How We Present
Experiences of the transcendent, celebrated by poets, available to everyone
by Craig Pearson, PhD.
Transcendental Meditation - USA
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30 April 2012
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The article is another in a series of brilliant essays by Craig Pearson, PhD,* about great historical figures in world culture whose thinking, speech, actions, and written works have expressed a deep familiarity—based on direct experience—with the transcendental field of life. This one is about British poet William Wordsworth and one of his most famous and well-loved poems, ''Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey''.
In the poem Wordsworth describes:
That blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: — that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on —
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.**
As in articles on Albert Einstein, Laozi, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Dr Pearson analyzes this beautiful passage from ''Tintern Abbey'', articulating the details of the experience Wordsworth describes in terms of the knowledge and experience of Transcendental Consciousness—the fourth major state of consciousness, beyond waking, dreaming, and sleeping—brought to light from the ancient Vedic tradition by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his Transcendental Meditation Programme.
'Wordsworth seems to have experienced a state of consciousness that is simple and natural yet uniquely different from the familiar states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping,' Dr Pearson writes. 'In fact, it is a fourth major state of consciousness. Maharishi calls this state Transcendental Consciousness. In this restfully alert state, mental activity has settled down, like waves settling on the ocean, leaving the experience of consciousness in its most silent, wakeful state—unbounded awareness. At the same time, physiological activity spontaneously settles down and one experiences a state of deep relaxation that enables the body to dissolve stress with exceptional efficiency.
'Maharishi also provided a simple, natural, effortless technique by which anyone could have this experience on a regular basis—20 minutes twice each day, in fact. This is the Transcendental Meditation technique, which has now been learned by millions of people around the world, of all ages, cultural backgrounds, and walks of life.'
Dr Pearson also refers to the large body of scientific research on Transcendental Meditation. He concludes by saying, '''Tintern Abbey'' has appeared in countless anthologies. It has been required reading in college classes decade after decade. These lines in particular have been singled out in numberless essays. Yet few readers have suspected what Wordsworth is really describing.
'Now we know. We also know that this extraordinary—and extraordinarily natural—experience need not be left to chance. Nor is it restricted to Romantic poets—it is now available to everyone.'
Enjoy the full essay on the Excellence in Action page.
* Dr Pearson is Executive Vice-President of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. He has served the University for 33 years, also as Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, Director of Maharishi University of Management Press, Director of Freshman Composition, and Professor of Professional Writing. He holds a PhD in Maharishi Vedic Science from MUM and is the author of two books on the development of full human potential, The Complete Book of Yogic Flying and The Supreme Awakening: Developing the Infinite Potential Within (forthcoming).
** William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads (London, Bristol: Biggs and Cottle, for T.N. Longman, Paternoster-Row, 1798), 203-204.
© Copyright 2012 Maharishi Foundation USA
See related articles:
∙ Ralph Waldo Emerson - ''Within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty''
∙ Laozi - ''His mind becomes as vast and immeasurable as the night sky''
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