Friday, April 27, 2018

Blockages, The Eye Of The Needle

There can be a moment in a Kundalini awakening when the overall awareness of the developing powers that Kundalini induces — a deeper insight, a greater left-hand speed on the piano, even the power to not let minor irritations turn into full blown arguments —  when everything gets blocked. The awakened energy seems to have lost contact with the things that we hold precious — writing a good book, doing something worthwhile in the village, even making love with the partner we love — and there’s a frightening sense of an explosive energy that’s going nowhere and has no outlet. This can lead to disorientation of the sense of space and time.

The Biblical saying about a camel passing through the eye of a needle (to enter heaven) comes to mind with this sensation of overload, too much energy being forced through too confined an opening. Interestingly, the tantric texts speak of a series of smaller, threadlike nadis within the spinal Susumna Nadi, the brahma and citrini nadis, as fine as ‘the thousandth part of the thickness of a hair’ where the Kundalini energy is at its purest and most intense. When a blockage arises here one feels immensely spaced out, possessing huge energy yet unmotivated, as if there’s the merest needle’s eye between the Heart Chakra and the Brow Chakra for the Kundalini to get through. In traditional wisdom the Visuddha, or Throat Chakra, is called the "Threshold." When it’s blocked, there’s a feeling that the world of the senses has become unreal.

This calls to mind the fact that our sense of place — our position here and now in space and time our is the thing that separates us from the All, from transcendent reality, separates us more than thought or emotion do. I find, personally, that my strongest memories (when the past is most present) are memories of places, rather than of events, or even people. It’s as if the feeling of the body in time and space, at a certain moment and at a certain place, is the closest that memory (and all thought is memory) can come to shared transcendence, and the direct experiencing of the energy continuum. Blake’s words in ‘The Mental Traveler’ are telling:
‘For the eye altering, alters all,
The flat earth is rolled into a ball…’

The ‘flat earth’ is the here and now as it is given to us — what I perceive looking out of my window — and is closer to the reality hidden behind appearances than my mere mental knowledge that the earth is round and has a lot of people on it, none of whom are me. In ‘Milton’ Blake writes:
‘The Sky is an immortal tent built by the Sons Of Los (divine imagination)
And every Space that a man views round his dwelling place
Standing on his own roof or in his garden on a mount
Of twenty five cubits in height, such space is his Universe:
And on its verge the Sun rises and sets, the Clouds bow
To meet the flat Earth and the Sea in such an ordered space:
The starry heavens reach no further, but here bend and set
On all sides, and the two Poles turn on their valves of gold;
And if he move his dwelling place, his heavens also move
Where’ ere he goes, and all his neighbourhood bewail his loss…
…As to that false appearance which appears to the reasoner
As of a Globe rolling through Voidness, it is a delusion…’
This, clearly, is not scientific, but I think it expresses a truth about the borderline between sense experience and transcendence, and the way that the sense of separateness that Kundalini overcomes is rooted in time and space, and in every specific moment of space and time. Similarly the brahma and citrini nadis that are both ‘fine as the thousandth part of the thickness of a hair’ and where the Kundalini Energy is at its purest and most intense, are the threshold where Kundalini, as pure consciousness, consumes this or that thought before it arises.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Announcing Kundalini Musings (2018)

Kundalini was first discovered by the ancients during religious or ceremonial practices — before science existed. It has retained its religious roots; it is still part of some religious practices. For example, meditation — an integral part of many religions — can induce kundalini safely and permanently.
Nevertheless, more and more people now acknowledge the awakened kundalini as science with its own anatomical, physiological, and embryological phenomena. Why? People have realized that kundalini is a biological process, not a belief system.

For example, if you’re a Buddhist, you can be converted to another belief system. You can change your mind and become a Christian or a Jew. You cannot be converted to kundalini any more than you can be converted to an orgasm or a heart attack. They are biological processes, not belief systems. You don’t “believe” in the physiological channels, chakras, nadis, or energy centers known to kundalini adepts. They are fact. Someday, science will acknowledge this, just as a growing number of people who’ve awakened kundalini have.

Moreover, because it’s a science, kundalini is not about bliss states, even though a kundalini awakening often induces behavioral states, not dissimilar to religious ecstasy. I believe this is due to the fact that kundalini opens up vistas of higher consciousness that most people never experience — states which are so breathtaking and so different from “normal” consciousness that people tend to believe they’ve been catapulted into a kind of wonderland or Oz.

Most initiates understand that kundalini opens new vistas of human cosmology, metaphysics, and higher consciousness and under its thrall they are tempted to describe their experience to friends, family, and even to strangers. I've spoken with many individuals who've attempted this, only to find that listeners turn a deaf ear. What they're not aware of — especially in the first rush of kundalini ecstasy — is their descriptions are usually incoherent. This is normal; everything seems to happen at once. Standard vocabulary is rarely up to the task of describing the kundalini phenomenon.

In these instances, however, not only does the individual lose credibility, the whole topic of kundalini tends to attract further scorn, skepticism, and ridicule. Kundalini doesn't need this; there are enough outsiders who already doubt its actuality. It's better to pause before blurting out. Sometimes it's better to say nothing — get your bearings, study a bit until you've had time to assimilate the overpowering effects of kundalini.

