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Secret of Shiva and Shakti
One energy with many names and forms: There is one energy that keeps taking on new shapes and forms. In Tantra the name of that energy is Shakti, which is the manifesting, or feminine force that is actually one and the same with its only apparent companion Shiva, the latent, or masculine. Each time the energy takes on a new form, we give it a new name. Shakti becomes Kundalini Shakti, or simply Kundalini. Kundalini becomes the energy of Prana, which flows in patterns or channels called Nadis, and concentrates itself by forming intersections known as Chakras. The subtle energies condense and become known as earth, water, fire, air, and space, forming our experience of the gross world. With Kundalini awakening, the primal energy of Shakti awakens in its true form.
Seek to experience that one energy: To know, in direct experience, that unchanging truth, the one energy that is the substratum of all of the names and forms, is one of the ways of describing the universal goal of spiritual life. It is the experience of the union of Shakti and Shiva, creation and its ground, feminine and masculine, even though they were never actually divided in the first place. It is like wetness that is never separate from water, sweetness that is never separate from sugar, and warmth that is never separate from sunlight.
We naturally use new names: To understand Shakti and the process of Kundalini awakening, it is very useful to have a good understanding of the process by which we naturally use language to give a new name to something whenever the form changes.
A metaphor: One day, while sitting by the River Ganges in the Himalayas, the insight came that a river and electricity can be used as a metaphor of how this process of renaming happens:
- Potential: Imagine a river that has a dam holding back the water. The river turns into a lake, which has potential energy that is held back from flowing.
- Kinetic: When the river flows through a channel towards a generating plant, it becomes an active energy of motion, which is called kinetic energy.
- Mechanical: When the flowing water moves through the blades of the generator, there is mechanical energy.
- Magnetic: In the generator the turning blades rotate a large mass of metal, creating magnetic energy.
- Electro-magnetic: There is a lot of wire wrapped around the turning metal cores, and this causes a transition into electro-magnetic energy.
- Electricity: As the energy leaves the generating plant, going down the wires, we call it electrical energy or simply electricity.
- Motion, light, sound, heat, cold: When the electricity comes into your house it transforms in many ways, and gets many new names, including motion, light, sound, heat, and cold. It forms music, television images, computer processes, and microwaves.
It's all one energy: In all of these changes in name and form of energy, there remains the central energy that is in support of all of those many forms. It is the very energy that is in potential form in the river. You may be sitting quietly, watching the river, while under the breeze of a fan, listening to recorded music, under the light of a lamp. The energy behind the fan, the music, and the light is none other than the energy in the river, which is right in front of you. This is not a mere symbolism. The electricity flowing into these instruments is literally one and the same with the energy in the river in front of you.