Vedanta – The Final Conclusion

“Vedanta is really the ultimate goal of all the stories, all the knowledge, all the wisdom, all of the conceptual framework and delineation of the Vedic worldview. It’s true meaning, and its entire purpose is to take steps in the direction of being able to comprehend the inconceivable, the One, Indivisible, Whole consciousness field.”

Thom Knoles

Modern science and ancient Vedic wisdom often take different routes to reach the same destination.

Many of the concepts of Ayurveda, for example, have been known and understood for millennia, yet modern science is only just now catching up with some of these principles, and explaining them from the scientific point of view. 

Perhaps the most profound slice of Vedic wisdom, Vedanta, is another frontier that modern science, quantum physics specifically, has only recently crossed.

There is only one thing. This has been the final conclusion of The Veda, Vedanta, for well over 5,000 years, and now quantum physics has come to the same conclusion.

Thom explains Vedanta, and its correlation with quantum physics, in this episode, and shares the technique we can all use to not just understand Vedanta at a theoretical level, but to embody it at an experiential level.

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Episode Highlights


Meaning of Vedanta



Physics and Vedanta



“You Are It”



You Are the Unified Field



The World Embodies Vedanta in Unity Consciousness



The Greatest Challenge of Unity Consciousness



Defining Empty Space



The Purpose of Vedanta


Jai Guru Deva


Vedanta – The Final Conclusion

[00:45] Meaning of Vedanta

Let’s spend a few minutes talking about Veda-Anta, Vedanta. Vedanta is deemed to be one of the six systems of Indian philosophy. There are five other systems, which include the yoga field of thought, the karma mimamsa field of thought, and so on.

Vedanta has a literal meaning. Veda, which is the home of all knowledge. Home of all knowledge is one way of translating the word Veda. And where is Veda? Veda is the knowledge that is embedded deep within the consciousness field. And where is the consciousness field? There is nowhere that it is not. The consciousness field is the same as the Unified Field.

The Unified Field of the physical world is that one indivisible whole field out of which issues forth the four fundamental forces: the strong and weak nuclear interactions, electromagnetism, and gravitation, and from those four fundamental fields issue forth, all of the behaviors that appear in the world of what are apparently particles.

Interactions between particles are interactions between elements of the Unified Field, like the interactions of waves on a vast ocean. We think of the vast ocean, one contiguous body of water, largely defined by its silent depths but superficially definable by the behavior of its undulating curves, the undulating curves on the surface of the ocean, which we would call waves.

Wave function is an expression of the oneness of the ocean. Waves are not “connected” to the ocean; waves are indeed the ocean itself. Waves are ocean. They’re not illusion. They’re the ocean appearing as waves.

[02:57] Physics and Vedanta

And so when we start thinking about Veda, we start thinking about the one indivisible whole consciousness field, which is one with that indivisible Unified Field out of which all of matter springs.

One of my professors of physics, Professor Brian McCusker, a man who I adore greatly, the emeritus professor of high energy nuclear physics at the University of Sydney, a Yorkshireman who trained in physics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and was one of the primary thinkers and experimentalists of his era during the great consciousness revolution that occurred in physics.

Professor McCusker would give the lecture to his first-year students, one which I attended every year just because I couldn’t wait to hear him say it again and again, that you’ve always wondered what you’re going to learn when you become a physicist when you’ve graduated from physics.

He said, “We’ll get you right to the end, right away, the end. And the end is that we can demonstrate with laboratory science that, in fact, there are not as many as two things on the Earth. Not as many as two.”

What we have found through scientific experimentation, and we have demonstrated, beyond reasonable doubt, demonstrated conclusively in thousands of laboratory experiments, is that, in fact, there is only one thing, one indivisible whole thing, whatever you want to call it, if you’d like to call it the Unified Field, that’s fine. The Unified Field.

[04:50] “You Are It”

Everything that exists is the Unified Field playing a role. Unified Field playing the role of electromagnetism. Unified Field playing the role of gravitation. Unified Field playing the role of particles. Unified Field playing the role of a tornado.

