“Embrace the unknown with enthusiasm. The unknown represents the field of all possibilities. It represents the field of progressive change itself. The ever-repeating known, that is that which we know already, represents the field of stagnation.”Thom Knoles
Everything is always evolving thus, by definition, everything is always changing. Yet many of us resist change when we don’t understand the principles of creation and destruction. We prefer the comfort of the status quo and get distressed when things meet their natural end.
The Vedic Worldview however, recognizes all aspects of the evolutionary process, creation, maintenance, and destruction, not reluctantly, but with reverence. So much so that each aspect is assigned its own deity, Brahma for creation, Vishnu for maintenance, and Shiva for destruction.
Understanding the role of all three, and the interdependence of all three, is essential to living a carefree, yet practical and evolutionary life. After all, you can’t have creation without destruction and vice versa.
In this episode, Thom Knoles opens the discussion on creation, maintenance, and destruction. He guides us to choose which one we might be an agent for, without prejudicing the work of the others.
This is fundamental Vedic wisdom that most modern schools of thought approach with resignation rather than embracing with the respect it deserves. Listen in or read the transcript below to get clues on how you can live a life well led by understanding creation and destruction.
What About Reincarnation?
When many individuals hear about creation and destruction, reincarnation stories often come to mind.
The exact reincarnation definition is: “The belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form”
Reincarnation after death is a belief in many Eastern religions and practices. Some of the religions that believe in reincarnation include Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. However, reincarnation’s meaning differs between ideologies. You can find different answers to how long reincarnation takes and how many times we reincarnate depending on which practice you ask.
Does the Vedic religion believe in reincarnation? Is reincarnation a thing in the Vedic worldview? In short, no. The ancient Vedic religion did not discuss the concept of reincarnation.
It’s understandable how the idea of creation and destruction can be confused with a cycle of births and deaths. However, they are different concepts. Remember that Vedic Meditation can be practiced with great effect regardless of one’s philosophical or even religious beliefs, including the belief in reincarnation, heaven or hell, or life after death.
Learn more about if the Vedic religion believes in reincarnation from Thom’s podcast.
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The Qualities of the Evolutionary Process
Brahma – The Creation Operator
Vishnu – The Maintenance Operator
Shiva – The Destruction Operator
Change is Inevitable, Resistance is Futile
Vedic Meditation – The Gateway to Adaptability
Faulty Perception + Inaccurate Expectations = Suffering
Becoming an Agent For the Creation Operator
Unblocking the Brain
Embrace the Unknown With Enthusiasm
A Carefree Approach
Choose Your Path
A Life Well Led
Jai Guru Deva
Creation, Maintenance and Destruction – The Qualities of the Evolutionary Process
[00:42] The Qualities of the Evolutionary Process
Today we are going to open the subject of creation, maintenance, and destruction. These three, the triumvirate of qualities, are the qualities of the evolutionary process itself.
When I say the evolutionary process, I want to recall something of our definition of that. Evolution means progressive change. Change that occurs in a way that causes progression. Progression from less sophisticated states to more sophisticated states, always moving in the direction of greater elegance. Again, when I use these words, sophistication and elegance, I’m not using them in the common parlance form. I’m using them in the scientific form.
Something that is sophisticated may have a tremendous amount of complexity in it. Consider for a moment a Swiss wristwatch, which has perhaps hundreds of moving parts in it, all of them working perfectly together in an integrated function that produces an outcome that is highly desirable. We can say that it’s complex. It’s not complicated, but it’s complex. Complex, integrated complexity, yielding a highly-desirable outcome. We’re going to use, in my terminology at least, the word sophistication to describe this.
And so we see in nature, and I just used an example of a human invention, but in nature, we see a tremendous amount of sophistication in the way in which the processes of evolution find their path. Sophistication.
So then we have an ideal of progressive change. Progressive change. Progressive change means evolution, which in fact is all that’s ever happening. The question is, can you see it or not? To what extent can you see it? That progressive change is actually all that’s happening.
[02:55] Brahma – The Creation Operator
And so let’s take a baseline and then work from there, creation in the Vedic language. The word for creation operator, is personified in a being that is celebrated as Brahma. Brahma, B-R-A-H-M-A. And we don’t need to use the Sanskrit words, but I’d like to allude to them just briefly to give us some kind of context. The Brahma event, the Brahma consciousness phenomenon.
