ASK THOM ANYTHING
A listener from New York City asks, “I’d love to hear you speak about our current culture’s obsession with manifesting. I’ve listened to many of your episodes discussing moving from unmanifest into the manifest, but it never sounds pop culture-y or manipulative, just part of the natural order. So this is not so much a question as much as a desire to hear you elaborate on a concept and word that is being overused and perhaps misused by popular culture.”
Charm – The Mechanism of Desire
[00:01:14] There’s some truth in the idea that whatever we place our attention on will grow, and there’s no question about that, but the idea that, “I am the source of all my best ideas. That I individually am the cause of things coming into being,” the idea that, “I live in a universe that’s watching me constantly and just waiting for me to give it my Santa Claus wish list and that things will come to be, according to what I want,” is actually an incomplete idea. It’s incomplete.
[00:01:58] The mechanism actually is a very interesting one, and this is one of the standard and basic concepts of the Vedic worldview, that the phenomenology of desiring as a mechanism is actually a phenomenology that is triggered by Cosmic Intelligence itself. And so what happens is that our consciousness, as it gains greater and greater exposure to that deep inner, quiet state of Being, becomes a clearer and clearer channel through which the big self, that cosmic aspect of us, can use our desiring mechanism to cause certain propositions, or certain ideas, or certain things, that could help evolution causing those things to become desirable.
[00:02:56] And the way that it does this is through the mechanism of charm. Charm appears around a particular idea, a particular thing that would motivate us into action. So we’re motivated into action by the deep inner self. The desires themselves are the possession of the whole mechanism, it’s the possession of Cosmic Intelligence, which is our own big self; very often people will state The Universe, capital T capital U, The Universe.
[00:03:35] So in that kind of way there is “The Universe,” and then there’s “me”. What the Vedic worldview teaches us is that individuality is indeed Cosmic. Individuality is funnel shaped. There’s a narrow and very productive part of the consciousness field, which is the individual nervous system, individual mind, this is the narrow end of the funnel, and then there’s the wide end of the funnel, which most people are unaware of, inside themselves.
[00:04:10] The wide end of the funnel means the place where our individuality spreads out into that cosmic value. So when we talk about “the big Self” we’re talking about our big Self, one’s own big Self, one’s own higher nature.
[00:04:30] And so this is one’s Cosmic end and then one’s individuality end. Where does the desiring mechanism start? It starts at the Cosmic end. That Cosmic quality wants to bring about evolutionary change, productive change, and so what it does is it uses our desiring mechanism to cause the idea of something to be desirable and we begin to move in the direction of that.
[00:05:02] Simultaneously that same Cosmic Field of Intelligence is bringing into being, bringing out of the unmanifest into manifest, whatever it is it’s causing us to desire. So while we’re desiring, there is a simultaneous bringing together of whatever it is that is desirable.
[00:05:27] And so the whole thing is being managed from the cosmic level. The individuality is simply guided into the desirability of it. “I get a desire. I want to go here. I want to go there,” and we get up and move in that direction, and then we find that whatever we desired happens to be there.
[00:05:48] And then to attribute that process of manifestation to individuality is a mistake of the intellect. This is a mistake of the intellect that, “I individually caused the thing to come into being.” That’s not what happened.
[00:06:04] What happened was my big Self caused it to be desirable, to experience this particular quality and simultaneously big Self, big consciousness, Cosmic Self, was bringing into manifestation whatever that is. The individuality simply, through the mechanism of desiring, is guided into the right place at the right time.
[00:06:31] So individuality is a means whereby things can get done, but it is not the source. The source is Cosmic Intelligence. Source of manifestation is Cosmic Intelligence, and individuality and its desiring mechanism is the property of Cosmic Intelligence.
[00:06:52] It’s like you see those cars that drive around and they belong to the government and they have written on the side, For Official Use Only. Our individuality is like that. It’s actually for universal use only. Our individuality is not our personal private property that can then, like a little child dealing with a kind of sugar daddy universe can say, “I want this,” and then The Universe goes, “Well I was just waiting for you to ask. I’m so happy you asked. Now I’m going to give it to you.” You manifested it.
[00:07:27] This sort of idea about how things work between our cosmic self and our individual self is a little childish. However, it’s a, it’s a step in the right direction – childlike perhaps – step in the right direction. Manifestation and desire are related, but they are also simultaneous. Manifestation and desiring are simultaneous and the process of desiring is triggered by Nature’s intelligence.
