The vertebral or rachis column is harmoniously formed by the perfect superposition of thirty-three vertebrae, which form a precious sheath for the spinal medulla. With absolute precision, the spinal medulla is situated in the posterior and in the middle of the trunk, and five parts or regions are exposed with complete clarity: cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal.
Among the total vertebrae (pyramids or canyons, as stated in esoteric science) seven are cervical, twelve are dorsal, five are lumbar, five are sacral, and four are coccygeal.
Doctors of medicine know very well that the cervical, dorsal, and lumbar vertebrae remain independent from one another; yet, the sacral and coccygeal are united with an astonishing eurhythm in order to respectively form the sacrum and the coccyx.
A careful study of the vertebral column allows us to comprehend that all of the vertebrae have a series of common characteristics, but they also present other characteristics particular to each of their regions.
In itself, a vertebra is constituted of an osseous mass of a more or less cylindrical body that occupies its anterior part. From that anterior part, two anteroposterior columns are detached in the lateral parts of its posterior face; these are called pedicles, which wisely connect the body with a series of protrusions called transverse process, articular process, spinous process, and vertebral lamina.
Between the latter and the vertebral body, a broad orifice remains that, in union with the rest of the vertebrae, forms an approximately cylindrical conduct or vertebral conduct very well known by scholars of science; within this tube the spinal medulla is situated in a marvelous and extraordinary way.
The vertebral body is more or less cylindrical; in its lateral and anterior faces it has its surface excavated in a vertical way, while the posterior face is slightly excavated in a transverse manner, thus constituting the rachis tube.
The base of the cylinder or superior and inferior faces of the body are horizontal and a little concave, since the periphery is clearly more protruded than in the center; in the latter, they present multiple and marvelous orifices while the periphery is extraordinarily composed of a compact tissue.
“According to the Yogis [from Hindustan], there are two nerve currents in the spinal column, called Pingalâ and Idâ, and a hollow canal called Sushumnâ running through the spinal cord. At the lower end of the hollow canal is what the Yogis call the ‘Lotus of the Kundalini.’ They describe it as triangular in form in which, in the symbolical language of the Yogis, there is a [solar, electronic, sexual] power called the Kundalini, coiled up [within that lotus or coccygeal magnetic center].” —Vivekananda, Raja Yoga
When this electronic solar fire is awakened in a truly positive way, it opens the membranous bag (within which the solar fire is enclosed) and penetrates through the inferior orifice of the spinal medulla. That membranous bag is hermetically sealed in ordinary people, yet the seminal vapors open up that orifice so that the solar fire can penetrate through it.
The successive layers of the spirit open up one after the other as the electronic solar fire is elevated degree by degree through the Sushumna canal. This is how the initiate acquires all of the different visions and marvelous powers of the saints.
When the electronic solar fire reaches the brain, then one is completely detached from the physical body and from the external sensorial perceptions.
“We know that the spinal cord is composed in a peculiar manner. If we take the figure [of the holy] eight horizontally (∞) there are two parts which are connected in the middle. Suppose [beloved reader] you add eight after eight, piled one on top of the other, that [all of these horizontal eights] will represent the spinal cord.” —Vivekananda, Raja Yoga
Ancient wisdom teaches that there is a pair of sympathetic nervous cords that in the form of a holy eight are entwined around the spinal medulla.
Many pseudo-esoteric and pseudo-occultist authors mistakenly suppose that those cords depart from the coccygeal region. However, Sivananda goes further is this matter in his book Kundalini Yoga : he affirms that these cords have their origin in the very sexual organs. The root of those cords must be found within the testicles of the male and the ovaries of the female.
In a man, the left side is Ida and the right side is Pingala. The profound canal that runs within the spinal medulla is Sushumna. Within a woman, the order of Ida and Pingala are inverted, thus Pingala is on the left side and Ida on the right side.
To its disciples, the secret doctrine teaches that Ida is of a lunar nature and that Pingala is of a solar nature.
Hindustani yogis affirm that Ida is found intimately related with the left nostril and that Pingala is related with the right nostril. As we already stated, in the woman the relation of these cords with the nostrils is inverted. However, the order of these factors does not alter the product.
The Gnostic Movement teaches its disciples that from their seminal system (during the esoteric practices of sexual transmutation) the lunar atoms ascend through the nervous canal of Ida and the solar atoms victoriously ascend through Pingala.
Ida and Pingala are the two witnesses of the Apocalypse (Revelation), “the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks that stand before the God of the Earth.”
In depth investigations allow us to comprehend that Ida and Pingala end by forming a gracious knot in that frontal region situated between the eyebrows. Thereafter, they continue through certain subtle conduits that depart from the root of the nose through some very fine osseous canals, where the endings of some nerves are stimulated (these nerves also receive stimulation during certain esoteric practices).
In the final synthesis, those canals connect Ida and Pingala with the esoteric heart or marvelous magnetic center situated in the region of the thalamus.
The esoteric heart is the capital center that controls the physical heart. The chakra of the tranquil heart is controlled by the capital chakra that is situated in the thalamus.
The esotericist sages of Laya Yoga [Kundalini Yoga ] state that within the region of the thalamus that mysterious nervous canal called Amrita Nadi is found. This accomplishes the specific mission of connecting the esoteric heart with the famous Anahata chakra, the magnetic lotus of the physical heart.
By means of all of these mysterious sets of subtle canals, Ida and Pingala continue until reaching the heart; factually, this is how Ida and Pingala connect the sexual organs with the heart.
Subsequent investigations allow us to comprehend that the Amrita Nadi has amongst other functions one that is very remarkable: that is to connect the esoteric heart of the thalamus with that lotus of one thousand petals situated in the pineal gland, in the superior part of the brain.
The dorsal spine is that reed similar to a measuring rod the book of Revelation refers to; this is the staff of Brahma, the rod of Aaron, the caduceus of Mercury with its two entwined serpents.
The spinal medulla ends with a type of swelling. This is the rachis bulbar; this is not attached to the brain, but instead floats over a certain kind of liquid; thus if the head receives a whack, the force of that impact is safeguarded by the liquid and the rachis bulbar does not receive any damage.
The salvation of the human being resides exclusively in the medulla and in the semen [the "seed," whether one is male or female]. Thus, everything that does not go through this way is a lamentable waste of time.
This chapter is from The Narrow Way (1968) by Samael Aun Weor.