Monday, May 17, 2021

Confessions of an Explorer, Part Two - As Above, So Below

 

Prelude to a Prelude

You may be wondering at the title of my last posting - Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit.  It's an inscription in Latin on the tomb of the psychologist Carl Jung, and means "Called or not called, the gods rise".  I hadn't thought of that inscription for years until just recently I noticed it while scrolling through some of my very old postings.  It seems quite appropriate now in relation to my Kundalini experiences, appropriate in ways I hadn't considered many years ago when I first ran across this phrase.

But before I continue with my conceptual exploration of Kundalini I want to keep you up to date and share with you some of the more recent observations I have made in the development (there's that word!) of the Kundalini process I've been engaged in for these many years.  About two years ago I began noticing a new direction the energies seemed to be taking within my body.  Previous to that the sensations tended to start at the base of the spine, or sometimes the heart region,  and move up into my cranial region.  Then out of nowhere I began to sense a movement downward along the inside of my legs culminating in, of all places, my big toes.  The sensations were not strong, but definitely pleasurable.  It was like little mini-orgasms in my big toes - you might imagine my amusement!  This was not something I directed or willed, it just started happening.  Interestingly, I've seen no reference to this phenomenon in any Kundalini discussion, traditional or contemporary.  Slowly over time this has branched out into all of my toes and increased in intensity.  I can now, while engaging in what I call a Kundalini session, begin the most exquisite flow of sensations upward through the base of the spine, then the heart, then into the head, by simply wiggling my toes!

You probably think this is weird; I can't blame you, I think it's weird myself.  But there is more.

There has been a new and subtle change in my visual field of perception, a change that began perhaps about the time of the toe tingles.  One of my studio rituals while  in 'little jeffy' mode is to take a break during the day, turn down the lights and do a series of Pilates and yoga exercises on a low assembly worktable covered with a packing blanket.  It's an age thing - as I get older little aches and pains seem to persist and grow, and these exercises are a great way to minimize them.  As I'm doing these exercises I'm facing an old peeling painted brick wall displaying a soothing and quite beautiful texture in the dim light.  At some point, I can't pinpoint when, I began noting very subtle movement in the texture of the brick, as if little lights were dancing and flickering over the surfaces.  At first I assumed it was just a trick of the eye and thought little of it, but over time it has increased in intensity, and now at times when I'm looking at that wall it's not even a bit static visually, but a whirling kaleidoscope of light particles, sometimes so intense I can barely recognize the old wall textures.  Curiously, this light show disappears under normal illumination. 

Weird, I know.  Darker than any mystery...


Prelude

As above, so below.  Or put another way, as in the macrocosm, so the microcosm.  Almost a cliche, yet there is a kernel of truth there, a seed we might germinate to grow a new seedling of perspective.  The particular little seedling I have in mind is none other than the euphemistic term I used in the last posting when discussing early life on our planet - "whoopee".  So let's make a little whoopee here (figuratively speaking) and tease this thing out.

We'll start with the microcosm - little you, little me, little doggie, little birdy.  One thing everyone and every living thing in their holonic microcosm has been through (and probably remembers nothing of) is birth .  We generally take it for granted, but it's actually quite an astonishing thing on all levels.  For instance (speaking of seedlings), with the arrival of spring I've begun my annual attempt at growing potted tomato plants at my studio building.  I take these little tiny dried up tomato seeds and stick them into some wet dirt, then watch for days as the wet dirt just sits there, being wet dirt.  Then one day I check it out and there is this little stalk poking its head up out of the dirt.  Miraculous!  Yet, kind of ordinary, usually just taken for granted.  And that stalk grows and grows and grows, till one day it flowers, and out of the flowers tiny green spherical objects emerge, and they grow and grow and grow, then turn red, at which point I cut them up and  eat them....and experience an explosion of flavor in my mouth that makes me cry out WHOOPEE!!!

How all of this happens is simple.  Whoopee.  OK, the tomato form of whoopee is a little different than the average human  form, but whoopee nonetheless.  And it's that whoopee that paves the way to the astonishing miracle of birth.  From little mice to massive elephants, ants to anteaters, fungus to redwood trees; it's whoopee all the way up, all the way down.  You might say, the Biosphere is saturated with whoopee!

But what about the physiosphere, the sphere of rocks and moons and suns and galaxies?  Dead planets drifting through a vacuum; asteroids being pulled around willy nilly by the nearest gravity field; stones falling mindlessly down a mountain side during an avalanche, only to sit right where they stop for the next ten thousand years.  Where's the whoopee in that?

Well.......let's go back to the beginning, to that moment when time and space began and the cosmos was simply a massive burst of undifferentiated, incomprehensible energy.  Eventually, out of that ocean of fire emerged relatively little fireballs we now know as suns, and out of groupings of suns emerged galaxies, and within galaxies from individual suns emerged solar systems with planets.  Or to use another term rather than emerged, let's call it birthed.  How did all that happen?  Was it planned, orchestrated, guided?  I don't think so.  I THINK IT WAS WHOOPEE!!!  I mean, look at this image from the Hubble space telescope -

 

Dumb, purposeless accident?  No way.  That's pure, unadulterated whoopee at work.  You might say, the Physiosphere is also saturated with whoopee!

