The Field

           A new archetype is establishing itself in human consciousness now—the image of basic reality as a Field. It is the next step in the evolution of our consciousness. It is changing the way that we perceive everything—the Universe, the Earth, life-forms, ourselves, and our place in the system. It has its echoes in the distant past of man. In the Indian Vedanta of 3,500 years ago, there is a clear realization and expression of a Field, or Ground of Being, beneath the material world, and constituting a common source of all reality:                                           

                                                  “He who, dwelling in all things,                                    

                                                 Yet is other than all things,

                                                 Whom all things do not know,

                                                Whose body all things are,

                                                Who controls all things from within—

                                                He is your Soul, the Inner Controller,

                                                The Immortal.”

                                                                          Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad

            In our own time, a discipline called “Field Theory” has grown up around the study of electrical and magnetic phenomena within a field, which is a delimited area of observation. Behavior within the Field is observably influenced by the electro-magnetic forces trained upon it. The Field is a special arena of reality. One of its major characteristics is that particles in it respond to its forces at every point in the Field. The development of Field theory enabled us to understand the Cosmos as a Field. Quantum physics elaborated on Field theory, and we gradually understood that the entire universe is a “Unified Field,” a singularity, that is, one gigantic Field, operating as an inter-connected web rather than a collection of unrelated parts.

One of the discoveries that was central in creating the new understanding was the discovery of “Quantum Foam.” This unforeseen development upset the scientific understanding of reality that had been dogma in the Western world for the past 400 years. Derived from Isaac Newton and Rene Descartes, that view of reality was that space was empty, static and stable, a simple container for the material forms that moved around inside it and collided with each other.

The quantum physicists discovered that space is anything but empty. Every cubic foot of it throughout the universe is filled with sub-atomic particles that are coming into and passing out of existence. These sub-atomic particles, whose creation dates back to the Big Bang, are going from their non-material wave-forms into material form as particles, and almost instantly back into invisible wave-forms. So, space is a plenum, full rather than empty. It is a seething ocean of Being, energy and activity. The particles in it are continually popping in and out of existence.

Though most scientists are not ready to go there, the wisdom traditions would add that there is life in the particles. Space is full of life. This additional insight produces the completed archetype of the Field of Being—a Field of living sub-atomic particles, each equally divine and equally important, that lies beneath and serves as the ground and source of the visible world. The Field can be envisioned as a radiant, Living Fog, intelligent and generative. The material forms of the world emerge out of this Fog, the Field, as aggregations of the living particles. Considered together, the Field and its particles could be called “Being.”  Being is a matrix of pure Livingness—invisible, conscious, sentient, and intelligent. It generates the physical world, sustains it in being for a time, and eventually pulls the physical forms back into Its unmanifest Field.

This vision of reality as a vast Field of life and materialization is the furthest thing from the Newtonian/Cartesian view of reality that has held sway in Western science and society for the past few centuries. In that view, the Universe is dead and mechanical, functioning something like a clock. It lacks sentience, consciousness and intelligence. There are only a few bits of life, like us, in the system. Space, and most of the physical forms—mountains, rocks, planets, suns, etc.—are lifeless, empty, and inert. This is not a Cosmos fit to live in. This view is eroding rapidly in our lifetime, primarily as a result of the discoveries of quantum science. It is a view that is not large enough to encompass all of reality. It is holding back our evolution. It is giving way now to the new, emerging vision of reality as a Web of inter-related life, a single, vast Field of Being, in dynamic process of interaction, with the material world as its by-product.

Comments are closed.