A New World View with John Hagelin, PhD
Interview with a Brilliant Visionary
Following this interview is an article on the new
United States Peace Government
When I interviewed Dr. John Hagelin, it became immediately clear that he is a most remarkable and brilliant man. He is recognized as a world-renowned quantum physicist and public policy expert.
Dr. Hagelin was also a US Presidential candidate for the year 2000. So successful was his campaign that the Natural Law Party was born and made the ballots in several states. That is quite a victory for a man who showed up relatively late in the election season. Even though the larger population may have overlooked Dr. Hagelin, he made a huge impact in Washington with his ideas and solutions to some of the most critical problems facing us in the world today.
I’m not necessarily a political person. Although, I do my part as best as I can to influence the course of events by writing letters to appropriate policy makers, newspapers, and taking a stand on issues I care about. I often wished that I was more politically astute.
Nevertheless, I could really get behind Dr. Hagelin’s ideas for changing public policy by changing the world view. He has a wonderful way of bridging the gap between physics and spirituality by bringing them together in a manner that is profoundly common-sense and easy to understand. Filtered through his contagious enthusiasm, the often dry, foreboding realm of physics became strangely alluring as he spoke of his research.
It is now a fact, based on rigorous scientific research studies, that group meditation performed in a systematic way, can profoundly affect world events. It’s about using the power of the mind to influence and manipulate the forces of nature – to reduce stress and tensions that lead to crime, violence and war.
I have been a meditator for many years and will attest to its benefits. But in listening to Hagelin’s insights, I gained a new appreciation for the practice.
He went on to say that meditation“enlivens and reactivates the misused or unused regions of the brain –especially for those who have abused drugs or alcohol.” Through meditation, the brain becomes more integrative, holistic and orderly in its functioning and that this “correlates with intelligence, creativity, learning ability, academic performance, psychological stability, emotional maturity and moral reasoning.” He added that “Everything good about the brain depends on its orderly functioning. That orderly functioning of the brain, and its holistic development, is the spontaneous by-product of spiritual experience.”
All in all, speaking with Dr. Hagelin was very inspiring as you will soon see in our following conversation. At the end of the article is a link to his website so you can find out more about him and his visionary, ground-breaking efforts.
Shaping a New World View
by Paula Peterson
with John Hagelin, PhD
Earthcode International Network
John Hagelin, Ph.D., is a world-renowned quantum physicist, public policy expert, and the Natural Law Party's United States Presidential Candidate for the 2000 election.
As a research physicist, he offers a common sense, systematic approach as the solution to the most critical problems facing us today. It is an approach that might end, once and for all, the cycles of crime, violence, terrorism and revenge, and bring about true global change.
PJP: What led you to initiate these powerful, world-changing projects? How did it all start?
JH: It all started by accident. I was a young student of physics, and at seventeen I was in a motorcycle accident and sustained serious injuries. A medical doctor suggested that I learn transcendental meditation as a way to reduce pain, gain deeper rest than ordinary sleep could provide, and mobilize the body's healing mechanism more effectively.
I took his advice, and actually did get better quite quickly. But aside from the physical benefits, I was immediately charmed by the mental benefits.
As a physics student, transcendental meditation was particularly beneficial, because physics can be a foreboding discipline — abstract, dry, and especially difficult when one is fatigued. After meditation, I found that the same textbooks were essentially experienced as though in Technicolor — such was the lucidity — and the whole of physics became enjoyable. So I stuck with meditation throughout all my years of study.
After I received my PhD from Harvard, I went to Geneva, Switzerland, to the big "particle physics think-tank" and studied the recent progress in the great unified field theories in addition to the so-called Superstring revolution that has happened since. These were marvelous discoveries that included the fulfillment of Einstein's dream: the discovery of a unified field. Then, and only then, had physics matured to the point where the connection between my scientific study of the essential unity of life and my subjective development through the meditative experience really clicked.
Since that time, after further exploration, I realized that they clicked in a way that was not merely qualitative but profoundly precise and quantitative. We really do have the union of modern science and ancient wisdom, particularly the ancient Vedic science from the Himalayas from which most of our world's spiritual traditions spring. Working out the details of that union has been a wonderful experience for me.
PJP: A lot of people became excited and inspired when you ran for the United States Presidency in 2000. What motivated you to become involved in politics and to be a candidate for the Presidency?
JH: In May of 1992, I was very discouraged; I would say even disillusioned with the Presidential choices. Bush, Sr., was very tired and, in my opinion, had sold out to the military, the oil industry, and other special interest groups who were bankrolling his campaign. Clinton was the main democratic contender at that time, and in some respects he was, perhaps, a fresher voice. But he did not have any sustainable or forward-looking solutions. So, I felt that we had to inject some fresh and profound ideas — real prevention oriented and long-lasting solutions — to the political world.
