Violation of natural law: The basis of all problems in society. A key feature of Maharishi's description of collective consciousness is that individual and collective consciousness reciprocally influence each other. Due to this reciprocal relationship between individual and collective consciousness, an increase in stress and tension in individual consciousness will be mirrored in the quality of collective consciousness, and vice versa (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1978, pp. 258-262; Maharishi European Research University, 1982a, p. 6). Just as problems and suffering in individual life arise from violation of natural law, Maharishi emphasizes that all problems in national life arise from the accumulation of stress in national consciousness due to the continual violation of natural law by the people of the nation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1978, pp. 98-108; Maharishi University of Natural Law, 1982, p. 7). Maharishi explains (Maharishi College of Natural Law, 1982) that the prevalence of problems, disharmony, and unhappiness in the family of man is the consequence of pervasive violation of the laws of nature:
All problems in the world arise from violations of the laws of nature. Everywhere in the world today there is a lack of happiness, harmony, and real freedom. This shows that life on earth is not lived in perfect accord with natural law. (p. 2)
Maharishi (1979) emphasizes that inadequate education is ultimately responsible for the violation of natural law which gives rise to all problems in society:
All weaknesses or problems in society have their basis in a lack of culture of the human mind, and this in turn is the result of incomplete education. Education is incomplete when it fails to develop the full creativity of the individual and fails to nurture his ability to act in accordance with the laws of nature. (p.1)
Because the educational system of every country does not educate the individual to spontaneously think and act according to natural law, the whole population unknowingly, but inevitably, violates the laws of nature day after day, creating stress in national consciousness (Maharishi University of Natural Law, 1982, p. 7). The unfortunate consequence of this accumulation of stress in the collective consciousness of the nation is that disorder, problems, and negative trends become more prevalent in society (Maharishi University of Natural Law, 1982):
If the collective consciousness of the country is under stress, then incoherent and conflicting tendencies will predominate in society and problems, turbulence, and violence will characterize the nation. (p. 8)
Thus the build-up of stress and tension in national consciousness must result in the growth of negative trends and problems in national life (Maharishi European Research University, 1982a, p. 6; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1986, p. 88).
Bringing national life in accord with natural law. By bringing individual life in greater accord with natural law, the practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program promotes more positive trends in society and contributes to the improvement of the quality of national life. Through this technology of consciousness, Maharishi (1982) explains,
Since the individual avoids violating the laws of nature, he does not sow any seeds of future suffering for himself, nor does he create tensions in collective consciousness which could burst into disasters, criminal tendencies, and war. Extended scientific research has demonstrated that as the individual's thought process becomes more coherent, collective consciousness too becomes more coherent. Since the laws of nature are silently organizing and putting perfect order into all of creation--from the galaxies to the individual--the practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme also exhibits more orderly and coherent behavior. As individuals become more ideal, society becomes more ideal. (p. 3)
Thus from the perspective of Maharishi's Vedic Science, the key to improving the quality of life in society is promoting greater order and coherence in collective consciousness through the practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program by a sufficient number of individuals in society.
Absolute Theory of Government
According to Maharishi's Vedic Science, there is an intimate connection between the functioning of government and the quality of collective consciousness in society. From the perspective of Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Government, every action of the national government is seen as the expression of national consciousness, just as every action of the individual is an expression of individual consciousness (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1986, p. 81). Maharishi (1986) explains that
The government of any country, irrespective of its system--whether capitalist, communist, or any other system--is governed by the collective consciousness of the nation. Whatever the quality of national consciousness, that will always be the quality of national government and national law. (p. 80)Maharishi emphasizes that whatever a government does, it is the doing of the collective consciousness of the nation, in the same way as anything done by the individual is motivated by the mind.
Because the quality of government activity is merely a reflection of the quality of national consciousness, Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Government suggests that misguided or ineffective government policy, administrative inadequacies, and all other forms of governmental failure have their ultimate basis in stress and disorder in the collective consciousness of the nation. Thus one of the important channels by which collective consciousness influences the quality of national life is via the influence of national consciousness on government (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1985, p. 206). This paradigm implies, for example, that to the extent that economic problems arise from, or are exacerbated by, the failure of governmental economic policy, the growth of stress in collective consciousness will adversely affect the economic health of the nation.
