Colonization, Gossip and Jealousy, Giving Away Our Power

“Envy is not the same as jealousy in the Vedic perspective. Envy is a good thing. It means you can see someone who’s attained to something that you would consider desirable and you want also to attain.”

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

It’s time for another Q&A episode with Thom, this time covering a range of questions with a similar theme, acquiescing our power to others.

In answer to a question about the harm of colonization, he reminds us that it’s not such a recent phenomenon, that humans have had an inclination to dominate groups from other regions for millenia, and will likely continue to do so. Thom explains that the societies that endure are those that remain invincible and who give back more than they take from their invaders.

He discusses jealousy and gossip, and how we can liberate ourselves from the effects of the thoughts or words of others. It all boils down to a single false idea that can quite easily be dispelled.

And in a slightly different vein, Thom explains the role of envy, as opposed to jealousy, and how we can use it to assert more power rather than to relinquish it, and how we can help others do the same.

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Episode Highlights


Q – How Did Europe Get Away With Colonizing the World?



The Mechanics Behind Colonization



Vedic Culture Knows How to Be Invincible



Embedded in Human Nature



English Became a Tool for India’s Revenge Against Colonization



Victimising Yourself



The Capability of Digesting the Invaders



An Ideal Society



Q – Can People Harm Us With Their Jealousy and Gossip?



I Am Vulnerable (Or Am I?)



Liberation From the Effects of Others’ Thoughts



People Don’t Have Any Idea What We Are



Q- What Causes Us to Give Away Our Power?



The Truth of the Moment



You Are the Unified Field Itself



The Difference Between Envy and Jealousy



Being an Insignificant Self



Getting to the Highest Truth as Quick as Possible



The Highest Level of Consciousness There Is



The Few Always Lead the Many



Beyond Suffering


Jai Guru Deva


Colonization, Gossip and Jealousy, Giving Away Our Power

[00:00:45] Q – How Did Europe Get Away With Colonizing the World?

[00:00:45] Hello, this is Anna from England, Norfolk. I just wanted to ask a question about history really. I’m sort of looking into colonization and the effects of it on the world and personally, and I just can’t understand how Europe has been able to almost get away with the terrible behavior of colonizing the Americas, North and South, Australia, India, Africa, parts of countries in Africa.

[00:01:21] So I’m talking about Europe radiating out with cruelty and a zeal and a missionary zeal and nothing having been really said about it because it’s now the dominant culture. So, how does that relate to Vedic ways of seeing things? Because it seems like a lot of my family had that Vedic viewpoint, but they couldn’t explain why they were part of the colonized so-called people, and therefore a lot of the culture and traditions and the reasons why things were done were lost, because the dominant took over, as with the native Americans and the Aborigines, and of course, a lot of the African countries, which lost their religions and the people that were enslaved. Thanks.

[00:02:11] The Mechanics Behind Colonization

[00:02:11] That’s a very good question, and it really deserves several hours of discussion, one day we might have an entire course or podcast on this, but essentially, we need to expand our historic vision beyond the conquering and, voyages of discovery, “discovery” and colonizing tendencies, most of which came out in the times that you’re citing, and the examples you’re citing from England.

[00:02:38] And we have to look more broadly at trends that took place long before that. From the time of Attila the Hun, who conquered everything from the Russian steppes right up to the borders of Rome, to the time of the Romans themselves, to the time of Genghis Khan, the Mongolian leader who came out of a tiny little place called Tuva in Mongolia and conquered the entire known world, from Japan all the way to the edges of Europe, this tendency for destruction operators to move on to cultures that have somehow not had invincibility.

[00:03:21] And again,people might immediately raise red flags and say, “Victim-blaming. Thom is doing victim-blaming.” I’m not really. I’m trying to explain the mechanics. We do not see cultures that in themselves have developed an inner strength of culture. We don’t see them being completely obliterated.

[00:03:42] Vedic Culture Knows How to Be Invincible

[00:03:42] Speaking of India, I think India is a very good case in point. I asked my master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, once when living in India and seeing all the Mughal architecture, the Mughals were people who came down raiding from the north, it took them a long time to figure out how to get across the Himalayan range.

[00:04:02] They found their way through the Khyber Pass and came down through Afghanistan, and took over the whole of what was then Vedic India, and notoriously destroyed icons, would twist the heads off of beautiful sculptures of Vedic gods and use those as their doorstep and require people to wipe their shoes on the face of the icon as they’re entering the home and so on.

