Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action (Evolution)

by BBella @, Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 16:50 (377 days ago)

Speaking of evolution and immunity: - 
The footage depicts a strain of the gut bacterium E. coli evolving to be 1,000 times more resistant to an antibiotic in a matter of 11 days, starkly visualizing the speed with which diseases can adapt to the drugs we throw their way. - https://www.wired.com/2016/09/gorgeous-unsettling-video-evolution-action/?mbid=nl_91216...

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 02:15 (376 days ago) @ BBella

BBella: Speaking of evolution and immunity:


The footage depicts a strain of the gut bacterium E. coli evolving to be 1,000 times more resistant to an antibiotic in a matter of 11 days, starkly visualizing the speed with which diseases can adapt to the drugs we throw their way.


https://www.wired.com/2016/09/gorgeous-unsettling-video-evolution-action/?mbid=nl_91216...

Another larger version of the same story. I've been following it for a couple days because it is an extremely important point about antibiotic resistance.

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/stunning-videos-of-evolution-in-acti...

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by dhw, Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12:43 (376 days ago) @ David Turell

BBella: Speaking of evolution and immunity:
The footage depicts a strain of the gut bacterium E. coli evolving to be 1,000 times more resistant to an antibiotic in a matter of 11 days, starkly visualizing the speed with which diseases can adapt to the drugs we throw their way
.

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/gorgeous-unsettling-video-evolution-action/?mbid=nl_91216...

DAVID: Another larger version of the same story. I've been following it for a couple days because it is an extremely important point about antibiotic resistance.

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/stunning-videos-of-evolution-in-acti...

Stunning indeed! You could hardly have a more vivid example of organisms responding to changes in the environment by changing their own structure. Some die, but others work out a solution and move on. Preprogrammed by God? God popping into the lab to do a dabble? (A bit mean of him to help them against us, but perhaps he likes to set us such problems.) Or could it be that these organisms work it out for themselves? In fairness, however, we must emphasize that this is an example of adaptation and not innovation. The bacteria have not evolved into something else. But if they have the intelligence to change their own structure in order to adapt to a changed environment, maybe some of them had the intelligence to exploit new opportunities offered by the major environmental changes that characterized the Earth's earlier history. Innovation would then be an inventive way of using the same self-organizing intelligence that is used in adaptation.

Many thanks, BBella.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 16:26 (376 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The bacteria have not evolved into something else. But if they have the intelligence to change their own structure in order to adapt to a changed environment, maybe some of them had the intelligence to exploit new opportunities offered by the major environmental changes that characterized the Earth's earlier history. Innovation would then be an inventive way of using the same self-organizing intelligence that is used in adaptation.

Many thanks, BBella.

Research has shown that bacteria are attacked by antibiotics at specific sites, but they have alternative pathways. Resistance develops in those who can adapt an alternative quickly enough. The other way is by horizontal transfer which could not be present in this demonstration, because that is commonly between different species.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by dhw, Thursday, September 15, 2016, 12:55 (375 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The bacteria have not evolved into something else. But if they have the intelligence to change their own structure in order to adapt to a changed environment, maybe some of them had the intelligence to exploit new opportunities offered by the major environmental changes that characterized the Earth's earlier history. Innovation would then be an inventive way of using the same self-organizing intelligence that is used in adaptation.
Many thanks, BBella.

DAVID: Research has shown that bacteria are attacked by antibiotics at specific sites, but they have alternative pathways. Resistance develops in those who can adapt an alternative quickly enough.

“Resistance develops” leaves wide open the question of how it happens. The bacteria were set a problem and they solved it.(An empiricist might call this an experiment.) What's more they solved it quickly. You are using the same linguistic escape route as atheist evolutionists, who tell us that various organs “evolved”, as if that explained everything. You don't believe organisms can work such problems out for themselves, but you haven't said your God preprogrammed the very first cells to pass on the resistance of these particular bacteria to these particular antibiotics in these particular circumstances, or that he personally stepped into the lab to teach the bacteria how to resist the antibiotics. Could it possibly be that when put in these terms, your theory seems a bit far-fetched even to you?

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 15, 2016, 19:06 (375 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Research has shown that bacteria are attacked by antibiotics at specific sites, but they have alternative pathways. Resistance develops in those who can adapt an alternative quickly enough.

dhw: “Resistance develops” leaves wide open the question of how it happens. The bacteria were set a problem and they solved it.

I'm not being clear. Research has shown that bacteria have more than one metabolic pathway at their command to stay alive when attacked by antibiotics. Why do these exist? Over time they are attacked by these antibiotics which all exist initially in nature and so they have these alternatives. Those that stay alive simply switch over and use them. It takes some effort and time so the colonies pause on the giant plate. Where humans have modified the antibiotics the same results apply.

Did God help them along the way? I really don't know, but life is a miracle IMHO and since life is still here, something has worked once He gave life a start.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by dhw, Friday, September 16, 2016, 13:44 (374 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Research has shown that bacteria are attacked by antibiotics at specific sites, but they have alternative pathways. Resistance develops in those who can adapt an alternative quickly enough.

dhw: “Resistance develops” leaves wide open the question of how it happens. The bacteria were set a problem and they solved it.

DAVID: I'm not being clear. Research has shown that bacteria have more than one metabolic pathway at their command to stay alive when attacked by antibiotics. Why do these exist? Over time they are attacked by these antibiotics which all exist initially in nature and so they have these alternatives. Those that stay alive simply switch over and use them. It takes some effort and time so the colonies pause on the giant plate. Where humans have modified the antibiotics the same results apply.
Did God help them along the way? I really don't know, but life is a miracle IMHO and since life is still here, something has worked once He gave life a start.

“Those that stay alive simply switch over…It takes some time and effort”. Hardly “simply” if it takes time and effort and lots of them die, and what sort of “effort” do the survivors make? How you apply effort if you haven't a clue what you're doing because God has organized it all for you? And if your God preprogrammed all the different “metabolic pathways”, why do some bacteria die and others survive? Did the first cells fail to pass on the right instructions to the unlucky ones? Or if God dabbled, was it HIS time and effort, and he only spent it on the lucky few? I appreciate that you are trying to find a justification for your beliefs, but since there are experts in the field who maintain that bacteria are intelligent, sentient, cognitive beings, I hope you will understand why I am not convinced by your arguments. That life is a miracle is not in dispute, and that something worked is not in dispute either. The discussion on HOW it worked is the point at issue, and the intelligence of bacteria does not preclude the existence of a God who gave it to them in the first place.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Friday, September 16, 2016, 14:41 (374 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I appreciate that you are trying to find a justification for your beliefs, but since there are experts in the field who maintain that bacteria are intelligent, sentient, cognitive beings, I hope you will understand why I am not convinced by your arguments. That life is a miracle is not in dispute, and that something worked is not in dispute either. The discussion on HOW it worked is the point at issue, and the intelligence of bacteria does not preclude the existence of a God who gave it to them in the first place.

I agree with you. God gave it to them or they evolved using mechanisms God gave them. Intelligence or on-board intelligent instructions look exactly the same from the outside of a cell. Life's miracle is either chance or design, no more.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by dhw, Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:44 (373 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I appreciate that you are trying to find a justification for your beliefs, but since there are experts in the field who maintain that bacteria are intelligent, sentient, cognitive beings, I hope you will understand why I am not convinced by your arguments. That life is a miracle is not in dispute, and that something worked is not in dispute either. The discussion on HOW it worked is the point at issue, and the intelligence of bacteria does not preclude the existence of a God who gave it to them in the first place.

DAVID: I agree with you. God gave it to them or they evolved using mechanisms God gave them. Intelligence or on-board intelligent instructions look exactly the same from the outside of a cell. Life's miracle is either chance or design, no more.

I wish you did agree with me that the evolutionary process may be directed by cellular intelligence (the "it" you refer to), but your posts vary from day to day. One moment you write: “I couldn't agree more that God may have given organisms the ability to 'work it out for themselves'", and the next you absolutely exclude autonomy and insist that God either preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation and natural wonder. As you well know, this has nothing whatsoever to do with life's miracle being either chance v. design, since my hypothesis does not preclude the possibility that cellular intelligence was designed by a God.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 18, 2016, 23:47 (371 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I agree with you. God gave it to them or they evolved using mechanisms God gave them. Intelligence or on-board intelligent instructions look exactly the same from the outside of a cell. Life's miracle is either chance or design, no more.

dhw: I wish you did agree with me that the evolutionary process may be directed by cellular intelligence (the "it" you refer to), but your posts vary from day to day. One moment you write: “I couldn't agree more that God may have given organisms the ability to 'work it out for themselves'", and the next you absolutely exclude autonomy and insist that God either preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation and natural wonder. As you well know, this has nothing whatsoever to do with life's miracle being either chance v. design, since my hypothesis does not preclude the possibility that cellular intelligence was designed by a God.

I'm not wishy-washy. I've always agreed that God can give an inventive mechanism to organisms, but I've always said it had guidelines.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by dhw, Monday, September 19, 2016, 13:17 (371 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: I wish you did agree with me that the evolutionary process may be directed by cellular intelligence (the “it” you refer to), but your posts vary from day to day.
DAVID: I'm not wishy-washy. I've always agreed that God can give an inventive mechanism to organisms, but I've always said it had guidelines.

One moment you write: “I couldn't agree more that God may have given organisms the ability to 'work it out for themselves'. I would just like proof that such a mechanism exists. Until then pre-planning or dabble." The next moment, this ability has to be under God's guidance: “If organisms can work things out it will be by God's guidance thru a mechanism He has given them, that is intelligent information which makes it look like they are actually intelligent of their own accord.”

I replied: “If you are guided, you do not work things out for yourself. Divine guidance can only take the form of preplanning or dabbling. So apparently your statement means you agree that God may have given organisms the ability to be guided by preplanning or dabbling, but until that is proven, they are guided by preplanning or dabbling. When you agreed with me, I think you knew just what I meant by “work it out for themselves”!

And I still think you know. You then agreed categorically that you had excluded autonomous intelligence:
Dhw (under “denying Chomsky”): Either organisms are intelligent enough to do it themselves or your God tells them what to do. You clearly do not agree that God gave organisms the ability to work it out for themselves, and so there is no point in saying that you do. You have therefore restricted yourself to the belief that every innovation and natural wonder was preplanned or dabbled. (My bold)

DAVID: Yes.

But now you try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”. (Presumably something like: Thou shalt not do what thou canst not do.) Once more, “working things out for themselves” entails autonomous cellular intelligence. Either you agree that this is possible or you don't.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Monday, September 19, 2016, 16:00 (371 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: But now you try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”. (Presumably something like: Thou shalt not do what thou canst not do.) Once more, “working things out for themselves” entails autonomous cellular intelligence. Either you agree that this is possible or you don't.

I've never changed my stance. An onboard inventive mechanism is possible, but it will always contain guidelines or guidance. No need to go round and round.

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by BBella @, Monday, September 19, 2016, 20:20 (371 days ago) @ David Turell


dhw: But now you try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”. (Presumably something like: Thou shalt not do what thou canst not do.) Once more, “working things out for themselves” entails autonomous cellular intelligence. Either you agree that this is possible or you don't.


I've never changed my stance. An onboard inventive mechanism is possible, but it will always contain guidelines or guidance. No need to go round and round.

Might not the guidelines be Sheldrake's morphogenic field?

Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

by David Turell @, Monday, September 19, 2016, 23:21 (370 days ago) @ BBella


dhw: But now you try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”. (Presumably something like: Thou shalt not do what thou canst not do.) Once more, “working things out for themselves” entails autonomous cellular intelligence. Either you agree that this is possible or you don't.


David: I've never changed my stance. An onboard inventive mechanism is possible, but it will always contain guidelines or guidance. No need to go round and round.


BBella: Might not the guidelines be Sheldrake's morphogenic field?

Good point. His morphogenic fields regards shape, so there is still the issue of organizing the biochemistry to fit, unless it is a part of the field concept.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 23:13 (368 days ago) @ David Turell

Was under: Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action

dhw: But now you try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”. (Presumably something like: Thou shalt not do what thou canst not do.) Once more, “working things out for themselves” entails autonomous cellular intelligence. Either you agree that this is possible or you don't.


David: I've never changed my stance. An onboard inventive mechanism is possible, but it will always contain guidelines or guidance. No need to go round and round.


BBella: Might not the guidelines be Sheldrake's morphogenic field?


[David] Good point. His morphogenic fields regards shape, so there is still the issue of organizing the biochemistry to fit, unless it is a part of the field concept.

Yes, David, organizing the biochemistry to fit the need is the intelligent work within the morphic field. And the morphic field is much more involved than with just the form or shape (outline?) of the field. It is what is creating what IS at all times and holding that form. In other words, the creation (process) field itself.

dhw (under “Video”): But now you [David] try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”. (Presumably something like: Thou shalt not do what thou canst not do.) Once more, “working things out for themselves” entails autonomous cellular intelligence. Either you agree that this is possible or you don't.

BBELLA: Might not the guidelines be Sheldrake's morphogenic field?

I thought we had all agreed that Sheldrake's morphogenic field preserves forms but does not explain innovation - it comprises what already exists, and is then added to by whatever is new. (That is why I objected to the term “morphogenetic”.)

I've not made that agreement that the morphogenic field does not explain innovation - I think I may have failed to address your statement - for the lack of time and the ability to form the answer in my mind. I do understand your objection to the term morphogenetic - though finding any term that actually represents the actuality of the morphic field is difficult. The morphic "field" subsists within a symbiotic connection with all information that has ever been, past and present. When the need (or want?) arises in a form in need for variation for innovative purposes, morphic resonance instantly accesses all information that has ever been (past and present) connected within that form, and automatically allows innovative use of all information to create any "new" addition to help the form symbiotically allowing it to continue on it's merry way. If the brand new form is needed or works better for whatever purpose, the new form takes hold (in time) through habitual use leaving it's new photogenic (light) footprint (the IS image or morphic field) of new form.

For lack of time, I've quickly found this site that touches on our discussion:

http://tinyurl.com/jnxnd4p

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 22, 2016, 01:51 (368 days ago) @ BBella


BBella: I've not made that agreement that the morphogenic field does not explain innovation - I think I may have failed to address your statement - for the lack of time and the ability to form the answer in my mind. I do understand your objection to the term morphogenetic - though finding any term that actually represents the actuality of the morphic field is difficult. The morphic "field" subsists within a symbiotic connection with all information that has ever been, past and present. When the need (or want?) arises in a form in need for variation for innovative purposes, morphic resonance instantly accesses all information that has ever been (past and present) connected within that form, and automatically allows innovative use of all information to create any "new" addition to help the form symbiotically allowing it to continue on it's merry way. If the brand new form is needed or works better for whatever purpose, the new form takes hold (in time) through habitual use leaving it's new photogenic (light) footprint (the IS image or morphic field) of new form.

For lack of time, I've quickly found this site that touches on our discussion:

http://tinyurl.com/jnxnd4p

Interesting page. A tetrapod limb and a fin have very close comparative anatomy, as do all vertebrate animals. By the way has anyone ever observed a Morphogenic field?

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Thursday, September 22, 2016, 06:31 (368 days ago) @ David Turell


BBella: I've not made that agreement that the morphogenic field does not explain innovation - I think I may have failed to address your statement - for the lack of time and the ability to form the answer in my mind. I do understand your objection to the term morphogenetic - though finding any term that actually represents the actuality of the morphic field is difficult. The morphic "field" subsists within a symbiotic connection with all information that has ever been, past and present. When the need (or want?) arises in a form in need for variation for innovative purposes, morphic resonance instantly accesses all information that has ever been (past and present) connected within that form, and automatically allows innovative use of all information to create any "new" addition to help the form symbiotically allowing it to continue on it's merry way. If the brand new form is needed or works better for whatever purpose, the new form takes hold (in time) through habitual use leaving it's new photogenic (light) footprint (the IS image or morphic field) of new form.

For lack of time, I've quickly found this site that touches on our discussion:

http://tinyurl.com/jnxnd4p


Interesting page. A tetrapod limb and a fin have very close comparative anatomy, as do all vertebrate animals. By the way has anyone ever observed a Morphogenic field?

The field itself cant be observed, maybe in a similar way that memory can't be observed, but it can be verified by behavior. Sheldrake has done years of research as well as experiments himself that has verified his hypothesis.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Thursday, September 22, 2016, 13:07 (368 days ago) @ BBella

BBELLA: Might not the guidelines be Sheldrake's morphogenic field?
Dhw: I thought we had all agreed that Sheldrake's morphogenic field preserves forms but does not explain innovation - it comprises what already exists, and is then added to by whatever is new. (That is why I objected to the term “morphogenetic”.)

BBELLA: I've not made that agreement that the morphogenic field does not explain innovation - I think I may have failed to address your statement - for the lack of time and the ability to form the answer in my mind. I do understand your objection to the term morphogenetic - though finding any term that actually represents the actuality of the morphic field is difficult. The morphic "field" subsists within a symbiotic connection with all information that has ever been, past and present. When the need (or want?) arises in a form in need for variation for innovative purposes, morphic resonance instantly accesses all information that has ever been (past and present) connected within that form, and automatically allows innovative use of all information to create any "new" addition to help the form symbiotically allowing it to continue on it's merry way.

This is the point at which I have a problem. Your account leaves out the role of the organism itself. Assuming the reality of the morphic field and morphic resonance, it is the organism that has access to past information through “morphic resonance”. The information and the collective memories may allow for innovation, but they do not cause it. My proposal is that it is caused by the innovative intelligence of the organism making use of existing information (the morphic field, if you like) and new information (changes in the environment). The collection of past and present information is used and ADDED to by innovation, which itself then becomes past and present information, as you now indicate:

BBELLA: If the brand new form is needed or works better for whatever purpose, the new form takes hold (in time) through habitual use leaving it's new photogenic (light) footprint (the IS image or morphic field) of new form.

Yes, if it survives, the innovation becomes part of the morphic field to be used by subsequent generations.

BBELLA: For lack of time, I've quickly found this site that touches on our discussion:
http://tinyurl.com/jnxnd4p

QUOTE: An innovation can be realized by an ancestral field, which has acquired a new set of morphological rules, or by an altogether original morphogenetic field, which executes a new set of morphological rules.

Where does the new set of rules or the “altogether original morphogenetic field” come from? An existing field does not “realize” anything - it is there to be accessed. I suggest that the new rules or the new field are created by the organism that has used the existing field of information in an original way. For David, this original use has been preprogrammed or dabbled by God (and since God is within and without everything, presumably he IS the morphic field anyway), whereas I suggest that it is produced by the (perhaps God-given) intelligence of the cell communities that comprise the organism.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Friday, September 23, 2016, 18:54 (367 days ago) @ dhw

BBELLA: Might not the guidelines be Sheldrake's morphogenic field?
Dhw: I thought we had all agreed that Sheldrake's morphogenic field preserves forms but does not explain innovation [...]

BBELLA: I've not made that agreement that the morphogenic field does not explain innovation [...] finding any term that actually represents the actuality of the morphic field is difficult. The morphic "field" subsists within a symbiotic connection with all information that has ever been, past and present. When the need (or want?) arises in a form in need for variation for innovative purposes, morphic resonance instantly accesses all information that has ever been (past and present) connected within that form, and automatically allows innovative use of all information to create any "new" addition to help the form symbiotically allowing it to continue on it's merry way.

This is the point at which I have a problem. Your account leaves out the role of the organism itself. Assuming the reality of the morphic field and morphic resonance, it is the organism that has access to past information through “morphic resonance”.

Yes, I agree that it is the organism itself that has access to "past" information. Maybe you and I are observing differently Sheldrake's hypothesis. It may be I place more emphasis on how I experienced what is being called the morphic field and less of how he proposed it. I may be reading more into his findings than is actually there. So, for the moment, I will go with how I see the process of the morphic field, if I can explain:

Every aspect of any organism is at all times a reflection of the past even though what we view seems present. Sheldrake's morphic field is the vibratory mark/image/negative/imprint left by all that has gone before. But what we observe when we observe all that IS, is also a momentary light reflected from the field. We, as conscious beings, are observing the morphic field resonating within every moment (twinkling as it were, as a process) expressing what IS (the current momentary collective choice) in the mode of passing from this moment to the next. This is what we are observing when we view what IS.

The information and the collective memories may allow for innovation, but they do not cause it.

This is the question then, and maybe where Sheldrake and I may differ (though I am not sure unless I discussed it with him): do "they" cause it? Is the collective information of all that IS also the acting intelligent collective conscious of all that IS? For me, there is no question, and here is why:

Subtract all information and all collective memory from all that IS, and what would we have? Would there be anything for an intelligent, conscious observer to view? Even more importantly, could there then be any intelligence if there were no memory or no collected information to gather from? Would there even be consciousness if there is no memory of information to be conscious of?

My proposal is that it is caused by the innovative intelligence of the organism making use of existing information (the morphic field, if you like) and new information (changes in the environment). The collection of past and present information is used and ADDED to by innovation, which itself then becomes past and present information, as you now indicate:

I agree that the collective information is being used. But I have difficulty separating the collective information from the collector as easily as you (maybe Sheldrake as well) seem to be able to do. Is there a separation? If there is a separation, where would the line be drawn? And what would the one be like without the other?

Where does the new set of rules or the “altogether original morphogenetic field” come from? An existing field does not “realize” anything - it is there to be accessed. (...)

...unless all that IS is the existing field. If we, the living existing field, observe the workings of any organism currently existing, they are the living field "realizing", accessing the field (of memory) - whether it be consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously - however the field accesses memory. All that IS, at all times is accessing all that was. All that IS in this moment is a product or a reflective image of information gone before it. Similar to a newborn child being the current image reflecting its ancestors before it.

I suggest that the new rules or the new field are created by the organism that has used the existing field of information in an original way.

Yes, I agree. But as I see it, the "new" organisms using the field is the field manifested in the present.

For David, this original use has been preprogrammed or dabbled by God (and since God is within and without everything, presumably he IS the morphic field anyway), whereas I suggest that it is produced by the (perhaps God-given) intelligence of the cell communities that comprise the organism.

Yes, but if not for the information of the collective memories of all that IS, would there be any intelligence to access and make use of it? What is consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Friday, September 23, 2016, 19:26 (367 days ago) @ BBella

dhw: For David, this original use has been preprogrammed or dabbled by God (and since God is within and without everything, presumably he IS the morphic field anyway), whereas I suggest that it is produced by the (perhaps God-given) intelligence of the cell communities that comprise the organism.


BBella Yes, but if not for the information of the collective memories of all that IS, would there be any intelligence to access and make use of it? What is consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?

This is exactly why I think there is a universal consciousness which
I call God.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 12:26 (365 days ago) @ BBella

Thank you, BBella, for your detailed response to my post. I hope you won't mind, but I'd like to pick out and juggle with those sections of your reply that I find problematical, as they may help us to move a bit deeper into the subject.

Dhw: The information and the collective memories may allow for innovation, but they do not cause it.
BBELLA: This is the question then, and maybe where Sheldrake and I may differ (though I am not sure unless I discussed it with him): do "they" cause it? Is the collective information of all that IS also the acting intelligent collective conscious of all that IS? For me, there is no question, and here is why:
Subtract all information and all collective memory from all that IS, and what would we have? Would there be anything for an intelligent, conscious observer to view? Even more importantly, could there then be any intelligence if there were no memory or no collected information to gather from? Would there even be consciousness if there is no memory of information to be conscious of?

And your post ends with a crucial question, which I shall come back to later: “What is consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?”

If we narrow the field to life on Earth and evolution, I think my own problem will become clearer. Inanimate matter is full of information. However, I find it hard to believe that a stone has consciousness. But I know from experience that I can use the information embedded in the stone in order actively to influence the world around me. (I can break somebody's window with it.) This simple fact leads to what I think is the crucial difference between us at this juncture of the debate:

BBELLA: I have difficulty separating the collective information from the collector as easily as you (maybe Sheldrake as well) seem to be able to do. Is there a separation? If there is a separation, where would the line be drawn? And what would the one be like without the other?

This is basically the clash between holism and atomism. The ALL THAT IS comprises every element, conscious and unconscious, and all are interdependent, but that does not mean the parts can't or don't have an existence of their own. I can't throw the stone if there is no stone, and the information can't be extracted from the stone and used by me if there is no me. And so on the holistic level there is no separation, but on the atomic level there is, and each is as valid (in my view) as the other.

This brings us to innovation. Of course no organism can innovate if (a) it doesn't exist, (b) it has no environment, (c) it has no existing information to work with. But if it is conscious of the information contained in itself and in its environment (more generally, in the morphic field), it can use that information to invent. The invention will provide new information which in turn will become part of the morphic field. The latter is not static, but expands in a never ending process of development.

However, you have asked: "Is the collective information of all that IS also the acting intelligent collective conscious of all that IS?" As I see it, that would remove the individuality of all organisms (including humans) from the picture. As David says, it is the universal consciousness he calls God (if we leave out all the religious attributes). In my evolutionary hypothesis, I have allowed for David's God to endow individual organisms with their own consciousness, and his belief in human free will follows the same principle, which means that holism and atomism can still live together, though David's concession is much more limited than mine. Your proposal makes no concession at all. If the ALL THAT IS is actively conscious and individuals cannot add to existing information (because it is the conscious WHOLE that invents), all life forms are puppets. Maybe we are. But common sense and daily observation tell me we are not. I think technology, the arts, languages, our often murderous economic and social systems all suggest that at different times humans have used existing information to create new information. And I would suggest that all the natural wonders David has shown us, and all the different forms of life that have come and gone, also indicate a continuous process of individual organisms changing the morphic fields through their own consciousness, as opposed to a collective consciousness making all the decisions.

I don't know if I've fully understood the ideas you are trying to express, as we are dealing with very complex issues here, so forgive me if I've got it wrong, but do please put me right.

And so to your question: "What is consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?" I couldn't agree more. And this is one reason why David's God is so difficult for me to believe in. If God is pure conscious energy, what did pure conscious energy have to be conscious of through the eternity of its past existence?

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 12:37 (365 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: (under Evolution: a different view): Another essay from Andreas Wagner which explains the enormous protein landscape and how evolution seems to navigate it through large relationship networks.

https://aeon.co/essays/without-a-library-of-platonic-forms-evolution-couldn-t-work?utm_...

Thank you, David, for another interesting approach to the subject. I'm transferring it to this thread because although the first quote below applies to mathematical “truths”, it could be extended to tie in with BBella's suggestion that ALL the information is already there, which could mean that organisms do not invent but they discover. I think, though, that this is a difficult concept to pin down. Did Shakespeare “invent” his plays, Beethoven his symphonies, Whittle his turbojet, Marx his Marxism, the legless lizard its leglessness, or did they just happen to come across them in the infinite library of the ALL THAT IS? I am inclined to opt for the former. Here are the relevant quotes:

"Some believe with the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that mathematical truths are human inventions. But others believe with Plato that our visible world is a faint shadow of higher truths. Among them are many mathematicians and physicists, including Charles Fefferman, winner of the Fields medal, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in mathematics. He expressed his experience when breaking new mathematical ground this way:
There's something awe-inspiring. You aren't creating. You're discovering what was there all the time, and that is much more beautiful than anything that man can create."

