Recently I wished to find the source of a popular idea, introduced to me by the Institute of Noetic Science in California USA. This idea gave me a sense of purpose with this Blog, called “Being Inspiring.” The popular idea that supported my sense of purpose here and was called “The Hundredth Monkey.”
I looked on Amazon.com and could only find one book by Kendrick Frazer and it was entitled: “THE HUNDREDTH MONKEY AND OTHER PARADIGMS OF THE PARANORMAL; A Skeptical Inquirer Collection.” It was published by Prometheus Books in 1991.
Scepticism, according to Webster’s New World Collage Dictionary is “the doctrines of the ancient Greek Skeptics, also the philosophical doctrine that the truth of all knowledge must always be in question and that inquiry must be a process of doubting and scepticism.” However, even sceptics can be satisfied by the scientific method.
A couple years ago in this Blog, I mentioned the report that the Japanese had feed monkeys on several islands, with great distance between each other. The food was sandy sweet potatoes and they observed that one at a time the monkeys began to wash there sweet potatoes in the sea before eating. Yet, before long, the monkeys on distant islands, gradually picked up the idea, as the sand was always somewhat annoying. From this experience, a book called THE HUNDREDTH MONKEY was written about this phenomenon, as it seemed that the monkeys could not learn without seeing other monkeys on distant islands but, in fact, they did learn the culture. Also, it was a conundrum for academics, trained to be suspicious of people accepting such ideas without a scientific test.
Eventually, a scientific test was developed to most people’s satisfaction.Two equivalent groups of adults who all knew no Japanese language. 30 were given a task of memorizing a Japanese nursery rhyme. The other 30 were given an equivalent task memorizing nonsense syllables. The nursery rhyme group out performed the others. So the sceptics, needed a satisfying explanation.
A British researcher, Rupert Sheldrake had been working with an idea, he called “Morphogenic fields” or “Morphic fields.” Sheldrake referred to these as little packages of learning located in the mass subconscious. The idea would be that the more of us learned a skill (feeding one Morphic field), the easier it would be for others to access the learning.
Frankly, this idea is what motivates me because, long ago, as a worker in the field of psychology, I began to form the idea that helping others solve their life problems, would give me a sense of purpose in my life. It is inspiring to me when someone else overcomes ambiguity and a smile is produced! I know from experience that many people are using these Morphic fields! As one learns a style of overcoming ambiguity, others have the benefit of that particular Morphic field.
On reflection, it seems magical, as the author mentioned above would label the experience as “paranormal.” It seems magical as we find ourselves coming up with ideas without apparently learning them. What is apparently magical or even fun and inspiring, is the experience of those 30 people learning their Japanese nursery rhyme, with an uncanny ease. I would predict that they would be amazed! In my own experience of struggling to learn “set theory” in high school, I was amazed many years later, when my wife was teaching set theory to children in grade 6 of their primary school. This has certainly caste a new light learning these days!