[00:04:27] And the Mughals ran India for the better part of a millennium, somewhere between 600 to 800 years, depending on where you like to draw the lines. And I remember asking my teacher Maharishi, “Whatever happened to the Mughals?” And he just looked at me and smiled and said, “We digested them. We digested them and metabolized them.”

[00:04:50] He said, “They became us.” And I said, “How did that happen?” He said, “You see, the Vedic culture knows how to be invincible. You are invincible by being adaptable.”

[00:05:01] And I said, “Did anything good come from that?” He said, “There’s lots of great architecture around, the Taj Mahal and so on and so forth. We can see the architecture, but India continues to be India. We all just changed color a little bit. And our facial characteristics changed a bit, but we basically metabolized that culture. It’s not there anymore. We digested it.”

[00:05:25] Embedded in Human Nature

[00:05:25] And, this way of looking at things is a very interesting thing. The tendency for groups of humans to move upon other groups of humans who look as though, you could ransack them and take their valuables and all of that, control them, enslave them, or at the very least turn them into a servant class, or make them feel unworthy, that thing has been going on ever since humankind has existed. It’s not a recent thing.

[00:05:55] The English didn’t invent it. Europe didn’t invent it. Genghis Khan didn’t invent it. Rome did not invent it. Greece did not invent it. It is something embedded in human nature. And one of the things that we have to do then, we have to look at two things, what is the prevention of it, and what is the cure for it?

[00:06:17] English Became a Tool for India’s Revenge Against Colonization

[00:06:17] It’s a very interesting thing that my master, who was a master of Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, and his native tongue was Hindi, the most widely spoken of several hundred languages that are prominent in India, said that “The real gift of the English colonizing India,” when they colonized it, but in the end it was a failure, that colonization, “is that now Vedic knowledge can be taught in English.”

[00:06:44] And English having become the lingua franca of the world, you can’t fly an airplane, you may not know this, but you can’t fly an airplane unless you know how to speak English. You’re not allowed. English is the language, the primary language of the internet.

[00:07:00] “So then,when this knowledge can be brought to the world in English,” he said, “this is quietly, India’s revenge. Now everybody in England wants to learn Yoga, Ayurveda. Everyone in England wants to learn meditation, and America wants it.”

[00:07:19] And all the other Western countries, the colonizing countries, they suddenly want what it is that those people who they conquered had, even though once they had conquered those people, they never bothered to ask them about anything knowledgeable.

[00:07:32] They just said, “Don’t do things your way. Do things our way.” But now, a few centuries later, we see, the millions upon millions upon millions of people becoming fascinated by Vedic culture. Why? Because you can look into it via English, which is a very, very ironic thing. But this kind of irony need not be lost on us.

[00:07:57] Humans have behaved in cruel ways to other humans ever since the dawn of humanity. This is a truth, brutal behavior of one human to the next. Who is it that does not get brutalized? Someone who has developed invincible consciousness. Who is it that does get brutalized? Whoever it is, who’s not yet developed invincible consciousness.

[00:08:21] Victimising Yourself

[00:08:21] Once upon a time, a young woman came to one of my introductory talks, and she said to me, “I hope you’re not one of those people who are going to say that I caused my own cancer, because I was a cancer sufferer and I recovered from it, and now I’m just fine. I did not create my cancer. I’m a victim of the cancer.”

[00:08:41] And I said, “Well, that’s wonderful, and congratulations on having defeated cancer. Let me ask you this, did you change anything when you had your diagnosis and when you were doing battle with cancer?” She said, “Yes, I absolutely changed everything.” I said, “Absolutely everything.” She said, “Everything. The time I went to sleep, the food that I ate, the ideas that I had, the people I associated with, I changed everything.”

[00:09:08] And I said, “Well, if you had absolutely nothing to do with the cancer, if your former way of life and lifestyle and dealings had nothing to do with the cancer, why did you change absolutely everything when you received the cancer diagnosis?” And she was silent for a moment. And she said, “I understand what you’re saying.”

[00:09:29] She said, “Yes, I did change everything.” And, I said, “Do you wish you had changed everything years earlier?” She said, “I wish I had changed everything years earlier.”

