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Pearson, Craig Alan
The supreme awakening: Maharishi's model of higher states of consciousness applied to the experiences of individuals through history (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi).

Order No. 3053342

This dissertation extends and elaborates a theory of human development which significantly advances what is commonly considered possible for human life. The research entailed collection and multiple analysis of historical texts, specifically personal descriptions of exalted experiences from a range of individuals representing a range of cultural, religious, and historical periods.

These accounts were collected and analyzed in the light of the understanding of higher states of consciousness brought to light from the ancient Vedic tradition of knowledge by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Maharishi has described the range of human development as consisting of seven states of consciousness altogether; beyond the three common states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, he has described four higher states of consciousness, termed Transcendental Consciousness, Cosmic Consciousness, God Consciousness, and Unity Consciousness. This dissertation compiles and analyzes experiences suggestive of the first two of the higher states, Transcendental Consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness.

The accounts were analyzed (1) in terms of the chief features of higher states of consciousness as set forth by Maharishi, (2) in light of the results of the extensive scientific research on higher states of consciousness (as elicited by Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation(r) and TM-Sidhi(r) programs) that has been conducted over the past 35 years, (3) in light of the proposed identity between pure consciousness and the unified field of all the laws of nature, and (4) in terms of the meta-themes of experience that emerge from these accounts taken collectively. The results suggest that higher states of consciousness, experienced even as glimpses, are universal, i.e., that they are independent of cultural background and historical epoch. The results extend and elaborate the model of higher states of consciousness and demonstrates the model's power to illuminate descriptions of exalted experiences by individuals through history.


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