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Walt Whitman: 'The luminousness of real vision'
by Craig Pearson, PhD
Transcendental Meditation - USA
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29 December 2010
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The article is another in a series of brilliant essays by Craig Pearson, PhD,* about great historical figures in American cultural life whose thinking, speech, actions, and written works have expressed a deep familiarity—based on direct experience—with the transcendental field of life. This essay is about one of America's greatest and most revered poets, Walt Whitman, whom Dr Pearson presents as 'America's seer'.
As in articles on Helen Keller, Henry David Thoreau, and others, Dr Pearson analyzes beautiful passages from Whitman's work, drawing on the knowledge and experience of the transcendent provided by Maharishi Vedic Science and the Transcendental Meditation Programme.
When Whitman states, 'I celebrate myself'—in 'Song of Myself', in his revolutionary first book, Leaves of Grass (1855)—he is drawing on a far more expanded experience of 'self' than the ordinary understanding, Dr Pearson maintains.
With clarity and precision, he articulates the details of experiences Whitman describes in 'the luminousness of real vision' in terms of the experience of Transcendental Consciousness, the fourth major state of consciousness, beyond waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
'In this state, the mind has settled inward,' Dr Pearson writes. 'Moving beyond all perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, one experiences consciousness by itself, consciousness knowing itself alone—pure consciousness, unbounded and fully awake within itself. This, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi explains, is the true Self.'
He goes on to say, 'Whitman speaks directly to the transcendent, the source and center of universes, the center of truth, goodness, and love—and declares at the end that everything he does, everything he is, depends on his ability to transcend, to move ''out of myself'' to that superior state.'
Whitman's transcendental experiences 'enabled him to produce some of America's greatest poetry, expressing a vision of the inner glory of life and the invitation for everyone to join him there.' Now, Dr Pearson concludes, through a simple, natural, and effortless procedure—the Transcendental Meditation Technique, brought to light by Maharishi from the ancient Vedic tradition of knowledge—'anyone can, in Whitman's words, ''reach the interior consciousness . . . . and commune with the unutterable.'' '
* 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 books on the development of full human potential, including The Complete Book of Yogic Flying.
© Copyright 2010 Maharishi Foundation - USA
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