Tantric aspirant can easily either become overly mired in the pleasures of the physical and lose spiritual expansion, or he can become overly lofty, detached and ungrounded by the spiritual and lose the presence of the physical. Like a gracious balancing act, the Tantric yogi walks an extremely potent path that is both delicate and dangerous.
I agree with Georg Feuerstein who stresses the need for Tantric aspirants to find the guidance of realized masters. I could not list the number of people I have seen over the years in my teaching and healing work – beginner and advanced practitioners, even teachers – who feel they have found their path through Tantra, yet seem lost. Without a guru while on the Tantric path, one runs the risk of losing the plot altogether and sinking into the mire of seductive wanting.
I have met many people in the yogic world who expound wise teachings, but vibrate with constrictive and involutionary energies. Void of humility, openness, honesty and pure spiritual shakti, people can easily become trapped in the Tantric path. One must remember that a fully realized master is one who loves all beings equally and sees all beings equally. This is not the case in most leaders and teachers.
The ego is a tricky and hungry thing that has power only when we feed it. But sometimes – even often – we are unaware we are doing so. Just as a reptilian chameleon can change colour to blend with its surrounding, so too our ego can shift and fool us to suit our desires. We may think we are evolving when in fact we are unconsciously justifying our self-serving ego.
The ego can even quietly adjust to fool us, so that we think we are growing when we are actually becoming more attached. It can even feign enlightenment. A spiritual aspirant must be careful of this. Only when we have surrendered to the guidance of a fully realized master can we overcome this.
(Continues tomorrow with Funky Sex and Multiple Orgasms)