The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
This is David Hawkins -- a church-going Episcopalian -- from The Eye of the I: From Which Nothing Is Hidden:
When I had my spiritual awakening, I was an atheist and I'd not believed in Jesus as God for about two years since that awakening, so God tends to be extremely patient (Christians often aren't, myself being an example of it :-)). But what I found several days after the experience and what was enourmous help was that I found it certain that there is a personal quality to the absolute. I discovered it by feeling invited to pray - to thank God for giving me this initial experience and the subsequent transformative process, to ask for help, council, guidance. There was no conscious dogma in this and if there was it was New Age, quite incompatible with this spontaneous desire to pray.... And everything was gradually put into place for me in subsequent years. So if I may advise you something, if you believe that there is Someone to pray, just start talking to him in your own words (if you don't already do that) and good things will start to happen to you. Don't worry about Christian doctrine for now, but reading C.S. Lewis's " Mere Christianity" won't do any harm :-) I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia back then and found them intuitively very nourishing.
Hi Jonitus and welcome to this message board .
Somewhat over forty years ago, back in my early twenties, like you Jonitus I lived in a small town and I wanted to find out what all of the yogi stuff was all about but I couldn't find a yoga master either. So, because Lord Jesus was already my teacher and guide as a Christian mystic (I met Him and the Father back when I five years old, before I knew anything about the Christian faith, and we have been close ever since) I asked Lord Jesus if He would be my yogi master and teach me about the Hindu yogis stuff. He said yes and now over forty years and thousands of hours of meditation and meditative prayer later I have a pretty good understanding of and experience with what those folks know, along with Buddhism, Taoism and a bunch of other related things. So to make a long story short Jonitus if you have any questions about yogi stuff or the mystic experience I can go to my Master and close friend Christ Jesus and ask Him about them. No problem. And you are welcome to PM me I do not mind.
And Jonitus talking to the other folks on this message board about whatever it is that you would like to talk about I think you will find very helpful. They are good folks and they are loving and they are not judgemental.
I was a member of what is the "number 1" forum for christianity discussions (won't mention the URL here), and 90% of the discussions were:
Promoting the pre-tribulation rapture
Grace versus works
Catholics are evil and should die
Calvanism is da' best huzzah!
...and a few other discussions that I just wasn't interested in having. While I've accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and have been studious about reading my Bible, cover-to-cover, a few times, there is still much I don't understand. Being ignorant about many things, I don't feel as though I want to wade into debates about minor doctrinal matters, because to me, they are of a pretty minor importance in the grand scheme of things.
I ask this next question somewhat rhetorically, but I'm interested in responses as well - do you think that God uses things like the Kundalini to stir something in a person to help lead them back to Him? Some sort of "the shepherd calls to His lost sheep"?
Jonitus, those are the concerns of a narrow group of Protestant Christians. Christianity is much broader than that, so keep reading and searching.
Feel free to use the morality and theology forum to invite discussions of your questions, including those of doctrine.
God uses pretty much everything to lead us back to Him, including kundalini activation.
Yes, I will have to do some more reading. That bothers me not one little bit. I'm a voracious reader when I find stuff to read that I like.
I think up until recently, I had not considered that there might have been a link between Christianity and spirituality usually relegated to Eastern philosophies. Most places that you look, those two are treated as being mutually exclusive.
If you want to find people who try to reconcile West and East by remaining Christians, this is an excellent forum.
I recommend also watching this interview with James Grob
And reading a book by James Arraj "God, Zen and the intuition of being"
Do you think that God uses things like the Kundalini to stir something in a person to help lead them back to Him?
Jonitus, I like that question Humm?
All of the yoga traditions that recognize the existence of the Kundalini use the Kundalini as a tool to bring a person into the awareness that "they are God". And that state of being is called "Self Awareness". They also have a term called "God Awareness", but that is just another term for "you are God".
Now relative to Christian Scripture, there is nothing in Christian Scripture that says that "you are God". Christ Jesus is quoted as saying that, "He is in the Father, the Father is in Him, and He is in you." In Christianity the best that one can achieve is being indwelt by God. And even then it can only be done through the presence of Christ Jesus.
The fundamental difference between the Hindu yogi traditions and Christianity is, "Do you want to be a member of the family of the Father of Lord Jesus, a prodigal son or daughter so to speak, that is welcomed into the family of the Father that art in Heaven or do you want to be God and self realized?
As an advanced yogi I have experienced "Self Realization" and I have also experienced the breaking of the third "Dharma Seal" that is the goal of most Buddhist traditions, and I have also experienced Samadi, (union) with Lord Shiva, which is the pinnacle of "Self Realization" and I do love Lord Shiva as a close friend, he has shared a lot with me. And as a Christian and mystic, I have also experienced being welcomed into the family of the Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus has even taken me to first level Heaven to visit.
"Self Realization" is an awesome experience and "Self Realization" through samadi with Shiva is a beyond awesome experience. But I do not want to be God and I make that decision as a personal choice. No other reason.
"Can God use the Kundalini to bring one back to or closer to God?" Yes He can, but it is a two edge sword. The use of the Kundalini presents to you a choice, "Do you want to be God or do you want to be a member of the Family of the Father that art in Heaven?" You can raise the Kundalini on purpose without Christ Jesus or the Holy Spirit and experience what it is like to be God. To be "Self Realized." Through Christ Jesus and the Holy spirit you can become "indwelt" by the Trinity, but you are not the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. You might feel like you are God, or Christ Jesus, but you are not. You are just sharing the wonderment of Their experience. If you decide that you are Lord Jesus or God, then you become "Self Realized" and you do not become a member of the family of the Father that art in Heaven.
All of those that are welcomed into the family of the Father that art in Heaven are first given a choice, "Do you want to be a member of the family of the Father or do you want to be God?" With the Hindu yogi traditions and the use of the Kundalini as a tool, this choice does not exist because there is only one goal and that goal is to become God. To become "Self Realized".
Tucker, who is Shiva, that friend of yours?:-) I was really intrigued by that part...
I've wondered how we might account for the experience called "Self-Realization" in Christian terms, and the best I can come up with is that it would be the non-reflecting consciousness in a deep experience of the Ground of Being. My new book goes into this to some extent, but the following quote from Merton seems to resonate:
This is Christian language, of course, but the experience Merton describes seems Atmanic . . . Advaidic. Yet, for Merton, it is still on the "human side" of things -- we never come to a place where we cross a boundary and become God, as in Christian understanding, there is always this inviolable boundary ("gateway") between the creature and the Creator that is crossed only through grace, which enables a participation in the life and love of the divine.
Hi Mt This is a bit difficult to explain but I will try to. Shiva is the third god in the Hindu trinity. And generally he is called Shiva the Destroyer of Worlds. He is also called or thought of as the King of Yogis or the god of yogis. Mostly he is worshiped in southern India. He has other names like Siva and Seva, but I do not know him by those names. And I met him through Yogananda's master Babaji. And there is a story to that but I won't go into it.
To make a long story short, I do not know anything about the other Hindu gods but Lord Shiva is a real entity. And for some reason he likes me and we are good friends and I have his permission to take Lord Jesus to those that follow him in southern India if that ever becomes the will of the Father that art in Heaven.
So any way Mt, I know personally a Hindu God and am friends with him. I do not worship him or follow him, we are just friends. He is no threat to my relationship with my Master Lord Jesus and I have His permission to be friends with him.
How about this approach Phil just for fun and for no other reason? They believe that we have a higher divine self that the more you go into it the more it becomes that which is generally considered God the creator and ultimate being. And that we are separated from this divine self because of the needs and pressures and ignorance of this world of things. The object in their reality it to return to that which is you. This also includes Buddhism. And when one does this they break the cycle of birth and death. And when you break this cycle of birth and death you become "Self Realized" and do not have to come back to this world of things.
And here is another approach just for fun, "Empathy". An empath has the ability to become that which it is feeling. The Sidha yogis call this "Samadhi" with there being several levels of union with that which is being felt. You can "Samadhi" (empathic union) with anything including Lord Jesus and His father or the ultimate being the first mind that all things came from. When one achieves a perfect empathic union with something that which is you becomes the something that one is in union with. "I am in the Father, the Father is in me, and I am in you." Is an example of what they would call "Samadhi" (empathic union). I was born with empathic abilities Phil and I have experienced a lot of empathic unions with things, but for the most part I shut it off or tone it down severely because most living things, which includes people, are not fun to be in an empathic union with.