In the Vedic worldview, there’s one indivisible whole Unified Field out of which all relativity emerges. The evolutionary force itself is in charge of all of those relative things. The Absolute field is one indivisible and whole and unmanifest. It doesn’t change. It has within it all potential qualities, but it itself is quality free. It has one aspect to it to which we can all relate and that is consciousness. It is consciousness experiencing itself as consciousness.
Being is another word that’s used for this, the Absolute condition. Within this Absolute condition, there’s no movement. The Absolute condition breaks its symmetry, and while retaining the integrity of its Absolute nature, allows manifestation to occur. Manifestation begins with creation-operator function. Something new is created, something comes out of the field of Being.
When Being becomes, then Being is moving into action. When existence, pure Being, becomes conscious, then Is-ness, which is pure existence, has become Am-ness. I Am. Am-ness. When existence becomes conscious, when Is-ness becomes Am-ness, then the potential of pure intelligence becomes intelligent. That is to say it starts to become applied.
Creation operator can be seen as the first quality that emerges through the process of manifestation. There is another view, which we’re going to loop back later and return to, which is that this is the destruction of the Absolute as the one indivisible whole. That is to say the one indivisible whole maintains its integrity, but coming out from it, issuing forth from it, comes relativity. So destruction operator is also there. And likewise, we’ll loop back to this point later. Maintenance operator also is there.
The creation operator. The creation-operator function is that function that brings about innovation, inventiveness, pure creativity, which could mean also the discovery of new connections between existing things.
Creativity doesn’t always mean the making of something absolutely fresh and new, the innovation of something new, although frequently, that is what creation-operator function involves. It may mean the discovery of new relationships between already existing points, a little bit akin to the way that we say, “connecting the dots.” Making connections which one hadn’t yet made is also creativity, innovation, inventiveness. And so the creation-operator function is that function that breaks the symmetry of the one indivisible wholeness and causes flow to begin.
[06:58] Vishnu – The Maintenance Operator
For evolution to be evolutionary, things have to pass, and when I say things, I mean forms and phenomena, have to pass a test. And the test would be the test of relevance. Relevance to what? To the evolutionary process of progressive change itself. While change is occurring, certain elements of change are going to have greater longevity, in terms of relevance, than other aspects of change.
Certain aspects of change might be, if you imagine a rocket taking off into space, there’s certain stages of the rocket that burn out and drop away while the main vehicle continues space-ward on its mission. So there are certain elements of change, which drop away and no longer have passed the test of relevance. That doesn’t mean they were always irrelevant. It means that at a certain point, their relevance has found its expiry date.
So relevance is a very interesting question relevant to progressive change. So long as the thing continues to be, a form or phenomenon continues to be, relevant to the process or the mission of progressive change, then that thing is protected by what we would refer to here as the maintenance operator.
Maintenance operator in the Vedic context, in the Vedic language, is a word Vishnu. Vishnu is the personified idealized form of the maintenance-operator function. This is a consciousness event, which has a name, the Vishnu Phenomenon. Vishnu is the maintainer. The maintainer of anything that continues to contribute to the mission of progressive change.
When we examine the Vishnu function, the maintenance-operator function, we’re looking at that which maintains and protects, that sustains the existence of any form, any phenomenon, which continues to be relevant to the process of progressive change. So long as a form or phenomenon can continue to maintain its relevance with reference to the overall mission of progressive change, then the maintenance-operator function is there to sustain that.
And so a degree of invincibility is granted to anything that continues to maintain its relevance. Something that loses its relevance or something whose expiry date, that is to say the relevance of that thing has come to a conclusion, then that form or that phenomenon naturally will drop away.
[10.00] Shiva – The Destruction Operator
And now we come to the subject of the destruction operator. I always fancy that the word destruction is probably a little dramatic really for what we’re about to discuss. Because destruction has that concept about it of something being destroyed, like somebody getting angry and destroying a thing, and in fact, this is not anything like that. This is the gentle process of the disintegration of anything, any form, any phenomenon that has lost its relevance.
