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KUNDALINI
PSYCHOSISORTRANSCENDENCE?

LeeSannella,M.D.

3101WashingtonStreet
SanFrancisco,California94115

LibraryofCongressCatalogNumber7643180

Copyrightandpublishedby
LeeSannella,M.D.
3101WashingtonStreet
SanFrancisco,California94115,U.S.A.
Allrightsreserved.

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CONTENTS
[Pagenumbersgivenarethepagenumbersintheoriginalprintedversion.]

INTRODUCTION(p.1)
THESIGNIFICANCEOFTHEREBIRTHPROCESS(p.6)
THEPROBLEMOFOBJECTIVITY(p.9)
KUNDALINIASAMODELFORTHEREBIRTHPROCESS(p.11)
CROSSCULTURALASPECTSOFKUNDALINI(p.14)
InAfrica(p.14)
IntheChristianTradition(p.16)
HeatManifestationsinDifferentCultures(p.17)
IntheOrient(p.18)
Uroboros(p.19)
AnAmericanCase(p.22)
CASEHISTORIESOFKUNDALINIEXPERIENCES(p.25)
Artist(p.25)
Scientist(p.27)
Actress(p.28)
Psychologist(p.31)
ThreeCasesWithHeatManifestations(p.33)
TwoHealers(p.35)
ThreeCasesWithComplications(p.38)
SUDDENKUNDALINIARISING(p.41)
DISCUSSION(p.43)
SUMMARYOFSIGNSANDSYMPTOMS(p.44)

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Motor(p.45)
Sensory(p.46)
Interpretive(p.47)
Nonphysiological(p.50)
CORRELATIONWITHBENTOV'SMODEL(p.51)
ConcludingComment(p.54)
KUNDALINI:CLASSICALANDCLINICAL(p.54)
DIAGNOSTICCONSIDERATIONS(p.56)
RECOMMENDATIONSANDFURTHERDISCUSSION(p.58)
KUNDALINIASTHERAPY(p.61)
SUMMARY(p.64)
EPILOGUE(p.66)

APPENDIXA.MICROMOTIONOFTHEBODYASAFACTORINTHEDEVELOPMENTOFTHE
NERVOUSSYSTEM,byItzhakBentov(p.71)
APPENDIXB.MASTS:THEGODINTOXICATEDONES(p.96)
APPENDIXC.SENSITIVITYINTHEHUMANORGANISM(p.97)
APPENDIXD.FORPHYSICIANSANDNEUROLOGISTS(p.100)
APPENDIXE.QUESTIONSFORRESEARCHPARTICIPANTS(p.102)

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Thisbookis,toalargeextent,theproductofagroupeffort.Inparticular,theauthorwishes
tothankKeithBorden,FredaMorris,HenryS.Dakin,GabrielCousens,DannielKientz,Jean
Millay,RichardLowenberg,ElaineChernoff,BeverlyJohnson,GeorgeMeek,JamesFadiman,
andItzhakBentovfortheiradviceandassistanceinpreparing,editing,andreviewingthe
manuscriptandartwork.
Theparticipationofmanyotherindividualsintheresearchdescribedhereisgratefully
acknowledged,although,formedicalreasons,theirnamesarenotgiven.

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INTRODUCTION
Tissuesaretorn,bloodvesselssevered,bloodspilled,muchfluidislost;theheartracesand
thebloodpressuresoars.Thereismoaning,crying,andscreaming.Asevereinjury?No,only
arelativelynormalhumanbirth.Thedescriptionsoundspathologicalbecausethesymptoms
werenotunderstoodinrelationtotheoutcome:anewhumanbeing.
Inadarkenedroomamansitsalone.Hisbodyissweptbymuscularspasms.Indescribable
sensationsandsharppainsrunfromhisfeetuphislegsandoverhisbackandneck.Hisskull
feelsasitwillburst.Insidehisheadhehearsroaringsoundsandhighpitchedwhistling.
Thensuddenlyasunburstfloodshisinnerbeing.Hishandsburn.Hefeelshisbodytearing
within.Thenhelaughsandisovercomewithbliss.
Apsychoticepisode?No,thisisapsychophysiologicaltransformation,arebirthprocessas
naturalasphysicalbirth.Itseemspathologicalonlybecausethesymptomsarenot
understoodinrelationtotheoutcome:anenlightenedhumanbeing.
Whenallowedtoprogresstocompletionthisprocessculminatesindeeppsychological
balance,strength,andmaturity.Itsinitialstages,however,oftensharetheviolence,
helplessness,andimbalancethatattendthestartofhumaninfancy.
Forthousandsofyears,fromtheancientVedasonward,thisprocesshasbeendescribed.
Untilrecently,itwasconfineddistantcultures,esoterictraditions,andafewisolated
individuals.Accountsofithaveusuallybeenhighlypersonalandoftenpermeatedwith
vaguemysticismandstrangemythology.Asaresult,theaccountswerenottakenseriously
andnosystematiccomparisonofthereportsfromdifferenttraditionswaspossible.Also,
manyofthesetraditionsclaimeddivinerevelationandabsolutetruth.Consequently
professionalshaveremainedconfused,skepticalandsuspicious.
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Lately,twofactorshavechangedthissituationradically.First,therehasbeenamarked
increaseinthenumberofpeopleundergoingintensespiritualexperienceswithinourown
culture(GreeleyandMcCready,1975).Second,theinfluenceofWesternsciencehas
resultedinanewemphasisondescribingtheobjectiveaspectsthisprocessinother
societiesaswellasourown.Consequently,itisnowpossibletocomparetheexperiencesof
differenttraditionsbyauniformsetofstandardsandtoapplythosesamestandardsmaking
firsthandclinicalobservations.
Wefindamarkeduniformityinthedescriptionsofthisprocessfromwidelydisparate
traditions.GopiKrishna(1973),aYogiwriter,saysthatfromtherecordedexperiencesof
Christianmystics,SufiMasters,andyogaadepts,itisobviousthatthebasicessentialsofthe
experiencearethesame.Astudyoftheseaccounts,whenenoughdetailisrecorded,reveals
symptompatternsandtypessensationsthataresimilartothosefoundinourcases.

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Webelievethatthesecommonaspectshavephysiologicalcomponents,andthatactivation
ofasinglephysiologicalmechanismisattherootofthewidediversityofphenomenawe
see.Iftheseassumptionsarecorrect,theideaofspiritualrebirthorenlightenmentcanno
longerbeconsideredaconfusingjumbleofsuperstitions,religiousdogmas,andwild
rumors.Spiritualrebirthhasbecome,instead,awelldefinedentity.Wemaynowask,what
isthisprocess?Towhatstatedoesitlead?Dothesepeoplereallydeveloppsychicpowers?
Howdoesitdifferfromnormality,ontheonehand,andfrompsychosisontheother?Isit
merelyanotheroneofthealteredstatesofconsciousnessthatmanyresearchersarenow
exploring,orisitsomethingmore?
Itisnotsimplyanalteredstateofconsciousness,butanongoingprocess,lastingfrom
severalmonthstomanyyears,duringwhichthepersonpassesinandoutofdifferentstates
ofconsciousness.Theprocessfallsoutsidethecategoriesofbothnormalandpsychotic,
becauseapersonundergoingthetransformationhas
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experiencesfarremovedfromnormal,usuallywithoutbecomingsodisorganizedastobe
consideredpsychotic.Noristheprocesssimplyoneofbecomingpsychic,becausepersons
whohavenotundergonethetransformationmaybepsychic,whileotherswhohave
completeditmaynotbe.Thetransformationmayleadtomanyspecialabilities,butitisnot
intrinsicallytiedtothem.Tirtha(1962)pointsoutthatagreatYogiwhohascontroloverhis
heartactionmaynothavehiskundaliniactive,whileonewithanactivekundalinimayhave
nosuchabilities.

Forthepersonundergoingthetransformation,thesignificanceoftheenlightenedstatemay
behighlypersonalandsubjective.Ouraim,however,istodescribetheprocessitselfin
termsofwhatcanbeobserved.
Inthisbookwepresentmanycases,somefromasurveyofdiverseculturesandspiritual
traditions,andothersfromourownclinicalexperience.Thesegiveusampledatafor
composingaportraitoftheprocess.
Ordinarilyaclinicianmaypresenthisorhercaseswiththeexpectationthattheywillbe
acceptedatfacevalue,althoughtheconclusionsmaybequestioned.Butinthisareaweare
forcedtohesitate.Shouldwepresentdatathatappearimpossibleinthecurrentmodelsof
Westernscience?Orshouldwerefrainfrompublishingobservationswebelievetobe
accurate,inordernottojeopardizeacceptanceofmorevitalissues?Wefeelthatholding
backdataisevasiveand,inthelongrun,destructivetothespiritofscience.Iftoday's
modelsproveinadequate,itisbecausetomorrow'swillbebetter.Notonlytheresearcher
andthewriter,butalsothereadermustheremakeaspecialefforttobeobjective.
Webelievethatthewriterscitedarereliable.Ourowncasesareallliving,and,exceptfor
one,arecurrentlyintouchwiththeauthor.Withafewexceptions,theyarewillingtobe
interviewedbyanyseriousinvestigator.Researcherswishingtoconfirmorextendourdata

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cancontactthesepeoplethroughtheauthor.Allofusowethemanimmensedebtof
gratitudefortheirgenerouscooperation.
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Fromasurveyoftheliterature,theclinicalstudyofourowncasesandlaboratoryfindings,
wepresentthethesisthataprocess,mostusefullyviewedasthe"riseofthekundalini"isa
reality,ismuchtobedesired,andcanbedescribedasanevolutionaryprocesstakingplace
inthehumannervoussystem.

ItisinterestingtonotethatourthesisisconsistentwiththeobservationsofGopiKrishna
(1973,1975),fromhispersonalexperiencewiththerisingofhisownkundalini.Hesays:
Anewcenterpresentlydormantintheaveragemanandwomanhastobeactivatedandamorepowerful
streamofpsychicenergymustriseintoheadfromthebaseofthespinetoenablehumanconsciousnessto
transcendnormallimits.Thisisthefinalphaseofthepresentevolutionaryimpulseinman.The
cerebrospinalsystemofmanhastoundergoaradicalchange,enablingconsciousnesstotranscendthe
normallimits.Thisisthefinalphaseofpresentevolutionaryimpulseinman.Thecerebrospinalsystemof
manhastoundergoaradicalchange,enablingconsciousnesstoattainadimensionwhichtranscendsthe
limitsofthehighestintellect.HerereasonyieldstointuitionRevelationappearstoguidethestepsof
humankind...
Thelivingsubstancewhich,inanalteredform,isresponsibleforcausingthisaestheticrevolutioninthe
brainisentirelybeyondourscrutinyandwillremainsoforalongtimetocome.

Weshallbeginourpresentationbydiscussingthespecialsignificanceoftherebirthprocess
todayandtheproblemofobjectivityinthedescriptionofspiritualstates.Thenweshall
presentthekundaliniconceptfromyogatraditionastheclassicalrebirthmodelmostwidely
applicable,andmosteasilyamenable,tophysiologicalinterpretation.Butcertain
differencesbetweentheclassicalkundaliniconceptandourowncaseswillleadusto
proposeavariation,thephysiokundalinimodel,toaccountforourobservations.
Ourdataconsistofpublishedreportsfromdiverseculturesandmanycasesofourown.
Fromtheseweshallsummarizethecharacteristicsignsandsymptomsoftherebirth
process,designatingthesethephysiokundalinicomplex.Wederivethisconceptfroma
modelrecentlyproposedbyItzhakBentovtoexplaintheeffectsofkundalini.Hisisthefirst
theoryofthekundaliniphenomenonsubjecttoexperimentalverification.Thesignificance
ofBentov'sworkwillbe
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discussed,andhispaperisincludedhereintheAppendix.
Weconsiderhowourfindingsrelatetotheclassicalyogicdescriptionofkundaliniaction.
Then,inourdiscussionofdiagnosis,weshowthatitispossibletorecognizethephysio
kundaliniprocessanddistinguishitfrompsychosis,evenwhenthesetwoconditionshave

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temporarilymergedinaparticularindividual.Thisdistinctionwillhelpmakeitpossiblefor
clinicianstoavoidthemistakesthathaveoftenbeenmadeinthepast.
Peopleundergoingtherebirthprocessoftenneedspecialhelp.Weshallconsiderwhat
formsofhelpareadvisable,andwhicharenot.Finally,weshallsuggestanapproachfor
copingwiththeproblemsandopportunitiesgeneratedbytherebirthphenomenonin
societyasawhole.HerewemaybeguidedbytheprecedentofMeherBaba'sworkwith
Masts,soasecondAppendixhasbeenaddedonthissubject.Butwhyisrebirthpossibleat
all?AthirdAppendix,"SensitivityintheHumanOrganism",dealswiththisquestion.A
fourthAppendixisfortheuseofmedicalspecialists,andthefinalAppendixforclinicians.
Studyinthisareaistimelyindeeditisurgent.Thenewpreoccupationwithspiritualand
occultpractices,especiallyamongtheyoung,holdsbothgreatpromiseandgreatdanger.It
isessentialthatwequicklyarriveatadeeperunderstandingofthisfield.
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THESIGNIFICANCEOFTHEREBIRTHPROCESS
GopiKrishna(1971)saidthat:
Thismechanism,knownasKundalini,istherealcauseofallgenuinespiritualandpsychicphenomena,the
biologicalbasisofevolutionanddevelopmentofpersonality,thesecretoriginofallesotericandoccult
doctrines,themasterkeytotheunsolvedmysteryofcreation,theinexhaustiblesourceofphilosophy,art
andscience,andthefountainheadofallreligiousfaiths,past,presentandfuture.

Overfortyyearsago,inaseminaronkundalini,C.G.Jung(1932,1975)andhiscolleagues
observedthattherisingofthisforcehadrarely,ifever,beenseenintheWest.They
suggestedthatitwouldtakeathousandyearsforthekundalinitobesetinmotionbydepth
analysis.
HoweverremoteJungconsideredthepossibilityoftherisethekundaliniinhistime,he
certainlyhadacleargraspofitspsychologicalsignificance.Hetellsofamedievalmonkwho
tookafantasyjourneyintoawild,unknownforestwherehelosthisway.Ontryingto
returnhefoundhispathbarredbyafiercedragon.Jungsaysthatthisbeastisthesymbolof
thekundalini,theforcethat,inpsychologicalterms,makesapersongoonhisorher
greatestadventures.Whenthegoinggetsrough,onethenrecants,"Oh,damn,whydidI
evertrysuchathing";knowingthatinturningback,thespiritofdivineadventurewillgoout
oflife,andlifewillloseitsflavor.
Jung(1975)says,"Whenyousucceedinawakeningthekundalini,sothatitstartstomove
outofitsmerepotentiality,younecessarilystartaworldwhichistotallydifferentfromour
world.Itisaworldofeternity."
Hegoesontorefertothekundaliniasanimpersonalforce.Hesaysthatifyouclaimitas
yourowncreationyoudosoatyour

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peril.Thepriceisegoinflation,falsesuperiority,obnoxiousness,ormadness.Itisan
autonomousprocessarisingoutoftheunconsciousthatseemstouseyouasitsvehicle.

Althoughthisrebirthprocesswasrarein1932whenJungwroteofit,itnowoccurs
regularly,withandwithouttraining,asisshownbythegrowingnumberofcasesinthefiles
oftheKundaliniResearchFoundationinNewYork,andbyourownincreasingnumberof
authenticatedcases.
ThereisnowmuchgreaterinterestinthissubjectintheWestascanbeseenbytherapid
expansionofallsortsofmindtraining,newtherapies,meditativepractices,andpsychic
pursuits.Thousandsofpeoplearenowengagedinorinterestedinsuchactivities.
Evenrecentlythegreatincreaseintheuseofhallucinogenicdrugscanbeseenasa
determined,ifdangerousandmisguided,urgeinthedirectionofthingsofthespirit.
Themarkedincreaseinthenumberofindividualsundergoingtherebirthtransformation
maybeareflectionofasimilartransformationtakingplaceatasocioculturallevelinsociety
asawhole.Jung(1964)pointedoutthatatimeofdissociation,suchasprevailedduringthe
RomanEmpireandwhichprevailsagaininourownera,issimultaneouslyanageofdeath
andrebirth:"Whenoneprinciplereachestheheightofitspower,thecounterprinciple
stirringwithin,containsinitsdarknessthegermofanewlight."
GopiKrishna(1975)says:
Thereisarebellionagainsttheexistingorder,becausethebrainhasreachedastateofdevelopmentwhere
theriddleofexistenceloomslargerinfrontthanitdidbefore.Thisisthereasonwhymillionsofyoungmen
andwomeninEuropeandAmericaareeagerlyonthesearchformastersandeffectivemethodsofself
awareness.
...atacertaincriticalstateinthedevelopmentofthehumanmindtheunanswered"RiddleofLife"attains
anurgencywhichnotreasureoftheearthcancounteract.Thisisthestateofmindofmillionsof
disillusionedyoungpeopleoftheworldtoday.Modernpsychologyisabsolutelydeadtoamostpowerful
impulseinthepsychicmakeupofmanthathasalwaysbeeninevidencefromtheverydawnofcivilization
tothisday.

Whenthwartedinitsmission,theimpulsecanleadtosocialandpoliticalunrest...cravingfordrugs,
promiscuityorothersocialevilsandeventoviolence.

HethenquotesanAmericanphysician,Dr.Treffert,directorofamedicalcenterin
Wisconsin,whosays:
...about30Americansunder21yearsofagecommitsuicideeveryday,indicatingathreefoldincreaseinthe
rateofsuicideamongAmericanyouthoverthepastdecade.Alsomorethanhalfthepatientsadmittedto

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mentalhospitalsintheUnitedStatesareyoungpeople...themaincauseoftheincreaseinthenumberof
suicidesandmentaldisordersamongtheyouthistheincreasinghollownessandsenselessnessoflifeofthe
societyandtheyoungergeneration'sdistasteforprofit.

