Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance challenges the fundamental assumptions of modern science. An accomplished biologist, Sheldrake proposes that all natural systems, from crystals to human society, inherit a collective memory that influences their form and behavior. Rather than being ruled by fixed laws, nature is essentially habitual. The Presence of the Past lays out the evidence for Sheldrake's controversial theory, exploring its implications in the fields of biology, physics, psychology, and sociology. At the same time, Sheldrake delivers a stinging critique of conventional scientific thinking. In place of the mechanistic, neo-Darwinian worldview he offers a new understanding of life, matter, and mind.
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University.
Recently, drawing on the work of French philosopher Henri Bergson, he developed the theory of morphic resonance, which makes use of the older notion of morphogenetic fields. He has researched and written on topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, telepathy, perception and metaphysics.
Sheldrake's work on morphic fields is ground-breaking. His theory on formative causation casts an interesting light on why animals instinctively know how to do things like build nests, migrate, repair hives or homes, etc. It is also useful in explaining why human beings learn more rapidly now than they used to. And that is just a small scratch on the surface of the incredible content in this book. If you're interested in looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the mechanistic world view and also of evolution as a theory to explain the ongoing creativity occuring in our universe, you have to read this book. Metaphysics aren't left out, and God as the author of the universe is also a distinct possibility. It's dense, but worth reading, in my opinion.
This book is one of those that immediately sets off alarm signals in my brain that say "pseudo-science hooey." I didn't read much because I hastily flung the book away from my body in a fit of disgust, but the parts I read were filled with unsubstantiated claims and fanciful speculation. Not to mention a redundant and annoying writing style.
Some may say I judge too quickly. If anyone wants to give me a good argument for why Sheldrake's ideas are true, I will listen to you. (Because if he was right it would be awesome.)
The idea of Morphogenetic Fields is far reaching, innovative and provides answers to a lot of scientific questions that Darwin's survival of the fittest never did. Based on the premise that memories are not stored inside of us but in fields surrounding us. Where does that leave research on Alzheimer's disease ? A great read to expand the mind.
For a more timely overview of morphic resonance and the most current supporting experimental data I recommend the much newer 3rd edition of New Science of Life.
Having read New Science of Life first, I lightly skimmed the first half of this book which is an older telling of the same hypothesis of morphic resonance.
And as with New Science of Life, one of things that makes Sheldrake so compelling to me is his open acknowledgement that scientific theories are embedded in a metaphysic, his dissection of current popular ways of scientific thinking in terms of metaphysics, and his exploration of the metaphysics underlying the hypothesis of morphic resonance.
What is interesting in this book in particular is the relation of morphic resonance to animal and human behavior. This occurs in the second half of the book and I read it in detail.
Morphic resonance to me prompts this most important question: in a universe that exhibits conservative tendencies (things that happened before tend to happen again) rather than everything being random chance, where does new behavior come from?
His exploration of this idea is much more extensive in this book than in New Science of Life. While contemplating Sheldrake's ideas along these lines I dissolved into Robert Anton Wilson space: What we are looking for is the thing that is doing the looking.
Morphic resonance is "the idea of mysterious telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and of collective memories within species". It is interesting how differently Rupert Sheldrake thinks about the world. He sees the world though the idea of world development that is similar to the body or an organism to some extend.
The book was first time published in 1988, very long ago. I like the examples that the author gives in a book. He shows different patterns in the world. Sheldrake suggests that nature is not a machine and that each kind of system - from crystals to birds to societies - is shaped not by universal laws that embrace and direct all systems but by a unique "morphic field" containing a collective or pooled memory. So organisms not only share genetic material with others of their species, but are also shaped by a "field" specific to that species.
Talking about the book, it is very "university-paper-like". It was sometimes hard to consume and reading this book requires having a clear mind to be able to grasp the full picture and the messages.
As for me - I have finished the book in a month or so and was reviving notes and highlights from the book for a few month now. The content and ideas in the book still did not fully aligned in my head. So many things that go sideways with what we know about general science. There is also spirituality in the book. Therefore I think I will need to get back to Sheldrake later in life. Maybe try and re-read this book and also look through later works he had.
