Kundalini is Not Causal

Kundalini is Not Causal

In articles here I’ve discussed the role of kundalini Shakti in the awakening process. However, it’s important to understand that kundalini does not cause an awakening. An awakening takes place when Self recognizes itself through this form, when the observer observes itself and recognizes itself, here.

Generally speaking, a certain degree of dross must be cleared from the energy physiology for awakening to arise and be experienced clearly. But often much more is required after the shift to deepen the experience and develop further. To some extent the process itself creates the clearing, but often various techniques might be adopted to make this more conscious and smooth. Shakti is the feminine process, the embodiment. The smooth flow of Shakti through our energy body is indeed a key part of embodying the awakening. But first we need the awakening.

It’s also worth noting that the chakras are both individual and universal. Cleaning house means clearing all the rooms.

In the past, I’ve described the three main ways Kundalini traditions describe how it’s awakening corresponds to spiritual awakening. In some traditions, awakening is seen as happening when the kundalini shakti rises to the crown. In others, clearing of the energy nadis is seen as the preparation, with a later descent. And in others, the awakening may happen at any chakra, depending on where Shiva and Shakti come to meet.

However, all of this implies that when kundalini reaches the whatever, awakening takes place. This suggests awakening is an energetic event. This is not a valid understanding and leads to the unfortunate conclusion that if you push kundalini with techniques, you will accelerate your awakening timetable.

However, just the fact that there is all this variation points to it Not being causal. Further, I’ve noted many times here that awakening is when Self wakes up to itself in this apparent form. It is Self that is waking up, not the person, not the body, and not the kundalini. (though they all are absorbed over time) As I noted in The Three Parts of Awakening, we may confuse experiences of release or opening with the awakening. But they are not it.

In other words, kundalini rising is a possible effect of the awakening process, not the cause. For some people, they may have an intense rise experience that seems to lead to awakening. But others may not notice a thing, aside from some random release experiences here and there. Only an emotional or intellectual release may be associated with the awakening.

Kundalini Shakti is an important part of embodying the awakening in form. But it is not the cause nor should it be the focus of our spiritual journey. Our focus should be on source, on who we are within. That is what awakens.

Last Updated on November 8, 2014 by

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  1. Chris

    Hi David,

    I’ve been thinking about this post of yours for a while… I’ve also heard you mention that Kundalini is not causal in your (excellent) batgap interviews.

    I think I understand you, and feel that I experience that Kundalini is a mechanism for purification and release, helping to un-shroud true nature, or divine essence.

    You wrote in: Understanding Shakti in Awakening – Pt 3 that

    “…the kundalini process is not what drives awakening. The process itself is something much deeper that comes to the surface in our subjective experience as this or that happening here or there. Most of this is just opening and clearing, revealing what is already there. And that is the far more important part than the experiences we had in the process.”

    I have two questions!

    1. If Kundalini is not the cause of awakening, what exactly is Kundalini?

    2. When you said: “The process itself is something much deeper” what is that?

    1. Hi Chris

      Kundalini is a specific form of Shakti or subtle energy. Prana or life force is another kind. Kundalini means coiled – it is Shakti that is coiled in the root, designed to awaken and rise when the physiology is ready to support it. In a higher age, this would happen naturally in the teens or so. But we’re coming out of a lower age when for most people, it never uncoiled.

      Waking up the chakras gives us the ability to embody more subtle values of energy in daily life, including the 2nd through 5th koshas.

      Most people don’t have sensors for the kundalini process so we only notice it’s side effects as it rises and falls and clears the way. As we also notice nadis clearing in other areas of the body we don’t tend to know what indicates what. And that’s not that important unless we run into a problem with our process. Most don’t but it can happen.

      i would not say it’s a mechanism for purification but the rise does drive certain kinds of purification.

      The awakening process is Self waking up to itself. This is driven by grace aka the Divine. This tells us it’s not karmic and is driven from outside of time. We can’t know when but we can culture the ground so that when grace does happen, we’re more likely to be able to receive and sustain it.

      This also suggests why i don’t recommend some kundalini techniques. They tend to be trying to push or control the kundalini process. That has a tendency to unnecessarily make the unfolding quite a bit rougher. Stressing finer levels also reduces clarity and adds other things to heal.

      The spiritual process is one of letting go and opening. Practices that don’t favour that will not bring desired results.

  2. Chris

    Thank you David!
    That’s fascinating! – “In a higher age, this would happen naturally in the teens or so.” I read Yukteswar’s – The Holy Science years ago, and have just started Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz’s book “The Yugas”, and find it incredible! (I heard about it from your blog, and my girlfriend got it for me as a Christmas present this year!)
    In my journey with Kundalini, I had an initial rising many years ago that included an intense “merging with the light” type experience. I know Joan Harrigan says something to the effect of that being a one-time “glimpse of Brahma-Randhra” (from below it…) Anyway, 20 years later (to the day!) I had another “shift”, this time the most noticeable change was that the mind just became about 90 to 100% silent, and stayed like that. (I was shocked as I wasn’t ever much of a meditator) You said it Kundalini is “designed to awaken and rise when the physiology is ready to support it.” Looking back to about 3 years ago when this more recent shift occurred, I recall that for many months, I was drawn like mad to daily yoga, a very clean diet, daily slow walks in the park, no alcohol, scriptural study, and a period of abstinence etc. My physiology was definitely cleaner than it had ever been in my life. On reflection, and from what I know you’ve talked about, it seems like Sattva became predominant, without me trying or hoping for a “pay-off,” just an organic shift in orientation. With all the rapture that comes, I can appreciate it being grace… There’s certainly nothing I’ve “done” in this life that would make me feel like I could have “caused” or “earned” it. Thank you for your clarifying words – “it’s not karmic and is driven from outside of time.” It’s certainly been a God-send to have your book, and follow your blog to break though old concepts, and see that there’s always more ahead… Here, there has been the overriding experience of non-doership, and non-locality, plus things like breath-stoppage, years of daily rapid-fire mudras, speaking in tongues, and the witnessing of sleep among other things… Looking at some friend’s faces, they turn into balls of shimmering light, with only the eyes remaining… I’ve learned though to not put too much attention on all this kind of stuff… For a couple of years, I identified “as” everything, but somehow that dropped away… I appreciate from your writing that at a certain stage “we” go beyond experience, and existence and can then somehow grok the paradox that this never even happened! I’ve only heard that kind of thing from Jac O’Keeffe… I must say that I was thrilled to find out that you’ve met Jac!

    1. Hi Chris
      Yes, a fascinating book that reframes history.
      And yes, life organized the circumstances to create the required ground. But we only see this in retrospect.
      To make sense of it, we have to see we’re not an individual but part of a much larger whole. Also that our own history is much longer than this one lifetime.
      Right – some of that can be entertaining but giving it importance will just distract us. Many things can come and go. But it’s the larger progression that is more significant.
      Yes, I met Jac a few years ago at SAND but spent more time with her last fall around the APST launch and then in discussions around their web site, etc. Her background and approach are quire different from mine but we point to the same place.

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