Poem: Nightly White

 

(I had this dream experience a long time ago.)

 

In the morning
I fall neatly
into
my bed
from
a bright white
sphere of light

remembering
communicating
telepathically
with someone
in a language
so weird,
understanding it
in the dream
and nothing
when being
back on
this plane
here

cosmic
help from
above
the mind
is always
available
to us,
from beyond
the logic of
how on Earth
magic
and miracles
can
emerge

zik, zik

– Deelia ©

 

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Morphic Resonance and Morphic Fields: Collective Memory and the Habits of Nature

May 11, 2012  New Dawn Magazine /by davidjones

By DR. RUPERT SHELDRAKE—

The word morphic comes from the Greek morphe, meaning form. Morphic fields organise the form, structure and patterned interactions of systems under their influence – including those of animals, plants, cells, proteins, crystals, brains and minds. They are physical in the sense that they are part of nature, though they are not yet mentioned in physics books.

All self-organising systems are wholes made up of parts which are in turn lower-level wholes themselves – such as organelles in cells, cells in tissues, tissues in organs, organs in organisms, organisms in social groups. At each level, the morphic field gives each whole its characteristic properties, and coordinates the constituent parts.

The fields responsible for the development and maintenance of bodily form in plants and animals are called morphogenetic fields.

The existence of these fields was first proposed in the 1920s and this concept is widely used within biology. But the nature of these fields has remained obscure.

I suggest they are part of a larger family of fields called morphic fields. Other kinds of morphic fields include behavioural and mental fields that organise animal behaviour and mental activity, and social and cultural fields that organise societies and cultures. All of these organising fields are different kinds of morphic field.1

Morphic fields are located within and around the systems they organise. Like quantum fields, they work probabilistically. They restrict, or impose order upon, the inherent indeterminism of the systems under their influence.

For example, of the many direction in which a fish could swim or a bird fly, the social fields of the school or flock restrict the behaviour of the individuals within them so they move in coordination with each other rather than at random.2

The most controversial feature of this hypothesis is that the structure of morphic fields depends on what has happened before. Morphic fields contain a kind of memory. Through repetition, the patterns they organise become increasingly probable, increasingly habitual. The force these fields exert is the force of habit.

Whatever the explanation of its origin, once a new morphic field, a new pattern of organisation, has come into being, the field becomes stronger through repetition. The more often patterns are repeated, the more probable they become.

The fields contain a kind of cumulative memory and become increasingly habitual. All nature is essentially habitual. Even what we view as the fixed “laws of nature” may be more like habits, ingrained over long periods of time.

Morphic Resonance

The means by which information or an activity-pattern is transferred from a previous to a subsequent system of the same kind is called morphic resonance. Any given morphic system, say a squirrel, “tunes in” to previous similar systems, in this case previous squirrels of its species. Morphic resonance thus involves the influence of like upon like, the influence of patterns of activity on subsequent similar patterns of activity, an influence that passes through or across space and time from past to present. These influences do not to fall off with distance in space or time. The greater the degree of similarity of the systems involved, the greater the influence of morphic resonance.

Morphic resonance gives an inherent memory in fields at all levels of complexity. In the case of squirrels, each individual squirrel draws upon, and in turn contributes to, a collective or pooled memory of its kind. In the human realm, this kind of collective memory corresponds to what the psychologist C.G. Jung called the collective unconscious.

Morphic resonance should be detectable in the realms of physics, chemistry, biology, animal behaviour, psychology and the social sciences.

Long-established systems, such as zinc atoms, quartz crystals, insulin molecules and muscle cells are governed by strong morphic fields, with deep grooves of habit established over millions of years, and consequently little change can be observed over a few weeks, or even years, of research. They behave as if they are governed by fixed laws.

By contrast, new systems should show an increasing tendency to come into being the more often they are repeated. They should become increasingly probable; they should happen more easily as time goes on.

For example, when a new chemical compound is synthesized by research chemists and crystallised, it may take a long time for a crystal to form for the first time. There is no preexisting morphic field for the lattice structure. But when the first crystals form, they will make it easier for similar crystals to appear anywhere in the world. The more often the compound is crystallised in one place, the easier it should be to crystallise elsewhere.

New compounds do indeed tend to crystallise more easily the more often they are made. Chemists usually explain this effect in terms of crystal “seeds” from the new crystals spreading around the world as invisible dust particles in the atmosphere, or chemists learning from others how to do it. But the hypothesis of morphic fields predicts that this should happen anyway under standardised conditions, even if dust particles are filtered out of the air.

Testing for Morphic Fields

There are several possible ways in which the hypothesis of morphic fields can be, and has been, investigated by experiment. Some tests attempt to detect the fields as they link together different parts of a system in space; others look for the effects of morphic resonance over time.

The easiest way to test for morphic fields directly is to work with societies of organisms. Individual animals, for example, can be separated in such a way that they cannot communicate with each other by normal sensory means. If information still travels between them, this would imply the existence of interconnections of the kind provided by morphic fields. The transfer of information through morphic fields could help provide an explanation for telepathy, which typically takes places between members of groups who share social or emotional bonds.

