The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Hi, dzordze, that's great. Sounds like a good, strong opening to me. You say you don't want to feel alone in all this. Well, lots of people have had experiences like this. As for advice, all I can say is that things do change as time goes by. But I get the sense you know that already.
Somehow I had missed this post by dzordze. Thanks for picking up on it, Derek.
dzordze, what you describe sounds like a spiritual awakening, though I don't know that I'd call it kundalini. Doesn't much matter what you call it, however.
I hope you find that "anchor" in life. For me, that is Jesus Christ, and I recommend Him to you as well.
For anyone out there who is having problems or issues with kundalini, I would be extremely carefull of trying to search out any old help on the internet.
Want you want to find is a genuine enlightened teacher.
By this, I mean someone who is fully enlightened, as there are many people out there who are imagining that they are enlightened, or `awake`, many have had large satoris, or even spend time on the edge of the mind.
And others have attained blissfull states through years of meditation, or have begun to think of themselves as `shamans`, or `healers`, and begun to mess around with astral travel.
These are the people you want to be wary of.
You should seek out a genuine enlightened one for help if you feel the need.
Even fully enlighted masters who have left the body, like Osho or Aurobindo, can provide tremendous help foe meditators, and spiritual seekers, just from the strength of their intellectual knowledge, plus their experience of the journey to enlightenment and freedom.
I am fortunate myself to have been supported by a genuine enlightened master, so I had no problems in this regard.
However, I have also encountered many people, almost always these are people who have no `master`, to guide them, who are setting themselves up as `shamans` or `healers`, with a fantasy that they are able to help others.
Often seekers get lost in `inbetween states`.
They are not enlighted, they have not reached the point of self-realisation , which is the first stage of enlightenment( but also just the beginning. It is still possible to be reborn after self-realisation, if full-enlightenment does not occur to the self-realised one.There are deeper , and deeper layers of understanding with enlightenment, which explains why a self-realised being may be `awake`, but not have anywhere near the kind of energy transmission that a fully enlightened being like Osho possessed.So there is always still room for much expansion or growth after the intial understanding.)
However, there are also many who have had temporary states of awakening, or `satori`, and mistaken this for permanent awakening. Many of these people are setting themselves up as teachers and now offering `satsangs`.
Without a genuine master, they are unaware that the ego is alive and well.
And it is often a very large spiritual ego trip, that likes to imagine that it is `very mature`, and `ready to help others`.
Actually it is nothing of the sort.
These people are not ready to `help others`. and continue with meditation until they reach permanent dissolution of the ego.
But the point that I wanted to make here, is that there are many dodgy sites on the internet, like the old `Bob Boyd Kundalini Support Network`, which are best avoided.
Bob Boyd did not have an authentic enlightened master, and went through a lot of problems with kundalini, as he was working alone without any support.
He then got the idea to create a forum to `help` others, who he was imagining would be in the same position as he was.
The problem was, he is not enlightened.
And not only this, but he was trying to psychically go into other peoples heads, (I don`t know if he was in some kind of delusion that he was ready to help people in this way- I have come across other people who are attempting to do similar things).
But he should not be doing anything like this at all.
Astral travel, and psychic phenomena is useless, and pointless, unless the person is involved as the master of the person.
It is meaningless- it all depends on the mind of the person who is trying to be the `healer`.
And if what is in the mind of the `healer` is a load of rubbish, then that rubbish is what they will be projecting into the people who they are trying to `enter`.
He tried to do it to me- I had never even been on his forum- the only reason I had visited was to attempt to argue with his attempts to slander many genuine masters on his forum-
incredibly foolish, as these masters he was attacking, where actually the people that could have offered him real support with his own kundalini problems.
So he had no reason to try to do anything psychically with me at all- he was not even allowing my counter arguments or debates, on his forum.
He only wanted his own views on there.
But he should not be trying to mess around with psychic stuff, trying to mess around with astral stuff- he had no idea how I was working at all.
He had no idea, that my master was with me, when he was trying to do it- the view is so limited when people attempt to do what he was doing, and he was simply projecting from his own experience of being in negative states, in a very messy states, on to me- without any idea that I was being supported the whole time by a genuine master.
So it is nonsense- he is not a shaman or healer- he should not be trying to go near people psychically at all.
It is all rubbish.
He should seek out a proper master, and go inside and continue the search for enlightenment- not set himself up prematurely as some kind of `teacher`.
Yes, hands on healing can be usefull, and can be done by almost anyone with psychic capability- but what , and others are doing is anything but healing, it is just an irritation for other people.
So be carefull- many such fools are there on the internet, fantasing that they are `helping people`.
You posted this exact message on another thread as well, so I will erase that one and ask you to refrain from doing the same to other messages.
