Let's take yet another approach, a practical stumbling upon the texts themselves. Here under this topic I will start to read the famous Vigyan Bhairav (Vijnana Bhairava) Tantra little by little. I shall make no true "commentary", just some stray thoughs as they come, and am of course happy if other people will join me in this reading & giving comments, questions, thoughts. No knowledge on the subject is needed altogether.
Part of this particular practice is to go on by whim, so I can't say how long this will take. The whole tantra is 112 stanzas long. You can find several different translations all over the web; the one I'll be using here is Paul Rep's.
And here we go.
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (Prologue) wrote:Devi Asks:
O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully,
above space and time,
names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!
Shiva replies: (...)
Devi, the Supreme Goddess, the power & manifestation aspect of the universe is the one who asks; the one who asks is Shiva, the inner aspect of being - the Spirit, and by Spirit I think Meaning is always meant.
As brother Obnoxion just before said in his interview, science gives us good enough knowledge on how our world is outwardly built, but when we are in need of meanings inside, we must turn to spirituality.
Here the Goddess approaches the God, her husband, asking about HIS reality. It can be something other than hers, or can it? In Kashmir Shaivism these two aspects of divinity - Shiva and Shakti, or God & Goddess - are seen as equally important; as one, but not as identical.
All of us who have our eyes open, even a little bit, see universe as "wonder-filled". It is really something that strikes us with awe. Be it joyful or horrible, or both. The more we know, the more there is to know: universe is immense mystery. (Although we shouldn't say we can't ever understand it, or else even this book wouldn't have been written.)
"Seed" is where everything is as potentiality, and where everything will spring forth as manifestation.
The center of the wheel brings Laozi to mind. In Tao-Te-Ching he tells how Tao or the supreme secret of being & non-being is "the empty center of the wheel": its emptiness makes it useful. (This is what the yogis might call "laya" or the zero point of being. To us it is âtma.)
It comes as granted that there is life beyond forms, and our Great Mother wants to "enter it fully, above space & time".
If we would only be able to clear our thoughts, all would fit. The problem is in human thoughts, and that is why Patanjali gave his definition of yoga as the cessation of the modifications of the thought processes.