Wednesday, June 28, 2017
We are Magical
Spectacular lights greeted me, whether my eyes were open or closed. I could feel staggering electricity circulating inside me and I often felt electrical shocks from my own body. (Sometimes when Charles touched me, he got a shock but I didn't feel one.) Intense, at times unbearable heat made me feel like a human furnace. Oddly, this heat was not at all like a fever and I didn't perspire. (This is not so in all cases; some people sweat rivers from Kundalini heat.) I was experiencing elaborate, involuntary bodily movements all the while; they are called kriyas and mudras and are so phenomenal I am devoting Chapter Four to describing them in detail. For several months, I was deluged by mystical experiences. I had visions, heard and inwardly saw guides who instructed and aided me in accommodating the process, and I had vivid clairvoyant dreams.
Throughout all this, I was under barrage of continuously changing physical symptoms, which made me feel -- with not a little gallows humor -- like a hybrid of Linda Blair in The Exorcist and Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. I was being torn apart and re-created at every level. Nothing about the process was predictable. Every day, I was caught anew by astonishment as something completely unexpected developed.
The Mystery Unravels
At times I feel like a living experiment, an alchemist's vessel in which a marvelous, although sometimes painful, mystery is unfolding. -- Richard Moss
During this same period, a series of synchronicities led me to Kundalini literature that was describing my strange symptoms. By the time I was ready to believe that my Kundalini had risen, I spotted an ad for a spiritual emergence support group in a local alternative newspaper. (This same ad ran for four consecutive weeks. I had never before and have not since seen one like it in that or any other publication.) When I called the listed number, the therapist who was facilitating the group told me that she was also involved in a spontaneous Kundalini process, but her experiences had been less drastic than mine. She put me in touch with the one other person she knew who was undergoing Kundalini awakening -- and it turned out to be someone whose Kundalini symptoms were remarkably similar to mine at the time. The therapist also gave me the new phone number for the Spiritual Emergence Network. (I had tried to call SEN previously, but they had changed location and I had been unable to reach them. The therapist had acquired their new number just days before I contacted her!)
My awakening process has been what the late Swami Muktananda would have called "dynamic." It doesn't hit everyone this strongly. In six months time, I'd been hurled on a roller coaster of physical and emotional shocks. From the grief and terror of thinking my life was coming to an abrupt end, I was thrown into the equally awesome realization that I was in the midst of a monumental spiritual process. My mind ricocheted from fear to relief; from hopelessness to amazement. Wrestling with a tremendous sense of unworthiness, I was simultaneously shaken by how decisively this experience was sealing my fate as a social outcast. (It is one thing to choose -- or imagine one has choice -- to be a nonconformist. It is another to be given to know and live a reality that few people can conceive possible.)
Although I'd been sensitive all my life, this was psychically expanding me by quantum leaps. Physically, mentally and emotionally, I was being pushed to the limit on a near continual basis. For all its intensity, I knew a Kundalini awakening was considered a great spiritual gift, which led, ultimately, to deep inner healing. Foremost of all my reactions was an almost instant trust in the process. This was (and still is) a potent experience for me. I had never before fully trusted anyone or anything.
Deep into this process, I spent most of my days in prayer, meditation and deference to this new central power in my life. To a friend, I wrote, "My mind is overwhelmed. My body is sometimes in pain, but it seems to be getting stronger and more able to be a clear vehicle for this incredible surging energy. My heart is so full." With the fusion of fear and love the ancients called "awe," I gave myself to Kundalini. I loved Her with the passion moths feel for the flame; with the allegiance drowned sailors feel for the sea. Because I had been told in childhood that I had no voice for singing, I never sing unless I'm so giddy with happiness I can't contain myself. When my children were babies, I sang to them. And during the most spectacular months of my awakening, I sang to Kundalini-Ma.
It is easier to describe the physical symptoms than the complex mental, emotional and spiritual permutations of this process. So much has happened within me: such upheaval, struggle, pain, beauty, soul-searching, and regeneration. Where this will eventually take me, I have no idea. Each day has become more mysterious to me as this unfolds. Even when nothing particularly spectacular or extraordinary occurs, I feel more wonder and faith than ever before. It certainly hasn't been an easy or gentle process, and when the pain is intense, I beg for mercy. But when it lessens, I find myself willing to go deeper, to search further, and to do more of whatever is required of me to complete this work. So much of the untouchable loneliness and fragmentation I've carried with me my entire life is melting away. Before all this began, I'd assumed I was moving downhill, into the latter stages of my life... that I'd done and experienced everything available to me in this lifetime, fearing the rest would be a series of dull reruns. Now everything has been "made new." No wonder this is called the rebirth.
We Are Magical
What was and continues to be as great a marvel to me as my Kundalini odyssey is Charles. He is the most open-minded, steadfast and spiritually attuned human being I have ever known; that he is also my husband is a miracle for which I daily give thanks. Had our roles been reversed and he had been the one on this careening course of illness and phantasmagoric initiation, I don't know if I could have stood by him with one-tenth the faith and fearlessness he has evinced nearly every inch of the way. His trust in Kundalini runs as deep or deeper than my own, a fact that has been sustaining for us both throughout this lengthy journey. Once, during the period when unexpected things were constantly happening, I warned Charles that I felt something weird was about to break loose. Some kind of force was thrusting up from my solar plexus toward my throat. I thought for an instant the "something" would be a scream, and I didn't want to alarm him. The suspense broke as an involuntary sound escaped my lips; to my astonishment, it was a deeply resonant "Om." As wave upon wave of this force sounded "Om" through my vocal cords, I became a living trumpet played by the gods. Amazed as I was by this, I was doubly moved when Charles responded by voluntarily chanting along with me.
Through every twist and turn of this prodigious journey, he has been at my side. I'm not saying there have been no trying times, or that he's never grown weary. The stress on us both has been enormous. Yet with remarkable resilience, Charles always manages to pull through. I doubt anyone else I have ever known would have been able to endure what he has gone through with me with so much grace, love and courage.
Gopi Krishna credited his beloved wife for keeping him alive through his own arduous decades of Kundalini awakening. Krishnamurti's friends kept loyal vigil with him throughout the tumultuous years of his process. The Spiritual Emergence Network founder Christina Grof has thanked her husband Stan, whose faith in her and in the process itself saw her through her 12-year transformation.
When people stick together through thick and thin under circumstances as challenging as this, their spiritual growth skyrockets far beyond what anyone could hope to attain alone. To us, it's obvious that Charles and I are both apprenticed to Kundalini. I'm just the more direct target of this ineffable process, which is transforming us both.
There is an insidious myth that those who greet Kundalini (or life in general) with open arms and a glad heart do not suffer serious pain or difficulties. Don't believe it. When I understood Kundalini had risen in me, I could not have been more awed if I had opened my door to find the streets filled with angels announcing the Second Coming. Although I have gone through periods of extreme pain and have in many ways had my world turned inside out by the fierce Shakti Goddess, I am grateful that Kundalini has come alive in me. The wonders of this process have renewed my faith not only in the Spirit, but also gives me hope for the human race and for the future of this blue jewel of a planet.
The miraculous is always ready and waiting for us to be willing to move into it. The universe is far more magical and amazing than we have dared to imagine. Which is to say, we are magical and amazing too! That is one thing that kept repeating over and over in my head during the peak of my Kundalini experiences: We have underestimated ourselves so terribly! And we have underestimated the glory of the Universe that interconnects us.