Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Big TMO buildings facing south, and open thread

The TM-Free News Brief is on hiatus until next week, here's a few photos instead.

These are from my personal collection, taken by me one Saturday afternoon in the early eighties. I've long thought it rather amusing that, with the movement's superstitious obsession with avoiding south-facing doors and entrances in recent years, one of its most prominent real estate holdings had an entrance that faced exactly south.

This is the former Annapolis Hotel, 1111 H Street, Washington, DC, in the early 1980's, and like many such movement facilities it had to have a big pretentious name, so this was the "MIU College of Natural Law." (The movement has always had its own strange interpretation of what the words "research," "college" and "university" actually meant, often involving rooms full of foam rubber.) When these photos were taken, if I recall correctly, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself was in this building announcing various new Ayurvedic products and programs.

A few years later this building would be stripped of anything of value, sold, and flattened for a new office building. The Washington Convention Center, next door to it in the second photo, was then a brand-new building, and it's also since been demolished.

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John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Interesting stuff, I visited Rishikesh and saw the TM Ashram there and as far as I could see they were not stapada vedic

But one thing doors facing south i believe is the correct way to enter the building, depending on which Stapada veda book you read, a frend of mine a former TM teacher, claims that there are other publications on stapada veda that claims the opposite of MSV and the the entrance should face west and not south. In order to have a fortune creating home. This of course would also explain the misfortune of TMO, they cannot make money before they flatten their buildings and build them in the rigth Vedic way.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

And you know this how? If you believe what you have said above with the same level of conviction you previously believed in the perfection of Maharishi, what is the common denominator?

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Thanks, Charlie. I am not putting this forward as some kind of religious dogma; I am only trying to counterpoint the absurdity of this occultism of directionality. No, I have no idea whether there is a personal God, whether there is some kind of judgment of oneself at death, nor whether, indeed, what I have said in my comment bears some exact relationship to reality or truth—But since we're (or we were) in the business of trying to make out what really ultimately counts in our life [the possibility say, of there being a religion that is objective], it seems reasonable—just for argument's sake—to juxtapose Maharishi's magical thinking with an alternative candidate, which I believe (in comparison) seems more metaphysically credible (should there be ANY point at all in the fact one finds oneself existing in this universe as a singular personality—without some fixed religious persuasion (once one has abjured MMY and TM). And No, I do not profess to hold to some (subjectively felt) infallible notion of truth; but if we're buying into some mythopoeic idea, why not propose something that at least makes sense.

What went into formulating, as generic as I thought it was, what I said, required something of me that went deeper (I think) than the so obvious point you have made (Did you not think that it crossed my mind what you have confronted me with?). What needs to be true in order for your point to have some sticking power, is that you pierced to the actual evidence in my psychology of some need for a substitute dogma to MMY and TM—and I don't believe the tone or substance of what I have said there provides such evidence.

But maybe I'm wrong, and you're dead right.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I remember hearing M say something like, "All the banks belong to me." In these lines from the song “Badlands”, Bruce Springsteen could have been singing about Maharishi or about some of us in relation to him.

...”I don't give a damn for the same old played out scenes
I don't give a damn for just the in-betweens.
Honey I want the heart, I want the soul, I want control right now.

Talk about a dream; try to make it real.
You wake up in the night with a fear so real.
You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don't come.

Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings,
And a king aint satisfied till he rules everything.

For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside
That it aint no sin to be glad you're alive.


John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

If you read scriptures on Sthapatya building, and someone who actually studied it in India like the american Michael Borden who designed severeal buildings in Fairfield too. He describes his training in India, where all directions is good (not only East is best), and having different good influences. Offcourse that is logical, all directions are good! But laying the rooms are still a science....and so on. But nothing in original scriptures with "East is best" (personally I think it is Mahesh who on his old and deeply drugged days, took a little trip down memory lane and the harsh days as poor in India under colonial rule...or something like that)
See his answer and question page
and his own page
He doest say "East is best", and do not say that it is bad to live in a normal house. He just say bless the house and u will be okey. To me that gives more meaning.
Its good reading I think.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Personally I dont care about Sthapatya veda, or gives it real importance, but for some its a science and that I respect.
But personal integrity is sooo important, in what ever u dvelve into, whether it is meditation, spiritual buildings, our mediaworld, science, art and so on.
I agree, the placebo effect of just thinking and opening up to f.x. a building that is supposed to help u connect to the universe, will alter the result! (Can you have a neutral mind, living in such a building? )
Take what u can use, try what u in your inner soul feel is the best, and remember to get out before it eats you, and keeps you for its own purpose of survival!
A person allready spiritual awakened has allready found the voice of the soul, and thereby dont need all the help to find are allready there! (it doesnt take much meditation to hear the voice of our soul, as I think it is)
Sadly many tm'ers dont realise they are allready there, and dont realise they got eatn by the survival mekanism of the organisation.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

All these shocking revelations!
What's next?
Bevin schtooping the kitchen help?

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