Monday, June 29, 2015

Being Certain in an Uncertain World

The most important factor in my life was not the result of a conscious decision — although aspects of the decision making process were present. Most important was my recognition — at an early age — that there was something out there beyond the physical, something of a more ethereal nature.

Once your psyche perceives this, you are hooked because you take on the challenge of proving it to yourself, a challenge you never relinquish. It may take a lifetime, but this recognition provides the basis for building a life founded on searching for certainty in an uncertain world.

This is not something derived from traditional religion; it comes from within. It happens in spite of the influence of the elemental world around you. In fact, it is counter to everything the world teaches you, counter to all its conditioning and indoctrination. For me, the final step in my process of self-knowledge was listening to my body after mindlessly damaging it:
"The mind and the body really aren’t friends. The mind is a tool of the culture, an expert propagandist for fitting in. Yet, as the mind drowns out the truth, the body continues to tell it. Which is your real friend? The body, you say. Do you listen to it? I didn’t. And yet, at some level, I must have. I never would have made it back otherwise. Spiraling out control, there has to be some measure of omniscience, or else recovery is impossible. The mind is just too strong. It campaigns incessantly for all the things you think you ought to be doing, all the things you think you are missing. How can you possibly stand up to the supplications of the mind? Nevertheless, as my abilities decline, I keep a sense of awareness in spite of the things my new persona tells me about myself. Without it, I would never have found a way to restore myself."
~ Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time – JJ Semple
At an early age, a jolt of higher consciousness invaded my psyche and set me deliberating on the possibility that something greater surrounded me, that I was attached to a field of existential wisdom or consciousness, which, in daily life, manifested itself through a knowledge not acknowledged by the orthodoxies of worldly life. Gopi Krishna explains it thusly:
"The first reality we come across is consciousness. The world comes later. We know first ourselves and then the world. So the wiser course is first to understand the knower. What modern thinkers have done is to ignore or bypass the knower, forgetting that it is the knower that is doing it."
~ The Awakening of Kundalini—Gopi Krishna
These early murmurs of the psyche were almost immediately buried beneath the so-called "adjustment process" that fitting into worldly life requires us to follow. Buried, but not dead. Inert, but not extinct. All it took was an occasional murmur of the heart to awaken it.

Gee, maybe there is something out there. Maybe, I should explore it. But where to start? Could I be missing something in the sermon? At church? I feel it but have no idea of how to reach for it. Don't wait so long to think about it again. Maybe I'll understand it better the next time.

And there is always a next time. Whether it's a stirring in the body, or an instance of thrall. A chord struck while reading a novel. A sunset. A passionate kiss. An itch waiting to be scratched.

Eventually, I did something about the itch. I started to explore self-hypnosis, yoga, all methods of meditation, and I started to do a whole lot of reading; I was about 27 years old at the time.

At first, I didn't associate my dabbling in spiritual practices with the presentiment that there was something out there, albeit running in parallel on two separate tracks:
  1. The occasional presentiment that there was something behind the material world.
  2. My practice of yoga and meditation.
I hadn't practiced enough to realize the two would eventually meet up. Although I began to see the elemental, material world for what it was — a kind of illusory distraction — I wasn't able to connect my childhood presentiments to the yoga and meditation I was practicing. In other words, I had no coherent ontological model. That would come later...after much more practice.

What does this ontology consist of? Adi Da Samraj describes it thusly:
"Precisely what is wrong with the universal scientism of modern society — and the forms of politics that derive from that scientism — is that the modern scientific 'world'-view and modern politics do not permit the human being his or her psyche.

"Scientism constantly forces the human being to stand face to face with nothing but elemental 'experience.' It denies all reality to the higher dimensions — which, since ancient times, have been recognized by human beings as their fundamental resource.

"Scientism denies the connection to the energies and 'creative' sources of the 'world.' Human beings are denied right 'religion' and true Spirituality by scientism.

"Scientism is simply an activity of the verbal mind. It is oriented toward the investigation of elemental phenomena without any psychic participation in the 'world.'

"Even when scientists investigate phenomena that are not merely elemental, but that belong to the realm of energies and the psyche, they do not study these things through the psyche. They study them 'objectively,' as if these invisibles were butterflies under a pin.

