Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kundalini and Pain 

Recently, a friend and I were discussing why kundalini so often brought pain as well as bliss. I suggested that, first of all, kundalini most likely arises into consciousness for those who already have a highly sensitive nervous system. Then, as a result of this awakening, all responses are magnified many times over, as we now begin to sense at a cellular level, becoming aware of sensations and feelings heretofore restricted to the realm of the unconscious. Our reactions to stimuli are not only quicker (we now perceive what was before below the level of awareness), but they are infinitely more refined. We can pick up not only on the vibrations of our surroundings (noise, people, chaotic movement, chatter, etc.) but also the energetic fields of those we come into contact with, for good or for ill.

All of this "hyper-sensitivity" can throw us into states of extreme pain as well as rapture. Whatever was bothering us before (as physical symptoms or latent illness or unresolved psychological issues) now may rise to the surface in dramatic fashion, insisting that they be noted and attended to. The traditional theory is that kundalini is purifying or cleansing our nervous system, and that ultimately all problems will be resolved and we will exist in a near perfect state of being.

I went through such a balancing process for many years. Like many others, my symptoms were often quite bizarre (prickling over the body, unexplained headaches, backaches, massive problems with digestion and elimination, racing heart, sensations of pain in the gums and fingernails--on and on.) Each time I thought I couldn't take any more, the symptoms subsided, as though the underlying consciousness directing the process understood my need. After some fifteen or more years of this (with many intervals of bliss as well as pain), I more or less quit counting. I thought I would never be finished with the "ups and downs" of my transformation. Then, at some point, I noticed that my symptoms had, in fact, abated, that I was much steadier in my psyche, much less vulnerable to external disturbance. I was not "perfect" by any means, but it was as though my system had settled down, and was now comfortable with the (still) new state. I had reached the level appropriate to me. I didn't see visions, or hear angels singing. I was not a prophet nor as seer, nor a gifted healer. But I was someone radically different from what I had been, for I knew what was possible, and treasured the gift I had been given.

Now, my "bliss energies" come less frequently, and are far softer and more subtle. Yet they are quite delightful when they manifest. I am more relaxed with the entire process, accepting that which is given, open to but not craving the bliss. I feel that the connection with "the divine companion" remains constant, though I may not be aware of it at every moment. Once again, I am concerned with what I think as well as what I feel. I am no longer focused so on my own process, but wish to help others, if only by a nod of recognition or a moment of encouragement.

Above all, I want to "find the others," to be in touch. Indeed this is the time of "finding," of connecting with those who have also "gone off," as one friend puts it. I think this is the phase of building the networks, the webs of light to carry us into the new era. I am grateful to be a part of this process.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Testing the Coins of Truth 

One of the topics which often comes up among my friends is why we tend to perceive the world at large in such different terms than the larger society. We do not understand why "they" seem to be oblivious to much of what seems obvious to us--that ravaging the earth will have dire consequences for us all; that killing thousands of innocents, including our own young dedicated but misled warriors, is wrong; that national leaders habitually distort fact to serve their own personal ends. And the list grows daily. How could such large segments of the population perceive such differnt universes? Why is the "truth" which seems so apparent to some be so invisible to others? Why, we also ask, do some cling to "received" religious and/or political tradition, rejecting all possibility of change, when there is a clear need to adjust constantly as we strive to create a more humane and enlightened society?

Recently, I had lunch with a friend, a former nun, who offered an answer to some of these puzzling questions. She said that in the convent, she felt totally safe. All issues were long since resolved by "authority," all questions of faith and action answered by established text and historical interpretation. It was indeed a secure universe, where one had no need to question or explore.

She went further to explain that people who seemingly refuse to acknowledge certain "evident" realities are clinging to a perceived ledge of safety. They are afraid that if they let go for even a moment, they will be hurled into chaos and annihilation. Hence their aggressive defense of the "status quo," their embrace of slogans and empty buzz words to keep things as they are. They choose to follow only well marked and well trodden paths.

I think these folk are, in fact, afraid of god.

