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Maharishi on “The 1% Effect” – How Just a Small Percentage of People Can Change the World

From the earliest days of his teaching around the world, beginning in 1959 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi spoke often of the positive, peaceful global transformations that would naturally result when as little as 1% of the world’s population practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Then in 1975, the results of the first scientific research were announced, which found a statistically significant reduction in crime rates in 12 American cities when the threshold of 1% of each city’s population practicing the TM technique was reached.

The news confirmed Maharishi’s prediction, and launched a new phase of his work to bring enlightenment to the world through Transcendental Meditation.

“We are declaring in all confidence, on the basis of the subjective experience of millions of people in the world, and on the basis of objective verification from the different sciences, from all the hundreds of experiments performed in the fields of physiology, psychology, sociology, and ecology, that all the various aspects of life are enriched and developed through the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

“When the body becomes better, the mind becomes better, the behavior becomes better. With this orderly brain, a few people—one percent, half a percent—moving around in the city can improve the trends of life. It requires only a few people, just a few people! What do those few people have to do? Fifteen minutes morning and evening less gossip and close the eyes; fathom the depth of unboundedness deep within one’s own consciousness. Realize that fullness of life, that wholeness of life, that level of enlightenment which is kindled within, deep within everyone’s heart. Unfold that, experience that, and that is enough to make the whole day more orderly–life in orderliness; life in accordance with all the laws of nature.”

“…the nature of life is to grow. Ninety-nine people can violate their own nature to grow and maybe weave around non-growth. One man, having a desire to evolve, having a desire to progress, having a desire to grow, by nature, he’ll take up Transcendental Meditation. On that basis, he will start producing a harmonious influence around him. Without knowing how he does it, without knowing the mechanics of how the radiations go from a more orderly mind to influence the less orderly minds around him, without knowing it, invariably he’ll be producing a harmonious influence in the whole society. Then the whole society will find a trend in the direction of evolution.

“What is necessary is just a small area in the whole room to become lighted and the whole room becomes lighted. What is a bulb? It is a very small filament. How much is that in relation to the whole volume of the room? It’s a very insignificant area. Yet it becomes lighted and the whole room becomes lighted. One simple, single individual brain becoming a little bit more orderly—how much more orderly could one become in fifteen minutes, with all the chaos and disorderliness of the whole day?—but that little orderliness increasing in the mind of an individual is good enough to radiate its influence. One small filament becoming lighted is enough to light the whole room.

“Like that, one person, one slightly enlightened person, is good enough for the whole society. It’s a blessing for the whole society.”

–Maharishi, January 12th, 1975, from the book, Enlightenment to Every Individual, Invincibility to Every Nation.
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Note: In 1976 Maharishi brought to light the TM-Sidhi program, an advanced program of the Transcendental Meditation technique. In the intervening years, research found that the practice of Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi program created maximum brain wave coherence and increased the power of the positive influence on the meditators’ surroundings that resulted from their experience of transcendence. Research also found when the TM and TM-Sidhi program was practiced in groups that the positive effect on the surrounding was so greatly increased that it was predicted that as little as the square root of one percent of the population would be needed to create a powerful influence of coherence for the population.

Over the years Maharishi inspired the establishment of large groups of experts practicing the TM & TM-Sidhi program together in groups. An example is the large group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program that takes place each day at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

The 25,000 sq ft. golden domes at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa provide a setting for the entire university community to collectively practice Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi program.


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Reference: You can read more about the scientific research on the effects of collective practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program. CLICK HERE to read the research paper, “Peaceful Body, Peaceful Mind, Peaceful World” by Charles Alexander, PhD.