Gaian Cordings by JLL, Infinity Ridge, Andalucia.
Planetary Tantra is the outgrowth of the Terma of Gaia Awakening which JLL received in August 2008. From the outset of releasing PT (January 2009, White Plains, NY), John made it clear that the Terma can never be bought or sold, nor can anyone presume to teach it, acting the guru role, presenting courses or seminars, and so forth. John always insists, THE TERMA IS THE GURU. No one teaches the Terma, and everyone is equal before the Terma.
To embrace or enter the Terma of Gaia Awakening makes you a conscious witness to the dreaming power of the Wisdom Goddess, and prepares you to participate in that power, to engage it in your life internally and externally, and eventually to command it. “The highest desire of the Gaian Dakinis is that you command them — by pleasure.”
So, what is the difference between the Terma itself and its “outgrowth” in Planetary Tantra? Quite simply, the Terma consists of a succinct set of instructions and the outline of methods of experimentation. In the Terma the Aeon Sophia instructs you directly in how to communicate with her and engage her power. Self-initiation with the Terma is a simple and elementary act, the same for everyone: Learn by heart the three instructions of the Diamond-Sky Dakinis, perform the ritual of iron-bounding, and pronounce your Vow. That is entrance into the Terma in three simple steps.
For a full explanation of the Terma in both its aspects, Planetary Tantra and Kala Tantra, listen to this talk from the GNE: The Terma is a Tray (see below).
Traditionally, the terton (treasure-finder) in the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism receives a terma (wisdom treasure) by subliminal transmission (mind mandate) via clairaudient download. The terma always comes in a compressed form, like a zip file. JLL has explained the D ‘n D of treasure finding: download and delivery. The Terton first downloads (transceives) the terma, then he or she delivers it. The act of delivery requires unpacking the zip file and packaging the terma in a way that fits the mindset and disposition of those living in the time it is delivered. The packaging of the Terma can be an extensive and complicated affair, compared to the essential matter of the Terma which is also bar none, elementary. It requires consummate skill in exposition.
It is extremely important to distinguish between exposition about PT, and the exposition of PT itself. JLL has always stressed that Planetary Tantra will always be free to all who wish to explore it. In setting up NEMETA he remains true to this assertion. PT on NEMETA is a zone of learning that may be compared to an open auditorium, like the amphitheater setting for a Greek tragedy. From this setting, the exposition of Planetary Tantra proceeds perpetually, all the time. Anyone on the public access mailing list for NEMETA, distinct from the members-only mailing list, can access the learning zone for Planetary Tantra. As NEMETA gets up and running, JLL and the team will be continually add material, talks, texts, illustrations, charts, calendars, guidelines, etc, with the intention of focusing improving the exposition OF Planetary Tantra.
For instance, the video clip demonstration for using the Shakti Cluster app as a tool of autogenic magic can be found here. Those on the public access mailing list will be periodically updated on new material.
So much for the exposition OF Planetary Tantra. The exposition ABOUT Planetary Tantra will appear elsewhere on NEMETA included in various learning paths. What John has written about PT, such as the essays on “The Tantric conversion” formerly posted on metahistory.org in the Planetary Tantra sub-section (a complete site in its own right), the unpublished Buddhism/Gnosis parallels (“Talbot Memos”), and more… that kind of material stands in a class by itself. It is not offered free due to the simple fact that it stands as the fruit of scholarship affording expert commentary on PT but not essential to knowing how to practice it. This commentary is an aspect of the expertise of the Terton which, in traditional terms, would be recognized by those receiving the Terma as worthy of remuneration.
Here is the classic intro to Planetary Tantra written in 2008:
What is Planetary Tantra? Rapturous immersion through desire and imagination in the dreaming power of the earth. It is the most intimate way of bonding with the planetary animal mother, Gaia.
Planetary Tantra is a single-impulse continuum: the origin, path, and goal are one. The main requirement for entering this experiment is a profound love of beauty combined with appreciation of pleasure. Love as such does not determine the course of experience in Gaian Tantricism, but the love of pleasure reveals and engenders the many pleasures of love. This impulse is hedonic and voluptuary, extravagant in moods and desires. The body is its instrument, the setting for it is the energetic field of the living earth.