The world of kundalini takes us on a very different journey. Indeed, I suspect that those who experience spontaneous awakening outside an established religious system have long since tested and rejected many of the premises of their birth culture. Theirs is a unique voyage, one even more challenging than that of the social or political rebel. It takes great courage to follow the "direct path" where one travels alone along a very difficult terrain, seeking the true self. As Yeats puts it, this journey occurs when "naked to naked goes," when all externals and trivia are put aside in the progress toward authentic being. Here, seekers must always test the "coins of truth" with their own teeth. They become, in Buddha's phrase, a "light unto themselves." And there is no turning back. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it can never be put back in.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Regina Sara Ryan 

The following poem is by Regina Sara Ryan, who edited "Marrow of Flame" for Hohm Press. An earlier psychic prediction had told me that I would find a "perfect editor" for this book, and so she was. A former nun, she has been a lifelong pilgrim on the path. She is a wonderful woman to have in our world, and has given much to make it a more spiritual place. This poem is from her book called "Praying Dangerously." Tomorrow, we plan to have lunch together. This will be our first actual face to face meeting (she lives in Prescott, Arizona, home of Hohm Press. I, of course, live in San Francisco. She happens to be in this area for a few days.)

Dangerous Prayers

Deliver us, O God, O Truth, O Love, from quiet prayer
from polite and politically correct language,
from appropriate gesture and form
and whatever else we think we must put forth to invoke
or to praise You.

Let us instead pray dangerously--
wantonly, lustily, passionately.
Let us demand with every ounce of our strength,
let us storm the gates of heaven, let us shake up ourselves
and our plaster saints from the sleep of years.

Let us pray dangerously.
Let us throw ourselves from the top of the tower,
let us risk a descent to the darkest region of the abyss,
let us put our head into the lion's mouth
and direct out feet to the entrance of the dragon's cave.

Let us pray dangerously.
Let us not hold back a little portion,
dealing out our lives--our precious minutes and our
energies--like some efficient accountant.
Let us rather pray dangerously--unsafe, profligate, wasteful!

Let us ask for nothing less than the Infinite to ravage us.
Let us ask for nothing less than annihilation in the
Fires of Love.

Let us not pray in holy half-measures nor walk
the middle path
for too long,
but pray madly, foolishly.
Let us be too ecstatic,
let us be too overwhelmed with sorrow and remorse,
let us be undone, and dismembered. . .and gladly.

Left to our own devices, ah what structures of deceit
we have created,
what battlements erected, what labyrinths woven,
what traps set for ourselves, and then
fallen into. Enough.

Let us pray dangerously--hot prayer, wet prayer, fierce prayer
fiery prayer, improper prayer,
exuberant prayer,
drunken and completely unrealistic prayer.

Let us say Yes again and again and again
and Yes some more.
Let us pray dangerously.

The most dangerous prayer is Yes.

copyright, Regina Sara Ryan

Friday, May 20, 2005

Heinrich Zimmer, the Upanishads 

The following paragraph from Heinrich Zimmer's "Philosophies of India" sums up beautifully the essential philosophy underlying the Upanishads, and much other Indian/yogic thinking:

"There is evident here (in the previous text) a total disjunction of the phenomenal self (the naively conscious personality which together with its world of names and forms will in time be dissolved) from that other, profoundly hidden, essential, yet forgotten, transcendental Self (atman), which when recollected roars out with its thrilling, world-annihilating, 'Wonderful am I!' That other is no created thing, but the substratum of all created things, all objects, all processes. 'Weapons cut it not; fire burns it not; water wets it not; the wind does not wither it.' The sense-faculties, normally turned outward, seeking, apprehending, and reacting to their objects, do not come into touch with the sphere of that permanent reality but only with the transient evolutions of the perishable transformations of its energy. Will power, leading to the achievement of worldly ends, can therefore be of no great help to man. Neither can the pleasures and experiences of the senses initiate the consciousness into the secret of the fullness of life." (pp11-12)

The essential assertion of the text is familiar to many, since it underlies many other spiritual traditions and world philosophies (also note the obvious parallels with modern physics which also posits "perishable transformations of the energy...of the (permanent reality)" . For me, it is always refreshing to hear this ancient wisdom presented in a new light.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Seeking, Ecstasy, Gnosis 

Often, when I am in a bookstore, I will feel a little throb or pulse of bliss when I pick up a certain text. Recently, I found (or was "found by") two such volumes in a second hand store. The first was a study of early mysticism in the near and middle east, and it opened to a discussion of the Sufi path to union with the divine. The first stage is that of yearning (purgation). The second is ecstasy (these two stages may occur simultaneously--Evelyn Underhill also notes that the stages of the mystic way often overlap or go back and forth.)

