Chris Patten, evidently, is not familiar with Hong Kong's yogic fliers. Asked yesterday by a radio phone-in caller representing 10,000 members of the Hong Kong Foundation of the Science of Creative Intelligence about building 'collective consciousness', the Governor latched on to words he liked the sound of - 'peaceful' and 'orderly' - and used them as an excuse for his usual discussion about how good local people are at demonstrations. Which is a shame, as it would have been far more entertaining to hear his views on saving the world through telepathy and how good his levitation is. The yogic fliers do, indeed, fly. Not content with the simple stuff of meditating in a lotus position while hovering a foot above the ground, their levitation olympics - honest, they do hold them - involve zooming, skipping and sliding through 200- and 400-metre obstacle and slalem courses. Like Aladdin on his magic carpet in the Walt Disney film, but these guys don't need the carpet. Of course, we're talking about the top echelons, or sidhis, of transcendental meditation. TM teacher Vandana Chan Man-yin of the Hong Kong foundation said that when you begin, you just learn to meditate. The hovering bit comes after a few months. The trick is learning to let your mind float free in deep relaxation for up to 20 minutes, twice a day. In more advanced stages, it involves establishing 'perfect mind-body co-ordination' to reach 'pure consciousness'. When you get there, the flying just happens. The result is more energy, better IQ and generally better health. Companies and individuals that practise transcendental meditation claim to have improved concentration and work output. And certainly Ms Chan and other friendly 'vedic' teachers at the foundation's calm villa in a peaceful Sai Kung village seem admirable people, giving off an air of everlasting patience and love of the good in us all. The foundation and the global Maharishi Vedic University - which teaches vedic science - are the brainchild of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the gentle-looking guy with beard and sweeping locks whom older readers may remember as The Beatles' guru in India. Ms Chan and friends practise healthy ways of living involving early bedtime and early waking, square vegetarian meals and diagnosis of illness through pulse measurement and tonic drinks that put right mind and body imbalances. None of which seems too hard to follow, and four million people around the globe who've done the courses can't all be wrong. But that's not enough. The Maharishi has worked out that TM actually taps into the unified field - somewhere under our feet and seeping into our bodies - 'which is the source of all the orderliness and intelligence in nature'. Now, when one per cent of the people in one place - say, about 64,000 Hong Kong people - all perform TM at once, that invokes natural law which improves the state of the world for as long as they can keep hovering. Everyone feels happier, crime drops, admissions to hospitals slide and the stock market leaps. Ms Chan has a book splattered with charts, particularly from a big study in 1976, showing how places such as New York have improved at a certain time when the local sidhis were on the job. These sidhis integrate into the collective consciousness to 'enliven the constitution of the universe'. Unfortunately, Ms Chan apologised, taking photographs of Hong Kong's sidhis at work was not possible as it would distract them. But they do show off their skills at world peace meetings - usually in the United States, it seems. So, Mr Patten, consider what you've missed by not waiting for that phone-in caller's teachings. What a stir it would have caused, soaring above the crowds to reach Britannia on Monday night, not to mention improving Hong Kong-China relations no end.