[00:09:38] The Capability of Digesting the Invaders

[00:09:38] Now you can see this is not victim-blaming. What we’re really doing is trying to point out cause and effect. And one of the causes of the availability of a culture for invasion is that that culture somehow loses its cultural integrity enough that they don’t develop collectively an invincible character, which, if an invader does come in, as happened in India many times, the Mughals and the English were just two of them, if people do come in, they get metabolized, they get digested. They end up being part of the culture, but the culture continues on, having digested the invaders.

[00:10:21] And so then, which cultures have the capacity to do that? And we have to acknowledge, by the way, that there’s no one pure culture. It doesn’t matter what culture you’re looking at. It’s a mix of peoples. A mix of peoples, where once upon a time, somebody invaded somebody else and then mixture occurred.

[00:10:41] And we can look at this going all the way back to Australian Aboriginals. Australian Aboriginals look like today, one people, but we know anthropologically that, in fact, they’re a blend of peoples. And it’s inevitably the case that somebody invaded somebody else and cultures mixed and digested each other.

[00:11:02] An Ideal Society

[00:11:02] What we want is a cessation of cruelty and brutality. And for that to occur, those of us who know how to advance our consciousness, and to explore our deep inner awareness and explore our custodianship of a particular land or particular culture, we have an opportunity to be custodians of some land to the extent that we can make ourselves relevant to the way the laws of Nature work in that area.

[00:11:32] If we cannot continue to make ourselves relevant, then we are in danger of losing our custodianship, and, whenever we lose our cultural integrity, then we invite destruction operators onto us. So this is a very big lesson for those of us who might be enjoying elements of whatever culture we’re in.

[00:11:52] We need to really see to what extent we are good custodians of the laws of Nature. Otherwise, we will be inviting that kind of destruction operation, which is known as colonization. And that tendency has been inside of humanity since the dawn of time.

[00:12:10] So we want to create an ideal society, a society that celebrates all cultures and enjoys all cultures without having to either appropriate culture, or without having to kidnap culture, or having to smash culture or destroy it or shame it.

[00:12:29] We need to be celebrators of all of the various discoveries of humanity in whatever shape and form and color they come. And with widespread practice of Vedic Meditation, this is going to become a reality. This is my belief.

[00:12:44] Q – Can People Harm Us With Their Jealousy and Gossip?

[00:12:44] Thom, I listened to your podcast on enemies, and my question is, can people truly harm us with their jealousy and gossip? If we remain non-attached from them, is this the best route to not playing into the negativity? Jai Guru Deva.

[00:13:00] I Am Vulnerable (Or Am I?)

[00:13:00] I think the thing is not just to become non-attached from them, but to become non-attached to an idea.

[00:13:08] The idea that ‘I am vulnerable’, the ‘I’ meaning, “Just little old me with a little body and, I went to elementary school, and I went to high school, and I did this and did that. And maybe I’m a plumber. Maybe I’m a professor. Maybe I’m a musician. Who knows?”

[00:13:23] This little idea about ‘little old me’, if that’s our only identity then, if the wind blows slightly differently, that’s going to affect you. If there’s pollen in the air, that’s going to determine what your whole life experience is like.

[00:13:35] Any little change is going to determine what you’ve become because your identity is up for grabs. And so, let’s not be attached to the idea of this small self being ‘all that I am’. We do have the small self, the individuated self. We celebrate it.

[00:13:51] But it’s particularly able to be celebrated if we examine through our regular twice-a-day practice and experience the truth of our inner state of Being, “I’m one with the Universe.” Not that that sentence appears in one’s mind during meditation, but the experience of transcending, stepping beyond thought, the implication of the mind being able to settle beyond thought, is that you are one with the Universe.

[00:14:20] Liberation From the Effects of Others’ Thoughts

[00:14:20] And that oneness with the Universe, can the Universe in any way be harmed by the petty thoughts that somebody might have on one little planet, little things walking around on one little blue dot, in one corner of a galaxy of billions of galaxies on the earth?

[00:14:41] Can that one indivisible whole Unified Field find itself in trouble, because somebody is in a particular consciousness state and has a thought about what they think we are, what somebody thinks we are? To whatever extent we agree with their point of view about what they think we are, then to that degree we’re affected by them because we’ve bought into their version of our identity.

