Societal Stress, Divisiveness, and Moral Values

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the coherence effect front cove

The Coherence Effect front cover

Photo showing how brain waves are measured

New Book Advocates an Inner Approach to a Moral Society

The TM meditation practice appears to be the only form of meditation that reliably produces the kind of brain wave coherence associated with optimal functioning, including moral development.”

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THE COHERENCE EFFECT, a new book co-authored by a team of scientists, spotlights the moral and spiritual effects of culturing a peaceful state of mind with coherent brain waves.

Co-author Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, who has conducted brain wave studies, says, “Brain wave coherence is a new frontier in brain science. Brain wave studies show that increased coherence enhances mental performance and reduces or eliminates anxiety, depression, and PTSD, while abnormally low levels of brain wave coherence are associated with schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Wallace, whose doctorate from UCLA is in physiology, has also done research on the association of brain wave coherence with moral development. Wallace and his colleagues conducted research on individuals practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. They found that the greater their brain wave coherence, the higher level of moral development they displayed: “The TM meditation practice appears to be the only form of meditation that reliably produces the kind of brain wave coherence associated with optimal functioning, including moral development.”

THE COHERENCE EFFECT is about meditation, yoga, and the ancient health science known as Ayurveda. Co-author Jay Marcus, a meditation teacher, notes, “In the ancient civilization that is the source of yoga and meditation, moral education is not primarily a matter of teaching the rules of good conduct (for instance, teaching the values of charity and sharing, or that killing is immoral) although that is not ignored.” Instead, Marcus says, “Moral values automatically develop as a result of the regular experience of a silent, transcendental state of consciousness at the deepest state during the TM practice.” THE COHERENCE EFFECT explains that this peaceful state in meditation carries over into activity and produces the kind of calmness needed in society.

Wallace says that measuring moral development can be very revealing. In moral development research, a widely used scale places a person at a level of moral maturity based on their reasons for engaging in a particular activity. At a low level of moral development, a person keeps a promise because of the possibility of unpleasant consequences for not doing so. At a slightly higher level of moral maturity, one keeps a promise for reasons of mutual benefit (“you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”). But at the more ideal levels, reasons indicate valuing the social order for its own sake or defining right action by a decision of conscience based on principles of justice, fairness, or equality.

Wallace says, “There are numerous studies showing that when there are enough people with coherent brain waves, it creates a moral atmosphere influencing the others.” Wallace is Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Health at Maharishi International University in Iowa, where almost all students and faculty practice Transcendental Meditation.

Psychiatrist Chris Clark, MD, a Yale Medical School alum and the third co-author of the book, illustrates the moral atmosphere that can develop in an environment of meditators. A school administrator in a community of meditators found a $5 bill and tacked it to a bulletin board, noting where it had been found. The bill stayed tacked to the board for two weeks before the administrator took it down and replaced it with a note where it could be found.

TM complements religious practice and conventional education rather than replacing it. THE COHERENCE EFFECT contains numerous reports by religious leaders of different faiths about how practicing Transcendental Meditation has helped them to better prayer and better service.

THE COHERENCE EFFECT is published by Armin Lear Press. For more information on brain wave coherence, also read the ThriveGlobal article on the subject.

About Armin Lear Press
Armin Lear was founded in 2019 with the purpose of publishing books connecting people with ideas that make our lives richer, more fulfilling, and happier. Its founders have 25 years of publishing experience. The company headquarters is near Boulder, Colorado with a production office in Arlington, Virginia. Armin Lear is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and distributes its books worldwide in English through Ingram.

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