The conclusion: "Nature's libraries are the fountains of biological innovation that Darwin was looking for. And unlike the realm of abstract forms that Plato envisioned, they are richer, more diverse, and more complex than the visible world. They harbour enough innovations for all the species Darwinian evolution has created - and could create. No planet would be large enough to explore all of them. The legless lizard and the rest of the living world, in all their glory, are just faint shadows of this Platonic realm of the possible."

“Nature's libraries” seem to me to be very akin to Sheldrake's "morphic fields", though it is still not clear how organisms gain access to the right "book", or whether there is an almighty librarian in charge of the whole shebang.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 14:57 (365 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: (under Evolution: a different view): Another essay from Andreas Wagner which explains the enormous protein landscape and how evolution seems to navigate it through large relationship networks.

https://aeon.co/essays/without-a-library-of-platonic-forms-evolution-couldn-t-work?utm_...

dhw: Thank you, David, for another interesting approach to the subject.

> “Nature's libraries” seem to me to be very akin to Sheldrake's "morphic fields", though it is still not clear how organisms gain access to the right "book", or whether there is an almighty librarian in charge of the whole shebang.

To assemble Protein molecules with precise function and their duplicates managed by protein genes in a simple order to allow for gradual change, when trillions of carbon based protein molecules are possible to assemble, does take an 'almighty librarian' to invent the scheme.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Monday, September 26, 2016, 12:27 (364 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And so to your question: "What is consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?" I couldn't agree more. And this is one reason why David's God is so difficult for me to believe in. If God is pure conscious energy, what did pure conscious energy have to be conscious of through the eternity of its past existence?

DAVID: Its self as ALL THAT IS.

According to you, conscious pure energy was the first cause, i.e. ALL THAT WAS was pure energy. So did God spend past eternity saying to himself, “I am pure energy”? He must have been bored silly. If we posit the idea of energy and matter as the eternal first cause, at least we have something for consciousness to be conscious of. But we also have the possibility that consciousness evolved from the interplay between energy and matter, as opposed to consciousness preceding matter.

DAVID: (under Evolution: a different view): Another essay from Andreas Wagner which explains the enormous protein landscape and how evolution seems to navigate it through large relationship networks.

https://aeon.co/essays/without-a-library-of-platonic-forms-evolution-couldn-t-work?utm_...

dhw: Thank you, David, for another interesting approach to the subject.

“Nature's libraries” seem to me to be very akin to Sheldrake's "morphic fields", though it is still not clear how organisms gain access to the right "book", or whether there is an almighty librarian in charge of the whole shebang.

DAVID: To assemble Protein molecules with precise function and their duplicates managed by protein genes in a simple order to allow for gradual change, when trillions of carbon based protein molecules are possible to assemble, does take an 'almighty librarian' to invent the scheme.

If consciousness evolved in individual pieces of matter (no more and no less improbable than its always having been there in the form of one pure energy librarian without any books), the library could have built itself up through the multiplication of consciousnesses.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Monday, September 26, 2016, 14:56 (364 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: According to you, conscious pure energy was the first cause, i.e. ALL THAT WAS was pure energy. So did God spend past eternity saying to himself, “I am pure energy”? He must have been bored silly.

According to your view, first there was nothing, then God appeared and finally decided to make this universe after eons of boredom ":-(" . Try this: God has always existed and has made other universes before this one, never bored.

dhw: If we posit the idea of energy and matter as the eternal first cause, at least we have something for consciousness to be conscious of. But we also have the possibility that consciousness evolved from the interplay between energy and matter, as opposed to consciousness preceding matter.

Yes, energy and matter are interchangeable, but from a background of not understanding the consciousness we experience, you want to suggest free-floating consciousness with no thought to occupy it as a reasonable proposal? When I am self-aware I use thought to experience myself. Don't you? My consciousness is a constant stream of thought. That is why it requires a brain as a receiver. Only God does not require a brain since He is not biological.


dhw: If consciousness evolved in individual pieces of matter (no more and no less improbable than its always having been there in the form of one pure energy librarian without any books), the library could have built itself up through the multiplication of consciousnesses.

Only living brains can receive consciousness. Consciousness appears with life.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 14:35 (363 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: According to you, conscious pure energy was the first cause, i.e. ALL THAT WAS was pure energy. So did God spend past eternity saying to himself, “I am pure energy”? He must have been bored silly.
DAVID: According to your view, first there was nothing, then God appeared and finally decided to make this universe after eons of boredom . Try this: God has always existed and has made other universes before this one, never bored.

Where on earth do you get the idea that my view is first there was nothing? You even go on to quote my alternative to your God:
dhw: If we posit the idea of energy and matter as the eternal first cause, at least we have something for consciousness to be conscious of. But we also have the possibility that consciousness evolved from the interplay between energy and matter, as opposed to consciousness preceding matter.

Those are the alternatives I am offering: energy and matter as the eternal first cause, either eternally conscious or with consciousness evolving. If conscious, yes indeed, I have repeatedly suggested that he would have made other universes, but if not conscious, you also have the same possibility of an infinite number of universes, thereby increasing the chances of one of them eventually producing life, and life producing consciousness. The second scenario does not need God. I find neither scenario convincing, and so I remain agnostic.

DAVID: Yes, energy and matter are interchangeable, but from a background of not understanding the consciousness we experience, you want to suggest free-floating consciousness with no thought to occupy it as a reasonable proposal? When I am self-aware I use thought to experience myself. Don't you? My consciousness is a constant stream of thought. That is why it requires a brain as a receiver. Only God does not require a brain since He is not biological.

It is you who are suggesting free-floating consciousness, in the form of pure energy, but in relation to humans once more you are ignoring your own belief, based largely on NDEs, that your own conscious identity with all your memories, thoughts, emotions etc. will survive the death of your brain. However, what memories, thoughts, emotions etc. would you have had without your material life? What life would pure energy have had without matter?

dhw: If consciousness evolved in individual pieces of matter (no more and no less improbable than its always having been there in the form of one pure energy librarian without any books), the library could have built itself up through the multiplication of consciousnesses.
DAVID: Only living brains can receive consciousness. Consciousness appears with life.

Precisely. That is the alternative to your eternal pure energy: that consciousness/consciousnesses appeared with life after an eternity of energy/matter transforming itself.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 15:45 (363 days ago) @ dhw

David: That is why it requires a brain as a receiver. Only God does not require a brain since He is not biological[/i].

dhw: It is you who are suggesting free-floating consciousness, in the form of pure energy, but in relation to humans once more you are ignoring your own belief, based largely on NDEs, that your own conscious identity with all your memories, thoughts, emotions etc. will survive the death of your brain. However, what memories, thoughts, emotions etc. would you have had without your material life? What life would pure energy have had without matter?

God is only consciousness, no matter involved. Of course my life adds to the content of my consciousness, and it can survive my death as it does in NDE's.

DAVID: Only living brains can receive consciousness. Consciousness appears with life.

dhw: Precisely. That is the alternative to your eternal pure energy: that consciousness/consciousnesses appeared with life after an eternity of energy/matter transforming itself.

Of course you are neatly skipping the origin of life, a problem which requires a solution and must be included in a total package of explanation. God does that.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 12:40 (362 days ago) @ David Turell

David: My consciousness is a constant stream of thought. That is why it requires a brain as a receiver. Only God does not require a brain since He is not biological. (dhw's bold)
dhw: It is you who are suggesting free-floating consciousness, in the form of pure energy, but in relation to humans once more you are ignoring your own belief, based largely on NDEs, that your own conscious identity with all your memories, thoughts, emotions etc. will survive the death of your brain. However, what memories, thoughts, emotions etc. would you have had without your material life? What life would pure energy have had without matter?
DAVID: God is only consciousness, no matter involved. Of course my life adds to the content of my consciousness, and it can survive my death as it does in NDE's.

So according to you it is not true that only God does not require a brain, because apparently human consciousness survives without a brain. I don't know what you mean by your life “adds to the content of your consciousness”. Is there ANYTHING in your consciousness that is not in some way connected to your life?

DAVID: Only living brains can receive consciousness. Consciousness appears with life.
dhw: Precisely. That is the alternative to your eternal pure energy: that consciousness/consciousnesses appeared with life after an eternity of energy/matter transforming itself.
DAVID: Of course you are neatly skipping the origin of life, a problem which requires a solution and must be included in a total package of explanation. God does that.

I have skipped nothing. You have skipped the point I explained earlier in my post. The alternative to your first cause conscious energy is first cause energy and matter, which just like your God could produce “an infinite number of universes, thereby increasing the chances of one of them eventually producing life, and life producing consciousness. The second scenario does not need God. I find neither scenario convincing, and so I remain agnostic.”

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 15:43 (362 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I don't know what you mean by your life “adds to the content of your consciousness”. Is there ANYTHING in your consciousness that is not in some way connected to your life?

I was not clear. Everything in my life adds to my consciousness.

DAVID: Of course you are neatly skipping the origin of life, a problem which requires a solution and must be included in a total package of explanation. God does that.

dhw: I have skipped nothing. You have skipped the point I explained earlier in my post. The alternative to your first cause conscious energy is first cause energy and matter, which just like your God could produce “an infinite number of universes, thereby increasing the chances of one of them eventually producing life, and life producing consciousness. The second scenario does not need God. I find neither scenario convincing, and so I remain agnostic.”

You are using the false multiverse premise that somehow life can appear if enough universes are trying to do it. Like monkeys typing Shakespeare.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Thursday, September 29, 2016, 12:44 (361 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course you are neatly skipping the origin of life, a problem which requires a solution and must be included in a total package of explanation. God does that.

dhw: I have skipped nothing. You have skipped the point I explained earlier in my post. The alternative to your first cause conscious energy is first cause energy and matter, which just like your God could produce “an infinite number of universes, thereby increasing the chances of one of them eventually producing life, and life producing consciousness. The second scenario does not need God. I find neither scenario convincing, and so I remain agnostic.”

DAVID: You are using the false multiverse premise that somehow life can appear if enough universes are trying to do it. Like monkeys typing Shakespeare.

Why false? You raised the possibility of other universes yourself:
David (Monday 26 September at 14.56): Try this: God has always existed and has made other universes before this one, never bored.
My premise is the same as yours, but I point out that eternity can = an infinite number of universes, whether God-made or not. And infinity allows for anything. But you have ignored the fact that I cannot accept either scenario, so there is no point in your telling me why I should not accept this one.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Friday, September 30, 2016, 02:24 (360 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My premise is the same as yours, but I point out that eternity can = an infinite number of universes, whether God-made or not. And infinity allows for anything. But you have ignored the fact that I cannot accept either scenario, so there is no point in your telling me why I should not accept this one.

You are using the assumption that an infinity of universes will allow life to appear, assuming that the concept of infinity allows anything to happen. You cannot deny that the appearance of life anywhere in infinity might require God.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Friday, September 30, 2016, 13:04 (360 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My premise is the same as yours, but I point out that eternity can = an infinite number of universes, whether God-made or not. And infinity allows for anything. But you have ignored the fact that I cannot accept either scenario, so there is no point in your telling me why I should not accept this one.

DAVID: You are using the assumption that an infinity of universes will allow life to appear, assuming that the concept of infinity allows anything to happen. You cannot deny that the appearance of life anywhere in infinity might require God.

As an agnostic, of course I recognize that the appearance of life MIGHT require God. And in an infinity of universes it MIGHT not. It's pure speculation either way.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Friday, September 30, 2016, 19:05 (360 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: As an agnostic, of course I recognize that the appearance of life MIGHT require God. And in an infinity of universes it MIGHT not. It's pure speculation either way.

The existence of an infinity of universes is pure speculation also.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Saturday, October 01, 2016, 11:57 (359 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: As an agnostic, of course I recognize that the appearance of life MIGHT require God. And in an infinity of universes it MIGHT not. It's pure speculation either way.

DAVID: The existence of an infinity of universes is pure speculation also.

Agreed. The fact that all these theories are pure speculation does not make one speculative theory more valid, more scientific, or in my view more convincing than any other. Hence my agnosticism.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 01, 2016, 15:18 (359 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The existence of an infinity of universes is pure speculation also.


dhw: Agreed. The fact that all these theories are pure speculation does not make one speculative theory more valid, more scientific, or in my view more convincing than any other. Hence my agnosticism.

Within your right.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 14:48 (365 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: And so to your question: "What is consciousness if there is nothing to be conscious of?" I couldn't agree more. And this is one reason why David's God is so difficult for me to believe in. If God is pure conscious energy, what did pure conscious energy have to be conscious of through the eternity of its past existence?

Its self as ALL THAT IS.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 20:43 (363 days ago) @ dhw

Dhw: The information and the collective memories may allow for innovation, but they do not cause it.

BBELLA: This is the question then [...] Subtract all information and all collective memory from all that IS, and what would we have? Would there be anything for an intelligent, conscious observer to view? Even more importantly, could there then be any intelligence if there were no memory or no collected information to gather from? Would there even be consciousness if there is no memory of information to be conscious of?

[...]I find it hard to believe that a stone has consciousness. But I know from experience that I can use the information embedded in the stone in order actively to influence the world around me. (I can break somebody's window with it.) This simple fact leads to what I think is the crucial difference between us at this juncture of the debate:

I have no problem with your example, but it doesn't address or seems to me to side track my point (or question) of whether innovation is not caused by the morphic field. For me, the answer lies in the understanding that if you subtract the collective memory of everything that is or ever was (the morphic field), if conscious intelligence would still be conscious? Or by substracting all memory are we deleting consciousness all together? Without memory of the past or anything to innovate with is there still something? Can one exist without the other. Is innovation "caused" by the collective memory of the morphic field? I cannot see how it cannot be.

BBELLA: I have difficulty separating the collective information from the collector as easily as you (maybe Sheldrake as well) seem to be able to do. Is there a separation? If there is a separation, where would the line be drawn? And what would the one be like without the other?

