AI, Sacred Cows, Exceptional Children

“Consciousness is everything and everything is consciousness. Consciousness is not measured by an event. Consciousness is measured by a fact of being.”

Thom Knoles

It’s another Q&A episode with Thom, answering questions with a common thread of consciousness running through them.

He starts off by tackling the question of consciousness and AI, before exploring the consciousness of cows, and bulls for that matter, and what it is about their consciousness that makes them sacred (Hint:evolution is the only thing that’s ever happening).

And he also helps a mother navigate the responsibility of supporting a child whose consciousness gives him levels of perception beyond the ordinary.

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Episode Highlights


Q – Does AI Have the Potential to Experience Consciousness?



Consciousness Is the Foundation of Everything



AI Is Already Conscious



The Repertoire of AI



Q – Why is the cow sacred in the Vedic Worldview?



A – Cows Everywhere in India



The Legal Sacredness of Cows



A Very Simple Thing



Fond of Dairy



Q – How to Support a Sensitive Toddler?



A – Wise Do Not Bewilder Ignorant



Honor and Validate Your Child’s Perceptual Abilities


Jai Guru Deva


AI, Sacred Cows, Exceptional Children

[00:45] Q – Does AI Have the Potential to Experience Consciousness?

Hi, this is Lisa from Pittsburgh, and my question is, does AI have the potential to experience consciousness?

[00:54] Consciousness Is the Foundation of Everything

AI already is experiencing consciousness. So is a grain of sand, so is a rock, so is a little protozoa, so is an amoeba, so is everything. And the reason we can say that is because consciousness is everything and everything is consciousness to varying degrees.

Consciousness is not measured by an event. Consciousness is measured by a fact of being.

Here’s how it goes from the quantum physics perspective. A great professor of high-energy nuclear physics at the University of Sydney, Professor Brian McCusker, taught this to me. We can demonstrate in laboratory science that there are not as many as two things in existence.

That is to say, there’s only one thing. There aren’t even two. There aren’t three, there are not four, there are not fifty, there are not trillions. There’s only one thing. We can demonstrate this using laboratory science, and it has been done. It’s been done beyond any reasonable doubt. One indivisible whole field, the Unified Field, is all that actually exists.

All atoms, all sub-nuclear particles, all forms, all phenomena, all behaviors are behaviors of the one indivisible whole field. We can say the field is one, indivisible and whole, but now we can add one more quality to it. It is also conscious.

[02:38] AI Is Already Conscious

One indivisible, whole conscious field is the basis of everything. Everything that exists is a thing that is an expression of one indivisible, whole conscious field. So I’m looking at a steel cup, a stainless steel cup, sitting in front of me. It is atoms of steel, various atoms, that are an expression of one indivisible, whole consciousness. The cup has a shape, and that shape is shaping the consciousness that’s in it.

Although rudimentary when compared with, let’s say, a human brain, the cup nonetheless cannot be devoid of consciousness because consciousness is a requirement of a thing existing. Consciousness is a requirement of a thing existing.

Why can we say one indivisible, whole conscious field? Because we know consciousness exists, and there’s only one thing. When there’s only one thing, everything that exists has to be a property of that one thing. Consciousness exists, clearly. You’re conscious, and I’m conscious, and consciousness is a thing.

If consciousness exists and there’s only one thing, everything must be that. Everything, consciousness must be one of the qualities, one of the properties of the Unified Field itself.

What about AI? AI already is conscious. How conscious is it? Can it become more conscious? Can it become less conscious? All those possibilities exist, but it cannot become non-conscious. It’s already conscious.

To what extent is it conscious? The cup sitting in front of me is conscious. How do I measure its consciousness? By its repertoire. What’s the cup capable of? What is its repertoire of performances? And we could examine that.

Now, what about some stone, a rock, if I were to put that on the table in front of me? Is it also conscious? Well, yes. But its repertoire of behaviors that demonstrate its consciousness are fewer than the repertoire of behaviors that demonstrate the consciousness of the cup.

If there were a human brain sitting in front of me, there are a couple of people in the room with human brains, to what extent are they conscious? Well, the human brain is a highly sophisticated organization of sub-nuclear particles, atoms, molecules, and electronic phenomena that render the human brain with a massive repertoire of behaviors compared with the cup or compared with the rock.

[05:47] The Repertoire of AI

What about AI (Artificial Intelligence)? Is it conscious? It is conscious to the extent that humans have made it so. What is its repertoire? This is the bigger question, not how conscious is it? But if we want to talk about a metric for demonstrating consciousness, we have to talk about repertoire of behaviors.

How many things is it capable of doing? Based on that, we can tell how conscious it is. Is it capable of emoting? So far, we don’t see much evidence of that. Could it become capable of emoting? Well, there’s nothing that limits how sophisticated a physical object can become, and all the things that make it what it is, the circuits and whatnot that drive it.

So if a human brain can be capable of emoting and capable of self awareness, then certainly AI can become capable of it, and already is, to some extent. It’s a question of breadth of repertoire. What is the breadth of the repertoire? And these are the proper questions we need to ask with regard to AI in order properly to understand its applications in the world.

Jai Guru Deva.

[07:05] Q – Why is the cow sacred in the Vedic Worldview?

Why is the cow sacred in the Vedic worldview?

[07:11] A – Cows Everywhere in India

People who go to India might notice that one of the things that’s unusual about that country, besides there being monkeys everywhere that are very bold and cheeky in their interactions with humans. For example, a monkey might be found jumping down from an air conditioning vent in an otherwise very refined restaurant and landing on your table and taking things off your plate and taking off out the door with some of your food.

Besides the cheeky behaviors of monkeys and their interactions with humans, which are an everyday phenomenon there, one of the other experiences with the world of wildlife that is unusual is that you see cows absolutely everywhere.

Cows walking freely through marketplaces. Cows walking down city streets. Cows indeed walking on freeways. And you might be driving along the expressway, and one of the problems with driving in India is that you might have to swerve around cows even if you’re going at a decent speed, and this can slow you down considerably. Cows walking on railroad tracks. Cows moving around everywhere.

And there’s another thing about these cows. You’ll notice that people don’t strike them. So I’m sure that if a cow was to wander into a marketplace, an outdoor marketplace in the United States and begin helping itself to some lettuce in the vegetable section, that the proprietor might be well within their rights to take some kind of a cane and whack the cow and shoo it off.

[09:06] The Legal Sacredness of Cows

In India, it’s actually against federal law to strike a cow. Striking a cow is against the law, and you can be arrested and, if convicted, you can be incarcerated for having struck a cow. It’s also illegal to kill a cow.

It’s also illegal for there to be any products of the kine, K-I-N-E is the name for cattle. It’s the proper name for cattle, kine, and cow is the female and bull is the male.

But whether bull or cow, the products of the kine, the product of cattle cannot be found in any food substance that’s sold in India.

So, for example, if you like a particular biscuit or cracker, Commonwealth people call them biscuits, Americans call them crackers, but if it has beef oil in it, that cracker cannot be sold in the country of India.

And so then, why is it? What’s this thing about the sacred cow? And, it’s even become a term in the common parlance, something is a sacred cow. What is it about cows that’s considered to be sacred?

[10:28] A Very Simple Thing

It’s a very simple thing. There is a statement made in Rig Veda that a well-tended cow or well-tended kine, that includes bulls, by the way, not just cows, not just the females, will, when its cattle body dies, in its next life become a human.

And not that this is an exclusive thing to the world of cattle, it’s not that in the reincarnation theory of The Veda that only cattle become humans, but it is stated that a well-tended cattle will become a human.

What does well-tended mean? Well, it means loved like a pet. It means treated nicely. It means not treated badly. And so then bad treatment of cows is considered to be akin to making that cow have to return back to cow life again when its body dies. And so because this is an ubiquitous belief, in I would say nine-tenths of the population of India…

India is a very large country with 1. 4 billion people. Largest country on earth now in population. It’s gone past China recently, last October or so. It’s a country that makes up an enormous percentage of the world population all in one country.

