Reparenting Psychology and the Vedic Perspective

“For us to expect our parents or primary caregivers to provide us with absolutely the perfect kind of mentoring, which is going to make us into the most responsive, ideal citizens of our society, is an inaccurate expectation and is bound to be fraught with lots of suffering.”

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

Reparenting is an often-used psychological technique where one is given, or gives oneself, opportunities to learn the lessons of character or personality development that one might have missed out on through ‘insufficient’ parenting or care during childhood.

It’s a technique that has met with some success, yet, as Thom explains in this episode, there is a missing element that might make this approach incomplete.

The Vedic perspective is that we, including our parents and caregivers, can only act based on the level of our consciousness. This being the case, rather than focusing on repairing the ‘mistakes’ of our parents and caregivers, a more complete approach would be to focus on elevating our own consciousness.

In fact Vedic traditions embody this approach, and teach us to access our own inner guru or teacher, and to bring out the best of our own feminine and masculine qualities, while honoring our parents and caregivers for doing and being the best that they knew to be.

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Episode Highlights


Reparenting Psychology – A Brief Description



The Boat of Character and Personality



Yagyopavit – The Sacred Thread of Mata Pita Guru



Meeting the Demands of Change in the World Successfully



Inaccurate Expectations of Our Parents



Transcending to Experience Your Big Self



Watering the Roots of the Tree



Filtering the Very Best Experiences of Our Childhood



Sifting the Wheat From the Chaff



Attention to Guru



Knowledge Has Organizing Power



Radiating Life for All to Enjoy


Jai Guru Deva


Reparenting Psychology and the Vedic Perspective

[00:00:45] Reparenting Psychology – A Brief Description

[00:00:45] I’m sometimes asked by people what I think about the reparenting psychology movement, reparenting being a way in which, and this is my very brief definition of it, you’ll excuse me, if there are broader definitions of it, but adding to, supplementing and developing aspects of character and personality, which we may have identified were absent or missing from the parenting that we received in the traditional formats, by whomever acted in the roles of our guardians, our parents, our mentors, and so on.

[00:01:22] In other words, taking charge of the structuring and the building of our character and personality.

[00:01:28] The Boat of Character and Personality

[00:01:28] And I think all of this is a very good idea. It’s a little bit like designing a boat, which you’ve never perhaps actually floated yet, and you don’t know for sure that the boat is going to take you from, let’s say the Atlantic coast of America to the Atlantic coast of Europe, across the wide Atlantic.

[00:01:49] And so you’re wanting to redesign the whole thing and, make a boat that really works and, test it out there in the heavy waters, and you’re pretty sure, you know all of the characteristics to build into your character, to build into your personality because you’ve used your intellect to arrive logically at ways that you should be, or could be, by having identified things that you appear to be lacking from your upbringing.

[00:02:14] And all of that’s a very good idea but let’s, if we’re going to do it, bring in one very, very important aspect of life that will make sure that the boat of character and personality that we are forging for ourselves, is actually going to float. We want our boat to float and for us to be able to progress delightfully across the waters of life, if it’s not laboring the analogy too much.

[00:02:46] Yagyopavit – The Sacred Thread of Mata Pita Guru

[00:02:46] In the Vedic worldview, there are three sources from which we can derive capacity to build an individual status and structure, in the relative world, that will make sure that we are complete, and they are referred to as Mata, which means mother, Pita, which means father and Guru. Guru, which means, that means whereby we have access to the big Self, the Cosmic Self. Mata, Pita, Guru.

[00:03:22] And in India, people who are of a spiritual bent, often wear a thread. It’s put over their shoulder and crosses across their chest. It’s tied in a knot under their right side. And this thread looks very much like a bowstring. It has three strands in it.

[00:03:43] One strand is for Mata, the mother phenomenon as, not just our own personal biological mother, but the mother phenomenon. Pita, the supreme masculine phenomenon, as that can be displayed and derived from in the relative world. And Guru. Guru, meaning that aspect of life that has given us, not only the ability to dive into the transcendent big Self but to have intellectual understanding of how all that operates.

[00:04:16] And this thread, sacred thread, is called Yagyopavit. And it’s given during a specialized ceremony that parents arrange for spiritual children, in a ceremony called the Yagyopavit Sanskar, during which time there’s the investiture of the sacred thread.

