Origins of Tantra
|as viewed from the Creativity Perspective and Energy Consciousness Model|
A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic
Copyright 2009 by K. Ferlic, All Rights Reserved
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Tantra is a spiritual tradition which teaches and believes one can obtain spiritual enlightenment through the use of sexuality. Or, if said another way, sexuality does not stand in the way of spiritual enlightenment but can be used for enlightenment.
Tantra is the only spiritual practice that has been found to suggested the conscious use of sexuality as a creative tool for other than creating physical offspring. However, based on the observations of Tantra as part of the exploration of our inherent creativity, Tantra is focused on using energy of sex and sexuality to obtain spiritual enlightenment with overtones that the physical world is something to be transcended as opposed to embracing Physical Creation and using the depth and breadth of sex as the creative tool that it is.
Tantra was explored as part of the conscious journey into creativity to see what it said about sexuality and creativity. Independent of any information gained from Tantra, working with individuals to access their creativity revealed sexuality was found to be one of the most if not the most significant issue relative to individuals accessing their creative power and creative ability. As a result, the observed impacts of sexuality on our creative ability and creative power sexuality and creativity was further explored and Tantra was one of the paths for that further exploration.
Origins of Tantra
In reading the following observations and comments about Tantra, the reader is reminded that Tantra is a very old tradition and its roots go back hundreds and thousands of years. As in any tradition, there are authors and teacher who only have an intellectual understanding of a subject with little experiential knowledge. Or, worse yet, they only repeat what they have been old with little intellectual understanding of what they are told let alone experience. Also, many who pass on an old tradition allow their perceptions and experiences of what they have read and experienced elsewhere to influence what they say about what they write or teach. Additionally there is the issue that information available, and how it was explained, hundreds or thousands of years ago does not fully pertain to our current world and/or even apply. Analogies, metaphors, symbolism, references and the like can lose their meaning over time as ways of living or technologies change. As such, there may be part of any tradition which are incompatible for the society in which it is currently used. As any human being does, individuals will adapt, fill in, replace or revise information that is not accurate or effective for their time and place. As a result there are many changes, permutations, and the like which occur in any traditions. Something the essential truths remain. Sometimes they are lost. This leaves open the question does what is done within any old tradition today really reflect the essence which gave rise to that tradition in the first place.
What follows here is based on the observations of Tantra from a variety of sources as part of the exploration of our inherent creativity to understand the creative power of sex and sexuality and how they influence our creative ability and creative power. What is stated here is not based on the reiteration of information on Tantra form any source. It is based on the experiences of the author, those whom the author observed as part of the exploration of creation, and those who were subsequently counseled based on the understanding of our creative spirit and its need to be allowed to freely express itself to create the experiences it incarnated to have and create the experiences as to what gives life to the individual. You are, of course, free to do your own experiments and observations, to prove or disprove what is stated here.
From the creativity perspective and what has been observed about human sexuality, the origins of Tantra are quite simple. It had been observed centuries ago that one is able to have mystical experiences and transcendental experiences through sex or as a result of sex. Many feel a separation in the sexuality they experience and what sex provides. Yet there is something in the sex that they know will give them wholeness for it is a part of their creative power. So many look to certain types and kinds of practices around sex that have been reported to give individuals mystical and/or transcendental experiences. Centuries ago and over time a collection of these practices and related beliefs which go with the practices became the essence of Tantra.
Comments on Tantra
In talking about Tantra, it need to be understood that Tantra can be considered a form of mysticism that is characterized by the belief that through physical love and sexuality accompanied with the appropriate spiritual practices and beliefs, a direct and immediate consciousness of God can be achieved.
Tantra is based on a belief system developed in a particular time and place passed down through the centuries. How much it has evolved by subsequent teachers is open to question. Because it is based on experiences we have in the body, in particular in sexual experiences and/or sexual feeling, there are things that can only be learned from, or with, another and through the use of the body. All cannot be put in book or even transmitted orally in words. Some things need to be experienced. Additionally, the human collective has changed from the time Tantra was first created to what exists now. There are beliefs and understanding in the human collective which did not exist even one hundred years ago.
Tantra is the only spiritual
practice that has been found to suggested the conscious use of
sexuality as a creative tool for spiritual
enlightenment. Tantra was explored as part of the
conscious journey into creativity to see what it said about
sexuality and creativity. Sexuality was found to be such a
significant issue relative to individuals accessing their
creative power and creative ability, a
questionnaire on sexuality and rituals was developed to help begin exploration of the deep beliefs and feelings an
individual carried about sexuality when they attempt to engage in
creative endeavors, in particular, creating
rituals However, what was discovered was most of the issues and
beliefs around sexuality and their link to the individual’s
creative power lied in the individual’s
nonconscious, and only revealed themselves in context. Hence a
questionnaire was of limited value. Consequently, something like a
meta-theater was more appropriate and powerful way to surface sexually
related beliefs which impact our creativity.
The impression provided by Tantra was that it was almost as thought the original creators of Tantra understood the creative powers of sexuality and sex such that they incorporated it into their tradition. However they never taught their disciples and/or followers including subsequent teachers about the creative power available to them nor passed that information on to others. Rather, it was used for the purposes of the tradition and for whatever reason the creative aspects of sexuality and how to use them were not shared with the users of the tradition. The more likely scenario was the originators of Tantra stumbled upon the creative powers of sexuality is the creative powers of sexuality were never fully understood as a creative tool. Rather the creative powers were simply incorporated within the tradition and used in a unknowing, more nonconscious way - the way most use the creative powers of sex and sexuality.
Tantra, as a teaching or at least
how it is taught, is really silent on the creative tool that it is.
In many way Tantra has compromised sexuality and it powers of
creation for the purposes of the beliefs of Tantra about
spirituality rather than teaching its followers the true powers of
sexuality. In some ways, in a rather cynical view, it can be said
sex sells and when all else fails to market what you wish to sell,
use sex. In many ways all Tantra is doing is using sex to market one
view of spirituality. The real issue in using sexuality this way
creativity perspective is if the spiritual is seen in any way
separate from, or somehow better than, the physical, both the true
creative power of sexuality and wisdom of the
creator/Creator are denied and one continues to foster the
separation of the creator/Creator from
The key here is to realize there is an awareness in what we feel. There is a clarity about what we need to do in life or with our life which comes in a knowing. The knowing is only accessible through feeling - the deepest feeling to which we can go. These feelings arise and come through the body tending to enthuse the entire body. The feelings lie beyond the types and kinds of feelings which can arise in sex but are often similar because they are about creating life. Consequently, because there can be sexual overtones when the whole body is enthused with the feeling of the business of our life or the intention for our life, most never see this knowing or use it for they get distracted by the sexuality. In doing so, they miss an opportunity of a life time.
In Tantra, the distraction normally caused by the sexuality is directed back toward the awareness which lies within the feeling. However, rather than teaching the individual how to simply stay with the feeling and access the awareness, the individual is taught to direct the energy into creating an experience which is interpreted to be spiritual enlightenment.
When doing Tantra there are many
techniques, recommendations and even
schools of thought on how certain things should or shouldn’t be
done. But, in one way or another, they all focus on
awakening the Kundalini and taking the awakened energy upwards
enlightenment. They all incorporate some type and kind of
practice. Usually the meditation practices are kept secret and only
passed on until the individual has obtained a certain level within
the tradition. That is, it is about the control of the energy rather
than flowing with it and allowing the flow of energy to lead..
However we choose to look at it,
Kundalini appears to start at the base of the spine and rise
upward. What the author never saw discussed in the Tantra world was
a corresponding flow of energy that flowed downward, in essence
opposite the Kundalini which was just as powerful. This downward
flow of energy is more like the flow path of energy discussed in the
mystical tradition. Nor was there any discussion, in any
tradition studied by the author of the flow of energy that seems to
originate in the
and flow both upward and downward simultaneously which can be
experienced as more powerful than the Kundalini or the corresponding
downward flow of energy.
This energy flowing from the
allows one to see and experience a total and profound oneness to all
Creation in a
relatively fast, easy and gentle way. It allows one to see there
is not a person on the face of the earth with whom we could not have
All that keeps us from having that passionate love affair is
mind and what we think and believe. But then the question
becomes, “why would we want to have a passion
love affair with any given individual and what would we
desire to create with them and why, in particular, why them as
opposed to anyone else?”
One distillation is to take the awakened energy upward more as a transmutation of a "base" energy into a more "spiritual" and "enlightened" energy. This is really only about understanding sexuality and the energy within our being acts at every level of our being and is not just physical.
Another is the male should wait for the female until she is ready. A third is the male needs to learn to control himself and not readily ejaculate. It is often said a male will lose his power in ejaculation and especially if done quick and not waiting for the female. Yet it is the said the female loses no power but gains power in organism and needs to be allowed to readily brought to organism frequently and often to gain power. There are tidbits of understanding that really point to the need to move past sex and is a very simplistic description of what moving past sex look like.
