Monday, December 29, 2014

Bullshit and Kundalini

In Australia, when I was young, every child was given a bullshit gauge, an internalized notched stick he or she could dip into the bullshit outside and check the depth. I've still got mine. I dipped it in the current the other day and the tripe was over my head. Enlightened Ones who are oh, so heavy. Detached Ones who can't get out of bed without a glass of vodka. Pure Ones who fuck their best friend's wife. World Teachers parroting: "Do as I say, not as I do."
Hammer and Nail
Driving It Home

I like to go for a walk in the cosmos occasionally, but I was scared I might drown. I consulted my bullshit gauge. It said: "These guys are all in your head, Paul. They're only figments of your imagination. They're the bullshit in you. See that notch there?" Kundalini's outside of all this stuff. Bullshit can't stick to: "She who goes upwards, and is outside the universe."

That's why it's wise to concentrate on the practical things: the effect of Kundalini on the body, on the brain, on diet, family life, sexual health and the state of the world, as JJ Semple does in The Biology Of Consciousness and his other books. It can feel awkward, speaking about Kundalini in personal terms, but it's better than being a World Teacher.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Love takes us the furthest possible distance out of ourselves towards another, at the same time, it reveals our fundamental solitude. In a materialistic age, love, and particularly physical love, is perhaps the only access to transcendence that remains open.

Awakened Kundalini transforms the body and the brain, and, in so doing, transforms love, and the act of love.

It's easy to criticize the soft porn consumerism of modern culture, but the tingle we get when we buy a new car, Get Closer With Gillette, or listen to Rihanna with our gonads, proves what the Buddha said: that everything is made of desire; manifestation itself is nothing but asava — primordial longing and intoxication. Even a pebble, or an express train rushing past a platform, is a condensation of desire, an attachment to density, shape, speed. The truly painful thing is that, in this situation, even the most decent forms of love — marital loyalty, love of children, altruism — share the same cosmic itch. I love my wife, but I'm jealous of her loving anyone else but me. I'd spill blood to get my children ahead. Giving makes me feel good about myself.

Kundalini changes all this. Kundalini awakens in the centre at the base of the spine. The experience is radical because it is here, in the muladhara chakra, that we share our sheer physicality — our density of bone, nerve and muscle, our speed of thought and neural reflex, our form as one particular human body — with pebbles and express trains and stars and animals. That sounds grandiose, but the actual living of it, when Kundalini awakens at the base of the spine, is a burning sensation of physical aridity. This arid heat is condensed sexual drive, Eros without an object or outlet. This burning force is probably the source of fetishism, making a shoe or garment become sexually charged, revealing the erotic nature of even 'dead' matter.

The presence of transcendence in the body, the thing that awakens Kundalini at the base of the spine, is symbolized in the Tantras by the Siva lingam. It's a proof of the wisdom of Tantra that Ultimate Consciousness is represented by something as unthinking as an erect penis. The Siva lingam, however, is not just located at the base of the spine. It's also found in the heart and the brain, and it's in the heart, when Kundalini opens the heart chakra, that arid desire is transformed into love.

In traditional wisdom, the heart, and not the brain, is the seat of consciousness. True understanding occurs in the heart, to be registered — or not — as thought, in the head. At the moment of death, the life force rushes to the heart and gathers a shining intensity.

The event that occurs when Kundalini opens the heart chakra is as important as the awakening at the base of the spine. There's a sensation of becoming porous. One's skin is no longer a boundary between oneself and the outside world. There's a sensation of being strained, outwards, through the skin, like whey from curds. The sense of touch is so heightened, it's like coming home from a day handling bricks and paving slabs to the touch of a woman's skin. The feeling of separation from people and things loses its hold on us. One understands that to truly see anything — one's own body, a cup on a table, another's body — one must be it. Duality is impossible. This is the authentic love which in Buddhism is called Karuna, or Compassion. It's not compassion in the sense of looking down on, and pitying, someone or something that's separate. Karuna includes oneself. It's a compassion that extends to the most beautiful, powerful, enviable thing in the world, as well as to the most abject. This is because what this love "compassionates" is manifestation itself, i.e. everything. What this love "pities" is the fact of coming into existence at all. That's why, strictly speaking, it has no object. It doesn't — it can't — single out this or that person or thing. It's described by the Buddha in the Appamanna, or Irradiant Contemplation: "The ascetic dwells with his spirit pervaded by love and irradiates one direction, a second, a third, a fourth, so across, and upward and downward, he irradiates the whole world with loving mind, with ample, profound, unlimited mind, free of hate and rancor."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Permanent vs. Temporary Kundalini

Kundalini Activations Take Many Forms
When I visited Gopi Krishna in 1977, we discussed the reasons behind this phenomenon. “Why," he asked me, "do some people experience Kundalini so fleetingly while others — a very select few — live it 24 hours a day from the time of awakening till the day they die?”

Fork in the Road: The Path Less Traveled
I told him what I'd gleaned from my experience, that the difference must reside in the method, “In my case, once I penetrated the symbolic, poetic language of The Secret of the Golden Flower, it read like an instructional manual. It’s hard to imagine that this method was the work of one person, that one person discovered the method and then wrote the book. I have trouble believing it worked only once, for the person who wrote the book, and then twelve centuries later, it worked once again for me. Since its discovery, this method must have worked for thousands in its initial oral form, handed down over many generations before it was eventually printed.”

Permanent Kundalini is like an electrical current that never stops. The individuals who experience it know it never stops. Permanent Kundalini does not include cases where individuals felt a jolt of electricity over a given interval, followed by a complete cessation of same, even though, as a result of experiencing Kundalini, they had their lives irrevocably changed. Lingering effects are understandable, but any feelings — no matter how intensely felt — do not constitute permanent Kundalini. Permanent Kundalini is a condition under which Kundalini energy circulates 24 hours a day. That is the difference between Permanent and Temporary.

Some of the areas of confusion need to be considered — what it is and what it isn't: It is not a longing to recapture some effervescent moment of clarity. Nor is it a Close-Encounters-of-a-Third-Kind feeling that something will, or has, happened. Permanent Kundalini is happening now and will be happening twenty minutes from now, and for the rest of your life.

It is not a foreshadowing or a frisson, an exhilaration or a rush, a fleeting sensation, a bliss state, or a lasting memory. It is not an unbearable lightness of being. It is more like a medical condition, a very rare condition. A constant companion. Like high-blood pressure, you cannot shake it. Start with the earliest childhood memories of yourself, what you might call Condition Normal. Set aside the commotion in your head and concentrate on your physical being as you first apprehended it as a child. Add to that an element of energy constantly welling up from below, a newfound sensitivity to energy sources (food, beverages, natural, mechanical and electronic forces) and a heightened awareness and you have permanent Kundalini.

Welcome or not, it’s invested you, and you can’t shake it; you can only learn to live with it. Which brings us back to the question of why some experiences are temporary and others are permanent. Is it a question of method? Does the way the experience is triggered determine its permanency?

I have met and talked with many people about their Kundalini experiences. Not as many as Gopi Krishna, but quite a few. Generally, they fall into three categories:
    • Those who are not sure they have really experienced Kundalini. Difficult to gauge.
    • Those who experience Kundalini temporarily and retain vivid memories of the experience. Quite common.
    • Those whose Kundalini, once activated, continues 24-hours a day. Very rare.
      Those who are not sure they have experienced Kundalini
      In a perfect world this group should not exist— Kundalini is either active or it isn’t. Nevertheless, the group does exist and its members exhibit various and sundry states of affect. In a perfect world there would be people trying to activate Kundalini, people in whom it was active or who activated it at one time and in whom it has since returned to a dormant state, and people in whom it was awakened or who awakened it permanently. No one would be unsure. In our less than perfect world there is less surety.

      People often think they are infirm, yet they are perfectly well. It called hypochondria, and it's startlingly prevalent. Mental states and predispositions often cloud what’s really happening in the body and the mind. That’s why Gopi Krishna came to the realization that Kundalini was often mistaken for mental illness. While mental illness is an accepted phenomenon, until recently most people know nothing about Kundalini, so it’s easy to understand how a Kundalini experience that stirs up energy centers might be mistaken for mental illness, especially in a culture featuring offhand remarks like, “I must be going crazy” and “Are you nuts?” There’s a lot of confusion out there, people confusing what’s happening in the body with what’s happening in the mind, and vice-versa. Nevertheless, as Kundalini becomes more familiar and the term is used more frequently, people may begin to understand the differences, even though it is probable that some forms of mental illness and all forms of Kundalini have a biological origin.

      For those striving to awaken Kundalini, yet never seeming to get there, the problem isn’t mental illness; it’s one part method and one part Karma. After working with Kundalini for a long time, I have realized that some people are not destined to activate it, no matter how hard they try.

      Those who've experienced Kundalini temporarily
      A large part of this group activates Kundalini accidentally. This is neither good nor bad; it is what it is. When it happens and the person knows nothing about Kundalini, there’s a temptation to fight it, to resist giving in to it, which is foolish because, once activated, Kundalini takes control.

