The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Thank you for your sharing Phil, and I sure would like to share more. To date, I have walked my path mostly alone as I had a feeling of not knowing whose words/guidance to trust. Though I recognized my lack of trust as resultant from my wounding as a child and did not like it as I saw that it kept me from moving forward in love in earlier days, it also seems to have been as a gift to me in these later days of my life. Seeing that there are many who are only too quick to lead one down this path or that, I questioned every one of them inside my being, praying time and again for the guidance of God. Reminds me of a native american saying I recently became familiar with that says, when searching for a vision, "if a bear comes to visit you, send him away.. if a cougar comes to visit you, send him away, etc. etc.. and hold out for God. Your mention that some powers of darkness inhere from our own brokenness and sinfulness and reference of thoughts and emotions that enter our stream of consciousness and feeling body, is something that has become quite apparent to me. I have memory of having felt quite innocent and pure as a child.. and in wondering in these later days, "where did that go, where did these lesser feelings come from and why," I postulated, precisely as you are saying, that they are inhered from the world, from our environment. I feel quite blessed in that these feelings never won over on me as a child, and that I was able to maintain a steadfast inner search for the love of God that I knew existed. But I am equally aware that I did contain many ill feelings resultant from my environment.. only that I had the strength to not act from them which could have caused me to lead a lesser path in life. From where does a child receive such a blessing? How is it that one who grows admisdt violence, incest, abuse of power, physical and spiritual abuse maintain an eye and heart for love? I feel that I have been quite blessed in this, that God has cared deeply for me over the years. Ok, I realize I have just emotionalised this.. but it is this emotion which has so guided me down the right path in my life.. which has kept me holding out for God. To get back on track with sharing on the various forms of guidance/impressions being received... Some short time after my brow chakra was opened, there came a piercing sensation there, after which I began reliving my childhood on an emotional level.. and I must admit that much of the feelings that began coming in seemed much greater than what I could say were my own. When I began talking about the things in my family that had been kept secret for so many years, there welled within me a deep sense of betrayal that produced a great amount of fear for having brought these things out into the light. Where oh where did this come from, I had to ask. Sure felt much more, energetically, that my own stuff. It brought me to visions of my family, seeing and feeling the emotional exuding that were present within the body of my family for so many years. So many moments of those years began flashing before my eyes.. and I were feeling great confusion. I felt like I were dealing with a monster of emotional energy.. the rage, the anger, sadness, fear, deep hurt, pain, sadness.. all the things born of spiritual abuse. Things got ugly real fast. I entered a period where I felt as though my crown and heart chakras were on fire, blown wide open with all sorts of crap blazing through me. I had been in a state of bliss, love, accepting openheartedness for about three months prior to this time and I could not quite fathom for where all this had come. Slowly, but surely, I strengthened my will via prayer knowing that God would deliver me, all the while spilling out powerfully deep cries that felt spiritually sickening to me. Shortly before this time, I had experienced a gut curdling, tweezing sensation in the area of my solar plexus, feeling a need to vomit in a spiritual sense. I can't help but believe this were resultant from the workings of the guide who bears the medicinal scent. That I were being moved into a deep healing. So much of my early process seemed directed by a force from outside of myself. All of the stages of my awakening came, almost as if on cue, when reading and studying (mostly) Christian based spiritual material. During the ensuing process many thoughts and fears raced through my mind and I experienced wild rushes of adrenalized energy running through my body. Being around and going near my parents brought up monstrous feelings within me. And though I did not want to entertain the idea that these were born from outside of myself, from the ethereal realms, I am sure some of it was quite so. Had a degree of possession occurred? I think so. I was on the downside of this when I began communicating with you last year. Those were some dark nights I do not wish to revisit. I felt as though I were battling some powerful archetypes. I recall how when I would read the bible in those days that there were present within me a feeling of fear and unworthiness. I felt so totally isolated and separated from God, yet I wanted so much to know His love, to be assured of His love. This caused cries of deep longing within me. What were this spirit that I were dealing with? It has felt like a psychic structure/formation from which I needed to break through. Surely one born in those that experience the same sort of life circumstance that I did. In short, I too am convinced that there are spirits of emotional energy structure, if you will, that permeate our world, are attracted too and feed on those whose experience resonates their qualities.. all created from the dilemna of man's separation from God, from wholeness through the years. I am very aware of these, can see/feel them in others everywhere I go. I find it most important to simply maintain of state of love in all my affairs. And still, there comes many times when I feel a need to release to God what comes inside of me. So, yes, time and again, I am led into the contemplation, the space of my heart where I turn it over to God.. and always find the assurance, the vision, to continue on my path. The struggle that I still have is staying my heart on love at all moments.. this is most relfected when I find that I am operating from my wounding in life and it allows the lesser emotions to come through. But I also believe it is necessary to continue clearing whatever residues are there.. that God walks with me always. It seems to me to be a path of learning to walk in harmony, in balance, in love.. with the love of God as my guide - where one learns to no longer cast judgments and create/experience pain and disharmony via their projections, but staying their heart always on God. Reminds me of a passage from the New Testament where Jesus said that "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light." A neccessary process, I think, for one now learning to live "not of this world," but to use their discernment in bringing the separation of ego in alignment with our true self..
