TranceNet: Anonymous TM Victim #3I was up quite late last night reading about all the experiences of Sidhas on bad trips. I also found the TM teacher law suite stuff interesting. I'm not a lawyer, but I can't imagine for a moment that the movement has any legal ground whatsoever. Imagine a company that said: "We'll hire you to work for us, but you have to sign an agreement form that disallows you from ever working for anyone else in the same capacity." I thought slavery was abolished 140 years ago! Even baseball players have to right to play ball for another team once their contract expires. I see no evidence that the movement has any original intellectual property. Maharishi did not invent the mantras, or the Surtra's of Pantanjali. He did not invent the puja ceremony, nor did he invent mantra meditation. He definitely did not invent the holy tradition. Where is the intellectual property?
Anyway I know you agree with most of this. If those "victims" of TM had done as I did, and stayed away from the cult aspect of the movement, had stayed away from long rounding courses, and did shorter programs, I don't think the bad effects they experienced would have occurred. To what degree would their problems have manifested without meditation? There really is no way to know. Non-meditators have the same problems. One week they are fine, and the next they are hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. Is the incidence of nervous breakdowns among meditators really significantly higher than the general population?
I as far as MIU goes (MUM), I didn't see any comparison of the suicide rate at MIU with other universities. MIU has much less of a drug problem, and I don't think there are as many rapes or assaults as there are at other schools.
Let's face it, TM and TM-Sidhi programs are very powerful. Although the movement is careful in its screening process, some poor unfortunate souls fall through the cracks. Most people can handle regular 20 minutes twice daily, but not that many can handle rounding with the TM-Sidhi program in a large group for more than a month. You really have to be a determined, and seasoned spiritual seeker to go through with all the stress-release, and heightened awareness.
The lack of freedom that the movement imposes on its devotees doesn[base ']t help. It generates an atmosphere of paranoia, fear, and insecurity. People dare not think or speak their own minds. Over a long enough period of time, that can rob anyone of their individuality, and thus create fertile ground for psychological deterioration.
It[base ']s not the TM technique that[base ']s at fault, it[base ']s the way it[base ']s managed. It is very unhealthy for such a large group to "be of one mind". That type of atmosphere prevents personal growth. People round in hellish stagnation, living in fear that their intense unstressing might be revealed, and thus they would be publicly shamed for going through the natural healing process that stress-release is.
As far as the movement is concerned, it is never necessary to release stress on the manifest level. All stress release is supposed to be done at the silent unmanifest level. The truth is however, that many stresses can only be released on the "gross" level. That doesn[base ']t mean that you have to get abusive or violent, but you may need to punch a pillow, or cry, or laugh hysterically, or shiver, or just talk about it. You might require medical treatment such as chiropractic adjustments to free up blocked pathways so that the stress can be processed properly.
So many meditators just wallow in their own mud, forever afraid of going outside the boundaries of the movement to clear the gunk out. Meditation often liquefies really old "stuff" that had been laying dormant for many years (or even life times). You can[base ']t expect major traumas to be completely released silently during the same meditation session that caused that stress to awaken! Stress retraces the same path on the way out that it made on the way in. Sometimes that[base ']s really going to smart! The movement does not provide this knowledge or the proper technology for complete healing of major past traumas. Rather it looks the other way, like this is somehow "undignified".
If you saw the Joseph Campbell series on PBS about mythology and such, he mentioned that the hardest more terrifying thing anybody can attempt to do is pursue spiritual enlightenment. The movement should make it clear just how intense a process it is, how for every blast of bliss, there is also a blast of serious unstressing. More emphasis should be placed on exercise and activity. If you don't have a proper balance of responsibility and activity, you won't be able to integrate all that transcending. It's easy to go off the deep end when that happens.
It's too bad the TM movement can't admit its mistakes. I simple "I was wrong", or "I'm sorry" from Maharishi would be nice. This saving face stuff (the infallibility of the movement) reeks of an unenlightened consciousness. Only unenlightened leaders and managers can never admit they are wrong. It takes a very large and stubborn small-self style ego to presume that mistakes were never made. Anyone who would claim perfection is clearly not enlightened yet. If you say you are, then you are very probably not. The true light of spiritual fulfillment does not require an ego to house it. You have to be willing to surrender your ego in exchange for the truth of your higher Self.
People who are not interested in becoming enlightened should not practice the TM-Sidhi program. It's that simple. People who unstress their brains out should shorten their programs, increase their outward activity, and stay away from rounding. The trouble is, that most Sidhas are not fully honest about what they are experiencing. They don't want to be ostracized from the TM community, so they always say their experiences are "Smooth, blissful, etc." They fill out the forms the way they know they have to in order to get accepted on courses. This is largely the movement's fault. There is very little support for those people who are freaking out. Once you say you had counseling, or and some "roughness" in activity, then you can kiss your course acceptances goodbye.
The healthiest thing a Sidha can do is distance himself from the movement as much as possible. After your first 50 courses, there is little to be gained from attending another. There is so much more out there, so many more things to be learned outside the movement. Why restrict yourself? Once you get to the point where you really don't care if you never go on another course, the shackles of control have been removed. Only by reclaiming your free will can the journey to spiritual enlightenment begin. Learn all you can from the movement, and then get the hell out! If you spend all your time in the candy store, your teeth will rot, and you'll never eat again!
The movement is far more concerned with its public image than the mental health of its followers. This statement is true of any large spiritual or religious organization. The Catholic Church comes to mind as one of the longest lasting cults in existence. There are many parallels between the Roman Catholic Church and the movement. If TM is a cult, then most certainly, so is the RC Church. Yet the RC Church tries to cover this fact up by being anti-cult, and supporting the Cult Awareness Network. Ask any ex-Catholic, the church is full of all the same brain-washing non-sense. At least the movement has some valid and powerful spiritual techniques.
Anyway, enough said. I love the TM and TM-Sidhi program, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have learned it. It has allowed me to become spiritually self-sufficient, and therefore have the ability not to need a spiritual leader anymore. If you have the technology to contact the divine directly, then there is no need to be led around, and told what to do. There comes a time where you have to graduate from the boundaries of institutional control, and become a spiritual adult, capable of free thought, free will, and independent decision making. Any forward motion on any spiritual path requires this as a bare minimum.