Knowledge of the spiritual experience has been lost in the west. During the last lew centuries, many unfortunate people whose kundalini had
awakened were sent to mental hospitals and given drugs, electric shocks and other inappropriate treatments. The scientists and doctors believed that the
awakening was an abnormal kind of behavior, and no one was able to accept or handle it, not even the person's immediate family or closest friends. That
is why, in the last two hundred years, there have been so few great personalities in the west; they have all been committed to mental hospitals or they
have remained quiet to avoid that fate.
In India the situation is quite different. There, when an individual expresses some abnormal symptoms, makes some very peculiar gestures or speaks of
extraordinary dreams, it is understood that he is experiencing events beyond the mind. The Hindu belief is that the consciousness is not the finished
product of nature, but is subject to evolution, and between one state of being and the next, there is a crisis. And when strange symptoms occur in
someone, they believe he is experiencing that crisis and that his consciousness is undergoing evolution. If a child's total personality is devoted to God
and he can experience things beyond the mind, then his whole family is purified and such a child is universally respected.
A spiritual awakening or madness?
Though the process of spiritual awakening usually occurs without incident or interruption, it may happen that blockages and impurities in the body
create symptoms which mimic various neurological and psychiatric conditions. These problems necessitate careful diagnosis to differentiate kundalini
arousal and pathology.
It is actually very simple to distinguish between a mental or psychic phenomenon and a mental sickness, however much the symptoms may overlap:
mental illness never develops in people who are free from conflict. If a person is undergoing a problem in his personal life, perhaps due to a death, loss of
property or emotional breakdown, psychotic behavior can develop. Fantasies can take form and one's own psychological volition can manifest in the form
of psychic energy. On the other hand, if there are no conflicts, anxieties or strong crosscurrents in a person's life, he cannot possibly have any mental
disease. Suppose you have no apparent problems, no personal or social difficulties, but still you are having some strange suprasensual experiences. In a
case like this, there should be no doubt about what is taking place.
A mad person doesn't have a constant and consistent flow of experience and his awareness is very dissipated. He is both disorganized externally and
completely blinded internally. On the other hand, the awareness of a person who is awakened is constant and consistent. Whereas a person with an
awakened consciousness can make accurate decisions and judgements, a crazy person cannot. Madness and spiritual awakening may both be
characterized by a certain lack of control, but the spiritually awakened person is guided by a higher consciousness while the mad person is not.
When some suprasensual experience is taking place, it is important to consult an experienced person who has knowledge of illumination and also knows
about madness. A guru can make the correct judgement and determine whether the brain has begun a process of regression or is actually progressing
along transcendental lines. If there is some organic damage in the brain, it can be treated, but if the symptoms are spiritual, the person is initiated and
given something to practise so his behavior is streamlined. He will not be forced into married life or any other social roles which are unsuitable for him.
Instead, he will be exposed to saintly personalities and teachings.
If this type of guidance and support for the experience is not obtained, it is very easy to end up in a mental hospital, or even a prison. However, scientists
are now broadening their description of the spectrum of human behavior and they are discovering that behavior can be psychic or spiritual in origin as
well as psychological or physical. Everybody should understand one very important point. Awakening of kundalini should never be equated with abnormal
psychological behavior because awakening of kundalini is a process of jumping out of the mind.