Animals Under the Skin
by Tantra Bensko
The base of the spine, Shakti, was the pole of the individual self, the incarnated self, feeling separate, alone, with boundaries, inside the skin of aloneness. This was a good thing to be, to have an identity, otherwise, we would just be applesauce-like mush of consciousness all squished up together.
Yet, being separate was painful without some way of merging with others, interchanging, exchanging. Merging not only with other people, but with trees, animals, water, earth, fire, air, divinity. Oneness.
And thus we had the Shiva, Absolute Consciousness, represented by the top of the pole of the crystalline structure of the body. The positive pole, solar, male, electric, integrating fully with the negative pole, the earth, female, magnetic. The conduit could be improved between the two, the energy moving between them could be amplified, could be identified with, could be experienced from the inside out.
My snake of energy, the Kundalini, had moved powerfully through the conduit of my spine, and I had become its energy, the energy of creation. Yet also there was Shiva’s destruction to deal with.
I showed them first the cat postures. We got on all fours, pretending the pain on our knees against the rocks was nothing. In that position, we arched our backs, then whisked down to curl up, and back and forth, over and over, breathing, and sat up on our haunches to do the yogic breath, with the three locks. It could have been quite pornographic, I’m sure, if someone were watching from the cliffs. Butts up, butts down, hair whipping back and forth.
Her friends and I all sat, still naked, in the lotus position, on the rocks, facing the sea. The girls were slender, friendly, laughing, but very focused on our lesson. I showed them the alternate breath, balancing the male and female sides of the body, to integrate them into the central channel of the spine.
I showed them Kundalini movements, twists to loosen up the spine, put pressure on the seven seals along it, breathing and clenching and visualizing, moving the eyes, holding the breath.
Each new exercise was taking us more and more into bliss. More and more into altered states of consciousness. We were becoming energy, becoming each other, becoming endlessness. Energy had turned from particles to waves. We were waving like a mirage, floating on other realms.
I showed them the cobra breath, my specialty. We were to begin activating the snake in the spine. That seemed better than some of the other beachgoers, who seemed to be activating the slug in the spine.
All four of us were in a line on the rocks, near where the shore came to a peak, and rounded its way slowly, curvily, to the tourist beach on the other side. It was far enough away around the bend, over large boulders, that it was like another perspective on reality. As if the tourists were more interested in the separate selves and the nude beach natives were more interested in merging with the whole.
The cobra breath involves a rather bizarre breathing technique, the inbreath being snakelike, the outbreath being like a hiss. “Here, you hold your mouth like the Cheshire Cat, grinning really big, the corners of your lips going up at the corners, your mouth open, and you hiss through it but not a relaxed hiss. A forceful one. Loud, squeezing... HEEEE! HEEEE!”
We practiced, the sun warming us, the waves lapping, the tide rising. There was little room between us and the ocean now, as there was little room between us and the oceanic existence.
We had our eyes closed, engrossed in our exercises, until we heard a sound on the rocks between us and the water’s edge. We opened our eyes as we were hissing out, unwilling to change the Cheshire shape of our lips, the stiffness of our spines, the straight frontal focus.
And what we saw was a young man, obviously integrating the energy from the tourist beach on an adventure he hadn’t expected, to the land of the nude beach. He looked painfully amazed, shy, flustered, his badly cut curly hair hardly even on straight, but he was trying hard to walk with poise, relax his facial muscles, you could tell.
Just as we breathed out, with open eyes, as if four supernatural naked witches hissing forcefully straight at him, he stumbled. He fell and caught himself on the rock, trying to make it as smooth as possible, minimize it, look ahead and move quickly.
We kept breathing, but it was very hard to wait until he was far enough away that we were not rude when we broke out laughing, imagining what a shock that must have been!
That night, when I got back, there were two more holes in my tent. There were slugs everywhere, and I imagined them eating it up by the morning. I patched up the new holes, searched for slime, but found none.
And that night, I heard the familiar rustling, and I found it hard to understand how slugs could make so much noise. In the morning, they were all over the woven mat in front of the tent, and I stepped on one before I realized it. I knew it would take days before the stickiness would erase itself. I apologized profusely to the slug’s spirit.
