“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tantric Objects

If a Tantric Buddhist were an object-oriented ontologist, this is what she'd say.

“Real objects are female Buddhas. Real, withdrawn, dark, molten, vajra-like.

“Sensual objects are male Buddhas. Brilliant, evanescent, illusion-like, having form and color.”

(Notice the nice inversion of normal Western phallocentric parameters here.)

She would continue:

“The real and the appearing aspects of objects exist in inseparable union. We never encounter a real object devoid of sensual characteristics, because that is what encounter means: some sensual exchange takes place. Likewise we never encounter a bundle of sensual appearances that can't be traced to an object.

“Another way to put this: what is real (yeshe, wisdom) is female. The way to realize this is skillful means, male (upaya). Confusion is simply not seeing reality as it is. The path is to treat all entities as Buddhas.

“In Tantra this is represented as female and male Buddhas copulating.”

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