The power of being “on the same boat”

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In 1954, 22 eleven-year-old of Protestant religion children from Oklahoma City, all coming from middle-class families, who were already known and whose mental stability was carefully verified, boarded two coaches to a summer camp of boy scouts of 200 acres near Robbers Cave National Park, Oklahoma. To observe all this from the perspective of “guardian” of the field was the creator of the study, Muzafer Sherif, born in Turkey and graduated from Harvard and  subsequently referred to as the founder of the discipline of social psychology. At that time there was no informed consensus yet, and the boys did not know they were about to become the guinea pigs of one of the most fascinating and appreciated psychological studies ever on group behavior.

For the first few days, field leaders (actually a team of psychologists, including Sherif’s wife) encouraged each group to carry out activities to consolidate ties between members of the same group. Each group had to choose a name (“Snakes” and “Eagles” were chosen), create their own “flag”, choose their own field locations, write songs, and invent special behaviors that were “just” their own. Each group stayed in separate areas well spaced from the other group, and during the initial period nobody was allowed to meet members of the other group.

In the next phase of the study, Sherif and his researchers prepared situations specifically aimed at fomenting competitiveness and frustration in order to create conflicts between the two groups. Announced a sports tournament and other competitive games, putting on trophy, medals and eleven Swiss four-blade knifes, which were the most prized prize for the winning team. Finally, after a day of workouts, each group was finally able to see the opponents, now already detested.
During the four days of races, the staff manipulated the scores so they staged a constant head-to-head, and making sure the two teams were constantly aware of the almost equal situation. The initial sportsman soon gave way to insults and invitations, and even the boys refused to eat if there was a member of the other group in the dining room.
Shortly thereafter, it was no longer necessary for the investigators to instigate the prejudices between the two groups. Tortured as a troop of soldiers, the Snakes made an incursion into the Eagles cottage, tearing the mosquito nets and turning their beds. The Eagles avenged themselves with their interests: armed with clubs and sticks, throwing all the Snakes into a pile in the center of the cottage. Each team destroyed the flags of the other. The day when the Eagles won the tournament, the Snakes organized an assault and steal the swords from their opponents. The ever-growing hatred culminated in a fierce fight of fists that required adult intervention.
After fierce blaspheming the bias between the two groups, the Sherifs experimented with activities to encourage factions to socialize among themselves. But neither the excursions, the festivities, the film’s sighting, nor the celebrations of July 4 seemed to loosen the tension.
Then the Sherifs created a series of crisis situations in the field that could not be solved without the resources and participation of all the boys in the two groups. When the drinking water was suddenly over and the boys discovered that a tank cock was blocked by a large plastic bag, the two groups had to work together to try to free it. Snakes and Eagles were also enlisted to pull a rope together to move a semi-fallen tree that could be dangerous and then to help recover from a ditch on the roadside the truck carrying food for both groups.
Once the faucet was disassembled, the Serpents allowed the Eagles to drink first, since they had not brought the bottles with them and were thirsty. After the boys had collaborated to collect money for a movie, the Sherifs noticed that the two groups returned eating together with the canteen, even mixing with each other. On the last day of the summer camp, the boys voted unanimously to travel on the same coach for the return. Snakes and Eagles sat next to each other and with their arms around their shoulders. During a stop on the way back, the Snakes squadron spent $ 5 in winning a target shooting race to buy sweets for all 22 kids.
William Golding described his vision of an intrinsic “darkness of the heart of man” in The Lord of the Flies: Once the patina of civilization has been removed, even the children are able to become wild. Sherif’s study shows the opposite. Schoolmates are actually capable of becoming cruel and overpowering against each other if they are divided into opposing groups and compelled to compete for the few available resources. But when the children of Robbers Cave faced a common goal, more important than the personal and group ends, they dwindled divergences to cooperate as a superorganism.
Psychologists speak of an over-coordinated goal: a goal achieved through cooperative teamwork of two or more people. Engaging in teamwork and teamwork tends to overcome divergences because it emphasizes the very essence of humanity: the fact that we are all on the same boat. And if all of us are on the same boat, we are no longer competing for the few available resources.

