|Posted by amarakaruna on October 25, 2010 at 9:28 PM||comments (23)|
Since ancient times the serpent has been a potent symbol for primal life force energy or chi. The snake, dragon, winged and feathered serpent have appeared in a multitude of cultures and were understood as sacred before they were equated with evil. They were associated with eternal life, wealth, intelligence, sexuality, fire, light and power.
But what is the deeper meaning? The snake is structurally just a head and spine, and it moves in the sinuous wavelike motion of the wave or spiral, which is a basic movement of life force energy. In Eastern traditions, the life force or Kundalini energy resides at the base of the spine in the sacrum, or sacred bone, awaiting to be awakened. Many yogic practices are designed to activate and free this energy. Kundalini was the name of an ancient Hindu Goddess, a female fiery serpent which lies coiled and asleep, representing the human inner soul or Shakti energy. When she does awaken and rises up the spine to the head, she merges with the Shiva or male energy. The upper chakras or energy centers are activated and deeper states of awareness and bliss are experienced. It is often experienced as moving in a rhythmic, wavelike spiraling motion. The snake is a spiritual metaphor for this energy movement in our bodies. (See http://www.crystalinks.com/kundalini.html).
And what about the image of the winged serpent? Does our spine have wings at the top, or is this only a metaphor for how the spirit can soar once this energy is freed and awakened? We find these images in the caduceus, a double snake winding around a central column with wings at the top, which is used to symbolize the healing power of the medical profession. It was an ancient symbol related to the Greek staff of Hermes which had great healing powers. (See http://www.crystalinks.com/caduceus.html). This also recalls the structure of a DNA helix, and so is symbolic of physical reality and manifested form.
In Mayan tradition, Kukulkan is the deity who appears as the feathered serpent, and was thought to be the savior or bringer of light. This deity is also known as Quetzalcoatl ("feathered serpent") in Aztec tradition. Feathers represent the ascension of human consciousness to higher source. Hindu and Egyptian traditions describe a central column of energy in our spine, with two spiraling side channels that wind around it. Rising upward, each chakra has progressively more petals until the 6th chakra, between the eyebrows, which is depicted as having only two petals, like wings. The 7th chakra has 1000 petals. Why would the 6th only have two?
At the top of the spine is a relatively unknown bone called the sphenoid bone, which is one of the many bones that form the skull. This bone is the anterior base of the skull, in the very center of the head. It is the area where the nerves leave the brain to connect with the spinal column and the lower spine. This bone also cradles the pituitary gland, is close to the ears and has the nerves of the eyes passing through it. The pituitary controls the functions of all other endocrine glands and is associated with the 6th chakra or third eye. The sphenoid is the sacred bone at the top of the spine, equally as potent as the sacrum at the bottom. It is strongly related to the 6th and 7th chakras, relating to wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. It is from the center of this bone, at the back of the upper pallet, that mystics experience the sweet taste of amrita, or the nectar of divine bliss and immortality, which flows down from the crown chakra when one enters very deep states of meditation. (For a wonderful look at the sphenoid and all the skull bones, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc5IRj3OJhE).
The sphenoid also supports part of the central core of the brain stem, which is the most ancient and smallest part of the brain, and is called (significantly) the reptilian brain. This part of the brain regulates the breathing, heartbeat, fight or flight mechanisms, mating and survival. It is preverbal, instinctual and ritualistic and is similar to the brains of reptiles and birds. The basic emotions of love, hate, lust, fear and contentment come from this primitive part of our selves. Anyone who has contacted these powerful emotions knows how compelling they are, and how they can overcome rational thought. Small wonder that this wild, serpent-like, primal part of ourselves has become feared and demonized.
The interesting thing about the sphenoid bone is that it happens to be shaped roughly like a butterfly or bird, with two wings. When a person is healthy and normal, there is a very subtle pulsing and flexing of the cranial bones known as the cranial pulse. The sphenoid bone has a very tiny, but important and perceptible, pulsing that resembles the flexing of wings forward and backward. (For an animated view of this, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeZ2sv1rSZI). This pulse has been noticed for a long time by Osteopaths and cranial-sacral body workers, but is still debated in the traditional medical community. It begins pulsing through the experience of a normal vaginal birth process. It can become blocked through trauma and tension, and can be engaged with and encouraged to flow by sensitive body workers.
What happens when strong electrical impulses are freed to flow up a healthy and open spine, and reach the deeper reptilian brain at the base of the skull, allowing the bones around it to flex and flow? Perhaps this would stimulate the optic nerves, our hormonal system and the upper chakras, bringing "light" and expansion to the primitive areas of our being, and be experienced as an uplifting sense of being "saved" from being controlled by our more base impulses.
