Nov 25, 2008

Extended Bodies

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Yesterday afternoon while thinking about free will and the connections found in life, I suddenly recalled the research of Rupert Sheldrake. Particularly, the phenomenon of a new creative force occurring in the universe and suddenly, this form of creativity spreads throughout & the knowledge is accessible to all, regardless of distance. This article is a short run-down of what I’m talking about.

To me, the importance of this phenomena is that it potentially means that the creativity of one is accessible to all. For example, if someone creates a statue with certain motifs & symbols, then that created information is now and forever accessible in the universe. Furthermore, this phenomena tells me about the power of creativity. That creativity is very much alive.

Sheldrake has also discovered how our vision is not about information coming to us but about us going to it. This points to a reality in which our minds are extended, not confined. But we know that we are not just our minds; we are our bodies. There is no division. And that is why I say our bodies are not confined to being passive recipients, but rather they extend. Below is a recent lecture by Rupert discussing the nature of this, as well as the phenomenon of entangled minds and the power (not the coincidence) behind instances such as thinking of someone and a day later getting an email from them:

This is all fascinating to me in the pursuit of understanding choice. Or in other words, where does the power lie? If connections in life are by chance, then that means we have the ability to make choices, but our choices are powerless & meaningless. But experience has told me things are not by chance. So, are our lives predetermined, meaning we have no choice, or are we part of our own creation, meaning we are part of the power?

My sense is that the tapestry of life is such that an infinite amount of potentials are laid out and continue to be laid out. And depending on how one looks at it, everything can seem pre-determined or it can seem to be all about choice. For whatever its worth, I think it is a little of both. Potentials are determined based on the conditions of the present (which one could say are affected by the past (pre-determined) or even affected by the future (post-determined) being that life seems to be more cyclical than linear), and yet there is still room for creativity by which to bring about a certain potential.

I liken this reality to finding one’s self on a grassy field with a soccer ball. In front of you is a huge black curtain. What is behind you depends on your clarity of awareness; if you are clouded and generally unaware of your past or are always worried about the future, all you may see is another black curtain. But let’s say you are aware and attentive; in that case, you can see a large portion of a soccer field with the goal you are defending behind you. From this you gather that what is beyond the black curtain in front of you is the goal by which you can shoot at. However, that does not mean you necessarily know if you are to score or if you are to stall for time by dribbling around, nor do you know where the goal is nor if there is a goalie. But this points out that there are different outcomes/potentials which may come about, and these are all available in the universe, given the past direction and current conditions which have come about. And if the information is available in the universe, that means it is accessible. If the universe knows, you can know.

Whether that means it comes to you or you go to it, as Sheldrake’s extended reality points to, the point is that knowledge and answers are accessible. So, when the “curtains” are finally removed and the timing and placement of everything seems just right (i.e. you are ready to precisely shoot at the empty part of the net), it may seem predetermined, but I think more so we have co-created it as such. We have used the knowledge available (both the given past, as well as the potential future(s) beyond the curtains) to discern which reality to bring about. And the degree by which the fulfilled potential connects with what we knew or have seen seems to depend on how conscious we are, or rather how sensitive we are to this tapestry/life force of potentials/knowledge/creativity. In other words, our level of co-creation depends on our ability to access what is knowable, or rather our ability to know what is possible.

When everything seems rather unknown, we think we have free will because we don’t recognize how things are linked or may be determined. Although we think we have power, we are really just following ingrained habits/choices. Our choice for different potentials is very limited. But when we know more, we may feel quite the opposite, in that we have no free will because as we see the potentials ahead, we know there is one choice that is best or needs to be made. On one level, I think that will always exist. But I also think that the more one knows, the more potential that can be seen, and hence, the more power to choose. In fact, I wonder if one can start creating potentials relatively unknown (i.e. the power to change the whole scenario of a soccer field into something else as the curtain is revealed)?

This answer seems to depend on the extent as to which our ability to choose is limited, given what we are. I think of ourselves in comparison to a cell. A nerve cell, for example, is a whole in and of itself. As are we. It is what it is and if it wants to be something different (i.e. an immune cell), it has little ability to do so. I believe the same is for ourselves, but with a notable exception: as a larger whole, we have more autonomy and agency. Which brings back the question, how much can we co-create, especially when others are at play (i.e. we are not in a vacuum where changing the soccer field into something else affects no one)? And how much power depends on the circumstances (i.e. certain cells in the body develop into what is needed, depending on what is called for)? Are we stem cells? If so, do we have complete freedom of choice or do we have to follow what is called for?

As an extra note, Sheldrake’s work makes me ponder the notion of out-of-body experiences, in that it is about the ability to be more aware and in control of our bodies, which are already extending out with or without our knowing to gain answers which are significant to us.

This also makes me rethink the whole notion of deja vu: rather than deja vu being about reliving something for the second time, perhaps it is about premenotion (seeing beyond the curtain), that one knows this information or event was coming. Then when it comes or one comes across it, it feels as if we had already seen/experienced it before.

And up above, I spoke about someone creating a statue with certain motifs & symbols and then that created information being now and forever accessible in the universe. The question is, were the creative information/symbols put into it accessible before the statue was created? And if so, where did all this creativity all come from in the first place?