Pressuresarisingfromtheunderlyingshiftinsocietyplaceademandonreligiousleaders
andconsciousnessresearcherstoprovideenvironmentsandmethodsfortherapidandsafe
developmenttheinnerpotentialsoftheincreasingnumberofseekers.
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THEPROBLEMOFOBJECTIVITY
Inpersonalaccountsoftherisingofkundalini,thereisanendlessarrayofemotions,strange
thoughts,andvisions,butdescriptionsofphysicalsignsandsymptomsoractualsensations
arerare.Allusionstovaguesubjectivelyperceivedforcefieldsandenergystatesarenow
commonindescriptionsofmeditativeexperiences.Jung(1975)referredtotheadherenceto
traditionalmodelsasadogmatismthatsprangfromalongtraditionofpassingdown
principlesfromteachertostudent.Weseethiscommonlyinthedescriptionsofkundalini
experienceinyogicschools.
WhilethisisapparentfromstudyingtheEasternwritings,itisalsotruethatintheWestwe
havenotclarifiedthedifferentstatesofpsycheandsomainaccountsoftranscendental
experience.Forexample,WilliamJames(1929)sawthegreatGermanmystic,Suso,asa
sufferingasceticincapableofturninghistormentsintoreligiousecstacy.Ontheotherhand,
theJunggroupthoughtSusohadexperiencedawakenedkundalini.Thesetwoviewsreflect
thedifferentintereststhatJamesandJungbroughttotheirstudyofSuso.James
emphasizedtheecstatic,andJungwasconcernedwiththerelationshipbetween
individuationandkundalini.
However,Westernscienceisnowmakingobjectivelaboratorymeasurementsofchanges
accompanyingspiritualphenomenaaswellasencouragingmoreopenanddirectaccounts
ofpersonalexperience.PerhapsthishasbeenthestimulusfortheEasttodolikewise.Some
recentaccountsarerichwithvaluableinformation,andwecanexpectmanymoreinthe
nearfuture.Descriptionsofthiskindtranscendpersonalandculturaldifferencestoreveal
theessentialsimilarityofthephenomenaconcerned.
Thesignsandsymptomsusuallydescribed,suchasalterationsinemotionsandthought
processes,visionsandvoices,appearto
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belargelypersonallydetermined.Butthesensationssuchasitching,fluttering,tingling,
heatandcold,perceptionsofinnerlightssounds,andtheoccurrenceofcontortionsand
spasmsappeartobequiteuniversal.Itisthisuniversalitythatleadsustopostulatethatall

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spiritualpracticesareactivatingthesamebasicprocess,andthatthisprocesshasadefinite
physiologicalbasisthatgivesrisetothesespecificbodilysymptoms.
Ontheotherhand,theemotionalcorrelatesofthisprocessarealsoimportant.Itisthese,
andthechangedthinkingthataccompaniesthem,thatresultinthisprocessfrequently
beingmistakenformentalillness.Itisalsotheseaspectsthatultimatelyprovidethe
personalmeaningofthetransformationforthepeoplewhoexperienceit.
Werealizethatwecannotpresent,inalltheirrichexperientialdetail,thebroadspectrumof
personalexperiencesthesepeoplehaveundergone;theintricaciesoftheirfeelingand
thoughtprocesses,theirecstasies,andtheirdesperateconfusions.Thecompellingqualityof
theseexperiencesovershadowthephysiologicaldetails,sothatthepersontendstoignore
subtlechangesinhisorherphysicalstate.Thesevarysowidelythatitseemsasiftheyhave
nothingincommon.Thisiswhywewil1limitourselvestoafocusonthephysiological
parametersthatwecanrelatetoBentov'smodel
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KUNDALINIASAMODELFORTHEREBIRTHPROCESS
Everyspiritualtraditionthatisconcernedwiththerebirthprocesshasitsownmodel.Most
ofthesearedescriptionsthatstressthesubjectivesideoftheexperience,eithertreatingthe
objectivesignsasincidentalorignoringthem.Thus,theseaccounts,howevervalidtheymay
beontheirownterms,arenothelpfulinmakingobjectivecomparisonsofdifferent
traditions.Whenitcomestophysiologicalinterpretations,mostofthesemodelshavelittle
relevance
Anexceptionisthekundalinimodelfromyoga.Kundaliniisseenasanenergythatusually
residesasleepatthebaseofthespine.Whenthisenergyisawakened,itrisesslowlyupthe
spinalcanaltothetopofthehead.Thismaymarkthebeginningofaprocessof
enlightenment.
Initsrise,kundalinicausesthecentralnervoussystemtothrowoffstress.Thestresspoints
willusuallycausepainduringmeditation.Whenkundaliniencountersthesestresspointsor
blocks,itbeginstoactonitsownvolition,engaginginaselfdirected,selflimitedprocessof
spreadingoutthroughtheentirephysiopsychologicalsystemtoremovetheseblocks.Once
ablockisremoved,kundaliniflowsfreelythroughthatpointandcontinuesitsupward
journeyuntilthenextstressareaisencountered.Further,thekundalinienergydiffusesin
thisjourney,sothatitmaybeoperatingonseverallevelsatonce,removingseveral
differentblocks.Whenthecourseiscompleted,theenergyallbecomesfocusedagainatthe
topofthehead.Thedifferencebetweenthisfinalstateandtheinitialstateisnotsimply
thatkundaliniisfocusedinadifferentplace,butthatinthemeantimeithaspassedthrough
everypartoftheorganism,removingblocksandawakeningconsciousnessthere.Thus,the
entireprocessofkundaliniactioncanbeseenasoneofpurificationorbalancing.

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Justasanelectriccurrentproduceslightwhenitpassesthroughathintungstenfilament,
butnotwhenitpassesthroughatcopperwire,becausethefilamentoffersappreciable
resistancewhilethewiredoesnot,soalsodoesthekundalinicausethemostsensation
whenitentersanareaofmindorbodythatisblocked.Buttheheatgeneratedbythe
frictionofkundaliniagainstthisresistancesoonburnsouttheblock,andthenthesensation
ceases.Similarly,justasanintenseflowofwaterthroughasmallrubberhosewillcausethe
hosetowhipaboutviolently,whilethesameflowthroughafirehosewouldscarcelybe
noticed,soalsodoestheflowofkundalinithroughobstructedchannelswithinthebodyor
mindcausemotionsofthoseareasuntiltheobstructionshavebeenwashedoutandthe
channelswidened.(Theterms"channel","widen","blocks",andsoonmustbetaken
metaphorically.Theymaynotrefertoactualphysicalstructures,dimensionsandprocesses,
butareonlyusefulanalogiesforunderstandingthismodelofkundaliniaction.Theactual
processisundoubtedlymuchmoresubtleandcomplex.)

Thespontaneousmovements,shiftingbodysensations,andotherphenomenareportedin
ourcrossculturalsurveyandinourowncases,caneasilybeinterpretedasmanifestations
ofkundaliniaction.Furthermore,Bentovhasrecentlyproposedaphysiologicalmodelfor
kundalinithataccountsformuchofwhatwehavereportedandobserved.Hisstudyis
evaluatedintermsofourresultslater.Becauseoftheobjectiveorientationofhiskundalini
model,itsuniversalapplicability,anditssusceptibilitytophysiologicalinterpretation,we
shalladoptitasthebasisforourdiscussions.
However,therearedifferencesbetweenourownobservationsandtheclassicalkundalini
concept.Mostnotably,weobserve,andseveraltraditionsreport,thattheenergyor
sensationrisesupthefeetandlegs,thebody,backandspinetothehead,butthenpasses
downovertheface,andthroughthethroat,finallyterminatingintheabdomen.Thisis
entirelyinaccordwithpredictionsfromBentov's
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model,butsomewhatatvariancewiththereportsofMuktananda,GopiKrishnaandclassic
yogascriptures.
Thereforeweproposethetermphysiokundalinitorefertothoseaspectsofkundalini
awakening,bothphysiologicalandpsychological,whichcanbeaccountedforbyapurely
physiologicalmechanism.Weshallrefertothephysiokundaliniprocess,thephysio
kundalinicycle,thephysiokundalinimechanism,andthephysiokundalinicomplex.
Bentov'smodeldescribessuchphysiologicalchangesthatrequirenosupernormalforces.
Theslowprogressionofenergysensationupthroughthebody,thendownthethroat,
accompaniedbyavarietyofmovements,sensations,andmentaldisturbancesthat
terminatewhenthistravelingstimulusreachesitsculminationintheabdomenisso
characteristic,thatweshallcallitthephysiokundalinicycle.Whentheenergyencountersa

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resistance,thenovercomesitandpurifiesthesystemofthatblock,weshallsaythatthe
locationofthatblockhasbeenopened.Thethroatopeningisonetypicalexample.This
givesusaterminologylinkedtothekundaliniconcept,suitedtothelevel
ofourobservationsandamenabletophysiologicalinterpretation.Atthesametime,it
preservesthefullintegrityoftheclassicalmeaningofkundaliniwithoutcommittingustoa
beliefthatthismysticalconceptisaccurateorcorrespondstoanythingobjectivelyreal.
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CROSSCULTURALASPECTSOFKUNDALINI
InAfrica
Katz(1973)writesofthe!KungpeopleoftheKalahariDesertinNorthwestBotswana,Africa,
whodanceformanyhoursto"heat"upthen/umsothatthe!kiastatecanbeattained.He
notesthatn/umisanalogoustothekundalinistate.!Kiaisthestateoftranscendence.Itis
morethanapeakexperienceofgoingbeyondtheordinaryself;!kiaislikeSatori,
participationineternity.Educationfortranscendenceteachestheadeptthewaytostirup
then/umandhowthethresholdoffearcanbecrossedintothe!kiastate.Then/umissaid
toresideinthepitofthestomach.Asitwarmsup,itrisesfromthebaseofthespinetothe
skullwherethen!kiaoccurs.
Accordingtothereportofatribesman:
Youdance,dance,dance,dance.Thenn/umliftsyouinyourbellyandliftsyouinyourback,andthenyou
starttoshiver.N/ummakesyoutremble;it'shot.Youreyesareopenbutyoudon'tlookaround;youhold
youreyesstillandlookstraightahead.Butwhenyougetinto!kia,you'relookingaroundbecauseyousee
everything,becauseyouseewhat'stroublingeverybodyRapidshallowbreathing,that'swhatdrawsn/um
upthenn/umenterseverypartofyourbody,righttothetipofyourfeetandevenyourhair.

Anothersays:
Inyourbackboneyoufeelapointedsomething,anditworksitswayup.Thenthebaseofyourspineis
tingling,tingling,tingling,tingling,tingling,tingling,tinglingandthenitmakesyourthoughtsnothingin
yourhead.

The!kiaisanintenseemotionalstate.Atitsheightthen/ummasterpracticesextraordinary
activitiessuchascuringthesick,handlingandwalkingonfire;amasterhasXrayvisionand
mayseeovergreatdistances,butdoesnotevenattemptsuchactivitiesinhisordinarystate.
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Onemastersaidthatwhenheisinthe!kiastate,"Icanreallybecomemyselfagain",
implyingthattheseunusualactivitiesarethenaturalrightofaperson.

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Transcendinghimself,amasterisabletocontactthesupernaturalrealmandcombatthe
ghoststhatcauseillness.Thestrugglewiththeghostsisattheheartofthen/ummaster's
art,skill,andpower.Justasatthemomentoftranscendencefearofdyingisovercomeso
thatrebirthmayoccur,soatthemomentofhealingthebattlewithsicknessiswon.
Thesolecriterionfordeterminingwhobecomesan/ummasteristheprocessitself.Every
personwhoexperiencesn/umandisableto!kiaisautomaticallyan/ummaster.Themore
emotionalyouareandthericheryourfantasylifethemoreaptyouareto!kia(transcend).
Overhalfthetribememberscanattainthisstateand!kiaseemstoruninfamilies.
!kiaispainful,fearful,andunpredictableeachtimeitoccurs.AsinmanycloseGuru
relationshipstheideaisthattheteacherputsn/umintothestudent.TheGurualsocontrols
theprocesssothattheexcessivefeardoesnotpreventtheoccurrenceof!kiaThough
originallyfromthegods,n/umnowpassesregularlyfrompersontoperson.
Katzpointsoutthatthe!Kungseek!kianotonlyfortheirownpersonalenrichment,butto
helpothers.Norisitcultivatedasalongtermcondition.Atribemembermustsoonreturn
toanordinarystateandtheusualresponsibilities.Anextended!kiaisnotseenasastateof
gracebutasamistake.!kiaisforenteringthereligiousdimension,receivingits
nourishment,sharingitinhealing,andthentoreturnandlivethistruthwithone'sfellows.
KatzsaysthattherearefewteachersamongusintheWestwhocanhelpotherstoward
transcendence,beingrelativelyincompletebeingsourselves.Weareatafurther
disadvantage,operatingaswedo,withoutacontextthatexistsculturallytosupportthe
ideaofeducationfortranscendence.
15

IntheChristianTradition
SaintThereseofLisieux(18731897)isreportedtohaveundergonesufferingssimilarto
thosewehaveobserved(Rohrback,1963).ShewasfromamiddleclassFrenchfamilywith
happilymarriedparentsandfoursisters.Whenshewastenshebecameastudentata
nearbyCarmeliteconvent.Afewmonthsaftersheenrolledshebegantohaveconstant
headaches.Threemonthslaterasshepreparedforbedoneevening,shebegantoshiver
uncontrollably.Thesespellscontinuedforaweekandwereuninfluencedbyanytreatment.
Shehadnofeverandoncetheshiveringwasover,itneverreturned.
Afewweekslatershewasstrickenwitha"strangemlangeofhallucinations,comasand
convulsions".Sheappearedtobeindelirium,cryingoutagainstunseenandterrifying
creatures.Shetossedviolentlyinbedhittingherheadonthebedboardssomestrangeforce
wereassailingher.These"convulsions",whichsometimesresembledtheactionsofa
gymnast,wereoccasionallysoviolentthatshewouldbethrownoutofbed.Therewere
rotaryortumblingmovementsofherwholebodyofwhichshewasincapablewhenshewas

15

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well.Forexample,shewouldspringfromherkneesandstandonherheadwithoutusing
herhands.
Later,whileatMass,shehadamoresevereattackwhichterminateduponherpraying
earnestly.Inall,thiswholeillnesslastedlessthantwomonths.Later,twomoreincidents
occurred;faintingandrigiditywhichlastedforonlyafewmoments.Throughoutallthis,
Theresesaidsheneverlostawareness,evenduringthe"fainting",butthatshehadno
controloverheractions.
Shewasattendedregularlybyacompetentphysicianwhowasunabletohelpherand
franklyadmittedtobeingconfusedbyhersymptoms.Hewasveryfirminhisstatementthat
"itwasnothysteria".
16

HeatManifestationsinDifferentCultures
Heatisoneofthemoreeasilyobservedandmeasuredmanifestationsthatmayaccompany
anactivekundalinistate.TwoexamplesfromtheSufiliteratureareworthnoting(Bhavan,
1971).
Thenthesaintcametotakeameal,andthegirlwaspouringwateronhishands.Shenoticedthatsointense
wasthefireofseparationburninginhimthatimmediatelythewaterwouldfallonhishandsitwouldpass
intovapor.
BytrothIsee,asthephysiciantriestotouchmyhand,hishandisburntandpatchesandswellings
immediatelyappearonit.Suchistheheatofthefireofseparation.Healoneknowethmyconditionwho
hathenduredsuchpaincheerfullywhenitfelltohislot.

TonyAgpaoa(1974),aPhillippinepsychicsurgeonwhohasreceivedmuchnotoriety,said
thathelearnedtoignitefiresbymentalmeansaspartofhistrainingasahealer.Swami
Muktananda(1975)saidthatthisabilityispartofthetrainingincertainyogicdisciplines.
Thewidespreadtraditionofobjectiveheatmanifestationaddscredencetosimilar
manifestationsinourowncases.
Inrecenttimesmanyinstancesofparanormalspontaneouscombustionhavebeenwell
documented.Therearemanycasesintheliterature.Iwillnoteoneofthese,andreportmy
ownexperience.H.Andrade(1975)reportsthatmanyfiresoccurredspontaneouslyina
caseheinvestigatedandthatsomeofthemwerewitnessedbypoliceofficers.
Ispenttwoyearsinvestigatingapoltergeistcasewherefiresbrokeoutfrequently(Morris,
1974).Thesituationwasemotionallyandreligiouslycomplicated.ItinvolvedaJewishanda
Catholicfamilywithintermarriagebetweenthem.WhenasonwasborntotheyoungJewish
manandCatholicwoman,thepoltergeistactivitystartedwiththeeventscenteringaround
thebaby,symbolsofthemarriage,andreligiousartifacts.

16

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

SoontheyoungmandecidedtoconverttoCatholicism.This,togetherwiththepoltergeist
activityitself,threwthefamiliesintogreatturmoil.Allthefamilymembersoffour
generationsand
17

severalotherpeopleexperiencedthemovementofobjects,theirdisappearance,and
spontaneousfires.Theyoungcouplesufferedsensationsofbeingstruck,shaken,scratched,
andchoked.Themotherwasstruckandknockedunconsciousoneeveningandhadtobe
hospitalized.

Therewereanumberofspontaneousfireswitnessedbyfamilymemberandbyseveral
investigators.Myfirstexperienceoccurredoneeveningwhenthegrandfatherwentintothe
bedroomtocheckonthebabyandfoundthecurtainsablaze.HeandIburnedourhands
slightlyinputtingthefireout.Iwaspresentwhenseveralothersmallfiresbrokeout.
Thisisapossibleexampleofhowpentupenergycanexpressitselfobjectivelyatadistance.
AftertheyoungmanconvertedtoCatholism,avidlyinvestedhisenergyintheChurch,and
securedanofficialexorcism,thephenomenaceased.

IntheOrient
IntheChineseTaoisttradition(Luk,1972),afteronehaslearnedtoachievestillnessofmind,
hithertodormantexcellentqualitieswillmanifestthemselves.Thevitalprinciple,prana,
nowsufficientlyaccumulatedinthelowerbelly,burstsoutandbeginstoflowinthemain
psychicchannelsofthebodycausinginvoluntarymovements.Also,eightphysicalsensations
areproduced:pain,itching,coldness,warmth,weightlessness,heaviness,roughness,and
smoothness.
Thevitalelementishot,andnotonlyspreadsitswarmthtopartsofthebody,butmayeven
becomebrightandperceptibletothemeditator.Inexceptionalmeditatorsitcauses
illuminationofadarkroomperceptibletoothers.Whenthevitalprincipleflowsinto
obstructedpsychiccentersitisquiteunpleasant,causingfeelingsofroughness,cramping
andpain.
LukreportsYinShihTsuaswritingin1914thathefeltheat
18

goingfromthebaseofhisspinetothetopofhishead,thendownoverhisfaceandthroat
tohisstomach.Hiswholebodyturnedandtwistedandhesawavarietyofinternallights.
Hehadheadachesandonetimehisheadfeltswollen.Theupperpartofhisbodyseemedto
stretchsothathefelttenfeettall.ThisisspokenofastheGreatBodyinBuddhist
scriptures.

17

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YinShihTsusaidthathedidnotfeelallthesethingsatonetimebutafewatdifferenttimes
inhismeditativeexperiences.Sometimesthecirculatingheatfeltmorelikevibrations
followingthedescribedpath.Once,foraperiodofsixmonths,heexperiencednightly
involuntaryyogicposturesthatoccurredinanorderlysequence.
IntheKoreanZenexperiencethissameprogressionofsensationisreported.Seo(1974)said
thatthechienergytravelsupthebody,especiallytheback,thenoverthetopoftheheadto
theface,finallypassingdownthroughthethroattoterminateintheabdomen.

Uroboros
Inonemodernesotericschool,Arica,theuroboros,orsnakeswallowingitstailisanexercise
inwhichenergyisseentobegeneratedinthelowerabdomendirectedbythebreathing.On
inhalationonefocusesontheperinealarea,firstsensing,thendirectingtheenergyupthe
spinetothebackofthehead.Thenitcurvesovertheskull,andwiththeexpiredbreath
beginsitsdownwardpath.Igoesthroughthecenteroftheheadtotheforeheadwhereit
splitsattheeyesandgoesdownthesidesofthenoseandupperliptomeetatthechin.(A
similarsplittingoccursintheKoreanZenteachingandintheancientEgyptiansymbolofthe
eyeofOsiris.)Fromthechinitcontinuesdownthefrontofthethroatthroughthe
breastbonetoendinthelowerabdomen.Thepurposeoftheexerciseisto"see"alightin
thehead.
19

SomeClassicalYogaAccounts
SwamiNarayanananda(1960)reportsontheexperienceofkundalini:
Thereisaburningupthebackandoverthewholebody.Kundalini'sentranceinto
Sushumna(thecentralspinalcanal)occurswithpainintheback...Onefeelsacreeping
sensationfromthetoesandsometimesitshakesthewholebody.Therisingisfeltlikethat
ofanantcreepingupslowlyoverthebodytowardsthehead.Itsascentisfeltlikethe
wigglingofasnakeorabirdhoppingfromplacetoplace.
ThetranslatorofRamakrishna'sbiography,Nikkhilananda,describestheexperiencein
strikinglysimilarwords.InJosephCampbell's(1974)book,AMythicImage,wereadonpage
306:
NowtherewasinthelastcenturyagreatIndiansaint,Ramakrishna(18361886),whointhe
practicesofthisyogawasaveritablevirtuso."Thereare",heoncetoldhisdevotees,"five
kindsofsamadhi;"fivekinds,thatistosay,ofspiritualrapture.
InthesesamadhisonefeelsthesensationoftheSpiritualCurrenttobelikethemovement
ofanant,afish,amonkey,abird,oraserpent.

