The TM Doctrine of Spiritual Darwinism -- there is something wrong with you!
Some people fall down the TM rabbit hole and end up crashing and burning psychologically. What is the response of Mahesh and his organization to such casualties?
TM is an "esoteric" religious sect
This is the point where I want to emphasize something: Transcendental Meditation is an esoteric religious sect. By esoteric I mean that the "outer teachings" that are made available to the public are different from the "inner teachings" that are made available to initiates. And there are deeper and deeper levels of "inner teachings" as you "advance."
TM has "basic articles of faith"
Before going on, you should understand that, in the TM dogmatic system, the most basic articles of faith are these:
(1) Mahesh is the enlightened representative of the "Holy Tradition", which is the greatest tradition of spiritual teachers that the planet has ever seen.
(2) Mahesh is teaching the highest spiritual teaching that the planet has ever seen. The Holy Tradition has guarded and preserved the "purity" of this teaching since literally the dawn of Creation. Mahesh received his teachings directly from the Holy Tradition.
(3) The practice of Transcendental Meditation always has only beneficial effects for everyone, without exception.
All other TM doctrine is founded on those articles of faith. Notice that your own indoctrination into these articles of faith began with your very first "introductory lecture" (except for the part about Mahesh's enlightenment, which officially is only implied but which is absorbed through the pores after you've been involved with TM for awhile).
An introduction to the "TM Doctrine of Spiritual Darwinism"
You need to first understand that your TM instruction was rife with mental reservation from the time you walked into the first introductory lecture until the time you left the "third night of checking" meeting. You had no real idea of what you were really getting into. Here is just some of the TM esoteric inner doctrine that you don't find out about until later as you continue your descent:
- During the third group meeting after personal instruction you were told that all that you needed to do in order to attain Cosmic Consciousness was to meditate for "twenty minutes twice a day." In fact, you will eventually learn that you must practice TM much much more than "20 minutes twice a day" if you are to attain CC. Meditating 20x2 will only release fairly superficial stresses. It will not release the really deep stresses (remember that all stress must be released in order to attain CC). In order to release these really deep stresses you need to do "long rounding" where you practice TM and the sidhis several times a day, for months or years. This is why people move to Fairfield in order to fly in the Golden Domes, and why people sign up to become Purushas or Mother Divines.
- A TM dogmatic principle that won't be explicitly revealed to you until farther down the rabbit hole is that "TM is the highest spiritual teaching on the planet, much higher than any other spiritual teaching ever taught, and the practice of TM is always completely and absolutely good for everyone."
- In the introductory lectures you were never told that there could possibly be anything unpleasant about the practice of TM. This was lying by omission. As usual, this was done for you own good. If you had been informed that TM could produce unpleasant experiences, then you might not have started. As usual, that would have been tragic. The true TM dogmatic position is: Spiritual "evolution" is not for the weak. The practice of Transcendental Meditation makes spiritual evolution as easy and fast as possible, of course. However, TM inner doctrine explicitly teaches that releasing those "deep stresses" will unavoidably produce intense mental, emotional, and physical discomfort.
The "Doctrine of Spiritual Darwinism", then, is this: If you ever abandon the practice of TM because things are getting too painful, or because you are so dissociated that you are having trouble functioning in the real world, then it was definitely not a problem with TM. Instead, there was something wrong with you! One of the below must apply:
- You were not practicing TM as exactly as instructed.
- Something good was happening. You quit TM because you were too weak in a character to handle the powerful spiritual evolutionary forces unleashed by TM.
- You had serious pre-existing psychological problems.
- You did not have the right moral intentions to begin with.
You might be told that you probably didn't precisely follow the instructions on how to meditate." The "logic" behind this goes something like this:
"Since the practice of TM produces only positive effects then you might not have really been actually practicing TM. That is, you were probably either ignoring or misunderstanding some of the instructions given by your TM teachers. This means that you were not practicing TM, but you were only practicing something somewhat similar to TM. And, of course, we don't know what results will arise from anything other than the practice of the authentic TM technique."
Therefore: "That is probably why you had some negative outcome. You were probably doing it incorrectly. Please come in and have your practice of TM checked."
After that you are in a bit of a double-bind. If you do go in and have your "practice of TM checked" (i.e., if you come in for re-indoctrination), then you are postponing what you should really do in the face of toxic symptoms, which is to quit. But, if you do not go in and have your "practice of TM checked" (i.e. if you do the healthy thing and just drop the practice completely), then TM advocates will feel quite justified in continuing to say that you must have been doing it incorrectly.
Recall that no matter how uncomfortable you become as a result of TM that "something good is happening." You should have continued with the practice (perhaps at a reduced number of minutes per day as instructed by your a teacher), and then everything would have eventually worked out when these stresses released.
In short, if you quit the practice then you were just too weak to handle the beneficial process of unstressing!"
As mentioned above, when they gave you the impression in the introductory lectures and basic course that everything about TM was "easy" they were again practicing a mental reservation. And, as always, they were doing it "for you own good." In fact, when you learn the actual TM doctrine on the subject, you learn that you must be prepared to endure the sometimes extreme suffering of "unstressing" in order to release all of those stresses that keep you from happiness and from spiritual advancement.
So, if you were "too weak" to endure the sufferings that are required in order to gain spiritual advancement, then that is your own problem!
Sometimes, you can convince the TM advocate that not only did you practice the technique "correctly", but that you also displayed a heroic ability to endure the sufferings caused by "release of stress."
In that case, the TM advocate has to dig much deeper for a rationalization. But they might refer to the TM dogma that "the practice of TM produces only positive effects" and say:
"You did follow instructions, and you did try to stick it out and let the unstressing complete, but you crashed anyway? In that case, "you must have had serious psychological problems before starting TM."
This one is my favorite. Did they warn you in the introductory lectures not to start TM if you had pre-existing "serious psychological problems"? Wasn't TM supposed to help with whatever was keeping you from unlimited happiness? Not when it's time for rationalizations.
This is the ultimate rationalization. It is a correlate of the basic TM article of faith that TM is the highest spiritual teaching that has ever been taught on the planet. You are really not a seeker after spiritual evolution. Even worse, you might have been deliberately in league with, or influenced by, demons.
If you relentlessly criticize and attack TM, therefore, certain conclusions become inescapable. Therefore, if none of the previously mentioned rationalizations suffice, then this one can be used either alone or in combination with any of the above: "You are obviously a negative, possibly even malicious, person."
The dehumanization of TM casualties
"TM Spiritual Darwinism" leads to a dehumanizing attitude among serious TM practitioners towards those who crash and burn as a result of following Mahesh's teachings. TM advocates usually display a shockingly callous lack of concern about those who experience difficulties after beginning TM practice.
Where do these attitudes arise? From Mahesh himself. The whole attitude of "Spiritual Darwinism", including the common lack of concern and compassion for those who crash and burn, reflects Mahesh's own personal attitude.
One memory that stands out for me is from the taping of the "Science of Creative Intelligence" (SCI) course. My Teacher Training Course (TTC) (the one I describe in my story) had recently ended. One day there was a break from the SCI taping, and Mahesh began discussing the problem of one of the TTC course participants going back home and having to be placed in a mental institution by his father, who was a psychiatrist.
The striking thing is that Mahesh conveyed absolutely zero sense of
concern about the son. Instead, Mahesh issued a general complaint
about the poor state of the TTC qualification procedure that had allowed such
a "weak" person into the TTC.