Have you ever experienced a gathering (church, conference, workshops, etc.) where the synergy of the group was so uplifting & powerful you just knew this would last forever? Then you return back to your everyday routine & environment (work, home, etc.) & some part of this energy or experience is lost. Is it that we fall back into our routines & forget this experience? Perhaps, the environment or community to which we return does not resonate with this new found energy & it is too difficult to maintain this vibration on our own.

One of the definitions of community is: a group of people living in the same locality & under the same government. Another definition is a social group or class having the same interests. How do you define the community in which you reside? Does your community support your interests? Do you support the community & its interest? These are important questions everyone should ask but are often over looked or taken for granted.

Scientists are beginning to bring credibility to the power (energy) of the community’s influence as a whole upon each individual. There are several theories for this phenomenon, although all of these theories explain it from a little different perspective. Rupert Sheldrake refers to this as Morphic Resonance – where “similar things [vibrations] influence similar things [vibrations] across both time & space. The amount of influence depends on the degree of similarity.” In other words, the community’s energy resonates (or not) with you & vice versa. Sheldrake further explains that societies or communities “can function & respond as a unified whole via the characteristics of its morphic field.” A Morphic field is created by a shared belief or perspective - a consensual view of the world & reality.

Social scientists have studied similar aspects of this phenomenon looking at the influence of a group on individual behavior - whereas, an individual may react or behave differently alone than within a group. Often referred to as “groupthink” the energy of the group can often influence an individual’s decision. Historically we have seen the shadow side of group consciousness within Nazi Germany & elsewhere. However, it isn’t until recently that scientists have been able to look at the field that is created by this energy or consciousness.

As a path of perception (or belief) is created, so too is the morphic field of it; all those who follow this path contribute to it. You can see this pattern within professional groups, as well as other types of communities. There is a consensus within these groups about how problems should be solved & how reality operates. This is often referred to as a paradigm. Therefore, a paradigm shift involves not only a new way of solving problems but also a new consensus view of reality. This is why paradigm shifts are often rare & usually meet with a great deal of resistance. We are witnessing this currently within our society. From healthcare reform to the banking industry, the morphic fields of these groups are being challenged, upsetting the morphic resonance & thus the status quo within these communities.

In “The Field” by Lynne McTaggart the author posits that our consciousness can & in fact does affect what she refers to as “the field.” This field is defined as “a subatomic field of unimaginably large quantum energy in so-called empty space.” This field “connects everything in the universe to everything else, like some vast invisible web.” Gregg Braden refers to this field as the “Divine Matrix.” Regardless of what this field is called (Morphic, Divine or Field) when enough individuals develop a consensus view of reality this field will be created, or impacted, in some way.

This reminds me of a study referred to as “The Hundredth Monkey.” Now let me be clear, I am not comparing humans to primates. However, this story does illustrate a good example of what was referred to as “Critical Mass Consciousness,” as well as a paradigm shift. Briefly, this story is based on the work of scientists in 1952, providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand to eat. The monkeys liked the sweet potatoes, but not with sand on them. One of the monkeys solved this problem by washing the potatoes, & then subsequently teaching other monkeys within the family to do the same. This was gradually picked up by various other monkeys between 1952 to1958. However, this seemed to remain along family (community) lines. New generations passed this behavior along & older generations held to the status quo. Now another version of this story states that there was a “critical mass” reached & upon this all monkeys even across the sea began washing their potatoes, which was later proven to be inaccurate. However, this does indicate a paradigm shift within the family or community - whereas, the older generation continued to cling to the familiar, the younger generation created a new community. It could be said that the field of this community of monkeys was positively impacted; regardless of the community of older monkeys clinging to the old (behavior) paradigm.

By now you may be asking yourself, so what does this have to do with community & how does this impact me? Well, if you answered yes to having had a profound experience at a gathering, only to return to your community & experience this energy dissipating; then perhaps you have experienced a paradigm shift, which is not currently supported within your community. Now you have a choice, you could share your new found perspective & teach others to “wash potatoes,” thereby creating a new field of reality. Or, if met with resistance, create (or seek) a new community of like minded individuals and also create a new morphic field.

Lynne McTaggart expands upon this premise in her book “The Intention Experiment” giving several scenarios of like minded individuals holding a particular intention & creating profound results. To take this a step further & posit the “extended mind” (or consciousness) as a morphic field then we can see the potential for both negative & positive outcomes upon a community. For example, if we remain in a consensus of fear within our communities, then we hold the morphic field for this experience to continue. However, if we hold the consensus of hope within our communities then this will be our experience.

The choice of community will depend upon which field you most resonate with. Therefore, we must ask ourselves daily – what/where do I wish to focus my thoughts which create my reality. What is my intention for my community, & what is the consensus of reality within this community? Is this consensus sabotaging or supporting? Are my beliefs congruent with the community I choose to associate with? As paradigms continue to shift & new information is presented, do you resist & stick to the status quo? Or, do you remain open to learn new ways to experience reality; thus laying, or supporting, the ground work for a new morphic field to resonate with.

Our perceptions of reality, or fields, may be challenged as our society continues to shift from old paradigms making way for new experiences. However, if we avoid the fear of change we might just experience a new reality within our community. We have the opportunity to teach & thus create a new morphic field within the community. Let us avoid the fear which will lead to the status quo & embrace hope for a better future for all generations. Let us “wash potatoes!”

Author's Bio: 

Sherry O’Brian, LCSW, is the sole proprietor of Mind/Body/Spirit Inner-grations & specializes in personal growth & transformation; as well as working with those suffering from chronic illness, grief/loss & other emotional disorders. She also facilitates support groups for cancer patients and their family members; facilitates retreats for The Peaceful Woman; as well as develops seminars & workshops on mind/body/spirit healing as an independent contractor for several professional organizations.

She has integrated Energy Psychology into her life both professionally & personally. As a motivational speaker & psychotherapist workshops focus on mind/body/spirit healing & personal growth. Sharing innovative often cutting edge techniques to inspire, motivate & empower individuals. She is a Reiki Master & Ordained minister & assists others in reconnecting with their Divine Essence. Sherry has written several articles on energy-based psychotherapy, hypnotherapy & guided imagery. She has developed a meditation CD “Release & Transform Burden: a meditation to awaken the healing light within” to assist others in releasing emotional pain & transform their lives.

Sherry has over thirteen years experience in the oncology field, as well as seventeen years within the field of mental health. She is certified in Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Emotional Freedom Technique, Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psych-K™, Subtle Energy Therapy, Bereavement Counseling, & Guided Imagery.