We’re all on the same boat

Traditionally, economists argue that we give the best contribution to society when we try to get ahead of others. But recent sciences clearly demonstrate that it is much better if we choose what is good not only for ourselves but also for all the people around us. All cases of conflict resolved positively have a common thing: the ability to exploit the fundamental human need to create a Tie and overcome the conception that “everyone thinks for themselves”, knowing that “we are all on the same boat.”
Indeed, people who are activating together join; The evidence shows that whenever a group collaborates for a common goal, the brains of all people begin tuning to the same wavelength, reinforcing the Bond within the group.
The electrical activity of each individual in the group begins to resonate on a common wavelength, such as a perfectly tuned chorus. As a cohesive group of electrons that begin to vibrate like a giant single electron, the group creates a resonance that amplifies the individual effect.

The psychologists of the Max Plank Human Development Institute in Berlin, Germany, and of the University of Salzburg in Austria, studying the brain activity of pairs of guitarists playing a short track together found that the brain waves of each pair Were highly synchronized when they began their overall execution.
Whole areas of the brain presented synchronized patterns, particularly the areas that govern proprioception (their position in space), and this indicated that each individual lost part of their sense of separation and gained a sense of union during the performance of music . These results show that we go beyond ourselves when we work to create something together.
This study has wide implications, as most of our interactions with the world consist of synchronized actions and directed at one goal together with other people. As a jazz band that works together as a superorgan to produce a common sound, we are tuning to the wavelength of others whenever we work together to produce a common result. We manage to get along with others, as far as we are, by simply sharing an activity or a goal.
Also becoming part of a superorganism makes us physically much stronger. Recently, a group of anthropologists at Oxford University measured the singular components of Oxford’s canoeing team during workouts, finding that they had a much greater pain tolerance after group workouts than when they practiced from only.
The synchrony of shared physical activity apparently created a greater release of endorphins, which could have something to do with the creation of a collective connection. The canniers created a “field” that amplified individual efforts and overcame individual limits. Within the field, the whole was larger than the sum of the parts.
Now scientists know that neurons become more efficient and function as a unit when they are stimulated together repeatedly and persistently: neurons that activate together join together. And it can be as true that people who are actively working together develop a union. When we work together with others for a common purpose, soon we literally tune in to their wavelength.
When we do things in a group, the impulse that we find finding us all “on the same boat” is actually what allows us to withstand difficulties, including pain. It is a proof that there is really a “force in numbers” and it also explains why we try something extraordinarily similar to magic when we are part of groups that work for a common goal. Let’s go out of our individuality and join the Tie.
This type of synchronization is not limited to the brain. Through an interesting series of studies, the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California, found that when a member of a couple sent thoughts and intentions of healing to their cancer-sick partner, many of the physiological processes of the two people began to Imitate each other: heartbeat, brain waves, conductivity of electric impulses on the fingers, blood flow, breathing. With a thought of love, two bodies quickly become one.
It seems that these forms of bodily synchronization also occur among strangers in particular circumstances. Joining another person intimately, as a healer does when he sends a flow of healing to his patient, synchronizes the two brains. (1) Even touching someone by feeling a sense of appreciation and availability can make the two people’s brain waves synchronized. (2) Synchronicity can also occur when two people experience the intense desire to hurt, as demonstrated in Qigong masters studies involved in mental and physical isolation. (3)

The power of group thinking

I am conducting an ongoing experiment on intentionality: we observe the power of group thinking in the context of meticulous controlled scientific experiments and also, informally, during seminars and within our community of “intentions”. In 2007, working with a large pool of physicists, biologists, psychologists, statisticians and neuroscientists in the field of research on conscience, I created the largest global lab and conducted the first controlled experiments on the power of mass intent to change the world physical.
Over the past eight years, these studies involved, in total, hundreds of thousands of my international readers, with volunteer participants from over 100 countries who have targeted their intentions towards certain goals under scientifically controlled conditions through the Intention Experiment site (, during conferences and seminars organized in various countries or live web.

