Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In serach of the sky!

When I was studying my MBA decades ago, I often heard the phrase "The sky is the limit".  Good motivational talk to young MBAs, not until the day came when most us recognized that we are not even close to Colonel Sander, not to mention Bill Gates.  But most of my fellow MBAs are now happy and contended, at middle-age.  "Who cares about the sky!".  But some folks did care, and some did reach the sky, I'm not talking about the business world, but about meditation, chi-kung and spirituality.

The most famous, on the popularity spectrum, is meditating guru the late Gopi Krishna, this was how he recounted his experience in his book Kundalini the evolutionary energy in man:

"During one such spell of intense concentration I suddenly felt a strange sensation below the base of the spine, at the place touching the seat, while I sat cross-legged on a folded blanket spread on the floor. The sensation was so extraordinary and so pleasing that my attention was forcibly drawn towards it. The moment my attention was thus unexpectedly withdrawn from the point on which it was focused, the sensation ceased. Thinking it to be a trick played by my imagination to relax the tension, I dismissed the matter from my mind and brought my attention back to the point from which it had wandered. Again I fixed it on the lotus, and as the image grew clear and distinct at the top of my head, again the sensation occurred. This time I tried to maintain the fixity of my attention and succeeded for a few seconds, but the sensation extending upwards grew so intense and was so extraordinary, as compared to anything I had experienced before, that in spite of myself my mind went towards it, and at that very moment it again disappeared. I was now convinced that something unusual had happened for which my daily practice of concentration was probably responsible.

I had read glowing accounts, written by learned men, of great benefits resulting from concentration, and of the miraculous powers acquired by yogis through such exercises. My heart began to beat wildly, and I found it difficult to bring my attention to the required degree of fixity. After a while I grew composed and was soon as deep in meditation as before. When completely immersed I again experienced the sensation, but this time, instead of allowing my mind to leave the point where I had fixed it, I maintained a rigidity of attention throughout. The sensation again extended upwards, growing in intensity, and I felt myself wavering; but with a great effort I kept my attention centered round the lotus. Suddenly, with a roar like that of a waterfall, I felt a stream of liquid light entering my brain through the spinal cord.

Entirely unprepared for such a development, I was completely taken by surprise; but regaining self-control instantaneously, I remained sitting in the same posture, keeping my mind on the point of concentration. The illumination grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder, I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light. It is impossible to describe the experience accurately. I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider, surrounded by waves of light. It grew wider and wider, spreading outward while the body, normally the immediate object of its perception, appeared to have receded into the distance until I became entirely unconscious of it. I was now all consciousness, without any outline, without any idea of a corporeal appendage, without any feeling or sensation coming from the senses, immersed in a sea of light simultaneously conscious and aware of every point, spread out, as it were, in all directions without any barrier or material obstruction. I was no longer myself, or to be more accurate, no longer as I knew myself to be, a small point of awareness confined in a body, but instead was a vast circle of consciousness in which the body was but a point, bathed in light and in a state of exaltation and happiness impossible to describe.

After some time, the duration of which I could not judge, the circle began to narrow down; I felt myself contracting, becoming smaller and smaller, until I again became dimly conscious of the outline of my body, then more clearly; and as I slipped back to my old condition, I became suddenly aware of the noises in the street, felt again my arms and legs and head, and once more became my narrow self in touch with body and surroundings. When I opened my eyes and looked about, I felt a little dazed and bewildered, as if coming back from a strange land completely foreign to me. The sun had risen and was shining full on my face, warm and soothing. I tried to lift my hands, which always rested in my lap, one upon the other, during meditation. My arms felt limp and lifeless. With an effort I raised them up and stretched them to enable the blood to flow freely. Then I tried to free my legs from the posture in which I was sitting and to place them in a more comfortable position but could not. They were heavy and stiff. With the help of my hands I freed them and stretched them out, then put my back against the wall, reclining in a position of ease and comfort."

He reached the sky, metaphorically speaking of course.  Most gurus reached the sky through deep meditation, a few through different paths, one notable and exceptional example is the late guru Glenn Morris, when he was engaged in a couple of activities including a sex act.  Interested readers can search the web on his story or read his book Path Notes of an American Ninja Master.  (By the way Glenn was a University professor and a respectable master in martial art, who invented a new school of martial art).  Anyway, I'm not interested in how these two gurus got their kundalini experience, instead I'm interested in what it had meant to them in terms of their pschye experience.

What was common to them (and some other gurus including some in the history of Taoist Neidan) was that after their experience, they had episodes of a voice other than their own ego talking through them.  As spiritual gurus, they faithfully wrote down these sacred texts. It is interesting to note that they revealed that they themselves had to use their logical mind to interpret or understand what they had written!  They were within the tradition of revelation, which for Christians has ended with the the last chapter of the Bible - John's Revelation.

Do you still want to reach the sky?

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