One promising area for this kind of research concerns telepathy between people and domesticated animals, as discussed in my book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. For example, many dogs and cats seem to know when their owners are returning, even when they come at non-routine times in unfamiliar vehicles such as taxis, and when no one at home knows when they are on the way. The animals seem to be responding telepathically to their owners’ intentions.3

The unsolved problems of animal navigation, migration, and homing may also depend on invisible fields connecting the animals to their destinations.4 In effect, these could act like invisible elastic bands linking them to their homes, which serve as “attractors.”5 (In the branch of mathematics known as dynamics, attractors represent the limits toward which dynamical systems are drawn.)

Morphic Resonance in Development & Behaviour

The build-up of habits can be observed experimentally only in the case of new patterns of development and of behaviour.

There is already evidence from experiments on fruit flies that morphic resonance occurs in developing organisms. When fruit fly eggs were exposed to a chemical (diethyl ether), some of them developed abnormally, turning into flies with four wings instead of two. When this treatment was repeated generation after generation, more and more flies developed four wings, even if their ancestors had never been exposed to the chemical.6

There is much circumstantial evidence that animal behaviour can evolve rapidly as if a collective memory is building up through morphic resonance. In particular, large-scale adaptations have occurred in the behaviour of domesticated animals all over the world.

One example concerns cattle guards. Ranchers throughout the American West have found that they can save money on cattle guards by using fake ones instead, consisting of stripes painted across the road. Real cattle guards are made of a series of parallel steel tubes or rails with gaps in between, which make it difficult for cattle to walk across them, and painful to try. However, present-day cattle do not usually even try to cross them. The illusory guards work just like the real ones. When cattle approach them, they “put on brakes with all four feet,” as one rancher expressed it to me. Even calves encountering them for the first times avoid them just as much as cattle previously exposed to real guards, even if they have never seen cattle guards before.7 This aversion may well depend on morphic resonance from previous members of the species that have learned to avoid cattle guards the hard way.

There are also data from laboratory experiments on rats and other animals implying that such effects occur. In one series of experiments rats learned how to escape from a water maze. New batches of rats were tested month by month, year by year. As time went on, rats in laboratories all over the world escaped more and more quickly.8

Connections with Quantum Physics

Some physicists have been intrigued by the possible connections between morphic fields and quantum theory, including John Bell (of Bell’s theorem) and David Bohm, whose theory of the implicate order, based on the non-locality of quantum systems, turned out to be extraordinarily compatible with the idea of morphic fields.9

These connections have also been explored by the American quantum physicist Amit Goswami10 and by the German quantum physicist Hans-Peter Dürr.11

But it is still not clear exactly how morphic fields might fit in with quantum physics, if only because the implications of quantum theory for complex systems like cells and brains are still unknown.

Implications for Human Behaviour & Creativity

Morphic resonance has many implications for the understanding of human learning, including the acquisition of languages. Through the collective memory on which individuals draw, and to which they contribute, it should in general be easier to learn what others have learned before.

Morphic fields could revolutionise our understanding of cultural inheritance, and the influence of the ancestors. Richard Dawkins has given the name “meme” to “units of cultural transmission,”12 and memes can be seen as cultural morphic fields. Morphic resonance also sheds new light on many religious practices, including rituals.13

The hypothesis of morphic fields has far-reaching implications in all branches of science. In particular, it points to a new understanding of the nature of the mind, which no longer needs to be seen as confined to the inside of the head. Just as magnetic fields extend beyond the surface of a magnet, and electromagnetic fields beyond a cell phone, so the mind extends beyond the brain through mental fields. When we look at something, say a tree, the image of the tree is projected out through these fields to the place where the tree actually is. Our minds touch what we are looking at. This provides an explanation for our ability to sense when someone is looking at us from behind. There is now much evidence for the reality of this sense, discussed in my recent book The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind.14

But the hypothesis of morphic fields has an inherent limitation. It helps explain how patterns of organisation are repeated; but it does not explain how they come into being in the first place. It leaves open the question of evolutionary creativity. This hypothesis is compatible with several different theories of creativity, ranging from the idea that all novelty is a matter of chance, to explanations in terms of divine creative power.15 Evolution, like our own lives, is an interplay between habit and creativity.

A new, completely revised edition of Rupert Sheldrake’s book on morphic fields and morphic resonance A New Science of Life was published by Icon Books (UK) and by Inner Traditions (US) under the title Morphic Resonance.

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

Footnotes

1. R. Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, Times Books, New York, 1988

2. Ibid., Chapters 13 and 14.

3. R. Sheldrake and P. Smart, A dog that seems to know when his owner is coming home: Videotaped experiments and observations, Journal of Scientific Exploration 14, 233-255; R. Sheldrake and P. Smart, Testing a return-anticipating dog, Kane, Anthrozoos 13, 203-12.

4. R. Sheldrake, Dogs That Know When their Owners Are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals, Part V, Crown, New York, 1999

5. For a discussion of this idea, see R. Sheldrake, T. McKenna, and R. Abraham, The Evolutionary Mind, Chapter 4, Trialogue Press, Santa Cruz, 1998.

6. Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past, Chapter 8.

7. R. Sheldrake, Cattle fooled by phoney grids, New Scientist, Feb 11, 1988, 65.

8. Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past, op. cit. Chapter 9.

9. D. Bohm and R. Sheldrake, Morphogenetic fields and the implicate order. In: R. Sheldrake, A New Science of Life (second edition), Blond, London, 1985, 234.

