Episode 85: The Return of the Divine Feminine (Part One) Andrew Harvey, Tantric Mystic and Sacred Activist

Listen Now
RSS: Subscribe
RSS: iTunes

Dr. Patti talks to Andrew Harvey, a leading scholar and Tantric mystic, about how to reconcile extreme opposites, such as the bliss of lovemaking, with a world in trouble. What is a Tantric revolution all about? We will learn about the five Tantras - and how and why sexual Tantra fits into these five different types. Are we witnessing the birthing of a new humanity? And if so, what is the importance of sexual Tantra? Find out the true definition of Tantra (note: it may not be the one you learned!), and how pleasure fits into this definition. Why is the world having a crisis now, who is responsible for this crisis, who is the Divine Feminine, and how and why is she returning? What can we do on a personal level to respond? And, are you a part of this? If so, in what ways? Join us for this truly moving and dynamic show.

Transcript

Dr. Patti Taylor: Welcome to the Expanded Lovemaking show. I’m your host, Dr. Patti Taylor, of expandedlovemaking.com, and I teach you how to make exquisite love. This is part one of a two part series. Our topic today is the return of the divine feminine. So let me ask you, have you ever had that experience where you have had incredible embodied lovemaking bliss, and then you open your eyes and you see the world around you in deep trouble, and you wonder, “How could such opposites co-exist?” Maybe you even question what you could do to live with these two dramatic extremes and continue living in bliss. Well, here to discuss this profound topic with us today is one of the world’s great visionaries, Andrew Harvey. So Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Harvey: Thank you so much.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Hi. It’s so great to have you here.

Andrew Harvey: It’s great to be on this wild and wonderful show in the wild, wild West. This is perfect.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yes, the wild internet.

Andrew Harvey: Yes.

Andrew Harvey: So let me tell you a little bit about Andrew. In brief, he’s a poet, a writer, a scholar, a tantric mystic, a dynamic speaker and a passionate sacred activist. He’s the author of more than 30 books including one entitled The Return of the Mother. He’s devoted much of his life to studying the world’s mythical traditions. Andrew Harvey has taught at major world universities, as well as leading spiritual centers. And he’s the founder of The Institute of Sacred Activism located in Oak Park, Illinois. So today we’ll learn more about what it means to practice tantra personally, and why we may just be way more joyful and blissful by recycling our tantric bliss back out into the world, even as it is. So let me ask you Andrew, are we having a contemporary world crisis right now?

Andrew Harvey: Well I think we are having an overwhelming crisis, and I think it is in a deep sense a tantric crisis because it’s a crisis of the body. We have abandoned ourselves, we’ve abandoned the sacred, we’ve abandoned the planet, we’ve abandoned nature. And we’ve created a corporate suicide machine, which is killing nature and killing ourselves, so there’s an enormous dissociation in actions. And of course the financial crisis is the first of many crises that are going to happen. There’s going to be a series, I think, of major crises because the world have to be woken up.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So, yeah, that’s a lot for a tantric practitioner to, to handle shall we say.

Andrew Harvey: Well I think the tantric practitioners should be handling that because tantra, at its deepest, is about the opposites dancing with the opposites. And the whole point of the tantra in our time, I think, is to be a fuel for sacred action. It isn’t meant to be a garden that people go into to hide from the world. It’s perhaps where you go into to refresh yourself for the great battle for the future, which is happening right now in the middle of the world.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So you speak about a tantric revolution. Could you tell us more about that?

Andrew Harvey: Well I think the fundamental thing that needs to happen and more of us need to really, really facilitate is to wake up to our sacred senses, to wake up to being in bodies, a divine consciousness in a body, having an embodied divine experience. Because when humanity wakes up to that, what humanity will wake up to is its own identity, the inevitable and total sacredness of nature, the holiness of all beings, and the necessity of putting that vision into practice, so justice and living in harmony with nature. This is the only vision that can now save us, it can now help us, because we have created a completely destructive world out of our madness and greed and addictions. And now we need to wake up to the sacred, and to enact our vision of the sacred in justice. And tantra plays a very important part in that awakening because the tantric awakening is the one that we need. It’s the one that awakens us to the extreme sacredness of reality.

Dr. Patti Taylor: And now how does it do that?

Andrew Harvey: Well, tantra, at its highest level, is the weaving, and tantra in its ultimate form is an understanding that this reality is already liberated, is already sacred beyond belief, is a divine manifestation. So that comes through deep mystical practice. And it has many forms, tantra. And one form is a sexual form, which is very holy and very powerful. And when you finally find someone with whom you can have a profound ecstatic sexual relationship, which is also full of respect and tenderness and generosity of heart, then you find someone who you can worship as the divine, and in that ecstatic worship you can taste the bliss energy of the father/mother, you can bathe in it, you can be infused by it. And that starts a whole change of the psyche of the whole heart and the whole mind, and eventually of the whole body. But the great danger of it is that you use it just for your own private satisfaction and not just, not as a part of a overall vision of life that tunes you to the sacredness of all of life, and makes you someone who is going to be a warrior of protecting that life, as indeed this crisis menaces every aspect of it.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yeah, what is it about tantra where we’ve been, how many people think of tantra as just the pleasure aspect?

Andrew Harvey: Well the pleasure is not what makes it tantra. Tantra is deception. It’s how you actually experience great bliss, that changes it from being a wonderful sexual experience, which is a perfectly excellent thing, I’m not knocking it, to an experience that is consciously lived as a divine ecstasy, so it’s very different.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, so it’s very different. So you say that there are more than just the sexual tantra, that tantra is actually much greater than just the sexual, so I do want to get back to the sexual, but…

Andrew Harvey: Yes.

Dr. Patti Taylor: what is the broader contract, contacts of tantra?

Andrew Harvey: Well tantra is a fundamental wisdom into the heart of reality. And what the tantra doesn’t see is that reality is totally and absolutely soaked through with the divine presence. It’s nothing less than a constant divine dance, a constantly changing divine dance. And the tantric is the one who dances with the divine dance and the deepest deception by entering into an embodied divinity, by entering into the folds of his or her life as a divine unfolding and prayer and play and offering and sacrifice. That is the ultimate tantra. And that tantra has many different aspects, because there are many different ways of approaching that unified field, that dancing with the dance in reality. So there are many tantric joys; there’s the joy of being one in nature and experiencing nature in your own consciousness, so sleeping with the great heron, dancing in the wind and the trees, being one in ecstasy with the red of the flowers in the field. There’s the tantra of profound meditation, and through deep, deep adoration or deep inner silence you melt into reality, and reality and you become one shimmering, one mutual shimmering in the heart and the one. There’s the tantra of great sex and friendship in which two beings, over a long time, unify their psyches and hearts. There’s the tantra of sexual tantra, which is of a sublime and very important tantra because in ecstasy of sexuality, in the merging sexuality, great alchemy’s of transformation can take place because the body alit with the glory of the ecstatic spirit can experience a holy new level of embodied joy. And then there’s the tantra of the love of the holy, the love of the saints, the love of the, those who’ve become one with love, and that is a very holy form of tantra because through loving them with your whole being, your whole heart, mind and body, not sexually, but with your whole, whole being, you can become penetrated by their essence, by their tenderness, by their vision, by their wisdom. So tantra is a huge vision.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, so I think this is really, really beautiful what you’re saying. I’m starting to just shake and shiver because I can just feel what you’re saying coming into me. So I want to come back and learn a little bit more about the sensual sexual tantra and why this needs to be combined with the other forms, and then how we link that with sending this back out into the world. We do need to take a break, so please stay with us. This is Dr. Patti Taylor, and I am here with Andrew Harvey. You can learn more about Andrew with his website, andrewharvey.net. And we will be right back, so please stay with us.

Dr. Patti Taylor: We’re back, and we are talking about the five different kinds of tantra. And I want to know, could you tell us a little bit more about the sexual tantra?

Andrew Harvey: Well to me the sexual tantra is very sublime and important tantra because it really is the center of the creation, everybody is born through an orgasmic experience, so the creation and the orgasm are linked, and the passion that you can know when deep love and deep desire and deep respect and deep worship are all combined with another human being is a divine passion. It takes you into realms of bliss and joy that, initiations into the bliss and joy that creates the universe. So sexual tantra is an extremely sacred and holy way of being initiated into divine reality. But it has its rules and its laws and its deep, deep training I think, and I think people really make a confusion between very agreeable forms of sexual pleasure, which God knows I’m not against I think every form of consensual sex that makes people happy is perfectly fine, and tantra which is really profound ecstatic meditation on reality consciously enjoyed as such. So I think it’s important to keep the high line on tantra because if you do, you have an experience that totally changes your vision of reality and fires you up with a sacred energy, which then you can use in reality. Tantra is not meant to be an escape from reality; it’s meant to be an initiation into the fire love energies that are creating reality. And so an initiation into what’s happening in the outside world, which is that these are potentially part of being crucified by this massive world crisis, and so an initiation into a profound passion to do something about this tremendous crucifixion of the sacred feminine that’s happening everywhere, the crucifixion of nature, the crucifixion of billions of human beings living in terrible, terrible circumstances, and then the fueling of the engagement with the world through the ecstatic experience of tantra. So tantra becomes, in a sense, like the petrol for your car, the fire for your half, the energy for your work, the passion for your commitment to justice, the…That’s the real, I believe very much, that’s the real function of this tantra, that’s why the mother’s bringing it back.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So why is the mother bringing this back? Because I know when I, for example, saw your DVD, I had this reaction of, thank God I am listening to you talk because sometimes I feel so guilty for having all of this joy and bliss, and then I feel so horrible. And you talk about how to use this passion to fuel an activism in the world. Can you just kind of walk us through that process, to connect up, you know, those two energies?

