Posts Tagged ‘Collective Consciousness’

Four-year study finds large advanced Transcendental Meditation group reduces drug-related deaths nationally

March 14, 2017

Large groups practicing the advanced Transcendental Meditation program were associated with significant reductions in rates of drug-related death and infant mortality during the period 2007–2010

A new study in SAGE Open reports a novel solution to US fatality rates from the misuse of prescribed and illegal drugs. In a prospective social experiment from 2007 to 2010, practice of the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® program by a large group at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa was associated with a 30.4% reduction in the rate of growth of US drug-related fatalities, preventing an estimated 26,425 deaths.

drug-deaths

A rapidly rising trend in the drug-related fatality rate during the baseline period leveled out significantly when the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group exceeded 1,725 participants beginning in January 2007 (vertical line).

Four-year study finds group meditation reduces drug-related deaths in general population

The rate of US drug-related fatalities fell 30.4% nationwide from 2007 to 2010 due to the reductions in societal stress and increased alertness in the individuals in society created by a large group practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique and its advanced program, the TM-Sidhi® program, a new study shows.

The hypothesis: the reduction comes not from drug abusers using meditation to get off drugs, but from a TM-Sidhi group large enough to create an effect in the environment due to a hypothesized “field effect of consciousness.”

“It’s a bold claim,” said lead author Michael Dillbeck, “but there are now 14 peer-reviewed published studies that suggest that one’s individual consciousness is directly connected to an underlying, universal field of consciousness, and that by collectively tapping into that universal field through Transcendental Meditation, we can have a positive effect on the environment.”

26,425 drug-related fatalities averted

The surge in drug-related deaths began in 1990, fueled by skyrocketing rates of drug overdose, largely from prescription painkillers and anxiety drugs. Drug deaths exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing more than 37,000 people a year nationwide.

The study found that during the four-year period 2007 through 2010 this upward trend in the rate of drug-related deaths was interrupted by a highly significant shift to a greatly reduced, flatter trend. As a result, the drug-related fatality rate was reduced 30.4% relative to the 2002-2006 baseline average. The researchers estimated that 26,425 drug-related fatalities were averted by the significantly reduced trend in fatality rates.

The probability that the reduced trend in rates of drug-related fatalities could simply be due to chance was reported to be 3.1 in 10 billion.

During 2007–2010, the size of the TM-Sidhi group located at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, was above or near 1,725 participants, the size predicted to have a positive influence on the US quality of life. This predicted threshold represents the square root of 1% of the US population.

Time series analysis shows a reduction

The researchers first calculated a baseline trend for monthly fatality rates during 2002–2006, and then used time series intervention analysis to compare that baseline with the corresponding trend for the intervention period 2007–2010. A rapidly rising trend in the drug-related fatality rate (see Figure 1) during the baseline period leveled out and slowed significantly when the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group exceeded 1,725 participants beginning in January 2007 (vertical dashed line). This flatter trend continued through 2010. (The irregular ups and downs of the fatality rate shown in the graph are largely due to seasonal fluctuations around the trend.)

Change produced by enlivening “field of pure consciousness”

How could this change in society be produced by the meditation practice of participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group? Published research has shown that Transcendental Meditation creates a state of restful alertness, increases brain integration, reduces individual stress, and enables greater use of one’s inner potential.

“These benefits are the natural by-product of the experience during Transcendental Meditation practice of a silent, wakeful state of the mind known as ‘pure consciousness’,” Dr. Dillbeck said.

According to coauthor Kenneth Cavanaugh, the basis for the effect on society is that pure consciousness has a field-like character and is a universal field at the basis of everyone’s thought and behavior. When the participants in a group equal to or exceeding the square root of one percent of the entire population are experiencing pure consciousness during group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program, the field of pure consciousness is enlivened in the entire population.

“This field effect positively influences the quality of consciousness in the individuals in society in much the same direction as that experienced by those practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique,” Dr. Cavanaugh said. “It’s as if the non-meditating populace experienced the same benefits of those meditating.”

Reduces social stress

This research tests the hypothesis that practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program by a group of sufficient size will result in reduced stress and increased alertness in the individuals in society, thus contributing to reduced trends of these two stress-related public health indicators.

