Monday, January 16, 2006

What They Never Told You About Your Health

There is more and more talk of societal ills, psychosomatic illnesses, the placebo effect. Does the health of our body depend on the well-being of the psyche ?

The main characteristics of modern medicine are the following:
  • A passive attitude on the part of the individual. Someone else takes responsibility to reduce or destroy the virulent aggressors by disinfectants, antibiotics, antiseptics, and other forms of anti something.
  • The products used have a physio-chemical or biochemical action on the organism and or the environment.
  • A mechanist orientation, whereby matter governs everything and each problem can be reduced into its composite parts.
  • What is experienced in-vitro is reproducible in-vivo : with logic and rationality we can draw universal conclusions and transfer their application from one species to another.
  • Medical science of the 21st century should integrate a new approach to sickness and healing. The individual takes an active approach, drawing on his own reserves of energy to fight off external aggressions. This would require an awareness of the source and functioning of this energy.
  • Mediator-transmitted methods of activating natural immunity.
  • Complex conceptualization, i.e. the body is considered as living and heterogeneous, it can not be separated into different components (physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual) without losing its identity. It evolves over time and adapts according to events and circumstances. It has a psychological and physical memory (the immune system and the memory of aggressors, for instance) which allow it to adapt itself over time.
  • Remedies provide information; information does not, however, exist in a vacuum, it only becomes real when received and treated by the receiver.
  • Importance of prevention and control of environmental factors which lower the body’s capacity to respond.

To understand the underlying psycho-physiological mechanisms of the body, let’s take a look at some scientific principles brought to light by ancient oriental knowledge, in particular the Indian tradition of yoga.

Primitive Nervous System and plexuses

The very complex human nervous system developed as a result of a long evolution of animal species. The one-celled amoeba displays all the main characteristics which differentiate a living organism from an inert entity. The first neural mechanism appeared with the hydra, the medusa and the sea anemone. It consisted of a nerve cell and fibres in their most basic form.
The earthworm developed a cerebral ganglion, a sub pharyngeal ganglion and two ventral nerve cords, as well as nerve plexuses spread out along its entire body, each plexus having relative autonomy from the others: there is merely an embryonic central unity, and the system depends on the coordination between the plexuses.
The appearance of vertebrates corresponds to the creation and development of a central nervous system which, by becoming more complex, improved coordination of its diverse functions. First was the functional development: in the frog and alligator the olfactory sense is well-developed, to facilitate finding food and protection against predators.
In fish and birds, the cerebellum is highly developed and plays an essential role in regulating tonus and muscular coordination.
With the appearance of superior vertebrates, we observe an increase in the cerebral hemispheres and a relative decrease in the cerebellum in the human being the maximum ratio is reached, with the hemispheres composing 83% of the brain.

However, when looking at the conscious mind, the most complex and exterior of the centralised systems, we should not forget the units which underlie it. On a functional level, the system is at first unconscious, functioning by reactions more or less automatic or instinctive, then later by conditionings acquired by experiences of growing complexity.
Evolution occurs through a dialectic between desire (which Jung later called libido) supported by the left sympathetic system, and the experience of action/reaction, supported by the right sympathetic system. The parasympathetic is the real support of this evolution, by assuring a balance between the two complementary systems of left and right. The consciousness is merely a more or less impotent witness to the phenomena it observes.
But the development of the conscious system does not replace or obscure the system which preceded it in the scheme of evolution. The autonomic nervous system still governs the basic vital functions of the organism. Clinical disorders originate in this system barely understood by modern medical science. At present the only approaches which encompass an awareness of this system are homeopathy and oriental medicine.

The nerve fibres situated to the left and right of the autonomous system come together at different points in the spinal cord, forming knots: the plexuses. There are seven major plexuses, all situated near essential endocrine glands. According to oriental knowledge, these plexuses, or chakras, have an unusual characteristic in that they are capable of influencing one’s behaviour. One’s behaviour would directly affect the hormonal system which would in turn modify the functional balance, and vice versa. Each plexus is coordinated with the others but maintains a relative autonomy: information is transmitted by enzymatic processes. For example, assigning oneself objectives too difficult to achieve would engender dissatisfaction which would have a direct repercussion on the solar plexus, manifesting in gastric difficulties and, in an extreme case, culminating in an ulcerous condition. Each plexus is sensitive to behaviour related to its properties.
From the base of the spine to the top of the head (fontanel bone area), these plexuses appear in order of increasing complexity and subtlety in terms of the evolution of consciousness, as presents Maslow in his famous pyramid of satisfaction of needs, known by all students of marketing.
The chart below summarizes oriental knowledge of the nervous system, synthesizing different approaches to bring an understanding of the energy system which maintains the balance of our being. Here is a brief description :

