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The Need for Foundational Reform
What is Natural Law?
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Hagelin on Ideal Administration
Harnessing Natural Law to Achieve a Self Governing Nation
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Life in Accord with Natural Law: The Solution to All Problems
Violation of Natural Law: The Source of All Problems
Bringing Individual Life into Accord with Natural Law: Consciousness-Based Approach

Earlier, we saw how natural law pervades the entire universe, and how everything that happens — all events and processes — happens by virtue of natural law. Similarly, everything we accomplish, we accomplish through the skillful application of laws of nature, from the most advanced technological achievements of 20th century science to the simple act of walking or the proper digestion of food.

Conversely, we saw that the inability to utilize natural law effectively leads to failure to achieve one’s desired goals and, furthermore, that continuous violations of natural law lead to stress, ill health and other individual and societal problems. Indeed, all individual, social, and environmental problems have their common source in the widespread violation of natural law.

Vast human and financial resources of nations are currently consumed coping with problems born of violation of natural law. For example, the U.S. spends over one trillion dollars per year on health care, the highest per capita of any country. Yet, according to medical research, 70 percent of this disease is preventable — caused by a “behavioral epidemic of unhealthy habits” which strain the physiology, cause neurological and biochemical imbalance, and otherwise violate the laws of nature governing physiological and psychological health. From this it is clear that if government is ever to succeed in solving the health crisis and other costly and pervasive societal problems, it must address their underlying cause in the violation of natural law by the whole population.

Government is no Messiah — it cannot stand between the people and the destiny they create for themselves. If the people choose to smoke and sow the seeds of cancer, what can the government can do for them, other than allocate scarce national resources for disease care once it is too late?

In the long run, almost inevitably, people get what they deserve. They create their own health through the choices they make, the food they eat, and the life they lead. And, to a large extent, in a free society, they generate their own wealth through their own industriousness and creativity. Therefore, unless and until they improve their destiny — until they are educated in how to utilize natural law effectively to achieve their aims and to prevent problems born of violation of natural law — there is little the government can do to prevent their suffering. For example, even despite the U.S. government’s trillion dollar outlay for health care, Americans continue to endure some of the worst health of any industrialized country.

It is therefore essential that people learn to not violate natural law, thereby making fewer mistakes and creating fewer problems for themselves and for society. Such individuals, living in accord with natural law, are self-governing. They naturally take better care of their health — they don’t smoke, abuse alcohol or drugs, or engage in other health afflicting behavior. And, through the skillful application of natural law, they gain the ability to fulfill their desires in legal, life-supporting ways that truly serve their own long-term interests and don’t create problems for society and their environment.

Government’s mistake has been to assume that human behavior is fixed — that people will always make mistakes, that there will always be sickness, crime, violence, drug abuse, and other short-sighted and antisocial behavior. But the purpose of this manuscript is to present the latest procedures and educational technologies through which citizens can become more self-governing, and through which national life can be brought into accord with natural law, thereby ending the legacy of suffering and problems.

Benefits of Life in Accord with Natural Law

The benefits of life in accord with natural law will be two-fold:

  1. Problems born of the violation of natural law will not arise. Mistakes, sickness, and suffering will be eliminated at their source. The vicious cycle in which the violation of natural law causes stress, and stress causes further violations of natural law, will be broken. The epidemic of stress, with all of its societal ramifications — crime, drug abuse, family disintegration, domestic violence, and the decline of moral and social values — will be alleviated.

  2. More than just the absence of problems, life in accord with natural law brings progress. When we don’t violate natural law and create problems that absorb our energy and attention, individually and collectively, then life is freed to move forward in a natural, progressive, unrestricted, evolutionary flow. Such progress is natural to life. We have seen previously that natural law is evolutionary and that the very nature of life is to grow. Human life is no exception: Life is sustained in progress.

While some have maintained that survival is the basis of progress, in reality, progress is the basis of survival. For example, a welfare program or social safety net that provides for the survival needs of the poor is compassionate. However, far more effective and compassionate is a program that provides a path of growth — provides the educational and vocational opportunities to put the needy on a truly progressive and purposeful direction in life. Mere survival cannot sustain life for long.

The evolutionary flow of natural law is like a powerful river, carrying forward everything in its path. If a pool of water becomes isolated, separated from the flow of the river, then in the absence of positive movement, the water soon stagnates. Similarly, individuals or pockets of society that are not progressing quickly become stagnant, discontented, crime and drug infested, and centers of incoherence and unhappiness for the whole society.

Moreover, as government leaders well know, if people aren’t progressing in their personal, professional, and financial lives, they naturally start to focus disproportionately on small, relatively unimportant problems. In the presence of genuine progress, where life is inherently satisfying and rewarding, such problems become insignificant as the focus of attention naturally shifts towards growth.

Thus, we conclude that whereas the violation of natural law causes problems, life in accord with natural law brings progress. And whereas the misapplication of natural law leads to the failure to accomplish one’s goals, the skillful application of natural law brings the ability to accomplish virtually anything. If the skillful application of a few laws of nature by a handful of scientists and technicians can eliminate deadly diseases and put a man on the moon, imagine the heights of achievement that would result from the skillful application of natural law by the whole population. The possibilities for the individual and society are practically unlimited.

For example:

  • In agriculture, harnessing deep laws of nature governing soil fertility and sustainability would yield healthy and abundant crops and satisfy global food demands, while preserving the soil against erosion and contamination by dangerous chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

  • In health, by utilizing the most profound laws of nature governing the human physiology and the immune system to prevent disease and promote health, America’s “health care crisis” could be ended.

  • In education, by accessing the deepest laws of nature governing learning, memory, assimilation of knowledge, emotional and cognitive development, unprecedented educational outcomes would result.

  • In the fight against crime, by enlisting profound laws of nature governing psychological development, human behavior, and social interactions, problems of crime, violence, drug abuse, and other antisocial behavior can be prevented.

  • In the area of the economy, by employing the subtle and intricate laws of nature governing trade, international relations, micro- and macro-economics, national mood and other sociopolitical factors, economic stability and strong growth can be sustained.

Such unprecedented achievements will be seen in every area of society once we harness the deepest, most powerful laws of nature.

Harnessing Natural Law

Each time we utilize a natural law, we are putting nature to work for us. We are taking advantage of the pervasive intelligence of natural law that functions everywhere around us. We are, in effect, enlisting the support of natural law — gaining alliance with the same “government of nature” which administers the vast and incomprehensibly complex universe, with billions of galaxies and millions of species on earth. And all this vast and complex administration is accomplished with absolute efficiency and economy, in accordance with the universal principle of least action.

One of the most remarkable feats of nature’s administration is its ability to simultaneously nourish and attend to the needs of innumerable species. In a typical forest ecosystem, millions of diverse plant, animal, insect, and microbial species coexist in a perfectly organized, intricate web of mutual interdependence. In this nourishing forest habitat, species emerge, thrive, reproduce, and evolve in magnificent concert with one another.

On a smaller scale, government leaders are faced with a similar challenge of how to nourish and satisfy all their citizens — how to balance and reconcile the often conflicting tendencies and needs of a diverse population.

Unfortunately, governments are not succeeding. In many countries, a growing number of citizens believe that they are not served by the system. In the U.S., for example, 30 percent of children are born into poverty, 32 million people have no health care coverage, and even the middle class are often the victims of job uncertainty, economic dislocation, and recession. Democracy itself is founded upon the principle of majority rule, where the needs and interests of the minority are often sacrificed to the will of the majority. In recent years, this majority has withered to a mere plurality, with the latest U.S. national administration elected by only 28% of eligible voters.

This historic inability of government to satisfy its citizens has led to frustration, alienation, and unhappiness. Signs of this malaise are growing. Drug usage — both of illegal narcotics and prescription tranquilizers — is pervasive; crime and criminal tendencies are widespread, with inmate populations at record levels; student alienation and dropout rates are rising.

The result of this unhappiness and growing frustration with government’s inability to satisfy are political unrest and widespread distrust of government. In the U.S., satisfaction with government and voter turnout is at an all-time low; 115 million eligible voters stayed away from the polls in the last election. Globally, we have witnessed an unprecedented rate of turnovers in federal, state, and local administrations.

Clearly, it would be vastly preferable for everyone if the governance of nations could be as effective, as efficient, and as universally nourishing and satisfying to all as the government of nature.