Which leaves us - if we're to consider not just the Cosmos but the entire Kosmos - with the Noosphere. the sphere of mind and culture.  Of course, lots of whoopee going on in most people's imaginations, but not much of consequence is usually birthed of that.  But if we think of mind, then think of the meeting of minds, we find ourselves in the sphere of culture.  Does culture somehow become the grounds for whoopee?

To be continued...


 



 

 






 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

My Significant Other is the Kosmos: Confessions of an Explorer Part One - Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus, Deus Aderit

Prelude

I just re-read my most recent posting on this blog site, and the incident it details was indeed a remarkable series of events.  But now I'm going to shift gears just a bit and go into a broader exploration of what overall has occurred in the last twelve plus years since my world was upended by that energetic opening in the body which took me, and its subsequent unfoldment.  This potentially could involve some difficult reading for followers of this blog (and difficult writing for myself), so I'll try to keep it as simple and entertaining as I can for both of our sake.  My intent is simply to arrive at some clarity by laying out a framework with which we can all look at and make some sense of this unusual phenomenon sometimes labeled 'Kundalini Awakening'.

But to do that I'll have to first clarify where I'm coming from.  Though Kundalini is often spoken of within a spiritual context (and I'll use the term 'spiritual' in the most open, generic sense for now), I myself am not a spiritual seeker, nor have I ever been.  I've never followed any sort of spiritual/religious dogma or practice, nor sought a spiritual teacher or guru.  Even in art school I never had a particular mentor (I like to say I spent seven years in art school, then spent the next seven years forgetting everything I learned there; that's when the real work began).  I'm not looking for God in any way, shape or form - for that matter, not even in formlessness.  Though not a seeker, I will split some hairs here and describe myself as an explorer; perhaps, one could say, an explorer without a destination, but still guided by principles inherent in three questions I've mentioned in the past - what are we; why are we here; what are we doing here?

The vehicles of that journey have varied, though prominently centered around three activities - creative visual practice; philosophical speculation, both through deep readings and deep conversations with fellow explorers; and of course writing, such as in this blog.  All the while through these activities I've carried with me - sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously - that faith that I spoke of in the last posting, that yearning to know that this exploration of mine into our sometimes painful, often wacky, occasionally awe inspiring Earthbound life is, in fact, not only a worthwhile venture, but is exactly what I, at least, need to be doing.  A Buddhist might call it my dharma. 

Where that dharma is leading me I have no clue, but along the way in my journey I stumbled upon something entirely unexpected and astonishing; or perhaps it stumbled upon me.  That discovery, of course, was the Kundalini I've been speaking of.  For twelve years now it has stuck with me, seemingly working me over through both body and mind.  And yet, I can even now borrow the title of my last group of postings and simply say "it is darker than any mystery".

But it just so happens I have a little flashlight...

 

Fugue

...and that flashlight's name is evolution.  Another name is creativity.  Another name is development.

Evolution, creativity, development - three words that in many ways are interchangeable.  If we think of the term evolution as we typically do, we usually picture the evolution of the Cosmos.  Consisting of the physiosphere and the biosphere, there is a traceable  movement through time from the Big Bang to the emergence of life on this apparently lonely (for the moment at least) ball of rock we call our Planet Earth. 

It's really astonishing to flesh out this picture.  From - so far as we know - nothing, came an immense and unfathomable release of pure energy, followed by the gradual condensation of that pure energy into fireballs of matter, then further into stars and solar systems and galaxies on an unbelievable scale (it's been recently estimated that there are on average 2.25 billion stars per galaxy, and possibly a mind-bending 2 trillion galaxies!!!).  Then, 10 billion or so years later on our little, lonely planet, somehow someway life emerges within the primordial swamp in the form of tiny, squiggly one-celled creatures who could actually make choices (imagine the little fella swimming along without a care in the world, then sensing a strong glucose current and thinking "hmm, I think I better hang a left here" - OK, single celled creatures don't think in words, but you get my drift).  Not only that, they eventually discovered that by making a little whoopee they could produce new versions of themselves (contemplate that - the evolutionary emergence of whoopee!).

From there time starts to compress as multi-cell creatures appear, then complex organisms leading to the underwater plant world, followed by the underwater animal world, and on to dry land.  Species after species after species appearing then disappearing for billions of years, until 100 million years ago dinosaurs ruled the lands, only to be interrupted by the explosion of a large meteor strike in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent nuclear winter which wiped out everything on Earth bigger than a chicken.  And that opened the door for the mammals - at the time no more than small underground dwelling rodents who managed to survive the calamity of the meteor strike, suddenly having the freedom to roam on the surface.

And after 100 million years more of mammalian species endlessly appearing then disappearing, the human species emerges 100-150 thousand years ago.  And that species would eventually be able to discover and comprehend something astonishing - evolution itself!  And write about it on glowing instruments that make letters and words and sentences appear and disappear with the touch of a finger...

If you don't look at that big picture and see boundless creativity, then, well... maybe I need to work on my communication skills!

So in my view, one could well say evolution is, for all intents and purposes, creativity itself.  It's also development - like I said, big bang to physiosphere to biosphere, and with our arrival on the scene , to noosphere.  Clearly a line of development.  And to quote a well used phrase from many religious traditions, "As above, so below", the below being little you and little me, tiny blips on the immense cosmic scene...or perhaps, if we forget quantity and focus on quality, not so tiny?

To be continued...