If we’d like to have some examples of this, think of the natural processes of the exfoliation of one skin. Our surface layer of skin, I’m not a dermatologist, so for those of you who are, please forgive my making this into a very lay subject, but the surface layer of one’s skin, as I understand it, is only able to last something around a month. And at the end of the month, there are enough dead skin cells there that they spontaneously begin to, and perhaps continuously, exfoliate from the body. We, as it were, leave a trail of skin everywhere we go. Not a very nice thought. Fortunately, we can’t see much of that. Or we can go to a salon and in a matter of an hour or so have an exfoliation of a month’s worth of dead skin in one sitting.
This exfoliation phenomenon is a very good way of thinking of the destruction operator. Destruction operator has, in the Vedic language, the name Shiva. Shiva is the name of the personification of that phenomenology of destruction operator. So destruction operator then, when it’s done its job of removing that which has become irrelevant, gives rise to Brahma, the creation operator which then, those new innovations and connections are allowed to persist, and with the degree of, so long as relevance is present, protected by Vishnu, maintenance operator function. And so long as the thing continues to be relevant, then that will be protected, when that relevance comes to an end, we have disintegration of that form or function.
[12:32] Resistance is Futile, Change is Inevitable.
Let’s look at what we mean as examples of forms and functions. We can think of styles of relating. A style of relating between say a parent and a child, a mother and a daughter or a son, a father and a daughter or a son, there are certain styles of relating that are highly relevant at a certain phase of one’s upbringing. But then those styles of relating naturally need to graduate to more sophisticated styles of relating in order for us to have a sophisticated and elegant relationship familiarly. So we need to look at the changes that occur in our lives and in the world as being subject to these phenomena of creation operator, maintenance-operator function, and destruction-operator function.
Many of the problems in the world have to do with too much attention on maintenance. When we see people who want the world to go back to a time when, perhaps in their childhood or perhaps in their parents’ childhoods, when things seemed to them to be simpler, when things seemed to them to be so easily defined, when there were fewer questions asked, when there were fewer answers given, then people may have a tendency to want to maintain a culture or a society at a level that was hooked into something that is decades gone.
And that process of change then requires there to be some kind of pain because if you don’t let go of the way things once were, and keep your attention on that which is coming, if we don’t put our attention on innovation, on creation, on inventiveness, on expansion, and that area of that which is the ever-repeating known, embracing enthusiastically the unknown, then we commit the grievous offence of holding on to things that are no longer relevant.
And when we hold on to things that are no longer relevant, first of all, it’s a futile act. And the futility of it will be borne out as the disintegration or destruction operator function moves in and there’s going to be pain.
Pain, in many ways, is the product of having held on for too long to some form or phenomenon, something that no longer is relevant. So it could be a style of relating. It could be an idea of the way things should be socially. It could be any kind of holding on. And so when we hold on for too long, then the extremity with which the destruction operator has to move in and really make a fuss about things to force the letting go is greater. And that is the experience of pain.
[15:42] Vedic Meditation – The Gateway to Adaptability
One of the great advantages that we have when we practice Vedic Meditation is that, because our mind regularly is settling down into that least-excited state, because our mind regularly is settling down and transcending all of these boundaries of creation, maintenance, and destruction, because our mind is settling into and experiencing oneness with the underlying field of Being twice every day, when one comes out of meditation, one’s mind has been completely refreshed with the current intentionality of the unbounded Unified Field.
The unbounded Unified Field coming into manifestation is changing at every moment the way in which it wants to bring about evolution. The path of least resistance to evolution could be a path that is circuitous. It may change minute by minute.
What is the evolutionary behavior in the morning and springtime? What is the most evolutionary behavior, let’s say, in the afternoon sometime in autumn? What is the most evolutionary behavior at 7,000 feet elevation in the mountains? What is the most evolutionary behavior at different times at sea level? What is the most evolutionary behavior in Equatorial Africa? What is the most evolutionary human behavior in the Arctic?
Obviously, the answers to all these questions are different answers because our interaction with the laws of nature requires of us adaptability and a capability to have fresh reckoning about what the right thing to do is.
So many times in human culture, we’ve attempted to freeze-frame the way things should be. “You should always do this. You should never do that.” These things have all come out of the way that people have experienced interacting with the laws of nature at different elevations, at different climatic conditions, in different geographic conditions. And then you see that something works and it seems to be human nature to write it down and be sure that everybody for all time follows these rules very specifically, and that to depart from these rules, let’s even make them more axiomatic and call them laws, is to “sin” and to make the intelligence of the universe angry.
