Einstein’s now famous equation E=mc2 basically defines the composition of the physical universe, each of the objects that occupy space, and the composition of our own physical form, our body. E denotes the energy content of the system. It is obviously the main element as it equal to the content of matter or mass multiplied by a squared constant.
Our physical body, as the rest of the universe, is composed of a small amount of matter and a huge amount of space and energy. The energy is moving the mass around at amazing speeds in the tremendous amount of space.
In living beings, this energy is in the form of life energy, Ch’i in the Chinese, Prana in India, Spirit in the Western world. Chapter 13 of the Tao Te Ching reads: "A human’s true self is eternal (energy) And yet they think, 'I am this body (matter), I will soon die' This false sense of self is the cause of all sorrow, disease, and problems."
The focus of Tantra is on the whole being of the life form, the body, the energy, and the space. The sensations, the expressions, the relationships, and the entire realm of human experience. The sensations that make up our experience are directed by the sensory systems, of which we have at least 13, perhaps many more. The idea that we have 5 senses is an artifact of the Platonian era, a time 2,500 years ago, before the development of the microscope.
Channels of energy, called Chakras in the ancient Hindu philosophy, direct the expression of the human being. Just as sensory systems are the inputs or experience into the body/mind organism, the Chakras are outputs of behavior into the realm of experience.
Tantra is the study and practice of both the inputs and the outputs, the entire being. Tantra affirms what ancients called the ‘subtle body’ in contrast to the physical body but not apart from it. The sensory experience of the being is not separated from the expression of that being. The technical term for this subtle body is the energy field that surrounds and permeates the physical body, the E in Einstein’s equation.
Synchronized breathing and heart beat, eye gazing, vibration, the sensation of energy, and other factors are manifestations of a Tantric experience, these should never be forced as “Tantric practices”. This is true of Pujas, and the Tantra asanas, positions, even mudras.
The Tantric Chakra system defines the 7 major Chakras as:
1. Authentic identity
6. Sensuality and creativit
7. Self concept
These channels express differently when open and closed, individually or integrated, undeveloped or developed. The study and practice of Tantra encourages the opening, development, and integration of these channels. An authentic expression of the life energy.
In Eastern thought, where Tantra originates, the life energy is thought to be generated by the life form. In Western thought the life energy is thought to be derived from the food we eat, in the air we breathe, in the universe for us to locate and access, or is granted to us from a deity. This simplistic explanation can help solve many of the confusing aspects of Eastern thought in contrast to the Western.
The philosophical roots of the Vedic tradition were passed orally for 4,000 years until about 3,700 years ago when written language was perpetuated and the philosophy was written down. As language is very narrow in scope and potent in programming otherwise creative and intelligent minds, the interprtations were scattered and diverse much like language itself. Some were rewritten in the Judaic tradition, great care was taken to rewrite each manuscript, some rewritten in the traditions of the Tao Te Ching, some in the Christian literature.
The Vedas were once a collection of whispered tales, passed along from generation to generation on the lips of storytellers. With the birth of the written word over three millennia ago, these experiences of the life energy suddenly took physical form, some engraved in tablets of stone, some only to be read by the religious elite, some to hammer humans into political submission.
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