10. A. Goswami, Eine quantentheoretische Erklärung von Sheldrakes morphischer resonanz. In: Rupert Sheldrake in der Diskussion (eds H.P. Dürr and F.T. Gottwald), Scherz Verlag, Bern, 1997

11. H.P. Dürr, Sheldrakes Vorstellungen aus dem Blickwinkel der modernen Physik. In: Rupert Sheldrake in der Diskussion (eds H.P. Dürr and F.T. Gottwald), Scherz Verlag, Bern, 1997.

12. R. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1976.

13. R. Sheldrake and M. Fox, Natural Grace, Doubleday, New York, 1996.

14. R. Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind, Crown, New York, 2003.

15. R. Sheldrake, The Rebirth of Nature, Bantam, New York, 1990.

DR. RUPERT SHELDRAKE is a biologist and author of more than 80 technical papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and philosophy at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, and Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. He is the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. His books include A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis Of Formative Causation (J.P. Tarcher, 1981; new edition 2010), The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance And The Habits Of Nature (Times Books, 1988), The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening Of Science And God (Bantam Books, 1991), Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers Of Animals (Crown, 1999) and The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Aspects Of The Extended Mind (Crown Publishers, 2003). He lives in London with his wife, Jill Purce, and two sons. His website is www.sheldrake.org.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

 

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Quote: Holding a Positive Vision for the Earth

 

ID-10083636“Think of the earth as becoming more beautiful and believe that it is possible to live in a place with clean air and a healthy environment, and you will create it as true in your own reality. You will be creating a positive vision that becomes telepathically available to others. When enough people hold a positive vision of the future, it will come about, for your thoughts and intent create your reality.” – Spiritual Growth/Sanaya Roman

From Creating Your Highest Future Room at Orin&DaBen.com. Click an excerpt for yourself here: http://orindaben.com/pages/rooms/book_paragraph/

 

Image: water drops by Theeradech Sanin /fReedigitalphotos.net

Extended Minds: The Mental Fields Within & Beyond Our Brains by Rupert Sheldrake

ID-10021499New Dawn Magazine December 27, 2013

By RUPERT SHELDRAKE, Ph.D.

We have been brought up to believe that our minds are inside our heads, that mental activity is nothing but brain activity. Instead, I suggest that our minds extend far beyond our brains; they stretch out through fields that link us to our environment and to each other.

Mental fields are rooted in brains, just as magnetic fields around magnets are rooted in the magnets themselves, or just as the fields of transmission around mobile phones are rooted in the phones and their internal electrical activities. As magnetic fields extend around magnets, and electromagnetic fields around mobile phones, so mental fields extend around brains.

Mental fields help to explain telepathy, the sense of being stared at and other widespread but unexplained abilities. Above all, mental fields underlie normal perception. They are an essential part of vision.

Images Outside Our Heads

Look around you now. Are the images of what you see inside your brain? Or are they outside you – just where they seem to be? According to the conventional theory, there is a one-way process: light moves in, but nothing is projected out.

The inward movement of light is familiar enough. As you look at this page, reflected light moves from the page through the electromagnetic field into your eyes. The lenses of your eyes focus the light to form upside-down images on your retinas. This light falling on your retinal rod and cone cells causes electrical changes within them, which trigger off patterned changes in the nerves of the retina. Nerve impulses move up your optic nerves and into the brain, where they give rise to complex patterns of electrical and chemical activity. So far, so good. All these processes can be, and have been, studied in great detail by neurophysiologists and other experts on vision and brain activity.

But then something very mysterious happens. You consciously experience what you are seeing, the page in front of you. You also become conscious of the printed words and their meanings. From the point of view of the standard theory, there is no reason why you should be conscious at all. Brain mechanisms ought to go on just as well without consciousness.

The standard theory of vision applies to all species of animals with image-forming eyes. It does not explain why there should be conscious vision in any animal species, or in people. There is just unconscious, computer-like data-processing by the nervous system.

Then comes a further problem. When you see this page, you do not experience your image of it as being inside your brain, where it is supposed to be. Instead, you experience its image as being located about two feet in front of you. The image is outside your body.

For all its physiological sophistication, the standard theory has no explanation for your most immediate and direct experience. All your experience is supposed to be inside your brain, not where it seems to be.

The basic idea I am proposing is so simple that it is hard to grasp. Your image of this page is just where it seems to be, in front of your eyes, not behind your eyes. It is not inside your brain, but outside your brain.

Thus vision involves both an inward movement of light, and an outward projection of images. Through mental fields our minds reach out to touch what we are looking at. If we look at a mountain ten miles away, our minds stretch out ten miles. If we gaze at distant stars our minds reach out into the heavens, over literally astronomical distances.

The Sense of Being Stared At

Sometimes when I look at someone from behind, he or she turns and looks straight at me. And sometimes I suddenly turn around and find someone staring at me. Surveys show that more than 90% of people have had experiences such as these. The sense of being stared at should not occur if attention is all inside the head. But if it stretches out and links us to what we are looking at, then our looking could affect what we look at. Is just an illusion, or does the sense of being stared at really exist?

This question can be explored through simple, inexpensive experiments. People work in pairs. One person, the subject, sits with his or her back to the other, wearing a blind-fold. The other person, the looker, sits behind the subject, and in a random series of trials either looks at the subject’s neck, or looks away and think of something else. The beginning of each trial is signalled by a mechanical clicker or bleeper. Each trial lasts about ten seconds and the subject guesses out loud “looking” or “not looking.” Detailed instructions are given on my website, www.sheldrake.org.

