Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Collective meditation does have effects in the ‘real world’.
We are living now in the age of Kali Yuga. According to Indo-Tibetan mythology, this is a time when iron birds fly in the air, and the life of the spirit falls to its nadir. The evidence for this can be seen all around us: terrorism, alienation, crime, drugs, degradation of the environment. It is not hard to see how the age of Kali Yuga has arisen necessarily along with the rise of the predominant materialist world-view. This view, of the world being made up of particles, which we envisage as material, could in principle be overturned if we would really take on the implications of quantum theory, which sees the world as made up of insubstantial inter-penetrating waves.
It is now often stated that the basic tenets of quantum theory have never come under serious question. Thus we must accept one of these: that, at some level, faster than-light, or non-local connections can exist. Further, there is much recent evidence that this can be true not only for the particles studied by physicists but for human minds. Further to the thousands of anecdotes of telepathy there are now two very convincing lines of objective evidence. The first concerns brain waves: at least three groups of scientists have shown first (and as expected) there is usually a degree of synchrony between the two halves of a single person’s brain. But what is new and exciting is the finding of synchrony between separate individuals. This occurs principally where there is a close relationship, as with lovers, or mother and child — e.g. .
Synchrony may also occur between brain waves and other physiological rhythms, such as heart-beat and breathing. This becomes much more marked during meditation — as if this activity serves to harmonise bodily functions. In addition, studies on long-term meditators have shown that the brain does undergo real permanent change as a result .
The second line of evidence concerns a much more general phenomenon whereby the minds of millions of people all over the world can be seen to be linked together. This work began some 30 years ago, at Princeton University, with the finding that people could, with their minds, influence (albeit to a very small degree) the behaviour of a simple electronic device called a random event generator (REG) . Unavoidably, all electronic components generate noise. This noise is generally thought to be completely random, but obviously a mental influence means a departure from randomness. Later experiments led the researchers to believe that conscious intention was not necessary, since the REG was responding to large groups of people who did not even know the device was in the room with them. Working with situations such as theatres or religious meetings, observers were sent in to record the times when there was simultaneous focus of emotion, such as when the audience laughed together, or held their breath at some dramatic scene. When later these records were compared with the record of noise from the REG, significant correlations were often found.
Thinking already that this effect might be non-local, they set up the Global Consciousness Project, whose objective was to look for correlations between REG behaviour and major world events which would be likely to focus the emotions of millions of people. The procedure now is, whenever a major world event takes place, to make a “formal prediction” that it will significantly affect the REGs. (There are now over 50 of these operating in various parts of the world). Then, whether the result is, or is not significant, it is still included in the calculation of overall significance. These results are available for anyone to see on the inspiring website ). A particularly large deviation was found in response to the events of 9/11 (Fig. 1).
Figure 1: The combined statistical significance of all the results accumulated over several years is now extremely high. Have these subtle connections among human beings been increasing in recent years – perhaps with the help of the rapidly increasing network of communications by radio, telephone and the internet? It is too early to say. But the scientists running the Global Consciousness Project suggest that they have, and that they are leading us towards the “Omega Point,” as foreseen by Pierre Theilhard de Chardin, when the human race becomes in effect a single organism . In this case, it might be suggested, a high proportion of people’s brain waves might come into synch with the Schumann resonance much of the time, and perhaps lead them to identify with Gaia and the natural world.
Collective meditation and prayer have effects in the real world.
