Editor's Choice

Question: "Is the Kundalini the same force that exists all around us as the Chinese call Chi?"


The Messiah-Paraclete Shri Mataji (Mar 21, 1923 - Feb 23, 2011)
"The Chinese, what they have written, it's correct. But Chinese also don't know who is Lao-Tse, can you imagine?

Lao-Tse is the man who talked about this thing, He's the one who told them about Kundalini and they don't know who is Lao-Tse. Especially in America, I don't know what sort of Chinese live here.

It's such a great source of knowledge, and what they have said is a perfect thing.

But everything gets integrated in Sahaja Yoga. All the knowledge, all the scriptures, everything gets integrated. Absolutely integrated because out of light you see the truth in all of them. There is truth in everything, there is truth in every religion.

But religion now has become money-oriented, or also power-oriented, so it's gone off."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Public Lecture, New York, USA, 1999

"The parallel roles of Jesus and the Spirit Paraclete, listed by Brown (1971: Appendix V) give substance to this reading. For example, both the Paraclete and Jesus come into the world from the Father (15.26; 5.43), whose gift they are (14.16; 3.16), since both are sent by the Father (14.26; 3.17). Jesus is the Truth, the Paraclete is the Spirit of Truth (14.6, 17). Jesus is the Holy One of God, the Paraclete is the Holy Spirt (6.69; 14.26). The disciples recognize Jesus and will recognize the Paraclete (14.7, 9; 17). Both Jesus and the Paraclete will remain in and with the disciples (14.17, 20, 23; 15.4, 5; 17.23, 26). Both are teachers (6.59; 7.14, 18; 8.20; 14.26) who bear witness (8.14; 15.26), although Jesus bears witness to and honors the Father (12.28), whereas the Paraclete bears witness to and honors Jesus (16.14). The world rejects both Jesus and the Paraclete (5.43; 12.48; 14.17) because it does not know them (16.3; cf. 7.28; 8.19; 14.7, 17)." (Margaret Davies 1992, 146)


"Because God as the Spirit manifests herself as wind, or ruach, she is also Chi."

The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other
"Spirit is this foundational reality that makes it possible for humanity to practice a sense of religion and to be elevated to the realm of the Divine. Spirit is also one of the fundamental concepts in the history of philosophy. The Spirit rose out of everyday events like breathing, wind, and gale. The fundamental concepts in the history of philosophy. The Spirit rose out of everyday events like breathing, wind, and gale. The Eastern concept of Chi and the Western Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit have a striking resemblance to one another. This opens the door for greater communication and dialogue, leading to a deeper understanding as it provides a wider plane for religious discourse. It will not only sustain us but also keep us aware of our interconnectedness. Chi and the Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit share many commonalities. The Old Testament ruach and the New Testament pneuma carry the same ambiguity of multiple meanings, as does Chi. The word ruach has its etymological origin in air, which manifests itself in two distinctive forms; that of wind in nature and that of breath in living things. Because God as the Spirit manifests herself as wind, or ruach, she is also Chi. Wind symbolizes the power of life in nature, while breath symbolizes the power of life in the living. Similarly, Chi originally had no divine but rather only energetic connotations.

The cosmic dimension of Spirit is expressed in the idea of Chi, that vital energy which is the animating power and essence of the material body. Spirit is also breath in living things. Breath is none other than wind, the movement of air or ether in the living, which is also Chi. While wind brings nature to life, breath makes the living alive. In the Hebrew scriptures, God's breath is identified with life-giving power (Gen. 6: 17; Num. 16: 22; Ps. 104: 29; Eccles. 3: 1; Isa. 37: 6; etc.). In these passages, we notice that Chi, the vital energy, which has her origin in God, is the life force of living creatures. Human beings live and die because of the breath of life, Spirit, or Chi, which penetrates our entire bodies. If healing is associated with the circulation of Chi, it is certainly true that the Spirit as breath is not only the power that sustains and restores life but also the power that changes and transforms all living things. Therefore, it is important to allow Chi to heal not only our physical bodies but our mental and spiritual entities as well. All these concepts emanate from the life giving Spirit that is in all things and is the Spirit that God has provided us. It is the spiritual energy that inhabits all of us as it is an utterly dynamic living and vital force. Chi serves as the mysterious bridge between God and humanity. Chi is the connector that draws us together to the Divine.

Just as Chi is ambiguous, the Old Testament ruach and the New Testament pneuma carry the same ambiguity of multiple meanings. Ruach is understood as wind in nature and the breath in living things. Because God as the Spirit manifests herself as wind or ruach, she is also Chi. Wind symbolizes the power of life in nature, while breath symbolizes the power of life in the living. Without Chi, life does not exist, and similarly, if there is no Spirit, nothing living can exist.

Conclusion

If the Asian concept of Chi is found to be similar to and largely the same as the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit, there will be a stronger basis for arguing that what the Other believes and understands to be God is quite similar to the Western understanding of God. There is an undeniable recognition of the similarities between Chi and the Holy Spirit and this is the first step to the understanding that there is more commonality than differences between the East and the West. The Other may in fact have more similarities that were perceived and developed in different parts of the world and in a variety of cultures. These particular similarities should make each culture and society more willing to accept each other; in particular, the racialized immigrants who come to the West to begin a new life with many hopes and visions. It is important not to make them the Other or to have power and authority over them, but to embrace and empower one another. The power of Chi can help build bridges between the East and the West, and bridge the gap created by ignorance and dominance. The destructive powers of separation can be overcome through committed conversations. Whether called ruach, pneuma, or Chi, this Spirit is the selfsame Spirit of God. When God in full splendor and various languages dwells among and within us, it makes a difference in how we live, treat others, and treat nature.

