Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar has given you the call
When Alice meets the caterpillar, he puts a simple question to her:
“Who Are You?”
A question that she struggles to answer, lost as she is in the nonsensical reality of Wonderland.
The caterpillar is sitting atop a mushroom and smoking a hookah. We don’t know what substance is in the hookah but we can surmise it may be opium, marijuana or tobacco.
It could be deduced from the “languid, sleepy voice” of the caterpillar, that the substance of choice is opium. Extracted from the poppy, it symbolizes sleep, peace and death. This would be apt for a caterpillar living the easy life, munching through leaves, as much as a hundred times its weight in a day, and growing ever plumper. Perhaps, like the lotus-eater of John le Carré’s novels, the caterpillar is merely affecting amnesia of covert activities.
If marijuana, then this substance’s propensity for inducing shifts in perspective would also reflect the caterpillar’s role in Alice’s adventure.
If it turned out that the caterpillar was imbibing simple tobacco, then this would also be apt for the state of mind conducive to contemplation. Just as Holmes, when faced with a three-pipe problem, would sit puffing away for protracted periods, eyes closed from distraction, breaking it down to its component elements and then reassembling a whole, a solution.
Of all the interpretations as to the meaning of this character, the most resonant is that the caterpillar represents transformation for Alice.
We have all known since childhood that, by means of a wonderous metamorphosis, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
One day the caterpillar, more scientifically termed a larva, stops eating, hangs upside down and spins a cocoon around itself. During this pregnant pause, it undergoes a radical transformation.
How does this occur?
Inside the cocoon, the form of the caterpillar is dissolved into organic soup. Within this soup, certain cells known as imaginal discs, having developed while it was inside its egg, survive the digestion process and then begin to multiply. The caterpillar’s own immune system does not recognize these cells and attacks them as they arise. However, the cells keep coming fast, overwhelming the caterpillar’s immune system, connecting to each other, forming clusters, organizing themselves according to each of the adult body parts it needs as a butterfly, eyes, wings, legs and so on.
It was discovered that the butterfly has its own unique genome embedded within the caterpillar yet remaining apart.
These imaginal cells hold within them the potential of the butterfly. Initially they act independently of one another, as single-celled organisms. They then resonate according to a common frequency, speaking to each other in the language of imaginal cells, orchestrating as one to bring on the metamorphosis into a single multiple-celled organism.
How can this process be explained in terms of the mechanistic model of genetic programming by means of DNA alone?
In the mechanistic model, the genetic information coded in DNA forms the genetic program, but as Rupert Sheldrake tells us, this is a leap of faith projecting properties onto DNA that it does not have. What does DNA, in fact, do?
DNA codes for the sequence of amino acids which form proteins: the materials from which the body is constructed.
DNA does not code for the plan, the form that the body takes.
The DNA in the eyes, wings and legs of the butterfly is the same, despite the obvious differences in form.
Sheldrake suggests an alternative to the mechanist/reductionist approach. This is the idea of morphogenetic (form-shaping) fields which suggests that organisms are shaped by fields both within and around them, fields containing the potential form.
The acorn contains, within and around it, the oak tree field.
The caterpillar egg contains the caterpillar field. The caterpillar contains, nested within its caterpillar field, the butterfly field.
All cells inherit fields of organization. Genes are an essential part of this organization but they do not explain the organization itself.
In Sheldrake’s view, morphogenetic fields are not fixed but evolve, transmitted non-locally from past members of a species through what he calls morphic resonance. Each individual both draws upon and contributes to the collective memory of the species. This memory, a resonance with the past, is retained for example, when the body of the caterpillar, including its nervous system, has melted down. After metamorphosis into the butterfly, we find that it remembers certain kinds of food which it preferred in its caterpillar form.
This idea encompasses atoms, molecules, crystals, cells, tissues, organs, organisms and social groups of morphic fields such as schools of fish, flocks of birds and crowds of people. It covers the fields of both form and behaviour.