[00:15:05] But when I know what I am, I know what I am, then what somebody thinks I am, what somebody thinks I am, what somebody thinks I am, like that. these thoughts they’re like nothing. They don’t make up anything over which to dwell.

[00:15:19] And so when we find ourselves able not to dwell any longer on what the thoughts of somebody might be, then we’re truly liberated from whatever effect that person’s thoughts might have on us.

[00:15:33] People Don’t Have Any Idea What We Are

[00:15:33] So long as we find ourselves dwelling on and wondering about what kind of effect on us someone’s thoughts might have, then we’re identifying with their idea of our identity. And in a sense, we’re agreeing with them.

[00:15:46] So we’re giving them all the power in the world, and so, without that, there is no power in that.

[00:15:53] Unified Field consciousness is my suggestion, that we have that baseline of Unified Field identity, one, indivisible whole conscious field that is having a human experience through my body.

[00:16:05] And then what somebody thinks from their consciousness state, whatever, we’re just happy that people are enjoying thinking what they think about. They think that they’re thinking about us. Actually, they have no idea what we really are. So we’re not concerned that they’ll come up. They’re evolving. They’re also evolving, and we look forward to the day that we can meet them on this very highly-evolved plane.

[00:16:29] Q- What Causes Us to Give Away Our Power?

[00:16:29] Thom, what causes some of us to give away our power? What part of our mistaken intellect leads us to think that others are more knowledgeable, capable, powerful, etc. How can we minimize or stop this from happening, and instead embrace our own power?

[00:16:47] The Truth of the Moment

[00:16:47] What causes us to do all of that is the truth of the moment. When it happens that we do that, it’s because, for that moment, it was true. Somebody else had more knowledge than you. Somebody else had more capabilities. Somebody else had a more commanding presence. Somebody else had more conviction. Somebody else had more plausibility. Somebody else had more experience than what evidently you had.

[00:17:12] And so, in that moment, you gave away your power because it appeared to be at that time, the right thing to do when you couldn’t match all of that. What is it that helps us to, instead of being always following, to being a leader, is to develop our own deep, inner truth.

[00:17:37] When we have a doubt about what we are and what we can be, or when we have a resistance to sacrificing what we have become for what we could be, if we advanced our consciousness state, that hesitancy or that resistance could cause us to cleave to a very small sense of self.

[00:17:59] And that small sense of self is always going to have an inordinate amount of deep impression made by somebody else who seems to be in charge of what they’re experiencing.

[00:18:10] You Are the Unified Field Itself

[00:18:10] So how do we transcend this thing?

[00:18:13] We need to rise naturally into, in a very natural and innocent way, not in a way that is fraught with all kinds of agendas or fraught with all kinds of schemes and plans, clever tricks and smart schemes, to become a leader of others. No, to awaken in ourselves our own deepest inner truth.

[00:18:35] The truth of everything from the Vedic perspective is that you are the Unified Field itself. And if you’re missing that point, if you’re missing the point that you are the Unified Field, then your individuality is always going to be inordinately impressed by people who really are just plausible tricksters, or who have perhaps something to offer, but not everything to offer.

[00:19:04] The Difference Between Envy and Jealousy

[00:19:04] But it’s through this process of taking upward steps, you know, we’re a little kid at school, and we’re deeply impressed by the other little kid. Maybe we wet our pants at preschool, and there’s a kid who doesn’t wet her pants or his pants and manages to make it to the potty in time.

[00:19:22] Oh, deeply impressed. And so we have envy.

[00:19:24] And envy is not the same as jealousy in the Vedic perspective. Envy is a good thing. It means you can see someone who’s attained to something that you would consider desirable and you want also to attain. And so your envy is a driver to get you to have an experience that matches what you’ve seen, and you are impressed by others.

[00:19:42] Jealousy, on the other hand, is a desire for everyone to be equal, by them losing whatever advantages they have and coming back to your level. Jealousy is the leveler. “Let me level everything by everybody losing whatever they have that sets them apart from me, and let them all experience the same misery I’m experiencing.” There’s jealousy.

[00:20:04] Envy, “I wish to become like whatever it is I’m envious of.” And so we’ve messed around with these words so much in modern English, we don’t know the difference between the two anymore, but there it is.

[00:20:15] Being an Insignificant Self

[00:20:15] So we find, as we’re very young and very impressionable, something of which we’re envious, and we might move toward that thing.

