We do not have metamorphosis, metamorphosis "has" us. Because metamorphosis assumes precedence over other life processes it will continue by drawing energy from other functions. This loss of normal function could pose as a crisis for those whose circumstances cannot accommodate such a shift. A steady increase in the difficulty of meaningful work is perhaps one of the most essential components of navigating the storm of awakening successfully and re-integrating oneself into purposeful relationship to the world. The fact that we are most often forced to make a living is a saving grace to those recovering from kundalini for it forces us out in relation to the world. Studies show that doing complex work as a main occupation lowers our risk of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers theorize that performing complex tasks may have an exercise-like effect that builds up the "cognitive reserve" in the brain. This is reinforcement for the old axiom "what you don't use you lose."
Just like any other bodymind function such as eating, sex, thought, exercise etc... kundalini can be used in an evolutionary sense ie: spiritual; or used in a devolutionary sense ie: unspiritual. The key is to have the understanding and discipline to care for our condition instead of letting it unconsciously play out to the extreme. Setting up good habits and finding a support system would help. Intelligent mastery of kundalini takes good faith to move into a higher adaptation, higher homeostasis rather than using our condition as an excuse to cop out. Navigation of kundalini requires profound insight and understanding. Ultimately we learn none of it is about us. This insight turns what could have been a disaster into our most sublime experience.
I have an intuition that the more primitive areas of our brain are stronger than the cortex, since the cortex is more likely to flip out of the picture when kundalini is fired up. It certainly seems like an emotional purging is happening. One of the functions of kundalini could be a simple release to bleed off the energy packet that is contained in the traumatized limbic brain and autonomic system. After an awakening there is definitely less fear, less reactivity and some distance from ones emotions in general, they become an object of interest, not the rule.
The more trauma one receives without being able to resolve it and dissipate the energy through talk with ones family or therapist, then the harder the shell of amour contained within the nervous system. Under such circumstances ones kundalini awakening is likely to be explosive and potentially damaging, while at the same time being the deepest form of release and liberation from that trauma. It is a case of what doesn't kill you will heal you.
The end effect of years of kundalini activity is that ones emotional
memory is somewhat wiped clean, from neuron pruning and the bliss/
anaethetization chemicals. When extra energy is passing through the
limbic brain, more endorphins, and cannaboids are produced in the
pleasure centers...these bliss chemicals reduce concentration and
focus. If the bliss takes over entirely we are likely to become a
good-for-nothing spiritual cow, during which time it becomes
hard to even do any of the Apollionic left-brain faculties. This
unavoidable incapacitation does happen during a certain events or
phases of a kundalini awakening. But it's only at certain periods when
the fullness of kundalini is such that the mind doesn't want to work in
Some seekers are obsessed with simply the state of Being, they
forget about doing...doing, they say, is a distraction from Being. I
call this being a spiritual cow, itís like they got off the train at
dissolution, and forgot to get back on for the rest of the journey. The
fundamental paradox of existence is that neglect of "doing in the
material world" leads to a descent into matter. Ultimately kundalini
does make for improved rationality, because it unites the Heart with
the mind in a very real sense. Ultimately we even get to look after
ourselves better through higher decision making, rather than myopic
adherence to ones survival code.
With a meditation practice we have some sense of control or confidence in navigating internal energies and states, for we are already familiar with the non-ordinary. Kundalini energy, however, we have less control over so it basically has its way with us, especially if we have had no spiritual training and are not used to following our intuition. If bliss interferes with our ability to meditate, if we are already too blissed to risk further bliss from meditation then something has to be done.
It's necessary to balance the dissolution with cultivation and development. By having an integral practice even before we pop we can avoid being taken over completely by the bliss to the point where our lives fall apart. This practice should include anything that enhances the adaptive-ego functions, concentration, focus and the movement of energy like: martial arts, Qi gong, artwork, design, planning and fine-coordination practices, archery, chess, math, writing and rock climbing. Ideally in order to be ready for kundalini one really needs an integral practice from birth. We need to be culturally prepared to be our Self. Stepping directly into Self (Bigmind) would be similar to being in the presence of a Master...except we are the Master. Learning to contain, and express our mastery is the essence of the spiritual path.
