Nisargadatta Quote Evolving into Kundalini

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Postby anna » March 18th, 2005, 12:28 am

Meant to add this to the above entry - your pig is adorable, Bhakti! :P
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Nisargadatta quote

Postby windabove » March 27th, 2005, 2:58 am

The way I understand what Nisargadatta means by I AM THAT is not from or as personal “I”. A personal sense of “I” must limit identity, and this is exactly what Nisargadatta does not do in stating I AM THAT. Yes the simple truth is there isn't a personal “I” (person), but saying that only begs the question, who is there to recognize what is not? I AM THAT is a declaration so absolute and so perfect a personal “I” cannot comprehend it, and remain personal.
.+*+*+*+*.LOVE.love.lOve.LoVe.*+*+*+**+.. ^^
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Work

Postby Bhakti » March 27th, 2005, 1:43 pm

Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, brought Vedanta Hinduism to the West. In his talks on karma yoga, her says that work can induce enlightenment as well as anything else in life. He says:

You should work like a master and not as a slave. . . . Do you not see how everybody works? Nobody can be altogether at rest; ninety-nine percent of mankind work like slaves, and the result is misery; it is all selfish work. Work through Freedom! Work through love! The word "love" is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. . . . Selfish work is slave's work; and here is a test. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love that does not bring peace and joy.


Vivekananda goes on to say "work incessantly but be not attached to the fruits thereof." To do this every second of life is near impossible, but that doesn't mean that we will give away to slavery. Anger and resentment always want to creep into my work, no matter what it is, and I have to remind myself continuously that it doesn't matter what I'm doing if I do it with love in the heart. I don't have to accomplish anything. Nothing I do is anymore important than anything else I do. I'm already accomplished if I'm free and unattached. Of course, it's all easier said that done or felt in the heart. How do you work? Bhakti
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Postby NewMoonDaughter » March 29th, 2005, 3:32 am

Shh wrote:I felt this incredible freedom, but towards the end of the "thing" I said "No I cant be like that, it's not safe." A couple of months after that I started having panic attacks I thought that I was most likely going insane.

A helpful/relevant book on this topic might be Collision with the Infinite by Suzanne Segal. She had a similar circumstance where she unexpectantly encountered an intense altered Reality for which she was not prepared nor informed. It was a prolonged encounter (10 years) and during much of that time she suffered a great deal of a horrible anxiety because she didn't understand it. She finally was helped by a Buddhist practitioner, psychotherapist, (Stephen[Stephan?] Bodian, editor, Yoga Journal) who was able to help her sort out and explain what had happened.

(And it's also true that these happenings aren't necessarily drug-related.:))
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Postby anna » March 30th, 2005, 12:45 am

Oh dear, I didn't mean to suggest that these kinds of experiences are ONLY a result of taking drugs. Much the opposite: I too went through many years of anxiety and moments of fear generated by the sudden expansion of consciousness that had nothing to do with taking drugs, since I did not use them, but it simply occurred because of my own progress on the spiritual path, which I progressed through too fast, and thus opened areas to which I was unfamiliar and reacted to in fear.

This was in the early 80's, and at the time, the only book I could find to explain the phenomena was a small book by somebody Greenlaw, called 'Kundalini or Psychosis", or something like that - it was a source of enormous comfort and support as I struggled to deal with my own dilemma. Later, I began to stumble into other books, mostly Indian teachers, who miraculously described my own experiences, and I began to be more comfortable and less frightened therefore.

I mentioned drugs only because many folks DO indeed fall into similar experiences through the use of mind altering drugs, so I suggested that possibility, but did not mean to suggest in any way that Shh's situation was due to that possibility. I did however, and still do, suggest that until it is integrated within her own consciousness, that she slow down, and cease altogether for a while, progress on the path, until she is comfortable with the experiences.

It has been many years since I have encountered other souls that have stumbled into this kind of situation, and thought perhaps that because of better communication, and more accessibility to "experts" in the field, less folks were left swinging in the wind when this kind of event occured in a seeker's life, but I guess I have been in the woods too long! :(

For what it is worth, with time, and understanding, the fear and anxiety disappears and we become familiar with the vulnerability and susceptibility that comes with spiritual work. But for many, there IS a period of extreme sensitivity and moments of almost psychotic like events that can truly bring one to despair and desperation. Indeed, if not integrated, it can lead to a kind of emotional or mental imbalance. Thanks to the availability of teachers in all disciplines, and not just limited to New Age centers, there is recourse to guidance and support. That is due, I believe, to the increased accessibility to teachers from all over the world who have access to and have experienced these things personally themselves. Certainly the Kundalini process in the Hindu tradition is a classic testament to these kinds of events.
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Postby zoofence » March 30th, 2005, 2:46 am

The book to which Anna refers in the previous post is The Kundalini Experience: Psychosis or Transcendence by Lee Sannella (please see here).
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Postby NewMoonDaughter » March 30th, 2005, 4:24 am

anna wrote:Oh dear, I didn't mean to suggest that these kinds of experiences are ONLY a result of taking drugs.