If this is so, then we already have a basis for belief that prayer might, after all, be effective. Indeed a number of scientific studies have been carried out to test the efficacy of prayer in aiding the recovery of patients in hospital. Some of these have achieved a modest degree of statistical significance. Much more impressive, however, are the results obtained by scientists at the Maharishi International University’s Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy. Based on his theory of the unified field, the Maharishi advanced the hypothesis that meditation itself, and especially the transcendental meditation he was teaching, should have an effect in the real world, and that this effect might be greatly magnified when large numbers meditate together. This hypothesis has been tested now in over 40 studies on a variety of social indicators, with violent crime rates showing the biggest effect. Many of these have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
The Experiment and Studies:
A very large and well-planned experiment took place in Washington in 1993 . Every stage of the experiment was overseen by a 27-member review board including sociologists, criminologists, and representatives from the Police and Local Government. It was decided, as the dependent variable, to monitor figures for violent crime. Over a period of two months, TM practitioners gathered at several locations in the city, and practised the TM-Sidhi programme together twice daily at pre-arranged times.
The result (Figure 2) shows that, as the number of meditators rose to reach eventually about 4,000, the violent crime figure dropped progressively by 23%. The statistical significance of this correlation was astronomic. No significant decreases in crime were found for similar periods during the previous five years. On consideration of a great number of other possible causes for this result, such as unusual weather conditions, etc., none was found to be remotely answerable.
Another study centred on the war in Lebanon in 1988 . Over a two-year period, seven TM groups met at various times totalling 93 days — not only in Lebanon and Israel, but further afield in Holland, Yugoslavia and the US. Their influence, assessed by a composite peace/war index, during these 93 days reached enormous significance by comparison with the intervening periods, totalling 748 days, when no such groups were meeting. The authors comment that these results make this peace-creating effect of group meditations the most rigorously established phenomenon in the history of social science.
These results should be taken seriously.
To see the graphs gives us exactly the kind of visual, quantitative evidence that our scientifically-encultured minds now demand. Some would object that people have been praying for peace from the beginning, and look how much war we still have. But petitionary prayer still has an element of ego, in that it is asking for something “I” want. The trick may be to stand aside and allow the greater universe to take whatever form it will; to allow the Tao to flow freely. Thus the TM meditators in the experiments were not consciously praying for anything, but rather could be said to be merely aligning themselves with the universe. At the same time, they could hardly escape knowing that an experiment was under way, and what was being measured; and those in the Washington experiment would have known that they were in Washington. This kind of link, held in the background of the mind, is what is usually employed for distant healing, and can focus an essentially non-local effect onto a specific target.
Since we know with such certainty now that we are all connected at this subtle level, we must allow for the possibility that we are having an influence all the time; not only during set times for spiritual practise. It may be that we are never “off duty,” but are on the stage all the time. This influence would come not from any kind of activity, not by any doing, but by the quality of our being.
Possible further evolution of the human race:
The above findings clearly reveal a tremendous potential, which could, in principle, heal the world. But they are only the beginnings of what many authors are now seeing as a great further stride in evolution. Indeed, such a stride was seen many years ago by Theilhard de Chardin, when he envisaged a linkage of human minds into a coherent whole, termed by him the noosphere . While evolution is popularly thought to be a gradual process, with any significant change taking millions of years, many big changes have in fact taken place relatively rapidly: so-called punctate evolution. The rate of change in these, however, is nothing to the kind of rapid change in the human psyche, which now seems necessary if we are to transform our world and set it on a more healthy course.
Is such a change possible?
While such a rapid change could not occur by classical (neo-Darwinian) selection, there is now increasing evidence for inheritance of (some) acquired characteristics. This has been proved to occur independent of upbringing, and even via the paternal line. The epigenetic mechanisms by which this occurs are now fairly well understood, and are particularly active in respect of brain and behaviour and, significantly, much more active in higher primates, and especially so in the human species. By these means a “Lamarckian” type of evolution can indeed occur, and can proceed much more quickly than if it depended on the elimination of those less than sufficiently fit to reproduce .
The need for such action now. How we might go about it?
