The Relationship Between Trust and Charm

“Trust is a very good short-stop. That is to say, it’s a consolation prize. Where we wish to be, in the Vedic way of thinking, is in the world of knowledge. We want direct experience. Charm is the spontaneous direct experience that a proposition to action feels good.”

Thom Knoles

A lot of weight is put on the notion of having “trust” in our choices. And while many of us do so, we might find ourselves analyzing the results of our choices and debating whether the trust was warranted or not. 

The Vedic worldview has a different perspective on this, and finds trust to be an unreliable companion. In fact it’s the need for trust that leads to the need for it to be evaluated. 

The Vedic position is reminiscent of the lesson delivered from Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield in the Bhagavad Gita, “Established in Being, perform action.”

Thom explains in this episode, the distinction between trust and charm. Charm being the tool available to Vedic meditators, that provides the impulse to take action without the need for trust, or even the need to analyze the results after the fact.

It’s a subtle but essential distinction for those interested in accelerating their evolution. 

And if you’d like to reduce your dependence on trust and dig a little deeper into the subject, Thom’s course, The Art of Following Charm is a perfect next step.

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Episode Highlights


The Distinction Between Trust and Knowledge



How to Gain Knowledge and Transcend Trust



The Laws of Nature are Changing All the Time



From Aversion to Charm: The Role of Vedic Meditation in Shifting Perspectives



The Power of Charm in Making Choices



The Most Reliable Indicator of What is Evolutionary



Lack of Charm for a Full Moon Party



Do I Need to Know Why?


Jai Guru Deva


The Relationship Between Trust and Charm

Jai Guru Deva. Welcome to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.

Today we’re going to talk about the relationship between the concept of trust and the concept of charm. Currently, my course on the subject of charm is available by looking at my website and signing in for that.

So, I’d like to look first at the word trust. And it’s a very interesting word because it’s a word that’s been given a tremendous amount of prestige in the English language. And in the common vernacular and parlance,we use the word trust in a variety of different ways. On the American currency, it’s written ‘In God we trust.’ That sounds very powerful, trust.

We might say to someone, “I’m having feelings of love for you, but I’m not sure I trust you.” So there we have another way of looking at the word trust.

Trust is, in fact, a word that we have to use that is very close and akin to, it has a first cousin, which is the word faith, and both of these words indicate that I have a degree of ability to let go of reservations. I have a degree of ability to let go of apprehension. I have a degree of ability to let go of caution.

And if I have trust, then I’m likely to do so, even though trust is no guarantee. Because we know many times we trusted something, and wished that we had not trusted it, or trusted a person and wished that we had not trusted them.

[02:45] The Distinction Between Trust and Knowledge

And so then where do we go with trust? Trust, it has to be said, is not the same as knowledge, nor is it the same as direct experience.

Let me break those things down. Knowledge has two components. Direct experience, that is to say, direct empirical evidence that is undeniable, and it is combined with conceptual delineation, that is, a good theory that can explain what it is that you have observed.

Observations, well-explained, and explained in a way, when you employ the theory, the conceptual delineation, you can use the theory to bring about a repetition of the same direct experience.

So this is scientific methodology where we have theoretical and empirical, empirical means through direct experience. These two things together, direct experience and empiricism,that is to say, empiricism, direct experience, and good theory, good conceptual delineation, go together to make a third thing, which is knowledge.

Trust is not knowledge. Trust has a lot of hope embedded in it. “I’m trusting and I hope it’s going to yield knowledge, but I’m not a hundred percent sure, otherwise, I wouldn’t be using the word trust.”

Where we wish to be, in the Vedic way of thinking, is in the world of knowledge. We want direct experience. We want conceptually delineated theory, which when employed and when exercised, can bring about a repetition, and reliable repetition, of that which the theory explains, of the direct observation, direct experience.

[04:49] How to Gain Knowledge and Transcend Trust

And then we have a methodology in which we can transcend trust. How to transcend trust is through the gaining of knowledge. Trust is a very good short-stop. That is to say, it’s a consolation prize.

If we have trust, then at least we are willing to be a little adventurous and let go of caution, let go of reservation. But we may not do so with any kind of a guarantee. Whereas if we have knowledge, we’re not taking risks and we would prefer to be in the realm of knowledge. Knowledge is fabulous.

So then the relationship between what we refer to as charm, using this word charm, in the way that we use it in the Vedic worldview, charm is the spontaneous direct experience that a proposition to action feels good.

You might sit down at a restaurant and glance over a menu. The mind might be, if it’s very affected by doubts and concerns, might be thinking about, “What would my doctor say? What would this say? What would that particular method say? I’ve read three books, one that says dairy is best for you, the other that says dairy is terrible for you, the other which is indifferent about dairy.

[06:26] The Laws of Nature are Changing All the Time

“Now, here I am going over the menu and I’m a Vedic Meditator…”

Every day, my mind has settled down into the direct experience of Oneness with the total potential of Natural Law. That place, that least-excited place that we touch upon when we meditate, is the home of all the laws of Nature. What do we mean by that?

The least-excited state is the Unified Field itself. When our mind steps beyond mantra and steps beyond thought, our mind is becoming one with that Unified Field of Consciousness, which, when it breaks its symmetry and comes into action, is the expression of exactly what is needed for evolution.

When my mind has unified with that state, unification with the Unified Field, as a result of practicing Vedic Meditation, this is what happens, then my mind has embedded in it a sense of what Nature is up to right now. The laws of Nature are changing all the time. Which laws of Nature are being employed to what end?

