What's New with My Site?
EMOTIONAL: Feelings As Motivators
Beloved, what do you want of me?
I contain all that was, and that is, and shall be,
I am filled with the all.
Take of me all you please --
if you want of myself, I'll not say no.
Tell me, beloved, what you want of me --
I am Love, who am filled with the all:
what you want,
we want, beloved --
tell us your desire nakedly.
Feelings are among our most powerful motivators of behavior. Often we know what we should do, but compulsively instead we do what we want to do. In other words, we do what we feel like; we follow our desires. There are many ways this human desire gets expressed, both healthy and unhealthy patterns of relating and adapting, especially to our psychosexual nature.
The feeling centers of the brain are the limbic system, and in particular the amygdala, the seat of emotional intelligence. The brain chemistry and memory encoding that go on here govern everything but our logical intellectual lives. It is this emotional part of the brain that hypnosis targets to induce trance, reprogram cues or reframe memories.
We rely not only on intuition, but our visceral reactions to inform us how we feel. Sometimes the head wants to do things the body doesn't or vice versa. The same energy of yearning desire that has motivated great literature, poetry and art also informs the emotional aspect of sacred sexual practices. At its ideal, it leads toward intensely intimate commitment.
Devotional feelings and sexual ardor have motivated poets from time immemorial. The history of erotic literature is as old as that of the written history of mankind. From the ancient Mesopotamians to Egypt, to Sappho and the Greeks, to the Persians, Indians, and Chinese the paeons to desire and eroticism are innumerable. Even the Bible contains erotic poetry, the Song of Solomon.
In the Arab world, poetry was a high art. In the poetic masterpiece, The Thousand and One Nights, Scheharazade proved that poetry can be even more powerful than the act of love, and became Queen. Thus, we see the power of imagination and the promise of romance can be embodied in poetry. It can also express spiritual yearning in the imagery of love as expressed by mystic poets such as Rumi, Hafiz, and Mira.
Poetry in particular lends itself to expressing the imagery and rhythmic pulsations of human yearning for the Beloved. In contemporary life the romantic offerings most often proferred include the single rose, candy, and a romantic poem or song, preferrably original and dedicated to the object of one's attraction.
An ancient Egyptian text known as the Turin Papyrus offers proof that a culture of love play flourished under the pharoahs. Blue Lotus was used as an aphrodisiac and can often be seen hovering over the heads of Egyptian lovers in their erotic art, indicating the altered state of arousal. Blue Lotus has been shown to have a mildly narcotic property, possessing bioflavinoids similar to Ginko Biloba extract. As a tonic it stimulates blood flow like Viagra. Lotus flowers have also been suggested as a psychoactive ingredient in the Soma potion of India. Khadiravani Tara holds a blue lotus in both her hands.
Egyptian poetry was very natural and direct. Poetically, "to marry" rather than to wed meant to "make" a woman free of all constraint. They also practiced occult sexual rites, but most of these formulae were destroyed by Diocletian. In their vernacular, "sister" and "mistress" were synonymous, rather than meaning the real sister. Resplendent stanzas like this speak directly to the point:
the sister speaks out
more than fifteen times
while the brother speaks up
A beautiful poem, written at Memphis and Thebes from 1500 B.C. maintains it evocative power today. [As quoted in Kenneth Anger's A History of Eroticism] The lovers speak directly to one another:
What moment is more beautiful?
I am with you
and you swell my heart.
Seize me and caress me
each time you enter my house
is that not the pleasure?
When you seek to hold
my hips and breasts
never let them go!
Magnificent is the day of our mating.
The hundred thousand and the millions cannot compare.
O my god, my friend...
It is sweet for me to plunge...
And bathe myself before you...
Letting you see my beauty,
in my tunic of royal linen
when it clings damply.
Ah! Come, look at me!
Your love has penetrated all my being
Like honey poured in water
Like perfume filled with spice
As when our juices mix...
...because heaven draws up its lover
like the rush of flame in straw
And my desire is like a vulture plunging.
Fiery is my blood.
My sister's mouth is a burning bud
Her breast, an apricot of love
Her arm, a living branch
Leading to a secret place.
You want to leave because you're hungry?
Is that really you! your belly's slave?
You want to leave to cover up?
But I've sheets on the bed!
You want to leave because you're thirsty!
Then take my breast.
All it hold runs over for you.
My heart was everything for your love
And as I ran to find you
My tresses came undone.
My heart desires you (O my brother)
And for you I'll fulfill every wish
I'll be lively in your embrace!
Fetish was traditionally defined as an object having magical power, an object or idea that elicited unquestionable reverence, respect, or devotion. Psychologically it is any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation. It is linked to charm and sorcery.
Why does one chose this lifestyle? Is it fantasy, reality, fashion, eroticism, mystery, or all of the above? How does fetish wear place an otherwise conventional person in an unrestricted "zone"? Why do people transform themselves with alter egos? Superficially fetish can be seen as a form of entertainment rather than an obliging lifestyle -- but why this style over others? It is a character fiction with an erotic twist.
