on 1 April 2003
This is an excellent book.
I recently lent it to a PhD science graduate on holiday who read the thing cover to cover. Be warned that it is likely to force you to reassess your entire view of the reality! It is one of the most mind-blowing books you'll ever read.
On the down side, although Lynne McTaggart is clearly highly intelligent but what she is not, is a scientist. And it shows. She is a journalist. And although her copy has been proofed by scientists, in accordance with her journalist training what she instictively and repeatedly does is to "simplify and exaggerate".
Thus although I loved Lynne's book and highly recommend it, my complaint with it is that it comprehensively fails to be objective. It is extremely one-sided. She fails to give adequate weight (or totally fails to mention) all the failed experiments where many of the more exotic experiments have not been replicated elsewhere. (e.g. On many occassions, Homeopathy has in fact been both proved AND dis-proved).
The second thing she fails to do is give the non-scientist reader a feel for the degree of certainty the experimental evidence in each instance has attained. Although good science necessarily does start with a single obervation - an anecdote if you will - where possible it then needs to go through double-blind, placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed (etc) studies... and the whole thing needs to be successfully replicated elsewhere.
Although it is great to see that she has pages and pages of scientific references, the untrained reader is given no sense of just how relatively significant each piece of evidence really is. And it turns out that some of the material discussed in her book - fascinating though it is - has in fact failed to be replicated elsewhere.
My final criticism is that her final conclusions are a bit of an anti-climax. It's as if she either runs out of nerve or intellect or both. The principles established in one bit of research are not applied to another. It's as if at the end of each chapter she shouts "zero-point field! zero-point field!" and then ducks.
NONETHELESS, this book serves an excellent wake-up call for the scientific world. If you didnt know that the mind of the experimentor can actually effect the experimental results that he/she gets, then wake up and smell the coffee!
Is this a revolution?
I can hear the very foundations of science and human knowledge as we know it creaking under the strain of this book.
This is a highly accessible book that ties together much cutting edge science and serves as an excellent introduction to the subject.
Dont think twice: buy it.
on 27 May 2011
As a quantum physicist I was quite impressed with this book. It stretched me. I would recommend that Lynne keep up her studies of quantum interpretation because no real distinction is drawn between the differing ideas. However most of the book is based on the Copenhagen Interpretation of Niels Bohr and colleagues. There is a fleeting reference to the Transactional Interpretation which has considerably less authority in scientific circles. As for the notion of a Zero Point Field all I can say is that it exists but I believe there is no evidence as to what exactly it consists of. Science is making progress but the dictum of Richard Feynman still probably holds - 'I think it's safe to say that nobody understands quantum physics'.
I'm beginning to sound quite critical and you are probably wondering why I have given this four stars. It is because the author has written about the fact that there is more to life than meets the eye. Whether intention really has such power I'm not sure but something certainly does have the power to affect REGs and other things; and as Christians say that we are made in the image of God so perhaps in a small way each of us does possess God-like qualities.
So the real conclusion of 'The Field' should be 'over to you scientists to write into your equations what we have identified'. I have absolutely no idea how long it will take, but I for one, inspired by Lynne McTaggart and others, will do my best.
on 19 June 2012
Lynne McTaggert pitches a lot of long held beliefs against research and documented evidence of Quantum Physics and its revolution on science. For example:
* Man is isolated from the world V's People are indivisible from their environment
* The brain is the seat of consciousness V's Living consciousness is not an isolated entity
* The human being is a survival machine powered by genetic coding V's Cells and DNA communicate through frequencies
McTaggart describes with valid scientific research the existence of an energy field acknowledged as a mere afterthought by modern science called a Zero-Point Field (ZPF). It stands to reason, that if the universe is bathed in a sea of energy, it is only logical to assume that everything in the entire cosmos is connected by its very immersion in it.
McTaggart may have intended to unearth the question of a "life force". She may have wanted us to question ourselves and how we connect with the ZPF and she may also have wanted us to ask does this coalesce of energy connect God and Science?
She wanted to get across the fact that science is on the brink of a revolution and help the reader realize that the old paradigm of Newton's foundation for science is not the complete puzzle. She wanted to impart some knowledge of quantum physics and how that can show us that there is more to the universe than just what is physical, that everything including cells and DNA have a wave frequency and everything is connected by this ZPF.
McTaggart believes that this scientific revolution will forever end the concept of dualism.
McTaggart explores ZPF as a source of explanation for a variety of scientific mysteries unanswerable with the paradigm of Newton's foundation for science.
