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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Auras & Chakras

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  #31  
Old 09-06-2011, 06:10 PM
Uma Uma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prokopton
Uma, sounds like you'll have a good retreat coming up.

When you have time, it would be great if you'd address the 10 points I gave earlier in the thread.

Ok I will
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  #32  
Old 09-06-2011, 06:12 PM
Uma Uma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteShaman
Hi Uma,
Thank you for explaining in more depth the meaning behind certain phrases you have made.
I'm really not asking to learn anything, I just feel it is hard to have a discussion if i assuming what you mean by these things.
There is a lot I can say in reply to your response but what seems adequate at this time is to just say that I hope you have a great retreat and by all means feel free to pray for me.
It brings me to higher consciousness just knowing that you care enough to pray for me to feel what you feel. And I believe you really do care.......so mission accomplished already.
Thank you for the discussion....much love......
Blessings, James

Ok I will, so sweet of you James. I write more than you ask for the benefit of others reading.

Bye bye everybody...
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  #33  
Old 09-06-2011, 08:39 PM
Prokopton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uma
I resent being labelled, especially as a fundamentalist which sounds like someone who is stuck in dogma.

Well that's not exactly what I said -- what I said was that insisting on the 'truth' of something and ignoring all evidence to the contrary leads in the direction of fundamentalism. I think that's a valid observation. And if one believes that one's own way is the only correct one, it can go in that direction. Even more important than that though, there is a loss of opportunity to see how truly different things interact. One can certainly see 'spiritual greats' from all cultures according to chakra psychology, but equally, one has to be interested in the way they see themselves, especially if they have achieved something.

Even saying that all people have their own particular favored chakra is a statement that you need to think about carefully. A teacher of mine, Glenn Morris, did major research on just that question. It's a complex one -- people tend to favour a certain chakra, but equally, spiritual experience tends to even out their activation and needs to in fact. The Hesychasm approach certainly would bear out the heart thing... but spanish swordsmen use the heart chakra as their basis. To get real usable cross-cultural stuff here is quite a big job.

Everyone does have a way, but the ways often don't resemble each other... to separate one's own personal way from what we can generally say is key. To use one of your examples, we can say that Teresa of Avila had kundalini of some kind -- but can't say for sure that what she perceived as an angel was 'not really an angel', simply because angels don't happen to be part of our personal belief system. People do encounter them, and aver that they are more than metaphors. People often experience beings as part of the kundalini process, and they often help with energetic openings. If you're going to make a general statement of truth, that's important to bear in mind.

Kundalini is going to require a lot of research before we "know" some of the things that are definitely true about it in all cases, not just individual ones. And as I was trying to say, it's quite amazing enough without making unsubstantiable claims, or reducing the whole thing to only one way of seeing. It's a very big phenomenon we're dealing with here.

Well I look forward to your thoughts.
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  #34  
Old 14-06-2011, 01:16 AM
Uma Uma is offline
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reply to Prokopton's 10 points

Hi Prokopton,

Here are my responses:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prokopton
I also really think someone ought to point out:

1. That although there are many suggestive images, in many cases we don't have enough evidence to be certain that kundalini was meant. (Although in some we do.) -- I'm talking rigorously certain here. Greenwell gives the example of Jiyu Kennett Roshi, an enlightened Zen Meditator, as kundalini, but reading carefully the process is possibly rather different. We still need to know more, that is, if we care about really looking at evidence. Which we ought to.

I'm not familiar with these books. My teacher recommends this one: http://www.amazon.ca/Serpent-Power-S.../dp/0486230589 I thought the relationship between the images I posted are pretty self-explanatory. The recognition comes with the experience of it, then images are recognized as a human interpretation (anthropomorphism, poetry, sacred geometry, vision...) of an inner experience. As Norththrope Frye once said, humanity thinks in metaphor (this is like that). I don't know what else to say to this.

Quote:
2. There are numerous other energies running through the human soul system apart from kundalini itself.

Well, as I understand it - all is energy. There are different names for the function of the energy or the manifestation of the energy. Kundalini is prana (chi/qi/universal life force energy) manifesting in the human being when the sushumna is awakened (that's the central subtle channel in the spine). In ordinary, unawakened consciousness, Kundalini is active only to keep the body alive and there is very little spiritual evolution activity going on or rather it's mostly happening on the outside as life tries to knock some sense into the person. It is said that the spiritual journey really begins with awakened Kundalini. That's when the soul has an opportunity to become a CONSCIOUS co-creating partner with its/his/her own self-evolution.

