Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, October 15, 2016, 13:20 (978 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.

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