Fetish now falls into two broad categories: the old pathologies and the "just having fun" of the new fetish culture which is pushing the limits of what is socially acceptable. Fetish has become widely embraced in popular culture through such forms as tattooing, piercing, scarification, and fashion. It has reached the proportions of a fad and many engage in it in an attempt to follow the wave, rather than as an independent inner calling. Originally, much of the fetish gear and markings which have become so popular had a ritual, symbolic or spiritual meaning. Today, those meanings are largely idiosyncratic.
Fetish gear and clubs are found in many cities, and the accoutrements are widely available online. Fake tattoos are as popular as real ones, and all other forms of body art, such as mendi and other body painting allow a person to express themselves and show their uniqueness within a craze that would mark all with a similar appeal. It allows the extrovert and exhibitionist to show off, often without fulfilling the promise of the advertisement. But it almost always gets them the attention they crave for whatever reasons. The line has been blurred between what is perverse or pornographic and what is merely trendy.
Sub-cultures exert an odd sort of push-pull attraction that is nearly impossible to resist and which leaves no quester for ambivalent responses. One is either fascinated or repulsed. There is no middle ground. Relative to "mainstream" society, sub-cultures function like the unconscious components of personality. According to Jungian psychology, the subconscious is key to primal symbologies, or archetypes. And it is fundamental to our human condition that each of us arose from the synergy of sexual activity. Humanity's vaunted cerebral and spiritual nobility is stoked by the flames of basic wet biology. Sex exerts a mysterious power far beyond rational control. It can either elevate to metaphysical levels of cosmic proportions or be disgustingly down to earth.
Pathologies as well as true love can motivate the desire for an idealized love relationship. Narcissism can negatively motivate a quest for the ultimate or ideal love object and experience. The narcissism of the "Me Generation" is infamous, but the pathology runs deeper through the psyche than mere selfishness, indulgence or vanity. Its a personality disorder, though this term is often applied to simple self-absorption. We all love ourselves, but the soul of a true narcissist harbors a deep secret: they do not truly love themselves and are therefore incapable of truly loving others.
According to the legend of Narcissus, this Greek boy fell in love with his own reflection in a pond. Presumably, this amply sums up the nature of his namesakes: "narcissists". The mythological Narcissus was punished by the nymph Echo. How apt. Narcissists are punished by echoes and reflections of their problematic personalities up to this very day.
The narcissistic are said to be in love with themselves. But this is a fallacy. Narcissus is not in love with HIMSELF. He is in love with his REFLECTION, not his "True" Self and reflected-self. Loving your true self is a healthy, adaptive and functional quality. Loving a reflection has two major drawbacks. One is the dependence on the very existence and availability of a reflection to produce the emotion of self-love.
The popular misconception is that narcissists love themselves. In reality, they direct their love to second hand impressions of themselves in the eyes of beholders. He who loves only impressions is not acquainted with the emotion of loving humans and is, therefore, incapable of loving them. He loves no humans – and, first and foremost, he does not love himself.
But the narcissist does possess the in-bred desire to love and to be loved. If he cannot love himself – he has to love his reflection. But to love his reflection – it must be loveable. Thus, driven by the insatiable urge to love (which we all possess), the narcissist is grossly preoccupied with projecting a loveable image of himself unto others. This image has to be compatible with his self-image (the way he “sees” himself).
It has to be maintained through the investment of a reasonable proportion of the resources and energy of the narcissist. An image, which would take most of the narcissist's time and energy to preserve, would be highly ineffective because it would render him vulnerable to external threats. But the most important characteristic of such an image should be its loveability.
To a narcissist, love is interchangeable with other emotions, such as awe, respect, admiration, or even mere attention. An image, which provokes these reactions in others – is both "loveable and loved", as far as the narcissist is concerned. It satisfies his basic requirement: that it should give him something to lovewhich would feel like self-love. The more successful this image (or series of successive images) – the more the narcissist becomes divorced from his True Self and married to the image.
The narcissist does have this central nucleus of a "self" but he prefers his image – with which he identifies himself unreservedly – to his self. A hierarchy is formed. The self becomes serf to the Image. This is exactly the opposite of the common notions concerning narcissists. The narcissist is not selfish – his self is paralysed.
He is not tuned exclusively to his needs. On the contrary: he ignores them because many of them conflict with his omnipotent and omniscient image. He does not put himself first – he puts his self last. He caters to the needs and wishes of everyone around him – because he craves their love and admiration. It isthrough their reactions that he acquires a sense of distinct self. In many ways he annuls himself – only to re-invent himself through the look of others. He is the person most insensitive to his true needs.
The narcissist consumes his mental energy incessantly in this process. He drains himself. This is why he has no energy to dedicate to others. This fact as well as his inability to love human beings in their many dimensions and facets – transform him into a mental recluse. His soul is fortified and in the solace of this newly found fortification he guards its territory jealously and fiercely. He protects what he perceives toconstitute his independence.
