Thursday, 11 October 2012
The Evolutionary Process, and Kundalini.
The Evolutionary Process, and Kundalini
The purpose of ICR (the Institute of Conciousness Research) is to encourage awareness, interest and scientific research into Kundalini. The term Kundalini is found in the ancient esoteric systems of India, but the concept has also been known, to a greater or lesser extent, in the mystical traditions of most faiths.
According to these traditions, Kundalini is a psycho-physiological mechanism in the human body which, when activated, can bring about heightened states of mental functioning such as genius, creativity, inspiration, revelation, mystical experience, and paranormal faculties of mind. It may also, in cases where the process does not proceed in a healthy way due to various hereditary and environmental factors be accompanied by certain forms of mental illness.
The goal of the Kundalini mechanism, when it proceeds in a healthy fashion, is to accelerate the process of evolution in the brain and nervous system of the individual towards the development of a new faculty of perception – what has sometimes been referred to as ‘cosmic consciousness’ or enlightenment.
The Kundalini process is said to be controlled by a subtle, super-intelligent organizing principle called prana in the Indian tradition. Prana is thought to permeate every cell in all forms of organic life, and to coordinate and control all aspects of growth and organic function.
The existence of a super-intelligent principle such as this has major implications for our understanding of evolution. It would imply that rather than being a purely random process, as is postulated in Darwin’s theory, evolution has a predetermined goal, i.e. the new perceptive faculty of enlightenment.
In the past the faculty of enlightenment has generally been confined to mystics and the founders of the various faiths, but eventually it will become a feature of the mental faculties of the race as a whole.
The intellect apprehends reality through the five physical senses, and processes this information via logic, inference and reasoning. Over the ages, the mind has developed various mental constructs, such as mythology, religious precepts, and scientific theory, in order to understand reality as it is presented by the sense impressions.
Enlightenment, on the other hand, is a new mental faculty, functioning independently of the intellect, which allows one to perceive reality directly as pure consciousness, from which the phenomenal world appears to be ‘projected’.
Although this view of consciousness as the fundamental reality is in direct contradiction to the currently accepted scientific paradigm, which views it as simply a product of brain function, it has been verified countless times over the ages, through direct experience, by the great mystics and founders of the major faiths.
The activity of the Kundalini mechanism is affected by numerous hereditary, environmental and lifestyle factors, and can be accelerated by various spiritual practices and disciplines. It may also become active spontaneously in certain individuals who have a hereditary predisposition to the process.
If the lifestyle of the individual is not healthy, and does not facilitate this process, various physical and psychological difficulties may result. In order to help those individuals facilitate the process, it is imperative that we understand in detail the physiological factors that affect it.
The possibility that the evolution of our species has a predetermined goal, rather than being totally random, has enormous implications for our future progress. As our collective lifestyles have the ability to either facilitate or hinder this process, it is essential that we understand the consequences if evolution becomes blocked or frustrated. At our current level of technological development, the very survival of our species may well depend on this knowledge.
We believe that the scientific validation of the Kundalini process is possible through research and experimentation, and will require the involvement of the public, as well as scientists and researchers.
The results of this research will have major implications for our political, economic, social and educational systems, as all of these must work towards furthering our evolution, so that the human race can continue to evolve in a healthy and progressive way.
New Methods of Inquiry.
At the present time, the Kundalini process, as explained by the medical and philosophical systems of ancient India, is incompatible with the paradigm of reality generally in use by modern science. At its root it is a totally different view of the nature of life and the relationship between matter and consciousness.
The esoteric systems of India, confirmed by the experience of countless mystics throughout the ages, consider consciousness to be the fundamental reality. They view the phenomenal world and the life that inhabits it as a ‘projection’ of that consciousness (similar to the way a television set projects a picture that is broadcast to it from a central source). Science, on the other hand, views matter as the fundamental reality, life as a consequence of purely biological processes, and consciousness as simply a product of brain function.
Since its inception, science has imposed a limitation on itself, studying only the phenomenal world – that which can be measured empirically with the senses or recording instruments, and verified consistently through experimentation. By this very limitation, though, it has deprived itself of the authority to make definitive statements about possible non-physical aspects of creation.