“Chronic stress contributes to increased likelihood of illness as well as to the use and abuse of illicit and prescribed drugs,” Dr. Dillbeck said. “Stress can reduce the degree of conscious alertness and vigilance necessary to avoid drug misuse, especially highly potent and potentially addictive narcotic painkillers.”

Alternative explanations ruled out

The authors noted that reductions in the trends of both fatality rates occurred at the predicted time and in the predicted direction, and neither reduction could be predicted from baseline trends or seasonal cycles. The researchers also were able to rule out other alternative explanations. For example, the reduction in drug-related death rates could not be explained by such factors as unemployment and national economic conditions, increased public and professional medical awareness of the hazards of opioid painkillers, and sales of such painkillers.

Reduction in infant mortality

infant-deaths

With the onset of the intervention period in January 2007 (vertical line), the infant mortality rate significantly shifted from a flat to a declining trend.

This study of stress-related public health indicators also found that during the same period the rate of infant mortality was reduced by 12.5%. The researchers found a highly significant shift from a flat or slightly declining trend in 2002–2006 to a substantially faster declining trend in 2007–2010. An estimated 992 infant deaths were averted. The probability that the reduced trend in rates of drug-related fatalities could simply be due to chance was reported to be less than 2.1 in 100,000.

Third study in a series

The study, titled “Group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and reductions in infant mortality and drug-related death: A quasi-experimental analysis” was published in the social science journal SAGE Open, Mar 2017, 7(1).

This article is the third in a series that comprehensively evaluates the impact of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi group on US quality of life and public health. The first in the series, published in 2016 in SAGE Open journal, reported a highly significant 21.2% reduction in US homicide rates during the same 2007-2010 period, resulting in the prevention of an estimated 8,157 homicides. A reduction of 18.5% in violent crime rates in 206 urban areas was also found, thus averting an estimated 186,774 violent crimes.

The second article in the series, published in the January/February 2017 issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, found a highly significant reduction of 20.6% in the rate of US motor vehicle fatalities and 13.5% in the rate of all other accidental fatalities during the same experimental period. The study estimates that 19,435 motor vehicle fatalities and 16,759 other accidental deaths were averted by the significantly reduced trends in fatality rates.

A total of fourteen peer-reviewed articles have now been published validating the prediction by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, that a TM-Sidhi group of this size would lead to reduced societal stress, as reflected in reduced crime, violence, accidents, illness, and increased positive trends in society.

The authors call for governments to implement and evaluate this approach as the natural next action step.

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Group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and reductions in infant mortality and drug-related death: A quasi-experimental analysis. Michael C. Dillbeck and Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Maharishi University of Management. DOI: 10.1177/2158244017697164 (PDF)

Source: EurekAlert/AAAS

See the first study in this series: Can group meditation prevent violent crime? Surprisingly, the data suggests yes: New study.

Op-Ed peace piece spreading around the world: Reducing Tension in the Middle East

November 29, 2012

In a response to the current volatile situation in the Middle East co-authors David Orme-Johnson and David Leffler ask if we want to continue repeating history, killing and destroying to solve political problems, or transform ourselves with a more enlightened alternative approach that’s been scientifically proven to create peace.

Modern unified field theory supports the perennial philosophy of all major cultural traditions that there exists a transcendental field at the most fundamental level of natural law, which can be directly accessed as the silent transcendental level of the human mind. Hundreds of studies have shown that experience of transcendental consciousness breaks the chain of conditioned reflexes coming on from past behavior, as seen in reduced addictive behaviors of all kinds, decreased prison recidivism, and reduced behavioral problems in inner-city children.

Are we as nations to go on like rats trapped in a conditioning cage, reacting the same way decade after decade? Or shall we step out of the cage into the transcendental level of our own consciousness and grow up into enlightened human beings, rather than continuing to resort to destroying and killing? This is the choice we have right now.

Read this paradigm-shifting Op-Ed piece on how we can put an end to war and create permanent peace: Reducing Tension in the Middle East. It’s being posted on news websites and online journals around the world. The AsiaN published it as Transcendental meditation proved helpful in solving enmity among nations. The Israel Herald published it under: Lasting peace in Middle East may need warring parties to meditate, and the Palestinian News: Meditation cited as possible remedy to reduce tensions in Mideast conflict.