And their ubiquitous belief is that a maltreated cow is being condemned to yet another life as a cow. Whereas a well-treated cow has an opportunity to make the jump in its next life onto the human level.

[12:24] Fond of Dairy

And also cows are also very highly thought of in India because, although India is a vegetarian country, it’s not largely a vegan country, though there are some exceptions.

Indians are very fond of dairy products and by far the largest production in the world of butter, which is the baseline substance used for making ghee, which is a clarified butter cooking oil that’s used in almost all Indian food,and also in Indian medicines and Ayurvedic medicines. 

To get that, one has to have lots of butter. To get that, one has to have lots of cows.

And so, cows are found everywhere in India. And this is one of the reasons why when you come to visit India, you’re going to see cows everywhere, and it’s quite surprising.

I hope you enjoy it.

[13:27] Q – How to Support a Sensitive Toddler?

Hi Thom, it’s Felicity here. I’m from the Upper Hunter area in New South Wales, and I’ve got a question for you about my toddler. He is different. He’s highly sensitive. He does a lot of astro traveling at night, and he’s constantly connecting with dragons, dolphins, angels, creatures of all sorts. And he does see a lot of spirits on a day-to-day basis.

He just doesn’t fit into mainstream society. And I’m just wondering if you have any advice on how I can support him, connect with him, nurture his gifts, and just really provide him with the support that he needs in today’s society. Thank you.

[14:16] A – Wise Do Not Bewilder Ignorant

Jai Guru Deva.

What a wonderful toddler you have who has an exceptional experience that sets him outside the realm of experience of most other kids his age. The best way to support him is to acknowledge his experience. And acknowledging it means we’re born believers when he begins to describe certain things that are outside the range of most people’s perceptual capability.

It is also going to be very important to guide him gently about the world in which he lives. He lives in a world where most people do not experience these things, and though he has a tremendous amount to be proud of, he also has to take care because we have this injunction in the Vedic worldview: wise do not bewilder ignorant.

Wise do not bewilder ignorant means that those who have the gift of being wise have to pay attention to what it is that most other people experience.

And so we also need to have, without developing any sense of superiority, we have to have superior compassion for the experiences of others. Having compassion for the experiences of others means we need to learn to ask ourselves the question, what is it like to be someone who doesn’t have these experiences?

What are they experiencing? If they’re not experiencing this, what are they experiencing? And what is the highest and best that I can bring to all of my interactions with other children and, indeed, with their parents?

[16:11] Honor and Validate Your Child’s Perceptual Abilities

And so, he needs to be honored in his unusual and extraordinary perceptual capability, verified, validated, acknowledged in every way. At the same time, he has an extra responsibility that many children do not have, which is to find ways of not bewildering people.

And the only way to do that is regularly to ask oneself the question, “What are others experiencing? What’s their level of experience?” And then getting to understand that and getting to know that, rather than creating the situation in which one becomes an outcast, or is in some way ostracized because of having said too much.

One becomes a master, where the masterful knowledge only ever is brought out where there is worthy inquiry, where someone seems to be actually ready for the knowledge of what it is you’re experiencing.

So, a graded approach of teaching him how to be a young wise man rather than simply describing everything he’s experiencing all the time to anybody in an indiscriminate fashion, which will rapidly trigger a cascading effect of people thinking that he’s a little bit of an oddball.

So one of the home trainings that his wise mother has to engage in and participate in is verification, validation, but also training our child and our children, because there’ll be more, in how to describe their experiences to others in ways that don’t cause confusion and bewilderment. And to also be open to, and having an appreciation, of what other people are experiencing.

This is a very, very important thing to do in any case is to culture in our children, the tendency to ask the question, “What’s it like to be you?” Meaning, what’s it like to be someone who is not me? And this is the beginnings of the building of empathy and compassion.

So let’s work with this while we can, and congratulations again on having an exceptional child.

Jai Guru Deva. 

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