Note to the reader: I began an investigation of aesthetics in my last posting hoping to continue with further discussion, but I found myself bogged down and let it rest for awhile. I've now come to see that the problem was simply that I started in the middle, jumped right to the meat of things without laying down a foundation. So I'm now taking several giant steps back, and ask you to rest assured that the Aesthetic Jedi is still at the helm.
The Goddess and the Book
As I approach the 8th anniversary of my Kundalini opening I find myself reigniting the urge to use the written word as a way of getting into form a map of where I am in this mysterious and ongoing process. A bit of fuel was thrown on the fire recently when I dove into the murky realm of YouTube videos. There I found an apparent increase in discussion about the Kundalini experience. I was struck by the number of people who pass themselves off as experts, or at least as having meaningful advice to give. It amazed me how many were that self-assured, that confident that they have the truth of it. Here I am, after 8 years of increasing intensity and ever changing experience, with very little to say that I know is true. So I come to these pages to explore what it is that I do know, or can at least tease out enough to clear the path a little.
But first I start with the help of an old and neglected friend - the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, or the I Ching, as translated by Richard Wilhelm. This is a copy I've been carting around for 40 years, tattered and torn yet for now holding itself together. Overseeing the rekindled relationship is a new friend, one I found quite by accident lying at my feet while in conversation- a small stick with silvery bark that seemed to glow, the clear shape of a goddess, arms raised above a snake-like torso. This was Kundalini Shakti, the goddess of goddesses, perched now on top of my working easel, benignly overlooking the lounge area of my studio as I write. So I bring together the Goddess and the Book, and ask them both - What has happened, what is happening, where is it going?
For those unfamiliar with the Book of Changes, it is a book of divination that more or less came into its present form around 500 BCE in China. It came out of the philosophical context of Taoism, and incorporates the duality known as yin and yang. It's use as an oracle is achieved by building a hexagram of 6 lines, each line either yin or yang, broken or solid, usually by throwing three coins six times in succession. There are 64 possible combinations, and the book gives several commentaries for each. The idea is that at each moment everything is in change together, and that the hexagram brought forth at this moment will express the qualities of exactly this moment, which the book will reveal. And so I throw my three coins with the above questions in mind, and get
INNOCENCE (The Unexpected)
Heaven above, movement below. When movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent and without guile. This brings the unexpected
Innocence. Supreme success.
If someone is not as he should be
He has misfortune.
And it does not further him
To undertake anything.
Yes, as I sit here a bit baffled yet curious about the Kundalini phenomenon, innocence is the best attitude. Beginner's mind, as they say in Zen, clear of concepts and 'truths' but with an open and clean slate. And a warning to watch for agendas and assumptions, most notably my own. Seems the oracle did indeed give me a relevant answer. Plus a double warning - the line at the top was thrown as a changing line (in this case three tails), and the Book comments on all changing lines.
Innocent action brings misfortune.
When in a given situation the time is not ripe for further progress, the best thing to do is to wait quietly, without ulterior designs. If one acts thoughtlessly and tries to push ahead in opposition to fate, success will not be achieved.
This strikes me as a comment on an underlying desire I sometimes have to push the Kundalini process toward a breakthrough, knowing at the same time that it will happen only when the time is ripe (which may be never), and when that is, is not for me to know.... until the time is ripe! So my wiser side, my beginner's mind, has been called out and I will wait quietly, pondering the mystery that is working, always.
And that, my friends, was an aesthetic experience. If you're asking yourself what aesthetics has to do with Kundalini, well....so am I! Stay tuned!
To be continued...