This is basically the clash between holism and atomism. The ALL THAT IS comprises every element, conscious and unconscious, and all are interdependent, but that does not mean the parts can't or don't have an existence of their own. I can't throw the stone if there is no stone, and the information can't be extracted from the stone and used by me if there is no me. And so on the holistic level there is no separation, but on the atomic level there is, and each is as valid (in my view) as the other.

I completely agree with you. But this doesnt answer the questions: Where is the separation between the parts and the whole? And can we have consciousness without something to be conscious of?

This brings us to innovation. Of course no organism can innovate if (a) it doesn't exist, (b) it has no environment, (c) it has no existing information to work with. But if it is conscious of the information contained in itself and in its environment (more generally, in the morphic field), it can use that information to invent. The invention will provide new information which in turn will become part of the morphic field. The latter is not static, but expands in a never ending process of development.

No argument here.

However, you have asked: "Is the collective information of all that IS also the acting intelligent collective conscious of all that IS?" As I see it, that would remove the individuality of all organisms (including humans) from the picture.

I disagree. Because the very term itself- inter-connectivity - expresses individual parts connected. You can't connect that which is not separate. Where the line is drawn between individuality and connectivity is what we are really trying to distinguish in our discussion.

As David says, it is the universal consciousness he calls God (if we leave out all the religious attributes). In my evolutionary hypothesis, I have allowed for David's God to endow individual organisms with their own consciousness, and his belief in human free will follows the same principle, which means that holism and atomism can still live together, though David's concession is much more limited than mine. Your proposal makes no concession at all.

I completely disagree. In fact, I am saying just the opposite. Every conscious decision is made by each individual consciousness.

If the ALL THAT IS is actively conscious and individuals cannot add to existing information (because it is the conscious WHOLE that invents), all life forms are puppets.

I have not said that new information cannot be added to existing information. New information is being added in every moment. But whether new information becomes part of the existing field is another thing.

Maybe we are. But common sense and daily observation tell me we are not. I think technology, the arts, languages, our often murderous economic and social systems all suggest that at different times humans have used existing information to create new information. And I would suggest that all the natural wonders David has shown us, and all the different forms of life that have come and gone, also indicate a continuous process of individual organisms changing the morphic fields through their own consciousness, as opposed to a collective consciousness making all the decisions.

I completely agree. I did not mean to give the impression that (one) collective consciousness makes all decisions. Each "decision" is made by each individual conscious entity.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Thursday, September 29, 2016, 12:38 (361 days ago) @ BBella

Once again, I'd like to juggle with the different parts of your post, because it seems to me that we are in agreement on most points, but others perhaps need further clarification. The two main issues are innovation, and separation between the parts and the whole.

BBELLA: Is innovation “caused” by the collective memory of the morphic field? I cannot see how it cannot be.

But you completely agree with me that each “decision” is made by each individual conscious entity. However, if “the collective information of all that IS is also the acting intelligent collective conscious of all that IS” (your words), and if it is this active collective consciousness that causes innovation, how can we say the individual causes it? I don't see how you can have both: either the collective causes innovation or the individual causes it (but uses the collective information to help it do so).

In brief, my suggestion is that the individual USES the collective information in the morphic field in order to come up with something new, which is then added to the collective information in the morphic field.

This, as you say, does not answer the question; where is the separation between the parts and the whole, but I thought I did answer that: “on the holistic level there is no separation, but on the atomic level there is, and each is as valid (in my view) as the other.” To put it in terms of your next question: no, we cannot have consciousness without something to be conscious of (holistic level), but our individual consciousness can use what it is conscious of to create its own new information (atomic level) - which in turn becomes part of the whole and which other individual consciousnesses can then access.

The only other question you raised is whether “new information becomes part of the existing field”. You agreed with me that “the morphic field is not static, but expands in a never ending process of development”. How can it expand unless it absorbs more and more information? And we have agreed that new information comes from individual consciousnesses. David will argue that it all comes from God, which would mean individual consciousnesses discover what is already there. However, you agreed with me that it was NOT “a collective consciousness making all the decisions” but that humans use “existing information to CREATE NEW information”, and that other organisms do the same.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Friday, September 30, 2016, 07:09 (360 days ago) @ dhw

I don't see how you can have both: either the collective causes innovation or the individual causes it (but uses the collective information to help it do so).

I do see exactly what you are saying (from your point of view), and what you are saying does make perfect sense, and I almost want to agree. But, we may be at an impasse, because I cannot imagine an individual being able to make a decision if there is no information to cause an individual to make it. Information is what causes/helps me to make decisions! Can all this information exist within and without me and me make no decision? Without information, there is no decision to cause me to make a decision. So,for me, that is how it is not either/or, but is both.

In brief, my suggestion is that the individual USES the collective information in the morphic field in order to come up with something new, which is then added to the collective information in the morphic field.

I agree.

This, as you say, does not answer the question; where is the separation between the parts and the whole, but I thought I did answer that: “on the holistic level there is no separation, but on the atomic level there is, and each is as valid (in my view) as the other.” To put it in terms of your next question: no, we cannot have consciousness without something to be conscious of (holistic level), but our individual consciousness can use what it is conscious of to create its own new information (atomic level) - which in turn becomes part of the whole and which other individual consciousnesses can then access.

I agree.

The only other question you raised is whether “new information becomes part of the existing field”. You agreed with me that “the morphic field is not static, but expands in a never ending process of development”. How can it expand unless it absorbs more and more information?

Yes, every new innovation that sticks (through habit) and creates new images within the morphic field will be added as new information within the collective.

And we have agreed that new information comes from individual consciousnesses.

New information comes from both the individual consciousness making decisions and by the information afforded it by the collective field. New information can only be created by memory of current information put together in new innovative ways by the individual, but only because of the memory that resides within the collective. If there were no memory there could be no cause to make decisions.

David will argue that it all comes from God, which would mean individual consciousnesses discover what is already there. However, you agreed with me that it was NOT “a collective consciousness making all the decisions” but that humans use “existing information to CREATE NEW information”, and that other organisms do the same.

I do not know (how can anyone?) whether the collective field "comes from" a God that created it, or whether it is itself, God. But I do believe the collective field has a vibratory sense that enables each individual field as well as the collective, to maintain a certain order within the all that IS, as a separated whole.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Friday, September 30, 2016, 13:31 (360 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: I don't see how you can have both: either the collective causes innovation or the individual causes it (but uses the collective information to help it do so).

BBELLA: I do see exactly what you are saying (from your point of view), and what you are saying does make perfect sense, and I almost want to agree. But, we may be at an impasse, because I cannot imagine an individual being able to make a decision if there is no information to cause an individual to make it. Information is what causes/helps me to make decisions! Can all this information exist within and without me and me make no decision? Without information, there is no decision to cause me to make a decision. So,for me, that is how it is not either/or, but is both.

I think I see where the misunderstanding has arisen, and in one sense you are right: “cause” is misleading. My fault. You are thinking of all the information that causes and enables an organism to create the innovation, and I am thinking only of the organism creating the innovation. For the morphic field to create the innovation, it would have to be conscious (see my concluding comment), but it can CAUSE innovation without being conscious. Perhaps I can illustrate this(simplistically) to see if I've got it right: fish in water, water recedes, fish sees dry land. Collective information = all about fish, water, dry land. For you this information CAUSES the fish to think about innovating. Fish says, “Hey, I'm gonna explore!” Fish fins not too helpful on dry land. Also collective information CAUSING more thoughts about innovation. Fish cell communities (full of information about themselves as well) respond to needs of fish and invent legs. That is the moment when the information is used for innovation, and that is the moment and the action I am thinking of. From my point of view, it is not collective information that creates (instead of “causes”) the innovation; it is the individual, conscious inventive ability of the fish. If we drop the word “cause”, I think we are in agreement.

Dhw: And we have agreed that new information comes from individual consciousnesses.
BBELLA: New information comes from both the individual consciousness making decisions and by the information afforded it by the collective field. New information can only be created by memory of current information put together in new innovative ways by the individual, but only because of the memory that resides within the collective. If there were no memory there could be no cause to make decisions.

Agreed, but the decisions entail the organism's new use of the information. The remembered information does not innovate.

dhw: David will argue that it all comes from God, which would mean individual consciousnesses discover what is already there. However, you agreed with me that it was NOT “a collective consciousness making all the decisions” but that humans use “existing information to CREATE NEW information”, and that other organisms do the same.

BBELLA: I do not know (how can anyone?) whether the collective field "comes from" a God that created it, or whether it is itself, God. But I do believe the collective field has a vibratory sense that enables each individual field as well as the collective, to maintain a certain order within the all that IS, as a separated whole.

From my agnostic standpoint, “God” carries too many connotations to leave it at that. I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own. It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Saturday, October 01, 2016, 23:06 (358 days ago) @ dhw

From my point of view, it is not collective information that creates (instead of “causes”) the innovation; it is the individual, conscious inventive ability of the fish. If we drop the word “cause”, I think we are in agreement.

But, I still cannot envision an individual even having the ability to choose to create without having information to choose from. We ourselves made up of information from the field and within the field. This begs the question, for me, is the consciousness that chooses a part of the field or separate from it? If it is separate, where is the line drawn between information and consciousness?

[bbella] If there were no memory there could be no cause to make decisions.[/i]

Agreed, but the decisions entail the organism's new use of the information. The remembered information does not innovate.

I'm still on the line here. If the information disappeared how could there be innovation? I am finding it more difficult than you to draw a definitive line between decision making and having information to choose from. Which innovates? They seem in cahoots to me - a symbiotic relationship. Again, is there consciousness without something to be conscious of?

I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own.

The collective field has consciousness in the same sense that it has information. It is part of what makes up the collective field. All that is resides within the collective. Maybe consciousness is the automatic collector of memory that makes up the field, because without memory, is there consciousness? They seem one and the same to me.

It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.

Sheldrake's work/study on the collective (memory) field seems to disagree with your assessment. He has concluded, so far, even that which seems unconscious, like crystals and water, - are also able to access the collective memory field - quite quickly - according to fluidity. So, maybe all that IS, is able to access the field, because all that IS is the field, and dwells within a vibratory symbiotic relationship with itself - metaphorically, like a body.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Monday, October 03, 2016, 12:28 (357 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: From my point of view, it is not collective information that creates (instead of “causes”) the innovation; it is the individual, conscious inventive ability of the fish. If we drop the word “cause”, I think we are in agreement.
BBELLA: But, I still cannot envision an individual even having the ability to choose to create without having information to choose from. We ourselves made up of information from the field and within the field. This begs the question, for me, is the consciousness that chooses a part of the field or separate from it? If it is separate, where is the line drawn between information and consciousness?

What is “the field”? If you mean the collective field, or the ALL THAT IS, there is no separation. But you completely agreed when I suggested that individual organisms changed the morphic FIELDS through their own consciousness. And so on one level of discussion you have individual morphic fields, consciousnesses and pieces of information, and on another you have the collective unit of ALL THAT IS (as you say later, “All that is resides within the collective”), which by definition includes all of them.

BELLA: If there were no memory there could be no cause to make decisions.
Dhw: Agreed, but the decisions entail the organism's new use of the information. The remembered information does not innovate.
BBELLA: I'm still on the line here. If the information disappeared how could there be innovation? I am finding it more difficult than you to draw a definitive line between decision making and having information to choose from. Which innovates? They seem in cahoots to me - a symbiotic relationship. Again, is there consciousness without something to be conscious of?

I agree that you can't have x without y. I couldn't write a poem if there was no such thing as language. But that doesn't mean language writes the poem. “I” write the poem. Innovation can't take place without all the information necessary for it. But you agreed that the individual uses the information. That is the symbiosis AND the separation, but everything is part of the collective field.

Dhw: I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own. It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.
BBELLA: Sheldrake's work/study on the collective (memory) field seems to disagree with your assessment. He has concluded, so far, even that which seems unconscious, like crystals and water, - are also able to access the collective memory field - quite quickly - according to fluidity.

This is panpsychism: that all things have some mental aspect. Maybe they do. That still gives us individuals accessing the expanding field of information, but it does not make the field of information itself conscious or inventive. We have no way of knowing the extent of consciousness, from crystals (and their individual fields and their “species'” collective field) right through to the ultimate collective field of all that IS, which some people think is God.

BBELLA: So, maybe all that IS, is able to access the field, because all that IS is the field, and dwells within a vibratory symbiotic relationship with itself - metaphorically, like a body.

I like the body image. All that IS is the body, the collective field, and the parts of the body are the individual fields, each doing its own thing (from large organs right down to single cells), but each in a symbiotic relationship with the others.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Tuesday, October 04, 2016, 15:15 (356 days ago) @ dhw

I agree that you can't have x without y. I couldn't write a poem if there was no such thing as language. But that doesn't mean language writes the poem. “I” write the poem. Innovation can't take place without all the information necessary for it. But you agreed that the individual uses the information. That is the symbiosis AND the separation, but everything is part of the collective field.

Yes, the individual makes the choice to use information, for which the individual could not do if there were none. So in my mind, one cannot exist without the other.

Dhw: I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own. It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.
BBELLA: Sheldrake's work/study on the collective (memory) field seems to disagree with your assessment. He has concluded, so far, even that which seems unconscious, like crystals and water, - are also able to access the collective memory field - quite quickly - according to fluidity.

This is panpsychism: that all things have some mental aspect. Maybe they do.

There doesn't seem to be a "maybe". They do - according to his study. Whatever one might want to call it, it happens. Though I cannot or would not say it happens because "all things have some mental aspect". Is this what that would mean? It does happen! What are the implications? It is one of the very reasons, even the main reason that I looked forward to this discussion. To maybe have a bit more clarity on the implications of this particular process and maybe even expand on it a bit.

