A Field-Theoretic View of Consciousness: Reply to Critics
This study found that group practice of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programs had profound effects on improving the quality of life in Israel and Lebanon, including reducing armed conflicts, which could not be explained by military, political, and cultural events at the time.
Abstract—This paper replies to a critique (Fales & Markovsky, 1997) of a study reporting that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program had a measurable effect on objective measures of the quality of life in Israel and the war in Lebanon (Orme-Johnson et al., 1988). The critics proposed various cultural/political events as alternative explanations for the results. These events could not explain the results, as indicated by (1) simple inspection of the pub¬lished data; (2) statistical analyses controlling for these events; (3) analyses of reduced data sets that completely eliminated the days of the events from the analyses; and (4) analyses of six random samples of 50% of the data.
Although some of the cultural/political events suggested did have a signifi cant effect on a composite index of crime, traffi c accidents, fires, war intensity, stock market, and national mood, the effects of these events were independent of the effect of the meditators and could not explain it. We argue that Maharishi’s theory of col¬lective consciousness provides a unifying framework that explains these results through a logical structure of clearly defi ned, operationalized terms grounded in physiological and behavioral research, which makes specifi c quantifi able and socially important predictions that have been extensively replicated.
For backlground information on this study and a review of addressing other criticisms of the Maharishi Effect, please see the page on Critics and Rebuttals.