Some books take a long time to read because they are dry, dull and there are other things you'd rather be doing.; others take time to digest and think upon. This book falls into the latter category. Having said that, I'd like to state from the start that I'm not convinced by Sheldrake's arguments. I think he does an amazing job of highlighting the flaws and foolishness of accepting the materialist world view as an unchangeable foundation for all future scientific endeavour. I loved the flow of the book and build up of evidence for his theories. I think that Sheldrake is one of the scientists that still holds to the genuine concepts of scientific method. I actually find him to be more of sceptic than some of those who attempt to debunk his work. Whether or not his theory turns out to be correct doesn't seem like the right metric to judge this book by. To me, it's true value lies in questioning the current scientific dogma and it's attempt to explain inconvenient / difficult problems. We need more Sheldrakes.
I'd say this book is pitched at the level of a popular science reader who is prepared to think and also perhaps do a little outside reading. It is very well crafted and feels quite light despite the depth it goes to.
This book will blow your mind. Call me gullible, but I honestly buy into this belief! I really do think that we have tremendous power to shape reality through how we think and the paradigms we adopt. Just read it with an open mind: what if? Warning: if you lose your sense of security easily when forced outside "the box" then you should probably stay with something safer.
Regardless if Morphic Fields exist, I am drawn to how Sheldrake points out our interconnectedness. Whether between our pasts or each other now, I think he is pointing at something significant that probably will never be fully answered. I'd say this book has changed a bit of how I look at the natural world. Thus: 5 stars.
But if that perspective that the arms develop the same is valid account the environment why are not all snowflakes in the vicinty the same?
Why do schools of fish and flocks of starlings move in concerted synchronized near simultanaeous fashion? Could it be morphic resonance?
P 174 Why did newer generations of mice learn mazes faster than their predecessors?
Rupert Sheldrake suggests that crystals grow faster the more often they are form. Why doesn't water boil sooner giving we have been boiling water for millenia? Maybe it does but it met some plateau centuries ago or stoves are built better and boil water faster and that inventedness is from morphic resonanance (MR).
Perhaps MR explains fashions and trends but why do they fade away?
P208 There are electro-magnetic resonances, electron spin resonances, nuclear magnetic resonances, gravitational fields, proton resonance and a number of other resonances so why not morphic resonances and even morphic fields within morphic fields. Unlike these kind of resonances MR does not involve a transfer of energy. It seems to be a catch all phrase for the unexplained encompassing change through time and change through geographic distance. I found myself substituting the term "invisible hand" whenever the term morphic resonance popped up, maybe just a label and not an explanation.
It's like the old evolutionary fallback term "convergent development" to [not] explain how very similar lifeforms appear in divergent locations with wildly different genetics. Oh and it could be morphic resonance.
Here are some elaborations: P97 Fields are mediums of action at a distance
P107 if morphogenic fields contain an inherent memory, their evolution can be conceived of in a radically different way. They are not transcendent Forms, but immanent in organisms. They evolve within the realm of nature, and they are influenced by what has happened before.
P111 according to the hypothesis of formative causation, morphogenetic fields are affected by what happens within organisms, and contain an inherent memory; they are evolutionary in nature.
P121 morphic fields are not changeless
P159 all organisms inherit a collective memory of their species by morphic resonance...
P173 At the moment of insight a potential pattern of organized behaviour comes into being. This can be regarded as a new morphic field. If the behaviour pattern is repeated, the field will be increasedly stablized by MR.
P 187 A possible example of MR at work > IQ increased over time (but SAT scores went down).
P229-230 Termites can build nests taking generations to complete. Blind termites can build bridges from both sides coming together perfectly, even when separated by a metal barrier.
Another example in the book is blue tits learning to open milk bottles, supposedly independently. Maps are included showing how the trend spread in Britain in the 1930's to 1940's. Nothing too instaneous about decades for that feat to catch on.