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SometimestheSpiritualCurrentrisesthroughthespine,crawlinglikeanant.Sometimes,in
samadhi,thesoulswimsjoyfullyintheoceanofdivineecstasy,likeafish.Sometimes,when
Iliedownonmyside,IfeeltheSpiritualCurrentpushingmelikeamonkeyandplayingwith
mejoyfully.Iremainstill.ThatCurrent,likeamonkey,suddenlywithonejumpreachesthe
Sahasrar.Thatiswhyyouseemejumpupwithastart.Sometimes,again,theSpiritual
Currentriseslikeabirdhoppingfromonebranchtoanother.Theplacewhereitrestsfeels
likefire...SometimestheSpiritualCurrentmovesuplikeasnake.Goinginazigzagway,at
lastitreachestheheadandIgointosamadhi.Aman'sspiritualconsciousnessisnot
awakenedunlesshisKundaliniisaroused.
ThegreatworkbySwamiVishnuTirtha(1962)buildsanexcellentbridgebetweenthe
classicistsandmodernsintheyogatradition.Inonesmallvolumethisholymancategorizes
thesignsofanearlyawakeninginamostpersonalandpicturesquefashion.Allofthe
differentsensesystemsarecoveredaswellasthemotorandothermanifestationsalso.The
moreintimatepersonalaccountsofGopiKrishnaandMuktanandaseemtospringnaturally
fromhisfreshapproach.
20

Alsointhekundaliniyogatradition,SwamiMuktananda(1974)hasrecentlypublishedan
autobiographyrichindescriptionofsensations,involuntarymovements,flowsofenergy
throughthebody,unusualbreathingpatterns,innerlightsandsounds,formedvisionsand
voices,andmanyotherextraordinaryexperiences.

Hesays,"Mybodywasheatedupandmyheadbecameheavy...thespinalbasewasrent
withpain."
Heassumedinvoluntaryyogicpositionsandhisbodybecamestiffasaboard.Hesmelled
perfumesduringmeditation,andhetastednectar.Heheardsoundsofoceansurf,thunder,
brookmurmurs,thecrackleoffire,drums,conchshellsounds,bells,andbirdcalls.
Indescribingoneimportantprocesshewrites,"Myeyesgraduallyrolledupandbecame
centered...Insteadofseeingseparately,...theysawasone."
Theentireprogression,whichlastedseveralyears,finallyculminatedwhen,hesays,he
passedbeyondallsuchexperiencestobecomepermanentlyestablishedintheabsolute
equanimityofthetranscendentalstate.
Fromaclinicalstandpointitisimportanttonotethatintheearlystagesofhiskundalini
awakeninghewasoftenconfusedandfearful,havingnocontroloverhiswildbody
movements,awkwardpostures,ordazzlinglightshesawinhishead.Attimeshebelieved
hewasgoinginsane.Itiseasytoimaginethediagnosisifhehadapproachedapsychiatrist
insteadofhisGuruforhelp.Andyetnowtheseexperienceshavespontaneouslyculminated
inastateinwhichhefunctionsverywellandisabletohelpmanywhocometohim.
Anotherlivingpractitionerofkundaliniyoga,GopiKrishna(1971),hasalsorecently
publishedanautobiographycontainingsimilarkindsofobservations.Thisbookincludesa

19

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psychologicalcommentarybyJamesHillmancomparingKrishna'skundaliniexperiencewith
theJungianmodelofpsychosis.
Krishnahadmeditatedformanyyearsworkinglargelywithout
21

ateacher.Hehadnosortofreligiousexperiencesuntil1937whenhewasthirtyfouryears
old.Hewritesofthisexperience:

Idistinctlyfeltanincomparableblissfulsensationinallmynervesmovingfromthetipsoffingersandtoes
andotherpartsofthetrunkandlimbstowardsthespine,where,concentratedandintensified,itmounted
upwardswithastillmoreexquisitelypleasantfeelingtopourintotheupperregionofthebrain.

Thissensationleftwhenhepaidattentiontoit,butwhenheignoredit,itflowedupwith
increasedintensity.Suddenlywitharoarlikethatofawaterfallhefeltastreamofliquid
lightenteringhisbrainthroughthespinalcord.Hisbodythenbegantorockandhewas
enclosedinahalooflight,becameonewithhissurroundings,andhadfeelingsofbliss.
Followingthis,hehadgreatfear,weakness,andindifferencetopeople.Hismouthtasted
bitter,hefeltterror,andhewasoftenveryhot.Henotedareddishglowaroundhimselfin
thedark.Therewasasensationlikehotpinsthroughouthisbody,histhroatfeltscorched,
andattimeshehadseverebackpains.Hefeltthathiskundaliniwasoperatinginthewrong
mannerandthathemightdie.
OncehehadtheGreatBodyexperience,"IfeltasifIlookingattheworldfromahigher
elevationthanthatfromwhichIsawitbefore."
Hehadpsychicexperiencesasachildbutwasagnosticasayoungman.Henonetheless,
tookyogameditationwhichultimatelyledtohiskundaliniexperience.Afterthebeginning
ofhisawakeninghewasatthemercyofthekundaliniprocess.Ittookmanyyearsbeforehe
attainedastateofequanimity.Thiswasfollowedbyagradualdevelopmentofextraordinary
mentalgifts,emotionaltranquility,andcreativeproductivity.

AnAmericanCase
ThelastexampleinthisseriesofpublishedaccountsisanAmericanwriterandZen
meditatorwhose"enlightenment'was
22

verifiedbythefamousZenMaster,YasutaniRoshi.Iknowthiswomanpersonally,butplace
herinthissectionbecauseheraccountisinprint.
FloraCourtois(1970)isafiftynineyearoldwriter,whostartedhersearchmanyyearsago
whenshebegantoquestionherteachers,andhavedoubtsnoonecouldhelpherwith.Her

20

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firstcontactwithanexperienceof"thedeepesttruth"cameduringasemiconsciousstate
followingageneralanesthetic.Afterspontaneousexperiencesinwhichshefusedwith
nature,shebecamepreoccupiedwithhowvisualperceptionoccurs.Whenshewroteofher
complexobservations,ateacherthoughtshewasmentallydisturbedandsenthertoa
psychiatrist.Thisledtoashorthospitalizationwhichupsethergreatly.Shewasso
depressedoverbeingmisunderstoodthatsheconsideredsuicide.However,hersuicidal
thoughtsendedonedaywhen,"thefocusofmysightseemedtohavechanged;ithad
sharpenedtoaninfinitelysmallpointwhichmovedceaselesslyinpathstotallyfreeofthe
oldaccustomedonesasifflowingfromanewsource."
Shethenwentintoanecstaticstatethatlastedformanydays.Althoughshewasimmersed
inecstasy,itinnowayinterferedwithherdailyactivities.Sincethenshehashada
productiveandhappylife.
Thiscaseisofspecialinterestbecauseoftheneartragedyresultingfromtheauthorities'
misunderstandingofherreligiousexperience.ItisoffurtherinterestbecauseCourtoisdid
nothavemanyofthesymptomswefindinothercases.Heradolescentexperiencesalone
wouldleadonetoanticipatemorekundalinisymptomsasshedeveloped.Butin1967,when
shebeganZenmeditation,which,inapersonsosensitiveinadolescencewouldbeexpected
tobringonmoresymptoms,shehad,instead,onlyoneremarkableexperience.
Shewassittinginthemeditationhallwhenshesawabrightlightthatwassorealtohershe
believedtheelectriclightshad
23

actuallybeenturnedon.Althoughsherealizedshewasstillinrelativedarkness,she
continuedtoseebrightnessforseveralminutes.
Itmaybethatthereissomeconstitutionaldifferencebetweenpeoplewhotendtohave
visionaryexperiencesandthosewhotendtowardkundalini.Athirdcategoryincludes
personswhohavepredominantlypsychicexperiences,asopposedtovisionaryorkundalini
experiences.WeconsiderCourtois'experience,likethosereportedbyBucke(1970)and
James(1929),tobevisionary,whilekundaliniincludesallvisionaryandpsychicexperiences,
aswellasitsowncharacteristicfeaturesofthephysiokundalinicomplex.
ItmayalsobethattheZenmethoddiscouragestheexperienceoftheriseofkundalinibyits
openeyemeditation,whichencouragesthemeditatortoflowwiththeexternal,aswellas
withtheinternalworld.Italsorecommendsthatpsychicexperiencesandunusual
sensationsbeacknowledgedandrelinquishedonthepathtoSatori.
Zenseemstoattractintellectualandphysicaltypes.TheTibetanandHindutraditions,with
theirrichandcolorfulsymbolsandrituals,appealtoemotionaltypes.Inaddition,thepath
ofdevotion,socommoninyoga,hasanaturalattractionfortheemotionaltypeofperson.
PerhapsseveralofthesefactorsplayedaroleintheexperiencesofFloraCourtois.

21

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24

CASEHISTORIESOFKUNDALINIEXPERIENCES
Thissectionpresents13people,11ofwhomIhavepersonallyinterviewed,and2thatwere
interviewedbyacolleague.OneofthesetwoIalsosawbriefly.Someofthesepeoplewere
referredtomefortheirphysicalorpsychologicalproblems,ordifficultiesinmeditation.
Others,Isoughtoutafterhearingoftheirunusualexperiences.Mostofthemhavebecome
personalfriendsandhavesharedtheirexperienceswithmeingreatdepthoverthepast
twoyears.
Thefirstfourcasesareusedtoillustratewhatwebelievetobethemosttypicalpatternof
physiokundalini.Thenextthreeshowtheremarkableheatmanifestationsthatsometimes
occur.Thetwocasesthatfolloware"healers"inwhomearlyphysiokundalinihasoccurred
withsubsequentincreaseintheireffectivenessintheirwork.Thenextthreecasesare
peoplewhohadlifeproblems,internalresistances,orneurotictraitsthatcomplicatedtheir
physiokundalini.Thelastcaseisincludedbecauseitshowsasuddenkundaliniarisingupon
contactwithaGuru.
ArtistNowa48yearoldwomanartist,shestartedTranscendentalMeditation,andafter
about5yearsbegantoexperienceoccasionaltinglinginherarmsandheatinthehands.She
didnotsleepfordays,withenergysurgingthroughherwholebody,andhadseveraldreams
ofhavingherconsciousnessseparatedfromherbody.Acontinuousloudsoundhad
appearedinsideherhead.Soontherewerecrampsinherbigtoes,followedbyvibratory
feelingsinherlegs.Overnight,herbigtoenailsdarkened,asifhitbyahammer,and
eventuallypartiallyseparatedfromtheflesh.Thetissuesinherlegsfelttornthroughby
vibratorysensations.Thevibrationsspreadtoherlowerbackandsweptoverherbodyfrom
lowerbackuptoherhead,formingasensationofabandaroundthehead,just
25

abovetheeyebrows.Thenherheadstartedtomovespontaneously.Laterherbodymoved
sinuouslyandhertonguepressedtotheroofofhermouth.Thenshesensedastrongsound
of"om"there.Thetinglingsspreadbackofherneckandhead,overtheheadtothe
foreheadandface.Bothnostrilswerestimulated,causingafeelingofelongationofthe
nose.Thetinglingsthenspreaddownherface.Attimeshereyesseemedtomove
separately,andthepupilsfeltlikeholesthatboredintoherheadandmetinthecenter
Thenshefeltatremendousheadpressureandabrilliantlight,followedbyblissand
laughter.Thetinglingsspreadfurtherdowntoherupperlip,chin,andmouth.Aboutthis
timethereweredreamsofheavenlymusic.Thenthesensationswenttoherthroat,chest
andabdomen,andeventuallyshefeltasiftherewasaclosingofthecircuitintheshapeof
anegg;upthroughthespine,downthroughthefrontofthebody.Asitdeveloped,the
circuitactivatedparticularchakrasonitsway;startinginthelowerabdomen,thenthe
naval,thesolarplexus,theheart,thentheheadcenters.Thelasttobeactivatedwasthe

22

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

throat.Afterthattherewasacontinuousfeelingofenergypouringintothebodythrough
thenavelarea.Thisfeelingstoppedafterthecircuitwascompleted.Thewholeexperience
strongsexualovertones.Thegreaterpartofthisactivityoccuredoverseveralmonths.Inthe
lasttwoyearstherehasbeenonlyoccasionalactivity,mostlyduringmeditation,orwhen
sheisrelaxedinbed.
Duringtheexperiencetherewasspontaneousyogicbreathing(faintandcontrolled).
Eventuallytheredevelopedheadpressureswhichcenteredaroundthebackofthehead,
thetopandtheforehead.Thesepressureswouldbecomeespeciallysevereduringreading,
resultingindiscomfortaroundeyesandapulsingsensationattopofthehead.
Theloudsoundinsidetheheadeventuallydisappeared.Throughouttheexperienceshe
understoodthatshewasundergoingtherisingofkundalini,becauseshehadreadaboutit
before.There
26

fore,shefeltrelaxedaboutitandjustallowedthingstohappen.However,shebecame
emotionallyperturbed,andhaddifficultyinintegratingtheseexperienceswithherdaily
activities.

Sincetheinflowofenergypreventednormalsleepformonthsandcontinuedduringtheday
aswell,workbecameinefficient,andshefeltasifshewascompletelydetachedandwas
witnessingherownactivities.Eventually,shebroughtthesituationundercontrol.The
generaleffectwasagreateremotionalstabilityandeliminationoftension,alongwitha
greatlyenhancedintuitiveinsight.
ScientistAmalescientist,now53yearsold,startedTranscendentalMeditationin1967.
Within5yearshebegantohavegrossthrashingbodymovementsduringmeditationandat
nightinbed.Afterafewweeksthesesubsided.Monthslater,ongoingtobed,hefelt
tinglinginhislowerlegs,followedbycrampinginhisbigtoes.Thecrampingextendedto
othermusclesandgraduallyfaded.Thetinglingrosetohislowerbackandhe"saw"a
reddishlightthere.Thelightbecamelikearodwhichhefeltandsawbeingpusheduphis
spine.Thenitextendedforwardtotheumbilicalareawithmanytingling,vibrating
sensations..Stepbystep,itproceededupthespinetothelevelofhisheartandthen
extendedforwardtostimulatethecardiacplexus.Whenitreachedhishead,he"saw"
floodsofwhitelight,asifhisskullwerelitupfrominside.Thenthelightseemedtospout
outthetopofhisheadasasolidbeam.Sometimelaterhefeltavibrationinhisrightwrist,
arm,andalsoinhisleftleg.Assoonasheattendedtothesesensations,theydisappeared.
Thenthefeelingofcurrentsrunningthroughhisshouldersandarmas"wavesofcurrent"
occurringthreeorfourpersecond,laterincreasingtosevenandmorepersecond.Atone
time,whenhefocusedonthecenterinhishead,violentanduncontrollablespasms
occurred.
Atvarioustimes,duringallofthisactivity,hewasawareofsoundsinhishead,mostlyof
highpitchedwhistlingandhissing.

23

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

27

Atothertimes,heheardflutelikemusicaltones.Veryfrequentlytherewerefeelingsof
peaceandbliss.

Hissleepbegantobedisturbedbyautomaticmovementofhisbody.Sometimeshewould
awakentofindhimselfdoingspontaneousyogicbreathingandassumingvarioushathayoga
positions.Afterseveralnightsofthis,thetinglingwenttohisforehead,nostrils,cheeks,
mouth,andchin.Duringthisprocesshehadmanyecstaticfeelingsandsexualstimulation
whentheactivitycenteredinpelvicarea.Thenallthisceasedandreturnedfromtimeto
timewhenherelaxedatnightinbed.Hecouldshuttheseoffbyturningonhisside.
Aboutayearlater,pressuresdevelopedinhisheadatnightandstartedmovingdownward.
Simultaneously,atinglingsensationstartedmovingupfromthestomach.Hesawallthis
happeningtohimasiffromadistance.Thetwostimulimetathisthroat.Hefeltasifahole
appearedinhisthroatatthepointwheretheymet.Fromthisholeallmannerofpurely
spontaneoussoundswereemitted.Hehadlittlecontroloverthese.About6monthslater
thestimulusmoveddownfromhisthroattotheabdomen,whereitremainedforafew
months.Thentheymovedfurtherdownintothepelvis.
Thisscientisthadaninherentlysensitivenervoussystem,buthisawarenessthathewas
goingthroughtheriseofkundaliniandhisknowledgeofwhattoexpect,togetherwiththe
stabilizingeffectofameditativediscipline,madehimlesssusceptibletothedisorganizing
aspectsofkundalini.Herealizedthatthedifficultiesthathedidhaveweretheresultofover
strenuousmeditativepractice,andsohedevelopednoanxietiesduringtheprocess.
ActressA29yearoldactresshadmanypsychicexperiencesinchildhood.Asanadolescent
shesufferedfromrecurringmigraineheadaches,mentaldisorganization,andimpulsive
disruptivebehavior.Shereceivedpsychotheraphyforthesesymptomsforseveralyears,was
diagnosedschizophrenic,butwasneverhospitalized.Whenshewastwentyfourshebegan
tomeditateusingvarioustechniques.
28

Aboutayearlater,herheadachesbecameworse.Then,withinafewweeksherheadpains,
mentaldisorganization,anddisruptivebehaviorsuddenlyceased.Withinayeartinglings
beganinherlegs,thenspreadtoherarmsandchest.Afterafewweekstheyextendedto
herneckandthebackofherhead,andsoontoherforehead.Theyweremorenoticeable
duringmeditation.Atintervalsherentirebody,butespeciallyherhandsbecameveryhot.
Alsoduringmeditation,shewastroubledbyswayingandjerkingofherbody,andby
anxiety.
Shecametoourattentionbecauseoftheseverityofheranxietyandtheviolenceofthe
spontaneousbodymovementsduringmeditation.Weadvisedhertodiscontinueherself
styledmeditationandtakeupsomeestablishedmeditativepractice.Untilthiswaspossible,

