Knowledge is Structured in Consciousness
Welcome to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.
[00:00:51] Two Methods of Gaining Knowledge
Today, we’re going to talk about the meaning of a phrase that was very popular with my teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The phrase is, “Knowledge is structured in consciousness.”
I’d like to deconstruct that for a moment, and help us to have a full understanding of what it means. It has two layers of meaning, both of which will merge together as we will see.
First of all, it is a fundamental Vedic idea, an idea that’s been passed down for thousands of years, through my tradition of the Vedic tradition of masters, that there are two kinds of methods of gaining knowledge.
[00:01:38] The Objective Means of Gaining Knowledge
The first of those is the objective means of gaining knowledge. Objective means of gaining knowledge means that you read books, and so you assimilate into your consciousness, ideas, ways of thinking, styles of thinking, that were actually somebody else’s experience, or perhaps they had created a digest of experiences that they got from somebody else.
And so the objective means of gaining knowledge could include that, book learning,, or attending lectures, or being lectured by somebody in a more informal setting, receiving knowledge by watching others behave or making your own observations about all the causes and effects and cascades of causes and effects that can be observed within the limited range of one human life, however long one has lived, watching the natural world, watching the world, natural world, in interaction with the human world.
All of these would be, and more, would be considered to be under the umbrella of the objective means of gaining knowledge. Watching the behavior of the object world.
Object world means the forms and phenomena by which we’re surrounded. The people, they are also forms, and the phenomenon, that is to say, the variety of forces that are in play between all of the objects of the world, and then forming a view and developing an understanding, the objective means of gaining knowledge.
[00:03:20] The Subjective Means of Gaining Knowledge
And then there’s the subjective means of gaining knowledge and now we’re getting into very interesting territory.
According to the Vedic concept, your own least excited state of mind, your own least excited consciousness state, that place that you go to when you practice Vedic Meditation, when the mantra becomes very, very faint, very fine, and then it disappears, and for a moment you’re awake inside before another thought comes.
That state of Being, that moment of transcendence, transcendence means that you have stepped beyond thought entirely, you’ve gone beyond the regular waking state into that super-consciousness field.
That field that you’re touching on there is not just your own little personal patch of quietness, but you’ve actually touched a layer of the whole of creation that is the fountainhead of all of the laws of Nature. It’s the fountainhead out of which springs forth the entire phenomenon of the manifestation of the Universe as we know it.
Embedded in that field, embedded in that consciousness layer, is the blueprint of everything, the blueprint of how everything works, the blueprint of all the forms, all the phenomena and all of their potential interactivity. It is, in short, the home of all knowledge.
[00:05:10] Knowledge Has Infinite Organizing Power
Knowledge of a thing gives you organizing power. This is a fundamental tenet of information theory, that knowledge has organizing power. It therefore stands, if we accept that idea, that knowledge of that by which all other things are known, must have infinite organizing power.
Let me back up and say that again because it requires a little contemplation. Knowledge of That, and now we’re going to spell That with a capital T just for a moment to give it distinction, knowledge of That, by which all other things are known.
If knowledge of a thing, and its behaviors has organizing power, then what about knowledge of That by which everything is known? Knowledge of the Knower. Knowledge of the ultimate Knower. Knowledge of the ultimate Knower. Knowledge of That by which everything is known must have infinite organizing power.
And so we take knowledge has organizing power into its next iteration, its next extrapolation, knowledge of the Knower has infinite organizing power. All knowledge has organizing power. If you have knowledge of the field out of which all knowledge emerges, then you have infinite organizing power.
[00:06:42] Awakening Knowledge of How Things Work
There is a means of gaining knowledge that is entirely subjective. The subjective means of gaining knowledge is that means of gaining knowledge in which you go deep into your own consciousness field and then you awaken knowledge of how things work.
What the cascades of cause and effect are the means whereby manifestation itself occurs. The means whereby creativity occurs. The means whereby maintenance of anything that continues to be helpful to the evolution of all the forms and phenomena, how that maintenance occurs.
Knowledge of the timing, and the mechanics of the disintegration of any form or phenomenon that no longer supports with relevance that forward-moving evolutionary process.
All knowledge. Knowledge that can be derived at the subjective level.
[00:07:52] The Criticisms of Albert Einstein
I’ve inspired this conversation to remember to you, and also to myself, some of the statements made by one of the greatest cognizers of the last century, Albert Einstein, Albert’s way of thinking about how the Universe worked.