Subsequently, I looked at my calendar, and for those several months remaining in that campaign, I could think of nothing else I could do as a citizen that had the potential to profoundly influence public policy. I jumped into the political arena and entered the dialog by bringing all sorts of new solutions. These were solutions that Americans could immediately comprehend as a better approach once they were exposed to them; so much so, that even Republicans and Democrats could embrace them. So that's what I did.
There were many very enthusiastic people, enough to create a whole new political party — the Natural Law Party — and get it on the ballot in several states in addition to qualifying for matching federal funds. It was a huge project. I must say that even if the average American voter didn't hear that much about us, members of Congress certainly did. Consequently, the impact in Washington was far greater than the impact on the general public.
One of the joys of being a presidential candidate of the Natural Law party –a party founded on the scientifically verifiable truth of the unity of existence –is that it has been a delightful exercise for me. That along with the hundreds of candidates involved in reformulating social policy, education, criminal justice, and defense as well as economics and health care on the basis of this newer paradigm.
One of the most powerful things that a citizen can do is take part in the political process: to inject into that process solutions and ideas that are so powerful, that once out of the bag can never be recalled, and which will ultimately have an irreversible impact in the direction of policy — even if that impact takes some time to unfold. As in the right of women to vote — it took time. But it was such an irrefutable, un-deniable right that its success was inevitable: it just took time.
Every four years provides an opportunity for us to collectively think deeply about the future of our country. It hasn't been that way so much since the sorts of ideas that have been debated, for example, by Gore and Bush, Jr., were not profound solutions. Profound solutions were systematically excluded from the debate and from ballots wherever possible.
PJP: You recently returned from your world peace tour. How did that go?
JH: I was very pleased with the quality of the audiences. But wherever I've gone, I had the sense that people are very frustrated.
Even though the polls seem to indicate that President Bush has overwhelming support for his unilateral military action, it's not what I see. Nevertheless, it looks as though politics are functioning the way they tend to do, so he may get his way.
I'm not sure at this point if we're capable of derailing his vote in the Senate that will get him the license he is seeking. If that happens, then the question becomes, What will he do with that license?
So, we need to work extremely diligently right now to rally more collective consciousness to prevent what could be a very serious disaster for the whole of humankind.
PJP: Overall, you've found that people want a peaceful resolution rather than what President Bush is trying to promote?
JH: I would like to think that most want peace. Very few people who have thought through the consequences of war would be for it. Unfortunately, I think that there are many people who don't bother to stop and think about the consequences of their own actions, let alone the actions of the country.
It's really about the degree to which national consciousness is awake and aware. It's that wakefulness and awareness we need to increase right now. This has been the main focus of my effort since the year 2000: to see what we can do to elevate the collective consciousness by trying many different approaches — from politics to meditation.
PJP: What is your plan for bringing this about?
JH: I think the quickest thing we can do at this point is to create a powerful meditative influence for peace and global unity by assembling groups –all across the country and throughout the world –to collectively meditate. Research shows that this has a powerful societal impact in increasing unity, harmony and reducing social stress. I'm focusing right now on building a group of eight thousand full-time peace creators in the USA, and as many as forty thousand in India.
The logistics of supporting, housing, and feeding such a group are fairly intensive, so ultimately it's going to be a costly project. Over the past five or six months I've raised about 88 million dollars toward this goal, and we need a lot more.
PJP: That sounds wonderful! Please tell us more about the research that proves meditation can make significant change in the world condition.
JH: There are fifty-two extensive research studies that I am intimately aware of. In addition, I was lead author in one of the most rigorous studies on the effects of collective meditation, particularly in reducing collective stress.
For more than forty years, the medical community has admitted that individual stress is the cause of most illness and ill behavior. Now there is mounting evidence that in society as a whole, stress is responsible for many of our social diseases, domestic violence, crime, and war.
Regional war in the Middle East, for example, erupts when you have mounting tension among rival factions — religious, ethnic, and political. If these tensions rise unchecked for generations, inevitably you reach a boiling point and societal stress will erupt into violence and war.
If you can defuse that societal stress and tension effectively, you can target the underlying cause of war and defuse the violence before it starts. That commonsense hypothesis has been explored now, as I said, in fifty-two studies of urban, metropolitan, state, country, and global populations when meditating groups have been large enough to have a global effect.
Many of these studies have been published in the leading and most skeptical scientific journals. Because of its strength and statistical rigor, it was impossible for the research to be rejected. These studies have been held to an extremely high standard by anonymous, skeptical peer reviewers and ultimately accepted for publication based on their accuracy and soundness of the conclusions.