I walked along the trail by the road to the recycling station by the free store, and found tins to put my food in to slug-proof my tent. Like an animal, most of what I ate was berries, as I hardly had any money, but I did have some things, fruits, vegetables, nuts. Who knew what slugs would eat if they would eat hominids.
Then, I walked the other way, to the store, and after asking around, I found out salt was an effective deterrent. I thought about buying a bag of salt to circle my tent with. But I was afraid it would hurt the slugs. I didn’t dislike them. I loved them, actually, saw them as beautiful, spiritual creatures. I just didn’t want to have my whole tent disappear inside a giant slug family.
After hours of thinking of the best thing to make for Byron, I had decided upon molding something with clay. So I bought a box of that as well and set out to the beach to set to work. I thought of what he had said “I’m going to go out on a boat with Tantra and talk philosophy.” It was just something to imagine.
But I made a boat. It seemed to make itself subtly vagina-shaped. I widened it, thickened it. Put a vaguely clitoral piece on one end as the tab to attach the rope to. It was wet, soft, and I pushed and pulled it, having my way with it. Hollowing it out, trying to get the lips, or the sides, to stay in the correct position.
Lying on the flat boulder, naked in the sun, by the brilliant water, looking across at the other islands, was a paradisiacal way to make a birthday present for a gorgeous young man. I put a man in the boat, fishing, a big hat, kind of country bumpkinesque, obviously really enjoying himself. Then I gave him huge breasts, turned him into a woman shaped something like me. That could have advantages.
Then I took his breasts off and made him into a bumpkin again. I put the breasts back on. Would it make him think of me? I just couldn’t do that to him, though. I removed them dutifully. It was a sailboat, and the sails I made out of paper. I painted the words on them with the brushes I used to make the illustrations for the Tantric magazine I worked for.
“Tip Boat,” the sails said. It was for him to use instead of his tip jar where he worked as a cook at an outdoor restaurant. He had complained about not getting many tips, mostly marbles. So this would get people thinking, and laughing at the same time.
I was excited. So was the boat, and it kept trying to tip over, the sides of it loosening, and I propped it up to let it dry while I spent the rest of the day on the boulder, painting the illustrations of the energies of the body circulating, connecting with the outside world, connecting with the lover.
I thought of the way my body and soul vibrated around Byron, turned to light, to a kind of fire. I could feel him when he was near me, as if my body tried to reach him through the ethers, extending its energy to embrace him.
That evening, turned out, my salad dressing tipped over and some spilled out around the lid, onto the tent. And where it spilled, the slug had eaten the tent and escaped. A big round hole of ginger salad-dressing flavored tent. Yum.
The boat was still a little wet, still uncivilized, and I kept pushing the lips together, holding them, smushing the clay around the edges to build it back. It seemed dry enough to be passable, as long as I was careful with it.
It was time for Byron’s birthday party. It would have to pretend to be dry, anyway. I carried it in my hands like a wounded bird, to the park. The handmade card was in my pocket. As I walked along the road, I saw a dark young figure of a man up ahead that I didn’t recognize.
The closer I got to him the more I realized he was very handsome. When we talked, I knew he had one of those unusual ways of talking that would draw me in, make me mimic it and go into another reality with him created by our voices, our phrasing, almost as if we were foreigners trying to speak English.
How many times that week had my own voice with its insecurities, its anxieties, its mundanities been warped into something more beautiful? We talked awhile, with meaningful silences that seemed to have a voice to them as well. A beauty, a style, a depth.
He jumped, looked at his foot, and veered. “There are slugs all over the road,” he volunteered.
“Yeah, I kind of want to move them off the road so they don’t get run over... You know, slugs are eating up my shelter at this moment. My tent is disappearing thanks to slugs. I love them, though. They seem really spiritual to me. Really pure and loving somehow. I’ve never had bad experiences with slugs before.”
“And they are really sticky when you step on them.”
“Well, I guess I had a kind of bad experience with them before. I babysat for two months while the mother went to India. Her oldest daughter was supposed to feed the dog, but she never wanted to bring in the dog bowl when she got home because it would have slugs on it. And she was terrified of slugs. It seemed to have something to do with being abducted by reptilians. She would wake up with black and blue marks all over her tummy.
