by Gregg Braden
"If prayer is so powerful, then why does it seem like the more we pray for peace, for example, the worse things seem to become?" Without bias or judgment, is it possible that what we see as an unsettled world of chaos is simply the Field, the Divine Matrix, mirroring our belief that peace is missing—our "please, let there be peace" echoed back to us as the chaos of life? If so, then the really good news is that our newfound understanding of how the mirror works encourages us to change what we say to the Field!
This is why the lost mode of prayer can make such a powerful contribution to our lives. Whether we’re talking about a lasting relationship, the perfect job, or the healing of disease, the principle is the same. We’re simply reminded that the "stuff" that underlies all of creation is a malleable essence that reflects what we feel! So what we choose to create, we must first feel as a reality. If we can feel it in our hearts—not just think it, but also really feel it—then it’s possible in our lives!
In the example of peace, for instance, we know that it always exists and is present somewhere! The same is true for health and happiness; they always exist somewhere, or have existed, in some form in our lives. The key is to hone in on these positive qualities of our experience, viewing the world as it already is, with appreciation and gratitude. By doing so, we open the door to a greater possibility. We have already seen what happens when millions of people pray for peace to come to our world. What would happen if millions of people felt the feelings of gratitude and appreciation for the peace that’s already here? Certainly it’s worth a try!
In 1972, 24 cities in the United States with populations over 10,000 experienced meaningful changes in their communities when as few as 1 percent (100 people) participated. These and similar studies led to a landmark study, the International Peace Project in the Middle East, which was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1988.1
During the Israeli-
On specific days of the month, at specific times of each day, these people were positioned throughout the war-torn areas of the Middle East. During the window of time that they were feeling peace, terrorist activities stopped, crimes against people declined, emergency room visits declined, and traffic accidents dropped.
When the people stopped their feelings, the statistics reversed. These studies confirmed the earlier findings; when a small percentage of the population achieved peace within themselves, that peace was reflected in the world around them.
The findings took into account the days of the week, holidays, and even lunar cycles, and data were so consistent that the researchers were able to identify how many people are needed to share the experience of peace before peace is mirrored in their world. The number is the square root of 1 percent of the population. This formula produces numbers that are smaller than we might expect. For example, in a city of 1 million people, the number is about 100. In a world of 6 billion people, the number is only about 8,000! This number represents only the minimum needed to begin the process. The more the people, the faster an effect is created.
While these and similar studies obviously deserve more exploration, they show that there’s an effect here that’s beyond chance. The quality of our innermost beliefs clearly influences the quality of our outer world. This is where the workshop really begins!