Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yogic Flying-The Origins of Superman

I’m going to have to guess at the year but I think it would have been 1975. I was on the second or third of several “Six-month courses”, each course given a more grandiose name and promise than the one before. I know we were in one of the larger hotels the TMO took over around Lake Lucerne in those days. It could have been the Sonnenberg.

In any case, I was on the first course that started to use the use the so-called "flying sutra." The excitement and anticipation in the air was palpable. We were among the chosen few who were allowed to experience this newest version of the latest and greatest “technique”. We were going to fly!!! (We were also going to walk through walls, find objects “hidden from view” among other super powers.) Yes, some of us were a bit confused since MMY had previously maintained that the “sidhhi” powers were a dead end and a waste of time. But here we were, believing that we were at the epicenter of the spiritual powerhouse…..US, the chosen ones, about to be let in on the secrets of super powers. This is not widely known but at that point we were still in chairs...not on foam. That came a few weeks later. A group of about 25 men and women assembled in a large circle and began to meditate. (We had previously been given the secret sauce…the appropriate sutras from Patanjali.) I had wondered just what would happen if we all rose out of our chairs and began to fly about the room, bumping in to one another. Needless to say nothing of the sort happened. No one budged an inch. We were all asked to report on our experience after we proceeded through the sutras. Naturally, human nature took over and several reported feeling like they were CLOSE to lift off….oh so close! We had long ago learned that inflating personal experience was rewarded in the TMO. Reporting any negative experience was not. I quickly realized that the same group dynamics were in play as the highest of the high and mighty tried to out do each other reporting their “almost” levitating and “almost “ turning invisible” experiences. More on this in another post.

The next time we gathered, probably later that day or the next morning, I was ready. I rigged a coat hanger in my tie so that I could make the end of my tie "float" with my hand in my pocket on the other end of the coat hanger. When everyone (including the Seelisberg hardcores) opened his or her eyes there I was with the end of my tie floating gently up towards the sky. I played dumb and kept my eyes closed. I could hear the gasps in the room. Then one of my friends started giggling and a bunch of people started laughing. Everyone, that is, EXCEPT for a few hardcore Gestapo types. I was chastised and told that this was no laughing matter. SIEG HEIL! There will be NO LAUGHING!
Ah yes, good times.

Now, some 30+ years later, it is amazing to me that there are a few left who believe they are “almost” about to lift off. In fact they are no closer to flying than we were in that first meeting. The only difference is that MMY quickly figured out that sitting on foam (imagine that….nice bouncy foam) would better give the impression that something was happening than sitting there dumb struck in chairs.

You gotta give MMY credit though. He pulled off the hat trick of making some folks actually believe they were doing what their eyes told them they were not. It reminds me of that old Richard Pryor joke from years ago. His wife walks in on Richard and another woman “in the act”. Richard says “come on baby, are you going to believe me or those lying eyes of yours!”.

A few weeks ago someone posted a modern day “yogic flying” video on You Tube. The utter ridiculousness of it was there for all to see and the post has since been taken down. Grown men hopping about on foam pretending they were cosmically achieving something other than embarrassing themselves. I laughed as well, but not too hard since, if you rewound the clock 32 years, one of the giggling geeks in such a film would have been ME!

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