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Maharishi Academy: How students can create a peaceful world

Maharishi Academy of Total Knowledge
Antrim, New Hampshire, USA
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6 May 2008

Maharishi Academy of Total Knowledge—High School for Leadership in New Hampshire, USA, has been designed to offer to each student the ability to gain total knowledge through Consciousness-Based education, which will develop the full potential of the individual; create students that do not make mistakes, thereby realizing the highest ideal of education; allow students to be successful in their endeavors; create healthy, wealthy, and wise citizens who will contribute to society; enable each student to achieve his spiritual goals in this generation; and promote the intelligent use of the environment.

An important element of Consciousness-Based education is the role of students in creating peace and harmony in their society. The Academy's web site features the following excellent discussion of this topic:

'There is an urgent need in the world for a high-level academic institution dedicated to cutting-edge peace research and effective solutions to crime, terrorism, and international conflict.'
—Dr. John Hagelin*

Q & A with Dr. Hagelin

Does stress and tension affect more than just the individual?

According to medical science, stress has reached epidemic proportions. It is fueling a wide range of health problems, such as stroke, hypertension, and heart disease: doctors now estimate that 90 percent of disease is caused or complicated by stress. But the problem extends beyond the individual. Stressed individuals produce a stressed society. And recent research has revealed that societal stress—including acute political, ethnic, and religious tensions—directly fuel social violence, such as crime, terrorism, and war. Fifty scientific studies, published in leading scientific journals, have found that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program is an effective approach for reducing stress and promoting health—not only in the individual but also in society as a whole. The ramifications of such a discovery are enormous.

How do you know that the Transcendental Meditation program reduces stress in society as a whole?

Fifty scientific studies have shown that the Transcendental Meditation program can be used to defuse acute societal stress, as measured by reduced crime, terrorism, and conflict. This conclusion is based on extensive empirical evidence. First, on the individual level, medical science has utilized the Transcendental Meditation technique to dissolve stress, with associated dramatic improvements in health. For example, an 11-year insurance study involving thousands of subjects has shown that people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique experience markedly reduced incidences of major surgery, cancer, and heart disease. Second, on a societal scale, 50 scientific studies have shown that the Transcendental Meditation program defuses acute societal stress, as measured by reduced crime, terrorism, and conflict. For this purpose, groups of trained meditation experts have been engaged to radiate a measurable influence of calm and coherence throughout society—in accord with recent theoretical understandings of long-range field effects of consciousness.

Can students create a peaceful future for themselves?

Absolutely. Research shows that a school with a few hundred meditating students is enough to significantly defuse tensions in a city, and a school with a few thousand meditating students can measurably reduce social tensions for the nation. Repeated studies also show that a group of 8,000 advanced meditation experts is enough to defuse social tensions on a global scale, markedly reducing violence and conflict in critical hotspots throughout the world. That is why we are immediately establishing a group of 2,000 meditating students in Washington, D.C., followed by a second group of 8,000 meditating students elsewhere in the U.S. (Original studies are available online at

How can meditation produce such far-reaching effects?

The answer comes from the most advanced theories of modern science. Progress in theoretical physics during the past quarter century has led to a progressively more unified understanding of the laws of nature, culminating in the recent discovery of completely unified field theories, based on the superstring. These theories locate a single, universal field of intelligence at the basis of all forms and phenomena in the universe. Extensive published research demonstrates that human consciousness can directly experience this unified field of intelligence in the simplest, most settled state of human awareness through the Transcendental Meditation program and its advanced techniques.

Regular experience of the unified field through the Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to dissolve deep-seated stress in the individual, bringing marked reductions in hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and other stress-related illness. When practiced collectively in groups, this same program has been shown to effectively reduce societal stress and tensions. From the perspective of physics, such groups of trained, peace-creating experts collectively accessing and stimulating the unified field generate powerful waves of unity and coherence that permeate the collective consciousness of the whole population. The immediate, practical result is markedly reduced crime and social violence and improved positive trends throughout society.

Fortunately, these benefits of the TM program come naturally and automatically and do not require belief or intellectual understanding of the mechanics. It's as simple as switching on a light switch and enjoying the light. Group meditation defuses acute societal stress and creates calm and coherence throughout the whole population.

Decreased War and Terrorism

A critical experimental test of the Invincible Defense Technology was conducted during the peak of the Lebanon war. A day-by-day study of a two-month assembly in Israel in 1983 showed that, on days when the number of participants in this Unified Field-based approach to defense ('TM Group Size') was high, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon dropped by 76% (p < 10-7). In addition, crime, traffic accidents, fires, and other indicators of social stress in Israel (combined into a Composite Index) all correlated strongly with changes in TM group size. Other possible causes (weekends, holidays, weather, etc.) were statistically controlled for (Journal of Conflict Resolution 32: 776-812, 1988).

These results were subsequently replicated in seven consecutive experiments over a two-year period during the peak of the Lebanon war. The results of these interventions included:

—war-related fatalities decreased by 
71% (p < 10-10)
—war-related injuries 
fell by 68% 
(p < 10-6)
—the level of conflict 
dropped by 48% 
(p < 10-8)
—cooperation among antagonists increased by 66% (p < 10-6)

The likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one part in 1010, making this effect of reducing societal stress and conflict the most rigorously established phenomenon in the history of the social sciences (Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1): 285-338, 2005).

*Dr John Hagelin, World-renowned quantum physicist and founding president of Central University, Kansas, public policy expert, lifelong educator, director of the Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, and leading scientific authority on the societal application of the Transcendental Meditation program.

Copyright © 2008, Maharishi Academy of Total Knowledge

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