There is a great reduction in left-brain adaptive function, such as mathematics, strategy, use of memory and possibly rational or socially conditioned thinking capacity. The left-brain freeze is concurrent with these changes, and I suspect that what is occurring is that energy is being utilized in the bodymind in such a radically different pattern that it is just not available to serve the normal cerebral cortex and adaptive ego functions. I went into such right-brain states during my awakening that I thought I would never recover basic survival and utilitarian skills. If we go too far into the dissolution without applying ourselves to keeping up our adaptive functions, we end up as a helpless, pre-personal, no-self invalid. Muktananda said to his devotes that after several samadhi experiences he feared he would not be able to look after himself. In the past the realizers lost most of their adaptive functions while in their extended periods of metamorphosis (samadhi). And so they actually "did" need devotees and people to look after them. Nowadays with the science of raising our homeostatic coping ability--we can both have our independence and our realization--without becoming a spiritual basket case.
Think too that with kundalini the power of consciousness over the body is increased, so we can get into some pretty gnarly health conditions if we don't know how to process stuff. If we haven't been given an adequate primal-mother foundation we essentially have to rebirth ourselves and give ourselves an unconditionally loving foundation through which to process our heightened awareness, emotions and sensory input. Society for sure isn't going to provide this service. Also the amygdalas of some people are wired for more fear than others. As the kundalini courses through the limbic brain our emotions are lit up like a lighthouse. This amplification eventually leads to a maturing of the emotional body, but during the course of the awakening the extra amps of nerve flow through these areas can lead us on a rollercoaster ride, experiencing everything from nirvanic ecstasy to abject terror.
Our stress hormones are known to kill off cells in the hippocampus or the learning and memory region of the brain. If we are prevented from dreaming we start exhibiting neurotic and psychotic symptoms. Visions created by kundalini activation of the hippocampus may be part of the mechanism of the evolution of consciousness and the healing-wholing of the spiritualized body. Changing that wiring in the limbic brain requires some pretty intense intervention. Meditation, toning, kundalini will to a certain extent. Holotropic breathing and catharsis probably will help immensely. But the yoga of acting "as if" is probably one of the best means of changing one's emotional brain to accord with a higher directive.
Consider that our nervous systems are actually built around the need and desire to control our world. So when kundalini sparks up and overwhelms the self-making system in the brain, we can feel intensely vulnerable and childlike. There is a biological faith that arises in association with this vulnerability from the bliss chemicals and expanded heart, but to not have one's normal adaptive and egoic capacities can be anything from disturbing to terrifying. The more information we have about what is really happening to us the more we can support this blind biochemical faith with an informed faith and so not add secondary stress to the process. When experiencing the condition of no-self and with radically run-away emotions, the student is going to require some very fancy explanations to reassure them that it is merely the natural course of things and not the end of the world. A guru or teacher can help a student let go of "control."
UG Krishnamurti is perhaps a good example of someone succumbing to nihilism of the dissolution. Kundalini dismantles former structures, one has to allow oneself to be dissolved, and then not get too depressed about being dissolved in order to put oneself back together again on a higher level. This is where group practice (sangha) can be a saving grace to the individual. Others who have already been dissolved and restructured can quicken and perfect the restructuring that needs to happen after the dissolution. Otherwise what tends to happen is a floundering, and flapping around in a half dissolved depressed state, for the dissolved one often cannot find the need, drive, will or skills necessary for rebuilding.
This point about maladaption to dissolution is vitally important point for anyone undergoing kundalini or spiritual awakening. The dissolution of self can lead to nihilism, apathy, depression, lack of meaning, loss of direction and purpose and social alienation. This dark night situation will resolve itself once the main phase is over, especially if there is some care and attention given to exercising the body and rebuilding one's vocational and relational domains. If we cannot integrate our awakening into a full life we may became a Spiritual Bum. I cannot stress enough the need to maintain a well rounded integral lifestyle representative of the "whole human" during an awakening, in order to "rehabilitate" to a higher mode, rather than to fall down to a condition that is inferior to where we were prior to our popping.
The good thing about the dissolution is that eventually the tide turns and one has a fierce desire to integrate the awakening and build up the structure of self to establish a functional life. Life and its necessary change flows in cycles of deconstruction and reconstruction. Some may get stuck in the nihilism of deconstruction and they declare with pride that they are a "no-self" rather than integrating spiritual achievement into an earthly life. There is a no-self, but there is equally a self that needs discovering and cultivating as well.
When the witness is becoming stable it's like there is no place to
maneuver, no place to hide, you try to go unconscious and you observe
yourself trying to go unconscious. During intensive meditation practice
and during kundalini awakenings the cerebral cortex is engaged in other
activities. We just have to go-with the consciousness we have, while
exercising our integral-lifestyle functions. In time however we can
stabilize the higher levels of consciousness and our functional
operations as well.
"The underlying principle of Balance in Nature's One Law is
equality of interchange between the pairs of opposites in any
transaction in Nature." Walter Russell
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