Why should people indulge the narcissist? And what is the "evolutionary", survival value of preferring one kind of love (directed at a symbol, an image) to another (directed at one's self)?
Why should people indulge the narcissist, divert time and energy, give him attention, love and adulation? The narcissist's answer is simple: because he is entitled to it. The narcissist has an inflated sense of entitlement. He feels that he deserves whatever he succeeds to extract from others and much more. Actually, he feels betrayed, discriminated against and underprivileged because he always feels that he is not getting enough, that he should get more than he does. There is a discrepancy between his infinite certainty that his is a special status worthy of eternally recurrent praise and adoration, replete with special benefits and prerogatives – and the actual state of his affairs. This is the prima causa of the psychodynamics of the narcissist's mind. To the narcissist, this status of uniqueness is bestowed upon him not by virtue of his achievements, but merely because he exists. His mere existence is sufficiently unique to warrant the kind of treatment that he expects to get from the world. Herein lies a paradox, which haunts the narcissist: he derives his sense of uniqueness from the very fact that he exists and he derives his sense of existence from his belief that he is unique.
Narcissists do hold high positions and, at times, are achievers with proven track records. Some of them are respected members of their communities, some of them even leaders. Mostly, they are dynamic and successful. Still, one thing separates them from persons of similar circumstance: the pomp.
The narcissist is forced to use other people in order to feel that he exists. It is through their eyes and
through their behaviour that he obtains proof of his uniqueness and grandeur. He is a habitual
"people-junkie". He seems not to mind the consequences of his acts: the damage and the pain that he inflicts on others and even the social condemnation and sanctions that he often has to endure. A personality whose very existence is a derivative of its reflection in other people's minds – is perilously dependent on these people's perceptions. They are the source of its NARCISSISTIC SUPPLY.
Every shred of criticism and disapproval is interpreted as a withholding of this supply and as a direct threat to the very mental existence of the narcissist. In a curious reversal of roles – the narcissist blames others for his behaviour, accuses them of provoking him and believes firmly that "they" should be penalised accordingly. There is no way to dissuade the narcissist once he has embarked on one of his temper tantrums. Apologies – unless accompanied by verbal or other humiliation – are not enough. The fuel of his rage is consumed mainly by vitriolic verbal send-offs directed at the (often imaginary) perpetrator of the (oft imaginary) offence.
The narcissist – wittingly or not – utilises people to buttress his self-image and self-worth. As long and as much as they are instrumental in achieving these goals – he holds them in high regard, they are valuable to him. He sees them only through this lens. This is a result of his inability to love humans: he lacks empathy, he thinks utility, and he reduces others to mere instruments. If they cease to "function", if – no matter how inadvertently – they cause him to doubt this illusory, half-baked, self-esteem – they become the subject of a reign of terror. These rapid alterations between absolute overvaluation to complete devaluation of others make the maintenance of long term interpersonal relationships all but impossible.
The more pathological form of narcissism – the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – was defined as
An inflated valuation of oneself (exaggeration of talents and achievements, demonstration of presumptuous self-confidence);
Interpersonal exploitation (uses others to satisfy his needs and desires, expects preferential treatment without undertaking mutual commitments);
Possesses expansive imagination (externalises immature and non-regimented fantasies, "prevaricates to redeem self-illusions");
Displays supercilious imperturbability (except when the narcissistic confidence is shaken), nonchalant, unimpressed and cold-blooded;
Defective social conscience (rebels against the conventions of common social existence, does not value personal integrity and the rights of other people).
An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or in behaviour), a need for admiration and a marked lack of empathy which starts at early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.
At least 5 of the following should be present for a person to be diagnosed as suffering from NPD:
Possesses a grandiose sense of self-importance (for example: exaggerates his achievements and his talents, expects his superiority to be recognised without having the commensurate skills or achievements);
Pre-occupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance and beauty or of ideal love;
Believes that he is unique and special and that only high status and special people (or institutions) could understand him (or that it is only with such people and institutions that it is worth his while to be associated with);
Demands excessive and exceptional admiration;
Feels that he is deserving of exceptionally good treatment, automatic obeisance of his (usually unrealistic) expectations;
Exploitative in his interpersonal relationships, uses others to achieve his goals;
Lacks empathy: is disinterested in other people's needs and emotions and does not identify with them;
Envies others or believes that others envy him;
isplays arrogance and haughtiness.
We can safely say that the Narcissist's family is as severely disordered as he is.The two most important mechanisms are: First, the mechanism of self-deception. Second is the mechanism of over-valuation (idealization) and devaluation. The dual roles of sadist and punished masochist (Superego and Ego), parent and child - permeate, then invade and then pervade all the of the narcissist’s interactions with others. The narcissist experiences a reversal of roles as his relationships progress. At the beginning of every relationship he is the child in need of attention, approval and admiration. He becomes dependent. Then, at the first sign of disapproval (real or imaginary), he becomes an avowed sadist, punishing and inflicting pain.
