Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Cosmic Cross

In Kundalini yoga, for example, the energy which we associate with sexuality, and fertility in general, which is symbolized by a serpent which lies coiled up at the base of the spine, in the region of sexual organs, is aroused, but also transformed into a conscious energy. Art in that sense, as all culture, comes out of this energy as a sublimated form of this life force. It is in this sense that we are to understand the mysterious injunction that “the serpent should be lifted up”. The serpent is a creature which lives on the ground, or even under the ground, in holes which lead to the very heart of the earth. But this serpent can also lift itself up, and on occasion is seen to climb up into the branches of a tree. The image of a snake wrapped round another snake, or a vertical staff is found in very ancient cultures both in India and in Europe, and symbolizes a process of healing (the art of medicine has from Greek times has been characterized by this figure of a serpent twined round a vertical pole).

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