Why Tantra? And Why Now?
Extracted from Kali Rising: Foundational Principles of Tantra for a Transforming Planet by Rudolph Ballentine
What We Face
The impending re-gearing we are entering now is awe-inspiring for its depth and breadth. The reshaping of our world is evident on many fronts. Certainly there is economic change. Many fortunes are being lost, a few made, and entire countries are seeing their balance sheets crumble. ;The environment is reeling even more drastically: temperatures changing, waters rising, storms and earthquakes increasing in frequency and/or severity. Our foundation in nature is being shaken.
How are we to respond to all these pressures? Though we each have our own way of coping, most of all, for most of us, there is a felt need to be able to, grasp and some overarching fashion what is happening, to see the larger picture, to find a framework broad enough to reveal how these myTo find a framework broad enough to reveal. how these many shifts might reflect some common dynamic. Unfortunately, our western reductionistic mindset, so well suited to analysis, falls short when it comes. a synthesis such as this. What's needed is a kind of thinking that is integrative, holistic or even more than that, holographic.
Looking East for Help
This is where the wisdom of the East serves us better. It provides us with a way of proceeding that is not constricted to the linear, not given to reflexive analysis - a way of thinking that is larger of scope, friendly or to the synthetic, unruffled by contradictions that exist on the level of mechanistic logic. An openness to the possibility that something can be both true and not true is what has come to be called "fuzzy logic," And it is the harnessing of this peculiarity of Eastern thought that is said to have enabled Japanese engineers to create a train that glides so silently by at such breathtaking speeds, while our western equivalents clickety-clack along with their ancient Newtonian designs
Though the language and concepts of this book are tantric, there are many tradition - Eastern and others, that also deal cogently with the transformation. Tantra however is unique in several ways that make it especial suitable for the task at hand hand.
- First. It has survived relatively intact in its richness and detail for well over a thousand years.
- Second, Tantra has served as a sort of (counter) cultural crossroads receiving input from sources as varied as tribal shamanistic practices throughout South Asia to the lofty philosophies of Kashmiri Shaivists. as well as from a spectrum of major world religions.
- Third, Tantra paints itself on a huge canvas: It deals with the relation of human with the Infinite. Yet, at the same time it is eminently practical.
- Fourth, Tantra is perhaps unique in the emphasis of places is on the relationship between Masculine and Feminine, its perception of the pervasiveness, of tthat dynamic , and how it runs from human to divine, from heaven to earth, and from microcosm to macrocosm.
- And last but not least, Tantra is explicit in how it places all this in the context of our collective transformation, the eminence of our planetary transition into a new already emerging consciousness (which we call "the Intergral").
- Such a description of the distinctive features. suggests that Tantra offers perspectives and insights that are missing from Western thought.
Easton Mountain's Mission Statement describes us as "a force for positive change in the world." Rudy Ballentine's Kali Rising describes the body of Eastern teachings and practices known as tantra and shows how tantra can help us in the West navigate through the changes, positive and negative, that are all around us. Our thanks to Rudy for permission to publish this material.
Rudy Ballentine, along with two other practitioners and teachers of Tantra, Garrell Bevirt and Stephen Powell. will be leading a retreat, Tantric Awakening: Queer Tantra and the Path of Spirituality, September 14-17, at Easton Mountain.