Most astrophysicists, and indeed regular physicists, agreed that probably given another 200 years, people would eventually have figured out some of the concepts that Albert Einstein formalized, and for which he gained international fame, in describing the mechanics of how gravitation works, how space can be curved by gravitation, and The Theory of Relativity.
Special Theory of Relativity was the theory for which he received his Nobel Prize in the very early part of the last century.
Dr. Einstein was sometimes criticized by his fellow scientists because, many times, he received accolades for having come up with a highly workable theory that was mathematically sound, and which, if applied, worked, but very little actual physical research had been done, giving him the advantages of having these insights, which he had.
[00:09:29] The Universe Can Only Behave in Ways that I Can Understand
And so, when asked about how he managed somehow to come up with working knowledge of how the physical Universe operated, he responded, “I draw upon my internal cosmic sense.”
In other words, as he put it in another statement that he made, “The Universe cannot behave in ways that I don’t understand. I am part of the Universe” in other words, “and since my consciousness is one with the Universe that’s making everything happen, the Universe must behave in a way which I, part of it, can understand.”
And so he had a cognizer’s approach to most of his greatest work. He was not a researcher per se. He was someone who came up with elaborate, functional, and testable theories for already-known observations.
And so, the subjective means of gaining knowledge is a real thing. The fundamental idea of it is that our deep inner consciousness is one with the Unified Field itself that makes all things happen.
[00:10:50] You Are One With the Cosmos
You are one with the Cosmos, but you have to know how to get your individual attention to move away from the regular information base of the object world— no harm in having that by the way— but to move away from that temporarily during meditation into the inner consciousness field that awakens capability to know all that it is relevant to know for immediate application by you, and then for sharing with others.
So the subjective means of gaining knowledge. This is one of the meanings of knowledge is structured in consciousness.
Knowledge is embedded in the deep, inner consciousness field, which is a way I would prefer to put it. That there is knowledge embedded in your own consciousness field and that you can draw upon that if you know the secret, which I don’t want to be a secret, I want it to be broad knowledge of how to let your awareness settle into that inner state.
[00:11:58] Knowledge is Different in Different States of Consciousness
But there’s another way of looking at the meaning of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s statement that knowledge is structured in consciousness. And that is that knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.
Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness. If you put on some red glasses and look around, everything you see is red; from your perspective, everything’s red.
Someone else who has put on some blue glasses, they look all around, and everything they see is blue and they’ll argue with the red-glasses person, “Everything is blue.”
Someone who has no glasses on at all will argue from another perspective. When they look at a white background, they’ll say, “That’s white.”
But red glasses will say, “No, that’s red.”
And blue glasses will say, “No, that’s blue.”
[00:12:47] Consciousness Dictates Our Behavior
We cannot behave in any way or think in any way except within the constraints of our consciousness state. The constraints of our consciousness state means how conscious are we, what kinds of experiences have we had in our lifetime that have placed limitations on what we can see, how we can see it, what we can know and how we can know it.
And so then our state of consciousness absolutely dictates not only what it is we see, but it dictates what our actions are capable of being. It dictates behavior.
All behavior is a behavior of a certain consciousness state. You cannot stop someone from behaving according to their state of consciousness. Someone’s state of consciousness absolutely dictates their behavior because it dictates their thinking. Thinking is the source of behavior.
All actions, all speech, all behavior, all thinking is the thinking, the speech, the behavior, the actions of a state of consciousness.
[00:14:03] The State of Consciousness of the Reporter
Let’s extrapolate that, take it to its furthest pole. All reports are reports upon the state of consciousness of the reporter. One is not capable of reporting upon the world and making some absolute statement about the world. One is only capable of reporting upon one’s own state of consciousness.
Whatever is inside the catchment of the limitations of one’s consciousness state, it is that which one can report upon when writing, when speaking, when thinking and so on and so forth.
And so, keeping this in mind that all reports are reports upon the state of consciousness of the reporter, we start to move into that world of being not capable of being offended.
Somebody who might feel as though they’re saying something about you that is intended to wound, for example, you can only succeed at being wounded by such statements to the extent that you agree that the reporter is speaking from some absolute state. And unless they are in the highest possible state of consciousness, it’s unlikely that that’s, in fact, what’s happening.
What’s happening is their particular catchment, their state of consciousness is reporting on itself. They’re telling you what they’re capable of seeing, and what they’re not capable of seeing, and that’s all. They’re not actually talking about you. They’re talking about their own consciousness state.
Once we realize this firmly, and we realize that, to its fullest extent, then we have another way of understanding the fabulous quote from my master, “Knowledge is structured in consciousness.”
Jai Guru Deva.