Yep, good discussion. FYI, The modern TM Movement's Policy Initiative on Mental Health:
http://portals.mum.edu/Customized/uploads/guidelines-for-mental-health.html http://portals.mum.edu/Customized/uploads/guidelines-for-mental-health.html yifuxero writes: Thx.....everybody for the outstanding comments. The question has come up many times re: the value and dangers of sharing "experiences" including claims as to Enlightenment. Don't be shy, I will value everybody's testimonials and claims without putting anybody down with one exception. I have a zero tolerance for "Neo-Advaita" and will call people out whenever possible (or, I will ignore them as in most of the Batgappers). I no longer have Suzanne's excellent book, but it appears that she was approaching Self-Realizaiton as defined by Ramana Maharshi (may be MMY's Brahman Consciousness); and I'm reminded of Ramana's Self-Realization experience of July 17, 1896: All of a sudden and without prior formal meditative practice, he felt like he was "dying" and using the words "as if dead" he apparently slipped into or fell into (as he says) Self-Realization or complete non-dual Reality. However, he apparently never shared any type of confusion, unpleasant Kundalin experience (or even a prior Kundalini experience); and none of the Ongological crises had by Suzanne. Just the Self, from that day to his death. The apparent confusion Suzanne expressed and it's remedy as she approached physical death may have been caused by the Neo-Advaitic fallacy: that there's no relative self, no ordinary ego, no experience, no karma, etc etc, no no no....to the point of denying all of relative existence. It's easy to see how some claimants to E. can easily fall into this last snare of Maya. Then, just before her death, she quit denying her relative identity as "Suzanne" and got out of the Neo-Advaitic trap. The typical message of Neo-Advaita is that people should give up their "story" (personal relative history and identity and "Just Be". No techniques necessary - just Be. That's the message of the main proponent of Neo-Advaita in the 20-th century: HWL Poonja and his many disciples such as Andrew Cohen and Gangaji. ymmv Bhairitu adds: As I've mentioned before on FFL, I had a kundalini experience about 3 1/2 years before learning TM. It left me disoriented for months but gradually got back on my feet. The experience was a result of using a very simple meditation technique out of a book on yoga. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <steve.sun...@yahoo.com> wrote : As I've said both in our off site communications as well as here, I think the body of evidence you've put together is remarkable, and a must read for anyone considering stepping on to path that involves spiritual practices. It has been very helpful to me. Who can argue with the personal accounts you have put forth? They present the unvarnished truth, both the good parts and the bad parts. It is only on the conclusion aspect where I think we differ. You have determined that experiences of enlightenment are a delusion, and I am of a mind that these experiences are legitimate. I mean, what does it really matter? Real world metrics help in sorting things out, I think. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <myenlightenmentdelusion@...> wrote : @... We agree on many points, but not on everything. In the TM movement, I learned that we shouldn’t doubt our experiences. In retrospect, I think that I and some other TMers who had kundalini-type crises would have benefited from doubting our experiences. I think it would have been nice to know that over-whelming spiritual experiences may not be what they seem. For more on kundalini crises https://myenlightenmentdelusion.wordpress.com/kundalini https://myenlightenmentdelusion.wordpress.com/kundalini. As another TM teacher framed it, “I saw God and all Hell broke loose.” seventhray27 writes: Here's your conclusion, btw. (below) Here's my conclusion, fwiw. I recall reading her book a long time ago, and being quite inspired by it. The spiritual path is not fun and games. It is fraught with pitfalls and tests, and plenty of self doubting. And, it is also not understood, in the least, by modern psychology, or western medicine. So, it is easy to ascribe spiritual experiences as the psychotic episodes of an unbalanced person. That's not to say, that becoming messed up mentally is not a possible outcome of being on the spiritual path, because, of course it is. But the serious seeker will navigate the obstacles and challenges and tests, and arrive at a place that has been written about and described, over thousands of years, as enlightenment, or growing enlightenment. If it is in your interest to discredit the spiritual path, and assign spiritual experiences as so much weird activity of the brain, well, be my guest. My Enlightenment Delusion writes: Conclusion The supposed experiences of enlightenment are so close to psychosis that Suzanne had a hard time deciding if she was enlightened or psychotic. Similarly gurus, psychologists, and psychiatrists had difficulty assessing Suzanne; some thought she was enlightened. I think that a state of enlightenment does not exist. However there are altered states of consciousness that make people think that they are enlightened. My Enlightenment Delusion writes: Suzanne Segal spent much of her adult life trying to figure out if she was enlightened or not. At one time, Suzanne Segal was a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. My wife knew Suzanne when she was a TM teacher and was envious of her charisma and competence. In childhood, Suzanne had moments of psychological detachment and “vastness” which would scare her. Suzanne experienced an emotional trauma on her TM-Sidhis course when she received a letter from her fiancé that called off their engagement and informed her that he was going to go on the Purusha course. Purusha is the celibate monk-like program of the TM organization. After she learned the TM-Sidhis, she asked Maharishi Mahesh Yogi why when transcending she sometimes experienced great fear as if she was going to die. Maharishi laughed and told her not to worry and to just let go. Unhappy with her experiences and with the direction of the TM movement, Suzanne soon fled from the TM organization, from TM knowledge, and from the practice of TM and the TM-Sidhis. In 1982 while getting onto a bus in Paris she had a major shift in awareness and lost her sense of self. Since she understood the witnessing experience of Cosmic Consciousness as described by Maharishi, she sometimes described her experience as witnessing. However, at first, she was having a hellish, fearful experience so she couldn’t reconcile her experience with Cosmic Consciousness. At the urging of her brother, Suzanne met with another TM teacher who had announced his own enlightenment but was actually having his own mental health crisis. The blind leading the blind is an apt statement. The “enlightened” TM teacher at first sensed a high state of consciousness in Suzanne and thought he could help her. Weeks later their relationship ended when he stated that she was evil because she was Jewish. As time passed, Suzanne was able to function with seeming normalcy although she still did not have a sense of self. She completed a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1991 and continued to research her own condition. Suzanne consulted with various psychologists and psychiatrists over the years. Though she was told by one that she had Depersonalization Disorder, she did not think it was a perfect fit because she was able to function normally in everyday life despite the loss of her individual self. She also consulted with Buddhist teachers in California. Buddhism cultivates loss of ego, and some Buddhist teachers congratulated her on attaining moksha. About 1994 Suzanne experienced another shift in consciousness in which there was a sense of unity between herself and the world. In 1995, Suzanne’s story spread. She was reluctant to act as a spiritual teacher, but she agreed to meet with friends of her book editor. Within a few months of subsequent gatherings, several hundred people were attending meetings to hear her story and to ask her questions. Suzanne’s autobiography, Collision with the Infinite https://www.amazon.com/Collision-Infinite-Life-Beyond-Personal/dp/1884997279/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8, came out in 1996. She began training therapists and continued weekly gatherings for dialogues with spiritual enthusiasts. In late spring 1996, she began having intense experiences of vastness which disrupted her life and exhausted her. In fall 1996, Suzanne recovered experiences of childhood abuse and was going through counseling treatment. In early 1997, Suzanne’s mental faculties quickly deteriorated. Doctors discovered a malignant brain tumor which they removed. Suzanne refused further treatment and died on April 1, 1997 at 42 years old. Wikipedia has a good summary of Suzanne’s amazing life athttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Segal. The above paragraphs are excerpted from one of my blog posts. To read my conclusion on Suzanne’s enlightenment, go to https://myenlightenmentdelusion.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/the-amazing-story-of-suzanne-segal. https://myenlightenmentdelusion.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/the-amazing-story-of-suzanne-segal.