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Barclay PowersBarclay Powers is an author and futurist filmmaker. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Columbia University and has an extensive background as an independent scholar. He has studied Chinese, Tibetan and Indian meditation, yoga and martial arts traditions for more than 30 years. Powers is currently releasing multiple media projects worldwide in film and print, related to the evolution of consciousness based on his studies with numerous masters of ancient wisdom traditions. His most recent film, The Lost Secret of Immortality, based on his book, won best spiritual/religious/Christian film at the Great Lakes International Film Festival, 2012, the Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival, 2012 and best spiritual documentary at the New York International Film Festival, 2011. See his website at for information on the book, graphic novel and film.


Tantric Buddhahood and the Evolution of Non-Duality

Is Integral Evolutionary Enlightenment
Theory Backwards?

Barclay Powers

The central problem of Integral Theory is its omission of the subtle body hypothesis of the Golden Flower.

There are a number of significant problems with the current models of the evolution of spirituality as described by Integral Theory. There are major differences between Tantric non-duality and the conventional Integral definitions of the evolution of consciousness. The subtle body frameworks, which result in non-duality according to the contemplative traditions, are completely denied by science. Kundalini theory, for example, seeks to activate a dormant reptilian reproductive mechanism at the base of the spine to enlighten the brain. Many ancient religions call this dormant point the divine spark within man. It is well known in Chinese medical qi gong traditions that the pre-birth reproductive mechanism of the human body is still connected to an enlightened unified field underlying reality. Modern qi gong experts claim that the true inner alchemical firing process, which unites yin and yang subtle bodies, alters the DNA structure of the body. Whether these changes can be measured by science needs to be determined.

The contemplative traditions, which Integral Theory accepts as evolutionary, are all based on a story of enlightened origin. This is because the human body contains a mechanism within its reproductive system that can stimulate higher brain function and the evolution of consciousness if the process of Tantric alchemy works correctly. Gopi Krishna, the kundalini adept, called this the genius within man. The story of non-duality can be reduced to its essence – human beings have an enlightened point of origin both in historical time and within the body in the present in a dormant form. This means that the progression of the evolution of consciousness within the contemplative traditions requires a return to origin that is incompatible with both Integral and scientific evolutionary worldviews in their current form. It should be noted that medical science cannot explain how a Tibetan who has mastered tummo heat yoga can meditate all night in the snow without freezing to death. This practice is based on activating the original reproductive energy of the body using an inner alchemical firing process. It is this firing process, which results in non-dual consciousness evolution that has been inadequately addressed by Integral Theory.

Integral models are definitely necessary to create rational explanations of superconsciousness, scientific creativity or insight, and the real changes in the brain and body that occur when Tantric Buddhahood is achieved. Often essential conflicts between Eastern and Western definitions of consciousness evolution and enlightenment become confused and further distorted by incomplete Integral definitions of higher stages. Since the goal of cross training is a greater integration of perspectives, leading to faster and higher stages, let us use a more complete model of consciousness evolution. Shamanism, yoga and inner alchemy cannot be separated into higher and lower stages. They form a core spiritual narrative that must be integrated for Tantric Buddhahood to be understood as the gold standard of fully awakened non-duality. Enlightenment can be defined as the Trikaya, the union of the three bodies, in the 21st century worldview.

Since we are seeking the creation of a fully integrated scientific understanding of non-duality, it is necessary to point out the significant omissions which have resulted in distorted Integral Vedic models of yoga being combined with evolution and defined as scientific theistic fact. Unfortunately there is no scientific theistic fact and the essence of Buddhahood, real non-duality, is the rejection of theistic explanations of awakening. This is why it is so incredibly dishonest to tell the Integral audience that the Godhead becomes real at the non-dual stage. No Buddha in the last 3,000 years would explain enlightenment from a theistic Vedic perspective. This is what happens when you can’t tell the difference between your Original Face and Turiya. Buddhahood has nothing to do with Turiya.

