Super Mind: Beyond Transcendence
This is the first of a series of blog posts I will be writing leading up to the publication of my latest book, Super Mind. My hope and intention is to invite conversation around this exciting topic.
My patients have influenced my research, and my research has influenced my writing. That is how it has always been for me. But there is something else that must always be there for me to pursue a subject whole-heartedly. I must feel powerfully that in the core of my being there is something that cries out to me to pursue this matter – that it is really important. That I must not delay. So it was with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – that malady of the dark days. I saw patients who suffered in winter, studied them, and found that their spirits flourished under bright light – like tulips bursting into bloom in the spring sunshine. My devotion to the topic was driven in part by realizing that I too suffered from that same malady – and benefited from my own treatment. That led to my book Winter Blues.
So it was with Transcendental Meditation. A young man with bipolar disorder brought to my attention that it was TM – not my medications – that was making him really happy. I had tried TM years before, albeit irregularly, and he urged me to return to my practice. So impressed was I by the power of TM to settle me down in body and mind that I began to recommend it to my patients. They reported similar benefits. I researched TM in veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to my amazement, I found that TM could soothe even those whose minds had been ravaged by the horrors of war. I felt compelled to write about this gentle yet powerful practice – especially after reviewing hundreds of excellent articles demonstrating the broad scope of TM to alleviate physical and psychological ills. That led to my book Transcendence.
With Transcendence I thought I had written the last useful word I had to say about TM and its benefits. But I was wrong.
As my patients and I continued to meditate, a curious set of developments occurred. First, I noticed a change in consciousness. As I went about my daily activities, a stillness accompanied me so that I felt a realm of constancy and calm dwelling inside me despite the hurly burly of daily life. Second, everything seemed to flow more smoothly. I got along better with people and somehow difficult tasks became easier, even tasks that had previously seemed overwhelming. It was as though unseen forces were conspiring to help me – though I realized, of course, that it was I who must have changed.
Once again, I heard the clarion cry: There is something important going on here, it shouted out to me. Something you must investigate and write about.
So investigate I did – and concluded that the advantages of TM went far beyond the relief of stress and alleviation of distress and disease. What was happening in my own mind – and in the minds of those I observed – was a broad growth of mental faculties, both cognitive and emotional. It was as though the mind itself was expanding and becoming . . . a Super Mind. That then became the name of my latest book, due to be released in mid-May of 2016.
But before my findings and thoughts on the subject are released to the public, I want to give you a jump start on these thoughts and invite you to join me in a conversation about the Super Mind.
In my next blog I will describe the Super Mind more fully. Until then, let me hear from you.