More than 100,000 trials have now been carried out, and the results are overwhelmingly positive and hugely significant statistically, with odds against chance of quadrillions to one. The sense of being stared at even works when people are looked at through closed-circuit TV. Animals are also sensitive to being looked at by people, and people by animals. This sensitivity to looks seems widespread in the animal kingdom and may well have evolved in the context of predator-prey relationships: an animal that sensed when an unseen predator was staring would stand a better chance of surviving than an animal without this sense.

Telepathy

Educated people have been brought up to believe that telepathy does not exist. Like other so-called psychic phenomena, it is dismissed as an illusion.

Most people who espouse these opinions, which I used to myself, do not do so on the basis of a close examination of the evidence. They do so because there is a taboo against taking telepathy seriously. This taboo is related to the prevailing paradigm or model of reality within institutional science, namely the mind-inside-the-brain theory, according to which telepathy and other psychic phenomena, which seem to imply mysterious kinds of ‘action at a distance’, cannot possibly exist.

This taboo dates back at least as far as the Enlightenment at the end of the eighteenth century. But this is not the place to examine its history (which I discuss in The Sense of Being Stared At). Rather I want to summarise some recent experiments, which suggest that telepathy not only exists, but that it is a normal part of animal communication.

Psychic Pets

I first became interested in the subject of telepathy some 25 years ago, and started looking at evidence for telepathy in the animals we know best, namely pets. I soon came across numerous stories from owners of dogs, cats, parrots, horses and other animals that suggested these animals seemed able to read their minds and intentions.

Through public appeals I have built up a large database of such stories, currently containing more than 4,700 case histories. These stories fall into several categories. For example, many cat owners say that their animal seem to sense when they are planning to take them to the vet, even before they have taken out the carrying basket or given any apparent clue as to their intention. Some people say their dogs know when they are going to be taken for a walk, even when they are in a different room, out of sight or hearing, and when the person is merely thinking about taking them for a walk. Of course, no one finds this behaviour surprising if it happens at a routine time, or if the dogs see the person getting ready to go out, or hear the word “walk.” They think it is telepathic because it seems to happen in the absence of such clues.

One of the commonest and most testable claims about dogs and cats is that they know when their owners are coming home, in some cases anticipating their arrival by ten minutes or more. In random household surveys in Britain and America, my colleagues and I have found that approximately 50% of dog owners and 30% of cat owners believe that their animals anticipate the arrival of a member of the household. Through hundreds of videotaped experiments, my colleagues and I have shown that dogs react to their owners’ intentions to come home even if they are many miles away, even when they return at randomly-chosen times, and even when they travel in unfamiliar vehicles such as taxis. Telepathy seems the only hypothesis that can account for the facts. (For more details, see my book Dogs that Know When their Owners Are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals.)

Telephone Telepathy

In the course of my research on unexplained powers of animals, I heard of dozens of dogs and cats that seemed to anticipate telephone calls from their owners. For example, when the telephone rings in the household of a noted professor at the University of California at Berkeley, his wife knows when her husband is on the other end of the line because Whiskins, their silver tabby cat, rushes to the telephone and paws at the receiver. “Many times he succeeds in taking it off the hook and makes appreciative miaws that are clearly audible to my husband at the other end,” she says. “If someone else telephones, Whiskins takes no notice.” The cat responds even when he telephones home from field trips in Africa or South America.

This lead me to reflect that I myself had had this kind of experience, in that I had thought of people for no apparent reason who shortly there afterwards called. I asked my family and friends if they had ever had this experience, and I soon found the majority were very familiar with it. Some said they knew when their mother or boyfriend or other significant person was calling because the phone sounded different!

Through extensive surveys, my colleagues and I have found that most people have had seemingly telepathic experiences with telephone calls. Indeed this is the commonest kind of apparent telepathy in the modern world.

Is this all a matter of coincidence, and selective memory, whereby people only remember when someone they were thinking about rang, and forget all the times they were wrong? Most sceptics assume that this is the case, but until recently there had never been any scientific research on the subject at all.

I have developed a simple experiment to test for telephone telepathy. Participants receive a call from one of four different callers at a prearranged time, and they themselves choose the callers, usually close friends or family members. For each test, the caller is picked at random by the experimenter by throwing a dice, or by using a computerised random-number generator. The participant has to say who the caller is before the caller says anything. If people were just guessing, they would be right about one time in four, or 25% of the time.

We conducted more than 800 such trials, and the average success rate is 42%, very significantly above the chance level of 25%, with astronomical odds against chance.

We also carried out a series of trials in which two of the four callers were familiar, while the other two were strangers, whose names the participants knew, but whom they had not met. With familiar callers, the success rate was 56%, highly significant statistically. With strangers it was at the chance level, in agreement with the observation that telepathy typically takes place between people who share emotional or social bonds.

In addition, we have found that these effects do not fall off with distance. Some of our participants were from Australia or New Zealand, and they could identify who was calling just as well as with people down under as with people only a few miles away.

Telepathic emails and text messages are the latest version of this phenomenon, and an extensive series of experiments with emails has given very similar results to the telephone experiments. Positive and highly significant statistically. (The details of all this research on telepathy in people and in pets are published in a series of papers in peer-reviewed journals, and the full texts are available on my web site).

