A completely unsolicited email was sent to us by a former TM Initiator / reader of TMFree Blog, expressing the impact that "David Wants to Fly" had on him. When asked if his letter could be anonymously published unto TMFree blog, (he graciously replied "yes") his further thoughts on "His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi," and Transcendental Meditation unfolded. With minimal editing, this very personal recommendation for "David Wants to Fly" is shared with TMFree readers. Enjoy!
I am a well-known ex-initiator who wishes to remain anonymous. I surrendered my soul to Maharishi at Queen's University in August 1972.
I considered Maharishi to be my saviour and master. And my body and mind were so profoundly deceived by the mystical forces that create the experiences of TM that I at one point was certain I had achieved a higher state of consciousness.
I have spent the last 25 years attempting to expunge the effects of TM, and the beguiling and fatal charm of Maharishi.
I only imagined abstractly a point in the future where something would happen which would be powerful enough to put a context around Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization—sufficient to take him down, expose his utter corruption as a human being, and create doubts about the positive efficacy of TM.
I must admit to being joyfully staggered and amazed by David Sieveking's documentary "David Wants To Fly"—which I just saw yesterday afternoon here in Toronto.
David Sieveking's film finally, in an objective and comprehensive way, takes the measure of Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization.
I mean this in a very special way. "David Wants To Fly" became in my own subjective reading of it, reality's way of getting revenge on Maharishi for the spectacular misrepresentation of itself via TM. What I have been forced to conclude over the course of these last 25 years, is that the powers that made Maharishi what he was, and the powers which produced and which continue to produce all the experiences of TM, violate and wound the essential integrity of every human being who enters into the practice of TM. Even as the initiate or practitioner remains unconscious, or in denial, of this truth.
This is the brilliant lie that is Transcendental Meditation.
I believe I went as far as Maharishi's techniques could take someone—into a darkness and hallucinatory state of consciousness, which at first seemed so wonderfully true to what Maharishi promised—'Unity Consciousness'. I am still recovering from the effects of TM and the metaphysical charisma of Maharishi.
My point here is to declare my wonder and astonishment that this documentary seemed silently to enlist those beneficent powers inside the cosmos which were overthrown or paralyzed by Maharishi and TM: these friendly powers through David Sieveking. This film, rose up and unleashed their fury against Maharishi and the TMO, effectively refuting Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization for all time.
"David Wants To Fly" becomes reality's way of contradicting Maharishi and the TMO, creating a revelation of such devastating impact that never again can any follower of Maharishi repeat the TM catechisms without sensing a critical presence throughout the entire universe, a critical presence that has, through this film, decisively condemned Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization.
Name Withheld [initiated in 1966; became initiator in early 70's]
Further thoughts unfolded in a couple of more emails, from the same person
It is so cruel to see human beings unconsciously fighting against the negative consequences of TM—the really fanatical ones become actual martyrs: they are upholding a practice which is secretly attacking them where they are most vulnerable. And their belief-system has become a tortured form of denial: life is gradually refusing to cooperate with them, and they can only dig in all the more.
I feel as if I have had a monster inside me—the Maharishi-TM incubus. It has been dying a very slow death these past 25 years, but it seemed, when I saw David's film, it lost a considerable amount of its life-force.
"David Wants To Fly" goes right at the cosmic arrogance and deceit of Maharishi. The film is the only phenomenon I have encountered in over 40 years that (almost innocently, serendipitously) acquires the intelligence (in its execution) adequate to the terrible subject to which it is addressed. Maharishi and the TMO, in some inexplicable way, have remained (in some very subtle sense) 'invincible' up until this film. This film is the great guru-slayer—for Maharishi was, undoubtedly, the most seductive, wily, and brilliant spiritual personality of our lifetime. Even as most the world knows nothing of this.
My adjudication cannot be impartial, but paradoxically I believe it is my very intimate knowledge of Maharishi and TM and the TMO that affords me the most objective viewpoint that is possible. And the film—unbeknownst to David Sieveking—is as inspired as any documentary could possibly be: because [in my opinion] its subject-matter has enlisted the intelligence of goodness that has remained silent about MMY and the TMO until now.
The film was a kind of gentle but forceful (and felicitous) exorcism. Believe me, it will not disappoint. The irony of the film is simply produced by allowing Maharishi and the TMO to exhibit themselves—against the background of what is real. It once was thrilling to be near Maharishi—and to enjoy seemingly a unified state of consciousness. Once it became clear that I was gravely deceived in this, I began my journey into hell and back while recovering. David Sieveking's documentary "David Wants To Fly" was—were I a practicing Catholic—like bathing in the healing waters of Lourdes. I felt like I could throw away my crutches.
When I talked about throwing away my crutches at Lourdes (after viewing David's film)—it was as if I was crippled by Maharishi and TM; that is, I had come to Lourdes to get cured (although I never consciously conceived of this purpose—if you follow me here—when I entered the theatre)—and the power of the film was such (in its confrontation of MMY and the TMO) that the very disease that had made me lame, that disease was as it were driven out by the force of the film, and thus I felt I could walk again.
