Almost daily, we are bombarded with news of another senseless terrorist attack, and many are experiencing a rising sense of fear and helplessness. Governments everywhere are on high alert and are deploying all the available tools in their arsenal to protect their citizens. But the consensus is clear: we need new solutions.
Last week, more than 600 leading scientists, Nobel Laureates, foremost educators, and political and military leaders from 21 countries gathered in Kiev, Ukraine for a Global Peace Summit, hosted by the Global Union of Scientists for Peace® (GUSP). At this Summit, entitled SCIENCE AND PEACE: Proven Solutions to Violence and Global Conflict, they explored cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches to preventing war, achieving national security, and promoting regional and global peace.
“Behavior is rooted in the brain. To prevent violent, antisocial behavior, it is necessary to restore balanced brain functioning.” —Dr. John Hagelin, International President, Global Union of Scientists for Peace
Rooting Out Terrorism—the “Brain-Based” Approach to Peace
Neuroscientist Dr. Fred Travis described how stress shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the “higher brain,” and overstimulates the amygdala, the “fear center.” This can cause aggressive, violent, fear-driven behavior—behaviors that are increasingly pervasive in society today, with “epidemic stress levels,” according to the Surgeon General. (See GUSP.org for more information.)
According to experts in the field of conflict resolution, the first stage in the emergence of war is mounting societal stress—political, religious, and ethnic tensions. “If these tensions grow unchecked—if they reach a boiling point—they inevitably erupt in social violence, terrorism, and war,” said quantum physicist Dr. John Hagelin, International President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, and President of Maharishi University of Management. “To prevent such violence, we need to defuse societal stress and restore balanced brain functioning—which is easy to accomplish using modern techniques,” he added.
“The Brain-Based Approach to Peace restores balanced neurological functioning to the individual and society through the widespread application of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique,” explained renowned researcher Dr. David Orme-Johnson, who has published multiple studies on the topic. “It has been well established through extensive research that individual practice of the TM technique relieves acute stress and activates the higher brain.”
“The Brain-Based Approach to Peace restores balanced neurological functioning to the individual and society through the widespread application of the Transcendental Meditation technique.”
—Dr. David Orme-Johnson
But how can we achieve this on a societal scale? Dr. Orme-Johnson presented 23 peer-reviewed, published studies showing that TM practice by even 1 percent of a given population leads to significant and measurable reductions in violent crime, domestic violence, psychiatric crisis calls, and other indicators of acute social stress.
These broad societal effects are even more pronounced when large groups practice the more advanced TM-Sidhi® program together.
“Multiple studies looking at war in the Middle East and at global terrorism have shown that groups as small as the square root of 1 percent of the population of a given region, practicing this Brain-Based Approach to Peace together, can very effectively defuse societal stress and stop terrorism, war and social conflict throughout the entire region,” Dr. Hagelin said.
Critical Field Tests of the Brain-Based Approach to Peace
Heads of state and other top government leaders presented striking examples of how the implementation of this approach put an end to decades of civil war and brought lasting societal peace and prosperity. In Latin America, 22 countries have broadly implemented the Brain-Based Approach to Peace within the public educational system, and also in the training of their armies and militias. Top army generals in Ecuador and Brazil gave compelling reports about how peace was achieved in their countries after protracted civil war.
Father Gabriel Mejia of Colombia described how teaching the TM and advanced TM-Sidhi programs to tens of thousands of orphaned children in Bogota created a “wave of peace” in Colombia that soon put an end to 52 years of civil war. For this remarkable achievement, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
The military application of this same approach includes individual and collective practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi programs in special “prevention wings” within the military. These groups neutralize societal stress and help prevent the outbreak of war, while improving the national economy, health, and quality of life.
Joaquim Alberto Chissano, the former president of Mozambique and chair of the African Union, provided an especially dramatic illustration: he famously used these same methods to end 20 years of civil war and pervasive poverty, and to bring lasting peace and prosperity to his country.
Calls to Create Peace and Protect the Planet
By unanimous resolution, the assembly of the Global Peace Summit called upon governments to fund and implement the Brain-Based Approach to Peace within their educational and national security systems.
A final, crucial presentation came from Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, a world-renowned scientist, principal architect of the Paris Climate Accord, and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Under Dr. Pachauri’s leadership, the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its efforts “to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”
At the Kiev summit, Dr. Pachauri described how global climate change will cause severe threats to global security, and he urged swift action to mitigate these effects.
The Global Peace Summit assembly unanimously endorsed the reality of climate science and of climate change. It further resolved to support all evidence-based methods and technologies to reduce the threats of climate change to the peace and security of the human race.
Scientists and World Leaders Working Together for Peace
At this Global Peace Summit, foremost scientists, political leaders and renowned peacemakers from throughout the world joined the top scientific, educational, political, and military leaders of Ukraine to forge new, innovative solutions to pressing problems of violence and social conflict.
Among these solutions, the Brain-Based Approach to Peace received the most widespread support among the conference participants, resulting in the unanimous adoption of a Conference Resolution calling for its implementation.
“The distinguished members and leaders of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace are committed to bringing this and other practical, proven, evidence-based technologies back to their home countries for immediate implementation,” said Dr. Hagelin. “And this strong commitment is now shared by all the leaders of Ukraine, together with the assembled ambassadors and political leaders from Europe, the Middle East, India, and throughout the world.”