Meditation by specific groups — done in specific ways to reduce social stress — is a preventive of war and global terrorism. This is now a fact that has been the most rigorously established and extensively confirmed of any phenomenon now in the history of the social sciences.
PJP: I once read a report showing evidence that the end of the Cold War was initiated through global peace meditations and prayers. Most people don't know this. Can you tell us more about it?
JH: I am aware of some very good, published research about this evidence on how the Cold War ended, but it is very tough to publish it in mainstream journals. The process of publication in peer-review journals is very stringent, and the more progressive and innovative your hypothesis, the more intensely and even unfairly scrutinized the studies become. That's the very reason it's important to publish in these peer-review journals.
However, there is evidence that the end of the Cold War was impacted by a variety of global meditations. Seven different international collaborations took place under the recommendations of the editors of Yale University's, Journal of Conflict Resolution. In order to assess the effects of group meditation, they created different-sized groups of meditators located at different distances from the Lebanon war. This impact of stress reduction on the outbreak of hostilities is where we have some of the most impressive research. In fact, a very recent study using Rand statistics has shown global reductions in terrorism during periods of global meditation.
One of my specialties as a research physicist is explaining the mechanisms — some concrete and some subtle — through which this spreading of social coherence and this reduction in societal stress takes place.
We affect one another on the different levels of human existence, from gross physical contact, or spoken word or gesture at something like a traffic jam, all the way to the deepest levels of consciousness where we are most profoundly linked.
So if you can target rising tension as the underlying cause of terrorism and war, you can effectively prevent the outbreak of war and even stop warfare in war-torn areas.
PJP: It sounds as though most of the toughest problems facing humanity today could be solved through group meditation.
JH: Yes, I think that's true. Most of the published research is focused on war, particularly in the Middle East, because it is such an intractable problem. As you know, peace treaties among elected representatives of nations aren't worth the paper they're written on when enmity and vengeance still seethe in the hearts of the rival factions involved in the conflict. At the very least, you've got to create a fertile field of harmony in the underlying field of collective consciousness before you can expect a negotiated settlement to take root.
Generation after generation of peace treaties in the Middle East bear this out. You would think by now that nations and their elected representatives would see the futility of military or diplomatic settlements that fail to address the root causes of regional and global violence.
PJP: Can prayer be just as effective as meditation?
JH: That depends. The problem with prayer is that there is no systematic school of prayer. Most churches don't systematically teach methods of prayer, and the methods that do exist differ from religion to religion. Prayer does have its effect. But the reliability and magnitude of the effect will depend upon who is doing the praying and, even more importantly, “how” they are praying.
To elucidate my point, the universe is structured in layers of creation — from superficial to profound, macroscopic to microscopic, classical to quantum mechanical. The deeper you go into this layered structure of existence — from the molecular to the atomic, to the nuclear, to the subnuclear, to the grand unified, and finally to the super-unified scale — the more powerful nature becomes.
The atomic nucleus is a million times smaller and a million times more fundamental than the molecule. Therefore, atomic power is a million times more powerful than chemical power.
Burning an object causes the manipulation of molecules. However, when you manipulate the nucleus of an object, you generate a million times more power because the atomic nucleus is a million time smaller than the molecule. That's why nuclear energy has relatively so much more power.
The human mind is similarly structured in layers of thought and mental activity from the surface to the profound; from concrete classical speech to very abstract and powerful impulses of thought which can transcend even to the level of being; the level of atman, the level of self, the level of pure spirit, and lastly, to the level of life itself. The power of the mind — for anyone — simply depends on the level at which the mind is being used.
I would say that effectiveness of prayer depends by a factor of a million or more on how you pray.
It you cry out the name of God using the mind in a very concrete and relatively coarse level, you may gain some emotional upliftment. If you quietly feel God's presence and feel that presence pervade mind and physiology that is a much more powerful level of communion. Deeper still, if you commune with God on the level of being, you become one with God's essence at the source of thought and pure consciousness: atman and the self. That union is so complete at the foundational level of the thinking process that prayer and thought now becomes extremely powerful.
PJP: With all the different belief systems throughout the world and people being at various levels of awareness and enlightenment, is meditation a solution that can be successfully implemented throughout all cultures?
JH: That's a very good question. The answer, certainly in the longer term, is yes. When properly understood as the means to take the mind beyond thought to experience the source of pure being, meditation is not specific to any one culture. It is, perhaps, the core experience of every religion, language or tradition, where the devotee unites and communes with the Creator.