It has been clear for some time that our world is coming to a crunch. Look at almost any aspect of our present (westernised) way of life and it will be seen to be unsustainable. Obviously this cannot go on indefinitely. And this crisis is accelerating, almost by the day. The human race is beginning to wake up to the need for concerted action. And many of us are thinking what kind of action we are best suited to take. Thus I, and I think many others, are no longer satisfied with the thought that, with daily practice of various Buddhist meditations, or other traditional religions, they might eventually become enlightened – perhaps only after many lifetimes. The situation is now such that whoever feels the call must not wait for personal enlightenment, but act now to the best of his imperfect ability.
If the results of the Maharishi Institute – e.g.  are to be believed (and the statistics are convincing) then the possibility clearly exists to heal the whole world. All we need is to enlist enough meditators. There are now several groups which are starting to do this. Perhaps the principal, and best organised one is that started by the Institute of HeartMath: the Global Coherence Initiative (GCI) . Another presents optimal times of day (in relation to sidereal time) for meditators at different longitudes . As presently constituted, they are gathering individuals and groups world-wide through the internet. They organise “webinars”, and group meditations to focus on specific issues, such as particular wars or natural disasters. At present without specific attempts at simultaneity, but this is planned to follow in due course. Some other groups are making similar initiatives – e.g. -.
The word “meditation” could comprise a large compendium of techniques.
While the TM method has had documented success, other methods could well be better. The field is wide open to further exploration. Both the Institute of Heartmath  and the institute for Applied Meditation  teach a practice of “being in ones heart”, rather than the head where most of us feel ourselves to be. The success of this (amply shown in the way that those taking the HeartMath courses become more effective in their work) depends on the effect of such “heart-focus” in quieting the fear-based stress of competition in modern life, so that ones creative faculties are allowed full play. It also of course greatly facilitates human interaction, so that co-operation increasingly takes the place of naked competition. In physiological studies, they find meditation (especially with heart-focus) to result in the heart-rate going up and down smoothly – so-called heart-rhythm coherence – contrasting with the random chaotic trace seen during stress.
Figure 3: Significantly, in the present context, they find the state of heart-rhythm coherence to enable people to do things by mental intent alone – like changing the physical properties of water, or of human DNA . In this they are only confirming what has been so well-documented in parapsychology: that the influence of human minds extends not only to other human minds but to outer reality too. Now, as a logical extension of this, one might expect that some aspects of the material world could be influenced by the state of the aggregate global human mind. In fact the GCI has posted evidence which is open to such an interpretation.
They downloaded recordings of the strength of the earth’s magnetic field from two satellites. Mostly this varies with a smooth daily rhythm but, precisely coincident with the events of 9/11, it becomes distinctly irregular, and remains so (but tailing off) for a few days subsequently .
Viewed through the lens of material science, it seems totally impossible that what is at present such a very few could influence the minds and behaviour of the world’s billions, the vast majority of whom are never likely to come anywhere near (at least intellectually) to such an understanding. But in the context of some of the scientific developments just described, it does seem not only possible, but mandatory. And moreover: it is happening. According to Peter Russell , the numbers of us engaging in meditation and other forms of inner exploration is increasing exponentially – and this seems likely to become true also for the number of web-sites devoted to bringing human minds into concerted action to heal the world. Here the insight of Teilhard de Chardin seems ever more prescient: we are in fact entering the global mind. Now that some of us are coming to understand this, we are asking what we can do to assist in bringing it about. In his most recent book, with Jude Currivan , Ervin Laszlo sees us human beings as directing our own evolution and so becoming co-creators. Increasing numbers of us will surely be engaging in various kinds of programmes of world-healing, so that in due course we will be bringing about manifest effects in the real world.
And in due course also, further methods for enlisting the group mind will be developed. One suggestion concerns the use of technologies to enhance brain wave coherence. One of these, hemisync, requires sounds or music to be fed into left and right ears at slightly different frequencies. To appreciate the music requires the two brain hemispheres to co-operate – i.e. to become coherent. In a recent experiment  several REGs were deployed in the vicinity of a number of people, each in a separate room, all listening to the same hemisync sounds. The REGs then registered greater than background coherence in the zero-point energy, just as they are doing in response to major world events. Thus in a similar way one might bring thousands into “synch” via the internet. Furthermore, it is worth considering that some times may be better than others. This is suggested from a meta-analysis of many distant-viewing experiments, which showed that this was most successful during a particular interval in the sidereal day – quoted in references. .
