by Kiara Windrider, March 2004
Humans are multi-layered entities. We
could meditate on a mountaintop for eons
without significantly touching our
underlying emotional traumas. Likewise,
we could do psychoanalyze ourselves for
a lifetime without moving a step closer
to enlightenment. How do we reconcile
this uneasy alliance between our
emotional and spiritual selves?
Psychology literally means “the study
of the psyche”, which in Greek meant
“soul”. With the beginnings of the Age
of Reason, the science of psychology
became divorced from spirituality as
behavioral scientists tried to
understand the mind separately from the
soul. When you separate mind from soul
you are left with an insufferable
complex of emotional neuroses, which is
why the Freudian psychologies focused
almost entirely on neurotic behaviors
and their roots in human infancy.
Likewise, when you separate soul from
mind, you are often left with an
infantile spirituality that cannot
relate to the world of human
relationships and complex emotions.
There is a wave of psychology
emerging today that seeks to reconcile
these two aspects of our human selves.
Commonly known as integral,
transpersonal, or spiritual psychology,
it seeks to explore the full range of
human potential in relationship with the
There are many models of the human
psyche proposed by various spiritual
pioneers and psychologists, including
Sri Aurobindo, Carl Jung, Robert
Assagioli, Abraham Maslow, Ken Wilber,
John Lilly, and Stanislav Grof, which
provide useful maps for our journey into
emotional and spiritual wholeness.
Meanwhile, the Buddhist and Vedic
understanding of “samskaras”, or
reactive patterns, provides a context
for some of the barriers we might
encounter along the way.
One quick way to summarize all this
is to view ourselves as three concentric
layers of being. In the center is our
soul, our inner being, our true self.
This is who we really are, and in an
ideal world, this is what we would
experience and express from the moment
of our birth.
However, due to our massively
conditioned childhood realities, we are
rarely allowed access to this aspect of
our being. Therefore, our soul reacts to
externally conditioned realities,
creating a thick shell around our
innermost being composed of various
survival strategies and control dramas.
Most of our repressions, fixations,
denials, traumas, and neuroses are held
within this layer. We could call this
the disowned self.
A third layer out is our social
persona. It is the smiling mask
behind which lies the deeply repressed
aspects of our disowned self. We often
become so adept at living from our
social persona that few are able to
penetrate the masks of success, poise,
and self-control to see the pain
beneath. Often the bigger the mask the
deeper is the pain. It is only when we
risk taking off the mask and exploring
the roots of our pain that we can move
towards experiencing our true self. As
we experience our true self, the healing
of our disowned self can begin, and the
need for our social persona dissolves.
We become transparent beings able to
access and reflect the light of our
The Buddhist and Vedic theory of
samskaras refers to dysfunctional
patterns that trace their origins not
only to childhood and birth traumas, but
also to previous lifetimes. The law of
karma is related to these samskaras.
According to them, every moment lived
unconsciously creates samskaras, or
karmic imprints, where the light from
the soul gets dimmed. Some are like a
line drawn in water, which are
immediately cleared. Others are like a
line drawn on sand. They remain for a
while until the tide comes in and washes
them clean. Yet others are like a line
etched in stone. These are the ones that
replicate themselves lifetime after
lifetime, always attracting similar
energy patterns, and creating misery.
These samskaras are the dark soot in an
otherwise clear lamp that obstruct the
light of our inner self from shining
How do we clear out these samskaras?
Techniques such as Primal therapy,
Gestalt therapy, Hypnotherapy,
Holotropic Breathwork, and various other
forms of experiential therapy assert
that if we can break through the social
persona and get in touch with our
disowned self, we can heal it. Once we
become aware of the roots of a
dysfunctional pattern, the awareness
itself can release the emotional charge.
Clients are encouraged to get in touch
with their emotions and trace them back
to their roots, whether in childhood,
infancy, womb, or prior lifetimes. Once
this happens, they can release the
charge, and re-script their lives based
on deeper contact with their soul.
The ‘samskara shuddhis’ being taught
at Golden City work with this
understanding. The term refers to a
process of emotional clearing.
Additionally, Kalki and Amma’s grace is
invoked. Energetic frequencies are
invoked through grace which greatly
assist in the cleansing of these
samskaras. Grace is the antidote to
The goal of the samskara shuddhi is
to provide relief from the misery of
recurring dysfunctional patterns. It is
not the same as getting enlightened, but
can help create a state of readiness for
the “diksha” of enlightenment.
Ultimately, when we live from an
enlightened state, we come into direct
and permanent contact with our souls.
There is no unconsciousness, and
therefore no new samskaras get created.
As the light of the true self shines
through the layers of disowned self, all
the old samskaras tend to simply
evaporate like fog in the noonday sun.