Thursday, July 31, 2008

Believing Critic: "No Place" for the Unfit in TM's Perfect World

I would characterize self-proclaimed "satisfied TM customer" Bob Brigante as a "believing critic" of Transcendental Meditation. As I understand it, he criticizes the TM Org for some policies, but believes the meditation has good effects for the individual and the world. His viewpoint appears to be well-respected in some circles, such as online TM-only listserv communities.

A TMFB reader emailed me today about a recent post Brigante made to his website regarding the apparent current failure of the "Maharishi Effect." For those not familiar with this particular Maharishi teaching, the "Maharishi Effect" states that when the square root of 1% of a country's population "flies" together, there will be an Ideal Society. When a square root of 1% of the world's population flies together, the golden age, Sat Yuga, will descend on earth ("Heaven on Earth").

The number of people "flying" together in Fairfield, Iowa is currently very near this magic number, yet the US is experiencing a difficult financial climate, combined with a number of natural disasters. Brigante gives two reasons why the US continues to suffer despite the supposed "Maharishi Effect."

First, because the Maharishi died in February 2008, he states: "With the departure of this great saint, maybe we just need to create much larger groups of Yogic Fliers and Pundits meditating together in order to compensate for this."

I've got quibbles with this line of thinking, since the Maharishi never mentioned his departure from the scene would have disastrous effects in his original postulation of the "Maharishi Effect."

But his second suggestion verges on the edge of downright scary.
Maharishi: "Nonexistence of the unfit has been the law of nature." So if this second way of looking at the situation is correct, then we should not be surprised to see an increase in disaster and dislocation along with the rise of bliss-creating forces in the world, and if the unfit don't come along there will be no place for them." [Emphasis added.]

I can think of more commonsense reasons for the failure of the "Maharishi Effect."

For instance, it's poppycock. Time and again, events have shown the "Maharishi Effect" just doesn't work.

But am I the only one who sees this sort of "spiritual Darwinism" as thinly veiled "spiritual ethnic cleansing"?

It's to be sincerely hoped this is Brigante's idiosyncratic thinking and that this uncompassionate, hateful thinking is not widespread throughout the TM Org.


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