Solving all problems of government. Since governmental achievements reflect the quality of collective consciousness in society, Maharishi (1982) explains that the government will be the first to benefit from an improvement in the quality of national consciousness:
The most frustrating and most regular experience of any government is that its best laid and noblest plans for the people fail because of disorderly social and individual behavior. When individual thinking is incoherent, governmental actions too become incoherent because the government mirrors the nation's collective consciousness. The government can only achieve as much as the collective consciousness will allow it to achieve. When collective consciousness becomes orderly and supportive, governmental achievements reach their zenith. Then all of the government's highest aspirations are fulfilled. Introducing the technology of higher consciousness into education and other walks of life is the sole method of maximizing governmental achievements. (p. 5-6)
Because all problems confronting governments have their ultimate basis in the violation of natural law by the citizens of the nation, "the only solution to problems faced by any government, therefore, is to educate the people to spontaneously become incapable of doing anything contrary to natural law" (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1978, pp. 194-195). Maharishi emphasizes that "economic policies, health policies, etc. will not solve the problems of society" (1978, p. 112). Bringing individual and collective consciousness in tune with natural law, adds Maharishi, "is the key to solving all problems of society on any level, be it social, economic, political, religious, or any other" (1978, p. 164). According to Maharishi's Vedic Science, government policies which do not address the fundamental cause of national problems--violation of natural law in society--cannot be fully successful.
Through educating the people of the nation to think and act spontaneously in accord with natural law, however, governments will become competent both to solve existing national problems and to prevent new problems from arising (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1985):
A government should not be satisfied only by solving the problems as they arise. The government should be competent to disallow the eruption of problems. As this competency rises in the government, problems will not arise. (p. 152)
Maharishi further explains (1985) that the practice of this technology of consciousness by a sufficient number of individuals in the nation will purify national consciousness, thereby enhancing governmental achievements:
The national consciousness will be more coherent, more supported by nature, and the governments will be the first beneficiaries. The governments will be supported by nature. All the plans and programs of the government will come to be materialized, and that will be the positive gain for the nation. (p. 204)
According to Maharishi's Vedic Science this approach will enable any government to ensure its success by harnessing the organizing power of natural law:
All that is required is to use the organizing skills of nature--which govern all the galaxies as well as our lives so perfectly--to administer society. That can be done easily by providing facilities to educate every citizen to enliven the laws of nature from the simplest state of his own awareness. (Maharishi European Research University, 1982a, p. 7)
Maharishi describes this process of utilizing the evolutionary, organizing power of nature to enhance governmental achievements as "establishing alliance with nature's government," the unified field of natural law ("Maharishi Offers," 1990). As discussed in the following section, Maharishi explains that the practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program by only a small fraction of the national population will be sufficient to purify national consciousness and thereby bring the government of the nation into alliance with the government of nature. This approach to enlivening the evolutionary power of natural law in national consciousness offers to every government a practical and effective means to prevent and reduce problems in society and enhance governmental achievements.
with Nature's Government through the Maharishi Effect
In this section we summarize the principles of Maharishi's Vedic Science which explain how the practice of the TM technique, or the TM and TM-Sidhi program together, by even a small fraction of the national population, can neutralize collective stress, purify national consciousness, and thereby bring thought and action of the entire population into alliance with natural law, nature's government. We also describe how this positive, evolutionary influence of the Maharishi Effect will benefit society, improve the functioning of government, and enhance economic progress.
