Maharishi Vedic Science

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Collective Consciousness
‘Collective consciousness is the basis of what government does. And therefore let them [governments] do what they do. But create some groups [practising Yogic Flying], and they will create a better collective consciousness, and that will create a better government.’   — Maharishi 24 July 2002, MERU, Holland Global Press Conference   ---   Maharishi's Principles of Collective Consciousness: The key to Maharishi's approach to creating world peace is collective consciousness (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1986a, 1986b). Each level of social organization is said to have an associated collective consciousness.   For example, one clearly experiences the change in collective consciousness when crossing a national border. Individual consciousness is said to be the basic unit of collective consciousness, influencing collective consciousness and being in turn influenced by it (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1976, p. 124). Maharishi states: "Just as the consciousness of an individual determines the quality of his thought and behavior, so also there exists another type of consciousness for society as a whole; a collective consciousness for each family, city, state, or nation, having its own reality and the possibility of growth. The quality of collective consciousness of a society is a direct and sensitive reflection of the level of consciousness of its individual members." (1976, p. 91)   Stressed individuals create stress in collective consciousness, which in turn influences everyone else in society. A palpable influence of stressed collective consciousness is experienced, for example, in a tense office, an unhappy home, or a crime-ridden city. When stress predominates collective consciousness, behavior automatically becomes cautious and defensive.   The turbulence created in the mind of an individual by the anxiety, anger, and dullness in the collective consciousness obscures the subtle level of feelings and creative intuition. Consequently, social relations become coarse and creativity inhibited. On the other hand, a harmonious office, happy home, or peaceful city provides a soothing atmosphere that is conducive to trust, cooperation, and creative expression. In Maharishi's view, all of the different problems in society are expressions of stress throughout the system as a whole, i.e., in its collective consciousness. Maharishi states:   "All occurrences of violence, negativity and conflict, crises, or problems in any society are just the expression of growth of stress in collective consciousness. When the level of stress becomes sufficiently great, it bursts out into large-scale violence, war, and civil uprising necessitating military action." (1979, p. 38)   Maharishi further explains that terrorism is also an expression of stress in collective consciousness.   "Whatever may seem to be the cause of the outbursts of terrorism, whatever little excuses there are, these excuses arise on the surface of the human race only from stress in world consciousness, and stress is not seen until it bursts out.   "The basis of stress in world consciousness is the violation of natural law by the people. The basis of the violation of natural law is the fact that the educational systems do not educate the people to spontaneously think and act according to natural law." (1986, pp. 83-84)   If stress in the collective consciousness is the cause of war and terrorism, then neutralizing the stress in the whole society in one operation would be an ideal means to creating peace. The difficulty with achieving peace by any other means (unaided by creating coherence in collective consciousness) is that peace, like war, must be systemic.   War has many complex determinants -- economic, political, historical, individual, ethnic -- that must all be addressed simultaneously if peace is to become a stable reality. The beauty of Maharishi's approach to peace is that deals with the whole system at once through its collective consciousness, which is possible because collective consciousness touches every aspect, every phase, and every level of life in society.   -- See
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Maharishi Effect
National Consciousness
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