The Power of Eight

Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World

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About The Book

Discover how to tap into your extraordinary human capacity for connection and healing using astonishing new findings about the miraculous power of group intention in this new book by the author of the international bestsellers The Intention Experiment and The Field.

In The Power of Eight, Lynne McTaggart—whose “work has had an unprecedented impact on the way everyday people think of themselves in the world” (Gregg Braden, author of The Divine Matrix)—reveals her remarkable findings from ten years of experimenting with small and large groups about how the power of group intention can heal our lives and change the world for the better.

When individuals in a group focus their intention together on a single target, a powerful collective dynamic emerges that can heal longstanding conditions, mend fractured relationships, lower violence, and even rekindle life purpose. But the greatest untold truth of all is that group intention has a mirror effect, not only affecting the recipient but also reflecting back on the senders.

Drawing on hundreds of case studies, the latest brain research, and dozens of McTaggart’s own university studies, The Power of Eight provides solid evidence showing that there is such a thing as a collective consciousness. Now you can learn to use it and unleash the power you hold inside of you to heal your own life, with help from this riveting, highly accessible book.

Excerpt
The Power of Eight Prologue
For many years, I refused to write this book because I didn’t believe for one moment the strange healings that were happening in my workshops, which is to say, I had a hard time handling miracles.

By “miracles” and “healings” I’m not being metaphoric; I’m referring to genuine loaves-and-fishes-type miraculous events—a series of extraordinary and untoward situations in which people were instantly healed of all sorts of physical conditions after being assembled into a small group and sent a collective healing thought. I’m talking about the kinds of miracles that defy every last belief we hold about the way we’re told the world is supposed to work.

The idea of placing people into small groups of about eight started out as a crazy whim of mine during a workshop I ran in 2008, just to see what would happen if group members tried to heal one of their group through their collective thoughts. I’d billed them “Power of Eight” groups, but I may as well have called them Power of Eight Million, so potent did they turn out to be and so much did they rattle everything I thought I knew about the nature of human beings.

As a writer, I am drawn to life’s great mysteries and biggest questions—the meaning of consciousness, the extrasensory experience, life after death—particularly those anomalies that upset conventional wisdom. I like to ferret out, as the psychologist William James put it, the single white crow necessary to prove that not all crows are black.

But for all my forays into the unconventional, I remain, at heart, a hard-nosed reporter, the result of my early background as an investigative journalist, and I constantly look to build an edifice of solid evidence. I am not given to arcane references to mysticism, auras, or any sloppy or inchoate uses of the terms “quantum” or “energy.” In fact, there’s nothing I hate more than unsubstantiated woo-woo, because it gives what I do such a bad name.

I’m not an atheist—or even an agnostic. A deeply spiritual side to me remains convinced that human beings are more than a pile of chemicals and electrical signaling. But the reason I remain drawn to the Maginot Line separating the material from the immaterial is that I rely upon bell curves and double-blind trials to underpin my faith.

My own, relatively conventional, view about the nature of reality had first taken a knocking after researching my book The Field. I had begun the book as an attempt to understand scientifically why homeopathy and spiritual healing work, but my research soon led me into strange new territory, a revolution in science that challenges many of the most cherished beliefs we hold about our universe and how it operates. The frontier scientists I met during the course of my research—all with impeccable credentials attached to prestigious institutions—had made astonishing discoveries about the subatomic world that seemed to overthrow the current laws of biochemistry and physics. They’d found evidence that all of reality may be connected through the Zero Point Field, an underlying quantum energy field and vast network of energy exchange. A few frontier biologists had conducted research suggesting that the primary system of communication in the body is not chemical reaction, but quantum frequency and subatomic energetic charge. They’d carried out studies showing that human consciousness is able to access information beyond the conventional bounds of time and space. In countless experiments, they’d shown that our thoughts may not be locked inside our heads but may be trespassers, capable of both traversing other people and things and even actually influencing them. Each of them had stumbled on a tiny piece of what compounded to a new science, a completely new view of the world.

Writing The Field hijacked me into further pursuit of the nature of this strange new view of reality. I had grown especially curious about the implication of these discoveries: that thoughts are an actual something with the capacity to change physical matter.

This idea continued to nag at me. A number of bestselling books had been published about the law of attraction and the power of intention—the idea that you could manifest what you most desired just by thinking about it in a focused way—but to all of this I maintained a certain incredulity, overwhelmed by a number of awkward questions. Is this a true power and exactly how all-purpose is it, I wondered. What can you do with it? Are we talking here about curing cancer or shifting a quantum particle? And to my mind, the most important question of all: What happens when lots of people are thinking the same thought at the same time? Does this magnify the effect?

From the studies I’d researched for The Field, it was clear that mind in some way appeared to be inextricably connected to matter and, indeed, seemed capable of altering it. But that fact, which begged many profound questions about the nature of consciousness, had been trivialized by these popular treatments into the idea that you could think yourself into great wealth.

