Book Review: The Power of Eight By Lynne McTaggart
What if global change doesn’t require a critical mass of thousands of people to save the environment, inspire peace and move us toward compassion and cooperation? Better yet, what if these efforts not only improved the well-being of people and planet, but also healed those influencing the process?
After reading Lynne McTaggart’s book, “The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World,” this just might be possible. An American lecturer, journalist, author, and publisher, Lynne McTaggart offers her readers a collection of stories and experiments that inspire hope in the influence of small groups of people to create positive change.
Throughout the book, McTaggart works to scientifically prove the power of focused, healing intention. As the chapters progress, the experiments that she leads on plants, water, war-torn areas in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and within her small healing groups amass a collection of testimonials to support McTaggart’s message that, “the most powerful transformational state of all is altruism.”
While McTaggart admits that there is still no concrete evidence that can directly prove the direct correlation between her group of healers’ intentions and the positive results, she begins to shift her perspective that perhaps that’s not the point. What does seem to be the exciting takeaway is the potential power of small groups of people to heal and transform the lives of others, as well as their own, through short, focused sessions of intentional meditation. These aren’t monks or “guru’s” influencing the ph levels in water or meditating on the full recovery of a sick baby, these are every day people creating positive change.
A Sense of Purpose in the Power of Eight
In our current global climate, one could argue that to not focus on our own self goes against the culture we live in today. However, there is a deep undercurrent of yearning to contribute to a greater good. While reading “The Power of Eight,” it is interesting to note that sending focused, healing intentions is only as effective as the groups’ collective intention. Participants in these groups aren’t trying to be the best at meditation or searching for recognition to boost their ego. The feedback McTaggart received over and over again was from individuals who were grateful to be able to contribute to the greater good, even if it is just for an hour-long group gathering.
Needing a sense of purpose and to feel part of a bigger picture has long been understood as an important part of our overall well-being, and examples throughout the book help to illustrate how altruism is critical to both the healer and the receiver. As McTaggart writes in the prologue: “This story is about the miraculous power you hold inside of you to heal your own life, which gets unleashed, ironically, the moment you stop thinking about yourself.”
Could this be karma in play? By creating the effect that influences the cause, we could possibly heal not just our own karmic energy, but that of the collective whole as well.
Reiterated throughout the book was the importance of feeling part of the collective and having a clear group goal to focus upon to create positive results. Building trust was another essential ingredient. Having to open up and be specific about healing requests required participants to be vulnerable. It’s this honesty that created a powerful connection and sense of community needed for a powerful group intention to succeed.
What sticks with me after reading this book is the idea that “within the confines of intention groups, it finally becomes safe to give, and giving might ultimately be the entire point of the exercise, the aspect of the intention that proves to be the greatest healer.” I have long believed having a sense of purpose is critical in shifting our current state of the world toward one of compassion and cooperation. Once we are aware of our individual purpose, we can better understand how to pursue it at a soulful level. The examples given in “The Power of Eight” offer a glimpse of what can be accomplished when a group of people, pursuing a sense of purpose, focus their attention on the good of the whole.
Diversity in Creating Positive Change
Throughout this book I was moved by all the stories of positive transformation, and even more so by the community support that developed between small groups of regular people. These power of eight groups weren’t made up of billionaires, spiritual leaders or influential celebrities, they were formed of compassionate individuals taking time out of their busy lives to make a difference.
Positive change at a global scale doesn’t have to wait for just one movement or ideal that generates a mass following. We each have a unique calling and sense of purpose that is needed if we are to truly ascend from the current global chaos unfolding. Understanding our individual gifts and seeking like-minded groups to engage in focused attention and healing intentions might be the only critical mass we need.
As McTaggart writes near the end of her book; “I’ve observed firsthand that consciousness is a collective activity, with the ability to traverse time and space, and that minds connect from any distance when focused on a single point. Connection has nothing to do with proximity and everything to do with the collective capacity to create.”
Great review. Thank you.
having attended Lynne recent workshop/ training/ experience, i can vouch for the authenticity
I’m thinking of doing this 6 week course. It’s hundreds of dollars and just curious to hear from someone who’s done it