February 09, 2006

Morphogenetic Fields And Beyond

Rupert Sheldrake - Morphogenetic Fields And Beyond I'm really not sure what to make of this. Quite extraordinary. Someone wrote the following comment after reading this site:
The phenomenon of
simultaneous introduction of innovative theory and
product from various parts of the planet at
approximately the same time (as articulated through
the idea of the collective unconscious) (Jung) would
support this concept.

I was reminded of this page today when I read Will Richardson's letter of resignation, especially this part:
But there is energy and a potential in this tool (and the others) and in these connections that for me, at least, is incredibly intriguing. One thing is clear: something important is happening. I'm not sure yet what it means for the world or for education or (your noun). But I am sure what it means for me.

UPDATE: here's a quote from the article to whet your appetite:
If these ideas are correct, then the "storehouse of memory" is not the least bit private since morphogenetic fields are universally available and continue to exist regardless of what happens to their original source. The only thing that makes our mental processes seem private is that we naturally resonate most strongly with our own past mental states. In other words, each of us broadcasts on a unique channel to which, generally, no one else listens. Yet in principle, someone else could tune into "your" memory and thoughts, and indeed, in practice, we do - as the common experience of "reading" another person's mind attests.

These ideas can be carried further to consider what happens when many people have a similar thought. The information stored in the morphogenetic field should then be stronger and accessible over "more channels." In that case we would expect it to be easier for new people to also "have" that thought (or skill, insight, or whatever). One aspect of this would be the creation of what Jung called the collective unconscious.

What proof is there that these ideas have any validity? One and a half years ago when I wrote the article about morphogenetic fields for IC #6, most of the experimental support for Sheldrake's ideas came from the reinterpretation of old experiments. One of the most intriguing involved teaching rats to run a particular maze. Each new generation of rats learned it faster even though there was no direct physical way for any generation to pass its learning on to the next. Since then, a variety of new experiments have been performed. To catch up on these, I spoke with Rupert Sheldrake for the latest results...

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