Here is a list of publications under dates in the countries where the article was published, over 50 times so far: Israel, Afghanistan, Romania, UK, Nepal, USA, Pakistan, Greece, Cyprus, Ghana, Liberia, Balkans, India, Ivory Coast, Africa, Australia/Tonga, Canada, Jordan, Balkans, Palestine, South Korea, Kashmir, Ireland, China, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Thailand. Check them all posted here: Op-Ed Piece “Reducing Tension in the Middle East” by Drs. Orme-Johnson and Leffler is Available Worldwide in over 50 Locations.

For more information on this powerful benign approach, see: The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin and John Hagelin — “Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World” — Beyond Awakening Blog. Here are reports: Group Meditations Reduce Crime, As Predicted and Explanation to Steady Decline in Major Crime in the US.

The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin

June 15, 2011

SHIFT: AT THE FRONTIERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
IONS: JUNE–AUGUST 2007 #15
THE MYSTIQUE OF INTENTION

A remarkable series of scientifically credible studies has shown a link between group meditation and lowered incidents of violence and crime. And why not? argues Hagelin: If meditation is good for the individual, it should also be good for the collective. From June 7 to July 31, 1993, up to 4000 participants of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programs gathered together in Washington, DC, to form a Group for a Government Global Demonstration Project. Under the direction of Dr. John Hagelin, violent crime in Washington, DC was significantly reduced as predicted during the time of this World Peace Assembly. The study presenting these findings was published in Social Indicators Research. What follows is a report of that study presented in the context of a talk Dr. Hagelin gave in a Holland videocast to the Noetic Sciences (IONS) regional conference on February 18, 2007, in Tucson, Arizona, titled: “A New Science of Peace: The Effects of Group Meditation on Crime, Terrorism, and International Conflict.” The editor of Shift magazineexcerpted, abridged, and edited that talk into this article, The Power of the Collective, for their June-August 2007 issue on The Mystique of Intention. You can download a PDF of the complete article Shift-The Power of the Collective.

THE POWER OF THE COLLECTIVE
John Hagelin

We’re living in an epidemic of stress. Doctors report an alarming rise of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease—now called metabolic syndrome—all of which are diseases of stress. As a result, we would expect to see stressed behavior in society, and it turns out there is plenty of it: crime, domestic violence, terrorism, and war.

Since meditation provides an effective, scientifically proven way to dissolve individual stress, and if society is composed of individuals, then it seems like common sense to use meditation to similarly defuse societal stress. A reduction in crime and stress-related behavior would then be expected to follow.

Nobody would have ever guessed—I wouldn’t have guessed—the extraordinary degree to which you can reduce social violence through meditation, because it doesn’t take everyone meditating to generate profound effects. A relatively small number of people meditating together has a powerful spillover effect, reducing stress throughout a surrounding area in a measurable way. That’s the phenomenon I want to focus on. That’s where the really interesting physics and metaphysics can be found.

REAL-WORLD EFFECTS

A study I conducted in the summer of 1993 in Washington, DC, shows rising crime levels over a period of six months, which take place every year as the temperature gets hotter between the winter and the summer. People stay out later, they are more aggravated and agitated, they get into more fights, and the crime rate goes up. This is an absolutely known annual trend. From June through July of that summer, we brought to the area a large number of practicing meditators and trained quite a few others. When the group reached a particular size—2,500 (ultimately reaching 4,000)—which was about halfway through the period, there was a distinct and highly statistically significant drop in crime compared to expected rates based on previous data, weather conditions, and a variety of other factors.

We collaborated with the local police department, the FBI, and 24 leading, independent criminologists and social scientists from major institutions, including the University of Maryland, the University of Texas, and Temple University, who used highly sophisticated research tools to control for variables such as weather. Everyone ended up agreeing on the language, the analysis, and the results, and those results were quite astonishing. We predicted a 20 percent drop in crime, and we achieved a 25 percent drop. Just before the study, the Washington, DC, chief of police went on television and said something like, “It’s gonna take a foot of snow in June to reduce crime by 20 percent.” But he allowed his department to participate in the experiment by collecting and analyzing the data. In the end, the police department signed on as one of the authors of a published paper (see Social Indicators Research 47:153–201, June 1999).

