Monday, 14 May 2012

Breaking the tyranny of linear and sequential causality - Sheldrake


Looking back on my engagement with the work of Rupert Sheldrake last year, I can see that the greatest benefit was to free me from the tyrannical grip that linear, sequential causality had upon my imagination.

Since this was the reasoning style I used in science and medicine, it had become not just habitual to me - but I felt that it was the only truly valid mechanism by which the elements and parts of the universe were in relation to one another.

Sheldrake made me see that this was an assumption, a metaphysical assumption, and not a discovery.

In understanding field thinking about causality I saw that it was different-from linear sequential thinking (I had tended to think it was a different way of saying much the same thing), and thus opened my mind to the possibility of other ways in which the parts of reality influenced each other.

Also, field thinking clarified for me that influence may be across time and space - or rather, that the idea that this does not happen is a simplifying assumption in (most types of) science; rather than a necessary constraint.

I then realised that that linear sequential causality had been locking me into a view of reality which was necessarily unrealistic, hopeless and meaningless (not that other ways of thinking about causality are the opposite - real, hopeful, meaningful; but that when linear sequential causality is monolithically dominant, then reality is necessarily appalling to the human mind).

The specific details of morphic fields and morphic resonance may be a more- or less-accurate and complete metaphysical description of reality - ultimately, they can be at most a metaphorical hence partial summary of reality - but that was not their most important aspect for me.

What is most important is that I now perceive that the lack of an explicit, linear, sequential causal chain between phenomena may indeed rule-out useful scientific analysis (of the kind with which I am familiar); but this lack does not rule-out a causal connection between phenomena.


1 comment:

Warren Kinston said...

I'm glad to read this. In my work I have identified a range of similarly fixed conceptions oh what reality 'must' be like. It is one of the hardest things for a person to escape as it continually self-reinforces. Warren