|By El Collie.|
In 'Stalking the Wild Pendulum', Itzhak Bentov estimates that as many as 25% of diagnosed schizophrenics may actually be unrecognized cases of Kundalini awakenings. This happens because psychic openings thrust one into multiple realities, creating an information overload where one may 'mix and confuse two or three realities' at once.
In 'Third Eye and Kundalini', B.S. Goel says that during his twenty year Kundalini process, he manifested symptoms of just about every mental illness on record.
I know Westerners going through Kundalini awakenings who have had doctors throw everything in the DSM-III at them.
In 'Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man', when Gopi Krishna was undergoing his own tormented awakening, he said he instinctively knew to steer clear of doctors and psychiatrists, no matter how bad his condition became. He realized they would not have a context to understand his mental and physical symptoms, and that in their ignorance, they might impose treatments which would have a deleterious effect on the process.
|In our recent past (and I very
much hope it is entirely in the past), even such a natural process as
childbirth has been at times treated in barbarous ways. I have heard atrocity
stories of delivery room nurses forcibly holding shut the legs of a pregnant
woman in advanced labour, because the obstetrician was not yet on the
scene to 'authorize' the birth. Such practices have resulted in brain
damaged or stillborn infants.
Just so, a grossly medically mismanaged and violated Kundalini awakening can result in an arrested or aborted process. Stupefying drugs may be administered which reduce the patient to a barely conscious zombie. Or antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs are prescribed which are antagonistic to the process.
A temporary episode of apparent psychosis, when allowed to run its course in a supportive environment, most often leads to new levels of inner clarity and awareness. Conversely, bombarding the system with mood-altering chemicals may prevent the erupting unconscious material from being integrated, resulting in a 'frozen' condition in which the patient neither returns to normal nor is able to complete the interrupted self-healing process.
More brutal than the arsenal of drugs are involuntary incarceration in mental hospitals, shock treatments (which permanently damage brain tissue), and various inhumane restraints. Patients in benign altered states of consciousness, manifesting vigorous kriyas, have been strapped for days or weeks to hospital beds.
|Even the softer therapies can
be hurtful to someone in the midst of a transformational process. Professionals
with a know-it-all attitude; but who have no understanding of spiritual
emergence, can be patronizing at best. At worst, they can plant unnecessary
fears in the patient's mind.
Those who have no personal experience with mystical states tend to clump all nonordinary consciousness into the same pathological category. Those who are unaware of the correlation between heightened spiritual energy and physical/emotional disturbances will refuse to believe that the individual is undergoing a potentially self-renewing process.
Few therapists and psychiatrists have been trained to deal with extraordinary; non-pathological states of consciousness. Many of them try to force the client's experiences to fit into a reductionistic formula of childhood trauma or unresolved personality issues. Sometimes they are 'successful' at this.
One woman undergoing profound psychic opening became convinced that all her spiritual experiences were meaningless hallucinations resulting from childhood abuse. It's sad that in the name of healing, so much harm can be done.
|It's disheartening that we live
in a culture which provides so little support for transformational experiences.
Until very recently, the phenomena of Kundalini awakenings and other beneficial
expansions of consciousness were virtually unheard of in the West.
The contributions of Carl Jung, who personally went through a psycho spiritual awakening, have taken a long time to have serious impact on mainstream psychiatric thought. Stanislav and Christina Grof are among the pioneers of the transpersonal psychology movement, yet in many circles, they are still regarded as mavericks.
One of the first people to write a detailed personal account of an intense Kundalini awakening was Gopi Krishna. This superb narrative, Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man, was not published until the mid-70's, and even today, it is relatively obscure.
There are a dozen or so other autobiographical books by different authors which accurately describe Kundalini phenomena, but they are rare treasures smothered amidst scores of misleading or outright false depictions of the Kundalini.
|Hopefully, those of us having these powerful and little understood transformational experiences are the vanguard of a new epoch in human awareness. The persecution we suffer is probably much less than what someone in the throes of spiritual emergence must have faced 20, 30 or more years ago.
Even if we are unable to get through to those locked in abysmal ignorance, we can stand up for ourselves internally, and not give others the power to interpret our reality for us.
Through our networking and our unimpeded completion of our own processes, let us be instrumental in spreading awareness of the true nature of transformation.
Let's pray that our children and their children will inherit a better, wiser world in which spiritual evolution is recognized and honoured as an authentic, purposeful, and crucial part of human development.