I am leaving on vacation soon and will have limited time to monitor discussions, so I hope other forum members will chip in to help out.
But let me just say that, for Christians, the idea of submitting oneself to the spiritual guidance of a non-Christian master is usually not recommended for a number of reasons. Christians regard the risen Jesus to be the Master who bonds with us and leads us through the gift of his Spirit to union with God. He is certainly equal to Sri Aurobindo or any Eastern Master, and so we entrust ourselves to Him and his guidance. We are not seeking enlightenment in an Eastern sense, and so experiences like Kundalini are not emphasized, and are integrated in the context of Christian spirituality when they occur.
I knew Bob Boyd, and he was trying to make some of these kinds of points. It sounds like you have serious disagreements with some of what he wrote, but I don't think this is the place to hash that out. Bob passed away a few years ago, and so he is unable to speak for himself in these matters.
You are so mild and diplomatic. Good for you.
Personally, I think this idea of needing to find a qualified/enlightened teacher is where many of us go wrong. It was a common theme of books on kundalini back when my energy was blasting long ago, and probably still is today.
These so-called enlightened masters typically end up being exposed (usually after they are dead) for weaving complex webs of intimidation, abuse, and corruption. OregonLive has some interesting articles on Osho and his dystopia.
I'm not saying that some people don't feel some benefit from these teachers and groups. Sure these teachers have charisma, and have activated energy systems to some advanced states, but without ethics and real concern for the individual, IMO it is pretty damn meaningless.
People have work-arounds, like it was "Crazy Wisdom" when a teacher, for example, kept a harem of sixteen-year girls. Special teachings, no doubt by the swami/lama/guru.
As a friend once noted, her moral compass declined during her time in a group led by a popular Eastern guru. And to me, the conscience is the link to that still, small voice. If anyone or anything interferes with that, then they are doing you spiritual harm or at least, wasting your time.
Though, if you are being blasted by kundalini year after year, a person tends to seek help and some relief. Support in the West is pretty damn spotty, and the Easterners do have a more intact yogic tradition. I liked hearing that Thomas Merton noted that the Eastern practitioners had gone deeper into things than had we (during his big trip East where he met the Dalai Lama and others).
We've had scientific and material advancement while the East chugged away at spiritual life (or at least certain elites and wanderers did). There's also the economics--it is a lot cheaper to live in India to do your spiritual practice than in the States. But then again you spend years later trying to get your health back.
No easy answers here. There are things to learn from the East. I feel that I was lucky that time in India provided a space to walk a spontaneous contemplation on Christ and the Crucifixion at least for several years.
I think myself and many of my friends at the ashram were looking for insight into the living Christ. What the churches have taught seems so calcified by political, economic and sexual/gender interests. And that was way before the priest child abuse scandals came to light.
So, you go East, but in organizations with a lot of power and money, it is the same old stuff you find anywhere there is a lack of transparency and accountability. IMO, Eastern gurus do not have answers for Western students, they just distract you so you temporarily forget your questions. If you are really lucky, they promote an atmosphere of spiritual practice, and answers arise from deep within.
Personally I did not know that Bob Boyd was dead- are you sure about this?
I am aware that he stopped doing his forum.
But when I enquired somewhere on another site "kundalinicelltowers" , earlier this year, about his whereabouts, as I wanted to communicate with him directly, I was told by someone called `Derek` that he was " now residing elsewhere on the web."
My issue with Bob Boyd, that I wanted to resolve with him, is that he was trying to enter into people`s heads, psychically, and mess around with astral travel , but he was doing this to people who had not asked for his help, and he was doing this in a very irresponsible and foolish way.
And that is what I wanted to warn him about.
Phil, you say,
"But let me just say that, for Christians, the idea of submitting oneself to the spiritual guidance of a non-Christian master is usually not recommended for a number of reasons. Christians regard the risen Jesus to be the Master who bonds with us and leads us through the gift of his Spirit to union with God. He is certainly equal to Sri Aurobindo or any Eastern Master, and so we entrust ourselves to Him and his guidance."
Phil, I would not compare Jesus with masters like Osho or Aurobindo.
In my understanding, Jesus is an avatar.
His power is well beyond that of any enlightened human.
He did come, however, in a human body.
God does send avatars down to help humanity to spiritually evolve.
And there are other avatars too.
Actually I have been working with an Avatar!
I understand that this may be difficult for some Christians to except.
Neverless, this is my experience.
This is a time of great spiritual evolution for our planet.
I know it doesn`t look like it, and sure this is all very primitive right now, but I believe that we will evolve in every way possible, and this is part of God`s plan, and this means a widening of understanding, as well as an acceptance of different spiritual paths and ways of connecting with God.
Of course, if Jesus is the master for you then I fully understand that.
