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TANTRA, A SCIENTIFIC OVERVIEW OF ALTERED AWARENESS......Certain areas of the body are targeted by neuromodulating substances. These target areas are referred to as nodes and groups of nodes are referred to as neural networks. In this way nature can efficiently prepare a state of consciousness by merely releasing a particular group neuro-peptides into the body fluids. The release can occur from many different locations is the body but most notably from the glands and hypothalamus. . Some neuro-peptides are time dependent like LH, FSH, estrogen or progesterone responsible for the female cycle. And some neuro-peptides are stimulus dependent like, endorphins, endo-opiates, oxytocin, epinephrine and adrenaline. So actual sensations and perception of sensation is altered continuously at the synaptic level by neuro-peptides that are constantly altering "mood".
The Chakra System in Tantra is mirrored in neural networks and concentrated nerve Receptor Sites. A strong association can be made between the theory of neural networks and the Tantirc theory of various chakras. The well-being of each chakra affects the "state of consciousness". The balance of nodal networks determines "physical states of awareness. In Tantric philosophy extended sexual meditation is said to open up the chakras or energy centers of the body. There are six well known chakras. All of them have a psychic component. That is, the person experiencing disruption of the function of a particular chakra has an emotional component and a behavioral relationship to its imperfect function.
The first chakra or root chakra is associated with elimination . Its psychic component has to do with issues of survival. Hence the innate response to defecate during extreme fear situations. Also issues related to constipation, or diarrhea and obsessive toilet habits may be related to the psychic component of the first chakras energy. Behavioral patterns may imply a need to relive issues related to survival, fear, and fight or flight. The triggering neuropeptides that network control centers involved with these issues are Adrenaline and related compounds. It is well known that adrenaline is the neuromodulator involved in the fight or flight response.
Adrenaline is a stimulus released neuromodulator. It shuts down many bodily functions so that survival can be dealt with. It interrupts the function of other neuromodulators that are associated with rhythmical cycles of biomodulation like sleep cycles, eating cycles, breathing, and in extreme cases shock and circulatory collapse.
The second chakra is related to sexual function. Many sexual hormones which are part of the complex of neurotransmitters are time dependent and address certain receptor sites at particular times of the month, or at particular times of day. The sexual response itself is time and stimulus oriented and triggers the release of endorphins, endo-opiates and sex hormones. These sexual neurotransmitters actually reinforce the cyclic nature of the sexual cycle increasing hormonal regularity and balancing hormonal release.
The sexual hormones themselves are experiential filters that are induced into the limbic system. They too are informational substances that act as filters on our perceptions. Like a chord played on a piano, sex hormones act in symphony with other informational substances that are released by pleasurable sensations and relaxation. Protective fear based selective attention is filtered out and sensations of pleasurable openness are enhanced by manipulation of nerve cell data on a cellular level. The synaptic response is reformulated to gain our selective attention towards experiencing sex and its related biorhythmic enhancements: better sleep, deeper breathing, lower blood pressure, relaxed muscle tone, emotional bonding and regular digestion.
These biological enhancements to the organism create an altered perceptive reality triggering state dependent memories, associations, and state dependent selective attention. We enter another state of consciousness.
The psychic component of the third chakra is power or life force. The center of this chakra is said to be at the solar plexus. It coincides with the receptor node complex of the digestive system. There is a network of opiate receptors in the digestive tract. Appetite and weight gain are modulated by endo-opiate peptides. Issues of domination and submission, controlling behavior, and power are often associated with digestive disorders. Anorexia, bulimia and overeating are disorders associated with behavioral control of digestive functions. Since these functions are dependent on opiate receptors they will often respond to treatment using hypnosis to trigger opiate enrichment or as tantrics believe they can be cleared through opiate enrichment caused by continued sexual stimulation.
The life force is further affected by opiate enrichment of the thymus, spleen and the immune system. Monocytes circulating in the bloodstream are the basic fighters of the immune system. They encircle invaders and destroy them. Monocytes not only have receptors for receiving neuro-peptides they also manufacture and emit them. Emotion affecting neuro-transmitters actually appear to control the routing and migration of monocytes in the bloodstream (Ruff). Positive emotions and pleasurable experiences actually increase the capacity of the immune system.
It has been speculated that neuropeptides provide the psychological basis for the emotions. There is a striking pattern of neuropeptide receptor distribution in the mood regulating areas of the brain. Essentially endorphins, as well as other information substances and their receptors function on many levels from the spinal cord up through the cortical-limbic-hypothalamic system as filters . They modulate all sensory, perceptual, and physiological information. This might be the process by which the conscious mind with its expectations and planning functions can modulate psychosomatic processes down to the spinal cord level.
In Tantra this process is metaphorically described as perceiving with the third eye or fifth chakra. The mental imagery or point of meditation in the tantric exercise is encoding the all perceptual strata in the nervous system with a new set of neuropeptide filters. This neuromodulation is constantly interacting with classical neurotransmission. The striking similarities between psycho-somatic processes and the metaphors of the chakra system enable us to comprehend the tantric sexual process more meaningfully.
All homeostatic internal regulatory centers from the spine to the hypothalamus are in communication with a vast sexual receptor system. All major behavioral states of attention, motivation, sleep, dreams, memory and all physiological processes like respiration, body rhythms, appetite, autonomic nervous system functions and sensory tuning have associated sexual receptor sites. Estradiol (female sex hormone) and testosterone are networked to these sights when there level is raised in the bloodstream.
Expanded use of sexual energy in the tantric sexual meditation increases these hormonal levels respectively. When pure thought and physical technique are practiced by the tantric partnership selective state awareness is shifted and you experience a new state of consciousness.
Endorphins are enhanced by repetitive breathing and voicing of specific sounds known to tantrics as a Mantra. The vibration of the chest cavity from the mantras sounds increases neuromodulation of the pleasure response. The rhythmical breathing increases oxygenation of the blood which sharpens sensual awareness.
The Tantric sexual act itself is a conscious effort between two people to reach and advanced state of selective awareness. Using eye, breath, and movement entrainment the sexual partnership follows a psychic rhythmical flow that keeps on bathing the receptor system in a constant flood of endorphins, endo-opiates, and sexual hormones. The end result is an advanced state of filtered sensation that triggers a barrage of emotions and awareness’s. The physical advantages of sexual euphoria are then encoded into the cyclic functionalism of the body, kinesthetic memory, and subconscious process which often triggers lucid dreaming.
The process of the sexual meditation restructures perception in the individual through extended changes in neuromodulation that ripple out through the receptor network of the body. Hence the tantric metaphor of the opening of the chakras is clearly a psychic tool to unleash life enforcing psycho-physical processes at work in continued tantric sexual cooperation between two people.
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