Quote:
3. It is definitely the case that some uses of snake imagery do not refer to kundalini.

Not every image of a snake is a reference to Kundalini, of course.

Quote:
4. This being a thread about chakras, it is also the case that not every civilization used a chakra system in order get the kundalini to rise, and the ones that did had different ideas about how to use them.

I agree that not every civilization used a chakra system in their interpretation of what was happening in the spiritual experience. Not every person is even aware they have chakras. Nonetheless chakras do exist in every person and Kundalini is the basis of all spiritual experiences. " A rose by any other name still smells as sweet." Some religions only focus on the crown chakra or the heart. I think a lot of the confusion arises because the chakras have many functions, not only as vortexes of energy and information, but each is a transformer for spiritual expression, a stage of evolution, and a realm or dimension. But if you read autobiographies of mystics who describe their experience, there is commonality. The greatest degree of difference between experiences are in the lower chakras, but in the crown, there is oneness and one experience common to all.

BTW I learned from an archeology class I once took how religions revere the sacred whatever form it takes, which is why archeologists find churches built on top of pagan spaces. And it could be an expropriation too or a way to gain acceptance in the early missionary days. The celtic iconography seen in the book of Kells, which is an ancient handpainted Bible, combines early Christian and ancient pagan images - lots of spirals and serpents. I believe that Christianity demonized the serpent power only to expropriate it as the Holy Spirit. Only the elite may have understood its esoteric significance. The gnostics had a better grasp, but they did a lot of expropriating too. I'm not an expert on these matters but it is the way of the world, consistent with the colonizing mentality we still see today.

Quote:
5. It is not necessarily the case that every culture and every spirituality makes use of kundalini. From our present position this is a hypothesis... we need to do more work on this before we know what we are talking about as a species.

(see my comments for #4)

Quote:
And BTW I speak as a confirmed believer in cross-cultural kundalini phenomena. Further:

6. I do know of Kundalini in India, China, Greece, Egypt, Christian systems, and some local/indigenous spiritual groups around the world, and would consider those cases solid. I don't know much about Tibet but I'd be astonished if someone couldn't show that, seeing as how the tradition is live. Also the European alchemical tradition, that's very solid.

I think someone started to make a cross cultural film about the serpent power experience.

Quote:
7. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that kundalini occurs naturally and is not inherently a cultural phenomenon, because it can occur spontaneously in people who know nothing about it, and are not even 'spiritual', as a completely natural upshot of nervous system behaviour.

Agree 100% and yet medical science denies its existence. I'm sure many people have been labelled insane, when it was really not a psychotic but a spiritual experience. BTW not all Kundalini experiences are so dramatic - it depends on where the person is blocked and how the energy was awakened. On the other hand, there is a fine line between enlightenment and madness. It's important to be grounded, and at that level, IMHO to have a competent master to guide you.

Quote:
8. There are some very intriguing and definite cross-cultural discoveries which show the knowledge of energy and many other things is discovered in parallel rather than simply spreading by word of mouth.

Well, truth is truth. By the same token look at the names for mother around the world. They all sound more or less like "mama" because that's usually the first word baby says. Human beings share a common spiritual anatomy.

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9. We are beginning to have some definite understanding of the phenomenon from a scientific point of view, both psychological and biological.

Good! It's about time!

Quote:
But I will end with:

10. There isn't enough definite knowledge available to state for certain 'one true correct' theory of kundalini, even within a tradition much less across them. We are at the beginning of our understanding here, and in order not to shortchange ourselves and to really know what we are trying to find out, rather than just guessing, we have to admit what we don't know at present, and be patient as we wait for more info. Something suggestive does not by any means equal anything definite. In the meantime, all lineages in the world that work with kundalini and have a definite system that works are valuable and must continue their work.