That still gives us individuals accessing the expanding field of information, but it does not make the field of information itself conscious or inventive. We have no way of knowing the extent of consciousness, from crystals (and their individual fields and their “species'” collective field) right through to the ultimate collective field of all that IS, which some people think is God.

I tentatively agree.

BBELLA: So, maybe all that IS, is able to access the field, because all that IS is the field, and dwells within a vibratory symbiotic relationship with itself - metaphorically, like a body.

I like the body image. All that IS is the body, the collective field, and the parts of the body are the individual fields, each doing its own thing (from large organs right down to single cells), but each in a symbiotic relationship with the others.

Exactly.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Wednesday, October 05, 2016, 13:17 (355 days ago) @ BBella

We seem to be in agreement now on the idea that the collective field comprises ALL fields, all are interdependent, but individuals are able to make their own decisions which in turn may have their impact on all existing fields. So far we are also following Sheldrake. The one area that remains open seems to be this:

Dhw: I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own. It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.

BBELLA: Sheldrake's work/study on the collective (memory) field seems to disagree with your assessment. He has concluded, so far, even that which seems unconscious, like crystals and water, - are also able to access the collective memory field - quite quickly - according to fluidity.
Dhw: This is panpsychism: that all things have some mental aspect. Maybe they do.
BBELLA: There doesn't seem to be a "maybe". They do - according to his study.

The “maybe” is mine.

BBELLA: Whatever one might want to call it, it happens. Though I cannot or would not say it happens because "all things have some mental aspect".

Are you disagreeing with Sheldrake's panpsychism, or saying that what happens is NOT as a result of all things having a mental aspect?

BBELLA: Is this what that would mean? It does happen! What are the implications? It is one of the very reasons, even the main reason that I looked forward to this discussion. To maybe have a bit more clarity on the implications of this particular process and maybe even expand on it a bit.

That is what we are doing, but there is a limit to the degree of clarity we can get. Hence the maybe's. What I wrote below seems to me to be an accurate summary of how far we can take the discussion, but you often come up with new angles!

Dhw: That still gives us individuals accessing the expanding field of information, but it does not make the field of information itself conscious or inventive. We have no way of knowing the extent of consciousness, from crystals (and their individual fields and their “species'” collective field) right through to the ultimate collective field of all that IS, which some people think is God.
BBELLA: I tentatively agree.

So I guess the next question is why your agreement is only tentative.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Thursday, October 06, 2016, 23:37 (353 days ago) @ dhw

We seem to be in agreement now on the idea that the collective field comprises ALL fields, all are interdependent, but individuals are able to make their own decisions which in turn may have their impact on all existing fields. So far we are also following Sheldrake. The one area that remains open seems to be this:

Dhw: I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own. It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.

BBELLA: Sheldrake's work/study on the collective (memory) field seems to disagree with your assessment. He has concluded, so far, even that which seems unconscious, like crystals and water, - are also able to access the collective memory field - quite quickly - according to fluidity.
Dhw: This is panpsychism: that all things have some mental aspect. Maybe they do.
BBELLA: There doesn't seem to be a "maybe". They do - according to his study.

Dhw: The “maybe” is mine.

BBELLA: Whatever one might want to call it, it happens. Though I cannot or would not say it happens because "all things have some mental aspect".

Dhw: Are you disagreeing with Sheldrake's panpsychism, or saying that what happens is NOT as a result of all things having a mental aspect?

Sheldrake doesn't embrace, fully accept, believe in panpsychism, but uses it as a possible explanation or comments on it's similar function for what he has observed in inanimate objects in particular. I dont think Sheldrake has fully come to believe that all things that exists have a mental aspect. How anything accesses memory is what I too am questioning.

BBELLA: Is this what that would mean? It does happen! What are the implications? It is one of the very reasons, even the main reason that I looked forward to this discussion. To maybe have a bit more clarity on the implications of this particular process and maybe even expand on it a bit.

Dhw: That is what we are doing, but there is a limit to the degree of clarity we can get. Hence the maybe's. What I wrote below seems to me to be an accurate summary of how far we can take the discussion, but you often come up with new angles!

Dhw: That still gives us individuals accessing the expanding field of information, but it does not make the field of information itself conscious or inventive. We have no way of knowing the extent of consciousness, from crystals (and their individual fields and their “species'” collective field) right through to the ultimate collective field of all that IS, which some people think is God.
BBELLA: I tentatively agree.

Dhw: So I guess the next question is why your agreement is only tentative.

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.

We tend to place the word consciousness and self awareness in a field of it's own. Yet, how can a newly created inanimate object, like a crystal, suddenly "gather" information it has no previous connection with? What is the process which causes the crystal to gain information? Does that process come from within the crystal or outside it? That is my query and why I say tentative.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Saturday, October 08, 2016, 12:34 (352 days ago) @ BBella

BBELLA: I dont think Sheldrake has fully come to believe that all things that exists have a mental aspect. How anything accesses memory is what I too am questioning.

The activity of inanimate matter is one of the many areas in which I flounder. David always, in my view rightly, asks how the complexity of even the simplest forms of life could have arisen through the chance combination of inanimate materials. Panpsychism would provide an answer (though most forms seem to be theistic) - i.e. that inorganic materials do have a mental aspect that enables them to form meaningful combinations. But I find that hard to swallow.

Dhw: We have no way of knowing the extent of consciousness, from crystals (and their individual fields and their “species'” collective field) right through to the ultimate collective field of all that IS, which some people think is God.
BBELLA: I tentatively agree.
Dhw: So I guess the next question is why your agreement is only tentative.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.

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: We tend to place the word consciousness and self awareness in a field of it's own. Yet, how can a newly created inanimate object, like a crystal, suddenly "gather" information it has no previous connection with? What is the process which causes the crystal to gain information? Does that process come from within the crystal or outside it? That is my query and why I say tentative.

I'm not sure what kind of information you're talking about. All materials are full of information: e.g. about their composition, and how, when and where they were formed. Are you referring to certain properties that have beneficial effects on humans? Again, they do not need to be conscious. We can't even live without water, and we're composed of elements which in themselves may have no consciousness. (I mean individual chemicals, not cells.) Matter keeps moving and changing, and in different combinations solids, liquids and gases may form patterns, but as far as we know patterns are just patterns unless they come alive. I don't know of crystals that actually DO anything. But it might help if you could be more precise about the information.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 23:46 (348 days ago) @ dhw

Sorry for the late reply, I have been out of town for 4 days - but you can be sure I have been pondering our discussion.

Dhw: So I guess the next question is why your agreement is only tentative.

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.

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.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Thursday, October 13, 2016, 12:28 (347 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.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Friday, October 14, 2016, 05:26 (346 days ago) @ dhw

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.

This is how I see it: if a wave is a wave, it is only a wave because of the invisible wave morphic field. If that which makes up the wave, which would be water, is placed in a bucket and poured into dry dirt, the water disappears into the dirt and becomes something else. Everything that is matter and energy goes thru that same process of change - even though the morphic fields stay the same - though can change over time. Something, which I will call force, keeps the memory of the fields in their place and continually arranges matter and energy to recreate what IS by those fields.

And so there are different forces that bring into being all that IS in every moment.

Or, just as possible, one force that brings into being all that IS in every moment.

They are all interconnected, and they can’t exist without one another,

Morphic fields are all interconnected by morphic resonance, like drawing like, as well as the separate parts all contained in the whole (holographic idea). I'm not sure one morphic field cannot exist without another - since it seems to me that a morphic field could possibly, eventually disappear; like an animal going extinct for example - though I'm not sure if they completely disappear or remain in the field memory forever.

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.

I don't know where consciousness begins and ends either, but I do believe it's possible that consciousness too has its own morphic field.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Saturday, October 15, 2016, 13:20 (345 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: For me the trouble with terms like accessing, inventing, tuning into, remembering etc. is that they do involve some sort of consciousness.
BBELLA: This is how I see it: if a wave is a wave, it is only a wave because of the invisible wave morphic field. If that which makes up the wave, which would be water, is placed in a bucket and poured into dry dirt, the water disappears into the dirt and becomes something else. Everything that is matter and energy goes thru that same process of change - even though the morphic fields stay the same - though can change over time. Something, which I will call force, keeps the memory of the fields in their place and continually arranges matter and energy to recreate what IS by those fields.

I touched on that yesterday, when I wrote: “inanimate matter is a collection of information (unless you believe in total panpsychism) which is, so to speak, at the mercy of its own properties and those of other collections, whether animate or inanimate.” In your example water, inanimate matter, is at the mercy of animate matter (the owner of the bucket), which DELIBERATELY causes a change (e.g. making cement). In my example of inanimate wind, waves and cliffs, all the components are at the blind mercy of one another. The changes take place without any intention, accessing, inventing, tuning into, remembering….

However, I’m not sure what you actually mean by morphic fields in this post. As I understand the concept, each individual thing or being has its own, but there are also generic morphic fields (e.g. for species, for elements), and there is the one ALL THAT IS morphic field that encompasses them all. So when you say matter and energy keep changing but the morphic fields stay the same, I’m not sure which fields you are referring to. Inanimate water in a bucket of dirt will become something different, which will then have its own morphic field. So in inanimate matter we have an unchanged generic morphic field (it's still water) within a new individual morphic field. But the generic information which made a pre-human must have changed when the pre-human underwent the innovations which turned it into a human.If you believe in common descent - which I think you do - every single species (broad sense) must have gone through the same process. So the generic field has changed. Where, then, does one individual/generic morphic field begin/end in its connection with other individual/generic morphic fields? I find all this rather confusing - but the concept intrigues me. I'm just trying to get to grips with it.

Dhw: And so there are different forces that bring into being all that IS in every moment.
BBELLA: Or, just as possible, one force that brings into being all that IS in every moment.

It depends what level we are talking on: We can argue that all matter is subject to natural laws, to cause and effect, to God’s will. We see individual forces constantly interacting, but there is no limit to the causal links between them and the interactions that preceded them, all the way back to the beginning of the universe, if it had one. So you can say that whatever drives the universe brings into being all that IS in every moment. Or you can say that each individual force interacts with other individual forces to bring everything into being. Top down, or bottom up?

Dhw: They are all interconnected, and they can’t exist without one another…

BBELLA: Morphic fields are all interconnected by morphic resonance, like drawing like…[dhw: like drawing like would be my generic fields]…as well as the separate parts all contained in the whole (holographic idea). I'm not sure one morphic field cannot exist without another - since it seems to me that a morphic field could possibly, eventually disappear; like an animal going extinct for example - though I'm not sure if they completely disappear or remain in the field memory forever.

I agree. I was over-generalizing. Fields are constantly interacting, but it must be perfectly possible for them never to meet. We just can’t know the extent of interconnectedness.

Dhw:…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.
BBELLA: I don't know where consciousness begins and ends either, but I do believe it's possible that consciousness too has its own morphic field.

If consciousness has a morphic field which is independent of all matter (including organisms),it could only be the sort of immaterial power people call God.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 15, 2016, 15:07 (345 days ago) @ dhw

BBELLA: I don't know where consciousness begins and ends either, but I do believe it's possible that consciousness too has its own morphic field.

dhw: If consciousness has a morphic field which is independent of all matter (including organisms),it could only be the sort of immaterial power people call God.

Now you are in my field of thought.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Monday, October 17, 2016, 23:02 (342 days ago) @ dhw

I am confused with your comments before this one, so will start with this one:

Dhw: When you say matter and energy keep changing but the morphic fields stay the same, I’m not sure which fields you are referring to.

All the morphic fields stay the same in the sense they are the memory of what's gone before - so they provide guidelines for matter and energy to continue to be what they ARE creating. Even matter and energy may have their own morphic fields. I am assuming everything has a morphic field. Morphic field being the memory of all that IS.

Inanimate water in a bucket of dirt will become something different, which will then have its own morphic field. So in inanimate matter we have an unchanged generic morphic field (it's still water) within a new individual morphic field. But the generic information which made a pre-human

I'm, again, confused. What is generic information?

Dhw:...But the generic information which made a pre-human must have changed when the pre-human underwent the innovations which turned it into a human.If you believe in common descent - which I think you do - every single species (broad sense) must have gone through the same process. So the generic field has changed. Where, then, does one individual/generic morphic field begin/end in its connection with other individual/generic morphic fields? I find all this rather confusing - but the concept intrigues me. I'm just trying to get to grips with it.

So sorry to be completely lost here with your above comment and other comments I left out.

Dhw: And so there are different forces that bring into being all that IS in every moment.
BBELLA: Or, just as possible, one force that brings into being all that IS in every moment.

It depends what level we are talking on: We can argue that all matter is subject to natural laws, to cause and effect, to God’s will. We see individual forces constantly interacting, but there is no limit to the causal links between them and the interactions that preceded them, all the way back to the beginning of the universe, if it had one. So you can say that whatever drives the universe brings into being all that IS in every moment. Or you can say that each individual force interacts with other individual forces to bring everything into being. Top down, or bottom up?

Again, I am lost. Can you give an example of the level you are talking about that has different forces? I am only thinking of one force that holds all things together, processing all matter and energy to create what IS, including the memory of the morphic field/s.

BBELLA: I don't know where consciousness begins and ends either, but I do believe it's possible that consciousness too has its own morphic field.

Dhw: If consciousness has a morphic field which is independent of all matter (including organisms),...

I dont know if consciousness is independent of all matter, in the same way I dont know how far each independent interconnections reach between the morphic fields. Through morphic resonance, it seems there is a vibratory relationship between fields, so consciousness itself may resonate with other fields in the same way.

Dhw:...it could only be the sort of immaterial power people call God.

I cannot (at this time) agree with that statement. If consciousness has it's own morphic field and is itself a part of, connected to, resonates with the other many morphic fields, does not mean to me that it is God. It is one part of a whole.

