By Neale Donald Walsch.
The Morphic Field, the Tipping Point, and Critical Mass
Dear fellow travelers on this long and challenging road…
What is being invited here is a new Magna Carta for all of humanity, a Declaration of Interdependence for the entire world. What our species is begging for is a New Cultural Story, a new way of understanding life, a new way of being human.
I do not see this new story, however, as some sort of Statement of Universal Understandings that will be proposed to our entire species at one moment for simultaneous adoption. That would simply be another Top Down Pronouncement from some Power Source—and who or what would that Power Source be?
Rather, I see this New Cultural Story as emerging from the only legitimate power source of any enlightened society: every member of that society. I see it as the product of cordial and collaborative interplay and interaction between people around the world through conversations about, and persuasive demonstrations of, the “wonderfulness” of the New Story itself.
I predict that the potential of this collaboratively created New Cultural Story to produce individual joy and group peace will become self-apparent, and that its adoption by a critical mass of people will become so desirable that this will occur almost automatically. I see this as the last great, and the gentlest, revolution.
Yes, that is a good name for it…
…The Gentlest Revolution.
I think you’re living in a bubble. You imagine that people are going to adopt a New Cultural Story automatically? People don’t do that, man. They gotta be practically forced.
I’m not sure that’s true. Most people usually don’t have to be forced to do what’s in their own best interests if it is patently obvious that it is in their own best interests.
Really? I know people who are aware that stopping their smoking habit is in their own best interests, yet you have to practically force them to do it.
I know people who are aware that eating less fattening food is in their own best interests, yet you have to practically force them to do it.
I know people who are aware that exercising is in their own best interests, yet you have to practically force them to do it.
I know people who—
—Okay, I’m going to agree with you in part. It’s true that not everyone automatically does what’s in their best interest. Maybe even not the majority of people. But I believe that a critical mass will. And when the first domino falls, the rest will follow.
That’s a lot of people you’re going to have to convince. “Critical mass” is a lot of people.
Actually, not as many as you might think. I’m told that “critical mass” is not 51% of any whole, nor is it 25%, nor is it 10%, nor is it even 5%. Critical mass in some cases can be achieved when something between 2.5% and 3.5% of the whole is affected.
If you want to see this demonstrated, watch a pot of water come to a boil. Half of its surface is not bumbling when the water reaches a boiling point. Not even a quarter of its surface. Just watch the water. As it heats up you’ll see a bubble here and a bubble there…maybe three to four percent of the surface showing bubbles…then, whammo! The whole surface breaks out. You’ve just witnessed critical mass.
So we’re not talking about three or four billion people here. Or even one billion. Or even half a billion.
The wonderful online source Wikipedia tells us that “social factors influencing critical mass may involve the size, interrelatedness and level of communication in a society or one of its subcultures.”
The reference also notes that “small changes in public consensus can bring about swift changes in political consensus.”
We know that to be true. We know that a global undertaking such as The Evolution Revolution can bring humanity to a tipping point.
We’re confident that when sufficient numbers of people begin to contribute to the co-authoring of our New Story (and begin to talk about it), there will be a shift in the morphic field sufficient to produce global resonance around the observation that our Old Cultural Story is simply no longer working, and that the creation of a New Cultural Story is a very, very good idea.
(It was Rupert Sheldrake, an English biochemist and plant physiologist, who first proposed such a thing as a “morphic field.” His books and papers stem from his theory of morphic resonance and cover topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, memory, telepathy, perception, and cognition in general.
His publications include A New Science of Life (1981), Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (1995), Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (1999), andThe Sense of Being Stared At (2003). (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Sheldrake)
Sheldrake says that “morphic fields” bring about non-local effects in consciousness and learning. We’re counting on that, exactly. We believe that The Conversations Movement can and will produce just such exponentially expanding non-local effects—or what I have called “critical mass.”
You think so? I’m not so sure. I still think you’re underestimating the stubbornness of people to change.
Not where their own best interest is concerned. We can achieve critical mass here. People driving around the traffic circle at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris—where there are no lane markings, no traffic lights, no signs showing who goes first or where, and no police officer to direct the endless flow of cars—do not have to be forced by any law or regulation to yield the right-of-way, or to stop before smashing into others, or to go when others have stopped. They do so automatically.
That’s different. You’re talking about survival there.
We’re talking about survival here.