First is in the area of human biology, where the near-instantaneous communication of bodily functions cannot be accounted for by chemical reactions alone. McTaggart very elegantly demonstrates that our DNA has the ability to emit different wave frequencies of light that serve to instantly synchronize our biological systems like a conductor of a symphony.
She goes on to explain how homeopathy works in lieu of using the "cohesive" capabilities of water as a recording medium for light frequencies associated with certain drugs. This hypothesis is all possible with the existence of the ZPF.
McTaggart also ventures to explain how David Bohm and Karl Pribram's Holographic Model ties in beautifully with ZPF and together help explain the ability of the brain to process information non-locally in a process called "Superradiance", another example of the cohesion in light.
She believes that this revolution has forever ended the concept of dualism. For example the ancient forces of yin-yang arise from a belief in dualism, a state in which the universe is seemingly equally divided into two opposing but equal forces. In this view, the universe depends on the interaction between these two forces which arise from the Tao. The word Tao has no exact English translation, but it relates most closely to the Western idea of wholeness, to the unknowable unity of the divine.
However the shortcomings are as follows:
She doesn't' discuss the origin of this huge amount of energy - The divine energy, `God' or the source.
She doesn't seem to think nature could be clever enough to have two paradigms of energetic communication. Is the gap between subatomic quantum energy effects and large-scale macro systems like our brain too large to bridge? I think more research is needed in this area.
Then there's the power of the consciousness, can we say that the universe intended my wife, Theresa, to have a brain tumor?
Furthermore, how about the many times mentioned in this book, the semi-blind physicist and ZPF advocate, Russel Targ? Why did not he get some sort of help the hands of highly effective "healer"?
And then there's the collective power of intention and its effect on the universe. For example, for many years millions of people have prayed for the people in Africa and for the draught in the environment to change, yet the weather stays the same and the famines persist. Collective conscious intention does not help much in his case.
Although I love this book McTaggart fails to be objective about these areas and is extremely one-sided in her approach to this whole subject. She gives no weight (or totally fails to mention) the failed experiments where many of the more `exotic' or cutting edge experiments have not been replicated elsewhere.
This book serves as an excellent book to get to grips with the fundamentals of invisible energy in which McTaggart calls the ZPF. It also serves an excellent wake-up call for the scientific world by showing the decreasing gap between science and "spirit," It ties together cutting edge science and serves as an excellent introduction to the subject.
This book is very thought provoking. A paragraph on page 225 pretty much sums up the book. It states:
"The communication of the world did not occur in the visible realm of Newton, but in the subatomic world of Werner Heisenberg. Cells and DNA communicated through frequencies. The brain perceived and made its own record of the world in pulsating waves. A substructure underpins the universe that is essentially a recording medium of everything, providing a means of everything to communicate with everything else. People are indivisible from their environment. Living consciousness is not an isolated entity. It increases order in the rest of the world. The consciousness of human beings has incredible powers, to heal ourselves, to heal the world -- in a sense, to make it as we wish it to be."
In short, I will continue to use the basic field model in my personal and professional life. In my opinion everything is interrelated and consists of energy and vibrations. We can affect our environment with or conscious and unconscious thoughts. Our minds and souls are very powerful parts of our whole system which are often overlooked. The body, the mind and the soul remain intact and connected as long as we are alive. We must remember to take care of each of these three parts individually to make sure our life is whole and healthy.
on 30 August 2002
Lynne McTaggart has succeeded in writing an accessable account of what can be a mind boggling subject. She presents some of the research that provides a foundation of proof for a "collective consciousness" and certain "supernatural" phenomena (such as precognition and telepathy) that is based in established knowledge of physics. Explainations of these theories steer clear of complex equations in favour of metaphor (comparing the Field to the "Force" in Starwars is a little sensationalist) and simple terms, making it an easy read. However, the experiments are presented as fact without too much explaination of methodolgy, so a little critical thinking is often required. If you are looking for a book to whet your appetite for the subject, then its a good place to start, as it points to some of the more meaty reading (Michael Talbot / David Bohm). If you are looking for difinitive answers to questions about consciousness and your place in the universe, this book will probably leave you with more questions than you started, but with an urge to find out more.
This book examines developments at the frontiers of science. Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Bohr and Pauli were the pioneers of quantum physics, but numerous scientists in various disciplines have been conducting experiments that reveal profound new possibilities in our view of the universe. The author investigates the work of those scientists who are at the cutting edge of exploration, all with reference to the life force, universal energy field or Zero Point Field, an ocean of microscopic vibrations. It would appear that evidence is mounting that the universe is one vast quantum field.