“I was supposed to make her bring the dog bowls in, but she would beg me not to. One time she lay on the floor and hugged me around my legs, and wouldn’t let me walk anywhere. And she was fifteen! I would usually end up bringing it in for her, but I got busted for it by her mother.”
He looked at me strangely, his big brown eyes catching the moonlight. I liked how he moved, how he held his head. His dark hair was full, with an almost feminine cut. I wanted to reach out and touch him. Why were there so many touchable people who were so much younger than me? They felt so out of range when they were so close to me. My hands would want to move, but they would have to hold themselves back.
“I love slugs. I think my favorite sex scene in a movie was that one in Microcosm, with the slugs, or was it snails? Anyway, they had sex, and it was all slowed down with classical music. It was so beautiful, so divine.”
“Funny you should say those things,” he said. “I have a fear of slugs. And it relates to sex.”
“Why do you think it is?... Do you know what caused it?” I wasn’t sure how to interpret that silence.
“Well, yes. I... felt like I got possessed by... a giant slug.”
“A... giant slug? So, what happened?”
This beautiful young man’s movements started getting more jerky and angular. His voice was higher, more strained. “It was like it took over me. It had tentacles. Sort of scaly, but slimy, I think. It’s hard to remember just what happened at first. I don’t feel it all the time.” He laughed.
Why did I so often run into people who had been possessed, abducted, manipulated by mind-control programs? What was up with that? Yes, I generally had something useful to explain to them, could help them deal with it, sometimes help them get over the problem. But what was it about the world that drew us together? It made me want to help him, put my arms around him, love him out of it, but it also made me want to back away, avoid getting entangled.
So many times I had had to back away from people once I helped them understand things, so I could be free of involvement with such tentacles of control. Even on an island that seemed so simple and straightforward, I could be found by a wandering stranger passing through while walking down the road in the dark.
“What happens when you feel it?”
“Well... It’s like it comes through me. Makes me think things I don’t want to think. Want to do things I don’t want to do.”
“What causes it to come out? What sort of occasions?” I felt so drawn to him. This was scary. Our voices had become so intertwined, almost inventing a foreign accent of inflection, of beautiful ways of speaking. It was different from the three island kids who had such amazing voices. But it was melodic, with such poetry in the way he pronounced his words, his pausing, such hiddeness in his character. It was becoming less musical.
I was keeping my own voice just as calm and steady, to seem poised, to keep from making him think I judged him. It was getting harder to do. But each time we spoke, we looked at each other as we walked in the dark, alone with nothing but a forest, not even any passing cars, no flashlight, just the moonlight to glint off our eyes and our cheeks. Each time he turned to me, I lingered with my eyes, taking in his slenderness with such young round cheeks, such dark eyes that caught the light.
“It happens when I get turned on. Ever since it happened, I can get turned on by young kids. Young kids! They’re so innocent and pure. I can’t believe it. Why would I want them? But I feel the slug thing coming up in my body, making me want them.” He laughed a quick high laugh. It sounded slightly insane. “I want to make them have sex with me. I want to be inside them, and the tentacles want to be inside them. But I never do.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that! That must be horrible! I know there are a lot of other dimensional creatures that use people for their own desires. I know that kind of thing happens. Same way with alcohol, those entities getting drunk through people drinking. And there are even people who camouflage themselves through visions of alien-type creatures. Those people are in government programs that use people, and they are very related to pedophilia.” He laughed twice this time.
“And it’s not only young kids. Whenever I feel like making love with anyone, even kissing them, it happens. I’m celibate. I don’t want to do something with people and have the slug thing do something bad to them.”
I wanted to help. I had done de-possessions. Gotten rid of ghosts from people’s houses, people’s lives. Gotten other types of spirit creatures out of people. Yet, I had become very reluctant to do that, hadn’t done it for years. Such things take so much power. Having a raised Kundalini gave me that ability, but these days the effort left me ill afterwards.
Copyright © 2009 by Tantra Bensko