Even more importantly, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Gebser and Wilber have all excluded the Coniunctio, the union of solar and lunar subtle bodies from their descriptions of the evolution of consciousness because they are unaware of its historical significance. The current model of Integral spirituality has not understood the union of the three bodies. It doesn’t even know the Dharmakaya or Original Face is the solar subtle body/golden embryo. The Integral elite omits Gnosis, the Golden Flower and the Hermetic Androgyne from its confused Vedic model of non-duality although they are fully explained by Tantric Buddhahood. Returning the Dharmakaya to Void, the goal of meditation, means that the enlightened point of origin within the human body has been dissolved into emptiness by the completion of the inner alchemical firing process which unites the three bodies.

There are a number of major concepts of Integral Theory that set it apart and above conventional frameworks of the evolution of consciousness. The most important is the concept of the three bodies.

It is the purpose of this article to describe a non-theistic scientific explanation of non-duality, which omits the current Vedic model and defines it as incomplete. Enlightenment or Tantric Buddhahood will be defined as the union of the three bodies – physical corpus, lunar anima and solar spiritus. The goal of meditation, which results in non-duality, is the Coniunctio, the union of the yin lunar anima, and the yang solar spiritus, within the physical body corpus. The end result is the Trikaya - the complete evolution of consciousness. The Trikaya represents a non-theistic, non-dual multidimensional Buddhafield that results from the complete integration of the three bodies. Tantric Buddhism has always described the ever-present point of origin within each human being as the embryo of Buddhahood.



The greatest success of Integral Theory is the combination of the concept of the evolution of consciousness with the evolution of culture, using the classical model of the Mahasiddha as the fully evolved human being that has achieved complete non-duality, Tantric Buddhahood. Unfortunately, confusing the causal body with the Dharmakaya and describing them as merely emptiness omits the entire alchemical firing process of the Coniunctio that results in golden non-duality. The key idea is that the Coniunctio is called the union of mother and son lights in the Indo-Tibetan Tantric model. The mother light is also known as the Dharmakaya or embryo of Enlightenment. As Jung discovered the Coniunctio represents the ultimate evolution of consciousness in numerous civilizations. The early scientists described the alchemical marriage of corpus, anima and spiritus as the reversal of the fall of man. The Hieros Gamos represents the key insight that becomes obvious when Tantric Buddhahood is achieved. The human reproductive system is designed to enable consciousness to self-replicate (multiplicatio) as its primary function. Its secondary function is to physically reproduce.

At first a yogi feels his mind is tumbling like a waterfall;
In mid-course, like the Ganges, it flows on slow and gentle;
In the end, it is a great vast ocean,
Where the lights of Mother and Son merge into one.


The alchemical idea that each human being contains a divine spark of light is actually scientific fact. The first stage of embryonic development is the Prima Materia, the embryo of Buddhahood. This is the ever-present point of origin, the solar yang subtle body, called the Anthropos in Gnosticism, Adam Kadmon in the Kabbalah and the Hermetic Androgyne in the Greco-Egyptian system. There can be no doubt that science will discover that the ancient Chinese medical model of enlightenment is accurate and that Tantric Buddhahood represents real Integral non-duality. The complete evolution of consciousness is both the end of the future and the beginning of the past. The current understanding of the evolution of consciousness is backwards according to Tantric alchemical theory and practice.

Hieros Gamos

Recently I heard a Tibetan monk describe his teacher’s favorite saying, “Don’t confuse understanding with realization, and don't confuse realization with liberation.” Let us discuss these distinctions from a post-Tantric Buddhahood perspective, leaving the current Vedic model of Integral non-duality out of the conversation in the same way that the Vedic model currently, unknowingly, excludes Taoist, Buddhist, Gnostic and Hermetic models of the complete evolution of consciousness. This exclusion is caused by an incomplete theistic definition of enlightenment, which continuously confuses fact and fiction because the Integral elite has not achieved either realization or liberation – golden non-duality.

Real enlightened non-duality can only be experienced after the Trikaya is achieved. Just talking about non-duality doesn’t make it happen because you already are a Buddha. You actually have to unite the three bodies through the Coniunctio for the Trikaya to instantly evolve from fiction to fact. A lineage transmission is necessary for this to occur. It is this evolution from human to Buddhafield, which represents a new revolution in Integral Theory. Tantric Buddhahood is actually the non-dual origin of the species when evolutionary enlightenment is correctly understood from the perspective of the enlightened point of origin, not from the current Integral model of the evolution of consciousness.

