Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Higher Consciousness And Kundalini

This is a complicated issue, both the consciousness and the kundalini parts, separate and indivisible.

Sleepwalker to Enlightened
Pyramid of Consciousness
Just thinking about it got my head spinning, which led to more questions than answers:

  • If there's such a state as higher consciousness, does lower consciousness also exist?
  • How do higher and lower consciousness relate to each other?
  • Is consciousness — higher or lower and all states in-between — relative or absolute?
  • Are the various levels of consciousness definable by various manifestations?
  • Is Enlightenment the highest state of  consciousness?
  • Is Enlightenment an absolute state or is it relative?
  • Relative to what?
  • How does kundalini affect consciousness?
  • What if both relative consciousness and absolute consciousness exist?
So I started a list (don't we in the West always resort to a list?) of what attributes and qualities might constitute higher consciousness.

Manifestations Of Higher Consciousness
1) talents/powers/gifts

sudden acquisition of:
  • language
  • musical ability
  • art/photography abilities
  • writing ability
  • math ability
  • healing ability (oneself or others)
  • prescience
  • clairvoyance

2) realizations

  • oneness
  • no death
  • a purposeful life
  • all violence is self-hate
  • part of an energy continuum
  • there is a pre-conception design for the body
  • renunciation of material objects

3) sensitivities, aversions to

  • diet – meat, etc.
  • alcohol, cigarettes
  • drugs
  • electro-magnetic energy
  • noise
  • harsh sunlight
  • prescription medicines

4) states and conditions

  • visions
  • out of body experiences
  • revelations (as opposed to realizations: more micro than macro, for example, the imminent death of a friend)
  • invisibility, astral travel

It's a long laundry list of superhuman attributes and abilities. Whether one individual can manifest all of them, I don't know, but I would imagine it's more like a smorgasbord, not one YOU choose from, but one that confers the requisite assortment on you, according to your personality, character, karma, and level of attainment.

So if higher consciousness annointees manifest an assortment of the above, you can imagine the opposite end of the spectrum and the types of attributes the members of the lower consciousness group manifest. I won't elaborate; news blogs and journals are full of examples of the lowest common denominator behavior some human beings are capable of.

Can a person be more or less enlightened or is there nothing in between the state of complete enlightenment and the state of being completely unenlightened, i.e., an individual that spiritual teachers describe as being under the control of dualistic mind/emotion paradigm?

According to Osho, enlightenment does exist, but because of the variance among individuals, people not only come at it from different starting points, they also exhibit different states of attainment, a statement that gives credence to the notion that higher consciousness is relative, not absolute.

I see it as a process. Whether the result is full or partial enlightenment — because we inhabit bodies — there is always work to do. And that's why it is not a battle between information on consciousness and consciousness itself. Labels don’t matter; polemics don’t matter. What matters is how you manage the process on a daily basis.

I can see my process in my mind’s eye. When I look back at my life, a stranger stares back at me. This is not uncommon. In this work, life isn’t a straight line progression; it’s a series of leaps and plateaux. Whether you’re a reformed prisoner or a spiritual seeker, you probably identify with having experienced the unbearable feeling of being lost, followed by wondering if change was possible. That’s the first step. Seeing the person you once were in the rearview mirror and wondering how you were ever that way, I not only look back at one instance of my Being, but at several, shaking my head in wonderment at the various ‘me’s — even some that appeared after kundalini rising. At first, I thought I had achieved something. Like the priest who graduates from the seminary, I was unable to resist the propaganda my ego fed me about being spiritually fast-tracked.

Whether or not I am any nearer to enlightenment now than I was forty years ago, I do not know. Before I activated kundalini, I was a tangle of lost perspectives and jumbled thinking. And yet, back then, even as a preteen, I knew an ultimate being existed in me and that I could self-actualize. My childish consciousness envisaged such a transformation.

As a child, I felt capable of doing things without my knowing I was doing them…as an instrument of consciousness. Sadly, as I grew older, I put these notions or insights away and, for a while, I followed the conditioning of my social surroundings. Later, after much discomfort and failure, I came back to my early insights and thus enabled kundalini. It allowed me to step outside the mind and emotional patterns that had so long controlled me. I felt very close to the insights I’d had as a child. I began to see that even under the influence and control of the ego, I’d had moments of clairvoyance all along, spurred on, I suppose, by what Gopi Krishna called the evolutionary impulse. And I was able to learn from a series of life lessons.

Lesson One: In the hospital at age 21, I had an out-of-body experience. This confirmed that I was more than my physical body.

I can see it in my mind’s eye at any moment: a superior being, physically, mentally, and psychically capable of full consciousness. And when I see this being, I am enveloped in a mindfulness that puts everything into the simplest nonverbal terms. I vibrate at a higher frequency, sure in the realization that this state is attainable by me and by anyone else.

So how do you become enlightened? By putting your life on hold and going after it, sampling one method or following one guru after another? Or by letting it come to you? Does thinking about enlightenment in an intuitive dream state mean it exists?

I wasn’t trying to raise kundalini; in fact, I had never even heard of it. I was only trying to improve my breathing to help me play a wind instrument. Kundalini found me. And once it found me, it started to act on me, first physically, then in other ways, completely overhauling my Being. Kundalini changed my metabolism, my anatomy, my soma, my psyche, my morphology, my emotional states, and my psychic condition. And as time went on, I realized it had a evolutionary purpose: It was trying to perfect me.

Lesson Two: Kundalini has taught me is that humans are perfectable. We can be transformed; we can perfect ourselves. Nevertheless, I see this perfectability as a process and therefore it is relative, not absolute. If it was absolute, it wouldn’t be a process; it would happen all at once. And maybe it does for some, but that is a different story.

Lesson Three: Having activated kundalini, I see reincarnation as an actuality. If that's true, there must exist, subsequent to this present mortality, a kind of firefly of essence that carries the accumulated energy of previous lifetimes to the next incarnation — a spark of consciousness that's never extinguished.

My colleague, Corinne Lebrun, uses a wonderful analogy to compare the attributes of average human consciousness to a piano with three octaves. Once kundalini is awakened, the deficient piano becomes an instrument of eight octaves. It's not possible for the initiate to avail himself of all eight octaves immediately, but at least — unlike in his previous limited state — he now knows those extra octaves exist. Over time, he learns to incorporate the now greater range of his instrument into the symphony of his life. Yes, life is like a symphony:

  • 1st movement: Allegro
  • 2nd movement: Slow
  • 3rd movement: Minuet
  • 4th movement: Allegro

It ends up as it starts out, unless those additional octaves are awakened.

Hopefully, some manifestations of higher consciousness fall into his lap, like when a pianist creates an improvisation never before attempted; some demand further practice.

And he ends up with a potpourri of talents, powers, gifts, realizations, sensitivities, conditions heretofore unimaginable, allowing him to attain his predestined level on the pyramid of consciousness.

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