Philip Pullman has given us a potent myth for our times in the trilogy: “His Dark Materials”. Both a dramatic and entertaining fairy story, and a deeply meaningful allegory, this work engages with the present turning point in the collective psyche by having woven into it, in an unobtrusive way, a number of concepts derived from modern physics. As the story develops, one is gradually made aware of the mysterious “dust”. One is led to understand that dust is of over-riding significance for the very survival of the human race, but that it is leaking away. The protagonists, two children on the verge of adolescence, find themselves engaged on a quest to stop the haemorrhage of dust, and so save the world. What is dust? Although never baldly stated, it can be understood as one of the fundamental particles. Just as physics tells us of particles of light (photons) and of charge (electrons), so dust would consist of particles of love. With the encouragement both of scientific theory, and the astounding results just quoted, perhaps we may gain inspiration to set out on our own mythic quest to restore love to the world, and bring the age of Kali Yuga to an end.
- Nitamo Montecucco. Cyber – La Visione Olistica. Edizioni Mediterranee, 2001.
- Wackermann J, et al. (2003) Correlations between brain electrical activities of spatially separated human subjects. Neuroscience Letters 336: 60–64
- Work by Richard Davidson and Antoine Lutz. Summarized in “Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation”, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 174, January 2008, and, for inspiring thoughts on evolution of the brain, see Joseph Chilton Pearce: Biology of Transcendence, 2002.
- Radin, Dean I., et al.(1996) Anomalous Organization of Random Events by Group Consciousness: Two Exploratory Experiments, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 143-168.
- Pierre Theilhard de Chardin. The Phenomenon of Man.(Completed 1930’s, publ. Posthumously 1955)
- Hagelin, J.S., et al (1999). Effects of group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program on preventing violent crime in Washington D.C.: Results of the National Demonstration Project, June-July, 1993. Social Indicators Research, 47(2): 153-201.
- Orme-Johnson, D.W., et al (1988). International peace project in the Middle East: The effects of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32, 776-812.
- Rein, G. and McCraty R. Structural changes in water and DNA associated with new physiologically measurable states. (1994) Journal of Scientific Exploration 8(3):438-439.
- Russell, P. The Global Brain, 1982, and other related books.
- Ervin Laszlo and Jude Currivan. Cosmos – a Co-creator’s Guide to the Whole-World, 2008.
- Radin, D. and Atwater, F.H. (2009) Exploratory evidence for correlations between entrained mental coherence and random physical systems. J. Sci. Exploration, 23: 263.
About the author: Roger Taylor BSc, BVSc, PhD
Becoming disillusioned with a long career in immunology, and with the mainstream approach to biology and medicine, and looking to the alternative quantum approach, Roger took early retirement to work for 2 years with The Dove Project, publishing on the biophoton output of the human body. He worked in subsequent years (mostly in his home laboratory) around the subject of life energy. Using the quantitative dowsing technique he developed, he was able to show non-local transmission of both dowsable energy and frequency-information by means of identical images on paper.
These results were backed up objectively, in some instances, by UV spectroscopy of charged water, and statistically-controlled seedling growth experiments. An unexpected discovery was of an anti-life energy produced by passing life energy through a solution of aluminium sulphate. This dis-charged previously-charged water and inhibited growth of seedlings. A possible relation to the “chemtrail” phenomenon was advanced. He has five articles published in the online journal Syntropy www.syntropy.org/journal
You can email Roger at: [email protected]
This article is abridged from an original article by the author published in Nexus Magazine, and re-published in Syntropy Journal 2013.