The Integral Evolution of Superconsciousness: The Three-Body Theory of Enlightenment

The central problem of Integral Theory is its omission of the subtle body hypothesis of the Golden Flower. Chinese inner alchemical consciousness evolution has not been included because of the inability of Western writers to accurately translate the theory and practice of the Golden Elixir. The Golden Elixir is a metaphor for the Coniunctio, the union of solar and lunar subtle bodies, the legendary conjunction of opposites.

Golden Flower Embryo of Buddhahood

The most dramatic leap in the evolution of Integral Theory is the idea that the golden, solar, yang subtle body is the origin point of the human reproductive system. The human reproductive system has a dormant mechanism of inner illumination which can render a normal person superconscious when fully activated. Superconsciousness can be defined as the complete union of the three bodies – the physical body, corpus, the yin lunar anima, and the solar yang spiritus. The complete evolution of consciousness is achieved when the Coniunctio transforms the yin subtle body to yang. The following points seek to help create a scientific nontheistic explanation of inner alchemy, which results in a clear evolutionary model of superconsciousness.

  1. You have a physical body, corpus. The body you are in during a lucid dream is your yin anima. Your yang subtle body spiritus is a dormant point of energy in your body – the ever-present point of origin.
  2. The current Vedic model of non-duality has omitted the concept of Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Embryo as the originator of yoga. This becomes the embryo of Buddhahood in Buddhism, the dormant solar subtle body that hatches like an egg when correctly incubated.
  3. The classical Chinese qi gong model of enlightenment is much more accurate than the kundalini definition of realization. The gold serpent or dragon is a metaphor for spiritus, the yang subtle body that is dormant within the starting point of the physical body.
  4. The Coniunctio is a scientific experiment that results in superconsciousness – the Trikaya, the union of the three bodies, corpus, anima and spiritus.
  5. The reproductive system of the human body contains a mechanism for superconsciousness mutation according to both Chinese and Indian medical systems.
  6. None of the current models of consciousness evolution have recognized the Coniunctio as the core spiritual experience in the lives of many sages, siddhas and philosophers of ancient civilizations.
  7. Inner alchemy based on the union of the three bodies is the real spiritual evolution of superconsciousness and represents the future of Integral Theory.
  8. The Golden Elixir, spiritus, the solar subtle body is the most evolutionary worldview because it means that Buddhahood is the enlightened origin of consciousness.
  9. Since the Coniunctio is the goal of meditation, yoga and qi gong it represents the real Integral Theory of everything related to the ultimate evolution of consciousness.
  10. The oroborus is the oldest universal symbolic depiction of the Coniunctio when the anima and spiritus unite within the corpus. The serpent swallowing its tail has always symbolized the ultimate experience of superconsciousness. The origin point of the human body is Buddhahood itself. When it is returned to Void the Golden Flower becomes the vanishing point of time.
  11. A new Integral definition of enlightened non-duality is inevitable because conventional descriptions of the evolution of consciousness are incomplete according to Tantric alchemical theory. Tantric Buddhahood reverses the fall of man because the first human being is actually an enlightened Buddha.

The Origin of Enlightened Consciousness: A Mythic Journey of Evolutionary Non-Duality

Is there a core spiritual experience that is independent of culture, language and religion?

Does the human body have a reproductive system designed to permanently transform the structure of consciousness?

Is there a fully illuminated original state of consciousness?

Nuwa and Fuxi
(Chinese Adam and Eve)

The Coniunctio, the union of solar and lunar subtle bodies, was the original goal of Western science and the core spiritual experience in the lives of the founders of many ancient religions. The Coniunctio is the recreation of conception (palingenesis), a scientific experiment that has been successfully repeated in multiple civilizations for thousands of years. This union is the original alchemical goal of yoga and meditation, as well as certain systems of Tantric shamanism.

Chinese shamanism describes this inner alchemical conjunction as the union of dragon and tiger, solar and lunar subtle bodies. Adepts use the term “hidden dragon” to describe the secretive individual that has united the yin and yang inner bodies. This is why Confucius is said to have described Lao Tsu as a dragon. Chinese shamanism is based on this experience of the Coniunctio, and it is why the Chinese refer to themselves as descendants of the dragon. A classical alchemical saying is “reverse the cycle of the five elements and the golden dragon appears in the fire.” This yang solar subtle body is the legendary divine spark of light, which lies dormant within all human beings. In India this is described as a small gold serpent coiled at the base of the spine also known as the kundalini.

