What is Kundalini Energy?
In order to understand something of the nature of Kundalini enrgy, it is necessary first to understand something of the paradigm or world-view which supports this rather unusual and profound phenomenon. The following ideas have been taken from both ancient Hindu philosophy and the writings of Gopi Krishna.
Western scientific thought, despite the discoveries of physics in the last 100 years, is rooted in the idea that what we perceive with our senses is ‘real’ and external to us and that our consciousness or subjective experience is simply an epi-phenomenon, or consequence, of the chemical activity of the brain.
The esoteric systems of India, on the other hand, view consciousness as the ultimate or paramount reality. This supreme reality, or Brahman as it is called, is said to be beyond the capacity of our limited human mind to perceive directly, as it is infinite, formless, timeless, and has no physical attributes by which we can comprehend it directly. Our individual awareness is said to be like a drop in this infinite ocean and the physical world that we perceive as external to us is held to be a projection of this individual drop of awareness.
This constitutes a complete reversal of the western, scientific, world-view. The reason that we do not experience reality in this way, at our current level of perception, is due to the limitations placed on our consciousness by the brain and nervous system of our body, through which it functions. The goal of evolution, or at least the next step to which we are evolving, would be the enhancement of our perceptive faculties to the point where this new world-picture is a day-to-day reality.
Since our world view, physical existence, and mental process are rooted in dualism, i.e. good/bad; up/down; male/female; hot/cold, positive/negative, etc., our minds are more comfortable conceptualizing this ultimate reality in dualistic terms. They have been defined by Hindu philosophical thought as Supreme Consciousness and an Infinite Creative Energy, or Shiva and Shakti.
From this Shakti, at one level, the physical universe, consisting of matter and the four known forces, is manifested. At another level, it manifests as prana, or the animating principle which gives life to all sentient things. This animating principle, referred to at this level as Kundalini, is most evident in the process of conception, development of the embryo, and birth where, after this process is complete and a new individual is born, it is said to go into a quiescent or dormant state at the base of the spine where it maintains the basic life processes of the body.
As the microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm, so the universal principles of Shiva and Shakti are present in the human body. Shiva is held to be the conscious principle centered in the head, while Shakti (referred to as Kundalini energy) lies in a quiescent state at the base of the spine.
As a consequence of our lifestyle, spiritual practices, heredity, and other factors, Kundalini can become reactivated and the same processes which built our body in the womb now begin to function again, but in a different manner. They now work to refashion the brain, organs, and nervous system so that a more elevated form of consciousness is possible. The ultimate, although rarely attained, goal of Kundalini is to permanently transform our being so that a new perceptive faculty emerges by which we can experience reality directly as consciousness. In most cases, however, the individual eventually becomes more creative, psychically sensitive, aware of who they are, and better adjusted to their environment, with an enhanced faith in the Divine.
The effects of this activity are many and varied and can extend to all aspects of our being–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. They can range from being barely noticeable to totally overwhelming. They can vary widely in duration and ultimate effect from individual to individual as a great many factors are involved. To someone who is not familiar with what is happening and why, these processes can be quite disturbing and even terrifying. Attempts to obtain guidance and support from medical and health care professionals and religious institutions are often found to be frustrating and even counter-productive, due to the general lack of good information on this subject.
But it must always be kept in mind that the process is a natural one, as much a part of our being as conception and birth, and although it may sometimes be difficult, it is attempting to bring about change of a very positive nature in us to advance the level of our evolution both as individuals and as a species.
Authors Details: Kundalini Energy – Institute for Consciousness Research (web site closed)