Margaret Smith, author of the book on Sufi mysticism, continues: "...states of ecstasy (are) bestowed upon the seeker's soul, as signs of favour and grace to encourage him on his path. They are the gift of God alone, and in no way depend upon the mystic's own striving. This stage corresponds to the Illuminative Life."

This is am important point. Often, seekers want to know how they also may experience kundalini ecstasy. One does not know what to tell them. I too believe this rapture is a gift from the divine, something one cannot make happen through any special process or activity. (Hence I wonder what the end product is of various courses which offer to awaken kundalini in three easy days, or through certain yogic exercises.)

The third stage of the Sufi way is gnosis, or knowledge of God. When one of the saints was asked by what means he had come to know God, he said, " By means of God. The intellect is weak, it has no power except over what is as weak as itself. When God created the intellect, He said to it, 'whom am I?' and it remained silent. Then He shed upon it the light of the Unity, and it said: 'Thou art God,' and it is not possible for the intellect to know God except by means of God."

I take this passage to mean that we are allowed to "taste" God, to experience glimpses of the divine and thus (according to our limits) to know more fully what "that one" truly is.

And, I might add, I do not think anyone on this human plane can completely know or experience the transcendent reality in its totality, for we would be annihilated by such revelation.

As the Rig Veda (the second book which "found" me that day) says, in the beginning "There was neither non-existence nor existence then; there was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond. What stirred? Where? In whose protection? Was there water, bottomlessly deep?

There was neither death nor immortality then. There was no distinguishing sign of night or of day. That one breathed, windless, by its own impulse. Other than that there was nothing beyond.

Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?

Whence this creation has arisen--perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not--the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven--only he knows--or perhaps he does not know."

And thus we are left to "know God by God." And this, I believe, is the "gnosis" which is presented to us through the gift of kundalini, if we have the capacity and the courage to acknowledge it for what it is.

(Note: The Rig Veda is one of the oldest collections of Indian wisdom literature, dating back as far as 1550 B. C. "Rig Veda" means "Hymn Knowledge." The Vedas are thought to have been composed by rishis, who were divinely inspired. Their insights are strikingly profound."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Why Kundalini Matters 

Last night, I went to a poetry reading at a local bookstore, and it so happened that I sat next to a female famous as a major voice of the "anti-establishment" in the sixties and seventies. She is still a woman of deep convictions, and is, I am told, convinced that times today are infinitely worse than they were in that earlier era of protest and demonstration.

Part of me agrees with her. Often these seem to be the days of darkness described in prophetic literature, the "end times" of the Bible, the final era of the Mayan calendar.

Yet, in the midst of all the devestation and despair, something remains which is highly affirming, totally convincing in its way. Kundalini comes to us like a precious gift, a blessing received through an act of grace. It serves as a kind of talisman, the charm or amulet to sustain the hero as he/she confronts the challenges of the great journey.

Kundalini tells us, in the most convincing way possible, that we, in our inner being, our ultimate self, are connected, undeniably and indissolubly, to an essential source. This source is not one we can adequately define or describe. It is truly ineffable. Yet, when it (the divine energy) comes, it breathes into our very bones currents of overwhelming love. It tells us that whatever the external circumstance, we are and will be connected.

Kundlini is part and parcel of who we are. As more of us awaken to this wondrous power, we will find increasing confirmation of the reality of that which possessses and is possessed by us. Kundalini will be recognized not as an aberration, but a normal faculty of the natural being. It will in fact carry us to that next stage of human evolution talked of for so long.

I do not mean to minimize or devaluate the widespread suffering now apparent throughout the world. Still, I wonder, is a city of light rising in the very midst of the ruins? Is humanity being redeemed in unexpected ways as universal destruction occurs? Is a new reality emerging even as our old world dissolves before our eyes?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

from What Is Enlightenment? 

The following description of this blog appears in the current issue of "What Is Englightenment"? (Thanks are due to my friend Claire, who called the magazine's attention to this site). The description is included in an article on the uses of the internet for spiritual topics.

"... Another one to check out is Kundalinisplendor, a blog started by Dorothy Walters, author of "Unmasking the Rose." Given the site as a 'birthday present', Walters was hesitant at first, but soon this seventy-seven year old mystic got in touch with her inner blogger and now describes the forum as her 'letter to the world.' She uses it to chronicle her ongoing experience and thoughts about her Kundalini Awakening that transformed her life two decades ago. Like many blogs, its entries range from the mundane ('Today, because it was a bit cold, I decided to do my chi gong stretching in the kitchen, rather than in my usual place' to the sublime ('We are being filled with light we do not comprehend, lifted toward essence, assaulted by nameless love, at this juncture of the finalities...'

