This is understandable: anger is a fiery state, a facet of the fire element of the belly chakra, whilst violence is in our very bones, a facet of the life force at its most elemental. It’s perfectly right and normal that Kundalini may awaken whilst these deeper forms of anger and violence are still inside us, not just mentally, but as part of our DNA. There are plenty of things in the outside world that are a just cause for anger: idiot politicians enshrining gun laws, fanatics prepared to kill for their meager beliefs. Such anger, however, is merely ideological, and nowhere near as raw or intense as the anger we save for our nearest and dearest when they upset us. When Kundalini is activated, this raw, personal anger can become magnified out of all proportion.
The other morning I woke in the dark with a couple of hours still before the time I needed to get up, but with Kundalini very intense, an upward movement in my spine of a light that I was conscious had been there all through the night. By keeping still and lying flat on my back I could let it become both more intense and more supra-conscious. However, at a certain point, I needed to meditate. The simple repositioning of my body from prostrate to upright, and a more conscious control of my breathing, enabling me to stay with the energy as it grew more powerful. I got up, washed, and was just about to begin meditating when my mother-in-law came running in, wanting me to look at something. It was a long, deep, expensive-looking dent in the side of my father-in-law’s car. He’d been shopping in Chiang Rai, and someone had backed into his car while it was parked and he was in the shop. I’d given him some money to insure the car. Where were the insurance papers? I asked, eager to start meditating. Well, the money had gone to a big party celebrating Loi Kratong, the Thai River Goddess Festival.
What had my father-in-law been doing in Chiang Rai? Buying a uniform. He’s never had a job in his life — has lived for decades off his beautiful, marriageable daughter — but he owns six uniforms — western-style municipal and military-type uniforms that Thai men particularly fancy themselves in. He goes to fairs and temple parties dressed like a brigadier general and directs traffic and car-parking, an honorary occupation remunerated only in whiskey. His car needed fixing. What was I going to do about it? I was angrier than I’ve ever been at a politician or fanatic.
The tipping point of my fury wasn’t so much the money as the fact that now I wouldn’t be able to meditate. Stillness, breath relaxation and mind control were now out of the question.
I sat down anyway, which made me even angrier — and a strange thing happened: All the energy of my rage was still there, racking my body, up and down, but the reasons for my anger, all the things and people I was angry at, suddenly faded away without my even trying to stop thinking about them. My father-in-law and his car were still there, but only as harmless husks, vague memories faintly troubling the surface of this deep energy. In some ways, I was meditating more powerfully than usual, because I understood that the slightest inner turning towards any of my usual thought processes would cast me down into a maelstrom. I knew that trying to struggle against my anger, or reason myself out of it, would be disastrous. Kundalini would lurch over into the right channel, the pingala nadi, alone, in a sort of physical explosion. After an hour, the energy was calm and luminous.
Blake has interesting things to say about anger. He speaks of anger, jealousy, sorrow etc as "states," as "states of being," comparable to the "elements" of Tantric cosmology: earth, water, fire, air, akasha (ether) and manas (mind). These states, like the Tantric elements, are simply configurations of energy, and, as such, are neither good nor bad. They can be passed through without ill effect, as long as we center ourselves on the energy itself, the Kundalini shakti. It’s in this sense that Blake speaks of anger and violence being transmuted into spiritual war, the struggle for liberation: "I will not cease from Mental Fight..." It’s the truth behind his saying: "The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction."