Saturday, April 25, 2015

Archetypal Model Revisited

In January of this year, I posted Archetypal Model on this site. In it, I presented a well-known Eastern model of the subtle body. At the time of my kundalini rising in late 2005, this model was instrumental in providing me with a framework for understanding the kundalini process, allowing me to integrate these changes into a life that was experiencing a major renovation and restoration.  

Carl Gustav Jung

This model can be reviewed in detail by re-reading the original post, but a summary is provided here.

The invisible subtle body lies beyond all that represents our solid physical bodies, but is interconnected with it. It is made up of three diaphanous sheaths:
  1. Energy sheath is partially made up of energy channels that intersect six major chakras. These chakras can be associated with the physical body’s nerve plexuses and glandular system.
  2. Mental sheath consists of the conscious and unconscious mind broken down into three aspects: chitta, or the unconscious storehouse of past impressions and imprints; manas, or the sensory motor mind which carries out and responds to bodily functions, impulses etc.; and the ahankara, or ego which creates all our boundaries, self-definitions, and self-concepts, our sense of I-ness.
  3. Discernment sheath, our reflective consciousness or higher mind often referred to as the voice of reason.
Visual representaion of the three sheaths

This archetypal model provided a visual representation that helped me understand and integrate the phenomenon of Kundalini as it carried out its life changing agenda over a period of many months turning into years.

The purpose of this post is to complete the portion of the Archetypal Model not covered in the previous post by extending it to include the Causal Body.

Just as the Physical Body ends with the skin and then the Subtle Body begins, the Subtle Body ends with the discernment sheath and then the Causal Body begins.

What is this Causal Body? Other terms that could be used to describe it are the celestial realm, pure consciousness or pure essential reality. It is the place where one has moved beyond false and limited identification with the transitory world of illusion, beyond space and time, beyond phenomena, beyond dualism.


The first three sheaths described in Archetypal Model can be presented and understood conceptually, as a kind of body/mind/soul paradigm. That’s why, at that time, I chose to end it there.

The three sheaths represent the areas of consciousness where I noticed most of the renovation and restoration process taking place. In the energy sheath, I experienced the opening of the energy channels and chakras and the many physical and psychological symptoms that resulted from their opening. In the mental sheath, I experienced a collapse in my previous world view as kundalini energy influenced and modified chitta with its past imprints and impressions, unresolved issues, drives, parental and church injunctions. As it moved into ahankara, I experienced what seemed like hitting the immovable wall of the ego, and a dismantling of its self-constructs, self-definitions, boundaries and unconscious attachments. In the discernment sheath, I experienced the observer, looking on, surrendering and submitting to all that was happening.

The movement to the Causal Body cannot be as easily explained, but there is a story which illustrates it.

Buddha reflected in a lotus

"It is said that the Buddha loved all sentient beings with a love of a father for his children. But the children did not listen to their loving master. Though there was wealth in their own outer house, they did not want it, and instead they went running around outside in confusion. All the master could do was to sew a jewel into each of their garments so that when they were impoverished and starving, they might discover it themselves and be rich in ways they would not otherwise expect. This was the master’s tender compassion and love." 

What is this own outer house? It is our physical bodies, sprung from our parent’s union. It is that place made up of our form, sensitivities, concepts, syntheses and consciousness, born of time and space, with the appearance of permanence, but fleeting, all the same. What is this garment? It is the Causal Body. Inside it is the precious jewel. In Chinese Taoism, they speak of using the false to cultivate the real. Without the outer house, there would be no way to find the real. But this real is an inner secret.

The door to the Causal Body is opened when we recognize the impoverishment and emptiness of all that precedes it. Our physical form, and even our subtle bodies with all of its kundalini activity is constantly changing. There’s nothing permanent about it. The same is true with every aspect of our sensibilities. They provide a window to the world as we see it, but they are empty of any sort of permanence. All of our conceptions of reality are only constructs of what we have inherited or assumed. They are constantly changing as our views change. Even events like birth and death are only moments in time, the beginning when physical form takes shape, and then changes and dissipates. All such syntheses built into our lives are constantly in a state of change. And finally, our consciousness or awareness, our ability to discriminate is constantly changing and therefore empty of permanence.

We use what is false to discover what is real, and the real is the jewel hidden in the garment. And the real cannot be spoken about because it is beyond the comprehension of the intellect; beyond what can be described in words.  

The lover and the beloved

No more my heart shall sob or grieve.
My days and nights dissolve in God's own Light.
Above the toil of life my soul
Is a Bird of Fire winging the Infinite.
I have known the One and His secret Play,
And passed beyond the sea of Ignorance Dream.
In tune with Him, I sport and sing;
I own the golden Eye of the Supreme.
Drunk deep of Immortality,
I am the root and boughs of a teeming vast.
My Form I have known and realized.
The Supreme and I are one; all we outlast.

