“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I…he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matt. 3:11).
Of course the “he” that John the Baptist refers to is Jesus. But what’s he really talking about? Obviously he doesn’t mean literal “water” and “fire.”
Many people have proposed that John was speaking of two types of initiation. “Water” is the lesser order while “fire” is the higher order. In a sense I believe this is correct. However, it is also misleading. There is a strict balance between these two orders that must be understood to get a truer sense of what John is speaking of. By order I am referring to what consciousness uses as the fundamental building blocks of existence; as we’ll see, John the Baptist and Jesus symbolize these blocks.
In order to comprehend what I mean, let’s look at some ancient philosophical and alchemical symbols, shall we?
Earth, Water, Air, Fire
Since the New Testament was written in Greek, we should be more familiar with ancient Greek philosophical terms. You’ve probably heard of the elements earth, water, air, and fire. There is a cartoon show that my son likes called Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the cartoon it is the job of the avatar to restore balance to the world through his mastery of the four elements, air, water, earth, and fire. Likewise, to become a type of the avatar like Jesus was we must do the same thing. Therefore it is important to know what each element symbolizes in order to understand the deeper mysteries of the New Testament writings.
Fire represents raw energy. Air is symbolic of mind intelligence. Water is emblematic of the subconscious, emotional and psychic aspect of Being (this includes instinct). And finally, Earth represents solid matter. As you can see, these four elements symbolically describe the fundamental aspects of existence. Combining these elements in certain ways also reveals many mysteries of life. For example, fire and air together make up the energy of life, whereas water and earth make up the matter of life. In order for consciousness to be expressed, it must take on form (matter) which requires energy (motion). It all boils down to consciousness, energy, and matter, and all three exist in every manifestation of the universe. Therefore, fire, air, water, and earth are the metaphorical manifestations that consciousness uses to evolve itself.
So what’s this have to do with John the Baptist’s statement in Matthew 3:11? I believe everything.
What was the mission of John the Baptist? If you remember, it is to be “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Matt. 3:1).
John uses the symbolic aspect of water to prepare the matter of life, which includes the subconscious, emotional, and psychic aspects of our being. Jesus represents the symbolic aspect of fire, which is the spiritual energy of life needed to completely cleanse and renew the mind, propelling one to higher consciousness.
To become the Christ there must be balance and order restored to your entire Being. This balancing act has to do with the energy and matter we are made of. Mental intelligence and emotions are integral aspects of energy-matter in higher forms like animals and humans. It is present in the plant and mineral kingdoms to a lesser degree, but I don’t want to digress from this post.
So, is there scripture evidence for this? Absolutely! Consider the scripture below:
“The Law and the Prophets were until John…” (Luke 16:16).
What is the purpose of the Law? It is to perfect the lower nature of man. It is initiation in the lower order of John the Baptist. However the fire of the Holy Spirit (kundalini), deals with the higher initiations and the transforming of the mind in a way that the Law could not accomplish.
Another way to see it is to remember the John the Baptist prepared the way. In the same way, so did the Law. John is the Law, and once the body has been properly prepared through the Law (by John), then the individual is to be transformed by Fire and the energy of life (Jesus).
This is why the New Testament writers tell us that Jesus did not baptize with water. Only John and his disciples did.
A quick note on similarities between the East in West
Many of the Eastern philosophies, such as esoteric teachings in Buddhism, focus on being liberated from the material plane. Through my studies I have learned that Western esoteric teachings seem to focus on bringing the power of liberation to earth, fully manifested in the individual in the material plane, not as an escape, but to bring the concept of God to earth.
Kundalini vs. Prana
This post wouldn’t be complete without explaining the subtle differences between prana and kundalini as well. Some believe the two are essentially the same, but after further study I see a difference.
I like to think of Kundalini as wild and unbridled. That’s why it is symbolized by fire. If you’ve ever watched a roaring fire, it’s seems to have no rhyme or reason for its movement. It flails about in wild, ecstatic motions. It is intensely beautiful and very powerful, and yet it can be extremely destructive. But out of that destructive force there is new life. Just like the forest fire completely cleanses and renews the area so that a new forest can grow again, so does kundalini revamp the entire potential of consciousness in being. In other words, kundalini, a true spiritual force, is the primordial potential (energy of life) underlying the matter of life, and it brings self-awareness in matter to entirely new levels. It mostly deals with intelligence and higher states of consciousness.
Prana is the life-force that is responsible for forming and regulating energy into the form of matter. It is more of a force that we can consciously control and regulate through meditation and breathing exercises. This force helps to prepare the way in the body for the more powerful and intense kundalini wakening. It is the process of balancing the body so that it can better handle and incorporate the release of kundalini.
John the Baptists can be likened to prana, and Jesus to kundalini
Do you see any correlations between any of this, and Jesus and John the Baptist? The purpose of John’s life was “to prepare the way” for Jesus. This is similar to prana, the force of life that prepares the way for kundalini.
How does this help you?
Many people want to rush into awakening kundalini. But there is nothing about it that should be rushed. Many of us just aren’t ready anyways. It is my belief that you can actually do some harm to your subtle and physical bodies if you blindly jump into all this. We must go the way of John first and be fully prepared before you can awaken the Christ in you. Immersing yourself in water baptism (meditation) is the first step. Don’t fret too much about a kundalini awakening. Just focus on enjoying the ride. Most importantly, bring emotional, physical, and mental balance to your life first and kundalini will manifest in time.