I am feeling my way through this (as I know you are as well) - so hope you will be patient with me. I did recently purchase one of Sheldrake's books (for the first time), so I will see if he can shed light on any of my/our muddling through this (as I have a chance to read). But as I have said many times before, when I was ill, I went through some mind expanding dreams and insights that are very difficult for me to put in words. But Sheldrake, Talbot (Holographic Universe) (Bohm and Krishnamurti as well to some extent) seemed to express as near as I've read to what I experienced "seeing". I've not tried to express it except initially in a few poems and then here in the forum, now and then. So I am wading through, fleshing out what I experienced, along with similarities to Sheldrake (at this point) which seems to be the closest to my experience. As I said before, I dont know if Sheldrake and I agree on everything (no one does), but his work can be a jumping off point for our discussion.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Thursday, October 20, 2016, 07:52 (340 days ago) @ BBella

BBELLA: I am confused with your comments before this one, so will start with this one:
Dhw: When you say matter and energy keep changing but the morphic fields stay the same, I’m not sure which fields you are referring to.
BBELLA: All the morphic fields stay the same in the sense they are the memory of what's gone before - so they provide guidelines for matter and energy to continue to be what they ARE creating. Even matter and energy may have their own morphic fields. I am assuming everything has a morphic field. Morphic field being the memory of all that IS.

But memory is an ongoing accumulation. I have a morphic field, but I am not what I was fifty years ago, and so my morphic field must keep changing. But if you mean that my morphic field is confined to the information that makes me a human being, then we must differentiate between types of morphic field.

BBELLA: What is generic information?

I’m using the term to mean the basically unchanging information that makes me a human being and not an orang-utan, as opposed to the ever changing information that makes me dhw and not BBella.

BBELLA: So sorry to be completely lost here with your above comment and other comments I left out.

I’ll try again. The above distinguishes between individual (ever changing) and generic (unchanging), which I hope is now clear. But even the generic fields change, because humans were not always humans. The generic morphic field that kept pre-humans pre-human eventually changed into the generic morphic field that keeps humans humans.

Dhw: And so there are different forces that bring into being all that IS in every moment.
BBELLA: Or, just as possible, one force that brings into being all that IS in every moment.
Dhw: It depends what level we are talking on: […] you can say that whatever drives the universe brings into being all that IS in every moment. Or you can say that each individual force interacts with other individual forces to bring everything into being. Top down, or bottom up?
BBELLA: Again, I am lost. Can you give an example of the level you are talking about that has different forces? I am only thinking of one force that holds all things together, processing all matter and energy to create what IS, including the memory of the morphic field/s.

I would regard evolution as an example. If life began with single cells, and if each of those cells had the intelligence to cooperate with other cells, you ultimately have billions of individual intelligences (each with its own morphic field and memories) combining to produce every single organism (each with its own morphic field and memories) that ever existed. There would then be no single force creating all that IS in the organic world, but only billions of individual forces (intelligences) building more and more individual forces in an endless process of creation.

BBELLA: I don't know where consciousness begins and ends either, but I do believe it's possible that consciousness too has its own morphic field.
Dhw: If consciousness has a morphic field which is independent of all matter (including organisms),...
BBELLA: I dont know if consciousness is independent of all matter…

Nor do I, but consciousness on its own (= having its own morphic field, as you suggest), separated from a material being, would have to be part of what we might call the spirit world. If it’s not separated from a material being, then it’s not on its own!

Dhw:...it could only be the sort of immaterial power people call God.
BBELLA: I cannot (at this time) agree with that statement. If consciousness has it's own morphic field and is itself a part of, connected to, resonates with the other many morphic fields, does not mean to me that it is God. It is one part of a whole.

Yes, all morphic fields are part of the one great morphic field which is the universe, and morphic fields can connect up with each other, but I can’t see disembodied “consciousness” as a morphic field that exists independently of individual beings. Even David’s world of the afterlife, in which we retain our identity, would consist of individual consciousnesses, not consciousness as a whole with a morphic field of its own. Only a universal consciousness (= some sort of God) of which all consciousnesses are a part would have a morphic field of its own.

BBELLA: I am feeling my way through this (as I know you are as well) - so hope you will be patient with me.

We are in the same boat! But we agree that there must be connections between different fields, though we don’t know the degree. I shan’t repeat the rest of your post, but your experiences are a very important factor in all these discussions, and I am the one who has to ask for your patience!

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Thursday, October 27, 2016, 05:17 (333 days ago) @ dhw

So very sorry for my late response, we've had guests for the week.

BBELLA: What is generic information?

I’ll try again. The above distinguishes between individual (ever changing) and generic (unchanging), which I hope is now clear. But even the generic fields change, because humans were not always humans. The generic morphic field that kept pre-humans pre-human eventually changed into the generic morphic field that keeps humans humans.

Ok, got it. What confused me is your use of the word "information". When I exchanged the word information for morphic field/s, that helped me understand what you meant.


Dhw: And so there are different forces that bring into being all that IS in every moment.
BBELLA: Or, just as possible, one force that brings into being all that IS in every moment.
Dhw: It depends what level we are talking on: […] you can say that whatever drives the universe brings into being all that IS in every moment. Or you can say that each individual force interacts with other individual forces to bring everything into being. Top down, or bottom up?
BBELLA: Again, I am lost. Can you give an example of the level you are talking about that has different forces? I am only thinking of one force that holds all things together, processing all matter and energy to create what IS, including the memory of the morphic field/s.

I would regard evolution as an example. If life began with single cells, and if each of those cells had the intelligence to cooperate with other cells, you ultimately have billions of individual intelligences (each with its own morphic field and memories) combining to produce every single organism (each with its own morphic field and memories) that ever existed. There would then be no single force creating all that IS in the organic world, but only billions of individual forces (intelligences) building more and more individual forces in an endless process of creation.

Ok, I see where you were going with the word "forces" instead of force, by using it interchangeably with the word intelligence's. Although, I was using the word force to sum up all forces, like someone would use the word wood to sum up all things wood, even though there is a lot of different types and kinds of wood - they are all wood. So it was on that level I used the word force instead of forces. Because all forces are force. But is all force intelligent? I'm not sure. I'm not even sure intelligence is another word for force or more a type/kind of force? Maybe intelligence has it's own morphic field and is one of the many forces?


BBELLA: I don't know where consciousness begins and ends either, but I do believe it's possible that consciousness too has its own morphic field.
Dhw: If consciousness has a morphic field which is independent of all matter (including organisms),...
BBELLA: I dont know if consciousness is independent of all matter…

Nor do I, but consciousness on its own (= having its own morphic field, as you suggest), separated from a material being, would have to be part of what we might call the spirit world. If it’s not separated from a material being, then it’s not on its own!

Dhw:...it could only be the sort of immaterial power people call God.
BBELLA: I cannot (at this time) agree with that statement. If consciousness has it's own morphic field and is itself a part of, connected to, resonates with the other many morphic fields, does not mean to me that it is God. It is one part of a whole.

Yes, all morphic fields are part of the one great morphic field which is the universe, and morphic fields can connect up with each other, but I can’t see disembodied “consciousness” as a morphic field that exists independently of individual beings.

I agree that all morphic fields are a part of the one morphic field, and do not see consciousness as an independent, disembodied morphic field. But, I can see how consciousness can have it's own morphic field. No morphic field is an independent field separate unto itself. All fields are dependent and exist within a symbiotic relationship with other fields. Consciousness may exist as a morphic field in different levels of existence within all or many things - yet effect all things. We believe we are the highest level of consciousness - though some may think there is a God that has a higher level of consciousness than our own. Then some may think there are levels higher than humans but not as high as God, like alien beings or angels, etc. Humans may just be a different level of these types of beings. So, it makes sense to me then that consciousness could have it's own levels of morphic fields as well.

Even David’s world of the afterlife, in which we retain our identity, would consist of individual consciousnesses, not consciousness as a whole with a morphic field of its own. Only a universal consciousness (= some sort of God) of which all consciousnesses are a part would have a morphic field of its own.

Yes, of course there are individual consciousness, just like there are individual bacteria, humans, plants and animals etc. But that doesnt preclude there being one morphic field for consciousness - just like there is one morphic field for humans, dogs, etc. Bacteria live in all those mentioned, so might morphic fields inhabit all or many things as well on many different levels.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Friday, October 28, 2016, 12:36 (332 days ago) @ BBella

BBELLA: Can you give an example of the level you are talking about that has different forces? I am only thinking of one force that holds all things together, processing all matter and energy to create what IS, including the memory of the morphic field/s.

I gave the example of evolution, using my hypothesis of individual intelligent cells/cells communities, each with its own morphic field, combining their intelligences to create every organism that ever lived.

BBELLA: Ok, I see where you were going with the word "forces" instead of force, by using it interchangeably with the word intelligence's. Although, I was using the word force to sum up all forces, like someone would use the word wood to sum up all things wood, even though there is a lot of different types and kinds of wood - they are all wood. So it was on that level I used the word force instead of forces. Because all forces are force. But is all force intelligent? I'm not sure. I'm not even sure intelligence is another word for force or more a type/kind of force? Maybe intelligence has it's own morphic field and is one of the many forces?

I used cellular intelligence to illustrate what I mean by different forces. But I gave you another example which did not (in my opinion) involve intelligence: the wind driving the waves to bring down the cliff. I would describe them as separate, non-intelligent forces, although of course they can combine, just as intelligent ones do. My point is that instead of one force “holding them together” or “processing” everything that happens, there may only be individual forces constantly acting, reacting and interacting. That’s why earlier I used the expression bottom up as opposed to top down, with the latter suggesting some sort of overall control, as opposed to things developing in their own way. As usual with me, I can see arguments for both sides!

Dhw: Yes, all morphic fields are part of the one great morphic field which is the universe, and morphic fields can connect up with each other, but I can’t see disembodied “consciousness” as a morphic field that exists independently of individual beings.
BBELLA: I agree that all morphic fields are a part of the one morphic field, and do not see consciousness as an independent, disembodied morphic field. But, I can see how consciousness can have it's own morphic field. No morphic field is an independent field separate unto itself. All fields are dependent and exist within a symbiotic relationship with other fields.

That is why I say it depends on the level you are focusing on. BBella’s morphic field is not dhw’s morphic field. Each individual has his/her own. But our morphic fields depend on other morphic fields for their existence, for example, what I called the generic one of the human race. We are not chimps – they have their own generic morphic field as well, though each chimp will also have its individual morphic field . But I cannot see consciousness as having a morphic field all of its own. It is always part of individual beings.(I can't "see" anything anyway - I'm just groping around for a pattern that makes sense to me!)

BBELLA: Consciousness may exist as a morphic field in different levels of existence within all or many things - yet effect all things. We believe we are the highest level of consciousness - though some may think there is a God that has a higher level of consciousness than our own. Then some may think there are levels higher than humans but not as high as God, like alien beings or angels, etc. Humans may just be a different level of these types of beings. So, it makes sense to me then that consciousness could have it's own levels of morphic fields as well.

I agree completely that there are different levels of consciousness, but in all these cases, it is part of individual beings: aliens, animals, insects and in my opinion probably microorganisms as well. It doesn’t exist “on its own”.

Dhw: Even David’s world of the afterlife, in which we retain our identity, would consist of individual consciousnesses, not consciousness as a whole with a morphic field of its own. Only a universal consciousness (= some sort of God) of which all consciousnesses are a part would have a morphic field of its own.
BBELLA: Yes, of course there are individual consciousness, just like there are individual bacteria, humans, plants and animals etc. But that doesnt preclude there being one morphic field for consciousness - just like there is one morphic field for humans, dogs, etc. Bacteria live in all those mentioned, so might morphic fields inhabit all or many things as well on many different levels.

Same problem for me: humans, dogs, cats, bacteria are all species of living organisms. Consciousness is not – it forms part of the morphic field of living organisms. I don’t see morphic fields as beings but as the energy and information that make things what they are, whether they are organic or inorganic, conscious or non-conscious. But I agree that individual morphic fields “inhabit” all or many things. Hence my example of cellular intelligence, with individual cells combining to make up different organisms. A colony of ants might be another example: individuals with their own fields working together to create a colony field.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Thursday, November 03, 2016, 06:00 (326 days ago) @ dhw

Sorry to be taking so long in between posts. We made a trip up north for the changing fall colors for a few days, they were amazing!

My point is that instead of one force “holding them together” or “processing” everything that happens, there may only be individual forces constantly acting, reacting and interacting. That’s why earlier I used the expression bottom up as opposed to top down, with the latter suggesting some sort of overall control, as opposed to things developing in their own way. As usual with me, I can see arguments for both sides!

I will give you the individual forces constantly acting, etc., But as for "bottom up as opposed to top down"? I dont know, it would seem to me to be both: Individual and holistic, which is what morphic field theory is all about. My main point was, for me, the word force/s embodies it all.

I agree completely that there are different levels of consciousness, but in all these cases, it is part of individual beings: aliens, animals, insects and in my opinion probably microorganisms as well. It doesn’t exist “on its own”.

I also agree that consciousness may not exist on it's own, because no-thing does. But that doesn't nullify the possibility that it, too, has a morphic field that keeps it/makes it what it is. Unless - everything is consciousness or consciousness is not a real thing - just a figment of the brain's imagination. If NDE's are real and gives insight into the possibilities of what happens after the death of the body, then that which is me or you, what we call the consciousness, stays intact. Something allows for that. How would the "I" that is me be able to stay "I", intact after death, unless the conscious that makes up "I" also has a morphic field? Is consciousness beyond the fields, a force outside of the fields? Is it the force that creates the fields? It would seem to me, that if consciousness does not have a field, when someone dies, they would be dead and their consciousness would die with them. NDE's seems to say differently. I'm just winging it of course. It's all getting fuzzy, lines blurring, which makes sense with the subject matter. lol

...humans, dogs, cats, bacteria are all species of living organisms. Consciousness is not – it forms part of the morphic field of living organisms.

