But the feminist movements responded defiantly.
The ritual consumption of meat and wine, and in some cases sexual intercoursein violation of class laws, can be employed as a means of awakening andharnessing the awesome power or
195] while still managing to write thirty-two pages on the topic.
And even whenit is used, it istypically restricted to very closely guarded, highly esoteric ritual settingsand surrounded with the most severe injunctions warning of the dangers of itsabuse.
Is it really an indigenous Asian category, or is itinstead -- like the generic category of "Hinduism" itself -- theproduct of western Orientalist scholars imposing their own fantasies andobsessions onto the exotic mirror of the Oriental Other?Although it has been defined in many different ways, Tantra centers in largepart around the concept of
To profane it is the great offense.
As Godwin points out, theauto-erotic and homosexual techniques developed by Kellner and Reuss would havehorrified the more reserved Randolph, for whom sex was a sacrament betweenmarried couples, guarded by ritual sanctityand moral injunctions.
Upon his return to theUnited States,
would be one of the most important means by which Randolph's work wastransmitted and had a formative impact on most later esoteric traditions in theWest: "Once the secret was out of linking occultism with sex, it wasimpossible to ignore...practically every occult order after the 1880s had somedebt to the H.B.
1905) and later founded by Theodor Reuss (d.
To most European scholars of the colonial era, Tantra wasidentified as the very worst and most depraved aspect of the Indian mind, thesource of all the polytheism, idolatry and licentiousness that had led to theapparent degeneration of Hinduism in modern times.
in 1910 and would soon become its most infamousmember.
made sex central to its metaphysical system andspiritual practice: it is the polarity of male and female energies that createsthe universe, and it is sexual union of males and females that leads to the"reunion of the divine Ego and to angelhood." At the sametime, however, the H.B.
Shiva is himself the Mahalingam, which unites thesesymbolisms.
Ironically, although physical intercourse playsa very limited role in most Indian Tantric traditions, the sexual aspect was quickly singled out as themost infamous and most shocking aspect of this terrible perversion of truereligion.
The world is nothing but power to be harnessed."Sexual union (
Many of Randolph's ideas weretransmitted to Germany through a little known but extremelyinfluential group known as the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor (H.B.