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Bonshek, Anna Jean
Art — A mirror of consciousness: applying universal principles in art and theory on the basis of the description of pure consciousness, the universal source of individual consciousness, history, culture, language and art, according to Maharishi’s Vedic Science — with an analysis of the Vastusutra Upanishad.  Order No. 9701127

This thesis explores the theme of universal value in art and theory, and examines selected sutras of the Vastusutra Upanisad, a Vedic text on art, from the perspective of Maharishi's Vedic Science — a complete science and technology of consciousness — in order to demonstrate that universal value and meaning can be spontaneously expressed in art by the universal human being and that the Vastusutra Upanisad is the expression of a universal field of self-referral consciousness.

In considering this topic it was necessary to address issues in contemporary theory arising from conflicts between modern, Indian, and postmodern theories, and to show how the principles of Maharishi's Vedic Science, while supporting cultural integrity, are beyond cultural relativism and reconcile the above approaches. Presenting a universally applicable view of history as an infinite cycle of periods throughout time, culture and language as the expression of Laws of Nature, geographic and climatic conditions of a locality, and art and aesthetics as the manifestation of a universal, unmanifest, Absolute, field of pure consciousness or Natural Law at the basis of individual and cultural life, this science presents a holistic perspective on culture, art and theory. Natural Law, the underlying field of the basis of creation, is experienced as the simplest form of human awareness through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs.

By developing consciousness through these technologies, the artist can create art which, having an integrated formal unity, reflects the unified basis of creation and inspires the viewer to experience a unified sense of self — the Cosmic Self. This view differs from the elitism of Hegelian modernism and deconstructive postmodernism, where, as articulated by Lyotard and Kosuth, art, as part of customary knowledge, is a language game unable to impart absolute knowledge or meaning.

In addition, by discussing how through its self-referral nature consciousness gives rise to frequencies which are expressed in Sanskrit as the Vedic Literature and applying this understanding to an analysis of selected aphorisms of the Vastusutra Upanisad this thesis suggests that the text is an expression of consciousness. Source: DAI, 57, no. 08A, (1996): 3306

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