April 22, 2006
Q: What is the Maharishi Effect? - Layperson
A: The Maharishi Effect is the phenomenon of the rise of coherence in the collective consciousness of any community. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that when one per cent of the population of a city or town practices Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation Programme, the crime rate significantly decreases. Similarly, when groups of individuals practicing Maharishi's TM-Sidhi programme with Yogic Flying equal at least the square root of one per cent of a population, there is a significant reduction of crime and accidents, as well as an increase in stock prices, decreased pollution, decreased unemployment, and decreased hostilities between nations.
The basis of the Maharishi Effect is the rise of collective consciousness. Collective consciousness is the wholeness of consciousness of any specific group. For example, when we talk of community consciousness, we merely put together the consciousness of all the individuals who make up the community; for national consciousness we put together the consciousness of all the citizens of a nation. The Maharishi Effect may also explane what psychologists call "morphic resonance (possibly a form of telepathy)" - in which two groups (i.e.- two sets of chimpazees on two distantly separated and isolated islands) transmit knowledge to each other although there are no physical connections permitting this.
There are innumerable divisions and organizations of collective consciousness, but among these there are seven principal levels: family consciousness, community consciousness, city consciousness, state or provincial consciousness, national consciousness, world consciousness, and universal consciousness, each created by the individuals within the group.
The phenomenon of collective consciousness can best be understood by examining the concept of a field, as described by modern science. Physicists delineate a variety of infinite, unbounded, and all-pervasive fields that operate invisibly throughout creation, governing the activities of innumerable Laws of Nature. For example, the electromagnetic field—one of the four principal force fields—permeates the entire universe, and enables radio and television transmitters to send signals by creating waves within the field. While the waves are unseen, they nonetheless create effects with which we are all familiar; the sounds and images of radio and television.
Likewise, the other three fundamental force fields; gravitation, weak interaction, and strong interaction; also pervade everything and behave invisibly throughout Nature. Self-referral consciousness is also a field, though on an even more fundamental level, for it is the omnipresent, invisible, and unbounded field from which all force and matter fields emerge.
Just as a radio transmitter can create waves in the electromagnetic field, individuals constantly create influences on all parts of creation simply because consciousness permeates every aspect of the material universe. To illustrate, if a stone is thrown into a pond, waves are produced that travel throughout the pond. Each wave produces some effect in every part of the pond. Similarly, the wave of individual life, through its activity, produces an influence in all parts of the cosmos.
On the basis of this same principle, the direct experience of self-referral consciousness influences every aspect of the universe, enlivening it with the perfect order and harmony inherent within self-referral consciousness. For this reason, groups of individuals can create very powerful effects in the environment through their collective practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program; through their self-referral practice, they enliven every aspect of the universe by stimulating its most fundamental constituent, consciousness, and they especially enliven the collective consciousness of the city or province or nation in which they are located.
Since collective consciousness is created by the individuals within it, as individual consciousness grows collective consciousness rises; and as collective consciousness rises individual consciousness grows. In other words, as an individual regularly experiences self-referral consciousness and enlivens it in his own awareness, the levels of collective consciousness in which he participates (family, city, province, nation, etc.) are simultaneously improved. This higher value of collective consciousness in turn effects, in a positive way, every one of the individual members of that level of collective consciousness.
Since individual and collective consciousness maintain this reciprocal relationship, a group of individuals practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program will bring a powerful influence of orderliness and harmony to collective consciousness, enabling an entire population to act more coherently, more harmoniously, and more in accord with Natural Law. On this basis, Maharishi has brought to light the potential for every nation to create invincibility for itself and for all its citizens.
Invicibility to Every Nation
Invincibility not only describes the ability of a nation to maintain impregnability to its enemies (both within the nation and outside of it) it also describes a state in which every aspect of national life is in perfect balance. Invincibility is a state of fully integrated, perfectly coherent national consciousness, in which the inner depth of consciousness is integrated with the outer values of life. Maharishi has described invincibility in his book Enlightenment and Invincibility in the following words:
When a significant number of individuals individuals practice the TM-Sidhi Program, including Yogic Flying, in a group (the size varies depending upon the size of the nation's population), the infinite coherence inherent within self-referral consciousness is spontaneously enlivened in collective consciousness, and every aspect of national life becomes connected. National life not only becomes perfectly balanced, but no negative influences from outside or from within the society can disturb this balance. This is true invincibility, not the false sense of security that comes from stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.
The Meissner Effect
Throughout the physical and biological sciences we can locate principles that give rise to permanence, or invincibility, where a systems is strengthened to such an extent that its integrity remains virtually unaffected by outside influences that act upon it. In these cases, indestructibility seems always to depend on the coherence of collective functioning of the individual components of the system. Some believe the Meissner Effect is the explanation for the auras psychics are able to visualize around living objects and which can be demonstrated through Kirlian Photography.
In Physics, principles of invincibility are those that protect the structural integrity of a system or its ability to maintain order. This may include many aspects, including, the strength of the material, its hardness, the strength of the structure, its resistance to outside penetrations, etc.