What your Meron is describing I have experienced and it is the same thing that one experiences when they first break what Buddhism calls the Third Dharma Seal. From there it goes to being just on and aware, but because they consider what they are experiencing their higher Divine Self they do not call it God. And the experience that Merton is describing is also the same experience that I have when I am in union with Lord Jesus. Based on my experience with being in union with the Father the experience can not be put into words, period. You are just on and aware. No mind or emotional action, no attempt to understand, and no nothing. Just on and aware. Oh also, if Lord Jesus is not present then the experience is extremely terrifying. An experience that you will never want to go back to ever! Unless of course you are extremely pure of heart. If you are, then you are just on and aware. I couldn't do it without Lord Jesus being present .
It is hard for people who are not empathic to understand being in a spiritual union (Samadhi) with other living things Divine or otherwise.
I like this kind of discussion, Tucker.
I'm aware of what Hindus believe about Atman, but wonder if it's really that different from what Merton described above. Hinduism is a pantheism that doesn't make a sharp distinction between a creature and God, so it's not surprising that they would consider deep experiences of the human spirit to be divine (as opposed to our ordinary reflecting consciousness). Same goes for the Buddhists.
Not wanting to quibble, Tucker, but I would make a distinction between empathic oneness and the kind of oneness Jesus has with the Father, or even that we can have with God. Empathic intimacy is a good thing, for sure, but we don't really fully become the other so much as share perspective and feeling with the other. In the end, we're still ourselves, though with a deep bond with another, and that can even be a kind of love.
The kind of cosmic awareness you describe is something I have tasted, but not gone deeply into. I think it's a potential of our human spiritual soul in its opening to realms beyond space-time, only without our intelligence and will being fully engaged. So it seemed to me to be unbalanced and somewhat pointless, so I backed off. No doubt there are all kinds of interesting things we can experience, but the real question is whether they are good for us. I'm with you on wanting Jesus along for the ride.
I love you Phil and thank you for your questions and feelings about things ! From here lets cheat. Lets go to the Loving Divine and the intuitive mind for an answer to your post . Humm?
Hindus believe in all kinds of stuff and their beliefs that are relative to what we are talking about are not any different than what Merton described. And the same goes for the Buddhist.
Empathic oneness? First of all Tucker agrees with you which is why he has a problem with the self realization approach to things and the Buddhist approach to things . At the same time, if you can turn your "will" completely over to the "Will" of the Father that which is you ceases to exist. And from that point on you are deeply into "you are in this world but you are not of it." Your spirit body and mind become the Spirit Body and Mind of the Father. All of this world's personality programming and how it is taught to perceive things ceases to exist.
Is the above an "empathic union"? An "empathic union" is when your spirit body (energy body) and mind become to some degree or more the energy body and mind of whatever it is you are in an empathic union with. And here is where things get complicated. You can't let go of that which is you so instead of becoming that which you are in union with you perceive yourself as "being" that which you are in union with. "I am God!" Otherwise "I" ceases to exist and there is only God or whatever it is that you are in union with. Should one who does not have a lot of training mess with this kind of stuff? No they should not! Because, it is very dangerous. The first thing you teach folks that are naturally empathic is how to block things out or shut them off. That is absolutely mandatory.
The beauty of Christ Jesus is that through Him and He as a living sacrifice is that one can fall short of the glory of the Father and still become a member of the family of the Father. But only as long as they do not seek God for "personal power". In the "self realization" religious approaches to things they do not have that option. The only option that they have is to not fall short of the glory of God. Which is why it takes Buddhists and Self Realization yogis years and years of training. And even then only a rare few, if any, ever achieve it in a real sense. Along with that, for the most part, almost all of the masters and teachers that are guiding folks are just teaching a map that they have never been to the end of and they have never experienced the end result of where that map leads. There are people that have achieved true Self Realization in today's world, but you will never hear about them or even recognize them if you meet them. They are very quiet people that for the most part quietly help those around them without those around them even knowing it. If you are a loving person you will recognize them, but other than that you won't. There are also Christians that have totally given their will over to the Father through Christ Jesus, but unless you are a loving person you will not recognize them either and they also quietly help those around them.
You are loved Phil,
Tucker... when you say "Self Realization", are you speaking of "Waking of the Self", or "Enlightenment" (I'm using Evelyn Underhill's taxonomy)?
I like the framework you've painted between the two perspectives. I've experienced both, and quite frankly, have been trying to reconcile the two for decades...
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