I never met Kapor though he was on the west coast panel for the
"Computer Bowl" I attended in the 1990s. But he was one of many shakers
and movers in the tech world there. Bill Gates co-emceed.
On 09/18/2013 05:19 PM, Michael Jackson wrote:
Mitchell Kapor, Founder of Lotus Software on TM
Tricycle: It seems that the material you’ve been involved with has
addressed internal and external freedom and an entrenched wariness of
authoritarian rule. Is this perspective influenced or affirmed by your
experience with the Maharishi? [His full name is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.]
Kapor: My dislike for authoritarian structures goes back as far as I
can remember in my childhood. If I could remember past lives, I’m sure
my memories would extend there too. But my experiences in
Transcendental Meditation ultimately really deepened my commitment to
Tricycle: How did you get involved in TM?
Kapor: Well, my experience was typical for my generation. I had gotten
to college in the 60′s and started experimenting with marijuana and
psychedelics, fairly heavily. I had some distressing experiences with
LSD. Bad trips. So I stopped doing drugs and then started getting acid
flashbacks. I decided to give meditation a serious try to see if that
could have some calming effect. I got hooked in to TM and eventually
made the decision to go through advanced training to become an
initiator, an instructor.
Tricycle: How long did you stay involved with TM?
Kapor: I was involved for seven years. It all ultimately came to a
head in 1976. The movement went into a new phase and Maharishi started
talking about siddhis, powers, and techniques for doing levitation and
other things. This created so much cognitive dissonance in me that I
didn’t know what to do. I had to find out if it was real or not, and I
wanted to believe that it was real, but something in me said that it
couldn’t possibly be real. People weren’t really going to levitate. So
I went to Switzerland for the sixth-month course on "powers."
I went and I fell apart. They were using us as experimental subjects.
There was fasting involved and various austerities that come out of
Hindu traditions, enemas and various bizarre food combining rituals. A
lot of madness got released.
After five months of this I said whatever problems I might or might
not have, TM is not making them better, it is making them worse and I
decided to leave. This was like leaving everything, because I had
severed all of my other ties and relations: no job, no career, no
marriage and no prospects. I got up in the middle of the night and
walked to the train station. I felt like I was crossing from slavery
into freedom, from one intolerable situation into the great unknown.
By the way, no one really levitates. I fully satisfied myself as to that.