What strikes me about your story, Embrace, is how real healing can and does take place for those who are open to being cleansed. Would that the woundings of our lives (and perhaps of the universe) could be dispelled in one fell swoop, but there's something about living through the cleansing which enables us to be born anew, and to avoid falling into the same mistakes and sins again.
It's not always easy to tell if a guide is really an externalization of our own "stuff," or a real entity. The beauty of surrendering this to the care of Christ and His Spirit is that we don't really need to know that, for sure. In either case, our consciously inviting Him to be our guide and healer will suffice. This is not to discount in any way the assistance we might receive from human agents of healing--only that it's very important to entrust the rebirthing process and formation of the soul to Jesus, and no other. It sounds like you've come to this appreciation yourself, and that some very good things are happening for you.
Oh how many time I have wondered Phil, "Is what I am feeling my own stuff?" and did and continue to give this away to God. Often when I have tried to understand from where some issues come, I only made it harder for myself.. as questioning and doubt seems only to breed more of the same.
I have received much in my sharing here.. looking refelctively at my own posts coupled with the insights that came as a result of responses from all of you.
Embrace, one of the things I've come to accept is that I don't even need to know where the "stuff" that's passing through is coming from. If it's a cleansing of my own personal unconscious, so be it; if a more universal, cosmic kind of thing and I'm being used as a vacuum cleaner, even better! It all works unto personal and universal transformation, and in my faith-understanding, I view this as a means by which Christ is saving the world. Maybe this isn't so, in which case I'll simply state that I prefer living with my illusions on this one.
Serious about reliable information on Kundalini manifestations and its treatment? They believe in and practise universal love and selfless service, so go to:
The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, Himalayas, India
I got hooked on astrology more than ten years ago, know so much about it that friends still call and email to ask me to tell what the stars are doing, pass on the birthdate of a potential mate to see if the stars match, etc. I still read astro daily reports like the weather report and did also have a Vedic chart done. And yes, I've found the information valuable on lots of levels, and in fact, my chart even confirmed when the kundalini went off (an 8th house Uranus transit as part of the explanation for anyone who is interested.)
But, and here's the big BUT, here's a spiritual insight I got during a long and silent retreat at Intercessors of the Lamb this year, a Catholic convent renowned for expertise in spiritual warfare. I had a terrific nun as my spiritual director and prayed and journaled via biblical passages (and was prayed for and over by this amazing gracefilled group of hermits.) Astrology, as you may know, is labelled the keys to the soul. I think that's wrong now. The time, date, location of your birth may in fact have all kinds of significance in terms of what you come in with, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit promise much more, much beyond all of it. I know from my own chart and from knowing others deeply involved in astrology, that things that were supposed to happen according to the transits (or even various interpretations) never did for any number of reasons. I think the Holy Spirit intervenes in our lives if we give it the choice, heals, protects us and our souls. Astrology may provide a chart and some understanding, but Jesus lifts us out of all of it. I found relevant biblical passages that brought me to this realization, the notes of which I can't find as I write this, but the conclusion I came to is following astrology is like putting on a pair of old boots and treading down the same (energy) pathways, making the path deeper and deeper. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, lifts our being (mind body spirit here) out of those treaded ways and helps us create a life new in Christ. It was an astounding revelation to me (perhaps because I have a lousey chart) and has held true in months since. I also recommend looking at City of God by St. Augustine. He has some great insights into the shortcomings of astrology, as the language of the ancient pagan gods. (or in today's lingo, the "frequency" or vibe of those energies.
