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PSYCHOLOGICAL: Romantic Concepts
thoughts as romantic concepts
mind - the primary sexual organ
sensuality and eroticism: tantric arts
psychological love types
alchemy of sex
coniunctio -- the union of opposites
notion of soul mates/twin-flames
O brothers and sisters,
you who have mastered the teaching --
If you recognize me,
Queen of the Lake of Awareness,
both emptiness and form,
know that I live in the minds
of all beings who live
in the body of mind
and the field of the senses,
that the twelve kinds of matter are only my bones and my skin.
We are not two,
yet you look for me outside;
when you find me within yourself,
your own naked mind,
that Single Awareness
will fill all worlds.
Then the joy of the One
will hold you like a lake --
its fish with gold-seeing eyes
will grow many and fat.
Hold to that knowledge and pleasure,
and the Creative will be your wings.
You will leap through the green meadows
of earthly appearance,
enter the sky-fields and vanish.
Thoughts as Romantic Concepts
As much, or maybe even more important than sex, is romance. Romance makes us feel desirable, loved, warm even hot. But romance means different things to different people. Ultimately, romance is an inner image, a gestalt of imagination and thought -- a romantic ideal -- a concept. And even a Romantic Concept is a thought.
The more we think a particular thought, the deeper we carve a groove in our minds, until only that can satisfy. We use thoughts to alter our moods. In particular, we often use romantic thoughts this way. When we want our partners to live up to or act out our romantic notions, we are projecting our anima or animus onto them -- hoping they can read our minds to create our personalized ecstasy.
When the experience is consciously co-created by equal partners in the romantic dance, the potential exists not only for fulfillment, but for enlightenment. Ultimately the Soul must untie its knot with the Mind to merge with the Divine -- at the moment of tantric rapture there is a complete and utter cessation of thoughts, profound stillness of mind, emptiness, and an influx of spiritual grace and Light.
Mind - the Primary Sexual Organ
The mind and imagination is the primary sensual organ we possess; the body only follows where the mind and its desires lead, for the head rules the heart. Therefore, Tantra is about control of the mind as much as of the body. Tantra is about total surrender, and letting go of all mental, emotional and social conditioning. Then universal life energy can flow unimpeded through us bringing its enlightening and revivifying effects. We let go to universal oneness -- to love, beyond fear.
Tantra is a way of weaving the sacred into the fabric of one's life -- the fabric of one's essential being, as well as sexuality. It is a mind-expanding, or psychedelic experience in itself. It expands our consciousness, liberates our consciousness. It is the synthesis of love and meditation, a deeply lived spiritual understanding of life, and harmony with the cosmos. This science of super-sexuality is a vehicle for achieving cosmic consciousness or unity with the Divine.
Properly channeled, sex is not a hindrance to enlightenment or divine Grace, but opens a new dimension of sacred sexuality, where God is love not fear. The Tantrikas call love Kama, and in the tantric vision it is unconditional and includes body, mind and spirit. We don't suppress but use our sexual energy to generate dynamic experience of Divinity at the personal level. It is poetically, an orgasm with the universe. We learn to make love with everything, to let go of all barriers to pure bliss.
Sex is not misused for manipulation. Sex is sacred when approached not from mind but from a unified heart and body. The mental processes are left behind and the essential Self, God/Goddess, comes to the fore. In this process, the body finds a new level of awakening. It is life-affirming and helps us release neurotic jealousies and dependencies. We find the relationship we seek without, within ourselves. Our sexual energy is used to kindle the Kundalini force and reach Godhead or Nirvana. Reconciliation of opposites leads to totality, deeper meaning, higher highs. When this energy is matched by a loving partner who also surrender to the process, both may achieve a cosmic orgasm, exalting and going far beyond the senses. Tantra celebrates life -- physical, mental, and spiritual.
Shiva and Shakti; Krishna and Radha
God and Sophia; God and Shekinah
Joseph Campbell called myth "a manifestation in symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the organs of the body in conflict with each other. This organ wants this, that organ wants that. The brain is one of the organs."
