Earthrites

Wherever you are is the entry point – Kabir

Dream Time in the Northland…

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Welcome to the Dream Time…

So I am driving down the road (Division in the SE) during the first rain of the season. I am listening to some Trance and as I pass the local organic market, all of a sudden, a dream from the night before crashes through into my consciousness (if but for a moment). I remember that I am walking in a city, much like ancient Athens as it has been illustrated, glossed over with a high tech veneer… everything, white marble and blazing color, set design ala Maxfield Parrish. The city is full of beauty, and it grabs you by the heart and mind. It is an endless vista of harmony and calm, and I am gladly submerged in its reality, then boom! I am a 1/2 block further along.

A kinda WTF? moment. As quick as it came, it was gone.

Has something like this happened to you?

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LINKS:

Oh La La…. Supernatural. (Kinda 1972….)

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Dear Aleister, I have a 1978 Camaro with a 5 speed manual transmission….

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Tales from the Duck side

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Ants unearthed with Google Earth

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ARTICLE:

UNLEASHING THE BEAST

Aleister Crowley, Tantra and Sex Magic in Late Victorian England

Hugh Urban – Ohio State University



If this secret [of sexual magic], which is a scientific secret, were perfectly understood, as it is not by me after more than twelve years’ almost constant study and experiment, there would be nothing which the human imagination can conceive that could not be realized in practice.

— Aleister Crowley[1]

What is peculiar to modern societies is not that they consigned sex to a shadow existence, but that they dedicated themselves to speaking of it ad infinitum, while exploiting it as the secret. — Michel Foucault[2]

Aleister Crowley stands out as one of those remarkably enigmatic characters who has had a tremendous impact on contemporary new religious movements, esotericism and occultism, even as he has been almost entirely ignored by academic scholarship. Known in the popular press of as “the wickedest man in the world,” and proclaiming himself the “Great Beast 666,” Crowley was the object of intense media scandal, moral outrage and titillating allure throughout his life. In the years since his death, he has become perhaps even more well-known as one of the most important influences on the modern revival of paganism, magic and witchcraft. Yet despite his importance, Crowley has been largely ignored by historians of religions. In most cases he has been dismissed as, at best, a pathetic charlatan, and, at worst, a sadistic pervert and a ridiculous crank. Most scholars of Western esotericism, such as Antoine Faivre, make only passing reference to Crowley, while leading scholars of new age religions, such as Wouter Hanegraaff, give him only briefest mention.[3]

Perhaps the primary reason for this neglect of Crowley — and also for the intense scandal and titillation that surrounded him during his life — was his practice of sexual magic (or Magick, to use Crowley’s spelling).[4] Rejecting the prudish hypocrisy of the Victorian Christian world in which he was raised, Crowley identified sex as the most powerful force in life and the supreme source of magical power. Taking an apparent delight in outraging the British society of his time, Crowley made explicit use of the most “deviant” sexual acts — such as masturbation and homosexuality — as central components in his magical practice. At the same time, Crowley was also one of the first Western authors to taken an interest in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Tantra — a highly esoteric body of teachings and that center, in part, around the use of sexual energy as a source of spiritual power — which had long been criticized by European Orientalist scholars and Christian missionaries as the very worst and most perverse confusion of sexuality and religion.[5] In fact, for most American readers today, Tantra is typically associated with Crowley-ian sex magick. One need now only browse the shelves of any Barnes and Noble bookstore or surf the endlessly proliferating web-sites on the Internet to discover the secrets of Tantra, Sex Magick and Tarot, practice Tantra without Tears or even engage in Wicca for Lovers. As his early biographer, John Symonds, remarks, “His greatest merit was to make the bridge between Tantrism and the Western esoteric tradition and thus bring together Western and Eastern magical techniques.”[6]



But the question remains: how much did Crowley actually know either first hand or second hand about Indian Tantra? And what connection, if any, did his system of sexual magic have with traditional Indian Tantric practices?

This article will continue and expand upon some of the arguments made in a previous essay, in which I examined the impact of Indian Tantra on Western esoteric traditions at the turn of the twentieth century, through figures like Dr. Pierre Arnold Bernard, known in the popular press as “the Omnipotent Oom.” [7] Here I will trace the increasing impact of Tantra on Western spirituality in the later twentieth century through the work of Crowley and his later disciples.

