The Only True Knowing…

Over these past few years, I have wondered if the things I teach can even be taught. We all share many facts of life, but how we string them together to form a mosaic or world view of life is individual and personal, although colored and even directed by the winds of social time and place, dictating to so many their personal beliefs and convictions.

I, like so many, am fond of the Socrates quote, “The only true knowing is knowing that you know nothing. For years, I felt that the message of those words was self-evident, requiring no explanation or commentary. But what one feels, knows, and wants to believe are generally, and certainly in this case, three different things.

I, like so many, feel the truth in Socrates’ words. There is a depth of wisdom and profundity to it that rings true to the very depth of my being. It feels to free my soul from the confines and constrictions of social, political, and philosophical bounds. It feels to release me from indoctrination, limitation, and narrow vision.

It is such a relief to see the emperors of convention revealed as ultimately hollow and baseless. Deep inside, in a place where words and convictions cannot touch, we all sense, feel, and love the abstraction of Truth: the only true knowing lies beyond the convictions of perspective.

I, like so many, question what convention dictates as ‘knowledge.’ Yet, convention takes that Socrates quote and files it away in the shoe box of “I get it”, tucked neatly away upon the back shelf in the closet of what so many call ‘truth and knowledge’. We must remember that innovation, progress, and discovery always come as a surprise—a contradiction of what we previously knew to be the way things were. Knowledge is fluid; not a solid, rigid structure. The only true knowing is ‘no thing.’ Yet, we cling to things as what we know.

I, like so many, want to believe that, at least to some degree, my objective and subjective world views, spiritual convictions, and ‘educated’ perspectives are my gateway to Truth. However, it is seeing past those things which leads us in the direction of ‘true knowing.’

After years of teaching, I have come to realize that often Socrates’ quote is only understood as some theoretical abstraction or spiritual understanding of Ishwara—the transcendental reality or essence of all that is. The here and now applicability of that quote eludes most of us, if not conceptually, then certainly when it comes to living our daily lives. In life, all too often we swing from one branch of the tree of conviction to the next. We string the series of convictions together to weave that web, that mosaic, of a world view, forming a world of feelings, knowings, and beliefs that define us. And, we find solace and security in being so defined. That then is called “knowledge”.

Years ago, a student walked away from my discussion of this, vowing to repeatedly tell themselves, “I know nothing. I know nothing.” Essentially, striving to convert knowing nothing into a knowing. It just does not work that way. Yet, the habit of clinging to one branch of conviction to the next seems unavoidable.

Another time, a student put up her hand in class and said, “I know I love my children.” I smiled and, turning my back to face the chalkboard, said, “I am not going to touch that one,” as the classroom chuckled. Then I said, “But I do have some questions: Who are you? Are you the personality that loves and identifies with your children? Or are you the transcendental truth beyond the personality? And do you love them because it feels good to you? And if so, is there a selfish component to the love? Now, I certainly do not say this to undermine what you say. My motivation is only to point out that true knowing is not a thing. It transcends anything and everything. It is, as Socrates said, no-thing.” Everyone smiled and class continued.

Now I understand that this could make someone feel ill at ease, but it highlights an important point. Living from the place of knowing no-thing is very different from conceptualizing no-thing and concluding we have tapped the quote for all it is worth. True knowing is a state of being, of physiology, not philosophy. When it comes to living our lives, deep spiritual understandings go only as deeply as we are. Our level of evolution, our level of consciousness, dictates that. Not our feelings, ‘knowings,’ or beliefs.

On some level, I have found it disheartening to see how ineffective my words have been over the past decades of teaching. On the other hand, I am well aware of the progress so many of my students have made. I understand that when life is most challenging, the teachings are most readily abandoned in the name of those convictions that have woven the web or mosaic of who we are and what we know.

After all, evolution is not an on-off switch. It is a process, like the waves of the ocean upon the shore, slowly, over time, wearing away the rough edges of the pebble, until, in time, the pebble is smooth and rounded—like the smooth and rounded surface of a Shiva linga, radiating pure Consciousness… the only true knowing.

This poet’s struggle with knowing and not knowing on the level of daily life may provide some more perspective here…
https://genius.com/Bob-dylan-my-back-pages-lyrics.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Soma and Agni

Fire and rain. Yang and Yin. The Sun and the Moon. Agni and Soma. The world needs these two poles to spin around. This is a universal principle that applies to all levels of life and existence. The moment the universe manifested, Oneness (Is-ness, pure Consciousness) birthed this duality, called relativity.

Yet everything cycles. Night turns into day. What goes up, must come down. Yin births yang, and the cycles of life go on and on.

These days, there is far too much fire, too much Agni in our world. People hate. Wars rage. Tempers are quick to judge. Self-righteousness divides the people into an ‘us and them’, right and wrong mentality. We all do well to observe how these principles emerge not only in others, but more importantly, within ourselves. This is the age of Kali Yuga, when Rakshasas dwell within the hearts and minds of the people.

