Drugs and meditation (The Beatles Anthology p262)
NEIL ASPINALL: Everybody going to the Maharishi was like everybody ending up with moustaches on Sgt Pepper. A lot of it was follow-the-leader (whoever the leader was at the time). One got a moustache, and so everybody got a moustache. If somebody wore flared trousers, then within a couple of weeks everybody was wearing flared trousers. I think the Maharishi was in the same mode as that for some of us, but for George it was serious.
GEORGE HARRISON: I couldn't really speak for the others and their experiences, but, in as much as we'd collectively come through from Liverpool and gone through everything together, there was a collective consciousness within The Beatles. I assumed that whatever one of us felt, the others would not be far out of line with. So I handed over all the books about yogis to John, Paul and Ringo. And when we came to meet Maharishi, I got tickets for them all to go but I never really asked them what they thought or were experiencing.
In Bangor we had a press conference saying that we'd given up drugs. It wasn't really because of Maharishi. It came out of my desire to further the experience of meditation. I was doing yoga exercises anyway in order to learn how to play the sitar. I got a little bit down the line, and then Maharishi came along at the time I wanted to try meditation.
JOHN LENNON: If we'd met Maharishi before we had taken LSD, we wouldn’t have needed to take it. We'd dropped drugs before this meditation thing. George mentioned he was dropping out of it, and I said, 'Well, it’s not doing me any harm. I'll carry on. 'But I suddenly thought: I’ve seen all that scene. There's no point, and [what] if it does do anything to your chemistry or brains?' Then someone wrote to me and said that whether you like it or not, whether you have no ill effects, something happens up there. So I decided that if I ever did meet someone who could tell me the answer, I'd have nothing left to do it with.
We don't regret having taken LSD. It was a stepping-stone. But now we should be able to experience things at first hand, instead of artificially with a wrong stepping-stone like drugs.68