No Anna, dear, I didn't perceive your words that way either. No worries. I just thought it was worth mentioning another perspective. I happen to suffer with debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, and other emotional disorders so I have an experience and interest in what Shh mentioned. And for many years I've participated in a weekly clinic for group therapy where there are many who are even worse than I, and I often explore spirituality with their experiences also in mind.

anna wrote:... the only book I could find to explain the phenomena was a small book by somebody Greenlaw, called 'Kundalini or Psychosis", or something like that - it was a source of enormous comfort and support as I struggled to deal with my own dilemma. Later, I began to stumble into other books, mostly Indian teachers, who miraculously described my own experiences, and I began to be more comfortable and less frightened therefore.

I've been very grateful for books that help explain what some have called "spiritual madness" or a "spiritual crisis" or a "dark night of the soul." An amazing amount of my anxiety has been reduced just by having someone put this into a context that helps me understand the distress, and I am grateful to those who have shared their experiences in books.

Besides what we've already mentioned, some others are...
Spiritual Madness (CD/cassette)... Caroline Myss
Perfect Madness... Donna Lee Gorrell
The Experience of No-Self... Bernadette Roberts
Dark Nights of the Soul... Thomas Moore
The Stormy Search for Self and
Spiritual Emergency... both by Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof

anna wrote:I mentioned drugs only because many folks DO indeed fall into similar experiences through the use of mind altering drugs, so I suggested that possibility, but did not mean to suggest in any way that Shh's situation was due to that possibility. I did however, and still do, suggest that until it is integrated within her own consciousness, that she slow down, and cease altogether for a while, progress on the path, until she is comfortable with the experiences.

Yes, that does indeed sound very reasonable and practical when it's possible to "slow down" or "cease altogether," but I'm finding that when it comes to what is reasonable and practical, Spirit isn't so concerned with what I might deem as the right dose of luminosity. My experience as been more like what Jed McKenna said in his book Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment ...
    "Not all fires are started by conscious intent according to convenient schedules. Sometimes they just flare up where you didn't even know it was getting warm, and then you learn two things fast; fire doesn't negotiate and nothing doesn't burn."
So, even in a spiritual crisis... even during a spiritual panic... even when everything is going up in flames... sometimes the best thing is to try to dwell on "Thy will" because in Reality, that's ALL there is anyway.

anna wrote:It has been many years since I have encountered other souls that have stumbled into this kind of situation, and thought perhaps that because of better communication, and more accessibility to "experts" in the field, less folks were left swinging in the wind when this kind of event occured in a seeker's life, but I guess I have been in the woods too long! :(

Probably some of us are just slowly finding our way, but all is in accordance to the Divine scehdule, no matter. I didn't know how much help existed until I knew where to look.

Thanks Anna.
Really enjoying/appreciating your posts. :D
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Postby Bhakti » March 30th, 2005, 1:25 pm

I too have experienced what Anna calls spiritual expansions of consciousness, especially when I was in college in the early 80s. I was a diligent student and craved to learn everything I possibly could. I isolated myself in my books, and my experiences were frightening and unsettling. I felt like I was not of the world. Nothing seemed real or tangible. It was very weird. I'd feel someone pulling me by the nape and turn to find nothing there. I'd have dreams about struggling with a tiger and would awaken as if still in these dreams. Of course, I didn't realize what was happening to me and I just wanted all of it to go away but, of course, I had no control over this consciousness for over a year.

Later on, I remembered having ecstatic but weird experiences as a child (I was a very devout Catholic then and would attend daily mass as well as pray during the day), but they didn't frighten me at that time. I welcomed them; however, I didn't breathe a word about them because I didn't want people to think that I was "crazy."

I still have these experiences off and on and out of the blue. They are frighting to the body and mind, but I have learned how to embrace them, breathe through them, and tell myself that they can't hurt me. And, despite these experiences, I sense an inner peace that I can't express.

Carl Jung talks about spiritual expansion and "psychosis" in his books as well. I happened to be studying his works in college at the time I felt the unworldliness and strange symptoms. In his autobiography Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, Jung relates his similar experiences.

Thank you, Anna, Windabove, and Stefan, for the names of other books on this subject. I'm comforted in knowing that I'm not alone—never alone—in any experience because of our Oneness. Blessings, Bhakti[/i]
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Postby anna » March 31st, 2005, 1:20 pm

Nice additions to the thread of this subject from both Bhakti and New Moon Daughter. I note that almost all the books you refer to, New Moon, were some of my favorite books in my own dilemma. In particular, Bernadette Roberts was pivotal for me. There is an indian book called Kundalini something or other - I'll dig out the author, which was superb, describing for me at least some of my own personal experiences to a tee. That poor fellow just about went off a cliff in desperation! :( There is one other book that springs to mind, and that is Daughter of Fire by Irina Tweedie.

