The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language

THE FLOW OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language, 1971 to 1976, edited by Rhoda F. Orme-Johnson, Ph.D. and Susan K. Anderson, Ph.D.

For the first time, a selection of talks by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Maharishi University of Management, has been transcribed and published, with this volume on literature and language projected to be the first in a series publishing talks in many different disciplines. In response to MUM faculty talks on art, literature, government, education, and many other disciplines, Maharishi would give his profound insights into that discipline, a direction for research scholars, and a vision of how the study of consciousness would enrich and develop each area of academic inquiry and personal experience. A number of the talks were in response to presentations given at international symposia by leading scholars in their field, Nobel laureates, and such eminent professionals as R. Buckminster Fuller.

Over the years, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi recorded brilliant and inspiring lectures on the literary process, as well as critical theory and technique, emphasizing the relevance of the state of consciousness of both writer and reader. He explained how only from an expanded basis can the writer spontaneously experience and express refined emotions and ideas and only from such a basis can the reader hope to understand and enjoy such writings. Literature itself can be a means to evolve one’s consciousness through sounds, rhythms, and meanings, swinging the reader’s attention from concrete to abstract, purifying consciousness and producing bliss. A fully developed consciousness can express the ocean in a drop, and from that drop flows a river of meaning, power, and enjoyment.

Immersing oneself in the transcripts of Maharishi’s lectures allows readers to feel his presence, to hear his voice, his rhythms of speech, his humor, and to appreciate his skill as a teacher. His exposition of the power of poetry, particularly the poetry of the Veda, gives the reader a taste of his intellect and his profound understanding of language and literature. It is a journey through a great mind and an exploration of a topic familiar and beloved by all.

This volume is a valuable resource to teachers, students, and all readers of literature, to all those interested in higher human development and the literary process.

The 350-page book includes 14 talks given in the years 1971–76, and can be purchased at Maharishi University of Management Press (M.U.M. Press). Read the more detailed article in the MUM Review: First-Ever Book of Maharishi’s Lectures Explores Literature and Language.

Here’s a comprehensive book review of The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language, Edited by Dr Rhoda F Orme-Johnson and Dr Susan K Anderson.

Listen to Dr. Rhoda Orme-Johnson interviewed by Dean of Faculty Cathy Gorini.

This is the first in a new interview series on KHOE titled “A Chat With The Dean.” This interview focuses on Dr. Orme-Johnson’s new book “The Flow Of Consciousness,” transcripts of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s lectures. Drs. Gorini and Orme-Johnson settle into a warm and intuitive discourse on the significance of Maharishi’s lectures and in particular for the field of literature. Recorded October 26, 2010. (mp3 47 mins, 16 MB)

Professor Orme-Johnson was one of the founding faculty of Maharishi University of Management. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and taught for 19 years at the university. She was chair of the department of Literature and Languages and supervised programs in literature, writing, drama, French, Spanish, and professional writing. She wrote the general introduction to this volume, introducing the reader to Maharishi and to the TM movement, from the early seventies to the present. She also wrote the introduction to the literature section.

“We used these talks in the teaching of our literature courses,” Dr. Orme-Johnson recalls. “Maharishi’s descriptions of the processes of writing, reading, and teaching literature are brilliant,” she adds, “and they provided directions for our own research and writing.” Her seminal paper “A Unified Field Theory of Literature” published in 1987 in the university journal Modern Science and Vedic Science summarizes the basic points of Maharishi’s insights, as does the introduction to the literature talks, “Literature: The Ocean in a Drop.”

Editor Rhoda Orme-Johnson signs a copy of The Flow of Consciousness for Linda Egenes, co-author, with Kamuda Reddy M.D., of Super Healthy Kids, A Parent’s Guide to Maharishi Ayurveda, also available at M.U.M. Press. Photo taken by David Orme-Johnson upstairs at the Golden Dome Market on the MUM campus in Fairfield, Iowa.

Rhoda Orme-Johnson signs our copy of her book as I take a picture. Sitting next to Rhoda is her husband, David Orme-Johnson, scientist and artist. Both David and Rhoda were founding faculty of MIU, Maharishi International University, now Maharishi University of Management.

On August 30-September 2, 2013, Labor Day weekend, MUM Literature Professors and Alumni celebrated 40 years of literature at Maharishi University. Here is the press release, MUM Celebrates Literature Reunion 2013, with links to the online webcasts.

Rhoda Orme-Johnson also taped a three-part video series for the MUM Video Café: Literature and Consciousness, Part I: The Creative Process (Rhoda Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.) | Literature and Consciousness, Part II: Seven States of Consciousness (Rhoda Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.) | Literature and Consciousness, Part III: Swings of Awareness (Rhoda Orme-Johnson, Ph.D.).

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6 Responses to “The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language”

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