Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer In The City

Kundalini is distilled sexual energy. What does this mean? Why is sex so important? You might say it's because, walking through the midsummer crowds in a big city, it's in your face. The erotics. You withdraw into your mind, just as urgently as into your body. You could be walking happily out the door of your lover's apartment, or you could be an equally happy celibate heading for a contemplative coffee. It hits you just the same. The Tantras say that all things manifest the copulation of Siva and Sakti. The sunlight off a glass building, a squeal of brakes, a whiff of barbecue chicken — it's all sex. There is some truth in this.

The sexual act is the time when we face the paradox of being alive at its sharpest. It's the moment we come closest to complete union, yet it's also the moment we are at our most separate. We are joined to one another in a way that we are joined nowhere else in our life, and yet our innermost self moves further away than the most casual face or sway of hips we come across in the street.
Seeing With The Heart

The temperature rises. The clothes come off. The paradox sharpens. There seem to be only two things you can do: Get as much sex as you can. Convert as many of the hits into conquests as is humanly possible, knowing that no matter how often you score, your tally will lag behind the hundreds of daily contacts on buses, trains, footpaths and escalators.

Or else — ignore it. Defuse the gorgeous faces and intoxicating bodies by pretending that they have nothing to do with you, are not a meaningful part of your life, not like the wife is, or the exciting television program you're going home to. This second solution, unfortunately, entails a blunting of perception and a lowering of intensity in all element's of one's day, not just sex. As you put the key in your front door, your partner and Coronation Street feel a little unsatisfying.

There is, perhaps, a third solution. The arousal of Kundalini is known as the backward-flowing method. What does this mean? Tantric sexual practice involves a suspension of ejaculation, either spontaneous or willed, that takes place at the moment of orgasm. Something happens to the erotic energy when this occurs. It increases, and heads for the brain. Via the heart. If you try it, you have to accept the fact that this is not only unnatural, it's anti-natural. It's an attempt at transcendence. It's called "backward-flowing" because the energy rises along the spine, as consciousness, rather than  outwardly, unconsciously, as semen. A parallel reversal occurs in perception. Smell, taste, touch, space/time, and particularly eyesight — the whole sensory package that makes summer in the city what it is — stop being external sensations. They stop hitting us from the outside. The intoxicating bodies and gorgeous faces come from inside us! They are visions our brain has imposed on otherness. Does this mean that the world ends, and that other people stop existing? No. A sort of miracle takes place. The world is still there; other people are still there, in their skimpy clothes and heart-stopping loveliness, and ugliness, but they have lifted themselves to a dimension where their humanness, the thing that the heart sees, the thing that you can only look at, but never desire, is all that's there. You suddenly see them, and the hot day, and the noisy streets, and the smells from the pubs, with your heart, not your genitally-driven brain.

I think this is what William Blake is talking about when he speaks of the "Human Form Divine" being "four-fold," whilst the sexual body is only "three-fold."
"For a four-fold vision is given to me, and a four-fold vision do I see;
'Tis four-fold in my supreme delight,
And three-fold in soft Beulah's night,
And two-fold always; May God us keep
From single vision, and Newton's sleep."

In Tantric symbolism, Sakti, the life force at the base of the spine, has risen to the brain, and found union with Siva — That which is Beyond.

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