Share Guide magazine





Interview with John Hagelin
on using meditation to heal the planet

By Dennis Hughes, Share Guide Publisher

John Hagelin, Ph.D. is a world authority on the foundations of human consciousness. Under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he has made major contributions towards the systematic reformulation of the ancient Vedic science of consciousness. An expert in the area of unified quantum field theories, Dr. Hagelin's scientific contributions in the fields of particle physics and cosmology include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences. He is co-developer of what is now considered the leading contender for a grand Unified Field theory, and he is dedicated to applying the latest scientific understanding of natural law for the benefit of the individual and society. In 1992, Dr. Hagelin accepted the presidential nomination of the newly formed Natural Law Party. Under his leadership, the party became the first "third party" to attain "national party status" from the Federal Election Commission and have its presidential candidate qualify for federal matching funds.

John Hagelin photo

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The Share Guide:
We all know that the world is in a fragile state today, on many levels. What steps can we as individuals take to improve the health of our planet?

Dr. John Hagelin: The impact of our actions, individually and collectively, is inconceivably vast. We can all appreciate, to some extent, the environmental impact of polluting behavior. But based on what we now know about the universe, the true impact of our actions is far broader. For example, chaos theory has established that even our most minute actions can have incalculably large effects. This places a great burden of responsibility on everyone. Exercising common sense consideration and care towards our environment is a good start. But if we really want to protect our planet against the negative effects of human behavior, we must bring our thinking and action into spontaneous accord with Natural Law. We must align our behavior with the universal intelligence that governs the universe and sustains millions of species on Earth. Fortunately, such spontaneously life-nourishing behavior is natural; the human brain physiology is hard-wired to experience Enlightenment--higher states of consciousness in which we directly experience, and become attuned to, cosmic intelligence, or the Unified Field in the terminology of modern physics. The development of our total brain potential, and the resulting expansion of human comprehension to be universal, should be the goal of education today.

The Share Guide: Is the Unified Field another term for the Cosmic Consciousness?

Dr. John Hagelin: The Unified Field is the deepest level of physical reality discovered by Science. It is a universal field of Nature's intelligence that governs the vast universe with perfect order. Cosmic Consciousness is the state of Enlightenment, a state of human awareness in which the individual mind directly experiences (and identifies with) universal intelligence. In this state, the individual ego expands to become Cosmic. Such individuals are Cosmic individuals, and their actions are spontaneously supportive to all life.

The Share Guide: I'm interested in the connection between individual meditation and the Unified Field. How does it work, in relation to daily meditation practice? And how does it translate into creating peace in the world?

Dr. John Hagelin: The connection is simple. During meditation, consciousness quickly expands to experience universal consciousness (the Unified Field). The individual consciousness temporarily identifies with universal consciousness in the simplest state of awareness--the state physiologists call "pure consciousness." Not all meditation techniques achieve this pure consciousness experience, however. My remarks pertain to meditation practices that provide this fundamental experience in an effective and efficient manner. Among such practices, Transcendental Meditation (TM) developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the most extensively researched and widely practiced. It is safe, highly effective, and universal; it works for people of all religious persuasions and cultural backgrounds.

The Share Guide: In a lecture you gave last year in San Francisco, you said "Group meditation is now a proven technology for peace, just in time, when our weapon technology can yield mutually assured destruction." Please explain.

Dr. Hagelin: More than 50 studies, published in the world's most esteemed scientific journals, have repeatedly demonstrated that group meditation can quell violence and war in war-torn areas. It defuses the acute religious, ethnic and political tensions that fuel social conflict. It has been shown to prevent global terrorism, and to reduce crime, domestic violence, and all negativity born of acute social stress.

The Share Guide: Many of us understand that meditation develops our natural invincibility to the ebb and flow of daily life. But from this state of calmness, how do you get to the "squaring principle" of group meditation?

Dr. Hagelin: When two nearby loudspeakers emit the same sound, these sound waves add constructively. They produce a sound volume equivalent to four loudspeakers (the square of the number of speakers, which is two). This is a universal principle of wave behavior. When a ripple in the Unified Field is generated by individuals in close physical proximity, the power of their combined waves grows as the square of the number of individuals. This is what the research confirms. Because of this, even relatively small groups can have enormous societal impact. Indeed, 8,000 individuals meditating together for extended periods can transform world events. This has been very rigorously demonstrated.

The Share Guide: I know you are working on a plan to put this into action. Please discuss the program for thousands of pandits to meditate year-round in India.

Dr. Hagelin: 8,000 full-time advanced medition experts can change the destiny of civilization. This has been amply demonstrated. We are shooting for the number 40,000, just for a safety factor. A Vedic "pandit" is a meditator who, in addition to their practice of Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying, practices advanced peace-promoting technologies from the ancient Vedic wisdom known as Yagyas. These Yagyas reinforce the global peaceful impact of medition. I have been raising the funds to establish such a permanent group of 8,000 to 40,000 full-time, professional meditators in India, where it is very cost-effective. I have raised about $90 million, which is enough to permanently endow almost 8,000. Once we succeed in assembling and training this group, I predict we will be looking at an entirely different world. I hope to achieve this by Spring 2003. I pray that America and the world can avoid any disastrous confrontations until then.

The Share Guide: What is Yogic Flying?

