Friday, May 12, 2006

Aleister Crowley and Timothy Leary, two of the most notorious figures of the 20th-century, were influenced by the Tantric tradition, and any Westerner who practices Tantra has in turn been influenced by them. Both Crowley and Leary were brilliant, misguided, worshipped by some and vilified by others. Both understood the importance of the inner quest -- the exploration of consciousness -- and sought to live unfettered by convention; both paid a heavy price for that choice. Both men were deeply flawed, but each left us an important legacy.

"Every generation lives the old drama out over and over again. Every person can. The challenge is for you to become your own priest. For you to become your own doctor. For you to become your own researcher on consciousness."
Timothy Leary, The Politics of Ecstasy

"To obey a set of rules is to shift the whole responsibility of conduct on to some superannuated Bodhisattva, who would resent you bitterly if he could see you, and tick you off in no uncertain terms for being such a fool as to think you could dodge the difficulties of research by the aid of a set of conventions which have little or nothing to do with actual conditions."
Aleister Crowley, Eight Lectures on Yoga

Each statement is a perfectly succinct articulation of what it means to live Tantrically.

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