“Shakti is the power of divine love waiting to enter woman and come through her to man.”

I seldom enjoy using Eastern words because they confuse the West. The words I do use are ‘karma’, the repetition of the past as existence; ‘tantra’, the reaching of God consciousness through the love of Woman; and ‘Shakti’ which I want to talk about now.

Shakti is the power of the female principle in the universe. Shallow western society just doesn't have a word for the power of God which is out of existence but which comes into existence and moves things here. But ‘Shakti’ is a good word to convey something of that power. I am talking about the power of love. Shakti is the power of God – the power of divine love waiting forever in every woman; not going anywhere, just waiting for an intimation that sufficient love or power is present in existence for it to enter woman and come through her to man.

Man does not have that power. His power is what brings Shakti into existence. Shakti is irresistibly compelled and attracted to the male energy, which is its opposite or partner. It is the power of the universe and behind all things, but cannot come into existence without the call of Man. They are both powers: Shakti is fundamental and Man is necessary for Shakti to enter existence. Shakti is the greater power... Although there is only the power of God, God divides itself.

So this power is waiting to come into every woman. Every real woman knows it’s there because all she wants is to be consumed. I’m not talking about a woman who wants sexual excitement but a woman who is still, who knows she has so much to give or wants to just disappear into love forever. That’s the desire for Shakti to come through her. She is the means, the conduit, for this non-existent power to come into existence.

It is so important for man to be able to divest himself as much as possible of selfishness and self-consideration — so that Shakti can come in through the woman. Of course the man has to be able to accommodate that extraordinary beauty, which is one of his great problems. The more beautiful a woman becomes the more difficult it is for him to refrain from orgasm. As soon as a woman opens up her whole body, her whole psyche and being, she becomes extraordinarily beautiful — because she starts to release something of Shakti. That has a tremendous effect on the man, because it is her pleasure. It is her pleasure that makes man come — once he has matured enough to love her.

To begin with man pleases himself — goes for the orgasm or the conquests. His own self-seeking pleasure makes him come. The mature man realises it is the pleasure of woman that he enjoys. But when she reaches the stage where she truly opens up – and every woman reaches that stage some time or other – it seems inevitable that the man comes. Because of this it is very common for woman to have a subconscious recognition that she can’t open up too much. As soon as she does, he’ll lose it. So we men have to be careful of that, to avoid her having that inhibition; and, as much as possible, not take the selfish option and come as soon as she opens up to us. We have to practise being able to stand the beauty of her, to have the extraordinary pleasure that comes through her opening up; to more and more consciously take the beauty of her in the penis.

You have to be able to take that beauty through your whole body. This means you have to be more conscious. You can’t have the slightest movement of mind. Because the mind likes to imagine where it is! If you imagine you’re in the woman's private part you’re gone – finished. Men will often come as they approach the woman, before they enter her, because they imagine what they’re doing instead of doing what they’re doing. So to stand a woman's beauty requires increasing consciousness – no imagination, just the sheer fact of being what I’m doing. This means: Not to think about it, not to have any aberration, any fantasy. Only: ‘I am loving and receiving the pleasure that comes through loving her. I am receiving her pleasure.’ For nothing pleases man more than woman’s pleasure. The more he can give her pleasure, the more he is complete in his own being.

Of course the woman herself also has to be able to take the pleasure. And that requires her not to have any emotional or psychological movement. She must be purely her body, one with her body, so that she also does not come too quickly or too often.

Why is every man on earth thinking about woman? Why is every woman thinking about man? It never occurred to anyone to ask that question... Why does every man want to be a god? — meaning that he wants to be a gift to woman, as her lover; wants the power to love woman and have her love him; wants to be that power. Of course, out of his need to have power over woman, man gets perverse and is cruel to her. Because he is not man enough, he reverts to cruelty to have a sense of power. And he is afraid; afraid to give up his independence. But I am not talking about that. I’m talking about why man desires woman above everything else on earth. I’m talking about the power of the universe.

An independent man cannot bring Shakti into existence. She demands his absolute and complete surrender to God or love. But that is what’s missing on this earth. Now and again she comes; and the woman knows it. The man knows something extraordinary has happened. But the thing is for her to come continuously, whenever she is called, whenever the love is made for her to be there – because it is God’s pleasure, or Shakti’s pleasure, is to come into existence whenever there is sufficient love and self-surrender to make it possible.