Self-Governing Society

In fact, such a government is possible. Such a government is the spontaneous result of a population living in accord with natural law — a nation in which citizens do not violate national law or natural law, and thus do not sow the seed of problems for themselves or their society. Instead, by acting in accord with natural law, by taking maximum advantage of natural law in their daily lives, such citizens are acting in ways that are strengthening their health, nourishing their environment, and supporting the society in which they live.

In other words, as stated previously, such individuals are self-governing. They do not cause problems for themselves or society that government is expected to solve. They achieve their aspirations easily through the skillful application of natural law. And, having gained the ability to fulfill their desires, such individuals are evolving — rapidly progressing in their own growth, and therefore naturally happy.

Just as important, a society composed of such individuals is similarly self-governing. When citizens gain the ability to fulfill their interests in legal, life-supporting ways, while simultaneously promoting the interests of their community, society as a whole is rapidly progressing, moving forward in the evolutionary flow of natural law. It displays much of the same spontaneous organization as a forest ecosystem, or any other self-organizing system functioning in accord with natural law.

In such a self-governing society — with its citizens acting in accord with natural law, free from numerous complications and problems born of the violation of natural law, and therefore naturally progressing and naturally fulfilled — the very purpose of society is achieved, which is the growth and happiness of its members. To the extent that government is contributing to this process by promoting the ability of its citizens to live in accord with natural law, government is also fulfilling its purpose — which is helping society achieve its goal in promoting the growth and happiness of its members.

When government is fulfilling its purpose, when society as a whole is progressing and the progress and well-being of its citizens are secured, then the current widespread discontent and political unrest will end, and the rapid changeover in administrations will cease.

The Founding of America

This basic understanding — that government exists to facilitate the purpose of society, that the purpose of society is to promote the progress and happiness of its citizens, and that this purpose is naturally fulfilled when its citizens are living in accord with natural law — is not new. These principles were alive at the founding of America.

America’s founders were brilliant political philosophers — a unique convergence of bold and visionary leaders. Their political contributions, which include the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, were landmark achievements in the evolution of governments and the history of human civilization.

It was clear to America’s founders that government exists for the individual. Moreover, they believed that the purpose of government was not to micro-manage the lives of its citizens, but rather to protect the individual’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was therefore clear to America’s founders that the role of government would be vastly simplified, and the federal government could remain small and efficient, if the citizens themselves conducted their lives in accord with natural law and therefore naturally respected and upheld each other’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Then, rather than focus on enforcing law and maintaining social order, government would merely provide for the common defense and play a relatively simple coordinating role in society.

It was also clear to America’s founders, Jefferson in particular, that the key to this self-governing society was that its citizens conduct their lives in accord with natural law. While this simple and very basic principle has re-emerged frequently in the course of history, the challenge was then — and continues to be — how does government empower its citizens to live in accord with natural law? Jefferson proposed two solutions.

  1. Agrarian Society. Jefferson, upon returning to the States from his role as ambassador to France, railed against what he described as the “degenerate” lifestyle that had overtaken some of the larger European cities. The urbanization that was sweeping Europe as its economy grew increasingly mercantile was producing large cities with population densities of previously unprecedented proportions. With this urbanization, Jefferson observed, came dependence upon vices and other modes of conduct he viewed as decidedly unnatural and unhealthy. Upon his return to the States, Jefferson campaigned against the urbanization of American society and strongly advocated preserving the agrarian economy and lifestyle still prevalent in the young Republic. Remaining close to the land and attuned to nature’s seasons, he felt, would help to maintain the natural balance of mind and body that was necessary for a free and healthy society — life in accord with natural law.

He also fought to move the functioning capital of America out of New York — and away from the unhealthy and conflict-ridden atmosphere of its urban surroundings — to Washington, D.C., which was, at that time, farmland.

  1. Universal Education. Second, and most importantly, Jefferson strongly advocated universal education. He believed that an educated citizenry was essential for a functioning democracy. In a representative government, it was suddenly essential that citizens be informed about issues that concern them in order to elect the federal, state, and local leaders that best represented their interests. And for American society to be self-governing, progressive, and devoid of widespread problems born of violations of natural law, it was vital that citizens be knowledgeable about the laws of nature governing health and human behavior, what was agriculturally most effective, and what was harmful to self and society. Jefferson, as President of the American Scientific Society, was the leading scientist of his generation. He had a deep appreciation for the natural order and the fundamental importance of understanding natural law and of aligning oneself with it. To Jefferson and the founders, education was key, and largely through their efforts, America was the first country in the world to offer universal education.

