This article appeared in the News from The Graduate School of The Union Institute – Vol. 3 No. 1 Spring 1992.
New Military Science
Is Warmly Received
October, 1978. Worldwide tensions are mounting. In many parts of the world, revolutions are being fought, and, as in Southeast Asia, national boundaries are being challenged. Fourteen hundred army volunteers, having trained for eight months in a technology well known for its stress-management capabilities, board planes to travel to the capital cities of the world’s key trouble spots. Their purpose? To test the ability of ancient meditation techniques to reverse the destabilizing influence felt during war, the influence historically named “friction in war” by Carl von Clausewitz, father of modern military theory. The results were apparent from news reports. In the five trouble spots, war deaths and violence subsided, peace negotiations improved, or treaties were signed. Is this science fiction? No. It actually happened. But the volunteers were not members of any military group. The technology of meditation employed was the Transcendental Meditation®(TM) and TM-Sidhi program, part of a discipline known as Maharishi’s Vedic Science and Technology, after is founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
|General-Major Markov presenting Dr. David R. Leffler with the N.E. Zhukovskij Air Force Engineering Academy Medallion after Leffler’s lecture there on 3 Jan 92|
The purpose of the intervention was to test the coherence-creating effects of this technology–its ability to reduce collective stress in specific regions, and by implication, in the world as a whole. While these first results were convincing to Maharishi and the volunteers who participated, over the next dozen years another forty studies, such as the one on the Lebanon war, were carried out for scientific documentation. In the Lebanon study, the predictions and publicly available measures to be used were specified in advance for scientific review boards in North America and Israel. The outcomes of this and other such experiments are now published in several journals, including Journal of Conflict Resolution and Journal of Mind and Behavior.
|Dr. David R. Leffler standing outside of the Theoretical Problems Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences with Dr. Rimiliy Avramenko (left), one of Russia’s leading Vacuum State physicists and Chief of the former USSR Military’s top secret project codenamed, “Veedal”, and Dr. Vladimir I. Krementsov (right), Head of the Laboratory of the Scientific Research Institute of Radio Device Engineering, Russian Academy of Sciences.|
Through contacts suggested by a retired U.S. Army General on my Doctoral Committee, I was recently invited to Moscow to lecture to military and academic researchers at institutions such as Zhukovskig Air Force Engineering Academy, the Theoretical Problems Department of the Russian (formerly USSR) Academy of Sciences, and the Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering. My purpose in going to the former Soviet Union was to discuss the value of Maharishi’s technology of consciousness as potential military technology.
Modern military theory is predicated on the assumption that Clausewitz’s “friction” cannot be modified. Since this “friction” (synonymous with collective stress) is a crucial factor in military action, discovery of a technology capable of reducing it is expected to leave an impact on all aspects of military science. I presented to Russian researchers the idea that use of this technology will significantly enhance the peace-keeping capabilities of their military, adding a new “weapon,” a kind of national armor (called “rastri kavach” in Vedic terminology) that would ensure the security and invincibility of their nation. The founder and chief proponent of Supreme Military Science is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a renowned Vedic scholar and scientist of consciousness. Under the auspices of the doctoral program at The Union Institute, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in this new field. Supreme Military Science was labeled such because Maharishi recognized its potential to prevent the birth of an enemy, a principle he abbreviates with the phrase “victory before war.” His vision is that any country taking full advantage of this technology could become invincible. He asserts that invincibility can never be attained through conventional weapons, but can be attained if a nation is incapable of creating enemies. If a nation has no friction, no collective stress, it remains “friends” with everyone.