To each his own, however for me, getting the info directly from one who has experienced full awakening of all the chakras is more reliable than research, authority or tradition. More than that, I feel it myself, and he inspires the energy flow within me as well as the understanding of what exactly is happening to me. I am not asking anyone to take my word for it, only to be open to the possibility and if the desire is there, to seek it intelligently. In the words of my teacher, Sri Vasudeva:

Quote:
Sri Vasudeva " ...knowledge of your spiritual being is important. The world teaches us about the physical and we have been given so many different philosophies and teachings of all kinds in terms of the spiritual but I want to say to you that in the spiritual domain experience is the most important, that when you get into the spiritual domain test everything that you read by realization, by experience – it must translate itself into an experience. If we were told that God is a man then we should want to see Him. And you see how many crazy beliefs we have – that the world will end on a certain day. And you can’t imagine that so many people will believe that. You [need to] test everything."


Thanks for your interest Prokopton which gives me an opportunity to share.
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  #35  
Old 15-06-2011, 08:04 PM
Uma Uma is offline
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The Joy of Living in the Crown

We haven't explored what crown chakra consciousness is yet...that's the whole point of this thread. when the crown is attained all the chakras have the capacity to open up completely. At the root chakra, full expression of being grounded firmly on the earth plane; at the sexual centre lust no longer has control over you, the enlightened one is able to use this energy in all kinds of ways bringing it to any other chakra at will; at the navel, there is mastery over the body's vitality; at the heart only the purest expressions of love, unconditional, compassionate, selfless and these manifest even through the other emotions - emotions themselves become a tool in the human experience not something to be hijacked by; at the throat, pure communication and listening; at the brow mastery of intellect, concentration, discernment, intuitive power, leadership, the best kind; at the crown bliss, connectedness with all of life. The journey to the crown is a journey to complete self mastery and perfection of all the chakras. This is an evolutionary journey, an inner journey, a journey of lifetimes. This is what life's all about.
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  #36  
Old 15-06-2011, 11:09 PM
Prokopton
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@Uma, well I doubt the conversation can go much further, you'll be relieved to hear! I really don't think you are seeing much of what I'm saying...

Your remarks on expropriation are correct though, no doubt about that, BTW, and there is also the very new age-sounding question of possible energy currents in the earth etc. Just because I don't think kundalini is necessarily and obviously the only and universal spiritual form, doesn't mean I think it won't travel... there is definite evidence of it in numerous places, as I mentioned! But not everywhere -- this is my point.

You should obviously know that I have personal experience of kundalini as well, and have been working with it for many years. I have met kundalini masters as you have, too. (You could check this.) This not about some weird books-vs.-experiences thing! What it's about is not operating on a faith-based approach, which I prefer not to do. We do not know whether kundalini is meant in certain spiritual images, without further proof, just because it looks as if it might be -- from my point of view, it seems a good idea to admit it!

It's not a question of which book to read. (Although yes, Avalon is still recommended by many.) You wouldn't have to read the books I mentioned to get the point I was making -- one which perhaps you'd rather not get! It's so simple -- comparing enlightenment experiences carefully, you do not always see kundalini. Certainly not in any obvious or conclusive way. Again that's enlightenment experiences -- awakening and realization experiences as reported by people who have them. Sometimes there is a definite kundalini shape to the experience -- sometimes not. Kundalini is widespread but not universal, so far as we know, based on talking to people who are willing to communicate their enlightenment experiences.

It's a very simple truth. No-one in the world who actually is interested in the truth could say, "I have experienced kundalini and therefore I know that this picture drawn by a 5-year-old, or this Sumerian image, or this river (??) exhibits kundalini." Of course one doesn't know! Things are not so simple, unless you simply decide that they are, but that is not the way human knowledge advances, with people simply deciding what is true! And certainly no-one could ever say "all spiritual experiences are based on kundalini", except as a pure guess. We haven't talked to enough people yet to know. We know it does appear in a lot of interestingly far-flung places... but we need to know more. A lot more!

Quote:
Well, as I understand it - all is energy. There are different names for the function of the energy or the manifestation of the energy.

No, I am not talking about different names only. The energy of kundalini is a certain energy, and there are other energies too. Kundalini is not a name for all energies and all energetic processes. Spiritual anatomy is a complex topic!This post is too long to get into that I think.


Similarly, the 'agreements between mystics worldwide' thing is very overdone nowadays -- mystics have also been arguing for millennia over the end result of their experiences and the nature of the ultimate (check out the Buddhist v. Hindu arguments for a start) and indeed the disagreements outnumber the agreements. Again, I'm afraid these are the facts! The faith in one system that always appears in different variations is for me just a faith. Humanity is so much more complicated and interestingly so, if you can get used to the mess!