I have friends who are connected to Jesus, and I know through my own experience that Jesus is still very available for any of his devotees or diciples.
All avatars are like this.
You state, :
"We are not seeking enlightenment in an Eastern sense, and so experiences like Kundalini are not emphasized, and are integrated in the context of Christian spirituality when they occur."
I understand this as well, Phil, and know that the connection to Jesus and devotion to Jesus for his devotees is always going to be more important than any enlightenment.
Neverless, enlightenment, or self-realisation, is actually a scientific phenomenon, and it is a real understanding and transformation that does happen to all mystics, sooner or later, no matter which spiritual path they belong to.
That is why Christian mystics talk about
`union` with God, Sufi`s talk about it, etc etc."
The silence of the mind, and the resulting understanding of the intrinsic oneness of the universe will happen whatever spiritual method with consciousness is used, as long as it is affective.
The problem is that in this `kali yuga`, or age of ignorance, many teachers and different masters and religions explain their truths in different ways and this can be confusing.
Followers of different `masters` and spiritual groups argue with each other.
"I knew Bob Boyd, and he was trying to make some of these kinds of points. It sounds like you have serious disagreements with some of what he wrote, but I don't think this is the place to hash that out. Bob passed away a few years ago, and so he is unable to speak for himself in these matters."
Again , are you sure that Bob has passed away, or is he just posting under another name?
I can tell you that he attempted to mess around psychically with me around four or five years ago. I know that this may sound crazy, don`t worry, it is not!
actually the only reason I came on here, was to try to track down Bob Boyd, as I have found people posting about him him ,on the forum.
But also to warn people about anyone posing as a `healer`, or a `shaman`, because these are people who are often messing around with psychic/astral stuff, withought really knowing what they are doing, and this can often be disturbing for others.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sadhu9,
Mary Ann, you state, :
"Personally, I think this idea of needing to find a qualified/enlightened teacher is where many of us go wrong. It was a common theme of books on kundalini back when my energy was blasting long ago, and probably still is today.
These so-called enlightened masters typically end up being exposed (usually after they are dead) for weaving complex webs of intimidation, abuse, and corruption. OregonLive has some interesting articles on Osho and his dystopia."
If people are fine working alone, then there`s no problem.
But sometimes people get into problems with kundalini, and that`s when a master becomes usefull.
Also, for people serious about rapid growth , or enlightenment, the energy of a master can provide a very usefull support to a seeker who is ready- this is a heart-to-heart connection, a communion, an energetic phenomenon.
It is not down to what the master says, or thinks.
It is simply an energetic support,that is channelled through the enlightened master`s absence of ego, that lifts up the disciple and supports them.
This is the real function of the master.
Some of the things you say above sounds very like the ideas that were on Bob`s Boyd`s forum.
He made it look like the guru`s were out to cheat people, just charlatans, and the diciples of these guru`s were `cults`.
(interestingly, the early Christians were also labelled as a `cult`.)
It may look this way to a western mind.
But this misses the real function of the master, which is an energetic support to the disciple.
Yet, his forum was full of people who were struggling with kundalini, without any genuine master, and many had been suffering for years.
They were treating Kundalini like some kind of illness, and trying to `analyse` their states in a modern western fashion, which is entirely unsuited to phenomena like expansion of consciousness and the states the arise with this phenomena.
The western mind is simply infantile with spiritual growth.
It has very little experience whatsoever.
That is why we all have to travel to the east for all of our spiritual knowledge.
Christian mysticism existed, but was only practised by very few.
If the people on Bob Boyds forum, including Bob, had had an authentic enlightened master to work with, their journeys would be much easier.
This I can guarantee.
And the master can lift up the consciousness of the disciple very easily, much faster than spending years meditating and creating spiritual ego-trips.
I can understand, your doubts about Osho, if you identify with being a Christian.
Osho deliberately tried to provoke the christian minds of the Americans when he was in the US as much as possible.
He could see how the Americans have been conditioned , and could not resist winding them up.
He loved to provoke people.
And some of his ideas were rubbish.
Enlightenment will not give anyone a `perfect` mind.
But, his authenticity as a fully enlightened master can not be doubted by those who experienced, his spiritual power.
Just sitting in Osho`s presence was enough to put one in a mediative state, even lift one out of the mind, if people were open.
Many people reported having experiences in his presence , including the opening of the heart, expansion of consciousness, and he would give people experiences of `no-mind`, just by a touch of the third eye.
Obviously these phenomena were possible because of Osho`s `absence`, a channel for divine energy.
And you will be surprised to know, that Osho`s lovers and devotees still feel Osho`s presence today.
Osho has left the body, but he has dissolved into existence.
His energy is still available to anyone who has an open heart.