And so we have examples of people dressing in particular clothing that perhaps was relevant a century ago in a very cold climate. And now they’re dressing in that same clothing a century later in a hot tropical climate just because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Those are the rules either written or unwritten.
A rigidity tends to set in, a lack of adaptability, a lack of fluidity, and rigid attachment born largely of fear. A fear that somehow I will be offending the intelligence of the universe if I allow change to occur. In fact, the Vedic worldview is that the intelligence of the universe is the greatest instigator of change and the greatest proponent of change. Change is the nature of everything in the relative world. Change, if not progressive, ends up becoming destructive.
Change can be in two ways. If we attempt not to change, then decay will set in. And that in itself is change. If we wish to harness the power of change, we need to realize that there’s a way of harnessing that creative aspect of change. Change, by its own nature, tends to be progressive.
As I was saying, as a meditator, you settle into that least-excited consciousness state. Stepping beyond thought, stepping beyond relativity, one becomes one with that Unified Field which is at the basis of the entire universe of relativities.
Coming out from that oneness back into the field of diversity, the meditator is able to use enhanced and more acute sensory perception capability. You can detect change occurring at a far subtler level than you were able to before, and certainly, at a far subtler level of change than you notice other people around you who don’t meditate detecting change.
You can sense change occurring long before the average. Not only can you detect change occurring, you can detect in what way change is occurring. Is this creation-operator dominant change, as in, there’s going to be a lot of innovation and creativity in a moment? Or is this maintenance-operator change, something that had begun to deteriorate now is going to be maintained for longer? Or is this destruction-operator change? That is to say, whatever it is that we’re examining is about to all come undone.
[21:30] Faulty Perception + Inaccurate Expectations = Suffering
What happens when we have lead time like this? When we have the perceptual acuity to detect change at a very subtle level. Change is occurring at all times, it never stops. The question is, how noisy does the change have to become? How gross does it have to become before you can say, “Oh, things are changing?”
When matters of climate come into question, there are those who love to deny that there’s any change. “There’s no change.” They can remember their great grandfather experiencing some hot seasons or were followed by cold seasons, and probably there isn’t really any pattern here, going into “change denial.” And when those people are exposed to the radical nature of change, which others have been detecting for a long time, then there’s a shock and there’s some pain. So this kind of pain is caused by having developed inaccurate expectations.
Inaccurate expectations are born of faulty perception. When perception is not complete, when perception is not thorough, when perception is not deep, then one experiences the developing of expectations which are not going to come to pass. And then when the reality of the way things actually are going, the way things are going, comes to one and you have to change your mind, or change your expectations, then the greater the departure from reality, the greater the pain.
And so this is another idea that comes out of the Vedic worldview. That all suffering is born of the development of inaccurate expectations. “I’m suffering. I’m suffering because somebody did something that, I can’t believe they did it.” Well, the reason why you couldn’t believe they did it was because perhaps they were doing it in plain view long before you ever noticed. But you developed an expectation that they were not going to do anything like that, though all the symptoms of it might have been detectable by you had you had sufficiently acute sensory perception.
So having acute sensory perception is one of the gifts of the regular daily practice of Vedic Meditation. And the product of that heightened sensory perception is that one can detect change occurring at a very subtle level far before the average level of perception allows one to detect change. Also, you can detect the character of change.
What all this means is that you can adjust your expectations accordingly. Your expectations about what’s going on, what’s going to happen, what’s going to continue happening tend to become more and more and more accurate as your practice of meditation progresses. And what that means is the number of times that you’re grossly surprised by things becomes fewer and fewer.
When we have fewer and fewer gross surprises, then we have fewer and fewer stress reactions. A stress reaction is a reaction born of demands of the environment exceeding our capability to adapt in the moment. The environment presents to us a reality that we didn’t expect. A sudden loud noise, a change of behaviour of someone, a political change, a climatic change. And we end up being surprised by that. We don’t possess sufficient adaptation energy to go the distance between what we expected which was inaccurate, and what’s actually happened, which is accurate. And we end up suffering as a result.
[25:30] Becoming an Agent for the Creation Operator
Let’s look now at how we can make all of this knowledge of the triumvirate of creation, maintenance, and destruction practical for us in our daily life where it could be explanatory that you look at a thing and you say, “Well, all right, something comes into being,” it contributes to the process of progressive change, evolution, for a period of time, however long that may be, 15 seconds, 15 billion years, whatever it may be, at a certain point, that form or phenomenon loses its capacity to contribute continuously to the process of progressive change. And so it begins to spontaneously disintegrate. the disintegration of that form or function, and then that giving rise to the creation-operator function, innovating something new, which will bring about another burst of evolutionary change, maintenance, destruction, et cetera.
How do we make this practical? One of the strongest suggestions of the masters of the Vedic tradition is to make yourself voluntarily lean in the direction of being an agent for the creation operator. An agent of the creation operator. That is to say watch for opportunities to be innovative, to be inventive, to be the connector of currently known things, but finding new connections between them. To have that creation-operator mentality that you’re not going to be bound by something that is simply the ever-repeating known, you can come up with something completely new.
I love the example given in a legend of Archimedes, the great mathematician philosopher of Greece from millennia ago, who is credited, rightly or wrongly, with having “discovered” or perhaps having described well, more likely, the workings of leverage, how to make a lever work.
And the story that goes with it, probably mythologized, is that of Archimedes arriving while he was on a long foot tour at a narrow gap between the two rocky cliff sides, a deep canyon. And this was a standard trade route. That there was a traffic jam of people, carts, horses, and animals going back for miles. He worked his way to the front of the jam and found that what had happened was that, unexpectedly, a boulder had rolled down into the canyon between, that blocked off the trade route. And people were trying to figure out all kinds of things about, they could talk to the people on the other side, but then nobody could get through, and how to take alternative trade routes and go around the two mountains and how much longer that would take and whatnot.
Archimedes applied his knowledge of leverage, and had fashioned for him a very, very long pole, the size of a tree, and fashioned a fulcrum under which to put the pole. And then something that many beasts of burden and many, many humans couldn’t move was easily moved in a matter of minutes and trade was able to resume.
[29:10] No Problem
So then to approach a problem, not as, “This is a problem,” per se, that anybody would have. Problem from the Vedic perspective is a consciousness state. Problem is not a situation. “Problem,” the word problem, means a consciousness state of not yet knowing enough about how the laws of nature work.
Was the boulder sitting in the trade route a problem for Archimedes? Well, temporarily, yes. But not for very long because he used the ingenuity of the creation-operator function to bring about a solution to the “problem.” Problem was the state of mind of all of those who were caught up in the traffic jam blocked by the boulder. Problem was not the state of consciousness of Archimedes in that given moment. And so problem, not being actually situational, but being a consciousness state, needs to be examined.
[30:12] Unblocking the Brain
To what extent are we drawing upon our full creative potential? Modern neurology and neuroscience agree that something akin to 2% of the brain’s available computing power is being used by most people. That means, if true, and it’s likely to be true, that something akin to 98% of the human brain’s computing power is being blocked by something.
Many of us, me included, think that that something is the way in which we store stress. The storing of the overloads of experience that were had in the past, many, many times, we met demands that were too great for us to adapt to, demands that exceeded the amount of adaptation energy we had, and we end up becoming stressed. And when we become stressed, our brain stores all the information about the situation in which we became stressed. The smell of it, the taste of it, the sound of it, the look of it, et cetera.
And then our brain holds on to that as a trigger for future care that in case you come across one of these flavors or colors or smells that remind you of a situation where you couldn’t adapt and where you reacted stressfully, that you should start reacting stressfully again. And when we meditate regularly, one of the great gifts of Vedic Meditation is the systematic removal, layer after layer of accumulated stress in the human physiology, awakening greater and greater access to an ever larger proportion of our brain’s available computing power. And so as meditators, or even if we’ve not yet had the opportunity to be exposed to Vedic Meditation, we need to figure out how to favor the creative, favor the potential for innovation, favor the embrace of the unknown.
[32:22] Embrace the Unknown With Enthusiasm
And this really is a key point. We do become very enamored of not letting change get away with our lives. And one of the ways that we try to prevent that is by cleaving to the ever-repeating known. The ever-repeating known from nature’s perspective smacks of stagnation.
And what happens whenever we see something that’s stagnant? We see scavengers begin to accrue, predators begin to gather around. This is nature’s way of portending the beginning of the disintegration of the ever-repeating known. The ever-repeating known, though it seems as though it might be safe, in fact, is the dangerous place in life. The ever-repeating known that represents stagnation, and stagnation attracts destruction because stagnation is not part of progressive change.
