Accountability belongs with the complex of equality, diversity, inclusion, intersectionability, identity
So, you like the words equality, diversity, inclusion/intersectionability/identity, a complex to which I frequently refer to as EDI3? Since the current culture loves adding letters to existing acronyms, let’s add another word everyone seems to forget about: Accountability. So, let’s talk about EDI3+A.
In Homoerotic Tantra℠ we have and offer each other the opportunity to realize his unique individual competencies in the embrace of the combined potential of the sacred community or saṅgha (सङ्घ), in satsaṅga (सत्सङ्ग).
Basically, this means that every śiṣya (शिष्य) or follower of the Homoerotic Tantra℠ disciplines has access to all opportunities and resources available in our homoerotic community, as well as any available voluntary support from community members, such as sponsors.
Because of the satsaṅga (सत्सङ्ग) character of the Homoerotic Tantra℠ community, each member can contribute his personal gifts in every encounter with other men, regardless of his level of attainment.
In addition to time and treasure, every man can contribute his spiritual and lifestyle perspectives, and his talents to improve his brothers and the community as a whole.
We encourage each other to bring far more of ourselves into our relationships; in this special and intimate way, we cultivate and maintain a profound sense of belonging.
What is equality?
We must all be clear that when we speak of “equaltity,” we do not mean sameness.
That would be a ridiculous reduction and degradation of all that is sacred in men and masculinity to a mere stereotype.
Moreover, given the uniqueness and diversity of men and masculinities, equality would fly in the face of any notion of diversity and render it meaningless.
We must therefore understand the oft misused and frequently abused concept of equality, in its meaning as a core value, to mean basic justice and fairness.
In cultivating an attitude of homoerotic tāntric equality we apply the ethical principles of Yoga (योग) and the philosophy of Tantra (तन्त्र) to ensure that all persons or groups are not treated less favourably soley because of any innate or acquired characteristics.
If, as a Tantrika (तान्त्रिक), a man remains committed to the yama (यम) and niyama (नियम) principles of Yogaśāstra (योगशास्त्र), particularly ahiṃsā (अहिंसा), the principle of non-harm, and karuṇā (करुणा), the virtue of compassion, he will be able to ensure that every creature is treated equally with regard to appropriate fairness.
Equality also means equality of opportunity: we must also ensure that those who may be disadvantaged can get the resources and tools they need to access equivalent, fair opportunities as others of similar status.
Homoerotic Tantra℠ provides an equal opportunity environment, which means that every man is encouraged to participate freely and equally in all areas of community life both in satsaṅga (सत्सङ्ग) as well as In the world, such as in his workplace, in education, or in accessing services without disadvantage due to his uniqueness.
Everyone in the community has privileges and responsibilities under the concept of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination, and in this way, serves selflessly to prevent discrimination, abuse, marginalization, or victimisation.
Equal opportunity is an integral part of the life cycle in satsaṅga (सत्सङ्ग), and is applicable to recruitment, retention, performance evaluation, initiation, promotion, talent discernment, succession, recognition, psychospiritual development, and existential support.
What is Diversity?
Diversity has become a much-used but little understood term simply because most people are mindless parrots and mimes. For the purpose of our discussion and as it relates to Homoerotic Tantra:Mascul-IN-Touch℠ and Mascul-IN-Timacy℠, diversity is the practice or principle of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, and of different lifestyle and erotic orientations, etc.
While we celebrate and support the overarching concept of diversity, Homoerotic Tantra℠ is a lifestyle that is specifically intended for men, although women show a considerable interest in the programs and we include many followers who are women, particularly in our meditation and reflection programs.
In Homoerotic Tantra℠ we celebrate our diversity in what makes each man unique, and includes his background, personality, life experiences, values, spirituality, and beliefs, all of the things that make him who he is.
In other words, diversity is a tapestry of our uniqueness together with our equivalence and our imperfections that shape our worldview, our relationships, our perspective, and our approach to being.
Diversity is the community of what makes each of us unique and includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs, all of the things that make us who we are. It is a combination of our differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective and our approach.
Diversity is also about recognising, respecting and meeting ethnicity, gender, age, race, belief tradition, physical status and erotosensual preferences in an atitude of interpathy.
Homoerotic Tantra℠ also embraces the range of individually unique styles and experiences, such as communication style, stage in one’s career path, life experience, education background, geographic location, socioeconomic status and attainment, relationship status, and other variables and characteristics that affect our interpersonal perspectives.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion happens when men feel and are authentically valued and respected. Inclusion in Homoerotic Tantra℠ involves unconditional positive regard for each other, regardless of a man’s personal, ideological, spiritual leanings, characteristics, or circumstances; in other words, we each meet the other in the moment and where he is. Inclusion rejects judgement of any kind.
What is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality is a term we don’t often see in the general LGBTQ community, and refers to a way of perceiving other men’s experiences as shaped and informed by, but not limited to, a complex composed of his ethnicity and culture, socioeconomic background and status, gender, psychospiritual and erotosensual orientation.
Intersectionality allows a man to appreciate each of these components as well as the one-of-a-kind product of their intersection, the personality of the man. This overlap or combination of components makes up a man’s unique identity, his personal divinely inspired self, or personality.
What is identity?
Another I-word is identity. It is a fact that as a man moves along his life trajectory, he adopts many identities, and within an individual those identities may come, go, or converge, depending on time or place, context, and life stage.
Identity is integral to understanding the concept of intersectionality, to understanding the variety of of forms of inclusion and exclusion, preference or discrimination that a man may experience simultaneously at any time in any context as a contingency of his identity.
An example would be the intersection of ethnicity and socioeconomic status with a man’s erotosensual expression in a man’s identity as an Asian professional as a member of a homoerotic yogic Tantra community.
This is where the concept of interpathy enters our relationships. Interpathy is intentional, cognitive, and emotional perception of the psychospiritual and emotional aspects of a truly separate other.
As diversity increases and multiculturality becomes a constant challenge, interpathy becomes more and more essential for the sustainability of authentic relationships, and becomes more elusive to achieve, unless one seeks, finds, and commits to a reframing of his worldview.
What is Accountability?
Finally, we come to the principle of accountability.
At its core, accountability is having another person with whom you can be really honest; he is also a person who is committed to keeping you aware, on-track, and focused, and who is also devoted to hearing and listening to you, encouraging you, and even speaking words of tough Truth when you need to hear them.
The spiritual practice of Accountability is literally being “answerable” to someone else who can help you stay on target.
That someone is a very special man, a mentor, a spiritual guide, a competent sponsor, and not a casual acquaintance randomly poking into your innermost thoughts and concerns; he is someone who intentionally keeps you focused in your spiritual practices and any other essential endeavors.
Your mentor, spiritual guide, or sponsor is not a “Big Brother” figure who is constantly looking over your shoulder and scrutinizing your every word and deed to see if you’re being a good little boy; rather he is the torch-bearer lighting your way in the darkness.
Spiritual accountability is also the security of knowing that there’s someone who cares about your well-being and your psychospiritual growth and keeps you on the right path for attaining your goals.
Regardless of any other spiritual or secular practices that are part of your life, you benefit from someone who will hold you accountable to keep you from straying into darkness.
Accountability becomes optimal when established between two or more persons who are authentically open with and present for each other; that is, they genuinely care about each other. Those men in an accountability relationship love each other, and this is probably one of the best examples of polyamory I can offer.
Accountability becomes a core value in the context of the satsaṅga (सत्सङ्ग). Spiritual accountability happens in much the same way that traditional secular accountability relationships happen — an initial email or phone call leads to a face-to-face meeting to talk about general questions and concerns, or perhaps it starts with a conversation to examine a specific aspect of practice or spirituality. The tree of wisdom grows from that seed.
Out of these five terms the opportunity to be self-accountable emerges. A man can play the conventional equality-diversity-inclusion or even the EDI3 game as much as he likes but if he isn’t accountable for and to himself, he’s just dancing to another pop tune which will soon fade into obscurity.
Homoerotic Tantra is founded on all five of the terms comprising EDI3, and offers men-who-love-men, regardless of how they express their love, a better understanding of and a unique environment in which to practice these foundational principles of modern social justice.