It is the social aspect of morphic fields that is particularly relevant to the argument laid forth in this article. Sheldrake provides the example of a hive of bees and likens it to a superorganism with the bees analogous to the cells. The hive behaves as a unified whole. Likewise, with schools of fish which avoid predators in a coordinated way and flocks of birds which bank smoothly without colliding with each other. Sheldrake suggests that this phenomenon is also at work in human groups, embracing the work of social psychologists on “collective behaviour” such as that of crowds, football hooligans, rioting mobs, lynching mobs and rapidly spreading social phenomena such as fashions, fads, crazes, rumours, and jokes.
This collective consciousness, a force that combines individual people into a crowd, is as mysterious as that which unites separate cells into a functional whole. The metaphor of human society as a superorganism exists in our language in phrases such as the body politic, head of state and arm of the law. This metaphor implies the unified nature of society.
One is minded of the Hobbesian vision of the great biblical monster, Leviathan, which he used as an analogy for society, with the sovereign as the head. However, Hobbes depicted the natural condition of mankind “the state of nature” as inherently violent and permeated with fear. In his view, the only thing that holds the Leviathan together and prevents it devolving into constant warfare of “everyman against everyman” is the social contract, enforced by the sovereign power and its attendant ruling class.
A more recent writer, Elias Canetti, shared Hobbes’ view regarding one manifestation of the social organism – the crowd, as a monstrous and destructive creature. He wrote that genuine crowds, as opposed to random groups of people coinciding in time and space, developed around a focal point he called a crowd crystal. This crystal grows like a nebulous entity, feeding on people, absorbing their separate identities, names, economic and social status until they merge into a new being. Concerted action moves across this superorganism like the waves of nervous discharge in a jellyfish. This creature exists for as long as its invisible goal is unattained. It may be a short-term goal as a lynch-mob killing or the destruction of several buildings, or it may be a long-term vision like the crusaders taking Jerusalem.
Sheldrake suggests we should think of whole societies and social groups as being coordinated by morphic fields, with the groups themselves coming together and dissolving as teams and crowds do. Societal fields are more enduring and we dwell within these fields all the time: family fields, or national fields, or local fields, the fields of various groups to which we belong.
Morphic resonance theory thus reaffirms Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious, the collective memory of humanity: the morphic field of mankind. Sheldrake takes this concept further and posits that the same principle operates throughout the entire universe and not just in humans.
Although this phenomenon undeniably has a shadow side expressed in mob-mentality from street gangs to the monstrous many-headed children of Nazi and Stasi groupthink, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Take the example of a high-level sports team where, after practice, everybody fits in and knows where their teammates are, where the team fuses into a single organism, yet each player retains their individuality and unique style of play. Words such as empathy or sixth sense describe these feelings experienced by the individuals that compose the team, in contrast to the blindness of those that compose the mob.
Only this form of collective consciousness that nurtures rather than feeds off individuality can exhibit true creativity. This state is referred to as “quantum coherence” by Mae Wan Ho. She describes organisms as “self-organizing quantum coherent systems.”
“An organism is full of activities over all time and space scales. In a fully coherent system, the activities are all correlated, yet each of these activities will appear as though they are independent of all the others.”
She uses the analogy of a jazz band to exemplify quantum coherence between organisms.
“Imagine a huge jazz band of musicians making music, from very small instruments to the very large, playing very fast to very slow, with a musical range of 70 octaves. They are improvising from moment to moment, spontaneously and freely and yet keeping in tune and in step with the whole. That is the ultimate quantum coherence.”
If we combine Rupert Sheldrake’s and Mae Wan Ho’s profound insights we arrive at morphic fields/ systems as the basis of all organization, ranging from the universe itself, down through galaxies, solar systems, planets, ecosystems, interdependent species, social groups, organisms, organ systems, organs, tissues, cells, molecules, crystals, atoms and quanta. These fields/systems interrelate and coordinate the morphic units or holons that lie within them, exhibiting varying degrees of quantum coherence in a nested hierarchy or holarchy.
In the individual, quantum coherence underlies the unified experience of the self.