The Veda is eternal at every point in creation. All verses go on simultaneously, eternally, and everywhere. One facet of that diamond of omnipresent Is-ness tells of Shiva and Vishnu in conflict. Mother Nature (Shantadurga) takes each of them by the hand and brings peace between them, peace to the universe.

Today, there is a need to bring our world back into balance. More Soma is needed for peace and harmony to reign. Soma must always be maintained as the fires of Agni eternally burn. Mount Soma was born in dedication to this eternal need, so acutely felt in our time. Soma is the nectar for the Gods: “Flow Soma in a most sweet and exhilarating stream for Indra to drink.”

Yet it is said that as the universe comes back into balance, disharmony becomes enlivened. When the red hot sword is plunged into the cool water, the caldron spits and hisses its fiery storm. Yet, the sword is tempered and stabilized.

We see this mechanic today in our world. The climate of human mentalities seems more polarized than ever. People hate, judge, take sides, dig in their heels and fight. Yet there is a deep mechanic here, as the sword of Agni is being plunged into the cooling waters of Soma.

So as we see and experience the raging conflicts of our time, take comfort in the understanding of this underlying mechanic and keep a steady hand on the rudder of your life. We will get through this. Those dedicated to the process are the front line angels of our time. The principles are there, in the Vedic literature, as they are in the laws of physics. Knowledge of the light of life, of the nature of life, illuminates the way.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Iswara and the Candle Flame

One of my students recently had a doctor’s appointment. When the subject of spirituality came up, the doctor commented that every spiritual group claims to have all the answers. Yet, the spiritual groups disagree with one another. They each claim to have the one valid knowledge. I think we can all agree there is a degree of truth in the doctor’s point.

So who is right? Are all of the spiritual groups wrong? What is going on here? So many are so adamant that their knowledge is the correct one. It ranges from the atheist to the devoutly religious. Is this a commentary on the spiritual oblivion of our time? Is there a way out of this dilemma? Isn’t it interesting that people generally believe what they believe, simply because they were born in a certain country, to a certain family, and grew up with a certain group of peers? How can that be the proper foundation for one’s perspective on the nature of life and existence? Furthermore, life seems to be permeated with paradox… irreconcilable facts. How can we sort all of this out?

Personally, as a young man, I was compelled to take a step back, look, think, and feel before I went along with any particular viewpoint. I needed to figure it out for myself. To me, it was about understanding the nature of life and existence. All the pieces of the puzzle of life needed to fit together. All paradox needed to be reconciled. I needed to use all of my resources to do my best to fathom the mystery of it all. I had to think rationally. I had to feel deeply. I needed to see how physics, anthropology, the arts, linguistics, and all aspects of life come together in a unified and harmonious manner. After all, isn’t that the nature of Truth? If something is true, shouldn’t it hold up to all forms of scrutiny? This path of exploration has spanned a lifetime. A brief overview of my conclusions follows. I believe they will provide some insights we all share.

Watching moths dance around a candle flame at night seems to say it all. Every moth is drawn to the candle flame, but no moth is able to grasp it. They simply dance around it. Similarly, in physics, the unified field is the non-tangible essence of all that is. It is the one thing that is the source of everything. Similarly, Iswara (God) is understood to be beyond fathomability—intangible, undefinable, ungraspable. We all sense that there is something called Truth. We all long for it. We all try to grasp it. We all try to define it. We all try to fathom it. We all feel the need to grasp it. Yet, physics, like Iswara (the Transcendent) tells us it is ungraspable. Everything, all of us, dances around it like moths around a candle flame.

However, the ancients tell us that there is a state that can be attained, where all of the pieces come together at the depth of one’s being. All paradoxes resolve. But even then, we, like the moths, continue to dance around the candle flame that some call Iswara, or the Transcendent, or God, or the unified field. We remain in the dance, but see beyond it. We are in the world, but no longer of it.

That state is not perspective, religion, philosophy, attitude or belief. To think you understand that state is to “understand” it too soon… for it is not just an understanding. It is a state of consciousness. Like the candle flame, it cannot be grasped. It cannot be fathomed. It cannot be defined. Yet, the pursuit of it is inherent in the nature of life… all life. From the amoeba to the human, we all reach for that undefinable something.

There are certainly levels of understanding of science, of every religion, and of every field of life. Personally, I searched to find whichever offered the deepest understanding with the most rigor and clarity. That turned out to be most readily available through Vedic Knowledge. At the same time, like the candle flame, the beauty of that knowledge is that it is ungraspable. When those living from that place speak, their words join in the dance. Those words immediately cease to provide the deepest meaning, and become what the listener heard, as the dance, ’round the light of life, goes on and on.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Amazing Grace

With this song, I have always imagined an old woman living in a cabin tucked away in the woods of the Appalachian mountains, among the oldest mountains in the world. Everything maps… parallels… limitless levels of awakening. She attained full enlightenment in these mountains and wrote this song expressing her love and describing her experience. That is what I imagine with this song.

