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..:: Implications ::..


Alan Schneider


             The spiritual significance of the simple expression OM cannot be exaggerated. This is considered to be the first expression of manifestation emerging from the ultimate and final condition beyond all manifestation – known as the Hindu Brahman, or the Cabalist Ain Soph Aur.  These are the chaotic threshold conditions beyond which nothing can be known, yet, there must be something beyond all conception. This condition  creates an implicit force that emerges into perception as the Primary Mantra, OM – the Fundamental Vibration of Existence from which all others issue, and into which they are eventually reabsorbed.  

            We find ourselves evidently existing in intimate association with a dense, persistent material form – we call this form the body. The environment that apparently produces, sustains, and reclaims this form in the continuity of experience known to us as life, is called assortedly the world, the environment, or the universe. Although we can connect to each other superficially through language, culture, and communication, the harsh fact of the matter is that we are all isolated by the body and its sensory perspective on life – from the instant of conception onward, we all experience the world differently from our different bodies. And we can observe the world through our senses well enough to know that those very senses themselves are the biological product of eons of evolution, yet have barely evolved enough to permit the occurrence of an introspective awareness of ourselves as observers.  We call the focus of this observation the ego, and believe that it is, and we are, real, when, in fact, we only exist as social constructs for the convenience of each others economic activity. Without continuous social reinforcement, the ego dissolves into the stream of raw experience that is all that our limited senses can provide.  Through that crowning achievement of life known as science, we have come to possess an understanding of exactly how very little information can be attained by sensory inspection, but this is still essentially all we have to rely on as organisms challenged by functionally permanent world conditions of competition for acutely scarce resources.  These, put as simply as possible, are the basal human condition on what this author refers to as the Physical Plane of Manifestation. 

            For those multitudes of humanity who must struggle along with little or nothing to sustain themselves, the opportunity to look within in the context of observation often does not occur – their lives of primitive struggle simply do not permit sufficient leisure to rest long enough in comfort to allow the consciousness they possess to become still enough to even think of the possibility.  For the minute minority among us who do have such leisure resources, the acculturated tendency is to squander time in the frivolous pursuits of material pleasure, and still not look.  It is the post-minute, ultra-minority of human beings who perform introspection as a regular mental exercise – constituting yet another problematic feature of life on the Physical Plane, dominated as it is by the senses and the ego. 

            Eventually, in the course of introspective self inquiry, the phenomenon of spiritual expression will occur in consciousness, and can differentiate from there into the multitude of paths of spiritual investigation demonstrated by history.  If one is motivated by, and attracted to, Hinduism (as I am), the Primary Mantra, OM, is invariably encountered early on in the study.  If we begin at the level of conscious manifestation just described in the preceding paragraphs, we find that the inner perspective on this condition yields a vastly different vision of meaning than does the outer, one that is described very succinctly by OM. 

            This deceptively elementary symbol is a condensed amalgam of the sustained process of dynamic Creation emerging from the pre-existing Brahman. Whatever is present within the Brahman that generates existence is evidently permanent in character – OM requires nothing more whatsoever than this driver of manifestation to persist forever in its Creative action.  When pictorially represented, this vibration takes the symbolic form of something like a dot, followed by a small horizontal upright crescent, and then a structure that resembles the English number three (generally with other embellishments) that is more than half the size of the entire symbol, with the whole form arranged vertically from the dot downward. The first third of this symbol, the dot, represents the Hindu Creator aspect of God, Brahma (not to be confused with the Brahman, however – Brahma is the first form that the formless Brahman assumes in manifestation). The crescent represents the Preserver aspect of God, Vishnu, wherein the initial mono-dimensional vibration of Brahma expands and differentiates into two polar dimensions across the crescent, establishing the basic conditions needed to form the framework of existence. Life as we know it can be thought of as hanging suspended from this framework, just as the crescent of Vishnu does! It is the third portion of OM that represents our condition here on the Physical Plane, existing under the influence of the Shiva, the Destroyer aspect of God. At this stage of manifestation, existence has become fully differentiated into the turbulent complex of movement and form that we detect in the ego and the senses as “reality” on the Physical Plane. The extensive turbulence at our level of manifestation ensures that nothing can last here indefinitely except OM itself. Shiva’s trademark vibration is impermanence, and even the universe itself must be consumed by Him eventually, to then be recreated in its entirety by Brahma in another “Big Bang” from another micro-singular dot in the eternal dance of Creation/Preservation/Destruction!  

