|Journeys: Rick Wienir|
|Date: August 22, 1997|
|I started following Maharaji in 1976. I'd heard about him since 1971, but somehow a bell went off in 1976 and all
of a sudden I thought he was the Lord of the Universe.
I flew to Los Angeles from Hawaii (where I was living) to go to a satsang program. Something happened; either I had a spiritual experience or I was hypnotised. Some woman named Joan Apter was speaking and I was in another world. I was convinced the whole thing was real, flew back to Hawaii, found the premies and "dedicated" myself.
Two premies there claimed they could show me the techniques and knowledge, and that it wasn't necessary to get knowledge through a mahatma. I went for it, but then after having trouble meditating, I flew back to Los Angeles, found Maharaji's home in Malibu, and talked to a woman mahatma (the first and only one at the time). She was very disapproving and told me I could suffer for 25 incarnations just for having received the techniques from someone who was unauthorised.
Now I was afraid and paranoid on top of anything else that was happening. I flew back to Hawaii, determined to get the "real" knowledge. I had to go to satsang every night for two years and nearly beg to receive knowledge. It was my whole life.
I'd often feel extraordinary listening to satsang; temporarily soothed out of some misery. Occasionally, while meditating, I'd be genuinely uplifted. I desperately wanted to belong to something, and was finally accepted into the sick society of premies in Hawaii.
After four years, I just flipped out under all the psychological pressure to be a good premie. I had no bearing on my emotions, all of which were rationalised, and "put in my back pocket" as Maharaji suggested.
Although it seems some phenomenon happened while "practising" knowledge, my emotions and depression became more troublesome the more I tried to ignore them.
One day I just disappeared, and flew to the mainland and started over. I still went to satsang and meditated, but wherever I was I stayed pretty anonymous and didn't join the little premie societies.
I didn't disavow "knowledge" or Maharaji, but by taking some space, I saw how truly sick the premie society was. All these fucked up, manipulative and manipulated people, constantly lying to each other and guilt tripping each other. I continued to meditate and enjoy going to satsang, but also started paying attention and giving validity to how I felt emotionally.
This "grew" me and made me stronger, but I was still never able to reconcile the phenomena I experienced when seeing Maharaji or listening to satsang or meditating, with the terrible bad awful advice that Maharaji gave concerning feelings, emotions and communication.
Finally the ashrams closed in the early eighties and there was no more satsang. Occasionally, I'd go see Maharaji at a program, but mostly just meditated every day and followed a "psychological" self treatment of connecting and accepting my emotions.
In '86 I read some books called "Right Use of Will" and started following these "teachings". I continued to meditate and it has generally been helpful. I wouldn't think of not doing it any more than not brushing my teeth.
I have no idea about what Maharaji's intentions were through this whole thing. I read the interview with Bob Mishler and although I can't just dismiss his accusations, I'm not ready to "convict" Maharaji of much more than giving terrible advice and somehow getting me really "high".
But there was a lot of subtle fear tied in with what he said, and I refuse to buy into any of that. I don't know why Maharaji said those stupid things. I don't feel great resentment toward him. Obviously he gave some dumb advice and I followed it. But I think I felt more truly abused by the premies.