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Military application of Transcendental Meditation gaining acceptance

Fairfield, Iowa USA - A leading scientific journal in Pakistan, The Journal of Management & Social Science,* recently published a paper titled "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising-Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace," indicating that the military application of the Transcendental Meditation technique has merit. The paper discusses how militaries worldwide could use the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program, founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as a non-religious and scientifically verified way to prevent war and terrorism. When used in a military context, these meditation practices are known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT).

The paper describes the concept of a "Prevention Wing of the Military," a group of military personnel that practices the advanced TM-Sidhi program twice daily as a group. A group that reaches a critical threshold in size has been scientifically shown to reduce collective societal stress.

The paper hypothesizes that war, terrorism, and crime are caused by collective societal stress. The absence of collective stress translates into the absence of tension between countries, between religious groups, or even within individual terrorists. The paper proposes that, by applying this non-lethal and non-destructive technology, any military can reduce societal stress and prevent enemies from arising. If IDT prevents the emergence of enemies, the military has no one to fight, so the nation becomes invincible.

Over 50 scientific studies have found that when 1% of a given population practices Transcendental Meditation, or when sufficiently large groups practice the TM-Sidhi program together twice daily, measurable positive changes take place throughout society as a whole. The studies show decreased violence, crime, car accidents, and suicides, and improved quality of life in society. The paper reviews IDT research, such as a study published in the Yale University-edited Journal of Conflict Resolution showing that an intervention by a civilian group in Israel resulted in a 76% reduction in war deaths in neighboring Lebanon. Seven subsequent, consecutive experiments over a two-year period during the peak of the Lebanon war found:

  • war-related fatalities decreased by 71% (p < 0.0000000001)
  • war-related injuries fell by 68% (p < 0.000001)
  • the level of conflict dropped by 48% (p < 0.00000001)
  • cooperation among antagonists increased by 66% (p < 0.000001)
A follow-up study published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality found that the likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one in a quintillion. A global-scale study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation documented a 72% drop in international terrorism when IDT groups were large enough to affect the global population. Terrorism returned to previous levels after the experiment.

IDT's causal mechanism is not completely understood. An explanation of the causality of IDT in biological terms was proposed in a study in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (Walton et al 2005, 17: 339-373). Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter, has been shown to produce feelings of happiness, contentment, and even euphoria. Research indicates that low levels of serotonin correlate with aggression, poor emotional moods and violence. The study indicated that when the size of a group of IDT experts changed, serotonin production of people in the nearby community changed correspondingly. Since results were statistically significant, this study offers a plausible neurophysiologic mechanism that may explain reduced aggression and hostility in a whole society.

An increase in serotonin activity and a decrease in cortisol appear to be associated with the experience of transcendental consciousness in the advanced individual TM practitioner. During the practice of TM, practitioners experience transcendental consciousness, a proposed fourth state of consciousness with brain activity distinctly different from waking, sleeping and dreaming. The state of transcendental consciousness produces coherence in the brain, and scientists speculate that this enlivens coherence within the unified field. Apparently, the effect is amplified through group practice. Theoretical physicists allude to the unified field as the basis of all laws of nature. IDT appears to work from this fundamental level. Therefore, through the unified field, there is increased coherence in the non-TM practitioner's brain as well. This increased coherence materially involved serotonin.

The paper's author is David R. Leffler, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science at the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. "This paper introduces a new role for the military: 'Prevention Wings' whose purpose is to prevent enemies from arising," said Dr. Leffler. "This new approach, derived from the ancient Vedic tradition of India, is supported by over 50 scientific studies. IDT can create victory before war, and can assist in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding." The size of the Prevention Wing would usually be 2%-3% of a nation's military personnel.

Land-based Prevention Wings were successfully field tested by the militaries of Mozambique and Ecuador in the 1990s. The paper explains that sea-based Prevention Wings are theoretically possible. For example, carrier battle groups supporting IDT experts could be deployed to the Persian Gulf to reduce tensions in the Middle East, without directly penetrating borders.

"Since the military's primary job is to fully protect its country from attack by enemies, both foreign and domestic, all branches of the armed forces should also consider this approach," said Dr. Leffler. The paper concludes that preventing enemies from arising is both doable and economical.

Military-related institutions have shown interest in Invincible Defense Technology. Dr. Leffler first presented his review paper at the "International Sociological Association Research Committee 01 Seoul National University & Korea Military Academy International Conference on Armed Forces & Conflict Resolution in a Globalized World" in Seoul, Korea, in 2008. He also presented the paper at the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses. Dr. Leffler also spoke at the "5th Annual Countering IEDs - Assessing the IED Threat and its Evolution on the Battlefield and in the Homeland" conference in Washington, DC.


Contact: Dr. David Leffler
Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS)

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