One example is the Meissner Effect. If we take an ordinary metal at ordinary temperatures (such as an iron bar at room temperature) and bring a magnet near the bar, the magnetic field will penetrate inside the iron. The electrons, which are already flowing around in a disorderly and confused state, will become even more disorderly and confused, because their paths are distorted by the presence of the magnetic field. In a superconductor, however, something quite different takes place. In a superconductor, the electrons within are already moving in a coherent collective state, and because of their coherence the invading magnetic field is repelled, and must flow around the outside of the superconductor. In this case, it is the coherence of the collective functioning of the electrons that causes it to maintain its invincible state.
In an ordinary electrical conductor, incoherent, disordered electrons allow penetration by an external magnetic field.
The principle through which the Maharishi Effect resolves and prevents military conflicts is parallel to this principle of the Meissner Effect. Just as the process of introducing greater coherence among the iron molecules makes the bar invincible, a group of Yogic Flyers—experts in the practice of Maharishi's TM-Sidhi Program—practicing this Vedic Technology introduces greater coherence and harmony in the collective consciousness of the nation, rendering the nation impervious to negative, hostile influences. This invincible armor is called a Kavach in the Vedic Language. When the nation is surrounded by a Kavach, it has no enemies, and therefore achieves victory before war, where even an enemy cannot be born.
The results of the collective practice of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program have been documented on every level of society by over 50 research studies, which have used the most sophisticated tools available to the social sciences. The following is a brief summary of some of the research on the Maharishi Effect.
Scientific Research on the Maharishi Effect
Effects on City Life
Using Box-Jenkins time series impact assessment analysis of predicted threshold, scientists in 1984 found a 22% reduction in homicide when the group of Yogic Flyers exceeded the predicted threshold. Researchers in 1987 used Box-Jenkins time series impact assessment analysis of a 5-month intervention period compared to pre- and post-intervention baselines, and found that when the creating coherence group (Yogic Flyers) surpassed the square root of one per cent of the population of Metro Manila in the Philippines, there was a significant (p < .005) decrease in crime.
Effects on State and Provincial Life
Another researcher found in 1990 that a significant decline in crime rate, traffic fatality rate, and unemployment (also combined in an index) in the state of Iowa, USA, as a result of the coherence creating group at Maharishi International University (p’s < .05 for each variable). This researcher employed Box-Jenkins time series transfer function analysis of the effect of group size on quality of life.
Effects on National Life
A number of studies have demonstrated significant effects on the quality of life in an entire nation from a coherence creating group. These include decreased crime and accident rates in Holland during three intervention periods (all p’s < .025); increase in the British stock market index (1983); using Box-Jenkins time series impact assessment analysis, researchers in the U.S.A. found a decrease (p = .005) in traffic fatalities when a coherence creating group in Iowa exceeded the square root of one per cent of the nation’s population (1984).
Effects on Neighboring Countries
Employing Box-Jenkins time series impact assessment analysis of the effect of the TM-Sidhi group, a researcher found that the influence of a creating coherence group in the United States not only reduced Okun’s Misery Index (the sum of monthly inflation and unemployment rates) in the United States, but also in its neighboring country Canada. However, he noted that the effect was larger in the United States than in Canada, underscoring the need for every nation to maintain its own group.
Other researchers found that as the size of a creating coherence group increased in Jerusalem, it began to first influence the city, then the nation of Israel, and then its neighboring country Lebanon. This study measured a composite index including war intensity and war deaths in Lebanon, Israeli national mood and national stock index, auto accident rates, number of fires, and crime rates for both Jerusalem and Israeli; it employed Box-Jenkins time series analysis using impact assessment, cross correlation, and transfer function analyses of the creating coherence group size on all variables and indices.
Effects on International Conflict and Quality of Life
Studies have found that the Maharishi Effect creates a profound effect on International conflicts. A study of U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union between 1985 and 1987 found that when the size of the coherence-creating group at Maharishi International University exceeded the square root of one per cent of the U.S. population, there was in the following weeks a significant improvement in the actions of the United States toward the U.S.S.R.; in addition, studies have found decreased conflict in troubled areas of the world, and decreased war deaths and injuries and significant progress toward peace in Lebanon.
The Global Maharishi Effect
One of the most significant areas of research on the Maharishi Effect is the effect of a creating-coherence group of Yogic Flyers on the entire world. In December of 1983, Maharishi International University hosted a three-week assembly for participants in Maharishi’s TM-Sidhi program. Participants attended from all parts of the world, creating the first group in excess of 7,000 (the square root of one per cent of the world’s population). Using a variety of statistical techniques appropriate to the different data sets (including chi-square contingency table analysis and Box-Jenkins time series impact assessment analysis), researchers found a number of positive changes in the quality of life throughout the world, including increased positivity in trouble-spot areas (p < .002), increased progress towards peace in Lebanon (p < .006), and increase in the World Index of stock prices (p < .00004).
These studies clearly indicate the powerful influence available through the collective practice of Maharishi’s TM and TM-Sidhi Program.
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