“We were not intended to be stressed beings who accumulate more and more irrelevant behavior day by day. We are intended to be purer than that.”Thom Knoles
It’s Q&A time again and this one has something for everyone.
The first question for Thom is about the relationship between Catholicism and the Vedic Worldview. Whether you are Catholic or not, Thom’s answer will be of interest as he affirms the compatibility of the Vedic worldview, not just with Christianity, but with religion in general.
And if you have trouble distinguishing between negative thinking and intuitive insights, Thom’s answer to the second question in this episode will help you with this dilemma. You’ll be pleased to know the answer is pretty straight forward.
And last but not least, a situation that we’ll all face more than once in our lifetime, how to help someone who is nearing the end of their life. Thom gives us an easy choice to make, whether to be a ‘needy one’ or a ‘capable one’. No points for guessing which option is more evolutionary for all concerned.
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Q – Can You Elaborate on Jesus Christ and the Vedic Worldview as Compared with the Catholic View?
A – There is No Conflict Between Catholic Beliefs and Vedic Philosophy
Catholicism Shares Much With Vedic Philosophy
There is No Religious Requirement to Practice Vedic Meditation
Meditation is an Aid to Christian Growth
Q – How Can You Distinguish a Negative Thought From the One That is Trying to Tell You Something?
A – Vedic Mediation Enhances Meditators’ Awareness
Moving Frictionlessly and Effortlessly From One Place to the Next
Red Lights and Green Lights
Negative Thoughts vs Feelings
Q – How Can We Help Those Who Are Nearing the End of Their Lives?
A – Understand How a Dying Person Feels
Mistakes People Make With the Dying
The Needy Ones and the Capable Ones
Jai Guru Deva
The Crisis of GoverCatholicism and the Vedic Worldview, Negative Thinking vs Intuition, Helping the Dying
[00:00:45] Q – Can You Elaborate on Jesus Christ and the Vedic Worldview as Compared with the Catholic View?
Hi, This is Lauren from Southwest Michigan. I was raised Catholic. Currently, I am studying the Unified Field, quantum physics, and how it mirrors consciousness.
I would like you to elaborate, if you could, on Jesus Christ and the Vedic worldview on the man compared to what Catholics believe. I’ve gotten a lot of pushback from my family members on becoming a Vedic Meditator, but I’ve also understood Jesus Christ much more in-depth than I ever could have before. Thank you.
[00:01:27] A – There is No Conflict Between Catholic Beliefs and Vedic Philosophy
It’s a beautiful question, and greetings to you. Thank you for your question. I had the great advantage of getting some insight into Roman Catholicism when I attended the first and beginning days of what was intended to be a scholarship at one of the most famous Roman Catholic Universities, Georgetown in Washington DC, in my youth, in my teens.
And I was schooled by and spent time every week with a Jesuit, society of Jesus, priests, who are well-known to be the intellectuals of the Roman Catholic Church, and I had an opportunity, because I was already well engaged in the Vedic worldview, to examine some of the Roman Catholic precepts and concepts with regard to this.
I had another advantage in being able to visit, with my teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973, the then sitting Pope in the Vatican in Rome.
And although I was excluded from the room by my teacher who looked at me and gave me the little thing with his eyes saying, “There’s the door. Out you go,” when afterwards I asked him what happened, he said that he was simply requesting the blessing of the Pope for people to learn his meditation technique, in which I was trained by that time to teach, and that the Pope had granted his blessing because he could see no conflict between what Maharishi was offering to the world and a proper Catholic understanding and worldview.
[00:03:06] Universal Wisdom
My third point of reference with the Roman Catholic Church was with a monk by the name of Bede, B-E-D-E, Griffiths, G-R-I-F-F-I-T-H-S, Griffiths.
Bede Griffiths is somebody you can look up on YouTube or online and see that he was a monastic person who had spent multiple decades in India, and was a friend of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he came to visit him frequently. He himself, Bede, had an ashram, a community in India that was run along regular Roman Catholic lines but was deeply influenced by many of the teachings of the Vedic worldview.
And sometime in the 1990s, Bede was summoned by the then sitting Pope, to the Vatican to explain what his experiences had been and what he was able to teach. And as a result of that meeting, Bede was sent all around the world. He was asked to write a book, which he did, entitled Universal Wisdom, that was commissioned to be written, by the Pope.
And he went around the world, teaching to the religious, by religious we mean priests, nuns, and monks of the Roman Catholic Church, the knowledge of Vedic techniques for satisfying the demand for direct experience of inner divinity.
And this was something not only sanctioned by the Pope but also was, it was a command given to him to actually do this because the Pope was so impressed by his eloquence on the subject.