Unified Field playing the role of the cosmos, the whole space-time continuum, and all of the particulate matter floating in it, moving around in vortices of gravitational pull. All Unified Field, all Unified Field. These are the waves on the ocean.

“Now we’re going to add one more word,” said McCusker, “to our description of Unified Field, one indivisible, you can’t divide it because there’s nothing but it, whole, not particulate, whole, and here’s the word conscious.”

Why conscious? Because consciousness exists, and already, we’ve demonstrated that there can’t be two things. There can’t be the things that are conscious and the things that are not conscious. All forms, all phenomena, all properties are forms, phenomena, and properties of the Unified Field itself.

And since consciousness exists, presumably, we’re conscious, and we see consciousness on display in other forms, consciousness exists, then consciousness is one of the properties. Consciousness is one of the phenomena. Consciousness is one of the forms of the Unified Field itself. The Unified Field is one indivisible whole and conscious.

And here’s the catch. You are It. It is you. The It that we’re talking about is not an object separate from you. It can’t be. It has to be you. So, this is the end of physics. That is to say, the final conclusion of physics.

[06:56] You Are the Unified Field

Okay, coming back to our conversation about Vedanta. We know Veda, the home of all knowledge, home of all knowledge. Where is it? It’s everywhere. How do you find it? Go into your least-excited consciousness state, and it’s there, Veda.

What is the final conclusion of this knowledge base of the Veda? In Sanskrit, we reproduce the word end, E-N-D, in English, which means the final conclusion. It means end, as in to what end? What is the end game? What is the final conclusion to which we are constrained?

The word Anta, A-N-T-A. Now, in Sanskrit, we very often, if we have a soft A on the tail end of a word, that soft A is swallowed, not pronounced. And so then end becomes Ant, Ant.

And, in fact, going back from English to Old French and Greek and Latin, Latin particularly going back to Greek, and then from Greek, looking at the Sanskritic influences on Greece brought about by Alexander the Great and his explorations of the Sanskrit language. Much of Sanskrit was imported into Greek, made its way into Latin, made its way from there into the European languages.

Ant is the etymological meaning, the ultimate source of the English word end. Veda end. Vedanta. Vedanta. Vedanta, the final conclusion of the Veda. And what is that conclusion? Just as McCusker said, ” There’s only one indivisible whole consciousness, and you are it.”

The Vedic way of saying that is Tatvam Asi. Thou art That. You are That. Tat; That. Tvam Asi, you are That. You are the Unified Field.

[09:02] The World Embodies Vedanta in Unity Consciousness

So, to what extent have you realized it? If you’ve realized your Unified Field status, realized it means you have a direct experience of it. Not just some kind of thin intellectual realization of it on the level of logic, that’s okay, but it may not be behavior changing.

But to have a direct experience where your senses yield nothing but, “There’s only one thing, and it’s me, the big Self, not me, little Sally from Nebraska. No.” The me that you’ve become through years of practice of Vedic Meditation, the big Self, that consciousness field, which is the source of your individuality, that has adopted your individuality and made it, your individuality, its own.

In Unity Consciousness, the highest consciousness state, the world is a world of Vedanta. Vedanta, which means all things are extension of me, extensions of me. All forms, all phenomena, and get this, this is the hard one, all people. All forms, all phenomena.

And it’s stated by the great master of Vedanta, Veda Vyasa. Vyasa was one of the great saints of our tradition of masters, from whom we have this knowledge going back thousands of years.

[10:24] The Greatest Challenge of Unity Consciousness

Vyasa said that “Of all of the things where you can sense, through your five senses, your deep inner consciousness state, which you feel as the Unified Field itself, and this naturally extending through your five senses into the object world, it turns out that the object world is felt by you, experienced by you, as being nothing other than the undulations, like the waves in the ocean, the undulations of the surface of the great silent ocean.”

