World Meditation, May 20 2007
Global Peace Day
During the period from May 15 to May 29, a large number of organizations and individuals will participate in a variety of ways in what may be described as a World Meditation. Here is a description from the CommonPassion website:
There is a long history of meditations and prayers for peace, with huge numbers of people and many different traditions and organizations involved. We have examined several such events in the past, with interesting results. The present analysis is just one sample from a two week period of world scale meditations organized around dates from the Mayan calendar. Joseph Giove, the creator of the CommonPassion organization, together with Carl Calleman, a respected interpreter of the calendar implications, have recruited and inspired leaders and ultimately the members of a broad spectrum of spiritually oriented groups around the world. In turn, this core of organization has become an attractor for spontaneous collaboration and participation by uncountable numbers of individuals and groups.
The Global Consciousness Project will examine several of the relatively large and sharply focused events during the two week period. There is naturally a variety of different kinds of events, with different times and durations. Since this is a world-spanning collaboration, the meditations will necessarily be at various times of the day, and for the GCP analysis, we expect to concentrate the events by concatenation (or possibly by epoch averaging) across several times of day. In the comprehensive list of participating groups on the Commonpassion.org site, the time periods for the celebrations on May 20 range from 10 minutes to 8 hours. Most events are an hour to three hours long. We will use a period of three hours beginning at the times given by local organizers for the meditation and prayer. This duration falls in the range that most reliably shows effects in the GCP database.
The direction of the predicted deviation for most GCP events is a positive trend, but in the long experience of relevant analyses (various kinds of meditation events), we have found a mixture of positive and negative (low-going) trends which compound to a non-significant result. Among these are more than the expected number of strong deviations in both directions, including several consistent low-going results for mass meditations arranged by the TM organization that apparently yield social calming. We will neverthless formalize the prediction for the CommonPassion events with a one-tailed hypothesis, despite the possibility that a two-tailed hypothesis would be justified by experience. (The latter means that we predict strong deviation from expectation but do not predict the direction.) The standard analysis is a kind of a variance test (actually a variance of the Netvar, which already is a test of variation), and the one-tail approach predicts increased variance. If as is the case here, the variance for a particular event decreases, there is a negative contribution to our overall compound statistic, but we learn from the growing ability to assess categories of events, and great organized meditations are an important category.
The formal hypothesis test for the May 20 2007 events was specified as the concatenation of data from three time periods identified by Tisch Ferenc in email from May 18: 04:00, 10:00, and 21:00 GMT. The first corresponds to time in the middle of the day in East Asia / Australia. The second is mid-day in Europe / Africa / Middle East and Central Asia, and the third is mid-day for North, Central and South America and The Pacific. The squared Stouffer Z measure is applied to the concatenated 3-hour segments beginning at the specified times for a total of 9 hours of data. The Chisquare is 31892 on 32400 df, which corresponds to a one-tail p-value of 0.978 and Z-score -2.005. (The two tail value is 0.045, with a corresponding Z-score of 1.695.)
If you are unfamiliar with our procedures, there is information about the graphical displays and an introduction to interpretation of the analysis for these and related events.
It is of some interest to look also at the result for an epoch average of the three data segments. This visualizes the common history of the three widely separated collaborative meditations. It gives the impression that the effect became a little stronger over the three hour period. To the extent this is is a viable interpretation, it suggests a continuing or lasting effect of conscious attention given during meditation and prayer. The epoch average has Chisquare = 10402 on 10800 df. Had this been the formal prediction, it would correspond to a one-tail p-value of 0.0031 and a two-tail value of 0.0062, with a corresponding Z-score of 2.501.
Since this period is long, with a great deal of worldwide participation I have looked at some other events with special flavor. These explorations do not contribute to the overall formal evidence for an effect of consciousness in the world, but they help provide context.
The Full Two Week Period
The Breakthrough Celebration designed and promoted by the Common Passion organization extended over a two week period from May 15 to 29. The two following figures show the Egg data for the first half and second half (the full dataset is too large for a single graph using the complete detail in the raw data.) It is notworthy that during the first days, there is a persistent, strong deviation, culminating in the days which had been most strongly promoted, and in which there was large participation. Common Passion had a registry that indicated about half a million people formally joined in, and Ervin Laszlo claimed that the number was more than a million. We have less data for events after about the 22nd, and it probably is the case that while many people continued in the celebration, the numbers were much lower than on the focal days from the 18th to 22nd of May.
Mayan 5 Ajpu
May 22nd was an especially important date according to the Mayan calendar. While this was not a major focus of the worldwide meditations, there were many people aware and engaged, so I thought a look at the day would be valuable. The result is a relatively level trend, but comprised of several sharp spikes. Without details of ceremonial activity there is no way to correlate them, but the graph is interesting. Here is the description of 5 Apju:
"Don Alejandro is charged as the primary keeper of the teachings, visions and prophecies of the Mayan people. He is head of the National Mayan Council of Elders of Guatemala, Day Keeper of the Mayan Calendar, a 13th generation Quiche Mayan High Priest and a Grand Elder of the Continental Council of Elders and Spiritual Guides of the Americas. He is also an international lecturer on Mayan Culture.
"Don Alejandro gives us this timely message: a call to action, a call to come together and be as one. Don Alejandro Hill be performing a Sacred Maya FIRE Ceremony in Guatemala, and be joining the thousands of others around the planet during the Break through Celebration.
"Brothers and Sisters of all colors, holding hands around the planet on May 22nd 2007, let us reflect on this, let us meditate in our own way, in our own language, according to our own culture or religion, because we have only one Sun to shine upon us equally, one air that we breath and gives us life, one water that we drink and becomes blood in our veins and all live on Mother Earth. She feeds us, she holds us. Brothers and Sisters of all colors, together united in meditation to make conscience to the men in power, governors, politicians, business people: no more war, no more contaminating bombs, no more death. Together we can make a difference."
Axis Mundi, 5th Day
Here is the description of one of the events focused on a particular moment identified as special in the Mayan Calendar, the midpoint of the 5th day, 5 ajpu, May 22nd in San Francisco: "Journey to Ecstatic non-ordinary reality and Trance Dance to Live World Beat Sacred Sound as we create powerful Intention for Global Unity and share in the Celebration of the Mayan 5th Day Breakthrough to Oneness! ... (May 22 - 7:30-9:30pm)"