"Though, if you are being blasted by kundalini year after year, a person tends to seek help and some relief. Support in the West is pretty damn spotty, and the Easterners do have a more intact yogic tradition."
That`s right, and there is an old saying that "everyone gets the teacher that they deserve."
But if you feel attracted to the energy of the teacher, and their presence makes you feel blissfull and uplifted, then chances are that they will be able to help you.
You will know when you`ve found the real deal.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sadhu9,
Wow, Sadhu9... Well, you probably didn't follow the discussions here on the forum, but I, as well as many others here would, strongly disagree with this statement. In fact, I'm quite convinced that Eastern mysticism and enlightenment is merely a realization of the essence of the human mind with all its beautiful and good qualities of "being in the image of God". Nonetheless, the only way we can go beyond our mind/consciousness and get in touch with God the Creator, the Most Holy Trinity, is through the three energies - faith, hope, and love - which are not mediated through any guru or master, but mediated through baptism, the Church and its sacraments, through the Holy Scripture and other modalities available to Christians and perhaps to some degree also to those who are not Christians. Anyhow, perhaps we have to deal with the fact that you regard Christianity as something spiritually "lower" than true eastern enlightenment you describe and I regard true eastern enlightenment as essentially "lower" than simple Christian faith, hope, and love, without great experiences, kundalini or anything like that. If you are interested in exploring that or discussing that, I guess many people here are quite open to do that, including myself, but I don't think that using expressions like "infantile with spiritual growth" is particularly helpful in this kind of interfaith/interreligious dialogue, don't you think?
I think you misunderstand what I meant in the post, I apologize for that.
I do not regard Christianity as essentially spiritually "lower" than "true eastern enlightenment" , or as spiritually "higher".
I think this depends on how we perceive different spiritual teachings and religions.
"In fact, I'm quite convinced that Eastern mysticism and enlightenment is merely a realization of the essence of the human mind with all its beautiful and good qualities of "being in the image of God"."
By "Eastern mysticism", we are referring to a very wide umbrella of different spiritual teachings and religions, including Jesus, who lived in "the East", and taught from a Jewish perspective, that he was born into.
There are some who believe that Jesus also spent time with a mystical group, "The Essenes", before he began his work as a teacher.
But I guess what you mean by "Eastern mysticism and enlightenment", is basically Hinduism, and its offshoots like Jainism and Buddhism.
Actually, Hinduism in not really a religion in itself, but a wide range of different teachings, which are under one umbrella.
There are two main schools, Shiavism, Vaishnavism, and there is also Shaktism (which is centred around the worship of the Divine Mother).
And then there are dozens of different schools, and off-shoots and variations.
But the teachings found within `Hinduism` are diverse, and different sects use different scriptures, but all agree on the basic principal of "Moksha",or liberation from the body/mind, and "Self-realisation, or Enlightenment.
This "Self-Realisation" is not simply a "realisation of the essence of the human min with all its beautifull and good qualities", as you imply, but actually means finding the freedom of the non-dual reality which lies behind the mind, which is normally obscured by our thought processes, and our `false ego` indentification with the body-mind.
So all of the different strains of Hinduism understand that behind the mind, lies the `Self`, which is our true nature, not this temporal body-mind with which we identify.
So liberation from the mind , reveals our intrinsic Oneness,our true self, which is the intrinsic Oneness of everything.
This is also known as Brahman, the whole, and is being hidden from us simply by our thought processes and our false over-identification with the body-mind.
They are differences in the different sects and teachings of different Rishis and Masters in Hinduism, for example, devotees of Krishna in the Gaudiya Vaishnava sect, believe that Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead,and is in control of everything, this is because their scriptures state that Vishnu, or Krishna is supreme.
However, Shaivites have scriptures that state that Shiva is the supreme.
And then there are scriptures that emphasize that Vishnu and Shiva are one, the same God , and other scriptures that emphasize that God is formless, and impersonal, and all forms and all divine personalities are His.
But these main groups emphasize that God creates, sustains and destroys the universe.
Then there are the offshoots of Hinduism, like Jainas, and Buddhists, who understand the `Self`, and enlightenment, the liberation that brings freedom from suffering, and meditate to attain this freedom.
They don`t believe in God, not because God is not mentioned in their scriptures, but because their founders, Buddha and Mahavira, had no direct experience of a personal God.
They had experience of enlightenment, but no experience of a being that is the creator.
So really, they are agnostic.
And this is the case with Osho too, that he had the experience of enlightenment, of Oneness with the Brahman and the total ecstasy and love that this Oneness brings,but he had no direct experience of a `God` that was in charge , and no proof thThis message has been edited. Last edited by: sadhu9,
I know all this, so I think we can assume that we both share some general knowledge about Indian, Chinese, and Japanese religion and philosophy. I'm aware of the differences between Shankaracharya advaita vedanta and more "dvaitist" threads of Hinduism, or the bhakti traditions.
(1) When I use "Eastern" and I guess it is quite common in this forum (and elsewhere), we are really talking about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism, because those traditions entered in dialogue with the European philosophy and Christian religion. Well, from the point of view of Americans, "Eastern" religion could be as well the Church of England, since it is very far to the East... I think we don't need to argue that there are profound common features of Hindu and Buddhism mysticism/spirituality, despite the fact that Buddhism developed in opposition to Hinduism.
(2) I'd like to leave aside everything that is not Christian, orthodox, apostolic religion, for the purpose of the clarity of discussion. So let us leave legends and stories about Jesus, the Essenes, his trip to India or things like that. Let's stick to how Jesus and the Gospels are understood by the apostolic Church, since most of what we know about Jesus and his teaching comes from the Church.
(3) I'm aware that many "Eastern" authors or meditators would object to my saying that enlightenment is really self-knowledge or the knowledge of the essence of the mind etc. Many times I saw this game: If someone says that they are speaking about the mysticism of the self, they say "No, we teach how to transcend or to abandon the self". If someone says that they are speaking about the nature of the mind, they say: "No, we are talking about the Self that is above the mind" etc.etc. So we have to define terms we use. Of course, many authors speak about the non-self (Nagarjuna) or the "Oneness" above the mind etc. (Ramana Maharshi). When I said that enlightenment is the realization of the essence of the mind (Tibetan Buddhist would approve of that, I guess), I mean that the mind/awareness/consciousness etc. sees itself as luminous, boundless, simple, unconditioned, ungraspable, unknowable, infinite space that is non-different from all objects that are perceived. It is beyond time, space, objects, it is neither this, nor that. It is experienced as "the ground" of whatever arises. All this I take to be THE EXPERIENCE OF THE HUMAN MIND, not of GOD THE CREATOR. If you're interested, how I understand this, I can explain. But I do not mean the "human mind" in some narrow, modern Western sense. This is just a shadow of the true nature of the mind.
So, how you see the relationship between the enlightenment of the "East" and Christian experience of the Triune God (whose Son, Incarnated as Jesus Christ who died and resurrected, and lives and will come again at the end of history)?
" I'm aware that many "Eastern" authors or meditators would object to my saying that enlightenment is really self-knowledge or the knowledge of the essence of the mind etc. Many times I saw this game: If someone says that they are speaking about the mysticism of the self, they say "No, we teach how to transcend or to abandon the self". If someone says that they are speaking about the nature of the mind, they say: "No, we are talking about the Self that is above the mind" etc.etc. So we have to define terms we use. Of course, many authors speak about the non-self (Nagarjuna) or the "Oneness" above the mind etc. (Ramana Maharshi). When I said that enlightenment is the realization of the essence of the mind (Tibetan Buddhist would approve of that, I guess), I mean that the mind/awareness/consciousness etc. sees itself as luminous, boundless, simple, unconditioned, ungraspable, unknowable, infinite space that is non-different from all objects that are perceived. It is beyond time, space, objects, it is neither this, nor that. It is experienced as "the ground" of whatever arises. "
Yeah, sure, there are a lot of different terms being used by meditators, and devotees, to describe "no-mind", or states beyond the mind, like you say.
Tibetan Buddists talk of the essense of Mind , with a capital M, to describe a silent mind.
And Buddhists and people from other paths, talk about the "absence of self", like you say, rather than the realisation "of the self", so this can be confusing.
Many meditators who go into deep meditation , on a daily basis, do have "gaps" of no-mind, where the mind stops , for a split second, or longer.
This no-thought process happens to all of us every night when we are in deep sleep, and there are no dreams.
But because we are unconscious, we are not aware of the space that is there.
When the awareness of a meditator, penetrates the gap of no- thoughts, this can create a "glimpse" of the unlimited, Self, which appears as a feeling of non-duality or "oneness".
(Can we call it the Self, not no-self , for the sake of clarity.)
If you don't mind , I will try to use the map of "the seven bodies", which corresponds to the seven chakras, which has been mapped by the ancient tantric yogi's and meditators,
who have also mapped the subtle bodies and the passages through which the kundalini travels.
I'm sure that you are familiar with the map of the seven chakras, which have colours that correspond to the colours of the rainbow, starting with red at the base chakra , and ending with violet , at the crown.
Now these chakras can be experienced by many people, not only people who have kundalini rising or meditators.
When the heart chakra opens, unconditional love, is felt.
This is about the fourth chakra.
When in deep meditation, meditators move from this heart space, and can have moments where the energy connects to the "fifth body", which corresponds to the chakra in the throat.
Now, this is where the "Self", is felt, or rather, revealed.