Such a person possesses a set of values and standards - but he forever looks for ideal external figures from whom he aspires to derive the affirmation and the leadership that his insufficiently idealized Superego cannot supply. He exploits people, sometimes unintentionally, but always ruthlessly and mercilessly. He uses them to obtain confirmation of the accuracy of his grandiose self-portrait. The sensation of "being unique or special" is of paramount importance. A person feels indispensable, one of a kind, in a loving relationship. His uniqueness is reflected by his spouse and this provides him with an "independent, external and objective" affirmation of his special-ness.
A healthy person "uses" people around him to confirm his sense of distinctiveness – but he does not over-dose or over-do it. Feeling unique is to him of secondary importance. He derives the bulk of it from his well-developed, differentiated Ego. The clear-cut boundaries of his Ego and his thorough acquaintance with a beloved figure – his self – are enough.
The narcissist employs one or more of the following mechanisms in a loving relationship (say, in a marriage) ("he"-read: "he or she"):
He "merges" with his spouse/mate and contains him/her as a symbol of the outside world. He exerts absolute dominion over the spouse (again in her symbolic capacity as The World). These two mechanisms come in lieu of the healthier form of relationship wherein the two members of the couple are a unity of two distinct entities. They maintain their distinctiveness while, at the same time, creating a new "being of togetherness". He replicates his Ego in every possible manner and, at times, without "justification". He becomes addicted to publicity, displays graphomaniacal tendencies and ignores information, advice and criticism to the contrary. In extreme cases, the narcissist resorts to hallucinations, even to psychotic micro-episodes. The latter sometimes occur with the Borderline or the Paranoid Personality Disorders. The narcissist can also form hermetic social circles, which share his delusions ("Pathologic Narcissistic Space"). The function of these social cohorts is to serve as a psychological entourage, "objectifying" the feeling of self-importance and the illusions of grandeur harboured by the sick individual.
The narcissist finds a spouse, exposes himself, seeks publicity, gets involved with new social circles willing to accommodate his need for "Narcissistic Supply". This sense of urgency causes the suspension of all judgement. In these circumstances, the narcissist is likely to misjudge the qualities and abilities of a prospective spouse, the quality of his own work, or his status within his social circles. He is liable to make indiscriminate use of all his psychological (defence) mechanisms to justify this hot pursuit, foremost the mechanisms of rationalisation and intellectualisation.
The narcissist is a total person. His frame of reference is nothing less than posterity and the entirety of the human race. His uniqueness must be immediately and universally recognised. It must (potentially, at least) be knowable by everyone at all times – or it loses its allure. The narcissist obeys a threshold condition -- all or nothing.
For many people, relationships are the most rewarding and sometimes the most challenging and painful of human experiences. Our first role models for relationships are usually our parents. And, before you decide to blame your parents for your failed relationships remember, they got their relationship “software” from their parents who got theirs from their parents, and so on. Blaming your parents or others for your relationship difficulties just reinforces the problem. When you blame others for your problems you establish and/or reinforce a victim mentality at the subconscious level. This program says that other people and forces control your life. With beliefs like that you can see why you attract people and situations that make life difficult. The subconscious mind is simply programmed to recognize and attract what is familiar, not necessarily what is desirable. When you list all the qualities you want in a relationship partner be sure you possess those qualities yourself in order to attract them!
Folie à deux [fä l´ a doo´] Psychology. The simultaneous occurrence of the same mental disorder in two people who are closely associated, when one appears to have influenced the other. (From French; "double insanity.") Similarly, folie à trois, folie à quatre. Shared psychotic disorder (Folie à Deux); a variety of dissociative behavior. Delusion develops in a person in the context of a close relationship with someone who has an already established delusion; Similar content to delusion; Not due to another mental disorder. Not due to medical, neurological or substance-induced disorder
Excerp from The Modern Alchemist, by Miller and Miller:
Your identification with objects, your roles, other people, and your possessions may border on what is known as participation mystique. It is a way of being involved with externals to the point where they seem to exert a magical effect over you. If you use people or objects to mood-alter yourself, they possess you, and you can't possibly relate to rationally. You have literally invested your energy in something other than yourself...and have given a piece of yourself away.
Mutual projections by lovers can result in all sorts of folly and shared delusions. Frequently people fall in love with those who have traits they would like to actualize in themselves. Instead of manifesting that, we let the other carry those qualities and try to patch the hole in our wholeness. This counter-projection can result in the syndrome of folie a deux, or the "madness of two." This accounts for the "just us against the world" mentality. Any psychological deviation of one is condoned and reinforced in the other in a spiraling move away from consensus reality into isolation. A less radical version of this process happens for most who fall in love.