In the social group it manifests as a unified social identity that simultaneously nurtures the individuality of its members.
Morphic fields and Memes
This view does not require an overarching sovereign power enforcing the social contract. Anthropologists and sociologists throughout history have referred to this indefinable “something”, this “conscience collective” in Emile Durkheim’s terminology, that maintains the cohesion of the social group. Many of the activities of this group consciousness are concerned with maintaining and stabilizing the continued existence of the group field itself. This helps to explain the manifestation of traditions, rituals, customs, and manners which are perpetuated to maintain pattern, structure and organization in a group field despite the continuous turnover of individuals through the cycles of life and death.
Such behavioural patterns are morphic fields themselves. The ideas that give rise to them or rise from them are also morphic fields. Just as morphic fields go beyond the idea of perpetuating genes as the basis for form and development, they also go beyond the idea of memes. The term “meme” was first coined by Sheldrake’s nemesis – Richard Dawkins, as a behavioural analogy to the gene. A meme is an idea such as a thought form or theory, or a behaviour such as a fashion, song or dance that passes from one person to another by imitation or learning. Memes propagate themselves through the socio-cultural sphere in a similar fashion to contagious viruses. They are transmitted by word of mouth, visual cues, media etc but some spread across great distances and populations in a way that defies logical explanation, at least within Dawkins’ “meme” framework.
What takes Sheldrake’s theory field beyond “memes” and “genes” is the postulation that morphic resonance operates instantaneously across space and time, in a nonlocal fashion.
Once a particular form has been learned or internalized by a system, it is more easily learned by a similar system anywhere else in the world, even without any contact in space. Sheldrake cites, as one of many, the example of rats that learn to negotiate a particular maze in one region leading to rats, elsewhere and having had no contact, learning that maze more rapidly.
The Hundredth Bird Effect
This phenomenon has been addressed before. The author Lyall Watson in his book “Lifetide”, published in 1979, recounted the story of a group of Japanese monkeys that began washing their food before eating, a new behavioural pattern. This behaviour spread through the troop. Nothing remarkable until, as Watson reported…
“ … the researchers noted that once a critical number of monkeys was reached, this behaviour instantly spread across the water to macaques on nearby islands.”
Sheldrake is aware of this account which has come to be known as the Hundredth Monkey Effect. However, Sheldrake is careful to never use it as he holds that most of versions of it that are in circulation have drifted a long way from the actual facts. He prefers to cite such authenticated examples as that of the behaviour of blue tits, a bird common throughout Britain. In the 1920’s blue tits in Southampton began pulling off the cardboard tops off of milk bottles with their beaks. This phenomenon began spreading locally by imitation. Then the event repeated 50 miles away, and again 100 miles away. Blue tits don’t travel more than 4-5 miles away from their nest. The dissemination over large distances could only be accounted for in terms of an independent discovery of the habit.
“The bluetit habit was mapped throughout Britain until 1947, by which time it had become more or less universal. The people who did the study came to the conclusion that it must have been “invented” independently at least 50 times.”
“Moreover, the rate of spread of the habit accelerated as time went on. In other parts of Europe where milk bottles are delivered to doorsteps, such as Scandinavia and Holland, the habit also cropped up during the 1930s and spread in a similar manner. Here is an example of a pattern of behavior which was spread in a way which seemed to speed up with time, and which might provide an example of morphic resonance.”
Though the “Hundredth Bird Effect” does not perhaps carry the same resonance, this seemingly innocuous account of bird behaviour has profound implications for humanity.
The glue that holds society together and the creativity that enables it to evolve is inherent within society itself.
Imaginal the people
The butterfly metaphor for world transition was first pointed out by Norrie Huddle in her book “Butterfly”, published in 1990.
By combining this metaphor with the insights of Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic fields and Mae Wan Ho’s quantum coherence we see the metaphor itself undergo a metamorphosis into our experienced reality.
The “caterpillar field” attuned to all caterpillars is resonant with the “humanity field” attuned to all humans.
