S3, This is an interesting point in comparing atheism to MMY's teachings. However, the comparison is misleading since the objective of transcending is to attain unity with the Universal Intelligence or the Unified Field. As I understand it, atheists do not believe in such intelligence or field. On the other hand, MMY and the TMO did not and do not prohibit atheists from practicing TM.
Why? Because MMY believed that samadhi or the state of transcending is a natural phenomenon inherent in the human mind and physiology. In that case, belief is not required in attaining samadhi. Nonetheless, IMO the depth of attaining pure consciousness is somewhat limited to the self and does not encompass the Universal Intelligence. IOW, what you see is what you get--WYSIWYG. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <s3raphita@...> wrote : New Statesman has a review of a new book that argues that atheism has a long history stretching back to the Ancient Greeks so isn't the product of modern science its current advocates maintain. The review was mostly favourable but did point out that atheists of old were far from being the full-on materialists we have today. Anyway this passage amused me : Yet it is possible, even in the light of this book, to interpret ancient atheism in a rather different way. The more we know about those philosophers whom the ancients described asatheoi, the less like contemporary sceptics they seem. Epicurus, for instance, though he featured in Sextus’s list of famous atheists, not only believed in gods but was an initiate of the local mysteries, and went as far as to demand sacrifices from his followers “for the care of my holy body”. His materialist convictions were not, as his 17th-century admirers liked to imagine, bred of a scientific cast of mind, but of the precise opposite: a conviction that they would help him to attain inner peace. The only value of research into the natural world, so Epicurus believed, was to enable the philosopher, by properly appreciating the pointlessness of superstition, to attain the state of tranquillity that was, so he taught his disciples, the ultimate goal of life. The closest modern parallel is probably not Richard Dawkins but rather Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.