The Field - Lynne McTaggart
During the past few decades, science has begun to prove what ancient myth and religion has always espoused: that there may be such a thing as a life force. Frontier scientists all over the globe have produced extraordinary evidence to show that an energy field " the Zero Point Field " connects everything in the universe, and we ourselves are part of this vast dynamic cobweb of energy exchange.
Lynne McTaggart's book is a highly readable scientific detective story which reveals how the field is responsible for many of the most profound human mysteries, from alternative medicine and spiritual healing to extra-sensory perception and the collective unconscious.
'McTaggart's book should come with a warning: may forever change your world view' - Larry Dossey, MD
'An irresistible detective story for anyone who believes there is more to this world than meets the eye' - Jacques Benveniste
'A fascinating presentation about the true nature of life' - Bernie Siegel, MD
'One of the most thought-provoking reads of the year' - The Ecologist
- Author: McTaggart Lynne
- 357 pages
- Printed in UK
Reprinted with the permission of The Society of Homeopaths, (from 'The Homeopath' magazine, Winter 2002 edition):
Reviewed by Jim Rogers:
I am sure that most UK readers of this journal are familiar with Lynne Mctaggart through her publication 'What Doctors Don't Tell You'. For a number of years, through this vehicle, Lynne has been questioning established medical practices and treatments, and highlighting safe and effective alternatives. She has managed to develop a wide audience by presenting information concisely, in a newsletter, which is accessible, whilst staying grounded in published scientific research.
This book grew out of Lynne's experiences with WDDTY and combines the same balance of accessibility (for a non-expert), with clear references to the detail of scientific research, which has led to the conclusions presented. As she says in the very first paragraph "this book started eight years ago when in the course of my work I kept bumping up against miracles". What kind of miracles? Well, in her words: "Hard scientific evidence concerning methods of healing that flout every notion we have about our own biology. I discovered for instance, some good studies about homeopathy. Randomised, double blind placebo controlled studies...these discoveries left me with wonder, but profoundly unsettled."
Those of us, who have dealt for years with homeopathy as part of the very warp and fabric of our particular world, do not of course see homeopathy as a miracle, or feel unsettled by it. However we should be thankful that her inquiring mind has been unsettled sufficiently to inspire an adventure around the world, in order to track down those scientists whose work is at the cutting edge of inquiry into the quantum world, and thence into phenomena such as high dilutions.
This book is a great read for us as homeopaths because it validates further what we do. We know that homeopathy has a wonderful logic and coherence, although we cannot always articulate how it works. We are familiar with the research of Benveniste, even with some of the theories, such as the 'memory of water'. This investigation summarises Benveniste's work, and also looks at how often it has been replicated, to the point where even total sceptics have been converted (and how often has that occurred in the history of homeopathy?). For example on p71 we hear how one "Professor Ennis...joined a large pan-European research team with hopes of showing, once and for all, that homeopathy and water memory were utter nonsense". Her conclusion, after a large amount of very tightly controlled research? "The results compel me to suspend my disbelief and to start searching for rational explanations to our findings." Of course, most of us homeopaths simply think, "So what, we told you so!" when these kinds of results come out. Although this is fascinating stuff, in a way it is far less interesting than some of the other material in the book.
The author has marshalled an array of evidence from many corners of the scientific world, and has attempted to make links between them. The pieces of this scientific jigsaw, when placed together, do indeed lead to some remarkable conclusions.
The central concept of " the field" rests on the work of a number of scientists in recent decades. It had always been assumed that, in the absence of any activity, in the dead spaces of the universe where nothing exists, there is 'zero energy'. Then, researchers began to realise that, even in the spaces between things there is a constant interchange of energy. There is a sea of quantum energy which connects everything to this sea of energy. Living things emit a weak radiation, and it came to be seen that this radiation and interchange of waves of energy was actually the most important aspect of all biological processes. This came to be known as the Zero Point Field (ZPF). Then it was recognised that, at the most fundamental level, we are all 'packets' of quantum energy, constantly exchanging information with everything else like some giant web. Whether it is the workings of DNA or the workings of our minds, all of these processes work on a quantum level, meaning that subatomic entities, which can be a wave or a particle, are constantly interacting with the ZPF, and therefore are interacting with everything (and everyone) else like some giant web.
