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In the 1970’s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi held a series of SCI Symposiums on Transcendental Meditation® and a host of academic disciplines. As was his nature, Maharishi always viewed the discipline in the light of human evolution and socially in terms of peace and heaven on earth.

The following quotes are from the symposia on Literature and the humanities and collected in the book  The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language and Maharishi Speaks to Students: Mastery Over Natural Law.*

  • Literature is a flow of consciousness. It is a flow of life.
  • When we know literature to be the flow of consciousness, the flow of life, the flow of nature, the flow of infinity, totality, then we have to study it on the ground of that infinite, unbounded total value of consciousness.
  • Every poet incorporates within his natural flow, within the rhythmic orderly flow of the poem, the entirety of the universe.
  • A successful piece of literature is capable of giving a new direction to time.
  • The study of literature is a great training to enable the Absolute to be lived in all aspects of life.
  • Every literary impulse is in tune with the evolutionary process.
  • So the study of literature would even go so far as to develop Unity Consciousness.
  • The truths of creation are expressed in what we call poetry.
  • Poetry is the expression of living deep silence, is the breath of the silence, so to speak. The breath of cosmic life rises in that individual comprehension and bursts into speech, and then it flows from line to line, from line to line.
  • As consciousness becomes clearer through the practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation, it becomes more flexible and fluid, and on this basis it can comprehend all the mechanics that structure a literary work. Then the student can appreciate all the deepest values contained in a literary expression in a most natural, effortless way.
  • The study of literature enlivens the evolutionary nature latent in every student and enables him to develop spontaneous evolutionary action in life.
  • The study of literature is to make the individual wise, enabling him to act spontaneously in accordance with all the Laws of Nature. This state is developed through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique. Transcendental Meditation is thus the basis for studying literature.
  • There is some element of charm, some element of intellectual fulfillment that accompanies the wide range of meaning contained in a piece of literature.
  • Literature is the pride of speech.
  • What makes an expression a literary expression are those values in the consciousness of the writer—a very wide comprehension and the ability to contain the ocean in a drop.
  • The purpose of the study of literature is to be in tune with the depth of life.
  • The most beautiful literature contains more and more of the totality of creation, of the total value of nature.
  • Those literary pieces come to us as models of speech, and they stand before us a mirror of our own consciousness.
  • Shakespeare was the one writer in English literature who was able to take the language to the level where sound and form, or rhythm and form, come together.
  • When we analyze a literary expression, we can do justice to its writer only if we are completely impartial, and this is possible only when our level of consciousness is exactly the same as the level of consciousness of the writer.
  • If the reader has a higher level of consciousness than the writer, he will derive greater inspiration, greater charm, and greater meaning from whatever he reads. By expanding the consciousness of the reader, the practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Technique allows him to derive e maximum benefit from literature.

*Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language 1971 to 1976. Eds. Rhoda Orme-Johnson and Susan Andersen. Maharishi University Press. Fairfield, IA: 2010.

See also Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Maharishi Speaks to Students, volume 2, Theme six, Lecture 1: Literature and Maharishi Science of Creative Intelligence. Age of Enlightenment Publications, India: 1997

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