170 – On Field Theory …

According to Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, Field Theory was developed to study forces that result from the propagation of actions through the dimensions of space and time (electromagnetism, gravitation).

Although the theory is based on mathematical equations, its fundamental premise of action as a force that propagates through a medium can apply perfectly to animal interactions, the development of organisms, the inception of ideas that turn into action, the evolution of Life.

The propagation of action as a force can be described in two different yet complementary ways: 1- Action with contact, which is a force that can modify the medium without propagation, and 2- Action at a distance, which is a force that although propagating is nonetheless determined by external forces.

Galileo’s understanding of reality is an excellent example of the theory. His understanding of gravitation was a force that modified the Field of human knowledge without changing its physical environment [action with contact]. But even though the force of his understanding ultimately changed the way humankind perceives reality, it was almost obliterated by the Church’s dogmatic force [action at a distance].

These two forces, the force to affect and the forces that affect us, are complementary and together determine the extent and significance of our actions. For instance, when I initiate an action by focusing on a goal, I am the driving force – the ‘operator’ – who creates beliefs, ideas, or political factions that may turn into a force with the power to propagate through space and time, but its outcome will ultimately be determined by conducive or limiting forces acting upon me.

By describing a force in which the body is the ‘operator’, we have to designate it with the attribute, whether instinctive or self-determined, of Purpose, which implies that Field theory applies not only to forces like magnetism or gravitation but to those initiated with intent by a species or a human being. When we decide to affect or transform something with purpose, we become the driving force, the ‘operator’ of a field of action.

We are forces pregnant with the potential to unleash unimaginable transformations. And as demonstrated by individuals like Galileo, Einstein, Gandhi, Hitler, who, when directed by the force of their ideas or beliefs and limited or assisted by their environments, unleashed forces that, when measured by their significance, transcended into the way we think and act today.

This is what Erich Jantsch calls Self-transcendence, the reaching out beyond the boundaries of one’s own existence.

Our lives are Fields in the flow of Existence, and even though they might be determined by forces beyond our control, we do have, when given a chance, the potential to achieve feats that reach beyond our existence. This is the inherent power within us.

Revised December 2020   

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