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In the first years of a spontaneous awakening without a practice or even understanding of what kundalini is, there is first bewilderment, then a settling into the rhythms and peculiarities of this new life.  You begin perhaps by learning that this has a name, and once you do, you probably gobble up as much information about it as you can.  The process itself, though, shows you that a lot of change is taking place in a very short span of time.  The chakras are pierced, opening, and then much more susceptible to the stirring of pranic force now moving more forcefully in the body.  Old things bubble up and lift away one by one, the energy is impacting your bodily systems “amping” up adrenaline, cortisol, but also dopamine, sexual hormones of testosterone and estrogen, as well as endorphins in the mix.  In a period of mere months it is not unusual to feel as though you have gone through what might feel as only achievable through years of traditional talk therapy sessions.  Things heat up, the process continues, and the light body releases what seems a vast backlog of stored emotional material that makes up the karmic load for the person.  The soul enters in, samadhi is experienced, incredible states of bliss are known, and the self feels as though it is being reformed, healed, and brought to a new understanding of its place in the order, the design—now revealed—of the cosmos.  All of this is rich, rewarding, and wonderful amidst the backdrop of such great energetic intensity.

Over time, the self most often begins its struggles with the trappings of ego.  We all seem to come to it in our own way when we are ready (or not entirely ready as the came may be). This is often marked by what is termed the Dark Night of the Soul, more a period of time than a singular event which is where the “rubber meets the road” in coming to terms with how the self was ordered prior to awakening. This is due to an arrangement of the psyche where ego was once front and center, and then is slowly – perhaps painfully – pushed into the background by the sheer force and immensity that is now facing it. Ego is simply being outpaced by cosmic consciousness, and the cosmic has to move now.  As necessary as it is, most call this a death because of how traumatic it is for some people (at least while it is happening).  This is, though, a very necessary stage to reach in order to catch the “new gear” that our awakening selves require, which is loosening the ties to the part of the linear self in favor of the nonlinear holistic self. As an aside, I will say that this is only “necessary” when our ego is already so centrally focused in our awareness—not everyone will need this “death” whose ego is already not so front and center, but it will happen naturally if it is needed. This ties directly into how the brain itself carries a mirror of or for the cosmic within it that allows it to process cosmic consciousness and its sweeping vastness (which is the right brain, which I write about a lot in other parts of this blog).  When this happens successfully, cosmic consciousness is no longer  overwhelming, or a fearsome struggle. It is a shift (not a death). It just becomes the new normal. Things become easier over time, and this new gear comes into fuller use.  The mind quiets, there is a greater sense of peace and understanding that this new condition, the awakened self, involves.  I wont say that all is perfect peace, but things are much easier, especially for those who awakened spontaneously. But with it comes, perhaps, a place in experience that is what I think of as the “now what” state.

Many people experience this state at one time or another.  With the incredible bliss comes crashes, and the yo-yo effect I mentioned in my previous post related to comping with kundalini.  Some call it “rubber-banding” or “contractions” of the self into its old familiar pattern. You have been to the summit, you have had incredible insights, the world has been turned on its head, and events now take on a different form in their creation.  You know that your own consciousness is absolutely creating so much of your life experience as evidenced by synchronicity, and other events very similarly aligned by way of their significance to what you might think of as your destiny are popping up all over the place. But in seeing behind or through the veil that is so often described as being a part of awakening (the veil that separates the different parts of the self— conscious, subconscious, as well as superconscious) you perhaps see into the very simple source code that runs all of this, the very engine of creation….the twin energies that are now alive in you that have been described in many esoteric traditions as the “Shakti and Shiva” union, the “I am one with the father and mother” described by Jesus in the so-called Gnostic texts of early Christianity. All of these traditions are simply pointing to the union of opposites within consciousness that make cosmic consciousness possible.  But in knowing this, its almost as though there is this “what now?” moment at one point or another.  You can reach a point where all of the old ways of being no longer hold their interest.  Your body, too, might have been so impacted by the intensity of the physiology of kundalini that it creates a physiological form of doldrums within you, too.

If you have a karmic draw to certain people, those engage you and keep you in the intensity, but when you begin questioning even these powerful draws, this too can fall away and you enter into this very quiet place that is increasingly so new that it feels like a land of no more turbulent storms, no more drama, only you and the Tao, the persistent Presence of the All emanating throughout creation.  You no longer have as your god the dramas of the old life.  The battle standard is put away, and the world becomes cause-less.  It is a good place to be, but it can feel like a loss sometimes. As Westerners, we are extremely unfamiliar with working with life in this way.  This is very similar to what the Zen Buddhists describe as “zero” which means neither for or against anything, a place of no agenda, a point many observe as being where you can more clearly glimpse the truth of your own life and how the world is (to the degree that we each are capable). I think that being able to reach this place is actually important for the still-deeper blocks that remain as the deeper blocks that even our own intellect or compassion is outpaced or eluded by.

This can manifest or come in as such a stillness that it puts you off, making you feel at a loss as to what to do.  When you know how things work in the world instead of thinking that you do by taking a side or an agenda, and you lose your investment in ego, the need to go on another crusade just drops away.  We are, I think, so accustomed to making life into this dramatic play that we are in (it makes us feel engaged and fully in on the game) that when it changes, it can feel like a kind of loss of sorts.  Maybe less a loss as a feeling of having won the world, you have also given it up in the way you had lived in it before. You actively lose so many things that you thought were important that had been driving you so hard and for so long, and this loss can leave you feeling like you are resting in a windless still-water world with no up or down, no “this” or “that.”

The part of you that corresponds with the super-ego, that I knew to be something I called the “watcher” (Osho uses the same term it turns out) is a higher order version of the earthbound ego, but without the restrictive qualities it places on us, helps to drive this feeling of detachment.  Its incredibly useful when learning to surrender and to let all of the old memes drop away. For some of us, detachment can be hard sometimes.  You see the drama in the world and this super-self ego says “There have been wars….there will be more wars….there will be drama, and still more dramas; they will come and go, and drama will unfold as it has done in the past….this is all a drama that repeats for those who need to work through their own junk….keep moving through it….just keep moving and be like a passerby.” And it is this state, that without bliss, can feel hollow or empty.  It can lead to depression, and it can feel as though everything you fought so long and hard for in your previous life has less and less meaning (because it is supposed to mean something, right?). The things that fulfilled you before no longer fulfill you now. This could be a crisis or it could be a remedy.

I can tell you that this is a big adjustment.  I can also say that when this took hold of me (or I took hold of it), I found that this happened after years of very intensive releases and the dropping of ego in the midst of a 24/7 awakening experience that had proceeded for five to seven years.  I had incredible insights daily, unbelievable synchronicities that would boggle the mind, as well as difficult challenges as I learned to drop more and more of my own karmic material. It felt like a very real victory to have been able to release so much material.  But it left me with a “blah” feeling as well. There was so much change and so fast!  Once I was able to reorient myself, I found that in my own experience, there was more material to work through, another layer lying deeper still in the substratum of my awareness that I could not see in the previous cycle of releases.  All of this happened when I was able to release the easiest material and had swept through all of the major chakra centers and through the five koshas, or layers, within each chakra (it is said that we have five, and my own experience has shown me that this corresponded to numerous clearings of the same chakra over and over but at different “states” of the energy).

What I found for myself was that the material that remained was much more fundamental and even primal in nature, the blocked energy that lay in the root for me that had to do with childhood nurture and my feeling safe and secure in the world in a material way.  The point I noticed was that the blocks that remained were the ones that had been the most activated and were the most fresh.  Since they were the most commonly activated, they also were he least understood or really “seen.” These were blocks that had been triggered during my very difficult divorce just a couple of years after awakening began. As a result, I observe, they were the blocks most difficult to let go of. These seemed to now lay in a substratum of my psyche that was the most irrational, most fundamental, and also the most difficult to get at.  Yes, I had had some very challenging times doing the work up until this time with blocks in the heart, throat, crown, and the solar plexus, sacral, and root. It all seemed like a mammoth effort that spanned seven years.  Now it seemed as though I reached some plateau and while I knew there was more to do (I could feel it pretty clearly in my energy body as tension, pain, or resistance), things had slowed down a good bit as I felt like I was literally chipping away at a stone now instead of these big sweeps of release. It was here that the “blahs” entered in.  I think that this is one stage where I could have gotten stuck really easily had I stopped paying so much attention to bringing in the forces of change in my body.

What I know is that this was not some end, but merely the beginning of another chapter.  I would meet friends who would be in the same place, a signal to me that life was a great mirror for me in telling me where I was.  As I sat helping a friend move through a guided meditation, I realized that the visualizations I was providing were just the ones that I needed to use in order to get deeper into my own rooted issues.

Desire is such a double-edged sword. It can drive us powerfully to discover and to find what had been a mystery only moments previously.  It can also serve to hold blocks in place, too, because desire that is not pure is being colored by our many blocks.  We wind up wanting things or being drawn through desire to our very own karmic material, which are the things that cause us trouble and are not good for us (even as we crave them).  It can feel like a trick to us that karma creates chemistry, but being double-edged, I observe that if used properly that it can also free us.  This is very much in keeping with the soul of what tantra is, the part that is about the lightening bolt of realization through using desire as the crazy wild energy that can move mountains (and no, I am not talking about using it for sex, I am talking about using it for supreme bliss).  It has to be used as honestly as possible, though. It can also burn the mountains down. Over time, I note, that desire itself transmutes as our own karma clears.  I suspect that it is an adjustment period, and desire itself is not the bad thing so many point to. For as much as the wise ones (you know…just about everyone who speaks out about spiritual matters) speaks out against desire, I do not align to those views at all. I think that we simply do not understand desire and how our karma takes it over.  While I speak as though its something being done to us, realize that all karma is based on a choice, a decision that we once made in the past, so it isn’t like we are helpless at all in the face of our own seeming karmic battles.  It isn’t that desire itself is bad, it is that desire is so pure a force from the divine that it flows through everything, even our own blocked material.  Animated in this way, old desires that we know aren’t good for us rise like phoenix’s from the ashes.  We get upset with ourselves for having fallen for what seemed like a merry-go-round (which of course it is).  Clean up the material that desire flows through and desire is free in a way that perhaps few (including his Holiness the Dalai Lama) have  yet to experience.

I know that this might seem like a u-turn on the path of having lost direction and passion for life, but I know in my heart that even the Prime Creator of the All lives in a sublime state of desire.  Its desire birthed all realities, all worlds, all possibilities.  Desire was what moved it to create in the way that it did.  Its release of us and our potential from its own dreaming was itself the orgasmic surprise just before a moment of sheer risk of losing it all, that by releasing it, it might just all float away like the children we birth who leave home and exit our lives. There is, I know, a vista ahead of us where, freed from our shame and guilt and glitches, is an experience that is beyond limits.  I know it sounds grandiose, but in truth I am talking about being bowled over by a cup of tea or a sunset, or dinner out with friends.  The simplest of moments looking out your window becomes a sheer miracle.

What I am saying is don’t turn away from desire, but examine it. If it seems as though it is causing you trouble, it is a sign that there is more material that needs clearing out.  I can’t tell you the end-point in this simply because it is new ground and we are all traveling together.  But its the next big thing, I think.

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