Tantra and The Left-Handed Path
There are dark and gloomy days in the path to self-discovery.
There are days when it seems that we'll never be able to see the truth. I like to talk about self-discovery in very optimistic terms. I suggest that meditating will inspire you, open up new vistas and new horizons, bring you into different levels of attention and show you worlds beyond your imagination, much happier worlds than the worlds you now exist in, worlds of form, formlessness, voidness. I speak about the ecstasy of samadhi and the supraconscious states, the peaks of self-realization.
Eternity is everywhere. It's always with us. Our failure to see and access the pure joy and radiance of life is owing to a lack of awareness. In any situation there is beauty. Even at the moment of one's death, there is beauty. And we can see that beauty and understand the loving kindness of creation when we're in a high enough consciousness. Then everything is one, and what occurs in the physical world is but a dream. We're not affected by it. It doesn't really matter if our fortune is good or bad. If we're in a high enough state of consciousness, we see that it is only a passing dream. We draw happiness and radiance from the eternal sun of self-knowledge, from the pure bliss of existence itself. This is true.
But then there are days when we don't see it that way. There are days that in spite of our best intentions we become confused, deluded, frustrated, angry, depressed. We just can't seem to raise our kundalini, our energy. The past overshadows the present, and the future looms before us as an empty road through what appears to be a barren desert. We try all of the traditional methods and means, the four paths. The path of love - we try to love, but it's not working. The path of selfless giving, where we really want to go out and do something for the world, for humanity, for our spiritual organization - it's not working. We're not inspired. We can think the thoughts but they lack heart. When we practice mysticism we try and raise the level of attention through drawing on the power and energies of the elementals, of the earth and the ether - doesn't seem to be working. Jnana yoga, the highest form, discrimination - it seems empty, barren, lacking in emotion.
When everything has failed you, when it seems that none of the paths are good - which they are, but it doesn't seem that way at the time - what does one do? When you've seen all the best movies in town, you've tried all the best people in the neighborhood, you've pushed yourself through a mirage of sexual experiences, creative experiences, work experiences, love experiences, drug experiences, whatever it may be. You've tried everything and still come away with a feeling of emptiness, but not the higher emptiness. Loneliness. Sadness. A feeling that is accentuated by the knowledge of what could be.
You see enough to know how beautiful and perfect life can be. You've had moments where you've seen it. You've touched it. But now it's faded away, which makes it all the worse. You know you're feeling sorry for yourself, but it doesn't seem that you can extricate yourself from the trap of feeling sorry for yourself. You know you should be self-giving; you shouldn't be worried about your state or your condition, that it's all relative. But it still doesn't matter. At the moment you hurt, and that's what matters.
What can you do when all the remedies fail, both spiritual and worldly? What can you do? Well, at such a time, there is a form of yoga you can practice that will enable you to destroy everything, including yourself and your conceptions. And from this destruction will arise a creation, a new force; an energy will enter your life. This yoga is, I suppose, the most dangerous of the yogas. But then again, you get to a point where it really doesn't matter. One can get to a point where nothing is working. We're headed off the cliff, plummeting to the bottom, so why not try one last thing? When you've sunk as low as you can get - or so you think because there's no end to the depths to which you can fall as there is no end to the heights to which you can rise - when you feel, as my grandfather used to say, "lower than a snake's ass," at such a moment, when everything and nothing works, it's time to practice tantra.