Memory is not in your head
Rupert Sheldrake has recently written a book entitled The Science Delusion. In this book he dedicates two chapters to this subject: “Are memories stored as material traces?” and “Are minds confined to brains?”
The prevailing idea is that all our memories are stored in our heads. However, there are a lot of problems with this as it does not match the facts very well. The biggest problem is that despite huge efforts Science has not been able to show how long-term memories are stored and accessed.
As Rupert Sheldrake says, we should imagine the brain to be much more like a TV which tunes into different programmes which we watch, rather than a hard memory drive. Another version of this is Cloud computing where all the data is stored and accessed from the servers in the cloud. In this analogy the brain is the terminal with some limited memory, but most of the information is stored in the cloud (servers elsewhere). Much research has been done and quantum mechanics is very comfortable with a universal quantum database that has recorded everything since the beginning of time (the server in the cloud). It appears that accessing this data base is quite instinctive and is one of the universal attributes of the animal kingdom – we all do it without thinking.
Rupert Shedrake calls this Morphic Resonance, the way that we operate is to tune in, or resonate with this Universal Information Field. There is much evidence to support this idea. Rupert Sheldrake covers this so well in his book.
Animals have been proved to have memories that were engendered in other individuals of their species and that past experiences seem to be able to be passed on to future generations. Cows in the USA have learnt about cattle grids and now ranchers just paint lines on the road to prevent cows from crossing. The cows know a cattle grid even if it has never encountered one before. (Rupert Sheldrake)
Even more amazing, is research that trained caterpillars can pass on training to the butterflies that emerge even when the caterpillar is transformed completely in the pupae. (Rupert Sheldrake)
We seem to have good short-term memories, but people in accidents for instance, loose the memory of the incident but soon regain their long-term memories.
We all need sleep. Is sleep the period when we transfer data to our long-term storage: The universal information field?
Older people often lose their short-term memory, but can easily remember information from their past. In our model, this is obvious because the instinctive “look up pathways to the universal information field are still functional whereas the brain is defective.
In May 1954, Roger Bannister succeeded in running the mile in under 4 minutes; up until then an insuperable barrier. However, immediately he had succeeded everyone in the world could do it. The information that this was possible permeated the world instantly. This effect is a common knowledge. In so many fields, when one person somewhere does something or thinks of a new idea, the idea is suddenly disseminated everywhere.
It seems that great cataclysmic events write over everyone’s consciousness; events such as the 9/11 seem imprinted everywhere. This would make sense if our memories are individual files within the universal data base: the Universal Information field.
This idea of our long-term memories and long-term learning of ever changing habits in different species is not accepted by main stream science but none the less matches much of the scientific data and our own experiences. The problem so often is that our instinctive reactions are not understood. We just do what we do without knowing how.
We need feedback back on this idea. I look forward to publishing your comments.
Your analogy for morphic resonance as being somewhat like cloud computing, is what brought me here. I was watching this dvd-box, ‘A glorious accident’ from 1992 in which Sheldrake explains his theory. It made me think of the same, so I thought: has anything been written about it? I googled the keywords ‘Sheldrake/memory/in the cloud’, and here I am.
In this interview Sheldrake attacks Daniel Dennet for narrowing down the human mind as a mere supercomputer which can be fully known. Sheldrake rhetorically argues that this mechanical metaphore is poor and a repetition of plain 19th century thought on progress. He says that people like Dennet only build supercomputers to prove that humans are the same. Now the irony is that 20 years later they ‘prove’ Sheldrake’s theory along the way with the invention of the cloud.
This is the interview:
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