For quite some time now, science has continued to produce empirical results that correlate with ancient knowledge–yet rarely does anyone bring these correlates to light. As well, even when science does make the comparison, it is rarely remembered! For example: unknown to many, Nikola Tesla himself was deeply influenced and inspired by Hindu philosophy, specifically during the latter half of his life, and J. Robert Oppenheimer has also referenced the Hindu “Bhagavad Gita” in description of the Manhattan Project.
While these are some pretty daunting examples (and old examples at that), the scientific community has been able to consistently put out more and more research that conclusively corresponds to ancient metaphysics, specifically in the realms of neuroscience and quantum physics.
Recently, a study in the scientific journal of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, came across yet another one of these discoveries, without drawing this conclusion itself. By stimulating the spinal cord with low-pulse electromagnetism and scanning the procedure and results with an fMRI, researchers were able to deduce that,
“SCS [spinal cord stimulation] reduces the affective component of pain resulting in optimal pain relief. Study shows a decreased connectivity between somatosensory and limbic areas associated with optimal pain relief due to SCS.”
In esoteric teaching (primarily in the East) this is generally considered “Kundalini” meditation. While this term comes from Hinduism, Tantric Buddhism and Taoism, now many forms of Western esotericism involve this practice and its uses and methodologies are widespread. Instead of being a specific type of meditation, Kundalini is more accurately an end-result or goal for a meditation, and even more accurately is represented as the spinal column itself–represented in ancient symbolism as the serpent. In the case of Kundalini “awakening” it is forcing this serpent of the spinal column to uncoil itself and align the “energy/chakra” points of the body.
Many esoteric philosophers, such as the late Edgar Cayce, even elaborated on the connection this serpent symbolism had to the Old Testament’s Fall of Man. In this context, the serpent is seen as an allegory for the negative and tensed energy represented in the temple of man (the body) that is built up throughout life, and the Kundalini meditation is channeling this unaligned, serpentine “coiled” energies, and aligning them with the Divine. Akin to the pain relief concluded by the study at hand, Kundalini meditation brings about ecstatic emotional and physical sensation with the release of bodily tensions, and has notably therapeutic, empirical, and re-producible effects. However, this no longer has to be taken solely in a spiritual context, and now has scientific validation.
This should hopefully illustrate the level of empirical thought between ancient esoteric thought and science, and with this in mind, for those interested in looking into Kundalini meditation further, these ancient sources are recommended: