Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds Video Transcription
Part 4, The Serpent and the Lotus
Prior to the dawn of Western civilization and written language, science and spirituality were not two separate things. In the teachings of the great ancient traditions the outer search for knowledge and certainty was balanced by an inner feeling of impermanence and intuitive understanding of the spiral of change. As scientific thinking became more dominant and information multiplied, fragmentation began to occur within our knowledge systems. Increased specialization meant that fewer people were capable of seeing the big picture, of feeling and intuiting the aesthetic of the system as a whole.
No one was asking, “is all this thinking good for us?”
The ancient knowledge is here in our midst, hidden in plain view. But we are too preoccupied with our thoughts to recognize it. This forgotten wisdom is a way to restore the balance between the inner and the outer. Yin and yang. Between the spiral of change and the stillness at our core. In Greek legend, Asclepius was the son of Apollo and the god of healing. His wisdom and skills for healing were unsurpassed and he is said to have discovered the secret to life and death itself. In ancient Greece the Asclepian healing temples recognized the power of the primordial spiral, which is symbolized by the rod of Asclepius.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, whose oath still forms the moral code of the medical profession is said to have received his training at an Asclepian temple. To this day, this symbol of our evolutionary energy remains as the logo of the American Medical Association and other medical organizations worldwide. In Egyptian iconography, the snake and bird represent the duality or polarity of human nature. The snake, the downward direction, is the manifested spiral, the evolutionary energy of the world. The bird is the upward direction; the upward current oriented towards the sun or awakened single-pointed consciousness; the emptiness of Akasha.
Pharaohs and gods are depicted with awakened energy whereby the Kundalini snake moves up the spine and pierces “Ajna chakra” between the eyes. This is referred to as the eye of Horus. In the Hindu tradition the bindi is also representative of the third eye; the divine connection to spirit. King Tutankhamen’s mask is a classic example showing both the snake and bird motifs. The Mayan and Aztec traditions combine the serpent and bird motif into one god. Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan. The plumed serpent god represents the awakened evolutionary consciousness or awakened Kundalini. The person who awakens Quetzalcoatl within themselves is a living manifestation of the divine. It is said that Quetzalcoatl, or serpent energy, shall return at the end of time. The snake and bird symbols can be found within Christianity as well. Their true meaning may be more deeply encrypted but the meaning is the same as in other ancient traditions. In Christianity, the bird or dove often seen above Christ’s head represents Holy Spirit or Kundalini Shakti as it rises to the sixth chakra and beyond.
The Christian mystics called Kundalini by another name; Holy Spirit. In John 3:12 it says, “and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up.” Jesus and Moses awakened their Kundalini energy, bringing awakened consciousness to the unconscious reptilian forces that drive human craving. Jesus was said to have spent forty days and forty nights in the desert, during which time he was tempted by Satan. Similarly, the Buddha was tempted by “Mara” as he sat to reach enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, or wisdom tree. Both Christ and Buddha had to turn away from the lure of sensory pleasures and worldly grasping. In each story, the demon is the personification of one’s own attachments. If we read the Adam and Eve story in the light of the Vedic and Egyptian traditions we find that the serpent guarding the tree of life is Kundalini. The apple represents the lure and temptation of the external sensory world, distracting us from the knowledge of the inner world, the tree of knowledge within. The tree is simply the network of Nadis or energy meridians within ourselves, which literally form tree-like structures throughout the body.
In our egoic quest for external gratification we have cut ourselves off from the knowledge of the inner world, our connection to Akasha and the wisdom source. Many of the world’s historical myths about dragons can be read as metaphors for the inner energies of the cultures in which they are embedded. In China, the dragon is still a sacred symbol representing happiness. Like the Egyptian pharaohs, ancient Chinese emperors who had awakened their evolutionary energies were represented by the winged snake, or dragon. The royal totem of the Jade Emperor or Celestial Emperor shows a balance similar to Ida and Pingala. The yin and yang of Taoism, awakening the pineal center or in what in Taoism is called the Upper Dantien.
