King, Michael Sandford
Nature's intelligence or human reason? Natural Law in Maharishi's Vedic Science and in legal and ethical thought.

Order No.9735104

Most Western natural law theories assert that there is an order in nature from which universal moral norms--'natural law'--can be derived through a process of reasoning for the purpose of promoting right conduct and just law. Criticisms of these theories include: fallacious reasoning--in attempting to derive an 'ought' from an 'is'--being inevitably colored by the theorist's subjectivity, and offering no practical formula for achieving their purpose.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's new approach to natural law avoids these problems. Unlike natural law theories, his Vedic Science is not based on a process of reasoning, but on a universal, invariant field of pure consciousness, which although not commonly experienced, is the fundamental level of awareness--the Self. Within pure consciousness, Maharishi teaches, is the blueprint of nature, the universal, impersonal intelligence ordering the universe, which he calls 'Natural Law.' But he does not derive universal moral norms from it. Instead, his principle is that his Transcendental Meditationa® and TM-Sidhia® programs allow the awareness of anyone to effortlessly settle down from the surface levels that usually engage it to experience pure consciousness, thereby aligning individual intelligence with universal intelligence, dissolving stress in mind and body that causes errant behavior, and promoting right action and fulfillment in life.

Maharishi holds that stressed individuals create a stressed society, typified by chronic social problems and ineffective government. Such problems cannot be solved by moral codes, legislation, or law-enforcement alone, for they do not remove their underlying cause. Maharishi proposes collective practice of his Transcendental Meditation and TM Sidhi programs to dissolve stress in collective consciousness and promote positive trends in society, its government and law. Over 500 scientific studies verify Maharishi's approach to promoting right conduct and an ideal, harmonious society.

This dissertation asserts that the practice of an inner self- development method to align individual intelligence with universal intelligence to promote wisdom, virtue, and right action was advocated by Aquinas--the classical natural law exponent--and by Plato, Stoic philosophers, and others, but that without self-development techniques the ideal of action in accord with natural law became distorted. Source: DAI, 58, no. 06A, (1997): 2243


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