WC, please don't give more authority to what any astrologer tells you about what's coming up in your life in a chart interpretation over how that can be changed by your belief in Christ and a spiritual practice of praying, Eucharist and fasting, among other disciplines. Nothing is stronger medecine, trust me, for overcoming any obstacles you're facing, on any level, including an impaired K.
I figured you'd have something to share. Much agreement with the transcendental affects of grace and the limits of astrology; however, from a psychological point-of-view I found the readings strangely accurate re: details of my life history. It is simply a means to an end, not a last word on anything, although the 8th House predominance speaks clearly to me about the particular pattern of suffering which is so consistent with the horrors of my childhood.
The key in prayer for me is to be as simple as possible, which often escapes my best intentions. It is as though simplicity itself is a gift, or quite a vast undoing so that God can be received in the heart. I doubt I'll utilize the Sanskrit mantram, as intuition suggests otherwise. Last night I spent about 3 hrs in prayer, which was very intimate and simple. The K. loves the devotional relationship, and usually remains smooth in response, although a day or two later that energetic response can bring upon the unloading of the unconscious that Keating speaks of.
Just to note that I'm not dismissive of astrology as an analysis tool as far as helping to define what we come in with and the impact of transits we may be wrestling with. It can be scarily accurate. (Ever read up on what astrology had to say about 9-11?) In fact, after years of therapy in my 20s, it took getting my chart done at the age of 29 (also significant) for me to really understand my mother as the female archetype in my life. She was a blur up to then (understandably) and to this day, the astrological interpretation, does, indeed hold true. The "karmic" elements of astrology don't disturb me either and even support the biblical analysis that God knew us before we were made, and we may be here to work out that separation as a result.
But the predictive aspects of astrology can be disturbing, I think, particulary as one is trying to heal an impaired K since it can allow us to cling to more negativity that we might otherwise dismiss, or not even hold in our thoughtforms. And I also have to add, that one charisma I've had since childhood, pre my K awakening, is the ability to see auric fields, and of my several friends who practice astrology professionally (and truly are friends), I have to say that their auric fields are pretty muddy. (and also to add that this is no reason to disqualify their friendships, just as anyone else walking around with wounds, etc.) Somehow immersing oneself in that knowledge of the stars is not much of a saving grace, personally, though I guess you could say those with deeps wounds would go into astrology for deeper understanding, thus explaning the darker auric fields around them, they have their own deep stuff to work out. But I don't think astrology, as a science, is much of a heart opener. Its just information that can interpreted in a number of different ways and from what I've seen and heard, most astrologers cling to their own perceptions in their interpretations, either playing cheerleader by glossing over the negative, or clinging to the negative interpretations as a sign of "worst-case" scenerios.
Moreover, the professional astrologer who taught me mostly what I know, who was a neighbor of mine in NYC and renowned for working on the "Son of Sam" case (the serial murderer struck at astrologically favored times for such evil), worked on a project that gave us some interesting insights. She partnered with the Jungian Institute in NYC to basically run computerized life charts for historical figures whose time, date of birth, was accurate and life events documented, to determine life patterns, transit documentation, etc. and couple it with psychological data. It took a couple of years and the results were fascinating. Basically, the life path of a person could be charted almost like a physics equation, using the equivalent of geometic co-sign waves (etc, I can't remember all the mathematical language) that imitated various transits, i.e. if someone were going through a Uranus square Sun transit, which could be incredibly disruptive in terms of life events. Anyway, the resulting graph for each person could then be looked at in terms of how high and low the various trough dips were (in degrees ) and impact on life events. Since the science of astrology is also dependent on the degrees of the planets, and the squares, trines, etc. these form, the chart/graph also could be interpreted in terms of astrology.
The upshot, in most simplistic terms, was that the higher frequency a soul operated at, the less impact the more serious transits had on their lives. I.E. a sun square Uranus could result in an accident, for example, versus, as opposed to something less serious, i.e. a simple car breakdown or less. Accordingly, if the Holy Spirit, in New Agey terms, lifts one's vibe, then we're able to deflect the denser frequencies around, assuming, one big assumption, that the universe is basically mechanistic and predictable in terms of astrological outlook. (Scientists today use astrology to predict sun spot activity, so who knows?)
I, for one, can't ascribe to a fixed outlook for the universe, but the historical research that was part of the study, which included everyone from Jung himself to Marilyn Monroe (the data revealed that it was likely that she was indeed murdured), Jackie O., Teddy Roosevelt, you name it, a number of people whose biographical information was well known, was fascinating.
Anyway, the result of being so close to astrology for me has given me a lot of information but not much in terms of healing, no kidding. I'm glad you're on a devotional path. In my experience, its the only real answer, and in the words of Maria Callas, the rest is all "ka-ka" if our faith is strong.
This is a very substantive exchange, W.C. and Linda. I'll try to remember where it is on the forum, but am almost tempted to give it its own thread as we've never really addressed the issue of astrology in any depth.
My personal stance regarding the relevance of astrology is much the same as you two are describing, although I don't have any significant training in it at all. Put simply, I view it as a system for accessing metaphysical and archetypal information and consider references to planets, orbits, etc. to be on that level as well. Maybe this could all be considered karmaic forces, in which case we'll find, as expected a different view on how to deal with this coming from the East than we do in Christianity, where Jesus Christ is Lord of all karmaic situations, including those caught up in powers of evil and death. We cease to be victims of personal, familial, social, and cosmic karma when we attach ourselves to him in faith and allow his Spirit to work its tranformative healing in us.
None of which is to say that there's no value in self-knowledge obtained through astrology, MBTI, Enneagram, psychotherapy, and other "systems." I see no problem, either, in employing a practice which the wisdom of the ages has deemed helpful unto healing; i.e., just as I'd take any vitamins recommended by a doctor to improve my biochemistry, so, too, would I practice psychological and metaphysical disciplines to strengthen and heal the more subtle levels of being. The trick is to do so in a greater context of faith and surrender, consecrating even the practice method unto this end (I hear you both saying pretty much the same). Otherwise, it's all too easy to get caught up in "fixing oneself," which is ultimately self-centered and a never-ending process.
I'd agree that the astrological readings, especially when accurate in terms of early patterns, especially the pathological ones, can be a destructive, self-fulfilling prophesy. The one positive trapping I've come away with is in seeing how early family dynamics play into the bigger picture of resolving what could be considered the "soul group" karma, a provisionally more hopeful picture when those early experiences were grim and otherwise needless.
Christianity would have something unique to offer if it would at least take up the subject from the point-of-view you describe, a kind of theological anthropology captured in St. Paul's numinous musing: "The whole creation moans in expectancy for the revelation of the sons of God (perhaps not a bad rendering of the karmic dilemma)."
Off that tangeant and onto another, which Phil may want to shuddle to another thread . . .
Has anyone (there's your bait Linda!) found benefit in "mirror therapy?" I don't mean to refer to a specific therapeutic discipline, but it's probably out there. The experience I've had from letting myself be seen by self is that it can put one in touch with nurturing qualities of the soul, with the goodness that God sees in us when we realize He is always beholding us. Something also happens along the lines of the "being seen" experience which many children lack and need for development. So what I'm referring to isn't checking for wrinkles or fantasizing a compensatory image, but seeing what other people see when they look at you i.e. actually having the experience of being "seeable." It seems that we can have an abundance of this soul essence shining through the most vulnerable features, but not have it as a conscious experience of the self if the mirrorings in early attachment relationships were not substantial. There is also a calming/integrating effect on K.
I just recalled something that relates with this experience of peering into one's own eyes. Several years ago in a phone conversation with a well-known Vedic scholar, I was referred to several texts in the Vedas that describe the nadi system, or central channels of energy through which kundalini expresses itself physiologically. These texts describe the largest bundle of nadis emmanating from the heart chakra as connecting to the back of the eyes.
