Support Our Sponsors -- Support Us!

Ad Info [an error occurred while processing this directive]
TranceNet Home Page
[home] [research] [getting started] [law] [personal stories] [secrets] [news] [about Trancenet]

Overview and Comments
3 Days Checking Notes, 2

35 "Science of Creative Intelligence." During the introductory lectures TM teachers frequently reassure you that TM is not a religion, philosophy, lifestyle, and so forth. Yet during the Second Night, without explanation or warning, they begin discussion and indoctrination into the Maharishi's theology. SCI has been found by American courts to be religious and a religion, and so subject to the constitutional sanctions and protections of all other religions.

36 "A new page of the book of history of his life" Note the heightened, even apocalyptic language that the Maharishi uses to describe the second day of meditation. Lifton discusses "loading the language," "sacred science," and "dispensing of existence." One theme that neither he nor other theorists discuss to my knowledge is "apocalyptic vision." Although this theme might be considered a cross set of Lifton's eight themes, it is such a prevalent characteristic in its own right, that I would argue it deserves it's own status as a ninth.

How does one motivate a "customer" to buy a product right now? "One-day" sales. "Going out of business" sales. "Normally, I wouldn't do this, but I need to make my quota today...." "You never know when an earthquake might hit, you better be prepared now." "You never know when your loved one might have a blowout on the highway."

The sales person looks for some specific reason to act now or lose the opportunity -- even hinting at dire consequences if you fail to act in time.

"Cults," especially religious ones, have raised this technique to an art form. In multi-level marketing, the group leader urges that you must join at the earliest possible level to become wealthy and avoid poverty -- several even suggest you can preserve the "American way of life" only if you join as soon as possible. Religious cults nearly all portray their organization as the only means to defeat the "forces of evil," perhaps even to avert the destruction of the world.

Here in this innocent phrase, the Maharishi begins to prepare the new initiate for this apocalyptic vision. Using language reminiscent of "being born again," he begins to intimate that there is much more to TM than simple relaxation -- with forces and consequences at stake far beyond reducing personal anxiety.

It is not unusual for long-term, committed TMers to assert that TM "saved their life," "saved America," even averted World War III. This belief is frequently cited as justification for whatever deception the TM movement and the Maharishi used to trick them into starting meditation.

37 More than one TM supporter has insisted that TM includes no rite of confession as defined by Lifton: "sessions in which one confesses to one's sin ... accompanied by patterns of criticism and self-criticism, generally transpiring within small groups with an active and dynamic thrust toward personal change .... An act of symbolic self-surrender.... Makes it virtually impossible to attain a reasonable balance between worth and humility" TM-EX refers to the checking procedures as similar to confession -- and this seems reasonable. But by far the most obvious example of confession in the TM movement takes place in the dozens of forms, requiring intimate details of one's personal life, which one must complete before each level of instruction, subjected to a thorough review and judgment at the local, national, and international levels. As I point out in the discussion of these forms, they are one of the main engines of fear and control in the TM movement.

39 The theory of "stress release" is unique to TM, with no known correlate in Western Science or Vedic literature. The closest analogue is the "burning of the seeds of karma" in the Bhagavad Gita, and the kriyas in Kundalini and similar Tantric yogas.

40 The Maharishi refers to "stress" as a "foreign material" in the physical body -- a highly pseudo-scientific understanding. See the German Study for an interesting discussion of this theory. The Study also discusses the relationship of stress and karma.

41 The "snowplow" analogy goes something like this: "When a snowplow clears a road it throws snow off to the side. That way, it not only removes the obstruction but moves ahead at maximum speed. TM is like that. We don't bother with the stresses one at a time -- or obstruct our path with piles of debris from release of stress. With maximum grace and efficiency, we clear the way and advance at the same time."

42 "We may feel some uneasiness, some roughness." Try as hard as you might, you will find no reference to "roughness" in the introductory lectures to TM. Yet here two days after instruction, the Maharishi is letting new initiates in on the secret: "Fasten your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride." Initially, he talks about roughness only in meditation, but in the later in this evening he will reference roughness outside of meditation -- the infamous "unstressing," or negative side effects of TM, that begin showing up for many TMers within a short time. Also the neat use of reframing. New meditators don't want to quit TM because it is boring, actually "something good is happening."

43 "During meditation, unknowingly, some little effort has occurred and owing to that some stress has accumulated." According to the Maharishi, not only is TM powerful, but even a slight mistake can be "dangerous." A far cry from the "easy, natural technique" promised in the introductory lectures! Interestingly enough, the Maharishi's insistence that "straining" or concentrating can cause headaches and other unpleasant sensations seems to simply be false. Silva Mind Control, most Yogic meditations, candle-gazing, in fact most meditations, recommend intent concentration. But there is no indication that any of these produce any more headaches or discomfort than does TM. In fact, during my nearly 20 years of teaching TM, the few practitioners of "other systems" that I instructed all questioned this point vociferously. I suspect that the Maharishi is laying down a smoke screen here: If anything is unpleasant, it must be your fault for trying.

44 "In case some of it continues to be felt after two minutes, don't mind -- easily get up and start activity." More reframing of a normal experience as somehow magical. Sleep researchers find that most people move from light Stage I REM sleep to Stage II or even III sleep within 20 to 30 minutes. This can disrupt the body's clock. We all experience waking up from a light afternoon nap refreshed. But if we are awakened from Stage II or III sleep, the body and mind have begun the process of shutting down, becoming immobile, and so forth. The result? If we awaken from too deep an afternoon nap, we may feel groggy, sluggish, feel disoriented, or have various unpleasant sensations in the body. No need to invoke "stress release" or any other cosmic process. Yet this experience becomes yet another "proof" that TM works for the committed TMer.

45 "Whether during meditation we find the inward or outward predominates...." More nonfalsifiable tautology.

[ top ]

[ on to Overview, 3rd Night ]

[ back to Checking/Initiation Table of Contents ]

[home] [research] [getting started] [law] [personal stories] [secrets] [news] [about Trancenet]

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

This page was last built with Frontier on a Macintosh on Sat, Feb 22, 1997 at 1:18:55 AM.