Holy Sh*t, Sacred Irreverence, and Artistic Innovators/Tantrikas

 In Innovation

Maxine Kumin wrote an ode to excrement. She was not being cute. This farmer-poet is among many artists who challenge conventional notions of what is beautiful, superior, and sacred.

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.

At YogaModern.com, I take up this topic in more detail. Drop in, and leave some comments. Click here to join in.

And do me a favor if the post provokes, informs, or delights you: Share it on Facebook or Twitter.

See you in the woods,

Jeffrey

Where’s Jeffrey?
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)

Maxine Kumin wrote an ode to excrement. She was not being cute. This farmer-poet is among many artists who challenge conventional notions of what is beautiful, superior, and sacred.

Tag or perceive something as “sacred” and its apparent opposite as profane, and 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.

In response to YogaModern.com’s December call to write about “the sacred,” I take up this topic in more detail. Drop in, and leave some comments. Click here to join in.

And do me a favor if the post provokes, informs, or delights you: Share it on Facebook or Twitter.

See you in the woods,

Jeffrey

Where’s Jeffrey?
Fiction Editor, Tiferet Journal: A Journal of Spiritual Literature

Tracking Wonder Blog at PsychologyToday
A Hut of Questions at trackingwonder.com
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

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  • libramoon
    Reply

    Sacred Geology

    Rich earth
    decomposing life
    imbuing myriad layers
    of sacred spirit
    Memories upon memories
    scarred into the land
    making it holy
    a bounty of beauty
    irrigated by tears
    and less voluntary bodily fluids
    living loam
    revitalizing
    luscious fruits
    giving back what was taken
    Partaking of the feast
    we are blessed
    renewed in holy essence
    in the fullness of time
    the cycle reclaims
    all that we are
    that we may become
    yet more richly
    layered

    (c) April 30, 2006 Laurie Corzett

  • Jeffrey
    Reply

    Gorgeous. And so appropriate, Laurie.

    Wondrous New Year,
    Jeffrey

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