This is the unlimited, space of of the Self, and it is where the meditator experiences their true Being.
This Being, of Self, cannot be understood by the mind itself, for the mind has to be silence, with no-thought, for the Self, to be revealed.
Some spiritual methods, like advaita vedanta, use the mind to trigger "gaps" or glimpses of the Self, by talking about the unlimited nature of the Self, and this can trigger "satori", or glimpses of no-mind.
This is what teachers like HWL Poonjaji used do, and Ramana Maharshi.
Also Nisargaddatta Maharaj, and Ramesh Balsekar, try to get the mind to open by getting it to a place where thought cannot go any further.
But back to the point:
the fourth body, the heart, can connect to the fifth, which is where the Self, is revealed.
If a meditator, or spiritual seeker, becomes established in this fifth body permanently, then they can be said to have acheived "self realisation."
This is the first stage of enlightenment, and if this happens then the illusory false ego, the identification with the body mind, is gone.
But as I have said earlier in this thread, people can have large "satori's", or glimpses of the Self, that sometimes last for months at a time, and there are also meditators who move in and out of the mind, and have attained blissfull states , but are confused or are not aware that the ego is still alive and well.
Obviously I am now talking beyond my experience, I am not enlightened!
But there are enlightened ones, who with clarity have spoken, and tried to explain, the stages of awakening, beyond the Self.
So, if someone becomes established in the Self, or Self- realised, they have transcended the mind.
This will create feelings of freedom, but like you say, this "Self", is not God the Creator.
Still, this kind of transformation is obviously a very major breakthrough.
But the journey doesn't finish there.
If the self-realised one keeps meditating, they can then attain a much bigger opening.
This is known as the "Sixth body."
It is connected to the third-eye, and is a much deeper dissolution than the fifth body.
Here, "enlightenment" really happens as the third-eye opens fully, and the soul merges with the "Parabrahman".
This is the end of all lives for the meditator.
With this dissolution, the consciousness has expanded and now the meditator has become totally unbounded, literally the whole universe will be felt to be "inside" "him".
There will be no boundaries, and this is where mystics have stated "Aham Brahmasmi" , "I am Brahman."
This does not mean that the mystic does now fully "undertstand God", or has reached the same level as God.
The will feel that everything is One and inside of them, but does not mean that they have the power to create the universe!
(And they may not be aware that there is any Creator of the universe).
But obviously, this is a very major change in consciousness, and a transcendance and there is little point in remaining in this world after these kind of major openings.
Al Hillaj Mansoor, the sufi mystic was butchered by Islamic fundamentalists because when he had attained this level of understanding he had shouted "Anal haq!" "I am the Truth!"
(This is blaphemy by orthodox muslim standards.)
Of course, at this state the sense of "ego", of the identity with the body-mind, has completely dissolved.
The "person" is really dead, at this stage.
The will be a strong desire to leave the body for these mystics, as the body becomes the last barrier between them and union with the Absolute.
Neverless, while these enlightened ones are in the body, the body-mind is still there and it will not be perfect.
It is not possible to be perfect, it is the nature of life in this world.
But the journey can still go further.
The seventh body, this corresponds to the crown chakra, at the top of the head can open fully.
This is the ultimate for humans, (that is part of the chakra- system) and is actually described by enlightened ones, and buddhas, as "non-being".
The seventh body, enables the mystic to leave the body completely behind and dissolve, for a while.
There is nothing that can be said about this state, as there will no memory of it when the mystic returns to the body.
And , it is far beyond any mental construct, so impossible to express.
But this is termed by some as "full enlightenment".
And after full enlightenment the mystic will have a strong desire to leave the body behind and dissolve , or have full union, depending on which way you look at it.
Of course these states, awakenings, enlightenment, happen with all genuine spiritual paths on the evolution of consciousness, whether they are devotional, or meditation based.
I am only using the seven - bodies map, as a map made by meditators for the sake of clarity.
Obviously the actual journey will be different for everyone.
And with devotion, the devotion to the master itself causes the dissolution of the ego.
So, you state:
"So, how you see the relationship between the enlightenment of the "East" and Christian experience of the Triune God (whose Son, Incarnated as Jesus Christ who died and resurrected, and lives and will come again at the end of history)?
I see all genuine spiritual growth, as a "re-union" with God.
Christ- consciousness, is obviously a path, your path, to union with God.
Does it mean that you will become God?
No, because to really "know God" I believe we have to get "ourselves" out of the way.
And no matter how enlightened we become, we will never have the power to create, sustain and destroy the universe.
But I do understand that it is possible to have a direct connection with Jesus, and with God.
And we do not have to be enlightened for this to happen.
Conversely, it is also possible for people to become liberated, enlightened, without having a personal connection with God.
