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Member Essays.

Kundalini, Evolution and Scientific Proof.

   by Tom Aston.

Date: Sun, 6 Jul 1997
From: Tom Aston
Subject: Kundalini, Evolution and Scientific Proof

Dear list members,
Here is an overview article on kundalini and evolution starting with Darwin and Gopi Krishna, ending with modern science and parapsychology.
Hope you enjoy it - feel free to pass it on,
Best wishes,
Yogi Tom

Kundalini, Evolution and Scientific Proof

While science has argued that human evolution has been driven by competition, selection and the need to propagate ones genes, the kundalini experience suggests there is a hidden psychospiritual mechanism within each individual which transforms the evolutionary experience from one rooted solely in the physical body and the ego to one in which the integration and purification of the psyche becomes the central goal.

This transcendental view of psychospiritual evolution points to the function of the subtle body comprising the chakras and nadis of yoga as the key to understanding this process.

The individual consciousness is transformed through the action of kundalini on the chakras and subtle energy. Traditionally, this is symbolised by the spiral path of the mystics or individual odyssey of mythology or spiritual pilgrimage of religion.

This process also brings a transformation in the central nervous system and brain as the endocrine system is activated at a subtle level, the sexual fluids can become sublimated, and the whole psychophysical organism purified and refined.

The dietary needs of this evolving psychophysical organism can become unusually sensitive and pure as the body and brain are transformed.

While the West has no explicit cultural or scientific map for the kundalini process, the yogic traditions of the East, particularly Hindu Tantric Yoga and some aspects of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism and Taoism, offer a profound framework of understanding within which the unfolding of the kundalini experience can be viewed.

As kundalini works on the mind, body and spirit, the individual consciousness is gradually immersed in a greater reality than that of the conditioned consciousness be it termed the primordial state of emptiness of Buddhism, the Atman of Hinduism or the Tao of Taoism.

In the Western psychological tradition, Jung acknowledged the validity of this process in human development and growth of the psyche. He pointed to the role of symbolic forms such as mandalas as expressions of the need for the emerging kundalini to find harmony and balance to realise her purpose within the individual.

Unable to find expression in the waking consciousness, kundalini, here seen as the forces of the subconscious, emerges in dreams which must be acknowledged and followed if one is to successfully integrate these forces.

Jung gave the name "individuation" to this process of integration of the psyche, which works through acknowledging both energies emergent from the subconscious which are so easily repressed in Western culture and the complex aspects of an individual personality that need to be balanced through identifying and working with archetypes.

Jung believed that when the emergent energies of the subconscious, such as kundalini, were blocked all kinds of psychosis and mental imbalance resulted. He expanded this view from the individual consciousness to the collective, whereby a whole culture or society would become united in acts of madness such as war or genocide.

Ken Wilber has embraced the unfolding of the kundalini experience within Transpersonal Psychology, which brings together the Western tradition of psychological development which has focussed on the development of the individual ego with the Oriental traditions that have looked to worlds beyond the ego.

But within Transpersonal Psychology, even though it points to the goals of unity, wholeness and integration as the highest state of human consciousness, no special claims for the primacy of kundalini as an evolutionary driving force are made.

In fact, modern psychologists such as Stanislav and Christina Grof, and the late psychiatrist Lee Sannella, have focussed more on kundalini for its tendency to bring spiritual and psychological crisis within the individual.

While kundalini can be compared to the Holy Spirit within Christian mysticism, the New Testament offers no explicit model of psychophysical transformation in the manner of the yogic traditions. Thus, while for someone actually experiencing the Holy Spirit, the correlation with kundalini may make perfect sense and be extremely useful, to someone without a Christian outlook there are few conceptual reference points to understand their experiences and the process of transformation it brings.

Thus, particularly in the climate of secular and scientific Western culture, it may help to distinguish between public and personal models of kundalini awakening.

This is not to say there is anything wrong with theistic belief systems, nor that they fail to explain the kundalini experience, but rather that for a wider public living outside that particular world view or belief system it may not provide a language or conceptual framework with which they can easily sympathise either emotionally or intellectually.

Personal models of kundalini awakening often centre on theistic belief systems, and, as said above, there is clearly nothing wrong with this, for Christianity, Sufism and Kabbala, for instance, all offer profound frameworks within which to view kundalini.

But in terms of gaining a wider public understanding of kundalini, particularly if one hopes to win a wider audience for its relevance to our evolutionary outlook, it may help to look, initially, to psychology and then to the more esoteric forms of Yoga such as Hindu and Buddhist Tantra which provide explicit symbolic forms, for instance, which can be understood intellectually by a disinterested observer, even if they remain unempowered by them in spiritual terms.

Ultimately, it may one day be possible to look to science to provide a model for the kundalini process of awakening and transformation of consciousness.

This would need extremely subtle measuring devices that could monitor the subtle body of the individual as well as detect subtle refinement and healing of the psychophysical mechanism in general.

Whether or not conclusive evidence will ever be gained remains impossible to say, but pioneers such as Dr Hiroshi Motoyama in Japan, who has developed a machine, known as the AMI machine, able to diagnose the energy levels in the chakras and meridians of the body, suggest it is not beyond the bounds of human ingenuity to do so.

Other areas of research such as Kirlian photography and parapsychology should respectively help understand the effects kundalini has on the subtle body and the manifestation of psychic abilities she can bring. But it seems that even the most sophisticated body and brain scanners of modern science and medicine are unable to detect the workings of kundalini.

Even so, meditators have already demonstrated under laboratory conditions how transcendental states of consciousness can be monitored through data readings on brainwave monitors, while yogis have shown how the mind can have dramatic effects on the functioning of the body such as through reducing the rate of heart beat

So it may be simply a matter of time before the refinement of sensory mechanisms, microelectronics and computer software combine to give us a machine capable to proving the effects of kundalini on mind and body to the satisfaction of a sceptical wider public.

In the meantime, people who have experienced kundalini will continue to express and communicate the nature of this experience in those particular ways that are appropriate to their lives to add to the gradual permeation of Western culture with a wider awareness of this extraordinary energy.

All Rights Reserved/Copyright 1997 Silver Dawn Media/Yogi Tom

Editors note: Yogi Tom vanished from the web several years ago. Miss him, we do. If anyone knows where he can be reached, please pass the information on to me. M.

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