A Letter to Bill O'Reilly from Jeremy Green on TM
Very often, I appreciate your take on contemporary culture. More often than not, I agree with you. However, I was disappointed to see your commending Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr regarding their charity concert. Of course, raising money for education programs directed toward at-risk kids is a noble cause. Nevertheless, not all education programs are created equal.
We would not commend as "patriotic" a program developed to teach proper firearms technique to kids at risk of gang involvement. Meditation in general, and TM specifically, are more akin to the gun class than a program designed to teach kids to cope by learning better study skills, the value of hard work, and the importance of facing reality with both eyes open.
If TM does indeed help young people cope with the stressors in their lives that pull them toward viciousness, it does so only by training these young people to escape their world by ignoring it--escaping by concentrating mantras leading to meaningless thought. We are both Christians. We confess that the world is broken due to sin, and God is reconciling it to himself through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We are called to proclaim this good news to the world by engaging it, not by escaping from it. TM is therefore incompatible with Christianity.
TM is nothing more than Hindu religious practice. TM's Vedic roots lie in pantheism--all is god. Christianity confesses that there is one unique personal God, and we proclaim this God to the world. We call the world to repentance and submission to his throne. Thus, TM and Christianity proffer contradictory positions on the nature of ultimate reality: it cannot be that both "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed in the person of Jesus, is the source of a reality distinct from himself," and "god is the impersonal collective sum of all entities" are true statements. One must be false.
Given our mutual Christianity, we must follow Christ. But this is no blind faith. We have good evidence to believe that Christ was risen; thus, we have good reason to think that Christ is Lord and God. If this is so, then Vedic Hinduism is false and practicing TM is participating in the worship of a religion that has set itself up against the throne of the risen King.
One cannot be both a Christian and a practitioner of TM.
Given the truth of Christianity, one ought not to practice TM.
Therefore, one ought not support efforts to introduce TM to others.
Therefore, the extant Beatles are on the wrong side of truth.
As for coping methods: point kids toward the Prince of Peace. Show them how to face a fallen world through bearing the cross of Christ.
I hope these comments prove useful. They are intended as friendly fire.