Saddhu, I believe the process you describe above is one of deepening and widening experience of non-reflecting human consciousness, but I don't know that it's necessarily an experience of God. Mt. tried to say something about this in a post above. God is undoubtedly there, creating and sustaining the soul in existence, but as long as we are "advancing" through our own ascetical practices, it's pretty clear that what's going on is on the human side of things.
Yes, but is that a good thing? Jesus didn't seem much interested in teaching such a pathway.
"Saddhu, I believe the process you describe above is one of deepening and widening experience of non-reflecting human consciousness, but I don't know that it's necessarily an experience of God. Mt. tried to say something about this in a post above. God is undoubtedly there, creating and sustaining the soul in existence, but as long as we are "advancing" through our own ascetical practices, it's pretty clear that what's going on is on the human side of things."
Phil, yes the processes that I described are the experience of widening and expanding human consciousness, but it is also the process with which humans start to transcend the gross material and physical plane and begin to connect to the divine, or God.
This is the process of connecting to the impersonal aspects of God, which in their nature are full of love and bliss, also a transcendental freedom.
However, this does not mean that experiences will reveal to the mystic, the meditator, or the enlightened one , the true nature of the God that is the Creator, and the Ultimate power in the universe.
The true nature of God always remains hidden from mere mortals such as ourselves.
Enlightened one`s, have had very powerfull experiences of transcending the limitations of being in the body-mind, and experience a different, deeper layer of reality which is transcendental to the apparent material , and temporal world that we all normally identify with that is around us.
They also realise that on a deeper level, we are all One, and are also intrinsically Light.
The actual experience , which mystics describe in different ways, of being One with the Absolute, or the Brahman, is where God is revealing deeper aspects of His reality.
Some enlightened ones take this Brahman, which is full of light, to be the Ultimate nature of God, or `Source`.
However, it is clear that they do not know , the actual reality of the Creator, of the whole universe and the set up,and that they do not have the power to create, sustain or destroy the universe, plus they still do have a body-mind whilst they are emobodied and therefore are still in the human condition,
and so in this way , they cannot really say that they are now `God`.
However, God has revealed to them their intrinsic freedom and Oneness with the Whole, and they are free from the human condition.
"Conversely, it is also possible for people to become liberated, enlightened, without having a personal connection with God.
Yes, but is that a good thing? Jesus didn't seem much interested in teaching such a pathway."
Yes, it is a good thing, because along with the bliss that comes with enlightenment, there is also a deep , and ongoing unconditional love, and it is a love that will be for all things, as the enlightened one sees everyone else as his own Self.
This kind of divine love, is the kind of love that all humans should strive for.
and I believe that it is the same love that Jesus talks about when he states "Love thy neighbour as Yourself".
I understand what you're saying and I think it's mostly acceptable to Christians, but it is not what Christianity is all about. Jesus clearly taught that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all strenght, all heart, all mind etc. and only then the neighbor as yourself. I'd like to say sth about what this first commandment is, really.
My view is that from what you say we can conclude one important thing: various enlightened states of human “consciousness” (I use this term in a maximally broad way) are embedded in our human nature. The concept of chakras or “bodies” expresses precisely that: everything is in us, it is natural to us, even though only the small minority of humans realize this during their life on this earth. Catholic mediaeval theology applied here the concept of “natural” and I’ll use that to mean that everything that is embedded in us simply through our being human is “natural”. That is what I meant when I said that “Eastern” experiences do not reach beyond human capacities.
St. Thomas Aquinas in his “Summa contra Gentiles” (that is, theology developed as an answer to non-Christians) begins with arguing that no created spirit can have direct experience of God, because God extends infinitely above and beyond even the highest angel’s cognitive abilities. Having known the Eastern traditions and their contribution, I think we can conceive the highest peak of our experience to be enlightenment, that is purely natural experience of the nature our Self (unified with all existence). Because this Self is without limits and formless etc., we are not able to distinguish between God, ourselves and the universe in this experience. In other words, when we plunge into this Ocean, our consciousness dissolves and we cannot say “God” and “we” anymore. But it is not true that we are experiencing God. We only experience a reflection of God in our created being, we experience in fact ourselves qua his “image”. This can be construed as an “experience of God” (James Arraj argued for that, following Jacques Maritain), but it is more an experience “that God is”, not “who God is”.
Now, Christian experience of faith (hope, love). Since we cannot reach God based on our natural endowment, the only way for us to really have some experience of God’s “personality”, God’s nature, is when GOD VOLUNTARILY REVEALS HIMSELF TO US. The Bible speaks about this, whenever Abraham or Moses and others find themselves being called by this “Other”, who initiates the contact. God reveals his inner self through the Scripture, but ultimately and fully through Jesus Christ, God and Man. Because we cannot force God to reveal himself, to give himself to us in love (how could we force any person to do that?), relationship with God develops on a different level than self-realization.
