Modern Science and Vedic Science: An Introduction
by Kenneth Chandler, PhD
NOTE: This article was originally published in Modern Science and Vedic Science 1:1 (1987)
This journal provides a forum for research on the forefront of mankind’s expanding knowledge of the universe. It is devoted to exploration of the unified field of all the laws of nature through the combined approaches of modern science and ancient Vedic science, as brought to light by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The identification of the unified field by modern physics is only the first glimpse of a new area of investigation that underlies all disciplines of knowledge, and which can be explored not only through objective science but through a new technology of consciousness developed by Maharishi.
The unified field is now beginning to be understood through modern physics as the unified source of the entire universe, as a unified state of all laws of nature from which all force and matter fields sequentially emerge according to exact dynamical principles. As each science and each academic discipline progresses to uncover its own most basic laws and foundational principles, each is beginning to discover that the roots of these laws and principles can be traced to the unified field.
This journal recognizes a new method of gaining knowledge of the unified field that combines the approach of the modern sciences with that of the most ancient of sciences, the ancient tradition of Vedic science. Many thousands of years ago, the seers of the Himalayas discovered, through exploration of the silent levels of awareness, a unified field where all the laws of nature are found together in a state of wholeness. This unity of nature was directly experienced to be a self-referral state of consciousness which is unbounded, all-pervading, unchanging, and the self-sufficient source of all existing things. They experienced and gave expression to the self-interacting dynamics through which this unified field sequentially gives rise to the diversity of all laws of nature. That experience is expressed in the ancient Vedic literature.
In our own time, Maharishi has brought to light the knowledge of this ancient science and integrated it with the modern sciences in such a way that Vedic science and modern science are now seen as complementary methods of gaining knowledge of the same reality-the unified field of all the laws of nature. The knowledge of this ancient science that Maharishi has brought to light is known as Maharishi’s Vedic Science.
Maharishi’s Vedic Science is to be understood, first of all, as a reliable method of gaining knowledge, as a science in the most complete sense of the term. It relies upon experience as the sole basis of knowledge, not experience gained through the senses only, but experience gained when the mind, becoming completely quiet, is identified with the unified field. This method, examined in relation to the modern sciences, proves to be an effective means of exploring the unified field of all laws of nature. On the basis of this method, complete knowledge of the unified field becomes possible. It is possible to know the unified field both subjectively on the level of direct experience through exploration of consciousness and objectively through the investigative methods of modern science. Vedic Science gives complete knowledge of consciousness, or the knower, complete knowledge of the object known, and complete knowledge of the process of knowing. In knowing the unified field, all three-knower, known, and process of knowing?re united in a single unified state of knowledge in which the three are one and the same.
Maharishi has developed and made available a technology for the systematic exploration of the unified field. This technology is a means by which anyone can gain access to the unified field and explore it through experience of the simplest and most unified state of consciousness. As this domain of experience becomes universally accessible, the unified field becomes available as a direct experience that is a basis for universal knowledge. The technology for gaining access to the unified field is called the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, and the science based on this experience, which links modern science and Vedic Science in a single unified body of knowledge, is called the Science of Creative Intelligence.
Maharishi is deeply committed to applying the knowledge and technology of the unified field for the practical benefit of life. He has developed programs to apply this knowledge to every major area of human concern, including the fields of health, education, rehabilitation, and world peace. These applications of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field have laid it open to empirical verification and demonstrated its practical benefit to mankind. Hundreds of scientific studies have already established its usefulness. From these results it is clear that the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field is far more beneficial than technologies based on present day empirical science; it promises to reduce and even eliminate war, terrorism, crime, ill health, and all forms of human suffering.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, the applied value of Vedic Science, represents a great advance in methods of gaining knowledge. Past science was based on a limited range of knowledge gained through the senses. This new technology opens to mankind a domain of experience of a deeper and more far reaching import. It places within our grasp a new source of discovery of laws of nature that far exceeds the methods of modern science yet remains complementary to these methods.
Modern science and Vedic Science, explored together, constitute a radically new frontier of knowledge in the contemporary world, opening out vistas of what it is possible for mankind to know and to achieve, which extend far beyond present conceptions, and which demand a revaluation of current paradigms of reality and a reassessment of old conceptions of the sources and limits of human knowledge.
This introductory essay will provide a preliminary understanding of what the unified field is, what Vedic Science is, and how Vedic Science and modern science are related. It also defines fundamental concepts and terminology that will be frequently used in this journal and surveys the practical applications of this new technology. We begin with a description of the unified field as understood in modern science.
The Unified Field of Modern Science
Within the last few years, modern theoretical physics has identified and mathematically described a unified field at the basis of all observable states of physical nature. Einstein’s hope of finding a unified field theory to unite the electromagnetic, gravitational, and other known force fields has now been virtually realized in the form of unified quantum field theories. Instead of having several ir reducible and distinct force fields, physics can now mathematically derive all four known force fields from a single supersymmetric field located at the Planck scale (10(-33 cm) or 10-(43 sec.), the most fundamental time-distance scale in nature. This field constitutes an unbounded continuum of non-changing unity pervading the entire universe. All matter and energy in the universe are now understood to be just excitations of this one, all-pervading field.
Physics now has the capacity to accurately describe the sequence by which the unified field of natural law systematically gives rise, through its own self-interacting dynamics, to the diverse force and matter fields that constitute the universe. With a precision almost undreamed of a few years ago, the modern science of cosmology can now account for the exact sequence of dynamical symmetry breaking by which the unified field, the singularity at the moment of cosmogenesis, sequentially gave rise to the diverse force fields and matter fields. It is now possible to determine the time and sequence in which each force and matter field decoupled from the unified field, often to within a precision of minute fractions of a second. This gives us a clear understanding of how all aspects of the physical universe emerge from the unified field of natural law.
Mathematics, physiology, and other sciences have also located a unified source and basis of all the laws of nature in their respective disciplines. In mathematics, the foundational area of set theory provides an account of the sequential emergence of all of mathematics out of the single concept of a set and the relationship of set membership. The iterative mechanics of set formation at the foundation of set theory directly present the mechanics of an underlying unified field of intelligence that is self-sufficient, self-referral, and infinitely dynamic in its nature. Investigations into the foundations of set theory are ultimately investigations of this unified field of intelligence from which all diversity of the discipline emerges in a rigorous and sequential fashion. In physiology, it is the DNA molecule that contains, either explicitly or implicitly, the information specifying all structures and functions of the individual physiology. In this sense, therefore, it is DNA that unifies the discipline by serving as a unified source to which the diversity of physiological functioning can be traced.