For me your last answer is rather telling -

Quote:
To each his own, however for me, getting the info directly from one who has experienced full awakening of all the chakras is more reliable than research, authority or tradition.


But "getting the info from one who has experienced" is exactly what I'm referring to, of course! I'm saying that many people who have major spiritual awakenings sometimes report a great difference from the kundalini approach, and I hardly think devaluing their experiences just to fit in with a preconceived notion of 'universal kundalini' is going to help see the real picture.

In fact it's quite hard to work out what even you think you're saying here... you say "getting the info directly from one who has experienced" is more important than "research", "authority", or "tradition". But Uma, what "research" could I be talking about other than 'getting info' from people who have experience? (As well as taking the odd blood test of course... ^_^). And what could "authority" be, except listening carefully to a teacher, exactly as you do, who has such experience? And what is "tradition" but a way of passing down the methods that people discover -- people who 'have experienced' -- for the next generation to use, exactly as your teacher does for you? It seems you are interested in "research, authority and tradition", after all!

When you 'get the info from one who has experienced', you are doing exactly what I mean by 'research'. Only, I am suggesting that if you are trying to draw general conclusions for the whole of humanity (let alone the whole universe), rather than simply getting answers that work for you personally, then the info-getting needs to be done widely, rigorously, and with an open mind, in the interests of generating real knowledge rather than a one-sided picture with many guesses, propped up by faith or what sounds good. I think the picture that could be built by collating the info more widely and carefully is more interesting than simply assuming that we know things which no-one could know for certain, no matter what their experiences are.

This doesn't change the fact that one's experience is real! Of course not. But other people have real experiences too. And (unless we are going to say everyone else's experience is not real) we need to do the real work of comparing and trying to understand the links and differences between paths, rather than simply saying we already know, when we plainly do not!

I'll leave it there, unless you're super-keen for more conversation on this... did you do your retreat yet? If so I hope it went well...
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  #37  
Old 16-06-2011, 01:43 AM
Uma Uma is offline
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I had a great time at the retreat Prokopon. What I get from my teacher is not merely intellectual knowledge but much grace, that which extends far beyond mental fluctuations. Thank you for your interest. Best wishes to you.
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  #38  
Old 16-06-2011, 02:34 AM
SerpentQueen
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Uma and Proktopon, I thank you for this thread. It has been invaluable to me, watching from the sidelines. It's like you two are the argument in my own head. LOL

Uma, I've spent a lot of time these last few days going through your web site, and I absolutely love it. You write beautifully, and clicking on the button every day to get a new card has been an amazing experience - every day has told me just the right message I needed, at that moment. Like magic.

I think what Proktopon is saying, is that you need no guru. Sri V-whats' his name... he's wonderful. Totally get why you appreciate his energy. We all need teachers in our journey. I'm just sensing................

You don't need him anymore.

Prokopton, I'm drawn in particular by what you've been saying about how the serpent images don't necessarily mean kundalini. That was my first guess, what they meant, when I first started seeing dragons and serpents everywhere I went, and started to research it. But yeah, regardless of what I read, my gut has been saying it's that... but more than that. There's, of course, the serpent eating it's tale, the beginning and the end. There's the serpent being cast down to hell (on the cross) but that to me is also about kundalini.. or Aeons sinking lower into materiality. It is a durable symbol, with many meanings.

I'm tired, so I probably shouldn't be posting tonight. So I'll stop there. Really, this was mostly meant as a big thanks!
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  #39  
Old 16-06-2011, 02:36 AM
SerpentQueen
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Actually, why are there no more dragons? They aren't mythical creatures. I believe I read somewhere, they truly did exist at one time - though maybe not spouting fire out their mouth.

Maybe dragons are... an archetype.
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  #40  
Old 16-06-2011, 12:45 PM
Prokopton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uma
What I get from my teacher is not merely intellectual knowledge but much grace, that which extends far beyond mental fluctuations.

I would certainly hope so! And of course, what many others get from their teachers, plural (including me from the ones I have had) is the same in that respect, whether one chooses the word 'grace', the word 'shaktipat', or whatever. It would indeed be a strange world if yours was the only teacher of any achievement! What a lopsided thing that would be.

