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Becoming Imperceptible – I

“Siddhi can be looked at in a number of different ways and one key one is to explore the sources of your own feelings of wonder. Dig deep… our culture expends a lot of energy in attempting to innoculate us against siddhi. … If you can find no wonder in yourself – examine why not? Have you ever felt any? What changed, when and why? Does wonder sustain you or dope you down? Is it good or bad do you think?”
Vishvanath, in a discussion of siddhis, 2005

Eight siddhis: smallness, largeness, heaviness, lightness, quickness, wilfulness, creativeness, subjugating.

Siddhi is often translated as “achievement” – that (which) has been attained; and explained (or explained away) in terms of magical powers or metaphors; or byproducts of practice which are not to be grasped for their own sake. Vishvanath’s comment is instructive however, it points to Siddhis as capacities for joy, for wonder. So here, at this moment, I consider them not as achievements to be won; not end-game-points to grasp or announce (after all, to pronounce “I have achieved enlightenment” is to invite ridicule) but capacities (Shaktis) – becomings. Siddhi is effectuation.

For me, this strikes a chord with Deleuze & Guattari’s concept of becoming imperceptible.

“Perception will no longer reside in the relation between a subject and an object, but rather in the movement serving as the limit of that relation, in the period associated with the subject and object. Perception will confront its own object; it will be in the midst of things, throughout its own proximity, as the presence of one haeccity in another, the prehension of one by the other or the passage from one to the other; Look only at the movements.”
Delueze & Guattari, A thousand plateaus


“O Devi! The mode of the Yogis is not seen like the movement of the birds in the skies and of aquatics in the water … A Kula Yogi may dwell anywhere, disguise in any form, and remain unnoticed by everybody…”
Kulanarva Tantra (translation, Ram Kumar Rai)

‘Becoming Imperceptible’ also offers a way of relating to the tantric telos – the uncontraction of consciousness from limitation into freedom – svatantrya:

“the one who is free is the one who can exist in whatever way he or she desires, unimpeded, unrestricted. And God does indeed have this freedom, he has the fullness of everything as his own.”
Abhinavagupta, Isvara-Pratyabhijna-Vimarsini

This requires only that one opens ones’ heart to the world. An ethic of joy.

More to come …