building a beautiful and bountiful world in collaboration with nature

The Whole Mind

I once had a job as a produce worker at a natural food store. I often worked the evening shift, which seemed to mostly involve stacking a lot of apples. My co-worker, Raymond, was a sweet guy in his twenties. We would often find ourselves stacking apples in a quiet, nearly empty, store, while having very philosophical conversations about the nature of life and being.

Raymond asked me one evening, “So, when does the air become you? Is it as soon as it enters your nose? Or when it gets to the lungs? Or is it when the oxygen from it enters the blood stream? Or when it gets incorporated into a cell? When does the air become you?”

I love that question because it shows how arbitrary the lines we draw are. Is anything in this Universe really separate from anything else? This planet, for example, lives on sunlight. The plants and algae incorporate it into their tissues, and the entire food web is born. Our bodies are literally made of light – sunlight – making us physical extensions of the Sun. Looked at like that, knowing the Sun is part of a galaxy that both birthed and supports it, it’s not hard to see the Universe as one very large Body.

It is the mind part that seems to separate us all. We like to think that our thoughts are completely private, but there is a great deal of evidence they are not. I cannot tell you how often I have been standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes, thinking my “private” thoughts, when my husband starts talking to me about the exact subject I have in mind. Dr Cleve Backster regularly found that the polygraph record of his plants showed them responding to people’s thoughts , especially thoughts that were backed with a feeling of intent. We don’t know how much they “hear”, but the plants in our homes, offices, and gardens are definitely monitoring our thoughts, and paying attention when it is relevant to them.

There is other evidence that our minds are not as separate and shielded as we like to believe. Dr Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphogenetic fields describes a shared or collective mind specific to each species. In the 1920’s in Southhampton, England a bird called the Blue Tit learned to tear into the cap on a freshly delivered bottle of milk and drink the cream. Soon, Blue Tits one hundred miles away were doing the same, even though Blue Tits only fly about 15 miles. By 1947, breaking caps and drinking cream was a common practice among Blue Tits throughout Britian, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden.

It seems unlikely that this behavior could have spread so far and so quickly through a process of observation and learning. The morphogenetic field theory suggests instead that all Blue Tits have access to a shared “mind” into which they deposit information and experience and from which they can retrieve information, especially very useful information.

In scientific studies around the world, it has been demonstrated many times that whether the subjects are rats escaping from a tank, English schoolchildren learning Japanese rhymes, or the average adult confronted with solving a crossword puzzle, it is easier to learn skills and solve problems if many others have done so already. Our individual learning and experience does seem to be collectively available.

In David Wilcox’s book, The Source Field Investigations, he suggests that all of this evidence indicates the existence of One Mind – the mind of, or the mind that is, the Source Field, that creative force behind and within the Universe. I said in an earlier blog that all bodies come with minds. So it makes sense: one universal Body, one universal Mind. A mind that we are connected to, still, and can tap into, retrieving information and ideas.

Considering all this reminded me of the Mandelbrot set, an image that contains the whole of fractal mathematics. Fractal math is the math that Nature uses. It is the math of self-similar, repeating patterns. It is the math that describes how oak trees can generate billions of leaves each year which all hold to a recognizable pattern, and yet are each individual – ever so slightly different from each other.


This is a picture of the Mandelbrot set.  Imagine this as an image of the universal Mind, a mind of infinite creative potential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 This is a close up of one part of the set.  Imagine that we have zoomed in on an image of one species morphogenetic field.

This is a closer close up.  Now we begin to see the”individual” minds that are seamlessly connected to the larger picture/Mind.

One of the interesting things about the Mandelbrot set is that it is infinite.  The more you zoom in, the more details you see.  It is a neverending dance of repeating, yet varied pattern.  An infinite mind creating an infinity of details, living an infinity of lives.

For an experience of that, check out the zoom-in experience of the main Mandelbrot set photo on the Wikipedia website.

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