      Kundalini can be triggered by Yoga, by meditation, by ingesting drugs, or just plain not-doing. It can occur while walking down the street, driving a tractor, chewing your food, or making love. Just about any banal activity or non-activity can set it off. When it does occur, don’t fight it. Why? Because you can’t. So submit and learn. Perhaps, it will go away; perhaps it won’t. If it does go away, it’s probably because you did something to temporarily release sublimated sexual energy or the energy shook loose on its own. If the energy does cease for some reason, the conduits — between the base of the spine and the brain — have not been permanently opened or, as Gopi Krishna stated, the "serpent fire is not burning ceaselessly." 

      How it burns is just as important as if it burns. As Osho said:
      “Kundalini is not felt because it is rising; kundalini is only felt if you do not have a very clear passage. If the passage is completely clear-cut, then the energy flows, but you cannot feel it. You feel it when there is something there that resists the flow. If the energy flows upward and you have blocks in the passage, only then do you feel it. So the person who feels more kundalini is really blocked: there are many blocks in the passage, so the kundalini cannot flow.”
      At this point it’s up to you whether you want to pursue the matter. Read Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time. Read the many other first hand accounts of Kundalini awakenings. Do you want to move forward? Do you want to recapture the Kundalini condition permanently? If so, use a reliable meditation method, one that you've vetted scrupulously. Do NOT attempt it if you’re not absolutely sure and/or you don’t have the time and the support system to follow through.

      If you have experienced Kundalini in any way, shape, or form, vivid memories of the experience will stay with you, even though the condition itself may have become dormant, even though the current may have ceased to flow. You will be able to use this experience in your overall understanding of life.

      Those whose Kundalini is permanently active
      In Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man Gopi Krishna describes his search for individuals whose Kundalini functions 24-hours a day without respite. He did not find many. This in India, a country renowned for spiritual exploration and practice.

      So if Gopi Krishna couldn’t find them, and modern investigators can’t find them, there can’t be many. Why is this? There are as many reasons as there is diversity among individual experiences. Perhaps there should be a directory of case studies with gradations and classifications, especially given the interest in the subject and the various gurus and methods extant. But there is no directory.

      The only testimony I can bring to bear is my own. That I’ve lived with Kundalini for over forty years, that it’s a biological transformation triggered by intense neuroplastic activity which, in turn, leads to an extension of consciousness and in some cases, although it varies from case to case, the appearance of metanormal powers.

      I’d like to say that in each successful case permanent Kundalini is due to the successful application of a method. But I can’t, even though I myself used Golden Flower Meditation (GFM), the time-tested method derived from The Secret of the Golden Flower. Even though I've been saying, "It worked for me. It ought to work for others."

      So while the method should constitute a testimony to the ancient adepts who discovered it, I can’t say with any certainty that others have used my method successfully, even in cases where the individual insists he or she has. Is that a cop out? No, merely the realization that each case is difficult to verify and document.

      As with all historical information of this type, this method — the one I used — must be continually tested and hopefully improved. Why? Because if a serious line of study is ever to emerge around Kundalini, the method must be tested and peer reviewed. After all, wouldn't you rather start your Kundalini activation efforts with a reliable method than have Kundalini strike you while riding the subway or watching a baseball game. I would.

      For the moment, however, even with the extraordinary buzz surrounding Kundalini and Kundalini Yoga today, there’s just no telling how, when, or where it will strike, and once it does strike, whether it will be permanent or temporary...

      Since the death of Gopi Krishna in 1984, Kundalini has fragmented into various and sundry groups, all believing they hold the answers to the mysteries of higher consciousness. Not that the focus was more acute while he was alive, it probably wasn’t, but his voice — supported by his incisive writings — was practically the only consistently sensible voice out there. Since his death, a Babel of Voices has commanded the stage, and that disunity is responsible for the lack of focus.

      Compare the work around Kundalini to that on Near Death Experience (NDE) and you see a disorganized set of rival tendancies next to a phenomenon now being studied at the Psychology Departments in universities.

      Why? NDEs have one trigger; Kundalini has many. NDEs share the same effects while the effects of Kundalini are varied and disparate. Yet, the effects of an NDE are a mere subset of those manifested after a permanent Kundalini activation.

      Why do I use the term activation, rather than awakening? While I don’t use it exclusively, I do think it’s appropriate because it shifts the discussion to a more scientific basis so we can begin to investigate the biological nature of this amazing phenomenon. If we are unable to do this, Kundalini will remain a cult or sect with quasi-religious overtones in most people's minds. And we will keep spinning our wheels.

      I don't rule out the divine in my investigation, but I have no evidence to support it. Yes, I can attribute divine origins to certain aspects of Kundalini, but that is only my mind — influenced by cultural conditioning — that is doing the attributing. Rather than starting with the divine, I want to start with the "biological basis" that Gopi Krishna so ably pointed to 40 years ago and work my way up from there.