From "My Flute" by Sri Chinmoy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kundalini and Astral Travel

My first Astral Projection experience occurred when I was 21, lying in a George Washington University hospital bed after a appendicitis operation for which I was given morphine injections over several days. I wrote about it in Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time, from which, the following excerpt is taken:

“I was in this half-state between sleep and waking. A great glowing light filled the room. Suddenly, I was floating upward. When I reached the ceiling, I realized I could steer myself. I’m having trouble though. I command myself to roll over and I’m looking down at my physical body, asleep in the bed, and I realize that I’m in an altogether different body.”

“So I stayed up there watching my body asleep in the bed. I knew I could leave the room, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to get back. I knew I’d see amazing things, but I figured I had to return to my body, that I wasn’t ready to take off and leave it.”


“Well, it opened my mind… Perhaps, I shouldn’t say ‘mind’ because the mind may not be part of it.
Subtle bodies come to life
Subtle Bodies Arising

Until my Kundalini awakening fourteen years later, I had no further Astral Projection experiences. Since activating Kundalini, I have had numerous Astral Travel experiences and am now able to put myself into the state at will. Travel of any sort is mostly beneficial. In my case, I have experienced many of the effects listed below, namely, the abilities to:

  • Fly like a bird and even visit outer space,
  • Walk through solid objects like walls, ceilings etc,
  • Meet loved ones who have "passed on,"
  • Grow spiritually and gain awareness of my True self,
  • Visit the Akashic Records,
  • Increase my psychic abilities,
  • No longer fear death,
  • Become a better problem-solver,
  • Become a better person in all areas of my life,
  • Have Astral sex! (yes, even that's possible!),
  • Heal myself physically and mentally.

Recently with the explosion of self-actualization studies and energy cultivation techniques, a critical mass of interest in Astral Projection and Kundalini has appeared, which has led to Astral travel self-learning materials, available on the internet. 

Should you become interested and wish to explore Astral Projection, one critical point to remember is: You must retain conscious control over all your impulses. Just like my experience in the George Washington Hospital when I decided to pull back, you can exert the same kind of control. In other words, you can move forward incrementally, only undertaking astral travel as you are able to master your emotions, fears, and anxieties, etc.

The subtle bodies radiate
Subtle Bodies Radiating and Vibrating

Since awakening my Kundalini 40 years ago, I have applied the techniques of Astral Projection and consider them a means of self-actualization, the ability to recognize the subtle bodies that surround me and realize that they serve as a control center.

Once you master it, there's no limit to the insights into the cycle of life and death that Astral Travel bestows on you, the traveler.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Zen Allegory - Tending The Ox

In China, there exists nine paintings that allegorically describe the human search for one’s "true self." By reflecting on these paintings, we are able to trace our own journey to realization. This is particularly true to those who have experienced Kundalini Rising, the internal force that not only renovates the subtle body system, but restores one to a wholeness that is beyond ordinary comprehension. With these paintings, I share my own journey. Through your own reflection, you are invited to create your own story.

The man to whom the Ox belongs is standing, looking all around in the thick forest. He cannot see where the Ox is gone. He is simply bewildered, confused. It is getting late and the sun is setting.  Soon it will be night. Then going into the thick forest will become more difficult.

For many years, my life consisted of external events. Work, study, dating, marriage, family, trips, career moves, entertainment, etc. There was little turning inward to discover a life within. The idea of an inner life was largely absent. Everything I wanted was to be found externally. This is where happiness and success could be found. Something was missing. Why did all these external events, goals and successes not provide the happiness I thought they would?

The man finds footprints for the Ox. Maybe the Ox can be found. He follows them.  

I felt like my inner light was being suffocated. I needed a change, something in my life to counter the feeling of emptiness and failure. The books I'd been reading spoke of an inner life that was just as important as these exterior events.  Others suggested getting involved in some community activities; maybe a prayer group, or meditation. My wife suggested that I needed to be more open in sharing what I was feeling; not keep it all bottled up inside. Where was I to begin? Have to start somewhere ...

The man sees the shadow of the Ox far off in the thick forest. It’s hard to make out. 

The recommended meditation time is twenty minutes, twice a day, morning and night. I’ll start with twenty minutes in the morning. Back straight, eyes closed, silent and still, repeat a word and give it my full attention. Coordinate this with my breath. If I drift off into thought, I come gently back to my word. There are moments when I do experience an inner connection. I surrender to these inner movements. I learn to love my meditation time. But when I’m not meditating, everything again gets blurry and confusing. Nevertheless, I seem to be a bit more peaceful.

The man reaches the Ox.  He can see the Ox more clearly now. There’s more internal rejoicing.

I’m now meditating twice a day. Who would have believed that meditation could have such an effect. I even enjoy sharing my meditation experience with others; sometimes I invite them to the groups I attend. The authors of those meditation books describe what I am actually experiencing. I have started to attend some meditation retreats. They really get me in touch with that “inner presence.” At times, I experience the stillness of an inner observer listening and looking out at all the crazy things going on around me.  Sometimes, I seem to be absorbed completely into a shining, blissful lake of light, and it's ecstatic.

The man holds the Ox by its horns, puts a halter on it, and struggles to lead it towards home.