24

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wesuggestedthatshetemporarilydecreasehersensitivitytotheprocessbydiscontinuing
herperiodicfastingandstrictvegetariandiet.Whenshewasabletobeginsupervised
meditationwithTranscendentalMeditationtechniques,alldisturbingsymptomssoon
ceased.
Sometimelaterthephysiokundalinicyclebeganagain.Duringonelongmeditation,she
becameawareofherthroatinanewway.Shefeltasifherheadhadbecomeseparatedand
floatedaboveherbody;herthroatstartedmakingsoundsonitsown,andshebecame
awareofaseparateobserverself.Mostofherkundalinisymptomsceasedafterthis
experience;atypical"throatopening".
Sincethenhermeditationshavebeenquietandpeacefulforthefirsttimeinyears.She
findsherproductivityandcontentmenthavegreatlyincreased.Sheisnowmakinga
documentaryfilm,aprojectshehadlongwantedtocarryout.
Wepostulatethatmanypsychoticlikeaspectsofherpersonalityaroseduetoherfailureto
findausableoutletforherpsychicenergiesofakindsuitabletohernature.
PertinenttothematterofpsychictalentanditsuseistheexperienceofMatthewManning
(1975),anoutstanding20year
29

oldBritishpsychic,whowasplaguedbypoltergeistphenomenaanearlyage.These
persisteduntilonedayhefoundthathedoautomaticwriting.Soonhefoundthathecould
paintinthestyleofseveralgreatpainters,completingaworkintentotwentyminutes.This
thenturnedouttobehismostfruitfulchannelofexpression.Oncethebulkofhisenergy
couldbethusexpressed,poltergeistactivityceased.
Itmaybethatinchildgeniuses(whoseworksareofthemoreusualkind,suchasmusic,or
graphicart)easyaccesstothismodeofexpressionstabilizesthemearlyinlife.Theculture,
church,andfamily,allsupportsuchanacceptablepursuit,andthereanconflicts.Child
psychicsmayhaveitdifficultfromthestartbecauseofthedisturbinganddisruptivenature
oftheirgenius.Also,spirituality,rarelyifever,emergesasearlyastheseothertalents.Even
Jesus,Buddha,andRamanaMaharshididnotcomeintospiritualgeniusuntilpubertyor
later.
Thereseemstobesomethingspecialaboutcreativitythatmanifestsasgreatart:suchas
theproductsofagreatwriter,musician,orpoet,thepicturesandsculptureofanartist,or
thechoreographyanddanceofonewhoworksprimarilywiththebody.Thereissomething
soconcreteabouttheseartisticcreations,thattheyseemtotietheircreatorstotheworld,
notfavoringthedevelopmentofkundalinitypenervoussystemchanges.Orpossibly,there
arefewerconflictsandblocksinthenervoussystemwhengeniusisnarrowlychanneled,
andsothenervoussystemchangemayoccurwithoutthephysicalresultsweknowas
kundalini.Also,thesekindsofgeniusesseemtobeeitherpsychicorvisionary;inneitherof
doeskundaliniseemtoexpressitselfintheclassicalmanner.Itbethatgeniuseswhose

25

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

worksaresoconcreteandfamiliar,therebyfindanacceptancethatleavesthemrelatively
freefrominnerdoubtsastotheirownproductions.Atleastwesuggestthattheirdirect
spiritualcontactsofanonphysicalnaturemustarisefromalessgross,moresubtly
functioningareaofthenervoussystemthanthekundalini.Finally,wesuggestthatthe
centralnervoussystem
30

mustberelativelymatureforthephysiokundalini,processtooccuratall.

PsychologistIn1973a41yearoldwomanpsychologist,whohadbeenengagedinvarious
intensivegroupandmeditativedisciplinesforyears,notedtheonsetofheatinherheadand
chestwithtinglingoverherbodyandheadwhilemeditating.Soon,whensheexperienced
thesesensations,hertonguewouldmovearoundofitsownaccordinsideandoutsideher
mouth.Wheneverhertonguetouchedhersoftpalateshewouldhaveorgasmicwaves
throughherbody.
Shewascoldmuchofthetime,thoughthecoldnesswasmixedwithheat.Shefeltshaped
likeaneggandherwholebeingfellunified.Vibrationsmovedinherpelvisandthenupher
backandtotheneck.Herchestfeltsoftandopen.Sheheardbrilliantbirdsongsinsideher
headandfeltatinglinginherthroat.Once,threeyearsearlier,shehadfeltlikeagiantheart
whilemeditating.Therewasapricklyitchingheatalloverherbody,butshewasnot
troubledbecauseshebelievedthatthesesensationsindicatedsuccessfulandcentered
meditationsandaflowbetweenherselfandothers.Sheassumedthatshewashavingthe
riseofthekundaliniwhichshebelievedtobedangerousunlessthe"highermind"wasin
control.
Afewmonthsafterthisonset,duringmeditations,shefeltasifsheweretwofeettaller
thanhernormalselfandasifhereyeswerelookingoutfromaboveherhead.Atthistime
shewassurethatsheknewwhatpeoplewerethinkingandmanyofherimpressionswere
confirmed.
Soonafterthis,herfeetbegantohurtandheadachesstarted.Theheadacheswereworse
whensheattemptedtocontrolthem.Shenotedthattheycamewhenshetriedtocontrol
therushofenergypassingthroughherbody.Massagehelpedthepaininherfeet,butit
was,nevertheless,soseverethatshewasunabletodriveandwalkedwithdifficulty.Itwas
hardforhertotalkwithpeopleSheateverylittle,hersleepwasfitful,andshehadsome
nausea.
31

Manytimesshequestionedtherealityofherexperiences,andwonderedifsheweregoing
crazy.
Shefeltheatononesideofherback,andwasconvincedthatunlessitspreadtobothsides
shewouldbeindanger.Onceshesucceededinspreadingitthiscrisispassed.

26

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

Thenatinglingstartedtomovefromherpelvisupherbackandtoherneck.Shebeganto
seelightinsideherhead.Shewasamazedtofindthatshecouldseethislightalltheway
downherspineaswell.Theenergyandtinglingmovedoverherforeheadandbecame
focusedunderherchin.Shefeltasiftherewereaholeinthetopofherhead.Sleepwas
verydifficult,andforthenextsixweeksmeditationwastheonlythingthathelpedher.She
feltthatifshedidnotmeditate,theheatflowinginherbodywouldgrowsointenseasto
damageher.Otherpeoplecouldfeelexcessiveheatwhentheytouchedherlowerback.
Althoughshefeltinsaneattimes,shecoulddifferentiateherstatefromtheemotionaland
mentalbreakdownofschizophreniabecauseofherpsychologicaltraining.Shefeltitwas
necessarytoavoidpsychiatrichelpduringhertroublebecauseofthedangerbeinglabeled
andtreatedasinsane.Whenhersymptomsweremorethanshecouldbearalone,she
workedwithvariousmeditationteachers.
Afewmonthsagoshebegantohaveripplingandshakingofherbody,andfeltasthough
shewasbeingcleansedandbalanced.Shortlyafterwardsshefeltapricklinginhercheeks
andunderherchin.Thenalltheunpleasantnessceasedandshehashadnomoredifficulty.
Shehadgonethroughthismuchofthephysiokundulinicyclewithinayear,andnowis
continuinghermeditationwithanydifficulty.
Nowsheisrunningasuccessfulgrowthcenterwhereoneofhermajorfocusesistohelp
otherswhoaretroubledwithdifficultiesinthekundaliniprocess.
Hermanydistressingphysicalproblemswereprobablydueto
32

residualblocksandunresolvedconflictswhichwerelockedintoherbody.Theseprobably
wouldnothavecausedheranysignificantemotionalorphysicalproblemshadherkundalini
remainedinactive.

ThreeCasesWithHeatManifestations
LibrarianA44yearoldwomanlibrarianhadbeenameditatorinherownstyleformany
years.Onedayin1968shelostawarenesswhilemeditatingwithherhandsonatable.She
awoketofindcharredmarksthatdeeplymarredthetableandcorrespondedtoherhand
prints.
Shehadthetablerefinishedtoosoonformetoexamineit.Noheatmanifestationsofthis
kindeverhappenedagain.Becauseshedidnotshowaregularprogressionofsymptoms,we
regardedherasapossiblecaseofarrestofthephysiokundaliniprocess.
In1969sheacquiredapsychicguidewhichshefoundveryusefulinherdailylife.In1972
shebecameinvolvedinstudyingthedreamsanddrawingsofchildren,andshecompleted
animpressivemanuscriptonthiswork.Sincethisinvolvement,theinterventionofherguide
hasceased.

27

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

Atthiswriting,shereportsthedevelopmentofasortofstigmata.Thisisaverticaloval
whichappearsinthecenterofherforeheadatintervalsofseveralmonths.Itwasabout
oneinchbyhalfaninch,noticeablyred,anddoesnotstandabovetheskinlevel.Ithasonly
happenedtwice.Eachtimeshequicklydidherbesttohideitwithcosmetics,justasshe
immediatelygotthetablerefinishedwhenthecharredhandprintsoccurred.
Hertendenciesweretomovealongpsychicpaths.HerlongstudiesofJungmayhaveledher
tothefacultyshedevelopedwithinnerdialogueasseenintheepisodesofher
conversationswithherpsychicguide.
33

ProfessorAmiddleagedmaleprofessor,whohadhadmanypsychicexperiencesasachild,
awokefromanapin1963,tofinda3inchblisteronhisthighwherehishandhadbeen
resting.Thisextraordinaryexperiencestimulatedhisinterestinthepowerofthemind.
Within2yearshewasmeditatingregularly,butwithoutateacher.In1967,hebeganformal
Zenmeditation.

Afewmonthslaterduringasitting,hebecameengulfedbyabrightgoldenlightthatlasted
severalminutes.Afewweekslaterthisoccurredagain.
Duringmanysittingshenoticedthemovementofpricklinganditchingsensationsupthe
insideofhislegstohisgroin,onhisarmsandchest,uphisbackandoverhisheadtohis
brows.Thenitmovedtohischeeks,theoutsideofhisnostrils,andsometimetohischin.At
thepresenttimehismeditationsarecharacterizedbytinglinganditchinginhisthroat.We
woulddescribethisasatypicalphysiokundalinicyclethatiscurrentlyatthestageofthe
throatopening.
Thisman'scoursecanbecontrastedtothatofthelibrarian,wherethebeginningswere
similar,buthechosetopursuearegulartraditionalformofmeditationwithothersaswell
asalone.Wehavetheimpressionthatsuchregularityandpracticeseemstofavorasteady
progressionofwhatwehavecalledthephysiokundalinicycleasoccurredinhiscase.The
lessdisciplined,psychicallyorientedformsofcenteringseemtofavortheirownsortof
developmentwithstressontrancestates,entities,andlikephenomena.
WriterA40yearoldmalewriterhadbeenmeditatingfor2yearswhenhebegan
experiencingmanysubjectiveheatsensations.Duringonesuchepisodehetookhisoral
temperature(withelectronicthermometer):itwas101degreesF,butfellwithinminuteor
twoto99degreesF.Ashorttimelaterhishandtemperaturewas104degreesF.Hewasnot
ill.
Hisearlierhistoryisofinterest.Afterhehadbeenmeditating
34

28

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

fortwoyears,hebeganexperiencingspontaneoustrancestates.Duringthesehereceived
informationpsychically,someofwhichwasconfirmed.Hecametoourattentionasaresult
ofmaritaldifficultiesbroughtonbyhistrancestates.Weencouragedhimtolearntoentera
lighttrancestateatwill.Histrancestatesthenstopped.Heisaproductivewriteranda
successfulwoodsculptor.
Thephysicalsignsormanifestationsofthismanweresimilartothoseofthepreceedingtwo
cases.Hispersonalityandintereststendedmorealongtheinnerlineofthelibrarian.Hehas
madenoconnectionstotraditionalEasternmethodsofmeditation.Hedidstudybrieflyat
onetimeseveralyearsagowithacuranderohealerverysimilartothemancalledDonJuan
intheaccountbyCastaneda(1968).Hewasmoreattractedbythesepowerfulouterpsychic
manifestationsthantotheinnerdialogue,andthismaypartiallyexplainhisbeingtaken
overinaratherautonomousmannerbyhistrancestates.Junghasrepeatedlypointedout
thatifhiddeninnerdrivesarenotsomehowdealtwithindreamsorthroughsomeformof
innerdialogue,theywillfindexpressioninobliqueautonomousoverwhelmingways,suchas
inthetrancesthattroubledthisman.

TwoHealers
ArtistHealerA27yearoldmaleartistremembershisearliestpsychicexperiencesasbeing
luciddreamsinchildhood.Duringone,hesawhisdoublepickupthebedclothes,whichhad
fallenoff,andhandthemtohim.Hewasfrightenedbythevividnessofthisexperience.
Whenhewas22,hebeganTranscendentalMeditation,andhadmanyinsightsandmuch
tensionrelease.Thenhemadesuchrapidprogressinmeditationwithoutproperinstruction
thathestartedtohaveanxietyattackswhilemeditating.Oncehehadavisionofwhitelight
andlostconsciousness.Heexperiencedaflowofsensationjustprecedingthisvisionwhich
startedinhisbellyandwenttohisback,
35

neck,andthebackofhishead,whereitburstintobrilliantlight.Thenhefeltheatinhis
headandbelly.Hissingandroaringsoundsdevelopedduringmeditations.Astheanxietygot
worse,heshiftedtoZenmeditationwherehefoundsomerelief.Soonafterthis,hehad
anotherwhitelightvisionmuchlikethefirstone.
Twomonthslaterhewentabroadwithhisfamilywherevisitedseveralpsychichealers.He
hadpsychicsurgeryforlifelongmigraineheadaches.Thiswasabouttwoyearsagoandhe
hashadnorecurrences.Hisfamilymemberswerelikewisehealedofanumberofchronic
disorders.Hewassoimpressedwithwhathesaw,thathedecidedtoreturnandfilmoneof
thehealers.Justpriortoleaving,hebegantohaveprecognitivevisions.Duringthefilming,
hebecamesointriguedthathedecidedtostudywithoneofthehealers.Hestudiedfortwo
years,andfoundthathebecamemoreandmoresuccessfulathealing,experiencingenergy
flows,andclairvoyantlysensingaperson'smalady.

29

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

HehasrecentlyreturnedtotheUnitedStateswhereheisfindingincreasingsuccessinhis
artwork.Hehealsfriendsandacquaintanceswhenevertheopportunitypresentsitself.
Duringthistimehehascontinuedandincreasedhismeditation;withthis,therehas
developedsometinglinginhischecksandsidesofhisnose.Areturnoftheoldanxiety
soon.subsidedwhenseveralpersonsrecoveredfromseriousillnesseswhileworkingwith
him.Hehadbeenquiteunsurethathisrecentlyacquiredabilities,onlycontractedatthe
veryendofhistrainingperiodabroad,wouldbeavailabletohimhereinthisenvironment
farremovedfromhisteacher.Thisevidencereassuredhimandeasedhisanxiety.
EngineerHealerA54yearoldmaleformeraeronauticalengineerhasbeenahealerand
meditatorformanyyears.In1973hesuddenlybegantohaveunusualbodysensations.He
feltpressureinhishead,followedbyaweekofinsomnia.Thenthepressurechangedtoa
vibratorysensation,andhefeltheatinsidehisbody.As
36

thevibrationsspreadtohisshoulders,chest,anddownhislegs,hefeltasifhisbodywould
explode.Whenthesesensationswerestrong,thebackofhistonguewouldoftenblister.
Wavesofcoloredlightpouredthroughhisbodyandhead,becominggoldenasitflowed.
Afterthreeweeksofthis,hefeltwashedclean,andfoundthathecouldcontrolmostofthe
sensationsthroughmeditation.Hebelieveshisabilityasahealerhasincreasedasaresultof
theseexperiences.Myinquiriesofthosehehashelpedseemtoconfirmhisimpression.
Thesetwohealersillustrateextremesofselfdisciplineofaparticulartype.Intheyounger
man,thiswastoapprenticehimselftoamaturehealerwithwhomheworkedfortwoyears
beforerealizingtheresultshesought.Theoldermanlikewisemadehisdisciplineawayof
lifebutinasolitarysettingwhereeverynightforfiveyearsheawokeearlytomeditatefor
twohours.Hetrainedhimselftosleepinstantlyattheendofthesesessions.Afterthislong
practicehelearnedtoseparatehisconsciousnessthemomenthelaydown.Hepracticed
thisforyearsbeforehehaditunderhiscontrol.

Thetrainingofthesetwowasquitedifferent.Thefirstusedanintuitivemethodinasetting
thatevokedhisinstinctstotheirfull,whiletheotherexercisedagreatdealofwillandone
pointedeffort.
Wesawanotherexampleofthissortofdifferenceinapproachrecentlyintestinga
professionalpsychicwithmagneticstimulationofhisrightbrain.Weusedthemethod
BentovdescribesinAppendixA.Forsometimefollowingstimulationwithapulsating
magneticfieldtotherightsideofhishead,hefoundthathecouldonlyvisualizecolorsin
thebluegreenpartofthespectrum,andthathiswordflowwasimpaired.Theproblem
withlanguageclearedinafewdays,butthevisualizationsinfullcolortookaweeklongerto
return.Somestiffnessinhisneck,whichalsohaditsonsetwiththestimulationresolvedat
aboutthesametimethecolorvisualizingreturned.

30

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

Webelievethatthismanhadbeenoperatingasasuccessfulpsychicfromamodeinwhich
hiswillwasprominent.Thisprobably
37

favorscontinuingleftbraindominance.Hisinherentsensitivitypermittedhim,when
stimulated,torespondtoanewkindofactivitystirredupbythetest.Thisnewactivityofhis
rightbrainthencameintocompetitionwiththeusual,wellcontrolledstateinwhichtheleft
brainwasdominant.Thismayexplaintheinitialleftsidedsymptoms(seep.67).Thusthe
temporarystateofconfusionfolloweduntilhisaccustomedhomeostasiswasagain
established.

ThreeCasesWithComplications
SecretaryA28yearoldwomansecretaryhadbeenpracticingTranscendentalMeditation
fortwoyears.Earlyin1975shebeganhavingtinglingandnumbnessinherlowerlegs.Soon
stiffnessinonelegbegantointerferewithwalking.Atthistimeshewenttoseveraldoctors,
includingneurologists.Whenmyelographicstudies(spinalinjectionofradioopaqueoilwith
Xrays)weresuggested,sherefused.Itoccurredtoherthathersymptomswereworseafter
daysinwhichshehadbeendoingprolongedmeditations,soshedecidedtoseekadvice
abouttheeffectsofhermeditativepractice.
Itlookedlikelythatshewasintheearlystagesofthephysiokundalinicycle,andthatthe
stressandworryaboutpossiblephysicaldiseasewasincreasingherdifficulties.Shehadthe
wisdomtoseethatthenatureofhersymptomssuggestedaprocessthatwasrelatedto
meditation.
Wereassuredherthathersymptomswerepartofanormalprocessinthenervoussystem
thatwasproceedingtoorapidlybecauseofoverdoinghermeditations.Reassuranceand
temporarycessationofmeditation,soonhadherontheroadtorecovery.Latelyshe
resumedmeditatinginmoderation.Herphysiokundalinicycleisnowproceedingwithout
incident.
HousewifeA28yearoldhousewifehadrecentlybegunTranscendentalMeditation.Soon
shebegantodeveloptinglingand
38

occasionalstockingtypenumbnessinherleftfootandleg.Whensubjectedtothestressof
hermotherinlawmovingintothehousewithherandherhusband,shestartedtogeta
stiffleganddevelopedafootdrop.Shewentformedicalhelpandamyelogramwasdone.
Followingthis,allhersymptomsincreased.Thenshewasputoncortisone,andwastoldby
herneurologistthatshemightneverrecoverfulluseofherleg.Hearingthis,shebecame
severelydepressedandnearlynonfunctional.Atthistimeshecametoourattention.

