Byron Belitsos: Today I’m honored to be interviewing John Hagelin PhD a world renown quantum physicist, educator, public policy expert, who’s well known to most of us at IONS. John’s scientific contributions are well known, they’re extensive. They include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences today and in particular John’s own Grand Unified Field theory based on the superstring, but Dr. Hagelin is unique among scientists in being one of the first to apply this advance knowledge of physics for practical benefit. John had pioneered the use of Unified Field based techniques, scientifically proven, which we’re going to talk about that, proven scientifically to reduce crime, violence and the like and these techniques are derived from the ancient Vedic science of consciousness. John has published ground breaking research in this field, much of which was summarized in the most recent issue of Shift magazine which establishes the existence of long range field effects of consciousness that are generated through large groups engaged in collective meditation.
John, you’re currently the Director of the Institute of Science Technology public policy and many other things, but in particular we’re interested in the Invincible American Assembly which you formed and launched last year around this time. Well, John, welcome to the program.
John Hagelin : It’s good to be here, thanks for having me.
BB: Thanks for coming, very much. John, your demonstration project which we covered in the last issue of Shift has repeatedly shown that large meditating groups can diffuse societal stresses and actually, literally preventing future social conflicts and we’d like to ask you, in light of the fact that you’ve launched the Invincible American Assembly to update our listeners to your findings with special reference to the nature or power of intention as you understand it.
JH: Very good. First, the word invincibility, to me, means really in this day and age, the absence of enemies. There really is no conventional defense against terrorism or weapons of mass destruction except to be without an enemy, to reduce the acute societal stress, religious, political and ethnic tensions particularly against the U.S. in response to some of U.S.’s own actions. To diffuse enmity and potential adversaries so enemies just don’t rise against a country, that’s the only way any country today is going to be secure. That’s why I called this course the Invincible American Assembly, we could have called it the Peaceful American Assembly or Without an enemy American Assembly, that might have made more sense. This course began in last July, late July, and we have predicted in advance as we have in all our experiments what we expected to see based on the number of meditator’s that we hoped to recruit, and we’re pretty much at that number, and the effects we expected to see and predicted we would see, we have seen, and this is, again, a highly significant statistical finding in the different areas that we’ve done research already, some of this research is very much in progress, and anything we talk about on this particular program will be preliminary but off to be published.
BB: So in regard to the power of intention or the relationship of intention to the work of the actual meditation, the collective meditation, how can you characterize that as a physicist, what is the relationship between the two?
JH: Well, I have to define what intention means to me and I think I can talk about it afterword’s more coherently.
BB: Yeah, let’s go to that first.
JH: Intention is, I would say, a localized beam of consciousness. Consciousness in its nature is unbounded, all pervasive, universal, pure being, pure subjectivity, pure self aware consciousness without an object. And that intention free, or even, object free consciousness is the simplest most fundamental state of human awareness, now considered to be a fourth major state of human consciousness, the meditative state, very distinct from normal waking attentive consciousness. As distinct from sleeping, dreaming, hypnosis, anything else that’s ever been studied, it even has its own brainwave signature. So consciousness is by nature a vast unbounded reality, but when we focus the intention through our senses, for example, to a particular object or a particular thought or a particular intention, that’s a localization of this non-local field of consciousness, a localized beam of consciousness, another analogy would be like a wave rising up on an unbounded ocean. So that’s an intention, intention is directed consciousness, I think you could say, and that’s how we pretty much all understand it anyway.
BB: Yes. So given that definition of intention, it would seem that, and also based on the conversation with some of your colleagues that was published in Shift magazine, in a way as the Assembly is practicing it, is not specifically focused in this way on a particular intention, but rather opening up to the all pervading consciousness, so in a sense there isn’t a specific intention, is there?
JH: That’s exactly right. It’s good to think of intention sort of a localized beam of consciousness can be very weak or very strong, just like you can have a flashlight with very weak on batteries and the lens, even though it’s a focused beam it’s a very dim beam, and what we’re really doing in the meditative state, we’re turning off the beam, if you wish, letting consciousness expand to become global, universal and in the process of expanding consciousness it’s like you’ve got new batteries now, if the intensity of the light is increased, now whatever you put your attention on afterwards is going to be more effective, more fruitful. Another way of understanding this is that intention can be very strong, the bible says, for example, through faith we can move mountains. It can also be extremely feeble and frankly often is. You can put some heavyweights together at a breakfast table, let’s take your favorite consciousness relative heavyweights that you find running around the country today and you can ask this small group to move a speck of toast across the table and they typically can’t do it. But why is that? These are not weak people, it’s just that they’re going about it wrong, in the sense that the deeper levels of mind, the more powerful intention becomes, and it’s exactly for the very same reason, it’s the quantum uncertainty principle.
