Kundalini: an Indian Paradigm of Creativity

Creativity is the key resource that is responsible for the progress of human civilization. Physiological creativity is responsible for the propagation of the species. Artistic, intellectual and scientific creativity is the key to the rise of human civilization and all progress.

The cultures of the East, in specific the Indian civilization, had worshipped this creative faculty in man. In Indian philosophy it is variously expressed as the Kundalini, the mythical, latent “Serpent” energy whose release leads to the unfolding of a brilliant, creative intelligence in man. It also supposedly enhances individual charisma and communication abilities. The full release of this creative potential confers the mythical Nirvana or liberation experience. Liberation from our existing worldview and paradigms; our conditioned acceptance of the Space-Time that we perceive around us and final merging of the individual consciousness in the transpersonal cosmic consciousness. The release of these latent human potentials acts upon the observer himself and so creates a revolution in his perception of external reality.

What exactly is this Kundalini that has so dominated Indian philosophy and mystic thought for centuries? It was my teacher’s contention that this Kundalini motif is a subconscious symbol. An insight thrown up by the unconscious mind which in pictorial terms seeks to express deep abstract truths. This discovery had laid the foundations of organic chemistry. Friedrich August Kekulé (German organic chemist) had been working for a long time to unravel the structure of the benzene molecule. One day he had a vivid dream in which he saw two snakes, each biting the other’s tail in a ring like formation. In a flash of insight he understood this visual cue from his subconscious mind. It helped him to identify the ring structure of the benzene molecule. This example is often cited as a classic example of dynamic creativity.

The Kundalini symbol of the mythical, reptilian energy coiled up at the base of the spine could well be such an imagic insight which has to be interpreted correctly in the light of recent scientific discoveries. Possibly the symbol of two snakes coiled up around one another represents the double helix structure of the DNA molecule. It thereby points out to the Kundalini possibly representing latent genetic potentials in the human organism, which could lead to its further evolution in terms of the unfolding of Intelligence, of synthesis, of creativity, of charisma and communication skills. Such an individual evolution leads to the growth or revival of a civilization per se. The serpent symbolism is significant. Recent research indicates that the bulk of the Kundalini process can be attributed to the ancient, reptilian structures of the human brain in specific to the Hypothalamus-Pituitary combine and the Limbic system and the Reticular formation in the brain stem. These form the Reptilian core of the human brain. The cortex is a later mammalian acquisition.

Like Kekule’s dream insight, the Kundalini motif needs to be reinterpreted in the light of recent discoveries in the field of neurophysiology. It can lead us to some startling speculation and conclusions. The Kundalini phenomenon offers a radically new paradigm of human creativity.

– This is an excerpt from the book Kundalini, An Indian Paradigm of Creativity by Maj Gen GD Bakshi

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Maj Gen GD Bakshi
A combat veteran, Maj Gen GD Bakshi is a well-known personality in India for his contribution to current affairs and national discourse. He holds a PhD in Strategic Studies, has authored 25 books and is Editor-in-Chief of Defense & Security Alert magazine. Less known is Maj Gen GD Bakshi's work in the field of spirituality and his deep knowledge of the Vedas and Indian spiritual traditions.

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