I was, of course, quite pleased to be noted by this national magazine. And I am especially happy that more and more of us who pursue a spiritual path are being united, at least in cyberspace. I had lunch yesterday with a woman I met recently, who had a remarkable awakening some 30 years ago, and is just now ready to share some of her experiences with others. I think sites such as those mentioned served to give those who are isolated and needing support the gratification that at least they are "not the only ones" having unusual experience.

Indeed, many people still are threatened by "going public" with their mystical interests. Some are fearful of the reactions of family or friends, others feel such a disclosure might jeopardize their professional reputations.

Indeed, the situation of the "closeted mystic" is in many ways comparable to that of those who remain in the closet because of their sexual orientation. Personally, I think it is not good for people to be "outed", no matter what the issues may be. Fortunately, however, more and more are coming forward in all categories. A public declaration is wonderfully liberating--one no longer has to worry about "what people will think." True friends will stand by you and offer support in all circumstances. And--do you really want the other as friends, anyway? One more point--sometimes it turns out that people are more "enlightened" than you might suppose, if you simply give them a chance to express their true feelings.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Still More on the Home Planet 

(I have posted several entries recently on "Return to the Home Planet," that is, the annual conference of the Kundalini Research Network, which I attended in April. I felt that these were my true people, real soul mates, and I loved them all and the time I spent with them).

One of the most striking things about the folks who are active in KRN is the projects they have created and conduct as part of their personal contribution to the world. Many are therapists and social workers, and they walk the talk in the fullest sense. They are not "closet mystics," sitting at home on their solitary cushions, but persons out in the world, doing their best to make this a better planet for all.

Judith Miller, Ph. D., teaches at Columbia in the education department. Her special project is centered in Germany. The original intent was to bring reconciliation between the Germans and Jews for the horrors perpetrated on the latter in World War II. However, she and her colleagues found that few Jews appeared (for whatever reason), but many children and grandchildren of Germans living under Hitler at that time were still attempting to deal with deep guilt and remorse for what their families had knowingly or unknowingly abetted. Judith is herself of Jewish background, so this work is of special significance to her.

Jyoti (Jeannine Prevott), Ph. D., and her husband Russ Park (also Ph. D.)are among the founders of KRN. They have set up spiritual centers in this country as well as others in Africa and the Amazon jungle, all devoted to earth based spirituality. Jyoti travels into remote areas to locate indigenous tribes to assist them in their spiritual development (ceremonies based on native American practices.) Last spring, she arranged for a Council of Grandmothers in New York state, which was attended by elders (grandmothers) from indigenous traditions around the world. Together these amazing women wrote a Manifesto for the World, in which they summed up what the essential steps were for the earth's survival. They will meet again in Santa Fe next year in closed session to continue their work.

Jay Lynch is an alternative healer and chi gong teacher, who frequently goes to China to study Chinese medical practices. He told me about an exciting treatment he received from an elderly Chinese acupuncturist by which his (Jay's) eyes were cured of macular degeneration. He learned, he says, to “see with his bones.” I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but am eager to learn more, since I would like help in that line. Jay has had very unusual intuitive ad even psychic powers since he was a child. He led us through some very good chi gong exercises.

Another person who has experienced deep mystic and visionary states since his early years is Lawrence Edwards, Ph. D. (author of The Soul’s Journey and website of that same name). I had been in touch with him for several years through e-mail and found he gave me invaluable advice when I was writing "Unmasking the Rose." At the conference, I discovered that several others had had a similar experience with Lawrence—they had known him through e-mail, and he had offered them extremely helpful advice and encouragement as they went through their own kundalini awakenings. He is recognized as a world authority on the subject. He is a Jungian therapist who has spent many years in India and has lived in ashrams there and in this country. He soothed us with sweet hymns on the harmonium, and led us through a profound meditation. His knowledge is impressive, and his spirit is very large.