David Sieveking's film became the vehicle (the first of its kind in my own intuition) through which the previously unchallengeable mystique and integrity of Maharishi and the TMO (and by indirection, TM itself) was smashed by reality. When the Beatles went to Rishikesh, that was one moment in the history of the TM Movement; then nothing for 43 years—until David Sieveking's documentary, which becomes—potentially— the antidote to the Beatles, because whereas the Beatles had created enormously positive publicity for Maharishi and TM, "David Wants To Fly" is a phenomenon in its own right too—creating the very opposite effect that the Beatles did—but for those who are discerning, fully equal in its potency to the decision of the Beatles to follow Maharishi to India and meditate at his ashram.
It is all a matter of taking in what comes through in the film. And whether David Sieveking knows it or not—and his learning that I believe this to be true will have no influence upon him whatsoever I suspect—the friendly and lovingly intelligent forces in the universe colluded with his own brilliance and sincerity to—for the very first time— actually take on and strike a blow against the baleful and malevolently intelligent forces which were and are behind Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Transcendental Meditation Movement. Of course I don't pretend to be empirical here: my own estimation of the 'cosmic' dimension of all this must be attributed to my own personal point of view. It is only fitting that, since Maharishi pretended to be acting on behalf of the intelligences which supervise and conduct the activity of the entire universe, a true critic of him meets him on this very ground—and declares: Based upon a multitude of experimental evidence, what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has brought to civilization can be seen to be quite literally a demonic project on a gargantuan scale. The film,—I insist on this—is the only event I have known in my life since I first became enamored of Maharishi and TM, which goes right to the place in reality from where Maharishi is coming from, the place from where he derives his techniques, the place from where he lives out and performs his existence—and in doing so issues the ultimate ontological challenge to him and his organization:—as in: Maharishi, you say you speak for reality, well, David Sieveking has produced a film—Want to see it, Maharishi?—which some of those who know (knew) you best believes refutes you: Maharishi, you are refuted by reality: you are an imposter, and here is the proof. As you can see, Maharishi, It is unanswerable.
It is, then, the [adventitious] metaphysical potency of David's film which released me from the incubus of Maharishi and TM—I mean, took my own self-administered meta-therapeutic efforts to a completely different level—and I came out of that theatre truly feeling a palpable and objective sense of liberation. Amazing.
Certainly many of us had glorious, ineffably beautiful experiences using Maharishi's techniques—and even from being around him physically—but these experiences were not engendered by 'Nature', by 'creative intelligence', by contact with 'the Absolute'; no, these experiences were, every one of them, inimical to our well-being, dislocated from what is real, and warring on our unique individualities—especially our bodies: there can be no argument here; as sublime as these experiences were they were calculated to alienate us from who we really are, and were mechanically effected by forces which are filled with a perfect hatred for human beings. The bliss of these experiences is inversely proportionate to their destructiveness—I expect to carry to the grave some of the subtle and insidiously disintegrating effects of TM (plus) upon my physiology.
"David Wants To Fly" is the happiest and most efficaciously beneficial event since I first was spiritually seduced by Maharishi and his diabolical magic.
And, by the way, did I know nothing at all about TM or Maharishi, if I saw this film, I would be deeply intrigued and impressed.
I do not expect you to agree with everything I have said, particularly the metaphysics of my analysis of Maharishi and TM. One thing is very clear though: whatever promises were contained in that first experience of transcendence, those promises have proved to be bogus. Not a single devotee of Maharishi is making any spiritual progress whatsoever, and every one of these long-term TMO persons know this. The bloom is off TM for those in the know. The question for me becomes: why was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi permitted to perpetuate this extraordinary fraud upon the human race? And watching David Lynch in the movie, I thought: what an intelligent, well-intentioned, even gracious person he is. If only he had really gone all the way and become an initiator, then he really would have something in common with those who are all around him in his TM enterprises: then he would not be so shockingly naive. Not only because of his status in the world, as a great artist, but also because he has not been entirely infected by the worst form of the TM malignancy—that which afflicts all those who became (and remained) teachers of TM—does the TMO have him (DL) out in front doing all these charitable deeds for the Movement. Bevan Morris et al—the whole works of them—they know in their heart of hearts that David Lynch is somehow riding on the enthusiasm that they once had (before they became secretly jaded and defeated—repressed as this is) for Maharishi and TM—sooner or later David Lynch is going to ask his first really hard question: COULD I BE WRONG ABOUT MAHARISHI AND TM?
Yes, you are, David Lynch —good man that you no doubt are. As an artist, as a thinker, as a human being, you can have no truly honest rebuttal to David Sieveking's film.
Are you still here, Gina? Sorry about this, but I had—think of it as therapy for me—use this opportunity to let you know what I have kept inside me all these years. And David's film almost seems to present to me this prerogative. Thank God for David's film.
"Removing all identifying information"—as long as you do this, of course I don't mind—and am pleased—if you find anything I write worthy of passing along.
One thing I ask —if you can grant me this—that, under no circumstances will you give away any information which could allow other persons to speculate on my identity.
I know my brain has been permanently damaged by TM—although I compensate for this as best I can, and I am no where near as 'Maharishi-ized" as I was in that part of my anatomy. David's film, by the way, was salutary for my brain in just this very way.