Are Body-Based Goals Evolutionary?

“The idea that I am a body is an idea that is antithetical to enlightenment. You have a body. Certainly, you do have a body, but who is the you? Who is the experiencer? Who is the knower of this body that one has?”

Thom Knoles

One of the features of modern life that sets us apart from our ancestors is our focus on the shape, form and function of our bodies, or “looking good,” so to speak.

Though many of us give little thought to the subject, some are obsessed with how we present ourselves physically, and most of us are somewhere in between.

It would be fair to say, though, that we’re probably much more “body-centric” than our grandparents or earlier generations were.

So is such behavior evolutionary or does it slow us down and keep us at the superficial level of life?

In this episode, a listener poses a question to Thom about the compatibility of body-based goals with our evolution, and whether they hold us back or not.

As is often the case, Thom makes the distinction between cause and effect, and gives us clear instructions on where to focus our efforts.

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Episode Highlights


What’s Beyond the Body?



Overcoming Odds for Enlightenment: Ashtavakra and Helen Keller



Magnificent Creatures



Tat Wale Baba






Consciousness Shapes Appearance



Aligning with the Laws of Nature



Know Your Body



Perfecting Health with Ayurveda


Jai Guru Deva


Are Body-Based Goals Evolutionary?

Does having body-based goals tie you to another life in nappies? In other words, does it limit your ability to raise consciousness and keep you tied to the cycle of reincarnation?

[00:58] What’s Beyond the Body?

I can tell that this question comes from either a Brit or an Australian, because Americans won’t know what nappies are. Nappy is short for napkin, which is what the Commonwealth English speakers refer to what Americans refer to as diapers.

A life in diapers, back to the diapers again. Reincarnation is what is meant by this.

And certainly, the idea that I am a body is an idea that is antithetical to enlightenment. You have a body. Certainly, you do have a body, but who is the you? Who is the experiencer? Who is the knower of this body that one has?

There are many great examples of great, enlightened people who had bodies that were not wonderful or elegant to look at.

Chief amongst all of these, in my opinion, is the famous Ashtavakra, A-S-H-T-A, Vakra, V-A-K-R-A, Ashtavakra. Ashta, in Sanskrit, it means eight. Vakra means angles, like a right angle, or a triangle, but an angle. When applied to the human body, it means deformity. Ashtavakra.

There are eight, what are intended to be straight bones in the body. The two upper arm bones, there’s two. The two forearm bones, there’s two. The two femurs, the thigh bones, there’s two there. And the two shin bones, there’s two. So altogether, eight: upper arms, forearms, thighs, and then lower legs.

[02:46] Overcoming Odds for Enlightenment: Ashtavakra and Helen Keller

And this particular person, who was named Ashtavakra, those eight bones were bent at different right angles at birth. He had a form of congenital rickets that deformed his body dramatically, and yet, and partly because of this deformity, dedicated his consciousness and his life to the gaining of enlightenment.

We can have other examples, the great Helen Keller, one of the greatest and most poetic writers of the last century, of the previous century, who lived an entire life without access to the sense of sight or to the sense of sound.

She was totally deaf and absolutely congenitally blind. Unimaginable for most of us. What she had available to her was the sense of taste, the sense of smell, and the sense of touch, and a very bright intellect.

And Helen Keller gained a very heightened consciousness state in that lifetime. and was a great inspiration to all.

[04:11] Magnificent Creatures

Body-based is never going to be quite the same. You know, we can remember in history people who are noted for having great bodies.

Oh, there was Hercules. Had a great body. But Hercules was known for other things as well. He also was considered to have a mighty intellect, and an astonishing spirit, a consciousness state.

Heracles is the Greek way of saying his name. Hercules, the Roman way of saying his name. A magnificent creature, but not just a body. When we look back in history at those whose desperate attempt at immortality in lifetime was to build a great body, how many decades can such a great body last? Body based. I have a shape of my body, the cut of my muscles, the this, the that, and so on.

You’re not going to have that when you’re 80. You probably won’t have it when you’re 65 or 70. Even if you have some remnants of it, it’s still going to be a little bit of a sad portrait compared with what you looked like in your 20s, 30s, and 40s.

By the 50s, no matter what you’re doing, you’re starting to go into physiological beauty decline. By the time you’re 60, 70, 80, and let’s now talk about 90s, and 100, and so on.

Now, great looking bodies could be a product of great consciousness. Can be a product. Not always, but can be.

I know my own master, Maharishi, who lived to be a hundred, irrespective of what you might read elsewhere online. I don’t know why different people have published different ages for him. I handled his passport on many occasions, and saw that he was born in 1908, and his body disappeared, he dropped his body in 2008. To me, that adds up to being a hundred. So, let’s get beyond all of the rumors about him. Dropping his body at the age of 90, or dropping his body at the age of 92, or whatever. I consider myself to be an authority on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, having lived in his presence and under his tutelage for almost 26 years, and having handled his personal affairs on many occasions.

This was someone who lived to be a hundred, a magnificent creature, even in his 90s, magnificent creature, and beautiful to look at.

[07:00] Tat Wale Baba

His best friend, who dropped his own body in 1974 at the age of 130, Tat Wale Baba. I’ve spoken about Tat Wale Baba many times. Tat is T-A-T, Wale second name, W-A-L-E, Baba, B-A-B-A, Tat Wale Baba.

You can look up Tat Wale Baba on the World Wide Web using search engines, and you’ll see a beautiful creature with long dreadlocks that hung down his nearly seven-foot frame.

He was about six foot ten, almost seven feet in height. And his dreadlocks, you know how dreadlocks grow? Out from the scalp, make a right-hand turn, and then make a left-hand turn, and then a right-hand turn, and then a left-hand turn.