Each of the modern sciences may indeed be said to have glimpsed a unified state of complete knowledge in which all laws of nature are contained in seed form. Each has gained some knowledge of how the unified field of natural law sequentially unfolds into the diverse expressions of natural law constituting its field of study. Modern science is now discovering and exploring the fundamental unity of all laws of nature.
Maharishi’s Vedic Science is based upon the ancient Vedic tradition of gaining knowledge through exploration of consciousness, developed by the great masters in the Himalayas who first expressed this knowledge and passed it on over many thousands of years in what is now the oldest continuous tradition of knowledge in existence. Maharishi’s work in founding Vedic Science is very much steeped in that ancient tradition, but his work is also very much imbued with the spirit of modern science and shares its commitment to direct experience and empirical testing as the foundation and criteria of all knowledge. For this reason, and other reasons to be considered below, it is also appropriately called a science. The name “Vedic Science” thus indicates both the ancient traditional origins of this body of knowledge and the modern commitment to experience, system, testability, and the demand that knowledge be useful in improving the quality of human life.
The founders of the ancient Vedic tradition discovered the capability of the human mind to settle into a state of deep silence while remaining awake, and therein to experience a completely unified, simple, and unbounded state of awareness, called pure consciousness, which is quite distinct from our ordinary waking, sleeping, or dreaming states of consciousness. In that deep silence, they discovered the capability of the mind to become identified with a boundless, all-pervading, unified field that is experienced as an eternal continuum underlying all existence. They gave expression to the self-sufficient, infinitely dynamic, self-interacting qualities of this unified state of awareness; and they articulated the dynamics by which it sequentially gives rise, through its own self-interacting dynamics, to the field of space-time geometry, and subsequently to all the distinct forms and phenomena that constitute the universe. They perceived the fine fabric of activity, as Maharishi explains it, through which this unity of pure consciousness, in the process of knowing itself, gives rise sequentially to the diversity of natural law and ultimately to the whole of nature.
This experience was not, Maharishi asserts, on the level of thinking, or theoretical conjecture, or imagination, but on the level of direct experience, which is more vivid, distinct, clear, and orderly than sensory experience perhaps much in the same way that Newton or Einstein, when they discovered the laws of universal gravitation or special relativity, enjoyed a vivid experience of sudden understanding or a kind of direct “insight” into these laws. The experience of the unified field of all the laws of nature appears to be a direct experience of this sort, except that it includes all laws of nature at one time as a unified totality at the basis of all existence?n experience obviously far outside the range of average waking state experience.
The ancient Vedic literature, as Maharishi interprets it, expresses in the sequence of its flow and the structure of its organization, the sequence of the unfoldment of the diversity of all laws of nature out of the unified field of natural law. The Veda is thus to be understood as the sequential flow of this process of the oneness of pure consciousness giving rise to diversity; and Vedic Science is to be understood as a body of knowledge based on the direct experience of the sequential unfoldment of the unified field into the diversity of nature. It is an account, according to Maharishi, of the origin of the universe from the unified field of natural law, an account that is open to verification through direct experience, and is thus to be understood as a systematic science.
These ancient seers of the Vedic tradition developed techniques to refine the human physiology so that it can produce this level of experience, techniques that were passed on over many generations, but were eventually lost. Maharishi’s revival and reinterpretation of ancient Vedic science is based on his revival of these techniques which have now been made widely accessible through the training of thousands of teachers of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. He has thus provided a reliable method of access to this field of direct experience where the oneness of pure consciousness gives rise to the diversity of the laws of nature; and he has also developed applications of this technology that render it open to experimental testing. These applications will be considered below.
Maharishi describes the experience of this unified field of consciousness as an experience of a completely unchanging, unbounded unity of consciousness, silently awake within itself. Gaining intimate familiarity with the silence of pure consciousness, Maharishi holds, one gains the ability to experience within that silence an eternal “fabric” or “blueprint” of all laws of nature that govern the universe, existing at the unmanifest basis of all existence. This unmanifest basis of life, where all laws of nature eternally reside in a collected unity, is experienced as the fabric of the silent field of consciousness itself, which is not in space and time, but lies at the unmanifest basis of all manifest activity in space and time. Through Maharishi’s work, this experience comes to be understood (as we see below) as a normal state of consciousness that arises in the natural course of human development.
Glimpses of this universal domain of experience where all possibilities reside together in an eternally unified state have been reported in almost every culture and historical epoch, from Plato to Plotinus and Augustine, and from Leibniz to Hegel and Whitehead. Scientists like Kepler, Descartes, Cantor, and Einstein also appear to have written of it and seemingly drew their insights into the laws of nature from this experience. Descartes writes, for example, of an experience that he had as a young man of “penetrating to the very heart of the kingdom of knowledge” and there comprehending all the sciences, not in sequence, but “all at once.” Scientists and writers from many traditions have described this experience of unity, which confirms that it is completely universal, and not a product of a particular cultural tradition. Just as the Vedic tradition has been misunderstood, however, so have those descriptions of consciousness found in these different cultural traditions; for without a technique that makes the experience systematically accessible to everyone, the understanding that this is a universal experience of the most fundamental level of nature’s activity has been obscured, and has not before now emerged into the light of universal science.
According to Maharishi’s Vedic Science, it is not only possible to gain direct experience of the unity of natural law at the basis of the manifest universe, but one can also directly experience the unity of nature sequentially giving rise to the diversity of natural law through its own self-interacting dynamics. Maharishi’s most recent research has centered on delving deeply into the analysis of these self-interacting dynamics of consciousness.
The Self-lnteracting Dynamics of Consciousness
When one gains the capability, through the practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, of remaining awake while becoming perfectly settled and still, one gains the ability to experience a completely simple, unified, undifferentiated, self-referral state of pure consciousness, which is called samhita in the Vedic literature, in which knower, known, and process of knowing are one and the same. Consciousness is simply awake to itself, knowing its own nature as simple, unified pure consciousness. Yet in knowing itself, the state of pure consciousness creates an intellectually conceived distinction between itself as knower, itself as known, and itself as process of knowing. In Vedic literature, this is reflected in the distinction between rishi (knower), devata (process of knowing), andchhandas (object of knowledge). According to Maharishi, from the various interactions and transformations of these three intellectually conceived values in the unified state of pure consciousness, all diverse forms of knowledge, all diverse laws of nature, and ultimately all diversity in material nature itself sequentially emerge.
