Thursday, November 25, 2010

Open Thread for Our Readers — New Readers: Check This Out!

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Discuss anything on your mind—or in your heart—in the comments below.

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New Readers: Some of the most important discussions and information sharing takes place in our comments. Why not check 'em out? And maybe share your thoughts there, too?




John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Is yoga Hindu? Interesting article in the New York Times about the identification or lack of identification of yoga with Hinduism.
Deepak Chopra, expert on everything Indian is quoted:

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Deepak has morphed into an all-purpose expert on almost everything. It's amazing the doors that an MD degree can open. His latest ventures involve commentary on Obama and Biden (see Huffington Post ) and he even has a book out on Jesus (The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore.)

He has a "Chopra Center" here in San Diego, but seems to mainly be a ubiquitous presence in the national media. Oh well, guess I'm just jealous. It is quite obvious who mentored him though --- so much of his writing is rehashed Maheshism.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Interesting article, Revoluce. Thanks for finding it. I couldn’t help but utter a somewhat hesitant guffaw at the practice imperiled [sic] the souls of Christians who engage in it! Never miss an opportunity to stick it to the competition; how very Mahesh of the good reverend.

Yoga, traditionally, was hardly anything like the rather trendy look-good/feel-good we have today. Pilates probably achieves more, but I’m not entirely clear on that. So, like Mahesh, lots and lots of people have imposed their own twist on old stuff and made something popular out of something that, initially, was considered “sacred” and, as the word “yoga” itself suggest, a way to unite with the sacred. — Deepcrock, of course, appears to need to be the all-knowing one these days, but when I have listened and tried to listen intently, I didn’t hear him actually say anything. Perhaps I’m just not attuned to his wave length.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Deepcrock is interesting if for nothing other than his intrusiveness and persistent setting himself up as some king of all-purpose expert, as you say, Karina. Looking closely, he seems to have much when it comes to presentation style. That may be sufficient for some segment of the population. And, like Mahesh, that seems to be the most that he has … a little information well phrased is far more impressive that a lot of really good information poorly or blandly presented … and earns more, too!

When I was very young, I heard/watched Charles Laughton read from the New York telephone directory! Probably on Ed Sullivan, but I don’t remember that. I clearly still remember being riveted by his “performance”. — Deepcrock has style, as if he did research to discover just what “style” was most desired by paying people. It’s like location, I guess. Get that, and you can live with faulty pipes or uneven floors! Were the good reverend from Revoluce’s tiny URL to opine that there was a special place in hell especially reserved for Deepcrock and his ilk, I might be inclined to think him on to something.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Sorry to be off topic here from Deepak.. but, I just wanted to let you guys know, the full DC meeting with Raja Ram from MUM has been posted.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I am surprised at how young he looks. Face lift? The nose-job certainly changed his appearance.

Thank you for sharing this. I think that people outside the believership of comitted TMers need to see what this guy is like.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I tried to listen to it, but I just feel so nauseated that I never get past a minute or two of any of the TM Rajas before I clicked the X to close the window. I really have a violent visceral reaction to hearing the partyline once again. It's been decades, but still my revulsion is as strong as ever.

Anyone else still feel those get-me-out-of-here-quick panicy feelings when listening?

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I feel that way when I see/hear Deepak on TV.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Is it just Depak that does you in? How about all the other MUM demagogues and Rajs? Just curious. I have a feeling that I'm a little more emotionally reactive than most.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Karina, Revoluce - I don’t think that being turned off by what is basically a slimy con is emotionally reactive or over-reactive. It just seems like good common sense! The word “unctuous” comes to mind.

One of my favourite authors, P. G. Wodehouse, could turn a comic phrase wonderfully and impregnate it with a lot of colour as well as that nod of knowingness that suggested a whole heck of a lot was going on. In one of his novels, he has one of his characters say, of another: he cooed like a turtle dove, cooing to another turtle dove from whom he hoped to borrow money.

That line seems to crop up any time one of these “demagogues” being to prattle about “studies have shown” and the like.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

"Unctuous" --- yes, another excellent description the TMO leadership. Too bad P.G. Wodehouse wasn't still alive. He would have done an excellent job of lampooning the TM Rajas in their majestic settings while they attempt to save the world.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...


P. G. Wodehouse left us the most wonderful treasure trove of fun and linguistic delight. I read once that every year or every other year he read the Bible, cover-to-cover, because the stories were so great and the language so beautiful. I can only dream of the fun he’d have had with the Wonderland of Pretend and the Mahesh Circus of Fantasy and Imagination.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

