This is an image representing a human being in Kundalini yoga pose. Kundalini means “Coiled,” in Sanskrit. A snake of pure energy is said to exist at the base of your spine. You unlock it and it uncoils three and a half times up through your chakras.
“What do you understand by the diagram above?” said the psychiatrist.
The images in circles aligned vertically along the human spine here show chakras, or centres of energy. Through opening or realising these chakras the kundalini practicioner, which, today, would be a person living in 2010, attains some form of divine wisdom, which comes as a deep meditative state and, some would say, a feeling of true bliss. Bliss.
None of this is controversial.
Zurich. 1932. Meeting of the Psychological Club. Carl Jung presents a seminar on Kundalini. The practice of Yoga provides the modern western individual a means with which to develop higher consciousness. Kundalini Yoga fairly well researched and theorised. a lot of stuff online. Google ‘Kundalini’.
“Now tell me,” the psychologist rapped the table, “Do you believe this could be true?”
Below, om or aum. At the centre of the spiral. This image shows aum as symbol… Again, this is another concept which originates in Eastern religious or spiritual thought. Aum is a sacred syllable in the major Indian religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
The annunciation, of om, by a human voice is intended to convey the multiplicity of existence that is encountered, by the individual, in this realm, by emphasising a singular God. The oneness of existence is represented by or pronounced as a long or over-long nasalised close mid-back rounded vowel. How close in the West? hhhmmmm, maybe I can think of the final chapters of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.
The 1920s, and then again in the 80s, shimmering surfaces of westernised Sci-Fi. In the grip of a futurist trip, the art shows an idealised imagery of human emancipation through, here, Indian yogic alchemy but it could easily be spaceship adventures. Here is another image showing Kundalini. See the snake? King of Snake.
Running in a similar Vein. An empty ceramic pot for Blue Cheese from Fortnum & Mason sits on the bookshelf, over at John Edwards flat this afternoon. The varnish pleasantly crackled. He’s at O’Leary Square, Whitechapel, too. Telling me he was in Temperance Seven, they had a No. 1 hit single in 1961 with You’re Driving Me Crazy…
Below is an image of the Neijing Tu, which is another graphical representation of health in the human body. This image shows a body. Again, what do you understand this to say? Do you believe in it? Do you believe it?
The Neijing Tu is Daoist it is from a Chinese belief system. Images of Kundalini show the same kind of knowledge, but in yogic signs and discourse: Kundalini arose from a system of thought and health-promotion which came from India. They share the same root concern and a similar manner of expressing it, as well as both enthusing their adherents with a respect for and understanding of, the human body.
Double-click on the image, for its detail and composition reveal a strikingly different understanding of the human body than, I believe, the Western world and its contemporary discourses of health, medecine and wellbeing are able to communicate. See, here the spine is represented by a mountain range… Don’t dare imagine that you might find a beautifully rendered Neijing Tu tacked up on the wall in a Virgin Gym. Look to the child walking a spiral and clutching a star constellation. In the West we call these stars The Plough. In China, they form the basis for the footwork of a Northern style of Praying Mantis kung fu, Seven Star Praying Mantis Boxing. Here are two students of that style demonstrating a 2-person form…