But despite this, the general trend in science has been to make statements about the mechanistic nature of life and consciousness as if they were the final, indisputable truth. This attitude is, to a large degree, rooted in the assumption that human evolution has proceeded as far as it can go, and that the intellect is the only mental faculty possible for the apprehension of reality.
The New Paradigm
The old, highly mechanistic Newtonian paradigm of reality, prevalent in the 19th century, has changed substantially over the last 100 years or so. Albert Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity and quantum theory in physics have destroyed the old deterministic picture of reality. They have also called into question the nature of matter. What is the relationship between the observer (point of consciousness) and the observed phenomenon (physical world)? It is no longer clear-cut.
Physics has recently discovered that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. This expansion seems to be caused by an as yet undetected force termed ‘Dark Energy.' This theory has made the notion of a cosmic creative energy such as Shakti seem far less strange.
Advancements in medical imaging technology in recent years have shown us aspects of brain function that were hitherto hidden. Hopefully, new technologies will be invented in the near future which will allow us to detect and study prana as it operates in the body. Such a breakthrough could revolutionize our understanding of life, and bring the two conflicting world views closer together.
What can be measured by science at this time, with regard to the Kundalini process, is the development of traits of genius or artistic ability not present in an individual before the process began. Changes in the blood or cerebro-spinal fluid, experienced when Kundalini is in a highly active phase, could also be detected with present technology. However such rigorous studies have not yet been undertaken.
It is essential that the Kundalini process be scientifically validated. This would contribute to the idea that evolution, rather than being purely random, has a predetermined goal, i.e. the higher faculties of mind such as ‘cosmic consciousness’. The development of such faculties would bring about a revolution in our understanding of reality that cannot even be imagined at this time.
In the early 20th century, Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity replaced Newton’s laws of motion. But rather than totally invalidating them, it showed them to be a subset of a higher (relativistic) order. In the same way, it is hoped that science will eventually come to realize that the knowledge of the physical world it has gained is just as valid in a scheme of reality where consciousness is paramount, but is similarly a subset of a higher order.
It is the acquisition of new faculties of mind by those in the scientific community that will eventually lead to an expansion of the frontiers of science into the realm of consciousness. When this happens, the two conflicting world views will merge into a new one that is superior to both.
Prana and the Kundalini Process
In order to understand how the Kundalini process can be possible, it is first necessary to understand the nature of prana. As the notion of prana is foreign to western scientific thought, we must turn instead to the cosmology of the ancient Indian philosophical systems for more information and insight.
In its ultimate form, referred to as Brahman, reality is said to be unknowable at our current level of evolution. In order to make Brahman understandable to our minds (which tend to think in dualistic terms), it is divided into a static and a dynamic aspect.
The static aspect, referred to as the deity Shiva, can be thought of as infinite, all-knowing consciousness. It is unchanging, timeless, and has no form or physical attributes by which we can perceive it.
The dynamic aspect, referred to as the deity Shakti, can be thought of as the cosmic creative energy which brings the phenomenal universe into manifestation. It has a multitude of forms and changes with time.
Cosmic and Individual Forms
One form of Shakti is physical matter – the atoms and molecules that comprise the universe. Another form is the various forces which organize matter, such as electro-magnetism, gravitation, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and dark energy, But a third, less familiar, form of Shakti is prana (or prana-Shakti to be more precise), which is the organizing principle behind all organic life.
The energy aspect of prana-Shakti (usually referred to as just prana) permeates every cell of every living thing. It is said to be super-intelligent and coordinates and controls all aspects of organic functioning in the hundreds of billions of cells that comprise our body.
There is a particular spectrum of prana for every species, and a subset or variation of that spectrum for every individual within each species. As this is strikingly similar to the way the genetic code differentiates species and individuals from each other there is, in all likelihood, a very close connection between the pranic spectrum and the genetic code.
The Sanskrit word prana literally means 'breathing forth', and has traditionally been associated in India with respiration and the intake of vitality from the air. Pranayama, or 'control of the breath', is one of the primary techniques of Yoga practice used to achieve higher states of consciousness.