If mophic resonance is such a handy thing acting on organisms (humans) to improve their performances why does it still take so long for traffic to move through an intersection after the light changes?
In my search for the Truth, which began around 9yrs past, one of the first 'notable' people i was led to was Prof Rupert Sheldrake and his amazing works on what can best be described as 'paranormal' science, Not being a learned scientific man mysf, i do not pretend by any stretch of the imagination to understand or grasp fully the content/message being imparted by Prof Sheldrake in his books and videos, but i would say they have changed me 'immensely' in the way that they make me 'feel' about the world and the things of the world in general, Another scientist whom i greatly admire is/was Nikola Tesla, who also stated that the True science of the world can found in the paranormal realm, "More could be learned in a single decade than in all the previous centuries before it if science were to concentrate its energies on exploring the paranormal realm" Quote by Nikola Tesla
Getting back to Prof Sheldake and his amazing insight into what he terms as 'morphic resonance', It was 'impressed' upon myself to highlight some verse from Scripture that i believe also directly correlate with the ideas postulated and expounded upon in Prof Sheldrake' books/videos on 'collective conciousness' and the effects/impact of said phenomena potentially, The Scripture verse are as follows;
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man 'was' great in the earth, and 'that' every imagination of the thoughts of his heart 'was' only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart"
It can be 'clearly' demonstrated in this verse that there was 'only' evil in the imaginations ie 'thoughts' of man in the earth in those days, And so Almighty God destroyed them/the world with a flood, Now let us take a look at our time-line of today, in Scripture;
"But as in the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be"
So, this verse is in ref to when the disciples asked Jesus Christ, "what will be the signs of the coming of the end of the age be?" To which (in part) Jesus Christ gave us this response in Matthew 24:37, Please note the "as in the days of Noah" and we already know that in the days of Noah that there was evil 'continally' in the minds of man, Furthermore, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 also let's the reader know that it 'is' the state of Apostacy, the meaning of which is "to fall-away from a 'standing position' in the Greek tongue, and to 'fall-away' is 'unbelief' in the Word of God and His Holy Bible narrative (KJB) which will be the 'tipping point' with regards to prophetic end time events unfolding (please read Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2 for better insight here, its important).
Then we have the Scripture verses such as 1 Corinthians 1:10, Which is incredibly insightful verse into how we, as professed True followers of Jesus Christ, are 'expected' to conduct ourselves 'daily', by having the 'same' mind in 'all' judgement (Philppians 1:9-11)
"Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and 'that' there be no divisions among you; but 'that' ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement"
And now Roman's 12:1-2
"Therefore, I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that you offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which 'is' your reasonable service: And to not conform to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what 'is' that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God"
I think it fair to say/state that it 'is' pretty obvious the part our collective consciousness' play in our daily lives based upon these few Scripture' alone, But there are many, many more verses to corroborate this POV (go look at and satisfy yourself the Truth of this statement (or not) its important), But i will leave you with Roman's 6:16, Which i, personally, believe to be one of 'the' most insightful verses of the Holy Bible;
"Know ye not? That to whom ye offer yourselves as servants (slaves) to obey, servants ye are to whom ye obey: whether it be sin, leading unto death: or that of obedience, leading unto righteousness"
Who Are The Nicolaitans Of The Book Of Revelation?