The conscious mind, awake at this totally settled and still level of awareness, can witness the mechanics by which this diversification of the many out of the unity of pure consciousness takes place. The mechanics of rishi, devata, and chhandas transforming themselves into samhita, samhita transforming itself into rishi, devata, and chhandas, and rishi, devata, and chhandas transforming themselves into each other are the mechanics by which the unity of pure consciousness gives rise to the diversity of natural law. These mechanics are expressed in the sequential unfoldment of Vedic literature. These are the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness knowing itself, which, Maharishi asserts, sequentially give rise to all diversity in nature.
Maharishi (1986) describes this self-referral state of consciousness as the basis of all creative processes in nature:
This self-referral state of consciousness is that one element in nature on the ground of which the infinite variety of creation is continuously emerging, growing, and dissolving. The whole field of change emerges from this field of non-change, from this self-referral, immortal state of consciousness. The interaction of the different intellectually conceived components of this unified self-referral state of consciousness is that all-powerful activity at the most elementary level of nature. That activity is responsible for the innumerable varieties of life in the world, the innumerable streams of intelligence in creation. (pp. 25-26)
The Structure of Maharishi’s Vedic Science
One of Maharishi’s most important contributions to Vedic scholarship has been his discovery of the Apaurusheya Bhashya, the “uncreated commentary” of the Rig Veda, which brings to light the dynamics by which the Veda emerges sequentially from the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness. According to Maharishi’s analysis, the Veda unfolds through its own commentary on itself, through the sequential unfoldment, in different sized packets of knowledge, of its own knowledge of itself. All knowledge of the Veda is contained implicitly even in the first syllable “Ak” of the Rig Veda, and each subsequent expression of knowledge elaborates the meaning inherent in that packet of knowledge through an expanded commentary. The phonology of that syllable, as analyzed by Maharishi, expresses the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness knowing itself. As pure consciousness interacts with itself, at every stage of creation a new level of wholeness emerges to express the same self-interacting dynamics of rishi, devata, and chhandas.
Thus the body of Vedic literature reflects, in its very organization and structure, the sequential emergence of all structures of natural law from the unity of pure consciousness. Each unit of Vedic literature -Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, Upanishads, Aranyakas, Brahmanas, Vedangas, Upangas, Itihasa, Puranas, Smritis, and Upaveda -expresses one aspect or level of the process. As Maharishi (1986) describes it:
The whole of Vedic literature is beautifully organized in its sequential development to present complete knowledge of the reality at the unmanifest basis of creation and complete knowledge of all of its manifest values. (p. 28)
Veda, Maharishi asserts, is the self-interaction of consciousness that ultimately gives rise to the diversity of nature. The diversity of creation sequentially unfolding from the unity of consciousness is the result of distinctions being created within the wholeness of consciousness, as consciousness knows itself. Thus from the perspective of Vedic Science, the entire universe is just an expression of consciousness moving within itself: all activity in nature is just activity within the unchanging continuum of the wholeness of consciousness.
Through the texts of ancient Vedic science, as interpreted by Maharishi, we possess a rich account of the emergence of diversity out of the unity of natural law. On the basis of this account, it becomes feasible to compare the Vedic description of the origin of the universe with that of the modern sciences.
Modern Science and Vedic Science
When Maharishi heard from major scientists of the recent advances of unified field theory in physics, he asserted that modern science had glimpsed the unified field described in ancient Vedic science. “The knowledge of the unified field,” he said (1986, p.29), “has been discovered by modern science during just the last few years, but the complete knowledge of the unified field has always been available in the Vedic literature.” Modern science, he proposed, had now arrived at the edge of comprehending, through unified quantum field theories, what Vedic science had described on the basis of exploration of the least excited state of consciousness since ancient times: that all diversity in nature sequentially emerges from a unified source through a precise self-interacting dynamics. Modern experimental science and Maharishi’s Medic Science could now be seen as two diverse yet mutually complementary approaches to knowing the same underlying reality – one through the empirical method, the other through the exploration of the least excited state of consciousness. Through Maharishi’s inspiration, this has become a major research program that has engaged the attention of many scientists and that has yielded very rich results.
Over the past decade, Maharishi has participated in numerous symposia with major scientists on the theme of exploring modern science and Vedic Science to discover detailed structural similarities in their descriptions of the unified field. These symposia have attracted eminent unified field theorists, mathematicians, and physiologists, including a number of Nobel laureates, as well as many of the most highly recognized pundits of the Vedic tradition. Out of these interactions has come a meeting of two traditions, East and West, on the ground of their common theme: the investigation of the unified field. Those who have followed these symposia have recognized a deep and impressive structure of knowledge common to both traditions. Both identify a boundless, all-pervading field underlying all states of matter and energy in the universe; both locate it on the most fundamental time-distance scale of nature; both assign to it the same properties of self-sufficiency, self-interaction, infinite dynamism, unboundedness, and unity, among many other common attributes; both identify a threefold structure at the basis of all nature; and both describe a dynamics by which the diversity of nature sequentially emerges from this unified field according to precise laws. The result of these symposia has been that many scientists, following Maharishi’s lead, now feel confident to assert that the unified field described by physics and the unified field of consciousness described by Vedic Science are one and the same.
In the first issue of Modern Science and Medic Science, the lead article by John Hagelin explored many of the deep connections between contemporary unified field theory in physics and Maharishi’s Vedic Science from the standpoint of an active field theorist. His work brought these two diverse methods of inquiry into close relation, drawing upon both the latest developments of unified field theories and the direct experience of the unified field.
Dr. Hagelin presented evidence for Maharishi’s assertion that the unified field of consciousness and the unified field of physics are the same. His main empirical evidence for this new paradigm was drawn from experimental research in the social sciences on the “Maharishi Effect,”® the measurable effects on society resulting from the practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. As further evidence for the identity of consciousness and the unified field, he cited deep parallels between the descriptions of the unified field found in physics and Vedic Science. These strikingly similar descriptions support the conclusion that modern science and Vedic Science are two complementary methods of approach to the same underlying unity of nature.
The New Paradigm of the Unity of Nature
It is a common belief that the unified field of physics is an objective reality of nature and that consciousness is a subjective experience, and that the two belong therefore to different categories of existence. According to this understanding, one is purely material, the other is purely mental, and the two cannot, therefore, be equated.
Through the experience of pure consciousness described in Vedic Science, that unified level of intelligence is experienced, not as a mere subjective and localized phenomenon of thought or sensation, but as a non-changing, unbounded field of being, pervading all forms and phenomena in the universe on a non-active, or silent, and unmanifest level. Objective and subjective aspects of nature are seen as but two manifest modes of this unified field at the unmanifest basis of existence. A thorough examination of the nature of the unified field in physics and the descriptions of unbounded consciousness brought to light by Maharishi supports the thesis that they are but two complementary modes of apprehending a single underlying reality.
The view of nature as consisting of billiard-ball-type objects, each separate, discrete, and isolated from the other, belongs to the old classical Newtonian view of the world. Quantum field theory in modern physics no longer views nature in this way, but provides a new understanding in which the primary reality is that of quantum fields. All forms of matter and energy are understood to be excitations of these underlying fields. In the last year and a half, the apparently different fields of gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong interactions have been theoretically unified as different levels of expression of one single underlying field. All forms and phenomena in the universe are just modes of vibratory excitation of this one, all-pervading unified field.
Today, the success of modern physics in unifying our understanding of physical nature is mirrored in the success of Maharishi’s Vedic Science in unifying our understanding of consciousness. When the unbounded level of pure consciousness is gained as a direct experience, all activity in nature is experienced as an excited state of that one, all-pervading field. Since quantum field theory also describes all activity in the universe as excitations of one underlying field, the simplest interpretation is that there is a single unified field which can be known both through direct experience and through the objective sciences. In this new understanding of the unity of nature, mind and matter cease to be viewed as ultimately different and come to be seen as expressions of a deeper unity of unbounded consciousness.
The unity of nature is not a mere hypothetical unity, nor a unity of intellectual understanding or interpretation. It is a unity of direct experience that has been described in almost every tradition and every historical epoch. Maharishi’s Vedic Science only brings to light what has been the experience of many of the greatest minds throughout history. What is radically new is that Maharishi has provided a systematic and reliable method by which anyone can gain access to this level of experience. This method of access is the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field has been introduced by Maharishi as an effective means for opening the unified field to all as a direct experience. In this way, the unified field becomes universally accessible to systematic exploration.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field includes the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program and the TM-Sidhi program (discussed separately below) as its key components. The TM program provides a systematic procedure by which the mind is allowed to settle naturally into a state of restful alertness, the self- referral state of pure consciousness in which the mind is completely silent and yet awake. In this way, the state of pure consciousness, which has been the subject of philosophical speculation throughout the centuries, can now be investigated on the basis of direct experience. Maharishi’s immensely important contribution to the clarification and elucidation of this experience of pure consciousness will be a theme for analysis in future issues of this journal.
This quiet, still level of consciousness has rarely been experienced in the past because no systematic and effective technique has been available for providing that experience. The TM technique is a simple, natural, and effortless procedure for allowing the awareness to settle into a state of deep silence while remaining awake. It has proved to be uniquely effective in making this level of experience widely accessible. Through the deep rest gained during the practice of the technique, balance is systematically created on all levels of physiological functioning, and the nervous system is habituated to a more settled, coherent, and alert style of functioning. In time, a state of completely integrated functioning is gained, in which pure consciousness is spontaneously and permanently maintained. Once this state is established, the silent, self-referral field of awareness is always present as a stable, non-changing ground underlying all changing states of awareness. This integrated state of consciousness, Maharishi holds, is the basis of all excellence in life and provides the foundation for the further development of higher states of consciousness through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs.
Maharishi’s Programs for Developing Higher States of Consciousness
The ultimate purpose of the TM and TM-Sidhi® programs and all aspects of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field and Vedic Science® is the development of consciousness, the unfoldment of the full human potential to live life in enlightenment. Enlightenment is that fully developed state of life in which one enjoys complete knowledge and lives in total fulfillment. In this state, one lives in harmony with all laws of nature, enjoying the full support of natural law to achieve any desire without making mistakes.
Maharishi has identified a specific sequence of higher states of consciousness, each distinct from waking, dreaming, and sleeping, which, he asserts, arise in the normal full course of human development. Each state of consciousness unfolds on the basis of a concrete shift in the mode of the individual’s neurophysiological functioning. These states can be distinguished from waking, dreaming, and sleeping on the basis of their distinct physiological correlates. The higher states of consciousness that arise in this developmental sequence are, Maharishi asserts, a source of greater joy, knowledge, and fulfillment than ordinary waking state life.
The attainment of these higher states of consciousness is the basis for fully understanding and applying the theoretical assertions of Maharishi’s Vedic Science. Vedic Science is just the exposition of the full range of direct experience that unfolds during the course of the natural development of human consciousness. These states of consciousness are universal stages of human development accessible to everyone through the practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. What before was shrouded in the veil of mysticism is now scientifically understood as a normal, natural stage of human life available to anyone.
Another article in the first issue, by Dr. Charles Alexander et al., examined the empirical evidence, drawn from behavioral and neurophysiological research, for the existence of these higher stages of human development. This article unfolded the scientific basis for understanding and verifying higher states of consciousness from the standpoint of a developmental psychologist, and laid the basis for a new paradigm of human development.
Research on the Relation between Modern Science and Vedic Science
Each individual nervous system, when refined through the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, is an instrument through which the silent field of pure unbounded consciousness becomes accessible as a field of inquiry. Since the unified field is all-pervading and everywhere the same, a nervous system finely enough attuned in its functioning can gain the ability, according to Maharishi, to experience and identify itself with that unbounded, undifferentiated and unified field underlying all activity in nature. By taking one’s awareness from the gross level of sensory objects to perception of finer levels of activity, one gains the ability to experience that level of nature’s functioning at which the unity of pure consciousness gives rise to diversity. Gaining this unified state of consciousness is the means by which anyone can experience and confirm the structure of knowledge and reality described in Vedic Science. This is partly what makes Vedic Science a precise, verifiable science: all theoretical structures of the science can be verified through a reliable, systematic, effective technology. Other foundational aspects of this science will be considered below.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field becomes, in the modern world, a method for the investigation of the unified field and the most refined level of nature’s activity through direct experience. Modern physics, through its objective method of inquiry, has glimpsed a unified field underlying all of nature; but physics has reached a fundamental impasse in its ability to experimentally investigate the unified field, because the energies required to probe these finer scales exceed those attainable by any conceivable particle accelerator technology. Where physics can go no further, the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field facilitates inquiry beyond the limitations of the objective approach by providing an effective means of exploring the unified field on the level of direct experience.
This exploration of the unified field through the subjective experience of consciousness is a well structured program of research. It is guided by the knowledge of Vedic Science set forth by Maharishi in conjunction with the modern sciences. When descriptions of the unified field from the standpoint of modern science, Vedic Science, and direct experience coalesce, the three together provide a basis of complete knowledge. This program of research is based on Maharishi’s exposition of the Vedic literature as a complete and detailed expression of the unified field.
According to Maharishi’s exposition of the Veda, the sequential emergence of the diverse laws of nature from the unified field can be directly experienced in the field of consciousness as a sequence of sounds; these are presented in the sequential emergence of phonological structures of the Vedic texts. Veda is just the structure of the self-interacting dynamics through which the unified field gives rise to the diverse expressions of natural law. Fundamental theoretical concepts in physics and other disciplines, insofar as they are valid descriptions of nature, should therefore correspond to different aspects of Vedic literature that describe these realities from the standpoint of direct experience.
The basic program of research of modern science and Vedic Science, as conceived by Maharishi, thus has three major goals:
- to develop an integrated structure of knowledge by fathoming the depth of correspondence between the principles of modern science and Vedic Science
- to provide, from Vedic Science, a foundation in direct experience for the most profound theoretical concepts of modern science
- to resolve the impasse faced by the objective approach of modern science through the addition of the subjective approach of Vedic Science, which provides complete knowledge of nature on the basis of the complete development of the knower.
In this issue, Dr. M.H. Weinless explored set theory and other foundational areas of modern mathematics in relation to Vedic Science. In a future issue, Drs. R.K. Wallace, D.S. Pasco, and J.B. Fagan will explore the fundamental relationship between Vedic Science and the foundational areas of modern physiology such as molecular biology. Their paper will also discuss the extent to which fundamental principles of Vedic Science can be used to further investigation of DNA structure and function.
The discovery of deep structures of knowledge common to Vedic Science and modern science represents such a profound contribution to our understanding of nature that this journal was founded to foster continued scholarly investigation of the interrelations between these complementary methods of gaining knowledge. Knowledge gained by direct experience of the fine fabrics of nature’s activity, and knowledge gained by the experimental methods of modern science coalesce in a new integrated method of inquiry that offers both the fundamental principles of modern science and the expressions of direct experience in Vedic Science as two facets of one reality of nature’s functioning.
Maharishi (1986) sums up the relation between Vedic Science, modern science, and the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field:
Vedic Science is applied through the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. We speak of the unified field in connection with Vedic Science because of the similarity of what has been discovered by physics and what exists in the self-referral state of human consciousness. The Technology of the Unified Field is a purely scientific procedure for the total development of the human psyche, the total development of the race. This is a time when objective, science-based progress in the world is being enriched by the possibility of total development of human life on earth, and this is the reason why we anticipate the creation of a unified field based civilization. (p. 35)
On the basis of the universal availability of this domain of experience, an empirical science of consciousness becomes possible for the first time.
The Science of Creative Intelligence: Foundations of a New Science of Consciousness
The unified science that links the objective method of modern science and the subjective method of Vedic Science, while preserving the integrity of each, is called the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI). Maharishi himself has laid the foundations of this new science by showing, first, how a precise subjective science of consciousness is established on the basis of the direct experience of consciousness in its pure form; and second, how the experimental method can be used to test empirically the assertions of the subjective science. Through Maharishi’s work, for the first time in history, the full potential of human consciousness can be investigated both through direct experience and through the objective methods of modern science. The foundations of this new science linking the subjective and objective method will now be considered.
Prior to Maharishi’s work, the term ‘consciousness’ was considered too vague and indefinite to be allowed into scientific discussion. It was excluded from science as a metaphysical term because consciousness was not objectively observable, and therefore apparently not amenable to scientific investigation. Through Maharishi’s work, the concept of consciousness has been given a precise, well-defined meaning on the basis of direct experience, and its relation to the objective framework of science has been precisely specified.
The experience of pure consciousness, available to anyone through the regular practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, is a basis for precise experiential knowledge of consciousness in its simplest, most fundamental, and most unified state. Even though consciousness can never be an object of experience, when the conscious mind becomes completely settled in a wakeful state, it experiences its own nature as pure wakefulness, pure consciousness, without any activity or objective content. Through the repeatable, systematic experience of this silent but wakeful state of mind, the concept of pure consciousness, which has been subject to conjecture and debate throughout the centuries, is now available to direct experience.
Having laid the basis for introducing consciousness into science as a precise concept, it remained for Maharishi to develop a program of applied research to test theoretical predictions of Vedic Science. Identifying consciousness with the unified field provides a precise understanding of where consciousness is located in the framework of the sciences. To create an empirical science of consciousness, however, it was also necessary to account for how consciousness could be investigated through experimental research.
Maharishi’s work has laid the foundation for an experimental investigation of consciousness. He has led the way in drawing out predictions of Vedic Science that are open to testing, translating discussions of consciousness, derived from experience of higher states of consciousness, into predictions of experimentally observable phenomena. Three examples will illustrate this principle.
Pure consciousness, as was noted above, is experienced during the practice of the TM technique as a state of pure restful alertness. This purely subjective experience does not, however, establish objectively whether it is in fact a state of deep rest and alertness, or only seems to be. If a person is in a deep state of rest and alertness, Maharishi has asserted, then physiological evidence of deep rest and alertness should be observable. Reduced levels of oxygen consumption, reduced breath rate, and other measures of more refined physiological activity would be predicted. Patterns of EEG coherence in the alpha range, indicative of restful alertness, should also be observed. Early pioneering research by Dr. R. K. Wallace found that these changes do indeed occur. In this way, statements about the subjective experience of consciousness were translated into empirically verifiable assertions. The basis of this correlation between consciousness and physiology is a principle, fundamental to Maharishi’s thinking, that for every state of consciousness there is a corresponding state of physiological functioning. The range of physiological correlates of the experience of pure consciousness is a subject of continuing research.
Consider a second example. Pure consciousness is understood in Vedic Science as a clear and settled state of awareness. Anyone who gains this state is said to have a mind like a placid lake, unrippled by waves and thus able to reflect the world in a precise, nonagitated manner. Maharishi drew from this several predictions. One is that a person growing in the ability to experience pure consciousness would experience more stable and orderly physiological functioning. This can be translated into the testable prediction that subjects regularly practicing the TM program display increased stability of the autonomic nervous system. Another prediction is that the practice of the TM program will produce greater perceptual clarity and greater orderliness of thinking. Translated into specific terms, this leads to the prediction that practicing the TM program will produce measurable increases on such scales as auditory discrimination, brain wave coherence, and problem solving ability. Research has been designed, carried out, and reported in the literature which measures the growth of these parameters in groups practicing the TM program by comparison to control groups, thus providing objective verification of the predicted correlates of the subjective experience of pure consciousness.
A third example of how assertions of Vedic Science can be translated into testable form is found in the sociological experiments on the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. The hypothesis is that a group of persons practicing this technology in one place, by bringing their awareness to the level of perfect orderliness in the unified field, will enliven qualities of harmony and orderliness in collective consciousness, thus producing measurable positive changes in the quality of societal life. Many experiments have been designed and carried out by Maharishi demonstrating the power of this technology to produce significant changes in the level of coherence, positivity, balance, and stability in society, even on a global scale. The results of these experiments strongly support Maharishi’s assertion that consciousness is identical with the unified field.
