#66 Living into a New Consciousness
“The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group
to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World”
by Lynne McTaggart
From the Précis by Helene O’Sullivan, M.M.
For many years, I refused to write this book because I did not believe for one moment the strange healings that were happening in my workshops, which is to say, I had a hard time handling miracles. By “miracles” and “healings” I am not being metaphoric; I am referring to genuine loaves-and-fishes-type miraculous events—a series of extraordinary and untoward situations in which people were instantly healed of all sorts of physical conditions after being assembled into a small group and sent a collective healing thought. I am talking about the kinds of miracles that defy every last belief we hold about the way we are told the world is supposed to work.
The idea of placing people into small groups of eight started out during a workshop I ran in 2008. I just wanted to see what would happen if group members tried to heal one of their group through their collective thoughts. I had billed them “Power of Eight” groups, but I may as well have called them Power of Eight Million, so potent did they turn out to be and so much did they rattle everything I thought I knew about the nature of human beings. As a writer, I am drawn to life’s great mysteries and biggest questions ~ the meaning of consciousness, the extrasensory experience, life after death ~ particularly those anomalies that upset conventional wisdom.
I am a hard-nosed reporter, the result of my early background as an investigative journalist, and I constantly look to build an edifice of solid evidence. I am not given to arcane references to mysticism, auras, or any sloppy or inchoate uses of the terms “quantum” or “energy.” In fact, there is nothing I hate more than unsubstantiated woo-woo, because it gives what I do such a bad name.
My own relatively conventional view about the nature of reality had first taken a knocking after researching my book, The Field. I had begun the book as an attempt to understand scientifically why homeopathy and spiritual healing work, but my research soon led me into strange new territory, a revolution in science that challenges many of the most cherished beliefs we hold about our universe and how it operates.
The frontier scientists I met during the course of my research ~ all with impeccable credentials attached to prestigious institutions ~ had made astonishing discoveries about the subatomic world that seemed to overthrow the current laws of biochemistry and physics. They had found evidence that all of reality may be connected through the Zero Point Field, an underlying quantum energy field and vast network of energy exchange.
A few frontier biologists had conducted research suggesting that the primary system of communication in the body is not chemical reaction, but quantum frequency and subatomic energetic charge. They had carried out studies showing that human consciousness is able to access information beyond the conventional bounds of time and space.
From the studies I had researched for The Field, it was clear that the mind in some way appeared to be inextricably connected to matter and, indeed, seemed capable of altering it.This idea continued to nag at me.
My next book, The Intention Experiment, publication in 2007, intended to compile all the credible scientific research about the power of mind over matter, but its purpose was also an invitation. Little research was done about group intention, and my plan was to fill that gap by enlisting my readers as the experimental body of group intenders in an ongoing scientific experiment.
After the book’s publication, I gathered together a consortium of physicists, biologists, psychologists, statisticians, and neuroscientists highly experienced in consciousness research. Periodically I would invite my internet audience, or an actual audience when I was delivering a talk or workshop somewhere, to join in an experiment and send one designated, specific thought to affect some target in a laboratory. The experiment, which was set up by one of the scientists I was working with, would then calculate the results to see if our thoughts had changed anything.
The experiments, in fact, really worked. In the 30 experiments I have run to date, 26 have evidenced measurable, mostly signif-icant change, and three of the four without a positive result simply had technical issues. To put these results in perspective, almost no drug produced by the pharmaceutical industry can lay claim to that level of positive effect. After a year of conducting these global experiments with groups of thousands, I decided to scale down the entire process during my workshops by breaking the group into small Power of Eight groups and having them send healing intentions.
For me it was just another experiment ~ until it began to work in ways that eclipsed everything I had imagined would happen, and people with long-standing conditions reported instant, near-miraculous healings.
I now realize that for most of the time that I was running these experiments and Power of Eight groups, I was asking the wrong questions. The most important questions had more to do with the process itself, and what it suggested about:
the nature of consciousness, our extraordinary human capacity, and the power of the collective.
The outcome of both the groups and the experiments, amazing though they were, paled in comparison to what was happen-ing to the participants. The most powerful effect of group intention was on the intenders themselves. At some point I began to acknowledge that the group-intention experience itself was causing big changes in people:
changing individual consciousness, removing a sense of separation and individuality, and placing group members of the group in a state of ecstatic unity.
With each experiment, no matter how large or small, whether it was global experiments or the Power of Eight groups, I observed this same group dynamic, a dynamic so powerful and life-transforming that it enabled individual miracles to take place. I recorded hundreds, if not thousands, of these instantaneous miracles in the lives of the participants:
They healed long-standing, serious health conditions. They mended estranged relationships. They discovered a renewed life purpose and sought careers that were more adventurous or fulfilling. A few of them even transformed right in front of me.
And there was no shaman or guru present, no complex healing process involved ~ in fact, no previous experience necessary. The inciting instrument for all of this was simply the gathering of these people into a group. At first, I did not believe it. For years I attributed what appeared to be rebound effects to my imagination working overtime. As I kept telling my husband, I needed to gather more stories, carry out more experiments, amass more hard proof.
Then I became frightened by them and sought some historical or scientific precedent. Eventually it dawned on me that these experiments were providing me, in the most visceral way, with an immediate experience of what I previously had understood only intellectually: that the stories we tell ourselves about how our minds work are manifestly wrong.
Every experiment I ran, every Power of Eight group that assembled demonstrated that thoughts are not locked inside our skulls, but find their way into other people, even into things thousands of miles away, and have the ability to change them. Thoughts were not just things or even things that affect other things; thoughts might even have the capacity to fix whatever was broken in a human life.
This book is an attempt to make sense of all the miracles that happened in these experiments to figure out what indeed was done to the participants ~ within the larger context of science and also esoteric and religious historical practice.
The book is also a biography of an accident, a human endeavor that I stumbled across that appears to have ancient antecedents, even in the early Christian Church. The Power of Eight is also about me, and what happens to someone like me, when the rules of the game ~ the rules by which you have lived your life ~ suddenly no longer apply.
The outcome of the group
Intention Experiments are remarkable, but they are not the point of this story.
This story is about the miraculous power you hold inside of you to heal your own life, which gets unleashed, ironically,
the moment you stop thinking about yourself!