Education Has Not Worked

It is a tragedy of historic proportions that our Founders’ vision of a self-governing society, freed from widespread problems born of violation of natural law, has become a distant dream. Since the U.S. has the highest crime and some of the worst health statistics of any developed country, clearly the mechanisms put in place by the Founders have not worked. Jefferson’s eloquent and impassioned appeal to his countrymen to resist urbanization was overshadowed, and ultimately overwhelmed, by the market and social dynamics unleashed by the industrial revolution. And education, in its present form, has been incapable of producing ideal citizens, who can utilize natural law effectively to fulfill their desires and avoid problems born of violation of natural law.

It is important to analyze why education has failed, for such analysis underscores what has been missing, and how we can amend the current educational approach to allow our citizens to live in accord with natural law and apply these laws effectively in daily life. The problem with our current educational system, which is based upon the intellectual study of the laws of nature governing specific disciplines (such as physics, biology, and economics), is fourfold.

1) The scientific content of education is out of date. The most crucial, paradigm-changing knowledge of how the universe functions is simply not taught — except at the graduate level at a few select institutions. It is not that this vital knowledge is conceptually inaccessible or overly challenging for students. It is just that the process of dissemination of new knowledge is so slow that its impact on the classrooms and curricula of schools across the country is a generation away. Particularly now, students need access to the key conceptual breakthroughs that have revolutionized our understanding of the universe, and of man’s unique role in it.

2) The intellectual approach to knowledge, by itself, is only partially satisfying. Because the field of natural law now open to scientific investigation is essentially limitless, it is difficult to escape the feeling that, as one grows in knowledge, an even larger horizon of the unknown awaits. One senses ignorance growing faster than knowledge. This is particularly true today, as doctoral students specializing in their dissertation phase dedicate themselves to learning more and more about less and less. A symptom of this frustration is that the number of students interested in pursuing advanced academic knowledge is declining, with more students content simply to learn the practical skills needed to earn a livelihood in business or in law.

3) Intellectual understanding is not enough to guarantee a life in accord with natural law, or to ensure that the laws of nature will be utilized effectively. This is essentially for three reasons.

(a) Despite great progress in our scientific exploration of natural law, the detailed laws of nature governing human physiology, psychology, sociology, and ecology are still largely unknown. Therefore, in many cases, the consequences of actions, and what actually constitutes “action in accord with natural law,” are unknown.

(b) The scope of natural law is so vast and the implications of each and every action so incalculably far reaching that, even endowed with complete knowledge of the laws of nature, it would be impossible to compute the full, long-term impact of our actions upon ourselves, our society, and our environment. What may seem like prudent and/or effective behavior in the short run can prove deleterious, or even dangerous, in the long run. Even “miracle” technologies, such as nuclear power, which promised clean, economical power forever, and new pharmaceuticals promising cures to previously intractable diseases, have proven dangerous in the long run. Thus, applying one’s intellectual understanding of natural law to calculate a course of action that is maximally beneficial to self and society is unreliable, and also presents a somewhat awkward basis for daily living.

(c) Even when the consequences of actions are clear cut, such intellectual understanding is often not enough to ensure appropriate behavior. People often feel compelled towards harmful behavior, even when they know better. Few in America are unaware of the health hazards of smoking, yet smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable deaths in America. And crimes of passion, which produce consequences devastating to both victim and perpetrator, occur with alarming frequency.

4) Finally, the current educational approach is unable to develop even a fraction of a student’s mental potential. Modern cognitive science estimates that only five percent of the brain’s innate capability is developed through current educational approaches. Of the various stages of cognitive development accessible to the human brain, only the most primitive are achieved by the vast majority of students. Even adolescent levels of development, known as “formal operations,” which brings with it the ability to think abstractly, is rarely achieved by today’s high-school graduates.

We conclude from the above that education is (1) out-of-date — it does not contain the most important paradigm-changing knowledge of how the universe functions, and man’s unique role in it; (2) unsatisfying to the student, leaving him with a sense of growing ignorance; and (3) ineffective — both in developing the students’ innate potential and in bestowing the fruit of all knowledge — the ability to utilize natural law effectively and avoid problems born of the violation of natural law.

