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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The death of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi marks the end of an era for me -- though it had really ended many years earlier. He had a lot of effect on my life in the 1960s and early 1970s. There is an account of this in my book, Totalilty Beliefs and the Religious Imagination, available in both printed and electronic forms.

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Vince Moger on :

Anthony, I've read both of your books on TM (Seven States of Consciousness and The Mechanics of Enlightenment). I'm curious: do you still practise and recommend transcendental meditation? Your blog on Maharishi's death suggests you have had second thoughts about the giggling guru and the movement since your books were published in the 1970s but isn't the practice of meditation still valid?
Cheers - or Jai Guru Dev!

Vince

Anthony Campbell on :

I think meditation is helpful to many people. But I now question the metaphysical basis underlying TM, along with other totality beliefs.

Extract from my forthcoming book:

Many years ago I wrote a book on TM called Seven States of Consciousness. Occasionally someone who has come across my website sends me an email to ask if I am the Anthony Campbell who wrote the book and, if so, do I still agree with what I wrote there and do I still practise TM? The answers I give to such people are usually greeted with silence; I never hear any more from them. I don't much like having to reply to these correspondents because simple yes or no answers to their questions would be misleading and to reply in more detail would require more time and space than an email could easily accommodate. In a way, this book is a reply to questioners of this kind but its relevance is, I hope, not at all confined to people who practise TM or have given it up. I'm writing here for anyone who questions the need to adhere to a totality belief system. I want to show that freeing oneself from such systems brings not loss but gain.

Whatever I may have been in the past, today I regard myself as a fully paid-up supporter of the values of the Enlightenment -- the intellectual movement which began in France, Germany and Britain in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries (historians argue about the exact chronology) and advocated reason as the primary basis of authority rather than revelation. These values are under attack today in all kinds of ways. I may even have contributed to this myself in the past, by using ''enlightenment'' in a different sense, to mean almost the opposite -- to refer to a mystical form of illumination that is non-rational. So this book could be thought of as a kind of recantation of certain views I held earlier.

Kevin McFadden on :

Dear Mr. Campbell,
Like many other people in the TM movement, I read your book "Seven States of Consciousness" as a young man and felt it was perhaps the best book avaliable when it came to explaining Maharishi's point of view on enlightenment. Of course I laughed out loud when I read this morning that you have a new book coming out explaining why your reasoning in your earlier book was misguided.
Understand, I don't think that is "bad." I'm no longer attached to the TM movement, or any movement for that matter, but I do continue to meditate. I'm also a published author. I write under the name Christopher Pike and sold a ridiculous number of books in the 80's and 90's -- mainly teen thrillers, although I wrote the occasional mystical book. Like you, I am bombarded by fans wanting to know if I still practise TM. I made the mistake of mentioning it at the back of one of my books.
Now, what is the point of all this? I suppose you and I have walked similiar paths and I would simply like to talk to you -- probably via email. I can say up front I have not arrived at your same destination, but I would like to share with you my reasons. And please, trust me, I am not a zealot, I have no actual opinions about anything when it comes down to it. Just some experiences you might find interesting. If you would like to exchange ideas, contact me at CPike2@aol.com.
Yours, Kevin McFadden

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