I wanted to offer something besides manifesting a car or a diamond ring, something besides just getting more stuff. I had in mind a bolder enterprise. This new science seemed to change everything we thought we knew about our innate human capacities, and I wanted to test it to the limit. If we had this kind of extraordinary extended potential, it suggested that we needed to act and live differently, according to a radical new view of ourselves, as a piece of a larger whole. I wanted to examine whether this capacity was powerful enough to heal individuals, even the world. Like a twenty-first-century doubting Thomas, I was essentially looking for a way to dissect magic.

My next book, The Intention Experiment, intended to do this, by compiling all the credible scientific research into the power of mind over matter, but its purpose was also an invitation. Very little research had been carried out about group intention, and my plan was to fill that gap by enlisting my readers as the experimental body of group intenders in an ongoing scientific experiment. After the book’s publication in 2007, I gathered together a consortium of physicists, biologists, psychologists, statisticians, and neuroscientists highly experienced in consciousness research. Periodically I would invite my internet audience, or an actual audience when I was delivering a talk or workshop somewhere, to send one designated, specific thought to affect some target in a laboratory, set up by one of the scientists I was working with, who would then calculate the results to see if our thoughts had changed anything.

Eventually this project evolved into, in effect, the world’s largest global laboratory, involving several hundred thousand of my international readers from more than a hundred countries in some of the first controlled experiments on the power of mass intention to affect the physical world. Although a number of the experiments were quite rudimentary, even the simplest was carried out under rigorous scientific conditions, with painstaking protocol followed. And all but one of the experiments were conducted with one or more controls, and were also “blinded,” so the scientists involved were ignorant of the target of our intentions until after the experiment was over and the results calculated.

I was far from convinced that we’d get positive results, but I was willing to give it a go. I wrote many qualifiers into The Intention Experiment about how the actual outcome of the experiments didn’t matter so much as simply having the willingness to explore the idea, then launched the book, kicked off the first experiment two months later, and took a deep breath.

As it turned out, the experiments did work. In fact, they really worked. In the thirty experiments I’ve run to date, twenty-six have evidenced measurable, mostly significant change, and three of the four without a positive result simply had technical issues. To put these results in perspective, almost no drug produced by the pharmaceutical industry can lay claim to that level of positive effect.

It was a year after I began the global experiments with groups of thousands that I decided to try to scale down the entire process in my workshops by creating Power of Eight groups and having them send healing intention. For me it was just another, more informal experiment, and just as foolhardy a one—until it too began to work in ways that eclipsed everything I’d imagined would happen, and people with long-standing conditions reported instant, near-miraculous healings.

The Intention Experiment caught the public imagination. Bestselling author Dan Brown even featured me and my work in one of his books, The Lost Symbol. But the results of the experiments themselves are only part of the story. In fact, they aren’t the important part of the story.

For most of the time I was running these experiments and Power of Eight groups, I now realize, I was asking the wrong questions.

The most important questions had more to do with the process itself, and what it suggested about the nature of consciousness, our extraordinary human capacity, and the power of the collective.

The outcome of both the groups and the experiments, amazing though they were, paled in comparison to what was happening to the participants. The most powerful effect of group intention—an effect overlooked by virtually every popular book on the subject—was on the intenders themselves.

At some point I began to acknowledge that the group-intention experience itself was causing big changes in people: changing individual consciousness, removing a sense of separation and individuality, and placing members of the group in what can only be described as a state of ecstatic unity. With each experiment, no matter how large or small, whether the global experiments or the Power of Eight groups, I observed this same group dynamic, a dynamic so powerful and life-transforming that it enabled individual miracles to take place. I recorded hundreds, if not thousands, of these instantaneous miracles in participants’ lives: They healed long-standing serious health conditions. They mended estranged relationships. They discovered a renewed life purpose or cast off workaday jobs in favor of a career that was more adventurous or fulfilling. A few of them even transformed right in front of me. And there was no shaman or guru present, no complex healing process involved—in fact, no previous experience necessary. The inciting instrument for all of this was simply the gathering of these people into a group.

What on earth had I done to them? At first, I didn’t believe it. For years I attributed what appeared to be rebound effects to my imagination working overtime. As I kept telling my husband, I needed to gather more stories, carry out more experiments, amass more hard proof. Then I became frightened by them and sought some historical or scientific precedent.

Eventually it dawned on me that these experiments were providing me, in the most visceral way, with an immediate experience of what I previously had understood only intellectually: that the stories we tell ourselves about how our minds work are manifestly wrong. Although I’d written in The Field about consciousness and its effects on the big visible world, what I was witnessing surpassed even the most extravagant of these ideas. Every experiment I ran, every Power of Eight group that assembled demonstrated that thoughts are not locked inside our skulls, but find their way into other people, even into things thousands of miles away, and have the ability to change them. Thoughts weren’t just things or even things that affect other things; thoughts might even have the capacity to fix whatever was broken in a human life.

