Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi, and Immortality

I received an interesting email today and thought I'd share it. The anonymous author represents himself as someone who knew the Maharishi face-to-face. I look forward to reading your comments below on the ideas my correspondent puts forth.
Maharishi, in our first lecture on my TTC, talked about “getting an Absolute Body”; in other words, becoming immortal in the flesh. My first reaction on hearing of his death was: you were lying or you were deceived, Maharishi, to be speaking about deathlessness in the body when you yourself were unable to avoid physical death. For me, the greatest illusion that was implicit in all that Maharishi did and said, was that he was beyond the laws of the physical universe. That he therefore could determine his own destiny—and this especially included the matter of the contingency of his own death. That he actually died of old age explodes the very basis of the hallucination he impressed upon the consciousness of all of us who were so convinced of his spiritual authority and superiority: that we could even aspire to a kind of changeless biological integrity. Maharishi proved in the example of himself that he was powerless to effect any difference in his own ultimate fate as a human being.

But here’s what I really want to say, something that cannot of course be empirically confirmed: Maharishi did have a human soul; that soul now is getting confronted by the powers which mete out the consequences of one’s deeds in this life. And in this process Maharishi is getting humiliated, disgraced, and punished—this is a spectacle that is being witnessed throughout the entirety of invisible creation. If I may say it, I think Maharishi was in some very personal sense the enemy of his creator; he was born to hate his creator. But—and yes, this is only but my intuition—his individual integrity (which became corrupted over the course of his lifetime) is being weakened in his post-death existence, and therefore his influence, objectively, over his followers is attenuating. Whether they know this or not.

Maharishi is face-to-face with the reality of who he allowed himself to become, and yet his ordeal can never bring about contrition or shame; it is too late for that. It never was in Maharishi to take moral responsibility for his actions. Maharishi is a damned soul—whether you think about that metaphorically or literally. Certainly all the powers of evil in the universe got behind Maharishi to make him capable of giving extraordinary mystical experiences to thousands of human beings (including myself). Experiences which had no real efficacy at all in making an individual a more beautiful human being. These powers (the mantra demons especially) on the contrary ultimately sought (and still seek) to alienate human beings from reality. And this is what happened to each and every person who practiced Maharishi’s techniques. The damage done by Transcendental Meditation and the Sidhis is incalculable—and I have seen this in every person who has been devoted to Maharishi. The whole thing (at least outside of India) will inexorably come to an end: within a decade I predict everyone in the TMO will be living virtually on faith alone.

There was something about Maharishi’s death that signaled the ironic declaration of what reality thinks of him and the validity of his techniques. It seems to me the whole TM phenomenon was the most marvelous deception ever perpetrated upon the human race. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the arch-seducer—even of the very best of persons. But I believe only the baby-boomer generation felt the real power of this false grace; it cannot be efficaciously transmitted to successive generations—and won’t be. We are going to see the gradual disillusionment of those who most believed in Maharishi. Some day perhaps we will know who Maharishi really was. For myself (who got to know him face-to-face) he turned out to be the antithesis of what I first thought he was: from the most charming and inscrutable sage to the most subtle and treacherous scoundrel.

I want to be clear, I agree with much and disagree with some of what our author has written. But I think he represents his viewpoint clearly and well -- and I believe many people will agree with what he wrote.

On my TTC in 1978, the Maharishi also talked about physical immortality being possible through the Transcendental Meditation program. He said something to the ffect that since change is always taking place in our bodies anyway, that change could improve our health rather leading to death. He said that physical immortality was possible through TM. I don't remember the words exactly. He went on to say some physical substances, some preparations might help this process. I believe he was alluding to Rasayanas and ayurvedic preparations, although he did not use those words. Also, he did not use the phrase "Absolute Body" on my TTC, although I may simply have forgotten this phrase.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences with Transcendental Meditation, whether anonymously or not, consider emailing me at

No comments:

Post a Comment