Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

dipl. analyt. Psychologe (M.-L. v. Franz)




English HomePage



©  2003 by Pro Litteris, Zurich, Switzerland and Remo F. Roth, Horgen-Zurich. All Rights Reserved. Republication and redissemination of the contents of this screen or any part of this website are expressly prohibited without prior written consent.

With many thanks to Gregory Sova, Ph.D. (LA, CA) for translation assistance

Definitions:   Eros consciousness   gut brain   body soul


Neotantrism and Body Centered Imagination


Imitation of the Eastern or Creative New Beginning on the Western Way?



Esoterics speaks again and again of the so-called "third eye", which is allegedly opened during the process of "enlightenment." In the Buddhist and Hindu Tantrism the third eye corresponds to the ajna chakra, which is located above the nose on the forehead. The essential goal of today's imitations of the Tantric initiation processes in the Western world – the so-called Neotantrism - consists of opening this "third eye" by a concentration on the front forehead region concerned.

As I showed in my article Bilder aus dem Bauch (in German), this is a procedure that is not compatible with our cultural background, which is the several thousand years old Judeo-Christian tradition. During this Western religious development we began to follow some sort of Tantric process, however we have gone through it in a fragmentary way: Out of the aggression and the exploration drive we have developed extraverted sensation (the observation principle of natural science) and thinking, the Logos consciousness. Therefore, a new concentration on the ajna in pseudo-Tantric meditation causes an over identification with Logos consciousness. It leads to the rampant esoteric thinking of today, which tries to connect the spiritual insights of the East with the Western way of thinking and leads like this into an abstruse logic comparable with the medieval Scholastics. Using this strange logic it was, for example, seriously discussed whether an angel can pass through the eye of a needle or not. One finds similar arguments in esoteric literature.

I suggest therefore in contrast to the Neotantrism that the Western ego has first to separate from its identification with the Logos consciousness by finding a way to encounter a compensating Eros consciousness, which is an introverted perception organ that is situated in the belly of every human individual.

Eros consciousness is situated in the gut brain, which in a modern language is the vegetative nervous system on the one hand, while on the other hand is known medically as the enteric nervous system around the guts – discovered approximately 20 years ago by Michael Gershom. The energetic principle of the gut brain I call the body soul. It is the complement to the “spirit-soul” - the mind and the spirit -, as the gut brain is to the brain and Eros consciousness is to Logos consciousness.

Seen from the standpoint of the Logos consciousness, the gut brain (the vegetative nervous system) directs the processes of our inner organs. With the help of the Eros consciousness it is however also possible, to use the gut brain for the perception of the body soul.

This deeply introverted meditative activity I call the observation of the interior aspect of the body. Instead of looking into the body in an extraverted way, with the help of the Logos, i.e. with the help of our eyes and adequate tools, or by opening it with the scalpel, we perceive the body soul with the help of our "inner eyes" in the state of the Eros consciousness. Like this we can free images or even an "inner movie" (sometimes also clairaudience), corresponding in a acausal way to our body and its diseases. This concept is the theoretical background of my Body Centered Imagination or Symptom Symbol Transformation (see below).

Without being conscious about the structure of this inner organ and its specific energetic principle, Paracelsus yet knew of the gut brain and the body soul. Without differentiating them into a "hardware" (the gut brain) and a "software" (the body soul), he called this principle the Archaeus or the alchemist of the stomach. This localization shows that he talks only of the third chakra, of the Solar Plexus’ soul (description see below). When we analyze his scripts, we can see that he did in fact have a relationship to the stomach chakra, however did not succeed in finding the svadhisthana chakra (see below). This is the reason why he was not able to describe the Melusine-Aphrodite of his symbolical world more exactly (see Paracelsus and the Renewed Image of God).

However, without knowing of the vegetative nervous system, the gut brain or the belly brain with its three plexes (nodes), the Buddhist and Hindu Tantrists felt this organ in our belly, too. They even differentiated it into a "trinity": the three lower chakras. The "hardware" aspect of these chakras they called sthula, the "software" suksma, the latter corresponding to what I call the body soul or the matter-psyche (see Vegetative Nervous System and Chakras).

We Westerns are mostly only able to observe the third chakra from below, the manipura, the Solar Plexus within the stomach area (see Vegetative Nervous System and Chakras). But already making contact with the "water chakra", the svadhisthana, causes for us the greatest trouble because for contacting it we must be located very deeply in the Eros consciousness. However, the identification with the latter we have lost during the Western development.

The freed images or "inner movies", the body soul of the gut brain (vegetative nervous system), contain knowledge of the human body and its diseases independent of the head brain. The perception of these pictures can be compared with Karl von Frisch's dicovery in the 1950s of information transfer in brainless bees through the help of their waggle dance. In the terminology of Tantrism, the release of this knowledge corresponds to the transformation of the gross body into the subtle body, of the sthula in the suksma aspect of it.

As in Tantrism, the subtle body plays a central role in the Muslim Mysticism, in Sufism. Our western Logos consciousness, however, since René Descartes perceives only with the help of the thinking and the extraverted sensation (res cogitans) and by this observing only the concrete, measurable aspect of the body (res extensa), represses the possible experience of the inner aspect of it. As a result of this one-sided view, such a consciousness also concretizes the subtle body and believes that it must somehow be describable with the help of the physical body’s categories (sthula).