Let me show you something really interesting. Globally syndicated social commentator Thomas L. Friedman wrote in an Op-Ed piece on June 7, 2011 titled The Earth is Full…Read this. It’s very clear—and it explains exactly what I’m talking about here…
THE EARTH IS FULL—by Thomas Friedman
You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century—when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all—and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?
“The only answer can be denial,” argues Paul Gilding, the veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, who described this moment in a new book called “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.”
“When you are surrounded by something so big that requires you to change everything about the way you think and see the world, then denial is the natural response. But the longer we wait, the bigger the response required.”
Gilding cites the work of the Global Footprint Network, an alliance of scientists, which calculates how many “planet Earths” we need to sustain our current growth rates. G.F.N. measures how much land and water area we need to produce the resources we consume and absorb our waste, using prevailing technology. On the whole, says G.F.N., we are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished, so we are eating into the future. Right now, global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. “Having only one planet makes this a rather significant problem,” says Gilding.
This is not science fiction. This is what happens when our system of growth and the system of nature hit the wall at once. While in Yemen last year, I saw a tanker truck delivering water in the capital, Sana. Why? Because Sana could be the first big city in the world to run out of water, within a decade. That is what happens when one generation in one country lives at 150 percent of sustainable capacity.
“If you cut down more trees than you grow, you run out of trees,” writes Gilding. “If you put additional nitrogen into a water system, you change the type and quantity of life that water can support. If you thicken the Earth’s CO2 blanket, the Earth gets warmer. If you do all these and many more things at once, you change the way the whole system of planet Earth behaves, with social, economic, and life support impacts. This is not speculation; this is high school science.”
It is also current affairs. “In China’s thousands of years of civilization, the conflict between humankind and nature has never been as serious as it is today,” China’s environment minister, Zhou Shengxian, said recently. “The depletion, deterioration and exhaustion of resources and the worsening ecological environment have become bottlenecks and grave impediments to the nation’s economic and social development.” What China’s minister is telling us, says Gilding, is that “the Earth is full. We are now using so many resources and putting out so much waste into the Earth that we have reached some kind of limit, given current technologies. The economy is going to have to get smaller in terms of physical impact.”
We will not change systems, though, without a crisis. But don’t worry, we’re getting there.
We’re currently caught in two loops: One is that more population growth and more global warming together are pushing up food prices; rising food prices cause political instability in the Middle East, which leads to higher oil prices, which leads to higher food prices, which leads to more instability. At the same time, improved productivity means fewer people are needed in every factory to produce more stuff. So if we want to have more jobs, we need more factories. More factories making more stuff make more global warming, and that is where the two loops meet.
But Gilding is actually an eco-optimist. As the impact of the imminent Great Disruption hits us, he says, “our response will be proportionally dramatic, mobilizing as we do in war. We will change at a scale and speed we can barely imagine today, completely transforming our economy, including our energy and transport industries, in just a few short decades.”
We will realize, he predicts, that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less. “How many people,” Gilding asks, “lie on their death bed and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,’ and how many say, ‘I wish I had gone to more ballgames, read more books to my kids, taken more walks?’ To do that, you need a growth model based on giving people more time to enjoy life, but with less stuff.”
Sounds utopian? Gilding insists he is a realist.
“We are heading for a crisis-driven choice,” he says. “We either allow collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model. We will choose the latter. We may be slow, but we’re not stupid.”
(A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 8, 2011, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Earth Is Full.)
You see? It is like those drivers circling the Arc de Triomphe. They may be slow, but they are not stupid.
POINTS I HOPE YOU WILL REMEMBER…
* Our species is begging for a new way of being human.
* The potential of a collaboratively created New Cultural Story to produce individual joy and group peace will become self-apparent.
* A global undertaking such as The Conversations Movement can bring humanity to a tipping point.
* People are not stupid. They will not allow collapse to overtake humanity.
ACTION I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE…
* Help create critical mass around a new story for humanity. Join The Conversations Movement by going to www.TheGlobalConversation.com
* Help to write the New Cultural Story, then help to spread it.
10 Nov 2015.
© Neale Donald Walsch.
The Storm Before the Calm: Book 1 in the Conversations with Humanity Series – by Neale Donald Walsch. Paperback published 1 October 2011, Emnin Books, Oregon, USA; ISBN-13: 978-1401936921