Friday, June 29, 2007
The Serpent lifted up
When Nicodemus came to visit Jesus by night, to learn from him the secret of his spiritual teaching, Jesus reminded him of the Serpent that Moses lifted up in the desert, healing the people. Jesus said that unless the serpent is lifted up, humanity cannot be saved. The serpent is a creature that moves on its belly on the ground. It appears to be condemned always to be earth bound. But the serpent can also lift part of its body up. The image of healing, going back to Greek medicine, represents a snake climbing up a vertical rod, by rapping its body in a spiral form around a vertical axis. In Yoga it is imagined that there is a serpent power that rests at the base of the spine. The purpose of Kundalini Yoga, is to help this serpent energy to rise uo towards the conscious mind. One important posture of Yoga is called "Sarpasana", meaning the snake form. Here the body lifts itself from the ground, bending upwards, by this action releasing energy that lies dormant in the body.