A very vigorous discussion of tantra and its problems here and in the comments section. No prisoners taken.
Fuck your way to freedom ... It's a wonderful story ...
But sometimes it has a darker, shadow-side. Tantra, Taoist practices, Yab-Yum, Thelema ... These are all a form of abuse sold to you in the name of enlightenment. Sexual parasitism, rape and even human sacrifice: this is the heart of darkness which can justify almost any level of degradation at the hands of a Guru.
The quest for liberation through sex is the ultimate egomania. The Guru practises sexual excess, claiming multiple partners. "They are enlightened" so the normal rules of engagement do not apply. But this is a sinister puppet play - the fairy tale of the ego - which uses any means to justify its behaviour while engaging in an extreme demonstration of personal power. This is sex in separation, which is always a quest to burst the boundary of identity. At the point of orgasm existence can be transcended, this is why the desire for sex can be so insatiable. But this is just a transient awakening experience: temporary relief from the confines of the ego. The experience must then be sought again and again, inciting endless appetites and addiction ...
After separation passes there is no boundary. Everything is orgasm and rather paradoxically the need for orgasm ends. Orgasm happens when it does and sex is like an ongoing spiral, devoid of identity, twisting endlessly into infinity ...
Tantra is a counterfeit simulation of this endless wave of sexual energy. It is not an Osho-style Lurv-in for confused yuppies on a weekend retreat but a type of vampirism which abuses your partner for your own ends. Tantra attempts to copy sexual experience after separation has passed. It imposes a technique which deliberately avoids the male orgasm and attempts to summon and endlessly surf the energy of the female. A fantasy superhighway to Nirvana!
Taoist sexual practices seek the conquest of the feminine. In this realm women were seen as dangerous and to be feared. They have been branded "the enemy" because during sex the man can spill semen and lose vitality. Men were therefore encouraged to have as much sex as possible to replenish their life force - especially with young virgins who offered the greatest reserves of chi (qi). The male strategy was coitus conservatus (withdrawal before ejaculation) or applying pressure on the perineum to ensure that the jing was retained and channelled up the spine to nourish the brain. Meanwhile the female became a mere "crucible" or "stove" to be exploited for energetic ends. In effect a fleshy Duracell battery!
Tibetan Buddhism also has a secret world of occult and arcane sexual practices. The moral universe of the seeker is inverted with the consumption of menstrual blood, women's sexual fluids, excrement and even human flesh. The official hierarchy denies such practices even exist. Tibetan Buddhist monks take a vow of celibacy yet at the higher stages in their practice, they select a woman consort to balance their sexual energies (yab-yum). The aim is to attain enlightenment via the quickest possible path. Often threatened with death, the woman is sworn to secrecy and is under the total control of her lama. (For more info read June Campbell's expose of her illicit relationship with the irreproachable Kalu Rinpoche). This could also involve low-caste women who were considered of no account once they had been used up sexually. Afterwards they were simply disposed of or killed. Sometimes they were burnt alive (the legendary Burning Dakinis). But even in death they continued to function in the service of their tantric master. The sheer trauma of their sacrificial death saw them trapped between worlds like a Persian Jinn (Genie). Incapable of rebirth, the energies of these “murdered mudras" were then employed as malevolent Buddhist wraiths in occult rites. (This is eerily reminiscent of the macabre death of Radha Ma last year who self-immolated and was involved in tantric entity worship!)
This is all about the maintenance of patriarchy. Ageing male authority figures use their status to seduce young women or order them to sacrifice their sexuality on the altar of enlightenment. Denouncing the female, the hierarchical elite have turned the sexual act into an illicit black market commodity. They are then forced to bring it back in by hidden occult means. Behind closed doors dead male energy feeds on the vitality of the feminine, gaining access to sexual energy, usually forbidden beyond the cloisters. It's spiritual heroin and it's all about POWER.
A couple of worthy observations from the comments section
I was in a tantric set up with a Tibetan Buddhist male for a year. I was engaging in this alongside my normal sexual relationship with my boyfriend. At the time I saw no conflict. The tantric relationship was secret, in the name of the Buddha, with a famous lama and it would also have massive spiritual benefits so it could only be positive - even for my boyfriend who didn't know. That's how I rationalised it and that it also what I was told many times by the lama concerned. But it is never so simple as that. I was clearly there for my lama's benefit and it was obvious he just wanted sexual experience which was otherwise forbidden. He said he was pursuing the whole thing for strictly spiritual purposes but it was obvious to me he craved sex and that also his spiritual rationalisations for using sex as a path to enlightenment were deeply flawed. Tantric sex is not balancing one's own energy with the opposite energy of the other to allow non-dual experience. It steals energy from the partner which then feeds the neuroses of the identity structure, makes the ego rear up and leads to massive energetic and emotional issues for both practitioners. You can inherit the psychosexual fixations of your tantric partner. There is a huge build up of pent-up rage and excess energy which blows the circuits psychologically and leads to disturbed behaviour. And don't think this is something which does not happen much in Tibetan Buddhism or that this was just a fucked-up lama. It is happening a lot. There are very real and dangerous consequences. You'll never get enlightened through it - but you can think you are getting very spiritual. I told my boyfriend and very luckily for me in the end he accepted what had happened. Of course I discontinued. But there are others who persist and even think they are more advanced than other mudras because they have not weakened and have stayed the course. They are spiritual sex slaves. And Tibetan Buddhist lamas who do this are deeply deluded: mired in a tradition which sees the woman as inferior and polluted and an "opportunity" to triumph over the darkness of the sense world.
March 26, 2012 9:26 AM
The whole tantric scene is about human sacrifice. It is not meant for the advantage of the practitioner. It is something that will give food to someone else. So forget the "spirituality" bit, it's total human exploitation. Most of those involved are not even aware of being just puppets in the hands of other masters, in an endless chain of slavery, all in the name of "freedom!" And those few who are aware, keep doing what they are doing out of fear, greed, attachment, stupidity, or just plain madness. On both sides it boils down to the same thing: taking advantage of the gullibility of people and their need to "be" something.
March 26, 2012 9:55 AM