Lynne McTaggart - Discovering the State of Oneness
We are so delighted to welcome to this next section an amazing speaker. Ever since she said yes, I was jumping up and down because I know she's very, very busy. I'm hoping a lot of people don't know about Lynne McTaggart because this will then be a revelation for them; it's just exciting.
We're speaking to her all the way from the UK. Lynne McTaggart is one of the central voices in the new consciousness movement, an award-winning journalist, and author of seven books, including worldwide international bestsellers. You might've heard of some of these; I hope you have, The Power of Eight, The Field, a big one, The Intention Experiment, and The Bond. All considered what they call seminal books of the new science and are now translated into some 30 languages.
Top Spiritual Leader
I consider Lynne to be a pioneer of something that today is literally bursting out. It's not just all the rage. It's not just a subject of conversation. It's something that has been proven with experiments. She started the idea of coherence group to group. She was doing experiments with large groups of people in different countries. This is now being measured.
So when we talk about the field, when we talk about coherence and HeartMath and all the things that have happened in these last, I say decades or so, Lynne is the one that I think of who literally was first. So this makes us very excited to have her.
She goes by many names. Here are just a few: Metaphysical Rockstar, the Madonna of the Quantum World, the Malcolm Gladwell of New Science, and my favorite is the Dalai Mama. Now she's consistently voted one of the world's top 100 spiritual leaders for groundbreaking work with consciousness and the power of intention.
Lynne is known for the quality of her writing and in-depth research or inspirational speaking style and her uncompromising role as a new thought leader and spiritual change agent. That really puts it mildly.
Connecting Science and Spirituality
Thank you so much, Monica and Lee, for that wonderful introduction. I got hijacked into this work. That's the only thing I can really say. I am an investigative reporter by training, and my work in this area started in the mid '90s.
I am also co-editor and co-founder of a magazine called What Doctors Don't Tell You. There I was in the mid'90s looking at medicine, what works and what doesn't work in conventional and alternative medicine. That required looking through a lot of scientific studies. When I was doing that, I kept coming across these really good studies of spiritual healing.
I kept thinking to myself, "Well, how can that be? How can you take a thought and send it to someone else and make them better?" That in itself undermines everything we think about how the world works. As a journalist I was curious but I really didn't even know what I was looking for.
Consciousness and Quantum Physics
I convinced my publishers to let me go on a journey, a journey without a compass. I thought I'd find out that there was such a thing as a human energy field if I talked to all of these research pioneers in consciousness and quantum physics.
I quickly realized that I had stumbled onto a new science in the making—a completely new view of us and a new view of the world. So I kept following that. I continued talking to many scientists, and the weird thing about quantum physicists and consciousness researchers are two things.
First, they talk in kind of a code. They talk in math, and so they need to be decoded. Secondly, they don't like to extend beyond their experiential or experimental work.
They don't like to speculate about what this all means. I realized that piece was going to fall on me. I was patiently tutored in quantum physics by these guides and women. This became my book, The Field. Still, there was a lot of unfinished business consisting of experimental evidence showing that thoughts are actually something that holds the capacity to change physical matter.
So the journalist in me, the skeptic in me, the doubting Thomas in me were basically saying, "Yeah, what are we talking about here? Are we talking about a tiny, subtle effect like moving a quantum particle, or are we talking about curing cancer with your thoughts?"
The Intention Experiment
It started out as an Intention Experiment. There have been a lot of things written about the movie, The Secret. I felt there needed to be more. So I decided to set up a thing called The Intention Experiment. It was kind of a crazy whim.
I thought I'd do a book, which was to be an invitation to my audiences to take part in these ongoing experiments. I figured, The Field, was in 30 languages by then. So I thought, "Well, I've got some readers out there." I also knew a lot of scientists working in consciousness research. So if I could put them together, I'd have the biggest global laboratory in the world.
So that's what I did. I started off small, with seeds and leaves, trying to shift water to make it purer. I didn't think it was going to work, but it did. I have done everything from those kinds of experiments to lowering violence in war-torn areas, to trying to heal someone of posttraumatic stress disorder, to trying to end polarization in areas.
Of the 36 experiments we've done to date, 32 have shown measurable, positive significant effects. There is no drug out there with that kind of consistent track record.
That was interesting, but what started to shock me was when we started doing these peace intention experiments trying to lower violence. I decided to survey the participants, just to see what kind of experience they were having and if there were any after-effects. I was stunned that they were experiencing extraordinary things. They were talking about making up with estranged relatives. They were saying that since the experiment, they were getting along better with their coworkers or their bosses, or they had forgiven their children. Their personal lives were becoming more peaceful as well.
The biggest result was really weird, about 40% reported that they were getting along better with everyone that they came in contact with. They were more in love with strangers. I was just bowled over by this. I didn't know what to think of it. I kept studying to see if it was as I thought, this bizarre mirror effect in individual lives as well. The intention experiments started around 2007. I decided about a year later, "Well, maybe we should scale this down into a workshop," but I wasn't sure what to do.
The Power of Eight
I'm a journalist, and I never put forward that I'm a healer. I was kicking it around with my husband one day, and I turned to him and said, "Well, I don't know. Maybe I'll just put people in groups of eight or so and have them send healing intention to a member of the group with a health challenge." And he is also a journalist and a very good headline writer. He said, "I love it. The Power of Eight." And that's how we started. We had the first workshop put people in groups of eight or so. We didn't expect anything more than a nice little feel-good effect. Lo and behold, we had people come back the next day with a positive report.
Stories like I have had migraines every day of my life, and they're clear today. I walked with a terrible limp. I have arthritis in one knee, and today it's feeling normal. I'm walking normally and skipping down the steps. Somebody else had extreme gut problems, and then they resolved. Another had cataracts, and they were 80% better. So I'm thinking to myself, "What on Earth is going on here?" I also was very scared about it. I thought, "Oh, well, this is just a placebo effect." But the more I ran it, even the senders themselves felt great and experienced healing.
Spreading Healing Intentions
Last summer, we were able to do a talk in person. I was speaking in front of a group of about 700. I had everybody divided into groups as I always do. After I finished talking, I said, "Okay, let's experience this." I had them send healing intentions to a member of the group with a health challenge. Afterward, I always ask people to raise their hands and tell us if they've experienced any kind of change.
We had some amazing stories of people with terrible pain and that pain being relieved. People with other conditions feeling that they were also better, headaches gone, those kinds of things. There was one group sitting in the front, and they were all pointing to one woman. Her name was Maya, and she was sitting in a wheelchair. She was paralyzed from the neck down. They said, "You've got to have her talk." They tried to help her stand because people were standing to do their talk. She said, "I don't need you, and she got up out of her wheelchair."
It was amazing, and we have it on film. I was so blown away. I actually called her afterward and had a Zoom conversation to ask, "Maya, what was that? How did that feel? And are you still okay? Are you still walking, et cetera?" She had this very odd idiopathic paralysis that would come and go and had mostly come in the time before she had this intention. She said there was something really weird that had happened. She felt more love than she'd ever felt in her life from this group of strangers sending her intention.
She said it was almost too much for me. She sent it on to a relative of hers who had cancer, and at that moment, she passed it on. In that altruistic moment, she described feeling the wheels of her wheelchair going through the floor. I think that was a key piece. Two things that she said are keys to the work that I've done in trying to understand this phenomenon. The journalist in me, the skeptic in me, keeps saying, "What's going on here?" Why can we heal people in an instance like this? I have seen it now thousands of times.
We are One
One, I think it was something in that feeling of overwhelming love. I think it's even beyond that. We may feel love in our lives, but these are a group of strangers. Number two, she's experiencing love, but she's also experiencing a state of oneness. The work I've done demonstrates we have a perception of ourselves as a separate entity on a lonely planet in a lonely universe. That is our understanding of what it is to be human, but when you look at the new science, it's something very different.
What we see is that we're "actually all connected." Now, lots of people say, "Yeah, we're all connected, man." But what we're talking about is that we are literally connected. We are connected through our subatomic particles that are pure energy. We are at our most elemental, not a lot of electrical signaling and chemistry. They are vibrating packets of energy and trade energy with other subatomic particles like an ongoing game of tennis. This gives rise to an enormously dense energy field. This is so energy-dense that the energy between you and me if you were sitting about one yard away from me, would be enough to boil all the oceans of the world. That's how much energy is going on here out there in empty space like some supercharged backdrop.
Subatomic particles are an interesting phenomenon. They can take on an infinite amount of information. If you wanted to put the Library of Congress on a sugar cube, you could do so if they were all quantum waves. That's how big and energy-dense this field is, but quantum waves go on to infinity. They can also take on information from other quantum waves or particles. They're two sides of the same coin, which means they have an infinite capacity to store information.
Diving on Science
Many scientists believe that an energy-dense quantum field is like a mothership of all information. Through our subatomic particles, we are all connected but we don't get to experience that. What I have seen over and over again is that we do get to experience this with The Power of Eight groups. That is where we see it. I found with what I have studied with brainwaves, is when people get into a small group with group intention, people leave their own individuality and they enter a state of oneness.
I was very lucky in brainwave studies that I did. Life University, the largest chiropractic university in the world offered to put their neuroscientists at my disposal. We gathered together seven groups of student volunteers and put them in groups. We put an EEG cap to measure brainwaves on one member of each group. Afterward, I looked at them together with the neuroscientist who ran the study, Dr. Stephanie Sullivan, and we were amazed. She thought that she would see brainwave signatures identical to meditation, but that's not what happened.
She found the parietal lobes, a global quieting of certain portions of the brain on the right side. The parietal lobes help us navigate through space and tell us what's me and what's not me. They were dialed way down, as were the parts of the brain, the right frontal lobes involved with worry, doubt, and negativity. These brainwave signatures are nothing like meditation. They are almost identical to University of Pennsylvania studies of Sufi masters during chanting and Buddhist monks during ecstatic prayer.
