- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 5.1. Eliot uses Deussen’s Sechzig Upanishads des Veda p. 489 which translates these words as “Give, sympathize, control.”
- See Wallace, Orme-Johnson, Dillbeck, et al. for the collected papers containing extensive scientific research on the practice and benefits of the practical technologies of Maharishi Vedic Science, the Transcendental Meditation technique and the Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program.
- Time is different in different states of consciousness (Maharishi 1972, Maharishi 1991, pp. 30–31, R. Orme-Johnson, 1987, pp. 331–341, Alexander, 1987, pp. 78–80). Maharishi explains that the field of psychology recognizes three major states of consciousness: sleep, dreaming, and the waking state. In deep sleep, time does not exist, nor does anything else. During dreaming, time is unpredictable, with its own individual time-logic. In the waking state of consciousness, time changes with the quality of perception: time is different when we are sad or happy, alert or drowsy, etc. These are the ordinary states of consciousness, but Maharishi has identified four more states of consciousness that are developed by means of the Transcendental Meditation technique and the Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program.
When someone practices the Transcendental Meditation technique, Maharishi explains, that person experiences finer levels of awareness until the finest individual awareness is transcended and only pure awareness remains, or to put it in the theme of this paper, finer fields of time are experienced until only the field of eternity remains. What the mind experiences in this field of eternity, or pure awareness, is a state of consciousness completely different from the three ordinary states mentioned above. This state of consciousness should not be confused with an altered state of consciousness because its characteristics are unique. For example, the rest experienced during this state is measurably deeper than that found at any moment of deep sleep and, yet, electroencephalograph studies have demonstrated that the mind is even more alert than at any time during ordinary waking state of consciousness. What is experienced is a major fourth state of consciousness called TurÁya Chetna in Vedic Literature or what Maharishi terms Transcendental Consciousness, the foundation for developments of all higher states of consciousness (1966, pp. 50–57).
The following are Maharishi’s distinctions between the four higher states of consciousness beyond waking, sleeping, and dreaming and their connections to time and the timeless. The first experiences of eternity in this fourth state of consciousness are distinct but fleeting. However, “[a]fter some time of alternating that fourth state with the other three, the nervous system becomes habituated to maintaining that state of awareness” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1972, pp. 23–5). Over time the sense of the timeless becomes increasingly familiar, not only during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, but in the waking state of consciousness as well. This is growth towards the fifth state of consciousness—Cosmic Consciousness.
During the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, Maharishi states, the mind goes in and out of the fourth state of consciousness, Transcendental Consciousness, each time gaining greater familiarity with this deeper level of the Self. In Cosmic Consciousness the mind becomes permanently established in that transcendental field of pure consciousness. Thereafter, during both the inner experience of the Transcendental Meditation technique and the outer experience of dynamic activity, pure consciousness is not lost. In this state, the ego or small self comes to realize that it is the cosmic, infinite/eternal Self. “The characteristic of the fifth state is the co-existence of awareness of the unbounded along with awareness of boundaries” (Maharishi, 1972, pp. 23–5). Because the cosmic Self is immortal and unchanging, the permanent realization of this state proves that time is an illusion and that one is and always has been eternal. This is a new reality of time understood fully on the level of experience, and not available to the ordinary waking state of consciousness.
The original loss of this eternal status, Maharishi notes, had come about as a matter of forgetting, the way an amnesia victim might forget that she is an heiress to a fortune. The knowledge that life is eternal, lived in the state of Cosmic Consciousness, however, has taken place only on the level of inner awareness, not on the level of outer perception. Hence, in this fifth state of consciousness two distinct experiences of time exist. On the one hand, one has realized one’s own undivided, eternal nature; on the other, through the senses one continues to perceive a world of changes that define life in time. This is a new experience of duality in which both time and the timeless are lived simultaneously.
The sixth state of consciousness—God Consciousness—results from a refinement of the mechanism of perception as the emotions begin to flow in waves of bliss: Our perception becomes more refined. We could naturally imagine a state in which the finest perception would be possible, so that the finest relative value of the object of experience would become apparent to our perception. (Maharishi, 1972, pp. 23-6) In this state, life becomes more fascinating, more beautiful. Happiness develops exponentially, and time is naturally affected by this growing fulfillment. Life is lived less and less in the grip of time, and the ever increasing experience of bliss makes time less significant. Time passes with increasingly little notice in such a state of exalted joy.
