Tag Archives: Kundalini

Chuck’s Place: Kundalini Unhinged

Like a coiled serpent...
Like a coiled serpent…

Kundalini is the Hindu name for the primal energy that fuels creation. In the human being, the microcosm of the macrocosm of all creation, kundalini is said to lie dormant, a coiled snake at the base of the human spine awaiting activation at times of growth.

Kundalini awakens, becomes aroused, and begins its upward climb through various chakras, energy centers located along the spinal column, until it ultimately merges with its male counterpart, Shiva, at the crown of the head. Yes, kundalini, in the form of the feminine Shakti, is the divine energy that fuels and causes to unfold the Self, that which we truly are.

Kundalini energy is not specific to Hindus and Yoga traditions. Mystics of all faiths, who have experienced transcendent encounters in visions and meetings with God, have been struck by the illumined energy of kundalini. In psychology, kundalini would be the equivalent of psychic energy, what Freud first identified as libido, as it innervated the sexual center or chakra in its awakening of the physical body to its primal sexual energy.

The Taoist would know kundalini through what is termed chi, an experience of which every seasoned martial artist can attest. In the realm of everyday life, somatic ailments in the form of anxiety or headaches, for example, aside from their physiological roots, may indeed be the consequences of an awakening kundalini, pushing for developmental unfolding with great urgency.

Even drug addiction can be understood in kundalini’s energetic terms. Methamphetamine activates a compulsion to experience the expansive union of Shakti and Shiva in godly omnipotence. The heroin addict experiences the equally blissful state of oneness of union with Shiva in a blissfully dormant state, like a fetus enveloped in the womb, in the sweet harmony of sleep prior to kundalini’s violent awakening at the time of labor. Hallucinogens are a crapshoot as they stir kundalini to usurp the ego’s control and take one on an unhinged trip with kundalini within or without the body.

The Hindus have defined our current time on earth as the age of Kali Yuga, which essentially represents a Dark Age with the degeneration of human civilization. Carl Jung in the 1930s agreed with this characterization of our time, which he likened to the time of the fall of the Roman Empire.

The events we now witness around us on the world stage reflect this disintegration, as reverberations in the macrocosm of the destructive side of Shakti unleash kundalini throughout the world to prepare the way for a new era. Whereas an individual may be confronted with powerful kundalini energy when it is time to grow up, kundalini can also take the form of a powerful recapitulation experience that rocks the body and psyche as it insists upon burning through the limitations of old trauma.

On the world stage, Trump is definitely controlled by an activated kundalini energy. This is partly the power of his seductive draw. He embodies the energy of destructive change, and everyone feels the desire to break through the gridlock of the current world order.

I have often spoken of ISIS as also being an unconscious agent of the destructive side of the Goddess Isis, who, like Shakti with her kundalini energy, seeks to level the current world order that threatens her planet Earth. The problem here is that kundalini,  lacking the companion of awake human consciousness to safely guide its path of change, will wreak major destruction to the planet. In the nomenclature of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico we are being asked to engage our intent to beckon positive change.

Just as an individual who takes drugs risks death or psychosis with an unhinged encounter with kundalini, so our collective human race also risks serious destruction if we further kundalini’s destructive path by electing madness. As I have previously stated, Hitler was not elected, Hitler seized power. Evolution insists now that we consciously choose our leader, who is entrusted to safely guide us and this kundalini energy of change through the chakras of our current world reality.

Just as a student of yoga is taught to safely guide kundalini through the chakras of the body with the appropriate deliberate guidance of a master, or risk destruction through overzealous action, so may we be wise in our choice of a leader to soberly channel kundalini through a newly formed world backbone. If we miss that opportunity, we will indeed be consciously signing up for the world rollercoaster of kundalini’s unhinging!

In calm meditation,

Chuck

 

Chuck’s Place: Activating Change-Staying Put

I woke up contemplating the topic of my blog. The image of a turtle on a stump in the middle of Tivoli Bays, encountered on a canoe trip the other day, had stayed with me. I sat quietly and still while Jan channeled the Tuesday morning Soulbyte. The message she wrote sealed it, the topic of my blog became clear: change through stillness—the molting turtle.

Molting in progress... - Photo by Erica Ketchel
Molting in progress…
– Photo by Erica Ketchel

It’s early spring in the Bays. All prepare for new life. Our trip was somewhat disruptive to the busy beavers, hunting eagles, wading herons, and the nesting geese. Most astonishing was the sighting of a statuesque, prehistoric looking turtle, perched on a log barely peeking above the water at low tide. At first, the question was: Is it really what it appears to be? Or is it simply a projection, the mind’s misinterpretation of matter that frequently shape-shifts things in this magical place?

