Down Is Up

The brain and body are one, the sensations and chemistry that is happening in the body is also reflected in the brain and vice versa.

It is unfortunate that a mere physical symptom of kundalini the double helix of energy up the spine, has been stigmatized as a serpent--this gets mixed up with the symbol of the biblical serpent; and kundalini is relegated to the mere physical realm. Kundalini expands and deepens everything the physical, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual. It cannot be imprisoned in anyone domain because it inhabits all domains.

The way Eastern language treats kundalini adds to the general mystification of the process. Sanskrit is a metaphorical prescientific language, that often confuses more than it illuminates. There are no "snakes" in kundalini, no coiled thing. There is no such thing as Nadis...the energy fields are just that, fields not discrete lines of force. The ida and pingala are the left and right sympathetic trunks that run either side of the spine sometimes energy does flow thru these sometimes it can be felt to spiral around in a double helix from gangleon to gangleon. We no longer need to use mythic snake metaphors or imagine mysterious forces for which there is no scientific correlate.

Many people get rather knotted up about kundalini and are apt to insist that spiritual practice is the be-all-and-end-all of spirituality, without considering the role of Spirit in the process. It's Spirit that spiritualizes after all, and sometimes it's all one can do to try and get out the way in order to adapt and live up to the process of spiritual alchemy. Spirit shows us the way from the inside out, at such speed, that to look back means we have lost the word of God and are left with the dried up bones of Spirit.

Don't believe anyone that tells you awakening is a linear path--all laid out with pretty chakra lights to lead the way--follow the colors and you will get to heaven, Shambhala or enlightenment. Reality is far different from this. Kundalini flows up in order to flow down and down in order to flow up. One way of looking at metamorphosis is the dance of two intertwined opposing forces, representing the two poles of kundalini. The yang force of the sympathic on-switch, and the yin force of the parasympathetic off-switch. Kundalini we could say is the agitated dance of these two forces taking us on a hyperbolic tango up and down. If we don't know how to flow-with this polar dance, it plays itself out and results in the burn-out of both sides of the nervous system and we succumb to listlessness, depression and meaninglessness.

I don't go for chakras except in symbolic terms as abstract levels of consciousness. I feel the subtle body defies any kind of understanding at this point in our science. Thus I see the chakra system as a symbolic metaphysical map of the phylogenic and ontogenic development of consciousness. In reality kundalini operates simultaneously in all charkas to varying degrees. To open up more of the higher areas the lower areas are simultaneously opened. In order to open the lower areas, the higher areas are simultaneously opened. As we evolve, the belly, solar plexus and pelvis become increasingly relaxed. We can melt all phenomena in the hyper-relaxation of our inner-core and in this way we get off the wheel of samsara--or blind adherence to conditioned responses. Samsara literally means "wandering-on," (without conscious witness), while enlightenment or moksha is liberation from samsara. The brain that developed based on past experience is burnt off in the liberating fires of kundalini.

Kundalini follows its own course through the body that is specific to each person, but it is definitely not a linear path "up" the body. Except during the conjunction experiences when enormous energy pours upwards through the body with the force of a concord. Since my awakenings I am adverse to saying that the lower plexuses (charkas) or centers open prior to the higher. In my experience they all open simultaneous to varying degrees. And since the linear body is all holographically represented in the brain, and it's activity in the brain that is expressed at various regions of the body, it is hard to say what is top and what is tail. Thus kundalini moving "upwards" is a misnoma--it doesn't start out at the base of the spine and eventually "reach the brain." It is happening in the brain from the start. Even the activation of the root chakra, and the tingling in the left foot is occurring in the brain. The brain is a hologram of the body and the body is represented holographically in the brain. The body and brain are nottwo. Whatever is going on in the body is simultaneously represented in the brain and vice versa.

Kundalini cycles round and round, up and down, down and up and basically all over the chakra map. For example in childhood sexual development, there probably has to be a certain level of development of the prefrontal lobes before the genitals become energetically activated. The higher in-forms the lower. So say you want to work on opening your sex center, well you don't do this directly, you work on the solar plexus-(power) and heart-(love) centers. And if you want to evolve sex even further you work on the throat-(honesty), third eye-(psychic) and crown-(integrated whole) centers. Similarly if you want to open up the crown you need to simultaneously work on freeing the pelvis. There are the fundamentals and the panultimates but it's all basically just one flow of energy. Kink the hose at any point and you interrupt the flow to all parts.

