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DECEMBER 18, 2010 • ISSUE 106

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Dr. Rhoda Orme-Johnson

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Dr. Susan Andersen

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The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Language and Literature

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Dr. Orme-Johnson (right) at a book signing in the University Store

First Book of Maharishi’s Lectures Explores Literature and Language

A new book edited by retired literature faculty members Dr. Rhoda Orme-Johnson and Dr. Susan Andersen features transcriptions of Maharishi’s talks on literature and language. Titled The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Language and Literature, this is the first volume in a series covering Maharishi’s lectures on many different disciplines, including art and education.

The 14 lectures were given in the years 1971-76 while Maharishi was working with the faculty to develop the curriculum for Maharishi International University.

“We used these talks in the teaching of our literature courses,” Dr. Orme-Johnson said. “Maharishi’s descriptions of the processes of writing, reading, and teaching literature are brilliant and they provided directions for our own research and writing.”

An extended introduction provides context for the talks, including a history of Maharishi’s Worldwide Movement for the Transcendental Meditation® program.

The first half of the book covers the topic of literature and includes talks on literature as the link between objective reality and universality. Maharishi also discusses the ways in which writing and reading of literature can develop consciousness.

“No matter what one sees, one sees evolution there, and because evolution is one’s own nature, one sees one’s own nature in everything, and this reference to the Self makes everything enjoyable. So the study of literature would even go so far as to develop unity consciousness,” said Maharishi.

The second part covers language, including talks on the principles of communication, the enlivening of consciousness as the basis of all languages and communication, and how language reflects the laws of nature of a particular geographical region.

This is a beautiful book,” said Dr. Craig Pearson, University executive vice-president. “Maharishi discourses with great wisdom and simplicity on the role of literature, language, and creativity in life -- and how literature is brought to fulfillment through development of consciousness. We hear Maharishi’s voice on every page. This is a book everyone can enjoy.”

Professor Orme-Johnson was one of the founding faculty and taught for 19 years at the University. She was chair of the Department of Literature and Languages. Susan Andersen taught literature at MUM for 22 years and also served as chair of the Department of Literature and Languages.
The book is currently available from MUM Press.

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