The seventh state of consciousness—Unity Consciousness—the goal of all life and evolution, is a natural progression of the sixth state. When the organs of perception have been refined to their highest value, nothing remains for them but to realize their own unbounded, eternal condition. In Unity Consciousness, the means of perception have been raised to the same status as one’s mind in Cosmic Consciousness. “In this situation, the finest relative perception rises to the level of the infinite value of perception” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1972, pp. 23–9). In this Unity Consciousness, now not only am I eternal, but everything I see is also eternal. Change and time continue to be perceived on a superficial level of life, but now their deeper nature, non-change and eternity, is simultaneously perceived. In Unity Consciousness, all opposites such as relative and absolute, change and non-change, time and eternity are unified in the knowledge— intellectual and experiential—that only one reality exists; all life is the same transcendental, immortal, pure consciousness. The experience of duality that characterizes Cosmic Consciousness—time in the form of waking state of consciousness coexisting with the timeless in the form of Transcendental Consciousness—is replaced by the two timelessnesses, subjective and objective, in Unity Consciousness. In this state everything is experienced on the level of eternity. For a more detailed explanation of higher states of consciousness according to Maharishi Vedic Science, see Orme-Johnson 1987 and Alexander et al, 1987.
- Dharma, Maharishi explains, “is that which promotes worldly prosperity and spiritual freedom” (1967, p. 26).
- Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” (1971, p. 208). Thomas also felt the aged should not be pathetically cowed by time and existence:
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
- Unless we consider such Zen-like, seemingly impractical instructions as to “go by the way in which you are not” from East Coker as useful guides.
- The Maharishi Effect works on the level of collective consciousness, a term that means the atmosphere or influence created by any collection of individuals in any society. For example, if the singers in a choir all sing together, then harmony is their collective effect; if they sing off key and out of time then randomness is their collective effect. Taking this example to the level of social interaction, if the individuals in a particular society are orderly they will create an orderly society. Contrastingly, if the individuals are dominantly incoherent, they will produce an incoherent collective consciousness that exhibits itself in various ways antithetical to quality of life. Maharishi explains, All occurrences of violence, negativity, conflicts, crises or problems in any society are just the expression of growth of stress in the collective consciousness. When the level of stress becomes sufficiently great, it bursts out into external violence and war, or internal crime, accidents and disorder. (cited in Oates, 1990, p. 47) The heartening element in this grim portrait of social entropy is the implication that there is one solution to all social problems, namely reducing stress. The Transcendental Meditation technique which has proven itself for years to be effective in reducing individual stress was put to the test in the early 1970s to see if it were equally effective in reducing societal stress. Realizing that orderly individuals, acting more in harmony with the deepest Laws of Nature, were more influential than disorderly individuals, Maharishi predicted that a few people practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, as few as 1% of a given populace, could have a great harmonizing effect on society. This prediction was proven correct in 1974 in a study by Landrith and Borland which showed that crime significantly decreased in cities that had at least 1% of the population practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique (Landrith). Since that early study the Maharishi Effect has been replicated many times, even demonstrated to reduce violence during wars such as those in Zambia and Nicaragua (Oates, 1990, pp. 41–43). The Maharishi Effect has, moreover, become significantly more effective with the addition of the advanced Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program. To produce significant social improvements, this technique reduced the requirements from 1% of the population practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique to the square root of 1% of people practicing the TM-Sidhi program. Practiced together in groups, a much more manageable harmonizing force came into play (called Super Radiance) that greatly enhanced the prospects for solving mankind’s ancient problems.
- “by means of gaining the state of enlightenment, ‘the activities of the senses and of the life-breath’ are offered ‘in the fire of yoga’” (1967, p. 296).
- Consider “Mauberley’s” opening stanza:
For three years, out of key with his time,
He strove to resuscitate the dead art
Of poetry; to maintain “the sublime”
In the old sense. Wrong from the start—
- This position of course has been statistically contradicted by the millions who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique and experience Transcendental Consciousness on a daily basis.
- Rhoda Orme-Johnson (1987) debates this issue in a section entitled “Levels of the Mind and the Nature of Language” in “A Unified Field Theory of Literature,” Modern Science and Vedic Science 1,3 pp. 341–348.
- Emerson’s lines echo 2.19 of the Bhagavad-Gita: He who understands him to be the slayer,and he who takes him to be the slain, both fail to perceive the truth. He neither slays nor is slain.