|Left to Right: Dr. Vitali D. Verner, Dean of the Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering, Dr. David R. Leffler, Colonel Alexander Pavlovitch, Head of the Department of Military Science, and the Dean’s assistant|
The Lebanon study (Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32: 776-812, 1988) found that a group of only two hundred people practicing Maharishi’s technology in Israel were able to reduce war death in Lebanon by seventy-six percent. A follow-up study of seven different TM-Sidhi assemblies presented to the American Psychological Association and the American Political Science Association in 1990 showed similar results as well as a sixty-eight percent reduction of war injuries. These “effects at a distance” have been studied in other ways, such as research showing changes in EEG (brainwave) coherence. During the practice of meditation, an individual experiences “transcendental consciousness,” a proposed fourth state of consciousness. This state is characterized by increased coherence of the EEG where different parts of the brain are working together more coherently. Increased EEG coherence during the TM program correlates with increased creativity and achievement outside the TM program, in activity. When many people practice this technique (or the more advanced TM-Sidhi program) together in one place, the coherence-generating effect is enhanced. Also, when meditating groups are large, similar increases in coherence are produced in subjects far removed from the group. (One experiment showed increases in EEG coherence one thousand miles from the group).
|Left to Right: Dr. David R. Leffler, Dr. Anatoly A. Vasiliev, former Senior Researcher at the P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute (now at DigiLens Inc., a startup company in Silicon Valley), Dr. Alexander Smotrov, the Russian Editor of Scientific American, and Faculty members of the Russian Air Force Academy|
Because of the danger inherent in possession of ever more powerful destructive weapons by countries in all parts of the world, this new technology should be understood and applied by the military everywhere. The end result of applying such a technology would be to reduce the role of destructive defense strategies and create a safer world. The audiences I spoke to in Russia were enthusiastic. Russian researchers have long valued the hidden powers of the mind. One General-Major was especially excited. A key figure in the war in Afghanistan, he expressed feeling like those of many of our own military personnel after Vietnam. He was sorry for the inappropriate waste of lives, and has vowed to spend his life working for world peace. As president of a new peace-keeping foundation in Russia, he was optimistic that he could enlist an “army” of 10,000 to practice this new technology for maintaining peace. “Victory before war” was music to his ears, and like any good General, he insisted on a wide margin of safety in the number of his “troops.”
Dr. Leffler further discusses Carl von Clausewitz and friction in his doctoral dissertation available on-line below:
Leffler, D.R., (1997). A Vedic approach to military defense: Reducing collective stress through the field effects of consciousness. (Doctoral Dissertation, The Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1997). Dissertation Abstracts International, 58(08), 3298A. (Available at: http://www.davidleffler.com/doctoraldissertation.html)
Note: The preceding revised article text was originally published in the News from The Graduate School of The Union Institute Insight, Vol. 3 No. 1 Spring 1992, pp. 14-15. This article is not copyrighted. The Office of University Communications, The Union Institute, 440 East McMillan, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206-1947 has given blanket permission to copy or reprint this article in any form. However, please give proper credit to Insight for future copies or reprints.
The author expresses his gratefulness to the late Dennis H. French. Dennis died from an accident while hiking on Mount Shasta in California. Shortly before, he had begun work on an academic article explaining the basis of Clausewitz’s “friction in war.” He described friction in terms of a “quantum mechanical model being a wave-like phenomenon, such as super-conductivity or super-fluidity, propagating as a quantum wave and changing states according to the model of phase transitions of quantum systems.”
Most Clausewitz scholars find French’s cerebral description difficult to grasp. However, after studying the draft outline of the article, the author became intrigued by the possibilities that such a quantum mechanical model offered. The preceding article utilized some parts of Dennis’s unfinished work. The author hopes that someday he will be able to further explain and expand on Dennis’s ideas and to publish a paper about the new paradigm that he envisioned.
Dennis H. French received a bachelors degree with an emphasis in Southeast Asian History at the University of California-Berkeley in 1971. He traveled several times to India to study Sanskrit and Vedic literature with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Dennis also attempted through his research and writing to reconstruct the pure value and essence of an ancient branch of Vedic literature called Dhanur-Veda. Previous understanding viewed Dhanur-Veda as the art of archery including military science and politics. Dennis’s goal was to vastly expand upon this understanding based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s interpretation of Vedic knowledge.
Maharishi holds that Dhanur-Veda is a complete science consciousness and its transformations, i.e., as balanced behavior in the ultimate field of action. He further proposes that practical application of this ancient science by the military could create and maintain invincibility for every nation and peace for the world.