These students we were testing were pure novices but in a state of ecstatic oneness. When we think about a mystical experience, a state of oneness, we believe you got to suffer to do it. You got to go into a sweat lodge or walk over hot coals or spend years in dedicated practice, or you have to spend hours going into a certain kind of priming to get into that state.
My students never even meditated before. After they had some basic instruction from me, that was it. Nevertheless, they entered a state of incredible oneness. When I talked about their experience, they described it as a peak experience. A feeling of an overwhelming sense of oneness, physical changes, being really out of your body, a sense of a kind of blinding epiphany of meaning. Suddenly you understand what the world means, a sense of rejuvenation, of falling back in love with your life, and much more. My Power of Eight groups has experienced all of these. I realized that you don't need a sweat lodge or hours of priming. All you need is a group and a common intention, and it's a passport, a fast track to the miraculous.
Making It Work
It takes a bit of practice, but not a huge amount to become an intention master. It doesn't take years of dedication, but you do need to know what I consider to be the 13 keys of intention mastery. You need to assemble a group, here are the cliff notes for it, these are the simple ways to do this. You need to assemble a group, you need to come up with a common intention and you all, if you're present together, can hold hands. Somebody says the intention out loud, everybody brings it down to their hearts, everybody visualizes the recipient achieving that goal, whatever it is with their five senses, and sends it out. The recipient just opens up their heart to receive. For 10 minutes, you hold that intention, holding those thoughts together.
That’s the basis of it, and you can set these up in person or virtually. I have a place on my website, my community site, where thousands of people are setting up their own groups. They can do it on our community page at lynnemctaggart.com, they can do it on the Facebook page I set up during COVID last year. It’s called Connecting and Healing Through the Power of Eight. It’s was designed to get people together during that crisis because I realized so many people were alone. Here's the great thing about it, it works just as well virtually. That's what I do in my courses, put people into groups.
For instance, I run a year-long masterclass called The Power of Eight Intention Masterclass. I teach for six weeks and then put people into groups. I monitor what goes on with them for a whole year. What we've found is it's all about meeting in the groups regularly for those people who meet regularly week after week after week. Pretty much a hundred percent experience transformations, major transformations, whether it is their health, careers, finances, relationships, or even their life's purpose.
The Living Proof
I'll give you an example from our last one. We just finished the 2020 class in January of 2021 before kicking off a new one in February. In the 2020 class, we had some amazing stories. We had one woman who was addicted to sugar so badly that she would get up in the middle of the night and binge. She’d then be really tired, sleep all morning and get up in the afternoon. This was affecting her health and her marriage. Her group intended for her to let go of her addiction. She did, she's lost a whole lot of weight, started exercising, and began meditating. Her relationship with her husband has vastly improved. She said this is the best time of her life. She had amazing support from the group, which I think is another key piece, that's so amazing.
We had another guy who had intense chronic fatigue, he’s healed and has gone back to work. Another woman was addicted to antidepressants for 22 years. With the help of her group and their intentions, she got off of her drugs, had never been able to do that even when she tried to lower the dosage. The stories go on and on, other people found their dream home. One of my favorites, Joy asked the group to do an intention to open her heart to love. After they did the intention for her, a boyfriend of hers from 30 years ago, calls her up and they're now madly in love and have got back together. It's so cute. So we've seen all of these kinds of things, but it's all about the week after week connection.
Power of Intention
So I think to myself, well, what's going on here really? I think it's a combination. There is, of course, the power of intention. It's extraordinary and true, your thoughts are things that affect other things, there's no question. Thoughts are medicine. New studies of the placebo effect show that even when somebody knows they're getting a placebo, as long as the doctor tells them, "This is going to work for you," it does. It’s a simple thought that got them better. They found enormous brain changes, every part of the brain involved with pain changes when you take a placebo for pain medication, a sugar pill. So thoughts are powerful, there is no question.
State of Oneness
Then we also have the group effect. Groups have a kind of amazing dynamic, a collective effervescence as a noted psychologist called them. There's also altruism, it is a huge, huge piece. When I study the science of altruism, it demonstrates that altruism is like a bulletproof vest, we are healthier, happier, and live longer lives with altruistic behavior. The Power of Eight groups are altruistic because seven-eighths of the time you're doing the giving, not the receiving. I see over and over again people who are stuck when I say to them, "Get off of yourself, stop intending for yourself and intend for someone else," that's the moment they change.
We continue to run intention experiments and the latest ones we've done are ending polarization. We've been doing some with Arabs and Israelis and most recently Republicans and Democrats right before the American inauguration. So you can take part in our intention experiments on our website, lynnemctaggart.com. Plus, we're running a number of new courses, one just for practitioners called Become a Better Healer with the Power of Eight. Practitioners don't realize thoughts are everything when it comes to healing not only your patients, but yours, yours, and the words that you use. I work on that and as well as, showing hold a Power of Eight group. We've got an amazing new course called Intention Mastery Backward and Forward In Time. I've been doing a lot of intention out of time, both healing the past and designing the future. Everything is on lynnemctaggart.com, I invite you to check it out.