That's why Christian monks, Jewish rabbis, and people of Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhists faiths can learn, practice, and enjoy a technique like transcendental meditation, because it's not taught with cultural baggage — it doesn't come with the philosophy. So, culturally it is appropriate.
PJP: More specifically, how can the teaching of meditation be most effective?
JH: On scientific ground, one can and should introduce the meditative experience into education, since meditation is the only documented holistic experience. It is the only experience that utilizes and thereby enlivens the total brain — left and right hemispheres, frontal and occipital lobes, the entire brain functions in concert.
Education should be for enlightenment. Higher education should be for higher consciousness. Fact-based education is obsolete within months of graduation. Consciousness-based education, on the other hand, develops the full potential of human consciousness — mind, body, and behavior. That is true education.
Interestingly, many of today's graduates have dysfunctional holes in their brain — especially those who have abused drugs and alcohol. In practicing meditation, those misused or unused regions become enlivened and active in an integrative and holistic style of brain functioning. The experience of orderly brain functioning correlates scientifically with intelligence — IQ, creativity, learning ability, academic performance, psychological stability, emotional maturity, and moral reasoning. Everything good about the brain depends on its orderly functioning and holistic development which are the spontaneous by-products of spiritual experience.
PJP: Do you see this as a way of looking at the spiritual experience that might be accepted in our educational system?
JH: We don't have to call it "spiritual experience." Using modern scientific terms, we can call it the experience of the unified field. It is the universal field of intelligence in nature that underlies and pervades all of us. Any education dealing with less than that really deprives our young people of enjoying their birthright: the full breadth of comprehension, fully integrated brain functioning, and the potential of the human brain to be cosmic and to experience this fact globally.
But as an educator I know that empowering this point of view will take time, and I don't think we have that much time. That's why group meditation is so powerful. If even eight thousand people were dedicating much of their day to the collective experience of the unified field of intelligence, that could have a demonstrable effect in bringing about global peace and harmony, an upsurge in unity, and a reduction in the social stress and tension that drive terrorism and war. As I said, this thesis has been exhaustively tested. Now it's just a question of acting on it.
Ultimately, we must have the experience of universal intelligence in every classroom. That would make our founding fathers very happy, because they believed in this type of education.
Believe it or not, even the military could have a meditation group. These people are paid to keep the peace and protect the country, and they can't do that by marching back and forth with a rifle. That only increases fear and tension. A military group that was actually paid by the taxpayers to prevent war and violence through meditation could succeed in preventing the upsurge of conflict while protecting the country and the world against terrorism — it's that easy.
But governments are traditionally very slow to act, particularly in democracies where people are afraid of their own shadows. So we're going ahead on our own, raising the resources we need. So far, we've made a very good start in building such groups.
PJP: Now that you've had the experience of running for the Presidency, do you think you can be more effective in doing the work that you're doing right now or by being the President of the United States?
JH: I think that what I'm doing right now is more powerful than campaigning for the Presidency just because the people will get the government they deserve — and of course, they will get the government they elect. So, if we can raise the deservability of the country and can improve the destiny of the country through raising the consciousness, then the merit of the country will attract a better government and we'll get better policies.
Working with the individual is ultimately more powerful. However, I've learned enough about how government works and the prerequisites to being the President of the United States, that if there were a grass roots uprising and I was asked to run, obviously, I would do it. But I don't think that campaigning will be my focus at this point. I will continue to work at raising the eclectic consciousness of the country. Primarily, I'm going to progress for that purpose. And having created a more favorable environment, better candidates will be elected, from within all parties.
PJP: I'm so glad to hear you say that. I hope you don't mind me saying so, but I feel that you're far too enlightened for the US Presidency.
JH: That's very kind.
PJP: In closing, is there anything else that you would like us to know?
JH: It's most important that people understand the enormous power that they wield to achieve what they want for themselves and for the global community, just by utilizing their God-given potential. The incredible nervous system that we have as the birthright of the human physiology and the birthright of our brain is so precious and we just don’t know it. It’s the worlds best kept secret of actual power that each individual holds and to the extent that they are motivated to exercise that power.
So, I urge everyone to get involved with a developmental procedure and a meditative process that takes them quickly to that place where they're exercising their mind on a cosmic level. That is the level where a small handful of people can change events in the world. All we need are just a few such enlightened people everywhere and we'll see a different world.
PJP: Thank you so much for taking this time out of your very busy schedule to share your powerful solutions and vision with us. We look forward to seeing a lot more of you and your visionary work in the future.
©by Paula Peterson 2003
You may link to this page by using ~ http://www.paulapeterson.com/John_Hagelin ~ Thank you!
Article on the United States Peace Government is below...