And that's where this book comes in. It allows both initiates and adepts to grasp the totality of kundalini experience. Although kundalini is too vast a topic for any one book to be hailed as definitive, Kundalini Musings (2018) both clarifies and demystifies kundalini, explaining in simple everyday language not only the more abstract metaphysical aspects of kundalini, but also how to awaken it permanently and how to live with it.

The metamorphosis kundalini imposes — whether immediate or gradual — can be difficult to accept and integrate into your life, making you easy prey to impulse, instability, or inertia. Sometimes, things go badly.

In my case, although I didn't plan it that way, sometime around 1965 I found myself on a solitary path, gradually intensifying my efforts to awaken it and marveling as serendipitous happenstance propelled me forward.

I was in my mid-twenties then. Within seven years I would upend my mostly conventional life, undergo a complete metamorphosis, culminating in a permanent kundalini awakening.

It's been over 40 years since that day. Now in my 81st year, I believe it's fitting to feature everything that kundalini has inspired me to accomplish and to experience in one book. That said, the process never ends so I'll continue to study the effects of kundalini on myself and on others. Kundalini Musings is a compendium of my first 50 years with an active kundalini. I'm sure the next 50 will be even richer.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Kundalini And Ancient Science

Although a modern scientific investigation of Kundalini activation is essential in our scientific age, I don’t think we should forget the value of the ancient science, set out in the Tantras, The Secret Of The Golden Flower, and hermetical texts, that first elucidated the Kundalini event. We should acknowledge the importance of the seer/scientists of Tradition, because their insights are often a help in orienting oneself during the crises of a Kundalini awakening,
 This is particularly the case with the guidance offered by the doctrine of the chakras and the Great Elements. A lot of people undergoing an activation experience visual disturbance and digestive problems. The two functions, sight and digestion, are related. The Tantric system explains this by allotting to the third, belly chakra the element of Fire, the influx from transcendence of a fiery, purging and consuming force. Modern man is very visually oriented. The cortices of the brain that deal with eyesight are dominant. This perhaps explains how an awakening can become painful if we seek to force the energy upwards too quickly without dwelling in the ‘darkness visible’ and emotional vortex of the belly. This can lead to hallucination, an impulsive driving of what is essentially unconditioned consciousness into visual images, a forcing of the energy outwards into material manifestations of the pingala nadi.

The importance of the fourth chakra, the Heart Centre, is obvious, as the ‘place’ or ‘state’ or ‘gear change’ where human centrality is revealed (the higher chakras being, in some sense, more-than-human.) If the rising Kundalini bypasses this chakra, which can easily be the case, as this ‘place’ feels like a loss of identity, then the higher influxes can become deranged. It’s said that, at the moment of death, the life force gathers in the heart before exiting through the top of the head. I don’t know anything about this from personal experience, but I'm convinced that preparing oneself for death, a healthy experiencing of ending in everything and at every moment, takes place in the heart chakra.

As a general rule, a lot of the problems reported with Kundalini activations, are the result of unresolved, outwards directed, conditioning being carried upwards into the higher chakras, where it runs amok under the sway of the increasing energy.

The throat chakra is a case in point. In the traditional system this is said to be the ‘place’ or ‘state’ where space/time enters the material world out of transcendence. This is obviously unsettling, because to experience the place and time I’m in (sitting on a balcony in Thailand) as — not my ordinary aggregation of eyesight, touch, taste, sound and thought — but as intense and unconditioned energy can be disorienting. It’s like being here and being nowhere at the same time. Rational constructs about how time and space are perceived, or analyzed ‘scientifically’, aren’t much help either.

The sixth, Brow chakra is called the Command Chakra, and there’s a stability and certainty here (the certainty that Kundalini isn’t a malfunction or hallucination), except that, according to the ancient tradition, the Command is not mine, it lies beyond my will, and has been working all along, and all the way up from the base of the spine, without my clear perception of it. ‘It (or ‘She’, I feel the ancients are right in making Kundalini female) does you.’ This, again, is challenging, because it could be seen as a denial of one’s free will. I want to participate ethically in the world, and be a force for good of my own free will, but how can this be if my mental, indeed physical, make-up and destiny is being formed by something whose essence is outside me?

Again, an ancient tradition — the doctrine of prenatal destiny — can help here. We have chosen this time and this place to be this particular person in a former state of being. This is most definitely not reincarnation as it’s ordinarily understood.

There can surely be no transference of the personal ‘I’ from one lifetime to another. The personal ‘I’ dies just as the body dies and the senses die. What carries over into the future, and out of the past into the present, is energy, and impersonal patterns of energy, which have their own form of will and choice. There seems to me to be a far greater chance of freedom in this traditional teaching — impersonal though it is — than in the modern neo-Darwinian reduction of life and evolution to the blind working of genes under natural selection. The denial of free will in much of modern scientism is an issue that the vocal advocates of neo-Darwinism sidestep. The ancient doctrines face the issue of death and ending more honestly than the selfish gene.