Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, known in Greek as Chenoboskion was a city of antiquity. In December 1945 local farmers found thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices sealed within an earthenware jar. The writings of which twelve remain are considered to have been created or stored circa 200 A.D. Of the twelve writings there are approximately fifty-two tractates attributed to be of Gnostic sects of that time; the language of the Coptic comprises the works. The term "Divine Spark" and the idea associated (liberation via feminine energy latent within mankind) has been recorded throughout various philosophies, religions and mystery schools.
The Hypostasis of the Archons
One of the fifty-two tractates came to be translated as The Hypostasis of the Archons: "On account of the reality of the authorities, in the spirit of the Father of Truth the great apostle told us concerning the "authorities of darkness" that "our struggle is not against flesh and [blood]; but against the authorities of the cosmos and the spiritual (forces) of evil." [I have] sent (you) this because you inquire about the reality [of the] authorities. [86.20-27]" Within the text there is a drama played [primarily] between the syzygy Saklas (Demiurge) and Sophia, the "cosmological schism" caused during their birth became reiterated throughout various mystery schools across the ages. The end of the drama gives reference to what has been so-called the "Divine Spark" latent within mankind: ""You and your offspring, belong to the Father who exists from the beginning; it is from Above, from the Imperishable Light that their souls have come. Because of this the authorities cannot approach them because of the Spirit of Truth present within them. And all who have come to know this way exist deathless in the midst of dying humankind. But that Seed (pe-sperma) will not become manifest now. [96.19-28]"
Thus we have a reference to knowledge that may lead mankind from mortality to immortality. As previously said, various mystery schools have adopted and reiterated this idea leading to the development of techniques or philosophies of that school.
In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad there are multiple statements on the Divine Spark or "Vital Force": "It is called Ayasya Angirasa, for it is the essence of the members (of the body).The vital force is indeed the essence of the members. Of course it is their essence. (For instance), from which member the vital force departs, right there it withers. Therefore of course this is the essence of the members."
"...The vital force is the self not only of the body and organs, which represent form and action respectively, but also of the Vedas, Rc, Yajus and Saman, which consist of name. Thus the Sruti magnifies the vital force, extolling it as the self of all, to show that it is a fit object of meditation." - Swami Madhavananda
A well-known mantra from the text:
"Lead Us From the Unreal To the Real,
Lead Us From Darkness To Light,
Lead Us From Death To Immortality,
Let There Be Peace Peace Peace."
"The Spirit of the Fountain
It is called the Mysterious
The Doorway of the Mysterious
Is called the Root of Heaven-
Lingering like gossamer, it has
only a hint of existence;
And yet when you draw upon it,
it is inexhaustible."
In the pivotal work Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, an authoritative account of the techniques and philosophy of the Yogi, he expresses on many accounts the workings of the Life Force (also referred to under the name 'Kundalini Shakti' (Feminine Energy): ""Kriya Yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened," Sri Yukteswar explained to his students. "The ancient yogis discovered that the secret of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery. This is India's unique and deathless contribution to the world's treasury of knowledge. The life force, which is ordinarily absorbed in maintaining the heart-pump, must be freed for higher activities by a method of calming and stilling the ceaseless demands of the breath."
The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses) which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment.
The astral system of a human being, with six (twelve by polarity) inner constellations revolving around the sun of the omniscient spiritual eye, is interrelated with the physical sun and the twelve zodiacal signs. All men are thus affected by an inner and an outer universe. The ancient rishis discovered that man's earthly and heavenly environment, in twelve-year cycles, push him forward on his natural path. The scriptures aver that man requires a million years of normal, diseaseless evolution to perfect his human brain sufficiently to express cosmic consciousness."
The subject of Kundalini has been in discourse since the days in the life of Patanjali, who came to be considered one of the greatest expounders of Yoga of recorded history. He is most famous for his Yoga Sutras consisting of four books containing 195 aphorisms. Two verses from Book III shall illustrate an early illumination of the nature of Kundalini.
"Perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of force in the lower trunk brings an understanding of the order of the bodily powers. We are coming to a vitally important part of the teaching of Yoga: namely, the spiritual man's attainment of full self-consciousness, the awakening of the spiritual man as a self-conscious individual, behind and above the natural man. In this awakening, and in the process of gestation which precedes it, there is a close relation with the powers of the natural man, which are, in a certain sense, the projection, outward and downward, of the powers of the spiritual man. This is notably true of that creative power of the spiritual man which, when embodied in the natural man, becomes the power of generation. Not only is this power the cause of the continuance of the bodily race of mankind, but further, in the individual, it is the key to the dominance of the personal life. Rising, as it were, through the life-channels of the body, it flushes the personality with physical force, and maintains and colours the illusion that the physical life is the dominant and all-important expression of life. In due time, when the spiritual man has begun to take form, the creative force will be drawn off, and become operative in building the body of the spiritual man, just as it has been operative in the building of physical bodies, through generation in the natural world."
