Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

The Re-Union of Mind and Matter March 8, 2011

The concept of the Kundalini serpent’s transforming evolutionary energy is based on the experiences of countless Spirit Warriors from many religious traditions including Taoism, Hinduism, Sufism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Hermeticism. Although its existence has not been confirmed to the satisfaction of mainstream Western science, (nor has the existence of God, for that matter), it is nonetheless a useful explanation for many otherwise unexplainable and seemingly unrelated phenomena: for example, the effectiveness of acupuncture, the unusual experiences and abilities of some spirit persons, and even the “missing link” that separates primitive hominids from today’s Homo Sapiens.

The intuitive understanding is that evolution in consciousness and spirituality is not solely the result of mental striving, but of cooperative interactions between mental and physical energies. The Kundalini life force, a combination of both, moves through seven chakras (the number varies in different traditions) or invisible focal points in the body which are connected by channels. The invisibility of these entities does not disprove their existence: think of electromagnetic radiation such as radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays.

Each chakra represents the confluence of a specific mode of physical and psychological energy. The three lower ones — Earth, Sexual, and Power — govern the basic needs for survival, procreation and will. The upper four — Heart, Communication, Intuition, and Crown — influence more advanced psychological and spiritual activity. The Crown is our connection to sacred Unified Consciousness, and the Heart is the centerpoint, or bridge, which connects and integrates the upper and lower chakras by means of empathy, understanding and compassion.

I’m no expert in these matters but I’ve read that in the majority of people the lower chakras are activated first and the Crown and Heart Chakras are usually the last to be completed. However, in extremely cerebral and spiritually oriented people, it is possible for the upper chakras to be awakened before the lower ones. In either case, no one gets from zero to one hundred in an instant! Evolutionary growth is a slow process, not a quick-fix product.

Thus, someone with a partial Kundalini awakening can acquire great compassion and intuition and still experience difficulty with intimate relationships because of unhealed issues concerning family of origin, sexuality, or power. Another could be a brilliant communicator but out of touch with physical realities like nurturing the body or monitoring what energizes the body and what depletes it.

The point is not literal belief in Kundalini energy and the chakras, but whether or not these symbols give spiritual meaning to personal experience and promote soul-making. Although this is what religions are supposed to do, there came a time when my religion no longer did this for me. But experiencing the reality that “masculine” mind and spirit have no priority over “feminine” physical sensation and emotion was a major breakthrough that got me growing again.

By reuniting our minds and bodies, Serpent Mother returns us to the magical childhood mystery of living in the here and now, but with an important difference.  This time we know the place for the first time and experience appreciation and gratitude for what Jungian analyst Marion Woodman calls “the eroticization of all of life.”

You can find Healing the Sacred Divide at this Amazon link and at Larson Publications, Inc.

 

Prince Ego and the Kundalini Queen March 5, 2011

The Eastern world has long known about the power and effects of Kundalini, but most Westerners have no idea that such a thing as spiritual evolutionary energy exists. Yet, committed seekers and spirit persons have repeatedly reported experiencing the disconcerting effects of its awakening and interpreted it in accordance with the prevailing doctrines of their times. In India it is called Kundalini and Shakti; in China it is Chi; in Christianity it is associated with the Holy Spirit; in Freudian psychology, libido. Regardless of what we call this energy, the effect it has upon us as it undulates through our lives is profound.

No one can predict when or how Serpent Mother will awaken or what impact she will make. Perhaps the only thing we can say with any certainty is that our ego has no authority over her: she has a logic all her own and stirs only when she deems us ready. Unfortunately, the fact that our spirits may be ready for this mega-dose of sacred energy does not necessarily mean our bodies or psyches are prepared. Many people suffer mightily when she is aroused, for the Kundalini serpent is, above all, an agent for growth and change, and few of us welcome change.

One effect of Kundalini energy is said to be that as the “serpent” moves up the spinal cord she removes any energy blocks that might be tensing our bodies and hampering our growth. Because our resistance to change is so powerful, these blocks can be deeply entrenched, and our inability to relax and yield can cause extremely uncomfortable physical symptoms.

