Saturday, November 1, 2014

For Those In Whom Kundalini Rests Dormant

To my friends — those, in whom kundalini rests dormant, those who are undergoing the first signs of awakening in the form of deep tension and even despair, those undergoing the physical and psychological changes that kundalini induces, and, finally, those whose kundalini arousal is now a reality that they have been living with for decades. As I am in the latter category, I write with some reflection on the totality of my experience, from my initial curiosity to living with it since 1973.

There is, of course, much misinformation about kundalini, many who don't understand it. The life of Jesus, for example, is a kundalini story. Same for Gautama and Mohammed. Many of the old myths and legends are recognizable as kundalini stories.

Thinking about the before and after, I'm reminded of the Old Zen saying, "Before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water." What does it mean? What then is the difference between the before and the after, before activation of kundalini and after?

First, the myths. Some religions dictate that heaven and hell exist in the afterlife. Yet, Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is within you." He was talking metaphorically: that the experience of heaven — the ecstasy we seem to want — is an internal experience we can reach out and grab in this lifetime. That experience is kundalini awakened.

However, as the life of Jesus illustrates, there is heaven and there is hell. When Jesus asks why his father has forsaken him, he is telling the world that his suffering is great suffering. This is true of so many great geniuses down through history. For example, in Breugel's Fall Of Icarus, we see how little the world notices his fall into the ocean.

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

In The Musee De Beaux Artes, W.H. Auden

In Kafka's Metamorphosis, Gregor awakens one day to find he is a giant cockroach. Such is the life of many artists rejected by the culture of their time. Socrates was made to commit suicide. Van Gogh sold a single painting in his life — the one he sold to his brother. The French Impressionists, now held in such high esteem, had to exhibit their works in an alternative venue because the snobish Salon wouldn't allow them in. The voices Joan of Arc heard were deemed witchcraft and she was considered mad.

Great men and women of genius, driven by an active kundalini, are often isolated and, in some cases, driven to  madness by the culture of their time. Tesla is another great example. The man who gave us the modern electric system never married, had few friends, and died penniless. This is the lot of the genius today.

Why am I saying this? There is nothing passive about kundalini. One can't help but wince at the promises made to suicide bombers, who are told that when they get to heaven they will be rewarded with so many virgins, etc... These statements can only be made because of the ignorance of the reality of heaven and hell. Yet, this ignorance is widespread in religions around the world; kundalini is not yet widely understood.

So, if great pleasure exists alongside of great suffering, why do we seek pleasure? Of course, those who misunderstand and think there only unending pleasure in heaven seek it for the wrong reasons. Whether we know it or not, instinctively, each of us is pulled toward higher consciousness. Gopi Krishna said this "evolutionary impulse" exists in all human beings, and is the motivating engine behind human evolution.

Yet, let us not be disappointed when it does not turn out the way we hoped. Yes, kundalini brings with it great pleasure —massive releases of endorphins. But we're not about to float away to the sky. After my ascent to the 7th chakra, I came back down into my body. I felt all of life's pressures become real again. I changed, but the world did not change, and whatever good I have brought to the world has been a slow process over a lifetime.

So, before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water.  After enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water.


  1. This is very true and well said. Karma must be faced, and Kundalini hastens the process.

  2. Kundalini is NOT a Belief System; it's biology, a science. A biological process with metaphysical overtones. You can be converted to a religion, but you can't be converted to kundalini, any more than you can be converted to an orgasm or a heart attack. That's the nature of biological processes; they just happen, sometimes voluntarily, like an orgasm; sometimes involuntarily, like a heart attack. Kundalini can be triggered either way — voluntarily or involuntarily.

  3. Yes. That is exactly right. Kundalini is not an abstraction or an abstract experience. Rather it is very physiological and psychological, as the prana sent up the spine and into the brain changes how the brain operates - the whole brain and not just the abstract portion.