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Rupert Sheldrake is Cambridge educated biochemist, author and researcher of far reaching intellect and vision. His books include Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home and The Presence of the Past. His lectures and interviews are both comprehensive and understandable and his website is well worth visiting (and deserving of an entry all its own). 

I have several Sheldrake interviews on MP3 and I was listening to his New Dimensions interview with my son this week as we traveled back and forth between our present home and our new one. We were both very impressed by the research Sheldrake referenced and the points he made. 

One highly well constructed research study was very consistent with Sheldrake's ideas about Morphic Resonance as well as metaphysical ideas regarding cosmic consciousness and telepathy.

The study involved word recognition and was conducted by Gary Schwartz, Professor of Psychology at Yale University: 24 common 3-letter words in Hebrew and 24 rare ones were selected. All were taken from the Hebrew bible and written in Hebrew script. For each word, Swartz created a scrambled word for each of the original 48 words(as, in English, one might do by scrambling "cat" to spell "tca") creating an additional 48 false or meaningless words. 

Scwartz then displayed each of the total 96 Hebrew character words (half real, half fake, a quarter rare, a quarter common) one at a time, in a random order, to subjects who did not know Hebrew. The subjects were told only that they were viewing Hebrew words and were asked to guess the meaning of each word in English by writing down the first English word that came to mind. They were then asked to estimate, on a zero-to-four scale, how confident they felt in each individual guess. 

Professor Schwartz then excluded all subjects who guessed any word correctly on the grounds they may have known some Hebrew and analyzed the confidence ratings from subjects who remained. Schwartz not only found that confidence ratings were significantly higher with the real words guesses than with the false, but that subjects were more confident about their ability to guess common words than they were about their ability to guess the rarer. 

Finally Schwartz repeated the experiment, this time telling the subjects that half the words were real and half were false and asked them to guess which was which. The results of this test were purely random showing that the patterns recognized unconsciously, could not be recognized consciously. 

This study may show, Sheldrake said in the interview, that these subjects were somehow able to resonate with millions of Hebrew speakers and scholars the word over.

That this phenomena is unconscious is strong evidence, in my opinion, for a different way of knowing and very consistent with ideas about morphic resonance and biomorphic field theory. 

Another study mentioned by Sheldrake involved a bird called the Blue Tit (pictured above). In the 1920s in Southampton, England, the Blue Tits began to discover that they could tear the tops of milk bottles on doorsteps and drink the cream at the top of the bottle. Soon this skill showed up in Blue Tits over a hundred miles away - significant because Blue Tits are home loving birds who rarely fly further than 15 miles from the place of their birth. 

Amateur bird-watchers caught on and traced the expansion of the habit. By 1947 the habit was not only widespread in Britain but had spread to Blue Tits in Holland, Sweden and Denmark. When the German occupation cut off milk deliveries in Holland for eight years (five years longer than the life of a Blue Tit) observers were stunned to find that within months of deliveries being reinstated Blue Tits all over Holland were drinking cream, a habit that had initially taken decades to develop.

Why was learning so much easier that time around? 

It seems obvious to me, as to Sheldrake, that a invisible field of energetic information is available to both animals and humans. It also seems likely that this field operates by way of resonance as like breeds or beings are able to access like information. In other words, the behavior of milk drinking was communicated only to other Blue Tits, not to crows or sparrows. 

Whether these energetic fields are to some degree subject to locality or proximity (the spread throughout England and then to Holland) or subject to degrees of resonance we do not yet understand is not clear to me. It does seem however that in documented incidences of parallel discoveries, for example, that distance is not a factor.

Either way it is amazing evidence for the existence of what is essential an invisible reality. 

Another point which Sheldrake made in the interview, and which I found very compelling, related to the laws of nature or (one could extrapolate) science. These laws were worked out when science believed that the universe was largely mechanistic, basically no more than a machine, running according to set rules. 

This static preexisting order implies an eternal law maker, says Sheldrake, which is notion that is traditionally theological as well as a political metaphor - a carryover from the days of established religion and monarchical rule.

If however the universe is not a machine but constantly evolving (as evidenced by the big bang) laws must be evolving as well. In other words nothing is fixed, neither from age to age, or in my world view from dimension to dimension. The laws of nature and of physics are not written in stone but mutable and capable of true evolution. 

I am thrilled to see brilliant and reasonable scientists such as Rupert Sheldrake, William Tiller and the late David Bohm at the forefront of open-mindedness and progressive thought. May there be more like them!

For more on the work of Rupert Sheldrake please check out his website @ Sheldrake.org.

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