Existence is energy, the movement of energy in so many ways and so many forms. As far as human existence is concerned, this energy is kundalini energy. Kundalini is the focused energy of the human body and human psyche.
Energy can exist either manifested or unmanifested. It can remain in the seed or it can come up in a manifested form. Every energy is either in seed or in manifested form. Kundalini means your total potential, your total possibility. But it is a seed; it is the potential. The ways to awaken kundalini are ways to make your potential actual.
So first of all, kundalini is not something unique. It is only human energy as such. But ordinarily only a part of it is functioning, a very minute part. Even that part is not functioning harmoniously; it is in conflict. That is the misery, the anguish. If your energy can function harmoniously then you feel bliss, but if it is in conflict — if it is antagonistic to itself — then you feel miserable. All misery means that your energy is in conflict, and all happiness, all bliss, means that your energy is in harmony.
Why is the whole energy only potential, not actual? It is not needed as far as day-to-day life is concerned; it is not required. Only that part becomes functional that is required, challenged. Day-to-day life is not a challenge to it, so only a very minute part becomes manifest. And even this small, manifested part is not harmonious because your day-to-day life is not integrated.
Your needs are in conflict. Society requires one thing and your instincts require something quite contradictory. Social requirements and personal requirements are in conflict. Society has its requirements; morality and religion have their requirements. These conflicts have prevented man from being a harmonious whole. They have made man fragmentary.
In the morning one thing is required; in the afternoon something else is required. Your wife requires something from you; your mother requires something quite contrary. Then day-to-day life becomes a conflicting demand on you, and the minute part of your total energy that has become manifest is in conflict with itself.
There is also another conflict. The part that has become manifest will always be in conflict with the part that has not yet become manifest; the actual will always be in conflict with the potential. The potential will push itself to be manifested and the actual will suppress it.
To use psychological terms, the unconscious is always in conflict with the conscious. The conscious will try to dominate it, because it is always in danger of the unconscious manifesting itself. The conscious is under control, and the potential, the unconscious, is not. You can manage the conscious, but with an explosion of the unconscious you will be in insecurity. You will not be able to manage it. That is the fear of the conscious. So this is the other conflict, greater and deeper than the first: the conflict between the conscious and the unconscious, between the energy that has become manifest and the energy that wants to be manifested.
These two types of conflict are why you are not in harmony. And if you are not in harmony, your energy will become antagonistic to you. Energy needs movement, and movement is always from the unmanifest toward the manifest, from the seed toward the tree, from the dark toward the light.
This movement is possible only if there is no suppression. Otherwise the movement, the harmony, is destroyed and your energy becomes an enemy to you. You become a house divided against itself; you become a crowd. Then you are not one; you are many.
This is the situation that exists as far as human beings are concerned. But this should not be. This is why there is ugliness and misery. Bliss and beauty can come only when your life energy is in movement, in easy movement, relaxed movement — unsuppressed, uninhibited; integrated, not fragmentary; not in conflict with itself, but one and organic. When your energy comes to this harmonious unity — that is what is meant by kundalini.
Kundalini is just a technical term for your whole energy when it is in unity, in movement, in harmony, without any conflict; when it is cooperative, complementary and organic. Then and there, there is a transformation — unique and unknown.
When energies are in conflict you want to relieve them. You feel at ease only when your conflicting energies are released, thrown off. But whenever you throw them off, your life energy, your vitality, moves downward, or outward. The downward movement is the outward movement, and the upward movement is the inward movement. The more your energies go up, the more they go in; the more they go down, the more they move out. If you throw your conflicting energies out you will feel relief. But that is just like throwing your life away in bits and fragments, in installments. It is suicidal. Unless our life energy becomes one and harmonious, and the flow becomes inward, we are suicidal.
When you are throwing out energy you feel relieved, but the relief is bound to be momentary because you are a constant source of energy. Energy accumulates again and you will have to get rid of it again. What is ordinarily known as pleasure is just a throwing off of conflicting energies. Pleasure means that you are relieved of a burden. It is always negative, never positive. But bliss is positive. It comes only when your energies are fulfilled.
When your energies are not thrown out but have an inward flowering, when you become one with them and are not in conflict with them, then there is a movement inward. That movement is endless. It becomes deeper and deeper, and the deeper it goes, the more blissful it becomes, the more ecstatic.
So energy can have two possibilities. The first is just a relief, a throwing off of energies which have become a burden to you, which you could not utilize and with which you could not be creative. This state of mind is anti-kundalini.
The ordinary state of human beings is anti-kundalini. Energy moves from the center toward the periphery because that is the direction you are moving toward. Kundalini means just the opposite. Forces, energies, move from the periphery toward the center.
The movement inward, the center-oriented movement, is blissful, while the outward movement gives both happiness and misery. There will be momentary happiness and permanent misery. Happiness will come only in gaps. Only when you hope, only when you have expectations, is the gap there. The actual result is always misery.
Happiness is in expectation, in hoping, in desiring, in dreaming. It is only that you are relieved of your burden; the happiness is totally negative. There is no happiness as such, but only the momentary absence of misery. That absence is taken as happiness.
You are constantly creating new energies. That is what is meant by life: the ability to go on creating the life force. The moment the capacity is gone, you are dead. This is the paradox: you go on creating energy and you don’t know what to do with it. When it is created you throw it off and when it is not created you feel miserable, ill.
The moment the life force is not created, you feel ill; but when it is created, you again feel ill. The first illness is that of weakness, and the second illness is that of energy that has become a burden to you. You are not able to harmonize it, to make it creative, to make it blissful. You have created it and now you don’t know what to do with it, so you just throw it off. Then you create more energy again. This is absurd, but this absurdity is what we ordinarily mean by human existence: constantly creating energy that constantly becomes burdensome and that you constantly have to relieve.
That is why sex has become so important, so significant because it is one of the greatest means to rid yourself of energy. If the society becomes affluent, you have more sources through which energy can be created. Then you become more sexual, because you have more tensions to relieve.
There is a constant creating of energy and throwing out of energy. If one is intelligent enough, sensitive enough, then one will feel the absurdity of it, the whole meaninglessness of it. Then one will feel the purposelessness of life. Are you just an instrument to create energy and throw it out? What is the meaning of this? What is the need to exist at all? Just to be an instrument in which energy is created and thrown out? So the more sensitive a person is, the more he feels the meaninglessness of life as we know it.
Kundalini means to change this absurd situation into a meaningful one. The science of kundalini is one of the most subtle sciences. The physical sciences are also concerned with energy, but with material energy not psychic energy. Yoga is concerned with psychic energy. It is a science of the metaphysical, of that which is transcendental.
Just like the material energy that science is concerned with, this psychic energy can be creative or destructive. If it is not used, it becomes destructive; if it is used, it becomes creative. But it can also be used noncreatively. The way to make it creative is first to understand that you should not realize only part of your potential. If one part is realized and the remaining, major portion of your potential is unrealized, it is not a situation that can be creative.
The whole must be realized; your whole potential must be actualized. There are methods to realize the potential, to make it actual, to make it awake. It is sleeping, just like a snake. That is why it has been named kundalini: serpent power, a sleeping serpent.
If you have ever seen a serpent sleeping, it is just like that. It is coiled; there is no movement at all. But a serpent can stand up straight on its tail. It stands by its energy. That is why the serpent has been used symbolically. Your life energy is also coiled and asleep. But it can become straight; it can become awake, with its full potential actualized. Then you will be transformed.
Osho, The Psychology of the Esoteric, Talk #4
Next Week: Harmony: The Key to Transcendence