An automated version of the telephone telepathy test that works on mobile telephones is now up and running and can be accessed from the Online Experiments Portal on my web site, www.sheldrake.org.

Extended Minds

Laboratory studies by parapsychologists have already provided significant statistical evidence for telepathy (well reviewed by Dean Radin in his book The Conscious Universe, Harper 1997). But most laboratory research has given rather weak effects, probably because most participants and “senders” were strangers to each other, and telepathy normally depends on social bonds.

The results of telephone telepathy experiments give much stronger and more repeatable effects because they involve people who know each other well. I have also found that there are striking telepathic links between nursing mothers and their babies. Likewise, the telepathic reactions of pets to their owners depend on strong social bonds.

I suggest that these bonds are aspects of the fields that link together members of social groups (which I call morphic fields) and which act as channels for the transfer of information between separated members of the group. Telepathy literally means “distant feeling,” and typically involves the communication of needs, intentions and distress. Sometimes the telepathic reactions are experienced as feelings, sometimes as visions or the hearing of voices, and sometimes in dreams. Many people and pets have reacted when people they are bonded to have had an accident, or are dying, even if this is happening many miles away.

There is an analogy for this process in quantum physics: if two particles have been part of the same quantum system and are separated in space, they retain a mysterious connectedness. When Einstein first realised this implication of quantum theory, he thought quantum theory must be wrong because it implied what he called “spooky action at a distance.” Experiments have shown that quantum theory is right and Einstein wrong. A change in one separated part of a system can affect another instantaneously. This phenomenon is known as quantum non-locality or non-separability.

Telepathy, like the sense of being stared at, is only paranormal if we define as “normal” the theory that the mind is confined to the brain. But if our minds reach out beyond our brains, just as they seem to, and connect with other minds, just as they seem to, then phenomena like telepathy and the sense of being stared at seem normal. They are not spooky and weird, on the margins of abnormal human psychology, but are part of our biological nature.

Of course, I am not saying that the brain is irrelevant to our understanding of the mind. It is very relevant, and recent advances in brain research have much to tell us. Our minds are centred in our bodies, and in our brains in particular. However, they are not confined to our brains, but extend beyond them. This extension occurs through the fields of the mind, or mental fields, which exist both within and beyond our brains.

The idea of the extended mind makes better sense of our experience than the mind-in-the-brain theory. Above all, it liberates us. We are no longer imprisoned within the narrow compass of our skulls, our minds separated and isolated from each other. We are no longer alienated from our bodies, from our environment and from other people. We are interconnected.

The new edition of Dr. Sheldrake’s classic book The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds, is available from all good bookstores and online retailers.

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

DR. RUPERT SHELDRAKE is a biologist and author of more than 80 papers in scientific journals and ten books. His book The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds, has just been released in a new edition by Park Street Press. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, near San Francisco, and a visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He lives in London with his wife, Jill Purce, and their two sons. His web site is www.sheldrake.org.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

Related:

Minds Beyond Brains: New Experimental Evidence by Rupert Sheldrake

Experiencing Telepathy in Daily Life: Personal Experiences by Deelia

 

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Experiencing Telepathy in Daily Life: Personal Experiences

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Note, 11th of April 2017: I have written the basis of this text over a decade ago (how time flies…) for an other purpose as while joining in an international energy study forum (relating to the Seven Rays and the Light Body) and then updated the text a bit for this blogging purpose a few years ago.

Since then things have further evolved offering some new nuances and focuses as well as continued to integrate, and a deepening study of the psychic realm has taken place alongside (and inside) my ongoing energy work.

Please note while reading that English is not my native language…

I recall when joining in the first energy healing course in 1997 the teacher asked us, if we hear the thoughts of other people, our own thoughts only, or both, or none. I raised my hand among those who replied: – Just my own thoughts. Later on this has changed as one of the psychic gifts, which has opened more to me is experiencing telepathy in the everyday life in addition to the meditation states. This has just happened without my conscious intention.

Nobody needs to be worried if I read their minds though, that is something I don´t even want to do. And the world of telepathy is not necessarily as linear a world as it is usually described to be in the science fiction movies and the kind. I rarely intentionally send telepathic messages other than brief “I love you, too” or thank you messages and the kind as a response. I rather choose to briefly transmit energy if drawn to (and if responding at all), because energy transmitting is clean and it goes beyond where words can reach. The energies are always serving for the best and highest and for the greatest good of all appreciating the free will and energy space of each individual. There are a couple of souls with whom I share a deep connection and learning when it comes to telepathy and other issues in life. That is a story of its own helping me to better understand soul connections and related issues and not much included in this text.

So, while channeling or doing energy healing (distance healing in meditation or on the spot), and in addition to seeing and sensing the energies, I began to see and receive information – visuals, verbal messages, colors and so on – for instance about the present life situation and energetic state of the people I was serving. These messages often included the past and past life issues relating to the healing at hand. And then later on I began to see into their future, too, when appropriate. Seldom, but if time lines were given for the future things they proved to be right. I was a bit doubting at first to give out this kind of information as we create anew each moment and the future is more or less fluid (I used to give little verbal or written reports afterwards to the persons I helped). The guides rarely predicted the future either. I also began to receive messages of more collective nature about world events, and so on.

During the meditative states I´m concentrated and tuned in to receiving messages from higher guidance, and the energies, colors and so on are clearer and deeper than during the “day state” (to fully describe the richness of experience of the inner planes with words is beyond my reach).  Otherwise there is not that much difference in how I experience telepathy during the everyday life. The messages are briefer/shorter, of course, and more fragmented.