The author suggests that she is providing some kind of scientific validation of areas which "have largely been the domain of religion, mysticism, alternative medicine or new-age speculation". I remember, when I first started reading literature relating to alternative methods of healing, coming across the esoteric writings of people like Alice Bailey and others, and finding references to the "akashic records", a kind of universal vault where all actions and events are stored as a record for all time in the esoteric realm. It was supposed that, at a certain spiritual level one could access these records. It sounded like a fairly kooky idea, but it turns out that it is pretty close to the new scientific view. Since waves are a universal medium of information transfer and since all matter in the world is constantly interacting with the energy of the Zero Point Field, then the subatomic waves of this field are constantly imprinting a record of all that they come into contact with, i.e. everything! "The ZPF is a kind of shadow of the universe for all time, a mirror image and record of everything that ever was."
Not only that, but consider the idea that our own memory may not exist in our own brain at all. Brain researchers have had problems for decades in locating and explaining memory. It does not always seem tied to a particular location. Now it seems that memory may be also simply an interaction with the ZPF. Memories are stored there, and the brain is just the 'retrieval and read-out' mechanism, which recovers them from the field.
There are all sorts of other radical ideas and discoveries covered in the book. If you read it you will find out about the decades of para-psychological research, which prove that people can influence things, and events, over huge distances. Ed Mitchell, on Apollo 14, even proved that you could influence random signs back on earth, from deep in space. He took part in JB Rhine's research whilst on the Apollo mission.
Even more radical is the idea of influencing things not just across space but also across time. Quantum waves can travel backwards and forwards, in both space and time. Convincing evidence is presented, from para-psychological research, of people influencing events after they have happened! (Yes, you did read that right). A certain set of random data was recorded on tape, and at a later time people attempted to influence the outcome of this data. Remember that the outcome had already been recorded. It seemed that, as long as nobody had already listened to the recording, it could be influenced from the future. This fits in with the idea that, on a quantum level, subatomic particles exist in all potential states, until observed or recorded.
By the time you get to the end of the book you will be forgiven for thinking that much of science fiction is in danger of being confirmed as science fact. Hearing that scientists now talk seriously about producing a star trek type warp drive to travel at x-times the speed of light seems unsurprising after all that has come before.
I have read the book twice and am still trying to get my head around a lot of the ideas contained in it. Whilst the bending of time, and the star trek ideas, are the most mind- blowing in some respects, perhaps the most relevant aspects for us are the implications for healing.
Research into high dilutions has already been mentioned; these are not the only references to homeopathy, however: for example, a German researcher called Fritz Albert Popp discovered that the reason certain chemicals cause cancer, is because they interfere with light emissions from the body. Most scientists laughed at this idea that the body emits light. However, Popp managed to prove that it does just that. Apparently we absorb photons of light from plant materials that we consume, and indeed all living things exchange photons of light with each other. Machines now exist to measure the emission of light. Healthy individuals emit typical patterns and frequencies of light. The cancer-causing chemicals seem to scramble light, and change its frequency. Popp found that mistletoe helped to restore coherence in photon emissions, in a sample of tissue from a cancer patient. He then arranged for her to be treated solely with the mistletoe and the woman, who had been given up as a terminal cancer case, found that after a year she was well, and all her laboratory tests were normal. One of the biggest sources of light emissions is DNA, and it seems that light waves have a very strong role in cell generation and growth, and also in cell communication. Popp theorised that homeopathy was another example of a process which normalises photon emissions. A rogue frequency in the body will produce a set of symptoms, whilst a high dilution of a substance which causes the same symptoms, will carry similar frequencies and oscillations. Like a tuning fork in resonance, a suitable homeopathic solution might attract and absorb the wrong oscillations.
So here is another scientist convinced that the body, indeed all biological processes, are governed by quantum processes, and convinced that homeopathy fits very well within this scheme of how things work. I am in no way qualified to comment on the science described here. What is clear is that the scientists whose work is described here, are all prestigious people from prestigious institutions. All had a high reputation and many were leading names in their field. Of course, after getting involved in some of the research described in the book, some of them became ostracised by institutions frightened by the radical implications of these discoveries.
This book takes us a stage further on from Fritjof Capra, and those other pioneers of the new physics and the new science. It indicates that the tide really is turning in terms of scientific paradigms. The illusion of Newtonian separateness, of discrete entities rattling about in a mechanical and meaningless universe, is being broken-up and replaced by a much richer concept of ourselves and the universe, that is, as a multitude of beings and phenomena deeply interlinked and interdependent.
As well as validating all of our endeavours in homeopathy, this poses huge implications for all of us in our lives, and in the way we approach and understand the world and other people. I definitely recommend buying the book for yourself; its stimulating effect is sure to disperse the post-Christmas fog, if nothing else.