I found this particular 'supposed' mystery of the Book of Revelation surprisingly(?) simple to work out, as the word 'nico' in the Greek means conqueror or destroyer, while 'laity' is Greek for the masses i.e. people, So, we have a collective word which appears to suggest "rulers over the people".......hmmm, i wonder who on earth these rulers over the worlds general populace could be in ref too?.......could it possibly be those 'very same' ruling elites who have been in power since history began? And are 'still' around today in the form/guise of monarchies and the super rich ruling elites? Well, the answer, to myself at least, is an emphatic YES, of course it's these ruling elites Jesus Christ is in ref too in the Book of Revelation, for there 'is' nobody else that fits the description quite frankly (let's be honest here), We also have the movies They Live and Society, both from around circa 1990, and one 'only' needs to swap the aliens portrayed in the movies to that of the ruling elites we see today to guage some idea of how our world is Truly governed (behind the scenes/closed doors i.e. behind the veil), Then we have Nicolas himself, who is also a direct ref to the devil (Old Nick), as well as St Nicolaus, who is Santa Claus (which really means Satan' Claws), Have a little think here of just how 'subtle' Satan the devil is - from a very young age, you, as a toddler right up to the age of around 7-9 yrs old, are told wonderful stories about Santa and his elves and then of course there are the presents and decorating of the tree and so on and so forth (but less and less of Jesus Christ have you noticed? I hav'nt been able to find a card featuring Jesus Christ for many years now)- but then, then you begin to realise all is not quite right with what your parents have been telling you over the years, yet they still 'swear blind' that they are not lying to you, 'only' for the Truth to finally reveal itself - and the (parents) excuse is generally, "Well, we didn't want to spoil it for you".......only this form of 'conditioning' is prone to make a child 'also' have good cause to have their doubts in a Creator Father of the Holy Bible narrative and His Son Jesus Christ - that, and His selfless sacrifice for us on the cross, that we might have an eternal life through repentance and faith.......Amen There is a great expose on who, precisely, Santa actually is and the history/origins of Christmas by a pastor called Robert Breaker of Cloud Ministries (go look yourself to see and understand better the True origins of Santa, Christmas, what a 'yule' is in Babylonian culture, the Roman festival of Saturnalia etc and so forth), Be mindful of this Robert Breaker pastor, for as much as he preaches many Truths from the True Word of God and His King James Bible, he is 'still' a false prophet inasmuch as he preaches "once saved, always saved" and that the Old Testament ended with the death of Jesus Christ (and not that of John the Baptist) both very, very wrong indeed and easy to disprove for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, Furthermore, Robert Breaker (far as i can discern) also does not expose freemasonry and secret societies as the True power behind government today (described as 'mysticism' i.e. witchcraft in the Holy Bible).
Who Are The 2 Witnesses Of Revelation Chapter 11? Well, the popular choice is a combo of either Moses, Elijah or Enoch, But it has been impressed upon myself that it is Mary Magdelene and the Apostle John, Both of whom had a very special relationship with Jesus Christ, as can be discerned easily enough by anyone familiar with the New Testament narrative, Both were not only devout followers of Jesus Christ, but were much loved and cherished by Jesus Christ himself, which is 'obvious' to anyone who, again, is familiar with the New Testament, Both were first to 'witness' Jesus Christ risen from the grave/tomb on the 3rd day, Mary Magdelene had Jesus Christ 'reveal' himself to her just outside the tomb, Whereby she ran to inform the rest of the desciples, After which Simon/Peter and the Apostle John came running down to the empty tomb to see (witness) for themselves, Only Simon/Peter went inside the tomb to investigate, While the Apostle John just peered inside the doorway, saw the discarded linen that would have been wrapped around Jesus Christ in his state of death/mortification, And with a smile on his face remembered what Jesus Christ had said about dying and being risen again on the 3rd day (and 'believed'), And so, the Apostle John was the 2nd Witness after Mary Magdelene to grasp this Truth.
"And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power"
Mark 9 (kJV)
Please notice that Jesus Christ himself (who is talking here) confirms that there be 'some' who are present with him at that place and at that time when He was talking, Would not die until the Day of the Lord has come (at the end of this age/world). There are many more interesting verse re Mary Magdelene and the Apostle John alluding to them being more 'special' ie unique/set apart from the others, Go look for yourself to confirm (or not, its important),
The Book of Hosea Chapter 13, verses 7 & 8 and possible Scripture insight?
The whole Book of Hosea is, to my mind at least, about the 'falling away' (apostacy) of the Irealites, and the tribe of Ephraim especially, For it was Ephraim who introduced idol worship in Israel to Baal, a false pagan god, Which angered the LORD to the extent whereby He was prepared to wipe them (Ephraim) out of existence entirely, but repented due to His promise to Abraham and his seed.