A small number of individuals practicing Maharishi's TM and TM-Sidhi program can positively influence the entire society because, as we have seen, according to Maharishi's Vedic Science, consciousness is a field which, at its most basic level--pure consciousness--is the unified field of natural law. Because pure consciousness is the common basis of both individual and collective consciousness, enlivenment of the omnipresent field of pure consciousness in individual awareness through the Transcendental Meditation technique simultaneously enlivens pure consciousness throughout the collective consciousness of society. This enlivenment of pure consciousness, the unified field of natural law, by a sufficient number of individuals practicing the TM technique brings the thought and action of everyone in society spontaneously into greater accord with natural law (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1975, p. 59).
This predicted effect on the whole of society of a few individuals practicing the TM technique provides an illustration in social systems of a characteristic property of fields in physics, "action at a distance." In physics, phenomena involving action at a distance, such as the gravitational effect of the earth on the moon, are typically explained by theories positing the existence of a field which mediates the interaction (Sudarshan & Mukunda, 1974). Likewise, Maharishi's Vedic Science explains that the thought and behavior of individuals throughout society can be positively influenced by a few individuals enlivening the field of pure consciousness, the unified field of natural law, which underlies both individual and collective consciousness.
The Maharishi Effect. The existence of this field effect in social systems was first proposed in the early 1960s when Maharishi predicted even a small fraction of the population practicing the TM technique, on the order of one percent, would produce an influence of positivity and harmony throughout society (Thirty Years Around the World, 1986, p. 430). This effect, named the Maharishi Effect by the first researchers validating it (Borland & Landrith, 1977), is produced by enlivening the omnipresent field of pure consciousness, the common basis of all activity in nature, subjective and objective (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1977):
When one per cent of a community practises the Transcendental Meditation technique the community's crime rate, accident rate, and sickness rate decrease. Consciousness is the basis of the whole creation; it is present everywhere--the most fundamental field of life. Enlivening the field of pure consciousness will enliven any aspect of creation and any aspect of behaviour, experience, and activity in the world. Transcendental consciousness, the field of pure consciousness, administers the trends of life of the whole creation. (p. 110)
When even a few individuals in society take their awareness to the level of transcendental consciousness, Maharishi explains, every aspect of creation is enriched, like watering the root of a tree nourishes all the leaves, branches, flowers, and fruits of a tree. Maharishi (1975) further explains the omnipresent nature of the field of consciousness:
Because consciousness is the basis of all that is there--here, there, and everywhere--it is the quantum level of life, the very basic level of life. If the attention reaches that level, what happens is like the small pebble falling on the silent bed of the water. A small pebble falls, creating impulses. Those impulses reach all the far places and all the water. Just like that, when the conscious mind of one single individual transcends, we can imagine the thrills being created on that silent level of consciousness, which is the omnipresent reality. This pulsating consciousness of the individual creates impulses of life all over, and because this is the very fundamental level of everyone, everyone's thinking, everyone's consciousness is influenced by that. It is very easy to understand. (p. 59).
As a result of the enlivenment of pure consciousness and the neutralization of stress in collective consciousness through the practice of the TM technique by one percent of the population, individuals throughout society become more positive in their thinking, and the trends of life become more positive, more evolutionary:
The whole society becomes more positive in its trends, more positive in its thinking. The awareness of the whole population is influenced tremendously. That is why the criminals change; negativity changes. A man thinking like that today, he thinks in a different way tomorrow. So all the non-evolutionary procedures of thinking gets transformed. Non-evolutionary thinking becomes evolutionary thinking. That means thinking becomes spontaneously in accord with the laws of nature. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1975, p. 59)
In other words, society becomes more positive because with the enlivenment of the unified field of natural law by TM practitioners, the thinking and behavior of everyone in society become more in tune with natural law (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1978, p. 198).
In 1975, after introducing the more powerful TM-Sidhi program, Maharishi predicted that the same beneficial effects on society would be produced through the practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program by a single group comprising as few as the square root of one percent of the population (Maharishi European Research University, 1979, p. 160). While the TM technique enables the conscious mind to contact the field of pure consciousness, the TM-Sidhi program trains the individual to think and act on the lively ground of pure consciousness and amplifies the positive effects enjoyed through the TM practice (see Gelderloos & Berg, 1989).
Creating coherence in individual and collective consciousness. According to Maharishi's Vedic Science, the TM and TM-Sidhi program produces increased coherence in individual consciousness, as reflected, for example, in increased coherence of brain functioning as measured by EEG activity (Dillbeck & Bronson, 1981; Orme-Johnson & Haynes, 1981). Maharishi explains that the coherence produced in individual consciousness by the practice of this technology spontaneously extends to collective consciousness, purifying collective consciousness and enlivening natural law in society (Maharishi European Research University, 1982b, p. 13).
There are many examples of physical systems in which the more coherent and orderly functioning of even a small proportion of the units of the system will induce a transition to more orderly behavior of the system as a whole. In a laser, for example, quantum-mechanical coherence between a number of individual photons proportional to the square root of the total causes the entire system to undergo a phase transition in which all the photons begin to interact coherently, thus generating laser light. Analogous to principles of quantum field theory in physics, physicist John Hagelin (1987, p. 65) suggests that the spreading of coherence from the TM-Sidhi group to the whole of society through the Maharishi Effect is consistent with a field-theoretic model of consciousness in which constructive interference due to the coherent superposition of wave amplitudes generates a field effect with intensity proportional to the square of the number of participants.
How the influence of coherence travels throughout society. The process whereby increased coherence in individual consciousness leads to increased coherence throughout society corresponds to the property of "infinite correlation" in quantum fields. Infinite correlation means that the "correlation range" becomes infinite--an impulse anywhere in the quantum field instantaneously influences all other points in the omnipresent field (Maharishi European Research University, 1982b).The purification of national consciousness through the group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program simultaneously purifies world consciousness of which it is a part (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1986, pp. 73-74). This influence of positivity travels, Maharishi adds,
through the same channels used by the evolutionary power of nature. From the most quiet, transcendental level, nature performs, and it performs within itself. It is the self-referral activity of natural law that is responsible for absolute order in creation. . . . It transcends all activity of natural law in the relative field, but yet is always lively as the basis of the classical, physical world. It is the most refined level of quantum-mechanical activity of nature, from where absolute orderliness controls, commands, and governs all affairs of the universe. This transcendental level of nature's functioning is the level of infinite correlation. When the group awareness is brought in attunement with that level, then a very intensified influence of coherence radiates and a great richness is created. (1986, p. 75)
In describing how this influence of the abstract field of pure consciousness travels throughout society and to the rest of the world, Maharishi (1986) explains :
The effect produced is from the level of the unified field. Because the unified field is the unmanifest basis of the whole creation, the influence spreads throughout the world. It's just like the effect when you water the root and the nourishment reaches every leaf, branch, flower, and fruit. The unified field is a transcendental reality, and the Technology of the Unified Field [the TM and TM-Sidhi program] produces lively impulses from that level. It's a level of infinite correlation which knows no barrier. . . . When the Governors of the Age of Enlightenment [practitioners of the TM and TM-Sidhi program] practice this technology, the influence travels from that level which is omnipresent. (pp. 163-64)
Maharishi further explains that through the group practice of this technology of consciousness the evolutionary force of natural law gets enlivened throughout creation, producing positive and life-supporting effects (1986, pp. 163-164)
. Maharishi (1986) notes that the group practicing the TM and TM-Sidhi program together performs "from that most quiet level to enrich positivity in nature and restore balance in nature's functioning," to restore balance between the creative and destructive forces of natural law which govern the evolution of all life (p. 76).
Holistic benefits to society. In addition to reductions in the crime rate, accident rate, sickness rate, and other negative tendencies (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1978, p. 128), improvements in many other dimensions of the quality of the life are predicted through the Maharishi Effect. Maharishi (1978) predicts that when national consciousness is brought into greater attunement with natural law through the Maharishi Effect, social conflict will decrease, the economy will improve, and the nation's influence in international affairs will increase:
The tensions and disharmonies will be less, the flowering of business will be there, trade and industry will be increasing, people will be happy . . . the economy will be better, the nation's influence in the family of nations will be greater and more appreciated. (p. 66)
Maharishi (1978) further explains that balance in nature increases and "all of nature begins to support the nation's well-being. The seasons come on time, crops are abundant, and there are no calamities" (p. 128). By calamities, Maharishi refers not only to natural catastrophes but to "such disasters as poverty, disease, earthquakes, floods, droughts, famine, the economic or political collapse of the nation, and other collective calamities" (pp. 124-125).
