Study 24: Higher quality of life in the U.S. (1960-1983)

In 1973 the Transcendental Meditation organisation founded its own university, which purchased a university campus in 1975 from another private education institute in the village of Fairfield in the state of Iowa in the U.S. A community of Yogic Flyers developed around the university, people from all over the U.S. moved to this small village to together practice their TM, TM sidhi programme and Yogic Flying. From early 1980 onwards the group was so large that the influence, combined with the millions of individual TM practitioners, was big enough to reach everyone in the U.S. (1520 Yogic Flyers according to the square root of the 1% formula).

In order to test this, the researchers compiled an index of the Quality of Life comprising several variables that would normally be uncorrelated, and considered whether the TM and Yogic Flying practice had a noticeable influence on the index. The following 12 social variables were incorporated into the index:

  1. Number of crimes
  2. Number of civil court cases
  3. Number of infectious diseases
  4. Number of child deaths
  5. Number of suicides
  6. Number of cigarettes per capita
  7. Alcohol consumption per capita
  8. Gross National Product per capita
  9. Number of patent applications
  10. Number of diplomas issued per capita
  11. Number of divorces
  12. Number of fatal traffic accidents
These numbers each indicate an aspect of the quality of life, security, health, economy, creativity, harmony between people, etc.
It was also predicted that all these 12 factors would be positively influenced by the Maharishi effect, as they all had the same source, the human thought process, which source would also be influenced.
When the index was calculated and plotted out over 23 years, from 1960 to 1983, it looked as follows.
A clear decreasing trend was noticeable until 1975, which then turned back to an increasing one.
Subsequently the researchers calculated a Maharishi-effect index, based on the number of TM practitioners in all of the U.S., creating the effect through the 1% effect, and the group of Yogic Flyers in Fairfield creating the exponential effect. This index, plotted over the quality of life index, looked as follows:

The reversal in the quality of life index appears to coincide with a large increase in the number of TM practitioners in the U.S. But the correlation between the number of Yogic Flyers in Fairfield, responsible for the strong increase in the Maharishi effect index from 1980, and the quality of life index, appeared to be much stronger (p<.0001). From a casual statistic analysis of the numbers, they were able to say with a large degree of certainty that the increase of the Maharishi-effect index was the cause of the increase in the Quality of Life index (p<.0001). According to statistical calculations, increases in the Quality of Life index from 1981 to 1983 could be ascribed to the Maharishi-effect.

When we look at the twelve variables, we get a much better idea of what this significant increase in the quality of life index means. From the 12 variables, 11 showed a significant improvement (only the number of suicides did not improve), and in 7 records were broken.

Crime: From 1981 to 1983 the number of crimes decreased in three consecutive years, something that had never happened before (-0.78% in ’81, -4.3% in ’82, and -7.6% in ’83). This meant 1.300.000 fewer crimes in 1982 and 1983, principally created by the 1600 Yogic Flyers.

Civil court cases: Due to a degree of harmony in the collective conscious, civil suits were only filed when all other amicable methods to solve conflicts have failed. The number decreased by 7.6 % in 1982 and another 11.5 % in ’83, reaching the lowest number ever reported.

Infectious diseases: Decreased by 4.23% in ’82 and by 7.02 % in ‘83 (strongest decrease in 16 years)

Cigarette usage : Decreased by 1.90 % in ’82 and 6.26 % in ’83 (biggest decrease in the 23 years of the study.)

Alcohol usage: Decreased by 3.52 % in ’82 and 2.64 % in ‘83. (second and third largest decreases in 23 years)

Number of diplomas issued: increased slightly (0.31% and 0.98%) after decrease in the previous five years

Divorces: Decreased by 4.46 % in 1982 (a decrease 3 times bigger than the previous record set 21 years earlier) and another 0.18 % in 1983 (the only time that the number of divorces decreased two years in a row)

Fatal accidents: Decreased 10.95 % in 1982 (biggest decrease ever, apart from 1975, when the 55 mph speed limit was introduced in the U.S.). The prominent magazine Motor Trend wrote at the end of 1982:

Everyone loves a mistery, and the sudden 10% drop in 1982 highway fatalities has created a good one. Various sources postulate reasons for the decline…but the fact is, nobody knows why”

The magazine and other car organisations predicted an increase for the subsequent year, but another decrease in the number of car accidents of 4.60% was reported in 1983.

