Friday, June 25, 2010

A weird thought about Armageddon

The battle of all battles between the forces of good and the forces of evil is supposed to take place at har Magiddo; at least that's the x-ian fantasy that fuels much of the fundamentalist and militant rhetoric of the reactionary right. Nothing like a bit of fear-mongering to generate some control, eh?

And this has what to do with TM?, you might inquire.

Well, as John has reminded me, we lived with the threat of WWIII all though the "cold" war period. And as John also reminded me, it is important, too, that we keep in mind that Mahesh was no slouch when it came to using fear-mongering to get more and more people to buy into his delusional reality/fantasy that TM and his 'sidhi' bollocks was going to make the world safe from disaster!

Yet, Mahesh was the disaster when it came to individual lives. TM and his cockamamy 'sidhi' conglomeration only made the delusional fantasy-world of Maheshism a nice place for Mahesh

It's just a thought, of course, but I was reminiscing about that moment when Mahesh handed me the piece of paper with the mantras (on that course, by age and gender). I knew at once, obviously, that there was no such thing as the mystical knowledge of assigning the right mantra and that Mahesh's so sweet and clever talk about choosing the right mantra was simply crap. The illusion and the delusion perished, much as that piece of paper would have had I taken a match to it. But, the human brain, even mine, does a lot of calculations almost instantaneously. It comes as no surprise, now, that there was more than that one illusion perishing. Other firmly held conceptualizations (since TM isn't a belief system «smirk», I can't say beliefs, now, can I?) were threatened, were teetering on the brink of distruction. The mind had to wonder, what other convictions (ok, beliefs) did I hold that I hadn't questioned?

Yes, and, well, you mentioned Armageddon???

Isn't this the real Armageddon, the mind itself, where the ultimate battle, the battle to end all battles takes place? and what battle is actually fought there?

One of the things that seems to me to be most responsible for keeping believers believing is the reluctance, the absolute dread and horror if we really must call a spade a spade, of questioning the unquestionable, thinking the unthinkable, speculating, wandering outside the safe boundaries the leader has established - for our own good, of course. Because the fear of straying is so adamentine in the doctrine (in this case, the dogmas of Maheshism), the fear of straying frequently outweighs the obvious conclusions any otherwise rational person might draw. It certainly kept me in line! At least for a little longer.

But the peculiar and unique thing about Maheshism and probably Scientology and the Rosicrucians and possibly those who follow Yogananda, is that there is something more being dangled in the not too distant, soon to come to fruition, future! The what if's set in!

I suspect that confusion of thought, that uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously, that inability to grasp how the magician does his tricks (and what if they aren't tricks but actually magic after all) that is the real Armageddon that most devout TMers are hiding from, buying all the TM stuff they can to buttress their mental fortifications against questioning their own beliefs and having to face that nasty business of one's own mental warfare! [horrors of horrors, what have I done?!?] Then you would have to actually question Mahesh, wouldn't you! Was he really what you imagined? What got you to imagine that in the first place? How did Mahesh manipulate you? Dare you look at what HE achieved, for himself, of course, by manipulating you?

I certainly didn't really question, even when Mahesh handed me that piece of paper. He was so diabolically clever, too. He had me recite those holy, sacred, immaculate, wonderful, special mantras, then he took the piece of paper, folded it, gave it to me and then held my hands in his (he had really huge hands), for several seconds that seemed almost eternal, as he gazed into my eyes and reminded me how important I was to him. (Daddy loves you best! «snork»)

Yet, the battle had started and the forces of Maheshism were already winning.

The real groundwork for that ultimate battle took place during those two years living with Mahesh and his travelling circus of TM courses from Mallorca to Fiuggi and then La Antilla, helping to make the SCI course (oh, why, oh, why, didn't we know about C.S.I.-type thinking then!!!), planning the placement of the microwave towers to broadcast SCI to the whole world and then trying for 9 months to teach it in India.

It's hard to just chuck it all, toss in the towel and walk away when you're on the other side of the planet from home and only have the little spending money Mahesh allowed. But those thoughts were beginning to gain the day.

I finally knew that the clash of mythos and reality was what was ringing the wake up! bell, causing all the racket that certainly wasn't musical. Something HAD to be done and I didn't know what and knew I was shrinking from facing the facts!

Now the forces of my own mind were beginning to see that there were more holes in Maheshism than in a block of Swiss Cheese!

Armageddon is very, very real. Cognitive dissonance is very, very real. The results are, to pull no punches, very difficult to manage, especially the internal, mental one I am talking about here. AND it's such a relief to have got on with it because now I can constantly question myself, my burgeoning beliefs and conceptualizations!