7) Therefore I will be unto them as a 'lion': as a 'leopard' by the way will I observe them: 8) I will meet them as a 'bear' that is bereaved of her whelps, and I will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a 'lion': the wild 'beast' shall tear them.
Now, what was 'revealed' to myself in this verse, was the connection between the lion, bear, leopard and beast, Which just so happen to be the very same 'beasts' mentioned in the Book of Daniel' Prophetic Chapter 7, and in the last terrifying beast of verse 7 is a combination of all three beasts before it, but this 'beast' is more accurately described in the Book of Revelation 13:1 (go look), My own understanding here of the 'connection' between all these seperate verses is that it reveals to the avid seeker of Truth (for the Holy Bible 'is' a Book of Truth, first and foremost) that the Word of God and His Holy Bible narrative 'is' a very elaborate 'test' of sorts, or race even if you prefer, the winners of which 'are' very few, but then the reward of eternal life is, quite frankly, mind blowing to us mere mortals who find ourselves currently abiding in this 'perceived' reality of ours, There is much verse to substantiate this claim if one so desired to study further (2 Timothy 4:7 and Revelation 2:10 and 3:10) and there are even 'crowns' to be won (and lost), go look for yourself, In the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2 & 3 provide the reader with very revealing insight into the current state of the Church i.e. Body of Christ (which i believe is still relavent today) and it is the 'revelation' of Jesus Christ Himself to the Apostle John which is being described here, and it can be seen that at the very end of each paragraph describing the 7 Churches, Jesus Christ makes this very telling comment, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that 'overcometh' will I give etc and so forth" and Jesus Christ goes on to explain 7 different kinds of reward for those who 'overcome' the 'trials & tribulations' set before them (go read for yourself), Furthermore, in Matthew 24:13, when the Desciples ask Jesus Christ what will the 'signs' for the coming of the end of the age, He responded (in part) by saying, "He that overcomes and endures to the end, he it 'is' that shall be saved" (Matthew 24:23) One 'only' needs to be honest and sincere in their approach and the Spirit of Truth will do the rest for you, as per Jesus Christ' promise in John 16:13 and John 8:32, For what 'is' more important than Truth, of which leads to an eternal life with our Saviour, Lord and King Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem?
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"
Isaiah Chapter 34
1) Come near ye nations, to hear, and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. 2) For the indignation of the LORD 'is' upon all nations, and 'his' fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. 3) Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. 4) And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host (stars) shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. 5) For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgement. 6) The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, 'and' with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. 7) And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. 8) For 'it is' the day of the LORD'S vengeance, 'and' the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. 9) And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 10) It shall not be quenched night or day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever. 11) But the cormorant and bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. 12) They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none 'shall be' there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 13) And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. 14) The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall call to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place to rest. 15) There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall be vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. 16) Seek ye out the Book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. 17) And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.
OK, so this chapter from Isaiah starts with the first 5 verses describing events which will take place at the very end of our age/world, for it is a typically biblical account of the Day of the Lord, Idumaean is another name for Edomite, a person of Edom, capital of which was Bozrah, Edom was named after Esau, who was born red and hairy all over and referred to as "a wild man of the field" i.e. good with a bow, and whom GOD hated, for Esau despised his birthright for a bowl of pottage, Edom famously cursed themselves before GOD for their unkind treatment of Israel, when they were besieged, conquered and taken into captivity, In Genesis 27, we see that the blessing, which should have gone to Esau, go to Jacob instead, of whom is prophecied to reap the blessings of the world and have dominion over his brothers, while Esau is prophecied to 'serve' his brother Jacob, but will eventually break the yoke from his neck, The unicorns are in ref to Scotland's national animal, which is 'mythical' and is chosen we are told because it is 'proud and untame-able', much like the Scott's themselves, who are known historically for being wild, red haired warriors good with a bow (contrary to Hollywood movies and mainstream history), The Welsh also are very likely directly related to the Scott's, for they too have red hair, were wild and also very good with a bow (the dragon, who is also Satan the devil of the Bible, is their national emblem), I can confirm that both the Scott's and Welsh hate the English with a passion (the English are the lost tribe of Ephraim, while Manasseh are the USA - please read free online, Who are the USA & UK in Bible Prophecy by HW Armstrong), The Scott's are very close to 'breaking the yoke' of the English with a vote for independence, which i believe will happen soon, The mention of brimstone and pitch is a ref to the world 'burning up' as per 'end times' Bible Prophecy, The mention of 'empty stones' as opposed to lively stones, i believe is in ref to places without people ie souls to habitat, for i further believe that as, "None will pass thru the land forever and ever and lying waste," does, indeed, confirm this stance, Furthermore, the mention of 'unclean' birds such as owls, bitterns, cormorants, ravens etc, which i also further believe are in ref to demons, as are dragons, for they are in 'dry places' i.e. deserts, as mentioned by Jesus Christ in Matthew 12:43, Confirmation birds are indeed demons is also found in the Parable of the Sower and Mustard Seed, Scottish Rite Freemasonry have been the True power behind world governments for quite some time now, especially that of Western Hemisphere governments, They control 'everything' of note today.......
