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When I ask that, not defending it. I am giving you the chance to explain what is wrong with it.
TM? What's wrong with it depends on whether you ask about the leader and organization or the technique.
1. The organization in the inner circle of highly dedicated TMers and the leader have totalist cult agendas, highly political, theocratic notions and are in denial about all the damage through deceit to members and "violence" to the Hindu tradition the group has done. TM is to Hinduism what Jim & Tammy Bakker were to Christianity, theme parks and all.
From wikipedia on TM: "These cult-like tendencies were also noted in Michael A. Persinger's book, TM and Cult Mania, published in 1980."
That is a good book but out of print. Persinger is a well-known neuro-scientist in Canada.
--- also see Rickross.com site for dozens of articles like this one:
I visited the TM "city" and "university" near Fairfield IA where the golden domes are [male-female] twice.
2. The TM technique is nothing special, just simple mental repetition of mantras like "iang" [they give them out according to birthyear--nothing personal]and "suttras" like "Lightness of cotton fiber, strength of an elephant". That last one is the very expensive, secret mantra/suttra one receives at an upper level TM course to use when trying to "fly" yogically.
I just saved you maybe, more or less, $7,000
Have fun flying...
"Initially, (in the early 1960’s) there were only two TM mantras, “Ram” for males, and “Shiriram” for females. There are now around 16 of them, as well as some “advanced” mantras, such as “shri shri aing namah namah.” These mantras invoke the names of Hindu deities.
A complete list of the “secret” TM mantras can be found here."
As one ex-TMer told me, the Maharishi has a great scam business: He sells magic words and there is no need for inventory....
I cannot resist posting this ex-TMer's words from site mentioned above:
"Disclaimer - read this first.
All information here is provided for historical and research purposes only. Information and program details obtained from this website are not to be used for the purpose of meditation. Website contents are not furnished for the facilitation of, or use in, meditation, any kind of mental practice or exercise, or for any other purpose whatsoever. This website and its author do not and will not provide meditation instruction by any means.
Repetitious? Yes, because some people can't take a hint.
Provided for historical and research purposes only. That means, these mantras and other information about these programs are not here for you to use for "meditation," or use them for any other purpose.
In case it isn't already obvious to you, this website is that of a critic who no longer practices TM, and who is, depending on the weather, indifferent to TM, critical of TM, and openly laughing at the silliness of the TM programs. (You wasted your money on this crap? [Join the club.]) And, yeah, every so often I'm just a tiny, tiny bit angry at the fact that a very few people have gained wealth and power through the creation of this very elaborate, intricate, complicated mountain of bull****, through which many people have wasted thousands of dollars and many hours if not lifetimes. But this website is done, it's been sitting here mostly unchanged for almost ten years, and frankly I now care very little about Transcendental Meditation and the organizations that teach it, except as a cultural and social phenomenon specific to a few decades of contemporary American history. Nor do I care what you think of me or this website.
The mantras and program details were provided to me by former TM teachers in the distant past. They are placed here just to show that all they are, are a few silly little syllables that are neither unique to the meditator nor were they selected by some elaborate secret method."
Same thing in India. People are told it is "their very own secret mantra." In reality, they're recycled (the mantras, not the people.) So often they're saying the same thing using other words. Example, "shri" is just a manner of respectfully addressing an adult male. In fact, instead of "Mr." on letters to my family, the male is addressed on the envelope as "Shri." As far as mantras go, I find the Gayatri Mantra to be beautiful. I certainly hope no TM'ers have butchered that!
OT: My dog has kept me awake all night...eeeeek! Perhaps he could use a mantra - such as Neine! Bleib! Platz!
Thank you. Fair enough.
I can already "fly"...soaring on the wings of song, for instance,or sometimes, get high on life. Or with $7,000.00, I can take several exciting trips in an aeroplane.
So, TM is another case where you don't get what you pay for, and you have to buy a whole mess of potage with it?
Wondering, if the practice of TM (without the other garbage) is an evil in and of itself.
But, Joe, I did actually see one of my schoolmates levitate. He was at my house, and he had just arrived - no way were there strings, wires or pulleys involved. Maybe I was hypnotized? That's a joke - In spite of efforts by a psychiatrist when I was in my 20s, I am not susceptible to that particular phenom. And I don't tend to hallucinate, either. That made me think there might be something in TM. Still, did not choose to learn TM.
Answering my own question in part, I have noticed that people who spend a lot of time practicing TM seem stoned! There was a popular YOGI who was so 'happy' he struck one as an imbecile. I think it taps into endorphins, or can be used to do that. But so can some forms of exercise. Or sex. Suppose that it could become an addiction.
While it can be a good thing to still mental clutter and go within, and one really could, perhaps, discover inner stillness and peace, over time this practice could divorce one from reality, if too much time is spent on it, at the expense of more mundane but necessary activities.
Like the C & E taught at the ranch, or like 'focusing?
G2G, LOL LOL! Mantras for dogs...FOOOD, FOOOOD, FOOOOD...KONG, KONG, KONG.
Great post, Joe. That webmaster is too funny, and not subtle at all.
"Nor do I care what you think of me or this website."
ROFL ! Amen to that !