We have systematically carried out experiments on various “animal, mineral and vegetable” targets, representative of all the elements of the planet, with experimental models initially very simple and increasingly complex. Up to now, 4 experiments on leaves and seeds, 10 experiments with plants, 7 on water (one “live” on water samples taken from a Japanese lake), 4 experiments of intentionality for peace and 2 Experiments on sufferers suffering from anxiety.
Even the simplest of these experiments were performed under strict scientific conditions, following a very accurate protocol. For example, for our first simple experiments on sending intentions to increase leaf light, our laboratory technicians at Arizona University followed a protocol of 50 passages, including accurate leaf selection Of identical geranium for the size and value of the light emitted. And practically every experiment was done with one, or often more, control groups.
In the 27 experiments conducted to date, 23 showed measurable and often significant changes. To look at this figure in perspective, even one of the medicines produced by the pharmaceutical industry can boast such a level of positive effects.

In these scientifically-controlled experiments, most of us blind, we have shown that the mind of the group is able to:

1- Modify the elemental physical properties of the leaves;
2- Grow plants at a height almost twice as normal;
3- Alter the molecular structure of tap water clusters;
4- Change the pH of the polluted water (and then purge it)
5- Reduce violence in an area of ​​war or high crime
6- Improve the health of patients with diagnosed diseases.

Experiments are even more interesting for what they reveal about human conscience, especially about the possibility that a collective consciousness exists. They have repeatedly demonstrated that, collectively, the human mind has the extraordinary ability to operate in a non-local way and overcome space and time; Our intenders from 98 countries around the world have formed experimental groups from 1,000 to 15,000 people, and their contact with the targets was simply through a photograph published on our site. Despite the fact that their only link was an Internet site, they immediately established deep contact with each other and with the target.


The virtuous circle

Although the results of these experiments are surprising in itself, the most interesting phenomenon, for me, is the effect that our larger-scale studies have produced on the participants. By our major online experiments resulted in comments by ecstatic experiences, a deep and palpable sense of unity.
Despite the participants connect to our website from separate computers around the world, report that they feel a sense of connection with other people of the experiment that are thousands of kilometres away. The experience of group intention appears to result in changes in individual consciousness, breaking time and space by removing the sense of separation and individuality and infusing in the group members what only can be described as a State of ecstatic Union.

In September 2008, I conducted an experiment with 15,000 participants from 60 countries around the world, assessing whether the “mind of the group” had the power to reduce violence and restore peace. The plan was for readers from various parts of the world to join forces on our site to “send” peace to a particular war-torn area, in this case Sri Lanka.
In a survey conducted by participants at the end of the experiment, about 46% reported having noticed long-term changes in relationships with other people after the experiment. The group experience apparently had helped them feel more love in general, whether they knew the recipients or not. Although more than a quarter had more love for near people or for people with disadvantages or disagreements, a greater percentage, 41%, felt more love for anyone with whom he came in contact, and 19% To get along with perfect strangers.
In fact, when the survey asked who the reports were getting better, 38% responded to having noticed the most obvious changes in the relationship with the strangers. The experience of ties with thousands of outsiders has given many people the ability to be more inclined to people they did not know personally. I was astonished by their reactions in describing repeatedly states of bliss and a palpable sense of unity during the experiment.
Many have felt this feeling on a profoundly physical level: “Already 10 minutes before the experiment I started to feel a pressure on the head,” a participant wrote. “As if my brain was connected to a larger network. Right after the experiment, it’s gone. ”
“I’ve been part of an energy wave (more or less as I suppose it should be inside a beam, like those of Star Trek),” wrote another. “I was dragged on this gigantic wave of energy but at the same time I was part of the cause of the wave … it was very powerful.”
For many others, the feeling of union with the other participants and the people of Sri Lanka was intense: “In addition, the first two days I felt extremely emotional (crying) because of the power of the experiment. I’ve never tried anything like that. “
“I realized the union of masses of people, so intense I could almost ‘see’ them, but I certainly felt them.”
“I felt a strong sense of unity, a stream of energy that went from Earth to earth, far beyond … universal.”
“Every time I sent my intention to ‘charge’ to the goal, within a few seconds I received a ‘wave of emotions’. These feelings included fear and terror, which I transformed into love and compassion and that I returned in turn. “
I came to call this phenomenon the “power of the eight.” This kind of powerful bond can occur in just one day. During weekend seminars, we divide the audience of participants into eight groups, and we ask groups of perfect strangers to send their thoughts of affection among them.
Over the years, we have witnessed, one after the other, stories of extraordinary improvements, both in the sender and the recipient. For example, Sally suffered from arthritis, which prevented him from walking on the stairs: the day after he received the healing intent was able to go down the stairs without fatigue. Marekje had multiple sclerosis and was struggling to walk without support. The morning after his intention, he arrived at the seminary without crutches. Perhaps the most amazing case is that of Marcia, a woman who suffered from a blurred vision of one eye. The following day to the group’s healing intentions, he said he saw us almost perfectly from the sick eye.
Even more significant of the effects of healing is the powerful effect of the community. During these seminars, strangers begin to resound together as a unit: for example, in Holland at a recent seminar, I found that many groups reported that they had exactly the same views during group intentions. In a group that concentrated on sending intentions to a woman with back problems, she and many other members of the group imagined the same inner vision: her spine that was extracted from the body and infused with light.
The sentiment of units described by participants in the seminars and the Intention Experiment community is an example of the pure bonding sound effect. The mere act of belonging to a small group of strangers and offering something inside is so powerful and gives so much satisfaction to our deeper desires to heal both the healer and the recipient.