Human society is currently melting down within its “cocoon.” Just as the “butterfly field” is nested within the “caterpillar field, the human analogue to the “butterfly field” is nested within the “humanity field.”
The analogues to the imaginal cells are individuals who hold the vision of a renewed society where liberty, autonomy and freedom of choice have precedence over a top-down, centralized oligarchy. This imaginal field whilst projecting a potential future also retains a primal memory that includes yet extends past the memory of the pre-meltdown humanity field.
As Mircea Eliade put it in Myths, Dreams and Mysteries:
“The desire for absolute freedom ranks among the essential longings of man, irrespective of the stage his culture has reached and of its forms of social organisation”.
These imaginal individuals having resisted the meltdown, stand in stark contrast to the other members, subjugated and compliant as they are, the memory of liberty all but extinguished – mute members of the meltdown humanity field.
The analogue to the caterpillar’s immune system, the security forces, also have their own nested field which in turn can be subdivided into distinct levels/fields:
- The standard police force, and military – analogous to the innate immune system
- The intelligence services and special forces – analogous to the adaptive immune system.
Now this security force field is increasingly perceiving the imaginal field as a foreign body, an enemy. It is perpetually attempting to constrain and attack it.
The Metamorphic Butterfly Effect
Yet, the imaginal field keeps growing, small at first causing minor perturbations, then growing ever larger and stronger, its effects rippling out, setting off tornados in the non-linear dynamic system of human society.
The imaginal individuals keep coming, connecting to one another, morphically resonating, forming clusters, communicating, simultaneously organizing themselves according to the varying needs of the individuals themselves and the new vision of the whole. The more aligned the thoughts, ideas and actions that arise from the imaginal field, the more powerful and coherent it becomes, enough to bring on the metamorphosis.
We see this phenomena in its overt manifestation in the increasing waves of protests campaigning for freedom sweeping across Europe. In the UK for example, peaceful demonstrations in London earlier in the year were met with singular resistance from the UK police. Coach loads of protesters were stopped on the motorway, and police were waiting at Kings Cross station to harass the masses. The numbers that did get through were herded and misled down blind alleys by covert operatives, who had infiltrated the protesters, playing the role of pied pipers and leading groups off in the wrong direction, into dead ends and police traps. Divide et impera. Jackals masquerading as uniformed officers and prowling on the outskirts of the crowds in predatory packs, preyed on straggling, isolated participants. Once they had their victim, they formed a “protective” circle around their psychotic colleagues as they abused the hapless individual.
In late March, the protestors were back in London, in greater numbers this time, most probably greater than the ten thousand attending last summer. The police had no success on this occasion in preventing this march, it being clear that they were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the protest.
On the 24th April, hundreds of thousands, perhaps as much as a million peaceful protestors arrived at the capital. Again, the police found it impossible to impose themselves upon these numbers. Indeed, there was no real need (other than tyranny) to do so, as the atmosphere was congenial, with well-informed people of all races, ages and backgrounds engaging peacefully and carrying placards with poignant factual information.
However, at Hyde park four hours later that day, a musical protest attended by several hundred was attacked by the police. After a brief and violent exchange, the police were chased off.
This staged confrontation seems to have been the only MSM coverage of the protest. The screaming omerta of the BBC alone speaks volumes. It is clear that the mockingbird mainstream media has been the primary means of warding away the truth and weaving a tapestry of lies across the world. The corporate media monoliths can now be seen as huge morphic fields nested within that of society that have been interpenetrated and taken over by the fields of the intelligence services.
Just as in our metaphor however, the imaginal field grows stronger and overwhelms the security force field. Once around 3.5% of the whole population has begun to participate actively, success appears to be inevitable according to Erica Chenowith’s revolutionary research. Along with her colleague Maria Stephan, she reviewed 323 non-violent and violent campaigns attempting to bring about regime change from 1906 to 2006.
In the UK this would mean around 2.3 million people actively engaging out of a population of 67 million.
The opposition, the security services, be they police, military, co-intel operatives or agent provocateurs are miniscule in comparison to these figures. No matter what treacherous tactics are deployed, if enough people gather together in symbolic locations, the game is up.
