Foreword Review — May / June 2010
“The morphogenic Field of Compassion is here…People all over the world have witnessed its coming. We can recognize it, describe it, and begin to live it with intention,” asserts Judy Cannato, who calls for a union of the concept of morphogenic fields and the realm of God as envisioned by Jesus. Such a union would result in the evolution of the “new human,” she believes—one who is at home in the “Kingdom of God” on Earth, able to receive grace and become grace in action in the world.
The concept of the “morphogenic fields,” invisible fields surrounding living systems that, according to British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, “carry information or memory from one generation to the next, making a new behavior easier to learn,” has been subjected to scientific research with results that strongly indicate the existence of such fields. Moreover, the studies reveal that we are influencing these fields and creating new ones all the time, making it essential that choices be made that will save, rather than imperil, our world.
In the language of Christianity, this imperative involves a real participation in the “Paschal mystery,” necessitating a confrontation with death, whether the death of one’s ego, or a literal sacrifice of one’s life for the sake of the whole. Cannato presents the disturbing, but very real, possibility that humankind may have come to the point at which such sacrifice is the only viable option that remains, warning that there will not be an extraordinary rescue from our problems by an extraordinary deity; rather, it is ordinary people who must turn things around.
She believes we are amply prepared for the task, saying, “We have all that we need; we must now become all that we can be.” Meditation and other spiritual technologies can speed up evolution into the new human, a being with characteristics that include love, compassion, courage, and hope.
“The new human is intuitive, has a sense of the whole, lives with integrity, has the ability to make sacrifices on behalf of the whole, is discerning, and takes risks,” says Cannato. Both prophet and mystic, the new human is engaged with the world, but rather than being engulfed by it, stands and calls the species to grace.
Cannato has master’s degrees in English and religious studies and taught religious studies at John Carroll University. She has been doing retreat ministry and spiritual direction for twenty years. Field of Compassion is a worthy read, especially for Christians who are not put off by science and philosophy.