DATE: Thursday, December 6, 2012
TIME: 4:00 p.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Kelley Vandewalle
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Transformative Power of Kundalini Yoga, Meditation & Mantra: A Dialogue Between Kundalini Yogic Philosophy and the Depth Psychological Tradition"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-A; 2007
CHAIR: Dr. Veronica Goodchild
READER: Dr. Lisa Sloan
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Betty Kovacs
Vandewalle, K.(2012). Transformative Power of Kundalini Yoga, Meditation & Mantra: A Dialogue Between Kundalini Yogic Philosophy and the Depth Psychological Tradition (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
The purpose of Kundalini yoga is to raise consciousness, to awaken the Kundalini, or serpent energy of the lowest chakra, for the purpose of increasing awareness (Bhajan, 1977, 1997, 2003; Khalsa et.al., 2009). This theoretical dissertation engages in a dialogue between the Indian tradition of Kundalini yoga and Western depth psychology of C.G. Jung using hermeneutic and alchemical hermeneutic methods, resulting in a culturally situated, relational understanding. The researcher compares, contrasts, and synthesizes aspects of both into a “fusion of horizons” (Gadamer, 1977, p.xix). Similar to individuation, the ultimate goal of Jungian analysis, Kundalini mantras work with one’s own subtle vibrations to elevate consciousness and increase awareness of one’s own unconscious processes (Bhajan, 2003; Jung, 1932/1976; Krishna, 1967). Jung et al. (1964) suggested that through the transcendent function, in which there is a tension between psychic opposites, a third living, intermediate thing is created between the ego and the mysteries of life. The third function is similarly created in Tantric philosophy, which can serve as a bridge to a higher level of consciousness and ultimately to psychic and spiritual healing and freedom (Khalsa et al., 2009).
As society transitions from the Piscean Age into the Aquarian Age, the Kundalini yogic technology has become increasingly vital in navigating one’s own consciousness, and as a means of connecting to a greater Awareness. For depth psychology and clinical psychology as a whole, the implications of this shift are enormously important. What is needed for this day and age is a “new relationship to intuition, emotion and instinct” (Bhajan, 2003, p.4). Through the use of mantra and the vibratory sound current, one can access the Divine, or pure Consciousness, and move beyond where Jung’s depth psychology left off, beyond the opus, the Philosophers’ stone, and beyond the third coniunctio. The experience of shuniya, the stillness at the center of the sound current, has the power to penetrate one’s heart, lift the veils of maya and karma, so that one is able to see the reality of the pure Self through Divine consciousness.
Keywords: Kundalini, yoga, individuation, alchemy, consciousness, coniunctio.Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.