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The Shadow of the Dalai Lama

The Shadow of the Dalai Lama

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All rights reserved © Victor & Victoria Trimondi.
This book is presented here for informational purposes only. If you like the book, support the authors and visit their webpage: http://www.trimondi.de

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10/24/2015

In this chapter we want to introduce the reader to a spectacular European parallel to the fundamental
tantric idea that erotic love and sexuality can be translated into material and spiritual power. It
concerns several until now rarely considered theses of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600).

At the age of fifteen, Bruno, born in Nola, Italy, joined the Dominican order. However, his interest in
the newest scientific discoveries and his fascination with the late Hellenistic esotericism very soon led
him to leave his order, a for the times most courageous undertaking. From this point on he began a
hectic life on the road which took him all over Europe. Nonetheless, the restless and ingenious ex-
monk wrote and published numerous “revolutionary” works in which he took a critical stance toward
the dogmata of the church on all manner of topics. The fact that Bruno championed many ideas from
the modern view of the world that was emerging at the time, especially the Copernican system, made
him a hero of the new during his own lifetime. After he was found guilty of heresy by the Inquisition
in 1600 and burned at the stake at the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, the European intelligentsia
proclaimed him to be the greatest “martyr of modern science”. This image has stayed with him up
until the present day. Yet this is not entirely justified, then Bruno was far more interested in the
esoteric ideas of antiquity and the occultism of his day than in modern scientific research. Nearly all
of his works concern magic/mystic/mythological themes.

Like the Indian Tantrics, this eccentric and dynamic Renaissance philosopher was convinced that the
entire universe was held together by erotic love. Love in all its variations ruled the world, from
physical nature to the metaphysical heavens, from sexuality to heartfelt love of the mystics: it “led
either to the animals [sexuality] or to the intelligible and is then called the divine [mysticism]" (quoted
by Samsonow, 1995, p. 174).

Bruno extended the term Eros (erotic love) to encompass in the final instance all human emotions and
described it in general terms as the primal force which bonded, or rather—as he put it—"chained”,
through affect. “The most powerful shackle of all is ... love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 224).
The lover is “chained” to the individual loved. But there is no need for the reverse to apply, then the
beloved does not themselves have to love. This definition of love as a “chain” made it possible for
Bruno to see even hate as a way of expressing erotic love, since he or she who hates is just as
“chained” to the hated by his feelings as the lover is to the beloved. (To more graphically illustrate the
parallels between Bruno’s philosophy and Tantrism, we will in the following speak of the lover as
feminine rather than masculine. Bruno used the term completely generically for both women and men.

According to Bruno, “the ability to enchain” is also the main chacteristic of magic, then a magician
behaves like an escapologist when he binds his “victim” (whether human or spirit) to him with love.
“There where we have spoken of natural magic, we have described to what extent all chains can be

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related to the chain of love, are dependent upon the chain of love or arise in the chain of love” (quoted
by Samsonow, 1995, p. 213). More than anything else, love binds people, and this gives it something
of the demonic, especially when it is exploited by one partner to the disadvantage of the other. “As
regards all those who are dedicated to philosophy or magic, it is fully apparent that the highest bond,
the most important and the most general belongs to erotic love: and that is why the Platonists called
love the Great Demon, daemon magnus” (quoted by Couliano, 1987, p. 91).

Now how does this erotic magic work? According to Bruno an erotic/magic involvement arises
between the lovers, a fabric of affect, feelings, and moods. He refers to this as rete (net or fabric). It is
woven from subtle “threads of affect”, but is thus all the more binding. (Let us recall that the Sanskrit
word “tantra” translates as “fabric” or “net”.) The rete (the erotic net) can be expressed in a sexual
relationship (through sexual dependency), but in the majority of cases it is of a psychological nature
which nonetheless further strengthens its power to bind. Every form of love chains in its own way:
“This love”, Bruno says, “is unique, and is a fetter which makes everything one” (quoted by
Samsonow, 1995, p. 180).

If they wish, a person can control the one whom they bind to themselves with love, since “through
this chain [the] lover is enraptured, so that they want to be transferred to the beloved” as Bruno writes
(quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 181). Accordingly, the real magician is the beloved, who exploits the
erotic energy of the lover in the accumulation of his own power. He transforms love into power, he is
a manipulator of erotic love. [1] As we shall soon see, even if Bruno’s manipulator is not literally a
Tantric, the second part of the definition with which we prefaced our study still seems to fit:

The mystery of Tantric Buddhism consists in ...
the manipulation of erotic love
so as to attain universal androcentric power.

The manipulator, also referred to as a “soul hunter” by Bruno, can reach the heart of the lover through
her sense of sight, through her hearing, through her spirit, and through her imagination, and thus chain
her to him. He can look at her, smile at her, hold her hand, shower her with flattering compliments,
sleep with her, or influence her through his power of imagination. “In enchaining”, Bruno says, “there
are four movements. The first is the penetration or insertion, the second the attachment or the chain,
the third the attraction, the fourth the connection, which is also known as enjoyment. ... Hence [the]
lover wants to completely penetrate the beloved with his tongue, his mouth, with his eyes,
etc.” (Samsonow, 1995, pp. 171, 200). That is, not only does the lover let herself be enchained, she
must also experience the greatest desire for this bond. This lust has to increase to the point that she
wants to offer herself with her entire being to the beloved manipulator and would like to “disappear in
him”. This gives the latter absolute power over the enchained one.
The manipulator evokes all manner of illusions in the awareness of his love victim and arouses her
emotions and desires. He opens the heart of the lover and can take possession of the one thus
“wounded”. He is lord over foreign emotions and “has means at his disposal to forge all the chains he
wants: hope, compassion, fear, love, hate, indignation, anger, joy, patience, disdain for life and death”
writes Joan P. Couliano in her book, Eros and magic in the Renaissance (Couliano, 1987, p. 94). Yet
the magically enacted enchainment may never occur against the manifest will of the enchanted one. In
contrast, the manipulator must always awake the suggestion in his victim that everything is happening
in her interests alone. He creates the total illusion that the lover is a chosen one, an independent
individual following her own will.

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Bruno also mentions an indirect method of gaining influence, in which the lover does not know at all
that she is being manipulated. In this case, the manipulator makes use of “powerful invisible beings,
demons and heroes”, whom he conjures up with magic incantations (mantras) so as to achieve the
desired result with their help (Couliano, 1987, p. 88). We learn from the following quotation how
these invoked spirits work for the manipulator: They need “neither ears nor a voice nor a whisper,
rather they penetrate the inner senses [of the lover] as described. Thus they do not just produce
dreams and cause voices to be heard and all kinds of things to be seen, but they also force certain
thoughts upon the waking as the truth, which they can hardly recognize as deriving from
another” (Samsonow, 1995, p. 140). The lover thus believes she is acting in her own interests and
according to her own will, whilst she is in fact being steered and controlled through magic
blandishments.

The manipulator himself may not surrender to any emotional inclinations. Like a tantric yogi he must
keep his own feelings completely under control from start to finish. For this reason well-developed
egocentricity is a necessary characteristic for a good manipulator. He is permitted only one love:
narcissism (philautia), and according to Bruno only a tiny elite possesses the ability needed, because
the majority of people surrender to uncontrolled emotions. The manipulator has to completely bridle
and control his fantasy: “Be careful,” Bruno warns him, “not to change yourself from manipulator
into the tool of phantasms” (quoted by Couliano, 1987, p. 92). The real European magician must, like
his oriental colleague (the Siddha), be able “to arrange, to correct and to provide phantasy, to create
the different kinds at will” (Couliano, 1987, p. 92).

He must not develop any reciprocal feelings for the lover, but he has to pretend to have these, since,
as Bruno says, “the chains of love, friendship, goodwill, favor, lust, charity, compassion, desire,
passion, avarice, craving, and longing disappear easily if they are not based upon mutuality. Fom this
stems the saying: love dies without love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 181). This statement is of
thoroughly cynical intent, then the manipulator is not interested in reciprocating the erotic love of the
lover, but rather in simulating such a reciprocity.

But for the deception to succeed the manipulator may not remain completely cold. He has to know
from his own experience the feelings that he evokes in the lover, but he may never surrender himself
to these: “He is even supposed to kindle in his phantasmic mechanism [his imagination] formidable
passions, provided these be sterile and that he be detached from them. For there is no way to bewitch
others than by experimenting in himself with what he wishes to produce in his victim” (Couliano,
1987, p. 102). The evocation of passions without falling prey to them is, as we know, almost a tantric
leitmotif.

Yet the most astonishing aspect of Bruno’s manipulation thesis is that, as in Vajrayana , he mentions
the retention of semen as a powerful instrument of control which the magician should command, since
“through the expulsion of the seed the chains [of love] are loosened, through the retention
tightened” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 175). In a further passage we can read: “If this [the semen
virile
] is expelled by an appropriate part, the force of the chain is reduced correspondingly (quoted by
Samsonow, 1995, p. 175). Or the reverse: a person who reatins their semen, can thereby strengthen
the erotic bondage of the lover.

Bruno’s idea that there is a correspondence between erotic love and power is thus in accord with

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tantric dogma on the issue of sperm gnosis as well. His theory of the manipulability of love offers us
valuable psychological insights into the soul of the lover and the beloved manipulator. They also help
us to understand why women surrender themselves to the Buddhist yogis and what is played out in
their emotional worlds during the rites. As we have already indicated, this topic is completely
suppressed in the tantric discussion. But Bruno addresses it openly and cynically — it is the heart of
the lover which is manipulated. The effect for the manipulator (or yogi) is thus all the greater the
more his karma mudra surrenders herself to him.

Bruno’s treatise, De vinculis in genere [On the binding forces in general] (1591), can in terms of its
cynicism and directness only be compared with Machialvelli’s The Prince (1513). But his work goes
further. Couliano correctly points out that Macchiavelli examines political, Bruno however,
psychological manipulation. Then it is less the love of a consort and rather the erotic love of the
masses which should — this she claims is Bruno’s intention — serve the manipulator as a “chain”.
The former monk from Nola recognized manipulated “love” as a powerful instrument of control for
the0 seduction of the masses. His theory thus contributes much to an understanding of the ecstatic
attractiveness that dictators and pontiffs exercise over the people who love them. This makes Bruno’s
work up to date despite its cynical content.

Bruno’s observations on “erotic love as a chain” are essentially tantric. Like Vajrayana, they concern
the manipulation of the erotic in order to produce spiritual and worldly power. Bruno recognized that
love in the broadest sense is the “elixir of life”, which first makes possible the establishment and
maintenance of institutions of power headed by a person (such as the Pope, the Dalai Lama, or a
“beloved” dictator for example). As strong as love may be, it is, if it remains one-sided, manipulable
in the person of the “lover”. Indeed, the stronger it becomes, the more easily it can be used or
“misused” for the purposes of power (by the “beloved”).

The fact that Tantrism focuses more upon sexuality then on the more sublime forms of erotic love,
does not change anything about this principle of “erotic exploitation”. The manipulation of more
subtle forms of love like the look (Carya Tantra), the smile (Kriya Tantra), and the touch (Yoga
Tantra
) are also known in Vajrayana. Likewise, in Tantric Buddhism as in every religious institution,
the “spiritual love” of its believers is a life energy without which it could not exist. In the second part
of our study we shall have to demonstrate how the Tibetan leader of the Buddhists, the Dalai Lama,
succeeds in binding ever more Western believers to him with the “chains of love”.

Incidentally, in her book which we have quoted (Eros and Magic in the Renaissance) Couliano is of
the opinion that via the mass media the West has already been woven into such a manipulable “erotic
net” (rete). At the end of her analysis of Bruno’s treatise on power she concludes: “And since the
relations between individuals are controlled by ‘erotic’ criteria in the widest sense of that adjective,
human society at all levels is itself only magic at work. Without even being conscious of it, all beings
who, by reason of the way the world is constructed, find themselves in an intersubjective intermediate
place, participate in a magic process. The manipulator is the only one who, having understood the
ensemble of that mechanism, is first an observer of intersubjective relations while simultaneously
gaining knowledge from which he means subsequently to profit” (Couliano, 1987, p. 103).

But Couliano fails to provide an answer to the question of who this manipulator could be. In the
second part of our analysis we shall need to examine whether the Dalai Lama with his worldwide
message of love, his power over the net (rete) of Western media, and his sexual magic techniques

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from the Kalachakra Tantra, fulfills the criteria to be a magician in Giordano Bruno’s sense.

Footnotes:

[1] The Renaissance philosopher attempts to describe this transformation process in his text De vinculis in
genere
(1591)

Next Chapter:
12. EPILOGUE TO PART I

Index | Contents | References | Buddhism Debate | Glossary | Home

© Copyright 2003 Victor & Victoria Trimondi
The contents of this page are free for personal and non-commercial use,
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the rights of publication in any form, have to be obtained by written
permission from the authors.

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The Shadow of the Dalai Lama – Part I – 12

The Shadow of the Dalai Lama Part I 12. Epilogue to part I

© Victor & Victoria Trimondi

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