The love for pleasure is a cosmic impulse so vast and consuming that it would wreak havoc if not balanced by another impulse, the love of handling power. Not the love of power, but of handling it. Tantra is a way of handling power, especially the power of attraction, mood, mania, inspiration, including any emotion, positive or negative. Power in Tantric terms has nothing to do with authority, or exercising control over others, or similar forms of patriarchal domination. Gaian Tantra is the antidote to the male control disease that infects humanity at the close of Kali Yuga. If the genuine love of pleasure guides human morals, the sick pleasure of wielding power over others cannot prevail.
In Hindu traditions of goddess mysticism, the practice of handling power was called Shaktism, after shakti, “power, pure energy, dynamism.” Shakti is understood to be exclusively the power of the Divine Feminine, “the Goddess.” So, Tantra is the practice of handling goddess power. To be precise, it is the playful, experimental dynamic of power-sharing with the goddess whose body is the eartth. It is not a power-trip for anyone alone, acting on selfish motives, or the wish to control, or grandiosity.
Bonding with Gaia relies on desire and imagination, faculties the earth goddess implants in human creatures as a divine birthright. Turn those faculties toward Gaia, the source, and you bond with her at the source. Desire and imagination as you experience them right now are direct, immanent extensions of the dreaming power of the planetary mother animal, not faculties confined to you alone. They are two-way energetic tendrils of her life-field vibrating in the human psyche and body.
The human animal is wired to Gaia, literally and spiritually.
Planetary Tantra explores the bioelectromagnetic features of desire in the planetary field, and the reflex of human visionary power in the physical atmosphere. And it explores these dimensions of geophysical reality in exquisite detail, with intimate involvement. This tantra is high ritual enjoyment of human pleasures grounded in the planetary organism. “The practices of the devotees of Earth Goddess are a pleasure to perform” (Mahanirvana Tantra, 12 C. CE). Desire rather than love directs the rituals of Gaian Tantra, Planetary Tantra.
Imagination is the dreaming power of Gaia but does not appear to be so until its actually aligns you to her. Alignment comes through knowing and loving her story, the myth of her life including her self-designated identity. The Terma of Gaia Awakening is a pact for interacting with divine imagination. Planetary Tantra is the elaboration of that pact into manifold expressions of beauty, wonder, and transmutation.
It is next to impossible to transmit Planetary Tantra by exposition and discourse. Transmission happens through direct contact via a spark of delight leaping from one Gaian tantrika to another. This divine experiment is not progressive: it runs in jolts. Rapture and recognition are the weave, the double-stranded Eros of the planetary animal mother. But lacking the opportunity for such contact, the privilege to stand together in that weave, that wave of incomparable bliss, I am venturing to introduce Planetary Tantra in written words on this site.
Tantra for the Planet: Shaktism Reinvented
To present Planetary Tantra by exposition, I convert the Sophianic message of metahistory.org into the language of Asian Tantra. Does that mean that I have reverted to the old-time religions of the East? Not at all. This experiment is pure innovation, a test of playful novelty. Like the mother site, metahistory.org, Planetary Tantra stands on its originality. I use received materials such as teachings of the Tibetan sage Longchenpa, only if I can upscale them to elucidate and enhance the challenge of power-sharing with the planetary animal mother. Likewise for the Hindu and Dravidian images of infernal goddesses associated with Kali and her retinue: I spin these icons toward a visionary purpose that will soon enough morph them into new expressions of the Divine Feminine.
The treasury of Asian mysticism is vast, so what is the focal factor in Planetary Tantra that concurs with the ancient traditions? It is the “worship of power,” as Shaktism is often defined. And not just any power, but that feminine power of nature not exclusive to women — which indeed may be largely lacking in individual women today. My conversion is a long bet on the risky proposition that the natural-supernatural “goddess power” animating the earth can be coupled to human intention. Some foundations of this proposal can be found in Hindu devotionalism and Tibetan Tantra, but mainly in the Shakta approach to life, by intimate engagement with the powers of the Divine Feminine, but essential it is novel and unique to this moment in history, right now.
revised jll 8 August 2010
with Svatantriya Ma whose dance is freedom
Planetary Tantra is not an attempt to revive the Pagan Mysteries, but it is a continuation of the Sophianic vision recovered and restored from Gnostic sources on the Pan-Europan Pre-Christian Mysteries. It fuses the Pagan Gnostic revelation of the living earth with Asian mystical teachings and practices, and extrapolates gnosis in some unusual ways.