Nature is full of different light detection and assimilation mechanisms. For example, a sea urchin can actually see with its spiky body which acts as one big eye. Urchins detect light striking their spines and compare the beams’ intensities to get a sense of their surroundings. Green iguanas and other reptiles have a parietal eye or pineal gland on top of their heads which they use to detect predators from above. The human pineal gland is a small endocrine gland that helps to regulate waking and sleeping patterns. Even though it is buried deep inside the head the pineal gland is sensitive to light. The philosopher Descartes recognized that the pineal gland area or the third eye was the interface between consciousness and matter. Almost everything is symmetrical in the human body. Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils-even the brain has two sides. But there is one area of the brain that is not mirrored. This is the pineal gland area and the energetic center that surrounds it.
On a physical level unique molecules are formed naturally by the pineal gland such as DMT. DMT also forms naturally at the moment of birth and at the moment of death, literally acting as a unique bridge between the world of the living and the dead. DMT is produced naturally during states of deep meditation and Samhadi, or through entheogenic means. For example, Ayahuasca is used in the shamanic traditions in South America to remove the veil between the inner and outer worlds. The word pineal itself has the same root as pine-cone because the pineal gland exhibits a similar spiral phyllotaxis pattern. This pattern, also known as the flower of life pattern, is common in ancient artwork depicting enlightened or awakened beings.
When the pine cone image is seen in sacred artwork it represents the awakened third eye; single pointed consciousness directing the flow of evolutionary energy. The pine cone represents the flowering of the higher chakras which are activated as Sushumna rises to the Ajna chakra and beyond. In Greek mythology the worshippers of Dionysus carried a thyrsus or giant staff wrapped with spiraling vines topped with a pine-cone. Again, representing Dionysian energy or Kundalini Shakti as it travels up the spine to the pineal body at the sixth chakra. In the heart of the Vatican you might expect a giant sculpture of Jesus or Mary but instead we find a giant pine-cone statue indicating that in Christian history there may have been knowledge of the chakras and Kundalini but for whatever reason it was kept from the masses. The official church explanation is that the pine-cone is a symbol of regeneration and represents new life in Christ.
The thirteenth century philosopher and mystic, Meister Eckhart said, “The eye with which I see God and the eye with which God sees me is one and the same.” In the King James bible Jesus said, “the light of the body is the eye, if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” The Buddha said, “the body is an eye.” In a state of Samadhi one is both the seer and the seen. We are the universe aware of itself. When Kundalini is activated, it stimulates the sixth chakra and pineal center and this area starts to regain some of its evolutionary functions.
Darkness meditation has been used for thousands of years as a way to activate the sixth chakra in the area of the pineal gland. Activation of this center allows a person to see their inner light. Whether it is the proverbial yogi or shaman retreating deep into a cave or Taoist or Mayan initiate, or Tibetan monk, all traditions incorporate a period of time during which one goes into the darkness. The pineal gland is the gateway to experiencing one’s subtle energy directly. The philosopher Nietzche said, “if you stare into the abyss long enough, eventually you find that the abyss stares back at you.” Dolmens, or ancient portal tombs are among the oldest remaining structures on Earth. Most date to the Neolithic period of 3000-4000 BC and some in Western Europe are seven thousand years old. The dolmen was used to enter into perpetual meditation as a way for a human to bridge the inner and outer worlds.
As one continues to meditate in total darkness eventually one begins to observe inner energy or light as the third eye becomes active. The circadian rhythms which are governed by the sun and the moon channels no longer control the functions of the body and a new rhythm is established. The seventh chakra, for thousands of years, has been represented by the “OM” symbol. A symbol which is constructed by Sanskrit signs representing the elements. When Kundalini rises beyond the sixth chakra it begins to create an energy halo. Halos appear consistently in the religious paintings of different traditions in all different parts of the world. The halo, or the depiction of an energy signature, around an awakened being, is common to virtually all religions in all parts of the world. The evolutionary process of awakening the chakras is not the property of one group or one religion, it is the birthright of every human being on the planet. The crown chakra is the connection to the divine; that which is beyond duality. Beyond name and form.