The delusion is usually within the real of possibility and often is based on past common experience. Their ability to deal with reality is undermind in favor of an escape into romantic fantasy and self-justification. This is much easier for weak egos. Mutual projection is also the basis of personality cults, but the roles are simply switched to teacher and disciple as Platonic lovers. There is an unconscious fascination, an enchantment, which comes from seeing yourself reflected in your beloved, whether it is true or not.
Another example of this fascination or participation mystique is the creation of talismans. Talismans are objectts you invest with seemingly magical powers to influence a situation. This is the basis of sympathetic magic. It accounts for the recent fad of using crystals as healing stones. It is fine if you use them to focus your creative imagination, but don't mistake the fact that it is your own investment of energy that brings the transformations rather than any inherent quality in the crystal. Belief systems perpetuate a mystery feeling that can lead to illusory convictions about the way things work.
When not of pathological character, shared folies still happen to us and are called "participation mystique" in Jungian psychology. They are the product of psychic contagion and when they are positive are the basis of the placebo effect, faith healings, shamanic healing, and psychotherepeutic healing.
What's New with My Subject?
Co-dependence and Interdependence
AND ITS RELEVANCE TO TANTRA
(c) 1993 Rose Dawn Scott, other sources as cited.
FIRST STEP: INTROSPECTION, SUBMISSIVENESS.
SECOND STEP: STIMULATION, EAGER CONTROL.
Everyone is familiar with fantasy; most people have direct experience with it, either during auto-erotic stimulation or during lovemaking itself.
The Tantric concept of fantasy is not so simple as conjuring up images in one's mind of *hot babes* or *studs*--and (groan ;>) it takes lots of practice. This practice should be begun after attaining at least a fair degree of control over breath, mantra, and meditation. It involves visualization-- imagination on a mundane level, but raised to such a level that it becomes truth. And ('nother groan ;>) this type of fantasy-meditation should be undertaken by the beginner *alone* and *without any direct sexual stimulation.*
Tantrikas, poets, artists, philosophers, and quantum physicists, when truly inspired and brilliant, have one thing in common: the ability to intuitively tap into creative levels of altered consciousness. Imagination in its mundane form would be such as sitting around thinking about how great it would be if one got the Lotto numbers correct, or wishing for things that seem out of reach. The honed, conscious practice of creative imagination is called 'inner vision' by Yogic philosophers of old; it is held that when one *thinks visually* rather than yaddita-yaddita mental chatter mode, contact is made with the Source of creativity, wisdom, and transformation.
According to the Kena-Upanisad: "Through knowledge of the Self we obtain power; through inner vision we obtain Eternity." This is a way of expressing that *acquired* knowledge; that taught by a guru or learned from books, will certainly awaken the true Self; however, only through going deep within one's own mind and heart, can the truth be grasped--acquired knowledge transformed into Knowledge.
Tantric masters throughout history have focused on the inner vision's cultivation and perfection as a twofold process: open introspection of images as they come to mind (submissive), and eager stimulation of imagination through visualization (compassionately dominant). The foundation of the twofold process is the foundation that encompasses the entire universe, from beginning to end: expansion and contraction.
All matter expands and contracts. Siva and Sakthi represent contraction and expansion, respectively; or it may be more accurate to say that these are *aspects* of Siva/Sakthi. Everything born or created expands, and then contracts, over and over again. Atoms, compounds, inorganic and organic life forms, individual men and women, stars, suns, and entire galaxies all have the expansion/contraction nature. During sexual acts, expansion and contraction are rather fundamental!
Seemingly contradictory to the principal of expansion/contraction at first glance, although completely in accord with it, upon deeper examination, is the belief that all phenomena is *empty* by its very nature. The primordial form of emptiness is the primal force of perpetual nothingness, the tension in the moments directly before Creation; continues its existence within the void; and is the source of blissful consciousness. Tantra assigns no negative qualities to this 'emptiness,' but teaches that in order for emptiness to be experienced, consciousness must be put into effect.
Later Tantric doctrines, approximately 2nd Century A.D., taught of the threefold interaction of emptiness--consciousness--bliss. No matter what internal or external object the mind chooses to focus upon, it *must* be taken through the three steps in order. First, recognize the 'emptiness' in the object of contemplation. Emptiness is the space element, or the 'ether,' and permeates all matter, and is greater than all the other elements. Most of the universe is made up of empty space; atoms are largely empty space; and even the human physical body could be seen as a vast void, filled with small concentrations of energy-vibration. Emptiness also dominates the conscious mind much of the time. However, when taken further and deeper, the mind's emptiness is found to be filled with consciousness--from the sub- and un- conscious mind, and with bliss, when one-pointedness and control have been found.
A great Tantric teacher, Aryadeva (*his name meaning slave of Arya, or more probably, of Indra, ancient Vedic war-god who protected the Aryans*), has spoken thus about the mind: "Just as a clear, brilliant gem is colored by the shade of other objects around it; so is the gem of the mind colored by the shade of inner vision."