Sure enough, it was what it appeared to be. As we approached, the turtle’s head appeared shiny and alive. Amazingly, it remained frozen, so contrary to the escapist behavior turtles usually employ when encountering human curiosity. The canoe drifted closer and the turtle form became increasingly evident, but still the questions arose. Could it really be alive? Is it somehow impaled on the stump? Then the canoe bumped right into the log; I could not control it and was frozen myself, not wanting to push off from the log and disturb this perched creature.

It was an amazingly powerful scene. What sat before us was a turtle whose outermost shell was molting, the sun’s deep rays hastening the peeling and flaking of its outer crust. Unfortunately, our closeness eventually overwhelmed its powerful intent to submit to the sun and it dove into the water for its own protection, in search of solitude to continue its transformative process in privacy.

The turtle’s journey of change so simply and eloquently mirrors our own, though we humans must employ consciousness to enact this ancient archetypal program of change.

The sun is our spirit energy, the kundalini energy of our energy body that infuses itself in our physical spine. In the first half of life that spirit energy must find its footing in the physical world, first lodging in the sacrum.

As we grow and mature the kundalini energy rises to our reproductive center where nature claims it for its own survival needs.

As we make our way into the world we need the confidence of autonomy and so the kundalini funds our ego stability at the level of the solar plexus, where we experience confidence and the extreme challenges of power and competition in this world.

As we approach the chasm of midlife—or in many instances much younger in today’s rapidly changing world—we approach the great ocean that must be crossed to reach the level of the heart, where truth, love, and compassion extend to all interdependent life.

With each of these rising changes we are challenged, like the turtle on the log, to stay contained, as the heat of kundalini rises in its upward ascent. If we can provide a sealed channel to the rising energy, it will ascend to the next level. But this does require stillness and containment, especially when the energy of the full moon beckons us to release and attach to the pleasures of the world.

If, for instance, the sexual urge of the second chakra is always catered to as it demands and beckons, how can we advance a relationship dominated by the compulsion of more? How, at the level of personal power, are we to advance if we allow the kundalini to leak out and attach to more possessions or conquests, as it so desires? Without the choice of containment that the turtle exemplifies, our spirit remains imprisoned in the dense desires of this world.

Sun is kundalini rising... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Sun is kundalini rising…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

When we, as we must in our journey upward, explore and indulge in the kundalini attachments at the various stages, we are like the turtle that dives into the water, offsetting the drying-out transformation, as we binge in some form in this world. The process of absorbing and bearing the heat of containment, for our spirit to rise and change our focus, and for appreciation of our greater reason for being in this world, we must wait for another sunny day, beyond another Groundhog Day, when we are ready to steady for change.

I thank that turtle for so bravely bearing the tension of our intrusion, while also sharing one of life’s simplest yet most challenging of lessons: Activating change requires staying put and bearing the tension, as our defensive shell molts and sheds and our spirit rises to greater truth.

Seeking a new log for molting,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Life is Bipolar

“Dad! Nathan and I just did the giant slingshot! We shot way up into the sky overlooking Myrtle Beach; it was awesome! I feel so great, I’ve never felt like this in my life!”

Ten minutes later, a second phone call:

“Dad. We just got back to where I parked my car. It’s gone, they towed it away. I’m so depressed, I’ve never felt this bad in my life.”

“Well Erica, you’ve just experienced, firsthand, bipolar disorder—a better lesson than you’ll ever get in a psychopathology class at school.”

It is the consequence of bouncing between polar extremes that gives bipolar a bad name, but the truth is that all life is produced and powered by two mutually dependent opposing energies. In my daughter’s experience these opposing energies are opposite ends of the same system. What goes up must come down. What goes way up must come way down.

Everything that exists is a composite of opposing energies. All elements are constituted of opposing energies that bond them together. Electricity contains positive and negative energies, which combined create power. Daily life requires day and night—awake active time and sleep dormant time to rejuvenate and sustain itself. We strive for order but hunger for chaos. The light or ‘rational day’ dims to the irrational release of the night. Boredom is the result of too much living in the day. Addiction is too much living in the night. The human challenge is to reconcile these bipolar energies within the self. Most problems in life arise from an overattachment to one or the other opposing energies. True reconciliation must include an acceptance and joining of both of these primal energies.

In the East, this human dilemma is energetically seen in the spine of the human body. At the base of the spine, in the sacrum bone, resides Kundalini Shakti, a primordial cosmic energy, the divine feminine creative power, corporeal energy at the feminine pole. Kundalini lies coiled up like a snake, dormant, awaiting awakening. At the crown of the head resides Vishnu, the supreme masculine god, associated with light and the sun. Many yogic practitioners focus meditation upon awakening Kundalini to rise through the chakras and ultimately merge with Vishnu in transcendent bliss.