– Insights –

What is Tie?

Alternative scientists, including biologists, psychologists, and sociologists, have found evidence that individuals are far less “individual” than they thought in the past. Among the smallest particles of our being, between our body and the environment, between ourselves and all the people with whom we are in contact, among every member of each social group, there is a Tie, an essential and profound connection to There is no clear demarcation between the end of an entity and the beginning of another. The way in which the world basically works is not through the activity of individual entities, but through their connection … in a sense within the space between things.
The most essential aspect of life is not the isolated thing, whether it is a subatomic particle or a perfectly formed living being. It is the relationship itself: the inseparable and irreducible Bond. This connection, the space between them, keeps the key to the life of every organism, from subatomic particles to large scale societies, and also the key to a living future.

The power of “us” is good for the ego

Much of the research on inner dialogue, or the monologues often used by people to encourage themselves before a performance, focuses on internal affirmations regarding the “I” to increase personal confidence. For this reason, a group of researchers from Michigan State University has decided to study what happens to individual performance when participants focus their internal dialogues on the performance of the group as a single body.
They randomly subdivided 80 participants into a darts race in 3 groups; The first group used internal dialogues focused on individual capabilities and performance; The second used dialogues that emphasized the capabilities and performance of the group, while the third, the control group, simply kept neutral thoughts.
Assessing the results, the researchers noted that both personal confidence and performance were better among those who had focused on group thinking. Those who orientated their inner dialogue on the group showed more confidence in the team but also had better individual performance.
This study has enormous implications for all aspects of our lives, as it shows that focusing on group efforts is naturally beneficial to everyone.
Just think of “us” to do good to “me”.


1) – D. I. Radin, ‘Event related EEG correlations between isolated human subjects,’ Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004; 10: 315-24.
2) – Rollin McCraty e all. ‘The Electricity of Touch: Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People,’ in Karl H. Pribram, a cura di, Brain and Values: Is a Biological Science of Values Possible? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998: 359-379.
3. M Yamamoto e all., ‘An Experiment on Remote Action against Man in Sense Shielding condition,’ Journal of the International Society of Life Information Sciences, 1996; 14 (1): 97-99.


Lynne McTaggart, one of the leading voices in the new awareness movement, is the author of six award-winning books, including the world’s best-sellers The zero point field, The Science of Intent, The Bond – The Quantum Bond and What the Doctors They do not say. As a director of What Doctors Do not Tell You (, he is one of the most respected health publications in the world and cares for the most popular teleconferences and seminars on health and spirituality.


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