Category Archives: Kundalini

Upcoming Attractions

Time to check in again. The new batch of stuff is getting closer and I can give you more of a preview.

As noted, I’m finished with personal psychology etc. for now. I’m going to try and offer a view of Kundalini experience that’s in key with what Glenn put out, more so than the post-theosophical stuff you mostly get now (although they dovetail fine).

From Glenn’s position you can look out over a wide landscape where all sorts of other things fit perfectly. Before he ever started the meditation that awoke Kundalini he was always interested in traditional religion and shamanism from a psychological angle. I’ve noticed that those who are instinctually into the fantastic really dig Glenn. The interface of all that with mythology will show some great ways to re-understand reality. I’ll be talking about the imagination a lot, giving ways to think about it that separate it from the idea of “false or unreal”, as well as the mythic from the “fictional”.

With reference to my own experiences, Glenn’s written examples, and some other stuff from the (mostly modern, not all) literature on spiritual experience, I’m going to try and show the shape of transpersonal as an exploration, bound up with how the world fits together, in a loose model you can use, trying to give flavour and feeling. I’ll link everything in to all the literature that explains it best. And all of this will happen in a new format which will shake things up a little.

By the end of the initial tranche, if you awaken Kundalini, you should be in a more advantageous position for harmonising your experiences, taking advantage of the work of preceding generations, and staying out of the rubber room.

Here’s a taster that may surprise you. I’d like to introduce you to this wonderful lecture by J. Stephen Lansing:

A Thousand Years in Bali

Sorry I couldn’t get it to embed. (If you want to get rid of the subtitles just pick the top option, “Choose language…”)

I reference the feeling behind these ideas a lot right now. Expansion of the holotropic spontaneity stuff, out from the personal and psychological, into the ecological and the cultural. This vid so beautifully introduces you to how patterns at a basic level “on earth” form through self-organizing complex systems. The background is ecology. I have a feeling you’ll be as glued as I was, but what you’ll note too is where he covers human beings partaking in this process via mythic imagination, ritual and democracy. It’s all very practical and actually observed in operation on mundane levels, unlike what most people think “myth” is — there’s nothing “escapist” about the mythic imagination, it is absolutely life and death**.

The vid is a perfect demonstration of a) How these relationships form in nature and ritual; b) How some of our modern science is actually able to understand this very well if we actually use it; and c) How if we use the wrong myths we ignore the science and slaughter the relationships. Always important to know who the good guys are.

What comes up on this blog will I hope get “under the skin” of such a view of reality and apply it to a life more like yours, especially if that life undergoes the amplification of energy and imagination in Kundalini. The deep meaning comes vivified under your eyes, as recorded in experiences going back millennia. The actualised shaman is the steward of his entrainments.

Stay tuned folks!

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** “In using Escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter.” — Tolkien, On Fairy Stories, and yes, modern fantasy culture figures in too…


Thinking about The Thing Itself

Talking can occlude, and I’m not posting so much right now, but I’ve got things planned that will go in a new and I think interesting direction, tying everything together and inaugurating another phase of the blog. That new way should better handle talk about “the thing itself”, and also give a set of bamboo sticks one can push into the ground to guide understanding of Glenn’s practice, and Kundalini experience and ascent generally. Some people have been asking about that for a while and I think I have an answer or two coming up.

Meanwhile here are some thoughts on “the thing itself” which may be particularly useful if Kundalini is already active within you, or anyway worth bearing in mind:

those who seek for it externally lose it internally;
those who preserve it internally attain it externally as well.

Huainanzi 7.1

What you are looking for is what is looking — St Francis

That which you are seeking is causing you to seek — Zen proverb

I felt the sentiment of being spread
O’er all that moves.

– William Wordsworth, Prelude

It is like an infinite Ocean of Awareness pervading my own small pool of consciousness within and the whole universe I perceive with my senses, outside. It is as if a radiant living Presence encompasses everything that exists both within and outside of me.

– Gopi Krishna, The Real Nature of Mystical Experience

Unknown, unthought of, yet I was most rich,
I had a world about me — ‘twas my own,
I made it; for it only lived to me,
And to the God who looked into my mind.

– William Wordsworth, Prelude

That is, one, instead of being a pygmy, in this state feels himself to be a king, feels himself to be the master of what he sees. It is not the ego, it is the very condition of this consciousness. That is the reason why it is said that no mystic would change his state, even for a kingdom.

– Gopi Krishna, Last Interview

a person who can have the world is invariably
someone who will not strive for it.