[00:20:22] Once we get that level, we may realize that it’s not quite everything it was cracked up to be. And we might envy another level, which is a little higher. And then we get to that level, and we end up envying something else, it’s a little higher.

[00:20:35] And like that we’re quite willing to surrender, meaning quite willing to give away our power. Our power of what? To continue being an insignificant self as we see it.

[00:20:45] What is that power that you’re giving away? Well to someone who gives it away, it’s simply the power for the ever-repeating known and, “I want to give away that power and become something better, something more impressive that I’m looking at or experiencing.”

[00:20:59] Getting to the Highest Truth as Quick as Possible

[00:20:59] How do we shortcut all this and get to the highest truth as quick as possible? Again, through regular transcendence. To transcend means to step beyond. We have to step beyond thoughts. The thoughts of, “I’m this. I’m that. I’m this. I did this, and I got this and impressed somebody over there, and they must have thought that was pretty good.

[00:21:18] And I have a certain number of people who admire me and what a great Instagram I have, but what if they find out I don’t really live that life?

[00:21:24] “I have to make sure I don’t meet anybody and let them spend any time with me because they’ve seen my Instagrams for three years and they’re convinced already that I’m absolutely living the most wonderful life possible. I’ve been faking it till I make it. And am I ever going to make it by faking it?”

[00:21:37] No, you won’t. What you have to do is step beyond all of that individual status and structure, obsession, and experience the no-thinking state.

[00:21:47] The Highest Level of Consciousness There Is

[00:21:47] The no-thinking state is a state of bliss. It’s bliss because our awareness expands into a condition of supreme contentedness, and that expanded consciousness state knows that it owns all potentialities, all creativity, all intelligence, all staying power, all stamina, all energy.

[00:22:08] And all for what purpose? To bring whatever I am, the I here is the cosmic I, to bring whatever I am to wherever it is not. Wherever it is not. To bring this and impress it onto wherever it’s not. And then to become a teacher, to become a teacher of that deep inner status which oneself, one has experienced and developed in oneself.

[00:22:36] So to transcend this thing, we have to actually see what its purpose was. Giving away power means surrendering. Giving away power means the power to continue to be insignificant me and, somehow, surrendered to something where I might graduate into something higher. There’s a purpose in all of that.

[00:22:56] What’s the purpose in it? To expand into more and more and more and more, and then, with meditation, we expand into, very rapidly expand into more than the most, the greatest, the highest level of consciousness there is, Unity Consciousness, which then has the responsibility to assist all worthy inquirers, all those who would recognize that they would like to be like that. To show them how, step by step, they can rise into the same state of consciousness that we have attained to, through our own well-deserved self-created good fortune. Maybe a great, good fortune.

[00:23:34] The Few Always Lead the Many

[00:23:34] So there it all is. First of all, we have to look at it as, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a perfectly natural thing. The few always lead the many. The few of any one echelon of consciousness always lead the many.

[00:23:48] Then the many, gradually amongst themselves, figure out who the new few are, and then the larger group always aspires to become part of that smaller group, and so on, and so on, and so on, until eventually, somebody has the greatest realization there is, which is that, “I’m, in fact, the cosmic Unified Field of Being, and I don’t have to boast about it. I don’t even have to speak it. It just radiates through my behavior at all times, a person who has learned how to stop making oneself suffer.”

[00:24:19] Beyond Suffering

[00:24:19] When we say that higher consciousness takes you beyond suffering, it means you stop creating the conditions in which you are going to suffer, and we start to recognize that we’re the creator of the circumstances of our own suffering by inadvertently violating laws of Nature.

[00:24:38] One can now understand how the laws of Nature work, and one no longer is going to trigger the cascades of laws of Nature that will end up in suffering for oneself and for others.

[00:24:50] So once someone who has learned how to stop making oneself suffer, that’s a very inspirational thing to see. And so we need a lot more of that in the world, and then a lot more inquiry about, “How can I begin to be like that myself?”

[00:25:07] This will naturally happen, and the answers will all come. So let’s not look at it and say it’s a bad thing. Let’s look at it and say it’s a natural thing, and a stage of life. A stage of life. And then we go beyond that stage and, we arrive where we actually should be, “I’m totality,” that state.

[00:25:28] Jai Guru Deva.

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