The persons I have written about so far were all presenters. I haven’t even begun to describe some of the attendees who also had amazing stories to tell. (Fortunately, this conference was small enough that we all got to know each other rather well before it was over.) I'll say more about others in future entries.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

For the Beloved Within 

Someone Is Saying Mantras

When the body
is tuned to the spirit,
they both lie down
and make naked love
for a thousand years,
in the night which passes
like a single in breath
of time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All I can say is,
I know who you are.

You have been here,
beside me,
from the very first,
o, so long ago.

Now you are touching
my wrist again,
stroking my cheek
with you invisible hand
to tell me you have come.

Once again, in terror,
I enter your
secret dwelling.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All night long
we two made shameless love.

Kissing and embracing,
we unveiled each other’s
hidden heart.

Now it is daylight
and you are still here.

Soon the mistress of the house
will come
to open the courtyard gate.

Someone is already
chanting mantras
in the next room.

copyright, Dorothy Walters
May 11, 2005

Friday, May 13, 2005

More on Linda Greischel 

In an earlier post, I quoted Linda Greischel's account of her kundalini awakening, which appears in her book, "Divine Eros," recently published. Linda is now the President of the Board for the Kundalini Research Network, and it was she who did the bulk of the groundwork for the recent conference in San Diego. (Thank you again, Linda, for all your dedication and hard work to make this conference the great success it was.)

Linda is a remarkable woman. As we compared notes, the two of us were struck by how many parallels there were in our individual awakening experiencs. Like me, she had a sudden, unexpected kundalini arousal, one which transformed all aspects of her life thereafter. She, too, mostly kept her experiences secret for many, many years (in her case thirty), since there seemed to be no one in whom she could confide. She also kept a journal, in which she described the progressive unfolding of her mystical awareness, and wrote poems and created paintings as well to express the intricate complexity of what was happening in this mysterious transfiguration of the self at all its levels.

She has now published two books which reveal the full extent of the ongoing alchemy within: "Divine Eros: The Alchemy of Soul and Spirit" (on yoga, meditation, mysticism, and the kundalini process) and "Mythic Memory: Remembering the Feminine Soul and Spirit." Both are rich depictions of LInda's continuing spiritual discoveries. The latter in especial contains poems and paintings based on her own life journey.

A few minutes ago, I opened "Mythic Memory" to this lovely poem:

Aqua Vitae III: Divine Waters

Let me drink
from the wellspring
of your eyes

Fill my empty cups
parched with thirst
that only your holy waters
can quench

Aqua Vitae, Ultimate Love
baptize me anew each day
I am drought stricken
without your liquid light

As I close my eyes
I can see again
sinking to depths
where me becomes You

And everything
into the boundless
Ocean of You.

(copyright, Linda Greischel)

I wonder how many other "hidden mystics" there are among us. Surely this is the time to come forward, to face the world with courage and hope, to say, yes, this happened to me, and perhaps you too will be touched by this wondrous force, baptized in the spirit of holy love.

(But, I do not mean to imply that people should feel compelled to "go public" until the time is right. These things are always a matter of personal circumstance, best left to ripen at their own pace. After all, Linda kept her counsel for thirty years before "going public" and I kept silent for twenty.)

Monday, May 09, 2005

More on Subtle Energies 

I continue to study the various responses to my earlier thoughts on science and subtle energy, and to reflect on them--all quite stimulating. I am actually familiar with the various writers some of you mention (Bruyere et al) and think their work is fascinating. And I totally agree that mainstream science will always approach from a strictly materialistic viewpoint, and that any discovery or invention can be turned to malevolent rather then benevolent uses. Nonetheless, I am quite fascinated by what seems to be going on as traditional science delves deeper into certain basic questions, particularly those having to do with extremely subtle energies.

Today's S. F. Chronicle carried an article on something called "the fine structure constant". "The 'fine structure constant' controls the strength of electromagnetism, of which light is the visible manifestation. Thus,the fine structure constant controls the way light and matter interact" The fine structure constant "measures how sub-atomic particles interact with light and with each other."

It is the final phrase of each sentence which captures my attention, though indeed I can't pretend to understand much of this. But I can't help wondering if this "interaction of light and matter" isn't what we feel in kundalini bliss states, where we seem to become conscious of activity well below the threshold of familiar consciousness. (We dance with the atoms in our blood.) And I also wonder if this interaction of light and matter isn't itself the basis of various creation myths from many traditions which explain the beginnings of life in similar terms. (The famous awakening of Adam in the Sistine Chapel comes to mind, also certain texts from Kashmiri Shaivism on vibration as the basis of the all that is).