I have identified at least the below categories of messages I receive during “the day state”. It is not that I receive everything and all the messages that circle there in the ethers, that might be truly chaotic. So there is a purpose and guidance in what I receive, relating to what I am learning and processing at the time.

1) messages and guidance from the higher guidance: from my own soul/spirit and the guides

These are verbal guiding sentences and energy transmissions. Sometimes I also see pictures and other visuals without closing my eyes. The most of the messages I receive during the day state belong to this category and to the next one.

2) positive or neutral messages from other people or their souls/spirits

I see/sense/hear the energy signature and short positive or neutral messages of people popping into my energy field. Sometimes this indicates that they will soon contact me on the physical plane, and I often know the why beforehand. Or, I feel drawn to contact them and they say that they have just been thinking about me. The energy signature of an individual person usually consists of both energy and a visual element. Some of them include also a short verbal message that is always the same for the same person.

3) knowing without knowing phenomena – this goes close to intuition.

Like it is with all the different psychic skills the boundaries between telepathy, clairvoyance, intuition and so on, are not clear for there is this intersecting taking place. A minor example of knowing without knowing is that I didn´t buy the cookies I had planned, not thinking or knowing why, until the friend coming for a visit told she had already then bought the similar cookies for us. One everyday experience is that often people pop into my mind when I open Facebook and these people have just posted something appearing in the news feed. Or the subjects I´ve been thinking of appear in the news feed. It is the same with the subjects of WP bloggers appearing in the reader, for instance. So, here is a blend of synchronicity, being connected to the collective field(s) and “knowing without knowing” taking place.

4) sub personality  / ego messages, “telepathic noise”

These are energy signatures and distressed messages from other people´s sub personalities or egos (depending on what language we use, I myself prefer the word sub personality) popping in briefly to my energy field. Some of these emotional messages are related to me, some of them not, they are for instance describing something the people in question are experiencing at the moment.

The more balanced we are the more detached we are to any form of negativity. Even those messages that are negatively directed to me need not be taken personally. The messages in those cases, too, are ultimately related to that personality part´s way of interpreting and experiencing the world. Also the negative messages/thoughts need to be intensively repeated before they reach my energy field. That is: I don´t receive all the negative thoughts relating to myself. It is of course not recommended to send negative energy repeatedly to other people (nor to oneself either). That tends to recycle back to those who send it, for one thing. Not all negative thinking is conscious and intended though.

The distressed messages from a sub personality always mean to me that there is a positive side to this personality part as well, and that these kind of messages are fear related. They come from the parts of us that most ask for love. A sub personality never represents the totality of our personality, only a part of it. It is seldom these days I feel the need to check what and if they mirror something in myself, for I have come to know myself inside outside during this long and deep inner journey. This includes being aware of and familiar with my unconsciousness/subconscious, my own “subs” and what I am processing.

The same communication skills, laws of attraction, energy tools, and the intention to look at things from the soul/spirit perspective to the best of our ability in each moment, and taking good care of ourselves first, apply on these levels of telepathic communication as well as on the “normal” level of communication. If we are critical or judgmental to ourselves or others we may attract more of that. If we are belittling to ourselves we may attract more of the kind, and so on. And what we pay attention to tends to increase, which again is also a matter of how, in what energy we do the focusing on certain issues. There is no reason to engage in any telepathic power games, to take any negative affirmations from others (it is okay to say: stop), or get worried about other people´s challenges (as worrying does not help anyone). Power with instead over others applies here as well. Objective observer is the objective observer, humor liberates, and love creates miracles, to mention a few of the positive ways to respond. One of the greatest gifts and joys in life to anyone in the “ordinary” plane of living, too, can be to remain loved, trusted and understood in the moments, when one might feel the least deserving to that.

Sometimes when I want to be alone and only receive messages from higher guidance during the daily living, I play and set a certain type of privacy space.

Being consciously telepathic or not,  there is also this emotional nonverbal energy in the ethers that we might encounter with when we move through the days. We might notice this so, that  our own energy suddenly begins to drop. Grounding of one´s own energy well for instance before going to public places may serve people, who are sensitive to energy.

5) messages from the collective

These are brief messages about more collective matters, positive or challenging or even “indifferent”  which may appear in the media soon afterwards.

6) messages from the future presented as have happened in the now – in the present – though not yet so. These are usually concerning personally close souls to me.  There can be a gap of a few years even when the thing/issue in question actually happens. In this category it is possible that the parallel realities or alternate futures blend in somehow.

7) miscellaneous

Messages, which remain unknown in their context and meaning to me.

Most of the messages are of higher telepathy, of love, light, play and mutual support of soul mates, fellow travelers and higher guidance, and of receiving cosmic hugs. Ultimately it all is about Love and Consciousness.

Feel free to share your own experiences, or links to experiences of other people in this area.

Related posts (you can find some more under The Sixth Sense page of my blog): 

Background Story: My Opening to a New Level of Seeing and Sensing Energy

Fascinated by Symbolism

Discerning Intuition from “Inner Noise”

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Images: wallpaperswide.com

Minds Beyond Brains: New Experimental Evidence

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Minds Beyond Brains: New Experimental Evidence June 15, 2013  /newdawnmagazine.com By RUPERT SHELDRAKE

Where are our minds located? We have been brought up to believe that they are inside our heads, that mental activity is nothing but brain activity. Instead, I suggest that our minds extend far beyond our brains; they stretch out through fields that link us to our environment and to each other.