Of all of these things, the most challenging is other human beings. The idea that another human being could somehow be only an extension of your own deep inner self, the same field, Unified Field that makes you, is making them, and you are that Unified Field. This is the greatest challenge, the greatest challenge.”

Looking at a tree and feeling one with the tree, pretty easy. Looking at a rusty metallic telephone post and feeling oneness with that as the sun bakes its surface and you reach out your hand, and you feel the heat of the sun on the rusty surface of the pole, and you sense, this is an extension of me.

The sun itself is, the heat is, the rust is, it’s all me-ness. But when you meet some receptionist, or fellow passenger in an aircraft, or somebody walking down the street in the opposite direction to you, or indeed walking in the same direction as you, this is the most challenging of all.

[12:06] Defining Empty Space

Is it possible that I can experience the Oneness percolating even through humanity? This Is the greatest challenge to the state of Unity Consciousness, and it is attainable. It’s absolutely attainable. Extended self is all there is, really. There’s self and extended self.

This is the final conclusion of the Veda, Vedanta. And Vedanta has for its verification and validation, just like all aspects of the systems of Indian philosophy have, texts that reinforce, validate, verify, and go into great intellectual lengths of discussion of the Oneness.

And the text for the Oneness of Vedanta is the Brahma Sutras. Brahma Sutra is Brahma, which is really the word Brahman. Brahman means Totality. And Sutra, the word Sutra in Sanskrit, it means an aphorism. The aphorisms of Totality. The aphorisms of Totality.

And what are the aphorisms of? Well, they’re describing something akin to the walls of Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon is very nearby where I’m sitting right now. I can sense it’s sitting right over there.

Great sun covered walls on one side, and shaded walls on the other side. One mile in depth, magnificent to see from the rim. Two hundred and forty miles from left to right. Somewhere between 25 and 40 miles across from rim to rim. Just magnificent.

And yet, what is it? It’s nothing but empty space. The empty space of Grand Canyon, though it seems very grand, is actually empty space defined by non-empty space. It is the walls of the canyon that cause that empty space to be defined.

Go into your own backyard anywhere in the world, doesn’t matter where you are, you could be in Schenectady, New Jersey. You could be in the town of Broken Hill, New South Wales. You could be in Cape Town. You could be in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Go into your backyard and, if you dare, lie on your back and look straight up into the sky. If it’s a cloudless day, then that blue sky that you’re looking into is many times greater than the volume of space represented in Grand Canyon.

The 240 miles from left to right, the 25 to 40 miles across, the one mile deep, and all of that. What are we talking about? We’re talking about the walls. It is the walls of the canyon that make the space seem so vast.

The space, in fact, straight above Grand Canyon is far vaster than the space sitting in Grand Canyon, but we don’t see the definition of it. What is my point? Brahma Sutras. Brahma Sutras are the aphorisms of Totality. They can’t possibly describe the space, but they can define the space.

[15:27] The Purpose of Vedanta

When you hear the Brahma Sutra being properly sung, because it is in meter, by someone who is an expert at singing it, then what happens is the walls of the canyon appear, as it were, and give you a sense of the vastness of the Totality that you are.

Giving you a sense of the vastness of Totality that you are, really is only a percentage of Totality, just as the Totality of the blue sky hanging above us is many times greater than the vast, what appears to be vast volume of Grand Canyon.

Still, definition is, in this case, a definition of the non-self. That which appears to be non-self, defining the Self. Self. Non self, defining Self. Brahma Sutras, words, ideas, and thoughts defining that which is beyond thought. Giving boundary and structure to that Totality.

So, Vedanta is really the ultimate goal of all the stories, all the knowledge, all the wisdom, all of the conceptual framework and delineation of the Vedic worldview.

It’s true meaning, and its entire purpose is to take steps in the direction of being able to comprehend the inconceivable, the one, indivisible, whole consciousness field. The final, Anta, conclusion of the Veda, Vedanta.

Jai Guru Deva. 

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