31

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

Shehadanextraordinarilysensitivenervoussystem,andwasintheearlystagesofaphysio
kundalinicycle.Herworryabouttheprognosis,andtheeffectofthecortisoneincreasedher
symptoms:painandstiffnessinherbackandlegs,andtheparalysisalreadynoted.Her
therapy,anditssuccessfuloutcomewerethesameasforthepreviouscase.
HousewifeAhousewifeinhermidfiftieshadtheonsetofaprofoundanddisturbingprocess
fouryearsagowithafeelingthatsomethingwasdescendingoverherhead,*followedbya
faintingspell.Theseincidentsrecurredseveraltimes,butshewasnevergroggyafter
regainingawarenessasmightbeexpectedwithaconvulsivedisorder.Physicianswere
unabletogiveheranyrelief.
Onetimesheheardavoicesayinginsideherhead,"Areyouready?"Andlatersheheard
internalmusic.
Onedayshewasfeelingwelluntillateintheafternoonwhenshefeltapaindevelopingat
thebaseofherleftbigtoe.Thisextendeduptheshin,wasverypainful,andshecouldfeel
theinsideworkingsofherkneejoint.Theintermittentpaincontinued.Shespentthenext
fewdaysinbedwhereshespontaneouslyassumedmanyyogicasanas(positions).Afew
dayslaterherbodyfelt

*Roy(1974).HiscoauthorDevidescribesinalmostidenticalwordsthisexperiencewhichhappenedather
firstmeditation.Thiswassoonfollowedbyaremarkableandspontaneouskundaliniexperience.

39

workedonfromthetoesandupthebackinsegments.Thisprocessroseupherbodyand
shehadpainonbothsidesofhernoseandwavesofsensationupherneckanddownher
face.Thiswasaccompaniedbyintenseheatinherback.Shealsohadsevereviselike
pressuresaroundherhead.Duringsomeoftheseflowsofsensationshewasforcedto
breatheinasighingmannerandtherewereoccasionallytorsionalwhippingmovementsof
herheadandneck.Oncethisenergycamedownintoherhead,andherscalpgotcoldwhile
herfactgothot.

Overaperiodofaboutthreeyears,sheslowlybecameconvincedthatshehadbeen
selectedbyGodtobebornasanadvancedhumanbeing.Shehadyieldedtoatendency
thatJung(1975)hadwarnedagainst:thatofclaimingthisforceasherownegocreation,
andasaresult,fallingintothetrapofegoinflationandfalsesuperiority.Further,she
becamedistrustfulofthosewhoheardherstorybutdidnotagreewithherinterpretations.
Sheexpectedotherstoknowexactlywhatshewasspeakingaboutandtoacceptallthatshe
saidwithoutquestion.Shehasneverdoneanyregularmeditationandisnotinterestedin
tryingit.Shehadnointerestinanyhelpwehadtooffer.
40

32

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

SUDDENKUNDALINIARISING
A33yearoldmalepsychiatrist,acolleagueofmine,andamemberofourkundalini
researchteam,hasbeenmeditatingregularlyforthreeyears,andhasservedasasubjectin
ourresearchwiththemagneticstimulator.Hewasbornwithaspinaldefectforwhichhe
hadsurgerythatlefthimwithchroniclowbackpainsincehisteens.
InDecemberof1975,heattendedaweekendattheMuktanandaashraminOakland,
California.UponbeingtouchedbySwamMuktananda,hewentintodeepmeditation.
Withintenminutes,hefoundthathecouldnotspeak,hismouthopenedwidely,andhi
tongueprotruded.Afterafewminutes,heexperiencedablissfulcalmandmanyinner
visions,inwhichMuktanandaappearedtohim,andhelpedhimexperienceafusionwiththe
Guru.Afewminuteslaterhe"saw"theinteriorofhisabdomen,chest,andthroatlightup
withagoldenenergy.Ataboutthistime,hislowerbackbegantopainseverely.Asthis
happened,awhitelightinhisheadbecamemoreandmoreintense.Towardstheendofthis
meditation,thebackpaindisappeared,andhadnotreturnedintheinterveningfour
months.
Followingthisremarkableexperience,hismeditationsathomehavebecomevery
productive.Emotionalproblemsandunfinishedincidentsseemtofindsolutionsveryrapidly
andatgreatdepthduringhismeditations.
InthemiddleofJanuary,hedevelopedarashthatformedacurvedlinefromhislowerback,
crossedhisspinetwice,andveeredofftotheleftshoulder.Hequestionedwhetheritmight
havesymbolicsignificancelikeastigmata.Ataboutthistime,henoticedhighpitchednoises
andscratchingsoundsduringmeditation,whichhehadfirstexperiencedearlierafterbeing
stimulatedmanytimesoveraperiodofmonthswithourmagneticdevice.
41

InJanuaryhewenttoasecondweekendintensive,andagaintouchedbytheGuru.
Immediately,hefelttinglingpainandhotandcoldsensationsspreadingoverhisupperback
andneck.Histhroatburnedandhisheadandneckmovedspontaneously.Next,hefeltbliss
andinnerpeace.Later,hisheadbegantospin,andhefeltvibrationsinhishands.Thenhis
kneesburned,andhefeltabuzzinguphisspinethatendedinfeelingsoflightandenergyin
hishead.Duringallofthishisbreathingwasirregular:attimesrapidandshallow,atother
timesslowanddeep.Everythingseemedtobebreakinglooseinsideofhim,andhefeltas
thoughhewereinlabor.Towardstheendofthismeditation,heexperiencedgreatinner
beauty,peace,andadeepknowingofhisinmostself,thenatotalsenseoffreedomanda
feelingofcominghome.Thenextdayhehaddifficultyreturningtohisusualstate.Hewas
uncoordinated,concentratedpoorly,andwasphysicallyexhaustedforseveraldays.
AftertheJanuaryintensive,hismeditationscontinuedtodeepen.Then,forafewdays,his
leftbigtoeandleftfoothurt.Thispainwasintense,andpenetratedthroughhisfoottohis
lowerleg.Also,hehadanacheontheleftsideofthebackofhisheadwhichextended
throughtohiseyeonthisside.Theeyewouldoccasionallyshutspontaneously.Afterafew

33

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

days,thisintermittentpaindisappeared,andthelegpain,whichhadresistedalltreatment,
clearedataboutthesametime.
Inhisdaytodaylife,friendsandfamilyexperiencedhimasmorerelaxed.Aphysical
therapist,whomheseesregularly,feelshehasbecomemoreloose,relaxed,andintegrated
sincealloftheseexperiences.Hissenseofhavingcomehomehasgrownintoafeelingofat
onenesswiththeworld.Now,inmeditation,itchinghasdevelopedonhisforehead,and
occasionallyonhischeeks,indicatingafurtherprogressioninthephysiokundalinicircuit.
42

DISCUSSION
Thephysiokundalinicomplexhasanumberofcharacteristicsfeatures,bothobjectiveand
subjective.Thetypicalphysiokundaliniprogression,asoutlined,rarelyoccursinpractice,
butoftenseveralofthesymptomsdomanifest.
Ifweaccepttheviewthattheyaretheresultsofthebalancingactionofkundaliniasit
removesblocksthroughoutthesystem,thenindividualdifferencesinsymptompatterns
meanthatseparateareasareblocked.Thismaybeduetodifferencesingeneticmakeup
andpasthistoryofthepersons.Also,theseprocessesmaylastfromafewmonthstoseveral
years.Suchdifferencesintimespanmaybecausedbyvariationintheintensityof
meditationsandinthetotalamountofbalancingneeded.
Oftenthecycledoesnotrunitsnormalfullcourse,asalreadynoted.Thisarrestofthe
physiokundalinicyclemayoccurinthosewhobecomefascinatedwithsomeparticular
psychicability.Suchanexclusivefocusmayinterrupttheprogressionatthatparticular
stage.Furthervariationoccursoveraperiodoftime;thesignsandsymptomsarenot
presentcontinuouslybutcomeonatintervalsmostofteninmeditation,duringquiettime
orinsleep.
43

SUMMARYOFSIGNSANDSYMPTOMS
Wehaveattemptedtoseparatethesigns(objectiveindications)andsymptoms(subjective
descriptions)intofourbasiccategories:motor,sensory,interpretive,andnonphysiological.
ThesecategoriesareoutlinedinTable1,anddescribedinmoredetailinthefollowingpages
.
CATEGORIESOFSIGNSAND
SYMPTOMS

34

DESCRIPTIONS

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

Motor

Anymanifestationswhichcanbeindependently
observedandphysicallymeasured.

Sensory

Innersensationssuchaslights,sounds,and
experiences,normallyclassedassensations.

Interpretive

Mentalprocesseswhichinterpretexperience.

Nonphysiological

Phenomenawhich,takenatfacevalueasgenuine
occurrences,mustinvolvefactorsforwhich
physiologicalexplanationsarenotsufficient.
Table1.DescriptionsofSignsandSymptoms.

Althoughwemakethisfourfoldclassificationforconvenience,symptomsindifferent
categories,forexample,bodymovements,tingling,andinnerlights,mayoftenbemerely
differentaspectsofasingleintegratedexperience.Anotherdifficultyisthatsome
phenomenabelongintwoorthreecategoriesatonce:objectiveheat
44

manifestationsundermotorandsensory,singleseeingundersensoryandinterpretive,and
soon.Inthesecaseswehavelistedtheexperiencesundereachoftheapplicableheadings
foreaseofreference,butwehavediscussedthemonlyonce.

Motor
BodyMovementsandUnaccustomedPosturesThemovementsarespontaneous,although
thepersonmaybeabletoinhibittheiroccurrence.Theymayaffectanypartofthebody
includingtheeyes.Movementsmaybesmoothandsinuous,spasmodicandjerky,or
vibratory.Thebodymayalsoassumeclassichathayogaposturesandholdthemfor
extendedperiods.Theoccurrence,pattern,andintensityofthesemovementsandpostures
varygreatlyfrompersontoperson.
AbnormalBreathingPatternsAccordingtoyogictheory,vitalenergyorprana,anaspectof
kundalini,enters,leaves,andflowsthroughthebodywiththebreath.Someyogisspend
manyhourseachdayforyearstryingtocontroltheflowofthispranathroughbreathing
exercisescalledpranayama(literally,energycontrol).Whatweobserveclinicallyinmostof
ourcases,isthespontaneousoccurrenceofclassicpranayamapatterns:rapidbreathing,
shallowbreathing,deepbreathing,orprolongedretentionofbreath.Advancedyogissay
thatthisspontaneousoccurrenceisnormal,andthatithappensalmostregularlyinthe
processoftheawakeningofthekundalini.Theysaythatdeliberatepracticeofpranayama
toacceleratekundalinimaybedangerous,andisunnecessary,sinceitwillariseofitselfasa
partofthekundaliniprocess.

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ParalysisDuringdeepmeditationthebodysometimesbecomestemporarilylockedintoa
certainposture,butthistemporary
45

paralysisusuallyceaseswhenthemeditationisover.Thetwoyoungwomeninourcase
studieswhohadpartialparalysisdifferinthattheirdisabilitiesdevelopedgraduallyand
remainedoverratherlongperiods,andalsointerferedwiththeirnormalactivities.Inboth
thesecases,itabatedwhenwewereabletorelievetheirintensefearoftheprocess
throughexplanations,emotionalsupport,andencouragement.Therefore,itseemslikely
thattheirparalysiswasasecondarysymptom,anhysterialikereaction,ratherthana
primaryeffectofthephysiokundaliniprocess.

Sensory
BodySensationsTheskinorinsideofthebodymaytingle,vibrate,itchortickle.Apt
descriptionsareadeepecstatictickleandfeelingoforgasms.Thesesensationsoftenstartin
thefeetandlegs,orpelvis,andmoveupthebackandnecktothetopofthehead,downthe
forehead,overtheface,thentothethroat,andterminateintheabdomen.Theprogression
isseldomthisordered,butwhenitis,weconsiderthisatypicalphysiokundalinicycle.
HeatandColdExtremesoftemperaturesometimesmovethroughthebodybutnotalways
inpatterns.Thesechangesrangefrompurelysubjectivesensationstoobjective
manifestations(signs)toapparentlysupernaturalinstancesofextremeheat.Ifthese
instancescanbeverified,itwillbequiteachallengetoexplain.
InnerLightsandVisionsAvarietyoflightsmayappearinternally.Muktanandarangesthese
fromtheredcolorthesizeofthewholebodythroughthewhiteandblackspotstothe
lentilsizedbluepearl.Theseorotherlightsaresometimes"seen"tolightupspecificbody
areassuchasthespineandhead.Formedvisionsalsooccur.
Lightwasprominentinmostoftheaccountscitedfromtheliteratureandoccurredinmost
ofourowncases.Bucke(1970),
46

apsychiatristandauthorofCosmicConsciousness,considersthisthemostimportant
criterionforcallinganexperiencecosmic.Hefindsagradationofthesephenomena,from
subjectivesymptomstoobjectivemanifestations,similartothatwhichweobservedfor
heat.Themostsubtlewerethoseinwhichthisilluminationwasjustanewwayofgrasping
something,asinthe"ahha!"experience.Others"saw"lightinternally.Inthemore
remarkablecasesthosewhosawlightinternallywerealsoabletoseeadarkenedroomas
illuminated.Intheextremecase,witnessesreportedseeingahalooflightaroundthe
illuminedone.Itseemslikelythattheterms"illumined","enlightened"andotherreferences
tolightwereoriginallyobjectivedescriptionsratherthanjustmetaphors.

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SoundsSoundsthatareheardinternallyarenotonlyvoices,butincludeavarietyof
characteristicnoises,suchaswhistling,hissing,chirping,flutelikeandroaring.Soundswere
reportedbymostofourowncases,andvariedsomewhatwiththeparticulartraditionof
meditationfollowedbytheindividual.
PainsPainsareoftenreportedinthehead,eyes,spine,andotherpartsofthebody.These
maybeginabruptly,withnoapparentcause,andmay,afteravariableperiod,cease
abruptlyandpermanently.Theexperienceofthepsychologist,whodiscoveredher
headacheswerecausedbyherattemptstocontrolthephysiokundaliniprocess,suggests
that,ingeneral,painsmightbecausedbyconsciousorsubconsciousresistancetothe
process,ratherthantotheactionofkundaliniitself.Theyalsomightoccurwhentheflowof
kundaliniisespeciallyintensethroughanareathathasnotyetbeensufficientlyopened.
Thismayhavebeentrueoftheactress.

Interpretive
UnusualorExtremeEmotionsEcstasy,bliss,peace,love,devotion,joyandcosmicharmony
mayoccur,butalsointensefear,
47

anxiety,depression,hatred,andconfusion.Ingeneral,especiallyintheearlystagesofthe
processanyofthenormalemotionsmaybeexperiencedwithmuchgreaterintensitythan
usual.Lateron,feelingsofpeace,love,andcontentmenttendtopredominate.
DistortionsofThoughtProcessesThoughtsmayspeedslowup,down,orstopaltogether.
Theymayseemoffbalance,strange,orirrational.Thepersonmayfeelclosetoinsanity,
mayenterIcompletetrancestates,ormaybecomeimpulsiveandfeelalienatedand
generallyconfused.Mostofourcasesreportthesethoughtchangesatsomephaseofthe
process.
DetachmentTheindividualmayfeelthatheorsheiswatchingallthatishappening,
includinghisorherownthoughtsandfeelingsfromadistance,likeonedetached.Theyogis
callthiscondition"witnessconsciousness".Sometimes,whenitisnotmentioneddirectly,
itspresencemaybeinferredfromphrasessuchas"thefireofseparation"aswiththeSufis,
orfromfeelingsofgreatbliss.Itdiffersfromaloofnessoranxiouswithdrawalinthatitisa
dissociationoftheseparateobserverselffromthementalactivitiesthatitobserves.The
activitiesmaycontinueasusual.Thus,thisconditionneednotinterferewithnormal
functioning.
DissociationWhenthewithdrawaloftheselffromactiveinvolvementoridentificationwith
whatitperceivesisattained,thestateofdetachmentorwitnessconsciousnessoccurs.But
whenitisnotinbalance,duetodeeppsychologicalresistances,tofearandconfusion,orto
socialandotherenvironmentalpressures,thennegativeaspectsoftheexperiencemaybe
emphasized.Hysteriaorastateakintoschizophreniamayresult.Also,thepersonmay
becomeidentifiedwiththephysiokundaliniprocessitselfinanegative,egotisticalway,

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believingheorshehasbeendivinelychosenforsomegreatmission,perhapsasasavior.
Giventimeandtheproperenvi
48

ronmentalsupport,theimbalanceisovercomeandonefindsamoresuitablefocusforhis
orherenergies,andthenegativesymptomsvanish.

SingleSeeingThisinterestingvariationinthevisualfunctionmaybeanexperience
describedintheGospels:"Thelightofthebodyistheeye;thereforewhenthineeyeis
singlethywholebodyisalsofulloflight"(Luke11:34).
Singleseeingcanbeeasilyidentifiedasaseparateanddistinctstatebythetypicaland
graphicmetaphorsusedtodescribetheexperiencebypeoplewhohavehadit.Forexample,
Muktanandasaid"Myeyesgraduallyrolledupandbecamecentered...Insteadofseeing
separately...theysawasone."Later,inalecture(February,1976)hedescribedastatein
whichhiseyesseemedturnedequallyinwardandoutward,"seeing"bothinnerandouter
landscapes.

Thewomanartistsaid,"Myeyesseemedtomoveseparatelyandthepupilsfeltlikeholes
whichboredintomyheadandmetinthecenter."
FloraCourtois(1970)wrote,
Mysighthadchanged,sharpenedtoaninfinitelysmallpointwhichmovedceaselesslyinpathstotallyfree
oftheoldaccustomedones,asifflowingfromanewsource.
Itwasasifsomeinnereye...whichextendedwithoutlimit...hadbeenrestoredfocusedoninfinityinaway
thatwasdetachedfromimmediatesightandyethadaprofoundeffectonsight...therewasasharpone
pointednesstomyattentionnowrootedintosomedeepercentersothatmyeverydaysight,myeyes,were
releasedfromtheir(need)toseetheworldoutside...nomatterwhereIlookednoshadow(image)ofmy
nose...everappearedintheclearfieldofsight.

TheaboveissoclosetothepsychologicalprocessthatJung(1932)speaksof,thathiswords,
spokenattheseminaronkundalini,areusedheretoamplifyandclarifyit.Hewasaskedifit
wasnotWotanwholosesoneeye.HeagreedandaddedthatOsirisdidalso.Hethenwent
ontosay:
49

WotanhastosacrificehisoneeyetothewellofMimir,thewellofwisdom,whichisthe
unconscious;youseeoneeyewillremaininthedepthsorturnedtowardsit.Therefore
JakobBoehme,whenhewas"enchantedintothecentreofnature,"ashesays,wrotehis

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bookaboutthe"ReversedEye;"oneofhiseyeswasturnedinward,itkeptonlookinginto
theunderworld,whichamountstothelossofoneeye;hehadnolongertwoeyesforthis
world.
Jesususesaparabletotellofhisinnertruth.Jungusesmythasmetaphorforasimilar
experienceoftruthatadeeppsychologicallevel.Inthecasescitedheretheexperienceis
thetruthitself.
InaresearchsettingAlyceGreen(1975)reportedthatsomeofherbiofeedbacksubjects
sawaninnervisionofasingleeyeconfrontingthemwhiletheyweredeeplyrelaxed.
GreatBodyExperiencingoneselftobelargerthanthenormalsizeofone'sbodyis
occasionallyreported.