In order to provide an extra argument that the increase in the Quality of Life index from 1981 to 1983 was in fact due to the group of Yogic Flyers in Iowa, the numbers for the U.S. as a whole were compared to the numbers for Iowa. One source of light can illuminate an entire room (or an entire country), but the light will always shine brightest closest to the light source. Accordingly, a stronger improvement was predicted for Iowa than for the U.S. in general, a predicted that was confirmed by the numbers.Ref.Social Science Perspectives Journal, (2 (4), 127-146)

Social effects of Yogic Flying studied.

D19-Incr-Positiv-Intl-ConflDuring the three-week period of the Taste of Utopia Assembly, compared to the three-week period before the Assembly, the balance of negativity to positivity in events pertaining to international conflicts in the trouble-spot areas of the world shifted significantly towards increased positivity, as indicated by content analysis of the news. In the three-week period after the assembly the balance of events reverted towards the previous condition of increased negativity. Such trends were not found during the same time the previous year.Ref.Scientific Research on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme: Collected Papers (Vol. 4, 1989, pp. 2730–2762)

Social effects of Yogic Flying studied.

G18-Imp-Intl-Econ-TrendsDuring the three-week period of an assembly participants in the TM Sidhi Programme, numbering more than the square root of one per cent of the world’s population, international economic trends improved compared to the combined periods before and after the assembly, as measured by the World Index of international stock prices.Ref.Scientific Research on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme: Collected Papers, Volume 4: 2730–2762, 1989

Social effects of Yogic Flying studied.

G16-Incr-Natl-Approv-Head-SIncreased approval ratings for the U.S. Head of State were found when a large group of participants in the TM Sidhi Programme was established. This effect was replicated during three presidential administrations.Ref.‘Transforming political institutions through individual and collective consciousness: The Maharishi Effect and government’. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C., August 1997

Less negative thoughts

R11-Decr-Negativ-PrisonMaximum security prison inmates who learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme were found to have decreased negativism in comparison to controls.Ref.Criminal Justice and Behavior 5: 3–20, 1978

More positivity

E49-IncreasedPositivityCogThe practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique was found to foster increased positivity of cognitive style, as measured by a selective recognition task. A cross-sectional study found higher positivity among participants in the Transcendental Meditation Programme than in controls who were waiting to start the practice. A second longitudinal study found an increase in positivity among those who learned the practice after 14 weeks.Ref.Y. Sakairi. What does meditation change? Measurement of cognitive styles. In The embodiment of mind: Eastern and western perspectives. Delft: Eburon Publishers, 1998, pp. 57–66

Mitä tiedotusvälineet kertovat TM:stä

Mitä ihmiset kertovat

Päivittäinen TM-meditaation harrasta­minen 30 vuoden aikana on tullut yhtä luonnolliseksi kuin syöminen tai nukkuminen. Aika meditaatiolle löytyy itsestään, myös matkoilla. Olo on aina onnellinen ja rau­hallinen TM:n harjoittamisen jälkeen. TM:n ansiosta lisääntynyt intuitio, luovuus ja sisäinen rauha helpottavat työssäni päätöksentekoa ja ris­kien arviointia. Ongelmat ratkeavat useimmiten kuin itsestään meditaation jälkeen. Joskus tuntuu, että jopa hyvä onnikin on lisääntynyt. Jos joku ei halua kantaa töitään mukana kotiin, niin TM on kätevä tapa todella päättää työpäivä.

DI Timo Lahtinen on Uretek Worldwide Oy:n toimitusjohtaja, hallituksen puheenjohtaja ja pääosakas.

Ajatushorisontin laajeneminen. Syvä rentoutuminen ja itsensä hyväksyminen. Positiivinen kiinnittyminen johonkin vaikeasti määriteltävään.

Ville Malja, Helsinki

Koen että keskittymiskyky, luovuus ja ajatusten koherenttius on noussut minulla uudelle tasolle ja olen nauttinut tästä valtavasti. Koen myös että löydän itsestäni (ja universumista :)) enemmän kiehtovia asioita joka päivä ja ymmärrän niitä paremmin – ja rikon itse kehittämiäni rajoja jotka eivät ole hyväksi luovuudelle – tai ylipäätään elämälle.

Jori Sjöroos, Turku

Jos ajatukset pyörivät, tunnen rauhaa. Vaikka ajattelua on meditaatiossakin, niin jokin aina muuttuu. Jostakin päästää irti, mikä vaivaa. Siksi se toimii ja purkaa stressiä aina pala kerrallaan.

Hannele Kirjavainen, Helsinki

Maailman paras työkalu elämässä. Auttanut elämässä kaikissa tilanteissa. Mm. ahdistuksessa, paniikkihäiriöissä, ihmissuhteissa, rakkaudessa ylipäätään, itsensä tutkimisessa yms monessa muussa.

Johanna Hauta-aho, Helsinki