This place matters

This place matters

Sunday, June 6, 2010

And then she started writing cat mysteries

Once I had a 10-year-old student try to get a rise out of me by asking what "Tantric" meant. I told him that the term referred to a religious or spiritual practice followed in parts of Asia. He pointed and laughed and said "You're lying. Tantric is sex."
Ah. Leave it to Americans to turn somebody's religion into pornography.
At Ursuline, we had to read the book "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown. The main character is a lesbian, and if there were any graphic sex scenes, I don't remember them. When the time came to discuss the book in class, one of the girls raises her hand and says, "This book was the nastiest thing I've ever read." Sister Mary Dennis looks up from her notes and replies "Well then, you're obviously not very well-read."
It's interesting how people want to shield themselves from learning about things they want to condemn. As if even letting a thought get into your head is a sin. Then again, I felt sick with myself the whole time I was reading "The Purpose Driven Life," so I guess there's that.


Anonymous said...

From what I know of Tantra, it's a lot like Paganism. In essence it's a belief that everything in the world is magical (including ourselves), has a sacred or transcendental nature, and that words or actions can be used to unlock or invoke that nature. Sex is only a small part of tantric practice, with the goal of recognizing sacredness in your partner (and thus yourself and thus everything else) rather than physical pleasure.

There's a lot of similarities (probably due to cross-pollination) to esoteric Taoist Qigong and Taiji Chuan practices, which also used sexual union as a powerful way of conserving life Qi and eventually transforming it into an Immortal Qi.

There's a similar misnomer about the Kama Sutra, which is mostly about how a man should court women (both wives and courtesans). Only 1 of 7 volumes are actually about sex.

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

I think people's minds are so blown by religions that encourage people to embrace their sexuality, rather than treat it as shameful, that the sex part is all they can see.