Q – How Do You Know When to Leave a Relationship?
[00:07:56] Another listener from Brunswick, Australia asks, “Thom, in a relationship, how do you know when to leave it behind? I’m having trouble figuring out the difference between being caught up in, and over identifying with, personal preferences and the actual need to move on and let each other go our separate ways.”
[00:08:19] Well, the thing is in a relationship we should only be engaged in a relationship if it’s desirable. I mean, we could make any relationship work, but a relationship is something that is funded, and when I say funded, I mean not with money, but with consciousness from two sides.
[00:08:45] There’s a great analogy that’s used in one of the Vedic texts of a fire, like a little campfire and then there are two people around the fire, and each person has to surrender into the fire, a share of surrendered preferences. You have a preference to go and watch some kind of movie and the other person seems to want to watch a different kind of movie. It’s such an easy thing to surrender.
[00:09:11] So you let go of that preference of yours and you go and watch the movie that the other person wants to watch. What that is is you putting into the fire of relationship, something from your share. But if, around this little campfire, there’s only one person making any sacrifices into the fire and the other one isn’t, then this is a one-sided thing.
[00:09:35] And if one person is making the fire blaze and the other person’s not adding anything to the fire at all, then one of you is not needed. So that relationship really is not supposed to be you having a relationship with yourself, and there’s someone else who’s just hanging around and getting the benefit of it.
[00:09:59] And the purpose of surrendering a preference, what would that be? To have the joy of a shared experience. And if the joy of shared experience is not such a regular and persuasive phenomenon, if it’s not persuasive, that the joy of shared experience is so great, then we have to question why we’re bothering with all of this.
[00:10:22] So our relationship is not about us, and now we’re talking about adult relationships, it’s not about us mothering somebody or being someone who just one sidedly is sacrificing and surrendering preferences into the fire of the relationship and the other is just kind of being drawn along.
[00:10:45] That’s okay to do with a little child, but if you’re in a relationship and it feels like you’re just mothering somebody or you’re with a little child, then you’d have to ask a question about, at what point will it be appropriate for this “child” to grow up and to develop some self-sufficiency? And it may be a very kind act on our part that we push them out of the nest and let them get some self-sufficiency.
[00:11:12] So why would we bother being in a relationship if the relationship is not yielding to us on a regular and persuasive basis, convincing basis, the joy of shared experience? If it’s not doing that, then it’s not really living up to its ideal or its purpose and so then we have to start thinking about what would be the next kindest move.
[00:11:39] The fact is, it’s not kind to someone who is an adult to give them the impression that there’s only going to be one person putting things in the campfire. The fire can’t flare up and be enjoyed if just one person’s doing it and the other one’s just kind of sitting there not making any contribution. There’s no shared experience in that.
The Business of Creating Memories
[00:12:01] And so we’re looking for the joy of shared experience and if that’s not there, then the relationship is not really living up to its ideal and then we have to think about the days and nights that are passing, irresistibly, inexorably, one moment gone and billions of dollars and pounds sterling can’t bring that moment back to you. You could lose a billion dollars and history shows us that you could regain a billion dollars pretty quick if you made use of all your knowledge. You lose one moment, there’s no power on earth or in the universe that can bring that one moment back to you.
[00:12:42] And so since we have time as our most vital and most precious resource, then we want to be sure we’re using our time most efficiently. We would like to be in the business of creating the memories we want to have. In the business of creating the memories we want to have. And if we’re not doing that, then it’s time for somebody to mature and move on under their own steam.
Q – What’s Thom’s Take on Cancel Culture?
[00:13:11] A listener from La Cañada, California asks, “What is Thom’s take on cancel culture that has taken our society by storm?”
Our Source of Identity
[00:13:23] I was very amused that one of my children, who is in their twenties, arrived for dinner, wearing a t-shirt saying, “Can’t wait to be canceled.” And so there we have it.
[00:13:37] Cancel culture really means that there is some idea that if, as a collective, there’s a modicum of agreement about whether somebody is relevant for being celebrated – that’s what the word celebrity means by the way. It means someone whose life is worth being celebrated – if somebody who has been celebrated is no longer worth being celebrated, then to withdraw from them, the kind of adulation, or even access to adulation, that they might receive and the culture of the media, social media.
