Given at the All-School Meeting, 2005 The Magi Process adds the physical body to the work of ASOS. Or we might say that the body, becoming ready to work nondually in the world, arrives at the vehicle of Magi Process which rides the wave of the body into the waves of the world.
Working for the world always entails the body. Whether it is doing zazen meditation on a mountainside all alone, or working as a healer helping others to grow, the more we work with the body—automatically—the more we are working with the world.
This is true because from an awakened perspective, the body and the world are the same thing. This becomes increasingly true as we grow through various stages, and eventually see things as they are.
When we first become aware of our bodies, we are in a sensate world. This is the sensate body, and not yet the body connected to the world in the manner in which I am speaking.
Later, we enter the world of the psychological body.
Here the body is the physical body and the body is also a thought or feeling. We can connect with other bodies from this perspective, but this is still not the illuminated body, the body that flows in and out of the world, from and into the world. We are not yet in one time and one place.
The awakened or illuminated world is the world of the body-as-it-is. It is in one time and one place. "Things as they are" which is the word jinen in Japanese, is what the body is and from this perspective, the woodpecker rattling on the tree as I write this is my body and there is a connection between us that is not sensate (I am not a woodpecker), not psychological (I am not having a feeling or thought about the woodpecker), but one of concrete identity.
Although this is very hard to comprehend intellectually or conceptually, luckily it is not that difficult to experience on the level of the body, by the unification of the body and the world. This is what the Magi Process does.
This body-as-it-is is identical with awakening, and with the world's shimmering when seen from this position. It is the body that can interact with the world
By and large, the work of ASOS has been the work of wisdom and discernment. Through the close observation of ourselves, our historical environment, our current surroundings and the movements of our consciousness, we have succeeded in creating a path to liberation which leads to a lessening of the separation between ourselves and our own humanity and ourselves and other people.
This new stage of work could be called tantric.
Here is what the Hindu teacher Sri Aurobindo said about tantra.
First however, two quotes:
A human being is part of the whole, called by us "universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences his thoughts and feeling as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal decisions and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Second, Herman Hesse:
Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men and women treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.
In the ancient symbolic sense of the words 'dakshina' and 'vama', it was the distinction between the way of knowledge and the way of ananda—nature in man liberating itself through power and practice of its own energies, elements and potentialities either by right discrimination or by joyous acceptance.
If, however, we leave aside the actual practices and seek the central principle, we find, first, that tantra expressly differentiates itself from the vedic methods of yoga. In a sense, all the other schools are vedantic in their principle; their force is in knowledge—if not through discernment by the intellect then through the knowledge of the heart expressed in love and faith, or a knowledge in the will expressed through action.
But tantra is governed by prakriti, the nature-soul, the energy, the will-in-power in the universe. It was by learning and applying the intimate secrets of this will-in-power that the tantric yogin pursued the aims of his discipline—mastery, perfection, liberation, beatitude. Instead of drawing back from manifested nature and its difficulties, he confronted them, seized and conquered.
The Magi Process is not about conquering anything of course. But it does not hide from the conquering tendency, that is power. The powers of the world and the powers of our bodies are identically made. By use of the Process, we dip down into the machinery of the world and move and work the levers that make up this vast physical experiment. This is a psycho-physical approach, a joyous return to the world, with its difficulties and differences.
Because this work is a return to the body in the way that I described, it is a move to a deeper level of community, a community not only intellectually and spiritually linked, but physically linked as well.
As the Process tumbles us and jostles us, so too can we rub shoulders, stand cheek to cheek, arm-wrestle with God-ing throughout the universe, fall, arise, help others up, sing, chant, and carry our mission forward not to exclude but to include. To stand for change, to allow differences, to support personal revelation and group effort. To recognize wisdom and be humble when least expected—which is always.
Though we all suffer and forget who we truly are, there is no denying that the body, this world, when fully understood, is joy itself. That consciousness without an object is joy itself. That being is joy itself.
The Magi Process holds all this within itself and you will find that if you use it to serve others, to serve the world, you will be serving yourself because you are the world and nothing other. You will find that the Process will help you remember—even it is for the first time—the connection between the is-ness of your body, the existence of your community and the help that is possible for the world.