I do meditation retreats once a year, many seven days in length. After a few days, I am able to move into deep penetrating meditation, and I have this feeling of the old person falling away and a new person coming to the center.  At times like this, I feel like I’m really living the life that I was intended to live. I would like to move away from all those exterior things that keep me so busy, but unfortunately, I have responsibilities: when I return home after a retreat, I slip back to where I was before, or so it seems. All my old constructs and boundaries seem to return and reassert themselves. I’ll just have to try harder.  

The man rides on the back of the Ox as they continue towards home.

Something extraordinary happened. I decided to go on an extensive meditation retreat, and on the thirty-eighth day, I experienced an energy at the base of my spine rising up through my body to the top of my head. I was filled with light. It wasn't painful, rather it was ecstatic and even erotic. So many changes are happening, I can’t keep up with them. The flow of this energy is changing everything. Sometimes, I feel that the whole world as I knew it before has collapsed and something new is coming into being, something better.

The man ties the Ox down in its place. And waits.

This whole kundalini experience is very liberating, but also a little confusing. I need time to understand and integrate this experience. I do a lot of reading, writing, meditating. I practice yoga to get grounded, to strengthen my body, and to learn more about what is happening to me. I’m trying to deal with all these physical and psychological changes. It seems like all the old constructs and boundaries have disappeared or changed.

The man is so full of joy that he starts playing on his flute.

What I searched for all those years was there all the time; I just had to discover it. Not only that. What I searched for was the true me all the time. What I now experience inside is what I now see and experience outside. I see everything the way it really is. The old me is gone, and a new more wholesome me has taken its place.
An Empty Frame of the new man and Ox

No more concepts. No more images or models. No more cosmologies. No more Buddha. No more Christ. No clouds. Clear sky. The enjoyer becomes the enjoyment. The seeker becomes the sought.

"The light of spiritual awareness, shining alone, far removed from sense faculties and sense objects, revealing in its essential body true eternity, not confined to words, detached from false objects. This is Pure Essential Reality."
~ Pai-chang

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kundalini and Promiscuity

Why is sexual loyalty difficult and why does promiscuity cause so much heartache, even in a permissive society? Kundalini can heighten sexual suffering, but Kundalini may also provide the healing.

Shiva and Shakti -- the divine feminine and masculine within - Teri Degler
Siva and Shakti

Queen Maeve, the powerful and sexy lady of the Mabognogion, says: "I never had a man, but that another man stood waiting in his shadow." The statement can be reversed, and spoken by the majority of men: "I never had a woman, but that another woman stood waiting in her shadow." Who is the man or woman waiting in the shadow of the person you're with, even when you are enjoying sex? I don't think Jungian theories about the animus and anima are much use in addressing this question. It has nothing to do with fantasy. These potential lovers waiting in the shadow of our partners aren't mere psychological constructs. They're real people. They're out there — on trains, on sidewalks, at work, in bars, at parties. If you live in the city you come into contact with dozens of them every day. If you retreat to the country, your senses, refined by nature, can feel them in the sunlight and in the rustle of forest leaves.
When Kundalini awakens, the promiscuous drive can become disastrously urgent, as energy floods the body and brain. There's a danger of sexual addiction and nymphomania (as described in Peggy Payne's novel, Cobalt Blue.) We can become trapped by "sex in the head." The brain chakra opens, without manas, the restless mind, being absorbed into a deeper consciousness (bodhi.) The heart chakra gets forgotten. The throat chakra is bypassed. Kundalini is sidetracked into the pingala nadi, the fiery channel of outward turning energy. We behave compulsively, thinking that serial sex with casual partners will bring us closer to reality than monogamy can ever do.

When Kundalini energy floods the brain during sexual intercourse, a neural valve, which normally opens and closes, regulating consciousness, becomes stuck, and remains held, in the open position. There's a massive influx of energized consciousness. It's the shutting of this valve, a neural recoil, which, under normal circumstances, initiates orgasm. Kundalini, when it rises up the central channel (susumna), suspends orgasm. The effect on relationship, when this occurs mutually, is radical. We pass into a state of being that is more real than the physical body alone. Our bodies, mine and hers, are experienced as what they really are — the dense extrusion of cosmic forces, the physical precipitates of a deeper consciousness that is more touchable than skin, and more forceful than the beating of the heart. There is a fusion of our subtle bodies at the base of the spine. When this occurs, the problem of promiscuity is solved by being left in the air. It's not that there is a reason to remain faithful. There isn't. It's not that we choose to behave ethically. Sex overpowers morality. It's not even a matter of our preference for our partner's personality and beauty. There are a million other beautiful personalities and lovely faces. It's not a question of losing our partner if we cheat. It's simply that this fusion of the subtle bodies is realer than our everyday state of restless serial experiences. This influx of energized consciousness is reality.

There's a pair of mantras in the Tantric teaching: So'ham. ("I am He.") And Sa'ham. ("I am She.") "He", meaning Siva, the original stillness. And "She", meaning Shakti, the Creative Force that responds to Stillness. When, in the act of love, Kundalini takes us into these states, our loved one casts no shadow. There is no one else.