“Om Kring Kalikaye namahah” – a mantra that is the sound representation of the mother Kali. When chanted, it invokes transformation from the ego to unified, limitless consciousness.
This post is essentially an explanation of who the goddess Kali is and why I have chosen her as a symbol for this blog. The main message is that we are living in a universe where one unified consciousness is present. This consciousness we are all connected to, as it IS us, and all that we experience. Division between good and bad, light and dark, destruction and creation are all illusions because we are in a constant state of change, death and rebirth.
If you are interested in expanding your own consciousness, read on…
Who is Kali?
The goddess Kali is the goddess of death and rebirth. She has also often been associated with destruction, chaos, cremation grounds and sexuality. Along with this, Kali is named ‘the divine mother’. Kali’s element is fire, although all elements are encompassed within her nature. Her name is also said to mean ‘the dark one’ or ‘the black one’.
Kali is the wife of Shiva and is illustrated as having blue skin, an abundance of dark flowing hair and a lolling tongue. She wears a necklace of heads and has many arms, each holding a symbol from various Hindu gods. Kali contains the energy of all of the individual Gods, perhaps making her equal to that of the ‘Brahman’. This is a Sanskrit word for the ultimate metaphysical reality; the ‘one’ god that encompasses all.
Although Kali represents such dark and foreboding forces, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. As light implies dark and no-thing implies thing; destruction implies creation.
Kali, the dark mother of Earth, plants the seeds of rebirth and transformation. Her darkness implies light and her destruction implies creation.
Light implies dark and dark implies light
Kali and her darkness is only misunderstood from the perception that death and destruction is permanent.
Eastern religions such as Hinduism embrace non-duality and believe in the one-ness of all life. For example, the reference in the vedas to Brahman, and the belief that Atman (the self) IS Brahman. The two are the same as each other. Although there are many gods in Hinduism, they all symbolise aspects of the Brahman/Atman.
Another example is Taoism; an ancient Chinese tradition of philosophy that embraces the idea of unification and non-dualism. This means that there is no dichotomy between the light and the dark, positive and negative.
The symbol of Taoism illustrates this with its universally known yin and yang symbol.
When you are aware that there is always a perfect balance of dark and light, you see that any state of being that you can experience is inseparable from its opposite: Dreaming implies waking, sorrow implies joy, confusion implies clarity, judgement implies acceptance, resentment implies forgiveness, suffering implies healing and life implies death. When these basic principles are understood, true spiritual alchemy takes place. No matter how negative, dark and lonely you think your past experiences have been, just as much love, healing and light is eternally connected to you on the other end.
Another look at Christianity
In some perceptions of Christianity, particularly within the doctrine of catholicism, darkness is avoided and vilified. Sin must be totally abolished for the salvation of humanity.
This has left many generations of people with catholic ancestry terrified of accepting the dark within them and instead, leaving it buried within the subconscious mind. Wounds that are repressed cannot be healed. They must be opened up and embraced for the light to heal it.
Saying that, it is worth noting that there is an abundance of wisdom to be found within Christianity as a whole. Jesus himself is a symbol of spiritual alchemy; embodying sin and carrying it on the cross with Grace. Christ shows that with sin comes salvation, with darkness comes light and with death comes rebirth; as shown in his resurrection.
A lot of of the teachings of Christianity have just been mistranslated and manipulated over time. Christ has often been seen as an idol rather than an expression of the power within each and every human being. If you look carefully at the bible there are many messages that embrace the union of light and dark.
“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” – Psalm 139:12
We are in a constant state of change
If we were beings who only ever experienced peace and love, we would not understand ourselves. We would know what love is conceptually, but we wouldn’t understand it experientially. We would be stagnant and our energy would not change and fluctuate, which is a core component of being a human. In this way, we can begin to see our pain and suffering as a blessing.
Buddhism and Hinduism both share the same doctrine of ‘Anitya’, the idea that we are always in a constantly flowing state of change.
It is not just philosophies that have observed this phenomena either, they are also very prevalent within science and psychology.
“What goes up must come down.” – Isaac Newton
“The truth isn’t always a blinding light. Sometimes it’s a deep and dazzling darkness, that illuminates – and burns- just as surely.” – Albert Einstein
“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless it’s roots reach down to hell.” – Carl Jung
Light and dark are in complete union
These observations suggest that moral codes such as good or bad are also highly subjective. How can something be bad if it’s very existence implies that there will be good? Can anything be ‘bad’ when it is in a constant state of flux?
