Q: What is human or spiritual evolution? What is identity?
A: The purpose of life is human evolution or spiritual evolution which are one and the same. Spiritual evolution is the process of freeing one’s awareness from egos, identities, samskaras, and conditioning. Samskaras are impressions from past experiences (also known as “conditioning”) that limit the function of one’s psychophysiology. All life experiences make up the sum total of all impressions upon the mind, whether those impressions are positive, negative, or neutral. These impressions (our feelings about life) create identity. For example, if a person was abused as a child, the abuse creates strong impressions that then can result in identities of being bad, broken, unworthy, etc.
Identity: Michael Mamas talks about how we think our Identity is our truth
when actually it is what keeps truth away.
Q: Why should I know about identity?
A: We live in a time when people are enslaved by identity. They are either clinging fervently to an identity or frantically searching for one, believing that somewhere out there an identity exists that will answer all their needs and fulfill all aspects of their life. Fulfillment is a state of physiology that lies beyond the grasp of identity. Religions talk about it. All of humanity longs for it. But very few understand it. Essential to a healthy life is a healthy relationship with identity. You function through identity, but are not lost to it.
Identities die hard. Habits are not always easy to move beyond. Our identities are perceived and experienced as us. They are our thoughts, our emotions, our self. They seem to be inseparable from us. Yet freeing ourselves from identity is what true evolution is about.
Q: What does purification of stress have to do with spiritual evolution?
A: The development of total health or spiritual evolution can be viewed as simply the purging of stress from the physiology. Within the true nature of the physiology lies a state of health. At the basis of your being, you are already fine. It is just the stress being held within the physiology that needs to be purified out. This purification of stress must be addressed on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. As stress is purified from all levels of the physiology, much of what is familiar falls by the wayside.
It is interesting that from the Vedic perspective, one face of the Divine Mother is Kali, the terrible one, the scary one, the devourer. This is because when divinity is viewed from the perspective of one’s ego, identity, samskara, or conditioning, it can feel terribly threatening. It threatens the very heart and soul of our ego, identity, etc. It is the annihilator. Once the stresses correlating to those egos, identities, samskaras, or conditioning are purified out, one views that same Divine Mother goddess as Parvathi, the all-loving, beautiful, and gentle one.
Q: What is spiritual liberation or enlightenment?
A: Spiritual evolution is a process of refining our physiology so that we are free to rest into our true nature, the divinity within. This process progresses to a state of spiritual liberation (known as “enlightenment”), a state of freedom from egos, identities, samskaras, and conditioning, a state that allows functioning through egos, identities, samskaras, and conditioning without being lost to them. This type of functioning is like a healthy old maple tree. There are twists in the bark from storms weathered through the years, but the healthy tree is mighty, full of sap, and well-rooted. It is important to remember that enlightenment is not an attitude at all, but a physiological state of freedom which is cultivated over time. The art of facilitating enlightenment is as subtle and elusive as the nature of life itself, which is why it is often referred to as “traversing the razor’s edge” or “passing through the eye of the needle”.
Though enlightenment can be understood as the state of freedom from egos, identities, samskaras, and conditioning, it must not be confused with an attitude of anarchy. The enlightened may still function through the conditioned precepts of society and home, still respecting cultural tradition, but simultaneously see, feel, and live beyond those limitations. When people’s awareness is truly free, they are able to perceive through direct experience the true nature of life and existence.
Q: What are some tools to help a person spiritually evolve?
A: #1 Proper meditation
There are numerous meditation programs available in contemporary society. Many impose a conditioning or unnatural programming upon the mind. Surya Ram Meditation is an effortless process that is easy to learn and undeniably effective. By resting into the source of your being, deep-seated stresses in your mind and body are released. Your inherently Divine true nature is freed to well up and permeate all aspects of your life.
#2 Attend ceremonies at a Vedic temple
A Vedic temple maintains the purity of the deities, pandit, and temple. Find out why, in a Vedic temple, all ceremonies radiate subtle vibrations that touch the soul. At Sri Somesvara, we take great efforts daily to make sure Vedic tradition is maintained. See: What are Temple Ceremonies?
#3 Study with an Enlightened Master
Knowing all about spirituality is many times used as a justification to become a spiritual teacher. A true spiritual teacher does not just know about spirituality, that person is an embodiment of spirituality. Spiritual teachers who merely teach rules, concepts, facts, and codes of behavior are ultimately doing their students a disservice. A true teacher acts as a catalyst to assist students in finding truth within themselves. The wise teacher keeps the evolution of his students in mind, knowing full well that the cultivation of discernment is true teaching. The teaching methods of an Enlightened Master are subtle indeed since the state of enlightenment involves wakefulness on levels that are dormant and therefore imperceptible to most people.
Sri Somesvara and its devotees are blessed to have Dr. Michael Mamas present. Dr. Mamas’ aim is to help people evolve by integrating the ancient knowledge of Veda with modern life. He teaches classes at Mount Soma and in San Francisco, and holds meditation retreats at Mount Soma. Michael Mamas’ books can be found on the Mount Soma website and are available at the Visitor Center at Mount Soma.
#4 Come to Mount Soma
Mount Soma‘s mission is to purify spiritual understanding and enliven Vedic wisdom within individuals, promoting integrity, peace, and harmony throughout the world. To accomplish this, we are creating a Vedic enlightened city that demonstrates how to apply the ancient knowledge of Veda to business, culture, and all areas of modern life. Every aspect of Mount Soma, from selecting the land to constructing the homes and temples, is in complete accordance with the Vastu Shastra guidelines for building a Vedic enlightened city.
Every aspect of Mount Soma supports people’s spiritual evolution:
- Awe-inspiring lectures and classes taught by Dr. Michael Mamas
- Rejuvenating retreat programs
- Sri Somesvara Temple with Vedic pujas and havans
- Life-changing Mount Soma Ashram
- Profound group meditations twice daily
- Sattvic food served at the Visitor Center
- Vastu community
The silence of Lord Shiva permeates Mount Soma’s pristine environment. With its crisp, clean air and crystal clear water, some have called it the Mount Kailash of the West.