Sheldrakes Habits

Last week I got a chance to hear Rupert Sheldrake speak again. He spoke of 2 competing paradigms of science in recent history – the model of fixed laws and the evolutionary model, giving examples of how these ideas impact common thinking but also conflict.

He suggests that his own models predict that laws of nature are not fixed but are rather habits. What he calls morphic resonance. Long repeated actions become so habituated that they appear fixed, much as our personal habits and attitudes can seem unchangeable. If this is true, one should be able to demonstrate it in many ways.

One example he used was crystal formation. Chemical compounds that have a crystalline state are seen to crystallize in very specific ways and have a fixed melting point. However, if this is habit, new forms of crystals should have slower, variable initial formation. As the structure becomes standardized (habituated), it would become more stable and the melting point would rise over time. Rupert showed various examples demonstrating this, also noting that occasional variations can accidentally “spoil” a compounds use when it habituates to a new form. He also showed other examples such as  fruit fly morphology.

This ties into a couple of recent articles here where I’ve discussed how Habit functions from a deeper level of perception.

Matter is energy in fields. The fields keep it together. This matches models of consciousness I’ve described where intelligence is structured in the intention of any objects becoming. (fields are in turn structured in awareness and geometry)

How do the fields keep it together? Memory, stored in the fields. Sheldrake calls these morphic fields, describing them as a nested hierarchy. For example, there is an organisms field. Within that, a limb field, a bone field, a cellular field, an atomic field (by this point it’s just fields), particle field, and so forth. But these fields are intrinsically holistic. They don’t behave as separate items but rather an interacting resonant whole.

He also observes that a habit model eliminates the need for such ideas as a Multiverse. (multiple parallel universes) It also enters the ‘nature nurture’ debate – is it genes or upbringing that determines our destiny? Morphic resonance is a third option although it has characteristics of both the others. Another word for family and social resonance is conditioning. Rupert also mentioned how someone who breaks away from the family can leave a resonance that is repeated by future generations until it’s resolved.

What we perceive as individual mind is thus an aspect of universal mind rather than something personal. Memory stored in the mind field is stored globally, not personally. We have both personal and group memories. We tune into our own and the groups through resonance, like tuning into a radio station. The brain is not the storage medium but rather the receiver.

Our family has the closest resonance but every layer of the groups we reside in – peers, school, city, country, race – have a collective unconscious memory or resonance. Rituals reinforce group resonance and connect us to our origins. This includes things like holidays, the usual style of serving a meal, how we greet someone, and so forth.

This also ties into the idea that life is a remembering, that it’s all structured in subtle memory. Time does not really exist but is rather a progression of ‘resonance symmetry’. Focused attention on a progression of perception.

The interplay of habit and creativity he describes as evolution. What we experience personally as subconscious and conscious mind.

Sheldrake is also courageous. He has recently taken a wager with Lewis Wolpert through the Royal Society that, in essence, the genome project will fail. Bruce Lipton would concur.

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