The cosmic dynamic of Shiva and Shakti, which brings the universe into manifestation, is said to be reflected in a limited form in the human body. Shiva, the conscious principle, is of course the mind, located in the head. Shakti, the creative energy principle, is said to reside at the base of the spine, close to the sex organs (which are used, of course, to create new life).
It is the connecting of the energy center at the base of the spine (Shakti) with the conscious principle in the head (Shiva), via the spinal cord, that facilitates the Kundalini process. And depending on the quantity and quality of prana that is sent, and on what area or areas of the brain are affected, the result may be some form of genius, artistic ability, or paranormal faculty.
Mystical Experience and Enlightenment
When a substantial quantity of prana is sent to the brain, the result is a mystical experience, attended by indescribable bliss and a feeling of connection to or union with the infinite consciousness (Shiva) behind creation.
In most cases, the body is not capable of sustaining this flow of energy for more than a short period of time, and the individual eventually returns to a normal state of mind. But in the extremely rare case where the energy flow becomes permanent, and the brain becomes transformed over time, the individual achieves enlightenment.
This view of how reality works, although foreign to western scientific thought, is not only logically consistent, but explains some phenomena, such as paranormal faculties of mind and inspired creativity, which are an almost complete mystery to science.
The Biology of Kundalini
At first the Kundalini process may seem to be something totally outside of our current understanding of how the body works. But in fact, it is the activity of this mechanism, in a reduced or limited form, which maintains and controls the overall functioning of our body at all times.
This mechanism functions at a much higher level in the process of gestation. In the space of nine short months a single fertilized ovum divides, grows and develops into a living, breathing, thinking human being. This body is made up of hundreds of billions of cells, of countless different types, all working in near-perfect harmony from the moment we are born.
After birth, as we grow and mature, the mechanism operates at a less active level. But, if it becomes active again as a consequence of spiritual practices or hereditary predisposition, it begins a new phase, similar in some ways to the gestation process. Then the brain and nervous system of the individual are ‘upgraded’ so that a higher level of mental functioning is possible.
Today it is generally believed that the genetic code is responsible for this process of development and growth in the womb. But even though a building plan may specify every last detail of a building’s structure and composition, it does not actually fabricate the building. This is achieved by the guiding intelligence of the construction team.
In a similar way, it is the super-intelligent principle prana which, using the genetic code as a blueprint, coordinates and controls the overall ‘construction’ of the new human being. It is simply our inability to directly perceive prana that leads us to believe that the process is guided and controlled by the genetic code.
Bio-Plasma and the Kundalini Process
The brain and nervous system are composed of sensory and motor neurons. At its current level of understanding, science believes that neurons are activated solely by electro-chemical processes and that impulses are transmitted from cell to cell via the synapses. The brain communicates with the rest of the body through the spinal cord and nerves.
But the esoteric traditions of India speak of a subtle substance pervading every cell of the body called prana (sometimes referred to as ‘bio-plasma’ or 'bio-energy' in the West). Prana is held to be the medium by which thought activity is carried on in the brain and is involved with the transference of impulses and sensations in the nervous system.
In the normal state of consciousness, a limited quantity of prana is collected by the nerves and sent to the brain via the spinal cord. In a Kundalini process, (usually as a consequence of meditation or concentration), new areas of the brain are stimulated into activity. When this happens, the quantity and quality of prana going to the brain must be enhanced. If this does not happen, the process may not work properly, leading to severe distress for the individual.
The most concentrated form of prana is said to be located in the sexual / reproductive organs. It is the basis of vitality and of the pleasurable sensations we experience during sex. When the brain starts to function at a higher level of activity, the Kundalini mechanism will temporarily draw on this reservoir in order to provide the brain with the necessary quantity of pranic fuel
It is for this reason that conservation of the sexual essences through abstinence, during very active stages of the process, is recommended in many spiritual traditions.
The above comes from the Institute of Conciousness Research
The ideas of putting Kundallini on a more objective, and scientific footing were originated by Pandit Gopi Krishna in his books. It is very similiar to my research project known as Multi-Dimensional Science. Krishna was ahead of his time. Anyway, my link is as follows.