Isn't that rich?!
Little wonder it is so important for children to be seen and delighted in, and seen compassionately especially during periods of distress. This seeing not only taps the reservoir of the soul hidden in the heart, but the child's reflection in the parents' eyes generates the conditions for an emerging ego identity as well. This is one way of explaining how essential it is to have a relatively intact ego before the larger spiritual process of its dissolution, and how failure to establish that relative identity can put one at risk for psychosis or other serious troubles (i.e., activation of narcissistic wounds and the unacknowledged appearance of grandiosity in the spiritual quest as the kundalini unfolds).
And so when we peer openly into whatever is seen in our eyes, we can allow ourselves to be cherished by God, whose kingdom is within. About 4 years ago I was doing some heart-centered meditations, and had become simple enough with it not to screw up the natural flow of energy from too much narrowed attention (Devotion is the best preventive for this, in my experience). I was lying on the floor and fell asleep with my awareness being drawn inward to the heart as a kind of devotional space itself. As I nodded off, for an instant my heart opened or turned inside out, and I was then standing at the edge of the city of God, just as real as any physical reality. The degree of love and awe and gratitude/praise was bearable only by how limited you were in proximity to the center of this grand structure of light, and even being at the edge was almost too much, and probably the reason I awoke from it so soon. There was a great sorrow in conscience, clean and unashamed, that accompanied this state of gratitude/awe, for how much love is wanting to appear through our physical being into this world.
Once a child (not in my psychotherapy practice), about 4 or 5 years of age crawled into my lap (I was visiting a friend who was a kindergarten school teacher) and began peering deeply into my eyes, searching intently and putting his palms on my cheeks, pressing and kneading my skin while maintaining this incredible focus of attention in my eyes. His face was relentless with some deep concern, and after about 5 minutes of this he said to me "You see me! You see me!"
As you can imagine I was never the same after this encounter, a young boy with a deep soul trying to recover its appearance in the world around him. I didn't do anything but let him enter.
Another musing from encounters in seeing and being seen within one's eyes:
From within my own eyes appear the faces of my father, mother, brother, grandparents, uncles, and a sense of the preciousness of this bodily form that is vanishing, returning to the invisible world of the heart's essence, never to appear again in the same way, or not at all, in this world. This hidden spring has its own life, and only asks we witness it as a friend. Allowed to flow unencumbered, it can forgive anything, being so near to the Source.
It occurs that I might also recognize when others see me, which is a kind of welcome to them, since giving and receiving in the eyes are seamless streamings of presence.
The image of the little boy sitting on your lap as you "see" him is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I haven't done much "mirror" work, though I guess traditional psychotherapy always has an element of that going on. I'm glad you're finding it a useful healing tool. Moreover, the eyes as the window of the soul is certainly supported by your heart chakra-pranic energy pathways reference. I had never heard that though it certainly makes sense and in my darker times with the impaired K, my vision (as well as my heart chakra) have been negatively impacted. (A pretty scary point to the K journey, which still happens for me when I get depressed, another condition that gets aggrevated by the tilted K and vice-versa.)
Dear Phil and Embrace,
After seeing a post from Embrace this morning, I paged back to find this wonderful thread. Here are a couple of the striking thoughts you shared.
Phil, you wrote: "I think I've been "done" with the issues of my personal unconscious for quite some time. While I have no sense of previous lives contributing to some of the struggles I still endure, I do have a sense that it is somehow contributing to cleaning up the karma of the race--maybe through the collective unconscious. I've also had for the longest time this sense that my primary vocation is not especially related to the kind of work I do, but is simply living with my spiritual/energy struggle, and attempting to walk with it daily in a loving manner. Somehow this kind of "hidden" vocation is being used by God to help the race. It sounds like you have a similar experience here."
Embrace, you wrote: "...it is necessary to continue clearing whatever residues are there.. that God walks with me always. It seems to me to be a path of learning to walk in harmony, in balance, in love.. with the love of God as my guide - where one learns to no longer cast judgments and create/experience pain and disharmony via their projections, but staying their heart always on God. Reminds me of a passage from the New Testament where Jesus said that "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light." A neccessary process, I think, for one now learning to live "not of this world," but to use their discernment in bringing the separation of ego in alignment with our true self.."
