Friday, April 04, 2008

The World is as We Are... (two)

Maharishi Namaste
Originally uploaded by saeed_tm

I’ve not commented here about the passing of Maharishi on February 6th.
I haven’t felt compelled to.
But, the other evening after work I climbed up into the attic, pulled out the box labeled “Patty’s Old Life” and sorted through the notebooks and memorabilia from my days with Maharishi.
The pages are quite yellow now around the edges. The writing and doodles are familiar, unforgettable.

I made some tea and took a stack to the back deck.
I don’t know what I wanted to find. Nothing seemed quite right, nothing totally compelling. The strangest feeling began stirring.
“Am I past all this?”

I copied a few passages to a yellow legal pad. Some of these may be of interest to you.
And while I can’t swear that I took down Maharishi’s words verbatim, I was fresh out of college and my note taking skills were well honed. I caught most of what was said.

I smiled at these lines. They've come to me often in these intervening years.
Maharishi had decided we should take three days of silence. I had no idea what “taking silence” even meant. So he was explaining.
We were to stay in our rooms alone, meditating day and night. A thermos of hot soup would be delivered to our door:

April, 1972:

You should have the chance to experience what makes men spend months and years of their lives by themselves in caves. What they live on is that sweet bliss of inner awareness.

And then he added as an after thought, “And you should have some chips, potato chips.”
Sure enough the next day there was a small bag of chips along side the thermos of soup.
I loved him for that gesture.

July 8th, 1971. Maharishi on how to give an introductory lecture:

Most people don’t understand why collective calamities occur from stressed individuals - be it riots, wars, or earthquakes. Explain how the atmosphere holds only so much tension. Use your own experience of a tense house.

All efforts have failed because wars still occur. Therefore, the problem is unsolvable according to history. If the problem is so big, let’s break it down and try to solve the small problems. Then maybe this generation can be the first to solve the big one.

The problem is the individual.

April 10th, 1972:
There was a question – a woman from Rio was worried that she somehow hypnotized her audience when she gave introductory lectures. The head of the local TM center was also concerned. Her audiences said they felt hypnotized and everyone always signed up to learn. How could this be?

People get wrapped up in the reality of hope. More credit should be given to the people of Rio than to the lecturer. They must be very inspired people.
They hear the beautiful possibilities and they are stunned by the shock of the truth.

“Stunned by the shock of the truth”… “the reality of hope.”
Suddenly, I saw this year’s election cycle and “the politics of hope.”
Samsara and politics. One generation and the next,
time and passages.
Maybe this generation. If not, when?
Suddenly, I felt compelled.

The world is as we are.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Summer, 1971.

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