Aesthetics and Kundalini indeed do have something in common, and that is that they are experiences. So, in the spirit of backtracking in my musings on aesthetics, I'll talk here about Kundalini as experience.
It seems the simplest way to begin an exploration of the Kundalini process is with the obvious physical manifestations. In earlier blog posts within the series 'My Significant Other is the Kosmos' I described the first eruptions of energy almost as if I was weathering a minor epileptic seizure. This might seem alarming, but in fact I never felt completely out of control, and the accompanying waves of electricity coursing through me were astonishingly pleasurable - I've spoken before of 10 times your best orgasm running from the base of the spine to the top of the head over and over and over again. Very, very surprising, but not alarming.
Accounts by others of that initial opening vary widely, both in intensity and in the descriptive particulars, but the starting point at the base of the spine is quite common. For some that first surprising explosion is the end of it; the process stops, leaving a vivid yet elusive memory. Indeed, for me the energies subsided immediately and didn't return for a couple of days. When they did return it was much less intense, and there was an uneven series of recurrences over time, peaks and troughs coming and going with their own agenda. Eventually they became more regular, still characterized by what the Hindu tradition calls kryas - shaking and trembling, violent and sudden muscle contractions as lightning bolts of energy surged through me. At times these currents of electricity seemed to almost jam up, and I would feel as if I was plugged into an electrical outlet. Regardless of ecstatic lightning waves or sharply painful electrical buzzing, throughout I have had the good fortune of being able to literally get up and walk it off, letting it simply fade away.
There has been an arc of development in these strictly physiological/sensation aspects of the process. Always there has been a steady increase in intensity, and paradoxically a parallel smoothing out of the kryas, the shakes and spasms. The peaks and troughs have also smoothed out, appearances and non-appearances have been gradually replaced with a steady presence. The energies are always with me now, always accessible. Any time I put my awareness to it I feel the electrical flow, and if I choose I can simply fall into it, surrender to the most intense yet indescribable physical rapture.
(I realize 'rapture' might seem a bit hyperbolic, and I will admit I'm reaching for words here. I've been asked if I would describe these experiences as bliss, but unfortunately I have no referent for that word and therefore avoid it. With rapture I think we can look to the experience of orgasm as at least a kind of 'little' rapture; the French phrase 'little death' comes to mind. So when I use the phrase"most intense yet indescribable physical rapture" I'm hoping you'll use that referent to get the gist I'm trying to convey.)
In delving into the literature and accounts of this process I came across a curious phenomenon. Many people make a list of common occurrences and experiences, usually as guides to the newly initiated. A typical label for this kind of list is "Kundalini Symptoms", or worse yet "Kundalini Syndrome Symptoms". The use of the terms 'symptoms' and 'syndrome' bring connotations of illness and disease, and indeed it seems many people feel they are suffering through the appearance of these energies. The googling of the word Kundalini brings up a cacophony of warnings and horror stories, not to speak of a few solemn assurances that it is literally the devil inhabiting the body. In my own case it has all been good despite the occasional 'plugged into an electrical outlet' experience, and so I would be inclined to use, not the term 'Kundalini Syndrome Symptoms' , but rather 'Kundalini Process Experiences' for my list of indicators.
And guess what? Aesthetic experiences, just like Kundalini experiences, are processes. That is a key that I will explore next time.
To be continued...