The significance of Shiva is that he is the reconciliation of all opposites. He is both creator and destroyer of all form. He is terrible and mild, good and evil, eternal rest and ceaseless activity.
His consort really is only a part of himself - his 'power' by which he creates, sustains, and destroys. In the Shakti cults of power, the 'power' itself is worshipped to the exclusion of Shiva himself. This power is the active, committed side of his nature. Shakti is the essence of bliss, love-power.
In the full figure of Shiva, male and female principles are united. Or, he is shown as half male and half female. His primary symbol of worship is the lingam, or phallus, which is always erect. Lingam and yoni together represent the totally of Nature and all created existence. The lingam is a natural symbol of supreme creative power. The Tantras teach there is a lingham within each yoni, reminding of our inherent androgyny.
In Sexual Secrets, Douglas and Slinger say, "Knowledge of Shiva, the Transcendental, permits passage through the doorway to other worlds. Identify with the vital mind energy of Shiva during tantric love-making. This will eventually cause an experience of transcendence beyond your normal worldly role or limitations. Shiva is experienced as a penetration into the depths of space, as being pulled out into the universe, beyond all knowable things and events." Those who experience this are described as heroic, enterprising, skillful, persevering, talented, contented and firm-minded.
Through the intimate union of Shiva and Shakti in ecstatic delight, the Jiva, the individual soul, becomes freed from the bondage of past lives. Then the couple can truly soar to the heights of liberation. This is symbolized as the serpent power kundalini, or in the west by the Cadeusus. The twin serpents twine together and open the center way, which kindles a mind-expanding then transcending influx of power in the top chakras, the Third Eye and the Crown.
Krishna, the eastern Dionysus, also embodies the same ecstatic mind-expanding state of spiritual liberation. He is eternally entwined with his consort Radha in blissful union. A western equivalent is the Gnostic myth of God and his mystic Sophia, divine Wisdom; also in the qabalistic version, God and Shekinah, the Bride who bring Kether or the Holy Spirit into Malkuth, or embodiment. Thus, are married Jews advised to make love every Friday night and bring Shekinah into the household by sharing their marital bliss.
Normally, our attention is attracted to the world through the mind and the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Once all the senses have been completely sated, there is a paradoxical shift toward the Void state. In order to realize our true self, we have to invert our attention and enter the inner realms. To do so, our attention must be collected at a point from where the soul can enter the regions beyond. This point is the seat of the soul in the body, located between and behind the two eyebrows.
Anima/Animus - the Syzygy
In the creation myths of many cultures, Primordial Wholeness divides into polarized aspects. The Syzygy indicates this archetypal coupling that is echoed in Tantric Rites, where one aspect is never separated from the other. In the "impersonal" aspect of lunar experience, the Great Goddess is never separated from her masculine Son-Lover. One implies the other for wholeness. They exemplify the soul-spirit relationship.
On the "personal" level of lunar experience we find the tandem of anima/animus. They are the contrasexual component each human carries within. These soul figures embody our latent capacities for expression and realization of the traits normally reserved for the opposite sex. Thus, the animus leads a woman to the outer world and promotes her ability in focused, rational thinking; the anima guides a man through the inner worlds of relationship, according to Jung. This is the level of psychological "complex" where there is a blending of archetypal realities and individual experience.
Thus, the imagery of anima/us is based in archetypal symbolism and in childhood memories of "significant others" of the opposite sex. This includes parental attitudes and behavior, grandparent's influence, sibling, first-love, and cultural expectations and norms -- all those things that go into our own unique "love map." It take the elements of fate and destiny and combines them in a personal formula.
Anima/us represents the balancing of masculine and feminine traits in the individual. This balancing is a form of coniunctio, or sacred marriage, a union which produces the magical child which is the higher self.
The animus is the masculine personification of the soul. He carries both a transcendent spiritual aspect and a personal aspect. He is shown in the magickal symbolism of Yesod: a beautiful, naked, muscular man. One the archetypal level anima/us is equivalent to the Taoist Yin-Yang concept, a system which embraces a non-combative play of opposites, a circulation of soul.
Anima and Animus are potential guides to the depths of the Unconscious, which is why they are acted out and emulated in Tantric Rites. They form a bridge between the divine and daily life. They are factors which transcend consciousness, so in a relationship which seems to have everything going for it, there can be friction (or "animosity") produced by unconscious forces operating below the surface.
Most of these troubles stem from projecting the anima/us image onto our love ones and maneuvering them into fulfilling our expectations -- or trying to. Internal conflicts come from the split nature of anima/us we experience in modern life. This revolves mainly around the gulf between the Spiritual and Sensual aspects of the inner figure. A man experiences the split between holy Mother and the erotic goddess of his dreams.
For example, the spiritual animus might be projected onto the figure of a wise old man, a ghostly lover to whom a woman goes in fantasy, or an idealized brother/sister relationship devoid of sexual options. The sensual animus might be imaged by darker gods of impersonal sexuality, phallic or obscene -- more practically onto "bad boys.". In any event, the animus represents the woman's need for creative expression. The more fully she can manifest this trait, the better her inner relationship to the animus becomes. He provides her with inner light, not inspiration which is a function of her anima nature, core of her Self.
Anima/us excite those feelings of longing, awe, fear of the unknown, and incomprehensibility. The transparent power of love can appear as a possession by a nother, against which rational thought has no protection. It is the emotional-sexual level and its projections coupled with the libido generator of tantric rites that fuels sacred sexuality -- the quest for the Beloved, in its myriad forms.
SENSUALITY & EROTICISM: The Sixty Four Tantric Arts
The western world has no equivalent to the Kama Sutra, or Perfumed Garden -- ancient manuals of sacred sexuality from the east. What we do have is fetish, perversion, pornography, and a manic stampede for achieving as many orgasms as possible. Sexuality in America is still regarded largely from a Puritanical, rather than joyfully aesthetic perspective. Religion has attempted to constrain and suppress it practically into oblivion, separating it from spirituality.
In the East, both men and women studied the arts of sexual ecstasy and enhancement. They acknowledged the Divinity of the Feminine element in a variety of Goddesses. The Kama Sutra listed a variety of arts which contributed to one's desirability. They include: the arts and sciences, singing, music, dancing, writing, drawing, painting, sewing, reading, recitation, poetry, sculpture, gymnastics, games, flower arranging, cooking, decoration, perfumery, gardening, mimicry, mental exercises, languages, etiquette, carpentry, magic, chemistry, mineralogy, gambling, architecture, logic, charm-making, religious rites, household management, disguise, physical sports, martial arts, herbalism, etc. We could add digital photography as a modern art. The Art of Love requires all these arts and skills for its support and enhancement. Knowing a wide repertoire of sensually and intellectually pleasing arts is another means of self expression.
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PSYCHOLOGICAL LOVE TYPES
We perceive through four different modes -- the logical reality of thought-processes and ideas, the feeling reality based on emotions and memories, the concrete reality of direct sensation, and the intuitive reality of visionary anticipation.
Jung classified personalities into four types based of these distinctions, yet felt no one should be "boxed into" a category, since we all exhibit traits of other types. Typology is a tool we can use for gaining insight and improving relations and communication. It harks back to the ancient "doctrine of humors," and the astrological signs.
The most primary is distinction is between introversion and extroversion. Introverts tend to follow their own dictates, while extroverts are very concerned with the reactions of others. The thinking and feeling functions are considered rational or logical processes, while sensation and intuition creates "quantum leaps" in consciousness or impulsive behavior.
The only value of classification of types lies in its application, to gain an understanding of the thought processes, values, and perceptual modes of those who differ from us. Knowing our own type helps us be objective about our style of loving. Jung said we are fairly competent in 2 or 3 of the functions, but the 4th one is unusually weak or inferior due to lack of conscious adaptation in that area. The 4th function is generally the opposite of the primary function. For example, thinking types have trouble with feelings; feelers have trouble with logical thinking. So, the fourth function works unconsciously and causes sabotage or disruption.
Yet complementary opposites attract and even fascinate each other. Many times we play Pygmalion to our lovers. We go to all the bother of finding and bonding with a person totally unlike ourselves -- and then compulsively try to transform that partner into our own image or ideal. Of course, there is no way to do this, but the attempt does the damage. It is a projection of our own desire to change ourselves. Devotion means different things to different types. We generally love the way we want to be loved, rather than meet the needs of our partner for feeling loved in a way they can relate to.
The different types have very different needs for solitude, confrontation, entertainment, novelty, thrill-seeking, exploration, faithfulness, recreation, spirituality, security, stability, touching, romance, intimacy, eroticism, passion, and sexual contact. Some types seem warmer than others, while others are more generous or fun-loving. Each has a different internal blueprint or love map and agenda with a time-scale for love's progression or growth-curve. Compatibility of general lifestyle and sexual rhythms is important.
We must avoid gross over-generalizations since most people are mixtures of types. A dynamic balance is considered ideal. Then we have the option of using all functions or attitudes when appropriate. In the HOLISTIC HEALTH LIFEBOOK, Strephon Kaplan Williams outlines the main traits of these basic personality types:
Sensation Person: One whose main focus is on the details and concreteness of reality. Such a person gives great attention to detail, to getting things just right, ignoring the larger perspective, or the feeling level of a situation. Engineers, rule followers, lawyers, office workers, accountants, and perfectionists fall generally within this type. The present is their predominant orientation. Sensation types are the touchy-feely people who like physical proximity and sensuality; they live for the moment without much regard for consequences.
Intuitives: The intuitive is the opposite of the sensation person. Intuitives cannot be bothered with details, and are concerned only with perceiving the whole, with having great insights, and with unlimited creativity. They will often start projects that never get finished in detail. Sudden insights and creative ideas out of the blue are their forte. Scientists, therapists, and psychics are among the ranks of the intuitives. The intuitive is always focused on the future, in anticipation; the present is never good enough; the past is quickly forgotten. They are inventive lovers with an infinite capacity for novelty.
Thinking Types: The organizers of society, with either facts, ideas, or people. Thinking involves making or discovering links between people or things. Mathematicians, teachers, executives, lawyers and writers are some of the cool and objective thinking types. They may not be as demonstrative, but their loves are as deep and meaningful as any. When they think things are going well in their relationships, right or wrong, they tend to go back to work. They relate the past to the present and future to make decisive choices.
Feeling Types: Feeling is the relational function, the expression of positive and negative energy -- liking this or not liking that. Feeling organizes reality, rather than perceiving it as does intuition. Feeling types are harmonizers and socializers who work well with people. Teachers, therapist, and all kinds of people-helpers are found among this type. Feeling types are great gossipers and dancers, who love body contact. On the other hand, they have the greatest "freakouts," for they live the relational life at double the intensity of most. Feeling types dwell in and on the past, positive or negative.
All the functions of the psyche converge in fantasy, in imagination. We are all equally prone to the seductions of our own inner images, thoughts, emotions, and sensations. For a more extensive description with finer distinctions and mating recommendations, see David Kiersey's PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME, II.
Creative visualization is practiced in Tantra and Magick for the purpose of deepening concentration and awakening the inner sight, and adding effectiveness to any ceremonial working. It can enhance our sensuality and sex lives even when we are not actively engaged in sexual expression. Visual types find it easier to sustain inner imagery at will, but all forms of inner perception (audition, feeling) actually come within this function. The most fundamental forms are geometric and arise naturally from our anatomy and physiology. In India, the tried and true Tattwa system is used to improve concentration ability and elemental attunement.