And laws of Nature operate in cascades. The breaking of symmetry that starts one law of Nature into action, causes the next law of Nature to cascade from it, a third law of Nature to cascade from that, and so on.

So when it snows heavily, as it did here in my hometown, in the mountains of Arizona, recently, we had many, many feet of snow, then we know what’s going to happen next. The sun will shine and the wind will blow. And the snow, which is beautiful, white-colored, crystalline water, will turn into liquid water.

[08:30] From Aversion to Charm: The Role of Vedic Meditation in Shifting Perspectives

And then, all the dry gullies and the different river courses will all begin filling up with water. Then what comes next? A tendency to flood comes next. Are we prepared for floods? This is a downstream question from the snow.

This is what I mean about cascades of cause and effect that come from the breaking of the symmetry. And symmetry in this case would’ve been weather that was snow free suddenly turning into weather that is snow laden. And then there are cascades of cause and effect.

One of the final effects is that if you’re not prepared for the downstream melt, then perhaps your crops get flooded, or your house starts floating away. Or if you park your car or you pitch your camping tent next to a riverbed, you might find yourself waterlogged in a very short period of time, because you couldn’t see the cascades of all the laws of Nature that were coming.

When our mind becomes one with that Totality field of all the laws of Nature, then our own mind becomes filled with a sense of what it is that is needed. What is the evolutionary move?

Without having to have lots of details, a certain desirable pulsation will appear in the human mind, and that desirable pulsation we refer to as charm. Charm has an opposite end as well. We’re going to call that aversion, but for the moment, let’s stick with charm. Aversion is the opposite of charm.

[10:18] The Power of Charm in Making Choices

And now we get back to our restaurant and our menu, and there we have a body connected to this mind, that has particular needs. And these needs may be seasonal, different needs in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Different needs at different times of day, different needs, depending upon the current status of digestion from the previous meal, how long it’s been since the previous eating, and all of that.

And we could sit and begin to intellectualize about what to order from the menu. But the Vedic meditator has another tool, direct knowledge, and the direct knowledge is in that least-excited state, from that least-excited state, what is it that spontaneously appears to be appealing?

That which spontaneously appears to be appealing. This is harnessing the phenomenology of charm. Direct knowledge. “I feel charmed by the enchiladas.” And someone might look over at you surprised and say, “I didn’t know you ate enchiladas.” And you might say, “I feel the charm of enchilada today. I’m having enchiladas.”

And then if you have the appropriate amount, that is to say, you also eat according to charm, not just, “Wow, there’s a whole enchilada, maybe, I’ll just guzzle it all down.” But if you maintain contact with that least-excited state, that quiet place inside you while eating, charm will also tell you when to stop eating. And when to let go of the eating process, because eating is functional up to a point, and after a certain point, eating is no longer functional. And so then, charm.

[12:17] The Most Reliable Indicator of What is Evolutionary

Do I trust the knowledge that I read in books about what my body might particularly need or what enchiladas could do to you? Or do I allow myself to have direct experience of the charm field? That charm field is that field that exists embedded deep inside of our consciousness.

And so the relationship between trust and charm is the relationship between hoping that existing knowledge that we have is adequate, versus having direct experience of that the charm, which is the way in which the inner home of all the laws of Nature is causing cascades of cause and effect to appear, that have to do with what is the best response to the need of the time.

The best response to this exact season, the best response to this exact body, the best response to this exact time of day, the best response to the existing status of digestion, and so on.

So using this menu concept, one simply goes by charm. And charm as it turns out, when you’re a practitioner of Vedic Meditation is the most reliable indicator of what is evolutionary.

You might find that you are invited, as I was yesterday evening when the waxing full moon was at its fullest, a particular party, with a cultural orientation, was offered. And, “Please come to the party, Thom.”

[14:06] Lack of Charm for a Full Moon Party

And normally I’m a real full moon buff but for whatever the reasons are that Nature has, attending a full moon cultural party didn’t have any particular appeal. It wasn’t that it was lacking appeal. And logically since many friends would’ve been there, it would’ve seemed as though this was to be something that I would find irresistible.

But because there was no charm, I sent the message to my inviters, saying to them, “Next time, perhaps. Let’s be in contact in one more month. One more moon, one more moon.”

And for me, I don’t have to come up with a reason. “Oh, this is why I didn’t go to the full moon party.” From my perspective, it’s enough that charm wasn’t there.

And so the night passed and now it’s the day after the full moon. And I’m not making any kind of a statement about full moon parties. No one needs to think, “Don’t invite Thom to a full moon party. He doesn’t like them.” In fact, I rather do like them in general. It’s just that there was no particular charm about this.

[15:19] Do I Need to Know Why?

Do I need to know why? As a good example of a Vedic Meditator, I have long ago let go of the need to know why. I don’t need to know all the different reasons why. Was it the full moon? Did it match my astrology? Was there going to be some traffic accident on the way to the party that I was avoiding by virtue of not going on the full moon night?

Was there something going to happen at home, would a log roll out of the fireplace and burn my house down while I was celebrating the full moon and all of this?

Going into all the details of everything that could have happened, or why Nature didn’t particularly want me attending the full moon party. I don’t need to know. What I need to know is one thing. No particular charm right now and open to charm reappearing next month, let’s see.

This is the most successful attitude to have as a Vedic Meditator. And if you find yourself charmed by these descriptions, then you’ll be a very happy candidate taking my course on the subject of charm, which, as I said earlier, is available by attending my website,

Jai Guru Deva.

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