Within one year of such sustained campaigns after the crossing of this threshold, victory is assured.
“There weren’t any campaigns that had failed after they had achieved 3.5% participation during a peak event.”
Nonviolent campaigns, such as the anti-lockdown protests, are twice as effective as violent campaigns, drawing in more participants from a significantly broader demographic. Building on the foundations laid by such figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, non-violent resistance campaigns operate from a morally higher ground of peaceful demonstrations and marches, general strikes, boycotts of products or companies and non-compliance with unjust laws or orders. Certainly, the early stages of such protests require courage, especially in an atmosphere of governmental repression. However, as numbers grow in a positive feedback loop, the level of physical danger decreases proportionally. Increasing visibility of such campaigns also make it easier for people to coordinate and get directly involved.
Such support across the population has a greater chance of winning over members of the police and military – groups that the repressing government relies on to maintain order. These members will be more likely to fear for their family members and friends in the crowds, especially when the numbers approach critical mass. After this point has been reached, they become concerned about themselves as they finally see which way the wind is blowing. Non-violent campaigns encourage security force loyalty shifts and defections which make them 46 times more likely to succeed.
As the imaginal field grows stronger, it overwhelms the security force field which ceases resisting it and begins to align to it. The imaginal field of genuine alternative media, growing in coherence and integrity, overwhelms the monolithic media field, causing the campaigns to be truthfully reflected to the general populace and grow in visibility, further enhancing coordination.
Symbiotes versus Parasites
We can expand our metaphor to include inspiration from the writings of the scientist Masuru Emoto, who in conversation with another scientist – Professor Teruo Higa, an expert in microbiology, learnt that within the world of microorganisms, there is an ongoing power struggle between the beneficial and harmful microorganisms. The harmful microorganisms make up 10%. However, there are also 10% of beneficial microorganisms. The remaining 80% he refers to as “wait-and-see” microorganisms. They watch until either the good or the bad microorganisms emerge as the victors, and they join the stronger of the two and imitate them.
Emoto found a correlation in human society, where there are people who have the ability and feel the call to make this world a better place, about 10% of the population. Many of these people have not yet fully awakened to their potential. As more and more of these people awaken, the vast majority of the population – about 80% – will also join their numbers.
In the UK, that beneficial 10% would number around 6.7 million. These can be seen as the individuals of the imaginal field that has the potential to grow and organize itself. Its greater size than Chenowith’s magic threshold of 3.5% – in the UK, 2.3 million active campaigners indicates that there are likely to be many more individuals able to contribute to and strengthen the imaginal field than those actively campaigning at any one time. These active campaigns may include synchronous demonstrations and marches up and down the country at key locations, mass non-compliance, strikes, boycotts, social media and letter campaigns. Yet they exist within a support structure, a field conducive to their success. These are the words, thoughts, ideas, forms of intent and supporting behaviours, transmitted locally and non-locally between the wider range of individuals within the imaginal field, amplified through social media, aligning, strengthening and streamlining the field with quantum coherence. This imaginal field then influences the field of the majority, the 80% of the population that have succumbed to the propaganda, to begin resisting tyranny and aligning to the vision of this human analogue to the butterfly field.
This power struggle has been going on for a good while, for all of history in fact, not just in the UK, but the whole world. It has begun accelerating at an unprecedented rate in the last few hundred years, in tandem with technological evolution, to the crisis point the humanity field currently finds itself at.
Astute readers will note that we have yet to bring our attention to the remaining 10%, the parasitic field nested within the humanity field that has for a long time been dominant. It is clear that the 80% majority field has been under the thrall of this parasitic field, which has long fed off its substance and prevented the metamorphosis. Now, it seems that this parasitic field is going all out to bring about a decoy metamorphosis of its own named the “Great Reset”, which is really a desperate attempt to reset institutionalized slavery.
This will be the subject of the proceeding part 5.
Meanwhile, if you wish to review the preceding parts: