Spiegelman - Introfuction to "Western Tantra" | Patriarchy | Religious Behaviour And Experience

INTRODUCTION

by J. MARVIN SPIEGELMAN, Ph.D., JUNGIAN ANALYST
While reading about the three experiences that Dr. Hyatt had of the Goddess I chanced to look up for the moment in my pleasant patio, and saw a tiny lady bug, scurrying quickly along the ground toward my foot. I put my finger in front of her and she determinedly climbed aboard. I made it possible for her to rest on Hyatt's manuscript and she did so, peacefully and contentedly, it seemed to me. I could then see the interesting markings on her shiny red back: four black dots, arranged in a square. For me this was a synchronicity, a meaningful coincidence, which I took as a benevolent mark of Her presence. In my understanding, this mandala, a symbol of wholeness, appearing on this gentle and widely appreciated "lady bug", was an emblematic expression of the Tightness of Hyatt's efforts and a validation, in my eyes, for his service to the Self as it appears in feminine form. I presented my interpretation of this event, silently, to the Goddess as manifested in this gentle bug, and asked

if my understanding was correct. It seemed to me that she bowed, ever so subtly, and gracefully flew away, to "her children " no doubt -- to her many creative followers (like Hyatt) who are "burning" with passion in Her service. I have known Hyatt for quite a long time, (more than twenty years), and have seen him in many i n c a r n a t i o n s — in this life — as s t u d e n t , psychotherapist, director of clinics, investment counselor, publisher, writer, Mage, as well as in the non-role manifestations of expert sailor, street-smart battler, "stand-in" for Orson Welles. I was one of the three people who referred him to Dr. Israel Regardie, who plays such an important role in the "third" manifestation of the Goddess, mentioned by Hyatt. Yet all my knowledge of him did not give me an adequate understanding of his fierce battle against pomposity and hypocrisy, against authoritarianism and cant. This book, especially the experiences of the Goddess, helps me very much more, in this regard. I can now see his battle as his service to the Goddess, his dedication and devotion to the overcoming of the rigidity of a patriarchal condition which has seen its twilight, leading to an elevation of the feminine principle and all that entails in the way of appreciation rather than repression of the instincts, and an ethic to match. Hyatt's Kundalini vision of Christ with the Nun taking the watch from his wrist, also helped me to understand the antagonism he has expressed — as he often does in this book — towards Christianity. I had often mentioned to him that I had experienced any number of Christian clergy and nuns, as well as lay persons, of outstanding qualities — humanity, tolerance, intelligence and humor — and that this

particular branch of the "chosen of God," the Christian, surely deserved better treatment. He would then detail to me a story of the Christian record of repression, intolerance, stupidity, violence, hate, etc. which were just the opposite of what I had experienced, but which I could not gainsay. All that belonged to the decaying patriarchy, I would say, and we would agree. But now I see that the figure of Christ is, indeed, terribly important for Hyatt, and even in his fury he bows his head to this incarnation of the divine. In Hyatt's vision, Christ gently and benevolently allows the nun to take the watch from his wrist; he is in no way the authoritarian and cruel figure that oppresses the feminine. Thus, I would say, Hyatt is participating in this handing over of power and value, and it may even be his own very powerful patriarchal energies which are both battling and participating in this changeover. It would seem, therefore, that this excellent book, focusing on transformation, rather than repression or sublimation, is a true symbolic outcome of the developmental process and is useful to all who need to transform, particularly men. "We shall overcome" was spoken not only for repressed AfroAmericans, but to all of those unable to develop in our aeon-ending culture. Hyatt's service, therefore, is blessed by the Goddess, as the lady-bug showed me. It is quite flattering to me, of course, that he chooses to make use of my psychological comments about the various chakras in Kundalini Yoga. My own understanding, naturally, derives from the work of Arthur Avalon and of C.G. Jung, as well as the authorities that they mention, so it is gratifying to see one's own efforts linking up with the positive patriarchy continuing with the next generation. (Not all fathers are authoritarian.) Hyatt's work makes

creative use of this material, along with the neoReichian methods developed by Israel Regardie. I am particularly impressed with how Hyatt has combined various sources in a creative and practical way. I am familiar with the neo-Reichian exercises which assist in the reduction of tension and increase sensory awareness. I can also attest that disciplined activity along these lines does produce the kinds of relaxation and energy-consciousness that are claimed. The combination of these with the magical methods of meditation, such as the Middle Pillar, was a highlight of the achievements of Regardie, and these are wellrecognized. Hyatt has extended this syncretic work considerably by placing it all in a context of Western Tantra which, he calls "the sexuality of the Middle Path." I am sure that he looks forward to hearing how his own experimentation is received and furthered by others. This is no mere "how to" book, however. Hyatt's attitude, despite his antagonism to dogmatic "faiths," is both religious and respectful. For example, when he insists that all of this work is in the service of transcendence, he says: ". . . it matters not whether eating or sex or opening a door with your right hand is transcended; what matters is that consciousness becomes fully aware that transcendence is possible. My position has sometimes been regarded as amoral or immoral by conventional western religions. On the lower planes of man's functioning as an insect, this is no doubt correct. On the higher planes, however, this position is highly moral."

Hyatt's, work, therefore, is far from being merely selfindulgent. Indeed, he is just as uncompromising about his own "shadow," as we Jungians call the less savory aspects of ourselves, as he is about the hypocrisy mentioned earlier. To undertake the program he proposes about self-transformation, followed by the joint process of transformation and the production of the "magickal child," would obviously require qualities of honesty, persistence, devotion and care which no mere hedonist could endure for more than five minutes. I hope that Dr. Hyatt will receive thoughtful consideration for his ideas and suggestions and that readers will undertake the experiments proposed in the spirit with which he offers them. His unique combination of perspectives and methods of quite diverse origin, along with precise practical application, merits this consideration. One hopes that he will be rewarded with responses from others which will help him extend and refine his views.

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