Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, October 13, 2016, 12:28 (404 days ago) @ BBella

BBELLA: I say tentative, because I cannot yet visualize in my mind where the line is drawn between that which does the accessing, inventing, tuning into, remembering or just plain being, from the information used. How can any-thing "be" without some kind of process we might conflate with consciousness? Some-thing or some ability lies within or without a thing making it by information/memory, what it IS.

dhw: I don't have any difficulty conceiving of wind, water, waves, cliffs unconsciously “being” or even "becoming". When the wind drives the water into giant waves that eventually bring the cliffs tumbling down, there is no accessing, inventing, tuning into or remembering, even though every atom and every movement is full of information. We can't be sure they're non-conscious, but if pressed, I would actually draw the line of consciousness between the animate and the inanimate. I'd say information is not conscious, but is used by consciousness - separate but interdependent, because consciousness needs something to be conscious of.

BBELLA: I think I have pinpointed my discomfort in why I cannot be in complete agreement with your two statements above; it comes down to where the placement of consciousness fits within a relationship to the morphic field. If you will allow, I would like to rewrite your recent statement making it more in agreement with how I see it:
I don't have any difficulty conceiving of wind, water, waves, cliffs as “being” or even "becoming". When the wind drives the water into giant waves that eventually bring the cliffs tumbling down, there is a force accessing, inventing, tuning into or remembering every atom and every movement and placement, causing these forms to be what they ARE by accessing memory of what it was. We know there is a force organizing all animate and the inanimate matter (including consciousness itself) into being what it IS by the memory of what it was. I'd say, this force is not conscious in how humans think of consciousness, but nevertheless, this force IS an organizing process, bringing into being all that IS in every moment.

For me the trouble with terms like accessing, inventing, tuning into, remembering etc. is that they do involve some sort of consciousness. In my discussions with David, I too have tried to emphasize that consciousness does not have to mean human self-awareness, but nevertheless for me it must denote some kind of awareness. The process of wind hitting waves hitting cliffs, and cliffs falling seems to me like a simple example of cause and effect, but if you call it accessing memory, and organizing you make it sound deliberate. Everything that happens has a cause, but that doesn’t mean the cause is deliberate. I doubt if even most religious believers would imagine that every single movement of matter is subject to some organizing force. Entropy is a disorganizing force. You asked in the first quote “how can any-thing be without some kind of process we might conflate with consciousness”, and although I will not dismiss panpsychism, as I said, I have no difficulty imagining the wind-wave-cliff process as being without any kind of awareness at all.

However, you said “it comes down to where the placement of consciousness fits within a relationship to the morphic field”, and once again I prefer to distinguish between different morphic fields. I don’t know how this fits in with Sheldrake, but my understanding of the concept is that within the comprehensive field which encompasses absolutely everything (the universe) are the individual fields of all things that are. Then you can believe what you like about whether wind, waves and rocks have any sort of mental aspect. Each morphic field is full of information. As super-consciousnesses, we humans may have access to their information, but I personally doubt whether they have access to ours. I don’t think it makes a blind bit of difference to the wind and waves if we are here or not. And so there are different forces that bring into being all that IS in every moment. They are all interconnected, and they can’t exist without one another, but some seem to be non-conscious collections of information, and some seem to be conscious collections of information that consciously (though not necessarily with human self-awareness) access other collections of information. As I said earlier, I don’t know where consciousness begins and ends, but if pushed, I’m inclined to opt for the line between animate and inanimate.


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum