there is a field. I'll meet you there.
the world is too full to talk about.
doesn't make any sense.
Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi - 13th century
As a tool (“tra”) to expand (“tan”), Tantra enables the practitioner to open into deeper and deeper experiencing of the many disparate elements of reality. By incorporating conscious movement and breath-work to maintain awareness in high states of arousal, the student of Tantra comes to understand that sexual energy is the most direct means we have of connecting with the universal energy of Life itself. He or she learns how to conduct their own life force to access clarity and joy moment by moment, breath by breath.
And yet, sickness, aging and death are still “inevitable”. Or are they?
When my good friend and fellow Tantra teacher Laurie Handlers invited me last year to meet her “immortal group of friends” in Phoenix, I laughed. But I had to admit to her that I was feeling a profound sense of well-being in her company, as I always did during our visits. She said, "I think you're immortal... you should come meet some others”. I laughed again, and so did she!
She explained that physical immortality is not some far distant goal in a future beyond this world, but a bodily feeling, in this moment, that we are timeless, and free of any obligation to die. What is the sense, she argued, of doing all these tantric practices, just to “die healthy”?
Just as Tantra teaches that the sexual embrace does not have to end with a “little death” (le petite mort), Laurie spoke very passionately about life being more than a race to a finish line with an exhausting and final ending. If our very cells have the power to self-replicate, what exactly “stops” them? Could it be that our passive acceptance of our own death is a root cause of unworthiness and separation between people? Is involuntary death actually a blight that underlies poor relationships, even war itself?
Whoa — how exactly do we take the death out of life? Ninety percent of our media news is death-oriented, our so-called spiritual leaders promote endless ways of coping with it, billions of us are praying to our dead ancestors, and our daily conversations are saturated with death’s logic. Either we’re getting “older now”, or grieving our loved one’s passing, or accepting our own fate and making a will — death is very LOUD!
Enter People Unlimited Inc (PUI), a group of about two-hundred self-selected individuals from all walks of life who have come together for the express purpose of “...ending separation between people in order to promote and vivify the innate value and ability of the human body to transcend all limitations of disease, poverty, aging and death.”
It’s been almost two years since I have come to Phoenix to be with this eclectic gathering, and instead of trying to describe what People Unlimited Inc is, I’ll start by saying what it’s not.
People Unlimited is not really a group, or a “community” in the sense of people coming together to share a common belief system. There are no beliefs here! No right-doing or wrong-doing!
Likewise, it is not a “practice”, and there are no teachers or teachings, and no books to study. Unlimited living is a radical departure from self-help, and has nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment, and even less to do with mental understanding.
Philosophic and psychological speculation is routinely (and usually uproariously) called out at a PUI event. The egoic mind that habitually seeks to know and control is not coddled; “coming from the gut” is more than a platitude.
No gurus, no path, no remedy — just people walking together, supporting one another to really go for their own unlimited Life. My own experience is that almost everyone I have met since arriving here exudes the same luscious sense of well-being that I first became aware of with Laurie. Inexplicably, I have moved beyond longstanding habits (craft beers, minimal exercise and lack of sleep) to realize a health and vibrancy that I have not felt since I was a teenager.
By an organic process of simply coming together several times a month and freely expressing our lives to each other, the people in this new movement act on the revolutionary proposition that life is unlimited, and given the right environment, organic, physical immortality is the next step for humankind.
I have awakened to this physical intelligence that is at once brand new and very familiar — it’s like getting reintroduced to a long-forgotten relative — only this time, it’s me!