By Thomas Cattoi;June McDaniel
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There is some ambiguity, however, in both tantra and shamanism with respect to the consort or spouse being possessive or predatory upon the initiate, perhaps paralleled in the larger Indian ethos of the temptation of the yogin by celestial nymphs. In the Indian paradigm, the apsaras, or celestial nymph, serves to draw an ascetic or yogi out of their discipline, enjoying the fruit of their efforts in the form of sexual pleasure and thus effectively discharging their energy and discontinuing their practice.
13. ” 14. French, Way of a Pilgrim, 9–10; Prabhavananda and Isherwood, How to Know God, 62–63; Prabhavananda, Narada’s Way, 89; Prabhavananda, Sermon on the Mount, 89. 26 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. ● Joseph Molleur Prabhavananda and Isherwood, How to Know God, 61–62. , 60. , 61. Prabhavananda, Narada’s Way, 85. , 87. French, Way of a Pilgrim, 196. Ware, “Power of the Name,” 194. In his introduction to Igumen Chariton’s The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, trans.
One question that naturally comes to mind is the way in which “spirit spouses” may reflect intrapersonal and spiritual tensions within a community. 40 ● Stuart Ray Sarbacker Does the jealousy of the spirit spouse, for example, reflect the jealousy of the divine powers that are battling for the souls of human beings, or is this a metaphor for the power dynamics of human relationships? Might this be a metaphor for relationships of power and attraction outside of one’s immediate relationship, or a fantastic mirror image of such relationships—which cannot be consummated in the manner of a material relationship, not having the fullness of the physical dimension, with jealousy possible in both directions?