The 5 Acts of God
Tantra offers many different systems of reality, but one needs to understand that “reality” here is a composite whole wherein the observer and the observed are both part of the reality. Therefore, in any environment, reality is that entire environment which includes you and your experiences (emotions, sensations, and the like).
In Physics, motion is considered to be relative, because it depends on the observer. Similarly, for a brief moment, we can consider reality to be relative, because each intelligent creature will view it differently.
But Tantra states that reality exists regardless of who is analyzing it - our perception of it may differ but the existence of reality is absolute. Humans see an apple in full color, dogs see the same apple in fewer colors (most likely, pale yellow and shades of grey), and bats probably see only a blur or nothing at all. We may perceive the apple in different ways but the existence of the apple is indisputable.
In the 5 Acts of God, we see how reality has a few more characteristics.
1. Self Expression
As humans, we can express ourselves by writing poetry or making an Origami duck, but Gods don’t waste time with such trifles! The Act of Self Expression is not only one of creation but also of renovation and evolution. In this act, the tantrik says, “Reality’s existence is absolute, but I give it color! The absoluteness of space is indisputable, but – as a God – I personify it, give it meaning, and provide its stupid emptiness with some intelligence!” Having reached the God Level, I may not create reality/space/universe, but I definitely give its existence some romance and enlightenment.
“Existence, Knowledge, Infinite is the Brahman!” The universe may have created me, but without me, the Universe is nothing… literally! Every human being who practices Tantra can achieve this state of consciousness and express it intellectually or existentially, but it’s not hard to see how Kings and Emperors, Presidents and Prime Ministers and great dictators (both benevolent and malevolent) could have existed in this mental state.
Every creation of self expression has to be maintained and preserved, implying that the state of mind must be in continuance. Meditation can help to focus and maintain this state of mind, and deep meditation can actually ensure a state of automatic maintenance. However, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi also recognized this psychological state and termed it “flow.” Read more about it here. https://www.cgu.edu/people/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/
A human worries about how to deal with a thing that has become boring! But not Gods! Gods simply destroy. In Tantra, it is said that Shiva is the Lord of Destruction. Many theories abound on this subject:
As a God, Shiva destroys something, because it is evil.
Shiva destroys, because destruction is necessary for renewal and revival.
But the truth is that Shiva destroys, because he can! Because he is bored! Because - in his infinite wisdom – destruction is as interesting/entertaining as creation! It’s not easy to comprehend this as a human; one has to reach the God state of mind to understand this tantric concept.
Ever tried to forget something but couldn’t? No matter how hard you try, the undesirable thought or spiteful memory keeps coming back. Now imagine a power that can make the thought/memory go away as easily as turning something off. Our brain is profoundly complex and can remember almost everything right from birth (some tantriks say even from inside the womb), but it is also complex enough to let us momentarily forget something. Tantra teaches us how.
Obviously, this complements Forgetting, and both these facets of the mind are forms of the Expansion and Contraction of consciousness. In a rather simplistic manner, people say that a computer and the brain are similar: each can take in information, store it, and recall specific bits of information. The brain can do this to much greater extents, but the computer can recall information with more reliability.
However, Tantra teaches you to recall information with the same kind of reliability as computers. I can tell myself to wake up at a certain time (say 4 am), and I do so unfailingly (give or take 10 minutes). Regardless of how tired I am or jet-lagged, I can “tell myself” to wake up at a certain time and I will. This fact was known for a long time, but only recently did three scientists (Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young) win the Nobel for discovering the molecular mechanisms of body clocks or circadian rhythms.
Tantra knew nothing about molecular mechanisms but it did know about body clocks and how to control them!