And so what do we do? Well, one of the bits of advice of a Rishi, a seer of the Vedic tradition, would be to embrace as much as possible. Embrace the unknown with enthusiasm. The unknown, in fact, represents the field of all possibilities. It represents the field of progressive change itself. The ever-repeating known, that is that which we know already, represents the field of stagnation. And so to lean in the direction of creation operator, to make oneself available to be a creative thinker, to make oneself available to challenge the assumption, challenge what it is that’s being assumed. Step beyond the assumptions, and step into that and embrace that level of the unknown.
What I’m saying here is that we need to begin practicing something which is factual. The unknown is the safe place in life. The ever-repeating known is the dangerous place in life. So being an agent of progressive change is the best position to adopt. Maintenance operator will follow spontaneously. Maintenance-operator function will spontaneously protect and sustain all those elements of our life which warrant and deserve protection and sustenance because they are relevant. They continue to be relevant to the process of evolution.
On the other side, being able easily to let go of rigid attachment, to forms and phenomena, styles of relating and so on, which have really passed their use by date. When we look back at various times of our life, undoubtedly, there are forms, functions, and styles of relating that were highly relevant at the time. Are they still relevant? Do they continue to maintain their relevance?
If not, and we’re holding on to them anyway, then we’re going to attract the destruction operator because too much attention on maintenance causes the destruction operator to begin salivating. That which wants to disintegrate something that’s become irrelevant starts to become stronger and stronger as a tendency in life when there’s an unnecessary holding on to maintenance.
[35:51] A Carefree Approach
Maintenance operator needs to function on its own. As a meditator, when you step beyond all individuality and step beyond thought, step beyond change and experience that beautiful serene inner delight, that consciousness condition of bliss known as pure consciousness, one is stepping into the Absolute itself beyond change. You come back to the field of change after 20 minutes of meditation, and your approach to everything in your life, your approach to all questions is fresh. You can take a fresh approach to innovation. You can take a fresh approach to maintenance.
What is it you’d like to continue maintaining? You can take a fresh approach to letting go of that which no longer has relevance. And to do so with greater and greater ease because you found the source of happiness inside of you. You’re not going to try to construct happiness out of things. Things do not bring sustained happiness. That’s the experience in life. Things are always changing whereas the deep inner self is never changing. This makes you more and more self-reliant.
So if we allow ourselves to be adopted by the creation-operator function as an agent of progressive change, maintenance-operator function will happen spontaneously without our having to pay attention to it.
I had one client who came to me and said, in answer to my question, “What is your ideal of what you can achieve by working with me?”, he said, “I have one thing that just is on my mind all the time, and that is wealth maintenance.” And I said, “Wealth maintenance, huh?” He said, “Yes, wealth maintenance.” And I said, “Well, you’ve already lost it then.”
He looked at me alarmed and he said, “What do you mean? I’m a very, very wealthy man. I said, “But not for long. Wealth maintenance is not where we need to be. This is going to be our first lesson. We’re going to forget about the ever-repeating known and we’re going to get into the unknown. How can you serve the greatest need of the time? This is going to be the question we have to examine.
“If you’re interested in your capacity to be, experience life with abundance, experience a life without want, experience a life of freedom from care, the way to it is not with wealth maintenance. The way to do it is through being highly relevant to the process of evolution. Where’s the greatest need of the time and how can you be of greatest service to it? If we keep our attention on that, you’ll live a carefree life, which is what you think is going to come from wealth maintenance.
“There’s no such thing as wealth maintenance. Wealth has to flow. If wealth is not flowing in one end and out the other like a river, then wealth is going to be a stagnation pond and it’s going to attract destruction to you and to it. So for any kind of wealth to have any relevance, your attention has to be in the creation-operator field.”
[39:07] Choose Your Path
And then there are those who come to me who clearly in their lives have already volunteered to be the agents of the destruction operator. People ask me frequently, “What about well-known people…” – And I’m sure there are very many who are not so well-known – “…who represent destruction, who represent, in some cases Holocaust. Who represent gross negativity, and who seem to have a degree of invulnerability. They seem to have and possess a kind of support from the laws of nature. Perhaps could even survive beyond an assassination attempt and so on and yet continue to go on being destruction operators.”
