Last Thursday, Michele took me to see a talk by the Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus – the Eighth Episcopalian Bishop of California – Healer Jill Purce, and Dr. Rupert Sheldrake at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. I really went to see Sheldrake who was the only one of the three that I had heard of. More importantly, I went to see him because Rupert – I think I can call him Rupert because that is how Michele, who met him at Hollyhock a couple off years ago, introduced him to me – is a genius at the same level as Alfred Wegener. Or Charles Darwin, for that matter. I first read Rupert’s Theory of Morphic Resonance a little more than twenty years ago and it has both enriched my life beyond any expectation and come to inform my thinking on almost every subject.
I have never heard or read Rupert describing The Morphic Field as being The Cloud, but I think that is an good description. Conventional Wisdom says that the universe is like a machine: its composition, morphology, and actions are all a result of mechanical processes built into the machine itself. It says we grow into who we become because of the DNA we have at birth. Morphic Resonance says that it is more complicated, it says that information is carried outside of us in a Morphic Field that is both influenced by us and that, in turn, influences us.
The Conventional Wisdom says that there are universal, unchanging, physical laws such as the gravitational constant – known as the Big G – or the speed of light (299,792,458 meters per second). The problem is that, when tested, these constants change. Scientists, like anybody else who holds a strong belief, say that their belief is correct so the measurements must be wrong. But the constants actually do fluctuate and Rupert says that is because they are more like universal Habits that are not locked in. There was no gravity before the Big Bang because there was nothing to have gravity on. After The Big Bang, a couple of particles were attracted together and they, in turn, influenced another particle to be attracted. Gravity was born, not as an Universal Law, but as a Habit. In other words, as the Universe unfolded, it developed the Habit we call Gravity. This process of the first two particles influencing another particles is what Rupert calls Morphic Resonance and it operates on everything and builds with repetition. The more similar any two anythings are, the more they Resonate.
( The Big Bang was first used by Fred Hoyle to bad mouth what he thought was a ridiculous theory on the life of the universe (the Big Bang is now considered fact, but then Hoyle thought it was ridiculous because it didn’t agree with his, then more widely accepted, theory of a steady state universe). Last Thursday, I noticed that both Rupert and the Rt. Rev. Andrus referred to the Big Bang as The Great Unfolding so I will too.)
Another example of the Morphic Field influence is the formation of crystals. As crystals are formed by precipitating from a solution, we can tell what material the crystals are by their shape. Quartz, or fluoride, or tourmaline, or any crystal has its own distinctive crystalline pattern; not because of any mathematical or universal law that anybody has been able to fathom. The Habit of that material is to form in that distinctive pattern because, at random, the first time the material precipitated, it formed in that structure and then got in the Habit.
Everything Resonates and is both influenced and influences. We are corporal beings, mammals, and primates and, as such, we resonate with other physical matter – we are influenced by Gravity, for example – with other mammals, and other primates, in our behavior and morphology. Roger Bannister running a four minute mile enables future runners to easier run four minutes miles by changing the Morphic Field.
Conventional wisdom says that the universe – by analogy – is a machine with no purpose but Rupert says that the Universe and all its parts are better thought of as Organisms. A machine is non-thinking and can not self-replicate or self organize. An Organism – by definition – does self-replicate and self organizes towards the increasingly complex. Atoms form molecules, molecules form cells, cells form living things, and on and on until – so far – we have sentient beings. The Universe, and everything in it, is self organizing toward complexity, towards us.
Going to see Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, for me, was somewhat of a pilgrimage. What I expected was to go to a lecture in a classroom associated with the actual Grace Cathedral, but, it turned out, we were directed to the Grace Cathedral Choir area making it even more pilgrimage-like.
There were about one hundred of us sitting sitting in the Great Quire listening to, what I am not-sure-to-call, a religious experience, a performance, or a lecture – a little of all three, I guess – and, while that was going to be the point of this post, I think I will continue it in a couple of days and a little more thought.