Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, October 08, 2016, 12:34 (837 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.

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