In more than fifty scientific studies conducted for more than 40 years, it has become indisputable – the Maharishi Effect is real. This is the phenomenon wherein a critical mass of any population gathers to meditate (physically or via modern technology like the Internet) to change the world into a more peaceful place. This isn’t a beatnik, hippy-drippy dream, but a well-documented marvel that happens when people focus on making positive change in their hearts and minds.
The Maharishi Effect was dubbed after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918-2008) documented the effect of Transcendental Meditation in the 1970s (after his earlier prediction of the outcomes of critical-mass meditation in the 1960s). Transcendental Meditation is based on the Vedic practice of insight meditation, practiced for at least 5,000 years prior to Maharishi’s presence on earth.
I should clarify before we go any further, than I am not a blanket supporter of Mahesh Yogi’s TM empire. It can cost upwards of several thousand dollars to receive a “mantra” which you could easily choose for yourself, and instructions on how to meditate properly. Figures like David Lynch (screenwriter and producer) have been called the Tom Cruise of TM, but the practice itself stripped of its commercialism is undeniable effective.
In fact, in study after study peering into the brain changes made in individuals who meditate, and what we know now about mirror neurons, it should come as no surprise that when a bunch of us get together with an intent to create peace – we actually create it!
To wit, the journal Frontiers in Psychology published a study which states,
“Contingent on the nuances of the practice, kindness-based meditation may enhance the neural systems related to faster and more basic perceptual or motor simulation processes, simulation of another’s affective body state, slower and higher-level perspective-taking, modulatory processes such as emotion regulation and self/other discrimination, and combinations thereof.”
In the early 80s, Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti of the University of Parma, Italy found through studying monkeys’ brains that we are hard-wired to be more empathetic when we spend time with each other – that’s just spending time, not even meditating on kindness, compassion, or world peace.
David Edwards Ph.D., Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin says this about the Maharishi Effect,
“I think the claim can be plausibly made that the potential impact of this research exceeds that of any other ongoing social or psychological research program. It has survived a broader array of statistical tests than most research in the field of conflict resolution. This work and the theory that informs it deserve the most serious consideration by academics and policy makers alike.”
As detailed in the Tell-Tale Brain, A Neuroscientists Quest for What Makes Us Human, written by V.S. Ramachandra, we learn that mirror neurons seem to function very specifically to:
- Help us perceive what others intend even without them telling us;
- Help us to understand another person’s point of view, even when it differs from our own;
- Improve our limbic system to be more sensitive to others’ emotions and emotional intent;
- Enhance both self-consciousness and our awareness of others;
- Linking visual, motor, auditory, and interpersonal maps in our brain with the maps created in others’ brains;
- Clarification of language through the shapes of the mouth and face;
- Enhance information we receive (sounds, shapes, etc.);
- Help us to “attach” to others
- Increase empathy, and imitation;
- Increasing brain plasticity
- Integrate different ways of communication (gestures, facial movements, spoken language, body language)
Here are just a few highlights of the profound ways critical-mass meditation altered the world, and the next global meditation that you can participate in to mimic previous successes.
- Reduction in death rates due to heart attack, U.S.
- Reduction in overall anxiety
- Decreased crime rates in numerous suburban U.S. cities
- Decreased armed conflict in Lebanon
- Lowered fetal deaths in the Philippines
- Decreased number of fires and auto accidents in Jerusalem
- Decreased terrorism rates
- Improved economy based on multiple economic factors in several cities in the U.S.
- Increased confidence and economic prosperity in the U.K.
- Decreased traffic accidents in Holland
- Decreased auto accident rates in numerous U.S. cities
- Decreased suicide in numerous U.S. cities
- Increased harmony in international affairs in U.S. and Russia
- Decreased war in Lebanon and Zimbabwe
There is a very important synchronized meditation in planning to happen sometime in the next few months. The goal is to reach critical mass – at least 144,000 people concentrating on peace, and changing the world for the better at one point in “time.”
There have already been two global meditations of significance. They have helped to facilitate great change:
- Healing of the brutal devastation of the Kongo area that has been in civil war since the 1990s, with more than 200,000 meditating. Some believe that changes in plasma activity were documented about an hour before the meditation took place, and was linked to the critical mass obtained;
Unusual spikes were detected on the very same day that the Global Consciousness Project conducted its meditation, December 22nd. The Spectrogram Calendar displays data from the magnetic field detector developed by the Global Coherence Initiative research team to monitor the resonances occurring in the plasma waves constantly circling the earth in the ionosphere. These daily spectrograms show the activity occurring at the various resonant frequencies from 1 to 50 Hz. Within the spectrogram, the power, or intensity level of each frequency is displayed as a color, with yellow being the most intense. The Schumann resonances appear as the horizontal lines at 7.8,14, 20, 26, 33 & 39 Hz. In this calendar, each day begins at midnight UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
- The second meditation was aimed at peace in Syria, but critical mass was not reached. (Approximately 100,000 people participated). This is why your participation in the upcoming global meditation is of critical importance.
It is likely the next event will be set VERY SOON, but the date has not yet been set.
To stay abreast of the meditation and instructions for how to participate you can visit Global Peace Meditation.
We can change the world. It’s already been proven.
Additional Global Meditations Happening This Year
You can also visit https://globalmeditation.net. It is updated with meditations happening in different places around the world regularly, with two which happened in Germany and Thailand earlier this year.
If you want to be physically present with others in your area, there are often free community meditations available. You can use meditationfinder.com as a resource to locate these. MeetUp, and Facebook will often show local meditations as well.
Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’
Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.
Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.
From Five to One
The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.
These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.
Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.
The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.
This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.
Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.
But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.
Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.
Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.
My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.
Flow and Fragments of Energy
Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.
Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.
Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.
There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.
The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.
Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.
We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.
Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.
Back to Einstein, Adding Universality
More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.
These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.
The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.
If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.
For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.
In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.
Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.
The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.
Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons
Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field
A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.
The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.
McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.
Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.
McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.
McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.
Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:
“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”
It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.
“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”
Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics
(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.
On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.
The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.
The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.
Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.
The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.
At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.
Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.
Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of marijuana during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.
The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.
In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”
The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.
“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.
Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.
Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.
Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.
The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.
The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.
“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”
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