Over three hundred experimental studies in the areas of physiology, psychology, and sociology provide substantial confirmation of many basic assertions of Vedic Science in the arena of empirical science. Many of these studies, now published in major scientific journals throughout the world, have been collected in the volumes called Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme: Collected Papers (1976). This research provides experimental validation of the efficacy of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. Because this research is too extensive to summarize here, the reader is referred to the Collected Papers for articles cited in this and other professional journals. For a recent comprehensive bibliography of these studies, see Wallace (1986). Overall, this research probably represents the most concerted, well-designed research program on a potential means to benefit mankind ever conceived. Its present standing is that, taken together as a body of research, it is one of the most impressive confirmations of a theory of human potential ever executed.
Although it is beyond the scope of this introduction to go into the details of this research, it is worthwhile to mention some of the broad categories of scientific investigation that have evolved to guide the research program of the Science of Creative Intelligence. The main areas of research include studies on the individual and society. Research on benefits to the individual may be further subdivided into studies of physiological changes (both during and after the practice); cognitive, psychological, and behavioral changes; benefits to health and social behavior; and benefits to athletic performance, performance in business, and academic performance. Research on social benefits through collective practice may be further grouped into research on families, city populations, national populations, and global population. These research studies fall into the categories of crime prevention, accident prevention, benefits to economy, health, violence reduction, and world peace.
On the basis of this research, basic assertions of Vedic Science become verifiable through empirical science. There is, moreover, a unity of theory underlying these diverse predictions and tests. These studies, taken as a whole, constitute a coherent research program that tests the prediction that repeated experience of the unified field results in greater orderliness, coherence, and positivity, in both individual and social life. Research on these changes not only tests fundamental theory, but demonstrates the practical benefits of this new technology. The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field becomes open to experimental testing precisely because it has significant practical applications in improving every area of human life.
Practical Applications of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field
Maharishi has frequently asserted that the purpose of Vedic Science is to benefit life, not merely to give knowledge for its own sake. Knowledge, he holds, is for action, action for achievement, and achievement for fulfillment. The ultimate purpose of Vedic Science and its applied technology is, therefore, to bring human life to fulfillment.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field brings fulfillment to individual life by unfolding the full potential of consciousness. When higher states of consciousness are realized, Maharishi has recently emphasized, life is lived in “twenty-four-hour bliss.” Gaining contact with the unified field, one enjoys spontaneous right action, lives life in total accord with all laws of nature, and can accomplish any life-supporting desire. Violations of natural law cease, and all suffering, which is caused by violation of natural law, comes to an end. Life is lived free from mistakes in inner and outer fulfillment. Such is the fundamental purpose of the technology Maharishi has created.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field has important practical applications in the area of health. According to Maharishi, sickness arises from imbalance. Perfect health means wholeness, balance on all levels of life. When individual life is established in the unified field of all the laws of nature, all actions are spontaneously in accord with natural law. In terms of physiological functioning, this means perfect integration and balance, from the biochemical and molecular levels to the macroscopic, organismic levels.
Maharishi Ayurveda is an integral part of Maharishi’s Vedic Science. Maharishi Ayurveda is a revitalized form of the ancient ayurvedic science of life and health, which has been restored to its original purity and effectiveness by Maharishi. According to Maharishi, the cornerstone of Ayurveda is the development of consciousness. Perfect health in mind, body, and behavior is the result of perfect balance in consciousness and physiology. This develops through the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, when the mind identifies itself with the unified field, the field of perfect balance and wholeness.
Maharishi Ayurveda combines the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field with specific procedures to treat and prevent illness and promote longevity. Maharishi Ayurveda Medical Centers have been established in many countries to eliminate the basis of sickness, create perfect health, and reverse the aging process. Over the last fifteen years, research into the effects of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field on health have been carried out at research institutions all over the world, and Maharishi’s recent emphasis on Ayurveda provides many new research opportunities for investigating the applications of Vedic Science in the area of health.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field also includes technologies to accomplish specific goals of individual and social life. The TM-Sidhi program has been founded by Maharishi to utilize the knowledge and the organizing power of the unified field for improving achievements in every area of human endeavor.
Unfolding Full Human Potential Through the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programs
When one gains the level of experience of the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness, Maharishi holds, one gains command over all the laws of nature. Stationed at the source of all laws of nature, at the “central switchboard” of nature’s activity, human consciousness can command all the laws of nature to create any desirable effect in the material world. Maharishi has brought forth a program for gaining mastery over all laws of nature, based on the formulations found in the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the principal books of Vedic literature. Through this program, the TM-Sidhi program, the mind gains the ability to function from the level of the self-interacting dynamics of the unified field. Once established in pure self-referral awareness through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, an individual gains the ability to draw upon the organizing power of the unified field to accomplish anything. Since the unified field is the source of all existence, its organizing power is infinite, and one who functions from this level has unlimited organizing ability. Established in that unified field of all possibilities on the unmanifest level of existence before consciousness assumes the form of matter, all possibilities open to one’s awareness and one can govern the expressions of the unified field as it transforms itself into matter. As Maharishi (1986) expresses it:
“In this program, human awareness identifies itself with that most powerful level of natures functioning and starts to function from there. The purpose of the TM-Sidhi program is to consciously create activity from that level from where nature performs. (p. 74)
Through the practice of the TM-Sidhi program, Maharishi predicts, it will become possible to achieve levels of body-mind coordination hitherto deemed impossible. It will be possible, he asserts, to realize the ancient dream of flying through the air, and to develop highly enhanced powers of hearing, seeing, and intuition that extend the senses far beyond the limits currently conceived to be possible. By activating laws of nature that are now hidden to ordinary methods of scientific investigation, the TM-Sidhi program provides a research methodology to explore what is possible for mankind to achieve on the basis of functioning from that level where the conscious mind has become identified with the unified field. This is the basis of a technological revolution more powerful and beneficial to life than any conceived through empirical science.”
The Maharishi Effect
The TM-Sidhi program, when practiced in groups, is even more powerful than the TM-Sidhi program practiced alone. The collective practice of the TM-Sidhi program can produce an influence that affects the entire world in measurable ways. This global influence of coherence generated through the group practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field has been called the Maharishi Effect.
As early as 1960, Maharishi predicted that when individuals practice the TM and TM-Sidhi programs in sufficiently large groups, a measurable increase in orderliness, coherence, and positive trends would be observed in society. By enlivening the life-supporting and evolutionary qualities of the unified field, such as perfect orderliness, infinite dynamism, and self-sufficiency, Maharishi held, these qualities would be enlivened in collective consciousness and this would have positive measurable effects on a wide social scale.
Over the years, social scientists developed formulas for predicting the size of the group necessary to create a “phase transition” in society to a measurably higher quality of life. These formulas, calculated on the basis of analogous phase transitions from disorder to orderliness studied in physics, came out to be approximately one percent of a population practicing the Transcendental Meditation program, and a much smaller percentage, on the order of the square root of one percent practicing the TM-Sidhi program.
Since 1978, many experimental studies have been performed to measure the effect of large groups practicing the TM-Sidhi program. Experimental confirmation of the principle has been the consistent result. The Maharishi Effect is now as well documented as any principle of modern social science. In creating this technology, Maharishi has provided an effective method of social change that operates from the silent, harmonizing level of the unified field to produce a transformation in the quality of collective consciousness, thereby effortlessly creating coherence on a global scale. Maharishi (1986) describes how this effect is produced:
The transcendental level of nature’s functioning is the level of infinite correlation. When the group awareness is brought in attunement with that level, then a very intensified influence of coherence radiates, and a great richness is created. Infinite correlation is a quality of the transcendental level of nature’s functioning from where orderliness governs the universe. (p. 75)
Also in the second issue, an article by D.W. Orme-Johnson and M.C. Dillbeck summarized the empirical research on the Maharishi Effect. This article surveyed experimental studies documenting the sociological improvements resulting from the group practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. Based on these results Maharishi asserts that the collective practice of the TM-Sidhi program in groups of 7000 (the square root of one percent of the world’s population) produces coherence in the collective consciousness of the entire world. Statistically significant reductions in crime, accidents, fatalities, and disease, and other positive benefits on a global scale observed during experimental periods have established this as an effective means of changing collective consciousness and thereby changing the quality of life in the world simply by enlivening the source of order and coherence at the basis of nature, from the level of the unified field.
Maharishi’s Program to Create World Peace
The most dramatic application of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field is Maharishi’s program to create world peace through the creation of a permanent group of 7000 collectively practicing the TM-Sidhi program. Maharishi’s technology is a basis for eliminating negativity and destructive tendencies throughout the world. Large groups of experts in the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field creating coherence during experimental periods have provided ample opportunity for scientific research. During these experimental periods, conflict and violence have been reduced in wartorn areas and negative trends have been reversed. Over thirty studies have established the efficacy of this technology to eliminate conflict and promote life supporting, positive trends throughout the world.
Maharishi clearly lays out the basis of his program to create world peace. Stress, he holds, is the basic cause of all negativity, violence, terrorism, and national and international conflicts. Stress generated by the violation of natural law causes strained trends and tendencies in the environment. Through the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, human intelligence can be identified with the unified field, and violations of natural law will cease. “Reinforcement of evolutionary power in world consciousness is the only effective way,” Maharishi holds, “to neutralize all kinds of negative trends in the world and maintain world consciousness on a high level of purity.” (Maharishi’s Program to Create World Peace, 1986, p. 7)
The global applications of this new science and technology are almost beyond present levels of imagination. Yet scientific research has found measurable reductions in levels of violence, crime, and other indications of negativity during the practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field in sufficiently large groups during experimental trial periods. Here for the first time in history is a scientific basis for creating world peace, ending terrorism, and reducing the negative trends of society.
On the basis of these studies, Maharishi holds that world peace can be guaranteed now, within a few years, through the establishment of groups of 7000; he holds that perfect health and unlimited longevity can be achieved for individual life, and that balance, coherence and health in society can be established in our generation. War, crime, poverty, and all problems that bring unhappiness to the family of man can be entirely eliminated. Life, he holds, can be lived in absolute abundance and fulfillment. Maharishi has called upon every significant individual in the world to act now to adopt this program for world peace by creating groups of 7000 collectively practicing the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field to establish world peace and guarantee its perpetuation.
The practical benefits which Maharishi foresees through this new technology are far greater than those achieved by the technology based on present science. As science has investigated deeper levels of nature, from microbes to molecules to atoms, new technologies have emerged which apply the knowledge in areas such as medicine and nuclear power. In drawing upon the deepest and most powerful level of natural law, the level of the unified field, Vedic Science lays the basis for much more powerful technologies still. Where modern medicine has been able to eliminate some diseases by drawing upon microscopic levels, Vedic Science lays the basis for the elimination of all disease, and more importantly, for creation of perfect health and reversal of aging. While modern science has produced nuclear technology but no technology for peaceful resolution of conflict, Vedic Science draws upon the infinite organizing power of the unified field at the basis of nature to create social harmony and world peace while preserving cultural integrity and stimulating prosperity and progress.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field as a New Method of Gaining Knowledge
The bold assertions about what is practically possible through the application of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field must be understood in the context of the new method of gaining knowledge that Maharishi has founded. The history of science testifies that as new methods of gaining knowledge of deeper and more unified levels of natural law become available, more powerful and useful technologies become available. The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field is based on the deepest and most unified level of knowledge of nature. It should not be surprising, therefore, that this technology provides a radically new source of organizing power to fulfill the highest goals of mankind.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field offers a fundamentally new approach to knowledge that has not been available before. In asserting that it is possible for one individual to know all the laws of nature and the entirety of the universe within his or her own consciousness, Maharishi is well aware that he is introducing an account of human potential that goes well beyond the concept of the limits of knowledge that has dominated in the scientific era. This new paradigm of knowledge must be examined in a new light.
It is a widespread belief in the 20th century that the only valid method of gaining knowledge is by moving outward through the senses, that is, through the methods of the empirical sciences. It is, however, only the historical failure of subjective approaches that has led to this belief. It cannot be known that the senses are the only way of gaining knowledge, and those who cling to the belief that it is, only allow old habits to stand in the way of exploring new possible sources of knowledge.
Subjective approaches to knowledge in the past failed to bear fruit because they failed to provide an effective and reliable method of access to an invariant and universal domain of direct experience. They thus failed to establish independent standards of knowledge, they failed to produce methods of distinguishing truth from error, they failed to produce consensus even among those practicing the same method, and they failed to produce practical technological benefits through the practice of the method.
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field is different from subjective approaches in the past, and must therefore be considered on separate grounds. It provides an effective, reliable method of opening the mind to an invariant and universal level of nature which is everywhere, and yet not ordinarily open to experience because the mind functions on more active levels. By providing a technology to make this non-active level of nature available as a direct experience, Maharishi has made this domain available to all as a new field of inquiry; and where there is a new source of experience of something universal, unchanging, and objectively verifiable, a new source of knowledge is available.
