What is the Terma of Gaia Awakening?
Overview of a Mystico-Ludic Experiment
In his 1943 novel Magister Ludi (Master of the Game) ), written over ten years and published at one of the darkest moments in the 20th century, Herman Hesse pictured a utopian spiritual community called Castalia overseen by a caste of enlightened teachers or masters—so named for their mastery of the "glass bead game." Although he is vague and elusive on the nature, procedure, and rules for this game, Hesse suggests that it is a kind of intellectual-spiritual exercise that allows its adepts to see and perhaps command all the permutations of the human spirit in art, literature, music and mathematics, culture, spirituality, and even history. The glass bead game is the "game of life" considered from the lofty intellectual viewpoint of "Swiss neutrality," the viewpoint that Hesse assumed, relative to life and art alike.
The Latin title Magister Ludi contains the possessive form of the word ludus, "game, play." This word generates the rarely used adjective ludic, "playful, of the nature of a game." Years ago I suggested the term mystico-ludic for an exercise or experiment like the famous bead game of Castalia, but not merely intellectual. Such an experiment would have two prevailing features or guiding criteria: it would be playful in its premises and its procedures, and it would involve first-hand experimental mysticism undertaken by independent individuals whose experiences could be compared, contrasted, verified, aligned, refined, and integrated within the framework of the game.
In what might be regarded as an arrogant act of self-attribution, I call myself a terton and, more specifically, the Maine terton. The latter designation is a playful pun: I am from Maine in the USA and I am the main terton, the initializing agent of the Terma of Gaia Awakening. Please note that I am not the sole terton to be associated with this terma, but the main one in the sense of being the first to discover and disclose it, but not its exclusive agent nor the last terton to develop it. The main terton or inaugurator defines the terma that originates in the human mindstream, not in his mind alone. Such is my claim.
In Apparitions of the Self (Princeton University Press, 1998), a critical biographical study of the Nyingma terton Jigme Lingpa (1729-1798), Janet Gyatso extensively discusses the problems of authenticity faced by tertons ("treasure discoverers") in Tibetan tradition:
I could cite many more passages from Gyatso with a comparison of the two JLs, but I will leave that precarious exercise to another day. Similarities between the two JLs are as striking as the differences—in all I reckon about thirty distinct items, right down to particular details of personal style like the wearing of a top-knot. Suffice it to say that, although my status as a terton is also self-conferred, I am under no compulsion to prove the authenticity of my destiny to anyone. However, I have a responsibility to provide criteria for assessing the authenticity of the Terma I have discovered, and will do so in due time. (Below, the Nyingma JL).
One of the characteristics of a terma is its time-release properties. Products come with a pull-date or expiration date, and termas come with a release-date or activation date. Such is the traditional situation, at least. Tibetans consider the source or author of all termas to be the master shaman and teacher, Padma Sambhava. Guru Rinpoche ("precious teacher" as he is called honorifically) was a great wizard said to have lived in India and Tibet in the 8th and 9th centuries CE. The traditional date of his arrival in Tibet is 747 AD, although this is disputed by various schools and sects. As the stories goes, PS and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal used their power of heightened concentration to implant wisdom treasures in the landscape around Tibet or in the human mindstream, the subconscious—hence the term, "mind treasures," dgongs gter.
Timing is everything in "the Tibetan Treasure tradition of channeled authorial voices," as it is called by Gyatso and Germano (Tantra in Practice, Princeton University Press, 2000: "Longchenpa and the Possession of the Dakinis"). Traditionally, each wisdom treasure was preprogrammed for discovery by a particular person, usually a close disciple of PS during his 8th-9th century lifetime. Thus, reincarnation plays a central role in the terma lineage: the reincarnated disciple of PS inherits a terma intended for him to discover in the future at a particular time when that terma ripens, when it is ready to be revealed. Termas have this unique property, a time-release value. They are implanted at a certain moment and ripen at a later moment. The terton predestined to do so discovers the ripened terma at the precise moment it can be revealed, taught, and disseminated for the liberation of all sentient beings. So the story goes.
The Terma of Gaia Awakening represents a novel departure from this story, consistent with its foundations but divergent in other ways, concerning timing, endowment, authentication, and dissemination, or sharing. Allow me to briefly cover these four elements:
In short, the Terma of Gaia Awakening is scaled to the last two centuries of Kali Yuga, spanning nine generations of 30 years each: 1945 - 2215. It is imperative to recognize that this Terma originates in the moment it is revealed, right now. It is a novel eruption without precedent, having not been implanted at a previous moment in the past, and not dependent upon a time-release dynamic that would set its discovery (i.e., activation) to a later time. I cannot emphasize too strongly this point. You may well ask yourself if you have the wits for the notion of global enlightenment event without precedent, not the mention the desire or disposition to conceive such a thing. Do ask yourself that question.
Endowment: The Terma of Gaia Awakening is endowed in a particular person, first, and then in a group extending through nine generations, and in both cases no precedent of lineage or reincarnational situation is required. It is a totally free endowment, dependent solely upon the faculties to receive and sustain it. No connection with a sacred lineage or teacher in time past is required. The endowment involves a group dynamic composed of individuals who became teachers to each other and those who would enter the mystico-ludic experiment framed and proposed by this unique Terma, and elaborated by the teachers, who are self-designated participating tertons.