For example, Wow, this is a great book I'm reading, this is a great author! - really? and with whom are you comparing this author, what, I must constantly inquire, is the basis for the argument I am making in favour of gratifying my ego?

And, who knows, some day it may turn out that the right-wing reactionary fundys were right — although that kind of reasoning is like thinking that because you have been beating your head against the wall and finally it rained is a significant cause-effect relationship.

For more useful information relevant to getting free from the mental Armegaddon of TM vs Reality, click on the title at the top.


Sudarsha said...

Yes, that's an intended double entendre in the last line.

revoluce said...

Willing suspension of disbelief may only go so far in some people.

I know that it was possible in teaching to know on some level that it was not true that, for example, meditating would bring about world peace, but it was nevertheless possible to speak about that fervently and definitively without feeling like a huckster or a liar. A case of dissociation (witnessing) perhaps.

Darth said...

One thing I can wonder about again and again is how did he (Mahesh) do it?. That is capture the minds of his believers. One thing xsperience told me is that one can never persuade a true believer to see the thruth. The power of a guru or a charlatan is frightening, just imagening that I had people working for me around the world for free it an absurd thought but true. But one thing I do not believe that Maheshism is Hinduism. And if is it is Hinduism when it is worst case scenario. There are no higher levels of conciousness to buy.

revoluce said...

I think Mahesh once said: "We are born believers." That may say something about his methods of repeating ridiculous propositions for the consumption of the faithful but it also says something about human nature and the success of religion and cults in general.

Sudarsha said...

Hi, Darth

The power of the guru and/or the charlatan is indeed hugely frightening.

Here we stray into an area I really dislike, the area that appears to blame the victim for the frightening damage of the guru/charlatan.

Sometimes, and I was certainly one of them, individuals find in the guru/charlatan what they are looking for, what they fantasize, what they crave. It seems irrational, to me, at least, that I did this, because I kind of feel I'm relatively rational! But I clearly remember feeling I was very, very clearly rational back then!

Literally I had found in Mahesh what I was looking for. Of course, I wasn't totally deluded by my delusions and saw that while there was some merit in the actual mechanics of TM itself, Mahesh was increasingly obviously not at all what I thought he was and not at all what I wanted to associate with.

I still value the essential nature of TM, returning to the object of meditation as effortlessly as the arising of any thought.

Mahesh's chicanery is quite mind boggling. While he kept our attention on the mystical nature of the mantras, anyone could learn to be a TM "checker". You spent 3 months learning little next to nothing other than the checking and steps of initiation which are almost identical to the checking procedure and in the end get a list of meaningless syllables connected to ages.

What a hoot. Anyone could learn checking, the real meat and potatoes, of you will, of TM but had to go on a mind-numbing course to learn a list of syllables associated with ages.

It was, obviously, a really clever game Mahesh was playing with the lives of others. And many did not do very well with this game and suffered unconscionably because of it.

But the charming, deceitful character seems to have existed throughout our history and we, as a race, seem to have fallen for it/him/her again and again. It's almost as if we are made for one another, which is really horrific, but probably not an unclear statement of fact.

Maheshism is not Hinduism, it is, once again, Mahesh's concoction of his own religion (of narcissistic self-approval) made from bits and pieces all turned to bow towards the ego of Mahesh.

No, the true believer cannot be convinced otherwise by anything other than his own inner resources which the guru/charlatan skilfully de-constructs whilst replacing the individual's elemental nature with his own.

Mahesh's greatest triumph is, in the end, only himself and he died miserably. His legacy of deceit, corruption and false witness to the reality of life, to the reality of our lives will slither on until it burns itself out or changes in such a way that it can just barely retain its mythos and dogma yet live in the real world.

It will be interesting to watch, if we live long enough to watch it.

Sudarsha said...

Yes, revoluce, that sounds correct. It is like the fly, curious about the colouration of the spider. Such a perfect setup with such unfortunate consequences, at least for the fly.

ed said...

"...I think Mahesh once said: "We are born believers."..."

This is a characteristic of human beings that many people observed and took advantage of.

I'll leave the social aspects of humans to the experts to
elucidate. The fact is, people WANT to belong.
You cannot belong unless accept the ways & means of a group. To me, this means you must believe. Often, the
desire to belong is so strong that belief overrides intelligence.

The real quirk of human nature is that very learned people with advanced degrees from excellent universities also "believe". So, intelligence and academic achievement may not be synonymous.

One of the major challenges to humans is to be your own person and to make your own decisions.

Drawback: This is a LONELY road.
People want to join, belong and follow.

