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An Old un-Theosophical prejudice.

Jan 03, 1999 01:20 AM
by Richard Taylor

In a message dated 1/2/99 8:18:26 PM, Dallas wrote:

<<In my opinion:  This obsession with "sex" is a degradation of the

great idea of unity that allows for, first duality, and then, the

"multiplicity" that is needed for the "creation" of a fresh form

for a returning immortal Ego to enter and use.  All the "lower

kingdoms" of nature participate in this process, and they do so

under "natural impulse, unconsciously.  We are responsible in

general for their training, and we ought to treat them as our

"children," if we assume that responsibility.  Our

responsibilities as parents are important.   Are these not to be

considered ?  How is it that we have become so interested in

adventure and pleasure that we cease asking these vital questions?
What are we doing to each other, to the rest of nature around

us, and to our very real physical children when we generate them?>>

---Very well put.

<<Why should we limit our inquiries to the ideas and illustrations

of Tantrik texts that degrade and physicalize (and psychically

debase) the grand idea of the family and connubial life? >>

This is a mistake that Dallas and many other Theosophists continually make.  I
am a LONG-TIME student of Tantric Buddhist texts, and they are really very
little about sex.  The Tantras (in Buddhism) that I am familiar with speak
mostly of mantras, meditation, and visualizations of oneself as a fully
Enlightened Buddha.  An example follows.

One begins a meditation session with various ways to purify oneself, such as
reaffirming the bodhisattva vow, placing oneself under the care of the
Buddha's of all time, and making homage to one's direct guru and one's
lineage.  "Impure" breaths and forces are expelled, while one imagines that
one is breathing in the exhalations of a Buddha or bodhisattva figure.  One
makes offerings and vows for generosity, kindness, and the absence of various
negative emotions.  Then one begins to meditated by visualizing oneself as a
cosmic Buddha. In one's right hand one may hold a vajra (diamond-thunder
complex symbol) in the left a lotus (equally complex symbol), on one's head a
sacred fire, or perhaps radiant mist.  One has before one the Buddhist
Scriptures, a choir of monks on the right, a choir of Enlightened laypeople on
the left, complex images before and behind.  One is to remain in the state of
contemplative unity, complete absence of "self."  Afterward, one may chant a
sutra, particularly the Diamond Sutra or Metta (Kindness sutra), one thanks
the Buddha and the guru for their kindness, and concludes by dedicating one's
merit to all beings.  This is the content of a typical Tantra.  The text then
spends most of its time explaining the complex symbolism of each and every
piece of the ritual sitting.

These are profound teachings, not sexual instructions or exhortations to
physical pleasures.  Let me reiterate: most Tantric texts do not mention sex,
either to condone it or condemn it.

What *is* this obsession?  I am interested in Buddhist works, particularly
Tibetan works, for the light they shed on HPB's sources, and for the light
HPB's writings shed on Tibetan Buddhism.  I think the two studied in
combination are extremely helpful for many students, as HPB's teachings can
explain otherwise opaque symbols and ideas in Buddhism, while Buddhist texts
can round out the student's understanding of HPB's references, for instance
karma, devachan (a Tibetan word, by the way, not Sanskrit), Avalokiteshvara,
Amitabha, Tsong Kha Pa etc. etc.  Knowing the native contexts of these
difficult terms can be very, well -- enlightening.  None of this is sexual.

To call the Buddhist Tantras "sexual" is grossly unfair, probably brought on
by the plethora of New Age (Westernized) books that use and abuse Tantras in
this way.  Again, I implore the list members to ACTUALLY INVESTIGATE the
Buddhist Tantras now in print, and disabuse themselves of this old, very un-
Theosophical prejudice.  For starters, let me recommend INTRODUCTION TO TANTRA
by Lama Yeshe by Wisdom Publications.  Readers will be pleased to know there
is simply nothing "sexual" in that book.  It is all about meditative
techniques to achieve and remain in the highest state of contemplation, called
"Buddha Mind."

If writers will *refuse* to actually educate themselvs, and yet continue to
abuse Buddhist works and make charges, they place themselves in real jeopardy
of hurting others, turning them from valid inquiry, while making themselves
look like biased fools.


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