Now you may ask, What is the source of the Terma of Gaia Awakening? If not Padma Sambhava or another exalted spiritual agency, or some otherworldly emission source such as light-beings in the Pleiades, who or what is at its origin? The answer is simple: the source of the Terma of Gaia Awakening is Gaia herself, the planetary animal mother. This Terma is her endowment to the human species. It is the unique teaching generated as Gaia awakens in the lucid dream of her quasi-historical identity-reflex—that is to say, her identity reflected in human imagination through the historical construct of linear time since around 1760 AD.
Technically, this emergent node of self-awareness of the planetary entelechy may be called her idential node. Specifically, this unique idential node is channel 18 of the Shakti Cluster, the console of telluric frequencies for the full-spectrum broadcast of Gaian intelligence in the subliminal mindstream of the human species. The name she answers to is thus attached uniquely to channel 18, though Gaia transmits and communicates through all 18 channels of the console. All the frequencies of the console are hers.
Obviously, the Terma of Gaia Awakening is a modernist, self-referential phenomenon: it presents what it requires to be realized for its presentation to self-actualize. Ponder that proposition carefully. As the gaming board of the mystico-ludic experimentation proposed in this Terma, the Shakti Cluster cannot be beat. You can only join it or ignore it. Its self-referentiality is totally integral so that no discrete element of the experiment can be selected out of the ensemble and co-opted. You understand the entire experiment or not, and you take on the entire experiment or not. The "program" cannot be disassembled or dissembled, faked, fragmented, or subverted. Such is my instruction.
The Terma of Gaia Awakening is the fulfillment—the proof, if you will—of the veracity of the vision story of the Pagan Mysteries, the sacred narrative of Sophia. In that vision story, Sophia is the name given to the divine presence of the planet earth before it becomes the material, sensuous earth. Before Sophia morphs into the earth, and before one discrete strain of humanity emerges on the earth, the Aeon endows pre-terrestrial humanity with a specific faculty, the luminous epinoia. As explained in Or Ever the Earth Was,
The Terma of Gaia Awakening is a call to imaginative engagement, a unique call among all such options conceivable to the human mind. I venture to say that the attraction of the call would hinge decisively on the individual capacity to recognize this uniqueness. Who would not want to be intimately involved and passionately engaged with something unique in the world—if only you could see that it is that unique! Perceiving how it is unique, you will almost certainly want to be engaged with this Terma. Short of that perception, you will be disinterested or put off.
Nevertheless, the introduction to this Terma is now accessible to everyone on the planet. Turn away from it and you may find yourself stranded in the collective dream of a doomed species with no direction, no purpose, no unitive identity, and no sense of its true desire, disconnected from the planetary body of desire and the all-sustaining life-force of the earth. Turn toward it and you might find that you feel like you have fallen in love with someone who has your complete and total dedication, love surpassing anything you can hold for parents or children, equivalent only to the love you can feel for your own body. The object of such love is Gaia-Sophia, of whom I can say this:
With that said, please note my disclaimer: The Maine terton does not claim that the Terma of Gaia Awakening is the sole and exclusive expression for humanity of the endowment of the luminous epinoia. A child's drawing posted on the fridge can be equally that, and various other creative acts can as well, but certainly not everything that passes for creativity and art, especially in the music and entertainment business. But he does claim that this Terma is the framework for the most timely, playful, effective and intimate expressions of that divine endowment, of which the Terma is both the evidence and agency.
There are NINE components in the Terma of Gaia Awakening:
That's it. You are looking here at the entire format of the Terma, but of course the contents of each component would have to be described in more detail to satisfy you, right? As this essay is merely an overview, I would have to present the nine components with some explanatory discourse in a companion essay, in development: The Terma of Gaia Awakening In Practice -- A Mystico-Ludic Experiment in Nine Parts.
In closing, let me add a further point of clarification. To the question,
the answer is:
The factor of nine has always been central to goddess worship and ritual, witchcraft, Wicca, Pagan magic, and everything that touches on the mystery of the Sacred Feminine. I have recovered the vision story of Gaia-Sophia and restored it in nine episodes. There are nine emanations of Kali in the Shakti Cluster and 2 X 9 or 18 components in the entire console of telluric dakini frequencies. From chapter 8 of Not in His Image:
Those who acknowledge and engage the unique mystico-ludic experiment framed in the Terma of Gaia Awakening—the telestai of now and tomorrow, aimed in their personal lives by the vision story of the earth goddess—would come to call the practice of Planetary Tantra "doing nines." For them, the future is now. For them, there is no humanity ahead on this planet except as they imagine it. But imagine it WITH her, in the frame and continuity of the Sophianic vision, the sacred narrative of the telestic Mysteries. There can be no planetary shift, no decisive empowerment of the good-hearted part of humanity against intra-species predators, without the intimate connection to Gaia-Sophia that comes through the Terma of Gaia Awakening. The sacred narrative (factor 4) contained in this Terma is the ultimate survival myth for the human species. Such is my instruction.
jll: 24 July 2010 Andalucia
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2013 by John Lash.