Imitation is FAR easier than discovery.
Following far more secure than blazing your own trail.
Joining is the safest way since hiding in a group creates
the security of being in a large flock. Reminds me of fishes grouped together to minimize the chances of being eaten. SOMEONE will be eaten but probably not me.

The average human chooses a life path that does not afford the situation where being your own person is a comfortable and sensible way to use this life we have.

I don't think that ANY of the really important questions in life are easy. The process is NOT comfortable and the outcome is uncertain.

There is one aspect that brings an unusual satisfaction.
Any successes, however small, are the result of YOUR efforts and intelligence.

Any failures are because of you. Impossible to blame others for your decisions.

The MMY's, Hitlers and other self-styled leaders and gurus
will probably ALWAYS be guaranteed of a following.

Human Beings are fundamentally lazy when it comes to
the questions of Who Am I, Where Did I Come from, Where Am I Going and Whats this All About?

Its a climb up a steep slick mountain of uncertain height.

My belief: Its worth it.

jmknapp53 said...

Great post, Sudarsha! I always look forward to your combination of insight and keen recall of your time with the Maharishi.

Does anyone else remember how almost every major course from about 1970 well into the 90s was placed in stark, doomsday terms?

The Maharishi either hinted or stated before most courses that if he didn't get enough participants World War III would break out. "Oh, that's just Maharishi being Maharishi. Isn't he cute?"

To outsiders, he was always the jovial giggling Santa Claus guru.

Among insiders, his dark, paranoid vision of the world and legendary temper and rages gave us a more frightening picture. But as good initiators and "strong" meditators, we made sure that "the ignorant" were never confused by learning about the Maharishi's other sides.


Deborah1900 said...

Just look at Perseverence Theory, otherwise known as 'throwing good money after bad'. When we have invested heavily, the step of abandoning that investment is taken with the greatest reluctance. Not only will we have lost what we invested, but our self-view is now changed to someone with bad judgement, someone who was conned, a loser, a failure. Nobody wants that!

>>I knew at once, obviously, that there was no such thing as the mystical knowledge of assigning the right mantra and that Mahesh's so sweet and clever talk about choosing the right mantra was simply crap

For me this came when a friend in Mallorca, Debbie B____ , said something about her mantra that made me realise that our mantras were identical. I remember MMY giving me my second mantra. He closed his eyes whle clasping my hand in his, appearing to consider deeply, searching for the best possible mantra, based on my 'essence', which he could perceive through my hand. What a sham!

Sudarsha said...

You have reminded me of one epic encounter with Mahesh and the International Staff when I first became a participant in that august group of special people! Mahesh told me to do something and just after I asked one of the "senior" members of Staff how to go about it. She (and she was highly placed at the time in the US organization) told me not to bother you know what Maharishi is like.

Well, no, actually, at that time I didn't. But I didn't do what he asked.

When he asked me if I had done whatever it was he had asked, something I no longer recall. I said I hadn't because I had been told not to. Well, didn't this just lead to inquiries!!!!

So I told him what I had been told and by whom.

There was a pause. I was sent to attend to something else. and the other person????

She was never seen again.

A couple of years later it turned out that there was a relatively significant group in International Staff who questioned Mahesh's behaviour ... behind closed doors, of course.

Thanks for reminding me of the memories, John. I suppose that from the numbers he got together, there must have been many who actually believed they were changing the world. But I suspect that many more just flocked to these courses because they enjoyed rounding and/or flaunting their good karma that they got to spend time with Mahesh.

Sudarsha said...

Hi, Deborah

You have hit on as good an explanation as any for what fuels the mentality of Maheshism. It's almost foolproof because you can always claim that things would be, would have been much worse had you not thrown good money after bad, not bounced on your butt until exhaustion set in.

No matter which way the wind blows, it has all been made better (because it could have been worse) by whatever crapspackle notion Mahesh got you to pay him to perform.

I well remember those dramatic pauses Mahesh could do so brilliantly. The advanced techniques, of course, follow a formula, just like the mantras: if this, then that. But Mahesh himself seems to have done whatever he pleased, trying out this or that, literally using us like lab rats. -- sigh them was the daze (is there an emoticon for rolling ones eyes in exasperation?)

jmknapp53 said...


I love how we can feed each other. You say something that gives me insight or inspiration. I respond, then you find a new memory or insight. Which brings something new out for me....

That process gets me so high!

For me that is the most exciting use of our community.

Thank you.


Sudarsha said...


Great story, John.

And now we have TM-Free to keep Maharishi away.

See, he's no where to be found!


jmknapp53 said...

Ha! Good one!


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