Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bankruptcy, Part Deux

Yesterday's post on Bankruptcy in the TM Org apparently struck a nerve. It received the most hits in 24 hours of any post here to date -- nearly twice as many as its nearest rival.

As is often the case, after I publish a post, I start thinking of points I left out. Given the popularity of the post, I thought I'd take the opportunity to add a little more, as well as highlight some of the best that commenters and emailers had to offer.

I neglected to mention that I personally went through a bankruptcy and IRS problem, the beginnings of which I trace back to my time in the Transcendental Meditation Movement. Remember, I started TM at 18, so the financial habits of my early adulthood were completely informed by the values of the Movement.

I think there is a fundamental flaw in comparing cultic processes with brainwashing. A GI in a North Korean prisoner-of-war camp knows who the enemy is and attempts mightily to resist him. In the TM Movement, we did anything but resist the pressures of course leaders. We wanted to believe them. They were our connection to our spiritual natures, to our chosen leader, the Maharishi -- for many of us to God himself (or herself). We invited them into our minds, set the table, and entertained them as best we could. Because cultic processes are first and foremost an abuse of trust, they are the means of the ultimate con game. It only makes sense that so many of us risked our financial well-being to follow the siren call.

I forgot an important thought in the magical thinking that leads to financial ruin: "Nature Supports," the Maharishi's principle that Hindu Gods, eupemistically referred to as the Laws of Nature, will shower blessings on dedicated TM meditators. Gina reminded me:

Additional point... bankruptcies (my situation w/ my ex) also related to magical thinking of priorities:
2) then nature supports. don't worry about financial and familial logistics because Nature Supports! ........financial neglect resulted in bankruptcy

Sue added this:

Just to add that I picked up a new "attitude" toward money when I was around the Maharishi crowd;;;'It's just 'chrystalized energy.".......Maybe that could be the name of a post. I casually mentioned to my businessman father that if icould have 40,000 dollars, I'd be set for life with M! Luckily he laughed.

"Curious" raised some good points regarding spirituality and greed in the TM Org:

John, ...

Mr Yogi is a con artist of great skill: he teaches a totally incorrect idea that the mind goes toward more and more. He advertises this as spiritual fulfilment. Then he claims quite falsely that nature supports.

What a crock!

Greed goes towards more and more and there's nothing spiritual about greed, nor are greed and mind the same. Nature is just nature. The more you screw with it, the more you get what you get today!! If we don't harness greed, true spiritual teaching is about harnessing greed, then we have no understanding of supporting nature. Nature, without our support, does what nature is doing. Another thing Mr Yogi is too ignorant to notice.

So, in my appraisal, this makes TM one of the greatest hazzards to spirituality AND nature.

Mahesh isn't alone in the damage he's doing, he isn't even that good at it. But he's much more of the problem than the solution.

For those waiting for nature or Mr Yogi to come to the rescue, it's gonna be a long wait, an endlessly long wait.

Thanks to everyone who shared their own experiences and insights. I may post more of them as time permits.


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