Grace is the nature of Oneness, of the Transcendent, in other words, of God. Awakening to That is so sweet. Regardless of what has occurred in life, That is always there, eternally sweet within the depth of your soul. Through all of life’s toils, That is present, underlying all that is… supporting us and guiding us Home.

The moment of first awakening to that is so precious, so tender, so profound. In that moment, one truly believes… because one then knows.

After that ultimate awakening, it never leaves. Even after ten thousand years, even for eternity, that Grace is felt and Known and praised… in eternal wonder, awe, devotion, and adoration… just as it first was Known.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Amazing grace, oh amazing grace
That saved a wretch like me
Oh amazing grace, amazing grace

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

The Nature of Life in a Nutshell

Consciousness equals ‘Is-ness.’ There is only one Consciousness. It is called pure being, the unified field, Ishwara, etc. Every person, every being, is rooted in that Consciousness uniquely, which births individuality—Jiva.

That one Consciousness is eternal. On the deepest level of our individuality, we too are eternal. That is what eternal life means. On that very deep level… everything is one—unified. On the surface, everything is perceived as separate… the field of relativity—the field of Karma. When the surface overwhelms the depth, it is called ignorance—ignore-ance: ignoring life’s fundamental nature by being so overwhelmed by the surface, by Karma.

Just as every drop of rain gravitates back to the ocean of oneness, the natural tendancy for every individual is to gravitate back to oneness, away from ignorance and back to one’s own true nature. That tendancy is the fundamental force of the universe. It is experienced as the most profound quality of love.

When one no longer ignores, but rather is awake to the depth, one lives in a state of eternal oneness—eternal love. Such individuals live ‘in the world’, but are no longer ‘of it’. This is not an attitude, religion, or philosophy. It is the normal, natural, state of physiology—the result of evolution, gravitation back to one’s own true nature.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Psyochophysiological Basenote Revisited… Where Are You Coming From?

When the physiology and psyche are clean and pure, all experiences move from the surface to the depth of one’s being, undistorted. What then reflects back as the individual’s perspective is in harmony with all of nature.

However, each individual has what is called their unique “psychophysiological basenote.” The psychophysiological basenote is a distortion resulting from the sum total of one’s life experiences. For some, it is anger. For others, sadness, fear, distrust, self-doubt, or a longing for peace and love. The psychophysiological basenote can be likened to the color of glasses one is wearing. It determines the nature of one’s perceptions. So, when an impression or experience comes in, it reflects off of the psychophysiological basenote to some degree, coloring one’s viewpoint, perception, thoughts, and feelings. You could say it is the psychophysiological basenote that creates friction in one’s life, thusly creating Karma.

It’s interesting to note that even Vedic principles or principles that I teach in my classes are heard through the individual’s psychophysiological basenote. The intellect then rallies around the distortions. In that way, even knowers of the Veda or my teachings are not true Knowers. Over time, as the distortions clear, the vision and understanding becomes clearer. But that is a process that takes time and is facilitated through meditation and humble reflection. However, identification with the psychophysiological basenote is not easily brushed away. It is held firmly as one’s truth, one’s knowledge, one’s perspective.

There is a principle in psychology that a client’s positive transference (positive perception) of the therapist inevitably, at some point in time, becomes negative transference. That is as certain as a ball tossed up in the air will at some point come down. This principle also applies to the relationship of a student with their spiritual teacher. For that reason, traversing the path of that profound relationship with their teacher is sometimes viewed as the razor’s edge. In other words, one very easily slips off of that path in allegiance to one’s psychophysiological basenote.

Generally, the spiritual teacher first provides the student with fundamental principles about the nature of life and existence. For the student, that is a very inspiring and life-transforming period. During this phase of positive transference, it is often experienced as a time of euphoric infatuation with the knowledge.

The next step is more challenging, for that is when the teacher holds up the mirror to the student, showing them their distortions, in order to help them purify out their distortions. It is then that the student must remain steadfast. It is then that their anger, sadness, fear, distrust, self-doubt, or longing for peace and love can become triggered. If they are not careful, it is then that they enter the time of negative transference and remain there, and thereby lose their way along the razor’s edge.

Similar to what is said in psychotherapy, the real work with the spiritual teacher begins after the student moves through positive and then negative transference. As has been said, it takes a lot of pressure to make a diamond. The key then, as one progresses, is to keep a steady hand on the rudder.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

The Nature of Human Evolution in a Nutshell

Everything fits together: physics, biology, anthropology, archaeology, psychology, etc. It all unifies and seamlessly integrates into a perfect whole. Where it all comes together is in the very depth of existence itself, what physicists call the Unified Field and what theologians call God.