"However, in order to investigate such phenomena, one must enter into 'consideration' of them through the medium of the psyche — through feeling, through intuition, through all the aspects of the mind and heart that precede verbal consciousness.

"In this 'late-time' (or 'dark' epoch), people are not permitted to recognize and acknowledge the invisible dimensions of existence. Nor are they permitted any psychic connection to those dimensions, or to anything else for that matter.

"People are encouraged to watch TV and go to work and wait for science to save everyone. But science can never save anyone. Science is not a 'method' of salvation."
~ The Gnosticon - Adi Da Samraj
Science is supposedly value neutral, but is it? Even back then, when I started exploring, I came to realize that science was not the answer. It was always one step forward-one step back. The Salk vaccine-the atom bomb...scientists ready to dedicate themselves to research, no matter how benevolent, how heinous. As in the Dr. Strangelove-esque, I'm only a scientist; I was ordered to do it. They told me it was for the good of mankind.

Eureka, CA
Abandoned Nuclear Energy Plant

And what about Kundalini? How does it fit into the above ontology?

For me, Kundalini is the ultimate confirmation that existence is something more than the "scientismistic" definition we limit it to. For me, it signaled the meeting up of the two tracks that had been running in parallel. Not only did Kundalini make sense of the cosmology that reaffirmed my Being's relationship to "higher dimensions," it also made sense of science. If the Kundalini sub-system exists in our bodies, it must be there for a reason, and that reason boils down to the realization that human evolution is a work in progress.

Kundalini is the instrument that links human biology to higher consciousness. It is responsible for our bodily substantiation, and for our past, present, and future evolution. Our form, our brain, our consciousness! All are related to the Kundalini in us and all are still evolving. And that is what science should be studying — the biological aspects of Kundalini and its connection to consciousness.

Suppose you do have an itch to explore beyond the elemental. Young or old, it makes no difference. In your heart you know there's something out there. Metaphysical, astral, causal, etheric. Whatever you want to call it. No matter. Nurturing the recognition, never letting go of it leads to a series of innate revelations that no amount of propaganda can dispel. To be certain of one thing in life is an immense accomplishment.

And unlike most of the underlying assumptions of elemental life, based on sensory programming and hand-me-down opinions, you don't have to take someone else's word for what you discover along the Way. By finding out for yourself, you have emptied the memory banks of preconceived notions, zeroed the atomic clock back to its primordial beginning, stripped the psyche bare, and started over.

Finding certainty in an uncertain world takes courage. So does unbelieving all acquired beliefs. Yet compared to what you've been told about the world and how it functions, being certain of even one little thing, when those around you are certain of nothing, is not only a whole different paradigm, it's a manifest advantage in exploring the infinite reaches of consciousness. Finding certainty in an uncertain world helps you understand the cosmology of life and discover a "peace that passeth all understanding."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kundalini and Creativity

When I was twelve, I read a poem about aboriginal rock carvings by the Australian poet, Douglas Stewart. It was a mystical poem, and knocked me out. I decided on the spot to be a great artist. A financially secure career meant nothing to me. Neither did helping people or serving humanity. What could serve humanity better than my latest ode or beating five bells out of Beethoven on the old upright?

I won a scholarship to study Shakespeare at Cambridge, redefining his sonnets in the light of my own, and got kicked out at the end of the first year.

Art is important. It's a way of communicating without losing our essential, and precious, solitude. The lives and states of consciousness of the people who carved the whales and kangaroos in rock cave walls are barely imaginable, and yet, by some sort of magic, they are there in the grooved sandstone and in Douglas Stewart's celebration of their art. Poetry, painting, music, film can communicate the "ideograms harvested in another dimension" that JJ Semple speaks of as part of a Kundalini activation.

Kundalini is an evolutionary force. How might a widespread awakening of Kundalini affect the evolution of art?

After a decade or so in the wilderness — "Fuck off, I'm an artist!" — I realized that art involves other people. Creativity is a means of communication, a social act. I went to the opposite extreme. I became obsessed with finding an audience, researching the market, and locating my genre.

I published a comic novel lampooning my visionary self and won a fellowship from the Australia Literature Board. I found myself, briefly, in the world of agents, publishing houses and pundits. It was a wasteland. Everywhere I looked, creativity was hijacked by suits. Fat cats pushed their way between musician and listener, between writer and reader. The fiery visions of Dada and Absurdism had ended up in the drab absurdity of art-as-investment. The fact that fine creators (Orchestre Baobab, Elmore Leonard, Banksie) survive in this climate is a testament to human resilience, not to the cultural wasteland we're forced to share.

I'm sure the widespread awakening of Kundalini will bring about as profound an advance in the creative arts as it does in mental and bodily health. So what form will this advance take?

I try to imagine the first Australians as they carved the rock. There'd have been no celebrities, no tortured geniuses. Physical conditions would have been hard, but the hardship would have paled away to nothing in the presence of the spirits the carvers were chiseling. The act of creation would have involved the whole community, been a shared act, transporting all the participants into a transcendental state.

A widespread awakening of Kundalini could produce a comparable creativity in a modern context. When Kundalini comes up the spine, tortured genius pales into insignificance in comparison to what is happening to the body and the brain. If Kundalini prompts a person to write or paint or sing, the book, picture or song they produce will speak to the Kundalini in readers, viewers and listeners. It will find them, usually close at hand. There'll be a psychic connection between the creator and his/her audience. Audiences will become smaller and more local as the number of artists grows, till everyone becomes a creator with their own audience.

I think this is already beginning to happen. Peggy Payne, in a recent interview with JJ Semple, spoke of the "trance of art" as being one of the effects of Kundalini awakening, and I think that this "trance" is becoming more widespread and accessible, at the same time as it becomes more local and intimate.

I don't beat up Beethoven on the piano so much these days. I play keyboards in the pub with my mate Joe's band, a hundred or so people packed in, half of them family, foot stomping, dancing, joining in the choruses of unrecorded songs Cold Play would eat their hearts out to have written.

Front Cover: Natalie

I still write. Novels are my personal art form. The latest, Natalie, A Kundalini Love Story, about, and inspired by, Kundalini now out with Life Force Books.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Proper Study of Kundalini is Kundalini

Why are so many books on Kundalini in the West written by people who have never had a Kundalini experience? In the East, it's the practitioners that students seek out, the ones with experience. Not those who sit in libraries, copying information from other sources, lord knows, how many times removed from an actual Kundalini experience. And not just any Kundalini experience — permanently active Kundalini.

I've shared venues with other speakers lecturing on Kundalini, some of whom, it turned out, never had a Kundalini experience. Strikes me as somewhat inadequate, but indicative of the outsized value we in the West place on second hand research, degrees, and diplomas. Now to get a degree, you have to get a good SAT score; you have to score well. And to score well, you have to understand the game, know what's expected of you. Do you have to think or act creatively? No. All you have to do meet expectations. In fact, the people that score well by meeting expectations carry this trait over into their careers. They know how to meet expectations, to score well. The quintessential definition of a YES man. That's what the SAT test creates. Individuals who are prepared to please.

What do Orson Welles, William Blake, Stanley Kubrick, Michael Faraday, Woody Allen, Jacob Boƫme, George Bernard Shaw, Socrates, and Ben Franklin have in common? All of them are autodidacts. Self taught by doing, by on the job training.

Would you take flying lessons from someone who's never flown? Then you'd be dealing with opinion and not fact. And that's just what you get from a book that's been written by someone who's never had a Kundalini experience: Opinions about how it might work as opposed to facts about how it does work.

I'm not against reading; I read a lot myself. Less that I used to, especially since I have so much Kundalini material to work with. Reading and research are fine up to a point. Sri Ramakrishna said, "Do you know my attitude? Books, scriptures, and things like that only point out the way to reach God. After finding the way, what more need is there of books and scriptures? Then comes the time for action."