The subtle energy system

The pelvic plexus

If we refer to yogic knowledge concerning the chakras, the first plexus (Muladhara Chakra) is situated at the tip of the coccyx, close to the perineum. It is responsible for the innocence and purity of the organism, protecting it from any harmful foreign body. The magnetism inherent in innocence can be seen in the excellent sense of direction of migrating birds. Lack of respect for this innocence and purity (in the form of consumption of drugs or extreme sexual behaviours, for instance) is at the origin of genetic troubles in general and diseases such as AIDS, Parkinsons Disease, Multiple Sclerosis.

The aortic plexus

The second plexus, corresponding to the Swadisthan Chakra, located at the level of the pelvis, is the base of intuitive knowledge on the left side and creativity on the right side. It is symbolised in mythology by God the creator, which corresponds to the role of the liver, in the distribution and transformation of energy to the various organs. This centre is disturbed by excess planning or mental or physical overactivity.

The celiac plexus

The third plexus is one of the well known Chakra : the Solar Plexus or Manipura or Nabhi Chakra, innervates the intestines, the liver, and the stomach. It is sensitive to satisfaction in all areas: food, comfort, money… This satisfaction can be established by self-mastery, the teaching of which was handed down by different prophets (Mohammed, Christ, Buddha,) to encourage right conduct. Obtaining material satisfaction is necessary before attaining satisfaction on a more subtle level as sociologists such as Jung and Maslow have described, towards an awareness of the Self. This chakra is disturbed by dissatisfaction (the basis of consumerist capitalist culture) and by the acceptance of false teachings.

The cardiac plexus

The fourth plexus, of the heart (Anahatha Chakra), is sensitive to affective relationships with our mother (or the image we have of her) on the left side, and with our father on the right side. The central part along with the thymus assures the principal of security and self-confidence (and is responsible for the production of antibodies in childhood). Too much attachment to, or neglect of, those close to us can disturb this centre, thus a certain stability with regards to family life is important in maintaining the balance of the heart chakra.

The cervical plexus
The fifth plexus, of the throat (Vishuddhi Chakra), concerns our social relations, our position (extremes of which are one who dominates or is dominated), the principle of self-esteem and dignity, the way we communicate with others, the ability to witness events with a certain amount of detachment.

The Optic Chiasma
The sixth energy centre (Agnya Chakra) is situated at the optic chiasma and calls upon a more subtle quality of detachment, that of forgiveness of oneself and others. In fact, whether one forgives or doesn’t forgive, nothing in the situation changes, but not forgiving makes only oneself feel bad, so why not avoid this suffering? The proper functioning of the ego and superego depend on this centre. Lack of respect for the principles of forgiveness and detachment can result in psychic and behavioural problems.

The limbic area
The limbic area (Sahasrara Chakra) is located at the top of the head, close to the pituitary and pineal glands (which themselves depend on the sixth energy centre). It is the most subtle of the seven centres, and is concerned with spirituality in the large sense, i.e. awareness that not everything that exists is governed by material phenomena. One main quality of this centre is an integration of understanding the place of the human being in the microcosm and macrocosm. This state of understanding is reached when one realises the Self and the individual ego begins to indentify with the universal ego. (In fact, what significance does the notion of me have when we consider that each and every atom of which we are composed is a transitory phenomenon, a mobile form of energy). Very few people have reached that stage of evolution of consciousness whereby life is perceived as a play of relations and interactions of energy fields, at an individual as well as cosmic level.

Ida Nadi
Ida Nadi corresponds to the left sympathetic nervous system, which begins at the pelvis plexus and climbs the left side of the spinal cord, crossing the optic chiasma and arriving at the right hemisphere of the brain. The quality associated with the left sympathetic channel is that it supports our emotions, our intuitions, the feminine aspect of our personality, the yin or lunar aspect: its nature is cold and humid, and it governs everything related to water in our organism. It corresponds to conditionings, that is everything accumulated by past experience (the superego). It also provides support for the destructive forces of the organism: it controls the mechanisms of preservation and defence destruction of aggressive agents but also destruction of the self in the form of ageing.

Pingala Nadi
Pingala Nadi corresponds to the right sympathetic nervous system and begins at the aortic plexus, climbs the right side of the spinal cord, terminating in the left hemisphere of the brain. Its domain of influence includes everything to do with action, dynamism, creativity, the masculine aspect of our personality, the yang or solar aspect. It is the basis of the awareness of I. It looks after future plans, construction, and expansion. It is symbolized by the dynamic young executive of the modern world. If overdeveloped, it obscures all other aspects of one’s personality. It is characterized by all that is hot and dry, in contrast to the cold and humid left side.