You can see evidence of unification on a more superficial level through interdisciplinary studies, where a couple of different fields of knowledge fit together. We see different connections all the time, but at the very depth of our being, at the very depth of our soul, everything comes together into a unified whole, a state of infinite harmony, resolution of paradox, oneness.

You can understand unity intellectually, you can even feel it emotionally, or you may have a sense of it deep within your soul. You can even have it as a belief system, attitude, or philosophy. But you don’t fully understand unity until you live it from a state of integrated physiology which is rooted in that deepest level of life.

The principle is simple enough, but the universe that emerges out of that one simple thing becomes complex, riddled with contradictions, paradox, and unfathomable intricacies. Yet we live in a world that we attempt to fathom, attempt to find our way. Though the depth is ungraspable, it can be rested upon and thereby lived. As we evolve, we under-stand more and more. As it has been said, a mango tree’s branches, filled with fruit, bend down to rest upon the ground. Similarly, when filled with the fruit of wisdom, we bow down and touch Mother Earth in humility.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

What Happens after the Body Dies?

I received the following question:

“I’m wondering what happens after life. I see the paradox of just living in a mystery, but I do believe there is some sort of experience after death. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to have fun and spread love after I’m dead. I know consciousness is eternal, but what kind of part do I play in this mix of energy and frequencies?”

Ultimately, every drop of rain gravitates back to the ocean. Like that, eventually, every soul returns to the Oneness, out of which it emerged. That is the highest heaven. However, the journey is long and winding.

Every mind, every consciousness, has a particular tone… a state, a quality. One’s thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs are expressions of that tone, just as the color of one’s glasses determines the color tone of everything one views.

When the body drops away, the awareness is left in a sort of dream world determined by that tone. However, that tone has a continuum of levels, from superficial emotions to deeper levels of one’s being, to a profoundly deep connection with the Divine Essence that underlies all of creation. The possibilities of what happens after the body drops away are as endless as the spectrum of human psychological states.

Those who have been transcending regularly through deep meditation sail past the mountains of Karma and rest at a very high level of heaven. Others may find a world that correlates with the negativity that has colored their lives. As one lives in that world, the identity with it unravels over time until the individual is freed of it. As ye sew, so shall ye reap. The more deeply consumed by the negative tone, the more time is required to unravel its grip.

However, we must not be too simplistic in this. You see, often it is the ‘good’ (so to speak) people who judge their negativity most harshly, while the ‘bad’ live with righteous indignation. However, deep inside, we all know better. So, who and what we are deeper inside (where we know better) is what determines what we create after the body drops away. In that sense, we become our own self-honest judge and jury. If the negativity does not reach too deeply into the psyche, then the hellish nightmare that correlates with it lasts just a short time and is just brushed away like cobwebs. If the negative behavior is judged as a serious transgression, the nightmare lasts proportionally longer. We all have our value systems, our judgement systems, but deeper inside we all know better than we may be willing or able to see, to admit. Yet, it is that deeper inner knowing, the inner judge, thatprescribes what happens after the body drops away. All we can do in the meantime is our best.

To live better, look deeper. Life goes on after the body drops away. Meditate regularly and do your best. Know that you will stumble, but fear not. You are not judged by your stumblings. It is the deeper theme, the driving force underlying the path you have chosen, that really matters. Ultimately, we all reach the highest heaven. How long that takes, what you endure in the meantime, is up to you. Meditation is your most powerful tool to move forward wisely. The winds of Karma may blow harshly in your face at the time, but just move forward, forward, always forward. In spite of our many stumblings, we should still strive to live life in a manner where we can put our head on our pillow at night and say, “I did my best”.

The part you play in the greater scheme of things depends upon your steadfast commitment to the journey home to your inner wisdom, what some call your inner Divinity or the place within where you are one with God. Whatever you choose to call it… well, a rose is still a rose.

The more you move forward, the greater your part in the well-being of all you touch. Your touch reaches further and further as you grow and grow, until ultimately, you become like the Sun, whose nurturing light touches us all.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Ancient Hawaiian Huna

I recently had a dream in which an ancient Hawaiian Shaman came and spoke with me. He talked about feelings and emotions. I can right now only remember one thing he said, “Emotions are funny things. Each time you touch one, it changes.” However, the feeling of my meeting with him said a great deal more to me, through feelings. When I woke up, I thought about it a while. I wondered if I heard that sentence somewhere and it just did not consciously register until the dream, but I do not believe so. Then I thought to search “Hawaiian Shaman” on the Internet and up came the following intriguing link about ancient Hawaiian symbols:

ancienthuna.com/symbols_pics.htm

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.