Yep, good discussion.

   The modern TM Movement's Policy Initiative on Mental Health:


 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 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.


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, <> 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, <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 
 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 
 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 
 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,
 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 
 The above paragraphs are excerpted from one of my blog posts. To read my 
conclusion on Suzanne’s enlightenment, go to



  • ... 'My Enlightenment Delusion' [FairfieldLife]
    • ... [FairfieldLife]
      • ... 'My Enlightenment Delusion' [FairfieldLife]
        • ... [FairfieldLife]
          • ... [FairfieldLife]
        • ... Bhairitu [FairfieldLife]
          • ... [FairfieldLife]

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