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Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (Anglais) Broché – 21 juin 2011

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The Presence of the Past A new edition of Rupert Sheldrake's bestseller Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 19 commentaires
96 internautes sur 101 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Hmm? am i really the first to give 5 stars? 4 août 2002
Par Jurgen Innos - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I felt compulsed to write a 5-star review after seeing only 3 reviews, all of them giving 3 or 4 stars to this classic masterpiece. Hey, don't get it wrong! this is a superb book you can't put down once you've started. I have read it twice and intend to translate it into Estonian.
Although, yes, only maybe a quarter of orthodox biologists can stand Sheldrake's name, the implications of his theory - if correct - are enormous. It would thoroughly change our present understanding of the concept of memory, which means that we need new fields of science - physical semiotics, for example. It would push the "borders" of semiotics to include the very first particles after the BB. Followers of C.S.Peirce would drink lots of champagne and would celebrate the victory. It would also require a radical revision of the ideas of evolution.
So - yes, yes, this IS a popular half-science-fiction book, easily dismissed by orthodox scientists. However, several of Sheldrake's examples are convincing and his theoretizing makes sense. So, I prefer to keep Sheldrake's ideas in "Interesting unsolved cases" drawer. Sheldrake is very much like Ken Wilber. "Serious" philosophers don't call Wilber a philosopher, but an "interesting individual". I would take it as a compliment.
42 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Theresa Welsh - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I read this book some years ago and find the ideas in it have stayed with me, as they go a long way toward filling some holes in our understanding of reality. Sheldrake's Morphic Fields mean living things communicate even when they are not in physical proximity. This explains some of his other research, such as psychic connections between human and animal. Read Sheldrake's book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, a fascinating look at the human-animal bond.
But the idea that once a new technique is learned by part of the population, it is more easily learned by the rest is startling. Can it explain the rapid spread of computer literacy? Like the old joke in school, can we actually learn "by osmosis?" Sheldrake's examples of group behavior and generational learning in the animal world points exactly in that direction. What one generation learns can be passed to the next. What I learn can make it easier for you to learn. This is a radical idea!
I've recently read astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell's book, The Way of the Explorer, in which he presents his view of reality, based on years of research into psychic and spiritual pehonomenon. His view incorporates Sheldrake's ideas in that he accounts for knowledge that does not come from standard learning methods. Knowledge received from spiritual insight or received psychically is part of the natural but unseen web underlying our universe, according to Mitchell. All knowledge of past and present is available, but is not sought by most people, since they do not know or practice the techniques for tapping into that source and there are no currently accepted scientific theories to explain how it works. Sheldrake's Morphic Fields are one such explanation.
The Presence of the Past is an influential book that will continue to be consulted and discussed. Since reading it, I've had more reason to think Sheldrake is right and I've read nothing elsewhere that disproves his fascinating conclusions.
29 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Simple Idea Viewed from a New Perspective 6 décembre 2005
Par W. T. Louderback - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Legendary managment guru W. Edwards Deming spoke frequently of "profound knowledge." Basically, this is knowledge that profoundly changes the way you think and releases new creative energies. See his book The New Economics.

Rupert Sheldrake's ideas about "morphogenetic fields" and "morphic resonance" must surely be that kind of knowledge. He begins with a fairly simple scientific concept and brings it into another creative universe. Many of us are familiar with "fields". For example, there are electomagnetic fields, gravitational fields, and quantum matter fields.

We know from Science that we are immersed in a sea of electromagnetic fields of numerous frequencies. Waves of energy pass through each other without interfering with each other. Matter is condensed energy. We can see that form of energy, however there is a lot of energy we cannot see.

Based on mathematical calculations, we also know that an infinite spectrum of energy waves is theoretically possible. Waves in infinite variety might be passing through each other continuously without noticeably interacting. Perhaps, the world we know is just one spectrum connected to many other spectrums we haven't seen yet.

We'd have worlds have within worlds, in other words: "baby universes", ten dimensions in "space time", "superstrings", "universe splits", and so forth and so on.

Author and physcist David Bohn famously explained it this way. "Everything material is also mental, and everything mental is also material. But, there may be more infinitely subtle levels of matter than we are aware of." This is where Sheldrake's morphogentic fields come into the picture, or big picture, it seems to me. The forms and physical properties that we see resonating throughout existence are developed by some kind of know-how or knowledge. Could it be that there are fields in Biology and Chemistry like the fields we recognize in Physics?

If I've got it right, Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields are mental or maybe spiritual fields that spread know-how and knowledge throughout creation. Maybe I've skipped a rung of the inner and outer worlds of existence, but I feel like I'm getting pretty warm here.

Sheldrake doesn't want us to just take his word for this, however. Theories in Science need to be tested. And, Sheldrake's already working on that. He proposes several experiments in the last few chapters of the book. Browsing Amazon, I see there's another book or two in publication about these experiments.

You might want to read this book with Out of Control by Kevin Kelly and/or Living Systems by James Grier Miller, which is what I did. Several reviewers of this book have mentioned "metaphysics". If you'd like to go in that direction as well, you might enjoy What is Process Theology by Robert B. Mellert or Process Theology: A Basic Introduction by Robert Mesle.
52 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
good ideas more development needed 7 août 2000
Par Frank Bierbrauer - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Sheldrake's original idea expounded in his earlier : "A New Science of Life" is further investigated here, I say investigated rather than developed because he seems to have taken a step back towards the view of the science he purports to have surpassed. The idea of morphic resonance is very interesting indeed, however the use of the field concept is much the same as the fields proposed in physics. One feels Sheldrake is making use of such devices because a new idea is not at hand whereas a truly new approach would revitalise this idea of morphic resonance and perhaps consider the whole rather than a piecemeal approach such as fields which act like pieces, the common use prevalent in physics with the possible exception of quantum theory.
In this aspect I agree with the previous reviewer but on the other hand there are some really fascinating ideas present, the basic one being morphic resonance, and the habits of nature. There certainly is a fair bit of experimental evidence to support at least a deeper investigation of these ideas rather than the usual "crank" reaction of mainstream science which of course considers it heresy. Crucial to such an investigation would be a device capable of measuring this "field" or at least the effect on the formation of structures such as crystals which Sheldrake notes should provide an interesting test of his ideas.
I believe Sheldrake does not take enough care to avoid a certain feeling of uncertainty and even at times a sense that there is something not quite solid about the reasoning. I also believe this was not his intention and that his ideas have great worth and deserve the most serious consideration.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Paradigm-shifting work 15 mars 2007
Par T. Kalamaras - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Sheldrake's opus shakes the axioms of causality underlying experimental science. Not many books have done that. Not many books can address metaphysical topics, suggest alternatives to the standard Aristotelian underpinnings of science or "naturalism," and do so plausibly without recourse to superstition.

Sheldrake, a biologist, examines the many anomalous phenomena that seem to cut against some very basic beliefs about "how things work." The book integrates observations from many different fields of endeavor from physics to biology to psychology. The scope of this work as as wide as it is deep.

If you have ever read Thomas Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions," this book will resonate along the same lines for you. Well worth your time and money.
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