The Tattwas consist of five forms, which correspond approximately with the elements, and specific colors:
1). Akasa, Spirit, Dark or Black, Oval or egg-shape;
2). Tejas, Fire (light), Red, Triangle;
3). Vayu, Air, Green or Blue, Sphere;
4). Apas, Water, White or full-spectrum, half moon or Crescent;
5). Prithivi, Earth, Yellow, Square
These geometrical constants have a relationship with physiological reactions, i.e. they were discovered perceptually before their source could be identified. The spontaneous perception of geometrical, wavy, or star-like forms comes from the presence of phosphenes in the eyeball. They can be seen by pressing the eyes softly for about 10 seconds. Release the pressure and look at a white surface. Images will appear.
Phosphene means "to show light." Sensory deprivation or all kinds of heightened awareness can stimulate their appearance as scintillating points. We literally "see stars." This combined, with our neurochemistry creates the internal light show. It can also be induced electrically.
There are 15 phosphene patterns, or hallucinatory constants, linked to specific frequency ranges, or brain cycles. They may be artifacts of information-processing between eye and brain, or interference patterns created by the circular pattern of nerve fibers on the curved surface of the eyeball. They give objects in the line of sight a shimmering, dynamic, elusive quality -- a magical aura.
Phosphene patterns are influential in the development of art, making the eye responsive to dynamic illusions. They form a recurrent, intrinsic source of inspiration with a pervasive geometrical-rhythmic structure. They are easily seen in hyper- or hypoarousal hallucinatory experiences, or whenever the lights are dim and threshold of consciousness diminished. They are abundant in the mandalas of Tantric religious art as ritualized hallucinatory form constants and rhythms.
Alchemy of Sex
Coniunctio -- the Union of Opposites
In order to ensure Sumer's fertility and prosperity, the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi was reenacted each new Year in a sacred marriage rite involving the reigning king and a priestess-devotee of Inanna. The poem that appears here was written possibly by Kubatum. In this part of the ceremony, Inanna has been won over by the king's eager entreaties and invities him (with an erotic enthusiasm that permeates the Inanna-Dumuzi literature) to consummate their union.
Bridegroom, beloved of my heart,
Your pleasure is my pleasure, honey sweet;
Lion, beloved of my heart,
Your pleasure is my pleasure, honey sweet.
You have won my soul, I stand now trembling before you,
Bridegrrom, carry me now to the bed.
You have won my soul, I stand now trembling before you,
Lion, carry me now to the bed.
Bridegroom, let me give you my caresses,
My sweet one, wash me with honey --
In the bed that is filled with honey,
Let us enjoy our love,
Lion, let me give you my caresses,
My sweet one, wash me with honey.
Your spirit -- do I not know how to please it?
Bridegroom, sleep in our house till dawn.
Your heart -- do I not know how to warm it?
Lion, sleep in our house till dawn.
Because you love me,
Lion, give me your caresses--
My husband and guardian, my spirit magician,
My Shu-Sin who gladdens the Wind-God's heart --
Give me your caresses because you love me.
The place sweet as honey, put in your sweetness--
Like flour into the measure, squeeze in your sweetness--
Like pounding dry flour into the cup to be measured,
Pound in, pound in your sweetness--
These words I sing for Inanna.
Mystic marriage is exquisitely described in the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The two poles of Spirit as Will, and Imagination merge in an interaction which bring new creations into being, blending the two poles. Solomon means the Wisdom of the Sun; Sheba means 'seven' and reflects a seven-fold process of sacred love:
1. The Quest
2. The Awakening of Love
3. The Attainment of Knowledge
5. Unification or Blending (mystic marriage)
6. Annihilation (becoming lost in God)
7. Divine consummation.
Coniunctio is an alchemical term for the unification of opposites, a transcendent symbol of the Self, embodied psychic totality. The queen is the body, the king is spirit, and the soul bonds them together as a hermaphroditic being. This spiritual marriage is an inner process that happens once we master the problem of unconscious desirousness. The magical potency of sexual union has excited us from the beginning of time. The male partner is the hero or higher man. As in myth or ritual, the marriage is the "cause" or "prototype" of the world's fertility -- of all creative life.
