CT received a press release a few minutes ago from the Global Country of World Peace announcing that their leader, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died Tuesday evening at his headquarters in the Netherlands. The New York Times and other outlets are also reporting the story tonight. The founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement, known as the Giggling Guru, was catapulted to world fame when the Beatles sought his spiritual advice at his ashram in 1968. Other celebrities followed, including Donovan, the Beach Boys, and Mia Farrow.
The Global Country of World Peace press release was headlined "Maharishi Welcomed into Heaven." That, or wherever John Lennon is right now.
That headline reminded me of another entrance into heaven–one created to welcome someone who didn't think world peace could be achieved by meditation or levitation, but who labored diligently to better the lives of the poor and to bring them to Jesus. If you haven't read "General William Booth Enters Heaven," click here to savor the robust American poet Vachel Lindsay's tribute to the founder of the Salvation Army. This is poetry to be read aloud, passionately, to the accompaniment of the bass drum, banjo, flute, and tambourine. And the music isn't "Imagine," but "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?"