Monday, May 11, 2015

Kundalini and Consciousness

Consciousness is a strange and powerful thing.

Consciousness is so weird, it's not quite right to speak about having consciousness, or even of being conscious.

My friends are intelligent and sympathetic people, but when I tell them that Kundalini is a biological eruption in every cell of the body, of a consciousness that lies beyond the body — they laugh themselves silly.

Materialism is the unquestioned faith of our day. When they've stopped laughing, my friends assure me that consciousness is just a chemical reaction in the brain. They point out that different mental and physical functions can be located in different parts of the cerebral cortex, and that when a particular part of the brain is damaged a corresponding bodily or mental function is lost.

This is the twenty-first century equivalent of pious Victorian churchgoers pointing to the forms and structures of nature and leaping to the conclusion that a Deity must have designed them.

Consciousness comes before all this. Consciousness takes precedence. You need the presence of consciousness before you can even begin to study the brain and map it with electrodes. Consciousness remains, in deep sleep and coma, even when the various neural functions are lost or damaged. The brain is a response to this presence of consciousness.

A damaging result of materialist religiosity is that in our day-to-day lives we assume that consciousness is a weak, negligible thing, a helpless passenger carried along by the drives and addictions of our bodies, when, in fact, the very reverse is true. When Kundalini is awake, the body is in the grip of consciousness. A fathomless intelligence takes charge of every ganglion and synapse.

One of the most powerful effects of Kundalini awakening is what it does to love, and to the act of love. Our partner is no longer a distant object towards whom we struggle with our senses and mind in the hope of finding a little closeness. Neither are they just a separate personality that might, if we are lucky, happen to dovetail with whatever separate personality we happen to be stuck with. When Kundalini is active, our loved-one's face and body, their mind and their personality, come spinning out of a vortex of consciousness that is as beyond them as it is beyond us. We feel the same vortex of consciousness absorb us, our senses and our minds, from the base of the spine upwards as union becomes real, and love more than a dove-tailed closeness.

The Tantras describe the susumna nadi, the central, spinal channel, as having two thin, tube-like nadis inside it — the brahma nadi and the citrini nadi — where the Kundalini energy gets closer and closer to sheer consciousness. The citrini nadi is "as fine as the thousandth part of a hair, and pierces all the lotuses, and is pure intelligence" as Kundalini, "She who is outside the universe, and goes upwards," awakes.

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