The quantum uncertainty principle is the principle of increasing power at deeper levels, at fundamental scales. The reason that nuclear power is a million times more powerful than burning an object, chemical energy, because chemical energy involves molecular manipulation and nuclear power involves manipulation of the nuclear structure, which is a million times smaller than the molecule, a million times more fundamental, and therefore, according to the uncertainty principle, a million times more powerful. Literally the power of thought varies by factors of millions, between people and even for a given subject, depending on whether that subject is using the mind at a stressed and agitated state of consciousness, superficial level of consciousness, or whether they're using the mind at a very expanded, very deep level of consciousness, that’s where, that’s the nuclear level of thought, almost the Unified Field level of thought, which is pure, unbounded being, and on the course the reason we’re spending time in meditation, not necessarily thinking about peace, is because it’s taking the mind deep down into there, the maximally expanded state of comprehension, universal comprehension, field of being, that’s where thought is much more powerful. So it is really, in a sense, an exercise in intention, but it is intention that is entertained at the deepest, most expanded, most powerful level of consciousness, and that’s why a couple thousand people, which is what we’ve got, can literally change the trends in an entire country, as big as the United States.
BB: John if you could summarize that, let’s kind of go back to the top, if the conventional notion of the power of intention is that if we focus on a particular image, or idea, of something that one wants or something that one is praying for or visualizing to come into being is not going to be all that powerful because it’s at a superficial level of consciousness, right, I think you’d say…
JH: It is right, it’s a question of skill and desiring. There’s a technique in desiring, to desire at a very deep level. In the sense of prayer, you can go to a church where, you know, basically everyone is jumping around in the aisles, screaming out the name of God, that will provide a very excited level of mind, that’ll provide some emotional upliftment for sure, or you can settle quietly and feel God’s presence, and that will provide a practically more pervasive, subtle, but more powerful influence within the whole body, a healing influence in the whole body. Or you can identify with God, on the level of being on the level of cosmic awareness, His awareness or Her awareness, if you wish, where the separation is zero, and where thoughts are cosmically powerful, so intention can accomplish, it’s just a skill in desiring, that’s all, and the meditative training that we’re involved with here is learning how to desire at a deep enough level such that the fulfillment of desire comes quickly, and where relatively few people can produce a really global effect.
BB: So what you’re adding to this huge century’s long inquiry into consciousness is now the data showing measureable results from the techniques of meditation, in the current time, right now, your assembly’s actually engaging in, can you say more, John, about the measurability of the results of the collective effects.
JH: Yes, it’s a very good question. First let me just say the thing I think we’re adding to the century’s old discussion of the power of intention is that on the one hand something that is thousands of years old, at least, and that is this very very fine, very refined techniques of desiring, from the Vedic tradition of knowledge of consciousness, but then as you say we’re also adding something that is ultra-modern, and that is the scientific method. Can we make predictions and test those predictions as to what the changes are that we can achieve through collective meditation, and they really involve anything within in the realm of possibility becomes not only possible, but probable, even likely, if there are enough people entertaining an intention at a particularly deep level of mind.
Some of the things are very obvious, things like the markets, amazingly, the stock markets in particular, bond market secondarily, are remarkably sensitive to the public mood, they’re really sensitive psychological barometers. If people are feeling buoyant, confidant, optimistic about the future, the future of the economy, they’ll put money into the markets, take it out of cash, take it out of gold, they’ll put it into the markets and drive the stocks higher, and what’s so sensitive about that is once the stocks start to go higher, everyone starts feeling more bullish and they go higher still. It’s called a positive feedback loop, you can say, it’s a hyper-sensitive situation, similarly, if people are feeling a bit gloomy, pessimistic about the future, they tend to pull money from the volatile markets and put it into gold or cash, that drives the markets lower and that scares people to death, so that’s why you tend to get a boom and bust cycle in the economy, it’s an inherently unstable system, but it’s perfect for doing this sort of research, because even a relatively small boost in the optimism, positivity of the country really amplifies itself in the markets, where you have a very sensitive gauge, you can almost trace the number of people meditating on a given day by what’s happening in the markets, and since we started this thing, July 23rd of last year, there has been an enormous, of course there are ups and downs, but an enormous overall increase in the markets against everyone’s predictions, we predicted it in advance because we’ve seen it every time. There are over 50, almost 60 studies that have been published on this phenomenon of group practice in meditation so far, that I’m aware of. So we know pretty much what’s going to happen each time, it makes it easy to predict, that’s an easy thing. But then take something like the weather, we predicted in advance, and this was bold, this certainly raised a few eyebrows, I must say, that last year we would have no hurricanes, whereas the previous season had been the worst hurricane season on record and last year was predicted to be even worse. We said nope, there won’t be any and that’s exactly what happened to everybody’s astonishment.
BB: I remember that, an incredible job.