I particularly like the following quote from New Moon:

"Not all fires are started by conscious intent according to convenient schedules. Sometimes they just flare up where you didn't even know it was getting warm, and then you learn two things fast; fire doesn't negotiate and nothing doesn't burn."

That said, with which I agree, I still stand by my suggestion, since it worked for me, and perhaps it may work for others. Indeed, I resorted to "ceasing altogether" at the suggestion of a now deceased healer, Jack Schwartz, God bless the sweet man, who described my own process as too rich gasoline in an old junk heap model T. He said that the physical side had not caught up with the non-physical side of my own process. (This, incidentally, is not unique, as it is one thing to invoke and release these energies, and it is quite another for the physical body, which by its very nature, is slow to catch up.) I took that to heart, and thus went to work with the physical side of the equation, including, at his suggestion, eating meals which contained solid sustenance, such as meats (which slowed the process down), and ceasing meditation and spiritual contemplation. It helped enormously. Indeed, I still feed the body in that manner, which I think was, and is wise, in my own case at least. And nothing is lost by ceasing, since we are what we are at any point in time, nothing is lost by restraint. And there comes a time, then, when you feel right about taking up the process again, once the "junk model T" has been polished and repaired. I also discovered that homeopathy could contribute greatly. (I became a homeopath because of it.) 8)

Of course, New Moon is correct, in the end, whatever happens to us, in whatever process we may be involved, there is little we can do to change our destiny. And God will do with us what God will do. But the affair between God and the devotee is a cooperative and mutual one, and one which progressively involves the maturing devotee, who becomes a kind of "co-creator" in the process. It helps to remember that the passage from the old testament, I think it was, Job?, that God does not give us more than we can handle, is a warning and consolation, but it is all facilitated by our cooperation and dependence upon God.

At one of the deepest difficulties in my own process, I transformed the entire progress into one of affirmative action by total surrender, but that surrender came only when I was so desperate and so confused by what I was experiencing that I turned to God and stated "Take me, and put an end to this - I will not live in this manner anymore, it is absurd and ridiculous, and I would rather die than continue thusly". (I was suffering from physical ailments at that time as well, vertigo, which kept me supine for several months. In many cases, the process is both physical, as well as mental - see Lee Sanella's book for details of those physical effects - thanks to Zoofence for digging out that title. )

At that moment, everything turned and the process began to wane. But it can take that much misery and fear to make some of us surrender - I was one of those to which surrender was anathema, in any form - ergo, I found myself continuously tested because of that reluctance.

Surrender, ultimately, I believe, is what we came here to do. I don't think that anything can be accomplished, on any plane or in any area, for that matter, without surrender of some kind. It is of course crucial to a seeker to choose to what to surrender, at each juncture, very carefully :wink: And of course, that is, in my mind at least, all that the spiritual process is about - discovering what it is that we will surrender to, becoming confident about the certainty and reality of that discovery, and then taking the leap toward that discovery. After that, there is nothing more to do. Even U.G. Krishnamurti, against whom I judge many of my conclusions, (and against which many of mine are wanting!), would probably agree that surrender is what it is all about, because beneath his own great life, it was a case of incremental surrenders which brought him to his final "surrender". (Hmmmmm, dare I enlist, on this forum, another great historical name to support my thesis?) :roll:
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Postby NewMoonDaughter » April 2nd, 2005, 5:46 am

Well Anna, you've had quite an interesting journey. I'm finding that your insight is interesting and helpful and this discussion has pointed me to even more good book titles. While reading your post, I was reminded that it behooves each of us to learn to listen inwardly to what is best. It seems there are as many paths and ways HOME as there are individuals. Finding the one that is best is often very tricky and confusing and some even seem to go in the exact opposite direction from some others which only makes it even more confusing. And the loneliness of not having others that reflect our reality can be very unsettling and stressful. It's amazing how much it helps when we can find others who can share the walk with us, or who can help by pointing us in the right direction along the way. Or it may even be divinely decreed that a seeker's path should be a lone solitary walk and one may simply have to become accustomed to that solittude. But I do agree that no matter what else, the "surrender" factor certainly seems to be a significant aspect of our journeys, and one that I still often get snagged on, but it's gradually getting better.

Thanks for sharing. :)
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Postby anna » April 2nd, 2005, 4:56 pm

Yes, New Moon, I believe that it is ultimately a lonely path, and each of us has to tread it according to our own lights. If we don't, it often becomes a kind of mimicry, or even mis-direction, because, in the end, only each of us is the proper judge of what is good for us and what is bad. That is difficult sometimes, particularly when fearful, and it is at those times that others who have tread similar, but not necessarily exact, paths, can hold our hands and tell us everything will be okay in the heat of the dramas. But in the end, it is our choice, and our determination that guides us: God is within, or "the Guru is within", and there is nothing around that.

