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108 of 133 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing and Contains Much False Teaching
on January 21, 2011
As a person who has suffered "Kundalini" awakening over a period of 12 years now, I found this book to be disappointing and to contain typical mis-understandings and mis-interpretations of the process of awakening. These mis-interpretations are due to people's attachment to a particular religion or spiritual tradition through which they filter their perception. Ken Wilber is especially guilty of this. Nearly all of Ken's writings are filtered through and distorted by his belief and commitment to Buddhism. Ken's section on the chakras in this book is incorrect and is based in ignorance and will lead many astray. It is obvious that Ken Wilber and most of the other contributors to this volume have not experienced kundalini first hand and are simply regurgitating second hand beliefs. After all, there is big $$ to be made in writing pop "spiritual" books. Wilber is always quoting someone else like Freud and rarely speaks from direct experience and perception. Wilber claims that the chakras are not real...that they are only real to one with the "separate self sense." This is completely false. I know first hand that the chakras are real. They are clearly visible to clairvoyant vision. Also, a person authentically experiencing the awakening process experiences the chakras directly. The knots and grandthis are not equivalent to the Chakras. Wilber disappoints for a guy with such a seemingly high IQ. It seems that Wilber is himself deluded by samsara and maya and is coming from his ego only. The so called "separate self sense" is not some anomaly of existence and our lives are not a mistake. To read Wilber's second hand Buddhist beliefs, this world is "samsara" or an illusion. This false belief leads many astray. For this life is very real and is meant to be. In fact, every single thing in our lives is meant to be and is there on purpose. The "delusion" or the "samsara" is that our Being and Value is based on our socio-economic status and on outer things...the things that humans usually base their identities and self sense on. In our culture, a person is assigned worth (Value) and status (Being) based upon how much money he or she has, what kind of car they drive, socio economic status, etc. This is the "Outside/In" delusion and causes deep wounds and alienation in us, for we are brought up in and brainwashed with this false hierarchy of being and value based on possession and objects. This is the meaning of Maya and Samsara. To be severed from the Higher Self center and to be outwardly identified is maya and samsara. These delusions come not because we are somehow falsely interpreting ourselves as individuals and as persons....autonomous, distinct, and seperate people. No. Our individuality is a given...a basic obvious fact of our existence. The "sin" or the "samsara" that causes us to feel like isolated, condemned entities, is that because of our wounds and blocks, we are closed in our hearts and our connection to our own Higher Self, which is located behind the heart chakra. The Higher Self is and always has been directly immersed in and fully integrated with the One. The Higher Self is Light and is Divine...it is a "spark" or portion of the One Source and the ALL THAT IS. Made of the same stuff. The Higher Self never fully incarnates in 3 dimensional space time, yet it is always present right here right now because all the other dimensions that are invisible to our senses are also right here, right now. The heart chakra directly connects to the crown chakra, which is connected to the causal body which is and always has been immersed in the Higher Dimensional Reality. Seem weird? It is at first. This is because the Universe and humans are multi dimensional in nature. Our individuality and personhood is absolutely meant to be folks. The goal is to become fully Self Realized as an Individual, to be fully in community with others, and to be consciously reconnected to the ONE and ALL. There is no such thing as "Kundalini". Kundalini is just a word. Kundalini energy is nothing but your own Higher Energy or Spirit erupting through lifetimes of defensive self encapsulation, wounds, complexes, and blocks. (what Wilber wrongly calls the chakras) Life as a human is traumatic and we are continually wounded as we experience life in a spiritually hostile and ignorant world. Our instinctive reaction is to block the experience of trauma in the physical body. This creates blocks in the subtle body and the subtle energy system. This causes us to be partially severed from our own Higher Self. The wrong teachings and interpretations in this book are related to the relationship between the One and the Many. Traditions that emphasize the One tend to obliterate and degrade the individuating many the countless Individuating Beings throughout the Cosmos). Kundalini does not destroy the ego. No. That is a wrong teaching. Kundalini seeks to break the ego's false identification with Outer things. From the time we are born, especially in the West, we are brainwashed with false self concepts. We are conditioned to believe that our sense of Being and Value and Self hood come from our job, how much money we have, what family we are born into, what we own, what sort of car we drive...etc. We develop an adapted "self" that many in recovery circles call the "false self". Jung called this the persona or mask. It is the self that we present to the world. The problem is...that this adapted self has an identity problem and has forgotten who and what it is and where it came from. We truly and actually came to this world from another dimension. Reincarnation is True. Our egos are sacred and the first half of life is dedicated to developing our egos and to developing a sense of individuality. This is one of the sole reasons why we choose to incarnate in duality on the physical plane. Being forced to make choices and take responsibility for our lives and selves provides countless opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve from experience. Authentic egoic development gets "added onto the Soul" or what some call the Higher Self, the Buddha nature, the Christ Self, etc. The kundalini process first overwhelms and crushes and importunes us and forces us to withdraw from the world and to break our outer identity. The process breaks us of the "Outside/In" syndrome. This is extremely painful and is called ego death. Yet, it doesn't stop there...there is much more to us. The process then forces all our karma, repressed emotions, problems, blocks, anger, shame, guilt, fear, and other "energies" and emotions to the surface for purgation and cleansing.This is agonizing and causes the ego to feel as though the whole weight of the world is on our shoulders. This also causes deep depression and frustration. Whatever comes up to consciousness must be cleared, worked through, and integrated. What is happening? The ego is being stripped of its false identification with outer things and is being healed so that it can re-integrate with the Higher Self. Sri Aurobindo calls this Center the Psychic Being. This is our eternal Individuality and Self hood...our Soul...our True Self. When the Soul or Center "comes to the front" and dominates the Being...this is Self Realization. There is more. Next....if a person works hard for many many years on the process, a person will also achieve conscious Oneness with the Source. This is called "God Realization" or "non dual" etc. We are already One with Source but are not aware of it and we do not experience it often due to the fact that most of us are severed from a direct connection with our Higher Self center. We knew it as children. We lost it as we were brainwashed and conditioned by the belief systems and memes of this planet. The process does not eliminate the ego. That is psychosis. The process does not obliterate the Individual...the Individual has been evolving over many many lifetimes and is eternal. This teaching of ego annihilation is the MAJOR FALSE TEACHING IN THIS BOOK. The ego annihilation part is only temporary. Our very makeup is designed to protect the ego at all costs. The ego is the important executor of consciousness and needs to be strengthened, made authentic, and integrated with the Higher Self. A person actually needs a very strong ego to weather the tremendous trials and suffering of the process. People and "traditions" that teach ego annihilation are doing souls a disservice and are teaching falsehood which discourages and frightens people. The process is actually trying to heal people and bring them to the next level of evolution. Otherwise...this book does have some very good writings, particularly the pieces by Wilber and Whitfield. The best book on the subject of Awakening is "The Ego and the Dynamic Ground by Michael Washburn. Washburn "gets it" because he himself experienced the process. Washburn also explains the process in terms that modern Western people can understand. People who have not gone through this process typically cannot be trusted to teach Truth because they themselves do not know it. Most so called "spiritual teachers" are simply regurgitating teachings that have been inherited or passed down. They are teaching ideas and beliefs that may or may not correlate with actual reality. More than anything else, never buy into any belief in a "no self" or "getting rid of the ego" and all that nonsense. The Buddha never taught a doctrine of "No Self." That is an ignorant human interpolation based in shame. The ego is a rather recent evolutionary development in humans and needs to be nurtured and made stronger and more authentic in most people before they are ready for Awakening to the next level of their development, which is the Soul level.