President Bush

Of all that was said and done after the passing of President Bush, what had the most impact upon me was his son telling us that his dad is now in Heaven holding the hand of his wife and hugging his daughter Robin, who passed years ago. Karma separates us from the ones we love in so many ways. But Karma, though so often overwhelming in life, is, in the final analysis, superficial. Love resides deeper than Karma.

It is only the unfortunate who cling to the Karma of life. For most, at least upon passing, such superficiality drops away. The traumas, toils, conflicts, and hardships drop away. We might say they melt away. What moves to the forefront is the love we have within us. There we commune with all we love. That place within us all is called Heaven.

We love so many. We love our family, those living, and those who have passed. We love our friends and those with whom we have shared a common cause, a common community, a common stream of life. For Karmic reasons, we can, in life, find ourselves estranged from those we love. It may be due to loss of life, distance, time, misunderstanding, conflict, or circumstance. But even if, during the toil and haste of life, we are unable to recognize it, what remains after the body and story drop away, is that which underlies it all. And there, in Heaven, we all reunite through that enduring fiber of love.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving Night

The rising moon is full, bright, and gold.
The autumn air is fresh and still.
The distant luminous clouds of white silk soak up the moonlight and drape the contours of the layered mountains below.
Nearby, the occasional lamp in a cabin window outlines the neighborhood hills which cradle Nandi, softly aglow, resting quietly before Shiva’s ornamental abode, highlighted in golden light.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Universal Principles

Many of our universal principles can be succinctly represented in one sentence or phrase, e.g. “Steady hand on the rudder”, “Forward, forward, always forward”, “Positive, positive always positive”, “Being, merging, knowing and doing”, “Dare to be great”, etc. I have so much respect for great writers. So much can be said with so few well written words. Stephen Covey beautifully expresses so many universal principles with the following quotes. Enjoy!

Stephen Covey: 10 Quotes That Can Change Your Life

© 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.

Our History Held Humbly

It’s been said of war that history is written by the victors. I would expand that to say that the present defines the past. Our present mentality is very different than the mentality of the past. Just think how differently we think now than we did in the 80’s, the 60’s, the 50’s, and so on. Just try to imagine how differently people thought 100 years ago, 1,000 years ago, or 30,000 years ago! And it is not just human mentality that is so malleable. It is also the earth herself – earthquakes, climate change, consuming rain, fires, and natural disasters. Some say even the constants in the laws of physics change over time. All these changes mold our history.

To get some insight into the diverse nature of mentalities, we can even look at the same moment in time in different parts of the world. The whole field of international law is so incredibly complicated due to conflicting mentalities. As some have said, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

Now enters the field of archeology. Though I tip my hat to them for trying, we can hardly venture a guess as to how limited archeologists’ perspectives on ancient cultures might be. A rather classic example might be the Egyptian Sphynx. I understand that archaeologists date the Sphynx at several thousand years, while geologists point out that water erosion dates it at 10,000 years. What happened to the missing 7,000 years? It seems we have no idea.

The salient point here can be summed up in one word: “humility.” We do well to view our history not through the judgmental eyes of current perspective, but rather through the eyes of humility. We can only barely begin to understand our history. The further back in time we go, the less accessible it becomes. Paradoxically, we can benefit a great deal by trying to understand our history: who we are and how we got here.

We do well, though, to not forget the humility inherent in true understanding. We can’t judge our past, we can’t put it in a box, or frame it in a rigid manner. We hold it dearly, but lightly.

We can even generalize this further. Do we really understand the other person sitting across from us and their history? It seems that Socrates had it right: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” The unbounded nature of the field of pure no-thing-ness that dwells within us as us, as our true Self, the unknowable.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.