We hold these truths to be self-evident: love is the law of this land, and desire is the true north that will inform our journey.

As men, women, nonbinary, transgender, genderqueer, masculine, feminine, and everything in between and not offered on the accustomed menu of options—of all races, all occupations, all persuasions, all spiritual and sexual orientations, all aspects of the rainbow of being—we are going to the core of that which exists beyond the depths of human psychology, beyond the veils of what we have always believed ourselves to be.

As bardo walkers, we demand of ourselves nothing less than the state of being reserved for those who have placed themselves beneath the aegis of enlightenment. We open ourselves to the truth parroted by most doctrines but not explicitly espoused: our birthright is paradise, and paradise exists here on Earth. Further, paradise exists within the supraliminal realm of the body, of the experience of being an ensouled and fleshly form on this rainbow bridge of being.

As spelunkers of the subaltern, of the deepest caverns of sorrow, we are willing to move from the naïve complacency of a life that has not known the extremes of existence. We hold to the dictate that we can only stretch to the heights of heaven when we send our roots to the depths of hell. As non-dogmatic believers in the nonduality of nature, we accept that the living cosmos is an expression of polarities, and that the spectrum which emphasizes the filaments of opposing poles holds the divine ecstasy of the in-between. We celebrate the in-between, and we bow to the polarities that continually dance their way into expression.

We honor the subtle shades of color and we long for the starkness of those archetypes which demand our full attention, which consume us so sweetly.

As evangelists of orgasm, which cannot be owned or trademarked by false prophets, we make our clarion call to the world. We disabuse ourselves of the needless guilt, shame, and puritanism that unduly weigh upon us and force us to see our essential natures as sinful. We glory in the sacred and profane aspects of our bodies and our desires, understanding that there is truly no distinction between the two. We are champions of the tantric principle: pain and pleasure are two intertwining branches on the tree of life, and we cannot truly know one until we know and love the other.

Darkness cannot exist without light. Light is meaningless without darkness. We embrace the sol nigredo of inner and outer space, and know that one unifying principle makes possible the contradistinction: that of life flooding all empty and seemingly vacant corridors, of the sensuous triumphing over the sterile and ushering in a new era of yes. Freedom for all sentient beings.

I’m Nirmala Nataraj, a New York–based writer, editor, book midwife, theater artist, and mythmaker.

As someone who has woven in and out of a number of different word realms—nonprofit communications, advertising, theatre, publishing, and community arts, to name a few—I know that liberation is possible through the stories we choose to tell. As a first-generation South Asian American, I myself exist in the liminal spaces between cultures, art forms, and languages—and it is this multiplicity of narratives that informs my personal and professional approach.

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