The East cannot be easily dismissed by Christians because their concept of Chi adds richness and new dimension to the concept of the living God. In Christianity, there needs to be a stronger awareness of the Spirit that gives life, and maintains it. As Westerners, there has been no priority given to the recognition of the activity of the Spirit within our daily lives. When we give greater attention to this, we will be more open to embrace the Other.

Through the understanding of Chi as the Spirit of God, perhaps racism and prejudice can be eliminated in this globalized and postcolonial world. Developing a deep life-giving understanding of the Spirit is crucial to prevent further exploitation and rejection of each other. This emphasis on common ground in the shared Spirit of God will make a difference in not only how immigrants live in the Western world but how we treat one another with love and respect. Hence Spirit-Chi is essentially what keeps humanity alive as it is the life-giving force within us that sustains us and keeps us in harmony with nature and the world. The West has built polarities of rich/ poor, west/ east, Christians/ non-Christians, but Spirit-Chi will help Christians to grow away from the separation modality to an inclusion of all people. Spirit-Chi embraces life and makes it full; those who think they are powerless can gain a new vision of themselves and make a difference in this world. Spirit-Chi is salvific and negotiates a space to save those who are living in the liminal spaces between us.

The Spirit becomes the essence of all things as all things exist because of the Spirit as Chi. Chi is the ultimate reality and is immanent in all things; and all things in the universe consist of Chi, which means no being can exist apart from Chi. Krister Stendahl proposes the metaphor of energy as best suited for the Spirit. Power is for ruling but energy is for living. Energy is that mysterious power that is active; Spirit is the primal energy, the power of being, that infuses and enlivens all beings. It is also the distinctive essence of being human. In people, the Spirit unites the power of being (or life) with the meaning of being. What happens when Divine Spirit dwells within or pours out upon human spirit? Something happens that cannot be wholly explained; people experience an empowerment and an energy by an unknown strength.

As we recognize the undeniable similarities between Chi and the Holy Spirit, we must question the separation that has existed between those two intimately tied terms. Is the separation due to power issues or the limitation of understanding? Whatever the reason, it is crucial today to recognize and to accept the commonalities found among people all over the world. With this acceptance, it is then possible to accept and welcome the Other, in particular the racialized immigrants who come to the United States. It is important not to make them exotic or to have power and authority over them, but to really embrace, welcome, and empower them.

We have to free the understanding of Spirit and recognize that Christianity cannot monopolize the understanding or articulation of the energy that is in all things. How does Christianity have the authority to claim that the Spirit is Christian and all the other Spirits are evil? As Christianity plays out the imperialistic role that the West has assigned, it becomes easy to dominate the Other and see them as inferior and unwanted. This demeaning of other people has nothing to do with the faith we call Christian and everything to do with the sinfulness of many who use faith as a weapon."

Kim, Grace Ji-Sun (2011-09-20).
The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other
(pp. 59-62). Palgrave Macmillan Monographs. Kindle Edition.


Tao Te King: The Holy Book of Tao
"He dwells in inner abundance
and not in outward appearance.
He does not cling to the shell
and lives solely from the essence
(38)

In the Tao Te King, Lao-tse constantly emphasises how foolish it is to strive for honour, riches and esteem. Wisdom consists in becoming without desires and living modestly in natural simplicity. In the stillness of inner seclusion the wise one experiences his oneness with the Tao, the eternal mother of the universe. As its child, he trusts in its support and security beyond death since:

He who has found his mother,
knows himself as her child.
Knowing himself as her child,
he remains constantly close to the mother,
when the body wanes, he is without peril.
(52)

Having thus returned to one's true, original nature, one's whole essence resides in harmonious unison with the all-embracing wholeness of existence. It reveals itself in the nature of a bird, which sings out of inner freedom and lives in coessential balance with heaven.

Lao-tse recommends us to follow the way of heaven, to practise non-action and thus let the power of true virtue act within us. For heaven is without action but is the cause of all things, literally: 'Wei-wu-wei', acting non-action.

He who is rooted in Tao and lives in unison with the harmonious movement of heaven becomes a revelation of Tao in the world and attains immortality beyond death.

If one possesses the eternal mother of the world,
one can persist eternally.
I call this: deeply rooted and well-founded in Tao.

This means:
eternal life and endless contemplation."

Tao Te King: The Holy Book of Tao
Zensho W. Kopp, Books on Demand (September 9, 2011)


Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
"It's vital that you spend a few moments each day getting to know your (and my) eternal Mother, which you can do by simply acknowledging her presence and silently communicating with her. Once you decide to know and honor her, you'll begin to change the way you look at all of her children, including yourself. You'll view all of the 10,000 things as offspring of the Mother, and you'll look beyond the temporariness of their appearances to see the Tao unfolding. This is what Lao-tzu means when he asks you to know the children not as separate from their Mother, but as the Mother herself. So see all of creation as originating in the Mother, and then 'go back and hold on to' her."

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Wayne W. Dyer, Hay House (January 1, 2009) p. 254


"The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible. But She rises [from "the base of the spinal column (the coccyx)"] without any difficulty. Hardly any time it takes."

The Messiah-Paraclete Shri Mataji

"The Spirit is not depicted in the Fourth Gospel as a diffused power that does everything in general. The divine Helper is not a symbol for the intrinsic relatedness of the creation to God. Rather, the Farewell Discourses describe the Paraclete as a speaker and an actor, a partisan, engaged for specific things and against others... While the Paraclete is related to the divine life, she is at the same time related to humanity — an intimate strengthener, corrector, reminder, instructor." (Stevick 2011, 292)



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