KAP Instructor Tao Semko discusses the place of the vagus nerve in kundalini physiology and practice, along with later alchemical stages in kundalini awakening, and the correspondences between Indian and Chinese systems, including brief summaries of the following:
Why it’s not enough to simply take kundalini along the spine:
Spinal curvature, the vagus nerve, the thymus gland, piercing the heart, and more…
Explanations of Chinese Internal Alchemy with reference to Indian metaphysics and kundalini process:
The Lesser Enlightenment of Kan & Li (Water and Fire)
The Greater Enlightement of Kan & Li
The Greatest Enlightenment of Kan & Li
The Reunification of Heaven and Man (Woman)
The Reunification of Heaven and Earth
Christian metaphysics and kundalini:
The Apostolic Flame
The Descent of the Dove
The Return to the (Sacred) Heart/ Hrit Padma
“Now, you’re questioning spine versus vagus nerve: you can move Kundalini up the spine, but ultimately it’s going to dead-end your development, meaning that in order to open all of the chakras — the chakras are located along the central line of the body.
Your spine curves in and out. At the area of your sacrum, the spine is right in the central core of your body, if you see a cutaway of the human body. As your spine makes it’s way up into the thorax, it curves away from the body, away from the heart, away from the vagus nerves, away from your thymus gland.
If you were to continually just try to move your awareness, and move the various sensations up your spine, if you manage to get Kundalini awake by any method we’ve talked about so far — and some people do manage to get Kundalini opening in the perineum area just by running a lot of the orbit first slowly then faster, it is a possibility to get it started.
But the orbit alone won’t open everything else unless you either simultaneously work with various emotional and physiological states in the body, or unless you happen to go into those emotional and physiological states just because of external circumstances in your life.
The orbit will take the energy around your thoracic spine, and up into the head and over the top. It can create changes in the brain, but you’re going to skip over the heart. You’re going to skip over that wonderful opening of compassion, oneness with humanity, the desire to do right by not only yourself but by everyone.
So there are a lot of people who do use methods like the orbit and either spontaneously or accidentally awaken Kundalini, and they have a partial awakening where it opens the lower centers of the body that have to do with vitality and confidence and charisma, magnetism, and drive, and force of personality, going up to the solar plexus and then they skip over the heart, and they go up into the brain into the pituitary and pineal, and then they start being able to actually influence other people’s minds too, through resonance.
Through sort of having a deeper understanding of things like hypnosis, and rapport inductions, and stuff like that. All they the while they haven’t really opened themselves up in the one way that would make them truly more connected to others, and having a more beneficent feeling towards others.
So, yes you do have to run energy through the vagus nerves. You have to run your awareness through the nerves until the nerves actually come to life. If you want to open all of the centers, and actually go through all of the various stages of Kundalini awakening. And again, as each part of the body opens both on the subtle level, and on the physiological level, new changes take place.
As the energy moves its way up, you get changes until you finally get this feeling of cosmic fusion as the brain opens up in what the Chinese call the Greater Enlightenment of Kan & Li, or the Greatest Enlightenment of Kan & Li as you start to merge with the various subtle structures that are above your crown. And then, in Chinese Alchemy, they have typically further stages like the Reunification of Heaven and Man or the Reunification of Heaven and Earth where you are bringing the energy back down.
Just like in Esoteric Christianity after the rise of the apostolic flame, the flame that you see in statues of the apostles, you then get the descent of the dove, the descent of the Holy Spirit coming back down to the sacred heart, grounding the person back into physical reality while at the same time bringing an increase of what might be called more universal wisdom.
And again, there’s both physiological aspects to this, and aspects that one might say are completely spiritual in terms of the way that they’re experienced. So it is an ever evolving event. You can go through several of the major experiences all at once, like Dr. Morris did. Or you can go through them slowly and progressively.
I have some friends who are Qigong practitioners who, without even trying to do the various internal alchemy practices, just because of their own good nature, and the way that they were thinking and feeling as they were doing their Qigong practices they went through the Lesser Enlightenment of Kan & Li, and then were easily able to go through the Greater and Greatest Enlightenment of Kan & Li.
Which, in Hindu terminology, the Lesser Enlightenment of Kan & Li in the Chinese terminology corresponds to the piercing of all of the centers, through the heart center, and possibly through the throat center (the experience of sort of time and space being something fluid).
The Greater Kan & Li in Chinese practice is any practice designed to create the Greater Enlightenment of Kana & Li which is when the upper dan’tien is integrated in — when the third eye becomes truly opened, not just being energized, and getting some effects, but is pierced right through its center.
And then the Greatest Enlightenment of Kan & Li, and all the various stages that follow that in Taoist Alchemy, are associated with the opening of the crown and the upper centers above that and then the descent of cosmic wisdom, cosmic energy back down through the body so to speak.
If you object to any of the names that I used from classical models here, that’s fine. This stuff still works whether you believe in the terminology or the various belief systems that were originally cobbled on to the experiences.”
— Transcription by Spencer Stevens
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