A fourth is all the Tantric traditions use meditation in some form or another. A fifth is all use some type of focus in their meditation. The focus is not necessarily a mantra but nevertheless a focus of the mind. All use yogic type positions and/or practices. Some positions are specifically directed to enhancing sexual stimulation while others are directed at raising the energy from a ‘base’ level to a higher “enlightened” level. All use ritual. All use some type or kind of prayer or its equivalent. All have a deity, deities, and/or a spiritual master that is held in great reverence. Use of meditations, the object of focus in meditation, yogic position and practices, rituals, prayers and the like are all ultimately about creating a single point focus and focusing our attention and awareness to create our desired experience. The Tantric tradition implies there is something special in the meditations, the focus or the positions when in reality, they are all simply about focusing our attention and awareness.
One of the key issues which
underlies Tantric practices is what we get and receive in terms of
feelings and energy, we do not use for ourselves. That is, we do not
seek the sex for its pleasure. We enjoy it and savor it fully in the
experience of allowing the energy and feelings to flow freely but we
do not seek it for the sex and it pleasure. If we do, it will simply
What we need to realizes is that what we think and believe has a great bearing on what we experience. This is true for Tantra and any other tradition or school of thought we may use.
Summary statement on the observations of Tantra
Sex is about creating life. The observation made in the exploration of our inherent creativity is that those who are drawn to Tantra are some how looking to become alive and find life at some level of their being and/or to understand the feeling about creating life they have that are arising as sex. It is just they are looking to find it in sex for they think it is sex.
Those who go deeply into the Tantric practices will say the answer is not in sex. Nevertheless many sells the sex of Tantra rather than life it creates - not all, but some, for after all, sex sells. Creating life doesn’t sell for people don’t know they are looking for life. Our mind thinks it knows what gives it life so we look to make a living as opposed to sustaining and expanding the life which flows from within. Here it does need to be noted, the same observation is true for those seeking spirituality and those who see the spiritual as an answer for their longing. What they seek is a life that allows them to feel alive and full of life. What they seek is their own heart and the life they incarnated to live.
At the deepest levels of Creation we are it. In feeling the need for what is called a spirit journey of any type or any journey to look for the external partner to complete us, we are ultimately only looking to create a particular kind of life where we are free to release our creative spirit to give us the life we incarnated to live. This does not mean we do not wish to share life with another which includes having a sexual experience. However we need no other to complete us. When we are whole and complete we seek to share life, we do not seek any other to complete us. In living the life we incarnated to live we find that inner satisfaction and inner freedom and all that we seek in finding Heaven or finding Nirvana. We can have it all here and now. We have only come to deny our need for an inner journey and the experiences we incarnated to have because of our current mind and what we have come think and believe.
We need to realize our outer world is reflective of our inner world. What we seek in an external partner to fill our inner longing which draws many to sex or spirituality is to look in the wrong direction. There is, of course, a biological need for a mate to create a child, but creating a child does not address the inner longing which we see the external partner addressing. To find and live in wholeness within our being and satisfy the deep inner longing we feel, we cannot believe we are in any way separate from the external world. We need to see the external world as the reflection of what lies within.
When we feel we are lacking something and we are drawn to find an external partner, we need to look at our inner masculine and inner feminine to see which, if not both, have not been able to come to maturity to give us what we need. The inner masculine is about finding our truth and having the courage, strength of will and fearlessness to live it in the world. The inner feminine is about nurture what lies in our heart and what gives us life to live the life we incarnated to live. When we do what gives us life we are moving toward living our truth and nurturing our truth and the experiences it creates. In doing what gives us life we find a fullness of being, and passion for life and for living, a desire to share life, an expansion of being or a blossoming of our being. In is living our truth our gifts are brought forth and given to the world.
Ultimately this inner journey to address the inner masculine and inner feminine is intimately tied to both the body and what it feels and to the outer world. There is a powerful mind body connection at work and profound inner and outer reflection. Each, the inner and the outer, can be used to address the other. What we desire externally, we need to look internally as to what and where we are not giving ourselves what we seek to meet our true need to create what serves us. Similarly, what we feel internally we need to look eternally in how we are not living such that we can give ourselves what we need to experience. But we cannot change one and sustain the change without working both the inner and the outer. Something will need to be sacrificed in our inner and outer world to create the life we wish to live. A part of us must die to create what we desire.