Self-Remembering & Kundalini

Over the past forty years, I've witnessed the varying effects of Kundalini awakenings on many subjects. Each experience is unique — from the way Kundalini is triggered to the way the subject lives with it. Usually, the most stable experiences are those triggered by meditation. The ones caused by random events or stimuli are often temporary, and sometimes unstable, in that they come and go. However temporary or unstable, all experiences pose challenges to their subjects because of the variety of psychological, spiritual, and psychic states and conditions their subjects find themselves in as a result of a Kundalini awakening.

“You have a right to be angry, but your anger doesn’t give you any rights.”

I receive many inquiries from people who think that, once awakened, Kundalini will solve all their problems. This is as unrealistic as it is untrue, especially since most of these inquiries come from people who have not yet activated their Kundalini. Kundalini, in and of itself, changes the being, but does not necessarily hold forth the prospect of a better design for living. Neither as concerns the purpose of life or the ways and means of living it to the fullest.

Overhead Power Lines seen from train to Brighton

Looking out the window of a train is Self-Remembering Time

First of all, what does living life to the fullest mean? Is it a winning formula for material comfort? A means to spiritual transcendence? A life of contemplation and retreat? Is it a catch phrase for feelings of entitlement, that because the subject has activated Kundalini, he or she is suddenly exempt from the stress and strain of everyday existence?

In the aftermath of a Kundalini awakening, everything seems to converge at once. Yet, although you must come to terms with Kundalini in your own way, most likely, at the beginning, you will not know what to expect, you will not understand the challenges or the various effects of Kundalini. Your first challenge is to become an observer of this newly activated energy in your being, an occupation that takes time and concentration. Your mind will attempt to structure and classify, to understand what's going on, how to benefit from it, and how to control it. First of all, over time you will understand it as well as benefit from it, but you must learn to be an astute observer. Second, you can't control it, so don't try, Accept it.

As you observe the effects of Kundalini on your being, you will spend a lot of time coping with the physical and psychic changes you observe. Meanwhile, life outside your being goes on. As life outside goes on, at first you may not realize that your perspective on material life is actually changing, that the way you've seen things up to the moment of your Kundalini  awakening — your work, your relationships, your feelings, your worldview, your priorities, your cosmology — has changed. What used to be important may become less so, and things you never thought about suddenly become foremost in your mind. There is a psychic restructuring as the Kundalini prepares you for your future. You are likely to experience a number of new impulses, feelings that you could be doing more, that you should be doing more. Feelings of panic, feelings of being overcome, feelings of being possessed, feelings of being misunderstood or abandoned, feelings of isolation.

Frequently, subjects become lost in trying to elaborate some great cosmological design of existence. That's all well and good. Meanwhile, as I stated above, life goes on. You have to realize that not all impulses are meaningful, that no matter how lofty these sentiments may be, you aren't obliged to follow up on them. For reasons of character or personality, it simply may not be possible. In spite of Kundalini, you are who you are.

Master Lü-Tsu said, 'When there is a gradual success in producing the circulation of the light, a man must not give up his ordinary occupation in doing so. The ancients said, When occupations come to us, we must accept them; when things come to us, we must understand them from the ground up.’"

 ~ The Secret of the Golden Flower — Lu Yen - Richard Wilhelm, Translator

So if you find yourself wanting to heal the sick or run for Congress on an anti-nuclear platform, in spite of the fact that you've never done anything like this before, chalk it up to the over-stimulation Kundalini induces. Take your time; don't act impulsively. I'm not saying that if you have a real proclivity or talent for something new that you shouldn't pursue it, you should.

Don't try to do everything at once. It takes time to come to terms with a Kundalini condition; it takes time to learn to live with Kundalini. So take the time; don't get impatient. One of the secrets of life in the material world is self-control. Because of the on-rushing, all-at-once convergence of new energies, random impulses, and changing perspectives, you may actually become impatient and prone to lose control. Yes, in spite of the tremendous energy flow into your life, you may become impatient with the world and its imperfections.

That's part of living with Kundalini, and at the same time, inhabiting a body. If we didn't inhabit bodies, there would be no need for material attachments, negative emotions, war, greed, pride, fear, pain, etc. However, we live in our bodies with this newly awakened Kundalini energy and the world outside may overwhelm us with its pettiness, its selfishness, its foolishness. SO, how do we manage the situation? How do we cohabit with Kundalini?

Waiting For the next Train

Dead Time Is Self-Remembering Time

That's where self-remembering comes in. Once you learn to practice it, it works alongside the Kundalini to temper your frustrations with the world.

There are moments when you become aware not only of what you are doing but also of yourself doing it. You see both ‘I’ and the ‘here’ of ‘I am here’- both the anger and the ‘I’ that is angry. Call this self-remembering if you like."

   Views From the Real World — G. I. Gurdjieff

How does self-remembering work? In moments of stress or negative emotion, self-remembering brings you back to yourself. What do I mean by "back to yourself?" You've probably heard idiomatic folk sayings like He was beside himself or She was out of her mind. There are many sayings like this that denote an altered state of consciousness, a state in which the subject is so totally caught up in the negative emotion or in stress that he/she loses control.

Next time you feel caught up, try this simple technique. Tell yourself: I am here now. I am [Bill Jones]. I'm standing here in a line at the bank. There's an argument at the counter. I am here. My name is [Bill]. I am observing myself standing here. As I stand here watching myself, I am in my body.

Immediately, you will feel a warming sensation, just by repeating the words: I am here now. I promise you it will feel it — something akin to refocusing a telescope or a camera lens, as you focus from wide to narrow. As you come back to yourself, your focus is both narrow and wide at the same time.

This technique controls impulsiveness. There's a lot more to it, of course, but for now try this one exercise. In the future, I'll include new exercises and other relevant information on self-remembering. If you want to read more, on pg. 86 of The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death I describe an exercise you can practice while sleeping, the point being, if you can control yourself in your dreams, how much more control will you be able to exert while awake. In the meantime, if you want to know more about these exercises, you can contact me here.

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