Nonphysiological
OutofBodyExperiencesPeopleexperiencingthisstatefeelthemselvestobeinalocation
awayfromtheirphysicalbodies.Atpresentwemustregardtheseperceptionsassubjective,
whichwouldmakethemlittledifferentfromvividandinvoluntaryimaginings.However,ifit
couldsomehowbeverifiedbyindependentorobjectivemeans,thatthesepeoplehave
actuallybeenwheretheysaytheyhavebeeniftheycanalterthatplace,orretrieve
informationfromitthenthisphenomenonwouldhavetobelistedalsounderSensoryand
even,perhaps,underMotor.Itwouldalsobecomeimpossibletoexplainwithcurrent
Westernmodelsofbrainfunctionandmindbodyrelationship.Asinsingleseeing,the
languageusedtodescribethisstateissotypicalthatwethinkofitasquiteseparablefrom
otherstatesofdividedconsciousness.
50

PsychicPerceptionsPsychicabilitiesandexperiences,particularlytheobtainingof
informationthroughmeansotherthantheknownphysicalsenses,arefrequentlyreported
bypeopleinwhomthekundaliniawakeningprocessisoccurring.Suchexperiences,if
confirmed,willalsohavetobelistedunderSensory,and,likeoutofthebodyexperiences,
willrequireexplanationsgoingbeyondthepossibilitiesoftoday'sneurophysiological
models.

Sometimestheperceptionsareclearlyaresultofthekundaliniactivity.Often,however,
theyprecededtheawakening,indicatingthatpeoplearemorelikelytohavethephysio
kundalinimechanismtriggerediftheyarenaturallypsychic.Infact,suchpeopleareoftenso
stronglyaffectedbythephysiokundaliniforcesthattheirmeditationsarequitedisturbing,
andtheyseektoavoidopeningthemselvesupfurthertothisinfluence.Thisattitudeusually
changes,however,whentheylearnmoreaboutwhatishappeningandbecomeestablished
inaregular,gentle,andreliablemeditativepractice.

CORRELATIONWITHBENTOV'SMODEL
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InthissectionweshallseetowhatextentBentov'sphysiologicalmodelforthekundalini
process(describedindetailinAppendixA)isconsistentwith,andcanaccountfor,our
observations.Thesamenamesareusedtorefertothevarioussignsandsymptomsaswere
usedintheprevioussection.
MotorsignsandsymptomsThecerebralcurrentmaystimulatethemotorcortexor
thalamiccentershavingtodowithassociatedorgroupmusclemovements,suchasthe
posturingreflexes.Theapparentnonspecificityofsomeofthesemovementsmayindicate
thatthefocusofdisturbanceisdeepinthebrain,ratherthaninthecortex.Breathing
patternsmaybesimilarlystimulated,andparalysisisprobablyasecondaryeffectasalready
noted.
51

BodySensationsBodysensationsmaybeattributedtodirectstimulationofthesensory
cortexbythecurrentgeneratedinthecerebralhemispheres.Thecharacteristicsequenceof
affectedbodypartscorrespondstotheirsequenceofrepresentationinthesensorycortex,
asshowninAppendixA,Figure11:firstthetoes,thenthelimbs,back,head,eyesandface,
tothethroat,andfinallytheabdominalarearepresentedjustabovethetemporallobe.
AccordingtoBentov'smodeltheearliestbodysensationsappearinthefoot,especiallyin
theleftbigtoerepresentedinthebrain'scentralsulcus.(Theholyriver,Ganges,issaidto
haveoriginatedfromthelargetoeofGod.InsiddhayogathefeetoftheGuruareespecially
venerated,particularlythelargetoe.)Theexactcorrespondencebetweenthesequenceof
stimulationinthetypicalphysiokundalinicycleandthesequenceofrepresentationinthe
sensorycortexgivesstrongsupporttoatleastthisaspectofBentov'smodel.
Itisinterestingtonotethatinthismodelthethroatandabdomenarethelastopeningsites,
thusindicatingthecompletionofthecycle.Theimportanceofthethroatissubstantiatedby
thereferencetoitinthenamegiventothekundaliniintheHinduscriptures;theycallit
Vagshwari,theGoddessofSpeech.Supposedly,itisafterthethroatopeningwhenallthe
legendarypowersundergoanincreaseintheadept.
HeatandcoldThesemaybecausedbyhypothalamicstimulation.Therepresentationofour
bodyinthisareaofthebrainislessspecificthaninthecortex,whichmayexplainthelackof
regularityinthemovementofthesesensations.Objectivemanifestationofextremeheatis
difficulttoexplainwithBentov'smodelalone.Itdoesnotcontradictit,butsuggeststhat
otherfactorsalsoinvolvedinthekundaliniphenomenon.
LightandSoundThesecouldbeduetostimulationnearthelateralandmedialgeniculate
regions,aswellasfromstandingwaves
52

generatedintheventricles.Theusuallackofformedelementscouldbeduetothelarge
distanceofthecircuitfromcorticalrepresentationforlightandsound.Formedvisionsand

40

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

voicesmayindicatespreadofstimulationtothemoreadjacentassociativeareasforspeech,
sound,andvision.Iftheyarepsychicallydeterminedtheywouldhavequiteadifferentand
unknownorigin.Certainlyobjectivemanifestationsoflight,ifconfirmed,wouldalsorequire
explanationsbeyondourpresentknowledge.
PainsThesemightoccurwhenthecurrentgeneratedinthebrainmeetswithsome
resistancethatisnoteasilyovercome(ablockthatisnoteasilypurifiedoutofthesystem).
Theperceptionofthepainmaybereferredoutandseemtocomefromvariouspartsofthe
body,ormotorstimulationcouldcausetension,generatingpainintheperipheryitself.In
practice,itmakeslittledifferencewhethertheseimpuritiesorblockstotheriseofkundalini
areactuallyinchakras(psychicenergycenters)inthespinalcanal,astheyogissay,orin
peripheralbodyparts,orinspecificbrainregions,oratsomemoresubtlelevelofthemind.
Thesevariouspossibilitiesarenotmutuallyexclusive,andthenetresultisthesame.
EmotionsandDistortedThoughtProcessesThesearenotinconsistentwithBentov'smodel,
butaretoocomplextobeexplainedbyitatthistime.
DetachmentandDissociationWilderPenfield(1958)reportsexperiencesakintothese
upondirectstimulationofarea39ofthecortex.Thustheycouldbeasimpleresultofthe
circulatingcurrent,ortheycouldhaveamoresubtlepsychologicalorigin.
SingleSeeingandtheGreatBodyThesearenotinconsistentwithBentov'smodel,but
cannotbeexplainedbyitatthistime.
53

OutofBodyandPsychicExperiencesBentov'smodeldoesnotofferanexplanationfor
theseasobjectivelyconfirmedphenomena,butitdoesgiveguidelinesforthedirectionin
whichresearchmightprofitablymove(seeEpilogue).

ConcludingComment
Bentov'smodelisabletoaccount,indetail,formanyofthesignsandsymptomswehave
observed.Evenifitultimatelyprovestobeonlypartiallycorrect,ortoexplainonlyapartof
thefullkundaliniphenomenon,ithasenormousheuristicvalueatthisstate.
WhatdistinguishesBentov'smodelfromallpreviousattemptstoexplainkundaliniisthatit
generatesfurtherhypotheses,andsuggestsanumberofexperimentstotestthem.For
example:
1.Measuretheveryweakmagneticfieldsaroundtheheadofanexpertmeditator,following
suchmethodsasthosedescribedbyBrenner,Williamson,andKaufman(1975).
2.Determineatwhatstageofmeditationtheirregularmicrotremorchangestoaresonant
vibration.
3.Developabiofeedbacksystemtoaidmeditatorsinreachingresonance.

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4.Studytheeffectsofmagneticstimulationononesideandthenonbothsidesofthehead.
5.Studylight,heat,andsoundsensationsreportedbymeditators,anddeterminewhichof
thesecanbecorrelatedwithphysicallymeasurableconditions.

KUNDALINI:CLASSICALANDCLINICAL
Wenowhavetwomodelsofkundalini:theclassicalyogicdescription,andBentov's
physiologicalmodel,plusourownclinicalobservations.Thoseaspectsoftheprocesswhich
couldhave
54

apurelyphysiologicalbasis,eitherthatwhichBentovproposesorsomeother,wehave
designatedphysiokundalini.Themajorityofourclinicalobservationsfallwithinthephysio
kundalinicategory,andwehavejustexaminedtowhatextenttheymightbeaccountedfor
byBentov'smodel.Butthephysiokundaliniprocess,aswehaveobservedit,differsfrom
theclassicalyogicdescriptionincertainimportantrespects.

Mostnotableoftheseisthepathwaytakenbythekundalinienergyorthebodysensationas
ittravelsthroughthesystem.Classically,theenergyawakensatthebaseofthespine,
travelsstraightupthespinalcanal,andhascompleteditsjourneywhenitreachesthetopof
thehead.Alongthisroute,however,therearesaidtobeseveralchakras,orpsychicenergy
centers,whichthekundalinimustpassthroughtoreachitsgoal.Thesechakrascontain
impuritiesthatkundalinimustremovebeforeitcancontinueitsupwardcourse.Onthe
otherhand,intheusualclinicalpicture,theenergysensationtravelsupthelegsandbackto
thetopofthehead,thendowntheface,throughthethroat,toaterminalpointinthe
abdomen.Whatistherelationshipbetweenthesetwodescriptions?
Wemustbeawarethatyogicdescriptions,inadditiontobeingdogmatic,areoftenvery
subtle.Westernscientistssaythattheactuallocationofsensoryperceptionisinthesensory
cortex,eventhoughthesensationisfelttobeintheperiphery.Similarly,theyogismight
meanthatthesensations,blocks,andopenings(suchasthethroatopening),whicharefelt
tobeinvariousbodyparts,areinsomesubtlewayrepresentedinthespinalchakras.
StillanotherpossibilityissuggestedbytheexperienceofoneofMuktananda'sstudents
(personalcommunication,1975)whosayshefeelsenergyspreadingthroughouthisbody,
butespeciallydescendingfromhisforeheadoverhisfacetohisthroat,thentohischestand
abdomen,thentothebaseofhisspine,andonlythenintoandupthecenterofthespine
itself.Hesaysthesensationinthespineismoresubtleanddifficulttoperceivethanthatof
theperipheralareasperhapsbecausemostoftheenergyhasnotyetenteredhisspine.
55

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Thetimefactorisalsodifferentintheclassicalandclinicalpictures.Allthecharacteristic
elementsofthephysiokundalinicomplexareincludedintheclassicdescription.Andyet,
wefindquite"ordinary"peoplewhocompletethephysiokundalinicycleinamatterof
months,whereasyogicscripturesassignaminimumofthreeyearsforculminationoffull
kundaliniawakeninginthecaseofthemostadvancedinitiates.Herewehavethe
suggestionfullkundaliniawakeningincludedalargercomplexofwhichthephysiokundalini
processisonlyapart.
Itistooearlytosayexactlywhattherelationshipsare,exceptthatperhapsthephysio
kundalinimechanismisaseparateentitywhichmaybeactivatedaspartofafullkundalini
awakening.Muchoftheproblemstemsfromthedifficultyofcomparingdifferentstages
whenmanyprocessesarehappeningconcurrently.Individualdifferencescomplicatethe
picture.Butitwouldbepossibletoclarifythingsbyrememberingthetheoreticaldefinition
kundaliniactionasapurificatoryprocess.Iftheimpuritiesorimbalanceshaveanyobjective
reality,itshouldbepossibletodemonstratethemwithphysiologicalandpsychological
tests,andtocorrelatetheirremovalwithspecificsignsandsymptomsobservedclinically.
Sincewenowknowthattheprocessmaybetriggered(seeAppendixA),andhowitmaybe
recognizedinitsinitialstages,longtermcasestudies,coveringtheentirecourseofthe
process,arealogicalnextstepintheseinvestigations.Theywouldbeableinvaluablein
documentingspecificobjectivewaysinwhichthekundaliniprocessisbeneficial.

DIAGNOSTICCONSIDERATIONS
Ourresultsindicateacleardistinctionbetweenthephysiokundalinicomplexandpsychosis,
andprovideanumberofcriteriafordistinguishingbetweenthesetwostates.Wehave
seen,insomeofourcases,thataschizophreniclikeconditioncanresultwhen
56

thepersonundergoingthekundaliniexperiencereceivesnegativefeedbackeitherfrom
socialpressureorfromtheresistancesofhisorherownearlierconditioning.

Evidencethatthesestatesaredistinctandseparatecomesfromtwoofourcases,the
womanartistandanotherwedidnotdiscuss,whobecame"psychotic"afterbeingconfined
toamentalinstitutionforinappropriatebehavior.Eachofthemreportedthatduringthe
theirstayintheirrespectivementalinstitutionstheywerequitesurethatthey(andseveral
oftheotherpatients)couldtellwhichoftheirnumberwere"crazy"andwhichofthemwere
just"faroutandturnedon".Possiblythisisasituationwhere"ittakesonetoknowone",
andapersonwhoseownkundalinihasbeenawakenedcanintuitivelysensethekundalini
stateofanother.Thisisofspecialinterest,asitmaypointtoauseofsuchpeoplein
assistingtodecidewhichwaythebalanceliesbetweenthetwoprocessesinanyparticular
patient(seeAppendixB).
Cliniciansusuallyhaveafinelytunedsenseofwhatispsychotic.Mainly,itisthissensefor
thesmellofpsychosisthattellsusifthepatientsareunbalancedinthisway,orareinstead
inundatedwithmorepositivepsychicforces.Also,thereisafeelingforwhethertheyare

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dangeroustothemselvesandothers.Personsintheearlyphasesofkundaliniawakening,if
hostileorangry,are,inourexperience,rarelyinclinedtoactout.
Also,thoseinwhomthekundalinielementspredominateareusuallymuchmoreobjective
aboutthemselves,andhaveaninterestinsharingwhatisgoingoninthem.Thoseonthe
psychoticsidetendtobeveryoblique,secretiveandtotallypreoccupiedwithruminations
aboutsomevaguebutsignificantsubjectiveaspectoftheirexperiencewhichtheycannever
quitecommunicatetoothers.
WithourownresultsandBentov'smodel,wehaveseveralmoredistinguishingfeatures.
Sensationsofheatarecommoninthesehighstates,butarerareinpsychosis.Alsovery
typicalarefeelingsofvibrationsorflutterings,tinglingsanditchingsthatmoveindefinite
patternsoverthebody,usuallyinthesequencedescribed
57

earlier.Butthesepatternsmaybeirregularinatypicalcasesorinthosewhohave
preconceivedideasofhowtheenergiesshouldcirculate.Withallthis,brightlightsmaybe
seeninternally.Theremaybepains,especiallyinthehead,whichsuddenlyariseorcease
duringcriticalphasesintheprocess.Unusualbreathingpatternsarecommon,aswellas
otherspontaneousmovementsofthebody.Noisessuchaschirpingandwhistlingsounds
areheard,butseldomdovoicesintrudeinanegativewayasinpsychosis.Whenvoicesare
heard,theyareperceivedtocomefromwithinandarenotmistakeforouterrealities.

RECOMMENDATIONSANDFURTHERDISCUSSION
Ourresultssupporttheviewthatthisforceispositiveandcreative.Eachoneofourown
casesisnowsuccessfulonhisorherownterms.Theyallreportthattheyhandlestress
moreeasily,andaremorefulfilledthaneverbeforeinrelationshipswithothers.The
classicalcasesindicatethatspecialpowers,aswellasdeepinnerpeace,mayresultfrom
culminationofthefullkundaliniprocess.Butintheinitialstages,stressoftheexperience
itself,coupledwithanegativeattitudefromoneselforothers,maybeoverwhelmingand
causesevereimbalance.
Experiencesuggestsanapproachofunderstanding,strength,andgentlesupport.The
spontaneoustrances,whichdisturbedourcaseofthewriter,ceasedwhenweencouraged
himtoenteratrancestatevoluntarily.Byrecognizingadistinctionbetweenpsychoticand
psychicallyactive,wehadcommunicatedtohimanattitudethatthetranceswerevalidand
meaningful.Becauseofourownacceptanceofthecondition,thepatientalsowasableto
acceptit.Thetrancesthemselvesceasedtocontrolhimassoonashegaveuphisown
resistancetothemandtheforcesbehindthem.Similarly,thepsychologisthadsevere
headaches,butthesestoppedassoonassheceasedtryingtocontroltheprocessand
simplywentwithit.
58

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Thepain,inotherwords,resultednotfromtheprocessitselfbutfromherresistancetoit.
Wesuspectthisistrueofallthenegativeeffectsofthephysiokundaliniprocess.

Symptoms,whencausedbythisprocess,willdisappearspontaneouslyintime.Becauseitis
essentiallyapurificatoryorbalancingprocess,andeachpersonhasonlyafiniteamountof
inpuritiesofthesortremovedbykundalini,theprocessisselflimiting.Disturbancesseen
arethereforenotpathological,butrathertherapeutic,constitutingaremovalofpotentially
pathologicalelements.Thekundaliniforcearisesspontaneouslyfromdeepwithinthemind,
andisapparentlyselfdirecting.Tensionandimbalancethusresult,notfromtheprocess
itself,butfromconsciousorsubconsciousinterferencewithit.Helpingthepersonto
understandandacceptwhatishappeningtohimortohermaybethebestthatwecando.
Usuallytheprocess,lefttoitself,willfinditsownnaturalpaceandbalance.Butifithas
alreadybecometoorapidandviolent,ourexperiencesuggestsitmaybeadvisabletotake
stepssuchasheavierdiet,suspensionofmeditations,andvigorousphysicalactivity,to
moderateitscourse.
Thepeople,inwhomthephysiokundaliniprocessismosteasilyactivated,andinwhomitis
mostlikelytobeviolentanddisturbing,arethosewithespeciallysensitivenervoussystems
thenaturalpsychics.Manyofourcaseshadsomepsychicexperiencepriortotheir
awakening.Naturalpsychicsoftenfindthephysiokundaliniexperiencesointensethatthey
willnotengageintheregularclassicalmeditationmethodsthatusuallyfurtherthekundalini
process;instead,theyeitherrefrainfrommeditationoradoptsomemildformoftheirown
devising.Butmuchoftheiranxietymaybeduetomisunderstandingandignoranceofthe
physiokundaliniprocess.Ratherthanincreasingtheirfear,weshouldbegivingthemthe
knowledgeandconfidencetoallowtheprocesstoprogressatthemaximumcomfortable,
naturalrate.
59

Muchcouldbeaccomplishedbychangingattitudes,firstaroundpeopleexperiencingthe
kundalini,butultimatelyinsocietyasawhole.Thisisnotjustfortheperson'sbenefit,but
forallofuswhoneedmodelsinourownspiritualsearch.Someotherculturesaremore
advancedthanourownintermsoftheirrecognitionofthepositivevalueofspirituallyor
psychicallydevelopedpeople.
ThetrancestateinBaliservesanimportantadaptivefunctionforthechildren.Inpartsof
Africa,tranceisasocialandreligiousnecessity,requiredforkundaliniarousal(Katz1973).
InSouthAfrica,astate,whichWesternpsychiatrywouldprobablycallanacute
schizophrenicbreak,isaprerequisiteforinitiationintothepriesthoodbyoneKalaharitribe
(Skutch1974).
Herewemustspeakofthemanycreativepeoplewhoarenowsufferingbecauseof
mistakesthatweinthehealingprofessionshavemadeinthepast.Wehaveaspecial

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obligationtomakeeveryefforttocorrectthosemistakes.Atthistimeinoursocietyitcould
thatsuchcharismaticandstrangelyactingpeopleasShamans,trancemediums,andMasts
(theGodintoxicated)mightfindthemselvesincustodialcare.Possiblytherearemanynow
sosituatedwhocouldbefoundandreleasedtomorepositiveusesamongus.Theproblem
istorecognizethemamongtheotherinmatesofourinstitutions.HereMeherBaba'swork
withMasts(Donkin,1948)wouldbeausefulprecedenttostudy(seeAppendixB).Ifitis
truethat,toacertainextent,ittakesonetoknowone,aspecialandinvaluableusefor
peoplewhohavealreadyexperiencedthephysiokundiliniprocesswouldbetoassistusin
suchaproject.
Therearemanyundergoingthisprocesswhoattimesfeelquiteinsane.Whentheybehave
wellandkeepsilenttheymayavoidbecalledschizophrenic,orbeinghospitalized,or
sedated.Neverthelesstheirisolationandsenseofseparationfromothersmaycausethem
muchsuffering.Wemustreachsuchpeople,theirfamilies,andsociety,withinformationto
helpthemrecognizetheirconditionasablessing,notacurse.
60

Certainlywemustnolongersubjectpeople,whomightbeifthemidstofthisrebirth
process,todrugsorshocktherapies,approacheswhichareatoppositepolestocreative
selfdevelopment.
Thesepeoplethoughconfused,fearful,anddisoriented,arealreadyundergoingatherapy
fromwithin,farsuperiortoanythatweyetknowhowtoadministerfromwithout.

