Recently my neighbor was showing me around his garden. I had agreed to care for it while he and his wife went on holiday. He showed me some tadpoles, whose diet is leaf-lettuce. Soon, they would grow to become frogs, who would enjoy the diet of insects in his garden. Most people would explain the changing diet of this species to children as ‘instinct’. Tadpoles eat greens when they’re in the water and then become adults who eat insects.
Gardeners are grateful for this process and rely on the help of the insect-eating frogs, to free us from using chemical insecticides. But, as adults, many of us are not satisfied to accept the simplified explanation of ‘instinct’ to describe the changing behavior of these frogs. Something more seems to be apparent as we associate with these tiny, useful beings.
Professor Carl Jung proposed idea of a ‘mass subconscious’, where human and other species tap into a wellspring of greater wisdom. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung’s hypothesis sufficed for a few decades but many thinkers were not satisfied with a ‘storage tank’ for the myriad ideas about experiences and species relationships.
One puzzle was faced by Japanese thinkers. Apparently, the Japanese had been feeding monkeys with sweet potatoes on a remote island. The monkeys found the sand on the sweet potatoes was uncomfortable to eat, and one monkey got the idea to wash his sweet potato in the sea. The idea spread within the initial monkey’s community, but, other monkeys on other islands also picked up on the washing idea without having had contact with the initial populations. Dr Rupert Sheldrake and others came up with the idea that ‘packages of knowledge’ or ‘morphic fields’ were harbored in a mass subconscious.
Although, the idea was welcomed many, there have been skeptics. However, the skepticism has been answered by clever studies. One study was mounted in USA, using two groups of 30 people. One group, with no Asian language skills whatsoever, was given a Japanese nursery rhyme to memorize. The other group, memorized an equivalent number of non-sense syllables, carefully designed by researchers to have the appearance of a language. The study revealed that the Japanese nursery rhyme task was easier to memorize. The researchers believed the Japanese nursery rhyme group were tapping into something bigger than themselves. They were satisfied that this provided evidence that morphic fields exist and are useful in the mass subconscious.
Its inspiring to contemplate these morphic fields being available, and unlimited by geography or time. They are the repository of all of the good ideas that we as individuals discover in life. If it were not for this repository we would be stumped in the many situations the ego faces. We can either be simply grateful for the presence of the morphic fields and we can tap into them automatically, or we can intentionally access them through mindfulness mediation.
An inspiring potential!