[00:04:57] Catholicism Shares Much With Vedic Philosophy
So these are my three or four points of reference with regard to Roman Catholicism, besides which I’ve taught quite a number of Roman Catholic religious nuns and priests and monks. Then I’m very au fait with some of the deeper mysticism that has been retained, maintained, and encouraged for centuries in the Roman Catholic Church.
My own master, Maharishi, looked at Christianity broadly, not just Roman Catholicism, as having some role in encouraging deep inner experience. He loves to quote Jesus from Matthew, having said to his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.”
And as quoted by another apostle of Jesus, “First you seek the kingdom of God, then all else will be added onto you.” These ideas are quite Vedic in the way that they resonate with what we teach, that you’ll find that place deep inside you, which is the kingdom of heaven. What is that?
It’s that place that, if you touch on that and experience it and bring that into daily life, you’ll be living heaven on earth. You’ll be able to have access both to the deep, inner, absolute field of pure knowingness, and also to bring that into your everyday experience.
[00:06:33] There is No Religious Requirement to Practice Vedic Meditation
Now I’d like to hasten to add for all of my listeners who are secular practitioners of Vedic Meditation, this does not mean that you have to adopt a religious view in order to practice the technique of Vedic Meditation.
However, what I’m saying is that this is a fundamental experience that has been missing in the human repertoire, for now, prior to Maharishi bringing the knowledge out, for centuries been missing and forgotten. A fundamental need to step beyond thought and experience that blissful inner, dare we say, divine layer of human consciousness. To awaken that, to make that stable and permanent.
And I have personally, no doubt whatsoever, that the teacher, the Rabbi from Nazareth, known as Jesus, would have been absolutely delighted if people knew how to close their eyes and step beyond thought and experience the kingdom of heaven within. This is my view.
[00:07:45] Meditation is an Aid to Christian Growth
And so then I’d like to encourage all Roman Catholics to practice Vedic Meditation in the name of Jesus because this is something that should be an aid to Christian growth.
It shouldn’t be in any way seen as an obstacle. It’s something which anyone who practices it will be able to be a better practicing Christian in whatever form of Christianity they practice it, because it gives you the capability to purify your nervous system of the stresses, which are foreign to what was intended from the perspective of your own source, your creator.
We were not intended to be stressed beings who accumulate more and more irrelevant behavior day by day. We are intended to be purer than that.
Pure consciousness means to not just take our consciousness to that pure unbounded field that’s referred to, but also to purify the body of all of those aspects that have no relevance anymore because they’re the carrier of the stresses leftover from past experiences.
So this is perhaps helpful. I hope it might be, and I’d be more than happy to talk more about the subject in another question and answer format if you care to. Thank you for listening to me and giving me an opportunity to explain what I believe is the relationship between a proper understanding of Roman Catholicism at the deepest level and the practice of Vedic Meditation, an aid to any Roman Catholic.
[00:09:38] Q – How Can You Distinguish a Negative Thought From the One That is Trying to Tell You Something?
Hi, my name is Jade from Sydney. I just wanted to ask a question. How do you distinguish negative thoughts and a thought that is probably trying to sort of prepare you for something or tell you something?
[00:09:57] A – Vedic Mediation Enhances Meditators’ Awareness
Jai Guru Deva.
Thank you, Jade. That’s a very, very good question. How to distinguish between my being negative or my simply being alerted, perhaps by my inner consciousness, how to avert a danger which has not yet come?
And it’s a very fundamental question because this is making the distinction between someone who is constantly filled with unnecessary worries and anxieties about things that they discover, in fact, never were going to happen, from someone who leads a life free of all of that noise, but still has the capability of averting dangers which have not yet come.
And I would say that one of the characteristics of having negative thinking, is simply the characteristic of the repetitiveness of it. How frequently does it repeat?
You see, in somebody who’s practicing Vedic Meditation twice every day, as they release stress more and more, their awareness becomes more attuned with what the laws of Nature are actually up to at any given moment in propelling the process of evolution.
The process of evolution is being propelled by the laws of Nature that govern the relationships between all different forms and phenomena. And sometimes, when we’re highly conscious people, we get a hint from Nature “Don’t be in that place at that time, better stay where you are,” or “Don’t stay where you are. Better be at that place at that time, rather than where you’re standing.”
[00:11:45] Moving Frictionlessly and Effortlessly From One Place to the Next
This is one of the great gifts of being a practitioner of Vedic Meditation, is that we have the ability, spontaneously and without constant urging, simply to move frictionlessly and effortlessly from one place to the next, either in aid of being in the right place at the right time, or not being in the wrong place at the wrong time with regards to how the laws of Nature are functioning.
It’s a little bit like, can a child, a very small child, be expected, a toddler, to understand traffic lights and pedestrian crossing lights and other kinds of warnings and signs about where to be with regards to traffic.