Starting with the Tantric conversion, Sophia=Wisdom=Vidya, this site takes a freewheeling experimental approach to the “goddess revival”. Nothing faintly resembling organized dogmatic religion is intended, of course. Consistent with the critical spirit of metahistory.org, I do not endorse or promote received religious beliefs of any kind, Eastern or Western. But neither do I deny the need to explore and express the religious imagination of our species. My purpose is to indicate the direction in which that potent faculty of imagination might be aimed in the last two centuries of Kali Yuga (3102 BCE – 2216 CE).
First and foremost, Planetary Tantra is a path of interactive magic with Gaia-Sophia, an intimate way to engage the supernatural powers of the Divine Feminine in every aspect of life, love, and destiny.
With Planetary Tantra, the aim of metahistory.org, and now Nemeta, shifts from educational to experimental. I am not longer writing theoretically, nor even mythopoetically, about our connection to Sophia, the wisdom goddess embodied in the earth. Planetary Tantra is a path of interactivity.
This new material reflects the impact of a series of experiences I underwent in the summer of 2008. It is, if you will, the fruit of a personal revelation, but not restricted to me personally. It begins with me but it does not belong to me. And who knows, it may also be flashing up elsewhere through others around the planet. I am not the sole author of Planetary Tantra though I will initially appear to be so, simply because I am the one to announce it. But this is a group-generated, serial revelation, just now getting underway. The Maine terton (pun intended) is the discoverer of an incomparable wisdom treasure, the Terma of Gaia Awakening. He is like a prospector who finds a rich vein of precious ore in a mountainside. Many will come and mine this ore, this lore. I am convinced that sacred and beautiful artifacts will be made from the substance of these writings, and this arcane teaching will serve commerce in future transactions in a catastrophic world. The discovery of this particular vein of goddess wisdom presages a bonanza, an exceptionally large and rich deposit. Planetary Tantra may become a veritable gold rush of open source spirituality.
Second, Planetary Tantra is the way of direct access to “the spontaneously arising dakini wisdom,” as it is called in Tibetan Tantra. This wisdom is the subliminal frequency of the enlightened mind concealed within the ordinary, non-enlightened mindstream.
A dakini is a feminine supernatural being who confers wisdom and magical powers. Considered as expressions of Gaia, dakinis might be compared to veins of precious ore in the earth (the mining analogy again). The natural magic of Gaia is present all through the biosphere, in rocks and trees, clouds and the ocean, plants and animals, but veins of emerald, sapphire, ruby and other precious stones are not found everywhere. They are extraordinary deposits, rare extrusions of the material power of the earth. Just so, dakinis are rare extrusions of the living wisdom of the earth, Gaia-Sophia. Planetary Tantra is a way to interact intimately with these dakinis and receive their instruction. They are “tutelary deities,” witches who teach us the purposes of the Wisdom Goddess, among other things.
Finally, Planetary Tantra is the method of experimental mysticism uniquely based on a great mandala, the Shakti Cluster. Kali, a wrathful form of Gaia-Sophia, animates this mandala along with Gaia in her dakini guise. Planetary Tantra is the fast-track approach to liberation for our time, the last two centuries of Kali Yuga (3102 BCE – 2216 CE).
Like Dzogchen, Planetary Tantra is not a gradualist approach but a way of “non-attainment,” sudden illumination. In this respect, it also compares to Ch’an and Zen Buddhism. Kali is the primary supernatural agency to be recognized on this path of fast-track liberation. The Hindu goddess Kali is said to oversee the current age, Kali Yuga, and she emerges as the dominant presence in the human psyche as the age draws to a close. She is consequently the “strange attractor” for the religious imagination of our species at the moment when the very survival of humankind, morally and physically, is at stake.
Kali is an aspect of Gaia just now coming into view as such: that is, as an organ of the living planet. She is not the wrath of Gaia, but the repository and reflex of the wrath of everyone enraged in her behalf. Predatory behavior within our species, perpetrated by members of our own species, the sickness of society, the idiocy of cultures, the global games of deceit and manipulation, and the venal exploitation and desecration of the earth—are matters for Kali to handle. To those who align with her, she offers a deal on power that you can’t refuse, because your own deepest addiction seals the deal for you. However, due to human weakness, hypocrisy, cowardice, and moral reservations (so-called), most human wrath cannot be enacted or expressed in an effectual way, so that it would make a difference in the world at large. Kali receives our unexpelled wrath to turn it around and direct it back to humanity in ways that no individual can do.
The synergy of love and the supernatural generates power of unimaginable intensity and scope: power to play, not control, to dissolve, not dominate, to enhance and enchant, not seduce, to teach and inspire, not deceive, to direct, not manipulate. One of the open secrets of Planetary Tantra is this: such power becomes available only to those who no longer care about having it. Traditionally, since the inception of Mahayana Buddhism around 150 CE, the Bodhisattva Vow has expressed the primary aim of Buddhist practice: namely, to strive for the liberation of all sentient beings. But in the closing years of Kali Yuga, this proposition becomes obsolete due to the chaotic decadence of the human condition. Under Kali and the Gaian Dakinis of the Shakti Cluster, the power required to liberate all sentient beings comes with the freedom to use it any way you like. Any way. How ultimate freedom of desire aligns with planetary magic is the sweet short secret of this Tantra.
Planetary Tantra is a path of outrageous freedom, celebrated with outrageous love but absolutely without any obligation to love. This path has some precedents regarding spiritual orientation and technique, but it is without precedent in actual practice. Parallels with Indian and Tibetan Tantra can help to elucidate its unique nature and show how it is custom-made for this moment in historical time, right now. It is not a timeless method, but a tactic for near instantaneous change. As such, it may also be called Kala Tantra, the Tantra of this instant: in Sanskrit, kala, “the present moment of time, right now.”
Collaboration with the Divine Feminine is a real, testable fantasy, not an escape fantasy. The test is pure play and innovation with minimal parameters. Enlightenment comes from discovering your own creative-visionary potential, owning the birthright of divine imagination—yes, but doing so as it connects to the planet, not as it stands alone. Learning how to handle enlightenment comes with the recognition of the blissful wisdom display, the Shakti Cluster, and tracking of the lunar cycles that announces the shifting frequencies of the Cluster over time.
Planetary Tantra is first and foremost a self-liberation option. It is not primarily oriented to saving the world, loving humanity, or abstract prerogatives of that sort. It is not transhumanist (i.e., proposing a quasi-divine or cybernetic mutation of the human species) but it does point beyond the human condition. The power required to liberate all sentient beings is beyond human holding capacity, and so to adopt the Bodhisattva Vow is, nowadays, futile and misleading. The power for liberation on that scale streams from the eighteen Gaian Dakinis of the Shakti Cluster, and nowhere else. These Dakinis are expressions of the Divine Feminine who align us as individuals to a different vow, a different intent: to make love interactive with the supernatural dimension where from those sacred powers emanate.
In closing, let me address the concern that John Lash has finally gone off his rocker and turned into a religious fanatic, the leader of his private cult of “dakini magic”. That he’s recklessly pirating sacred Buddhist teachings for a sex-crazed power-trip, proposing weird games fed by his occult fantasies, passing off channeled material as divine revelation, and worse. These concerns are predictable and may well be heightened in some minds by the tone and content of what’s to come.
If you have even riffled my last book, Not in His Image, you will understand that I am the last person on the planet who wants to invite a messiah projection. I am anti-guru to the marrow. I don’t ask anyone to trust me or follow me as a leader or believe a single word I write. Just consider Planetary Tantra in a dispassionate, open-minded way, if you can. And if you dare, go toward where it takes you.
May what I now begin to teach reach toward another kind of instruction, the awakening to the genius of your own mind under the sublime gaze of the Wisdom Goddess and her console of immanent powers, the Shakti Cluster.
Go rapturously where wisdom displays the magical powers of your non-originated knowing, at once selfbound and selfless. Let love merge you surely and sweetly into the luminous matrix of the Supernatural.
jll: Through Kula Devi 22 November 2008 Andalucia
Nav Briefing 88: The Terma is a Tray:
The Sorcerer’s treasured black cat Nikita, Treasure Valley.
Click on the link above to access Planetary Tantra units.