[00:14:15] And there are people who are deeply concerned about the possibility of being a victim of being canceled, perhaps they might think, unfairly, but this also indicates the degree to which we are very deeply concerned about our own sources of identity.
[00:14:36] You see, in the Vedic worldview, our source of identity does not come from others anyway. Our source of identity comes from our direct experience of the deep inner self. That deep inner self, each time we meditate, when we go beyond thought and we go beyond all sensory perception, the mind ends up experiencing, directly, oneness with the unbounded Unified Field and that is deeply, and very delicately impressed upon the nature of the mind as one’s own self identity.
[00:15:16] When I have a self identity that is growing daily, because we practice Vedic Meditation twice every day for 20 minutes, we keep on refreshing again and again, that our baseline identity is beyond all of these relativities. “This is what I am.”
[00:15:35] And that field is the “[sunnum]bonum bonum,” to use the Latin, the great, good, the greatest good. It is the field, which itself is constantly promoting the evolutionary phenomenology. Our relationship with “That,” capital T, inner self, our individual relationship with That is, on a daily basis, more and more to become That, to find that That is my primary identity.
Do People Like Me?
[00:16:10] And then my concerns about, “Do people like me?” This sort of thing about, “Am I an enjoyed feature of the social world and the very fickle way in which that social world may one day think this, one day may think that…” Even the world of nonconformity is a world that has very careful rules about how to be a nonconformist. Conformity is actually all there is in the social world.
[00:16:42] Nonconformity is also a form of conformity and there are very strict rules about how to be a nonconformist.
[00:16:49] So then when we have a world that assesses whether somebody is worth celebrating or not, and then we have people who become victims of, “I really need people to like me in order for me to have an identity”, then we’re looking at what is effectively a collective sickness.
[00:17:10] This is a collective pathology and this is the world that we have to change. This is the world that Vedic Meditation is making an impact on. It’s not that we can behave in any old way and expect everybody to applaud us. That’s not really what I’m saying.
[00:17:30] What I’m saying is, what is important is that we become a clear channel through which that cosmic self is able to operate and the results of it doing so are self-evident. They require no interpretation.
[00:17:46] That someone who meditates regularly as they grow and grow in their capability to bring more creative intelligence, more adaptation energy, more energy and staying power to all of their collective dealings, it’s unambiguous.
Lord Buddha Got 500 Likes
[00:18:05] If it turns out that people can celebrate that, then we’re very happy that those people are celebrating something. It has nothing to do with us. Let’s say if we were to take someone like Lord Buddha, just to use him as an example of a great enlightened being. Can you imagine Lord Buddha celebrating because he got extra number of likes on Facebook or he’ s super happy because he got 500 likes today on Instagram? I doubt the Lord Buddha would have an Instagram account.
[00:18:42] And so the idea that someone who is enlightened is going to be letting the public opinion about whether or not they are worthy of being celebrated be a driver of their action is just too ludicrous. We want to move in that direction.
[00:19:01] Our relationship has to be a relationship with our own inner access to Cosmic Intelligence. This is what is our driver. This is what we are concerned about and access to that on a regular basis through Vedic Meditation, twice a day, will bring about nothing but ever-increasing evolutionary behavior and all of those who do it.
[00:19:28] And then for the rest of the world, those who were very happy that those who understand can enjoy, and for those who don’t understand, there’s always tomorrow.
Q – What Do You Do When You Wake Up in an Inexplicable Funk?
[00:19:40] Jai Guru Deva Thom, this is Gala from New York City and my question for you today is, what do you do when you wake up in an inexplicable funk? Meaning your circumstances and what’s going on in your life does not merit the funk that you’ve woken up in. What are some tools and tricks, from the Vedic point of view, that we can apply to move through this and not sink deeper into a funk?
Exposure to the Unboundedness
[00:20:11] A great question and the answer is that, as Vedic meditators, we are, on a daily basis, expanding our inner state of consciousness, that inner quality of access to Being. Being is unbounded awareness. That unbounded awareness is not bound like our localized awareness is. When we wake in the morning, particularly, in the process of waking, we have to move from the sleep state to the waking state, but we move through a moment of transcendence.
