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To: K-list
Recieved: 1999/12/08 19:02
Subject: Re: [K-list] Another poll. Samadhi
From: Ckress

On 1999/12/08 19:02, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:

People who have experienced the mystical and sublime are not necessarily
wiser or better equipped to appreciate life than others whose spiritual
understanding arises from more ordinary things. No matter how profound,
spiritual awakening doesn't permanently eradicate our personalities/egos.
"You're still you," writes Glenn Morris, "just more amplified, with some
additional talents and viewpoints that very few people you know share..."
(from "Path Notes of an American Ninja Master," p. 204) "Whether a person's
actual behavior changes as a result of a deep transformative experience is an
open question; obviously, it depends on the individual's prior behavior,"
writes Ralph Metzner. "Criminals have been known to become saints. Others
may, after a transcendent vision, simply find themselves confirmed in their
life path and their spiritual practice, with no outwardly observable change
in behavior." (from "The Unfolding Self," p. 4)

The result of enlightenment experiences depends very much on the previously
established maturity, groundedness, and character development of the
individual involved. The M.D. and psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli spent his
life studying this from a psychospiritual perspective: "The inner experience
of the spiritual Self... gives to those who have had it a sense of greatness
and internal expansion, the conviction of participating in some way in the
divine nature. In the religious tradition and spiritual doctrines of every
epoch one finds numerous attestations on this subject... In the Bible there
is the explicit sentence "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are
children of the most High." The most extreme expression of the identity of
the human spirit in its pure and real essence with the Supreme Spirit is
contained in the central teaching of the Vedanta philosophy: 'Tat Twam Asi'
(Thou art That) and 'Aham evam param Brahman' (In truth I am the Supreme

"In whatever way one may conceive the relationship between the individual
self and the universal Self... it is most important to recognize clearly, and
to retain ever present in theory and practice, the difference that exists
between the Self in its essential nature -- that which has been called the
'Fount,' the 'Center,'... the 'Apex' of ourselves -- and the small ordinary
consciousness. The disregard of this vital distinction leads to absurd and
dangerous consequences." (from Roberto Assagioli, "Psychosynthesis," pp.

Lee Sannella tells of a woman in her mid-fifties whose Kundalini awakened
soon after her first meditation. "Over a period of about three years, she
slowly became convinced that she had been selected by God to be born anew as
an advanced human being. Thus she yielded to the tendency that Jung had
warned against: that of claiming this impersonal force as her own ego
creation and, as a result, of falling into the trap of ego inflation and
false superiority. She expected others to understand exactly what she was
speaking about and to accept her word unquestioningly, and she grew
distrustful of anyone who disagreed with her interpretations." (from "The
Kundalini Experience," p. 79)

Says Assagioli: "The fatal error of all who fall victim to these illusions is
to attribute to their personal ego or "self" the qualities and powers of the
Self... instances of such confusion, more or less pronounced, are not
uncommon among people dazzled by contact with truths which are too powerful
for their mental capacities to grasp and assimilate." (from
"Psychosynthesis," p. 45)

The classical composer Alexander Scriabin seems to have fallen victim to this
frailty. He recorded the following samadhi experience in his private
notebook: "Something began to glimmer and pulsate and this something was
one... This one was all with nothing in opposition to it. It was
everything. I am everything." Astrologer Liz Greene writes: "Eventually,
Scriabin became convinced that he was absorbed into the rhythm of the
universe, and began to identify with God. Constantly plagued by money
troubles, he planned a great musical work called the Mysterium... The
Mysterium involved the end of the world and the creation of a new race of
human beings, and was to establish Scriabin's greatness in the eyes of the
public. He declared that he was immortal, the true Messiah, and wanted the
Mysterium performed in a hemispherical temple in India. Before he had a
chance to write the work, however, he died of blood poisoning [at the age of
43]." (from "Neptune and the Quest for Redemption," pp. 351-352)

Assagioli also speaks of the oneness experiences in which "an outpouring of
love flows through the awakening individual towards his fellow beings and the
whole of creation. The former personality with its sharp angles and
disagreeable traits seems to have receded into the background, and a new
loving and lovable individual smiles at us and the whole world, full of
eagerness to please, to serve, and to share his newly acquired spiritual
riches, the abundance of which seems almost too much for him to contain.
Such an exalted state lasts for varying periods, but it is bound to cease.
The personal self was only temporarily overpowered but not permanently
transformed. The inflow of light and love is rhythmical as is everything in
the universe. After a while, it diminishes or ceases and the flow is
followed by the ebb." At this point, Assagioli says that "the personal ego
re-awakens and asserts itself with renewed force. All the rocks and rubbish,
which had been covered and concealed at high tide, emerge again." (from
"Psychosynthesis," pp. 46-47) This can lead to extreme depression or
self-doubt and rejection of the validity of one's ecstatic experiences.

Assagioli mentions cases where one aspect of the psyche is far more developed
than the rest (I've personally come across some examples of this which I call
the "spiritual idiot-savante syndrome"), in which "people may reach a high
level with one part of their personality and yet be handicapped by certain
infantile fixations or dominated by unconscious conflicts." (from
"Psychosynthesis," p. 57)

Glenn Morris challenges the prevailing belief that "Kundalini makes you sweet
and peaceful." Neither a fully awakened Kundalini nor enlightenment
experiences guarantee a corresponding ennobling of character. Morris
stresses that Kundalini "amplifies the natural state" so that "You melt away
your social self and you become what you are." This might not always be so
wonderful, for whatever was already lurking in the personality is magnified
by Kundalini. "If you haven't learned to mellow out and love your fellow
human beings, when you come out, you are either a demigod or a demon." (Glenn
Morris from a KRN conference audiotape)

The scandals and corruption surrounding a number of acclaimed spiritual
masters underscore this fact. As Morris says, "spiritual awakening can be
perverted by the need for power, approval, and material gain..." (from
"Shadow Strategies," p. 189)

Unfortunately, religion often crystallizes mystical/awakening experience into
dogma. Says Glenn Morris: "Wrong-headedness is easily taught from the
perspective of God's Word (as it is from the perspective of 'this is how
Master Dung Flo passed on his irreparably bad techniques to me, and now I
will teach them to you, as I have never had an original thought in my
life')." (from "Shadow Strategies," p. 258)

"Once the Kundalini has awakened, it goes in the direction that the
personality has developed," Joan Harrigan warns. "If you want political
power, you get charisma to get elected. If you want money, it goes toward
business acumen. If you want spiritual development and have developed a
virtuous lifestyle and eschewed the worldly distractions, then it goes to
spiritual experience." (from a KRN conference audiotape) "The meaning of
one's spiritual life is found in the action it breeds," Bradford Keeney has
observed. "Having dreams of ecstasy does not make one spiritual. If it
fills one with pride and blindness to the needs of others, it's a curse."
(from "Shaking Out the Spirits", p. 63)



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