Kundalini and the Tower of Babel
Forever in search of health, good sex and longevity, the masses have discovered the mysterious kundalini shakti of the yogi. Books and 1-day workshops with titles such as ‘Becoming supernatural’ are in great demand, and anyone interested can participate in kundalini yoga classes without prior screening or in-depth explanations of the purpose and dangers of exercises aimed at awakening the kundalini energy.
Certainly, the kundalini has a healing, vitalizing and purifying character, but awakening her does not only have positive effects. The goddess in our pelvis has many faces: she is the mother and the virgin, the widow and the bride, the comforter and the destroyer. Whoever wakes her up from her sleep too roughly, or prematurely, has to deal with Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction!
Myths, such as those of Hinduism, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Greeks, are narratives about forces in the outside world and – not everyone realizes this – in our inner world.
The symbol of healthcare organizations and medical practice is derived from the caduceus, the staff of the Greek god Hermes. The caduceus is also the universal symbol of a kundalini awakening. The staff itself represents the spine, the two serpents are the polar energy channels that merge during an awakening, and the wings symbolise an expanded consiousness.
The serpent, with its ability to renew itself through shedding its skin, is seen in almost all traditions as a symbol of the kundalini energy. The healing effect of the kundalini, however, is mainly energetic. For a union with God, the energy must flow unhindered, like in a young child:
Verily, I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Gospel of Matthew 18:3)
A kundalini awakening does not cure chronic illnesses or other physical distress!
The Greek god Hermes
with his staff the caduceus
The Hindu goddess Kali
One of the goddesses who represent the purifying effect of the kundalini energy is the Hindu goddess Kali. Her appearance is frightening: dark skin, wide-open eyes, wildly swinging arms with one or more bloody weapons, and a chain of severed heads around her neck. Like a (kundalini) serpent, she uses her protruding tongue to detect (smell) impurities.
Despite her fearsome appearance, she is loved by the Hindus, because her intentions come from a loving mother’s heart. Her goal is to free us from our ego (symbolized by the severed heads).
The wild and angry Kali is an apt metaphor for the first phase of a kundalini awakening, which can last for years! The severity of the symptoms you experience depends on how many unprocessed issues lie dormant in the unconscious, and the purity of your lifestyle. For the average western person it involves a major cleaning job. Bigger than most people realize!
A kundalini awakening is hard on body and mind. The spiritual seeker who longs for God will be happy to endure it. However, advising people with health issues to wake up their kundalini as a solution to their medical problems is misleading – the healing is mainly mental – and downright dangerous!
Kundalini and sex
Upon awakening, the kundalini can be channeled through any chakra. It flows automatically to the chakras that require energy. If someone is focused on sexual pleasure, the kundalini will stay lingering at the second chakra, instead of ascending to its final destination, the crown chakra. If someone is strongly ego-oriented, the energy will feed the third chakra.
In this regard, the kundalini can indeed intensify sensory experiences, enhance your energy level, and open the door to the supernatural. But this divine energy is not intended for this purpose, and this is the reason why the knowledge of this energy source has always been hidden from the general public. Only spiritual aspirants with a pure intention and lifestyle were initiated by teachers in the techniques that can awaken the kundalini.
Right: The goddess Tara (Nepal, 18th century) is closely related to Kali in her destructive form. Around her waist she wears a panther skin, symbolizing the conquered animal instincts, including the sexual urges. The tail of the panther skin rests on the abdomen of the reclining man: Tara’s abode in man. The fire around Tara and the man depicts the inner kundalini fire that burns everything that stands between man and God. The man’s nakedness represents his purified ego.
It is very naive to assume that using this sacred energy for any purpose other than that for which it is intended will remain without repercussions; medical, spiritual or karmic. Misusing the divine will not go unpunished. The Bible story about the Tower of Babel warns against this.
Many Bible stories are not intended to be taken literally. They are metaphors for inner spiritual processes. This also applies to the well-known story about man who wanted to build a tower up to heaven. The deeper meaning of Bible texts is hidden in subtle word choices and sentence structures. In my book Kundalini Awakening I have included five pages with an analysis of the Tower of Babel. I will summarize the main points here.
The Tower of Babel is about man trying to awaken the kundalini fire and bring it, through the spine (the tower), to the seventh chakra (heaven). In other words, man wants to rise to the divine, motivated by the ego.
However, this gross self-overestimation has the opposite effect. Instead of ascending through the spine, the divine descends. This is literally stated twice in the text: in response to the audacious act of man, God comes down (Genesis 11: 1-9).
Also meaningful is the name Babel, which means Gate of God (Bab –El). The place at the bottom of the spine, where the kundalini begins its journey upwards, is called Brahma-dvara in the yoga tradition : the gate or door of Brahma. This door to God remains closed to man who has not yet done the required inner work.
The metaphor of speaking different languages refers to losing contact with the oneness of the divine. Instead, the inner world of mankind is divided into ego-fragments.
The moral of the story of the Tower of Babel is that the Kingdom of God cannot be acquired without His will. It is a road that you travel together with Him. The knowledge about the kundalini can only be found hidden in sacred texts. In the wrong hands it can lead to people insufficiently prepared and with the wrong motives forcing an access to this sacred energy. Jesus also notes this in the gospel of Matthew (11:12):
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
This path should only be pursued with a heart purified from the ego’s desires for grandeur. Only for a person who is willing to die to himself does the gate to God open.
This article was published in the Dutch magazine Spiegelbeeld (March ’19). Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2019