Thursday, March 22, 2018

Kundalini And Intelligent Design

What is consciousness? Is there a universal intelligence? What is the meaning of life? These are crucial questions, but watching them debated on TV, YouTube, the Oxford Union, etc. can be disheartening, that is, when the debate doesn’t descend into farce. Richard Dawkins in the materialist corner chewing his Darwinian gum shield. Stephen Myers in the Intelligent Design (ID) corner spitting blood into the But-Who-Designed-the-Universe? bucket. Christopher Hitchens hitting Christians and Islamists below the belt with their far-fetched beliefs. Michael Behe’s corner men trying to stop his Irreducible Complexity eye from irreducibly closing up. Except for Hitchins, they’re all supposed to be scientists, but I get the feeling that true scientists, and seers, stay away from this kind of roadshow, entertaining though it is. Anyone who has experienced Kundalini will know that Kundalini is the way out of the impasse of Materialism vs. Intelligent Design. They’ll know it with a certainty that is both bodily and non-bodily.

What gets me about this very widespread debate — it seems to be all over the Internet — is that it never makes it out of the faith vs ‘logic’ dead end, or the atheism vs theism impasse. These people seem never to have heard of the Buddhist Doctrine of The Awakening, the Taoist and Tantric paths, or even the esoteric currents in Christianity and Islam, like alchemy and Sufism. The point is that these are all paths. Each of them is an inward course of action, that bypasses and leaves behind the question of faith and dogma. I have a lot of sympathy for the Intelligent Design advocates. They seem to have come up with a lot of good arguments —the coded nature of the DNA molecule, the immense statistical improbability of life arising out of inorganic matter anywhere in the universe. The fact that the forerunners of the current species all appeared with a paleontological simultaneity (a mere five million years!) in the so-called Cambrian explosion, without any fossil evidence having been found for the vast number of intervening steps between the primordial soup and the Cambrian explosion which Darwinian evolution assumes. None of this, however, proves that ‘God’ designed the universe, or even set it going on its evolutionary path and let life get on with it.

The most irritating thing about the ‘Four Horsemen’ of aggressive atheism and the Intelligent Design of St. John of Patmos is that they all claim to speak for science, whereas true scientists discover things, they don’t sit on stages slagging off ideas they don’t like.

One true and great scientist is Erwin Schrodinger, who not only was in at the beginning of quantum mechanics, but also thought deeply about the nature of consciousness. These quotes are from a wonderful series of lectures he gave on ‘Mind And Matter’ (the Tarner lectures, 1955): Schrodinger said: “The doctrine of identity (of self and other, subject and object) can claim that it is clinched by the empirical fact that consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular.’ And: “The reason why our sentient, thinking and percipient ego is met nowhere within our scientific world picture can easily be indicated in seven words: because it is itself that world picture.”

This is where an understanding of Kundalini is crucial. If one reads the reports of the many different types of Kundalini awakenings in books like Gopi Krishna’s Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy In Man, or JJ Semple’s The Biology Of Consciousness: Case Studies in Kundalini what stands out is evidence of the physical effect of an intelligent force. This is why there are so many accounts of extreme bodily ‘symptoms’ (they aren’t, in fact, ‘symptoms’ they are intelligence itself at work, the Intelligence that ID advocates can’t explain.) Kundalini adepts speak of burning heat at the base of the spine, pain at the base of the neck, pressure and movement in the neural cortex etc. These events (which is what they really are, events not symptoms) can frighten and overwhelm. They can seem to be nothing more than an unwelcome physical upheaval. It takes endurance and an inner steadiness to see, and to grow into the fact, that they are the Fundamental Intelligence at work, not as a God out beyond the body somewhere, to be believed in or not, but as a proof that even our nervous system, our blood system, and our bony structure are a manifestation of Mind. Having been through it, I have no problem with calling that Mind ‘Divine’. Doing so isn’t an act of faith.

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