A simple beginning exercise has been prescribed and handed down directly through generations of Tantric spiritual teachers and their students; a description follows:
Sit in Padmasana (full lotus) or lie on the back, arms at sides, palms turned up, as in Savasana (corpse pose). Breathe fully and deeply, blowing out all stale air, drawing vital prana in and down, expanding first the abdomen, then the ribcage, and finally the throat; then releasing the breath in the opposite manner. Concentrate the mind completely on each body part in turn. Tense the body (contraction), then relax completely (expansion). One the body feels harmonious and at ease, be still, slow the breathing, and focus on the mantra of your own breath-pattern.
Concentrate, deeply and fully, on the body. See it as completely empty, see it as the Ether, the farthest reaches of space and time. Empty. A vacuum. See only the outer body, the skin. Hold the picture of your outer body firmly in your consciousness, recognizing it as inherently empty. Then, when you inhale, 'see' the skin expand; and when you exhale, see it contract. Remain detached, use your 'inner eye' or intuitive visualization to observe calmly but with deepening awareness, the picture of your body expanding and contracting.
Next, recognizing that the body is microcosm of the universe, and that the universe expands and contracts, see yourself as a mirror of the universe. Become absorbed therein. Your heartbeat IS the center of the Universe, wherein dwells Brahma, 'in the cave of the heart,' the innermost Self of the void. Then see Brahma, the Creator aspect, open his mouth and speak The Word: AUM. Rays of light flow from his mouth with the word; filling the emptiness within. AUM dwells also within the cave of the heart. See it there. Know, know, KNOW that the Brahma aspect within yourSelf is NO DIFFERENT from the Brahma aspect of cosmology.
Having connected with Brahma, within microcosm and microcasm at once, fill yourSelf with inner visions of creation. The microcasm is filled with elements and energies, hot/cold, fire/water, peaks and planes and oceans; volcanoes, deserts, forests, and hills; rivers, gardens, and temples. So, too, is the microcosm, the body. From the heart chakra, focus your full concentration on emanating rays of effulgent light to the outer surface of the body.
See the contours of the body as hills and valleys, the hair as a forest or field, the right eye as the sun, the left eye as the moon. The arteries and veins are oceans and rivers, carrying the holy sanctified waters of your own blood. The internal organs are sanctuaries and temples. The spine is Mt. Meru, the brain the peak of the mountain.
Contemplate the subtle body with its subtle channels, then see the Kundalini at the base of Mt. Meru, ready to begin her eternal ascent and descent. See the inner sun at the solar plexus (power) chakra; the inner moon at the hairline between third-eye and crown chakras. While visualizing thus, remember Brahma at the heart chakra. *See Brahma create each of these, as he created the phenomenal universe*
Of course, although this is a simple, starting exercise, it will take much practice to achieve this degree of one-pointed, concentrated visualization. Remember: simple does not mean easy! Continue practicing, attempting to further your progress a little bit each time. It may come quickly or slowly, but if you continue with sincerity and regularity, it *will* come.
Once you have been able to see the subtle body, with Brahma creating the microcosm and microcasm from within yourSelf, then take another step further.
Upon inhalation, see the vital Prana enter the body from the center of the outer universe. Upon retention, visualize the primordial Brahma-Creator-aspect divide himself into the five life currents, which illuminate and sustain the soul, control the body, and hone the senses. Each current has its own color, bodily function, and sense faculty. They are:CURRENT COLOR BODILY FUNCTION SENSEThe qualities assigned to each life current are deliberately bizarre, at first glance, even disgusting if taken literally. They are purposely designed this way: the more difficult the correspondences, the more full and productive the concentration required. Once this has been mastered, you'll truly be on your way!
PRANA blue-green, Circulation and Smell
as in an respiration
UDANA Red-violet Swallowing and Touch
pleasant, unpleasant, or
ears, sweat, semen, urine,
With consistent, regular practice, you will be able to evoke the inner vision at Will. Expand and contract your own i sing and decreasing the scale. Hills and valleys become enormous mountains and vast, yawning canyons; rivers and rain become huge, churning oceans and torrential downpours. And vice versa. Link your emotions and qualities to the inner visions. Assign them characteristics, and focus upon them thusly.
Imagine that your physical body is the entire universe, then contract it to the size of a single atom. Seek further perfection, always! The Self, when expanded and contracted in this manner, becomes more concentrated, more controlled, and increasingly evolutional and transcendental.
The Tantric text Prajnopaya, describes this process thusly: "One must proceed in such a way that the mind doth never swerve; for when a jewel-like mind swerves from the transcendental unity and lapses into contraries and irrelevancies, perfection cannot be attained."
Ha! Finally, we get to the *erotic* aspects of visualization. During auto-erotic stimulation, foreplay, or actual lovemaking, this can be used as an exercise, controlled and directed.
The *active* partner, be that male or female, must fill the mind with inner vision as glyphs of the Siva-Lingam: raging, celestial fire, mountains reaching high and ever-solid, volcanoes erupting forcefully. The *passive* partner, again, whether male or female, should fill the mind's inner vision with glyphs of the primordial Sakthi-Yoni: valleys, rivers, pools, softness.
If one is practicing this exercise solo, alternate: keeping only the Lingam-symbols in the mind; then alternating with only yoni- symbols. I emphasize: the Tantras do not say that one must never fantasize about 'babes' or 'studs,' or that one must never engage in lovemaking for simple pleasure, physical release, or plain ol' horniness. The Tantric exercises outlined here, and in all other texts herein, are tools for attaining the transcendental. Although to an unpracticed mind, these practices and images sound like real yawners, I believe you'll find that, if practiced to the ultimate of one's ability, they will become powerful stimulating erotic images, which lift sexual arousal to new heights, serving as a connective agent from physical longing, to spiritual longing; from physical release to cosmic release. There is nothing in this world or the next, like Tantric orgasm.
The Swetaswa-Tara Upanisad states that forms will appear, unbidden and spontaneous, in the 'mind's eye' in the moment before the final vision of resolution: "First a mist, then smoke, a sun, wind, fireflies, a fire, lightning; then clear gemstones, then a moon."
"After one has meditated upon Brahma, visualize the Supreme Yogi and his Cosmic Consort, with all the force of one's soul. By constantly knowing: AUM TAT SAT, This is I, one becomes Siva or Sakthi. A complete consecration of oneSelf takes place after the offering of this flower to oneSelf: 'I am god: all instruments of worship, be they food, perfume, incense, flowers, become divine through my recognition of them as such. I am the abode of god. I *am* goam.' Thus should one meditate, bringing everything to god and god to god, making all pure and eternal through the recreation of god in oneSelf." --KALIKA PURANA
Thou art Siva. I am Sakthi. Thou art Sakthi. HUMSA. SOHAM.
D. Yogini Padma Ushas Suryananda, other sources as cited.
(c) 1993 Rose Dawn Scott, other sources as cited.
Rapport is an empathetic or sympathetic relation or connection with another. It is experiencing the world through the same portal as the person you're communicating with. Rapport doesn't require understanding. Sharing rapport is like jumping inside another's nervous system and suddenly understanding the way they make sense of reality. Rapport is the ability to bond instantly with others. In rapport like attracts like. Rapport reverses the axiom that opposites attract.
When the initial challenge of opposite attraction wears off, we're left with someone who thinks, acts and behaves unlike what we consider the norm. Consequently, that means someone who will mostly be out of sync or rapport with us. Look no further for the cause of broken relationships.
If you are involved with someone and a good part of the time you don't understand each other, you are out of rapport. And if you are out of rapport, the chances of your relationship surviving are slim to none. In fact, the duration of your relationship may be a testament to your persistence and grim intention. If you happen to fall in love with a person with whom you have no rapport, you are in a no-win situation, destined for failure.
If you want to love someone who see things differently, or you want to sell yourself or your ideas to those whose maps of the territory are not in alignment with yours, you will have to do something you never consciously did before. That is, create rapport with them by being like them. People have rapport with others because of the reflection of themselves they perceive.
When we "fit" well with someone we are more at ease than with someone who is incongruent with us. We must relearn our communications strategies so that we relate to others in a manner that fits their map of the world. That is what rapport is all about, (Brooks, 1989). Rapport is the foundation of successful, unencumbered communication. It is essential to being an understanding and empathetic partner and an exciting and satisfying lover.
Trust is generally earned, rather than just given in relationship. We learn to trust one another as we find support and nourishment, and esteem-enhancing behavior emanating from our partner toward us. It comes from being congruent in the relationship, where what we say and espouse mattches up with our behavior. In matters of trust we are only as good as our word -- our promises and our explanations.
VIRTUAL TANTRA reintroduces the safety, nurturing and fulfillment of the original Core Dyad, and allows us to return to the blissful "garden" which we inhabited prior to our sense of separation. Our trust of and empathic experience of another depends on our 'coupling' or 'pairing' with the other. It is enhanced by sensitivity to psychophysical cues from the other -- a rudimentary form of mind-reading. To be empathic implies intersubjective openness. This is the nature of empathy -- a dynamic feedback loop. We experience another person as a unfied whole through empathy...and the more whole we are within ourselves the more that perception is amplified. We transpose ourselves to the place of the Other.
Empathy in tantra occurs through the immediate 'pairing' or 'coupling' of the bodies of self and other in action. Through our mirror neurons we are paired in the biological depth of empathy, at the level of passive association of living bodies of self and other in embodied action. At the level of intentionality and conscious mood-matching and emulation and participation mystique we participate consciously in the tantric process.
The empathic grasping of another as animated by his or her own fields of sensation has been called 'sensual empathy' or 'sensing in.' It is a natural ability in all great lovers. The wider one's ability to sense-in pleasure the greater become the number of possibilities for fulfillment.