But all aspects of each living being is formed by it's morphic field, that includes it conscious aspect. Consciousness is part of every living things morphic field, so in my mind, consciousness is either the morphic field itself, or has place in the morphic field as part of it. Consciousness is what gives a living thing life. So why would consciousness itself not be a living thing with a morphic field? If all consciousness left the earth, what would be left? Either nothing or a dead rock. So, it seems to me, consciousness must either have a field or be creator of the field.

I don’t see morphic fields as beings but as the energy and information that make things what they are, whether they are organic or inorganic, conscious or non-conscious.

Maybe this is where we are coming from two different directions on this. Because I'm seeing morphic fields more like imprints, or negative images left by what IS. I will have to think on this.

But I agree that individual morphic fields “inhabit” all or many things. Hence my example of cellular intelligence, with individual cells combining to make up different organisms. A colony of ants might be another example: individuals with their own fields working together to create a colony field.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Friday, November 04, 2016, 12:13 (325 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: My point is that instead of one force “holding them together” or “processing” everything that happens, there may only be individual forces constantly acting, reacting and interacting. That’s why earlier I used the expression bottom up as opposed to top down, with the latter suggesting some sort of overall control, as opposed to things developing in their own way. As usual with me, I can see arguments for both sides!
BBELLA: I will give you the individual forces constantly acting, etc., But as for "bottom up as opposed to top down"? I dont know, it would seem to me to be both: Individual and holistic, which is what morphic field theory is all about. My main point was, for me, the word force/s embodies it all.

Top down control for me involves some sort of God, whereas bottom up = interacting individual forces (organic and inorganic) which may influence one another but are not influenced by every other individual force in the universe or by a single force that encompasses everything.

Dhw: I agree completely that there are different levels of consciousness, but in all these cases, it is part of individual beings: aliens, animals, insects and in my opinion probably microorganisms as well. It doesn’t exist “on its own”.
BBELLA: I also agree that consciousness may not exist on it's own, because no-thing does. But that doesn't nullify the possibility that it, too, has a morphic field that keeps it/makes it what it is. Unless - everything is consciousness or consciousness is not a real thing - just a figment of the brain's imagination. If NDE's are real and gives insight into the possibilities of what happens after the death of the body, then that which is me or you, what we call the consciousness, stays intact. Something allows for that. How would the "I" that is me be able to stay "I", intact after death, unless the conscious that makes up "I" also has a morphic field?

I certainly kick hard against the view that consciousness is not real. I would say that if NDEs are real, “my” surviving consciousness, with all its components (memories, ideas, emotions etc.) is “my” morphic field, i.e. it is still individualized. It’s the idea of non-individualized consciousness that I can’t get my head round, as you seem to be describing below. Even David’s God (“universal consciousness”) would have his own character.

BBELLA: Is consciousness beyond the fields, a force outside of the fields? Is it the force that creates the fields? It would seem to me, that if consciousness does not have a field, when someone dies, they would be dead and their consciousness would die with them. NDE's seems to say differently. I'm just winging it of course. It's all getting fuzzy, lines blurring, which makes sense with the subject matter. lol

I don’t see the individual’s morphic field as the body anyway. I think it’s all the information and the energy that constitute the nature of whatever is. For me, the fuzziness and blurred lines are integral to the whole concept, because all material things seem to have a morphic field, from the individual cells in the body to the body itself and to the world around the body, both organic and inorganic.

Dhw: ...humans, dogs, cats, bacteria are all species of living organisms. Consciousness is not – it forms part of the morphic field of living organisms.
BBELLA: But all aspects of each living being is formed by it's morphic field, that includes it conscious aspect. Consciousness is part of every living things morphic field, so in my mind, consciousness is either the morphic field itself, or has place in the morphic field as part of it. Consciousness is what gives a living thing life.

David won’t agree, because he thinks microorganisms are non-conscious automatons, but I am far more inclined to accept the view that all living things are conscious. However, I don’t know if consciousness gives a living thing life, or consciousness depends on life. NDEs suggest the former, since the “I” appears to survive the death of the body, but the materialist view of course suggests that consciousness depends on life (though I’ll come back to that if and when I ever get round to formulating my reconciliation between dualism and materialism!).

BELLA: So why would consciousness itself not be a living thing with a morphic field? If all consciousness left the earth, what would be left? Either nothing or a dead rock. So, it seems to me, consciousness must either have a field or be creator of the field.

If all life left the earth, there would also be dead rocks!

Dhw: I don’t see morphic fields as beings but as the energy and information that make things what they are, whether they are organic or inorganic, conscious or non-conscious.
BELLA: Maybe this is where we are coming from two different directions on this. Because I'm seeing morphic fields more like imprints, or negative images left by what IS. I will have to think on this.

I can see that my “make things what they are” is ambiguous. Once again, we must differentiate between fields. The generally stable generic field makes humans human, whereas I agree that the individual field consists of what IS – i.e. everything that constitutes the “I”, which can change from one moment to the next.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Tuesday, November 08, 2016, 00:20 (321 days ago) @ dhw

BBELLA: I will give you the individual forces constantly acting, etc., But as for "bottom up as opposed to top down"? I dont know, it would seem to me to be both: Individual and holistic, which is what morphic field theory is all about. My main point was, for me, the word force/s embodies it all.

Top down control for me involves some sort of God, whereas bottom up = interacting individual forces (organic and inorganic) which may influence one another but are not influenced by every other individual force in the universe or by a single force that encompasses everything.

Ok, I see where you are going with that. I was thinking more like how trees have individual morphic fields but also are a part of a whole morphic field. The same with everything. All things have individual fields as well as whole fields. I'm not seeing how a whole consciousness field would be any different than a whole tree, human, spider, bird, planet, etc., field. It has individual fields and a whole field. Seems that is how it should be.


Dhw: I agree completely that there are different levels of consciousness, but in all these cases, it is part of individual beings: aliens, animals, insects and in my opinion probably microorganisms as well. It doesn’t exist “on its own”.
BBELLA: I also agree that consciousness may not exist on it's own, because no-thing does. But that doesn't nullify the possibility that it, too, has a morphic field that keeps it/makes it what it is. Unless - everything is consciousness or consciousness is not a real thing - just a figment of the brain's imagination. If NDE's are real and gives insight into the possibilities of what happens after the death of the body, then that which is me or you, what we call the consciousness, stays intact. Something allows for that. How would the "I" that is me be able to stay "I", intact after death, unless the conscious that makes up "I" also has a morphic field?

I certainly kick hard against the view that consciousness is not real. I would say that if NDEs are real, “my” surviving consciousness, with all its components (memories, ideas, emotions etc.) is “my” morphic field, i.e. it is still individualized. It’s the idea of non-individualized consciousness that I can’t get my head round, as you seem to be describing below. Even David’s God (“universal consciousness”) would have his own character.

But every thing that IS seems to have individual fields as well as a whole morphic field. So why not consciousness? Why does the pattern of all that IS stop with consciousness? If consciousness does not have a whole field, what makes it different than every thing that IS?

I don’t see the individual’s morphic field as the body anyway.

I agree. But, the body itself has a morphic field. I've said before, I think of the morphic field as an imprinted memory field. It is not the thing itself made of matter and energy, it is an imprint of the thing. Similar to what we might think of as a ghost - an imprint of what makes a thing a thing but not the thing itself.

I think it’s all the information and the energy that constitute the nature of whatever is.

I possibly disagree. I'm thinking that all information is matter and energy is energy. Energy may possibly be the force that guides the matter to be what it is. But the morphic field, I see as an imprint (memory) that energy is guided by to continuously create what IS.

For me, the fuzziness and blurred lines are integral to the whole concept, because all material things seem to have a morphic field, from the individual cells in the body to the body itself and to the world around the body, both organic and inorganic.

Yes, I agree.

David won’t agree, because he thinks microorganisms are non-conscious automatons, but I am far more inclined to accept the view that all living things are conscious. However, I don’t know if consciousness gives a living thing life, or consciousness depends on life.

If we think of life, not as consciousness, but as that which leaves a living thing when it dies, that is what I am labeling consciousness. We could call it something else - but what would that be?

I don’t know if consciousness gives a living thing life, or consciousness depends on life. NDEs suggest the former, since the “I” appears to survive the death of the body, but the materialist view of course suggests that consciousness depends on life (though I’ll come back to that if and when I ever get round to formulating my reconciliation between dualism and materialism!).

I look forward to your formulation!

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 08, 2016, 14:22 (321 days ago) @ BBella

dhw:I think it’s all the information and the energy that constitute the nature of whatever is.


BBella I possibly disagree. I'm thinking that all information is matter and energy is energy. Energy may possibly be the force that guides the matter to be what it is. But the morphic field, I see as an imprint (memory) that energy is guided by to continuously create what IS.

Information is not material.. Life's code is material but the information it imparts is immaterial

dhw:I don’t know if consciousness gives a living thing life, or consciousness depends on life. NDEs suggest the former, since the “I” appears to survive the death of the body, but the materialist view of course suggests that consciousness depends on life (though I’ll come back to that if and when I ever get round to formulating my reconciliation between dualism and materialism!).


BBella: I look forward to your formulation!

I agree

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Wednesday, November 09, 2016, 09:34 (320 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw:I think it’s all the information and the energy that constitute the nature of whatever is.


BBella I possibly disagree. I'm thinking that all information is matter and energy is energy. Energy may possibly be the force that guides the matter to be what it is. But the morphic field, I see as an imprint (memory) that energy is guided by to continuously create what IS.


Information is not material.. Life's code is material but the information it imparts is immaterial

Can you give more detail, David? Not sure how information is not material? If not material, what is it?

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 09, 2016, 14:54 (320 days ago) @ BBella

dhw:I think it’s all the information and the energy that constitute the nature of whatever is.


BBella I possibly disagree. I'm thinking that all information is matter and energy is energy. Energy may possibly be the force that guides the matter to be what it is. But the morphic field, I see as an imprint (memory) that energy is guided by to continuously create what IS.


David: Information is not material.. Life's code is material but the information it imparts is immaterial

BBella: Can you give more detail, David? Not sure how information is not material? If not material, what is it?

A book of information is material, but the information itself is at the level of thought, as you read and interpret it.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Wednesday, November 09, 2016, 12:54 (320 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: Top down control for me involves some sort of God, whereas bottom up = interacting individual forces (organic and inorganic) which may influence one another but are not influenced by every other individual force in the universe or by a single force that encompasses everything.
BBELLA: Ok, I see where you are going with that. I was thinking more like how trees have individual morphic fields but also are a part of a whole morphic field. The same with everything. All things have individual fields as well as whole fields. I'm not seeing how a whole consciousness field would be any different than a whole tree, human, spider, bird, planet, etc., field. It has individual fields and a whole field. Seems that is how it should be.

Again, I can’t separate consciousness from whatever has consciousness. I can refer to a single spider. I can’t refer to a single consciousness. I can only refer to BBella’s/a spider’s/a bird’s consciousness.

Dhw: It’s the idea of non-individualized consciousness that I can’t get my head round, as you seem to be describing below. Even David’s God (“universal consciousness”) would have his own character.
BBELLA: But every thing that IS seems to have individual fields as well as a whole morphic field. So why not consciousness? Why does the pattern of all that IS stop with consciousness? If consciousness does not have a whole field, what makes it different than every thing that IS?

As above. But let me try a different approach. Do you think beauty, love, thought, imagination have morphic fields? For me consciousness is in that sort of category: an immaterial quality, an attribute, a state that may form part of each individual field but has no independent existence of its own.

Dhw: I don’t see the individual’s morphic field as the body anyway.
BBELLA: I agree. But, the body itself has a morphic field. I've said before, I think of the morphic field as an imprinted memory field. It is not the thing itself made of matter and energy, it is an imprint of the thing. Similar to what we might think of as a ghost - an imprint of what makes a thing a thing but not the thing itself.

Yes, that’s how I see it too: the imprint of you, me, the tree, the spider, each with its own individual identity. But to follow the image, what imprint can there be of consciousness? What would be the ghost of consciousness?

Dhw: I think it’s all the information and the energy that constitute the nature of whatever is.
BBELLA: I possibly disagree. I'm thinking that all information is matter and energy is energy. Energy may possibly be the force that guides the matter to be what it is. But the morphic field, I see as an imprint (memory) that energy is guided by to continuously create what IS.

As David has pointed out, information is not matter. I see what IS as being constantly created by interaction between matter and matter, matter and energy, individual morphic fields, and individual and generic morphic fields. All of these are filled with information, but information creates nothing: it is used but doesn’t use.

Dhw: I don’t know if consciousness gives a living thing life, or consciousness depends on life.
BBELLA: If we think of life, not as consciousness, but as that which leaves a living thing when it dies, that is what I am labeling consciousness. We could call it something else - but what would that be?

I’m afraid I can’t follow this. If life is what leaves us when we die and we label it consciousness, we are equating life with consciousness. A materialist will say that consciousness dies when the body dies, and so we lose both life and consciousness. Those who believe in an immortal, individual soul will probably say we lose one form of life and enter another with our consciousness intact.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Friday, November 11, 2016, 06:17 (318 days ago) @ dhw

:-P >Dhw: It’s the idea of non-individualized consciousness that I can’t get my head round, as you seem to be describing below. Even David’s God (“universal consciousness”) would have his own character.

BBELLA: But every thing that IS seems to have individual fields as well as a whole morphic field. So why not consciousness? Why does the pattern of all that IS stop with consciousness? If consciousness does not have a whole field, why is it different?
Dhw:[..] let me try a different approach. Do you think beauty, love, thought, imagination have morphic fields? For me consciousness is in that sort of category: an immaterial quality, an attribute, a state that may form part of each individual field but has no independent existence of its own.