[00:04:35] And if somebody goes off to become a celibate monk, they might divest themselves of possessions, of even names of family, they really are renouncing the world, they’re entitled to renounce absolutely everything except the sacred thread, Mata Pita Guru.

[00:04:53] Meeting the Demands of Change in the World Successfully

[00:04:53] And so how do we derive maximum from our inner teachers? Naturally there is a pressure on our parents or guardians, or whomever are our primary caregivers of our upbringing, I’m trying to be all inclusive here, to do their best from their state of consciousness. To make available to us role models and ways of behaving that are successful, successfully interactive with the demands of the world so that we have happiness, because when our deep, fullest inner potential meets the demand of the time, it meets a demand to change your expectation, which is what the greatest demands are really.

[00:05:36] You didn’t expect a loud noise, but loud noise came. You didn’t expect for the flight to be canceled but the flight was canceled. You didn’t expect for the loved one to disappear and change their mind about being your loved one, but they disappeared. You didn’t expect somebody new to come into your life and somebody new came in.

[00:05:52] How do you manage the demand for you to change your expectations and make your expectations more accurate to what’s actually going on? And how are you able to be nimble, and adapt at being able to meet the demands of change in the world successfully? And for this, we have to draw upon Mata Pita Guru.

[00:06:16] Inaccurate Expectations of Our Parents

[00:06:16] Mata Pita Guru is an idea that goes beyond simply the upbringing brought to us by our primary caregivers. When we begin the process, the guru aspect of that inner teacher gives us the direct understanding that we cannot expect, and it’s inaccurate for us to expect, and inaccurate expectations always cause suffering.

[00:06:37] It’s inaccurate for us to expect that our biological father or biological mother are going to be nothing but the perfect teachers in every moment of life. Why? Because there’s a fundamental understanding in the Vedic worldview, and that is that you cannot stop someone from behaving according to their level of consciousness.

[00:07:01] Those people were made by the circumstances that designed them. They likely haven’t had access to Guru, Mata or Pita inside, the supreme masculinity, the supreme femininity and the supreme teacher phenomenon inside. And so, they’ve become what they’ve become, and have been carved into what they’ve been carved into, largely by exterior circumstances.

[00:07:24] And for us to expect them to provide us with absolutely the perfect kind of mentoring, which is going to make us into the most responsive, ideal citizens of our society, is an inaccurate expectation and is bound to be fraught with lots of suffering, because of our inaccurate expectations.

[00:07:43] Transcending to Experience Your Big Self

[00:07:43] So, first of all, let’s get our expectations accurate. We know that people only act according to their consciousness state, and that includes us by the way. No one can act or experience or teach or know anything that’s outside the range of the state of consciousness that they’re in at a moment.

[00:08:02] And it is for us to raise our consciousness to the highest possible level. And so in this triumvirate of Mata Pita Guru, we go to the guru part of the deep inner Self, and we look for someone or something in the external world that matches the potential for that to gift us with an experience of our true nature.

[00:08:25] Our true highest Self, deep from inside, can be shown to us by someone who happens to know the techniques, who can teach us and pass along to us the techniques for transcending all relativity. Transcend means to step beyond.

[00:08:40] So to go beyond thinking, to go beyond logic, to go beyond limitations of where you were born, into what social class you were born, to which parents you were born, but to experience your true inner nature, which, according to the Vedic worldview is the unbounded Unified Field value of you. This is the big Self.

[00:09:02] Watering the Roots of the Tree

[00:09:02] So Guru gets number one emphasis and then what we find is, when we put our attention on that, it’s like watering the root of a tree. If a tree has failing flowers, and failing fruits and leaves that are going brown, we don’t want to race around trying to put salve and ointment and paint on the leaves, or staple new fruits onto the tree, or try to pump special flower stuff into the flowers.

[00:09:27] What we do is one action. We put water on the root of the tree. And when we put water on the root of the tree, it has an effect on the central nourishing core of the tree, which is the colorless sap. As we awaken the colorless sap, through watering the root of the tree, which is under the ground, then all of the flowers will blossom, the fruits will be luscious, and the leaves will be green.

[00:09:52] Rather than racing around the whole tree with a hundred thousand leaves, trying to repaint them, or trying to prop them up, or trying to give the flowers localized treatments, and fruits and all of that stuff, through one action, going to Guru, we water the root of the tree.

[00:10:10] Filtering the Very Best Experiences of Our Childhood

[00:10:10] Like that, what we do is, those of us, and that includes everyone who’s listening to this now, who somehow have discovered access to a source of knowledge that’s going to awaken contact with the deep inner Self, this is the guru aspect of this triumvirate. Then we must practice that and experience that deep inner Self as a strategy.

[00:10:33] Every morning, every evening, every morning, every evening, repeatedly systematic exposure to that deep, inner quietness, and what happens is that awakens the Mata and Pita inside of us. It allows us to filter from all of the experiences that we’ve had in our upbringing, the very best, the high end of all of the values of the supreme masculine, and it allows us to filter and validate and verify the high end of the supreme values of the feminine in us. Masculine and feminine are awakened.

[00:11:08] It also, interestingly, even restructures our memory. If we are caught up in useless memories about how badly mother behaved once and we can’t get out of the memory of that, this awakening of the deep inner Self will take our awareness, more selectively, to the useful experiences, the useful lessons that we learned from the exemplars of the feminine in our upbringing.

[00:11:34] As we awaken the knowledge of the deep inner Self, same on the masculine side. Rather than being caught up in, “Oh, well, I really expected this from the masculine in my life, but what happened was that,” and getting stuck on that, but not being able to harvest whatever good came from the masculine side.

[00:11:53] Sifting the Wheat From the Chaff

[00:11:53] So this awakening of a line of experience, there’s so much when you, when you sift the chaff from the wheat. There’s a lot of chaff, a lot of useless stuff that you want to just get rid of this, indigestible products, and what you want is the wheat. The wheat berries are the berries that, if you grind them and make them into some delicious bread product or something, then you have something that’s really nourishing and valuable.

[00:12:21] But if you take the entire wheat and just say, “Well, let me just chew on this.” You’re not going to get anything out of it because the majority of it is completely unavailable as a nutrition substance to your body. And so then “Oh, look here. I was stuck with this useless sprout of wheat. I don’t know how to get anything out of it.”

[00:12:40] Attention to Guru

[00:12:40] So contact with the deep inner Self, that’s the guru function of our tripartite mentoring, inner mentoring phenomena, driving from the big Self, all of that, which changes our ability to see what was valuable, to see what was valuable from the masculine and feminine caregiving that was done to whatever extent it was done.

[00:13:02] And from all sources, we don’t consider only biological mother to be Mata. We don’t only consider biological father to be Pita. All of the lessons that can come from the supreme feminine and from the supreme masculine, in all directions, all of this is awakening of the Mata and Pita.

[00:13:22] But it’s brought about primarily by attention to Guru. Attention to Guru doesn’t mean attention to me, Thom Knoles. It means attention to your own deep inner Self. The deep inner Self is the ultimate knower.

[00:13:37] Knowledge Has Organizing Power

[00:13:37] We say that knowledge has organizing power. It’s true. There’s a fundamental tenet of information theory that knowledge has organizing power. If knowledge has organizing power, which it does, and we should say since knowledge has organizing power, then knowledge of that which is the Knower of all things, has infinite organizing power.

[00:13:58] What is the Knower of all things? Your own deep, inner pure consciousness state. That’s the Knower of all things. Knowledge of the Knower, capital K, Knower. Knowledge of the Knower awakens inside of us the ability to look at any form and any phenomenon, or any legend, or any storyline, and to derive from that storyline, the maximum instruction, and to forge ourselves into the kind of ideal citizen which this era of our society so grievously needs.

[00:14:33] Radiating Life for All to Enjoy

[00:14:33] And right away, rather than having individuals who are simply resigned, that “I’m only a byproduct of the shortfalls of my upbringing. That’s all I am and this is all I have to offer to the world. And mostly I’m a wounded creature and now society has to come and take care of me because I’m nothing, nothing but a wounded victim of the shortfalls of all of my upbringing.”

[00:14:56] Taking a very prospective and direct action means, let’s transcend. Let’s find the source of thought. Let’s find the fundamental field of Being. Awaken that inside, this is the Guru function, and all of the Mata and Pita qualities on both sides of that will flourish and function beautifully. And the entire tree of life will be nourished and be a thing of great glory. We’ll be radiating life for all to enjoy.

[00:15:25] Jai Guru Deva.

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