Part One: The Resonating Universe, looks at the work of amongst others, Rupert Sheldrake, Fritz Albert Popp, Robert O Becker, Jacques Benveniste and Karl Pribram. The theory of the universe as a collection of resonating frequencies is here examined. Part Two: The Extended Mind, explores the work of inter alia Helmut Schmidt, Jahn & Dunne and Puthoff & Targ. The topics include nonlocality, remote influence and viewing, dreams, clairvoyance, ESP, precognition, the nature of time and how the observer influences the observed, like quantum particles.
Part Three: Tapping into the Field, deals with the experiments of for example Elisabeth Targ and her positive findings of remote healing in AIDS cases, and the work of William Braud, Dean Radin and Roger Nelson. The concept of collective consciousness is fascinating. The speculations include the possibility that negative consciousness is like a germ that infects large numbers of people and could produce evil like the Inquisition, Hitler and the Salem Witch Trial.
On the other hand, positive consciousness might give rise to great periods in history, like the Renaissance and many benign popular trends. The question of the existence of emotional and intellectual synchronicity is addressed here. McTaggart also looks at developments in artificial intelligence and considers how these recent discoveries might influence the future. They are hinting at an immense human potential, validating alternative medicine and confirming some mythical and religious beliefs. The author believes that this scientific revolution has forever ended the concept of dualism.
The book contains notes by chapter, a vast bibliography and an index. McTaggart has performed a great service by making the research of a large number of scientists known to a wide popular audience. Sometimes the reading pleasure is lost in the overly detailed descriptions of various experiments and their preparation. Also, the physical descriptions of the scientists under discussion are often a bit irritating and unnecessary, although it might have been done to keep the narrative accessible and conversational.
on 21 November 2001
Perhaps the most important feature of this book is Lynne MacTaggart's balanced even handed writing, not trying to persuade or cajole you. While she is clearly in favour of what they have found, rather than the rebuttals that many of them faced, she describes what different scientists have demonstrated over the last 50 years about the depths of quantum physics, mind, matter, time and space. Their findings confirm what many of us have experienced in many small different experiences throughout our lives, and in one way or another. Experiences that so clearly derive from the truth that consciousness is a unified field, intersecting different levels and experiences of matter, mind, time and space.
Aside from the excellence of her bringing these findings together in readable language... Lynne also keeps her balance as your mind as a reader gets blown away by the fact of homeopathy over the internet, distance healing, that going back to heal yourself or someone before an illness starts and the now theoretically explained and possible wonders of anti-inertia travel, everyday levitation etc.
She also keeps her balance as the experiments she describe make it clear that perception creates reality. Change your perception and you change the reality (not just the way you think about it).She is delicate not to rub in the awesome truth that therefore we each have total responsibility over the reality that we create through our conscious and unconscious use of thought every moment of our lives. Something I need to remain aware of more of the time.
In reading this now, most of what I have seen and witnessed in the last 40 or more years has been squarely pushed back in my face. Among other things, unprompted by me, my six year old son has described auras since he was four and has completely accurate bouts of ESP. So my question is, surely we cannot educate our children as if we do not know all of what is described in this book, when they so clearly experience it first hand, day in day out. We cannot go on talking about chopped up reality as if we do not understand and have not experienced deeper out of time space interconnectivity. Think of the implications for how we describe and teach about all the physical, biological and human created systems? (One of my distant educational backgrounds being traditional Oxford neoruphysiology). This is what is currently blowing my mind, especially when I see how these things are still being taught in many schools. Can I extend my son's understanding and knowledge of reality in a way that he can pass intellectual exams if need be, but which also honors and builds on what he already so clearly knows. The same udnerstandings which so clearly had become a proven known part of the collective scientific human psyche (mainstrean publications or not) in the years before his birth. (and which have been seen/known in many different ways in different cultures for thousands of years).
My only query on this exceptional and very important book is why the last chapter is written in the past perfect ('had') instead of present or present perfect ( at least'have'). I personally read the book as gathering together my past experiences, insights, knowledge,, deeply affecting my present and that it must seriously and deeply inform my future from this moment on. In writing in the past perfect, it was almost as if the author wanted to seal off the findings herself. But they are here, present, they ARE the reality... these scientists have ensured that.. as has your writing them up.