KUNDALINIASTHERAPY
Iamnowincontactwithseveralpeopleofspecialinterestasexamplesofthekundalinias
therapyfromwithin.
A54yearoldmalepsychologistwriterwashospitalizedforthreemonthstwentyyearsago
withapsychoticbreak,characterizedbydisturbancesinjudgement,flightofideas,
grandiosity,andoveractivity.Afterthisepisodehesufferedfromachronicmilddepression
andhadbeensomewhatunstable.Nevertheless,hemadehislivingasatherapist,
occasionallybeingveryeffective,butconstantlybecominginvolvedincountertransference
problems(overinvolvementwithhisclients).Atothertimeshewasunabletoprovidefor
himselfadequately.
Abouttwoyearsago,hebecameadiscipleofMuktananda,ayogimaster.Hefoundhisstay
attheashram,andthecontactwithotherdevoteesandtheGuru,tobeaverypowerful
therapy.Signsofkundaliniawakeningbeganearlyinhisstaythere,andledto,oratleast
wasaccompaniedby,aprodigiousincreaseinproductivityinhiswriting,newdepthsof
interpersonalsatisfactions,andamoresuregrasponhislife.Isawhimfrequently,before
andduringthisimportantperiod,andcanattesttothedramaticstrengtheningofhiswhole
personalitystructure,character,andwaysofdealingwithhisinnerandouterworlds.

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ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

A44yearoldwomanpsychologisthadbeenseverelydepressedformanyyearsandinthe
lastelevenyearsshemadetwoserioussuicideattemptsbyoverdosingonsleepingpills.She
remainedin
61

comaforseveraldaysfollowingeachoftheseepisodes.Heronlyextendedhospitalization
forherdepressionfollowedthebirthofherfirstchildin1956,priortothesuicideattempts.
Foryearssheheldaresponsiblepositionasanadministratorandwasasuccessful
psychotherapist.Duringthistimesheherselfwasundergoingpsychotherapy,includinga
classicalpsychoanalysis.

Thereisahistoryofsuicideinherfamily,includingthesuicidedeathofhergrandfather.In
1972,heroldestdaughter,whowassixteen,killedherself.Withinafewmonths,this
womanattendedameditationretreatwhereshespentmanyhourseachdayinmeditation.
Withinashorttime,shebegantohavespontaneouskundaliniexperiences.Sheisnowalso
adiscipleofSwamiMuktanandaandisplanninganextendedstayathisashraminIndia.
Ihaveknownhersince1973.Duringthefirstyearofouracquaintanceshewassomewhat
withdrawnandreserved.Inthepasttwoyears,shehastrulyblossomedintoasecure,
intact,funlovingperson.Shetellsmethatshehasnotknownadayofdepressioninthe
pasttwoyears.Myobservationsconfirmthisselfappraisal.
Irecallfourotherpsychics,eachofwhomhadsomesortofconvulsivedisorderdiagnosed
andtreatedbycompetentphysicians.Ineachofthesepersonstherewasmarkedreliefin
symptomsandtheirneedforanticonvulsivedrugs,afterfindingandusingtheirpsychic
talents.Someothercreativepursuitmighthavebeenequallyfreeing.Thesefourchoseto
becomeprofessionalpsychics,andalthoughnoclaimismadeonthisevidenceforacausal
relationshipbetweentheirnewenergyinvestmentandtheameliorationoftheirsymptoms,
itissuggestive.Ifeelquitecertainthatatthehigherleveloffunctioningthatmayopenup
topersonswhoembarkonthekundalinipath,thereeventuallywillbemanyfruitssuchas
betterhealthandemotionalbalance.
Ontheotherhand,thekundaliniprocessisdisruptiveandthepersonundergoingitfeelsits
farreachingphysicalandpsychologicaleffects.Ifthepersonisalone,heorshewillsuffer
doubtsand
62

fearsthatcouldeasilybehandledinasupportiveAshramatmosphere,wherethese
disturbingeventsareacceptedandevenwelcomed.
Withoutsuchasetting,thosewhoexperiencethisforcemayreactinanumberofways.If
theyarenaive,theymayinterpretitasaninnerchangesoprofoundandupsettingtobe
convincedthattheyareloosingtheirsanity.Thisisessentiallywhathappenedinourfirst
andthirdcases,thewomanartistandtheactress.Alsoourtwelfthcase,themiddleaged

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ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

housewife,sufferedthesedoubts,butdealtwithherturmoilbybecominginflatedand
grandiose.
Thewomanpsychologisthandledherinnerdisruptionbybecomingpartofvariousgroups,
withmoreorlessunderstandingofwhatshewasenduring,andbyfindingsupportive
teachersortherapists.Itwasnecessaryforhertoprovidetheseaidsforayearormore
beforecontinuingonherown.Thescientist,whoseunderstandingwasevenmoreadequate
andwhosesituationwasquitenourishing,wasabletofunctionbysimplycuttingdownon
theintensityofhismeditations.
Itshouldnowbeclearthatphysiciansarewelladvisedtobealertforsymptompatterns
suggestiveofkundaliniarising.Thephysicianshouldinquireabouthisorhermeditation
practice,butrealizethatitisnotanecessaryprerequisitetokundaliniawakening.In
additiontopsychotherapy,ifindicated,werecommendthatpersonssuspectedofkundalini
problemsbeurgedtoseesomeonewithkundaliniexperience,aswell.
Theselectionofthishelpingpersonmaybemostdifficult.Unlessthephysicianis
experiencedandhasexploredtheavailableresources,thephysicianmaybeunabletodo
morethanrecommendthatthepatientseeksuchaperson.Thefinalchoicecanbebest
madebytheperson.
ZenorTranscendentalMeditationsupervisedbyacompetentteacher,orspontaneous
awakeningbythedirectinfluenceofanenlightenedGuru,suchasMuktananda,are
methodswithwhichwe
63

areacquainted.Theremaybeotherresourcesthatareequalorsuperiortothese,butwhich
wehavenotexperienced.
Weespeciallywanttocautionthat,methodsdesignedspecificallytohastenkundalini
arousal,suchastheyogicbreathcontrolexercisesknownaspranayama,shouldbe
consideredhazardous,unlesspracticeddirectlyundertheguidanceofateacher,orGuru,
whoisfullyrealized.Advancedyogissaythatthesetechniquesarepracticedmainlyby
thosepeople,whomayhaveheardaboutthespecialyogicbreathingpatterns,without
realizingthatthesepatternsoccurspontaneously,throughnaturalkundaliniarousalasseen
inourowncases.Deliberatepracticeofthesemethods,byforcingthekundalini,maycause
prematureandimbalancedreleaseoftitanicinnerforces.Ontheotherhand,these
profoundchangescanreadilybeenlistedinaselfhealingprocessasseenintheselastthree
cases.
Neurologistswithdiagnosticproblemsthatmimicpathalogicconditionsmaygainvaluable
diagnosticcluesbyreviewingthepatientsmeditationhistory,andsoavoidaltogether,or
delay,harshdiagnosticprocedures.
Psychotherapistsdealingwithhystericaloverlays,orpsychoticreactionstokundalini
awakening,areremindedthatunderneaththeneurosis,orpsychosis,aprocessisoccurring

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ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

thatisfarbeyondourordinaryunderstandingofpsychopathologyandecstaticreligious
states,thatWilliamJames(1929)andothersdescribe.

SUMMARY
Anewclinicalentity,therebirthprocess,isdefinedanddocumented.Itisadynamic,self
directed,selflimitedprocessofmentalandphysiologicalpurfication,leadingtoahealthier
andmoredevelopedstatethanwhatweusuallyconsidernormal.Ithasmanycharacteristic
featureswhichmaybeobjectivelydemonstrated.Acrossculturalsurveyrevealsthatthis
processisessentiallysimilarinawidevarietyofspiritualtraditions.Althoughitwasrarein
theWestasrecentlyasafewdecadesago,itnowappearswithincreasingfrequency.
64

Individualswhoexperiencethistransformationanddonotunderstandwhatishappening
sometimesfeeltheyaregoinginsane.Thisisbecausetheearlystagesareoftenmarkedby
greatstress,confusion,disorientation,andschizophreniclikesymptoms.Tragicallyinthese
cases,clinicianshaveoccasonallymistakentherebirthprocessforacuteschizophrenia.
Someofthesepatientshavebeensenttosituationsdestructivetotheirdevelopment,
resultinginagreatloss,notonlytothemselves,butalsotothesocietywhichcouldhave
benefitedsomuchfromtheirgreatcreativepotential.

AphysiokundalinimodelfortherebirthprocessrecentlyproposedbyItzhakBentov
(AppendixA)isevaluatedinthelightofourresults.Hismodelisbasedonevidencethat
meditationleadstoprogressiveentrainmentoffiveserieslinkedharmonicoscillatorswithin
thebody,beginningwiththeheartaortalrhythmandendingwithcircularelectriccurrents,
andtheirattendantmagneticfieldsgeneratedwithinthebrain.Hepostulatesthattheso
calledkundalinieffectsaretheresultofdirectactionofthesevariousoscillatorsuponthe
brain.Hisworkisimportantinthatitproposesthefirstphysiologicalkundalinimodelbased
onlaboratorymeasurementsandsubjecttoexperimentalverification.
AsecondappendixdescribestheMastsorGodintoxicatedonesofIndia,suggestingthat
kundaliniarousalcouldsooncreatesimilargreatbeingsintheWest.Athirdappendix
discussesthenatureofintuitivesensitivityinthehumanorganism.Weshowthatthe
painfulanddifficultrebirthprocessisnecessaryonlybecausethenaturalgrowthofthis
innateabilityisunnaturallycurtailedbytheemotionalstressesofmechanisticculture
imposeduponourchildren,causingthemtoloosethismostpreciousgeneticbirthright.
Twofurtherappendicesareintendedasguidesforresearchersandtherapists.
Inthisbook,onthebasisofourownclinicalexperience,weoffermanycriteriafor
recognizingtherebirthprocessanddistinguishingitfrompsychosis,evenwhenthesetwo
conditionshavetemporarilymerged.
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Thecomplex,whichwedesignatethephysiokundalinicomplex,typicallybeginswithan
energysensationwhichascendsfromthelegstothetrunkandback,andoverthehead,
thendescendstothethroat,andthentotheterminationintheabdomen.Accompanying
thisprogression,whichmaylastfromweekstoseveralyears,adiversityofsignsand
symptoms.Thesevarywiththeindividual,butoftenincludeheat,pains,spontaneousbody
movements,unusualbreathingpatterns,andsensingofinnerlightsandsounds.These
symptomsarenotcontinuouslypresent,butusuallyoccurduringmeditationsortimesof
rest,andceasewhentheprocessiscompleted.

Thecourseofthisdevelopmentisencouragedbyregularmeditationsundercompetent
guidance,butitmaybeseverelydistortedifforcedbymorepowerfulmethods.Fearand
resistancetotheprocessalsoaremajorcausesofnegativereactions.Incaseswherethe
processhasalreadybecomedisruptive,areturntobalancecanusuallybebroughtaboutby
rationalexplanations,apositiveattitude,andemotionalsupport.
Thecomplexcloselyresemblesthestateofkundaliniawakeningdescribedinschoolsof
yoga.Becausetheyogickundalinistatedealswithspecificbodypartsandprocesses,itlends
itselfnaturallytophysiologicalinterpretationandiswellsuitedtoaccountforobjective
patternsobservedclinically.However,differencesfromthetraditionalkundaliniconcept
leadustoproposethetermphysiokundalinitodescribeourownfindings.

EPILOGUE
Inthelaboratoriesofscienceitissomethingofatruismthatmanyexperimentswithsubtle,
surprising,andunexplainedoutcomesremainunpublishedwhilethebalance,whichsupport
particularhypotheses,getprinted.Notmentionedinthebodyofthisbookaretheresults
wegotinH.Motoyama'slaboratoryinJapanthatshowedamplitudedifferencesinthe
body'smicromotions
66

ontherightandleftsidesofthehead.Themotionontheleftwasfiftypercentgreater.
Shortlyafterwenotedthisfinding,anotherremarkableeventoccurred;asthesubjectwent
deepintomeditationtheserightleftdifferencesbecamenearlyequal.
InordinaryconsciousnesstheEEGamplitudeatonesideofthebrainisgreaterthanthatat
theother.Withfeedbackandpatienceapersoncanbalancethesedifferences,andatthat
pointheorshefeelsprofoundpeaceandtranquility.Perhapsourfindingisaphysical
counterpartofthispsychologicalevent.
J.Millay(1976)statedthatsubjectivereportsofpeacefulness,centeredness,andlightwere
commonamongagroupofstudentwhoachieved7to13HzEEGphasecoherence
betweenrightandleftbrainhemispheres,usingbiofeedbacktechniques.

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Anotherconfirmationofthelinkbetweenmentalstatesandbodyphysiologyisseeninthe
workofManfredClynes(Jonas,1972).Hehasshownthatanemotioncanberecordedbya
simpletransducersensitivetolateralandverticalpressure.Clyneshashissubjectfantasize
theemotionandpressonthetransducersimultaneously.Thiscreatesacharacteristic
signatureorwaveformforeachemotion.
BrodyandAxelradnotedin1971thatfetalresponsestheystudiedhadpattern,direction,
andeffect.Later,CondonandSandersfoundthattheapparentrandommovementsof
infantscoordinatedwithspeechsoundstheyheard.Pearce(1975),insummarizingtheir
work,said,"...asadults,eachofushasjustsucharepertoireofmicromuscularmovements
coordinatingwithouruseofandreceptiontospeech."Thesestudiesarefurtherevidence
folasensorymotorlinksimilartothosewementionedhere.
Weandothershaveattemptedtomeasurephysiologicalcorrelatesofmeditators'reported
sensationsofheat,light,andsound.Asnotedinthecasehistoriesofmeditatorsundergoing
thekundaliniawakeningprocess,wedidobservetemperaturechangesinonecase.Such
changescouldbemadevisibleonrecentlydevelopedmedicilthermographicequipment,
withouttheneedforattachingtemperaturetransducerstomeditators'bodies.Other
experimenters,par
67

ticularlyR.Dobrin(1975)havedescribedtheuseofsensitivephotomultipliertubesto
detectlowintensityultravioletlightfromthebodiesofexperimentalsubjects,butlittle
attentionhassofarbeengiventocorrelatingsuchmeasurementswithmeditative
processes.Ourattemptstomeasurephysiologicalcorrelatesofmeditators'sound
sensationswereunsuccessful.Furtherworkalongalltheselines,usingimprovedequipment
andexperimentalprocedures,maybeofgreatinterestinshowingtheextenttowhichthere
isanobjectivebasisforthesubjectivereportsofmeditators.
Wedidaninterestingexperimentwhichhasnot,toourknowledge,beenconfirmedor
replicatedusingH.Motoyama'selectricfieldsensor,or"chakrameasuringdevice".When
thesubjectsatquietlyinthismachine,wecouldobservetheusualEEGwaveform.Aftera
fewminutesofdeepmeditation,probablyatthepointwherehefeelshehastranscended,
theresuddenlyappearedadiminutionofthesesignals,andacorrespondingincreasein
amplitudeinahigherfrequencyband,onewhichourexperimentershadnotbeenequipped
todetect.Tooursurprise,thisnewwaveformwasinthefrequencyrangeof350to500Hz,
muchhigherthanthe0to50HzfrequencyrangeofanormalEEGwaveform.Thesehigher
frequencyEEGsignalscouldbeaneasilymeasuredphysiologicalindicatorofcertain
meditativestatesandoutofthebodyexperiences,orbilocationofconsciousness.Ifso,a
subjectfullofmysteryandfascinationforcenturiesnowbecomesanewfrontierfor
researchers.
AlaboratoryinMassachusetts,andtwoinCalifornia(SantaRosaandSanFrancisco),with
whichtheauthorisassociated,aretestingmeditators,usingmethodsdescribedinthis

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book,andothersmorerecentlydeveloped,togiveimmediateaudiblefeedbacktoshowa
meditatorwhenhisorherbodyreachesastateofresonantoscillation.
68

Furtherstepsinourresearchprogrammayincludelowlevelmagnetoencephalographtests
ofbothmeditatorsandnonmeditators,inaspecialshieldedenclosure,andotherphysical
measurementsandcollectionofclinicalobservations,toextendourunderstandingofthe
physiokundaliniprocess.
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INDEX
Africa,14,65
Agpaoa,T.,17
Andrade,H.,17
anxiety,29,35,36,47,48,59,100

chakras,52,53,55,68,71,83
Clynes,M.,67
consciousness,211,25,3537,50,6872
witnessconsciousness,27,48
convulsivedisorders,16,62