This strong, ancient symbol of the winged serpent can be seen as an analogy for an actual physical process happening within the physiology of our bodies, as well as an accurate description of the process of awakening to more expanded states of consciousness. Consider taking some time to meditate on your sphenoid bone, which can be contacted directly with your fingers only at the temples just in front of the ear, where the upper part of the ear meets the head. Place your fingers there and breathe, and feel for the subtle pulses and energies contained by this hidden bone, which holds the seats of our awakened perceptions.
Breathe spirals up from the base of your spine, and fly!
copyright by Amara Karuna, Oct 2010
|Posted by amarakaruna on September 12, 2009 at 4:14 AM||comments (1)|
The dilemma of a soul who is born into this world, differentiated and separated from its source is this: Now I have wrapped myself in a piece of flesh, a body suit which creates by its nature a sense of limitation & separation. Here I am among millions of other forms. I have forgotten my source, so I cannot self source my food, comfort, love. I am dependant on the world of form to meet these needs.
If all goes well, all these needs are met and I experience being valued, understood, respected, fed the correct food as much as I want, protected and desired. I have clean air and good water and natural non-toxic substances around me. My parents are peaceful, loving, wise and want to stay close to me all the time, until I am ready for freedom. There are many others around in a peaceful tribal family. All my emotions are accepted and given respect. I receive lots of skin contact. I am kept clean. I have enough stimulation and interesting things to learn. There is general peace and kindness in my community.
As a child matures, it becomes more and more self sufficient in getting it’s own food, comfort, pleasure, etc. until it is an adult able to channel enough energy to be self-sustaining. If a soul has had these experiences, it has the basic groundwork for easily learning to self-source later in life. The more of these ideal experiences it has, the more easily it can grow into a self-sufficient state. To the extent that we did not have the ideal state as a child, we are slowed down in our growth toward becoming a radiant, self-sourcing awakened being. Each element that was missing becomes a challenge to the process of maturing according to God’s original plan. We remain stuck in unmet infantile needs for food, love, intimacy, comfort or learning.
God’s original plan was followed for hundreds of thousands of years, as humans evolved as tribal beings. How did we get so far from the original plan? Why did we stop following the original instructions, which would make incarnating as an individual soul a mostly pleasurable and easily fulfilling experience? Why the fall from Grace?
It seems that the Creator’s great plan is to divide itself into many hologramic pieces, and the purpose of each piece is to grow into a source of nourishment, love, wisdom & light. Each being is like a seed which contains the potential to become like its source. If the seed falls on fertile soil with the right conditions, its task is easy.
Some say that a soul’s purpose is to merge back into the One being. In a way this is both true and untrue. If our task was only to merge back and dissolve, what is the point of the One sending us out in the first place? If we only need to dissolve, then death would be an easy & logical path. Why exist in form at all? Let go of it and experience the connectedness of the non-physical realms without this delicate and demanding form to be tending constantly.
A careful look around the physical realm shows that this cannot be the intention. Millions of myriad forms are endlessly being created and falling away. Physical forms of all shapes, sizes & functions. Obviously the Creator loves form. It is engaged in an infinite, passionate, gorgeous dance which is complex beyond our understanding. The point is not just to merge, dissolve & die. Otherwise all enlightened beings would immediately drop their form. I would guess that many do, as it’s just easier that way. However, many choose to stay as teachers and healers, acting as radiant suns of spiritual light and sources of oceans of love. And they all say that they merge back into the One, only somehow they still also exist as a small form.
The purpose of all these tiny seeds of consciousness is to awaken into awareness of unity with the One Source, WHILE maintaining a physical form. What could be more challenging than this? To be aware of oneself as the Source of all the planets & suns, all realms of being, and still look out of one pair of eyes and breathe, eat & care for a body? The very nature of physicality is solidity, which carries with it the tendency to feel separate, small, powerless, alone. When we strayed from the original path, which had us living in warm climates, eating natural foods, and living in tribes, our task of evolving into awakened sources became difficult or impossible.
Why did we stray? Why did we co-create famine, war, oppression, greed, torture, toxins? Although God’s plan to experience unity within manifested diversity was ambitious & difficult, it apparently worked well for a while. We hold these memories as heaven realms, or the Garden of Eden. There are legends of higher civilizations.
The bible story says it was the knowledge of good & evil that took us away from grace. In other words, it was the judgment that some things are good and others are bad. It was the idea that some things are holy and others profane. The feeling arose of shame, wanting to cover oneself and hide. The soul manifested in form begins to doubt that it is good. The soul thinks: “Maybe it is not a good thing that I exist? Perhaps I’m too much trouble, too needy, too emotional, too loud, too active?” These are many of the messages we get in these times as young children. Perhaps my body needs are not OK? My desires not OK? Yet when we doubt ourselves, we doubt our Creator’s work in creating us. Why would the Creator make something to be ashamed of? How could the creator make anything but sacredness and light?