When one dedicates themselves to observing everything with neutrality and does not identify anything as good or bad, then a natural state of presence arises. Instead of creating judgments about the external world, the internal experience becomes inseparable from the external world that one observes. After all, the observation is the thing that one internally experiences!
When this happens, all of the senses are fully engaged. Confusion turns into clarity, disconnection transforms into connection and there is space for joy and bliss to arise and flow through the body. This is all ‘enlightenment’ really is. It’s so simple.
“The point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is. If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death – or shall I say, death implies life – you can conceive yourself.” – Alan Watts
But what is beyond the ‘illusion’?
Yet the truth goes even deeper still. This still poses the question; what is beyond the unification of light and dark?
I cannot answer this question for you. Language is limiting, and we can only understand the truth of our nature through direct experience. I hope throughout this blog we can start to connect the dots, together. Ultimately, a question implies an answer, which again implies another question. This goes on and on, but perhaps this is what makes our existence on earth so incredibly exciting.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed
The first law of thermodynamics, or the ‘law of conservation of energy’ states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This suggests that nothing is ever permanent. Energy can only be moved from one state into another. Nothing is ever destroyed, only transformed into something else.
Kali’s invocation of death does not necessarily just mean a physical one. For example: the death of a relationship, a job, a belief or personal ideologies. When you see death and destruction as a temporary transition, it becomes clear that this ‘death’ subsequently clears space for a complete rebirth.
In this way, a death tears apart and completely washes away stagnant energy. It destroys anything that isn’t in alignment with our highest growth and potential.
Throughout life, we go through many series of experiences; we can perceive these to be positive or negative based on our own moral codes and beliefs.
Each time we experience something and go through phases in our life, we are in alignment with our highest self, as we learn exactly what we need to in order to move forward and understand who we are.
Once we have internally learned a lesson, our behaviours and reactions change and our external reality transforms. We swim through death and rebirth constantly. Even physical death applies to this; it is just a very scary idea for a lot of people as we cannot understand or prepare for the rebirth that happens after we leave our bodies on this earth.
Kali in the modern age and seeing beyond the illusion
This blog is not devoted to Hinduism or Eastern philosophy, but I resonate a lot with these teachings and find its allegories and metaphors particularly evocative.
I feel that Kali is a powerful symbol of the spiritual transformation Earth is undergoing right now. We are at a time on Earth where we appear to be in a crisis: politics is in shambles, there is starvation, poverty, floods and fires. We are faced with growing panic about the sustainability of our planet. Ultimately, systems that have governed our way of life for many years are beginning to collapse.
Whilst the death of something can be immensely uncomfortable, there is freedom in the understanding that the things falling apart in the world are just illusions, or the maya, meaning ‘magic’ or ‘illusion’ in Sanskrit.
This is happening so that as a collective, we will be able to see the truth of our nature as powerful, multi-dimensional beings that can create our reality. We can only see this clearly though, when we have destroyed the limiting beliefs and broken systems standing in the way.
Your story is sacred, but it is not all that you are
I think it’s important to be said though, that by stating this I am in no way dismissing the suffering of our family on this earth. ‘Maya’ or not, I empathise with complete sincerity.
Form is just as sacred as spirit, and I immensely respect any soul undertaking who is suffering. What I am saying, is that there is a different way to look at it. There is a bigger picture that is full of truth, love, and liberation that is available to us right NOW as we look beyond the illusions.
Humanity has a habit of identifying with these visceral and convincing narratives of our lives. These narratives are so rich in emotion and experience, and this is what makes them so sacred. However, we can only achieve liberation when we accept the ebb and flow of this experience, whilst also coming back to the awareness that our consciousness vastly exceeds the identities we mask ourselves with.
Eternal consciousness of the Brahman
For if we knew we were the ocean, we would not worry about the meaning of each wave. We would not try to flatten them nor would we dread its tsunamis and storms. Never would we compare the strength of the tides, or see each drop as different from the other. Life would simply be, as one ecosystem. It would be understood that the consciousness of human kind, and each Atman self, is eternally connected, existing as Brahman. The one unified source of all consciousness and creation.
“Oh, black mother we invoke you to this space, take away the pain and fill us with your grace. For if it does not serve you then burn it all away. Burn it all away Kali burn it all away…”