I came across this guy called Rupert Sheldrake, who has proposed the idea of ‘morphic resonance’ to explain how and where we retain memory, an idea that has powerful potential implications for the development of our understanding of things like collective memory and collective consciousness. Here is an introduction from his website.
Morphic resonance is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. The hypothesis of morphic resonance also leads to a radically new interpretation of memory storage in the brain and of biological inheritance. Memory need not be stored in material traces inside brains, which are more like TV receivers than video recorders, tuning into influences from the past. And biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or in epigenetic modifications of the genes; much of it depends on morphic resonance from previous members of the species. Thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.
Something I wonder about frequently and somewhat obsessively, is the question of where dreams come from, where our predispositions come from and how mythology informs reality. I have this idea I’m calling “cultural archetypes” and I’m sure it’s just an idea that’s coming to me from the collective memory ~ it’s not my idea: I’ve just received it. I’m sure that Jung talked about it, but I haven’t yet come across where he wrote about it.
When we interpret the flux of reality, we perceive it approximately the same as the next person because our interpretation is based on cultural archetypes remembered from the past. This idea of morphic resonance seems to support this idea, so I’m excited to have discovered it.
What do you know about morphic resonance or the templates we use to interpret reality?