It is no wonder that modern education is widely perceived as unsatisfying and irrelevant to the students’ life, and that attrition from our nation’s schools is at an all-time high. Clearly, if society is to be self-governing, free from widespread problems, education must succeed in developing our students and endowing them with the ability to live in accord with natural law.

A New Educational Approach

Fortunately, new educational technologies exist that have proven highly effective in achieving these crucial educational outcomes. They are based on methods of learning that are (1) experiential, as well as intellectual, and (2) take advantage of the rich laboratory of natural law that exists within the human mind and body.

The human physiology and psychology are vast storehouses of knowledge of natural law. The laws of physics, the laws of chemistry, the laws of molecular biology and immunology, are deeply ingrained in the very structure and function of the human physiology. These modern educational technologies take advantage of this rich and cost-effective laboratory of natural law to provide students with an intimate familiarity with the deep and subtle laws of nature functioning within. These methodologies combine intellectual understanding through academic instruction with the inner exploration of the mind and physiology through advanced meditation procedures that give direct experience of the natural laws governing mental and physiological functioning. This integrated approach of knowledge and experience extends the tradition of the college laboratory — the experience of teachers and students that hands-on experience with the laws of nature is an essential component of the learning experience, bestowing an intimate experiential familiarity and facility with natural laws that book learning alone cannot.

In the present case, however, access to the human mind and physiology through specific meditative experiential procedures bestows access to a wide range of natural laws that the traditional laboratory practically cannot.

Despite its very recent re-emergence among the most innovative educational institutions, this approach of inner exploration of consciousness as a means of gaining knowledge actually has a long and venerable tradition. For example, the most widely practiced and thoroughly researched method of inner exploration today, the Transcendental Meditation program of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is actually a systematic, scientific reformulation of mental procedures first set forth by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, an aspect of the Vedic tradition of knowledge that dates back thousands of years. The methodology is extremely simple, easily learned, and within minutes draws the attention powerfully within to explore the deepest levels of natural law governing both physiological and psychological functioning.

While the scientific principles behind such practices and the extensive research on their effectiveness will be discussed below, the practical implications of an educational technology that provides direct experiential familiarity with the laws of nature are clearly immense. Combining intellectual understanding with the direct experience of natural law functioning within one’s own mind and body makes the study of natural law both more accessible and directly relevant to the life of the student. Assimilation and retention of knowledge are markedly improved. Even intelligence and learning ability are directly impacted, since the subjective methodologies themselves are specifically engineered to unfold these crucial mental abilities. Thus the major deficiencies of the current educational approach — its failure to develop the students’ innate potential, its perceived irrelevance to the students’ own life, and its inability to provide the intimate familiarity and direct facility with natural law that would endow students with the ability to utilize natural law more effectively — are profoundly addressed.

Moreover, if the intimate familiarity with natural law that results from such experiential technologies extends to the deepest levels of natural law — to the unified field itself — the anticipated benefits are even more far reaching. As we have seen above, more fundamental levels of natural law are more unified, more comprehensive and holistic. Gaining intimate exposure to these most profound and universal levels of natural law could bring a benefit equivalent to gaining knowledge of innumerable specific laws of nature functioning at more superficial scales. Capturing the totality of natural law at its unified source, and thus gaining intimate familiarity with natural law at its most unified and universal level, could — and according to current research does — bring behavior that is in accord with the totality of natural law — action that is universally enriching and global in scope. Such educational technologies provide, for the first time, the practical means to achieve Jefferson’s goal of universal education — to produce ideal citizens, fully in tune with natural law, capable of utilizing natural law effectively to achieve their desires, while upholding the progress of society as a whole, and the life, liberty, and happiness of its members.

If the last 30 years of educational research dedicated to this subject is any indication, we have identified in these simple experiential technologies the key to developing students fully, to avoiding widespread problems born of the violation of natural law, and to bringing national life into accord with natural law — and thus achieving the self-governing nation envisioned by America’s founders. As we have seen, such a nation, fully aligned with natural law, would enjoy unprecedented progress. Current widespread frustration and political unrest, which are essentially due to lack of progress and government’s inability to satisfy everyone, would disappear. By supporting widespread use of such educational programs, governments can fulfill their intended purpose — to promote the progress, happiness, and well-being of their citizens.

More about Natural Law:
Violation of Natural Law: The Source of All Problems
Bringing Individual Life into Accord with Natural Law: Consciousness-Based Approach