The Science of Creative Intelligence gives a new account of how complete knowledge is possible. When the mind becomes completely settled and still, according to this account, it gains the ability to perceive on the most refined levels of nature’s functioning the all-pervading unified field where all laws reside in a collective totality. It not only experiences this unified field, it becomes identified with it; it is the unified field and thus knows the unified field as its own universal Self. On this level of knowledge, there is no separation of knower from the known. Nothing lies outside the range of the knower. All laws of nature and everything in the universe can be known as intimately as one’s own Self. Mind and body cease to be seen as separate realities. Maharishi (1986) says:
In reality our self-referral state of consciousness is the unified field — not an object of knowledge as a rose is when we say, “I see that rose.” The unified field is not an object in this way; it is the subject itself. The unified field is a self-referral state of awareness that knows itself, and in knowing itself is the knower and the known, both together. (p. 96)
On this account, there is no distinction between the knower and the reality that it knows. Since it is the Self that knows itself, there is nothing ultimately outside the consciousness of the knower, and there are therefore no limits on what can be known. If true, this account of knowledge provides a fundamentally new source of discovery of the laws of nature, like the empirical sciences in that it relies on experience as a source of knowledge, but distinct from these sciences in that it draws upon a wider range of experience. As a new source of discovery, it extends the power of scientific investigation; yet it remains within the scope of empirical science by being subject to procedures of objective verification.
Maharishi International University
Maharishi International University (MIU) was founded by Maharishi in 1971 based on the principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence. One of the major functions of this University is to show how each discipline and each level of natural law arises from the unified field. The specialty of the University is the knowledge of the unified field from the standpoint of each academic discipline. At MIU, each modern discipline traces the diversity of laws back to a unified source in the unified field and shows how the diversity of laws emerge from the unified field through the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness. Just as physics and mathematics have discovered increasingly unified levels of natural law at the basis of their discipline, thus tracing the diversity of its laws to their source in the unified field, so every academic discipline can ultimately show how its laws derive sequentially from the unified field. This project of unification of knowledge, a long sought goal throughout Western intellectual history, is now being systematically pursued and completed at the University.
This enterprise has most recently taken the form of developing charts to show how each modern discipline arises from the unified field. For each discipline, a Unified Field Chart has been constructed to show how the discipline sequentially emerges from the unified field through the self-interacting dynamics of knower, known, and process of knowing. These Unified Field Charts constitute a major unification of knowledge, showing at a glance how all the diversity of knowledge emerges from a unified source.
Since the unified field is understood as a field of consciousness, and consciousness is the most fundamental level of each student’s own Self, the study of the unified field at Maharishi International University constitutes a method of systematically relating all knowledge to the student’s Self. The success of MlU’s method of education is due in part to this program of relating all knowledge to the unified field and the unified field to the Self. Because all students and faculty at MIU collectively practice the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs, regularly gaining the direct experience of the unified field, the unified field increasingly becomes a living reality. The unified field ceases to be an abstract concept and becomes as intimate as the Self. The experience of faculty and students has been that learning and inquiry is joyful and most fulfilling in this environment of unified field based education.
Maharishi’s Work in Historical Perspective: An Appreciation
Maharishi has created a major watershed in world intellectual history. He has laid the foundation for a fundamental change both in intellectual history and in the history of technology and civilization itself. His work has created a new paradigm of the unity of human knowledge, and, we may expect, will unify the sciences and humanities in a more integrated way than ever before. He is, moreover, bringing to an end the old notion that man is born to suffer and that life is a struggle. The practical programs he has founded provide a scientifically validated basis for reducing and even eliminating crime, war, terrorism, poverty, and other problems that beset mankind; more importantly, his discoveries make it possible to live life in the fulfillment of pure knowledge and permanent bliss consciousness and to achieve the highest goals of human endeavor. He has laid the basis for a new civilization, founded on new principles of complete, reliable, useful, fulfilling knowledge—the knowledge of the unified field as the perfectly orderly, unified source of nature.
Maharishi is unique in the world today. He does not offer conjectures and hypotheses about reality and human potential, nor does he set himself up as a final authority on matters of knowledge; he speaks rather of experience as the ultimate basis of knowledge. The experience of which he speaks is derived from a new source, from the level of fully developed human life gained when one’s awareness is open to the unified field. Maharishi’s life is an example of that which he teaches. Unlike those whose teaching is based solely on the personal authority of the individual, Maharishi has founded universities, sciences, technologies, and other institutions based on universal principles through which any individual can gain the direct experience of the fully unfolded nature of life and validate the truth of what is described in the science. Because of this, Maharishi is held in highest esteem by millions of people around the world.
Maharishi has provided means of unfolding the dormant creative genius within everyone, and he has established institutions through which the knowledge of how to unfold this potential will be perpetuated generation after generation. He has, moreover, used this knowledge to found programs to create perfect health, progress, prosperity, and permanent peace for the world programs to end suffering and allow life to be lived in spontaneous accord with natural law. These institutions are not just ideals, but functioning institutions whose practical achievements are now well documented and available for all to examine.
Everyone now has the ability, with the availability of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, to engage in this great experiment of identifying one’s awareness with the total potential of natural law and to spontaneously live in accord with all the laws of nature while established in the awareness of the unified field. The experience of approximately three million people who have learned the TM technique testifies to its practicality and its effortlessness and ease of practice. Experimental studies have shown that its benefits are real and concrete. On this basis, Maharishi foresees the creation of a new era of civilization — Age of Enlightenment — which life will be lived in fullness and abundance without suffering. Maharishi’s work eliminates the very basis of stress and suffering and lays the ground for a new civilization, a unified field based, ideal civilization that draws on the infinite organizing power of the unified field to bring human life to fulfillment.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986). Life Supported by Natural Law. Washington: Age of Enlightenment Press.
Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field: Results of Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program. Fairfield, Iowa: MIU Press (1984).
Maharishi’s Program to Create World Peace: Removing the Basis of Terrorism and War. Washington: Age of Enlightenment Press (1986).
Orme-Johnson, D. W. and Farrow, J. T., eds. (1977). Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme. Collected Papers, Vol. 1. Rheinweiler, W. Germany: Maharishi European Research University Press
Wallace, Robert Keith (1986). The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field: The Neurophysiology of Enlightenment. Fairfield, Iowa: MIU Neuroscience Press.
Kenneth Chandler holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. At the time he wrote this article he was chair of the Department of the Science of Creative Intelligence at Maharishi International University.