The influence is spontaneously a total influence, which affects all aspects of life. Alliance with natural law [nature's government] means alliance with the total power of nature. All things will be enriched at one time. This is employing nature to work for us. All aspects of human society will grow in balance. Everything is going to be better and better as the light of knowledge grows with the purity of world consciousness. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1986, pp. 161-162)
According to Maharishi, among other specific improvements in the quality of life produced by the Maharishi Effect are decreased social unrest, turbulence, and terrorism (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1986, p. 162; Maharishi European Research University, 1982a, p. 2); increased harmony and peace in international relations (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1978, p. 105; 1977, p. 5); enhanced cultural integrity (1977, p. 5); more socially responsible thinking and behavior by the individuals in society, and the adoption of more positive social values (1978, p. 163; 1985, p. 206); and enhanced governmental achievements (1985, p. 206; 1977, p. 5).
Using the skilled hand of nature to administer society. This holistic improvement in the quality of national life is available to every government through alliance with the government of nature, natural law. According to Maharishi's Vedic Science ("Maharishi Offers," 1990), the basic problem facing every government is how to successfully integrate and harmonize the innumerable trends and tendencies in society. Only by creating coherence in the collective consciousness of the nation through the Maharishi Effect can a government hope to satisfy all its people and thereby achieve this goal of harmonizing the diverse trends and tendencies of the nation ("Maharishi Offers," 1990). The group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program neutralizes collective stress born of the violation of natural law and creates a fully integrated national consciousness which enjoys alliance with the unified field of natural law. This technology of handling the whole national consciousness brings the full support of the nourishing, evolutionary power of natural law to fulfill the desires of everyone ("Maharishi Offers," 1990).
By making use of the skilled hand of nature to administer society, any government can rise to a supreme level of success and achievement ("Maharishi Offers," 1990). Maharishi emphasizes that through his Vedic Science and Technology, any head of state can raise the administration of his government to alliance with nature's perfect government:
Here is a very beautiful, unique, and unprecedented opportunity for every head of state. I invite the leaders of the world to examine this offer of alliance with natural law in the light of the latest discoveries of modern physics--the discovery of the unified field of natural law. It is very easy for anyone with the slightest intelligence to understand that if the unified field of all the laws of nature could be accessible to anyone, nothing would be impossible for him. Through my Vedic Science and Technology--the science and technology of the unified field--any government leader can have easy access to the unified field and raise the administration of his government to be in perfect alliance with the administration of nature's government. (p. 19)
Maharishi points out that the entire universe is silently governed with supreme economy and efficiency from the level of the unified field of natural law and that any government can rise to this same level of efficiency through alliance with natural law (1986, pp. 124-125; "Maharishi Offers," 1990). According to modern quantum physics, the unified field of all the laws of nature, like any quantum-mechanical system, functions in accordance with the principle of least action, the universal principle of economy at the basis of nature's functioning (Hagelin, 1989, pp. 22-23). Because natural law is most economical, the administrator is not seen, but still the universe is well administered. By establishing alliance with natural law, nature's government, any government can govern with the same silent perfection with which natural law administers the universe ("Maharishi Offers," 1990).
According to Maharishi's Vedic Science ("Maharishi Offers," 1990), the technology for ideal government--unified field based administration--is to establish a creating-coherence group in the country which will enliven the unified field in national consciousness and thereby enable government to govern with the same perfection with which the government of nature administers the universe. Through alliance with nature's government, any government can now create peace, prosperity, and fulfilling progress in the life of its own nation, and enliven these same qualities in national consciousness and thereby bring national government in alliance with nature's government ("Maharishi Offers," 1990).