Andrew Harvey: Well, the passion to do something in the world is a passion that arises from an open heart. Once your heart is open you see that the world is burning to death and there’re terrifying problems, which really demand a human and humane response fast, otherwise there’s going to be really major disaster. That’s the truth of our situation. That’s what we all have to face. So, it’s a terribly difficult truth to face. So what is it that will give us the fuel to be able to face it and to go on with real hope? And there’s only one answer to me, and that is joy, because through waking up to the sacred in ourselves, through waking up to the sacred in nature, through waking up to this huge powerful ecstasy that we can find in sexual tantric bliss, through waking up to the five tantras, being in nature, sacred friendship, all of these great ways of connecting with the unified field of God’s love, what happens is that we are infused with the fire energy and passion, bliss and power and joy of love itself. Divine love fills us with itself, and with that fire energy, we can begin to be activists, not from rage or hatred or guilt or shame, but from a great calm joy that’s being refueled constantly by tantric love and tantric friendship and tantric adoration of nature and tantric sacred conversation with friends and tantric immersion in the beauty and holiness of animals and tantric sexual passion, all of these great tantric joys fueling our joy, our fire to be activists, sacred activists in a burning world.

Dr. Patti Taylor: See, I find there is so much hope and beauty in what you’re saying. You know, it makes it more possible for me to actually confront what’s happening. Is that the return of the mother? Is that, how would, you call that the ‘revolution of the divine feminine’? I mean wouldn’t the word…

Andrew Harvey: Yes, it is a revolution because waking up the human heart, the mother heart to reality, connecting us to a reality we’ve deserted us from it is a revolution because in the light of that tremendous heartbreak and tremendous ecstasy that we experience when we’re one with the burning world and every creature in it, we see that everything we’ve been doing is completely crazy. We have created a completely insane world, which is now committing massive (unintelligible). So it’s time to stop this, and she’s returned to give us the insight, the sacred power, but she’s also returned to give us this tremendous fuel, this tremendous fuel for a massively revolution of the heart, and that is the tantric fuel. And these five tantras link us to all of reality. And the heart of the tantras is the sexual tantra because that’s where the fire is hottest.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So now, this is, this is so beautiful and this is so different from the way we think normally, even about tantra.

Andrew Harvey: Well I think that’s the problem, is because the way in which tantra is taught in this country is very debasing I think. I don’t mean, please don’t think I’m in any way a puritan, I’m not at all a puritan. I believe deeply in the holiness of sexuality. It’s just that I think you need to know that tantra is connected to our whole way of perceiving and being in the real with the real before sexuality can become what it’s meant to be, which is a tremendous revelation of worship and adoration of the divine through another human being, through being worshipped as the divine. That is a huge revelation. It’s not something to be played with, it’s something to be prepared for.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So, thank you for that. I thank you very much and…

Andrew Harvey: You know, I’m not, so it’s not at all about puritanism. It’s wanting the meal to be as rich and transforming as possible, not to be wasted in hor’d ourves.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Let me ask you a question…I, okay, I’ll just move right along. When you say that we have created this destruction on our planet, who is, and, you know, that the divine mother is returning, who is the ‘we’? Is it all of us?

Andrew Harvey: Well I think, yes it’s all of us. I think, I like to think of it as the communal full self. We have a communal collective ego I think, and that ego is quite clearly a suicidal ego. That ego wants to dominate nature, exploit nature, strip mine nature, use nature, and in doing that its cut itself from the divine self within, the divine soul within, so we’re being governed by a crazy psychotic masculine ego, which is hell bent on domination and exploitation, and we’re all involved in this.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So it’s like when Pogo said, “I have met the enemy and it is us”?