So we generally don’t let toddlers go out unaccompanied by an adult who can read all these signs with accuracy because the child simply doesn’t understand what the flashing lights mean, can’t read the words, and so on, and could inadvertently step in the path of a moving vehicle that was simply delivering something to somebody.
And so if we use that crude juxtaposition as an analogy, for as we grow in consciousness and we become more ‘adult’, that means we become more adept experiencers of that breadth of repertoire that is the gift of having expanded awareness, we can kind of read the road signs. We can sense when to walk and when not to walk, where to be, where not to be. And you can sense it very easily, but the big thing is, you don’t have to hear it over and over and over again.
[00:13:27] Red Lights and Green Lights
For example, it would be perhaps as a toddler graduates to being a five- or six- or seven-year-old, if they see the red light, it might be “Red light, red light. There’s a red light. There’s a red light. Red light means don’t move. If you move with red light, you’re really going to be in trouble.
“Red light. Watch out. Watch out for red lights. Red lights are bad. Red lights mean don’t move. If you’re trying to move terrible, things could happen. You could be crushed by car. Oh, no, let’s not get the red lights in our way.
“Oh, it’s a green light now. It’s a green light. It’s a green light. Green lights are great. Green lights are really great. Let’s go across the street with a green light,” and all that carry on.
That could happen in a five- or six-year-old. And so this would be unnecessary entertaining of a thought that somebody who is more adept, more adult simply looks at it and goes, without even thinking of, “Red light, I stay here. Green light, I go there.”
[00:14:17] Negative Thoughts vs Feelings
So then, to what extent is the thought repeating? A negative thought is not just a negative thought of a gloomy nature. It is a persistent thought that is unnecessarily repeating itself again and again and again, and causing all kinds of attention and robbing us of access to present-moment awareness, robbing us of our peace of mind.
Someone who is having a thought that says, “Don’t go.” They just get a feeling inside, “Hmm, I don’t feel like going there.” And then you don’t feel like it. You don’t go. And maybe, later on, you discovered that if you had gone, something may have happened that was untoward.
Or you get a feeling to move and so you move, and as a result of moving, you ended up having all kinds of lovely experiences in intersecting with all kinds of forms and phenomena that bring about greater evolution. No need for constant repetition of thought.
So the distinction has to do mainly with repetition, thoughts that repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat. And there’s a constant like, “Warning, watch out, watch out, watch out, watch out.” A little bit like the five-year-old who’s no longer a toddler but has learned something about red lights and is basically talking too much about it.
Too much talk about the red lights. Let’s just go with what we see right in front of us. We don’t have to prepare ourselves in advance for all of the possibilities to what might happen if we see a red light..
So a much more relaxed approach to averting dangers which have not yet come, or crossing over with opportunities that could be there. That’s the green light. Like that.
As we grow, we’ll know because mindless, needless repetition evaporates. That’s the difference. Jai Guru Deva.
[00:16:08] Q – How Can We Help Those Who Are Nearing the End of Their Lives?
Hi Thom. This is Jo from New York. Could you tell us about how to help family members, friends, or anyone we might know, that is, that are nearing the end of their life? Particularly, I’m thinking about people who are, I guess, on their deathbed. What can we do to make their transition easier?
What shouldn’t we do? What should we do? And how can we be our best in that situation? Thank you.
[00:16:44] A – Understand How a Dying Person Feels
Thank you. It’s a great question. And one that’s very relevant to everyone because everyone who’s listening now is going to find themselves at some stage of their life in a position that you’ve just described.
Being with someone who is on their death bed or in the final phases of living a life, and we have, first of all, to practice to whatever extent we’re gifted, through our practice of meditation, we’re gifted with a particular capability.
Vedic Meditation gives us that ability through our super subtle sensory perception, superacute sensory perception, to empathize, that is, to see in response to an inner question that we have, “What’s it like to be you? What’s it like to be you right now?”
So then, rather than rushing to the aid of someone who is toward the end of their life, we need really properly to examine the question. “What’s it like to be you right now?” And it may be that the answer, of course, is going to be different for every experiencer, every experience.
The person who is ending their body life is faced with all kinds of questions. Of course, one of the most fundamental questions they’ll be having is an existential question. “Will I continue to be conscious when my body drops?”
[00:18:20] Unfinished Business
And then, if they put that to rest or put that to bed, the next question is, “What unfinished business do I need to finish? What’s the unfinished business?” And that might involve things that have not yet been communicated to others, or details of succession that they’ve not yet completely covered and which have come to their awareness.