And that goes for me too of course, which is why I just said in my past post:

Quote:
You should obviously know that I have personal experience of kundalini as well, and have been working with it for many years. I have met kundalini masters as you have, too. (You could check this.) This not about some weird books-vs.-experiences thing!

Etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serpent Queen
I think what Proktopon is saying, is that you need no guru.

No not exactly -- I think we do need often teachers and role models who can deliver energy and knowledge. But none of them knows everything, they often contradict each other, and the best of them will happily admit this in my opinion! Like Uma, I had an excellent kundalini teacher (Glenn Morris) who has gone on to be the root of many a lineage and was incredibly gifted at syncretism. However, he never claimed his way was the only true way! Simply one way that worked, and a living and dynamic and evolving way at that.

Despite what some might say on faith grounds, there are limits to our actual knowledge on certain matters. These are the facts, and they are not hard to grasp. And it's only by recognizing such limits that we can learn anything new. The alternative is to say that everything important is already known... at that point, openness to life seems to stop though.

As we were saying at the beginning of the thread, athribiristan and I if I remember right, the chakra-counts of different teachers vary, to take only one small example. (And these are still the teachers who teach about chakras, as some don't.) And this goes for teachers who have had kundalini awakenings, are able to pass energy, and have loyal and enlightened students, just as with Uma's teacher. Unless we are simply going to assume that only one person's experience is absolutely right and all the rest are wrong (which would be a bad idea if the truth interests us), all the experiences of all the people who have kundalini and other sorts of awakening are part of the full picture, not only one model of how and why awakening happens.

Naturally, and I speak hypothetically, some people will happily say that their teacher is correct and all the others are wrong! (What a strange coincidence, that they happen to be following the only correct way! ^_^). But clearly, the picture is more complicated in actual fact. The theory of chakras and kundalini is actually in its early stages. We will have to be carefuly to shepherd it through the dark ages upcoming, because we do have many methods which work and many theories that tell some of the story, and they are all very precious and worthwhile. But 'the full tale is known to none'. We can say 'according to my tradition, which I know has truth in it', and that's one thing. We can't say, 'I have the truth and the whole truth'!

We can post pictures of rivers saying they might resemble something about kundalini. We can't say that the path of a river is kundalini -- not unless we want to abandon the truth for fantasy!

Quote:
Prokopton, I'm drawn in particular by what you've been saying about how the serpent images don't necessarily mean kundalini.

Of course they don't have to, as Uma agreed! If you were in rural Greece 100 years ago, in a farm cottage, and a snake happened to appear on the floor, they would instantly set up a shrine where they saw it. They believed (and some probably still do) that the spirit of a house can appear in the form of a snake. Greek heroes were often said to appear as snakes or to be worshiped in snake form. This is not k-related. Similarly with the many wonderful Egyptian snake-deities. The Uraeus is probably k-related IMO, but there are many others that seem different.

But we must beware of this tendency to say we know for sure either way! We often simply do not and must admit it! The new age is full of people confidently stating that an image is definitely thus-and-so, when no-one knows. I'm sure you know the nagas from Hindu and Buddhist myth:



Some say have to do with kundalini, others deny this. There is a similar-looking fellow in Greek myth whose name is Cecrops:



... but is he related? We don't know, nor do we know his relationship to kundalini. We can guess, but we don't know. In other cases we have more definite information, usually because there is writing about actual spiritual tradition that goes with the image. Without that, we can say it might be this or that, but we can't assume! That is not how one discovers the truth, simply to assume it!

Quote:
Actually, why are there no more dragons? They aren't mythical creatures. I believe I read somewhere, they truly did exist at one time - though maybe not spouting fire out their mouth.

Yes there are still rumours of such dragons. In Welsh folklore you hear things about some sorts of strange dragon up until quite recently if I recall -- I can search out the reference if you like. Yes, the association with fire seems quite spurious, usually they are water-related. The Loch Ness monster might be such an astral-etheric dragon, whose substance comes and goes -- there are many such monsters worldwide. There are also so many myths of shape-changing dragons who can assume human form... might they have to do with the nagas and with Cecrops? Well it is a possibility...

Both dragons and serpents are used to found dynasties quite a lot. In China someone would have sex with a dragon and there would be an offspring who would become emperor... the same happened with snakes in Greece, where it would be Zeus or Apollo in snake form, etc.
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