I humbly and sincerely thank You LORD for Your loving kindness towards us and for Your blessed Spirit of Truth, Which makes us free indeed, as per your promise in John 8:31-32 and John 16:13.......Amen.
"To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, power and dominion, for now and ever, Amen"
This was Sheldrake's second book and is the best one to read for an introduction to his ideas.
His first book, 'A New Science of Life' was aimed at the scientific community and the general reader can find it a struggle in places. This book is non-technical (though it does require concentration). He develops his argument clearly - short sub-sections, lots of sub-headings - and begins with an overview of the current scientific paradigm and its historical antecedents, which in itself makes the book worth reading because it lays out facts about science that are not usually made clear. He's not attacking science - he is a scientist, after all - just making a few points about its limitations and what it is actually based on.
The importance of this book is made clear when you read some of the emotional, not to say vitriolic, negative reviews it and Sheldrake's theories generally have received over the years. One of the one-star reviews on Goodreads provides a delightful example of the irrational hatred his books have aroused: "I hastily flung the book away from my body in a fit of disgust." And that's not even the most over-the-top reaction I've come across.
But is it true? you ask. No one knows. But then no one knows if the materialistic model on which science is based is true either. And that's one of the things this book is useful for making clear: science is based on metaphysics. A lot of what we are led to believe is scientific is in fact unwarranted assumption and philosophy. Science is vulnerable to critique, which is why those who critique it, like Sheldrake, can get hit by such a frenzied backlash from those who put their faith in science.
Again, this is not to attack science, just making the point that science is not the study of reality but the study of material processes, with the gap between material processes and reality being bridged only by speculation. As speculation goes, Sheldrake's is intelligent and well reasoned. It may even be true.
This book has an amazing premise and it works really well at establishing the claims Sheldrake makes. The only downside at all to the theory of Morphic Resonance, as presented here, is that there are times when Sheldrake puts forth the view in a manner that makes it unfalsifiable, since it's true no matter what happens. That said, Darwinism has the same problem, and Sheldrake does point out at the end of the book that ultimately the issues are metaphysical in nature.
The theory of Formative Causation is developed nicely and, if true, would explain a lot that just seems a bit "off" about current scientific theory. I think that I tend to accept Sheldrake's views on morphic resonance, as they not only seem plausible but likely to be true.
This book does have an occasional "dry" spot, where the writing is not as gripping as other sections. But I don't think it's enough to ding it too severely. I think I would rather put this as a 4.5 rating, but since it's well above a 4 star, I'll settle on it listed as 5 star instead.
This is a tough book to rate and review since it is a bit dense and slow at times. The simple summary is that Sheldrake is looking to present a case for his morphic resonance theory through the use of other works of science that supports aspects of his theory. At times it feels like a disconnected proof, while other times I question his rationale (only in areas that apply to my own knowledge and field of study).
Sheldrake does challenge you to think through inconsistencies is conventional thinking and presents alternative concepts which have no basis of proof (yet). Not that I am convinced he is right (quite the opposite), but the behavior of the universe as an evolving entity is not understood and his theory is just as legitimate as any others.
