Monday, August 13, 2018
Kundalini Psychosis (走火入魔)
In fact, there is no parallel term for the Chinese 'zou huo ru mo' (走火入魔) or simply qigong psychosis (气功错乱) to the Western world. This term is most probably closely related to 'demonic possession' in Christianity or other religions. The kundalini psychosis is another term given to this situation but both are not quite the same though.
A yoga practitioner will suffer extreme fever, headache, hallucination or become crazy if his or her kundalini has risen too fast from the base chakra to the crown chakra. This condition maybe caused by over concentration during meditation and that the practitioner has jumped steps in bringing up the serpent power within him/her.
The basic remedy for kundalini psychosis is that the patient must stop his meditation and instead practise yoga posture especially the corpse position to disperse those overheated energies. Some herbs such as camphor maybe applied on the forehead for cooling too depending on the yoga tradition.
The Chinese qigong psychosis also refers to the incorrect qigong practices causing temporary mild mental illness that can become permanent mental depression or serious mental problems over time if untreated or mistreated. This syndrome is common for those who practise meditation for an extended time.
Qigong psychosis is most common in the 70's and 90's when China opened to the world. In brief, qigong practices is a type of breathing exercises prevailed in mainland China then before spread to the whole world. We do not see people overly engrossed in qigong exercises nowadays.
Just to elaborate a little, there are two types of qigong practices: the active and the passive. The active exercises are just slow physical exercises and relatively harmless. The passive ones would involve in meditative type of mental exercises similar to the Taoist meditation.
If you are not aware, Taoist meditation basically works by first accumulating the 'chi' (气) in lower abdomen technically called 'dantian' (丹田). When the accumulation of 'chi' is sufficient, this 'chi' will move from 'dantian' upwards from lower spinal cord towards the top of the head and then the 'chi' would descend via the front back to 'dantian'. This is termed as one 'minor heavenly cycle'.
The circulation of the 'chi' must be done with concentration (意) and practitioner gave this another term: fire (火). When the concentration is relaxed, we call it 'mild fire' (文火). Likewise when the concentration is intense, then the 'fierce fire' (武火).
Back to the term qigong psychosis (走火入魔). With a new understanding that the fire element refers to our concentration, it is clear now that 'zou huo ru mo' actually refers to the 'demonic possession due to overly concentrated'.
The conventional Taoist meditative practices are relatively harmless but with the additions of spiritual and visualization elements of Buddhist rituals; the problems of 'chi' become more complex. Not only the practitioner must visualize the flowing of 'chi', he/she must also imagine the presence of gods and goddesses; in addition to making hand gestures and chanting mantras.
Since our mind can only do one thing at one time, our 'chi' became dispersed all over our body and especially concentrated in our heads. This situation caused hallucinations, headache, eyesore, sore throat or mental depressions.
In a broader sense, qigong psychosis also evident to those folks who became over engrossed in certain interests. For example a gambler would waste all his/her money in gambling though this person knows that his/her chances of winning is almost next to zero.
Likewise, a super faithful religious follower is very likely to be attacked and possessed by the so-called devil. I attribute this due to the follower's hidden psychological needs and attention seeking.
Also, during general elections, we can see our decent and polite friends suddenly became hatred churning machines throwing out hatred and sarcastic remarks towards political candidates that they dislike. Luckily those folks automatically returned to ordinary amicable people immediately after the general elections. All those fanatic behaviors can also be termed as some sort of qigong psychosis too.
So, whether if it is the case of kundalini psychosis or qigong psychosis or even 'demonic possessions'; those syndromes not only happened during spiritual practices but also in our daily lives. The challenge to the professionals now is to differentiate those type of psychosis from real mental illnesses and provide proper treatments.