            The persistent explorer will eventually encounter the concept of Kundalini in the introspective process. Kundalini is the mysterious driving force that achieves manifestation initially as Brahma, the Creator, when only that one dimension of expression is present. No one can say whether the Kundalini is Brahma, or whether it is the force beyond form in the Brahman that manifests Brahma, or both, but there certainly appears to be a relationship present, even at this stage of proto-development.  Although considerations of time do not particularly come into play in OM, Brahma at the very least rapidly differentiates into the polarity of Vishnu, and the aforementioned framework of Existence suspended from His crescent.  Among other things, this set of polar opposites can be thought of as male and female in character. This is the foundational concept of the Tao – the dynamic interaction of Yin – female energy – with Yang – male energy, swirling around each other to achieve Creation.  In the sense of male and female dynamic interaction, Vishnu’s crescent foreshadows the final stage in Creation – the extended display of male and female forms present on the Physical Plane as Shiva – the male form – and Shakti, His corresponding female expression.  Here, the Kundalini has become differentiated in the extreme, and the male/female dichotomy is often obscure, but the determined investigator can nonetheless still find expressions of this state everywhere on the Physical Plane.

            From the perspective of the human observer, very probably the most important consequence of the male/female polarity of the Physical Plane forms the foundation of the two most important aspects of Hindu spiritual philosophy – Yoga and Tantra.  These two apparently distinct schools of thought are nonetheless deeply intertwined with each other – one is essentially meaningless without the other – another expression of polarity in the unity of Creation.  Both Yoga and Tantra depend for their influence in human affairs upon the Kundalini energy, as determined through the Chakra System of Conscious Expression.  More than any other means known to this author, the fundamental seven Chakras of Consciousness define all that is, or can ever be, known or experienced by a human observer – they represent the very states of conscious manifestation themselves.

            In the Root, or First Chakra, Muladhara, located at the very base of the spine, in the sacrum, near the coccyx, is a minute psychic “package” of dormant Kundalini energy – dormant, but still vibrating at a certain level of subconscious manifestation.  This is female Kundalini – Shakti – whether present in a man or woman, boy or girl, or male or female post-sexually-differentiated fetus.  Just as Hindu philosophy maintains that the fluid nature of the Brahman that allows it to permeate everything everywhere is a female quality, so it is that this quality vibrates all along the process of Creation in the form of the Kundalini energy, finally taking root in the human expression as the dormant Kundalini Shakti present in Muladhara.  Possibly, this universe, up to and including the Brahman, simply is female – at least this is what the Yogis, Pundits, and Seers believe – and the male elements simply serve to punctuate and define the whole.  

            This packet of Shakti will eventually awaken, if nothing else through the onset of puberty, and then begin to Ascend upward through the sequence of Chakras nominally located along the spinal column, eventually entering manifestation as sexual energy (called Libido by Freud, and Archetypes by Jung) in the Second Chakra, Svadhisthana, the Reproductive Center of Consciousness.  Here, a very significant differentiation can take place – the Kundalini can express itself through direct genital sexuality (known in Tantra as the Left Hand Path), or through Ascension experiences (known as the Right Hand Path), or both. Of course, this tends to depend on the level of spiritual sophistication of the individual – the vast majority of humanity unconsciously practices Left Hand Tantra without suspecting the possibility of Right Hand experience, but the Kundalini Yoga practitioner knows well the difference, and strives to channel even the acts of genital sexuality into Ascension experiences through various techniques of posture, meditation, and breathing.  

            The lower three Chakras are concerned with actions on the Physical Plane in one sense or another – the upper three are concerned with the additional “actions” of Ascension on the higher Spiritual Planes. In general, once the Kundalini begins Ascending, it will continue to do so, perhaps encountering temporary blockages in the form of traumas or distractions, but fated to relentlessly resume its journey eventually.  The theories of Yoga and Tantra maintain that the persistent Kundalini Shakti is seeking reunion with her beloved husband Shiva, who is present in the Seventh, and highest Chakra, Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra, located immediately above the head.  When she finally reaches this destination, and reunites with the male energy of Shiva, the result is a glorious burst of pure, undifferentiated Kundalini energy in the experience of Samadhi, which then explodes successively through the crescent manifestation of Vishnu, into the Monadic Creation Essence of Brahma, and finally back into the Brahman itself through the final dissolution of all remaining subject-object consciousness in the ultimate state of Non-Dual experience of Satori.  This is the final, ultimate state of being, which can only be experienced by the very fortunate, but never described by any means to anyone else. 

            The portrait of the Shivaite portion of OM as being the majority of the symbolic structure is very accurate, in fact, is an understatement, because our manifestation as beings of (or at least in association with) the flesh results in the flood in information that continuously impinges upon the senses, is interpreted by the ego, and, in reality, constitutes an enormous distraction from the pursuit of spiritual activities and revelations of any kind. So it is that this existence in dense form is, above all else, the battleground of Ascension, as the Kundalini energy relentlessly calls us back to the Supreme Absolute Truth of God that is our destiny as conscious beings.  It is here on this Plane of Manifestation that the Soul is challenged by the material condition to clearly see its reflection in the mirror of Karma, live in Dharma and devotion, and ultimately return through Ascension to God.


                                                                                 - With Love, Alan -

                                                               (Copyright 2009, by Alan Schneider)


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