“A Guru is a person in whose company one feels inspired and reminded of one’s divinity and wholeness.”
from the Wiki page on Aghor yoga (Tantra)
Spoiler alert. If I even get around to making that blatantly obvious point!
The Guru mentioned in this quote, is your lover.
He or she is the only one who has the unique power to electrify you, and transcend you to another world.
Another plane of existing.
You should treat your lover the way a devotee treats their Guru.
You re grateful for their time, you don’t ask them to help you out, you don’t treat their presence like an everyday thing.
You KNOW that this person is indispensable and has already given you everything you could possibly desire, simply by being there. That one minute with him or her, means more than a lifetime together with a partner who will do you the favor of giving you a mature relationship that ticks all the boxes.
The reason I stumbled upon the guru quote is because I was brushing up on my tantra knowledge to write this post.
When I was still a yoga teacher, I studied tantra in a brave attempt to find a matching spiritual framework to yoga.
I sure as hell knew it wasn’t Patanjali.
And tantra was a great choice, and it was the most logical choice too, because hatha yoga stems from tantra.
Hatha yoga was developed around 1500, and the book that goes with it is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
There is a lot of sex stuff in it, they really knew what they were doing.
But under the reign of Victorian English colonizers, tantra as well as the hatha yoga were brutally cut in half.
The aspects that were clean and chaste were preserved, and the other side can only be found in singular tantric cults, who don’t have any mainstream status.
The best way to know about tantra is to look on Wikipedia on Aghori.
At the time I was studying Tantra, my favorite book was Robert Svobeda’s Aghora, The Left Hand to God;
On how darkness, leads to the light.
With its cremation grounds, corpses, drinking from skulls and sexual rituals Aghora provided a compelling read.
But because tantra was only known for the part which could easily be slipped into Hinduism and into yoga, my love for tantra was almost impossible to explain.
And then there was an even worse use of the word tantra!
As couples therapy who wanted to do a Sting and Tracy; staring into each other’s eyes, rocking back and forth, without anybody having an orgasm.
The two things combined made it entirely pointless to even mention my tantric path to anyone, unless they had Robert Svoboda’s Aghora part 1, 2 and 3 up on their book shelves.
I lost interest in it.
Although I must say that rereading parts of it, does make me think about studying it again.
Maybe it’s because I no longer teach yoga, that I feel I can study tantra without running the risk of being associated with things that I don’t want to be associated with.
Today I also read a new article from Esther Perel:
4 Ways To Reignite Passion In Your Relationship
And although Esher Perel and me seem to have identical views on relationships and sexuality, we come to different conclusions.
Her work revolves around improving relationships.
And my work around preventing them.
That if you are having great sex, and are excited about seeing each other, the worst thing you could possibly do is to start a relationship.
You re killing the whole entire thing.
Whereas if you re not that much in love, and you have a shared agenda about what it is you want out of life, then sure! Go right ahead.
I m just here to protect the rare cases when someone super special comes along, and your heart is pounding and dancing when you just think about seeing him.
Then my advice would be to become lovers.
Or “mistress” and lover.
Because that relationship, or maybe better “affair”, automatically builds in the four characteristics that Esther Perel teaches you, to have a healthy relationship:
1. Take responsibility for your own desire
Having an affair, and in particular a secret one, is a powerful way to prioritize your desires.
2. Plan sex in advance
Again: this is a given in affairs.
3. Recognize the other’s sovereignty
4. There is no care taking in desire: No one needs the other
My thoughts exactly.
So although I stand with Esther Perel, agreeing with all four points, I still advocate more awareness before you even begin a “real” relationship.
And an affair in particular, doesn’t allow for any of those lust killing aspects in the first place.
It is not for everybody, for sure.
The two main reasons to stick with normal relationships is prioritizing safety over adventure, and wanting to build a life with someone else.
But if you can deal with those aspects;
You’re actually over the moon over someone;
And then you start a real relationship because you think that’s better than an affair, then you’re making the same mistake as what the Brits did to Indian tantra:
You re cherry picking.
You picked the parts that you thought were safe and good, and presented your cleaned up version to the world as it being “the thing”.
But that’s no longer the thing.
The magic never was in the cleaned up version.
It was in everything you tossed aside, because it was too difficult, too ground breaking, too scary, too controversial.
It was in everything that didn’t suite your Victorian morale.
And now you’re wondering, where your Guru went.