Holy Sh*t, Sacred Irreverence, and Artistic Innovators/Tantrikas
The publishers at YogaModern.com asked me to respond to their December theme of “the sacred.” I appreciate our sensibility for the sacred, but our constructions of the sacred are rife with problems that I think are of interest to writers, artists, and even entrepreneurs who seek to create something new and dynamic.
For if you tag or perceive something as “sacred” and its apparent opposite as profane, you risk forming an unchecked, dualistic prejudice. In the history of Yoga, Tantrikas have flipped notions of what’s sacred on their proverbial heads. I have written elsewhere [http://yogamodern.com/categories/writing/hatha-yogis-in-the-counter-current-by-jeff-davis-2/] of how classical Yoga maintains that the body is an “ill-smelling… conglomerate of bone, skin, sinew, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood.” So-called “left-handed” Tantrikas have developed practices that involve physical intercourse and eating meat, challenges to purist notions that demarcate the sacred from the profane. Historically, several Tantrikas and Hatha Yogis also allowed women and people of varied classes to become practitioners, a challenge to Brahmin notions of who is and who is not a candidate for sacredness.
Some Western poets and painters, especially but not only during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, are artistic Tantrikas.
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See you in the woods,
Tracking Wonder Blog at PsychologyToday
Get Out of the Way Blog at Tiferet Journal
The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing (Monkfish, 2008, revised & updated)