Huainanzi 2.11

Though the myriad things are boundless in numbers, which of them will they not possess?

Huainanzi 2.4

All things were spotless and pure and glorious: yea, and infinitely mine, and joyful, and precious.

– Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations

Their spirits:
cross Mount Li or the Taihang Mountains and have no difficulty;
enter the Four Seas or the Nine Rivers and cannot be trapped;
lodge in narrow defiles and cannot be obstructed;
spread across the realm of Heaven and Earth and are not stretched.

Huainanzi 2.12


The very definition of “relevant”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi recalling childhood experience of World War II:

As a child, I witnessed the dissolution of the smug world in which I had been comfortably ensconced. I noticed with surprise how many of the adults I had known as successful and self-confident became helpless and dispirited once the war removed their social supports. Without jobs, money, or status, they were reduced to empty shells. Yet there were a few who kept their integrity and purpose despite the surrounding chaos. Their serenity was a beacon that kept others from losing hope. And these were not the men and women one would have expected to emerge unscathed: they were not necessarily the most respected, better educated, or more skilled individuals. This experience set me thinking: what sources of strength were these people drawing on?

Now that is a good question, as the unpleasantly squirting shits of a rotgut technoswill society continue to play havoc with smugness in their degenerative storms. Luckily there are quite a few good answers. The second Havens/Walters hypno book I just mentioned last post has an approach to this called psychological hardiness — good term — that comes from some research at the University of Chicago, a subset of the general question of psychological resilience which is as important to individuals as physical resilience is to communities. I’m not saying I particularly like their definition, which is business-orientated, but once you start fooling with it…

(And by the way, the singular lack of psychological resilience in many isn’t at all unrelated to the total non-resilience of the culture.)

What I cheer in that book is the encapsulation of hardiness in a hypnosis script. I love occasionally finding someone doing things like that; again, this is how it should work. Maybe as a hypnotherapist I’ll offer trance to help with adaptation to peak oil too.

I suspect formless soul isn’t part of that theory though. Ronald Havens was and remains a materialist, a very nice and intelligent chap indeed from a couple of interactions I’ve had with him — loves his motorbikes — but one who works with a “cosmic consciousness” he thinks is in our heads! Yeah. (He did a book on that too BTW, it’s very good for what it is.) Catherine Walters of the golden voice has I think gone the more reiki-and-ascension route since co-writing with Havens, and that’s hardly me either… But any particular biases don’t mean the work won’t be generally useful, since it can always be adjusted.

Those in Csikszentmihalyi’s example who were only happy with jobs/money/status were empty shells all along anyway. He must have sensed their nature wasn’t changed by their fall in circumstance, but revealed. See that is how it works!

Answer to question why develop my own transpersonal application of hypnosis? Because what I’ve seen is just not very interesting. I look at most of the books and courses around, and it’s all blah blah anchoring, blah blah EFT, subpersonalities, addiction, blah blah healing pain relief, spirit release, past lives, blah blah Jungian archetypes. It’s good stuff if you’ve never encountered it, but not what I’d call transpersonal.

I’ve hardly seen anything in hypnosis (with the possible exception of Bernard Aaronson’s famous script for inducing void from 1969 — different era!) that even tries to look at that, and it’s not surprising because what’s involved is rather different from hypnosis as normally understood. As for something like this, I only hope it’s harmless, that’s all. This is the problem with a spiritual free market.

What is nice to see is some people resurrecting Mesmer in terms of energy hypnosis…


Holotropic Spontaneity and Carl Rogers XIX

Final Thoughts

The way that I like begins, not with some creed, but with a possibility, to gradually discover and transform into something much more like one’s best self. (In a way this seems to involve healing all the damage done by creeds.) Rogers really has a great approach the human levels of this and gives a lovely modern guide into the process.

The atmosphere is one of complete supportive non-judgmentalism which creates a safety of thought and expression. So one moves from being trapped within feelings and attitudes to being able to notice and understand them, and frees oneself from habitual interpretations. One builds a new self-system and lives in it in a renewed context.

Quiet enables recovery from a hundred minor traumas and perhaps some major ones. The sweet rest of the parasympathetic comes to predominate in the nervous system. (Peace also turns out to be strongly linked with invigorating aliveness, whilst unpeacefulness inculcates deadness at rates which should be sobering but sadly rarely are.) No body is ungrateful for having its tendons transformed.