And my answer is very simple. These are people who have volunteered to be destruction operators. When you volunteer to become a means, an agent whereby the destruction operator performs its function, then you’re going to have a kind of support of nature, for a while. One of the fundamental laws of nature here is that a destroyer always will be destroyed. A maintainer will be maintained. A creator will be created. If we don’t wish to be part of the destruction, or a product of the destruction that we wreak on others, then we shouldn’t volunteer to be a destruction operator. We need to volunteer to be a creation operator.
That really is the way in which anything that has great longevity continues to enjoy it. Great longevity does not come from emphasis on destruction. No. Great longevity does not come from emphasis on maintaining. No. Great longevity of form and function comes from emphasis on the high relevance in the creation-operator arena. And so being able to continuously contribute to the world’s group effort of evolution is a secret of longevity.
You can transcend all of the odds about relevant longevity by simply leaning in the direction of the creation-operator function. Destruction operator will do its own work and find its own volunteers. You don’t need to volunteer for it. You don’t need to volunteer to be the means whereby disintegration and destruction occurs. When disintegration and destruction are occurring, they’re occurring because it is in fact the need of the time.
[41:45] Practicing Ignorance
There has been a complacency. Generally speaking, we see socially large-scale destruction-operator function as a consequence of complacency. Complacency means ignoring the process of change. Change is occurring. Change is occurring. Change is occurring. You ignore. You ignore. You ignore. You develop inaccurate expectations more and more and you continue ignoring and the evidence of fantastic change occurring — by fantastic, I mean large-scale change occurring — is growing and growing day by day, but you continue to ignore and ignore and ignore. This is practicing ignorance as I’ve said elsewhere.
Ignorance is not being uninformed. Ignorance is a practice. It involves you actively ignoring what you’re progressively becoming more and more aware of. You continue to become more aware of it. You continue to ignore it. And as you continue to practice your ignorance, ignorance, then eventually, you will be adopted, either targeted by or adopted by the destruction operator. And none of that really is the best kind of telling of a story if you wish for your life to be a fabulous story, be adopted by the creation-operator function. Maintenance operator, we don’t really need to attend to. That just works on its own spontaneously. Anything that you need to maintain, anything that continues to be relevant to evolution, you’ll spontaneously feel attracted to maintaining it. And anything that needs to go, you’ll lose your attachment to it and you’ll let it go.
And like that, we operate in those two realms, creation operator dominant and maintenance operator secondary, and let the destruction operator get on with his own business. We don’t have to attend to that.
Just as we don’t have to be too concerned about our processes of elimination of waste in the body and so on. People who become obsessed with waste elimination, generally speaking, the obsession itself makes their food indigestible and their waste elimination becomes an even greater problem. Eventually if they continue to be rigidly attached to the whole concept of waste elimination, they end up becoming eliminated themselves.
So then to have a life that is in tune with the way that nature functions, dominant in creation operator, secondary in maintenance operator, and tertiary just implicit without having to even emphasize on it, the disintegration of anything that no longer is relevant will spontaneously occur and we’ll live a life in ever-growing relevance.
[43:35] A Life Well Led
Ever-growing relevance means relevant longevity. It’s not always relevant for every form, every function, for every form, every phenomenon, that means every human, to live a long, long time compared to other humans. It may be that your relevant longevity is 30 years.
I can think of two famous masters, one was Jesus of Nazareth who survived to the age of 33, the other is the famous Shankara who lived to be slightly more than 30, I think 31 years of age, but who created massive change in the time that they existed on the face of the earth. There are many, many other examples of this.
What is your relevant longevity? How long is it relevant for you to continue existing as a form, as a phenomenon? Life is not measured by how many years you managed to stay on the earth in an individuated form.
You might be a miserable creature who lived to be 130 and made everybody around you miserable. This is not a life well led. A life well led is a life well led in relevance.
So the longest you can live within your relevance, that is really the whole aim of the Vedic worldview. Not just live a long time, but maximum enjoyment of every aspect of life, a life lived to its fullest.
So we have opened up the subject of creation operator, maintenance operator, destruction operator, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva as described in the Vedic language of Sanskrit. And, this is really just a little taste of a much larger set of discussions to come, but I think we’ve made a good beginning and we’ll end on that note.
Jai Guru Deva