In my much humbled view, I am the one who needs to change fast, instantaneously for that matter, if I am going to be of any help to my children rather than a useless conditioned dinosaur stuck in some out of date corner of time and space.... with appallingly unnecessary destructive habits. This book is a profound gift for any of us who have a need to transform fast so that we may be able to resonate a little better with those, probably your children too, who are already light years on.
The Field: The quest for the secret force of the universe by Lynne McTaggart, Element Books (HarperCollins), London, 2001, 384 ff
The cosmic energy field explained
By Howard Jones
This book is written by a journalist who reports the results of experiments in psychic and quantum phenomena carried out by very many scientists, primarily in America and Europe. The accounts are those given by the scientists themselves - a point that some of the critical reviewers seem to have overlooked when they dismiss this book as `unscientific nonsense' or science fiction. Lynne McTaggart is simply reporting in as accessible a way as possible what she has been told or what has been published by physicists, psychologists and physicians. This book is about the zero point field (zpf) - the residual (potential) energy field that remains in all matter at the absolute zero of temperature. The subatomic particles of matter interact with the zpf in every moment of their existence.
Concepts from quantum physics are not easy to comprehend, especially if the reader doesn't have some background in science. Furthermore, these ideas present a different world view from that of Descartes and Newton, and there are many scientists (and some reviewers obviously!) who are stuck in this classical reductionist, materialist world-view and who refuse to accept that there is evidence of phenomena that simply cannot be explained with these principles. I am a scientist who has used quantum concepts in my research, and I do not `belong' to any religion: so I have no preconceived beliefs to distort my assessment of the facts. The personal stories that McTaggart tells here are not irrelevant, as one reviewer suggested - they put a human face to scientists who are thought by many to be without emotions because their work must necessarily be objective.
Part 1 of the book, The Resonating Universe, explains the basic physics and describes how it extends classical ideas. For example, McTaggart describes how Haisch, Rueda and Putoff used the zpf to explain mathematically the inertia of matter, a concept derived from Newton's first law of motion. The `resonance' of the section title includes description of the coherence of photons (`light' or electromagnetic radiation) emitted from living tissue under certain conditions - evidence validated by German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp and others but dismissed by one biologist reviewer. Physicist Herbert Fröhlich suggested similar resonance between proteins in the metabolism of cell tissues: this occurs only at what are now called Fröhlich frequencies.
In Part 2, The Extended Mind describes the mind-body interactions that have become widely recognized now in medicine as crucial to our state of health. There are many books giving clinical examples, like those of Benson and Dossey. This interactive consciousness is postulated as occurring, at least partly, through the zpf.
This idea is elaborated further in Part 3, Tapping Into The Field, but extended into how we can through mind enter into Jung's collective unconscious (another name for the zpf?) and thereby affect other minds at other times and places besides the present - Laszlo's Akashic Field. That this provides an explanation of psychic events is a hypothesis, as is the suggestion that the zpf is the cosmic spiritual energy that has been envisaged by mystical sages since earliest times. But the existence of the zpf itself is an established fact of quantum physics. Just how many natural phenomena result from its influence remains to be seen. This is one of the best books I have read on this challenging subject.
Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.
The Tao of Physics (Flamingo)
Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief
Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything
Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth
The Field investigates developments at the frontiers of science. Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Bohr and Pauli were the pioneers of quantum physics, but numerous scientists in various disciplines have been conducting experiments that reveal profound new possibilities in our perception of the universe. The author investigates the work of those scientists who are at the cutting edge of exploration, all with reference to the life force, universal energy field or Zero Point Field, an ocean of microscopic vibrations. It would appear that evidence is mounting that the universe is one vast quantum field.
Part One: The Resonating Universe, looks at the work of pioneers like Rupert Sheldrake, Fritz Albert Popp, Robert O Becker, Jacques Benveniste and Karl Pribram. The theory of the universe as a collection of resonating frequencies is here examined. Part Two: The Extended Mind, explores the work of inter alia Helmut Schmidt, Jahn & Dunne and Puthoff & Targ. The topics include nonlocality, remote influence and viewing, dreams, clairvoyance, ESP, precognition, the nature of time and how the observer influences the observed.
Part Three: Tapping into the Field, describes the experiments of amongst others Elisabeth Targ and her positive findings of remote healing in AIDS cases, and the work of William Braud, Dean Radin and Roger Nelson. The concept of collective consciousness is elaborated upon and quite interesting. The speculations include the possibility that negative consciousness is like a germ that infects large numbers of people and could produce evil like the Inquisition, Hitler and the Salem Witch Trial.
