Prince the Tantra Man

vanity-prince

The Prince Rogers Nelson that we all know and love was one of the world’s foremost proponents and examples of sacred sexuality.

As a 19 year old, Prince recorded his debut album. There were a couple of things that were peculiar about this 1978 album. One thing is that Prince played every instrument that is heard on the album. Guitar. Drums. Bass. Piano. Another peculiarity about the album was the inclusion of a song called “Soft And Wet,” an homage to his lover’s gushy place and its power over him. This very young man possessed artistic abilities that were mind-blowing, and he had a level of comfort with his own sexuality that was unique even in the Free Love era of the 70’s.

Prince would go on to show his virtuoso levels of musical genius on at least one album per year for well over a decade. And on every album he showed us more and more about how his sexuality and his spirituality were one and the same. In one of his greatest songs, 1987’s “Adore”, he talks about receiving approval from the Hosts of Heaven for his sexual adventures:

“When we be making love/ I only hear the sounds/ Heavenly angels crying up above/ Tears of joy pouring down on us/ They know we need each other.”

Sex to him was part of a spiritual life. The God that he worshiped wants us to have passionate-slow-intense-Tantric sex as a means of experiencing our connection to the Divine. Prince’s experience with these principles in his own life is what drove his uber-prolific creative output and his musical genius. Not only did he create a countless number of hits spanning across decades, but right now there are literally thousands of songs in the vault at Paisley Park that the world has never heard. He was kept awake for days at a time by his creative impulses. His embrace of the sexual energy that drives all of creation made him a creative juggernaut the likes of which we have never seen before and likely will never see again.

Prince turned all of society’s conditioning surrounding sex on its head and stepped on it with his high heels. Prince loved women on a level that most men cannot fathom. He appreciated the power of the feminine so much that he adopted it into his own life and his artistic persona. A woman who had sex with Prince said, “He was the most patient man I’ve ever been with. And the most complicated in terms of being in bed with. The most sensitive, the most androgynous, the most balance of male-female energy. He was the closest thing that I’d had to having a woman.”

Prince was a Tantra man of the highest order. In this inaugural edition of the Grand Trine newsletter, we have been given the gift of a recent Ancestor who we can confidently canonize as the Patron Saint of Sacred Sexuality. We can look to the example of Prince as a testament of the power of what liberated sexual energy can do in the world. And we have his music as a virtually never-ending soundtrack to play in the background of our bringing intense pleasure into the world. Let us stand together underneath the Purple Rain and Do It All Night. God wants us to.

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When Brother Becomes Ancestor

me and zin

Soundtrack: Zin “Baby”

So it’s been about 28 hours since I got the word that my big bro Wali “Zin” Aqueel had lost his physical life. I went through the first three stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining) pretty quickly, and got stuck on Depression. Confusion. Numbness. Unable to process what the hell is going on.

Even after attending the candlelight vigil in his honor last night, and hugging all of me and Zin’s mutual friends like my life depended on it, I still went home and felt numb.

Vacillating emotions. Wishing my mind and heart would just calm down and stop jumping all over the place.

I drank myself to sleep. I talked to several of my loved ones today who said they didn’t sleep last night. They should’ve used liquor.

I was stuck on a philosophical question. Over the past 10 years of our friendship, I’ve watched Zin become a better and better all-around human being. His physical health improved. He got better at living up to his own lofty ideals about how to treat people and how to be an asset to the community. And yet, a billion assholes were able to wake up this morning and my brother was not.

What’s the point of trying to be a good person when life is so fragile and unpredictable? Why not just live fast and die young?

But I’m too invested in self improvement and community development for me to stay bogged down in that space for too long.

At some point today I started to think about all the things I learned from Wali (I never referred to him as Zin when I was speaking directly to him, only when speaking about him to other people). He taught me how to rock my culture as a proud African man without being corny or pretentious. He taught me how to get the ultimate benefits from the fast of Ramadan. He taught me how to produce a song — apart from just making a beat, he was great at bringing out the best in musicians and vocalists to perfectly execute a musical vision. He taught me how to work cheerfully to accomplish a goal while making zero excuses. The list goes on.

He taught me all of these things without ever saying, “come here let me teach you something.” He led and taught by example. He never took on the posture of a teacher or role model or mentor with me, even though he was 7 years older than me. I first met him around the time that he was turning 33 and I was turning 26, we’re both Aquarians. He had already been down the road that I was just starting on.

We worked side-by-side on a series of projects and campaigns. All of which provided rich memories and small victories. None of which reached the heights that I had hoped for. At some point, I (subconsciously) decided that I needed to do something big. I needed to claim a huge victory in life and in art that would allow me to reach back and help my brother in the way that he had helped so many others.

I’m still working on that big win. But he’s no longer here to cheer me on and show me that he believes in me in the way that only he could do. At first, I felt extreme regret over what was left undone and unsaid. However, in now coming into the Acceptance stage of my grief, I’m overcoming the regret. I realize that the only way for me to move forward is to work even harder for my victories. I’m still trying to make him proud. I never realized before that I was doing so, but it’s true.

I will make him proud and I will still reach back and help him. In the form of his wife and his daughters.

Speaking of which, I was with him on the day that he met his wife. She was on a brief visit to Houston. He knew immediately that she was gonna be his bae. That’s one of my fondest memories of my brother. I watched him rise in love. And that love still burns strong.

Zin was the muthafuckin man. That’s the moral of the story.

To be continued