… a thought making crooked all that is straight.

New Age Gematria

Yesterday evening Kundalini yoga was on the study plan. I worked through the introduction to Jung’s Psychology of Kundalini Yoga (based on the seminar he gave in 1932) and took notes. By the time I had finished I was pooped so snuggled in bed with a Kundalini-lite book.

I bought it because I want to learn new positions, new hand mudras (which I love!), mantras, breathwork … well, anything new really. Some of you may remember me talking about it last year, and about some of the really appallingly sugary sound-bites that are sprinkled through the book, and the fact that apparently I should be wearing a turban whenever I do my yoga. Argh!

Last night, maybe because I was tired, I just became aware of all the numbers being thrown at me: pseudo-scientific statistics to give credence to some very dodgy dogma. I wondered if such numerical profligacy was an example of New Age gematria…

  • Women are 16 times stronger than men (oh, just don’t even ask!)
  • We are 15 % slaves to routine
  • 1 negative habit will automatically attract 4 sister habits
  • There are 2 guiding instincts in man – to improve his future or to block improvement of his future
  • There are 4 stages to sleep and a healthy adult only needs 5.5 hours sleep (my arse!)
  • There are 6 steps to prepare for bed (one of which includes running cold water over your feet … like I said, just don’t ask!)
  • And there are 2 things you must do every day – sweat and laugh

I was also slightly baffled at the author’s obsession with people going insane. [More numbers…] In the 1960s, out of twenty million young people [random!!], millions died, were permanently damaged or went insane from using marijuana. Later she says, “demoting” i.e. negative habits will make you a “physical wreck, mentally insane and/or spiritually defunct”. Some of my best friends are mad 🙂 but I do quite like the phrase “spiritually defunct”!

The page that finished me off for the night included advice for women (originally from a man, naturally!):

  • Make-up is evidence you are handicapped
  • Stimulants kill you
  • Do not jump out of bed like a hot potato (perhaps he has been smoking too much of that marijuana, I have never seen potatoes jumping out of bed, hot or otherwise)
  • Wash your hair with oil and yoghurt (nice)
  • And because god does not allow hair to grow on our foreheads, women should not have fringes

When I read such twaddle it makes me feel extremely contrary … in fact, right now I think I will apply full Goth-style make-up, make a strong cup of coffee … I may have trouble growing hair on my forehead … but I shall lounge in bed while jumping out at regular intervals like a hot spud to apply more make-up … It’s a picture, isn’t it? My left-hand path to enlightenment … or is that right-hand? Where’s a potato to ask when you need one…

©StarofSeshat 2009

2 responses

  1. Rob

    1. How do you do a headstand with a turban on?

    2. Scott Summers rarely slept more than five hours a night, and look at how healthy he was and all he accomplished.

    3. What about eyebrows? They grow on the forehead.

    So the book has quite a bit of marijuana propoganda? I once read an occult book that talked extensively about how jazz music would destroy ones mind and white people music needed to be listened to. It’s true that drugs can help open up ones metaphysical senses, but at the same time there is a group of occultists who believe drugs are bad because they’re detrimental to ones spiritual progression, and they’re not wrong either. The ideal place is somewhere in the middle. Occasional drug use, recreational or spiritual, isn’t going to effect one spiritually beyond the duration of the high. On the other hand constant drug use is going to have a lot of negative effects, and this includes a lot of prescribed antipsychotics/antidepreresents taken for medical reasons. In the same way drinking every once in a while won’t hurt you, drinking every day will dull out a lot of essential metaphysical abilities. Like most things, drug use is fine, possibly beneficial, in moderation, harmful in excess.

    Stimulants may not kill you (who has died from a coffee overdose ever), but caffeine and nicotine are two drugs that a lot of people take several times a day, and usually in unhealthy quantities. Besides the general health consequences, they can have several, albiet minor, metaphysical consequences. Since quitting smoking and giving up all caffeine save a couple glasses of green tea every day I haven’t noticed anything dramatic enough to say that it’s mandatory for magickal working, however I have noticed some small benefits due in part to giving up those habits.

    I have no idea why makeup would be bad, unless you have an alergic reaction to it. I think they make special makeup if you do.

    February 28, 2009 at 11:08 am

  2. Hi Rob,
    1. Carefully
    2. Just cos one person gets by on it doesn’t mean we all can
    3. I’d wondered about the eyebrows too!! 🙂

    I think the book was anti any kind of stimulant preferring the stimulus of your own mind. Each person has to see what they can and cannot tolerate, what makes them more open to the metaphysical and what makes them less open. If stimulant use of any kind leads to an addiction (the glass of wine you HAVE to have in the evening, the coffee you HAVE to have to kick-start you) then you are abdicating certain power and need to reclaim it in order to progress. But many people don’t have any will to progress and are happy to be distracted from life, rather than throw themselves into living it.

    The post was entirely tongue-in-cheek. I can’t stand such superficial rules of living. I can’t drink alcohol. Eating chocolate for me is like drinking a bottle of vodka on an empty stomach – sugar is my cocaine and I avoid it because my body collapses and becomes ill if I don’t.

    Following such generalised rules is a great way to pass the responsibility to someone else, rather than looking at your own drug consumption (in whatever form the drug may take). The point is to think independently and come to your own conclusions.

    One person’s rules for enlightenment may be the path to failure and personal hell for another …

    p.s. just to be clear. I am not advocating OR denigrating drug use of any kind. I am aware I have posted something entitled Lemon pie or magic mushroom? such references are pure analogies. I do not eat lemon pie, or eat/smoke/drink magic mushrooms. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke. I don’t eat sugar. I drink very little coffee. I think my greatest weakness is tea 🙂 But I will stand at the barricades and say that people have the right to make their own INFORMED decisions 🙂

    February 28, 2009 at 11:17 am

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