28 January, 2004

The middle path: Tantric Philosophy, Pt 3


From the notebook Lazarus Long: Self-deception is the root of all evil.
Think about that. We know that honesty is the best policy; but yet we still lie to ourselves about all kinds of things, as well as lie to other people to spare their feelings (or worse motivations, but none of us do that, do we?). Honesty does not need to be cruel. All you need is a little bit of tact, compassion, and some basic communication skills. And yet we say we cannot be honest because it will hurt someone's feelings. Before I could start looking at my world honestly, I had to tear out any inconsistencies in my thought processes that excused dishonesty in any form. And my world is under my control to the exact extent of my honesty.
Total honesty is perhaps not attainable for any of us, some would say. Total dishonesty is. Therefor, I say total honesty is just as attainable, if not so easy. And it is scary, and it hurts. I thought I was ready to rip out all the bogus thought processes that had self-programmed or, worse, been programmed into me. I would have told Yoda I wasn't scared to face my worst enemy, which is me. Yoda would have replied, 'You will be. You will be.'
Tantra can help you focus the energy that is a natural occurrence resulting from the stress of desire into a light that helps you see through the shadow of unreality. It will shed light on your misconceptions. It will allow you to fully commit to a course of action designed to achieve your happiness, because with it, you will shred all doubts as to why you want something. It will also allow you to focus your energy (unlimited, but limited when viewed through the time continuum) on attainable goals instead of unrealistic goals.
misconceptions, also. But there is sex involved in Tantra, because sex is a desire that can be so strong it becomes a need. And that is what our passions are intended to do. We are more focused on basic needs, because we know we will die if we neglect them.
All right desire should be focused upon with the intensity of a need, and you should be fully committed to attain it. Then you will not be your worst enemy.
Siddhartha was a Prince who had absolutely everything, a la Coming to America. All his needs were met, and all his desires were met. But he was not happy. He felt that it might have been because he was being responsible, so he through himself into his decadence, until he was 29, and he realized he was still not happy. So, in order to attain fulfillment, he thought he must give up everything in a Great Renunciation. He did this for six years, self-mortifying himself for any desire that came into his consciousness, until he was denying himself basic needs. He was, at the end, to weak to even meditate, but had yet to find fulfillment.
After receiving some milk rice from a woman, he was rejuvenated enough to meditate all night on the dilemma. It was at this time that he achieved enlightenment and became the Buddha.
The Buddha realized that it was neither through the collection of worldly desires nor the self-denial of satisfaction that led to happiness. It was a rational conquest of attainable goals.
He set forth an eight-fold Path in order to facilitate this. The eight-fold path is this:
  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Thought
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration
Tantra is a more than a belief system. It is a set of practical guidelines based on the philosophies in these entries that are designed to help achieve fulfillment in life. Thou art God/dess. You have been given the tools to create happiness in this Life. Tantra practice is one of those tools that I think is effective.

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