By this wrong attitude the strangest speculations and theories about this body are then created. Thus for example the Australian "light master" Jasmuheen believes that the body’s hereditary substance (DNA) consists of 12 instead of the two strands found by Watson and Cricks. However, she refuses to confirm this strange idea by a scientific analysis of her DNA.

In contrast to this each Mystic knows that the terms of natural science are not applicable on the subtle body. It represents the so-called excluded third of Western logics, which cannot be described in the categories of our western scientific conception of the world. In order to experience this internal aspect of the body, we must – as mentioned above – first quit the identification with the Logos and try to enter what I call the Eros consciousness. Only the latter is able to have a relationship with the soul body, the body soul or the subtle body. In the case of an illness the body soul is expressed through the above mentioned pictures from the belly, images that correspond to the symptom of the disease. Experience shows that like this a cure is possible. This technique is the main content of the Symptom Symbol Transformation or Body-Centered Imagination that I developed during the last 20 years.

I derived this method as well as further insights from my own dreams and from the dreams of my patients. Further, such archetypal dreams serve as a source of feedback on my new hypotheses. Therefore I will describe to the reader a dream of a patient that confirms my above approach.

My patient is a scientist, who was identified with the Logos due to influences from his family and his scientific education. He also suffered from psychosomatic heart problems (arrhythmias) (see also A Body Centered Visualization for Arrhythmias of the Heart) which, of course, caused very deep fears of death. These fears also robbed him of sleep, so that he made a rather exhausted impression at the beginning of the treatment. As a consequence of his lack of sleep he suffered naturally from chronic tiredness. He could therefore hardly concentrate anymore and so his scientific work also suffered.

A scientifically oriented physician would regard such symptoms as the enemy who can be exterminated and proceeded to prescribe medicines for the suppression of the arrhythmias (using beta blockers) and sleeping pills to help him sleep. But I believe such symptoms always possess a "secret knowledge." In this case it was obviously for the higher purpose of wanting my patient’s head "to turn off" so that he could turn away from his over-identification with the Logos.

I supported this effort, by recommending to him to contact the body soul in his belly with the help of meditative exercises. Initially my patient had the greatest trouble with this new attitude, as would most of us 21st Century humans that are fixed on ajna, the front chakra, and first succeeded only under my guidance. But repeated experience teaches, and so by and by he could enter a meditative state of Eros consciousness also at home or in his office. In this way he learned to let ascend the pictures from the belly. These daily exercises also led to the disappearing of the arrhythmias and a return to a normal sleep pattern. During this time, in which he had learned to become independent of his identification with the Logos and to approach the Eros consciousness which was able to have a relationship with the gut brain, my patient dreamed the following dream:


Dream of the examination with the master with the third eye:

I see a group of pupils with their master before me (I just know in the dream that this is the master). They are examined by him. It is a final examination for "inauguration." All sit in the lotus position (cross-legged), and the hands lie in the lap. In their hands positioned in front of its belly, each person holds a yellow booklet. In it the "knowledge" is noted. In order to answer the questions of the master, they must consult this yellow booklet occasionally. This does not happen however, by reading it with the help of their eyes, but they experience this knowledge indirectly, i.e. through a concentration on the belly.

I am not examined but have the task to observe the whole scene exactly.

Suddenly I notice that the (masculine) master carries strange eyeglasses. The amazing fact is that they possess three black bordered lenses. Two of these lenses cover as usual the two eyes; the third lens sits however at their center, and above the nose. Naturally the third eye of Tantrism immediately occurs to me. I feel strongly that this has something to do with "enlightenment."


After the preceding explanations it might not be too difficult to understand the dream directly. The book naturally means knowledge; yellow described symbolically the center in the Taoism of ancient China. Transferred to a human being this center is of course the belly. This concentration on the belly is stressed in the dream by the fact that all the individuals hold their yellow booklet in front of the belly.

Obviously the knowledge necessary for "enlightenment" sits in the belly and can be released only by some sort of meditation (the meaning of the taylor's seat or lotus position). However, the really wise one is actually the master. It is obviously he that rules over the third eye located on the forehead.  

We can draw the following conclusion: There exists an old wise man in us, i.e., an internal aspect, which has a third eye that is illuminating or revealing. This knowledge, however, becomes accessible to our consciousness only if we concentrate on our belly. The dream therefore shows very beautifully that we in Western culture must select the indirect way, in order to pass the examination associated with "enlightenment." The wisdom of the “master” is in fact in his third eye, but our consciousness receives it not through a concentration on the ajna on the forehead, but by a concentration on the belly, from which the image, the symbol is then released.  

It is obvious that this dream confirms the visualization method stated above, which tries – in contrast to Neotantrism – bearing in mind our different cultural background. This means that the first task is to shift the consciousness from the extraverted Logos to the introverted Eros. Only the latter is able to perceive the images from the belly, the body soul (subtle body) of the gut brain.  

This example shows that modern Western mysticism and its spiritual calling begins in our guts! This is not so amazing if one considers that our two thousand-year old Christian development has led into an almost grotesque overemphasis on the Logos. An important aspect of this development is that more and more of the important events of our daily life happen in the virtual world of the computer. The crash of this artificial world can be expected in the near future. This development will of course lead into a collective panic, which, in my opinion, only those people who have learned to concentrate on their belly with the help of some sort of a meditative and imaginative technique will survive.  

see also 

A Body Centered Visualization for Arrhythmias of the Heart

English Homepage Remo F. Roth