For others, the discomfort is primarily psycho-spiritual. Genevieve Lewis Paulson, in her book, Kundalini and the Chakras, says many Christian saints and mystics experienced the symptoms of Kundalini release which they called “sufferings” and accepted as necessary to their spiritual growth.  Less spiritually grounded individuals might see their depressions, temptations, self-hatred, moral lapses and religious doubts as indicative of character flaws or mental illness when they could actually be brought on by evolutionary advances in their thinking which are revealing the unacceptability of the narrow prisons of conformity within which they’ve been living.

It is not the ego itself, but its unconscious attachment to what Jung called the spirit of the times that blocks humanity’s evolution into greater wisdom, compassion and consciousness. These words of Franz Kafka could have been uttered by any authentic Spirit Warrior in any place or age: “Don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” This is how we become enlightened beings: by knowing, honoring and loving the spirit of the depths.

The Serpent Mother’s evolutionary energies remain dormant in mind and matter throughout the soul’s winter. This dark season will last as long as it takes for Prince Ego to mount his trusty steed and, with the help of his mighty sword of clear discernment, challenge the spirit of the times by discovering his own truths and bringing more light to his unconscious. If he persists, his disciplined practices will eventually lead him into the depths, the dwelling place of the Beloved. And if he will honor his queen with his noblest, most chaste and loving kiss, she will awaken and bless him with her partnership. Together they will usher in the spring of the souls’ blossoming.

You can find Healing the Sacred Divide at this Amazon link, or at Larson Publications, Inc.

 

Snake Symbolism March 1, 2011

 

Snakes fascinate and terrify most of us. Because of this near universal reaction, and because snakes have played such important roles in the mythology of just about every religion, we know they have relevance to the psycho-spiritual life of every human being.

Throughout history the connection between the snake and the feminine principle has been profound and intimate: from Eve to the Serpent Lady of Ashtoreth and Kadesh; from Ishtar, the Babylonian Lady of Vision to the Serpent Goddess of Crete; from Kebhut, the goddess of freshness who played a part in Egyptian funerary ceremonies to the asp that transported Cleopatra to the afterlife; from Greece’s ancient Earth Mother Gaea to the Golden Age’s Queen, Hera, and her step-daughter Athena, goddess of wisdom; from east to west, serpents have always tempted, personified, accompanied, awakened, transformed, and empowered women and goddesses.

A snake is one of the most versatile of all creatures. It can live in the ground or in a tree, in the desert or in the water, but it is primarily considered a chthonic creature, i.e. as pertaining to the earth and the spirits of the underworld. This accounts for its association with the physical death of the body; however, because it periodically sheds its skin and emerges as if reborn, it is also seen as a symbol of transformation and the perpetual capacity for renewal.

Psychologically, because of its phallic form, it is a masculine sexual symbol; yet, at the same time, because of its devouring nature, it also suggests feminine sexuality as well as extremely powerful unconscious feminine energies. In this latter regard, Jung noted that distressing dreams about snakes are symptomatic of anguish over a reactivation of the destructive potential of the unconscious. It is no wonder they are almost universally feared.

Snakes are also associated with divine revelation. Evidence from shrines and oracular sites of the Goddess in Babylon, Sumer, Anatolia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome suggests that sacred serpents were kept and fed by priestesses who were consulted for prophecy. Perhaps it is this association that led Philo of Alexandria to believe that the snake was the most spiritual of animals.

In sum, Cirlot’s A Dictionary of Symbols notes: “If all symbols are really functions and signs of things imbued with energy, then the serpent or snake is, by analogy, symbolic of energy itself — of force pure and simple…” Thus is Hinduism’s Shakti personified as Kundalini, a Sanskrit word meaning “circular power.” It is said the sleeping serpent-goddess is coiled in the pelvis and can be awakened through spiritual exercises, especially yoga. When aroused, she rises up through the spinal chakras until she reaches the head, completely transforming the individual along the way.

Whatever we call this energy, spirit persons from every religion have reported powerful and often very distressing physical and psychological symptoms consistent with this symbolism. Like Indra’s diamond net which intuitively prefigured Jung’s collective unconscious, quantum physics’ holographic universe, and the worldwide internet thousands of years ago, the Kundalini goddess may well be an ancient expression of a scientific reality: to wit, the very painful but ultimately healing transformation of consciousness we see taking place all around us in the world today.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.

 

 

 
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