A hair that doesn’t grow straight. It has to grow in the matted locks of someone who has grown their hair for a hundred years. Rights and lefts and rights and lefts, this is what makes up a matted lock.

[08:18] Jata

In Sanskrit, we refer to such matted locks as Jata, J-A-T-A, Jata. And Jata is what we say in the West, dreadlocks.

And these long ropes of hair coming out of his scalp that came down his body, his nearly seven feet of frame, and then were so long they dragged on the ground three and four feet behind him. Regularly, when he went to sit down, he had to sit and pull all of his hair up into his lap and disentangle sticks and twigs and other things, leaves and whatnot, that had got mixed up in his hair.

He washed his hair every day in the Ganges River. He lived in a cave just up above Rishikesh. And his food substances, his food intake was just whatever roots or leaves or bark or other edible things could be found. Yogis have that particular knowledge of what is edible from the forest, and he ate forest food for decades and decades and decades.

And at the age of 130, looked like someone who was 40. People who can remember, you have to be my age or older to know who this is, but Johnny Weissmuller, who was a Olympic gold medalist swimmer, was a movie actor who played the role of Tarzan in some early movies in the 1920s and 30s. He had those long swimmer’s muscles, and Tat Wale Baba looked like that.

[10:00] Consciousness Shapes Appearance

But did we ever see Tat Wale Baba exercise? Never. Did we ever see Tat Wale Baba showing up at the gym or checking himself out in a mirror? Never.

Tat Wale Baba was a living embodiment of complete enlightenment. It was his consciousness state that conceived that body. It was Tat Wale Baba’s consciousness state that constructed that body. It was Tat Wale Baba’s consciousness state that governed that body.

It was Tat Wale Baba’s consciousness state that printed out that magnificent body that, even at a hundred and thirty years of age, there were people in Rishikesh whose great grandfathers could remember Tat Wale Baba being their Guru.

And stories passed down generations that he always looked the same from about the age of thirty to the age of a hundred and thirty, always looked the same.

If, in your question about body goals, you have something akin to that as a body goal. Let me tell you how it happens. It doesn’t happen by paying attention to your body. It happens by you paying attention primarily to your consciousness state.

Tat Wale Baba was possessed of a quality in consciousness known as Kayakalpa. Kaya, K-A-Y-A, Kaya, it means the body. The gross physical body. Kalpa means time.

Kayakalpa is a Siddhi. It’s an extraordinary human capability in which one can consciously decide the time of death. One can decide to exit the body without external factors being the thing that controls at what time one exits the body. And Tat Wale Baba had the capability of doing that. He was possessed of Kayakalpa.

[12:18] Aligning with the Laws of Nature

If you also wish to be possessed of Kayakalpa, there’s a few things you need to know.

First of all, regular practice of Vedic Meditation twice a day, absolutely non-negotiably. Making it non-negotiable puts you in a category of someone who can go along with what the Laws of Nature are doing every minute. Laws of Nature are naturally changing as to which Laws of Nature are governing things.

Here we are in Flagstaff, Arizona, and it’s springtime. The spring equinox happened two days ago, and yet, while we’ve been sitting here making these recordings, we’ve been witnessing bright, bright sunshine and birds everywhere.

Then, a snowstorm came during the recordings, and there were big snowflakes falling. And then, back to bright sunshine now, all the snow has dried up and disappeared from the earth.

What is it that’s going on? Every few minutes, there’s change, transition. Are you able to go along with the change? To what extent does the change surprise you or dismay you? To what extent does the change shock you?

Or to what extent does the change that’s occurring satisfy in you a natural knowingness that this is the kind of change that accompanies transition in a high mountain district from winter to spring?

There’s transition occurring, and it’s natural. And it’s joyful to see snow falling with full sunshine shining on the snowflakes.

[14:01] Know Your Body

So, to what extent are you the home of all the Laws of Nature? Then, to that extent, your consciousness will conceive and construct, govern, and become a beautiful body. That’s the expression of that.

Consciousness is everything. One thing that helps consciousness make its flow into body is understanding your specific body characteristics with which you were born. Every body is different to every other body.

There are three balancing agents that make up the behavior of a human body, and different people have different combinations and permutations of these three in a variety of ways.

If you don’t understand your own body nature and your personal body makeup, your psychophysiological characteristics, then it’s likely that without you realizing it with full intent to be doing good for your body and keeping yourself youthful and strong looking and pretty or handsome, whatever you desire, that something that you’re doing is violating the Laws of Nature of your body and making your body age unnecessarily quickly.

One of the gifts of the Vedic worldview is the gift of Ayurveda, A-Y-U-R, Veda, V-E-D-A. Ayurveda is knowledge of relevant longevity of the body, knowing how to maximize the longevity that is destined in your particular physiology. Without the study and the knowledge of Ayurveda, our Vedic knowledge is incomplete.

[16:01] Perfecting Health with Ayurveda

Fortunately for us, members of the Vedic community, the Vedic family worldwide, the movement of knowledge, we have access to not just the pioneers founders but the modern-day preeminent masters of Ayurvedic approach to perfect health in India, the Raju family, R-A-J-U.

Raju and this family are very close friends of ours, and my team can make arrangements for you to reap the benefits of the Ayurvedic approach to perfect health.

You simply need to reach out and make inquiries on my website, and you’ll be informed about how to start a process of making use of Ayurveda to make a very frictionless flow of consciousness conceiving, constructing, governing, and becoming the ideal body that you need in order to be radiant, a radiant body of knowledge to all the world.

But focused on, “My body is what I am, and therefore I need to make my body the perfect expression,” you won’t be able to do that without gaining enlightenment. You’ll find the process very frustrating. It’s important to enlightenment first as our primary goal, body naturally follows.

Jai Guru Deva.

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