This isn't a casual read so I'd only recommend the book to anyone who has a burning curiosity for ideas on macro scientific concepts.
This more a book of questions than of answers. Melding science and metaphysics, the author is attempting to prove something that is difficult to evidence. This was an interesting and intriguing book, rather than a compelling argument; in other words, I did not come away with any conclusive sense of precisely what a morphic resonance is or how it functions as a collective nature. Sheldrake offers a hypothesis that such a force could be implicated to explain collective behavior in nature rather than explain how it would or does function. Honestly, I expected more argumentative substance from a monograph of this length, but the concept itself is fascinating.
I read this book in the late 1980's and was fascinated with the elegance of the created world; both microscopically and macrocosmically. Expanded my view of the universe and developmental processes at work in a beautifully elegant way.
Loved this book. It contains a great overview of the history of scientific knowledge and ideas along with Rupert's hypothesis that there are morphic fields that hold evolutionary information from the past which inform the behaviors of life forms.
Why are some people special to us? Because they know us and supply necessary support to move us.. What about? If you find a book to understand most of the hidden Why? A lovely book about Morphic Resonance and how it's helping the living things! A special book for someone to gift and definitely help him to be a better person after reading it. How we master certain skills and how the morphic fields help us and the memory is not in the brains and it is actually situated outside of us.. A new dimension to look into.... Wow!
There's something in it, I don't think the theory of Sheldrake's theory of formative causation is fully together but definitely worth exploring further, it certainly fills in a lot of holes and contradictions in science and especially evolution. I recommend it, I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 because it's a long book and can be a bit of a tome in places, but still fascinating and the author is a great and original mind.
This book requires a good heart and good head. Julian Jayne's has established the idolatry process in the human being. Sheldrake references Alfred North Whitehead and then proceeds to dismantle other idols in science. A Good Read.
People give strange names to concepts to distinguish their own theories from other people's similar concepts. You can understand why they do it, and in Mr Sheldrake's case he has created a recognizable identity for his ideas. But it is not helpful that the result is a plethora of similar theories whose authors are at pains to make them different, when the reader is more interested in looking for similarities. 'Morphic resonance' is a 'field' theory among many others, i.e. it postulates a field whose nature in physical, scientific terms is undefined, but which permeates all existence. At least Sheldrake doesn't equate it to consciousness, which is a small mercy. Anyway, enough complaining: his theory is convincing, and clearly expounded. Given the lack of scientific credibility for 'field' theories, much of the supporting evidence is inevitably anecdotal. But if you want an easy way in to field theory (and on to quantum mechanics), this is a good start.
Very interesting book. Sheldrake writes in a clear, concise way which helps to prepare the reader's mind to challenge the current, fundamental scientific thought, which is no easy task. Several times throughout the book I was astonished to consider the "givens" of what I was taught and/or how I viewed the current paradigm(s). I'm not entirely convinced in the existence of morphic fields, but mostly because I think I've been indoctrinated by the mechanistic model for so long. Yet, as Sheldrake constantly points out, much of the new thought about our evolutionary universe is upending centuries of the "changeless" view that there are immutable laws that are always and forever. Evolution seems to be the name of the game, and morphic fields seem to fit in nicely with that. Another thing is that Sheldrake bridges science and philosophy in a very nice way that provokes new thoughts.
That past, present and future somehow co-exist it's an understanding I felt as true almost a year ago, so I agree with the hypothesis presented in this book, however, the author keeps repeating the same concept for 486 pages... it's really not necessary, also considering his logic passages are not necessarily that logic...and it's not that with this book he really proves anything from a rational-scientific point of view.
Very interesting book on the idea of morphogenic fields and the evolution of organisms and societies. Could a shift in what is or is possible come about through creation of new "fields" within the minds of a critical mass of people?
A beautifully written book. A wonderful theory that is so convincing . I am very convinced by what Rupert Sheldrake has written about. I have no doubt his theory is correct. It is accessible and a thorough account.