thanks to yethzart for image
It is a far greater challenge
to conquer ones self
than to conquer a thousand
in battle…. buddha
Carlos Castaneda told a story about his battle with the ego. When in Mexico one time, one of the woman in the socceror’s group who he refers to as his petty tyrant, La Gorda, told him he needed to die.
“This time I was getting ready to leave Nayarit,” he said, “and La Gorda gave me instructions.”
“‘Carlos, go to… Escondido. Check into a motel room, the kind with olive green carpets stained with coffee and cigarette smoke smelling up the furniture.’
“‘How long do I have to stay there?’ I asked her.
“‘Until you die,’ she said with a smile.
“‘I’m not doing it,’ I told her. ‘I like my life in Los Angeles.’ And I got in my old truck and I drove off. Hours later, I found myself in Escondido, where I pulled into the first motel I could find. The room had an olive green carpet with coffee stains and cigarette burns, and reeked of stale cigarette smoke. I stayed in that room for weeks,” Carlos sighed. “Alone.”
“What did you do?” I asked him.
“Nothing,” Carlos said, “I did nothing.” He spoke slowly, with space between the words. “I studied the patterns of cigarette burns on the carpet. I stared at the ceiling. I watched motes of dust dance in the light that came through the sliding glass doors. I drank coffee. I ate now and then. Fear would come and I huddled under the bedcovers. Or sometimes the heat of anxiety made me sweat so much I threw the blankets to the floor. At times the terror was so strong, I curled up over the edge of the bed and pressed the corner of the mattress against my belly, my solar plexus, just trying to stay alive. I felt for sure I would die. Then one day, finally, I let go.”
He paused. I looked at him looking at me the way you lock eyes with a deer, settling in until one of you moves.
“Suddenly, something shifted,” he said. “The fear lifted. And everything I’d ever cared about — the pain of childhood, the struggles of my career, fame, money, romance, the women who had left me, the ones I still wanted, the past, the future, the ‘does he like me, does she like me?’ How we waste our lives. It all fell away, in an instant. I was completely free. And I had never felt so happy in my entire life.”
“I called my friends in Los Angeles. ‘Divide my things,’ I told them, ‘I’m not coming back.’ They thought I was drunk. ‘I’m not drunk,’ I told them. ‘I’m perfectly sober. If you don’t take my things the landlady will.’
“The next morning, I checked out of the motel. I got in my truck and drove off. I didn’t know where I was going, and I didn’t care. I’d never been happier in my entire life.”
“You see,” Carlos said, settling back again in his chair, “the difference between me and other people is that most people look at their lives as if they’re on a train and they’re sitting in the caboose. They watch the tracks sweep out behind them and they see that this has happened and that has happened, and they’re disappointed. But they adjust. And they know exactly what will happen next because of what’s happened before. They believe their future will be just like their past — the same disappointments, the same pleasures.
“But me, I look at my life as though I’m sitting in the locomotive of that train. Ahead of me, the landscape opens into the distance. I don’t know where I’m going and I have no idea what will happen next. No matter what went on yesterday, I know that today anything can happen. That’s what keeps me happy. That’s what keeps me alive.”
During awakening, ones’ collection of personal karma has to be burned away, at one point or another. Doing that involves suffering by the individual. The karma is stored in the body tissues somehow, and when kundalini goes through and purges out all the nadis, this karma is released either as a side effect, or direct action (I can’t tell which) and it causes the suffering when released. Some people may have “Happy” karma in there that causes them Joy, or the opposite of suffering. As far as I could tell, 99% of mine was soot-black. On a small number of occasions (far too few) I had experiences of spontaneous joy. But mostly it ranges from very stressful, weird, and unpleasant, to dark and despondent. Along with everything else I got a replay of every disease symptom and injury pain I’ve ever had or was scheduled to have.
In general, the faster the awakening proceeds, the more intense the suffering, since the same amount of karma has to be dealt with over a shorter time. And the stress on the organism would be proportionately greater. Should the suffering become too intense, the person could easily become suicidal.
But I don’t want to over state the situation either: it was bad, but it wasn’t *that* bad. It wasn’t undoable; I would say it is still ongoing.
There are also some built-in safety checks at work: (1) Kundalini is a *supremely intelligent force*; she knows *exactly* what she is doing. You will be amazed at how hard it works for you and for your benefit when you see it in action fighting disease, or healing an injury. The ultimate physician to have on your side during an awakening. (2) Having control of the dosage (or pranayama intensity in my case) allows you to back off when things get too tough. You can go at your own rate. (3) The higher self watches the whole thing like a hawk. Success is not guaranteed, but you should not be discouraged just because it is not roses all the way either. Just know what you’re getting into before you start. Its a one-way ride.