Social Change

How a small percentage of the population can transform the whole society

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Change begins within We all influence those around us. The TM technique is a way to touch the deepest field of life—the most settled and awakened state of your own awareness—from where your influence on others is most powerful, positive and harmonious.

Research in neuroscience has found that the TM technique produces a coherent state of brain functioning, with awareness deeply settled, yet wide awake. Numerous studies on TM practice have shown that twice-daily experience of this state reduces stress and creates more harmonious behavior, heightened acceptance of self and more tolerance of others

RStudies also suggest that the harmonizing influence of TM practice extends beyond the person practicing—to others who may not be practitioners. Scientists have discovered that when a sufficiently large percentage of a city's population , about 1%, learns the TM technique, there is a marked decrease in the city's crime rate.

This extended sociological effect of TM practice is termed "The Maharishi Effect," named after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who first posited it in 1961, when he predicted that 1% of the world's population practicing the TM technique would result in world peace.

Collective consciousness Extensive sociological research has demonstrated that the harmonizing, stress-reducing effects of TM practice carry over into society, reducing crime and violence, and increasing coherence in the surrounding population.

According to established research, pervasive stress on a societal scale correlates with higher crime and contributes to the outbreak of war, terrorism and other social violence. Prevailing theory in conflict management identifies the first stage in the emergence of war: mounting stress—political, ethnic and religious tensions. When societal tensions run deep, history confirms that diplomatic efforts and ceasefires produce fleeting results and provide no stable basis for lasting peace.

It is not surprising that reducing stress on the individual level causes a corresponding reduction of stress on the societal level. Yet it is surprising that a small proportion of a population practicing the TM program in a group—even less than 1%—has been found to produce an even greater reduction in societal stress and associated crime and social violence.

The "unified field" Modern physics has established that we're all interconnected by an underlying field. Quantum physicist John Hagelin explains how the TM technique enlivens this deepest, fundamental field of harmony in the collective consciousness of society, offering a practical and proven formula for lasting world peace.

Dr. John Hagelin: "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 unified field theories based on the superstring. These theories locate a single, universal unified field at the basis of all forms and phenomena in the universe.

"Our minds profoundly mirror the hierarchical structure of nature. We can dive within to deeper levels of mind, accessing more powerful levels of thought and ultimately the unified field itself, the most powerful, limitless, universal level of our own consciousness.

"Since the unified field is an all-pervading field at the basis of consciousness and matter, when unity is enlivened in the individual, unity is enlivened everywhere. This is a field effect of consciousness.

"More than 50 studies have shown that such field effects of consciousness have a profound impact on society as a whole, defusing acute societal stress, violence and conflict, and providing a practical foundation for permanent world peace."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Scientific studies

Twenty-three published, peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that TM practice, and particularly group TM practice, defuses societal stress and reduces crime and violence—facilitating holistic positive change for all of society.

Decreased crime in Washington, D.C.

A significant decrease in violent crime in Washington, D.C., correlated closely with increasing numbers of people practicing the TM technique together in the U.S. national capital. Social Indicators Research 47: 153–201, 1999. Chart

Decreased Crime Rate in U.S. Cities

Cities showed decreased crime when one per cent of their population was instructed in the TM technique, in contrast to matched control cities. Reference: Journal of Crime and Justice 4: 25–45, 1981. Chart

Decreased war deaths in Lebanon

Changes in the quality of life in Israel correlated with changes in the numbers of people practicing the TM technique, measured by reduced conflict and decline of war-related injuries and fatalities, and increased cooperation among antagonists. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1): 285–338, 2005. Chart

Decreased global terrorism

The global influence on terrorism of three large TM "World Peace Assemblies" was studied through an analysis of data compiled by the Rand Corporation, showing a 72% drop in worldwide terrorism during the weeks of the assemblies. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 36(1–4): 283–302, 2003. Chart


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C. Noel Bairey Merz

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Within man is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal One".

"Transcendental Meditation is that one simple procedure to enliven the most basic level of life and thereby raise every individual and every society to its full dignity."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation program