Jerry Jarvis, former National Leader of the Transcendental Meditation movement in the United States, unexpectedly passed away on March 14, 2018.
A GoFundMe website that had been set up to help his wife Debby pay funeral expenses and her own medical expenses raised over $100,000. May 30, 2018 UPDATE: Debby Jarvis passed away on May 25, 2018.
A Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/rememberingjerryj/ was set up to notify people of Jerry’s passing and to collect photos, condolences, and anecdotes.
Links to videos of memorial service
A video of the memorial service is 1 hour and 13 minutes long. Here are links to brief video excerpts from the memorial service which was held on April 8 in Malibu, California: an 8-minute video of Phil Goldberg and an 8-minute video of John Cowhig.
Jerry was a very likable and kind person. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, I had a hard time understanding why he received bad treatment from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the TM organization. The TM movement treated lots of people in discourteous ways, but how could they do this to Jerry who had been instrumental in starting the TM movement in the U.S. and who had never stopped being a TM exponent?!!!
Nowadays after several decades of my pondering, the luster is gone when I consider Maharishi and his organizations. The luster is also gone from other movements and spiritual teachings which claim to have the inside track to enlightenment. I believe bad things happen in spiritual movements because spiritual movements act like they have all answers to life but don’t.
Loyalty vs conscience
From my vantage point, Jerry Jarvis was loyal to Maharishi despite being mistreated.
I wonder why Jerry hung around the TM movement after being black-listed. I wonder how Jerry responded in the early days to some of Maharishi’s shenanigans of which he must have been aware; my hunch is that Jerry would have reacted in a morally stern way, but I don’t know.
When I thought that TM and TM knowledge was the most important thing in life, I was loyal, but I also kept thinking for myself. I didn’t accept everything that Maharishi said.
While in the TM movement, my conscience would not let me do some things that Maharishi and the movement wanted such as moving to Fairfield, Iowa and setting up demonstrations of the TM-Siddhi of levitation.
Seemingly Jerry Jarvis (like many others who went all out for enlightenment and spiritual growth) neglected to plan and act for their own financial security and practicalities.
Eventually I came around to seeing many faults in Maharishi, TM, and the TM organization. I am no longer loyal, but I still have friendly feelings for Jerry Jarvis and others in the TM movement.
The following excerpt about Jerry Jarvis is from my book, My Enlightenment Delusion:
I set up an all-day seminar for meditators in Chicagoland with one of the best inspirational TM speakers, but he happened to be on National’s black list at the time.
The seminar had a large attendance, created enthusiasm for all who attended, and made a profit for the TM center. Since I never applied for another rounding residence course after these incidents, I never found out if I was black-listed too.
The inspirational speaker used the following analogy: If the master says, “Take me to Point X by driving down Adams Street”, and if you know that Adams Street won’t take you to Point X, you decide to take the correct route to get the master to where he wants to go.
I agree with the point of this analogy, but following this modus operandi made some waves. Maharishi seemed to disagree and surrounded himself with only “Yes Men”.
This inspirational speaker never seemed to give up on the idea of getting back in the good graces of Maharishi. He told me that he wished that Maharishi would give a course just for those who were black-listed, and that if Maharishi did, it would be the best course ever.