In this case it was only a few thousand people in a city of about a million and a half. So a relatively small group was influencing a much larger group. This is what is so fascinating. And it has implications for more than just crime. In my opinion the most immediate implications today in the world are stopping ethnic wars, the conflict in the Middle East, and so on. And in fact a similar experiment was done during the peak of the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s. We found that on days when the numbers of meditators were largest (and also on the subsequent day), levels of conflict were markedly reduced—by about 80 percent overall. This turned out to be a statistically significant effect and also a surprising one, because there were only about 600 to 800 people meditating in the midst of this entire conflict and the highly stressed surrounding population.

The results were published in Yale University’s Journal of Conflict Resolution (32:776–812, December 1988), which also published a letter urging other universities, collaborators, and groups to repeat this study. The editors felt that the implications of this were so far reaching, so fundamentally important, that it must be repeated to test the likelihood that the results were a statistical fluke. And that’s exactly what happened over the next two and a quarter years. During this 821-day period, seven subsequent experiments were performed to examine the effects of group meditation on the Israel-Lebanon war. These groups gathered in Israel, in Lebanon itself in the actual conflicted neighborhoods, and at locations throughout the Middle East, Europe, and other parts of the world.

In each case, when the size of the group reached the threshold that was predicted (based on previous research) to have an effect, there was a marked and statistically significant reduction of violence. We have also found in other studies that in the geographic vicinity of such a meditating group, people experienced physiological changes—increased EEG coherence, reduced plasma cortisol, increased blood levels of serotonin, biochemical changes, and neurophysiological changes—as if they were meditating.

When you put all these studies together, the likelihood that the reductions of violence were simply coincidental—a statistical fluke—was less than one part in 10 million million million (1019). An overwhelming number of papers documenting more than sixty different experiments of group meditation’s effect on conflict have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals that have the most stringent standards for research. I believe it is the most rigorously established and thoroughly tested phenomenon in the history of the social sciences.

“I think the claim can be plausibly made that the potential impact of this research exceeds that of any other ongoing social or psychological research program. It has survived a broader array of statistical tests than most research in the field of conflict resolution. This work and the theory that informs it deserve the most serious consideration by academics and policy makers alike.”

—David Edwards, PhD
Professor of Government
University of Texas at Austin

The rest of this compelling article continues below with the subheading STRINGS AND SPACE-TIME. If you don’t see it here, scroll below and click on Read the rest of this entry at the bottom of this post to continue reading.

You’ll also come across a subsection added after the article titled, TM and Intention. It was part of a conversation between the editor of Shift magazine and the team at the Maharishi University of Management.

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Around the same time, as a companion piece, Byron Belitsos interviewed John Hagelin for the IONS online Intention Downloads. It is truly spectacular. To elaborate and elucidate on the subject, Byron asked some great questions on the differences between meditation and intention. Dr. Hagelin’s brilliant replies really took this current Intention debate to a deeper more comprehensive level of understanding, equating intention with thought, distinguishing between thinking and consciousness, and how one can enhance one’s intentions multifold from a deeper level of consciousness. You can listen to the 23:12 minute interview published June 26, 2007 by clicking on this Intention Download Interview. You can also click on these links to Download as mp3, and also View Transcript. Here is their introduction to that interview:

Intention Downloads Interview: John Hagelin
Visionary: John Hagelin, PhD

In this interview, quantum physicist and former Presidential candidate John Hagelin explains the difference between intention and consciousness, which opens the door on a fascinating discussion of how spending time in deep meditation in the “nuclear” level of thought can multiply the efficacy of intentions. Residing in object-free consciousness connects us to a field of pure, unlimited, creative potential, which in turn ripples out through the quantum field, affecting our lives and even large systems in positive ways. He cites studies he has been involved in showing that a critical mass of meditators has correlated with significantly lowered crime rates. He also predicted similar effects on complex systems from hurricanes to stock markets, with positive results so far. Scientific study of such effects is gaining steam and his ambitious Invincible America Assembly project plans to take this work to the next level, training a critical mass of meditators to positively affect the rates of violence for the entire planet.

JOHN HAGELIN, PhD, is a quantum physicist, educator, public policy expert, and one of the world’s foremost proponents of peace. He is director of the Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy, and international director of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace. For more information, go to http://hagelin.org.

Research Links: www.permanentpeace.org and www.invincibility.org.

Also posted on www.MeditationAsheville.org

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See: Group Meditations Reduce Crime, As Predicted
And Explanation to Steady Decline in Major Crime

(more…)


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