Postgenital Stirrings: A Spiritual Prepubescence
The long-developing, “prepubescence” ramping toward the Kundalini spinal puberty is known as pranotthana (“intensified, uplifted life-energy,” perhaps emergent within cellular mitochondria). This is clearly the same force of quivering uprightness active in Quakerism, Shakerism, Judaic davening (torso-rocking prayer), charismatic Holy Ghost phenomena, the swaying zikr and whirling dervish of Islam, the quiverings of the Orthodox hesychast, the Goddess-worshipping circle dance, the Dionysian revel of the Greek mystery schools, the flowing movements of tai chi, the ecstatic shamanic dance, the Yogically-derived Andalusian flamenco, the Middle-Eastern “belly-dance,” and the orgonic quivering-streamings of bioenergetics (which Reich deemed as beyond sexuality). Poetically, Rumi personified this way of vibrational spiritual development that calls beyond one’s current level of maturation toward the more distant puberties.
Drumsound rises on the air,
its throb, my heart.
A voice inside the beat says,
“I know you’re tired,
but come. This is the way.”
(Rumi, 1995 p. 122)
The Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhist and raja Yoga focus on the straightened spine (uju-kaya) is merely an intentionally- taming approach to the same spinal puberties (an uprightness that, too, emerges endogenously as the tumescence of the awakened spine), as are other erect-back Western sects. Here the “straight and narrow paths” obviate the complexities of the bodily awakenings in pursuit of the transcendental, plain and simple.
Pranotthana is also vividly apparent in the developmental movements and perpetual stretchings of infants and in the maturational glow of children and energetic zest of adolescence. As the thirteenth century attainer of the final maturations, Shri Jnaneshvar stated,
51. That is called [Yogic-developmental] action of the body in which reason takes no part and which does not originate as an idea springing in the mind.
52. To speak simply, yogis perform actions with their bodies, like the movements of children….(Jnaneshvar, 1987, p. 102)
The various willfully practiced asanas of Hatha Yoga are, more accurately, apollonian formulations of their dionysian originary emergence as sahaja Yoga, or as the yearning, quaking, shaking, davvening, throbbing, swaying and bodily tumescences of various other traditions. “Hatha” as meaning “forceful” grows ambiguous. Is it that a force, a divine shakti, compels the yogini to worshipfully stretch and develop her own body, beyond her own will’s choices and dictates into further maturation? Or does hatha refer only to her own willful storming of the heavenly gates? Or is there a point of humbling recognition where even that leeway of freedom called “the will” is seen as yet another expression of the Goddess, more or less attuned to the rhythms of the postgenital pubescent stirrings?
All such movements, vocalizations, and emotionalities are Yogic to the degree they foment the neuroendocrine transformations which comprise urdhva-retas (“refining maturation of bodily essence”) grasped rudimentarily as “sublimation” by Freud, thinly as psychological “alchemy” by Jung, and externalized with uncertain results in medicinal alchemies. Urdhva-retas ripples through all religions, sexual liberations, and love relationships which sense there is “more to sex (or, rather, eros) than sex itself.” Thus, the conflictual history of “sex” and “spirituality” is merely the confusion attendant to the transitions of any puberty.
The Postgenital Pubescent “Alchemies”
Known in Vedic times as shamanica medhra (releasement beyond genital puberty, and from which the term, shamanism is likely derived), the essential alchemy of urdhva-retas is the distillation of the secretion-radiance of ojas (subtle glycogen or health-energy radiance) such that desire-based love (the alchemical “lead” or “mercury”) begins to mature into ever more unconditional love (the alchemical “gold,” or the “nectar” of endless love).
Via the sahaja actions of body, breath, sentiment, and the utterly-allured concentrations known in the apollonian formulae as meditative “stages,” various hormonal secretions (felt as evermore poignant longings and gratitudes) undergo the alchemical maturation. These once-distilled secretions, (“elixirs,” soma, “philosopher’s gems”) are then reabsorbed into the body as a kind of nourishing “fuel.” So uroborically nourished, the body grows in the “Yogic direction” to next time issue slightly “higher octane” radiance-secretions, whose hyper-vitalities are distilled into still higher octaned secretions, and so on. In the first line of Hymn VII.5 of the Atharva-veda, this quintessential distillation process is described: “By sacrifice the gods sacrificed to the sacrifice.” The “gods” are, of course, the finest points of origination of the scintillations of these inwardly seen radiances, and the series of inner alchemical distillations, their “sacrifices to sacrifices.”
At some point, the glowing radiances and “dharmically libidinous” longings resulting from a longstanding urdhva-retas foment an opening of hymen-like granthis (knots) along the spinal sushumna. Kundalini awakens and enters. Thus, the long, spinal prepubescence of pranotthana enters its puberty and one hears of Yogic “disidentifications” with the body and the ego and reidentifications with the soul within its temple-body. Later there will be identifications with the Womb-Void and Eternal Body, or even the disidentification with all word-forms, denoting that other puberties have begun.
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