Seven Pillars House of Wisdom > Articles > Confluence: An Interview with Dr. Ashok Gangadean

Confluence: An Interview with Dr. Ashok Gangadean

Gary Null

This is an exerpt from an interview with Ashok Gangadean, conducted by Dr. Gary Null, noted talk radio host of The Gary Null Show, in March, 2010 (M-F, noon EST at

Quaker Meeting HouseGary Null: I want to introduce my guest, Dr. Gangadean, who is Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. His lifelong study and passion has been to clarify the common ground at the heart of human reason and to promote a deeper dialogue to bring forth a more integral and holistic global consciousness to remedy the apocalyptic fervor associated with our fragmented world.

Dr. Gangadean is the founder of the Global Dialogue Institute, dedicated to the pursuit of an ethical and spiritual awakening in the global culture. He is also co-founder of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, which promotes global vision, wisdom and values. He is also the author of many books, including Awakening the Global Mind. Nice to have you with us today!

Ashok Gangadean: Hi there, Gary. It’s pleasure to be with you again.

Gary: I would like you to talk about how the average person accepts that we should have corporate dominance in our lives, as if we are not able to make reasoned decisions on our own, and how this has affected and infected the body of politics. The politician you vote for, more often than not, is not listening to what you need, but rather making sure that the corporatists get what they need. Would you address this please?

Ashok: Well, that is quite a rich and complex question Gary. I have worked at Haverford College for 42 years on pioneering global consciousness and wisdom. This is relevant to what you ask about the state of the individual person, the sacred person in our culture, and the dominant forces surrounding us, in all kinds of ways. The corporate dominance that you are inquiring about is just one symptom of generic malaise, in which what our great wisdom teachers regard as the sacred individual, is really being eclipsed.

If you can step back from a local lens and go into a dilated space, you find that the great wisdom teachers for over 3000 years across the planet saw something remarkable. To mention a few exemplars, we might ask, “What is Buddha teaching? What comes out of Abraham, Moses, Jesus? What comes out of Lao Tzu? What comes out Krishna and the Gita?” They all saw, right to the core, that we are living in a state of consciousness that I call “egomental,” and I think this speaks to the point you were making earlier. The egomental mind is an adolescent stage in our development of culture-making, world-making, self-making and language-making. Our consciousness is a primary technology where we make our world, and if you’re lodged in egomental thinking, that state of technology of thought and consciousness severs you from connectivity.

You see that the human being is surfing the deep connectivity of the holistic field of reality, while struggling with the myopic lens of whatever culture, religion, or ideology they may have. That leads to a kind of dominance of a culture, so that the question I would pose is, in the great experiment, the sacred experiment of America, opening a democratic state, we the people hold the power in terms of the European enlightenment, vision of awakened reason, where we participate as rational beings, we all share in that birthright, of freedom and one voice, one vote and so forth. But we still carry that egomental technology, we bring it across the oceans from different lands and gather here.

Of course the American revolution, the earlier phase of overthrowing the British colonial dominance, was a vital stage, but that was just the beginning of the work because the deeper revolution is to grow up and mature in light of the wisdom of our teachers, to become holistic, integral, dialogue beings, not a monologue ego-log beings. So, we the people can’t be the sacred individual, unable to step into the sacred space of the civic, open American public that we long for, that our founding fathers and mothers envisioned for us.

Here in Philadelphia I am at a Quaker college, and the Quakers are part of that sacred individual. So you don’t let any external dominant force, whether it is an ideology or certain cultural perspective, become cultic and compromise the sacred individual and the vitality of our American dream and democracy. The interconnected, awakened human being is not the same as the one in a box, dominated by forces stemming from egomental culture-making. So the corporate dominance, militarism, the industrial complex, even educational regime, is largely egomental. The many forms of dominance compromise our individual conscience and free voice, which is vital for our well-being. If we follow global wisdom and listen to the great teachers on the planetary scale, and to our founding vision, then the question you ask gets right to the heart of it.

Gary: Can you please take this conversation another step further and discuss how we go from an ego mindset to a more humanistic mindset?

