How We Present
An Interview with John Davies: One per cent for peace--the real war on terror
by Sandra Anderson
Yoga International Translate This Article
10 June 2005
On 10 June 2005 Yoga International reported:
Dr John Davies, an internationally recognized expert in conflict management at the University of Maryland, gave brilliant insights into the mechanics of creating world peace - redefining the 'war on terror' based on scientific research which shows that groups practising Transcendental Meditation may be more effective than warfare.
It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring
fulfilment to the field of world peace.
As an expert in conflict management, Dr. Davies was interviewed by Sandra Anderson of Yoga Journal Magazine, who began by asking him about a story he had told about a village in Lebanon that stayed safe through violent times because a physician had taught his patients to meditate.
He explained, 'That was a wonderful little study we did with a Lebanese medical doctor in a village in the Chouf mountains. This was a village of over 12,000 people, previously subjected to the continuous violence that plagued the whole area. But when one per cent of the population of that village began meditating, the violence stopped. There were no more bombs in that village, even though the level of violence continued or even increased all around it for years afterward. . . . The idea is that once you have a number of people coming together in a group, you intensify the impact of changes in consciousness that happen during meditation when the body, brain, mind, and heart are all aligned and integrated. In that state, we can also align or attune much more readily with each other. And because we attune more with those close to us, that amplifies the effect of meditating together. There's literally a coherence in consciousness that is reflected in brain wave patterns,' he explained.
A recurrent theme in the interview was that the creation of a critical mass of minds uniting on the level of transcendental consciousness is the only remedy for warlike tendencies in humanity. In relation to the peace project in Lebanon that Dr Davies had documented, he said the results of the research on the war in Lebanon were very solid. The level of violence in Lebanon was significantly less during the course of the study, down by 40 to 80 per cent on average. But because it is a new concept in human mental potential, the stunning research published in 1988 in a leading journal—The Journal of Conflict Resolution—it created more criticism than breakthrough in the scientific community. It took another 15 years to get the other six replications of the study published in a refereed journal. The results challenged people's old assumptions of the way things are, and threatened the old paradigm of physics that dictates a fragmented view of the world, a view which in itself has perpetuated the very existence of conflict and problems in society.
Ms Anderson asked if the results were successful due to any specific intentions for Lebanon in mind on the part of the meditators, and Dr Davies said no. 'During the group practice they were not thinking about Lebanon. . . Just practising their meditation programme together, since the experience tends to be deeper with the support of a group. They practised a mantra meditation-Transcendental Meditation-and advanced TM-Sidhi techniques, both derived from the Vedic tradition.
Dr Davies elaborated that the new principles of physics can help the mind grasp this concept. He said that the most profound and cutting edge scientific theories support this phenomenon of action at a distance. Classical Newtonian physics, the old way of explaining the physics of many everyday objects and behaviours, is simply a rudimentary understanding. Quantum field dynamics go further to illustrate how everything is connected with everything else at the level of the unified field, which underlies the objective universe. It is also possible to experience it as subjective consciousness during Transcendental Meditation, as awareness travels from that Newtonian, external behavioural level of separation and objectivity to subtler levels of experience at much subtler time and space levels, where we are peaceful, alert, and also intimately connected with our environment.
When asked what the important action step to be taken is, Dr Davies encouraged an action-based approach, saying that knowing what we know—that even one per cent of people on the planet living from this transcendent level of unity will make a huge global difference—we have a responsibility for acting on it. He spoke of the necessity to incorporate world traditions which include consciousness-based techniques for creating inner peace into the global peacekeeping effort, and recognised the great impact of people already employing peace practices either individually or collectively.
In his work in southern Africa and Asia, he noted that the ability of small groups to pray or sing together was invaluable in helping them to find agreement on steps for building peace, and led him to conclude that as long as these traditional practices lead the awareness to a state of transcendence, all of the spiritual traditions from around the world can have this effect by uniting its members.
'I keep coming to the same realization: There is no difference on the inside at the deep level. There's one truth. If you want to use the G-word, that's fine. If you don't want to use the G-word that's fine, too, but the reality is the same. Words get us caught. Words are relative to our culture and our time. But on the inside it's one reality, and it's one per cent for the society or for the whole planet. The more people meditating, the more impact we have.'
He went on to say that in an environment of coherent collective consciousness, events such as the 11 September attacks in the US will not happen again, therefore, creating coherence in society is the true war on terror. Dr Davies reiterated the great responsibility to share what we know. Whether or not there's a broad enough understanding of the dynamics of collective consciousness for the US government to take action based on this research right now, our purpose should be to continue the real war on terror by promoting collective coherence-creating groups to combat terrorism, he concluded.
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