U.S. Medicine, Sep. 15, 2002
By Matt Mientka
WASHINGTON-As the world prepared for the American-led war on terrorism last month, supporters of the transcendental meditation movement returned here to ask for a $1 billion endowment to fund a permanent garrison of transcendental meditators in India to promote peace via the unified field of quantum mechanics theory.
To date, the group has raised $40 million in its effort to establish the endowment, the interest of which would support approximately 8,000 permanent transcendental meditators in India-the square root of one per cent of the world’s population, which is enough to make a substantial difference, the group said.
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The group first launched its fund-raising effort in a pre-planned press conference here on September 11, which was cut short by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian scientist who more than 40 years ago revived the ancient Vedic technology, joined his colleagues here Sept. 28 via satellite from Vlodrop, Holland to promote the project.
Dressed in a purple gown, Maharishi criticized America’s nascent war on terrorism as both “sinful” and ineffective, calling President Bush a “wild man.” “I know many Americans are saying, ‘take revenge,’ but take revenge against whom?” he said. Instead, Maharishi implored Americans to consider transcendental meditation as a means to influence others through the unified field, which is said by quantum physicists to connect everything in the universe, including human consciousness on a collective level.
Transcendental meditation is a natural application of unified field theory, which is well accepted in quantum mechanics and is no longer even controversial, said John Hagelin, PhD, a Harvard-trained quantum physicist who ran for president last year as the Natural Law Party candidate. According to Dr. Hagelin, 212 institutions in more than 30 nations have conducted approximately 600 research studies that have supported the efficacy of transcendental meditation on reducing collective and individual stress on human beings. Approximately 50 studies on transcendental meditation, supporting the technology’s efficacy, have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Science and the Journal of Conflict Resolution, he said.
According to Dr. Hagelin, a group of humans as large as the square root of one per cent of the world’s population-8,000 today-would be able to positively influence world populations like a radio transmitter broadcasting via the electromagnetic field. “These technologies of consciousness go far beyond the power of positive thinking or prayer, in the mainstream sense of that term, to access and stimulate the most powerful level of mind and matter-the so-called unified field of natural law,” he said. “This has become the object of intensive scientific investigation over the past two decades.”
In fact, the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bethesda, Md., in 1999 awarded four major grants to study the hypothesized individual health benefits of transcendental meditation. The awards included a $7.5 million grant to the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa to conduct research over a five-year period as well as a $1.4 million grant to the Johns Hopkins Center for Cancer Complimentary Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Though the United States government funds transcendental meditation research to explore individual health benefits, TM movement spokesman Sam Katz told U.S. MEDICINE last month that the U.S. government, which is less enthusiastic about the hypothesized collective benefits of the technology, has not contributed to the endowment fund. Katz said that private individuals and corporations in America and worldwide account for most of the money raised thus far, though the movement is still pursuing government sponsorship. “We’re still trying to get the larger donations and, once we do, then we’re going to get this group together right away because we know that it’s quite urgent,” he said.
Regarding America’s present war against terrorism, Dr. Hagelin said last month that Americans should support the administration and Congress but should also strive to “plug some of the loopholes, the gaping holes in our defense strategy.” A so-called Vedic defense, built upon transcendental meditation, would ease global tensions that are the root cause of terrorism, he said.
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