The Presence of the Past

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9780006374664: The Presence of the Past

This book develops the revolutionary theory that behaviour and social systems are not only governed by immutable and mechanistic laws, which is the traditional viewpoint, but also by habits transmitted by nature's inherent memory. Rupert Sheldrake's hypothesis is that all natural systems from crystals to man inherit a collective memory of their kind. Thus, rabbits are rabbit-shaped not only because their DNA encodes their proteins, but also because nature has a "morphic field", in their case, a rabbit-habit, that informs their growth and instinctive behaviour. This inherent memory depends on "morphic resonance", a process that involves action at a distance in both space and time. The author also wrote "A New Science of Life".

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About the Author:

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., is a former Research Fellow of the Royal Society and was a scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University. His other books include A New Science of Life, The Rebirth of Nature, and Seven Experiments That Could Change the World. He lives in London with his wife and two sons.

From Publishers Weekly:

Biochemist Sheldrake maintains that if a pigeon in London learns a new habit, then pigeons everywhere else will automatically show an increasing tendency to learn the same habit. He holds that invisible energy patterns or "morphogenetic fields" surround and shape all atoms, all crystals, all pigeons and all humans. In his astonishing theory, any natural systemwhether insulin molecules, dandelions or societiesinherits a collective memory from all previous members of that group. Experimental evidence for Sheldrake's hypothesis is inconclusive but tantalizing. If true, it would force a radical revision of our understanding of genetics, evolution, memory, learning. Many books on the "new physics" and the paranormal have discussed Sheldrake's ideas, but his own explanation of morphic resonance is the most lucid and exciting account to date. He uses the theory here to suggest how creation myths and rituals connect past and present.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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