Arica,19
automaticwriting,30
balancing,purifying,1,11,43,48,56,58

Courtois,F.,2224,49
curandero,35,60
death,15,22

Bali,60
Bentov,I.,4,1013,37,5154,57,65,7197
Bhavan,B.,17
blocks,1113,25,4348,53,5559,71,88
bluepearl,46
body

diagnosis,seekundaliniandpsychosis
differential,57,58,65,88,96,100
signsandsymptoms,seekundalini
diet,29
DonJuan,35
Donkin,W.,60,96

distortions,26,31
dreams,25,26,33,35,100
micromovements,66,7374,103
movements,1621,2629,7178
drugs,23,61,68,70
positions,16,19,28,39,45,46
sensations(seekundalini,signsandsymptoms)
psychedelic,7,89
sensitivity,9799(seealsogenetic,psychic)
Boehme,J.,50

emotion,seetypes
energy,1821,2531,36,42,66,71,83

brain
balance,38,42,67,81,84,85,87
currents,27,5254,65,7273,8186,92
dominance,37,38,54
EEG,67,68,84,85,98

causingpsychiceffects,18,29,33
eye,26,42,48,88
singleseeing,21,23,24,26,49,53

breath,14,1928,4055,64,66,7377,88,103 exorcism,18

53

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

Brenner,D.,54

fasting,1718,29,99

Bucke,R.,24,4647

fear,1466,100

Buddha,G.,19,30

feedback,50,54,57,67,68,71,77

Campbell,J.,21

fire,spontaneous,1718

Castaneda,C.,35

GangesRiver,52

109

geneticornatural,43,51,59,65,98
genius,6,31
Gospels,49
15,31

resistanceto,seeblockssignsandsymptoms,4,10,
1422,4454,102103
suddenorspontaneous,1442,62,64,75,89
(as)therapy,33,4142,56,5859,6164
triggeringof,22,51,56,7172,89
KundaliniResearchFoundation,7!Kung,1415

GreatBody,19,22,50,53
Greeley,A.,2
Greene,A.,50

light,1867,101102
Luk,C.,18
magneticstimulation,37,41,54,8687

headaches(alsoheadpressures),16
inapsychic,41
58,8788
healing,14,17,25,3538
heatorburning,1,1425,2836,40
46,5257,66,67
andvibrations,19
Hillman,J.,24
hysteria,16,46,48,64,88,101
Icelandicdisease,100
impurities,seeblocks

Maharshi,R.,30
Manning,M.,29
Masts,5,60,65,96
MeherBaba,5,60,96
meditation,766,7188
artificial,81
lockedin,39,89
spontaneous,39,84
Millay,J.,67

insanefeelings,21,28,32,48,60,63,
Morris,F.,17
65

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James,W.,9,24,64

Motoyama,H.,66,68

Jesus,30,50

Muktananda,Swami,13,2021,41,

Jonas,G.,67

48,55,61,62,63

Jung,C.G.,6,7,9,33,35,40,4950

myelogram,3839

Kalahari,14,60

Narayanananda,20

Katz,R.,1415

neurologicalevolutionordevelopment,4,6,73,86,
9192,96

Korean,19
Nikkhilananda,20
Krishna,G.,2,4,67,20,21
n'um,1415
kundalini
orgasm,seesex
arisingorawakeningof,4,6,912,
Osiris,25,37,49
5164,71,83
arrest,33,40
outofbody,50,51,54,68
asanimpersonalforce,6,7
classical,49,1120,5556,71
pain,1866,87,100
complicationsof,22
dangersof,1464,86
paralysis,3940,46,51,87paresthesias,83,87,100,
definition,4,6,7,11,71,87
101
lowerandhigherbodies,30
medicalintervention,23,38,89
modificationof,28,30,34,5859,63,
66,89
physicalmaturityand,3031
110

Penfield,W.,53
Pearce,J.,67,98
Pierrakos,J.,68
poltergeist,17,30
prana,18,45
psychiatrists,clinicians,2141,60

55

sex,26,27,28,46
shaman,seecurandero
shocktherapy,61
Skutch,J.,60
sleep,2832,36,37,43
smells,21

ReprintedforKundaliniAwakeningSystems1

64,96,100

sounds,167,7981,88,102

psychic,243

spritual,2,3,4,6,10,20

psychokinesis,18,30

stigmata,33,41

psychology,7

stress,11,38,39,58,65,7199Sufi,17,48

psychosis,110,21,39,5657,64

suicide,8,23,6162

depressionormania,23,6162,98, Sushumna,20
100
schizophrenia,28,32,48,56,60,65, Suso,H.,9
8999
Taoist,18,19
purification,seebalancing
taste,21,22
Ramakrishna,20
therapy,seekundalini(as)therapyTherese,Saint,16
rebirth,17,11,15,63,64,97
thermography,67
research,3,4,8
throat,13,19,2229,34,42,52,84,88
resistance,seeblocks
Tibetan,24
Rohrbach,P.,16
toe,20,25,52,83
Roueche,B.,100101
rightvs.left,27,39,42,87
Samadhi,20
trance,35,48,58,60
Satori,14,22,96
transcendental,14,15,21,68
saint,16,17
meditation,25,27,35,38,63
Schumann,W.0.,90
Treffert,Dr.,8
science,2,3,27,63,66
types,8
seeing,seeeye
unconscious,7,98
sensorymotorcortexsyndrome,87
Uroboros,19
88
sensitivity,9799,seealsobodyand Vagshwari,52
genius
Vedas,1

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Selye,H.,88

vibrations,19,25,32,57,7679,101,102

Seo,K.,19

violence,8,16,18

sex,26,27,28,46

visionaryvs.kundalinistates,24,30visions,9,16,19,
21,23,27,36,

shaman,seecurandero
46,53,62
shocktherapy,61
voices,seesounds
Skutch,J.,60
will,37
sleep,2832,36,37,43
smells,21
sounds,167,7981,88,102
spritual,2,3,4,6,10,20
111

Yasutani,Roshi,23
witnessconsciousness,seeconsciousness
yoga,211,202415255
Wotan,4950
hatha,11,28
YinShihTsu,1819
Zen,19,2224,34,36,63,112
112

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APPENDIXA

MICROMOTIONOFTHEBODYASAFACTORINTHE
DEVELOPMENTOFTHENERVOUSSYSTEM
ItzhakBentov
241GlezenLane,Wayland,MA01778
[AppendixAisintheprocessofbeingeditedforonlinepublication.]

APPENDIXB

MASTS:THEGODINTOXICATEDONES
MastsisthenameusedbyMeherBabatoreferto"Godintoxicated"people,"mutants"
towardsaprimallinkwiththeDevine.Theyseemtoariseintimesofstresstofulfillcertain
vitalfunctionsforthebenefitofhumankind.
Becauseofthestrangenessoftheirbehaviortheymayeasilybemistakenforpsychotics.
However,theirconditionmaybedistinguishedfromschizophrenia,bytheircompelling
attractivenesstotheordinaryfolkwhogatheraroundtoserveandbenearthem,anda
recognitionofthemassaintsbytheirfollowers.Theyhaveanobviouslackofinterestin
dealingwithordinarylifesituations,theirownphysicalneeds,emotionalrelationships,or
evenintellectualfunctioningintheordinarysense.MeherBabaworkedwithbothMasts
andpsychotics,anddistinguishedbetweenthetwo.Hemadenoefforttocurethem.His
laborswiththemwereneverdefinedbyhimandmustremainobscure.
TheMastsseemtoappearonlywithinasolidreligioustradition.ItwasbelievedbyDonkin,
thephysicianwhostudiedandaccompaniedMeherBabaforyears,thattheyservedas
pointsforintervention,forcesinthemselves,aroundwhich,andthroughwhom,other
spiritualinfluencescouldworktoservehumanity.Theirpowerseemedtohimmore
autonomousandprimalthanthatofthemind,heart,orspiritofotherHolypersons.
Suchsaintlyoneshavenot,toourknowledge,appearedyetintheWest.However,withthe
strengtheningofallsortsofreligioustendenciesherenow,andtheworseningworldcrisis,
theycouldbegintoappearhere.
Therebirthprocessofkundaliniawakeningattimesevokessimilarfeelingsandbehaviorto
thoseoftheMasts.Infact,itisjustinthiswaythatMastsmaybeborn.Ifthatdoeshappen
inthiscountry,someonewillsurelyhavethesegentlesaintsreferredtoourclinics,then
whatwillwedo?
96

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APPENDIXC

SENSITIVITYINTHEHUMANORGANISM
Thebasisforallcreativityissensitivityofthephysicalorganism.Thisisdevelopedona
regularscheduleofunfolding,frominfancytoadulthood,ifnothingnegativeintervenesto
stopit.Induetime,asweleavetheshelteringenvironmentofourearlyhomelife,this
growingsensitivitybringsusintunewiththegreatworldoutside.Ideallywealsocontact
ourowninnerrealityandprocessessoourresponsivenessbecomesselfaware,notonly
intuitivelytunedin,butalsosolidlyrootedinmatureunderstanding.
Theconceptualorientationshouldproperlybealateraddition,butneverasubstitute,for
instinctivewaysofbeingintouchwiththeworldaroundus.Theintuitiveharmonyisour
naturalanimalheritage.Itcanbeseenintheremarkableabilityofdogsandhorsestosense
theneedsorwhereaboutsoftheirtrainerswhenthelatterarefardistant.Manyanimalsare
nowknowntoprepareinadvanceforfloods,earthquakes,andothernaturaldisasters,
whichcommonlycatchpeopletodaybysurprise.InAppendixA,Bentovhassuggestedthat
magneticfieldsaroundthehead,generatedbytheeffectsofkundalini,couldenablea
humanbeingtoorienthimselforherselftoplanetaryandsolarelectromagneticfluctuations
inawaysimilartothatachievednowbypigeonsandothermigratorybirds.
Inourstudieswehaveobservedthedevelopmentoftheseintuitivepowersasadifficultand
painfulrebirthoccurringlaterinlife,andeventhenonlyinrareindividuals.Butincertain
primitivetribessuchasthebushmenandaboriginestheseabilitiesdevelopeasilyand
naturallyfromchildhoodonwards.WhyshouldpeopleintheWestneedtwobirthstoclaim
thisnaturalbirthright?Thissuggeststhattheintuitivemechanismmustberebornbecauseit
hasinthemeantime"died"or,toputitbluntly,ithasbeenkilled.
97

Ratherthangeneticinheritancealonebeingnecessaryforthedevelopmentofthis
sensitivity,negativeenvironmentalfactorsmustalsobeavoidedordealtwithtopreserve
andenhancethisprocess.IntheWest,factorsencounteredbeforebirthandcontinuously
thereafter,acttocurtailthegrowthofhumanfeelings(Pearce,1976).Inthesensitive
humanorganism,withproperprotectionofthepsycheinitsearlydevelopment,the
kundalinicyclebeginseasilyandnormally.Butwithinherentweaknessespresent,and
negativefactorsintheascendency,theorganismbecomesoverwhelmed.Eachsystemand
functionprobablyhasitsownnaturaltimetobecomeactivatedandgrowatapace
determinedfromwithininordertoensuretheharmoniousdevelopmentofthewholechild.
Butourculturecutsoffthetendershootsofthedelicateplantoffeelingwiththecoldhard
sharpnessofmechanicalinsensitivity,whileontheotherhandforcefeedingfertilizerand
vitaminstothebarelysprountedseedlingofconceptualthought.Theentiresystemis
thrownoutofbalance,andharmoniousdevelopmentstops.(Pearce,1976,hassuggested
thatchildrenshouldnotbetaughttoreaduntiltheageoften).

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Insome,theresultisthebreakdowninthethoughtandfeelingprocessesknownas
schizophrenia.Inothers,physicalsymptomsanddiseaseresults.Inthemoreresistant,a
hardeningoccursandtheymaybecomedepressed.Theylosetouchwiththeirinner
emotionalworld,andshowhardeningoftheheart,becomingtoughandunresponsiveto
bothouterandinnerworlds,thenemotionallypetrifiedandsenile.
However,vestigesofthefeelingprocessaredetectableinthethetadeltaactivityofthe
brainwaveswhich,thoughnormallysubduedinthewakingstate,areseenincertainsleep
stages.Thusthisonemanifestationoffeelingorintuitiveactivitycanbecurtailedinour
consciousself,butneverextinguishedinthesubconscious.
Ifdeathofthefeelingmechanismisbroughtaboutinpartbythestressofemotional
insensitivityandtooearlyconceptualizationontheyoungchildbyamechanized
environment,whatthenbringsaboutitsrebirthinlaterlife?
98

Onewaytoincreasetheresponsivenessofthefivesensesisbyfasting.Thiscausesa
predictableincreaseinthesensesoftouch,smell,taste,hearing,andvision,whichoccursas
anautomaticresponseofthebiologicalmechanism.Thereisanincreasedsensitivityto
internalstimuli,aswellastotheworldoutside.Thisisshownbythegreaterincidenceof
seeingvisionsandorhearinginternalvoicesthatoftenbecomespossible.
Fastinginthenormalorschizophrenicstateaddsstresstotheorganism.Thisinnercrisis
actssimilarlytoexternalcrisisstatestobringtheorganismbacktoitssenses.Theimpactof
realitybecomesmoretangibleandimmediate,hencemoresuccessfulinmovingthe
organismtowardsbehaviorconsonantwiththisnewviewofreality.
Stress,ingeneral,preparesthepersontoseetherealforwhatitis,andsetsthebiological
organismintoanincreasedreadiness,physicallyandmentally,tomeettheemergency
situationandsurvive.Inotherwords,itisstresslaterinlifethatisnecessarytoshockthe
organismintoareturntothefeelingself,whichwasoverwhelmedbytoogreatastress
earlyinlife.Theconceptualmechanismwasbetterablethanthestillundevelopedfeeling
mechanismtodealwiththesocialcrisisimposedininfancy,butintheendtheorganismhas
toreturntothefeelingsystemtocopewiththemorebasicneedsofabiologicalcrisisof
fasting,war,orotherlifeanddeathsituations.
Tocopewithalltypesofstressanditsresults,acomingtoknowoneself,isoneofthemore
efficientways.Sooneturnstoadiscipline,orteacher,orGuru,focusingonspiritual
development,hopefullyfromastrongpositionofstabilityandunderstanding.Mostofusdo
notturnwithintoaskforanswers,unlessforcedtodosobyafailureoftheouterworldto
satisfyandprotect.Tobecomeconsonant,resonantwithnaturewithinandwithout,isthe
goal;thattowhichwemustreturninorderto"becomeaslittlechildren".Thekundalini
forcetunesustoourcosmoswithinandtothecosmoswithoutaswell.
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APPENDIXD

FORPHYSICIANSANDNEUROLOGISTS
Thereareanumberofmedicaldisordersthatmaydevelopsomeofthesymptomsofthe
complexwehavebeendiscussing.Thesegenerallyarenoproblemforawelltrained
diagnostician.However,thetwoyoungwomenwhosawneurologistshadsymptomsthat
wereconvertedtomoreseriousmanifestationsbecauseoftheirignoranceandfear,
augmentedbysomeperplexityonthepartoftheirphysicians.Itisnotfeasibleinthisbook
todiscussthemanyneurologicaldisorderswhichcouldbeconsidered.Instead,wewilluse
oneratherobscuredisorderasamodelforthewholeclassthatdisplaysmotor,sensory,and
febrilechangeswhichmayappearinthekundalinicomplexaswell.

IcelandicDisease
Icelandicdisease(Roueche,1965)isprobablyofvirusnature,hasanacuteonset
characterizedbypainsintheneckandback,paresthesiasandhyperesthesias(extremesof
skinsensitivity),muscleweakness(asinpolio),paresis,nervousness,insomnia,lossof
memory,andterrifyingdreams.Thosestruckareusuallypersonsintheirtwentiesand
thirties.Itisneverfatal.Someofthecasesshowpaininthearmsandbackandlegs,aswell
asheadaches.Theremayalsobedeliriumduringtheday,sensationsofimbalance,and
strangefeelingsinthelegs.Otherreportedtinglingandsweatinginthehandsandfeet,
ringingintheears,andconfusion.Allthesesymptomsmaybenotedinourphysiokundalini
complexcases.
Thevictimsaremoreoftenwomenthanmen,andtheepidemicstendtostrikemembersof
isolatedorclosedcommunities.Occasionallytheemotionaloverlayoftension,anxiety,and
depressionarequitemarked.Thedisorderhasaprolongedandrelapsingcourse
100

whichmaylastforayearormore.Itisnotablethatnoneoftheareasofparesthesias
correspondedtoanyrecognizedareainnervatedbynerves.

Thespecialistsinthesecasesweresoconfusedbythisarrayofsignsandsymptomsthatthe
"bughousepossibilityactuallyoccurredtous...themoreoftheircomplaintsweheardthe
morewebegantowonderaboutafunctional(neurotic)explanation."(Roueche,1965,p.
216).
Oneofthepatientsevenexperiencedinternalvibrationsasifshewasshakingalloverinside.
Thisisacommonsymptominourcases.
Thisdisorderhasreceivedseveralnames.AmongthemostfamiliarareIcelandicdisease,
acuteinfectiveencephalomyelitis,atypicalpoliomyelitisandepidemicneuromyasthenia.I

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haveseenonecaseofthisdisorderinameditatorandthoughtseriously,foratime,that
thisyoungwomanmightbeinthethroesofthephysiokundalinicomplex.
Theonlysymptomthesecasesdonotreportthatoursdoisseeinglightinternally.However,
thesepatientswouldhavetoberequestionedtobesurethatthissymptomisactually
missing.Aphysicianwouldnomorethinkofaskingaboutsuchapossibilitythanateacherof
yogawouldconsidermeasuringthetemperatureofthereportedhotareasofhisstudents'
bodies.
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APPENDIXE

QUESTIONSFORRESEARCHPARTICIPANTS
Thefollowingquestionshavebeenformulatedasaguidetophysiciansandresearchers
exploringthepsychoticlikestatesthatmayaccompanyphysiokundaliniprocesses.Weare
particularlyinterestedindetaileddescriptionsofyourpuresensoryexperienceratherthan
interpretationsoftheseunusualevents.Thosewhowishtodosoareencouragedtosend
casehistoryinformationbasedonthesequestionstoLeeSannella,M.D.,3101Washington
Street,SanFrancisco,CA94115.
1.Doyouhearsoundssuchastones,music,hissing,roaring,thunder,drumming,orthe
soundofcymbalswhennosuchsoundsareproducedoutsideyourhead?Dothesounds
seemtocomefrominsideoroutsideyourhead?
2.Doyouhavevisualizationsorvisualhallucinations?Doyouexperiencelightinsideyour
headorbody,orseetheenvironmentasilluminatedbyotherthannormalmeans?What
colorsarethelights,howbrightarethey,andofhowlongduration?Dotheyhavea
particularform?
3.Doyousenseunusualheatorcoldinyourbodyoronyourskin?Doesitmovefromplace
toplaceorstayinonearea?Isthereanyobjectiveevidenceoftemperaturechange(canit
bemeasuredbyathermometer)?Ifso,forhowlongatatime,howoften,andhowlargeare
thesetemperaturechanges?
4.Doyouhavesensationsoftickling,tingling,vibrating,itching,crawling,pleasantor
unpleasant,withinthebodyorontheskin?Dothesemovearoundinapatternedmanner?
Arethemovementsbilaterallysymmetrical?Wheredotheystartandtowheredothey
move?Pleasenoteespeciallyiftheystartinthelegsandmovetowardtheback,neck,head,
andface,inthatorder.
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5.Aretherespontaneousinvoluntarypositioningofthelimbs,fingers,orbody?Arethere
jerky,smooth,sinuous,rhythmic,spasmodic,orviolent,involuntarybodymovements?Do
youeverinadvertentlycryout,grunt,yell,orscream?Doyoueverstareintospaceforlong
periodsoftimeorappearwildeyed?Arethereoddbreathingpatternsattimes?Ifso,do
theselastexperiencesoccurmostoftenwhenyouarealone,sittingquietly,orinbed?
103

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