In our society, image has overtaken reality, and it is often enough just to 'look' as though you know what you're talking about. No doubt Maharishi was a master of that, but so were many who learned from him. Take John Gray, for example. Though not in possession of a degree in psychology from any institution of higher learning that I'm aware of, he has parlayed a few years of taking care of Maharishi's personal effects into a multi-million dollar enterprise based on the theory that we would all be better off if men and women stopped trying to act like they were equal, and that also makes use of male/female stereotypes of the most simplistic kind.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Simplistic is one of the things that sells like those proverbial hot cakes we hear so much about. Johnny G didn't actually have a degree, but he bought one. I understand that the diploma mill from which he purchased his PhD has gone out of business. There was a web page dedicated to blowing the whistle on Johnny. It might still be out there in cyber space. -- Just like the food industry, presentation tends to be what is most valued. So, if it looks good, it must be good. It is unbelievable how gullible people can be ... I was gullible. It all made sense to me, at least until SCI came along. That just did not make sense, or at least, what Mahesh was saying didn't really make sense. Perhaps, for me, SCI was brain-un-washing! I was playing with SCI/CSI, the latter could be the creative science of intelligence ... Mahesh was very creative with what science was all about.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Yes, Johnny Gray seemed to have had the stroke of luck, or even genius, to pen a catchy book title, and then he played off of that for at least a decade. I was shocked to see that somehow he even made a romantic musical comedy out of the title, and then it played Las Vegas. ( I hear it was a dud.) Recently, I saw the "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus" BOARD GAME in the give-away pile at a thrift store! Almost two decades later, it's finally biting the dust.

But again, it's probably just my jealousy. I wonder if Johnny is still living off the profits, or he had to find something else to do. His follow-up books didn't do so well.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I wonder just how much Johnny’s success mirrors other TM success stories (not Mahesh’s, I don’t think he actually did TM and have no idea what his daily practise was, if any).

So many attributed their burst of enthusiasm and self-esteem to TM, but I suspect that TM was no more than a catalyst. People accomplished something, at first, and then trailed off. That’s not a bad thing, but also speaks to just how “unprepared” Maheshism left people.

Do we not see something similar in lottery winners? They are unprepared for wealth, try to get all the stuff they want and end up poor again.

What I have seen and experienced in other forms of meditation is teaching that prepares the individual for sustaining personal growth and development. In contrast, Mahesh’s notion that just do TM and everything will be better, seldom seems to have such widespread success. That the TMO tries to use two or three examples of success to prove TM is universally successful speaks to just what a con the TMO is trying to perpetrate.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I agree --- I do see that the TMO fed off of celebrity success stories. All one had to say was "Maharishi" and immediately there was an instant connection to the Beatles, Donovan, Mia Farrow, the Beach Boys, and so many other iconic figures of our youth. But they were all successful before Mahesh, and not because of him.

Somehow if these successful people followed Mahesh, we thought in our little star-struck brains, then he must be the real deal. However the celebrities had another life, and a very successful one, before TM. We, Mahesh's working peons, did not.

There were those, such as Deepak and Johnny Gray, who were undeniably rocketed into super-stardom after TM. I believe it was because they were up close to Mahesh, and ended up copying him, either consciously or unconsciously. I don't think it was due to the hours of program, or the siddhis, that made them so successful as authors.

Even those who were successful in a public way after TM ended up echoing Mahesh's theories. Remember Barbara DeAngelis and her archaic (Indian) views of gender roles? And Deepak sounded like a rehash of Mahesh for so long, but he is finally finding his own voice this last decade. That's my take at least.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

It would be interesting to look at some of the histories of those iconic figures. How did their iconic-ness fare after some time spent whooping it up for Mahesh's benefit? What happened to them. And or possibly or, what happened to their fame when they parted ways with the old bugger?

Donovan would appear to have vanished after his fling with Mahesh and is now trying to revive himself promoting Mahesh. Where was he from the 70s until now?

Gray and Deepcrock got some fame by association, but more post-association (johnny, of course, has seen his star go dim, but his work wasn't exactly original to begin with).

I certainly remember Barbara. I knew her very well in Mallorca days. Like so many others, she tried to copy Mahesh's success and, well, didn't quite achieve what she might have set out to achieve.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Karina, when I watch TMO videos, sometimes I get nauseated. Other times I have this eerie feeling that they must know the Truth, because what they say is so grand and all-encompassing. Does anyone else get that reaction?

Sudarsha, I am really interested in what happened to other "great names" in the TMO. Like Larry Domash Ph.D. and Robert Keith Wallace, M.D., both former presidents(?) deans(?) of Maharishi International University. Didn't Larry become a devotee of Sat Guru Maharaj Ji (the chubby teenage Indian guru)? Does anyone know what led him away from TM and into Sat Guru's camp? Also I would be interested in any other big names and rising stars. I believe TMFree posted an essay about Andy Reimer ("UC Andy" whom Maharishi claimed to be enlightened) a few years ago. In that essay, Andy was accused of sexually molesting underage boys.

Also, anyone have any idea who was the highest up person who defected from TM? The Kaplan brothers? The heads of some TM National organizations?

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I wasn't part of all that so don't have that anti-TM view, but yeah, how revolting. One thing I find funny is that all those accolades paid to someone in TMO are always vacuous. You look up and never find all that stuff. Like did that Raj guy really all that?

Besides, the discovery or interpretation of the ancient Vedas as physiology was made many years ago by some French researcher in an obscure comparative religion journal.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Hi, JB

There’s nothing new about any of Mahesh’s teachings or any of Tony Nadar’s (Nader?) discoveries ... or Johnny Grey’s either, for that matter. It’s all in the “vacuous” packaging. You’ve used vacuous well here. It is about the ultimate summation of what Mahesh and his mincing mood-makers accomplished. If, for the record here, you could let us know the details of that Frenchman’s “research”, that would be really helpful in further taking the wind out of the TMO sails (sales?).

My problem is not with TM itself, 2x20, per se, my problem is what Mahesh did with it, how he bamboozled people, deceived them, conned them and generally dehumanized them to better his own self image!

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