Fields — Good & Evil | Nov 2001

FMBR Editorial: Nov, 2001

Fields — Good & Evil

William C. Gough

In science we often use the term "field." Fields are domains of influence — they impose order within the physical world. In physics we speak of electro-magnetic fields, nuclear fields, and gravitational fields. Most of you will remember scattering iron filings upon a piece of paper and then putting a magnet underneath. The iron filings then organize into a clear pattern that reflects the magnetic field. But there exist additional fields associated with living systems. They have been given various names such as biological fields, mental fields, and social fields.

These more mysterious fields have been studied extensively in various living creatures. For example, millions of insects such as the compass termites from Australia form into a super-organization, develop complex, enormous and unique structures without "physical blueprints." Hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies take off on a migration of thousands of miles that ends up with the great-great-grandchildren returning to the same location in Mexico — that's 5 or 6 generations removed. There has been a hundred years of research on homing pigeons. It has shown that memory of the journey out, familiar landmarks, the sun, smell, and magnetic fields can't explain their ability to return over long distances. Research studies with starlings have shown that a new migration cycle can be established in one generation. Therefore the process is not hard wired, not genetically fixed, not instinctual, and hence, doesn't require a chance genetic mutation. These represent examples of field effects in living systems, where a field organizes collective behavior.

On 9/11 Americans received an emergency call — the terrorists' destruction of the World Trade Center in New York and at the Pentagon. As a child I remember the field change in the country after Pearl Harbor -- the sudden shift from diverseness and isolation to national unity and resolve. Only now I was in Moab, a small town in southeastern Utah, when the terrorist attack occurred. Yet I felt a similar shift in the social field — small American flags were mounted in holes drilled into trees, large flags hung from construction cranes, and at a local restaurant Americans spontaneously started singing God Bless America to a group of French visitors. We were reactivating our American belief in life, liberty, and justice — reestablishing a field that I had experienced sixty years ago.

Most of the time we do not recognize the conscious and subconscious fields that we create and act upon due to our beliefs -- the fields of our mind. In World War II we observed how the belief in a super race was used by the Nazis to justify their acts during the Holocaust, and how the Japanese belief in an Emperor God resulted in the Kamikaze suicide pilots. Like the Christian Inquisition where torture was applied in the name of God, today's terrorists murder in the name of Allah or God.

Such fields require time to create, and once hate has taken deep root into an adult, the options for change fade. Our society has given little thought to the source of such field patterns and how they are being instilled into the children of the world. When a baby is born you sense its purity — but babies grow up. Think of the "learning environment" that creates the belief system of the black children in our inner city, of the Palestinian children in the refugee camps, or of the Afghan orphan children being indoctrinated in the "religious hate" schools of Pakistan. In our actions against adult terrorism, we can create a field pattern of fear and hate that will affect all children; or we can consciously try to moderate that field with a field pattern of love and compassion. If we don't try, the cycle the world has experienced in the past will continue. How much of what we will perceive as Good or Evil in the future will arise from the conscious and subconscious beliefs that will be instilled into today's children of the world?

William C. Gough, Nov 2001