There may also be experiences that they’re having of desires that remain yet unfulfilled, unfulfilled desires. And there may be perhaps a driving need to commune with whom they’ve had shared experience in their lifetime, whatever the social constraints may have been, whatever the social mores may have been, either allowing or preventing that kind of communing.
And so there they are, a bundle of unfulfilled desires, unfinished business, a checklist, existential questions about whether or not consciousness persists after the death of the body. “What is it that I’ve believed in, in my life that represents what I am? What am I right now?”
And if we regard all of that and take that into account and sense it from deep inside ourselves, what are they experiencing right now, then we’ll begin to form an idea about what kind of service we could provide, if indeed it’s even requested.
[00:20:00] Mistakes People Make With the Dying
One of the things that we need to be aware of is that we as humans are infinitely curious about what it’s like to be a dying person. We’re infinitely curious about it. And sometimes that curiosity is so deeply suppressed because it’s kind of socially inappropriate as we think it to be. We’re indoctrinated to think it’s socially inappropriate to wonder, “What’s it like to be a dying person?”
Then very often, people who are dying have to face the annoyance of having to counsel people who are yet alive and in their bodies about what they themselves are just about to go through. In other words, there they are lying on their death bed or wherever they may be approaching death and, people around them are in all kinds of quandaries, all kinds of emotional states, all kinds of upset, requiring the dying person to be a fountainhead of support for them, the ones who aren’t dying yet.
And so we want to be sure that we’re not one of those pests, someone who is just there eating up the time and energy and capability and requiring the dying person to counsel us and to reassure us that everything’s going to be okay. The one who’s not yet dying.
So in order for us not to be one of the pests, we have to really lose our desire to, and curb our desire, perhaps if it’s there, to be comforted by the dying person.
[00:21:43] Conscious Protectors
Dying people really shouldn’t be put in a position of having to comfort everybody else. They should be made extremely comfortable so that they have the capability, to have their pain minimized, to have their biological imperatives and needs served, and serviced, so that their consciousness is liberated to address what they feel are all the most important questions.
Another grave mistake that people make is, “Oh,” if you are participant in certain religious beliefs, “this is my chance now to convert this person because if they don’t believe a particular thing, then the moment they die, it’s all over. They’re going to go to the bad place. And then what will God think of me if I didn’t give them a shove in the direction of going to the good place.
“And so for that, we have to make sure that they have an opportunity to accept a certain belief or declare that they accept a certain belief prior to them dying. And, it’s my job, it’s my mission to make sure that they’re thinking the right way about things before they die.”
All of that is part of the pestilence that can accompany a person who’s dying, who’s become really a victim of the missions of those who, for their own selfish purposes, want to create acts of conversion.
So, to protect the vulnerable dying from that kind of phenomenology and that kind of activity, I believe is a very important role for all of those who are highly conscious protectors of, or who are given the role, the authoritative role of making sure that there’s a peaceful environment for the one who’s dying.
[00:23:41] Agenda Free
Basically, what can we do? We can be enjoyers of our own wisdom and just radiate capability. “You need this. You need that. I’m here to provide it. Whatever the need is, I’m here to provide it. I don’t have an agenda.”
We need to be, as carers for the dying, we need to be agenda free. Free of agenda because the person who’s dying, their own agenda, their own motives, their own needs are surfacing at a rapid pace.
We need to be listeners, and we need to be reassurers, that “If there’s anything you need or anything you’d like to see done, I’m here to do it. I’m here to do it.” And that might include, if they have a particular philosophical bent, in their dying days or dying hours, if they ask you a question with worthy inquiry, something, which they feel you may know the answer to, then you can provide that too, but don’t overdo it.
The last thing we ever want to be around a dying person is a proselytizer. A proselytizer is someone who has a kind of missionary zeal to convince a dying person of a thing. It’s basically just being pestiferous.
[00:25:14] The Needy Ones and the Capable Ones
So those are my bits of counsel; whenever we’re around someone who’s dying, you are the capable one.
We can divide everyone who has access to a person who’s dying, we can divide them fairly neatly into two categories.
Those who make themselves more needy than the dying person, and those who have greater capability than the dying person. Rather than being one of the needy ones, we must do whatever we can do to be one of the capable ones. Capable of what? Capable of allowing them to have a peaceful transition, as peaceful as possible. That’s our role.
And if we go in there with agendas and needs and missions and all of that stuff, this is the worst kind of behavior that can be found in the environment of a dying person.
So knowers of reality don’t have a big agenda when someone’s dying around them. You have inside yourself your own knowledge of what you are, and you have capabilities that have been granted to you by being a Vedic Meditator. That’s your stamina, your intelligence, your energy, your discriminating power, your creativity, your capability.
So we’re there to be the movers of mountains if mountains need to be moved. That’s it, simple. Plain and simple.
Jai Guru Deva.