Kundalini Splendor

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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."

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