Mental fields are rooted in brains, just as magnetic fields around magnets are rooted in the magnets themselves, or just as the fields of transmission around mobile phones are rooted in the phones and their internal electrical activities. As magnetic fields extend around magnets, and electromagnetic fields around mobile phones, so mental fields extend around brains.

Mental fields help to explain telepathy, the sense of being stared at and other widespread but unexplained abilities. Above all, mental fields underlie normal perception. They are an essential part of vision.

Look around you now. Are the images of what you see inside your brain? Or are they outside you – just where they seem to be?

According to the conventional theory, there is a one-way process: light moves in, but nothing is projected out. The inward movement of light is familiar enough. As you look at this page, reflected light moves from the page through the electromagnetic field into your eyes. The lenses of your eyes focus the light to form upside-down images on your retinas. This light falling on your retinal rod and cone cells causes electrical changes within them, which trigger off patterned changes in the nerves of the retina. Nerve impulses move up your optic nerves and into the brain, where they give rise to complex patterns of electrical and chemical activity. So far, so good. All these processes can be, and have been, studied in great detail by neurophysiologists and other experts on vision and brain activity.

But then something very mysterious happens. You consciously experience what you are seeing, the page in front of you. You also become conscious of the printed words and their meanings. From the point of view of the standard theory, there is no reason why you should be conscious at all. Brain mechanisms ought to go on just as well without consciousness.

Then comes a further problem. When you see this page, you do not experience your image of it as being inside your brain, where it is supposed to be. Instead, you experience its image as being located about two feet in front of you. The image is outside your body.

For all its physiological sophistication, the standard theory has no explanation for your most immediate and direct experience. All your experience is supposed to be inside your brain, a kind of virtual reality show inside your head. That means your skull must lie beyond everything you are seeing: if you look at the sky, your skull must be beyond the sky! This seems an absurd idea, but it seems to be a necessary implication of the mind-in-brain theory.

The idea I am proposing is so simple that it is hard to grasp. Your image of this page is just where it seems to be, in front of your eyes, not behind your eyes. It is not inside your brain, but outside your brain.

Thus vision involves both an inward movement of light, and an outward projection of images. Through mental fields our minds reach out to touch what we are looking at. If we look at a mountain ten miles away, our minds stretch out ten miles. If we gaze at distant stars our minds reach out into the heavens, over literally astronomical distances.

Sometimes when I look at someone from behind, he or she turns and looks straight at me. And sometimes I suddenly turn around and find someone staring at me. Surveys show that more than 90% of people have had experiences such as these. The sense of being stared at should not occur if attention is all inside the head. But if it stretches out and links us to what we are looking at, then our looking could affect what we look at. Is this just an illusion, or does the sense of being stared at really exist?

This question can be explored through simple, inexpensive experiments. People work in pairs. One person, the subject, sits with his or her back to the other, wearing a blind-fold. The other person, the looker, sits behind the subject, and in a random series of trials either looks at the subject’s neck, or looks away and thinks of something else. The beginning of each trial is signalled by a mechanical clicker or bleeper. Each trial lasts about ten seconds and the subject guesses out loud ‘looking’ or ‘not looking’. Detailed instructions are given on my website, www.sheldrake.org/Onlineexp/offline/staring_experiment.html.

More than 100,000 trials have now been carried out, and the results are overwhelmingly positive and hugely significant statistically, with odds against chance of quadrillions to one. The sense of being stared at even works when people are looked at through closed-circuit TV.

Animals are also sensitive to being looked at by people, and people by animals. This sensitivity to looks seems widespread in the animal kingdom and may well have evolved in the context of predator-prey relationships: an animal that sensed when an unseen predator was staring would stand a better chance of surviving than an animal without this sense.

Educated people have been brought up to believe that telepathy does not exist. Like other so-called psychic phenomena, it is dismissed as an illusion. Most people who espouse these opinions, which I used to myself, do not do so on the basis of a close examination of the evidence. They do so because there is a taboo against taking telepathy seriously. This taboo is related to the prevailing paradigm or model of reality within institutional science, namely the mind-inside-the-brain theory, according to which telepathy and other psychic phenomena, which seem to imply mysterious kinds of ‘action at a distance’, cannot possibly exist.

This taboo dates back at least as far as the Enlightenment at the end of the eighteenth century. But this is not the place to examine its history (which I discuss in my book The Sense of Being Stared At). Rather I want to summarise some recent experiments, which suggest that telepathy not only exists, but that it is a normal part of animal communication.

I first became interested in the subject of telepathy some fifteen years ago, and started looking at evidence for telepathy in the animals we know best, namely pets. I soon came across numerous stories from owners of dogs, cats, parrots, horses and other animals that suggested that these animals seemed able to read their minds and intentions.

Through public appeals I have built up a large database of such stories, currently containing more than 3,500 case histories. These stories fall into several categories. For example, many cat owners say that their animal seems to sense when they are planning to take them to the vet, even before they have taken out the carrying basket or given any apparent clue as to their intention.

