What People Believe
Dr. Kelly Hollowell reports that in a Newsweek poll, "84 percent of Americans said praying for others can have a positive effect on their recovery. Fifty–three percent say they've personally relied on religious faith to help them get through a major illness or health problem. A full 72 percent of all those polled believe God can cure people given no chance of survival by medical science." (WorldNetDaily.com, 2009)
Skeptics have contended that studying prayer is a waste of money and that it presupposes supernatural intervention, putting it by definition beyond the reach of science.
June Soyka, writer of Holistic Prayers: Healing the Mind, Body and Spirit Through Prayer, says she believes the reason that people find it unfathomable that prayer could have this kind of power is that they have remained separate from their divine essence and from each other for so long. But, "by uniting together-- in prayer and simple acts of kindness-- collective consciousness will evolve and create a more harmonious, healthier world for our children, our grandchilden, and us."
Research On Prayer
Amid a growing body of research, over 1,000 scientific studies have examined the relationship between faith and healing.
For example, Hollowell says one of the best-known studies was conducted by Randolph Byrd (Southern Medical Journal July 1988) in the cardiac-care unit of San Francisco General Hospital. All subjects were given routine standard care, but prayer groups prayed for half of the patients. Patients who weren't mentioned in prayers were nearly twice as likely to suffer health complications as those who received prayer.This data suggests that intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU.
Another study of 1,000 cardiac patients conducted at St. Luke's Hospital (1999) in Kansas City, Mo., concluded "the group receiving prayers fared 11 percent better than the group that didn't."
From a scientific viewpoint, studies such as the Gaiamind Meditation Event (January 23, 1997) have measured the effects of prayer and shared consciousness. The GaiaMind Project is dedicated to exploring the idea that humanity is the Earth becoming aware of itself. From this perspective, the next step in the evolution of consciousness would seem to be collective recognition that through technological and spiritual interconnectedness people represent the Earth growing an organ of self-reflexive consciousness. Here, scientists measured the effects and determined prayer did show a "significant effect in our measurements, conforming to the hypothesis of the experiment." (www.indigorecords.com)
So-called "collective consciousness refers to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. (David and Julia Jary, Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 1991) Certainly not a new concept, collective consciousness was discussed by French social theorist Emile Durkhem in his books The Division of Labour (1893). Durkheim
French social theorist Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) in his books The Division of Labour (1893) Durkheim argued that in "traditional" or "simpler" societies (those based around clan, family or tribal relationships), religion played an important role in uniting members through the creation of a common consciousness (conscience collective in the original French). In societies of this type, the contents of an individual's consciousness are largely shared in common with all other members of their society, creating a mechanical solidarity through mutual likeness.
Many practitioners of collective consciousness believe in the power of positive thinking because collective thought reflects the law of attraction: every moment of every day, each person adds to and affects the balance of the collective. Because negative attracts negative, the mental stones people throw today could be the real-life rock that chips their windshield tomorrow. Likewise, a random act of kindness, long-forgotten, could be the momentum propelling an unexpected moment of joy today.
How Does Collective Consciousness Work?
Proponents of the belief point out that nature uses the olfactory fields, the acoustic fields, the electromagnetic fields, and quantum-vacuum fields. Along with the ability to comprehend the whole organism are the natural basis of global interaction between organisms and a collective consciousness. Attila Grandpierre, Ph.D., (Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, February 6, 1996) reported, "There is evidence that electromagnetic potential fields mediate the collective field of consciousness. Scientists are measuring the electric and magnetic fields between different individuals and seeking their potential"
The electrodynamic interaction of different brains/minds generates induction and in this way excitement and enhancement in the baseline of the interacting brains' activity. The "interactive excitement effect is collective consciousness, the phenomenon known as "social facilitation" or "group effect." As the mental levels get deeper and more sensitive the couplings are on more and more global scales of their environment.
When I despair,I remember that all through history
the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall.
Think of it - always.
- Mahatma Gandhi - early 20th century