Religion and the Subtle Body


Table of Contents

Pars

Titulum partis

Paginae

Capitula





I

Subtle Bodies in Han and in Bharata

11 to 64

1 to 3

II

Subtle Bodies in the Bodish Tradition

65-114

4 to 6

III

Subtle Bodies in Europe and in >islam

115-184

7 to 9

IV

Subtle Bodies in Modernity

185-266

10 to 14


pp. ix-xii authors & authoresses

p.

author[-ess]

gend.

university

book, journal edited, etc.






ix

Crystal Addey

F

of Wales, St David

Oracles of the Gods

"

Joseph S. Alter

M

of Pittsburgh

Yoga in Modern India

"

Ruth Barcan

F

of Sydney

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

ix-x

John Bramble

M

--

Masks and Metaphors

x

Alejandro Chaoul

M

of Texas

Cho:d Practice in the Bo:n Religion

"

Janet Chawla

F

--

MATRIKA

x-xi

Barbara Gerke

F

Humboldt (Berlin)

Long Lives and Untimely Deaths

xi

Susan Greenwood

F

--


"

Jay Johnston

F

of Sydney

Angels of Desire

xi-xii

Livia Kohn

F

--

J OF DAOIST STUDIES

xii

Milad Milani

M

of Sydney


"

Geoffrey Samuel

M

Cardiff

Origins of Yoga and Tantra

"

Angela Sumegi

F

Carleton (Canada)

Dreamworlds of Shamanism ...



Pt.

Cap.

Title

Author[-ess]

PP.

I

1

Daoist Body of Qi

Livia Kohn

16-32

I

2

Subtle Body in India

Geoffrey Samuel

33-47

I

3

Life-bearing Body in Dai

Janet Chawla

48-63

II

4

On Souls and Subtle Bodies

Angela Sumegi

69-82

II

5

'Subtle Body' in Tibetan

Barbara Gerke

83-99

II

6

Open Channels, Healing Breath

Alejandro Chaoul

100-13

III

7

Sex, Askesis and the Soul

Joseph S. Alter

120-48

III

8

'Vehicle of the Soul'

Crystal Addey

149-67

III

9

Subtle Body in S.ufism

Milad Milani

168-83

IV

10

Sinistre Modernists

John Bramble

192-210

IV

11

On Becoming an Owl

Susan Greenwood

211-23

IV

12

Subtle-Body Models

Ruth Barcan

224-38

IV

13

Subtle Subjects and Ethics

Jay Johnston

239-48

IV

14

Subtle-Body Processes

Geoffrey Samuel

249-66


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I

1

Daoist Body of Qi

Livia Kohn

16-32


p. 18 circulation of qi

"This flow is a complex system of waterways with

the 'Ocean of Qi' in the abdomen;

rivers of qi flowing through the upper torso, arms and legs;

springs of qi reaching to the wrists and ankles; and

wells of qi found in the fingers and toes."


p. 20 health

"a smooth, harmonious and active flow of qi ... is known as the state of zhengqi ... or 'proper qi', also translated as 'upright qi'. ...

{constitutive substance of the astral body (pran.a-maya-kos`a)?}

The opposite of health is xieqi ... or 'wayward qi', also called 'deviant qi', pathogenic qi', heteropathic qi' ... . All these expressions are used in Western textbooks to translate the same Chinese term."


p. 22 circulation of xue

"The ... counterpart of qi is xue ... . It ... also carries internal life-force and is considered the matrix of the mind."

{constitutive substance of the mental body (manas-maya-kos`a)?}


pp. 22-3 wei-yin

p. 22

"The triple heater is also responsible for the production of another ... pair of energies, ... (weiying ...), They ... pulsate through the body ... at different levels ... .

Wei is ... commonly called protective or defensive qi. ...

Ying ... is ... usually called constructive or nutritive qi. ...

[Yin] is thicker {more viscid/viscous} and heavier {denser} and stays

p. 23

deep within the body, while [wei] is thinner {more fluid} and lighter {more buoyant} and moves


at the surface of the body, interfacing with the outside world."

{cf. the peripneumat-/circumspirit of occultism}


pp. 24-5 s^en & lin

p. 24

"forms of cosmic qi ... are spirit (shen ...) and numen (ling ...). Spirit is ...

p. 25

In Daoism reinterpreted to indicate a multitude of 'spirits', the so-called body-gods who simultaneously reside in the stars, ... connecting ... to ... original destiny. ...