Andrew Harvey: It’s always us, because the world outside is a projection of our own consciousness. At this stage of our revolution we have the technological means to manifest what we want and, what we clearly want in the world in the full self is hell, ‘cause that’s what we’ve created.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay. So I want to find out who the divine mother is. We’re going to take another break. I know, please stay with us. I’m, this is Dr. Patti Taylor, and I think there’s some good news ahead, so please stay with us. We’re talking with Andrew Harvey.

Andrew Harvey: The good news is all ahead.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yeah, thank goodness.

Andrew Harvey: The creation of this hell is itself a tremendous achievement.

Dr. Patti Taylor: You can find out more about Andrew at his website, andrewharvey.net. And I just want to say that you can watch some of the best DVD’s of your life, streaming videos. They are more entertaining, more moving, more passionate. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be enthralled for hours, by just going to his website. They are so beautiful and moving, so andrewharvey.net. Of course they’ll be on his episode page too, so please stay with us, but also remember his website.

Dr. Patti Taylor: We’re back, and we’re talking to Andrew Harvey about the return of the divine feminine, and, oh we get to the good part. The divine feminine is coming, right?

Andrew Harvey: Yes, she’s arriving inside us, she is us. We are her, you see.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, tell me more.

Andrew Harvey: Well I think that the universe is one thing, one enormous intelligence manifesting itself on every level. And it manifests itself through opposites, through the dance of opposites, the coincidence of extreme opposites. And the fundamental opposite is I believe the father/the mother, the transcendent divine that is the father, this is the ancient way of looking at it, and the embodied divine that is the mother. So one way of seeing this is seeing the whole universe as a diamond, and the shining of the diamond is the mother, and the shining is what makes everything appear, and she is everything that is, everything that appears, everything that is in process. She is the process. So the glory of the mother is infinite obviously. The whole universe is a manifestation of her glory, and the whole universe is the temple of her divine presence. We are surrounded by her. We are in her. And our major catastrophe have been our forgetting of this primordial fact of reality. But since she cannot be avoided, since she’s everything and everywhere, and since we have created a hell that has denied her, the antidote to that hell that is arising in the middle of the crisis is a return of the consciousness, of the sacred mother to imbue us with a new vision and to break our hearts open and to fill our worlds with passion and to infuse our bodies with sacred fire of tantra so that we can go forward as sacred bliss warriors of love to recreate the world.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, well I want to bring, bring out this point in the show and also in our second show with you, on the personal level and also in, on a level of taking action, so could you give us an example maybe on a personal level of how, how this might play out?

Andrew Harvey: Of how what might play out?

Dr. Patti Taylor: The, brining our divine feminine more into our own being?

Andrew Harvey: Well I think the fundamental acceptance that we all need to make, and it’s very difficult I suspect for all of us, is of our bodies, of our sacred physical nature. Because I think when you look at the way in which you’ve treated your body and in which you’ve been encouraged to treat your body by a lot of different patriarchal religious and mystical and social and cultural systems, what you realize is that you’ve been in a concentration camp and you’ve been the gowlighter of that concentration camp, and the concentration camp is your abused body. So to bless the body, all of the body, and then to realize that the body is a temple of the soul, the manifestation of light energy, and then to realize that everything that is surrounding you is the manifestation of the divine feminine, everything that is manifested on us, everything. Every blade of grass, every squirrel, every dancing flea, every dolphin, every, everything that you see. So to cultivate that kind of awareness of the presence, of the divine feminine blessing and eradiating every created thing, that is, sounds very grand, but in fact it’s as simple as walking up the street very slowly, being aware of the sacred in you, the sacred in the grass, the sacred in the people passing you, and allowing your heart to feel the great glowing joy and peace of that recognition, that incredible recognition of compassion and of love and the people that you’re around.

Dr. Patti Taylor: I love what you’re saying about just allowing your heart to feel, you know, and to break away from maybe the programming that we’ve had that we’re not good enough, that we, you know, all the conditioning that we’ve had from the corporate, you know…

Andrew Harvey: Right, and from these ghastly mystic resistance that sometimes tell us about original sin, the mother, connecting with the mother, connecting with original blessing, how could you possibly not be blessed since you are her?

Dr. Patti Taylor: So what would, what would original blessing look like? That we’re beautiful just the way we are, that we’re not too fat, we’re not too skinny, that we’re radiant beings…

Andrew Harvey: No, I think that, I think original blessing is that we are gifted with divine consciousness, that…

Dr. Patti Taylor: Uh huh.