Sushumna Nadi
Sushumna Nadi corresponds to the parasympathetic nervous system and is located in the centre. It starts at the sacrum, and with the exception of a short interruption, ascends to the limbic area at the top of the head. The parasympathetic system constantly works to maintain a balance between the left and right sympathetics, but is frequently sabotaged by our behaviour which tends towards the extremes of action or emotion, left or right. It is responsible for re-establishing homeostasis (functional balance in the organism).
The transmission of messages and information is carried out in part by an electro magnetic component (located at the level of nerve fibres), relayed by the hormonal system – the signal is transported by chemical agents, either between the synapses of the nerve fibres or in the tissues, reaching as far as the cell receptors. It is here that the regulation of trace elements and physiologic balance initiated by the nerve plexuses and hypothalamus intervenes. In terms of conscious development, it corresponds to the Self as described by Jung, it is the basis of the evolution of species.

Parasympathetic, the central path, the Tao
Eastern spiritual traditions explain that a certain energy resides in the sacrum bone (it is said to be a fraction of the primordial cosmic energy), capable of developing under certain conditions, and of vibrating the other plexuses with the help of the parasympathetic nervous system. This suggests that each plexus has a way of acting which is not solely chemical and electromagnetic, but which encompasses another component of the energy field : much more subtle and for lack of a better word labelled vibrations.
In anatomical terms, the parasympathetic nervous system has a peculiarity: there is a gap in the line of nerve bundles going from the brain to the base of the spinal column, at the level of the stomach (thoracic and lumbar columns). Because of this, the tenth cranial nerve which carries the most parasympathetic fibres was called the vagus nerve. The physiological consequence is that the brain is unaware of what lies below the solar plexus (for lack of liaison) and thus the energy residing in the sacrum bone remains in the unconscious.
Yogis claim that this energy has been waiting since the dawn of evolution for the consciousness of humans to be sufficient to conceive of an integration with the universe, before starting to function. This phenomenon can be compared to the sexual functions, which only activate when a certain level of maturity is reached in the human body.
The awakening of this energy manifests in an experience called self-realisation described in many traditions but also by modern authors including Jung, Einstein, Maslow, Gandhi, Marcelle Senard, Kahlil Gibran.

Self- Realisation
The awakening of the spiritual energy in the sacrum manifests as a vibration capable of creating an energy bridge between the two extremes of the parasympathetic channel, joining the vagus nerve to the hypogastric plexus, thus making possible a conscious connection with the sacred aspect of the parasympathetic system. The vibrations generated at the sacrum level can be compared to a radio broadcast, reacting on the hypogastric plexus, then the aortic, then the solar plexus, cardiac, cervical, and up to the top of the head. As with electro magnetic waves, these vibrations radiate in the environment like a transmitter which sends its energy by antennae, amplified in the case of larger wire receivers. Thus each plexus becomes like a transmitter in tune with and interacting with the vibrations of the universe and those of other humans or objects in the immediate environment. When this energy traverses the top of the head, a connection (called yoga) is established with the primordial cosmic energy and the person experiencing this feels a cool breeze (spiritus in latin) coming out of the top of the head and on the palms of the hands, a phenomen illustrated and described in numerous cultures (as in the Pentecost at the time of Christ). In this state, intuitive or supra normal information which Russian researchers attributed to torsion fields (capable of transmitting information without energy at a speed superior to light), can reach the conscious mind sensitized by this evolutionary experience. Effects of this awakening include a regeneration of damaged plexuses, and a reestablishment of the balance between the two sympathetic channels. Another effect is the possibility to physically feel the state of one’s plexuses or of those on whom one places one’s attention. This awareness allows one to adjust one’s behaviour according to the qualities of plexuses, thus achieving a balance (Tao) necessary for optimal well-being.
In concrete terms, the practice of yoga , or meditation represents a state of awareness without thoughts, characterized by a calming and harmonizing of all bodily functions, thus improving or even curing a large number of psychosomatic ailments.

Perhaps you are wondering how this phenomenon occurs?
How can you initiate the awakening of this energy capable of repairing damaged energy circuits?
How can you feel your chakras, judge their state and correct them?
How can you feel a real inner peace which is unperturbed by stress?

In a word, how to feel good ?