Some people say their dogs know when they are going to be taken for a walk, even when they are in a different room, out of sight or hearing, and when the person is merely thinking about taking them for a walk. Of course, no one finds this behaviour surprising if it happens at a routine time, or if the dogs see the person getting ready to go out, or hear the word ‘walk’. They think it is telepathic because it seems to happen in the absence of such clues.

One of the commonest and most testable claims about dogs and cats is that they know when their owners are coming home, in some cases anticipating their arrival by ten minutes or more.

In random household surveys in Britain and America, my colleagues and I have found that approximately 50% of dog owners and 30% of cat owners believe that their animals anticipate the arrival of a member of the household. Through hundreds of videotaped experiments, my colleagues and I have shown that dogs react to their owners’ intentions to come home even when they are many miles away, even when they return at randomly-chosen times, and even when they travel in unfamiliar vehicles such as taxis.

Telepathy seems the only hypothesis that can account for the facts. (For more details, see my book Dogs that Know When their Owners Are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals.)

In the course of my research on unexplained powers of animals, I heard of dozens of dogs and cats that seemed to anticipate telephone calls from their owners. For example, when the telephone rings in the household of a noted professor at the University of California at Berkeley, his wife knows when her husband is on the other end of the line because Whiskins, their silver tabby cat, rushes to the telephone and paws at the receiver.

“Many times he succeeds in taking it off the hook and makes appreciative miaws that are clearly audible to my husband at the other end,” she says. “If someone else telephones, Whiskins takes no notice.” The cat responds even when he telephones home from field trips in Africa or South America.

This led me to reflect that I myself had had this kind of experience, in that I had thought of people for no apparent reason who shortly there afterwards called. I asked my family and friends if they had ever had this experience, and I soon found the majority were very familiar with it. Some said they knew when their mother or boyfriend or other significant person was calling because the phone sounded different!

Through extensive surveys, my colleagues and I have found that most people have had seemingly telepathic experiences with telephone calls. Indeed this is the commonest kind of apparent telepathy in the modern world.

Is this all a matter of coincidence, and selective memory, whereby people only remember when someone they were thinking about rang, and forget all the times they were wrong? Most sceptics assume that this is the case, but until recently there had never been any scientific research on the subject at all.

I have developed a simple experiment to test for telephone telepathy. Participants receive a call from one of four different callers at a prearranged time, and they themselves choose the callers, usually close friends or family members. For each test, the caller is picked at random by the experimenter by throwing a die. The participant has to say who the caller is before the caller says anything. If people were just guessing, they would be right about one time in four, or 25% of the time.

We have so far conducted more than 800 such trials, and the average success rate is 42%, very significantly above the chance level of 25%, with astronomical odds against chance (1026 to 1).

We have also carried out a series of trials in which two of the four callers were familiar, while the other two were strangers, whose names the participants knew, but whom they had not met. With familiar callers, the success rate was 56%, highly significant statistically. With strangers it was at the chance level, in agreement with the observation that telepathy typically takes place between people who share emotional or social bonds.

In addition, we have found that these effects do not fall off with distance. Some of our participants were from Australia or New Zealand, and they could identify who was calling just as well as with people down under as with people only a few miles away.

Laboratory studies by parapsychologists have already provided significant statistical evidence for telepathy (well reviewed by Dean Radin in his book The Conscious Universe). But most laboratory research has given rather weak effects, probably because most participants and ‘senders’ were strangers to each other, and telepathy normally depends on social bonds.

The results of telephone telepathy experiments give much stronger and more repeatable effects because they involve people who know each other well. I have also found that there are striking telepathic links between nursing mothers and their babies. Likewise, the telepathic reactions of pets to their owners depend on strong social bonds.

I suggest that these bonds are aspects of the fields that link together members of social groups (which I call morphic fields) and which act as channels for the transfer of information between separated members of the group. Telepathy literally means ‘distant feeling’, and typically involves the communication of needs, intentions and distress.

Sometimes the telepathic reactions are experienced as feelings, sometimes as visions or the hearing of voices, and sometimes in dreams. Many people and pets have reacted when people they are bonded to have had an accident, or are dying, even if this is happening many miles away.

There is an analogy for this process in quantum physics: if two particles have been part of the same quantum system and are separated in space, they retain a mysterious connectedness. When Einstein first realised this implication of quantum theory, he thought quantum theory must be wrong because it implied what he called a “spooky action at a distance.”

Experiments have shown that quantum theory is right and Einstein wrong. A change in one separated part of a system can affect another instantaneously. This phenomenon is known as quantum non-locality or non-separability.

Telepathy, like the sense of being stared at, is only paranormal if we define as ‘normal’ the theory that the mind is confined to the brain. But if our minds reach out beyond our brains, just as they seem to, and connect with other minds, just as they seem to, then phenomena like telepathy and the sense of being stared at seem normal. They are not spooky and weird, on the margins of abnormal human psychology, but are part of our biological nature.

Of course, I am not saying that the brain is irrelevant to our understanding of the mind. It is very relevant, and recent advances in brain research have much to tell us. Our minds are centred in our bodies, and in our brains in particular. However, that they are not confined to our brains, but extend beyond them. This extension occurs through the fields of the mind, or mental fields, which exist both within and beyond our brains.

The idea of the extended mind makes better sense of our experience than the mind-in-brain theory. Above all, it liberates us. We are no longer imprisoned within the narrow compass of our skulls, our minds separated and isolated from each other. We are no longer alienated from our bodies, from our environment and from other people. We are interconnected.

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