We’ve finally got back the video of my Middle Eastern Peace Intention Experiment, and I urge you to watch it for what it shows about the power of group intention to melt the hardest of hearts and heal the greatest divisions, among individuals or indeed an entire people.
You’ll see nine screens – one with an audience of Israelis in Jerusalem, seven with audiences from various cities in Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi – and one with me. Please watch what happened to the Arabs and Israelis in the various countries after the experiment, and how this kind of group endeavor may well be the blueprint for creating peace on earth.
The Middle Eastern Peace Intention Experiment
The same occurred when I ran a Peace Intention Experiment on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, again enlisting Dr. Salah Al-Rashed and his followers throughout the Muslim states to join with my Western audience to send intention to two provinces in southern Afghanistan.
After the experiment, many of the Arab participants reached out in friendship to the West: “We are brothers, we will always be here for you. Although I don’t know you, I feel a connection with your pure souls.”
“This day is the day that we all felt the loss and no one felt the gain,” wrote Bahareh. “Your God is my God. My God is your God.”
Following Salah’s lead, the Arabs started apologizing to the Americans, a point of view that “millions of Arabs and Muslims are sharing with him.”
Both sides began discussing ideas on Facebook about how to create peace between East and West: “Stop using the words ‘East’ or ‘West,’ ” “change it from East and West to World,” “call it WEast.”
Three-quarters of my participants spoke of how their newfound sense of peace had improved their own relationships in every regard. They were getting along better with clients, ex-husbands, siblings, neighbors, those they normally argued with, even employers. “My husband came to me midweek, and said that I was more approachable and open. The little stuff did not bother me.”
Many made a pact with themselves to resolve lingering conflicts with others and heal rifts, even with those who’d caused them pain. “On the first day, I was holding hands with a friend I just made peace with, after a long time of not talking to one another,” said Susan from Spokane. “We held hands throughout the experiment, and when we were done, we hugged.”
Arguments over an accident, landlords, sisters-in-law that had carried on for years suddenly got resolved. Others were able to tolerate people they didn’t usually get along with: “I felt compassion for my not-so-nice boss.”
Many had felt able to see “people and situations more clearly,” noticing when they were judgmental of others and themselves. They found anger “more uncomfortable than before,” were “more apt to apologize and forgive,” had “stopped reminding themselves” of what the other did to hurt them, and “now were not taking things so personally.” They felt a certain “urgency to let go of the past hurts,” were “feeling feelings more,” were “listening more without judgment,” and were more desirous of sharing their personal truth.
“My life,” wrote Abdul, “has changed for the most beautiful.”
I have no idea if my experiment could take the credit for the improved peace in those two southern provinces of Afghanistan or, most recently, Jerusalem. But the outcome of the actual experiment again was almost irrelevant; the real healing was happening with the participants. If the feedback from participants is anything to go by, the act of sending intention had created peace in their hearts that seemed to be transforming their lives and views of ‘the enemy,’ a simple means of breaching ideological divides.
“Thank you, world,” Yasser wrote. “You’re still a good place, with all these peaceful people.”
I didn’t know if God had answered our prayer for peace, but certainly our prayers had given us a glimpse of God—and even a fleeting glimpse of heaven on earth.
“I had the sense that although we had a specific ‘target,” said Aimee, “we were healing everyone everywhere at once.”