Ashok: I am part of a group called Evolutionary Leaders, not in an arrogant sense, as in we are the leaders, but we realize that there is an evolutionary shift taking place at the heart of humanity, at our birthing as full mature human beings in line with our global spiritual wisdom on the planet. The Dalai Lama is in this group, Jane Goodall, Hazel Henderson, many others, and what’s amazing is that there is a convergence among them, and a deep science that is at the heart of the insight that we are deeply connected with one another. We are not atomically severed egomental, monocentric beings. We are interconnected humans, and that is the heart of humanity.

Buddha saw when he had his great awakening that ego is the source of suffering. Clinging to your ego identity leads to the predatory, dominance model that is the basis of scarcity and competition. That kind of mentality is deeply engrained in the egomental view of the human being. But Buddha saw that we have a choice in waking up to this integral holistic calculus that means that everything is flowing into everything else. There are no fragmented, severed pieces.

Jesus saw the same law. He said it in many ways: “When I was in prison you visited me. When I was hungry you fed me. When you visited the least of mine, you visited me.” Why? Again, because we are interwoven in the deepest fabric of reality.

Krishna saw it in the Bhagavad Gita, in the science of yoga, that the deepest field of reality, whatever you call it—Om, Yahweh, Tao, emptiness, Shunyata,, Allah—whatever name you use for the infinite, it is very simple calculus: The infinite must be one, you can’t have more than one infinite, because then it wouldn’t be infinite.

What follows then? Well, if the infinite is infinite unity, then everything is in a deep confluence. That is the objective field of reality. It is holistic. The ego-mind and the egomental ways of thinking can’t fathom and surf interconnectivity. You need a higher, more powerful, rational, integral calculus of the mind. That’s what Buddha’s fourth Noble Truth is, that the way to cultivate being in sync with reality, the key to that is breaking out of the ego boxes that contain us, that make our world, our personal identity, that separate us into suffering and despair and nihilism and predatory behavior.

What do you find then if you can grow up into the holistic, integral calculus, which is a higher form of integral literacy? You experience yourself in the other. You experience yourself in nature, and you find that nature, the spaces where we live, and we ourselves, are all sacred.

The Quakers knew that God is in every person. Blake the poet saw “infinity in a grain of sand.” Or the mustard seed. What is going on in the science here? It is recognizing that every power point within the unified field—I call it the logosphere, using the Greek word for the logos, the infinite force, the infinite word, the infinite presence—every piece of om or Yaweh or logos encodes the infinite. This means that there is a higher economics; not egonomics, based upon ego, but logonomics.

The consensus of our wisdom teachers is that we cannot find well-being in the egomental space or culture. It is not sustainable. So to me, looking at what is going on globally, there are exciting possibilities. As the Chinese say, crisis is opportunity. We have the opportunity to mature as global culture in which we celebrate the sacredness of life, with each other, within ourselves, in the common space, and with nature and other species. A space that is whole where we can really dialogue with each other, honor differences, and respect diversity, where there is the possibility of unity for a community of we the people. That is the kind of shift that is facing us at this crisis moment in our culture.

Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health, founder of the Progressive Radio Network, a New York Times best selling author, and a multi-award-winning director of controversial documentaries, including Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own, The Drugging of Our Children, and Autism: Made in the USA.

Read more about Gary Null

Comments (2)
  • highly respect Gary null’s work and am happily surprised that he is part of the Sven Pillars community. Ashok Gangadean’s coinage of words is beautiful.

    — Leonore Alaniz on May 5, 2011

  • Could children not be taught at an early age to go within, but in a real way, not just another left brained theory, instead, I see the young population glued to their cell phones, technological devices, where is the “within, the soul essence” being taught, being honored?  with more and more empty Hollywood media hype, all externals— Seems to me meditation should be mandatory in grade one!
    Dr.Gangadean is brilliant!
    Toronto, Ontario

    — Tara on May 7, 2011

7 April 2011

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sacred, interspirituality, wisdom, interfaith, consciousness, holism, Quaker,
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