Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Type of Person Awakens Kundalini?

That is a question that cannot be answered scientifically. Anecdotally? Yes, perhaps. Generally, however, I don't see a lot of Type-A, mesomorphs involved in self-actualization. Of course, I may be wrong. I'm not seeing the total picture; nobody can. But if I'm not wrong, why might this be true, why are seekers predominantly ectomorphs?

First of all, you may not be familiar with the following terms pertaining to physical types: mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph. I first ran across them in Robert De Ropp's 1968 book, The Master Game: Pathways to Higher Consciousness Beyond the Drug Experience, given to me by my father as I was about to kick off my European self-actualization adventure. It was the first book I read that approached higher consciousness from the perspective of Western psychology and science as opposed to Eastern yogic influences, although the book does include its share of Eastern knowledge and experience.

I haven't read the book in over 40 years; I lost it along the way, in fact. Around 2001, I bought a copy, but never got around to rereading it. Nevertheless, certain ideas in the book have stayed with me.
Hanging out in a Washington, DC basement apartment
JJ Semple (1964) – The Quintessential Ectomorph
In a section entitled Physical Type, De Ropp writes about the above body types and their related temperaments. "Sheldon's (W.H. Sheldon) basic theory is that temperament is related to physique. This is intuitively understood by every experienced novelist and playwright. Shakespeare's three prototypes, Falstaff, Hotspur and Hamlet, correspond both physically and temperamentally to Sheldon's three physical morphs and three temperamental tonias. Falstaff is the extreme endomorph. He is shaped like a barrel, typically oval in outline. Hotspur, the fiery fighter, is the extreme mesomorph, muscular, broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped, triangular in outline. Hamlet, the irresolute thinker, is lean and angular, linear in outline, the typical ectomorph."

He goes on to describe the temperamental characteristics of each physical type and how the quest for self-actualization fits with the ectomorphic profile.

Endomorphs, De Ropp says, are labeled viscertonics (gut dominant) and characterized by: excessive food intake, excessive relaxation, excessive complacency, excessive amiability.

Surprisingly, De Ropp is harder on mesomorphs or somatotonics (muscle dominant) than on either of the other two types. "They delight in vigorous action, the overcoming of external obstacles. They have powers that less rugged individuals may envy, have a high capacity for physical endurance, a low sleep requirement; they are relatively insensitive to pain, noise, distraction, and the feelings of others." They are characterized by insensitivity and blind obedience. De Ropp quotes Sheldon, "Somatomic people tend to lack introspective insight. They tend to enter upon the most tragic of human quests, the quest for lost youth. One of the cardinal indicators of somatonia is a horror of growing old."

The ectomorphic physique, on the other hand, is nervous system dominant. This cerebrotonic individual says Sheldon, "...finds both his delights and his defenses in the system and the detail of his own consciousness." People high in cerebrotonia are often "seekers."

I don't believe we can assign a given individual to any single one of these categories. We share traits across all of them. At the same time, there probably is predominance of one type in each of us. I know that I started life as a somatotonic (mesomorph), but, due to a childhood accident, I morphed into a cerebrotonic (ectomorph). Yet, I retained many mesomorphic attributes in the body of an ectomorph. This enabled me to complete the Kundalini awakening process successfully, which, back in 1973 when I went through it, was a solitary undertaking, due to the lack of information in the West at the time. Perfectly suited to a person with the loner temperament of the ectomorph and the action-oriented drive of the mesomorph.

Don't believe a person can morph from one body type to another? Body type and temperament have to do with symmetry, and I document my experience with both in Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time.

Again, mine is only one experience. I believe anyone can do it, but I've encountered more ectomorphs/cerebrotonics along the way than any other body or temperament type. That this type is governed by the nervous system is a dead giveaway because it's the nervous system that handles the anatomical and metabolic work of the Kundalini process.


  1. Barbara Hand Clow's books note that women at midlife make up a large percentage of those who have kundalini experiences.

    1. How was she able to get the numbers to support this?

  2. From what I have read, people in their 30s tend to go through the kundalini process more than others. I would add to that that humility seems to precede, for example St. Francis of Assisi who recovered from the horrors of war before his awakening. I think of Shiva, the Lord of the Dance who dances with one foot on top of the dwarf that represents the ego kept underfoot.