I can relate to your shared sense of having a "hidden" vocation, not "of this world." And it is helpful to read your exchange.
It is 8 years later since I have written in this thread...on kundalini, reiki and other things.
I have been on some wayward paths since.
I've not known where to begin sharing, here, again. Reading this thread again has helped to provide an entryway for my sharing.
I told another recently that I have felt as if I was trying to return to a space of being/heart that I knew some years ago. It was these earlier years when I was writing here, in 2002.
I had worked at this time with a reiki practicioner whose care I did find very helpful. But that led to another reiki practicioner/energy worker that I became, near literally, "entangled" with. And soon, then, worshipping of guru figures.
If I needed a lesson in discernment, I sure feel I received that.
The height of this lesson in discernment has come in the past two years, culminating with my withdrawing from a very devotional practice to the one known as Ammachi, about four months ago.
As I reflect back now, I wonder, I ask, why I continued on those two years when so many of my intuitions told me, "This is not right, Kristi." My dreams, inner visions (if you will), critical thinking, objective analysys ... all told me the devotional practice with this guru was not right. And yet, I felt as if under a spell or charm (seduced) that pulled me along, denying my own inner guidance.
When I withdrew, I encountered an incredibly negative (evil), demonic entity that did not at all want to let me go, attempting to force me into continued surrender ... psychically attacking, threatening, trying to intimidate me through a sense of "all powerfulness" against which I was to be helpless.
The days were not easy. I felt like I had a huge being a fear breathing down the back of my neck on many days. I would literally turn to face it.
I do attribute this path I ended up on having began as a result of the second reiki practicioner I worked with. Much discernment is needed in choosing who we allow to have access to ourselves.
One of the earlier points of discussion in this thread was that of receiving extraordinary guidance... I believe I did receive extraordinary guidance at the point when most needed.
I prayed, telling how this being human is very difficult, that I felt I was in a space not dissimilar to one I visited in late 2004 wherein I was screaming from my soul feeling I was staring into an abyss. In my prayer, I confessed that I needed to return to my heart, to simplicity, and my need to grow and heal in some very basic ways... that I needed to return to my self, my heart, to truth. At this point, all the energy of my being had been going toward the guru figure, literally up and out of my body through my crown, to her. This being who I did not see, but felt, reached for my hands and held them in prayer before his heart, as if saying, "I know, I see, I've seen it all, and I hear you and I care for you and I want you to know I am here for you, to help you." I wept. We then kneeled together (each on one knee), facing one another, as he held my hands down to the earth and leaned forward to touch his forehead to mine...to ground me and let me know how close he is to me. I can't tell you how much love and care I felt/have felt coming from this being. I only knew I needed help and real love and guidance. I asked for a name before this encounter was over, and I very quietly heard, "Zephyr." Not a name I was familiar with and certainly not contrived by my ego. None of the meditative/visionary encounter was. There was only a genuine request from my heart, in prayer. For days, I felt this being walking with me, imagining those loving arms, holding my down, grounding me, centering me in my self. Zephyr (from the Greek), I learned, is the name of the gentle wind god...the gentlest. That is precisely what I needed.
It has taken time for things to get better for me. And I fully attribute my deliverance from my dark predicament to a whole lot of incessant prayer to Jesus Christ and Mother Mary.
I told another on a recent day that I feel like I am only now coming home to my self, no longer wandering like a lost sheep.
I can't tell you the love and assurance that I feel/am experiencing. I pray, often through tears, and sometimes feel the Holy of Holies is within and all about me. I dreamed just yesterday of seeing four concentric circles (whose lines were formed as if of white light) against a field of deep (expansive) blue. I knew that I was the center most circle and that Christ, Mother Mary and the Holy Spirit comprised the three outer rings/circles. The dream vision that followed this one was one of seeing treasures of gold spilling out from within me. It brings me great assurance, does have me to feel that I am home again. And I trust that God will use my past experiences to make me stronger. Oh, He already has.
Okay, it's been cathartic for me to write this much, so I am going to sign off and spend some time in prayer and gratitude.
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