Most documents I write for my uThM program are posted on my Patreon page, allowing supporters exclusive access. This time around, though, I chose to post this review on the blog directly, as I thought it was important enough to serve as a public service announcement more than anything else. If interested, you can see other posts about my uThM here.
Complete Waste of Time
I finished my first free Online Course in my uThM program, “Hacking Consciousness: Consciousness, Cognition, and the Brain” sponsored by Stanford.
Unfortunately, there was no hacking involved. Neither was there really any scientific discussion of consciousness, or cognition, or really much about the brain. BUT, there was a WHOLE LOT about Transcendental Meditation, about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and the Maharishi University. Strangely, though, none of this is mentioned in the title of the course, or in the course description.
The first speaker is John Hagelin. He was originally a physicist, but subsequently left scientific research to devote all his time to this New Age religious movement. He was at one time the president of the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa. He believes his extended version of the Unified Field Theory matches with the Yogi’s Unified Field of Consciousness. Both have been dismissed as hokum by virtually every theoretical physicist to-date. 1
With this kind of reputation (and gross deception), it is difficult to take anything he says seriously. There is simply no way to differentiate between the speaker’s scientific work and his religious beliefs.
The next speaker is Tony Nader. On the surface, he speaks as if operating with a scientific perspective, utilizing scientific principles. But, like the previous speaker, Mr. Nader is ensconced in the Maharishi University, and was actually proclaimed as the “First Sovereign Ruler of the Conceptual Country, the Global Country of World Peace, by Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.” Now that is quite the mouthful.
Of course, none of this is brought up in his two lectures. Instead, we’re told he is a highly esteemed professor, physician, and academic. But, all of his teaching about consciousness are derived from his religious interpretation and dependence on Transcendental Meditation. They, in fact, are working to create a universal world order, where positivity is global.
His two lectures, like the first, are scientifically unreliable at best, outright fabrications at worst.
Dr. Fred Travis was the next speaker, and like the previous two, he is a representative of the Maharishi University System. The entire purpose of the lectures thus far have been to promote the activity of Transcendental Meditation and the creation of a new global world civilization in New Age Occultic practices. His lecture was more scientific-sounding than the others, but, in the end, his conclusions are untrustworthy.
Jon Lipman was the next speaker. You guessed it. A Maharishi Vastu architect. What can you say to this kind of jury-rigged lineup? Why not call the course “Maharishi Religion – Please Become a Convert and Start Meditating?” Completely unusable information.
Pamala Peak was the last speaker on nutrition and epigenetics. She appears to be the only speaker not directly and unapologetically employed by the Maharishi Religion. But, it does not take long at all before she reveals her quintessential “skeptic turned true believer” purpose for being there, revealing she started meditating for the health benefits and the near supernatural powers it brings to the practitioner.
So, my first course on Consciousness research turned out to be a grand flop. It was simply a Stanford sponsored infomercial for the Maharishi Organization and Transcendental Meditation. Sadly, in the few other podcasts I’ve found on the Internet, it appears as if much of the “research” being done in this subject area today is being done by these New Ager propagandizers.
The title for the course is fitting, I guess. They really did hack consciousness, didn’t they? Or, more specifically, hi-jacked it. They might even still be holding it hostage.
- Woit, P. (2007). Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law. Basic Books.
I set up a Patreon page so others can join in and support my work as I pursue this Unschooled Master of Theology in Biblical Studies degree, similar to traditional graduate students and professors seeking grant money from individuals and organizations.
Your support and encouragement mean the world to me, and I’ve set up several options so everyone can afford to participate.
Even just a few dollars a month can go a long way, allowing me to buy books and other learning materials, partially funding travel and other necessary expenses during the journey.
Thanks in advance.