Emotions are our value feelings. We experience emotion only in regard to that which matters. Emotions mark importance, meaning. It is emotion or value feeling that makes one experientially aware of one's personal self, the depths of the 'I' from which emotions arise. Emotions, as value feelings, make possible the evaluation of oneself and the world. Emotions anchor us to the here and now. The ability to perceive how a situation affects the well being of all and react appropriately, meaningfully is the basic emotional faculty of empathy and the basis of morality. Values transcend personal concerns.
Learning to Be Spiritually Intimate
from the book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Kama Sutra Book
by Johanina Wikoff, Ph.D. and Deborah S. Romaine
Most people want intimacy and closeness in their
relationships. Couples whose relationships are coming
apart often complain that they wish their partners would be
more intimate. When couples come to the counseling
office and the therapist asks what intimacy means to them,
responses range from 'I want him to talk to me" to 'I want
her to watch me surf."
Perhaps, sadly, people fail to realize that it isn't the shared
space that makes you feel intimate. It isn't what you do
that creates an intimacy. It is the quality of your presence.
It is how much of yourself you share with your partner
when you are together. Do you offer your feelings and
thoughts, share insights and tenderness through
affectionate touching? Do you notice changes and
compliment your partner?
Intimacy and closeness are not the same. A couple may tell
the therapist that they have lots of closeness yet still don't
feel intimate. When the therapist asks them to describe
how they spend their time together, they rattle off a list of
activities that puts most social calendars to shame. They
share time going to movies, having dinner with friends,
watching television, attending the kids' soccer games. Their
favorite pastime, they may say, is to sit side-by-side on the
sofa and read. Clearly this couple, like so many others, has
plenty of closeness. They spend a lot of time in close
proximity, sharing activities and spending quality time
together. What they are missing, however, is intimacy.
"Into Me, You See"
Intimacy evolves in a relationship when we reveal
ourselves to one another. Look at the word intimacy -"into
me, you see." To be intimate with another person, we
must reveal ourselves to one another. When a relationship
is young, we share little bits of intimacy and take little
risks. Saying "I love chocolate, too" establishes a common
connection, but it isn't much of a risk. If one person says,
"Your loving me makes me aware of how I sometimes
don't feel like I deserve your love and don't always let you
in," that is putting your heart out there in a vulnerable way
that establishes an intimate connection.
To grow and feel more connected in an intimate
relationship, partners need to reveal themselves in a
vulnerable, undefended manner. When you expose your
fears to one another, your hearts soften and you can
continue to grow and evolve in an open, tender, and
dynamic relationship. If couples harden, withdraw, and
stop revealing themselves to each other, relationships
stagnate. Couples that adopt a 'let's not rock the boat"
attitude and play it safe miss out on the growing intimacy
that happens by revealing yourself to another. Those
couples who find themselves dining in silence are often not
at a loss for words, but rather they are unwilling to say the
difficult things that would bring them back into an intimate
connection. Rather than jeopardizing closeness, telling each
other the truth and saying what might be the hard things
usually brings couples closer because speaking of such
things clears the air between them. There are no unspoken
This fear of saying something that would shake things up
keeps couples locked out of real intimacy. Sure, this offers
shelter from disturbance and vulnerability. But it also
closes out passion and desire. In this 'no risk' zone, it's
tempting to turn to an erotic text like the Kama Sutra in
search of ways to revive faltering intimacy with exotic
techniques of pleasure. This will almost certainly
reinvigorate interest in sex. But each partner also must
again be willing to take the risks true intimacy requires.
Reuniting Sexuality and Spirituality
It is easy to see how the Kama Sutra includes emotional
intimacy as an important element of sexual loving. In
Vatsyayana's view, sexuality and spirituality are also
intertwined. Western perspectives are moving closer to this
unity of body and soul. During the past 40 years we have
begun to view sexual loving as a pleasurable way to
cultivate intimacy. More recently, we have started to see
that sexual loving is also a way to honor our longing for a
deeper and more profound spiritual connection to life.
Eastern writings such as the Kama Sutra, in which the
divine extends to the human experience through sexual
union, have encouraged Westerners to permit spirituality in
the bedroom, too.
Still, we remain self-conscious in our treatment of spiritual
intimacy and sexuality. We tend to think in terms of having
better sex rather than viewing a loving relationship as a
way to grow in self-knowing, acceptance, and compassion.
It is these qualities that we can develop in loving another
well that will allow us to bridge the differences that exist
between us. We can be sexual without being intimate. We
can have orgasmic, good-enough sex (which is all some of
us feel we dare ask). But do we feel intimately, spiritually,
connected in our lovemaking? Do we open our eyes and
see who it is that we are sharing our bodies and our love
The intimacy that we long for can be found when we are
fully, unconditionally present in our love play with our
beloved. When we make love without a goal of "getting off
or getting our beloved off" and focus on being present in
our breath, in our touch, in our open-eyed meeting of the
other, when we can share fear or joy during the height of
pleasure, when we participate with all of our being, and
when we risk being honest, then real intimacy is present in