Bonding, Taboo and the Art of Sacrifice
Themes of Bondage, Sacrifice and Taboo appear repeatedly in all sacred writings.
Yoga, meaning ‘to bind, to yoke’. The word ‘religion’, comes from ‘religare’, ‘to bind fast, to place a bond between humans and gods’. Psyche gets tied to a rock; Abraham binds his son Isaac as a sacrifice; and saying something was ‘bound to happen’ all testify to Binding as one aspect of consciousness and the transformative processes that open the dialogue between ourselves and those force greater than us.
All traditions discuss the necessity of Sacrifice, as part of any conscious or religious practice. Hermes slaughters Apollo’s cattle. Tantra insists that sexual union is a ‘sacrifice’. The Catholic Mass and Jesus’ self-sacrifice to save humanity. The universal offering of animals, and their flesh and blood, as a means of linking with the gods. The self-sacrifice of many mystics, in every spiritual tradition. All these make it certain that Sacrifice is another important aspect of conscious practice. So we need to understand what sacrifice really is, why it is important, and how it works.
Menstrual blood and semen are the most universal of Taboo substances. These natural emissions are extensively associated with ritual impurity, defining and informing the line between sacred and profane. What is it about these normal, common place, joyful and life-affirming fluids that are believed to have the power to make persons, animals, food, objects and places ‘unclean’ for prayer or sacred service? Contact with dead bodies is the other major category of ritual impurity. However, someone will have to attend to and bury the dead, so how would an undertaker navigate ritual status within with his profession? And what does it really mean, that a dead body conveys ‘ritual impurity’ to the living?
This workshop examines the mysteries of these images, and many ideas related to them, to know the real wisdom of these practices. How they work to attain their perceived outcome, and how to navigate the tricky waters through the rocks and wrecks. Through lectures, discussions and direct experiential practices, we deepen our understanding of these concepts and their direct relevance to the imagination and practice of fulfilled and erotic living, and conscious loving.
movement, lectures, depth discussions, instruction, ritual practice, meditation, good company, great food.
5 days. Knysna. Residential. Entry Requirements. Preparation. Homework.