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Hagelin on the Iraqi conflict: A commentary in the Des Moines Register
|Dr. John Hagelin
Dr. John Hagelin, the founder of the US Peace Government, has been advocating the use of an innovative, proven approach to preventing violence and conflict (See article above).
Today, Dr. Hagelin’s views were published in the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest and most respected newspaper (see below). Dr. Hagelin takes issue with a Register editorial declaring that America has only two options: 1) bring our troops home immediately, or 2) send reinforcements.
Dr. Hagelin continues to powerfully build up the “US Peace Government,” a complementary government dedicated to preventing problems and promoting peace. Hundreds of America’s foremost scientists, medical doctors, educators, policy makers, organic farmers — experts in the theory and application of Natural Law-based solutions — have joined Dr. Hagelin in forming this new governing structure for the United States. Dr. Hagelin predicts that, even without the powers of taxation and legislation, the US Peace Government will soon become America’s primary government, for this prevention-oriented government will be far more effective in addressing the needs of the people.
Dr. Hagelin will soon hold special, credit-bearing, semester-long and summer courses in Washington, D.C., for student peace activists and other peace-loving people, where individuals will gain profound knowledge and practical skills needed to become professional peacemakers, including powerful, peace-promoting Vedic technologies of Consciousness.
We encourage you to stay up to date on Dr. Hagelin’s most recent activities by subscribing to the free US Peace Government eNews at www.uspeacegovernment.org/subscribe/index.html.
We hope you enjoy Dr. Hagelin’s article in the Des Moines Register below.
September 2, 2003
Best option: Meditation may bring Iraqi peace
By JOHN HAGELIN
The Register’s Aug. 24 editorial starkly outlined the chaos
in Iraq and the challenges to the American military (“Iraq: Get
Out Now? Or Get In Deeper?”). The alternatives were framed as
“bring the troops home” or “send
reinforcements.” Given those alternatives, the editorial was
right to comment, “There are no good options.”
However, there is a non-military approach to peace-creation that has
been demonstrated more than 50 times and tested in 23 academically
published scientific studies. It’s innovative, but new thinking
is necessary. The theory is that chaos and disorder in any society can
be calmed by using large groups of peace-creating experts, trained in
powerful and scientifically verified meditation techniques. The
consistent result is that crime, accidents, warfare and terrorism
This verified approach has been largely
ignored by the media, government and military. But the adventure in
Iraq has squeezed the United States into a thorny corner.
has been proved endlessly, war doesn’t create peace. War creates
chaos, social disruption and generations of animosity. In Iraq, the
application of American military force creates its own enemy — an
effective terrorist force fueled by frustrated Iraqis and anti-American
zealots from the Middle East and beyond.
In this situation,
conventional wisdom provides “no good options” for
producing an orderly, stable Iraqi society. This means the only
rational choice is to search for innovative approaches. If a new
peace-creating approach has been validated scientifically, it has to be
tried — regardless of preconceptions or bias.
Maharishi University of Management arrived in Fairfield, few around the
state thought teaching Transcendental Meditation made much sense. But
now it is widely accepted that Transcendental Meditation can help
reduce stress and create a calm, stable personality, while increasing
intelligence, creativity and psychological maturity.
most powerful use of meditation — gathering large groups of
meditation experts to calm stress and tension across the whole society
— has yet to be evaluated in depth. This is not for lack of
effort by Maharishi scientists. They have engaged in sustained research
over more than two decades and submitted their studies to mainstream
academic and scientific journals.
These studies have
consistently reported that large groups of peace-creating experts are
accompanied by marked reductions in crime, terrorism and war. These
studies have survived the rigorous peer-review process — at least
two, and often three or four, independent scholars (peer reviewers)
scrutinized the studies before acceptance for publication.
Despite this academically accepted body of evidence, most people
can’t believe the premise. How can a peace-creating group in one
location reduce crime and war hundreds or thousands of miles away? They
let biases and preconceptions take precedence over research
The same thing happened to Guglielmo Marconi of Italy
when he invented the radio. Most people thought it was impossible to
radiate sound for miles through an invisible field. They assumed he had
hidden wires. The military in his home country dismissed his
experimental evidence. Nearly three decades passed before the radio
came into wide use.
With the crisis in Iraq — and the
dangers in North Korea and elsewhere — we can’t wait that
long. We do have one good option, not just in the Middle East but
worldwide. Before more American soldiers are consigned to the death
lottery in Iraq, we invite the government, military and media to
investigate this peace-creating approach with an open mind.
JOHN HAGELIN is director of the Institute of Science, Technology
and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in
Please visit John Hagelin's inspirational web sites: