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The TM-Sidhi® Program: you become convinced that bumping on your butt is "the first stage of levitation"

At this point you are a pretty thoroughly "cooked" frog. That is, you have internalized the TM dogmatic worldview. The TM dogmatic reality has become your reality. Regular periods of trance induction and dissociation have become a regular part of your life.  Not only that, but you have volunteered for extra post-trance dogmatic indoctrination by attending meetings at the TM center, and you have read TM literature and Mahesh's books at home.  You have been to several week-end residence courses, perhaps even to a week-long residence course at MUM.

You are fully invested in the principle that deep rest and the resulting release of "deep-rooted stress" are the keys to happiness, and are eventually the keys to the state of perfection that is Cosmic Consciousness. This is true not only for yourself but also for all of mankind.  Not only that, but these teachings are the only keys to world peace, and TM is therefore the ultimate and only hope for all mankind!

You're so well cooked that when you are told that you can be taught to levitate, and to gain other supernormal powers, you believe it! You plop down another several thousand dollars and sign up to learn the "sidhis."

What are the "Sidhis"?

In the nearest Western terminology, the "siddhis" (that's the traditional spelling) are "paranormal powers."  The term and the concept is a traditional component of "yoga" (taken in the broad sense rather than just as stretching exercises).

Since "siddhi" is a common term in India it was not eligible for trademark, so Mahesh changed to the spelling to "sidhi" and established "TM-Sidhi" ® as one of his many trademarks.  His "TM-Sidhi Program" consists of techniques that are purportedly for the acquisition of these paranormal powers.  The most famous "sidhi" (I'll use his spelling) is the "flying sidhi", also called "levitation" or "yogic flying."

The next stop in your fall down the rabbit hole beckons

By the time you have fallen this far down the TM rabbit hole you will know that there are some TM teachers and meditators who meet daily in the TM center, as a group, to do their "sidhi program" together.  And by now you will have been indoctrinated into Mahesh's dogma that groups of meditators and "sidhas" (meaning "those who practice the sidhis") who perform their techniques together create a more "coherent effect on the environment."  Translated from TM-speak, this means that they have a beneficent paranormal influence on everything in the universe, but especially everything in their physical proximity.

So the next stage in your fall down the rabbit hole is to become a "sidha."  You sign up for the course.  The teachers in your local TM center decide that you are "stable" and they endorse the application. ("Stable" means that you are dogmatically pure and that you don't show obvious signs of psychological damage from TM practice.) You hand over several thousand dollars and you're set to go.

Mahesh's course in miracles

The "sidhi course" starts by looking just like your other residence courses.  You do extra "rounds" and become pretty continuously dissociated.  Then, at one lecture they start your actual "sidhi" instruction by planting a suggestion.  The suggestion is that when you gently think a certain very special thought called a "sutra" that you will have a "flavor of experience."  This "flavor of experience" will be in some way associated with the paranormal power that supposedly results from using that sutra.  Over a number of sessions you are taught many such "sutras."

For example, when you gently think the words "Strength of an elephant" as instructed while in trance or post-trance state after doing the standard TM technique, then sure enough you have a "flavor of experience" having to do with "strength" just as you were told you would.  "It works!" you think. (This sutra is supposed to eventually literally give you the strength of an elephant.)

But all that really happened was that it was suggested that you would have such an experience, so you did! You wouldn't be here if you hadn't already demonstrated yourself to be vulnerable to in-trance and post-trance suggestion. And there is so much rounding at a sidhi training course that you are probably never out of a trance state at all!

At this point in your TM fall you will believe anything!

The "flying sutra" is the one you've really been looking forward to.  You've been hearing about this, after all, for quite some time, ever since you learned TM!  It is the very last sidhi you are taught, and it is a huge event.  After learning the sutra your entire class goes off, filled with anticipation, to a large room or hall.

The large room is covered literally wall to wall with foam-rubber mattresses. You all sit cross-legged on them and meditate. At a signal you all stop meditating, and then with eyes closed, and while in an in-trance dissociated state, you all gently think the words of the flying sutra. The words are "Relationship of body and akasha, lightness of cotton fiber."

The suggestion has already been strongly planted in you that the expected thing to do is to hop forward.  This is because you've been hearing, perhaps for years now, that this constitutes the "first stage of levitation" and it is therefore what you yourself will experience.

Soon one course member indeed hops forward.  Then another.  Then the someone hops twice in a row.  Yet another person hops forward.  Some people don't hop, but most of those will be twitching upward in place as though they are about to take off but aren't quite making it. 

Then it's like popcorn going off, with people hopping on their butts up and down the room. You are experiencing the first stage of levitation! (That video has whimsical music but it's an actual video of TMers thinking that they are levitating!) It's an incredible rush. Once again, Mahesh's teachings have been "validated in your own personal experience."

But, of course, you really haven't performed anything of the sort. So what has really happened to you?  All you have done is to practice auto-suggestion during a trance state.  Your leg muscles push you up and forward in that way only in order to fulfill the planted suggestion that the "flying sutra" will produce "the first stage of yogic flying." You're not doing this deliberately, you think that it is happening naturally. The popcorn effect is because once the first person hops the suggestion is even more strongly reinforced in the others that they can hop too.

And you have paid a lot of money for this. Even worse, you think that you've received much more than your money's worth!

You have reached the point where you will believe anything!

But even now you haven't reached the bottom of the TM rabbit hole...

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