Where are the contemporary scientists who can put all of this together for us and explain it in comprehensible terms? We need another David Bohm or even a Fritjof Capra, someone fully grounded in modern physics, who can link the systems,both "scientific" and esoteric.

I also think that, despite itself, science is converging on ancient truths. Now, if we could just get a few of these folks "turned on" so that they could have their own personal k. awakenings--think of that!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

More on "Beyond Human" 

Once again, thank you Patricia for posting my earlier message on this site.

Elizabeth Reninger, whose poetry I have often reprinted here, wrote the following interesting response to my earlier post on the interface of human energy and computers for medical purposes. (By the way, Elizabeth has just published a wonderful new book of poetry called "Now the Story Lives Inside You" (from WovenWord Press in Boulder, Colorado. It will be available from Amazon.com as well. I strongly recommend it as an excellent collection of writings on the "interface" of nature and spirit.)

Here is Elizabeth's reflection on the new areas of investigation:

"The inter-face between a human nervous system & computer technology
is used also, I believe, in a surgery being employed to resolve
symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, with "miraculous" results.

Computer technology as a "metaphor" for the workings of (human and/or more general) consciousness is something I've seen a lot of recently. Kam Yuen, the founder of the "Yuen Method" of chinese energetics (the form of qigong healing that I've been learning) refers to the human system (which in his way-of-seeing includes six "bodies," from the physical (most densely vibrating) to the spiritual (most rapidly vibrating)) as a "bio-computer." In his understanding, the whole thing (the manifest universe, the phenomenal world) is based upon a binary system (like the series of "zeros" and "ones" which are the language of computer programming) ... How this works at the level of the individual is that we each are either "strong" or "weak" to any event, phenomena, belief, etc. This combination of "strong" and "weak" responses determines what is projected onto the "screen" of our awareness (which we then perceive and name as our "world"), in the same way that the combination of "zeros" and "ones" used by a computer programmer determines what appears on a web-site, or whatever. The "problem," as Dr. Yuen sees it, is that most people don't have access to the user's manual for their bio-computer ...

Once we do, he claims (and seems to have "proven," based upon the
success he has had "healing" people), it's actually quite easy to
change the programming, and so shift, more to our liking, what is
appearing as our "reality." Now perhaps the biggest question that
comes up for me in relation to this system is: how does it relate to nondual approaches, which seek to transcend all polarities? I
somehow feel that they needn't be mutually exclusive, but haven't
quite worked it out, on the level of intellectual understanding.
There's also the issue of collective as well as individual karma ...
(how much "free will" do we, as "individuals" really have?)

Ponlop Rinpoche also makes use of the computer metaphor to describe
the workings of the human mind, refering, as Kam Yuen does, to
appearances being the result of the pattern of "zeros" and "ones"
that has been "inputted." He also uses the related imagery of
television: how at a certain level we have "chosen" (via past
actions) the program that we're now watching. (i.e. we are the ones
who hold the "remote control," not some external "god" ...)

And to the extent that what we perceive as being "outside" of
ourselves is "actually" a projection of still-unconscious aspects
of "ourselves," perhaps the entire "explosion" of computer technology could be understood as our way, as humans, of beginning to "remember" how consciousness really works ... by exploring it, first, "outside"
of us?

Re: healers, etc. having vast energy fields ... This certainly is my experience (or how I have interpretted my experience) of being in the presence of certain people ... so I say: "that person has a lot of energy," or "wonderful shakti" In terms of the effect it has on me, I've been experimenting with thinking of it less as a "transfer" of some sort, and more as though they were a "tuning fork," a being who has awakened certain vibratory possibilities which are still dormant within me ... and being in their presence helps my system
to "remember" those possibilities, in the same way as a tuning fork
that is resonating at a certain pitch can induce that same pitch in
another instrument, nearby.

Re: the opening of the crown chakra ... I had an experience, about
ten years ago (when I was living in Madison, WI), in which I "saw,"
on the screen of my inner eye, a lotus-like flower (many petals)
blooming continuously (kind of like those films which are able to
show usually "slow" processes, speeded up) ... like a fountain but
instead of rivulets of water falling over the edges, there were
petals, being constantly "shed," after opening out from its center.
And in that moment I thought: "oh, so this is what is meant as the
thousand-petaled lotus: the "thousand" refers somehow to this
continuous blossoming, not to some one-time event (installing a lotus with exactly one thousand petals)" Who knows?!"