We cannot divide and distinguish the difference in bodymind, subtle and causal effects because they are part of the same thing. However there are grosser autonomic body reactions such as panic states, grounding, heart expansions, heat, tingles etc...and then there are the subjective experiences such as illumination, devotion, insight, telepathy, precognition, visions, profound dreams, eurekas etc.. There are lower periods say during a die-off where voices may occur without higher-spiritual content (hallucination), and other periods where the energy is cycling much higher in which the voices have something profound to say (illumination).

Kundalini flows in different episodes; sometimes panic will force exercise and breathing, sometimes bliss and grounding will force lying down. If we understand the forces at play with the various autonomic (sympathetic/parasympathetic) responses we are not confused, resistant or fearful over what is happening. With an informed perspective we know beforehand that if we are down, we are going to go up, and if we are up we are going to go down. We know how to work-with the on/off switches, to not to suppress either, but to raise the energy of each into a healthy conscious embrace of whatever is happening now.

The Perspective of Whole-Seeing--The key to mastery of kundalini is that when the bliss is acute it is imperative to draw energy up the spine or otherwise we find ourselves trying to run from it and push it away. If we wimp out and try to resist the bliss and energy rather than embrace it, then this will lead to inevitable compulsivity, addiction and regression. The radical amplification of normal sensory and emotional perception and of consciousness itself will inevitably draw us into fixation with whatever part of the hyperbolic curve of experience we might be on at the time. However there is a vantage point from which Whole-Seeing is made possible. From the Mind's Eye we can view the changing phenomena of kundalini without being carried away by it. The Mind's Eye is the connective current between the brainstem and the third eye. We obtain the seat of the Mind's Eye by the felt-sense of pulling energy up the body and into this inner connection in the head. This along with deep breathing, helps to keep our experience of kundalini conscious rather than being seduced by its ecstatic fires into a narcotic sleep.

I also must relate the importance of the solar plexus in keeping the balance between the two sides of the nervous system. We can prevent morbid overextension of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems by conscious breathing into the largest plexus of the body--the solar plexus. If we find ourselves in either a high or a slump, then long walks while focusing on solar plexus breathing will help to integrate and balance the energy. This continues to be important for years after an awakening as an aid to integration and establishment of the spiritual will. Otherwise we may go through the entire ordeal of an awakening for no benefit to ourselves or others and actually be worse off than we were before.

The Solar Plexus responds instantaneously to the brain. Every minute contraction and expansion of the solar-center of Life is in obedience to the brain. The Solar Plexus lies exactly behind the pit of the stomach. It may be energized by practicing a "drawing in" of the abdominal muscles. Draw the abdominal muscles "inward and upward" several times at each exercise.

The closest parallel in normal human experience to mystic ecstasy of kundalini activation is sex sensations. One could look at the spiral of the growth in consciousness in terms of sex energy and its use, and see the pathological, conservative, post conservative and enlightened uses of sex energy. The body is a template of our conscious-proactive-love-Self-expansion VS. our unconscious-reactive-fear-Narcissus-contraction. Looking at the body we can see where we are at in our relationship to Self and our relationship to the world, for the body doesn’t lie.

The fact is that spiritual awakening is fundamentally a cellular, atomic and quantum process, and we interpret our awakening through whatever subjective worldview lens we have got going. Whether it is deities, Gurus, Nature, Emptiness or whatever, it doesn't really matter, for our worldview is all secondary to the chemistry of awakening itself. It is popular to class the realization of “Emptiness” as being the highest on the spiritual totem pole and in some ways it is...but it is the metamorphosis itself, the realizations and the action in the world that are the measure of any success in spiritual attainment.

"The "is" is the total absence of distance, that is, presence. There is no way to be closer to Great Time-Space-Knowledge than to be it. Speaking literally, we could say "Reality-Is-Time-Is-Space-Is-Knowledge; and vice-versa. This is not meant to give a new description of reality but to recall that reality is, without being separated from anything else." Mastery of Mind: Perspectives on Time, Space and Knowledge

Breathwalk: Breathing Your Way to a Revitalized Body, Mind and Spirit by Gurucharan Singh Phd Khalsa

The Kundalini Yoga Experience: Bringing Body, Mind, and Spirit Together by Dharam S. Khalsa

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