It’s simple!
In the olden times, one had to meditate for years and sacrifice one’s worldly life in order to achieve a state of inner peace and balance. We could become ascetics in the forest, but there is a much easier way in these modern times. One simply needs to ask someone who already has this energy awakened, like a candle which has been lit, enlightens another candle. In this way the connection with the collective unconscious is established. You may not immediately reach a state of total enlightenment, but the light in your spirit will have been awakened. Through meditation this awareness of your subtle system increases, as well as the state of thoughtless awareness. Like a messy room in the dark, once you turn on the light it is easier to clean up the room.
So if you want to awaken your energy and experience for yourself all of the above, come and find out about Sahaja Yoga and we will show you how you can achieve a real state of well being.
We do not charge any money, as how can you pay for something which is already inside you?

Internet site :

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Innocence of Wisdom that children can teach us...

Once there was a scientist who lived worried about the problems in the world, and was decided to find the ways in which these could be less. He would spend days and days in his lab searching for answers with no results. Then one day, his seven year old son invaded his sanctuary, set upon helping him in his task. The scientist, nervous about his son' s interruption, asked him to go play outside. Seeing that it was impossible to get him out, the father thought of something to give his child to distract his attention. Suddenly he found a magazine in which there was a map of the world! With scissors, he cut in several pieces the map, grabbed some duck tape and gave all that to his son and said: "Since I know how much you like jigsaw puzzles, I am going to give you the world all cut into pieces so that you repair it all by yourself". The scientist thought that it would take the child at least 10 days to repair the map, but it didn't happen that way......Just after a few hours, he heard his child's voice calling him in a
serene way. "Dad Dad, I finished repairing the whole map." At first the father didn't believe his son. He thought that it was impossible that at his young age, he could repair it without ever seeing it before. Sceptical, looking away from his scientific writings, he directed his sight towards the map that his son had repaired. He was certain to find a job made byjust a kid. Surprisingly, he noticed that the map was very well put together, with all the pieces placed in the correct place. How was that possible? . How was the child capable of doing such a good work? The father with much amazement asked his son: "My child, you didn't know how the world was , how did you do it? And the child answered:

"Dad I didn't know how the world was...but when you took out the map from the magazine to cut it into pieces, I noticed that in the other side, there was the shape of a man. So I turned each little piece and started to repair the man. When I was able to repair the man, I turned it to the other side and saw that I had repaired the world."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Self-realization during the interview

[A report published in a magazine called Ziereus, May 1983. The writer, who met
Shri Mataji before she visited the U.S.A., received his self-realization during
the interview.]

The aim was to talk to Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi about her forthcoming North American tour. What happened was something that is only now, a week later, starting to make sense. I telephoned the number Shri Mataji's followers in New York had given me, and found myself, an hour later, knocking on the carved door of a five storied terraced house in London's classy Knightsbridge district. The door was opened by a young Indian who ushered me into a reception room as ornate and rich as a jewel box. Furniture covered with rose silk, tables inlaid with ivory, carved and gilded wooden screens, pale pink crystal chandeliers. I heard Shri Mataji before I saw her. "How are you? How is America?"

Then the lady appeared. Short, plump, with long dark hair falling free and a smile that chips away all defences. Tea was ordered and I was asked to sit down. Before I could get the first question into gear Shri Mataji asked, "Do you know what the chakras are?" I mumbled something about subtle energy centres along the spine.

"That's right," she said, and tapped the base of her neck with her index finger. "This one is called the Vishuddhi. In the universe the Vishuddhi is North America. Australia is the lowest chakra, the Mooladhara. India is the Kundalini, which can link all the chakras together." She traced a line from the base of the spine to the top of her head, "But America is the Vishuddhi, isn't it? Such an important chakra." Shri Mataji then touched the red spot on her forehead. "This chakra," she said, "is the Agnya. It is presided over by Lord Jesus Christ, isn't it? The Agnya is forgiveness. It shows that the spirit cannot be destroyed, just as Christ could not be destroyed, but rose again, didn't he?" Shri Mataji quietly contemplated the risen Christ for a moment, then jabbed her fingers towards the base of her neck again. "The Vishuddhi, its presiding deity, you could say, is Lord Krishna. The Vishuddhi stands for diplomacy, sweetness, self-esteem, communication and collectivity - like your Abraham Lincoln. He stood for collectivity. Abraham Lincoln was a saint - Did you know that?- a realized soul. You have had many great men. Roosevelt now - he said, 'Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere'. So clear. America is so great. It is protected by Lord Krishna's discus."

Shri Mataji held up the index finger of her right hand and twirled it and I swear I could see a bright glittering disc whirling round. "As long as that discus is there," she said, "America can never be invaded."