In the East, this androgynous bipolar nature in humans—that is, as containers of both masculine and feminine energy—is depicted in gods with genitalia of both sexes. In the West, these primal energies have been completely polarized and assigned to respective sexes: men as masculine energy, women as feminine energy. The contrasexual nature in both men and women is projected outwardly onto members of the opposite sex, or onto members of the same sex who nonetheless personify opposite energy. Herein lies the compulsion to relationship in the West. If we are sex-typed to only one of our primal energies we are compelled to seek the other in relationship in order to achieve wholeness and completion. The inner mysterious other energy can only be found ‘out there’ in another. We must find it, possess it, and merge with it, after all, it is us—we cannot live without it.

Of course, the opposition inherent in these opposing energies is no less challenging to resolve in relationship than it is in doing years of meditation and yogic practice. People enter relationships, briefly, under the romance of felt wholeness—having finally joined with their lost other, their soul mate—only to shortly encounter the conflicts that naturally arise between polar opposites.

One polar energy always seeks to control or dominate the other. Each wants the world their way. Compromise, more often than not, results in secret resentment. Well-ordered agreement often results in secret chaotic affair. True relationship, deep intimacy, requires a genuine meeting and joining of Kundalini and Vishnu, not a meeting of power and subservience.

The split and projection of polar energies in the Western psyche is also evident in the rise of science and the downfall of organized religion. Religion once ruled the world; early scientists were put to death. In the modern world, though many in the West affiliate with a particular religion, it’s far less a spiritual affair and more of a social identity. Now science rules.

Actually, modern Western religion aligns itself more with science and rationality than it would appear. The deep connection to spirituality—the feminine power of intuition and religious or numinous experience—split off from the tightly controlled, rule-based rational church and synagogue long ago and found life in the secret traditions of alchemy, the Kabbalah, astrology, and the like. We read the weather report to satisfy our rational, ordered lives and the horoscope to feed our mysterious, intuitive, irrational lives.

With the election of Obama, America, and frankly the entire world, saw the transfer of power from the masculine pole to the feminine pole. It’s not just racism that seeks to unseat and destroy Obama; it’s a black and white issue at a deeper level. Blackness is associated with the darkness, the night, the earth, the maternal, the feminine, the mysterious, the irrational, the Kundalini energy of the self. In our fragmented Western world, whiteness—bright, light, rational, masculine energy—that has dominated the world for so long, in a deeply polarized fashion, leading to its current extremely precarious condition, is threatened and reacting with all the hysterics currently played out by the Republican party. Though Obama has, in actuality, fallen way short of Pachamama’s true need to be properly cared for, he nonetheless symbolizes a shift away from the long domineering, extremely polarized masculine energy bent on greed and destruction.

Looking elsewhere in the world, we see the same interplay of polarized energies, interestingly and relevantly, in the main players of World War II. Japan, who destroyed Pearl Harbor in a blast of masculine aggression that drew the United States into World War II, has been devastated by the recent tsunami, with Pachamama directing her energy at nuclear power plants.

On Memorial Day, Germany, the main perpetrator of abuse of masculine power in World War II, announced the decision to close all nuclear power plants over the next decade. Furthermore, Germany’s economy has grown slowly but steadily in the midst of the current world recession. This economic growth has not been at the expense of social programs and basic needs in Germany. Germany has been willing to grow less and take care of the needs of its citizens, as well as prepare to pay more for energy as it gives up nuclear power as a source of energy. Germany, with this decision, is doing the right thing for itself and the health of the world. Here we have a country that, after brutalizing the world and attempting to extinguish a scapegoated people, has emerged with a conscience and a new balance of masculine and feminine energies, showing genuine leadership in the modern world.

Finally, Israel—though well-prepared for prior to World War II, through a well-established Zionist movement—is a modern country created and sanctified as a compensation to a people nearly wiped out during World War II. Unfortunately, as subsequent history has proven, this did not go smoothly, as displaced Palestinians and Arab neighbors have not been so accepting of this decision by the Allied Powers. Israelis in turn, well-schooled by centuries of Diasporas and holocausts, dug in their heels to fiercely preserve their people and their homeland.

Today, that protective fierceness has polarized into dominance by masculine energy and a rigidity that Obama recently challenged by insisting that negotiation with the Palestinians be based on the 1967 border agreement. How will it play out? Resolution will require a reconciliation of the bipolar energies—clear boundaries (masculine pole) that care for the welfare of all peoples (feminine pole).

Our bipolar selves and bipolar world demand that we take on the challenge of finding our wholeness in acceptance and reconciliation of the opposing energies that we are. This requires owning our bipolar nature and forging a relationship with opposing energies. There are hopeful signs in the world now that our bipolar disorder may find its way into the balance of a new bipolar order.

Bi! Bi!
Chuck