Be Calm & Follow Your Bliss

The world into which I was thrust made absolutely no sense to me. I was solemnly informed that there was a God who had created the world, but, even as a child, I considered this arrant nonsense. God, I was further told, was pure Love, which made me even more dubious about the authenticity of this wisdom. If God was pure love, I wondered, how in sweet hell could he have created a world so full of ignorance, misery, hatred and suffering? Did it give him perverse pleasure to watch babies starving, men being blown to bits in senseless wars, innocent brides burned to death for lack of a larger dowry, monstrous inequities in wealth, and a myriad other forms of implausible wickedness?

Soon I discovered that pleasure could be derived from this same world simply by indulging one’s senses and using one’s talents to become rich and famous. Yes, one could enjoy a variety of entertainments, sparkling if fickle companions, terrific parties, sex, drugs, and rock & roll. But why did a feeling of pain and emptiness invariably follow indulgence in these so-called pleasures? Instead of waking us up, I discovered too, this hollowness often drove humans to chase new forms of pleasure, which also ended up in the same dreary hell—which is why, I supposed, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Continue reading

Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide – Part 1/6

ardha-nareeshwaraThe Manhattan winter of 1992 caught me dreaming about writing an epic saga infused with the beauty of tantra. It would be set in an ancient Indian mythical civilization ruled by Rudra-Siva, the great god of paradox; somehow I intuited that this divine entity, the Wild God himself, would spark my dream into roaring life. (If you’ve looked at the post previous to this one, you’d know that Whip of the Wild God took me twenty years to complete!)

Buried in the vastness of the Tantras, I came upon an ancient saying that immediately struck me as true. It translates something like this: When Shiva set his seal upon this world, he cleaved it into male and female; when male and female come together in sacred union, Shiva blesses them with the bliss of Oneness. Continue reading