Kundalini 3/7

Gopi Krishna, Kundalini Awakening 3/7


Kundalini is the awakening of consciousness. It is the release of consciousness from the small,

tight bounderies that comprise ordinary physical reality. It can happen once, or it can happen

many times. It can be a little awakening – like a moment of oneness – or a massive, full-blown

experience of the I Am at the core of each individual.

I ancient times, God was known as the I Am. 

When Kundalini carries you into full experience of the Godhead, you end up in a place that is

totally empty of everything physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. There is no yesterday

or tomorrow, no thought, no sense of being a physical body, no world of family o friends, no

list of things to do. A full Kundalini experience is a visit with God and the discovery that you

are it.

After Kundalini truth and purpose become cornerstones in life.  The problem with these is

that if your awakening comes in your thirties, forties, or later, you will already have your life

set up and working. You may have a family, a house, and a career. If the setup you have made

doesn’t match the truth and purpose that come from within, you will suffer.


The Koran states: God “created the seven heavens in layers” (67:3).

At first, one may suppose that what is meant here is the Seven Paradises of the Afterlife.

However, this is not the case. The literal meaning is that God “created seven skies/space(s)

(in) stages/layers.” This has to do with our present world.

Does it, then, mean the seven planetary spheres of Antiquity? Again, this is not the case.

Premodern thinkers loved to systematize their thoughts around simple numbers:

the four elements, the five Platonic solids, the seven planets corresponding to seven metals,

the twelve signs of the Zodiac… We find the same tendency even in alchemy, which has

survived until comparatively recent times.


The ancients believed in a geocentric universe. Modern science does not substantiate this view.

Modern science has shown that such pat schemas do not hold up to scrutiny.

There are more than a hundred elements, there are literally hundreds of elementary particles,

there are billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars, separated from each

other by billions of light years. The universe is much more vast and complicated than our

forefathers could have imagined. The picture modern science draws for us defies neat


Yet human beings have a need both for simplicity and systematization. Despite these findings,

science is organized knowledge, and the search to explain the universe by a final, elegant

“theory of everything” goes on.

So let us return to the Koranic verse above. We can understand it as follows: every space has

a boundary, a “sky” which limits it, succeeded by the next “layer.” Astronomers of the past

conceived of the world in terms of a series of concentric, nested spheres: the sphere of the sun,

the sphere of the moon, the sublunary sphere, the sphere of Mercury, and so on, all centered

around the earth. Modern science has shown such spheres to be nonexistent. Yet there is a

sense in which science has not invalidated the essential point of this. In geometry, we can

conceive of a one-dimensional line, extending from minus infinity to plus infinity.

The line is bounded, yet infinite. It can be conceived of as lying in a two dimensional plane.

The plane, too, is bounded, yet infinite. It, in turn, lies within three-dimensional space.

And while it is difficult—perhaps impossible—for us to visualize higher mathematical

dimensions, it is possible to think, conceptually and abstractly, of higher-dimensional spaces

in which a three-dimensional space is itself nested. Another—this time numerical—example

of an infinite sequence tending to a finite limit is the progression 1 + ½ + ¼ + 1/8 + 1/16 +1/32…,

which has a limit of 2. Although the number of terms is infinite, their sum is not.

By analogy, then, the “seven spaces” each can be conceived of as having limits—their “skies”—

within which they are confined, even if they happen to be infinite in some respect(s).


The Five Divine Presences

We can now look at a fundamental conception of Ibn Arabi, the ontological layers of the

“Five Divine Presences.” Although Ibn Arabi did not develop this classification explicitly,

it is inherent in his work. In an article that is still timely, Professor Chittick has compared

the ways Ibn Arabi’s closest followers and commentators have understood his

“Five Presences” (hadarat al-hams).

Chittick states: “These then are the Five Divine Presences as explained by Ibn al‘Arabi’s

foremost disciple [Qunawi]: the (1) Divine, (2) spiritual, (3) imaginal, (4) sensory and (5)

all-comprehensive, human levels.” Note that the Perfect Human (the insan al-kâmil) merits

a Presence all by itself (level 5), and encompasses all preceding stages.

Let us now skip to the end of Chittick’s article:

By now it has become clear that there is no set description of the Five Divine Presences that

all Sufis have followed. On the contrary, even in the works of these five figures, who wrote

within 100 years of one another and were closely bound together by master-disciple

relationships, there are several different interpretations. … By Its very Unknowability God’s

inmost nature seems to preclude any sharp and fast definitions. But the overall scheme

remains the same: The whole of Reality is divided into the Uncreated and the created;

the latter in turn is divided into three primary levels (Spirits, Corporeal-Bodies and an

Isthmus lying between the two); and a fifth reality [the Perfect Human]—whether

specifically mentioned or only implied—comprehends all the levels.



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