JH: Thank you very much, and that saved the country, well, hundreds of billions of dollars compared to the previous year, and how does that work? Well basically on a simple level it works on increasing the deservability, increasing the merit, increasing the karma, improving the karma of the country by producing very life supporting, life nourishing, and cosmically positive thoughts, you can say, in the deep meditations and the tremendous bliss that pours in from the meditations is all from the very very positive nature quality of thought involved. But from the stand point of a physicist, let me simply say that with the discovery that the laws of the weather obey what is called chaos theory, it satisfies the constraints of non-linear dynamical systems theory, that means the butterfly effect is in force, and we probably mostly know what that means, but it means that even the most minute change in the behavior of even one person, can literally either precipitate a hurricane or prevent one from coming. So here we have thousands of people who are in turn affecting the behavior of millions of people, and the slightest shift in human behavior can be enough to either deflect or even prevent the emergence of a hurricane, and we didn’t expect any, we predicted there would be none, everybody said that was impossible, it was also, as you can imagine, a very statistically significant effect.
BB: Well, John, what I find amazing also is that there wasn’t a specific intention to change the weather and prevent hurricanes, was there? It wasn’t specifically stated as such…
JH: That’s a very good point, no there was no specific intention to do that, but the field of being at the source of thought, field of consciousness at the base of localized thought or perception, in the field of pure positivity, purely life supporting influence, it is in physics terms the unified field, the source of all the laws of nature, unified fountainhead of all the laws of nature governing the universe, it’s these laws of nature that gave birth to life on earth, billions of species, sustained these species in earth’s intricate ecosystems and sustains life throughout the trillions of galaxies across the enormous ever expanding universe, so that field of life, field of being, source of natural law is really the field of pure life, pure positivity, pure light, it’s the nourisher of all life, so simply by becoming that, by expanding human comprehension to experience and identify with that, huge positivity flows through the minds, thoughts, actions, speech, behavior, so it’s really an upsurge of positivity more than anything that we see as the result of this particular meditation practice, of this particular tradition, Vedic tradition, of transcendental meditation so forth advanced meditation techniques of TM, and it is therefore, you’d say, a non-intentional practice, but on the other hand, because you’re really contacting the field of pure positivity, so to speak, purely evolutionary field of natural law, then the effects you see from it are purely life supporting. Now we could take this same group, having developed their minds to this degree and focus on, for example, decreasing or increasing the counts on a number generator or on anything else and we could probably see an inordinately large effect because these minds have been tuned, really, and they’re very powerful, it’s a very powerful group.
BB: On looking at it, say, from the other side, as it were, John, can you say, you’ve almost said that the field has its own intention?
JH: That’s a very good point. It’s a subtle point; we could almost say that, the field you could almost say has some specificity about it because it’s always good, good, good, good. And even at the dawning of peace, increasing peace in the world surrounding these meditating groups, lack of crime in society, reduction of violence, war deaths, terrorism, all that you could say is the influence of pure positivity, reduced negativity, reduced stress, reduced hostility, but in some respects there is some quality to this field, just like, even though this field is the source of everything, source of good and source of evil, it’s nature is more good. It’s like light, light, a candle is a source of light, it’s also the source of darkness because without light there are no shadows, but the shadows don’t have much substance, they’re just the lack of light, evil doesn’t have much substance, it’s just the lack of good. So if you want to describe a candle you can say it’s the source of darkness, but probably better to say it’s the source of light, in that way the field of being is the source of good, pure life, not the source of death, even though it is, because without life there is no death, but what we’re enlivening is the life, the light, and that’s the sort of thing we see, goodness everywhere.
BB: Beautifully well said, John, we’re almost at the end, let me just ask you if you have anything else to say in closing to our listeners about the things we’ve been talking about, collective intention and the power of consciousness?
JH: First, a general congratulations for those who are attuned to this show and this program in general, because these are the people who are, I would say, seekers of truth, they’re awake, and in search of the deepest knowledge and those are the people who are going to change the world, those people, everyone of our listeners, everyone of our viewers, absolutely precious. Secondly, I would say, if anyone in their program for self development isn’t very efficiently experiencing this field of pure unbounded awareness, bliss consciousness, you might consider doing something that is more effective in at least one respect, there are lots of ways to develop the mind, there are lots of ways to develop the body, you can do muscle training to develop your upper body, you can do aerobics to develop your cardio-vascular health, and they’re all good, but if there was one thing that I’d like to see people do is to turn up the rheostat of consciousness, turn up the dimmer switch that determines how much life we’ve got, how much intelligence, how much creativity, how much good fortune, how much support of nature, how powerful is our intention, and for that, I think, you have to really contact, and enliven the field of being, so something that will take the mind to the transcendental level beyond thought, to experience being, that will strengthen anything you do, and whatever techniques you also do, do something that gives the experience of transcendental pure universal consciousness.
BB: On that note, thank you Dr. John Hagelin, and thank you to our listeners. Take care now, bye bye.