"Could that protection ever be withdrawn?" I asked. Shri Mataji shrugged expressively, and raised her eyebrows high. "Perhaps," she said. "If the land of diplomacy stopped being diplomatic, the land of communications communicated bad things, the land of sweetness turned bitter,then yes. Perhaps Lord Krishna might withdraw the protection." Suddenly she laughed. "On my tour I shall tell everybody how to stop that from happening." I asked Shri Mataji if she was visiting North America just to sound such a warning. "There are seekers of money, seekers after power, seekers of physical gratification," she replied, "and then there are people who have done all those things and are now seeking the truth, seeking their spirit, seeking God. There
are many, many seekers of truth in America. Great, great seekers. Oh so great. I want to meet them. Show them how they can get what they have been looking for, probably since ages, lifetimes even, their self-realization."

"What is that exactly?" I hadn't yet asked one question from my carefully prepared list.Tea arrived. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the spellbinding visionary, turned into Mrs. C.P. Srivastava, the attentive hostess. Did I have the right amount of sugar and milk? Would I have a biscuit? (Which turned out to be a cookie.)"Self-realization," said Shri Mataji, "is the yoga, the union. The joining of the microcosm to the macrocosm, you could say. The raising of the energy in each of us called Kundalini. There is no English word for it. You should invent one. There is a good job for
you. Invent a good English word for Kundalini. The linking of that energy with the all-pervading energy of God, that is what self-realization is."

"What exactly does it do?" I felt a fool at the naivety of the question. "It brings about a change in awareness. You feel it as a cool breeze, cool vibrations, you could say, on the top of the head and on the hands. It is an actual happening! Not self-certification. Not saying 'I am born again!' or 'I am this or that!' You actually become! If you desire self-realization and you get it, then you become collectively conscious, truly sweet and truly diplomatic. A true blue American, you could say." And the joyous laughter flowed into every corner of the room. I asked Shri Mataji if she was the only one who could grant this self-realization. "Oh no," came the reply, "once you have it you can pass it on to others." "But it all seems to start from you," I said. "Why you?"

Shri Mataji's face became serious. "As far as I know," she said, "I am the only
one who can do it en-masse. Once, in India, 6000 villagers got it at the same time. But if there is someone else who can do it, then I am only too happy to retire. I am sixty years old." (At times she looks half that.) "I am happily married. I have a beautiful house as you can see. It would be good to settle down and stop all this travelling around all the time. But until I find someone else who can do it, then it is up to me, isn't it? To meet the seekers and let them know how to gain this gift that is their own, their right, this Union with God."

"Could I receive this gift?" I asked. Shri Mataji's eyes danced, "Put your hand above your head," she said. I did as I was told. There was a faint, oh so faint coolness on my hand. I looked round to see if there could be a draught coming from anywhere, but there was no air conditioning and the windows were closed.
"You feel it?" I nodded, tentatively. "That is the beginning. Perhaps while you were drinking your tea you said to yourself, 'I'd like that experience,' and," Shri Mataji snapped her fingers, "you got it. It can only happen if you desire it. Give me your hand."

She took my hand and started tracing a cross over the palm. "You think too much," she said. "Your mind is busy, busy, busy, thinking away." From that moment on it wasn't. It was hardly thinking at all. "Too much thinking can give people diabetes. It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it's thinking. We can cure diabetes. After realization. And this new thing AIDS, after realization we can cure that too. With realization you become your own guru. You can diagnose your own problems and those of others, and you can cure them. Anybody with their realization and the desire to develop their spirit, can cure and be cured."
At this point a wave of most pleasant well-being swept over me. It wasn't a trance or a hypnotic state (I've experienced those) - it was a feeling of deep peace.

I regretted my next question. It caused the smile to fade from Shri Mataji's face. "How much are you going to charge Americans for this experience?" "It is part of evolution," she replied. "It is a gift of love from God, who is the ocean of love, the ocean of compassion. How can you pay for that? God does not understand money. How can you pay for your evolution? Did you pay to stand up on two legs? Anyway, why would I want money? I come from a wealthy family. My husband is Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization here in London. I do not need money. I do not accept money." Shri Mataji let go of my hand and smiled. "Better now?" she asked. I nodded. "That is because your brain is not so active. You are more balanced, more centered, more relaxed. Have some more tea?" I put my hand above my head again. The coolness was still there. Perhaps even stronger. "There are so many great seekers in North America," she said. "I want to meet them." Now, almost a week later, when I sit down quietly, that sense of peace and relaxed happiness returns. I am hoping it won't go away!