Friday, May 06, 2005

here we go again 

Dorothy's computer has once again gone weird. She said for me to tell you that, in the words of a famous actor/politician, "I'll be back!"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Beyond Human 

Beyond Human

Last night, I tuned in by accident to a pbs program in a series entitled “Beyond Human.” It began with the observation that the Chinese had long known that the body was an electrical system. It went from there to present various recent discoveries in the field of medicine and electronic communications which link the body’s own electrical circuitry to various computer systems, often through the insertion of microchips into the brain.

Various seeming miracles have been achieved through these techniques: those with severe spinal cord injuries have been able to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. It is now even possible, through thought alone, to move objects or images outside the body, such as a computer cursor.

I was delighted to note that contemporary science is at long last exploring the role of the body’s own electromagnetic system, for the healing of disability as well as for other purposes. As Isaac Benthov posited years ago, kundalini itself may be a related phenomenon, an arousal and entrainment of the various electrical/vibrational systems within the body. When the kundalini power awakens, it may be (indeed, clearly is) among others, a somatic electrical phenomenon, which brings into consciousness, processes which previously operated below the threshold of awareness. Further, it intensifies these sensations so that they may become pleasurable or painful, according to how they manifest.

Now, this line of thought leads to interesting speculations. Did the ancients (and moderns) who trained their bodies to “bring up the kundalini energies,” actually learn to “light up” the body’s innate electrical system? Are the nadis a representation of this vast network of electrical circuitry, operating on ever more subtle levels? Is the opening of the crown, so often described as resembling the lotus’ thousand petals unfolding, the result of an ultimate electrical discharge at the top of the brain? Are spontaneous kriyas (sudden body movements, such as jerking or twitching) associated with some kundalini awakenings, actually the result of random firing of neurons throughout the body, which is attempting to adjust to its unfamiliar state?

Are we, in effect, mere minuscule impulses in a vast, ongoing, and ineffable energy system which inanimates all that is? Is the source of everything, the “great dynamo in the sky?”

In one sense, the answer is yes. This is not to reduce the human nor the universe itself to a “nothing but” phenomenon. But reflection helps us to understand the connections between the inner subjective moments of illumination and heightened awareness, and the bodily processes which accompany them and form their physiological base. We are indeed “bodies electric” (as Whitman called the human complex) in the full sense. We participate the vast unknown, being both tiny elements in its structure, and yet seemingly separate entities capable of thinking and experiencing in ways which seem unique to ourselves. We are at once mere particles of the divine, and at the same time witnesses of the process as participants (waves of consciousness) in the universal flow.

Ultimately, enlightenment is the realization that, in the end, “god” (the divine essence) is all that is. We exist only in our own mental formulation of the self, deceived by our ongoing personal responses to our surroundings into believing we have independent identities, that we are somehow self created and self propelled.

To know this truth is not to abandon the personal or the collective human project. We continue to respect our divine connection, to participate its reality through the flow of rapturous energies through our bodies when we open to a higher state of consciousness. Then, ideally, we carry our refreshed and ever more refined energies into the world, to make this a better place for us and all earth’s inhabitants. Perhaps, indeed, the planet is raising her vibrations, and we are an integral part of that process.

All of this leads me to wonder if the great healers­such as Jesus, certain shamans and spiritual leaders­have wondrous electric energy fields surrounding and flowing through their bodies­and this is what others experience in their presence. Hence, the woman who merely touched the hem of the divine garment was instantly healed. And also this may be the secret of shaktipat­the instantaneous transmission of intense electrical energy from one being to another. And when we come into the presence of such an advanced being, or perhaps a group united in their spiritual practice and thus resonating together­we can perhaps sense this amazing vibration as we too begin to resonate at the same level. A similar interpretation would apply to the earth’s energies in sacred places­we resonate with the actual vibrations coming up through the earth. Perhaps now science is ready to explore the literal (physical) basis of the kundalini phenomenon and tell us how and why it works on a materialistic (measurable) level.

(I should again emphasize that I in no way look on kundalini as merely a physiological process. I feel that each experience is sacred, and affirms our divine connection. For those of us unable to “think our way to god,” it is especially valuable. Once more, I will quote Yeats: “Man (sic) can embody truth but never know it.”)

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