The mind which we use in day to day life for perception and cognition ordinarily acts through the senses. But if we can introvert the senses and turn the mind inwards, it manifests itself through inner experience and an expanded mind.
Thus matter is separated from energy, thereby liberating the energy or Shakti principle, which then unites with Shiva or consciousness, creating homogeneous awareness.
Just as a river expanding into the ocean loses its limitations and restrictions, similarly the finite mind expands into the cosmic or infinite mind and thus becomes a receptor and transmitter of the truth. When this occurs, there is a resulting explosion of energy and the inherent consciousness is freed from the matter. This can be likened to the kundalini experience and this has always been the aim of Tantra.
In Tantra, this concept is interpreted as Shiva or unconditioned consciousness, which exists as a silent witness within each one of us. Tantra allows scope for the development of each and every individual regardless of his stage of evolution. Tantra says that, whether you are a sensualist or a spiritualist, as atheist or theist, whether strong or weak, rich or poor, there is a path for you which you have to discover.
This is the goal of tantra, not occult sex, nor black magic, nor the acquisition of siddis (psychic power), nor licentious living. These have never been the aim of Tantra. Tantra may have been misinterpreted by some in this manner, but that is a different matter altogether, moreover, we can hardly rely on those who have failed to achieve homogeneous awareness to present a true analysis of Tantra.
The word ‘tantra’ means technique, the method, the path. So it is not philosophical – note this. It is not concerned with intellectual problems and inquiries. It is not concerned with the ”why” of things, it is concerned with ”how”; not with what is truth, but how the truth can be attained.
TANTRA means technique. So this treatise is a scientific one. Science is not concerned with why, science is concerned with how. That is the basic difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy asks, “Why this existence?” Science asks, “How this existence?” The moment you ask the question, how, method, technique, become important. Theories become meaningless; experience becomes the center.
Tantra is science, tantra is not philosophy. To understand philosophy is easy because only your intellect is required. If you can understand language, if you can understand concept, you can understand philosophy. You need not change; you require no transformation. As you are, you can understand philosophy – but not tantra.
You will need a change… rather, a mutation. Unless YOU are different tantra cannot be understood, because tantra is not an intellectual proposition, it is an experience. Unless you are receptive, ready, vulnerable to the experience, it is not going to come to you. Philosophy is concerned with the mind. Your head is enough; your totality is not required. Tantra needs you in your totality. It is a deeper challenge. You will have to be in it wholly. It is not fragmentary. A different approach, a different attitude, a different mind to receive it is required. Because of this, Devi is asking apparently philosophical questions.
Tantra starts with Devi’s questions. All the questions can be tackled philosophically. Really, any question can be tackled in two ways: philosophically or totally, intellectually or existentially. For example, if someone asks, “What is love?” you can tackle it intellectually, you can discuss, you can propose theories, you can argue for a particular hypothesis. You can create a system, a doctrine – and you may not have known love at all. To create a doctrine, experience is not needed. Really, on the contrary, the less you know the better because then you can propose a system unhesitatingly. Only a blind man can easily define what light is. When you do not know you are bold. Ignorance is always bold; knowledge hesitates. And the more you know, the more you feel that the ground underneath is dissolving. The more you know, the more you feel how ignorant you are. And those who are really wise, they become ignorant. They become as simple as children, or as simple as idiots.
The less you know, the better. To be philosophical, to be dogmatic, to be doctrinaire – this is easy. To tackle a problem intellectually is very easy. But to tackle a problem existentially – not just to think about it, but to live it through, to go through it, to allow yourself to be transformed through it – is difficult. That is, to know love one will have to be in love. That is dangerous because you will not remain the same. The experience is going to change you. The moment you enter love, you enter a different person. And when you come out you will not be able to recognize your old face; it will not belong to you. A discontinuity will have happened. Now there is a gap, the old man is dead and the new man has come. That is what is known as rebirth – being twice-born.
Tantra says, accept whatsoever you are.
You are a great mystery of many multidimensional energies.
Accept it, and move with every energy with deep sensitivity, with awareness, with love, with understanding.
For tantra, doing is knowing, and there is no other knowing. Unless you do something, unless you change, unless you have a different perspective to look at, to look with, unless you move in an altogether different dimension than the intellect, there is no answer. Answers can be given – they are all lies. All philosophies are lies. You ask a question and the philosophy gives you an answer. It satisfies you or doesn’t satisfy you. If it satisfies you, you become a convert to the philosophy, but you remain the same. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you go on searching for some other philosophy to be converted to. But you remain the same; you are not touched at all, you are not changed.