I remember growing up in the 70’s. I would watch “60 Minutes” Sunday nights with my dear grandparents and have some quality time with them.
A younger Dan Rather somberly intoned not once but a few times on the emergent cultural manifestations of “cults” taking over the young people.
Kool-Aid people, EST, the Hare Krishnas, Osho followers, and Transcendental Meditation were all grouped together. I remember specifically the “proof” that these were scary terrible sects. Something about not being able to go to the bathroom.
As a glad initiate now into Transcendental Meditation, and able to go to the bathroom whenever I want to, I kind of laugh at these memories of the show although it affected me at the time. I am now friends with a number of people who were lucky enough to be in the movement in the 70’s.
Also interesting to me is how the word “brain-washing” came up on the TV segments again and again. (Are there any youtube videos of these early shows? I couldn’t find them with a cursory search.))
You know what? The funniest thing is that I do feel like my brain is literally washed when I meditate, not in the old 60 Minutes sense, but like fresh laundry on a sunny morning.
It’s considered hygienic to wash your body of dirt and impurities. Why not wash and rinse your mind of unneeded stresses, even addictions (I am told), and hopefully, ultimately, of old vasanas and samskaras?
What are we collectively afraid of here? I’m just curious. Are there some attachments to the cultural significations of some of these impurities?