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5 Questions: John Hagelin
by Keach Hagey

Last Exit Magazine    Translate This Article
28 November 2008

[The following interview with Dr John Hagelin was published by Last Exit Magazine on 22 November 2008; it was conducted by Keach Hagey, Co-Editor, and is published here with permission.]

As panic gripped Wall Street in the final days before the election, Dr. John Hagelin, physics professor and director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Maharishi University of Management and former presidential candidate, announced his own billion-dollar bailout plan. In the heart of the New York's financial district, his organization opened the Global Financial Capital of New York aimed at teaching bankers to meditate and thereby saving us all from financial ruin.

1. How can Transcendental Meditation help the economy?

Dr Hagelin: In the short term, Transcendental Meditation, and especially its group practice, can boost the markets. The calming effect of meditation has a spillover effect into the surrounding society, according to extensive published scientific research. And this calming effect and sense of stability and optimism and confidence buoys the markets, which are extremely sensitive to the national mood. So, because the markets are such a sensitive barometer to the collective consciousness, the level of collective fear or confidence, the markets move virtually immediately with increases in the number of people meditating in these peace-promoting groups. This is something that has been long established and carefully studied and published in the world's foremost scientific journals, this correlation between the markets and the national mood, which is familiar to most people in the economy of course, and the relationship between the national mood and the presence of meditating groups in any given city, for example, or if the group is large enough, even on a national scale.

There are deeper principles involved here that would take a little time to unfold. My area of research as a quantum physicist is the influence of the individual on society and the collective effects of meditation. So there are deep principles of quantum mechanics that would help us understand the magnitude of the influence of one person upon another, or a group of people on the surrounding society. But even at a common-sense level, everybody knows that we affect one another, and there is a spillover of the calming effect of meditation into family and the world environment, and even society as a whole if enough people are involved. Just as panic can spread through a whole city, such as South Central LA, calm can spread through a city, or even can pervade an entire country, if the square route of one percent of the population or more is practicing these advanced and very specific technologies of consciousness, meditation practices, that have been developed to produce calm and social order.

2. Could you describe the project that you are doing on Wall Street right now, and how you got the idea to do it?

Dr Hagelin: The idea of creating groups emerged over the past 20 years, when surprising research correlated significant drops in crime rate with cities where about one percent or more of the population had learned Transcendental Meditation. And this phenomenon has now been measured and published in about 240 different cities. So the societal effect of meditation was becoming extremely well known and has been used on many occasions to reduce social stress and even political violence, and religious and political tensions in war-torn areas. So, it's a scientific fact, over the last quarter century, that group meditation can calm social stress and bring stability to society. To apply it to the markets was fairly common sense, and has emerged in particular over these last weeks, when the market turmoil has been maximum.

So because fear results in a bearish phenomenon, when people withdraw from the markets, sending markets lower, and because the drop in prices amplifies the fear, which in turn sends the prices lower still, the markets are extremely unstable and almost hypersensitive to the collective mood. So our idea was, let's create calm and stability in Wall Street first, where decisions are being made constantly that affect the financial well-being of the country and of the world. If banks, for example, are too apprehensive to lend, then the whole economy can grind to a halt, causing a recession and possibly even a depression if you believe some people. So if we can calm the jitters on Wall Street first, that will have a far-reaching implication, and about a thousand people in this New York City area practicing Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques as a group would be enough, according to extensive published research in the world's foremost journals, to really calm the jitters on Wall Street, the irrational and disproportional reaction to the fiscal realities, which are real. I mean, a correction is a natural and in this case probably long overdue phenomenon that's healthy for the economy—but when a correction starts to generate excess fear, inordinate amounts of fear, which can propel the economy into a tailspin, this leads to an unfortunately amplified effect. That excess reaction, born of fear, can be quelled through group meditation. That was the logic that caused us to introduce this program of meditation to Wall Street.

Many top corporate executives use Transcendental Meditation in their own lives to combat stress and maintain peak mental performance. Now corporations are beginning to introduce Transcendental Meditation to the entire company, to combat stress within the corporation, to promote health within the corporation and also to produce this inevitable spillover effect into the surrounding neighborhood, into the surrounding city, this calming effect on the markets that is so helpful right now.

Part II of this article, the conclusion of the Last Exit Magazine interview with Dr John Hagelin, will be featured in Global Good News in the coming days.

The article is available online at:

Copyright Last Exit 2008

Global Good News comment:

For information about Maharishi's seven-point programme to create a healthy, happy, prosperous society, and a peaceful world, please visit: Global Financial Capital of New York.

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