The Coniunctio represents an ancient multicultural tradition of Tantric shamanism. It is a subtle body time travel thought experiment, which actually results in a causality violation, a permanent restructuring of space/time. When the pineal gland is permanently activated by this experience the shift in perception is so great it is like going from black and white to full color. Chinese adepts describe this as shattering space.


The oroborus, the serpent swallowing its tail, is one of the most universal archaic symbols of the Coniunctio, the union of solar and lunar subtle bodies. Meditation traditions sometimes describe the experience as “seeing your original face, embracing singularity or swallowing the universe.” The solar subtle body is holographic. It is the point of origin, which contains the whole, the tiny mustard seed that contains the polar mountain in Buddhist terminology. The Anthropos, Adam Kadmon and the Dharmakaya are ancient descriptions of the solar subtle body, the primordial microcosmic human point of origin, which contains the macrocosm of the universe when fully activated and united with the lunar subtle body.

Each time in history that an individual achieves the Coniunctio it radically expands the narrative of the human race by recreating the primordial experience of origin. Each individual is entangled with the collective unconscious. A complete kundalini activation, which unites the solar and lunar subtle bodies, restores higher dimensional consciousness to the global collective in the language of the culture and time period in which it occurs.

The universe we perceive is created by the words and conceptual frameworks that are used to describe it. When the truth is described accurately at any point in history everything changes. The Dharmakaya can be translated as the body of truth. When human consciousness fully unites with its original source an enlightened Buddhafield is created.

Tantric Buddhist non-dual theory regards this union as both nirvana and the origin of your own present awareness simultaneously. The legendary life of Nagarjuna, a Buddhist alchemist, is a clear example of the power of the experience of retrieving golden nonduality from the realm of the Nagas. Nagarjuna is called Dragon Tree in China.


The Renaissance and the Hermetic tradition would appear to be the result of the Coniunctio experience secretly creating progressive revolutionary changes in art, science and consciousness. The Renaissance classical concept that man is the measure of all things originates from the Hieros Gamos, the alchemical marriage that was the original goal of Western medical science. The caduceus, the symbol of Mercury, is also an alchemical depiction of kundalini activation.

Inner illumination, also known as the quest for enlightenment or immortality, has always been the driving force of the evolution of consciousness. The experience of the conjunction of opposites, which permanently alters space/time, has been lost and rediscovered repeatedly throughout man’s history. Palingenesis, the recreation of conception, appears to be in the process of becoming a global scientific paradigm of the ultimate evolution of human consciousness in the 21st century.

Rosarium Philosophorum

The Rosarium Philosophorum are 21 illustrations which were published in Frankfurt, Germany in 1550. They describe a European karmamudra tradition in which sexual yoga creates the Hermetic Androgyne, which results in Christ Consciousness. The origin of Western science is an experiment, which unites body corpus, anima the lunar soul, and spiritus the solar spirit and reverses the fall of man by the restoration of the original enlightened consciousness. When spiritus is activated by the inner alchemical firing process it appears as the Hermetic Androgyne. It is embraced and swallowed by the anima, like a serpent swallowing its tail, during the conjunction of solar and lunar subtle bodies.

A revolution in consciousness created by the Coniunctio also rapidly changed India during the Tantric period. It should be noted that liberation or enlightenment using sexual yoga was known in India as the Chinese Method. The Coniunctio was the origin of the Chinese medical system. When it reached India it created a new model of Tantric Buddhahood based on inner subtle body union. The Six Yogas of Naropa or Niguma are a collection of techniques passed down by Tantric shamans or Mahasiddhas, which turned many couples into enlightened Buddhas. Many other countries had alchemical combinations of yoga, meditation, qi gong and shamanism. The union of solar and lunar subtle bodies was the core enlightenment experience in many ancient civilizations. This is still true of modern Bhutan, a country based on Tantric shamanism, which describes itself as the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

The art of Himalayan countries revolves around images of the Coniunctio titled yab/yum. Yab/yum is translated as father/mother, and is a central Asian translation of yin and yang. The images of the primordial Buddhas, Samantabhadra and Vajradhara, depict subtle body union as the origin of Buddhahood. Both the Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra systems are based on achieving the Coniunctio, which is called, metaphorically, the union of mother and son lights.

Samantabhadra (the Primordial Dharmakaya Buddha)
This image is a visual depiction of the “union of mother and son lights” at
the completion stage of the Thogal practice of Dzogchen meditation.

The Dzogchen thogal leaping over practice uses space, light or darkness to achieve the conjunction of subtle bodies. This process is a causality violation that results in the primordial enlightenment of original consciousness. The complete experience is described as a child spontaneously leaping to embrace its mother. Adepts call this fourth and final vision the exhaustion of phenomena although they are not always experienced sequentially. Many Asian cultures use the concept of emptiness as a metaphor for returning to the source, enlightened consciousness. Returning the original spirit or Dharmakaya to Void means that the solar subtle body has fully dissolved into the lunar subtle body erasing the beginning of time itself permanently. This is the reason for the Buddhist concept of anatman, the concept of non-self.

China, India, Tibet, and Europe are all civilizations, which have used the metaphor of the union of mother and son to describe the Coniunctio experience. This process was the “pearl beyond price,” the most valuable treasure on the face of the earth which resulted in the enlightened state of consciousness, the return to origin. Often it was lost in translation because of the twilight language of metaphor, which was designed to be readable by initiates alone. The mystery of alchemy was the true identity of the Prima Materia, the first matter, the origin point of time itself. Within the lower torso of every human being the kundalini/golden embryo lies dormant. This is the real causal body and it’s created at the time of conception prior to the embryo becoming a mammal. To see your original face dissolve into nothingness is to recognize the original you. This primordial Buddha is the origin of who you really are.

Buddha with Naga

Subtle body time travel, the rediscovery of the Coniunctio, is the ultimate paradigm shift of the 21st century. The Mahasiddha represents an individual that has actually journeyed to the beginning of time, the true enlightened origin of consciousness. The first Tantric Buddha represents an archaic enlightened human being that has successfully returned to the Garden of Eden, the pineal gland nihuan point of East Asian medicine. Nihuan is the Chinese pronunciation of nirvana. Buddhahood is the result.

Since consciousness and space/time are inseparably entangled, each individual that achieves the Coniunctio radically expands the entire cosmic mind. When the anima and spiritus are conjoined within the corpus the inner illumination of the real Mahasiddha awakens the collective unconscious of the time. Eastern and Western medical definitions of the complete evolution of consciousness will become unified in the 21st century. The purpose of medical science will eventually be redefined as a means of enabling human beings to achieve full spectrum inner illumination.

The key to returning the human mind to its true enlightened source is the use of shamanic, alchemical, and yogic methods of generating inner heat. The basic concept is that the energy meridians of the body are open during the embryonic evolution of the human fetus. These channels gradually close when the infant begins to breath after birth. Fully reopening the energy centers of the body restores the natural state of illuminated pre-birth consciousness. Chinese medicine describes the Coniunctio as the union of pre-birth and post-birth consciousness. Pre-birth consciousness is considered to be the enlightened energetic source within all human beings.

To transform oneself into an enlightened adept through a complete kundalini activation is to energetically reverse the entire process of fetal development until conception itself is recreated. This can be achieved by using either sexual or celibate cultivation methods. If sexual yoga/karmamudra is used the golden face of nonduality is a perfectly integrated primordial composite of the male and female adept’s faces.

Tantric Buddhahood means that the starting point of your body is a living Buddha both in the present and in the beginning of the past. There is an enlightened point of origin within the human body, and the origin of the species is enlightened according to Tantric nondual theory. The figure of the Mahasiddha represents the archetypal integral origin, which unites conventional and esoteric models of consciousness evolution. This suggests that the future is an enlightened Buddhafield of multi-dimensional superconsciousness, which exists outside of space and time as their non-dual source. Tantric Buddhahood means that you have become this field while still in the body, identical to the first Buddha.

The true post-enlightenment non-dual view has always been that the future projects the past.

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