TM Almost Blew My Mind

by Phyllis Word as told to Muriel Larson

I considered myself a liberated woman. Yet when I met Alan — tall, blond, and handsome — I admired him for his strong spiritual feelings and beliefs. After we were married in his Science of Mind Church, I started attending it with him.

When our daughter Holly was born, she was perfect. “I can hardly believe God would give me something so beautiful!” I exclaimed to my husband.

Serious student

One day I saw a sign advertising a course in transcendental meditation (TM). I must thank God in some way for this lovely baby, I thought. Maybe I can thank Him by seeking Him. And maybe I can find Him through taking this course.

I began attending the classes and reading books about TM, the occult, cosmic consciousness, and hypnosis. Faithfully following my instruction in TM, I mentally repeated my “mantra” (secret word) for twenty minutes twice a day, trying to experience the power of position non-thinking. In the TM literature I studied, “Creative Intelligence” was referred to rather than God. I didn’t know this term was a synonym for Hindu pantheistic deity.

Negative emotions

Nor did I know I was opening my mind to demonic influence through TM. As I continued practicing it, an uneasy, depressed feeling grew in me. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I felt alienated and sick. I had never felt such utter desolation in my life! And I felt farther from God than ever.

For a year I lived with a sense of oppression and fear, never realizing that my practice of TM might have something to do with it.

“Honey,” my husband often exclaimed, “you’re going off the deep end! I don’t know what’s wrong, but you have certainly changed!”

“I don’t’ know what’s wrong with me either, Alan,” I answered. “I know I need help, but I don’t know what to do!”

Alan suggested I consult his friend Howie to help me with hypnotism. Howie also attended the Science of Mind Church and had been active in occult pursuits for years. Maybe he can help me, I thought. But after each session with Howie, I was literally sick and more confused than ever.

Friendly invitation

When we moved to another state, I received a letter from a local church inviting me to attend. Three days later a friendly woman from the church phoned with an invitation to visit. “We have a wonderful pastor,” she exclaimed, “and he preaches the Bible.”

Three days later her minister visited me. Well, anyone who is that persistent deserves my attention, I thought. So I accepted the invitation to visit.

Conviction

As the minister preached, conviction of the truth of God hit me. Jesus Christ was Lord and Savior — the way, the truth, and the life — just as I had learned years before in Bible school. Oh, if only I had accepted this wonderful truth when I was a child! I thought. How much misery and trouble I might have saved myself!

My past life haunted me, and remorse swept over me as the sins I had committed flashed through my mind. A heavy burden of guilt crushed me as I remembered the love affairs I had had in college as a “cool, liberated woman.” God’s Spirit brought conviction of my need for deliverance from my sins.

Response

At the end of the service I responded to an invitation to come forward, but no one explained anything to me or prayed with me. I left the church still burdened with my sins. How can I rid myself of this terrible feeling of guilt? I wondered.

But after hearing the good news of Jesus Christ for a month in services and at a weekly prayer group meeting held at the church, I began to realize what I had to do: accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Sinner’s prayer

One night when I told my prayer group about my conviction, they urged me to pray. Falling to my knees, I cried, “Lord Jesus, I don’t know how You in all Your goodness can even pay attention to me. I’m so black with sin, and You are so pure and filled with love!

“Dear Lord Jesus, I can’t live with this sin. I believe You paid for it with Your blood shed on the cross. Please come into my life, forgive, and cleanse me. And if You can use my life, I want you to have it. I dedicate my life to You!”

Tormenting questions

Joy and relief filled my heart, but it was short-lived. Almost immediately I realized that the things I had been dabbling in — transcendental meditation, Science of Mind, the occult — were evil. Questions began to torment me, which I know now were from Satan. (He wasn’t giving me up easily!)

“What do you mean you’re saved?” he taunted me. “How can you say that just receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior frees you from the burden of guilt?”

For a week these questions troubled me. Then the joy and assurance from Jesus took over. The satanic oppression I had lived under for so long lifted, and in its place came a great love for my Lord Jesus Christ and for other people.

Answered prayer

A month later my pastor asked me to share my story with the church. As I looked down at the faces of those who had prayed and cared for me, I wept. I knew God had answered their prayers, rescued my soul from darkness and despair, and changed my life.

Nine months after I became a Christian, I received another beautiful baby girl — truly a gift from God. And now I am living for Jesus and praying that all those I love, including my husband, may come to know Him, too.