Monday, December 1, 2008

TM seems bogus

David Lynch is into transcendental meditation. Here he is, interviewed, being pushed, and acting cranky. David Lynch is a successful artist, and has been called, by Tom McCarthy (winner of the believer book award and co-founder of the international necro-nautical society), ‘one of the most interesting artists.’*

*Not an exact quote

I downloaded ‘Catching the Big Fish’ after learning it will be turned into a mini-series that will be web-broadcast. I liked listening to Lynch, and thought: ‘yes, I should learn to ‘plunge inward’ and ‘expand my container’ and ‘experience the unified field.’’

I wrote them, and then called them – the TM people. At first they emailed me ad copy, which spoke of a free orientation meeting. If I chose to go on there would be eight intensive lessons. They gave a phone number to call to book my orientation, and I did. A woman answered the phone, and said that there they had taught 38000 New Yorkers since inception. She went back over the part about the intensive lessons and mentioned a personalized mantra that I would receive from the teachers. I was told that the ‘teaching’ would cost $2000. I told her that this dissapointed me immensely.

After hanging up, I googled something like ‘Transcendental Meditation Bogus’ and came up with a lot of results – people who said it wasn’t worth shit. People who felt exploited. I read about the guru guy, Maharishi Mehish Yogi, and learned that he makes a lot of money off of the ‘teaching.’ I learned that the 'personalized mantra' which you are to tell to nobody else, is not really personalized. They give everyone the same mantra.

This makes Lynch an even more interesting figure to me. How can a director who obviously privileges artistic integrity over money choose a philosophical/spiritual practice that obviously privileges money over other concerns (increasing world peace)?

Is there no dissonance?

It takes a ‘suspension of disbelief’ to think that you are not being exploited a little bit when you pay so much to be enlightened. You have to either be naïve, or good at denial to block out the negative notion ‘this might just be a profitable cult.’

Maybe you can think: ‘Everything costs money, even inner peace.’ If that is the case you probably have money and little sympathy for people that do not.