Carl Jung’s Exploration of Chakras and Kundalini

It perhaps comes as little surprise that psychologist Carl Jung – the forefather of analytical psychology and creator of Jungian psychotherapy – was the first westerner to explore Kundalini, a part of yogic philosophy which denotes a form of “corporeal energy”.
In 1932, Jung presented a series of lectures on Kundalini to the Psychological Club in Zurich. These lectures would go on to form the basis for Jung’s book, “The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga”, in which he combined the concepts of Kundalini with his own ideas (Jungian psychology).

Jung viewed his scientific role as being that of a “phenomenologist”, an individual who remains at all times open to the ambivalent and the multifaceted, ambiguous intrusions of the unconscious mind into the conscious ego. Jung saw this ego as being attached, like the tip of the proverbial iceberg, to the vast impersonal realm of the Self—a realm which Jung would later come to see as being the only objective and fundamental reality human beings can connect with. Jung therefore believed that the Western fixation on mastering externals has produced a sort of widespread psychic dysfunction, as the values of internal reality have been neglected.

Jung listened to Indian thinkers and noted that they spoke not of Personal/Impersonal, Subjective/Objective, but instead focused on the ideas of personal consciousness and Kundalini, neither of which were deified. Jung ascribed to their belief that it was necessary to live through, and establish, a presence of stable consciousness within the world before one could develop the detachment needed to permit the other objective reality to meet in true connection with one’s conscious mind.

Jung’s various journeys to Africa and India aided him in developing and validating his own experiences of the unconscious. This is evident in his description of how, in the myths of the Pueblo, the conscious first emerges from a dark and obscure beginning, then moves through a series of caves, ascending from one to the next, until reaching a state of full awakening on the surface of the earth, enlightened by the light of the sun and moon. The system of chakras described in Kundalini Yoga mirrors this same process in basic essence during the development of the impersonal life.

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Kundalini Awakening and the Basics of the Spiritual Path

Kundalini is a word in Sanskrit that translated into English means coil. We are all born with Kundalini and in most of us our Kundalini remains dormant inside the perineum wound into 3 ½ circles, forming a coil. This is not something most people are aware of but those who seek to live on a more spiritual plane know of the Kundalini within us. Many people who study and practice yoga seek to develop their Kundalini because the belief is that harnessing the power of your Kundalini is needed for attaining a union with the divine (Yoga), the ultimate achievement of spirituality. In this article when yoga tradition is mentioned it refers to the various spiritual pathways that strive for Yoga, which is union with the divine, as its final goal.

Traditional beliefs claim that after it’s been awakened, our Kundalini is capable of removing the blockages in our major chakras, cleanse, open and help our chakras grow until they’ve fully bloomed into full lotus forms. When our Kundalini completes this process on all our chakras the innermost core of our Kundalini will arrive at the chakra at the very top of our head, the crown chakra. When this is fully, cleansed, opened and developed we will attain our highest achievement of spirituality, that of Yoga.

This is no easy task as it’s very difficult to awaken our Kundalini. There are those who have practiced yoga for decades and still have not awakened their Kundalini. Many believe that very few have actually been able to fully awaken their Kundalini. Those who were able to achieve this have then gone onto spend decades in the cleansing process. This can take many years to fully cleanse, open and fully develop a chakra. The process begins at the base chakra and moves upwards in order. The Kundalini will spend years at each chakra working its way up to the 7th chakra, the crown chakra taking decades. Because the time for this is so long many people will pass away before reaching their final goal in the process. Just having your Kundalini reach the crown chakra doesn’t mean you’re finished, it’s only the start of the true journey of the Kundalini.

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