[00:20:50] There is a moment of transcendence in between each consciousness state. So when we are falling asleep at night, then not quite asleep, not yet anymore fully awake, we do have a moment of experience of a kind of unbounded status and then sleep state comes. And then after a period of time sleeping, we move from sleeping to dreaming, we also have to pass through that junction point where there’s a moment of transcendence. And then from dreaming back to sleeping and then from sleeping to the waking state, we pass through that moment of transcendence.
And what that is is our awareness having exposure outside of the meditation state to the same unboundedness that it gets during the meditation state.
Expanding Our Event Horizon
[00:21:46] And what that’s doing is it’s expanding the event horizon of our consciousness. What do I mean by event horizon? What is the circumference of the area of which you can be aware when events are occurring within a room size, a framework? I can be aware of those events.
[00:22:09] What about things that are happening half a mile away? That’s outside your range of physical perception. You can’t really taste, touch, see, smell or hear those things unless they’re very, very disruptive or loud. Something may be going on half a mile away, but our consciousness, when we’ve just passed through transcendence upon waking, has just recently been exposed to a very wide event horizon.
[00:22:39] And in that wide event horizon, we do pick up something of the quality of the collective consciousness. The collective consciousness around us, as our awareness grows and grows and grows, we begin to pick up on what’s going on in that collective. As we become more and more enlightened, more and more conscious, through our regular practice, we’re going to begin noticing what the collective is feeling like.
It’s Not Personal
[00:23:10] Now, because we’re not used to this, when we wake up to some kind of sad feeling or angry feeling or tired feeling, or we wake up to some sort of sensation that is not really logically part of, or has nothing to do with anything, that we ourselves have experienced, nothing to do with our, our life, we might feel fear, we might feel anger, we might feel sadness, those are the three major subdivisions, then what we have to learn to do is not to attribute it to ourself.
[00:23:47] Our first habit is, “Why do I feel like this? There’s nothing wrong with my life.” I might feel some anger. I might feel some sadness. I might feel some fear, “Why am I feeling this? It’s nothing to do with me. Everything in my life is just fine. And yet I’m feeling this emotional state. What is that?” You’re feeling the collective around you. And we need to get used to this because it’s going to become more and more a phenomenon.
What Do I Have to Teach Today?
[00:24:16] So what do we do with it? First of all, we can’t make it go away because we cannot become less conscious through practice of Vedic Meditation. We’re going to become increasingly conscious until we’re able to pick up the entire global collective. And when we wake in the morning, we’ll feel the global collective.
[00:24:38] Right now, we might be feeling the collective of the local neighborhood, or the collective of the local city, whatever that may be. What we do is we take this as a cue as to what it is we have to be an exemplar of today. If, for example, I awaken and I feel fear. I know I personally have no fear. I have to say that fear is not any kind of an element in my experience, but fear may be in the collective and I can sense fear in the collective.
[00:25:16] Don’t attribute it to yourself. Don’t personalize it. This is a mistake. What you have to do is say, “Well, what do I have to teach today? What do I have to be an example of?” You have to be an example of fear-less-ness. You have to be an example of someone who, just through your daily action and when opportunities are there ,that you teach that only evolution is happening or that letting go of unsustainable things is not something that’s worth being afraid of. Like that.
[00:25:51] If we feel anger in the collective when we awake and we know that we’re not angry about anything, but we can feel a kind of anger appear in our consciousness, then that anger is in the collective around us and that is what we have to be… we have to be exemplary in our behavior that day. It’s giving us a cue as to what we are to teach.
[00:26:13] Anger is based on a powerful sense of “other.” Other is the source of my experience, and other is somehow controlling you. Other is somehow, whatever the other may be, it might be the corporate overhead bogeyman, it might be the government, it might be the the neighbor, it might be somebody who you think is doing voodoo on you or something, “Other is in control of my experience and I resent it.”
[00:26:41] So other is always there when we’re in anger. Let’s begin to teach that other is a conceptual framework that has no real reality. There’s only one indivisible, whole consciousness field. There are elements of the one indivisible, whole consciousness field that are in need of more evolution, and there are elements of the one indivisible, whole consciousness field that are progressed farther along in evolution.
[00:27:11] And so we’re going to do everything we can do to bring about the education and illumination of those who are not yet as evolved as they will be later. And this helps us get rid of the kind of anger in the world around us.
[00:27:26] Sadness. Sadness may be there as an experience when you wake up, you’re like, “Oh, there’s sadness, but hold on, I don’t have anything to be sad about in my life. Why am I feeling sadness?” It’s in the collective. Now you have to be the exemplary of, life is bliss and we’re here to live it, radiating life for all to enjoy and, whenever there’s worthy inquiry, giving people a little bit of knowledge about how they might be able to rise up to a level of enjoyment of life and its fullness.
[00:28:00] So like that, these morning experiences in particular are not going to just go away. We need to treat it differently. It’s information. It’s information about how the illuminated person needs to guide their actions in that day. We’re getting information about the collective, about the field of consciousness around us and what it requires of us.
Q – How Do I Heal Anxious Attachment in Relationships?
[00:28:26] Hi, my name is Ellie. I’m from Austin, Texas. My question for Thom is around anxious attachment. So how to heal anxious attachment in relationships. Often, specifically romantic relationships, but even regular relationships, just feeling like needing to win validation from somebody or win their approval, and if their love starts feeling like it’s going away, then kind of self abandoning in order to win that love. And even if not even interested in the person, but just want the validation from the person, how to, I guess, love myself enough and remember that, in order to not self abandon or not get out of this anxious attachment pattern.
A Big Bag of Fulfillment
[00:29:14] So, what we have to do is to be self-sufficient, and that doesn’t mean that we’re not in relationship. A self-sufficient person is the best possible person to be in a relationship with.
[00:29:28] Self-sufficiency, greater self-sufficiency. What does it mean? Instead of me being a big bag of neediness, “I am a big bag of fulfillment and I’m looking for where the need of the time is so that I can go in and interact with it and succeed and have a successful interaction with it. And not because I need to have validation, but because I have so much fulfillment in me that it wants some productive outlet and is going to find it by my discovering where the greatest need of the time is.
[00:30:06] And, “Where is the match between my talents, my resources, my capabilities, and whatever needs are out there. Where can I do the maximum good?”
Let Go of the Neediness
[00:30:18] So how do we get to this ideal state? Well you’ve made a very good first step and that is self diagnosis. Most therapists would agree that someone who comes in for therapy, who can self-diagnose as well as you have just done has already done at least 50% of the work. 50% of the work means that instead of someone having to explain to you that you are the way that you just now described, you have described it yourself and my teacher, my Maharishi had one way of describing this.
[00:30:54] He said, “Supposing that you have some rubbish in your hand and you’re looking at it and you’re holding it at arm’s length. Holding it at arm’s length means you’re able to examine it and describe it. You’re holding it at arm’s length. It’s not inside your pocket, hidden. It’s already out in your hand and you’re holding it at arm’s length and describing it so accurately,” the way you just did, “then there’s only one thing left to do. We just turn the hand towards the ground and let it drop out.”
[00:31:28] Maybe we could wash the hand afterward, too. That would be nice. But having already held it at arm’s length, having already seen this thing, then we have to think of what the alternative to it is.
[00:31:41] First of all, let go of that neediness, and you can do it because you described it so accurately. That kind of neediness is not really relevant to the evolutionary process. We don’t want to be someone who contributes to the ever-growing neediness of the world by ourselves behaving in a way that’s extra needy.
Be Relevant to the Need of the Times
[00:32:07] What we want to do is to be relevant. Relevant to the need of the time. It is not relevant to be a needy person. It’s relevant to be a person who is capable and who has the qualities of creative intelligence, stamina and knowledge that you can bring into any situation.
[00:32:34] What we’re looking for to motivate us to go into action, with what we are, is worthy inquiry. We don’t give on the basis of just, “Someone looks as though they need this so I’m just going to give them the knowledge or give them my capability…” There needs to be some indication from the other of there having been some, at least curiosity, but a willingness to actually be advised by you or helped by you or loved by you.
[00:33:11] And if people don’t show that worthy inquiry in any way whatsoever, or even subtly indicate it, they don’t have to come out with an explicit statement or sign an affidavit or anything like that, but they at least need to demonstrate that they are willing to receive and want to receive.
Don’t be Overgenerous
[00:33:31] On that basis we have then to assess the next part. And the next part is, not to be overgenerous. This may sound very hard for people to hear because we, as a culture, have decided that generosity is the answer to absolutely everything. And in fact, it’s not.
