For some reason, I have resisted thinking of what’s been happening here as a kundalini process, but I now see it fits very closely how it’s described by others. In a funny way, admitting this is part of the humbling process and coming more into alignment with reality.
In Fire in the Soul, Joan Borysenko says that “crisis resolves in one of three ways.” The ordeal may end when “we slowly put ourselves back together again and life goes on in the same overtly or vaguely unsatisfactory way that it did before,” or “we become so terrified, agitated or depressed that we commit suicide or stay in the desert of mental illness; or we come out transformed, emerging with a new strength, wisdom and vision.”
– El Collie in Branded by the Spirit, chapter 14.
I assume we all have experienced this. There is a breakdown of an old pattern – sometimes due to friction with life – and we either rebuild ourselves as we were, we have a breakdown of some sort, or we transform and grow. And this happens on a range of scales from the many and frequent smaller ones in daily life, to the major and less frequent challenges.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Spiritual teachers from almost every sacred tradition impress upon their followers the need to ask the Universe for help. When the African shaman Malidoma Some was asked what people might do to transform themselves and the planet, he replied: “The first thing is to get into the creation of sacred spaces in which one can begin to pray to spirit… to acknowledge spirit’s influence in our lives, and to boldly, and daringly ask spirit for guidance… it is to be willing to wake up every morning and say to spirit, ‘I don’t want to handle today, so why don’t you just take over and I’ll follow. Just guide me.'”
Branded by Spirit is an online book by El Collie on the awakening process as it unfolded for her. Since that’s where I am myself, I especially find chapter 14 – Darkness before dawn – interesting and helpful. It’s a huge relief to know that others have and do go through a similar process and she writes about it with a great deal of wisdom and insight.
Update: I have now read all the chapters, and it’s been very helpful to me. She writes with a great deal of wisdom and insight, and it’s all from her own experience, informed by informed extensive reading on the subject. I have to admit I am familiar with most of what she writes about from own experience (including much unmentioned in this blog), so although I have never thought of my own process as a kundalini process, that may be one way to describe it.
Every time I fall into one of these pits, I want to curl up and die. Yet I’ve noticed that they invariably precede a breakthrough of some sort. They seem to be a means of emptying me so something new can fill my cup. In this sense, longing for death is a psychospiritual congruency and precisely what I need. Despair returns us to ground zero, to the place of nothingness which seems barren but is in actuality a realm of dormancy, a wintering of the soul without which there can be no spring.
– El Collie in Branded by the Spirit, chapter 14
When things seem especially dark and hopeless, there is often a draw to death. We want whatever causes the pain to die, and that’s a natural, innocent and even healthy impulse.
We may want our own human self to die, or the situation, although one is a bit drastic and the other is temporary. So what’s a kinder and more lasting solution?
What’s really at the essence of this is the death of identification – with the identity or story creating the suffering. This identification may wear off with time, it may suddenly drop away, and we can align with the process by inquiring into the identification or story.