Andrew Harvey: we’re born with divine awareness. That’s the blessing of blessings ‘cause that means that we’re connected with the divine transcendent intelligence.

Dr. Patti Taylor: And how do we access that?

Andrew Harvey: We access that through prayer and through meditation and through deep, deep sacred practice, and we can access that through tantra too when we’re in a state of tremendous bliss. But there are, we have to really practice that. It’s not something that is just given; it’s something that is given in the deepest sense, but we have to get in contact with it.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So what kind of practices would be good practices? I know we’re going to go into more of the, the sacred activism in our second show, so right now I’m just looking at the personal practices.

Andrew Harvey: Well I think the most, there are three really important practices for everybody now as this crisis gets wilder and darker, because the fundamental way of looking at this crisis is I think that we are being invited by the deaths we’ve created to birth in ourselves a new love energy that can birth a new world, so this darkness is actually constellating a tremendous new energy and a tremendous new creativity and a tremendous new light. And what everybody who sees how dangerous the truce atrocion is needs to really ask themselves, “How can I be a midwife of this new light, this embodied divine light, this embodied divine life?” And I think the three basic practices are the cool practices, which are those practices that enable you to stay calm and deeply, deeply absorbed in divine being, whatever is going on in their practices of breathing, of imageless meditation, of walking, practices of deep attention, they just calm you down and give you connection with the divine peace within. The second kind of practices I think are what I call the ‘hot practices’, the ‘warm practices’. They are practices of the heart, awakening the heart to the adoration of reality, awakening the heart to loving nature, loving the presence of the divine in animals and flowers and grass and the people that pass you in the street and your friends and the quality of sunlight in your life, opening your whole heart up to the connection with the divine heart that’s manifesting all of this outrageous wildness that is reality. And the third practice that is crucial I think for all of us is a sacred body practice, and I have two that I love. I do Yoga and I also love sacred dance because I find that doing Yoga and doing sacred dance helps me be in the beauty and power of my body and to enjoy being in the body and to experience the divine energy in the body. And I think working with these sacred physical practices opens up your entire body to the bliss field that is always manifested in reality ‘cause at this field is the presence of the divine and under the divine joy in everything. And that can be experienced also in the sacred physical ritual and discipline of impassioned divine tantra between two beings because those beings who have found that kind of holy wildness in themselves and the holy wildness in each other and can worship each other as the divine wild being that they are, they can experience too that joy and that bliss energy and be completely infused by it. So if you have those three kinds of practices, the cool practices that calm you down, the warm practices that keep your heart juicy and vibrant and luscious and open and adoring and impassioned and illumined and ecstatic, and the physical practices that keep irrigating your body joy, then you can really stop feeling such a victim of this crisis and start feeling summoned and challenged by it, to come into your fullest dignity and fullest energy and fullest passion, and start working from that energy and passion.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well I’m very, very turned on and excited. I know we’re going to talk in our second show about how we’re going to bring this energy out into the world with the sacred activism and the true marriage, the true sacred marriage. We are going to bring this show to a close. I’m glad I’m doing a lot of these practices, so, but it makes me just want to do more. So thank you so much for that. We are going to be bringing this show to a close. I would like to invite you to, is there something you can share with our listeners to inspire us before we do bring our show to an end here?

Andrew Harvey: Well maybe just these lines of Rumi: “Passion burns down every branch of exhaustion. Passion is the supreme elixir and renews all things. So don’t let your brows become bleak with cynicism and boredom. Look for passion, passion, passion, passion.”

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow! I love it. That’s hot. I love it. Thank you so much. We’ve been talking today with Andrew Harvey. This is Dr. Patti Taylor. And I want to say you can learn more about Andrew Harvey at his great website, andrewharvey.net. He has some great streaming DVD’s, I mean streaming video on his website. Check it out. And so, thank you very much for spending time with me and Andrew today on our show. And thank you Andrew for being our guest.

Andrew Harvey: Oh, what a great pleasure. What fun this is.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yes. So, I have one request for my listeners; please fill out my survey at survey.personallifemedia.com. It helps us find out who you are and we want to know. So thank you once again. Please send me email at [email protected]. For texts and transcripts of this show and other shows go to personallifemedia.com. And visit me, Dr. Patti Taylor, at expandedlovemaking.com for my mailing lists, events and services. That’s all for now. I remain yours in ever expanding lovemaking, and I’ll see you next week.