Akhenaten was a pharaoh whose wife was Nefertiti. He is referred to as the son of the sun. He rediscovered “Aten”, or the word of God within himself, uniting Kundalini and consciousness. In Egyptian iconography, once again the awakened consciousness is represented by the solar disk seen above the heads of gods or awakened beings. In the Hindu and Yogic traditions, this halo is called “Sahasrara”, the thousandpetalled lotus. The Buddha is associated with the symbol of the lotus. The phyllotaxis pattern IS the same pattern as can be found in a blooming lotus. It IS the flower of life pattern. The seed of life. It is the fundamental pattern into which all forms fit. It is the very shape of space itself or a quality inherent to Akasha.
At one time in history, the flower of life symbol was prevalent all over Earth. The flower of life is found guarded by lions at the most holy places in China and other parts of Asia. The 64 hexagrams of the I Ching often surround the yinyang symbol which is yet another way of representing the flower of life. Within the flower of life is the geometric basis for all of the platonic solids; essentially every form that can exist. The ancient flower of life begins with the geometry of the star of David, or upward and downward facing triangles. Or in 3D these would be tetrahedral structures. This symbol is a yantra, a sort of program that exists within the universe; the machine which is generating our fractal world. Yantras have been used as tools for awakening consciousness for thousands of years. The visual form of the yantra is an external representation of an inner process of spiritual unfolding. It is the hidden music of the universe made visible, comprised of intersecting geometrical forms and interference patterns.
Each chakra is a lotus, a yantra, a psycho-physiological center through which the world can be experienced. A traditional yantra, such as can be found in the Tibetan tradition, is invested with rich layers of meaning, sometimes incorporating a complete cosmology and world view. The yantra is a constantly evolving pattern which works through the power of repetition or iteration of a cycle. The power of the yantra is all but lost in today’s world because we seek meaning only in the external form and we do no connect it to our inner energies through intention. There is a good reason why priests, monks and yogis traditionally have been celibate. Today all but a tiny few know why they are practicing celibacy because the true purpose has become lost. Quite simply, if your energy is going into producing more sperm or eggs, as the case may be, then there is not as much to fuel the rising of Kundalini which activates the higher chakras. Kundalini is life energy, which is also sexual energy. When awareness becomes less focused on animal urges and is put into the objects reflective of the higher chakras, that energy flows up the spine into those chakras. Many of the tantric practices teach how to master sexual energy so it could be used for higher spiritual evolution. Your state of consciousness creates the right conditions for your energy to be able to grow. Entering a state of consciousness takes no time. As Eckhart Tolle says, “awareness and presence always happen in the now.” If you are trying to make something happen then you are creating resistance to what is. It is the removing of all resistance that allows evolutionary energy to unfold.
In the ancient Yogic tradition, yoga postures were used to prepare the body for meditation. Hatha yoga was never intended solely as an exercise regime, but as a way to link one’s inner and outer worlds. The Sanskrit word “hatha” means: sun “ha”, and moon “tha”. In the original yoga sutra’s of Patanjali the purpose of the eight limbs of yoga are the same as the Buddha’s eight fold path; to liberate one from suffering. When the polarities of the dual world are in balance, a third thing is born. We find the mysterious Golden Key that unlocks the evolutionary forces of nature. This synthesis of the sun and moon channels is our evolutionary energy. Because humans are now identified almost exclusively with their thoughts and the outer world, it is a rare individual that achieves a balance of the inner and outer forces which allow Kundalini to awaken naturally. For those identified only with the illusion, Kundalini will always remain a metaphor, an idea, rather than a direct experience of one’s energy and consciousness.