This book is an attempt to make sense of all the miracles that happened in these experiments—to figure out what indeed I’d done to our participants—within the larger context of science and also esoteric and religious historical practice. It is a biography of an accident, a human endeavor that I stumbled across that appears to have ancient antecedents, even in the early Christian church. The Power of Eight is also about me, and what happens to someone like me, when the rules of the game—the rules by which you’ve lived your life—suddenly no longer apply.

The outcome of the group Intention Experiments are remarkable, but they aren’t the point of this story. 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.
About The Author
Photograph by Stuart Conway

Lynne McTaggart, one of the central authorities on the new science of consciousness, is the award-winning author of seven books, including the internationally bestselling The Intention Experiment and The Field. She is also editorial director of What Doctors Don’t Tell You, one of the world’s most respected health magazines, and architect of the Intention Experiments, a web-based “global laboratory.” A highly sought-after public speaker, Lynne is consistently listed as one of the world’s 100 most spiritually influential people. Lynne and her husband, author and WDDTY co-founder Bryan Hubbard, who live in London, have two adult daughters.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Atria Books (September 2018)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501115554

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for The Power of Eight

“Lynne McTaggart leads the way in guiding us to an enlightened perspective on the power of consciousness.”

—Marianne Williamson, New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love

The Power of Eight is at once a revolution and an evolution in understanding, which opens us to both proof and practice of how the powers of a group intention can transmute and transform our pathos and our pain.”

—Jean Houston, PhD, chancellor, Meridian University 

“Lynne McTaggart has demonstrated something unique in the mind-body-spirit movement: You don’t need to be a Sufi master, take ayahuasca or spend years of disciplined spiritual practice to get a taste of the miraculous.  All you need is a small group with a common intention.  Read this book, form your own Power of Eight group and welcome the miracles in your own life.”

—Deepak Chopra, New York Times bestselling author of Quantum Healing

“Throw away your self-help books.  As Lynne McTaggart convincingly argues in this extraordinary book, it’s ‘other help’ that can truly transform you. As soon as you turn your thoughts from yourself to intending for someone else, you create rebound effects that heal your own life. Form a Power of Eight group and experience this miraculous circle for yourself.”

—Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason

“Lynne McTaggart’s The Power of Eight is a gift to humanity, a book that truly will change your life – and in the most extraordinary and unexpected ways.  This is the real secret – your life transforms when you heal for others in a group.  It’s at the heart of most of the world’s religions – but McTaggart brings it to life, and verifies it with science. Read this book, for your own sake and for your family and friends (and, yes, even for complete strangers).”

—John Gray, New York Times bestselling author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

“Required reading for anyone who’d like proof of the power of prayer and group intention for it was written by the ultimate Doubting Thomas. Lynne McTaggart offers a page-turning account of her own struggles to understand the numerous extraordinary healing effects she witnesses in small and large intention groups.  Every church group, every book group and every business team need a Power of Eight group to create a vortex of healing and transformation.”

—John Assaraf, New York Times bestselling author of Having it All, and CEO of NeuroGym

“Every one of us has the power to use our thoughts to heal our world.  Lynne McTaggart doesn’t just describe this truth, she proves it again and again in scientifically-controlled studies, in large web-based experiments, in the compelling stories of people who have been transformed by her Power of Eight groups. It’s something you can do right now, and it will utterly change your life. And it’s so simple! Utterly revolutionary.”

—Janet Attwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Passion Test

“This is a monumentally significant book, a once-in-a-generation work that will turn the tide in how we unleash the power of healing for each other and for the world. Drink in its meticulous and transparent scientific method, its countless uplifting stories of vivid healing breakthroughs and its breathtakingly luminous vision. Then go manifest The Power of Eight.” 

—James O’Dea, former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Soul Awakening Practice

“This book is a beautifully written blueprint to awaken us to the power we collectively possess to manifest miracles of healing, transformation and peace both in our lives, and in our world. If you only buy one book this season make it this one, for this is one of the most important and urgent messages of our time.”

—Katherine Woodward Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Conscious Uncoupling

“Lynne’s research on intentional healing documents the long-recognized belief that mental qualities such as love and hope are actually the best antidotes in fending off disease, which feeds back and enhances the lives of each of the group’s participants. The Power of Eight is a powerful contribution to healing our planet.”

—Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, stem cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief

“The perfect manual to heal your life, yourself, and others, which will teach you everything you need to know about accessing your true innate capacity—and how healing others is also how you heal yourself.”  

—Dr. Joe Dispenza, bestselling author of Becoming Supernatural

An extraordinarily powerful and important achievement, chronicling a ten-year quest by Lynne McTaggart as she follows the evidence for the ‘power of eight’, wherever it leads. An inspiring and empowering portal into the profound powers of healing we all possess – and their exponential effects when we come together in groups.”

—Jude Currivan, PhD, author of The Cosmic Hologram

“A powerfully convincing account of the scientific study of the power of human intention. Beyond that, though, it stands out as a lighthouse in the fog to curious minds everywhere. It invites all who are grasping for clarity around their place in this grand universe to find a scientific ‘home’ of sorts for their spiritual quest.”

—UnityWorldMinistries.org

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