The Mysterious Power Of The Kundalini
By James Donahue
Most people involved in esoteric matters understand that
the word kundalini is a reference to a mysterious serpentine energy believed coiled within each human. The practice of yogi
is among the known ways to awaken this energy and thus expand the context of our spiritual and physical life.
In ancient Sanskrit the word kundalini means “she
who is coiled.” It is a metaphor of the power of a serpent that many believe is located at the base of the human spine.
Some see it as an image of the human spine itself, while others utilize a sexual connotation, linking the uncoiling of the
kundalini with the erection of the male penis.
A traditional Indian description of the kundalini experience
is that it is the release of shakti, or energy, at the base of the spine. When “awakened” it rushes upward into
the head and creates a mystical state of consciousness.
This energy, according to psychiatrist Dr. Lee Sannella,
author of The Kundalini Experience, is said to be an aspect of the transcendental consciousness that “precedes and yet
also pervades the entire cosmos.”
In other words, the awakening of the kundalini is another
way of describing an altered state of human consciousness. It is a state of mind that everybody subconsciously seeks, often
through the use of drugs. It is a natural state of mind, however, that some say can be achieved not only through the practice
of yogi, but by listening to certain forms of music.
There is an interesting passage in Crowley’s strange
writing: Liber al vel Legis in which the energy of the universe, Had, proclaims:
“I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are
one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, there is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.”
It is clear that Had is identifying himself with the kundalini.
He describes this energy as a secret coiled serpent, about to spring. Strangely this is regarded as a bad image by the Christian
and Hebrew people, who identify the serpent with the rebellious archangel Lucifer, cast from Heaven to Earth. Yet to the spiritual
practitioner, the kundalini energy is a good thing that each man and woman desires to master and learn to release on demand.
Because Had is the energy of the universe and the light
within each star, or existing human, the kundalini thus becomes a perfect metaphor to use in describing his existence. Also
the image of the serpent portrays the phallus and a sexual union with the universe, or Nuit.
This energy can be unexpectedly released through other stimuli,
including mere thought. When it occurs without warning it can cause a sense of alarm and confusion. Dr. Sannella, a psychiatrist,
wrote his book based upon treatment of patients unprepared to deal with the effects of this rush of energy throughout their
system. A specialist in this field, Sannella actually founded a Kundalini Clinic in San Francisco to assist victims of “sudden
In his book, Sannella describes a classic symptom of the
kundalini experience as described by one of his patients: “My body is swept by muscle spasms. Indescribable sensations
and sharp pains run from my feet and up my legs to my back. My skull feels as if it is about to burst. Inside my head I hear
roaring sounds and high-pitched whistling. Suddenly I am laughing, overcome with bliss.”
Because Christian beliefs deny meditation and experiences
in the eastern arts, westerners regard this arousal within themselves as harbingers of insanity. They are unaware that the
kundalini experience has a sacred and hallowed spiritual tradition among practitioners of the mystic arts, or that people
have studied yoga for thousands of years and know how to utilize this energy in productive and creative ways.