Crowley, I will argue, is not only a fascinating figure worthy of attention by scholars of religion, but he is also of profound importance for the understanding of modern Western spirituality and culture as a whole. This importance is at least threefold. First, with his radical rejection of Victorian morality and his central emphasis on sex as the supreme magical power, Crowley is a remarkable reflection of his era and of the sexual attitudes of late and post-Victorian England. [8] Second, with his study of Hinduism and Buddhism, he was also a key figure in the transmission of Indian religious traditions to the West, including the controversial traditions of Indian Tantra. But as I hope to show, although Crowley did know a fair amount about Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and other Indian religious practices, he does not appear to have known much about Tantra. What he did know seems to have come through secondary, superficial and often highly distorted sources that are deeply colored by the Victorian Orientalist biases of the 19th century. Nonetheless, not long after Crowley’s death, Tantra would soon become largely confused in the Western popular imagination with Crowleyian-style sex magic. Ironically, despite his general ignorance about the subject, and arguably without ever intending to do so, Crowley would become a key figure in the transformation and often gross mis-interpretation of Tantra in the West, where it would become increasingly detached form its cultural context and increasingly identified with sex. Finally, in part because of this equation of Tantra and sexual magic, Crowley has also been one of the most influential figures in the revival of magic and a variety of alternative religions at the turn of the new millennium. Much of the literature now being sold under the titles of “Tantra” and “sex magic”, I would argue, is largely the fusion (and perhaps hopeless confusion) of Indian Tantra with Crowleyian magic. [9]

In my discussion of Crowley, I will adapt some of the insights of Michel Foucault, Georges Bataille, and others who have examined the role of sexuality and transgression in modern Western society. As Foucault argues, the Victorian era has often mistakenly been characterized as a period of prudish repression and denial of sexuality. In fact, the late 19th century witnessed an unprecedented explosion of discourse about sex, which was now categorized, classified, debated and discussed in endless detail. [10] Crowley’s writings on sexuality and magic, I will suggest, were a key part of this larger fascination with sexuality during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Yet Crowley would also push this discourse about sexuality a good deal further than most of his contemporaries would have dared; indeed, Crowley would make acts such as masturbation and homosexual intercourse keys to magical power. In Bataille’s terms, we might say that much of Crowley’s sexual practices centered around calculated acts of transgression — that is, deliberate violations and systematic inversions of the moral laws and sexual codes of the larger social order. [11]

Visit the Link in the Title for more….!

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KOANS & POEMS:





Every day priests minutely

examine the Dharma

and endlessly chant

complicated sutras.

They should learn

how to read the love letters

sent by the wind and rain,

the snow and moon.

– Ikkyu (1394-1491)

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On Climbing the Highest Peak of Stone Gate

At dawn with staff in hand I climbed the crags,

At dusk I made my camp among the mountains.

Only a few peaks rise as high as this hut,

Facing the crags, it overlooks winding streams.

In front of its gates a vast forest stretches.

While boulders are heaped round its very steps.

Hemmed in by mountains, there seems no way out,

The track gets lost among the thick bamboos.

Deep in meditation, how can I part from Truth?

I cherish the Way and never will swerve from it

- Xie Lingyun (385–433)

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I cannot find the Monastery of Heaped Fragrance,

Miles up now into the clouds of the summit.

There is no footpath through the ancient woods.

Where did the bell sound,

Deep in the gorge, deep in the mountain?

The voice of the torrent gulps over jagged stones;

Sunlight hardly warms the bluish pines.

As dusk deepens in these unfathomable mazes,

I practice meditation

To subdue the dragon of desire.

- Wang Wei (701–761)

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Flower Shower

Subhuti was Buddha’s disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,” the gods whispered to him.

“But I have not spoken of emptiness,” said Subhuti.

“You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness,” responded the gods. “This is the true emptiness.” And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.

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A Letter to a Dying Man

Bassui wrote the following letter to one of his disciples who was about to die:

“The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die. It is not an existence, which is perishable. It is not an emptiness, which is a mere void. It has neither color nor form. It enjoys no pleasures and suffers no pains.

“I know you are very ill. Liek a good Zen student, you are facing that sickness squarely. You may not know exactly who is suffering, but question yourself: What is the essence of this mind? Think only of this. You will need no more. Covet nothing. Your end which is endless is as a snowflake dissolving in the pure air.”

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Dedicated to the memory of the Roshi Jiyu-Kennett

Blessings,

Gwyllm

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