So why do so many people spend so much time searching for spiritual meaning when scientists tell them that, aside from anecdotal accounts, there is scant evidence that metaphysics are real? Probably for the same sense-of-urgency reasons that drive so many physical scientists to experiment on themselves, using their bodies as laboratories. Here is a sampling of three cases from Wikipedia:
"One evening in June 1984 Dr. Barry Marshall walked into the hospital lab, opened a test tube and added several eyedroppers of a light gray liquid to a glass beaker filled with broth. With a quick toss of the head, he swallowed the foul tasting concoction. Within 72 hours, he was doubled over in pain with a roaring case of clinical gastritis, a precursor to ulcers. Severe vomiting and stomach pain kept him awake for nights. He shuddered to think of what it was like for patients who had such symptoms on and off for years. But by the time he started the antibiotic/bismuth treatment, his system had managed to eradicate the germ."
"JBS Haldane, a notable British biologist, is yet another example of a scientist who conducted experiments upon himself. Haldane was a keen experimenter, and was more than willing to expose himself to danger in order to obtain the desired data. One such experiment involving elevated levels of oxygen saturation triggered a fit which resulted in him suffering crushed vertebrae. In his decompression chamber experiments, Haldane and his volunteers suffered perforated eardrums, but, as Haldane stated in What is Life, 'The drum generally heals up; and if a hole remains in it, although one is somewhat deaf, one can blow tobacco smoke out of the ear in question, which is a social accomplishment.'"
"Roger Altounyan developed the use of sodium cromoglycate as a remedy for asthma, based on khella, a traditional Middle Eastern remedy, with experiments on himself."
How do these relate to Kundalini and consciousness? These researchers realized that the only way to test their discoveries was from the inside-out, in contrast to the scientific method that prescribes experiments based on observation (the outside-in approach). If the remedy worked on them, they thought, it must work on others. And because they faced steadfast opposition from scientists taking the outside-in approach, this proved to be the only way of moving their work forward. They recognized the moment and they acted!

Yes, using the body as a laboratory is lonely, dangerous work. You have to learn to rely on your intuition and summon up abilities you never knew you had. Outside acceptance and validation are rare. What's more, even if you do reach your goal, don't expect a Nobel Prize. It takes a big person to acknowledge their opposition was ill-founded: "Even Walter Peterson [Chief of Gastroenterology at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dallas], long a skeptic of Marshall's theories, has come around. He says now, 'We scientists should have looked beyond Barry's [Dr. Barry Marshall] evangelical patina and not dismissed him out of hand.' Agrees Vanderbilt's Blaser, 'Science needs solid research, but it also needs someone with great vision. Barry had vision.'"

In any case, the inside-out approach, the one material scientists call anecdotal accounts, is valid. If it doesn't fit the strict requirements of the scientific method, it's not because a given metaphysical experience never happened, it's because we don't have the proper tools for measuring metaphysical phenomena at this point. We will... someday. It's too bad there isn't an open dialogue, because scientists and meta-physicists should be working together not only on the true nature of consciousness, but on methods to heighten it.

Kundalini awakenings make you stick out from teh crowd.
To Play is to Create; To Create is to Play
Just because someone tells you metaphysical experience is not valid doesn't mean it really is, that your experience didn't really happen, that it's all in your mind. They said that to Dr. Barry Marshall, to Dr. Paul Erlich, to Dr. John Lilly, too. But they moved ever forward, in spite of the opposition: "When Barry Marshall finally presented his and Warren's findings before an international conference of microbiologists in Brussels in September 1983, he was greeted with some skepticism. Unschooled at such presentations and filled with boyish eagerness, he refused to respond to questions in the measured, cautious manner of most researchers. Asked whether he though the bacteria were responsible for some ulcer disease, Marshall replied, 'No, I think they're responsible for all ulcer disease.'

"Such blanket statements, backed only by small studies and anecdotal case histories alarmed many researchers. Microbiologist Martin Blaser, an infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University who attended the conference, said, 'At that time, I thought the guy was a madman.'"

What makes scientists so skeptical? For one, it's their training, and that's a good thing. But when it comes to new horizons, such as metaphysics, they seem as closed-mined as the 15th Century knuckleheads who persecuted Leonardo da Vinci. Material scientists tend to lump accounts of metaphysical experience, including such widely occurring phenomenon as Near Death Experience (NDE), in with religion, forgetting, it seems, that Kundalini and near death experiences occur across cultures, geography, and language to people of all religions, including those who profess no religion at all. Saying Kundalini isn't biology, it's religion is the same sort of short-sighted comment directed at Dr. Barry Marshall when they told him bacteria didn't cause ulcers; stress and worry did... Until he proved the conventional wisdom wrong, that is.

I'd love to tell you there's a quick fix, that raising Kundalini is easy to do and easy to live with. From reading the letters people write to me, I know it isn't. It wasn't for me and it hasn't been for them. Activating Kundalini takes time. Is it wrong to experiment? Not at all. The world today is a laboratory of experimentation. Millions of people, young and old, working to achieve self-knowledge and higher consciousness. Some flounder; some go straight to their goal. All I can add is: Keep on trying. Take action. Try all, and everything. But be prepared to discard whatever it is if it doesn't ring true. Don't be a YES man to enhancing consciousness. But don't be afraid it won't work either. Kundalini is coded into your bio-system. All you have to do is find the switch that triggers it. I used meditation, a seemingly benign pastime that ended up triggering bio-mechanisms (the sexual sublimation process) in my body that transformed my biological structure, and eventually my consciousness.

How do you recognize when the right system or technique comes along? You have to keep testing, listening to your body. The body knows (it's a biology laboratory), and if you're practicing — whatever that practice may be — your body will send you signals that you have to interpret. It won't steer you wrong. It's akin to auto-diagnosis.

Practice makes things happen. If nothing happens, try something else. Prefer primary sources over secondary. Talk to those who have already succeeded in a given practice, but do so with skepticism. Talk, read, think, travel, and remain skeptical. YOU are the proper study of YOU! All else is opinion and rationalization, not much good to you when the time does come. And it WILL!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kundalini and the Blood System

At a certain point, when Kundalini irradiates the head with light and the presence of other universes are felt, the beating of the heart suddenly absorbs consciousness. Prana, which is registered as a lifting light, gives way to a sensation of being sucked into, and overwhelmed by, one's own heartbeat in a way that's different from our sporadic, everyday awareness of the pulse. The steady pumping pressure is accompanied by a feeling of being gripped and driven forward through space and time without our choosing it. Sometimes the sexual organs become engorged without any sexual contact or even consciousness of sex. If one is fortunate enough to be embracing one's partner at the time, his/her visual impact — the sexy eyes, alluring features and comely figure that so entranced and overpowered us a moment ago — are swallowed by this magnified beating of the heart. They literally disappear in the presence of the enhanced heart rhythm. And, strangely, ejaculation becomes impossible.

Kundalini awakes when there is a suspension — or at least a stilling, and a natural control — of bodily processes that are normally autonomic. Initially, this occurs in three areas:
  • Neural activity (experienced as thought)
  • Breathing
  • Ejaculation.
Processes which usually occur automatically are absorbed into a conscious stillness that generates great heat and energy. In all three areas, there is a reversal of "reality" as reality's transcendental source draws near. We experience the fact that consciousness creates the brain, and not vice-versa; that consciousness creates the lungs and respiratory system, and not vice-versa; and that consciousness creates the nervous and reproductive systems, and not vice-versa. And that prana and Kundalini are the "tools" it uses to do so. In effect, all of human biology — whether visible like the vascular system or concealed like Kundalini — is but an expression of consciousness.

Something similar happens to the heartbeat and to the circulation of the blood at those moments when we are absorbed into it. There's something about the heartbeat that's harder to approach, and to still, than breathing or even orgasm. There's a blind thrust that's nearer to the life force, and yet seems to bear no relation to our conscious, everyday being. The far-fetched metaphors of traditional love poetry take on a literal truth: the steady, spondaic pressure in our chests could as well be another person's heartbeat or our own, and, in a sense, it is. One hears the beating heart and feels the blood pumping through the body of a being who is as much the other person — any other person — as it is us. We approach the Atman, or Real Self, who is also everybody else. Love becomes the path to transcendence.

How one gets a handle on the heartbeat and stills the circulation of the blood is difficult to say. There are hints in traditional literature. The "albedo" or "white work" in alchemy, which refers to the action of prana, is superseded by the "rubedo" or "red work" on deeper physical structures through the action of the blood and "seeing with the heart."

