Friday, August 24, 2012

Minding Your Body: Baby Steps Towards Quantum Tantra

Nick's 2012 Chakras: a partial list
For my birthday this year my Muses gave me the best gift in the world--inspiration for a new work, which I've tentative called Minding Your Body: Baby Steps Towards Quantum Tantra.

Quantum Tantra is my long term project to discover a more intimate physics-based way of connecting with nature. I envision it as direct mind-to-mind linkage between my mind and the various currently invisible minds that dwell inside matter. One of the finest speculations about what quantum tantra might feel like is Rudy Rucker's amusing short fiction piece Panpsychism Proved where the necessary mind-mind link is achieved via quantum-entangled carbon atoms. Rudy also coined the term "teeping" for the kind of generalized telepathy that quantum tantrikas might enjoy.

I have supposed that alien races--and perhaps even some mind-forms here on Earth--already practice quantum tantra and use it to teep atoms and molecules, use it to teep plants and animals and to telepathically communicate between themselves and with minds too simple or too complex for humans to imagine.

Our ordinary awareness is a form of quantum tantra--a direct unmediated connection with the insides of the classical machinery of the brain. Most of our mental acts and all of our physical acts are strictly classical but our core experience of pure awareness is a basic quantum process--a direct experience of matter's insides.

One of the most unusual properties of the quantum world is quantum entanglement but this is not the feature of quantum mechanics that has inspired my quest for a more intimate way of connecting with nature. My inspiration for quantum tantra is the so-called "quantum measurement problem". It is a curious fact that altho this world is certainly fully "quantum", our only window into the quantum world is thru classical measuring devices. Despite radical advances in quantum theory--from Schrödinger's wave equation, thru Dirac's relativistic equations to quantum field theory--every quantum experiment is, without exception, still completely classical--as old-fashioned and Victorian as brass tubes, spark gaps and hoop skirts. Quantum tantra seeks to modernize quantum physics by discovering an intrinsically quantum way to court nature, a way that will almost certainly involve physics-based modifications of consciousness.

I want to woo Her not view Her
Pet Reality until She purrs
Yearning to merge with Dame Nature bodily
Longing to mingle my substance with Hers.
And them content with merely observing
are nothing but Nature's voyeurs.

One of the possible uses of quantum tantra might be a new kind of "internal medicine" in which you directly connect with the "minds" of organs of your body, teep "how they are feeling" and thank/criticize them for their work/play. Also one can envision ameliorating certain diseases by direct negotiation with the disease rather than via warfare. Since my mind is already classically connected to my body parts, "quantum internal medicine", rather than mind-to-mind telepathy, might be the site of the first quantum tantric breakthroughs. We each have a mind; we each have a body. What we lack is the means to quantum-connect the two. Or more precisely, we lack a mind-matter tool that extends our natural quantum mind-matter access to other parts of the body besides (some of) the brain. I jokingly call this future quantum mind-matter tool the "octoscope"-- a machine you can only operate stoned.

While waiting for the octoscope to be discovered, there is plenty we can do to prepare the ground for the upcoming era of quantum internal medicine.

An important feature of classical tantra is the system of chakras, a Hindu way of thinking about the body introduced to the West by Sir John Woodroffe and other Orientalists. The traditional chakras serve many functions--psychophysical, mystical and even theological but I will construe these bodily centers as merely a way "to get the mind out of the brain" and into the rest of the body.

One of the prime powers of the mind is the ability to MOVE--the power to "pay attention" to whatever it chooses. My use of the chakras is primarily as a system of symbols to aid the mind to move to (and inhabit) a particular body part. Like a map of places to visit in your imagination before actually going there in person (via the octoscope).

I began with the classical seven chakras and expanded them to eight, imposing a light/dark symmetry. Now there are 4 light and 4 dark classical chakras. All of the others (of Nick's 48 2012 chakras) possess this same symmetry. Every light chakra possesses a dark partner--portrayed by the same symbol with white replaced with black. In place of the elaborate classical tantric symbology, I sought simpler geometric forms constructed of lines, circles and triangles plus a certain intangible aesthetics.

The seven classical chakras are Root, Sex, Belly, Heart, Throat, Brow and Crown. The Crown chakra, for instance, traditionally represents human contact with the Divine--with the Universe's higher powers. I represent this Crown chakra with a simple open white circle. For symmetry's sake I add a corresponding "dark chakra" to the classic seven--the "moon chakra" represented by a simple black disk, that represents human contact with the Universe's lower powers.

I have worked for many years developing this new chakra system and finally (in 2012) have reached a point where I am satisfied with the symbology. Nick's 2012 48-chakra system is now complete.

My next project (thank you, Muses) is to write this up in a book or long essay. I have already been using my new chakras as a kind of "body rosary" for focusing my attention on various body parts especially while falling asleep. The classical Catholic rosary has 50 beads; my 2012 tantric rosary has 48. This book, Minding Your Body, will employ the new chakras as a kind of guided meditation for exploring the body with the mind--in a simple classical fashion preparatory to the octoscope giving us more intimate quantum connection. This project will also be an opportunity to develop my quantum tantric speculations in more detail.

My Minding Your Body project owes a lot to Bernie Gunther, the author of What to Do Till the Messiah Comes. Bernie was my first instructor, in the 60s at Esalen, in sensory awareness exercises. Thanks, Bernie. Borrowing from my old teacher, my new book project might also be entitled What to Do Till the Octoscope Arrives.


Wayne said...

I look forward to your book.

It would be interesting to look at the correspondences between your extended chakra system and the existing extended system of minor chakras in the Tantric tradition.

It would also be interesting to see the correspondences between the new system and the acupuncture system.

And finally, it would be interesting to examine the correspondences with the endocrine system: almost all of the major chakras seem to correlate with a particular gland that has the physical function of regulating the balance of hormones in the body; I wonder whether any of your extended chakras also have glandular correspondences.

nick herbert said...

The main function of these extended chakras is as a body rosary to aid in placing awareness systematically in often neglected parts--lumbar and perineal regions, for instance. I am also working on obvious links between these centers and internal system such as blood, nerves, digestion and lungs, so that the mind can tour these systems as it moves around in its body. Any correspondence with other systems would be gravy.

Anonymous said...

If people begin to adopt your system don't be surprised if you end up with some telepathic and synchronistic occurrences. I was doing a poetry/art project with a friend where I 'read' the parameters of an experience of his and he sent me a text saying he suddenly developed internal awareness with an experience matching what was going on with me at this time. I would be happy to purchase and read your book, use your system, and collaborate with you. My experience with the internal alchemy began with the questioning of a nightmare of body dysmorphic disorder that led to some dialogue with belly mind, and eye contact which opened the left side of my heart. I do wonder about the potential dangers to the nervous system of such activities however that is the cost of being cutting edge weirdo.

David Goulet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Goulet said...

what a mind blowing posting done by you buddy. Thanks for sharing it. I want more posts like this by you in future.

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