When Energy Precedes Consciousness
All month I will be discussing the various aspects of Kundalini, and many of these posts will be tidbits leading to my upcoming book on the subject.
One of the main dangers with arousing Kundalini spontaneously or willfully without proper preparation is that the body and the mind are not ready for such a change.
This is what happened to me in 2006 when I had my awakening and it is very common, especially in the West. Why? Well, simply because we don't have the foreknowledge and, these days especially, are excited by mystical spiritual openings that have great promise of advancement. It's a harmful combination.
My body wasn't just ill prepared, it was downright feeble and toxic. And it was that way because I was trying, in vain, to self-medicate some deep traumas I had endured a few years prior. My personal alchemy was in a precarious, vulnerable position from all angles, at all levels.
So it's no surprise that not only was I completely unaware (initially) of what was happening, and in shock, but the subsequent phenomena that inundated me for months and years afterward were wholly difficult to integrate, even when I knew what was happening to me and that surrender was the best way. I was meeting challenges and resistance at every turn.
This is because when energy precedes consciousness, there is no relaxed foundation, no wisdom at the ready, and no prior mental and emotional preparation to welcome the sudden surge of energy through the body, and all of the trauma clearing, shifting and dramatic transformations that take place. The ego, and the way our identity is constructed over the course of this lifetime, has no time to adjust to the changes - which often are some manner of shattering, obliterating, disintegrating of identity constructs and ego platforms. In an unprepared body/mind, of course there will be resistance to this - fear, doubt, anger, scrambling, clamouring.
Kundalini is indeed multi-faceted, and engages all parts of the 'self' - but there are two main aspects to a complete spiritual awakening - the energy, and the consciousness. Kundalini can, and does, help elevate consciousness given the proper arena, patience and time - but in my experience, its main 'agenda', if you will, is acting out that physical, psychospiritual journey that 'makes things happen.' Kundalini is a force. Our consciousness and how we react to this - whether we choose to help elevate ourselves through the process, go into fear, or simply try to ignore it - is the other player here. So we need to have this act in tandem with Kundalini in order for it to be fulfilled in a positive way.
Part of the 'force' of Kundalini is to unearth trauma and pain. Anytime this occurs, fuelled by spiritual awakenings or not, it is an intense ordeal. We bury, suppress and circumvent trauma for good reasons - it is painful, difficult, upsetting, counterintuitive to what we feel life should be - and in the West, particularly, we are obsessed with the notion of happiness and productivity. Dealing with trauma goes directly against the daily grind and juggling multiple responsibilities. It requires being organic, taking time, stepping back, and letting things be ugly for a while. Our aversion to this is natural. So it does not really matter whether or not trauma is unfolded via Kundalini or not - as it always will feel deeply uncomfortable. But the extra challenge of Kundalini is that it does not provide us with a choice. Arousing Kundalini is much like knocking down the first domino - it will not stop until all are surrendered. The momentum has been unleashed and all that is in its path will be included. Coupled with all of the other sudden phenomena (full list on the Kundalini page of this site) and identity shifts, partial or full ego death, new sensitivities, the list goes on - the mandatory peeling back of trauma is too much to handle at once.
This is why Kundalini psychosis is so common, and many mental illnesses (especially if they happen suddenly in someone's life) are misdiagnosed Kundalini. There is too much happening, as there was no way to prepare the body/mind for all of this at once.
Extreme mental anguish is not always par for the course, however. Despite a good deal of difficulty, I was able to navigate my own unprepared awakening decently, until I got a better grip on what was going on and what I needed to do. It helped to arm myself with knowledge, become a part of Kundalini groups online, and try feeling through the process with whatever level of trust I could muster. And I'm certain there are people out there whose mental states prior to Kundalini were so relaxed that the changes brought on little to no anguish at all. It really does depend on the individual. But this is why it is so important to impart the interest in Kundalini with a strong word of warning. Should it happen spontaneously, there is nothing to do at that point but react in the healthiest way possible. But to charge full-steam at the experience without preparation out of fanatic curiosity is folly.
Modern 'McSpirituality' fears and shuns the shadow self, yet that is exactly what we face when we actually undergo a radical spiritual awakening. Kundalini is paraded around like this ticket to 'lightbeingness' - but it requires us to dive into the dark. It is everything, the full spectrum. Not one stone unturned, not one corner un-peered into, not one domino left upright. We would not enter the Olympics without first spending years in rigorous training. So we should too seek to train ourselves for such a transformational spiritual experience. After all, Kundalini is not the goal. It is the beginning of a very long process. Endurance, patience and all possible resources are needed.