Rudolph Steiner speaks of the "etherisation of the blood." "Tummo," the "blessed, inner heat" of Tibetan yoga is an authenticated physical fact. Milarepa meditated naked in the Himalayan snow and melted it for six feet around him by transferring heat from his blood system to the surface of his skin. These indications may help us, but, as with the other autonomic processes (thought, breath, and orgasm) it's best simply to let Kundalini bring one there, take one into it, and do it. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

This Is SO Silly

As concerns Kundalini, I'm a big fan of making a common front. Not that all parties have to agree on all things Kundalini, it's just that when people experience something as life-changing as Kundalini, you'd expect it would lead to a tremendous scientific breakthrough. And it probably will...someday.

Rage against the Machine
Charles Chaplin - Modern Times (1936)
In the meantime, it would be nice if the individuals involved in promoting and evangelizing, researching and teaching, writing and speaking about Kundalini could find a way to collaborate, share, cooperate, and mutually support one another. After all:
"’s all about transformation through activating human energy potentials and yet…and yet, proprietary instincts keep us apart. We share this one goal — transformation via the energy-cultivation properties of Kundalini — and yet we don’t trust each other. Our baser instincts separate us, classify us, make us suspicious of one another and protective of the meager territories we stake out for ourselves. It's like the 49ers of old, rushing into the gold fields to stake a claim, spending more time defending a claim than mining its precious treasure.
"There are many systems out there. It’s hard to keep score in this new age of ours. The only thing that matters — it’s not our instincts or our pride — are the systems that work and the systems that don’t work."
Sacred Cow Terminology Obscures Real Meaning - JJ Semple
The Kundalini Consortium, Wednesday, March 20, 2013
For example, in the past I've been asked to place links from our sites to other Kundalini websites, which I'm more than willing to do, but...when I ask for a link to one of our sites in return, I'm met with a vacuous refusal — a response that completely floors me.

Think about it, soliciting a favor and then refusing to reciprocate is saying, My content is somehow more worthy than yours; I have the right to judge you, but you don't have the right to judge me. What is the source of this kind of thinking? It certainly isn't Kundalini. Kundalini has broadened my horizons, not diminished them. Most of the Kundalini people I know say the same thing: Kundalini lightens as well as enlightens, as in lightening the Being, making it more rarefied and the mind more flexible.

Illustrating collaboration

You may disagree with me and my research on Kundalini, and that's fine; I probably disagree with some of the ideas you propose, but I'm more than willing to exchange links between our respective sites. If your site meets the basic standards of quality, we'll link to it.

Moreover, I'm open to discussion and finding common ground. After all, when a phenomenon meets as much outside resistance as Kundalini does, forming a common front makes a lot of sense. Intolerance is not only silly; it's suicidal. A common front makes people stand up and take notice, which leads to peer review and serious outside study.

Just about everyone I know has a different take on Kundalini. The Trigger and Effects they experienced were also different. But those differences don't mean we can't listen to or support each other, especially since, where Kundalini is today has more to do with science — it's biology, in case you didn't know it — than with religious doctrines.

Recently, we included a post by Cristian Muresanu, which provoked so much outrage that it was deleted from certain FB pages after I posted it there as an alternate approach to Kundalini. When queried, the deleter told me something like, "I know all I need to know about Kundalini."

That's a real scientific approach. A manifestation of clear thinking and openmidedness.

What I did when first approached by Cristian was to listen to him and try to place his experience in context with what I know to be true and what I have experienced. What struck me was the similarity of many symptoms and his ability to identify inner sensations and movements, even though he used a completely different name for his experience. That's right, he doesn't inflexibly refer to his experience as Kundalini; he uses the term Transphysical Energy Activation. And so what? It's not the term that's important; it's the experience.

As for the pictures of the spoons and the cellphone sticking to his head in his post, yes, you can become outraged, or you can take a scientific approach, asking Cristian to duplicate his experiment in front of witnesses, after first assuring all the elements are legit. And you can video it.

Anything but outrage! In fact, less outrage and less compartmentalization, and more tolerance, more acceptance. An energetic opening, a meditative lucidity, kind of like what Osho wrote:
"So be concerned with meditation and not with kundalini. And when you are aware, things will begin to happen in you. For the first time you will become aware of an inner world that is greater, vaster, more extensive than the universe; energies unknown, completely unknown, will begin to flow in you. Phenomena never heard of, never imagined or dreamed of, will begin to happen. But with each person they differ."