I don't know what other power you would want. What other power does everybody talk about? Let’s say a celibate Eastern Master realises God within his own being. He knows the love of God with such intensity that it cleans his mind right out, cleans everything out – all feelings, emotions, negativity; it burns them out and his intellect is informed of the truth that is beyond all words. That is the power of Shakti as the realisation of God – realised through the power of self-surrender and one-pointed devotion to the inward going life; which eventually brings me to the source of all power, which is in my own being. But the easiest way available for us in the West is the simple way I have given you: the love of man and woman. One way is the realisation of ‘God out of existence’, directed by divine grace, which usually requires one-pointed love and great suffering, either physically or in having everything taken from you. The other way is the realisation of ‘God in existence’ through the love of man and woman, where there is no need to have everything taken; no need to suffer.

Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes a partner is not right for you. You have to endeavour to persevere with it; to be able to see whether the partner is not right for you; whether you are both loving enough. It may be, eventually, that although you have enjoyed much love together, you are not really right for each other to go on to the next stage. It’s quite possible. It happens all the time.

Love is forever, because for each one that we loved, there is still love there: but the particular love is not necessarily forever. A partner might take you so far, but there is a limit as to how far any man or woman can go. And that is why so many people have to break up. They are not making the right music anymore. Although they love each other, they do not love each other enough. That’s the key word: ‘Enough’.

Are you loved enough? Are you loving enough? We all love each other; we know that. Partners stay together for twenty-five years and they say to me, ‘But we love each other’. That’s a big yawn to me – because they don’t love each other enough, or they wouldn’t be speaking to me like they do. In the western world nobody speaks the truth; everybody is scared to death of it. But if you don’t love enough, what’s the point?

If you are prepared to love, life will bring someone for you. Just don’t get attached. If you get attached to the one you love then you will suffer when they have to go.

What I am talking about is the ultimate for man and woman’s partnership, which is to bring Shakti into their love so that the persons disappear and it is the divine lovers, He and She, that love. Through the body we are the means of that love but for that I must disappear. I am certainly there in the sense that it is my body, but psychologically I have surrendered myself to the divine lover. Only then can I know this extraordinary power of the divine love of God.

There is a pressure on us who are living the spiritual life and it is to be one-pointed in the love of God. I find more and more women today declaring their love of God in their different ways. The love of ‘It’ makes woman the handmaiden of the Lord. Then she waits on and she loves the Lord. She is immediately there for the Lord, which is God. It is her heart’s desire to serve the One Holy God. Then that one-pointedness of love manifests in her life, according to God’s will. Nobody can say what that power is. But she will be looked after by it.

I am nothing but the love of God. That's all I am. Any woman that I have loved had inside of her the love of God. That comes first, before the love of me; although the love of me is often the same as the love of God in her. When the love of God comes first, then woman can love man without getting lost in him. She cannot love man first and think about God after. ‘It’ has to be first. Then her first love will be that which is within her and beyond all men. And then she can love man and not be attached to him.

And it is for man to love woman, to look after her, to care for her, and bring her closer and closer to God – giving her the pleasure that has no self in it, so that she can know, so that she can realise, what she is. He has to love her. And why shouldn’t he? It is all he thinks about anyway! She is what he loves most.

If you are a woman without a man, don’t be lonely. Say you are an older woman who doesn’t have a man with you. Know that it doesn’t matter how old you are. You still have your own being, with Shakti behind you, and if you love God, or ‘it’, or ‘me, the being inside’, or ‘the one within you’, then the Shakti power will inform you and you’ll be free of emotional pain and suffering. That power is inside of you and you can realise it by being stiller and stiller, by not giving into your mind and emotions or thinking about things anymore than you have to. You have loved and known the joys and pains of love in your long life; all that doesn’t matter anymore – it just disappears into your love of God.

Why does anyone want to love?

Why are you loving each other?

What are you loving for? Just to go to bed together every night?

No: there’s a power and a purpose behind your love.

© Barry Long. Edited from a talk given in Sydney Australia, Sunday 15 December 1996.