As Glenn says, the result of discovering meaning and meaningfulness is to exist in “calm connectedness”. This means normal life would otherwise be disconnected (estrangement). The recovery process thus leads somewhere one couldn’t consciously aim, therefore one gradually learns to trust it. Whoever one “is”, whatever the life one is entrained to, the process takes in all of its elements and begins to reveal the underlying connection between them, the person who is doing that living, who would be lost if focused on objects. One expresses this in one’s own way, learning to know where the ups and downs naturally come and when to push or relax. This is part of what Rogers called “being process”.

I don’t mean to imply in this series that seeing a therapist (or indeed a healer) isn’t a good idea. One might uncover difficulties emotionally, and whilst there are some people who find it possible to get over that by themselves, there are others who don’t. Follow your heart. But whether one sees a therapist or not, the process is the process, and it is your process. You be the judge of what is needed as you make your moves and allow spontaneous action/reaction. Success often lies in taking the highest promptings seriously.

Meditation actually improves the Rogerian formula even at the beginning. Silence, that ultimate answer to all earthly questions, is not usually used in a non-transpersonal therapy. When combined with Rogerian technique, it brings a deep balm, ease and peace to the person who has probably been without it for a long while.

The stillness of meditation starts to manifest the deeper meaning of the person’s life which begins to be directly felt. This creates an atmosphere that forms the basis for realisation, for awareness of depth. It is totally natural and comes unsought. It simply needs to be allowed to come, needs the space in which to come. Although it may not have the mighty luminosity of transpersonal experience at first, the solidity, selfness, reality of the result still comes to be valued more than anything else which could disturb it, and thus life changes suggest themselves to preserve and deepen what one is becoming. There may be considerably less sayable in the new identity than in the old.

To my mind this all concatenates with chi kung. I should mention shen, a hard-to-translate word rendered variously as “spirit”, “mind”, “daimon”, “all-embracing love” or “awareness”. Shen as it first manifests in chi kung tends to give the feeling of a deep heart-peace and acceptance, intimately quiet and relieving, that gradually reveals an inner illumination which is the beginning of (re-)encountering the real. It also, in the Chinese conception, is the result of natural processes, which harmonise and unblock chi whilst jing, life essence, is allowed to build. Shen later is spirit or consciousness itself, and therefore the signal of realisation.

There are obviously many transformations after this, on the path I like, many things that reveal themselves beyond this initial stage. Spiritual truth is not “psychological” in the modern sense and the quest reveals itself on levels that (I believe) we all know, but in practical terms, have mostly forgotten if not for the promptings we all feel towards those levels. Gopi Krishna attributed those holotropic promptings to the Kundalini process making itself known on a quiet level to everyone, I think correctly. Our lives wish to deepen.

But as long as this initial understanding has been attained, it can be developed in daily life as well, and forms a sign of what is to come as well as a doorway to it. Everything that happens becomes part of its flow. One always has an awareness, a place to which to return. One is just oneself, after all.

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That’s the end of the series — many thanks for reading and welcome to all the new subscribers!

The reading lists all need a huge amount of redoing… I hope to get that done later on… I know I keep saying that…

The problem is that the next series has made for a huge amount of research, and I’d like to make as much of it available as I can. In fact that research is still ongoing, so there’s going to be a gap before the series begins, but fear not as I’ll be doing short posts on various other subjects as they take my fancy.

Answer to the question: do I still use hypnosis? Yes. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise at all. More on that in a sec. Does hypnosis tie in with this series? Absolutely can. The Ericksonian unconscious works by the same kind of spontaneity. (EDIT: Just saw this book combining Erickson and Rogers.)

More recent work in the vein of Maslow and Rogers has been done by Czikszentmihalyi and Seligman, and there are various other things out there of interest in the same direction. More on them as I fill in before the next series, but I won’t be writing about psychology in any depth for a while now as we need to venture into the wild.


Holotropic Spontaneity and Carl Rogers XVI

Getting nearer the end of the series, I thought I’d illustrate everything with an example of what this kind of process can do, even without any directly spiritual approach. Here is someone’s personal statement about their own therapy which I found in a different context, researching the last series on SBNR. Academic writers used it to illustrate SBNR’s positive effects, but it is not transpersonal in any literal way, remaining within ordinary bounds which is what I’m trying to do in this series.

It does show the wide applicability of Rogers, because all his ideas are present even though the therapy itself is unconnected with him. The writer is a breast cancer sufferer by the name of Julie, and she chose a way of healing focused on art therapy (her emphasis throughout):

I believe art therapy saved my life by giving me the opportunity to get in touch with my authentic self. This part of me is now allowed to have a life. The part that existed before was a highly developed false self. Every year it became harder and harder to do everything I thought I should do… I continued to ignore my body’s messages until one day I scattered into tiny pieces and my self-sufficiency, my bravado, my achievements trickled out of my body as I sobbed and shivered.

… in art therapy my mind was not in charge. It did not control the paint or glue… The materials would have their say, be whatever they were, show their qualities and I would make a connection, engage with them. Images emerged from my inner world that I had lost touch with. It was here that I discovered my values, my priorities, and came to understand that I had sacrificed them for the most urgent demands of life. As time went on it was here that I examined the parts of myself that had been scattered, and I reclaimed those that I recognised as authentic.

These fragmented and lost parts appeared week by week on the paper. It was a process of gathering — my grief, my desolate childhood, my feminine qualities, divinity. They were brought to my centre, later I mixed [sic] with a pulse of light and leaps of joy.

Art therapy is not for producing a picture for anyone else, it is about being spontaneous, allowing something deep inside to express itself, to make its mark. I believe that the body knows how to heal itself, redress the balance… Recently I made ‘well’ my being which reached down into the watery depths and stretched up higher than a spire to bubbles of joy.

This is spontaneity producing health and authenticity over time, by personal exploration and acceptance. When you know your system can heal itself and is working positively by nature, harmonising with it obviously becomes far easier. It is a question of allowing “it” to do what only “it” can — my mind was not in charge. It did not control the paint or glue — and that approach is the beginning of much else.

We get all the elements here that Rogers would predict such as holotropic spontaneity, coming into tune with the organismic self, and the removal of social masks and roles. We also see shattered subpersonalities recombining (These fragmented and lost parts appeared week by week on the paper. It was a process of gathering). Overly-fixed ideas of self have given way to a general acceptance of self as a process that one follows. It is now known that the part of self which lasts throughout such changes is not based on a static image.

There are also reminiscences of Abraham Maslow as covered earlier — a definite move up the pyramid of needs from lower to higher actualised values and priorities for example (the “urgent demands of life” will no longer overrule actualisation) but again, spontaneously rather than in response to some external imposition. There’s also an orientation to peak experience in the “pulse of light and leaps of joy”.

If Julie were also a meditator, she would be well-prepared now on a personality level for serious work on energy — a relatively spontaneous and personal preparation, without any dogmatic belief system. It has emphasised picture-making art but it could emphasise anything on the previous list, or nothing in particular. What it has done is to loosen her and ready her (should she choose) for the more radical changes of awakening. She is balanced, has discovered and interacted with her own life process, and been transformed by it, not according to an intellectual/linear therapeutic timetable, but just according to her internal rhythms.


Holotropic Spontaneity and Carl Rogers I

A lot of this is about spontaneity.

Spontaneity of course can manifest in the “sudden solution” and “sudden inspiration” experienced by most people now and then, often described by artists or scientists etc. It’s dubbed the “Breakout” by Herbert Benson. Artists know the difference between real inspiration welling up, which is natural, and that which is calculated. The key in all these effects is their appearance from outside the system one thinks of as “oneself”.

Spiritually Transformative Experience works in just the same way. It is a natural welling-up, whether it is deliberately sought or unexpected.

When Kundalini comes, for example, sometimes it is dramatic:

Suddenly, with a roar like that of a waterfall, I felt a stream of liquid light entering my brain through the spinal cord… I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping outside of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light…

– Gopi Krishna, Kundalini (1967)

One day, when I was meditating… an incredible power rushed through my spine to the top of my head… My whole body was burning… I felt as if my head would explode with energy…

– Hiroshi Motoyama, Theories of the Chakras (1981)

As I was running energy around the orbit… I saw a brownish-gold coil of powerful energy… it had a head like a viper and began to come up my spinal column… when it reached the skull this time there was no mercy and no stopping it… It was as if the top of my skull blew off and I was radiating up into a fountain of light…

– Glenn Morris, Path Notes of an American Ninja Master (1993)

But the welling-up I’ll write about in this series is quieter, and more of an initial preparation in many ways, forming a ground for experience to come. It’s also about coming to see one’s own personality and thus is not merely a quiet process, but it’s a gradual one, generating a new personality that is truer to the soul.


Happy New Year, Thankyou, and Updates

I would like to wish all ‘Box readers a very happy new year!

Thanks for all the extra attention and hits on the last series, the new subscribers and the bigger numbers were very welcome! This year I will be continuing the series approach, but we will now be moving into far more mind-melting territories and the series will become more sustainedly intense than anything I’ve done previously.

I’d also like to thank everyone who wrote and commented about my situation, that “karmic oil spill” in my family and so on. I would say that situation is considerably improved. How? That’s amongst the things I’ll be writing about, but a lot of it is chi kung pure and simple. I still do a lot of Jin Shin Jyutsu as well. I’ve now fully learned the meridian forms I wrote about before which have become really important and are part of the healing. But the bigger part is interaction with Kundalini which is a wider subject. Looking for the proper frame(s) through which to view that is something I’ll really be onto this year.

If you offered help for my healing, please may I say that I am very grateful, even if I didn’t happen to accept! I not only appreciate the thought, but I may take you up on it yet. I am still not fully well but I have made huge progress and cannot understand how I have lived my life this long the way I was! Healing of this depth is extraordinary. This episode turns out to be the reason for unexpected difficulties I experienced in my awakening previously, and is dovetailing with a fairly big expansion of my understanding and consciousness. Which is always nice.

I hope I can somehow turn this to profit by the way I write about it here. It’s all down to interaction with Kundalini, the way it spontaneously re-orders the energy system, and how that interacts with other systems. I want to present to you (none too soon some will say) a vision of how this all interacts with the kind of cultural stuff I ended on last year, with history and art and science in a bigger picture, but also with individual psychology and transformation.

What is all this stuff anyway? How does it work, what is the big picture? Writing a blog often atomises subjects by dribbling them out piecemeal but now I want to pull them together. Not that it will be some totalising vision — it’ll interface with what you already see, but I hope expand it in worthwhile ways.

First job however will be to turn that dreadful “About” page into something more representative…

Have a great 2013!

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EDIT TO CLARIFY: With the meridian qigong I do four meridians per day, once round the cycle. You do learn the meridians very well. The other nice thing is that it builds in a lot of basic stretching of the neck, lots of lift-and-pour, facial point massage etc. that you then don’t have to do separately.


Spiritual But Not Religious in 2012 – X

5 Elemental Challenges — Earth (part 1)

With the incredible growth of SBNR, we would expect problems to become more obvious. This doesn’t mean the problems are new — they may be age-old. A kind ’Box reader pointed out a Kundalini guru grandiosely instructing female disciples to worship him sexually, seemingly true and a fine if small-scale example of an abuse that has gone on for centuries.

But a connecting link amongst newer destructive cults is their being held in a simplistic belief portraying some monomythical manifest destiny, whose top-down administration becomes an orthodoxy, an ideocracy, and finally a psychosis. This is the irruption of social patterns from religion into SBNR where they do not necessarily belong, and the combination of them with ego. The worst cases yet are probably Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate and Aum Shinrikyo. There is certainly something quite modern about these; they are trying to take SBNR social forms but can’t manage it and regress dramatically and destructively.

What we in the West call Religion can tell big stories. It can say “we are all [x]”, “god is [x]”, “the universe is [x]”, reducing the world to simplified summary without fear of essential contradiction. Cheerleading a storyline that has to pass through a narrow bottleneck of easy crowd relatability can’t really work for SBNR, which has to be complex and democratic. Insisting upon those storylines can backfire dramatically.


Bath

Hey there. This bath for cleansing the energy has helped many and I thought I’d share it in case it’s useful. It comes from the esteemed sorcerer Draja Mickharic (p. 38 in my edn.), and he says he got it from Reichians. It certainly has a more noticeable and powerful effect than most ritual baths of this type. It seems to cleanse off difficult energy associated in particular with strong reactivity and adrenaline, so it works very well for calming down over-excitement or anxiety and brittleness etc. One theory is that it rebalances the electromagnetic system, which is probably right.

You take it last thing at night, right before going to bed. Mix together 500g each of sea salt and bicarbonate of soda. Run a lukewarm bath and put the powders in, mixing until they are fully dissolved. Set a timer for 20 minutes, get in and immerse yourself including the head. Come up for air and relax, then continue frequent immersions alternating with relaxation until the time is up. Towel dry and go right to bed; sleep until you naturally wake.


Good Interview

I loved this new interview with William Irwin Thompson:

He has such a great attitude to the history of SBNR. His interviewer Pir Zia Inayat Khan is more formal and religious than I would normally like, but he turns out to have a great power of listening which really makes the moment happen.


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