Do you want to fly?

In his documentary movie “David wants to fly”, the German film maker David Sieveking investigates the Transcendetal Meditation (TM) movement, and explores transcendental meditation. The movement was founded by Marishi Mahesh Yogi, who claims that “through transcendental meditation, the human brain can experience that level of intelligence which is an ocean of all knowledge, energy, intelligence, and bliss.” David Sieveking´s movie is a solid criticism against the TM movement.

Sieveking started his project as a curious film student, after he heard his idol David Lynchpromote transcendental meditation. David Sieveking says to Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen that “It was new and fascinating. At that point in time, I had an emptiness in my life, and was attracted by yoga and meditation.” He decided to make a film about TM after he met David Lynch during a TM-conference in the US.

However, the film turned out very differently from what both Davids had foreseen. It appears that the TM movement is primarily driven by money and power. It is expensive to learn their meditation techniques (2300 euros for an introduction course in Germany), and some of the techniques are mystic. Among others, TM offers course in “yogic flying”. According to the TM Movement “Stage One is generally associated with what would best be described as “hopping like a frog.” Stage Two is flying through the air for a short time. Stage Three is complete mastery of the sky.” The TM movement also claims that one can achieve world peace through meditation. Judge for yourself.

Author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Johnny Gray (right) doing yogic flying at the Maharishi’s school in Switzerland.

To Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen, David Sieveking says that he still has a lot of respect for David Lynch as “it is possible to be both a naive idealist and a great artist”. During the making of the film, David S was threathened by David Lynch´s lawyers, who said they would file a lawsuit against him. However, they did not actually follow-up on these threats.

Lynch himself has not commented on Sieveking´s film, but says that he is preparing a documentary about Maharishi.

2 Comments

  1. Halvor

    I once heard some early recordings of lectures and guidance sessions by Mahesh Yogi in America and Europe in the early 1960s. Basically you get a sense that both he and many of his followers were at that time seriously intending to bring a good mental technique to this part of the world, something with which they had a certain success. I don’t know if it was this success or their later failures (such as economic problems) that later produced the lack of sincerity and seriousness that you find in the yogic flying and world peace projects. Many people had good experiences with transcendental meditation, but were put off by the wild claims and the greed of the organisation. Acem is one of several groups that chose to bring a similar form of meditation into a more neutral and down-to-earth setting.

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