And yet it has created the deepest, blackest evil and hell realms. Somehow we all created this. Why? Were we just bored? Was it too peaceful in the Garden? Or were we reaching for more, reaching for the apple of immortality, because we were only children in the Garden? Only dependent and un-awakened souls, although we were blessed to exist in a heaven realm?
Perhaps all this misery and suffering is somehow needed as part of the process. Perhaps the soul’s journey of being cast out, apparently separated (as each child emerges from the womb) and then doubting the goodness of its existence is all part of a process of tempering or preparation. Perhaps this great goal of Infinite Awareness while in physical form is not possible without going through this darkness. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it really has to be this dark. Couldn’t we do this with less pain? Apparently not, or we would be.
The pain is built of layers and layers of old karma, or habits of being, that were started by that first self-doubt (lack of trust in God). Now there is such a thick layer of rust or sediment over our minds that often the piercing of it only occurs with intense pain. Pain teaches us where we are attached, stuck, un-conscious. It gives us motivation to change and grow.
In any case, the question of how and why we got into this mess is less relevant than how we can get out. By studying the path that we took getting lost, we reveal the path to return. By deciding to trust the Creator’s wisdom in creating all things just as they are, we remedy the initial step of doubting the inherent goodness of ourselves and the world. This is a decision that every soul must make and it must be made regardless of any apparent proof given by events unfolding in this world. There is no end of darkness and misery which could be used to prove that God should not be trusted. But asking for proof based on external circumstances is simply being a dependent child.
What we are after here is becoming a self creating, self sourcing awakened being who is capable of bringing light even where there is no light. So, we must decide to trust our Source and ourselves to be perfect just as we are. And choose this simply because it works to unwind the illusion of separation. Simply because life works better when we believe it. Just using the power of our own mind to create reality, because we want to create a reality of perfection, love, harmony and beauty.
And we can remember that each time we choose to believe in our own goodness, power, beauty, value and importance, we validate God’s choice to bring us forth. We validate God’s great plan to be completely aware of cosmic unity at the same time as looking out of each of our eyes. To have each tiny seed grow into its own self sourcing Godhead, capable of creating universes.
Regardless of how lost we have become, and why, the path to be found again is clear. It lies in self-love and trust. A being who is actively creating and choosing self-love and trust will not be interested in war, greed, domination, stealing or self harming in any way. The extent to which we are still doing things to harm ourselves and others simply shows the extent that we are not engaged in loving ourselves and our Divine Parent. It shows places where pain is layered and stuck which is crying for attention.
If there is a place in yourself that you are aware of pain, give it attention. Seek the answer to the cry of the pain. It is there for a purpose, a lesson. If you can’t give it enough by yourself, seek help from Source or other souls. Sometimes this whole game seems pointless or simply impossible. Simple things like sharing love and peace with others, or getting enough of the right food become out of reach. We become far away from the promise of our birthright; to have our basic needs met for love, comfort, safety, peace, freedom and power. The layers of habitual thought and feeling become like heavy weights that we have no idea how to take off. We want to just quit and tell God that this was all a bad idea in the first place. And if it’s going to be this hard, forget it!
But somehow we are part of this plan, and there doesn’t seem to be any way out but to finish it well. If we stay caught in the illusion of being a single separate self, there is no way we will ever succeed. There must be awareness of and communication with the Source. Eventually any separation vanishes, as a soul matures. The only way out is through. And when we get through and we’ve addressed every speck of attachment, karma and pain, maybe we won’t even want out of this physical form. Maybe we’ll find that the whole point of the grand experiment was to get in!
Things to Consider:
What are the ways I’m not willing to show up for my life? How do I hold back and wish something else was happening? Make due, put up, avoid, ignore? What is asking for my attention that I don’t think is worth my time? What is my first project now in tending the body? Most of all, God wants me here, to keep fulfilling the grand plan. I am remembering that each physical / emotional pain is an opportunity to self-source. I can turn my attention to it and give it what it wants. I can give myself value even if others are not.
When I put this first, all other things will come more easily. What does self-sourcing mean?
It means loving myself even when others are not.
Taking care of myself even if I have no help.
Doing what I feel is right even if others disagree
Generating Love where there is none Feeding myself well
Allowing power to come through
Honoring all my inner parts as valuable, even the sick and childlike selves
Accepting my apparent flaws Ahimsa (Active non-violence) while being attacked
Understanding others as parts of myself
Channeled through Amara Karuna