Posts Tagged ‘Intention’

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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