Ram Das spoke about desire and Tantra in Grist for the Mill:
"The issue of Tantra is often played with by people who desire sexual gratification. And they try to have their cake and eat it too. But in truth, when you desire to have a sexual relationship with another person, the arousal process and the gratification is reinforcing that desire. The only kind of truly tantric sexuality that is possible is between two human beings who are so rooted in God that there is no preoccupying desire for the other person as 'other.' Then you use the physiological process of body interaction in order to awaken the energy to move it up through the chakras. But that is only when there is no preoccupying desire whatsoever in either partner. Short of that, just be honest with yourself, sexuality is sexuality, its not Tantra. The true Tantra is basically the relationship between Radha and Krishna, between the seeker and the Mother where you open your soul and become both the lingham and the yoni; you are both penetrating the universe and drawing it into yourself. Because the soul is neither male nor female. And when you have identified yourself as a soul going to God, the sexual dance starts to lose its pull."
The magic wedding means a unification within oneself -- uniting body and soul and giving birth to spirit through rebirth. This produces the philosopher's stone, a God-image, much like the mandala. It means going through a search and quest , an exploration of soul by spirit for psychic fecundation. The heart is the throne of God in man.
There are three types or phases of conjunction:
1). The spiritual self confronts the shadow, withdraws its projections and faces itself without a mask. Insight is gained through introversion, introspection and meditation on desires, emotions and motives.
2). Reunites spirit, soul and body under the symbol of the Chymical Wedding, full knowledge of the heights and depths of our own character. Insight is applied in practice; spirit unites with material reality.
3). The Tao of unification of opposites, stable inner security through union with all potential or the archetypal world. Soul merges in spirit and there is an identity between psychic and physical reality.
If they see
breasts and long hair coming
they call it woman,
if beard and whiskers
they call it man:
but, look, the self that hovers
is neither man
Androgyny, the marriage of masculine and feminine qualities in one organism, is another symbolic expression of wholeness or psychic totality. It is a refined form of the hermaphrodite, which Erich Neumann says, "by virtue of its own synthetic being has overcome the primal situation, above it hangs the crown of the self, and in its heart glows the diamond."
According to June Singer, in ANDROGYNY, God presents himself as the androgynous model of the human psyche, which is composed of consciousness and soul. The necessarily androgynous SELF, as Jung understood the term, is that center of psychic totality which is the product of the conjunction of opposites. The conscious aspects corresponds to the ego image which in men is masculine, and in women feminine. We are more than our conscious selves, also being that inward extension of our being we call soul, which Jung called anima/animus. These contrasexual aspects are generally experienced as 'other,' as not-self. The inward part, the soul becomes conscious through the spiritual task, the Great Work, the mystic quest.
Gershom Scholem describes the sanctity of sex in married life from the Zohar -- the Book of Splendor:
"When is 'one' said of a man? When he is male together with female and is highly sanctified and zealous for sanctification; then and only then he is designated one without mar of any kind. Hence a man and his wife should have a single inclination at the hour of their union, and the man should be glad with his wife, attaching her to himself in affection. So conjoined, they make one soul and one body; a single soul through their affection; a single body, for only when male and female are conjoined do they form a single body; whereas, and this we have learned, if a man is not wedded, he is, we may say, divided in two. But when male and female are joined, God abides upon 'one' and endows it with a holy spirit; and, as was said, these are called the children of the Holy One, be blessed."
These statements needn't be confused with erroneous notions concerning the so-called "soul-mate." Masters say there is no such thing as a split entity, or twin-flame. Rather, we are soul-partners. Each individual is a complete soul, and is a divine spark. But when we choose to cast our lot with a partner, a life-mate, there is a synergetic effect which transcends the qualities of the individuals involved, bringing a portion of the divine into manifestation.
It is not that a long lost mate is rediscovered after aeons of separation from a higher plane. Rather, two compatible souls commit themselves to furthering the development of living compassion for one another, and find completeness and perfection. The whole object of marriage is to reach God. Thus marriage has been sanctified as a creative process of love, where two souls care for one another in a reciprocal manner, furthering mutual growth and spiritual aims.