Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Human Evolution and the Dark Night of the Soul

What if the whole direction of the human mind is to leave the ego behind like a chrysalis, like a larval phase of the evolution of the human being within a lifetime? The ego in this scenario acts like a protective layer to blunt the penetration of external energy into the self.

When Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within…”, this is what he meant. He was saying — just as Gopi Krishna said so many times — that human evolution in this lifetime is not just a possibility, but a mandate. He and all the great prophets sought to teach this truth to their followers and the whole world.

Gopi Krishna
Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man

In this scenario, the ego deflects criticism and judgment as a protective defense mechanism. All the standard brand psychologies apply, except that when the idea of personal evolution is included, it creates a whole new perspective on the ego and related topics. In this scenario the dark night of the soul is a necessary phase in which the now ready individual can enter the next step in evolution, the arousal of the kundalini. The ego is shed like a carapace, and the butterfly emerges, so to speak.

False spirituality overidentifies with this evolving phase. Because the individual desires to go through this stage of spiritual evolution, this is a conundrum, since the overidentification with one’s goal of spiritual evolution is an attachment of the ego, not a letting go. Thus while the ego can be dismissed through service, prayer, and meditation; seeking self-aggrandizement and adulation, along with self-mutilation and self-abnegation, are  manifestations of egocentric desire.

The great tragedies in human history – Hitler, Stalin, and all the great megalomaniacs and their wars – are caused by the conflict between the desire to take the next step in human evolution and the fear of letting go of the ego and its trappings. Egocentrism and egomaniacs are trapped in a world of ego attachment that creates human misery in this life. The lives of the mystics are about teaching this essential truth: the non-attachment to material things, exemplified by the lives of the prophets expresses it deeply.

Add the 27 years that Nelson Mandela spent in jail to the list of those who shed the attractions of desire and found their truth. The funerals of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Mandela show how much world leaders appreciate the sacrifice made to teach this lesson. I draw from this a nonjudgmental understanding of the failings of others. Their confusion and desires, and their ignorance of the real PATH TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH has been and remains the cause of so much suffering, as Gautama said.

manifestations of egocentric desire
The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
PD Ouspensky’s The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution is another expression of this idea. When the ego disintegrates and the kundalini is aroused, it is the beginning of a new phase of personal evolution. Gopi Krishna encouraged the development of a science around the kundalini awakening process. He believed it would be of tremendous value to those searching for spiritual truth. The whole world could benefit from the spontaneous unleashing of creative genius and spirituality.


  1. I wonder if anyone truly wants their ego to disintegrate. I have trouble setting this as a goal. It seems to me more a necessary step in arriving somewhere else. And a daunting one. The desire to get to the "somewhere else" feels egoic in itself.

    1. As long as we inhabit bodies, the ego provides a self-preservation mechanism that's difficult to subdue. If we do succeed in subduing it, how do we live in the world at large? Does this make us vulnerable? Are we able to function? The lives of Jesus, Milarepa, the Buddha, Lao Tse, Zoroaster, Ramakrishna provide an indication of what happens at the end of this journey to self-realization.

    2. What is it that searches? It is the ego and as many great sages have said 'the price of that search is the ego - is it any wonder so few attain.....

    3. Perhaps the wording should be more geared towards controlling the ego's desires and not allowing it to over-influence our decisions? I'm 40 years old and I like having an ego for now. I also enjoy observing other peoples' egos as well. Makes things interesting. lol.

      I don't know what it is really like to not have a body. I've had out-of-body experiences but not enough to say I've examined things in those moments and arrived at any solid conclusions.

  2. When the kundalini is fully and permanently activated in nirvikalpa-samadhi, as in the case of Gopi Krishna for example, one can read quite clearly in his autobiography that the kundalini takes on a life of its own. The energy pours forth molding and changing the subject. The ego really has no role here. The subject cannot take credit for what is happening because it happens according to the superintelligence of prana that is flowing up the spine and into the brain.

    As such, the best thing the ego can do is get out of the way. Attaining this state is very difficult. Most cases that one hears of are spontaneous. There are kundalini cults that can teach this path, but they are mostly in the past of India, Egypt, and Mexico.

    The Dark Night Of The Soul results in utter humility. This humility is the foundation of all that follows. With the energy of kundalini, there is no need for the ego. The poet Rumi dedicated all his poetry to his mentor Shams. He took no credit for it. The lives of the prophets are filled with examples. Rumi wrote, "I drink from the breast of the mother". He meant that his soul is fed not from any egocentric desires, but from his organic energetic connection to the Earth.

    I would say that if one wants to activate the kundalini and go down this path, no trivial matter, then one must let the ego subside. It is not a process or a state that has any negative connotations, as that too springs from the ego. No, one must find the state that is beyond the ego.

    Here is a poem I wrote:

    Beat the drum of the ego.
    Pound the drum of the ego.
    Smash the drum of the ego.
    Blow the ego's horn.
    Shout the accomplishments of the ego to the four winds.
    Praise the ego.
    Pride the ego.
    Pat the ego's back.
    Never let the ego know
    That it is a tiny little cork on an ocean of consciousness.

    Here is another:

    Jesus was a Zen Master

    As Simon, Paul, and Lazarus watched,
    Jesus instructed a group of followers:
    "Seeing as God is within, then thought
    Should be purified. Be not a borrower
    Of others' meditations wise,
    But rather dwell on your own Super Nature.
    The sooner that you squint your eyes,
    Look within, and meet your maker
    The sooner will you be set free
    From the binding chains of ignorance,
    The deadly illusion, misery, and
    False belief of self-importance."

    The master walked on in glorious youth,
    Mindful of the coming age,
    Focused on the inner truth
    That all the world is a stage.