Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Yearning for Transcendence 

All of us yearn, I think, for transcendent experience in one form or another. Many turn to religious or spiritual ceremony to go beyond the "quotidian." to forget, for the moment, the small self in the familiar world of routine activity. The mystic finds great solace in a sense of connection with nature or the divine. Art in its many forms provides us with a deep sense of heightened consciousness, whether we are artist or audience. Some seek "release" through alcohol or drugs, or trance ceremony, or dancing, or running until they reach the "runner's high", or even through violence.

Recently, I watched a program on PBS entitled "The Mystery of Love." This program explored the experience of love in its many forms--romantic love, friendship, kindness and charity, dedication to a special activity, and other areas. The famous psychologist James Hillman spoke on the love of warfare, which can be a prime motivating factor for those who enjoy violence masked as duty. The soldier can experience a thrilling energy in the press of battle. Many veterans look longingly on their past military experience as the most meaningful time of their lives, for then life had a purpose, a sharp edge, an intensity seldom found in other realms. Survivors of the London blitz often reported the same kind of nostalgic yearning.

Another program brought out the importance of the small unit as the secret of success in military actions. A few men in combat may bond closely, so that their primary loyalty is not to self, but to their unit, their "band of brothers", and they are less concerned with things outside their own special group. Together, they reach levels of allegiance to one another seldom found in the world at large.

So it is this sense of transcendent "meaning" that most of us are seeking in our lives. Kundalini, in some of its aspects, can supply certain forms of ecstasy, a joyous sense of the union of the inner limited self and the Spirit in its highest form. No wonder we crave such sense of expanding consciousness to carry us beyond the ordinary. Even when the bliss is admixed with pain, we seek the primal bliss of pure rapture (and spiritual experience without the somatic component can likewise lead to exaltation). Where would our lives be without such moments? We, too, would be lost and stumbling, like so many in our world today, who seek transcendence through other, less benign means.

Whatever else kundalini offers, it does bestow a sense of encounter with something beyond the ordinary, entry into mystical and esoteric realms. It certainly keeps our lives interesting, in all its phases. As one friend commented, "It's the only game in town."

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