"Through mastery of the upward-life comes freedom from the dangers of water, morass, and thorny places, and the power of ascension is gained."
Modern clarifications on the practice of Kundalini oriented meditation, also known as Raja Yoga have been written for the benefit aimed at Western man. A great work such described is Kundalini Tantra (2002) by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
"Right from the beginning of creation, man witnessed many transcendental happenings. Sometimes he was able to read the thoughts of others, he witnessed somebody else's predictions coming true, or he may even have seen his own dreams manifesting into realities. He pondered over the fact that some people could write inspiring poems or compose beautiful music whereas others couldn't; one person could fight on the battlefield for days together and another person couldn't even get up from his bed. So he wanted to discover why everybody seemed to be different.
In the course of his investigations, man came to understand that within every individual there is a special form of energy. He saw that in some people it was dormant, in others it was evolving and in a very small minority of people, it was actually awakened. Originally, man named this energy after gods, goddesses, angels or divinities. Then he discovered prana and called it prana shakti. In tantra they called it kundalini. (pp. 10)"
"If you want to take up the practice of kundalini yoga, the most important thing is that you have a reason or an aim. If you want to awaken kundalini for psychic powers, then please go ahead with your own destiny. But if you want to awaken kundalini in order to enjoy communion between Shiva and Shakti, the actual communion between the two great forces within you, and if you want to enter samadhi and experience the absolute in the cosmos, and if you want to understand the truth behind the appearance, and if the purpose of your pilgrimage is very great, then there is nothing that can come to you as an obstacle.
By means of kundalini awakening, you are compensating with the laws of nature and speeding up the pace of your physical, mental and spiritual evolution. Once the great shakti awakens, man is no longer a gross physical body operating with a lower mind and low voltage prana. Instead, every cell of his body is charged with the high voltage prana of kundalini. And when total awakening occurs, man becomes a junior god, an embodiment of divinity. (pp. 11)"
The process of Raja Yoga, as well as all Yoga in some form or another has the single aim of liberation; the liberation through philosophical study or scientific practice of the spiritual from the physical. Pertaining to the process of Kundalini we have the yogic science of uniting Shakti (latent feminine energy, dynamic divinity) with Shiva (latent masculine energy, static divinity). This union of seemingly opposites forces gives rise to the aforementioned word 'Yoga' (yoke), which means Union.
1.) "And He said : "He who penetrates the meaning of these words will not taste death.""
75.) "(75) Jesus said : "Many stand outside at the door, but it is the solitaries who will enter the bridal chamber.""
When Jesus had talked of the "bridal chamber" there is at once a confusion in the literal but an understanding in the esoteric or mystical. The Bridal Chamber of the yogis was the brain, the seat of Shiva.
When the bride (Shakti) ascends to enter the Bridal Chamber (brain) she unites with the bridegroom (Shiva).
"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light [see Jer. 6:16; Sirach 51:23]."
The Divine Poetry of Ancient Persia
"Makers of words are the nightingales of God's Throne,
Is it possible that other [mortals] can be likened to them?
Consumed by the flames of meditation,
They become akin to the host of angels."
Mahmud Shabistari, regarded as one of the greatest Persian Sufi poets, estimated to having lived circa 1400 A.D. His most famous work The Secret Rose Garden (Gulshan-i Rāz) contains passages analogous to the idea of the Divine Spark. Of the passages there is his Thoughts On Souls, showing remarkable poetic expression of the idea.
"Ponder well once for all on your own origin,
Your first mother had a father who was also her mother.
Behold the world comprised entirely in yourself,
That which was made last was first in thought.
The last that was made was the soul of Adam,
The two worlds were a means to his production.
There is no other final cause beyond man,
It is disclosed in man's own self.
The black hearted and the fool are the opposites of light
Yet are they the theatres of the true epiphany.
When the back of a mirror is blackened,
It will reflect a man's face from its face;
And the rays of the sun in the fourth heaven
Are not reflected till they fall upon the dust of the earth.
You are the reflection of "The Adored of angels,"
For this cause are you worshipped of angels.
Each creature that goes before you has a soul,
And from that soul is bound a cord to you.
Therefore are they all subject to your dominion,
For that the soul of each one is hidden in you,
You are the kernel of the world in the midst thereof,
Know yourself that you are the world's soul."
Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Judaism
Yasna Haptanghaiti; chapter 36, verse 3:
"The Fire of Ahura Mazda art thou verily; yea, the most bounteous one of His Spirit, wherefore Thine is the most potent of all names (for grace), O Fire of the Lord! 4. And therefore we would approach Thee, (O Ahura!) with the help of Thy Good Mind (which Thou dost implant within us), with Thy (good) Righteousness, and with the actions and the words inculcated by Thy good wisdom!"
