Reorientation, of course, can be triggered by all sorts of experiences not normally considered 'aesthetic' - drug experiences like LSD or Ayahuasca, near-death experiences, other kinds of trauma, extreme depression, and more. In this exploration I've been emphasizing the more traditional aesthetic experience that comes about through encounters with the arts. This seems especially significant since the arts are part of human cultural interaction, or as I've pointed out, the webs of interlocution we weave together. This weaving is dependent on the 'we' of things, not the 'me' of things, and it is from that we-space that individual cultural evolution occurs; it is what orients human cultural and individual development, so to speak. And as I suggested earlier, it takes place in what I've labeled the fifth dimension.
The fifth dimension, however, is not just about orientation. It is, in a mysterious fashion, a source of seemingly infinite energy. The kind of energy I'm speaking of here is not quite energy in the sense a physicist would speak of; after all, most physicists assume there is only so much energy, no more, no less, and certainly not infinite. But there do seem to be correlates between the physicists' energy and this fifth dimensional energy I've hinted at. I''m sure many if not most reading this have experienced the sudden surge of energy that arose after an especially vivid encounter with a work of visual art, a musical performance, an immersion in the space of a particularly stunning architectural environment. Life seemed normal, even mundane, maybe stressful, maybe trivial, and suddenly... BOOM, you're dancing in the streets, energy coursing through your entire being! What energy source did you just tap into?
In many ways this fifth dimensional energy is intimately related to emotion. If you strip out the content of your emotions - your anger at an injustice, your joy at the smile of a baby, your sadness at a tragic event - what do you have left? Energy, nothing but pure energy. And if I may say so, energy that you may harness. As much as they are alike, this is where fifth dimensional energy has an edge over emotional energy, because in the fifth dimension you are being oriented, you are given a direction in which to apply that energy. Orientation and energy are a potent duo - you need them both to be involved effectively in a process. And the more of both you have the further the process moves; think of 13.7 billion years of evolution, rocks to roses to Rumi, and likely still going somewhere. Astonishing!! Right out of the fifth dimension.
This is (arbitrarily perhaps) the final entry of 'Return of the Aesthetic Jedi', so I'd like to complete the circle I began, and that brings us back to the Kundalini phenomenon and my inquiry into its mystery. I would suggest that, just as Kundalini and aesthetic experience are related as process, they are related as coming from the same source - the infinite potential energy source of what I've termed the fifth dimension. I've described the rapturous surges of energy I experienced (and still experience) with the arising of this odd, if increasingly less odd, psycho/physical process known in some circles as Kundalini awakening. I've also described the surges of energy one can experience in an aesthetic experience, oftentimes also rapturous. But what they also share in common sourced from that mysterious dimension is their potential for reorientation. Perhaps the strongest initial reaction I had after that fateful day in August, 2008 was "I had no idea!!!!!. It was then I suddenly and dramatically realized that everything I thought I knew was now in question. I mean everything. How could I not be reoriented? And ironically, that first step of reorientation was the discovery, for the first time at the ripe age of 57, of Beginner's Mind. And what was the first thing I came to know from this perspective of Beginner's Mind? I came to know, to really know, that my significant other is, indeed, the Kosmos.
And btw, you all are part of the Kosmos.
The end...for now...