Dr. Hagelin: It is an advanced technique of Transcendental Meditation derived from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. During this practice, the body involuntarily starts to "hop" from the lotus position, in a spontaneous effort to fly. Historically, sustained practice leads to the body's ability to float and fly. It is practiced today primarily because research has found this to be the most powerful technique to reduce societal stress and social conflict. It is a technology for world peace.

The Share Guide: What do you mean when you say that meditation is a fourth state of consciousness, distinct from the three recognized states: waking, dreaming and sleeping? And please discuss the fifth state, transcendental or enlightened awareness.

Dr. Hagelin: Pure consciousness, the direct experience of the Unified Field, is a fourth major state of consciousness, physiologically and subjectively distinct from waking, dreaming and sleeping. This was first discovered and published around 1970 by Robert Keith Wallace and collaborators. But this experience is a temporary state at first. With regular practice of meditation, the experience of universal consciousness becomes permanently established, so that it is experienced ALONG WITH waking, dreaming and sleeping. This then constitutes a fifth state of human consciousness, traditionally known as Enlightenment. In this state of 24-hour bliss, all actions are fully in tune with Natural Law, which is spontaneously life-supporting.

The Share Guide: Many people are skeptical of the concept that group meditation has an effect on world peace, and may not accept the studies cited in your research booklet. How do you respond to this skepticism?

Dr. Hagelin: It's not a matter of opinion. The scientific method provides incontrovertible methods of establishing scientific fact through rigorous experimentation. The efficacy of group meditation to reduce crime and war has been more extensively studied and rigorously established than any phenomenon in the history of social science. It is a scientific fact; there is no room for arguement.

The Share Guide: How do we know when we meditate that we are not connecting with other aspects of our individual self, rather than Cosmic Consciousness?

Dr. Hagelin: The experience of pure consciousness is self-evident. Just as when you're awake, you know you're awake. If you're not absolutely sure you're awake, the chances are you are dreaming. Similarly, if you're not sure you are experiencing pure, unbounded consciousness, then you're probably not. It may be time to try a more effective system of meditation.

The Share Guide: You recommend the concept of "bracketing" your daily activities with morning and evening meditation periods. This allows you to relax back into your eternal nature through meditation and perform actions in the world from this vantage point.

Dr. Hagelin: Yes, that is a wonderful routine. Regular experience of pure consciousness is necessary to stabilize that experience, and thereby rise to Enlightenment.

The Share Guide: You have been a presidential candidate. In the forward to the book A Reason to Vote, you are quite hopeful when you state that the greatest epic of American history will be "the story of a people who reclaimed their government, and their country, from an entrenched, self-serving political-industrial oligarchy, enshrined in two parties, and their corporate sponsors that, above all else, seek to preserve the status quo." You also state that this is the "story of a people who returned their country to the principles of natural law upon which it was founded." But most everywhere we look we see our leaders are natural outlaws, working against the laws of nature. How can we as individuals turn the tide of current events which lead to environmental and social decay?

Dr. Hagelin: Unfortunately, as a nation we tend to get the government we deserve! It's just karma. Especially in a democracy, where we elect the government. Hence, we cannot expect a better government unless and until we awaken the masses. This is why I am personally focused today on raising the collective consciousness of the nation and the world. This may sound like a hopeless task, but it is easier than it sounds. It is not really necessary to enlighten everyone, or even to reach everyone. We can leverage our power, so that those who are awake can exert a disproportionate influence on society. This is the power of collective meditation. Group experience of the Unified Field, of our shared cosmic reality, powerfully stimulates this universal field and has a profound awakening effect on everyone. It creates indomitable waves of positivity and peace. Such group meditation has been repeatedly shown to quell social violence and even open warfare in war-torn areas, such as the Middle East. For more information on this, people can read the excellent book Permanent Peace by Robert M. Oates or visit

The Share Guide: You said in your San Francisco lecture that we Cultural Creatives should exercise our political clout. What effect can we have in the political sphere by joining a third party like the Green Party or Natural Law Party, as compared to trying to rebuild the Democratic Party? The book Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, shows how much the odds are stacked against third parties, but I've heard you state repeatedly that "third parties traditionally push the nation in new directions." Would you care to elaborate on this?

Dr. Hagelin: Ninety percent of all the ideas we cherish in our democracy originally came from third parties. Such parties have a power that is disproportionate to their size. As for the Democratic Party, during decades of leadership in the House and the Senate, the Democratic Party has demonstrated its allegiance to special interests. Today, it is demonstrating it's impotence in the face of Republican war-mongering. But political activism without a deeper transformation in our national consciousness is too superficial to effect substantive change. We need to target the root cause of political graft and inertia. We have to raise the collective consciousness of the nation.

The Share Guide: Are there any other serious third party alternatives besides the Green Party and Natural Law Party? What about the Libertarian Party and Reform Party?

Dr. Hagelin: The Libertarian and the Reform Parties both have laudible ideas that deserve to be heard. Of all these parties, however, the Natural Law Party has the most complete and comprehensive platform of forward-looking, sustainable solutions in harmony with Natural Law, plus the most truly wonderful core of dedicated activists. (For information go to

The Share Guide: What are your suggested references (books and websites) and how can we stay informed of current work on group meditation?

Dr. Hagelin: My own book, Manual for a Perfect Government, is concise, yet fairly comprehensive. I recommend checking out The Project for Perpetual World Peace, whose website is And as I mentioned before, I recommend the book Permanent Peace at

For information on Transcendental Meditation, visit the Maharishi Vedic University website at


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