but without these newsfeed filters and these methodical structures and these systematic implementations of quotes and citations and objectivity; of ideas planted in neat rows for efficient cultivation and easy consumption; of adjectives and adverbs and other perceived excesses trimmed off, commentary clouded by the parenthetical thoughts of other scholars, whose words make mine feel claustrophobic and thin.
but i can’t live off of pretty words. i can’t barter satisfying food & nice housing & fashion conscientiousness with sentences, no matter how meticulously adorned they are. and i’ve heard all the mantras: “just do what you love, fuck everything else,” “if you’re good enough, you can totally support yourself doing what you love.”
but you don’t know what it’s like to be born as a knot in between a familial tug-of-war, stretched between three varying immigrant parents with accompanying bloodlines, born and raised in a place where poverty wasn’t an unemployment check and cart full of stolen recyclables— poverty meant malnutrition and contaminated water; being a small child begging in the streets with no shoes and a baby on your hip; prostitution and terrorism and learning English by watching Popeye through a neighbor’s living room window. you don’t know what it’s like wanting to make two sets of parents so proud of you that their praises make up for the lack thereof throughout childhood (blah blah whole other Pandora’s box of sad feeling-sorry-for-myself-ness).
but it’s not even their stereotypical minority-gone-American pressure to succeed that propels me toward semi-soul-stifling. rather, it’s that i know all they want is what makes me happy (ugh, paradoxical relationships), and they know that in this sad realist material world, happiness is accrued from an improved quality of life (via $$$).
so conclusively, i’m staying an assembly line worker. ‘cause i need pay off the expenses of this life. however, i will continue to rant excessively. even if my screams make no sound in cyberspace, i’d like to believe it’ll have been enough to have screamed at all.
this is the time to surrender your senses to an Atlantia where entropy reigns supreme. keep calm, row steady, and keep your eye on the horizon, but while you’re on board the ship you may as well flirt with the Sirens while you mast assail the Dionysian sea.
the Shiva Tantricas believe that dharma (cosmic order) and moksa (realization of the universal Self; Enlightenment) can’t be found in Brahmannical Hindu social order & status quo, nor in Hindu Ascetic meditation & solitude. rather, cosmic order is meant to be subverted; transgressed; defied, even. Tantricas say that moksa is within the world, and that it’s our duty to harness it & express it into real world actions.
Tantricas condone (and even encourage) drinking alcohol, reveling in rich foods, doing drugs, and having premarital sex— practices other Hindu sects spend their whole lives trying to abstain from. To the Tantricas, spirituality isn’t about denying oneself of worldly desires, but rather controlling those desires; they don’t want to run away from society like the Ascetics— they want to engage in it. they don’t believe in the confinements of the Brahmanical priests’ social hierarchy; no, they want to transcend it; to liberate themselves from conventional religious-societal standards and in turn harness Shiva’s godly power (inherit in all people) in this world, not the next.
Shiva Tantricas don’t believe in indulgence for the sake of pleasure. on the contrary, any desirous act done in the context of recklessness or selfishness is not considered spiritual at all. rather, in partaking in Earthly desires one must challenge their bodies, their minds, and all societal norms as a means of achieving resilience & self-control against the Earthly binds of samsara (the endless cycle of birth & death and creation & destruction that is reincarnation).
Tantricas believe that you have to make the rules instead of follow them; overcome the binds of samsara in this world through passion, power, pleasure, success & resilience. Ultimately, they believe in taking the reigns of your own path toward spirituality in order to discover the Self in the here and now instead of in the after.
Of all other sects of Eastern spirituality (that I’m knowledgeable of), this one’s ideology definitely resonates most fittingly with my own. For me, it’s not enough to exist in confines of comfort, obedience and safety; instead, I need to experience life on the fringe, discover my own boundaries, disregard fears and seize the night, embracing Dionysian inclinations with wild abandon. I want to defy social etiquette. I want to take predispositions about what or who I should be and turn them around. I want to take my consciousness into different dimensions… but only so that I can better understand this one. Indeed, in the same sense, I know that it’s wrong to mistake these nights as endless; I know that along with making my own boundaries, I must forge my own limits; I know that I must always be in control of my chaos, not let it consume me. Basically, I believe in my capacity for stability and success so much that I’m willing to challenge it.
For how can you really know your strength is unshakeable until you’ve put it to the test?