Numen ... designates the inherent ... self-nature of beings, the numinous power behind their physical presence. ... It comes to the fore in death".


p. 27 righteousness & fortitude

"the lungs ... virtue is righteousness, ... integrity, and the ability to accept ... loss ... and failure as they come (Kaptchuk 1983:91). The related qi-channel ... ends at the top of the thumb. It has eleven acupuncture points".

Kaptchuk 1983 = Ted J. Kaptchuk : The Web that Has No Weaver. NY : Congdon & Weed.


p. 27 ancestral qi; constructive qi

"Receiving ancestral qi from the lungs ... is the heart (xin ...) ... .

It also manages the constructive qi, which transports xue".


p. 28 Dark Towers

"the ears -- described in Daoist literature as

{Slugs, like other "Snails ... use their bottom set of tentacles to pick up sound vibrations in the air" ("GuTS--SS") -- such tentacles being commonly called /horns/ : cf. the "slug-horn" in Browning's Childe Roland, line 203.}

the 'Dark Tower', the name also given to the kidneys. ...

{"Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came" (Shakespeare : King Lear (at the end of III, iv).} {Roland (SR XLIII-XLV) was calling out (via his hunting-horn ) to Charlemagne at Roncevaux -- similarly as "Snails ... come forth when called by familiar voices." ("E"B&AN, p. 122b)}

The related channel begins at Bubbling Well (Yongquan ...) in the centre of the sole".

{Cf. the "fountain" where soles of persons' feet adhaered to the slab ("MSLl", p. 403).} {Snails (including slugs), being gastropods, use the whole length of their body as if it were the sole of their foot.}

"GFuT--SS" = "Guide to Terrestrial Snails -- Snail Senses". http://animals.about.com/od/molluscs/ss/terrestrial-snails_7.htm {"Snails ... sense of hearing is centered in two tiny sacs called statocysts". ("Anatomy of Animals -- Mollusks". http://universe-review.ca/R10-33-anatomy05.htm )}

Robert Browning : Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

http://www.web-books.com/Classics/Poetry/Anthology/Browning_R/Childe.htm

William Shakespeare : The Tragedy of King Lear. Act III, Scene 4. http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/play_view.php?WorkID=kinglear&Act=3&Scene=4&Scope=scene

SR = Song of Roland. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/391/pg391.txt

"E"B&AN = W. E. Watt : "Ears". BIRDS & ALL NATURE 4 (1898).4:121-3. https://books.google.com/books?id=QTFEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=

"MSLl" = "Manawyddan Son of Llyr". In :- Charlotte Guest (translatrix) : The Mabinogion. 2nd edn. London : Bernard Quaritch, 1877. pp. 397-412. https://books.google.com/books?id=Ip4CAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA403&lpg=PA403&dq=


p. 29 weather-phainomena of the internal organs (Huai-nan-zi, cap. 7)

the __ [organ]

correspondeth to the __ [phainomenon]

gall bladder

clouds

lungs

breath

liver

wind

kidneys

rain

spleen

thundre

{Because the same word (Strong's 7303) /ruwah./ is applied to both 'breath' and 'wind', therefore in order to find some difference, one of them must be a whirlwind. This could be the case for "liver", Samskr.ta /YAK-/, cognate with (Strong's 3050) /YAHH/, the name of a deity who "answered ... out of the whirlwind" (>iyob 38:1, 40:6), or who hath his way "in the whirlwind" (Nah.um 1:3), or who "rideth upon the whirlwind".}


p. 29 administrative functions of the deities in one's internal organs (Huan-di Nei-jin Su-wen, 3.1ab)

organ

deity-official

origination of __

heart

ruler

"spirit and clarity"

lungs

high ministres of state

"order and division"

liver

strategists

"planning and organization"

gall bladder

judges

"judgements and decisions"

chest

special task-force

"joy and pleasure"

stomach

granary-administration

"various kinds of taste"

large intestine

teachers of the Tao

"development and transformations"

kidneys

business men

"activity and care"


pp. 29-30 deities of the internal organs (Lao-zi Z^on-jin "Central Scripture of Laozi" DZ 116)

p.

# deities

of the __

are called __

in chariots pulled by __

or ride on __

29

8

lungs

"Secretaries of the Palace of Jade Purity"

white tigres

white dragons

29-30

8

heart

"Original Luminant Ones", "Old Ones from the South [p. 30] Pole"

red birds

red dragons

30

7

liver

"Officials of the Blue Terrace of the Hall of Light"

green dragons

white deer


5

gall

"Dao-Masters of the Great One ... in the Palace of the Purple Chamber"

6 flying dragons

--

{Many of the star-deities in Xu Z^on-lin : Creation of the Gods ride on deer. Are these intended as hepatic deities?}


p. 30 organs & virtues of the "healing sounds" (Despeux 2006)

yin (dark) organ

yan (bright) organ

phoneme

virtue

lungs

large intestine

s

righteousness

kidneys

bladder

c^ui

compassion

liver

gallbladder

s^

benevolence

heart

small intestine

ha

joy

spleen

stomach

ho

wisdom

pericardium

triple heater {pancreas}

hsi (s.i)

"letting go"

Despeux 2006 = C. Despeux : "Six Healing Breaths". In :- Livia Kohn (editrix) : Daoist Body Cultivation. Magdalena (NM) : Three Pines Pr.


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I

2

Subtle Body in India

Geoffrey Samuel

33-47


p. 33 one's 5 bodies (Taittiriya Upanis.ad 2:1-5)

"physical body formed of food (anna-maya) ... : ...

the body ... made of vital breath (pran.a-maya);

the body ... made of mind (mano-maya);

the body ... made of ... intelligence (vijn~ana-maya), and finally

the body ... made of bliss (ananda-maya)."


pp. 33, 45 central channel through the subtle body

p. 33

"the Taittiriya Upanis.ad also includes a passage (I.6) suggestive of ... an internal anatomy of the subtle body, with a central channel through the body ... . Similar ... can be found in other probably early texts in the Upanis.adic corpus (Hartzell 1997:70-127)".

p. 45, n. 2

"McEvilley ... cites the Chandogya and Maitri Upanis.ads, Plato's Timaeus {Timaios} ... (2002:93-6)."

"the Chandogya Upanis.ad's mention of the artery {channel} through which the spirit passes to liberation ... is accepted as implying the tantric physiology ... . ... The Greek and Indian versions both involve the central channel up the spine and the two subsidiary channels which run beside the spine and cross over each other periodically" (ShATh, p. 215).

Hartzell 1997 = James Francis Hartzell : Tantric Yoga : a Study of the Vedic Precursors ... . PhD diss, Columbia Univ.

McEvilley 2002 = Thomas McEvilley : "Spinal Serpent". In :- Katherine Anne Harper & Robert L. Brown (edd.) : The Roots of Tantra. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr. pp. 93-114.

ShATh = Thomas McEvilley : The Shape of Ancient Thought. Allworth Pr, NY, 2013.


p. 34 the 3 s`arira-s (S`ankara-acarya : Viveka-cud.aman.i 159-213; Atma-bodha 14)

"the material ... body (sthulas`arira), is ... identified with ... the kos`a made of food ...,

the suks.mas`arira with the next three kos`as, and

the karan.as`arira with the fifth kos`a, the body or sheath made of bliss."


p. 35 distinctive features of tantra {as literature; and of Kaula as religion} (quoted from Larson 2009:491-2)

"(a) bubhuks.u (desire for worldly experience) ...;

(b) focus on the modalities of 'desire' (kama);

(c) liberation while living (jivanmukti);

(d) quest for exptraordinary 'powers' (siddhis);

(e) ... ritual practices ... involving ... cunnilingus, and fellatio ...;

(f) ... a 'swarming pantheon with its fearsome deities' ...;

(g) meditation practices that link the body of the practitioner (microcosm) with the body of the cosmos (macrocosm);

(h) the use of sacred ... phonemes, syllables ... in the context of ... magic."

Larson 2009 = G. J. Larson : "Differentiating Between ... 'Yoga' and 'Tantra' ...". J OF THE AMER ORIENTAL SOC 129:487-98.


p. 37 daks.ina-acara & vama-acara

"The 'right hand' approaches avoided polluting and transgressive practices ... . 'Left hand' approaches retained transgressive elements, and

{The main differences are that vama-acara rites require adultery and flesh-eating; whereas daks.ina-acara require neither.}

their practice was for the most part confined to ... lay practitioners, such as the Bauls of Bengal".


p. 40 cakra-systems

"Flood describes ... the six-cakra system of the Netra Tantra and

the eight-cakra system of the Kaulajn~ana-nirn.aya (2006:158-60 ...)."

Flood 2006 = Gavin Flood : The Tantric Body. London : I. B. Tauris.


p. 41 relative looseness of nad.i-knots

[quoted from Dalai bLama 1982, p. 132] "In other tantras it is often said that when the side channels form knots around the central channel, they do so very tightly, leaving no space whatsoever in the coils. In Kalachakra {Kala-cakra}, however, one visualizes the knots as being loose and having space between the coils."

Dalai bLama 1982 = Gendun Drub (transl by G. H. Mullin) : Bridging the Sutras and Tantras. Ithaca (NY) : Gabriel/Snow Lion.


p. 43 earlier history in China, than in India, of litterature on structure of the subtle-body

"Historically, Tantric internal practices and the associated cakra-nad.i ... are first attested in India in the seven and eighth centuries {ChrE} (Samuel 2008:276). However, the combination of subtle-body practices with sexual cultivation can be found in China at a considerably earlier date {earlier by some 800 years}, certainly by 150-100 BCE, when it survives in texts preserved in Han-dynasty tombs. This early Chinese material is more explicit and detailed about ... the internal yogic structure of the subtle body and its connection with sexual practices than anything found in India until many centuries later, which raises the possibility that these practices may have been imported from China (White 1996:53-5, 61-5; Samuel 2008:278-82). The strong association of Indian Tantric practices with the achievement of immortality (e.g. Schaeffer 2003), or at least a greatly extended life-span, is also a Chinese theme from early times ... . In relation to sexual practice, India ... has its ... suggestions of this kind ... in the Mahayana[-]sutralamkara, a Buddhist text that probably dates from the fifth century [ChrE] (Snellgrove 1987:126-8; Samuel 2008:274-6)."

Samuel 2008 = Geoffrey Samuel : The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Cambridge Univ Pr.

White 1996 = David Gordon White : The Alchemical Body : Siddha Traditions in Medieval India. Univ of Chicago Pr.

Schaeffer 2003 = K. R. Schaeffer : "Attainment of Immortality, from Nathas in India to Buddhists in Tibet". J OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY 30:515-33.

Snellgrove 1987 = David L. Snellgrove : Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. London : Serindia; Boston : Shambhala.


p. 44 modern-day saecularistic reform, eliminating religious worship from practice of yoga

"In modern usage, the hat.ha yoga practices have generally been divested of Tantric and sexual associations ... . This process ... was taken much further in the twentieth century by series of modern Indian'reformers' who progressively eliminated the central focus of the tradition ... . ... this process has generated a yoga that is essentially a set of techniques whose central goal has vanished (Alter 2005)."

Alter 2005 = Joe S. Alter : "Modern Medical Yoga : Struggling with a History of Magic, Alchemy and Sex". ASIAN MEDICINE 1:119-46.


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I

3

Life-bearing Body in Dai

Janet Chawla

48-63


pp. 55-6 praeparation for a childbirth by the parturient woman's husband's relatives (Rao 2006, p. 91)

woman

her function

dai (midwife)

for the jacca (parturient)

sas (mother-in-law)

to make carua (herbal concoction)

jethani (husband's brother's wife)

to make laddus (celebratory sweets)

nandi (brother's sister)

sathiya (to draw symbols on walls)

devar (husband's younger brother)

to play the flute

Rao 2006 = V. Rao : "Singing the Female Body". In :- J. Chawla (ed.) : Birth and Birthgivers. New Delhi : Shakti Bks.


p. 60 breathing by foetus (Atharvan Veda 11:4(6).14)

"A human being breathes out (a'panati) and

{/apana/ 'expelling of carbon dioxide into mother's blood-stream (so that she can exhale it)'}

breathes in (pranati) when inside the womb (ga'rbhe)."

{/pran.a/ 'intaking of oxygen from mother's blood-stream (after she hath inhaled it)'}

{These physiological processes could by observed by transcendental powers of vision (possessed by expert shamans) of interiors of bodies.}


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ROUTLEDGE STUDIES IN ASIAN RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY, 8 = Geoffrey Samuel & Jay Johnston (edd.) : Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West : Between Mind and Body. Routledge (an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group), Abingdon (Oxon), 2013.