I agree, that each of those attributes you mention probably do not have a field of their own (i could be wrong) but we do know there are different degrees/levels/ of consciousness, so possibly the attributes you mention could be in one of those levels/fields.

Dhw: I don’t see the individual’s morphic field as the body anyway.
BBELLA: I agree. But, the body itself has a morphic field. I've said before, I think of the morphic field as an imprinted memory field. It is not the thing itself made of matter and energy, it is an imprint of the thing. Similar to what we might think of as a ghost - an imprint of what makes a thing a thing but not the thing itself.
Dhw: Yes, that’s how I see it too: the imprint of you, me, the tree, the spider, each with its own individual identity. But to follow the image, what imprint can there be of consciousness? What would be the ghost of consciousness?

It would seem to me, the ghost of consciousness (an excellent metaphor or title to some great work of art/ book - fiction or non lol) may only be evidenced by it's observed presence; like, "it takes one to know one"? The lines may be blurred, but by the levels of consciousness we appear to have, we have the ability to observe many different levels of consciousness in the life around us. Certain people (shamans, medicine men, etc) say they can observe even more levels than we see.

Dhw: [...] information is not matter. I see what IS as being constantly created by interaction between matter and matter, matter and energy, individual morphic fields, and individual and generic morphic fields. All of these are filled with information, but information creates nothing: it is used but doesn’t use.

Ok, Truce! I've got it! Information is simply a labeling device that we humans use, allowing us to categorize the different aspects of what IS so we can communicate with words, right?

Dhw: I don’t know if consciousness gives a living thing life, or consciousness depends on life.
BBELLA: If we think of life, not as consciousness, but as that which leaves a living thing when it dies, that is what I am labeling consciousness. We could call it something else - but what would that be?
Dhw: I’m afraid I can’t follow this. If life is what leaves us when we die and we label it consciousness, we are equating life with consciousness.

How would you separate life from consciousness? If we drop both words, life and consciousness, and just observe
what IS; we see no life when a body dies. And we can only know a body is dead
when no life is observed in the body. But, some have said, that even though no life was observed in their body, they were never without life! As far as they could tell they were fully alive. So where in what we just observed can we separate life from consciousness?

Dhw: A materialist will say that consciousness dies when the body dies, and so we lose both life and consciousness.

And the materialist would be right, that when the "body dies" the body does lose life and consciousness - from the observer's standpoint. But clear evidence from people having actually experienced it (by NDE's and OBE's), from their point of view, they say they did not lose any part of life. They never stopped living. In every sense of the word.

Dhw: Those who believe in an immortal, individual soul will probably say we lose one form of life and enter another with our consciousness intact.

Probably, those who believe might express it that way. But from the accounts of those that do not just believe, but have experienced death (and came back to tell), which truly gives us the best evidence we can gain to address your comment; they would say they felt no loss of any kind; only their loved ones felt a loss of life, although their loved ones body was still fully there - physically. So, maybe we do not lose any of our form of who we are in any sense of the word when we "die". Though, maybe, we possibly add senses by moving into another level of life/consciousness?.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Friday, November 11, 2016, 14:53 (318 days ago) @ BBella

BBella; Ok, Truce! I've got it! Information is simply a labeling device that we humans use, allowing us to categorize the different aspects of what IS so we can communicate with words, right?

Don't forget that life runs by using implicit information stored in DNA. Information is not just at the 'brain' level.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Saturday, November 12, 2016, 12:24 (317 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw:[..] let me try a different approach. Do you think beauty, love, thought, imagination have morphic fields? For me consciousness is in that sort of category: an immaterial quality, an attribute, a state that may form part of each individual field but has no independent existence of its own.
BBELLA: I agree, that each of those attributes you mention probably do not have a field of their own (i could be wrong) but we do know there are different degrees/levels/ of consciousness, so possibly the attributes you mention could be in one of those levels/fields
.

I don’t identify levels with fields. For me a spider field will contain a spider level of consciousness and whatever other immaterial attributes it may have.

BBELLA: I think of the morphic field as an imprinted memory field. It is not the thing itself made of matter and energy, it is an imprint of the thing. Similar to what we might think of as a ghost - an imprint of what makes a thing a thing but not the thing itself.
Dhw: Yes, that’s how I see it too: the imprint of you, me, the tree, the spider, each with its own individual identity. But to follow the image, what imprint can there be of consciousness? What would be the ghost of consciousness?
BBELLA: It would seem to me, the ghost of consciousness (an excellent metaphor or title to some great work of art/ book - fiction or non lol) may only be evidenced by it's observed presence; like, "it takes one to know one"? The lines may be blurred, but by the levels of consciousness we appear to have, we have the ability to observe many different levels of consciousness in the life around us. Certain people (shamans, medicine men, etc) say they can observe even more levels than we see.

Do they observe levels of consciousness in the abstract, or levels of consciousness within beings (and perhaps objects)?

BBELLA: How would you separate life from consciousness? If we drop both words, life and consciousness, and just observe what IS; we see no life when a body dies. And we can only know a body is dead when no life is observed in the body. But, some have said, that even though no life was observed in their body, they were never without life! As far as they could tell they were fully alive. So where in what we just observed can we separate life from consciousness?

I thought unconsciousness was quite a common state among the living: accidents, comas, knock-outs, drugs…don’t they also separate life from consciousness? If the body dies and the “soul” lives on, I agree that the two are inseparable, but…see below.

Dhw: A materialist will say that consciousness dies when the body dies, and so we lose both life and consciousness.
BBELLA: And the materialist would be right, that when the "body dies" the body does lose life and consciousness - from the observer's standpoint. But clear evidence from people having actually experienced it (by NDE's and OBE's), from their point of view, they say they did not lose any part of life. They never stopped living. In every sense of the word.

I don’t see how it can be in every sense of the word. Our physical life is impossible without breathing, without heartbeats, without blood circulation etc. Do “souls” have sex with one another? It has to be a different form of life, and I suspect what they mean by “never stopped living” is that they never stopped being themselves. Perhaps you or David know of NDEs that entail bodily experiences. But again see below…

dhw: Those who believe in an immortal, individual soul will probably say we lose one form of life and enter another with our consciousness intact.
BBELLA: ….they would say they felt no loss of any kind; only their loved ones felt a loss of life, although their loved ones body was still fully there - physically. So, maybe we do not lose any of our form of who we are in any sense of the word when we "die". Though, maybe, we possibly add senses by moving into another level of life/consciousness?

That makes more sense to me. We would have to add senses if we were to communicate with and experience the new world we enter. That is why I say we lose one form of life and enter another.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 06:34 (314 days ago) @ dhw

Dhw: I don’t identify levels with fields. For me a spider field will contain a spider level of consciousness and whatever other immaterial attributes it may have.

I was thinking different levels as in consciousness, subconsciousness, etc. But human consciousness may just be complex instead of having levels. After all, levels is only a label.


BBELLA: I think of the morphic field as an imprinted memory field. [....]
Dhw: Yes, that’s how I see it too: [...]What would be the ghost of consciousness?
BBELLA: It would seem to me, the ghost of consciousness (an excellent metaphor or title to some great work of art/ book - fiction or non lol) may only be evidenced by it's observed presence; like, "it takes one to know one"? The lines may be blurred, but by the levels of consciousness we appear to have, we have the ability to observe many different levels of consciousness in the life around us. Certain people (shamans, medicine men, etc) say they can observe even more levels than we see.

Dhw: Do they observe levels of consciousness in the abstract, or levels of consciousness within beings (and perhaps objects)?

That's a good question. Ive read a number of books on the subject but it's been quite sometime ago. If I remember correctly, they see/sense consciousness in everything. Some see it more than others. I will look more into that question and possibly have a better answer.

Bbella: [....]when the "body dies" the body does lose life and consciousness - from the observer's standpoint. But clear evidence from people having actually experienced it (by NDE's and OBE's), from their point of view, they say they did not lose any part of life. They never stopped living. In every sense of the word.[/i]

Dhw: I don’t see how it can be in every sense of the word. Our physical life is impossible without breathing, without heartbeats, without blood circulation etc. Do “souls” have sex with one another? It has to be a different form of life, and I suspect what they mean by “never stopped living” is that they never stopped being themselves. Perhaps you or David know of NDEs that entail bodily experiences. But again see below…

I was expressing what those who have experienced NDE's or OBE's have said; they felt fully alive in every sense of the word, meaning; feeling as if nothing is missing in their "life".

Dhw:We would have to add senses if we were to communicate with and experience the new world we enter. That is why I say we lose one form of life and enter another.

Maybe it is as if we enter another reality or memory field that is equipped with it's own senses. Like when the Coachman Rat entered the human memory field - he suddenly had senses he knew nothing about and was able to quickly pick up on how to use his new found sense from the human memory field. But when he went back to his own rat memory field, altho he retained the memory of being in the human memory field, he was not equipped to use what he knew. Some reports of NDE's and OBE's say they are not only able to fly and/or move through walls here in this world, they are able to sense many things about this world around them that humans are "normally" unable to see or sense. When they return back into this reality, they retain those memories, and even some are able to continue to sense similar things, even some say their sense have been heightened. But, they are no longer able flow thru walls or fly, because the human body is not normally equipped with those abilities.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 19:52 (314 days ago) @ BBella

BBella: Maybe it is as if we enter another reality or memory field that is equipped with it's own senses. Like when the Coachman Rat entered the human memory field - he suddenly had senses he knew nothing about and was able to quickly pick up on how to use his new found sense from the human memory field. But when he went back to his own rat memory field, altho he retained the memory of being in the human memory field, he was not equipped to use what he knew. Some reports of NDE's and OBE's say they are not only able to fly and/or move through walls here in this world, they are able to sense many things about this world around them that humans are "normally" unable to see or sense. When they return back into this reality, they retain those memories, and even some are able to continue to sense similar things, even some say their sense have been heightened. But, they are no longer able flow thru walls or fly, because the human body is not normally equipped with those abilities.

The NDE folks feel as if they are at one with the universe and know truths they never knew before.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by BBella @, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 20:49 (313 days ago) @ David Turell

BBella: Maybe it is as if we enter another reality or memory field that is equipped with it's own senses. Like when the Coachman Rat entered the human memory field - he suddenly had senses he knew nothing about and was able to quickly pick up on how to use his new found sense from the human memory field. But when he went back to his own rat memory field, altho he retained the memory of being in the human memory field, he was not equipped to use what he knew. Some reports of NDE's and OBE's say they are not only able to fly and/or move through walls here in this world, they are able to sense many things about this world around them that humans are "normally" unable to see or sense. When they return back into this reality, they retain those memories, and even some are able to continue to sense similar things, even some say their sense have been heightened. But, they are no longer able flow thru walls or fly, because the human body is not normally equipped with those abilities.


The NDE folks feel as if they are at one with the universe and know truths they never knew before.

True for many. And many also retain those truths, though some also say they remember being told much that they cant recall. Some also do not report that oneness, but do feel extreme warmth and safety, explained sometimes like being in a mother's womb. But I've also read many accounts where the experiencer reports their body is their same body, though with abilities to flow through walls, fly, sense and see things, etc.

Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation

by dhw, Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 12:10 (313 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: I don’t identify levels with fields. For me a spider field will contain a spider level of consciousness and whatever other immaterial attributes it may have.

BBELLA: I was thinking different levels as in consciousness, subconsciousness, etc. But human consciousness may just be complex instead of having levels. After all, levels is only a label.

Very true. I took up your use of the word, but I would hate to have to measure a spider’s IQ! Different kinds of intelligence would certainly be more appropriate.

BBELLA: Certain people (shamans, medicine men, etc) say they can observe even more levels than we see.
Dhw: Do they observe levels of consciousness in the abstract, or levels of consciousness within beings (and perhaps objects)?
BBELLA: That's a good question. Ive read a number of books on the subject but it's been quite sometime ago. If I remember correctly, they see/sense consciousness in everything. Some see it more than others. I will look more into that question and possibly have a better answer.

Sense/consciousness in everything takes us back to the interesting subject of panpsychism. I’d be very surprised if shamans were able to see consciousness that is NOT associated with beings/objects.

Dhw: Our physical life is impossible without breathing, without heartbeats, without blood circulation etc. Do “souls” have sex with one another? It has to be a different form of life, and I suspect what they mean by “never stopped living” is that they never stopped being themselves. Perhaps you or David know of NDEs that entail bodily experiences. But again see below
BBELLA: I was expressing what those who have experienced NDE's or OBE's have said; they felt fully alive in every sense of the word, meaning; feeling as if nothing is missing in their "life".

I wonder if feeling fully alive does mean “nothing missing”. I seem to remember reading that some patients feel a sense of sheer freedom, almost as if a burden has been removed. The cares of earthly life no longer matter. If so, something is missing, but it’s not missed!

Dhw: We would have to add senses if we were to communicate with and experience the new world we enter. That is why I say we lose one form of life and enter another.

BBELLA: Maybe it is as if we enter another reality or memory field that is equipped with it's own senses. Like when the Coachman Rat entered the human memory field - he suddenly had senses he knew nothing about and was able to quickly pick up on how to use his new found sense from the human memory field. But when he went back to his own rat memory field, altho he retained the memory of being in the human memory field, he was not equipped to use what he knew. Some reports of NDE's and OBE's say they are not only able to fly and/or move through walls here in this world, they are able to sense many things about this world around them that humans are "normally" unable to see or sense. When they return back into this reality, they retain those memories, and even some are able to continue to sense similar things, even some say their sense have been heightened. But, they are no longer able flow thru walls or fly, because the human body is not normally equipped with those abilities.

That ties in with freedom from earthly constraints: we lose one form of life and enter another. If consciousness and identity survive the death of the body, I don’t see how it could be any other way!

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