On the other hand, positive consciousness might give rise to great periods in history, like the Renaissance and many benign popular trends. The question of the existence of emotional and intellectual synchronicity is addressed here. McTaggart also considers developments in artificial intelligence and speculates how these discoveries might influence the future. They are hinting at an immense human potential, validating alternative medicine and confirming some mythical and religious beliefs. The author believes that this scientific revolution has forever ended the concept of dualism.
Notes are arranged by chapter, and a huge bibliography and an index conclude the book. Lynne McTaggart has performed a great service by making the research of a large number of scientists known to a wide popular audience. Sometimes the overly detailed descriptions of various experiments and their preparation become tedious. Also, the physical descriptions of the scientists under discussion are often somewhat irritating and superfluous, although it might have been done to keep the narrative conversational and accessible amidst all the science.
on 14 November 2002
This is an unusual book because firstly, it explains clearly the implications of some difficult scientific concepts, but does so from the perspective of one not versed in science, who learnt them to see what they had to offer to her own areas of interest. This means that she comes to the subject with an honesty and an innocence that is both refreshing and open. It means that we can be assured that the ideas explained will not be tarnished with the prejudices common to many science writers publishing books for the general public who look over their shoulders for the critical approval of authority, and their subsequent warrant.
But this makes the book both charming and disarming. Certainly science is predisposed to caution while harbouring unspoken prejudices of its own, but the leaps of imagination from the notion of a zero point field to an all-encompassing theory that explains faith-healing, brain functions, collective memory, as well as offering theories of warp drives for interstellar travel among other things is too loose and generalised to exclaim ‘Eureka!’ but maybe a quiet ‘there may be something in it’.
The reason is simple. The notion of working from the quantum small towards the classical large overlooks the fact that there is already an aspect of the small present in the large which is this: the more we know scientifically, the less we know non-scientifically. To try to turn the concept of the zero point field into something graspable as a scientific concept in the large scale would require science to incorporate something of the existential as a working principle, which is excluded from science by its very nature and first principles. In short, the book is methodical and makes its case extremely well as far as it goes, but it lacks the underlying philosophical underpinning that could lend it greater weight.
Even so, it is worthwhile to collect in one volume all those disparate areas of concern to us at the frontiers of thought which collectively demonstrate that we may well have reached the edge of our understanding of the nature of reality with the classical line of approach symbolised by science, but it will require the involvement of thought from other areas apart from science to go further. Unfortunately, as this book ably demonstrates, funding and serious interest in such projects is scarce and limited. Even so, this book is a welcome addition to the growing chorus of dissatisfaction with the rather tired ideas that do nothing more than affirm their own faith in an outworn 300 year old philosophy that is now well past its ‘use by’ date.
on 28 March 2006
Firstly let me say that I am not someone who accepts or believes anything blindly and would not consider myself a gullible new age person yet this book has had a huge impact on my beliefs about the world and even the universe, confirming in some instances many things I had read elsewhere and dovetailing too perfectly them to be mere coincidence (Zen, Fuzzy Thinking, spiritual healing, Taoism)
In a nutshell this book confirms (as crazy as this may sound to many) that our minds are not separate from matter but have a direct connection and influence on matter. The book provides an incredibly convincing case for this through the presentation of countless rigidly controlled experiments carried out by many reputable scientists.
These scientists have discovered through the relatively new branch of science of quantum physics many things which eastern philososophies have been saying for thousands of centuries about duelism: Mind and matter are not seperate but are one and the same.
I was particularly immpressed with the way everything is backed up by detailed descriptions of the way the experiments were conducted (though some of the scientific terminology can be a little daunting at times) leaving little room for counter arguments. I don't doubt there would be many scientists who would dispute the results of these experiments because they do not fit into their own classical view of the universe and are a threat to it but this is nothing new in science where thinking outside the Newtonian box is frowned upon and considered heresy. So please do not be put off by the negative comments a few reviewers have given (I don't understand how they can ignore the controlled experiments)
There were many things in this book which amazed me especially the chapter on the nature of Time. Also the information about how scientist have discovered that as soon as you try to analyse or observe the very smallest elements of matter, it immediately takes on a new form. It's as though observation sets our world in stone. The startling implications of this are that our perception creates reality.
I am trying to get everyone who will listen to me to read this book it is a fantastic book. If you are interested in this book I would also reccommend: "The Tao of Physics", "The Holographic Universe", "The Hidden Messages in Water" and "Fuzzy Thinking"