Monday, February 26, 2007


REMAINS OF IGNORANCE is an occasional feature of quick hits on life after Transcendental Meditation.

Calling someone "spacey," a "space cowboy," a "Fiuggi Flipout," or equivalent terms was common during my time in the Transcendental Meditation Movement. When I was in the TM Org as a Governor, it seemed a day didn't go by I didn't hear – or utter – similar terms.

Shortly after I left the TM Org, the joke lost its humor for me. You see I realized that I was one of the ones people were laughing at.

I had just gotten used to various experiences over the years. Without realizing that others, in the real world, thought they were odd.

I had the habit of suddenly staring off into space – even sometimes in mid conversation. Others noticed this, of course. My ex-wife in particular got in the habit of touching me gently on my forearm to get my attention when this would happen. I almost invariably jumped – being unaware that I had lost awareness of my surroundings, sometimes for minutes at a time.

I frequently closed my eyes under stressful circumstances – sometimes for seconds, sometimes longer. Disconcerting to say the least for someone who was attempting to talk with me.

When taking trips alone in the car, I found that I spaced out – maybe even blacked out. At the end of a trip I couldn't tell you what had been on the radio or landmarks along the way. I basically didn't remember the trip. Once I drove an hour past my home exit before I "came to" and realized the situation. Another time, I drove 45 minutes in the wrong direction for an important appointment before I "came to." This didn't seem to occur when others were in the car.

I developed difficulty with speech shortly after learning the TM-Sidhis on teacher training. I would frequently forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence. It become so commonplace for me to have trouble finding words, leading to stuttering, that my family began to joke about it – nervously. I eventually developed the habit of practicing saying sentences mentally before attempting to say them out loud -- to avoid embarrassment.

The technical term for these experiences – at least when they cause dysfunction in one's life – is dissociation. You can read about dissociation here. (There are other articles referenced at that discuss dissociation.)

Do any of these experiences resonate for you? Have you seen these symptoms in other, usually long-term, TMers? Among Purusha? Mother Divine? On the streets of Fairfield, IA?

Do you have this or similar "Remains of Ignorance"?

Please consider posting your thoughts in the comments below. Just click on "Comments" and type away. Please feel free to remain anonymous. You may help another former TMer with your insights!


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