Indeed, any internal discourse with oneself, in an effort to find or hear God, (which, after all, is what prayer is truly, the search is truly and all other efforts to discover God or truth, is truly), is descriptive of a lonely path, however external those discourses may appear to be on the surface. We are fortunate if we find others who have struggled through the brambles and jungles in their own way, while encountering similarities to our own path, because it brings enormous consolation and encouragement, but in the end, it is done by the individual soul, by herself, in her own time, and in her own style, and the greatest progress is made quietly and alone.

But the human being is a lonely creature by nature, and thus a social animal, so we seek out those who most reflect our own inclinations in order simply to bring warmth and comfort during our passage through life. Few of us are able to be true hermits, but I suspect that the great souls are all hermits at heart, even though they may appear to be sociable animals.

I found the name of the indian author of the wonderful book I read years ago: Gopi Krishna, and I believe the name of the book was Living with Kundalini, presumably it is still in print?
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Postby anna » April 2nd, 2005, 5:24 pm

One additional point that puts things in perspective:

Kundalini borders on a kind of insanity sometimes, and that is perhaps the scariest part of the process. Great comfort was given to me when I read something in Ram Dass's book The Only Dance There Is. He said something to the effect that the only difference between someone who was considered "crazy" and someone who was considered "awakened" was exemplified by his brother, who was incarcerated because he stated that he (his brother) was God. Ram Dass said that there was a time when he could have stated the same thing himself, about himself, but the only difference was that he (Ram Dass) could say that at the same time saying that everyone else was, thereas his borther stated that only he alone was God.

I used that as a touchstone, and still do, when attempting to determine the source or motivation of a statement or experience or feeling by myself, or by others. Any experience that is universal, and can be therefore applied to others, is in my mind, VERY sane. And if I can understand that this is a fact, then I am probably okay. Any experience that is isolated or "unique", and thus separative, or any experience that I define as "mine" without understanding it is universal, is not necessarily insane, but does not reflect love or an enlightened understanding and is instead a narcissistic generated experience.
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Nisargadatta quotes

Postby That I am » April 4th, 2005, 6:11 pm

This part of an article ( I forgot the source) could help some of us stay" with both feet on the ground":

As the pretenses fade, we find ourselves moving closer
and closer to our Soul-Self. This is where the Mind
becomes even more insidious. Afraid of giving up its
hold, the Mind begins to generate uglier and uglier
versions of Itself in order to discourage the seeker.
Many at this point might give in to the “shadow self”,
experiencing enormous depression, self-condemnation,
paranoia, and pain, feeding this last illusion as if
it were the only thing that was real. Many brought up
with the doctrine of “original sin” fall into this
trap. Continue witnessing that. Know that even this is
simply the last illusion of the Mind. How can any of
this be real when the Mind itself is illusion? How can
you take any of it personally when your mind doesn't
have a unique identity of its own?
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Postby zoofence » April 4th, 2005, 6:53 pm

Nice point, nicely stated. Evelyn Underhill, in her magnificent classic "Mysticism" which is unfortunately out of print, addresses the same phenomenon as described by the Christian mystics.

The quotation which That I Am posted is from the book "Enlightenment: Journey into Awakening" by Kiara Windrider. More of it is on the web here.
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Postby NewMoonDaughter » April 5th, 2005, 3:29 am

I don't think I've ever seen a thread change names in mid-stream before. :o :)

But just as the thread name was getting an "update," I was re-reading the Nisargadatta quote that started it all and found that it seems to still tie into the Kundalini aspects.

"The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long"

One of the most significant conceptual shifts I had was a time when I was frantic and panicked and thought of the similar quote in A Course in Miracles that Michael(mjoel53) mentioned. In the beginning it was extremely difficult to grasp this idea--
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

In the middle of a harrowing emotional crisis I found it was totally beyond me to conceive of this as being true, so I did the next best thing which was to play a game of "what if." So I just said, "What if it's true that what I truly am cannot be threatened?" and "What if it's true that what terrifies me doesn't exist?" Somehow that was the tiny opening, the key that turned the lock. It was my first glimpse at being able to see a reality beyond what seemed my immediate circumstances. And it was the first inkling to seeing the unreality of the way the mind distorts and torments. But I couldn't take it in one big chunk and had to start off with tiny little half-steps to truth, and then later I on started dropping the "what ifs" altogether.

So, yes, Nisargadatta's quote still seems relevant to the kundalini considerations and the other emotional upheavals. Even in the middle of a terrorizing emotional crisis, a still small voice can often be heard.
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