[00:33:50] What we have to do is really to assess, properly, the conscious receptivity of a person. If you give someone more than what they themselves think they deserve – let’s for a moment forget about the fact that everyone has infinite deserving power, that’s a fundamental truth – but what do they think they deserve?
[00:34:12] If you give someone more than what they think they deserve and by more I mean, more time, more money, more energy, more love, more whatever, than what they think they deserve, then it triggers a very interesting phenomenon in that person. It makes them begin to feel as though they’re going to become beholden to you.
Reciprocation and Sabotage
[00:34:36] They’re going to feel as though they cannot reciprocate. And there is a law of reciprocity embedded inside of our fundamental nature. We feel as though we should be reciprocating. If we are giving more than they think they can reciprocate, then it triggers an interesting phenomenon of making them want to sabotage the relationship with us.
[00:34:59] The reason why they’re sabotaging it is because we’re making them uncomfortable with our over generosity. The idea that they develop inside is, “Why is she doing this with me? If the shoe were on the other foot, I wouldn’t be giving to me this way. And so she must be a little bit of a fool.”
[00:35:19] Or, on the other side, “I’m growing into indebtedness, I’m becoming beholden to this person so I have to bring this to a close,” and the way they try to bring it to a close is to behave in ways that sabotage their relationship with you.
[00:35:37] That old saying about how no good deed of yours goes unpunished, that instead of being rewarded for behaving lovingly, nicely and all of that, you end up being punished for it. This is not the fault of the one who’s doing the punishing. The credit has to go to the fact that, whether we knew it or not, we were more generous than what the situation warranted and we triggered in the other a kind of bewilderment and a state of consciousness where they have to bring it to an end. Even though we may, from our side, feel as though all we did was try to help be good, loving, sweet, and kind, we overdid it.
Back to Self-Sufficiency
[00:36:25] And why do we overdo it? Once again, we have to come back to that thing of, “From whom am I getting my sense of identity? Am I waiting for someone else to tell me how great I am, how wonderful I am, how loving I am? Am I waiting for someone to acknowledge to me all the things that I already think about myself, but then I’m finding that nobody ever can really quite come up to the standard of describing myself to me in terms that I myself think of. They might reach the 70% level, but I’m looking for a hundred percent reflection of what I think I’ve done or helped.”
[00:37:05] And so then this is a bit of desperation on our part so we need to let go of that. We let go of that need to have others reflect back to us some kind of a glory that we feel that we’ve emitted into the world.
[00:37:22] And so our relationship needs to be more with our own deep, inner self, through our continuous regular practice of Vedic Meditation, twice every day, don’t miss your practice, then we’re going to grow and grow and grow, and that sustainability, that self-sufficiency and very importantly, the ability, very subtly and with great clarity, to discover what the conscious receptivity is of someone to whom we’re intending to give. We have to match that conscious receptivity and not overdo it.
Q – Does Vedic Meditation Alleviate PTSD?
[00:38:00] I’d like to know if Vedic Meditation can help alleviate PTSD. What are the mechanics behind trauma that make it seemingly harder to move on from, versus other types of experiences in our life?
Trauma is Ill-Defined
[00:38:15] It’s a very interesting thing, I talk to people every week, sometimes 15 hours a week or so, and over the years, tens of thousands of hours of talking to people, and around this word trauma, which has become a term that is ill-defined, it’s as ill defined as the word love…
[00:38:36] “I love you,” and then five minutes later, you might say, “Hey, I love your shoes.” And then five minutes later, ” I love pepperoni on my pizza,” and the person who is hearing all these love words thinks, “You love me… Well I got excited about that but then I heard you loving shoes and I heard you loving pepperoni. I mean, what do you mean? Like shoes and pepperoni…”
[00:39:01] Like that, the word trauma has been bandied about so excessively that it’s hard for us to know what it actually means as a kind of immeasurable state. Certainly there are extreme states upon which almost everyone could agree might cause trauma.
[00:39:18] For example, there was a person who said to me that they caught their significant other hiding in a room self-administering some sexuality by watching pornography and was “traumatized” and had trauma. And the very same day, I helped a woman who had the genuine traumatic experience of inadvertently killing her own three-year-old son by backing over him in her car.