This terminology of deity as fire-within spread from the East to the West. Christian and Jewish mysticism both express this idea, two examples are presented:
First a passage from Thomas Aquinas, with a preface from Hebrews 12:29;
Hebrews 12:29: "For our God is a consuming fire."
"The name "Seraphim" does not come from charity only, but from the excess of charity, expressed by the word ardor or fire. Hence Dionysius (Coel. Hier. vii) expounds the name "Seraphim" according to the properties of fire, containing an excess of heat. Now in fire we may consider three things.
First, the movement which is upwards and continuous. This signifies that they are borne inflexibly towards God.
Secondly, the active force which is "heat," which is not found in fire simply, but exists with a certain sharpness, as being of most penetrating action, and reaching even to the smallest things, and as it were, with superabundant fervor; whereby is signified the action of these angels, exercised powerfully upon those who are subject to them, rousing them to a like fervor, and cleansing them wholly by their heat.
Thirdly we consider in fire the quality of clarity, or brightness; which signifies that these angels have in themselves an inextinguishable light, and that they also perfectly enlighten others."
Teilhard de Chardin
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist. In two of his books, The Phenomenon of Man and The Future of Man Teilhard attempts to synthesize ancient philosophy with modern science. The basic tenet of the works reside in the idea of Man as having the latent energy of the Logos within himself, developing what is called the noosphere. That having this energy or emergent phenomenon will, through evolution, reunite that which was divided. Man's divided self through Time will eventually become a single supremely conscious organism; that there is an "Omega Point" drawing all back into itself, a transcendent force pulling the universe into a state of maximum complexity and consciousness.
From A Sketch of a Personalistic Universe:
"There is neither spirit nor matter in the world; the stuff of the universe is spirit-matter. No other substance but this could produce the human molecule. I know very well that this idea of spirit-matter is regarded as a hybrid monster, a verbal exorcism of a duality which remains unresolved in its terms. But I remain convinced that the objections made to it arise from the mere fact that few people can make up their minds to abandon an old point of view and take the risk of a new idea... Biologists or philosophers cannot conceive a biosphere or noosphere because they are unwilling to abandon a certain narrow conception of individuality. Nevertheless, the step must be taken. For in fact, pure spirituality is as inconceivable as pure materiality. Just as, in a sense, there is no geometrical point, but as many structurally different points as there are methods of deriving them from different figures, so every spirit derives its reality and nature from a particular type of universal synthesis."
Kenneth Earl "Ken" Wilber II has primarily undertaken tasks of being a writer and public speaker. His formal education coupled with a curiosity for any field of knowledge led him to formulate the core of his own philosophy called Integral Theory. In his A Brief History of Everything (1996, 2000) he gives rise to a simple question, that is indicative of the tendency for the modern man to simply exhibit denial when confronted by mystery:
"Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don't they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion. Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I'm sure that would help. But then, I wonder. Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity — a total embrace of the entire Kosmos — a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It's at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane? (pp. 42)"
Also in light of the study of trans-personal psychology Wilber states:
"Spirit slumbers in nature, awakens in mind, and finally recognizes itself as Spirit in the trans-personal domains."
In a letter to W. Lutoslawski dated (1906-05-06) (The Letters of William James (1920)):
"Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed. (pp. 253)"
Buckminster Fuller without going over his vast scientific achievements and prospects once made a succinct statement in his book Critical Path (1981), "There are no solids. There are no things. There are only interfering and noninterfering patterns operative in pure principle, and principles are eternal. Principles never contradict principles. . . The synergetic integral of the totality of principles is God, whose sum-total behavior in pure principle is beyond our comprehension and is utterly mysterious to us, because as humans — in pure principle — we do not and never will know all the principles." Fuller throughout his life attempted to explain how through simply examining the physical, material aspects of the Cosmos you could find evidence suggesting life as an eternally regenerative field; Albert Einstein said once in what is called the Viereck interview (1929): "I claim credit for nothing. Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player."
4D Timelock (1928): "Life is the spirit incarnate in time."
- Paramahansa Yogananda
- Swami Sri Yukteswar
- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
- Swami Satyananda
- Tabor Light
- Teilhard de Chardin
- Transpersonal Psychology
- Kundalini Tantra (2002) by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
- Kundalini Tantra (2002) by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
- The Comparative Study of Traditional Asian Literatures; From Reflective Traditionalism to Neo-Traditionalism by V. I. Braginsky
- A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber, Shambhala; 2 edition (February 6, 2001)
- A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber, Shambhala; 2 edition (February 6, 2001)
- Critical Path (1981) by R. Buckminster Fuller and Kiyoshi Kuromiya