For Christians, it is not a “Christ consciousness” as some mystical state of consciousness that is the goal of their practice and life. It is union with God that is based on love – according to what Jesus said in the gospel of John, that whoever loves him and obeys his teachings, will have the Trinity come to him and dwell in him. But this indwelling is not a mystical experience, it is something imperceptible to us, we know about this by faith, even though Christian mystics may have also a direct experience of it. This indwelling of God, this bond with God, unlike enlightenment, is not a part of our human nature, of our endowment, it is a gift. It can be lost, if someone sins gravely; it can be restored through penance and reconciliation (e.g. in the sacrament of reconcilitation). It can grow in intensity; it can diminish – but only on our account.
So from this point of view, enlightenment, as a natural phenomenon, despite of its rarity, is always “lower” than “supernatural” life of God within human being. This supernatural life, a communion with the Trinity, is always more precious than any of the states of our own consciousness. We cannot achieve this through any exercises, but we can help it grow and flourish through exercises, if they are based on love and humility. Note that in Eastern religions the experience of enlightenment, however defined, is the goal of religious life (while the majority waits for a better incarnation). In Christianity, however, mystical experience is not the goal of religious life – it is given but to few Christians, (God only knows why to those, not to others), but our common, universal goal is to grow in faith, hope, and love. And this growth can be in complete darkness, dryness, suffering – it often is. Our God hangs on the cross, completely abandoned, suffering, humiliated. He is not a Buddha meditating or Krishna playing his flute. Then he rises from the dead and enters the glory of his Father, but he still bears those wounds. So we Christians welcome suffering in our life and we renounce seeking spiritual experiences. We try to focus on our beloved God, do his will, for his glory alone. What we seek is his glory alone through forgetfulness of our old self, because only our “new self” can live only for God.
This transformation – the cross, death, and resurrection – does not happen through our effort or mere luck, it happens because we are given powerful divine energies, infinitely more powerful than kundalini, which purify us and make us transparent for God’s action in us. Those energies can’t “go wrong”, like kundalini, because they are the energies of the Holy Spirit and he controls them. He gives us exactly what we need to grow, at any given moment of life, he arranges external things for us, bestows suffering or joy, trouble or peace, mystical graces or inner darkness – whatever helps us to die to ourselves and live for his glory. So, obviously, for us those supernatural energies, called “grace”, or specifically the divine powers of faith, hope, and love, which enable us to gradually participate in God’s own nature, are far better than kundalini or any shaktipat from the most enlightened guru. Our participation in the Church is not just come kind of external addition to our spiritual journey or that we do not want to go this path alone. We believe that the Church is Christ’s own Body. When we touch his Body, we are healed, when we eat his Body, we are transformed. The sacraments of the Church, or the Church as the Sacrament, mediates the most powerful energies of God. God is everywhere and can act everywhere in every way, but he was pleased to act through his Son’s Body, the Church, so we humbly use those divine “outlets” of energy, not trying to have our own way, find our own ways to “plug in”.
I think of the three differences between Christianity and the spiritual approach of other traditions. First: Christianity is not elitist (a simple, uneducated Christian, without mystical graces, can be sanctified in love, without any “enlightenment”). Second: we learn to let go of experiences and states of consciousness in order to become like our Lord – emptied, humble servant (this is the way of the cross). Three: we are given the most secure access to transforming energies via the Church of Jesus Christ – we don’t have to rely on gurus or on ourselves to be transformed. What would you be your response to those two differences, from the point of view of your spiritual tradition (which I’m not clear about)? Do you imagine you could have a fulfilled life in your tradition without purifying your chakras, without pursuing the way of enlightenment? Do you imagine you could renounce pursuing enlightenment – and if so, then for what reason? Do you think that God, if you believe him to be a person at all, can be a direct guide, showing us the secure path to himself, so we don’t have to rely on our own judgments?
Excellent exchanges. Thanks Mt. and sadhu.
sadhu, we've been over this topic many times, and, as Mt. noted, what you're describing is something that some Christians can accept as a "good thing" without confusing it with the Christian journey (there are, however, many Christians who would see this path to enlightenment as pathological, even demonic). The distinction between natural and supernatural union described by Mt. is a key. Christians believe that God has taken the initiative to communicate God's divine life to us where we are, in the body, with Egos and all, and so there is no need to try to get rid of these essential aspects of our humanity to attain union with God. Falseness, selfishness and biases of different kinds much go, but we are still left with an individual person, and that's a good thing. So life in Christ is both unitive (with God and one another) and individuating. This is a key distinction between Christianity and Hinduism.
Echoing Mt's question: what is your religious tradition?
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2 3 4 5|