[00:39:53] Now I would call that trauma, and finding your loved one in the closet, looking at porn might not quite qualify on those terms. But the fact is a thing is traumatic based on who the experiencer is. What are you and who are you, what is your state of consciousness when some kind of a massive change of expectation comes to you? And what is the definition of massive?
[00:40:22] I’ve heard, back five years ago, somebody told me that they just couldn’t get over a terrible traumatic experience they had. And I said, “Well, what was it?” They said they were very upset at the way that Game of Thrones ended. They just didn’t like the final episode, hated it. And they’d spent 10 years of watching, regularly, this TV show, and were really hoping for a kind of conclusion and didn’t know what they’re going to do now because the show was over and they weren’t going to get the conclusion and the closure that they needed so they were in trauma.
Trauma – Inaccurate Expectations
[00:41:00] So what is trauma? Trauma is the way in which our body has an extreme reaction to changes of expectation. What is it that we expect? Some of us have very realistic expectations that are accurate. Other times we might have grossly inaccurate expectations about what is going to continue to be and what is not going to continue to be.
[00:41:30] And when we have inaccurate expectations and we do not possess very much adaptation energy then almost any change of expectation could qualify as “trauma.”
[00:41:45] And so trauma itself is extremely hard to define these days and all because of it’s overuse by our collective and also, who is the experiencer of the thing.
[00:41:59]Certainly there are soldiers who were in combat who come home and who are traumatized. But there may be another soldier who was side-by-side with the one who became traumatized and experienced all the same things as the one who became traumatized and came home and was not traumatized. And so what’s the difference between someone who’s traumatized by a change of expectations, rapid change of expectations, overload of experience, and someone who’s not traumatized?
Vedic Meditation, Deep Rest, and Adaptation Energy
[00:42:32] The difference is the quality of adaptation energy. Now when we practice Vedic Meditation, there are two things that occur simultaneously.
[00:42:43] One is we provide our body with extraordinarily deep and profound rest. As the mind explores the least-excited states of consciousness our body prints that out by going into a state of rest, which is unprecedentedly profound.
[00:43:02] In that deep and profound state of rest, our body is able to normalize, purify, and release existing stresses. And as the stresses unwind and come out of the physiology, the mind then becomes liberated from the binding effect that the overloads of experience of our past have had on our body. And then as our body begins to restore and repair itself and go back into normalcy our mind is able to do so as well.
[00:43:40] So the restoration of a normality comes about by two things, releasing existing stresses through regular deep restfulness that comes about through regular daily practice of Vedic Meditation, and then the building of adaptation energy.
[00:44:01] As we grow and grow in our practice, our capacity to adapt to changes of expectation, to overloads of experience, that capacity to adapt grows and grows and grows. So we know that if you have somebody, for example, in a scientific study where you make the person very tired first, they’ve agreed to it because they agreed to participate in a scientific study, and perhaps you have given them overloads of experience, perceptually, loud noises, whatever, cold and so on and so forth. And then their adaptation energy levels become very low then one little change of expectation will cause their body to go into a traumatic response.
[00:44:48] Whereas if you take somebody who is well rested, fresh, well nourished, warm, and then you expose that person to the same set of stimuli that caused traumatic stress levels in the previous person, the second person that you’re studying will have very little, by comparison, very little stress reactivity, and rapid recovery from whatever stress reactivity there was.
Reaction and Recovery
[00:45:14] And stress reactivity, there are a couple of things to take into account. One is the raw reaction, as an episode, the raw reaction to a set of circumstances that, to which one cannot adapt. And so then that’s the initial stress. And then the recovery time. How fast can you recover from having got stressed?
[00:45:37] When we practice Vedic Meditation, not only are we less easily stressable, because we’ve been releasing stresses all the time, but our adaptation energy grows so if we do get stressed, the speed with which we can recover can be extraordinarily fast.
[00:45:55] So recovery from an overload of experience is also part of that. The PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a disorder because the capability to recover from an overload has been somewhat mitigated.
[00:46:13] Vedic Meditation is the answer. And very often people say, combat people got PTSD or someone who witnessed some horrid act or experience got PTSD. My own opinion as a professional in the field is that almost the entire population is in some, at least low-grade level of PTSD. This is why it’s an extremely urgent thing that we inspire more and more people on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to come and embrace all the beautiful effects of Vedic Meditation.