The Peter-Hesse-Foundation has a purpose to “contribute to a just and peaceful learning ONE world in diversity” with a vision of interconnectedness of all. In accordance with this purpose, the Foundation has greatly facilitated my research through generous financial contributions, aided also by the Peter-Hesse-Foundation’s former board member Dr. Sabine Uhlen. My research work supported by the foundation has several aspects:
1. Research that shows how human minds are interconnected at a distance. Over the years, my colleagues and I have shown that people’s minds and intentions can influence others at a distance, no matter how far away they are. We have done this research by starting from the well-known phenomenon of telephone telepathy, whereby a person thinks of someone else and soon afterwards that person telephones. Or else people just know who is on the phone before they look at the caller ID or pick up the receiver. We have now done many rigorous scientific tests in which participants are filmed and in which they have to guess which of four potential callers is on the line. The callers are selected at random so the subjects have no way of knowing who will be calling in any particular trial. The results show that people’s guesses are very significantly above the chance level of 25% (1 in 4). We have shown that similar phenomena occurred with emails and text messages, again with results that are highly significant statistically. We have now developed an automated test procedure which works on mobile telephones, and a new improved version is currently running on my website enabling anyone to participate in this research (https://www.sheldrake.org/participate/telephone-telepathy-test). One of our findings is that this telepathic effect does not fall off with distance. We have done experiments between England and Australia in which two of the callers were people who were very close to the subject although living on the other side of the world, and the other two callers were new acquaintances in Britain who were physically closer but emotionally further apart. Subjects achieved higher scores with the people who were emotionally closer but on the other side of the world, showing that emotional bonds are more important than physical distance in this phenomenon.
2. I have been investigating the phenomenon of joint attention to find out whether people can tell when other people are paying attention to the same thing at the same time even if they are far away. On my website I have an automated joint attention test which anyone can do with a partner anywhere else in the world. The subjects are shown a series of pictures, sometimes the same picture and sometimes a different picture from their partners. In each test they have to guess if their partner is looking at the same picture or not. The scores achieved in these tests are significantly above chance showing that minds can be linked through attention to a common object. We have also done experiments to find out whether people can tell when they are watching a TV programme which is being seen by many other people, compared with a recording of the same program. Obviously we cannot do this experiment under circumstances where people know which programs are being broadcast, so we use foreign programs, and our experiments so far have shown that people can indeed tell when other people are paying attention. This is relevant to the theme of one world in diversity and interconnectedness, because we now live in a world where thanks to television and the internet millions, and sometimes billions of people can pay attention to the same thing at the same time, like a world cup final or a royal wedding. This literally brings human minds into resonance with each other on an unprecedented scale.
3. Part of the basic vision of the Peter-Hesse-Foundation is that “All is interconnected through the inner nucleus of all that exists through an all encompassing divine spirit” this is a theme that underlies some of my recent work on science and spiritual practices. All religious traditions have spiritual practices and these are now accessible throughout the world as never before. For example millions of people now meditate or do yoga, far from the ancestral home of these practices in India. Spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically, and the scientific studies show that they can have many beneficial effects, increasing people’s health and happiness as well as giving a stronger sense of interconnection. I have written a book based on my research in this area called Science and Spiritual Practices, to be published in Germany on October 1st 2018 under the title Die Wiederentdeckung der Spiritualität. This book is also being published in translations into a variety of other languages including Portuguese (in Brazil) Spanish, Norwegian and Korean. I hope that this book will help to further an understanding of the core principles which underlie the work of the Peter-Hesse-Foundation.
4. My research over many years on morphic resonance implies that all species draw upon a collective memory. All humans are linked through participating in a collective memory on which all individuals draw, and into which all contribute. This is similar to the concept of the collective unconscious in the work of the psychologist C.J. Jung, but whereas Jung thought only in terms of humanity, morphic resonance suggests that this is common principle in all species and throughout all nature. Morphic resonance depends on the vibratory nature of all organised systems and involves a resonance across space and time, from the past to the present on the basis of similarity. The fundamental principles are described in my book The Presence of The Past (translated into German as Das Gedächtnis der Natur). Recently, I have set up a laboratory in London to investigate the way in which vibratory patterns can be established in fluids such as water. Patterns appear on the surface of vibrated water samples that are called Faraday waves. Together with my son, Dr Merlin Sheldrake, I have recently published a paper on the scientific factors affecting Faraday wave patterns in vibrated water, which is one of the first systematic studies of phenomenon. Our study was published recently in Water Journal (http://waterjournal.org/volume-9/sheldrake) and we have almost completed two further papers giving more details of these vibratory processes. It is not yet clear whether vibrating water enables memory processes to be transferred, but these experiments give an insight into the fundamental nature of pattern formation through vibration that is one of the most fundamental organizing principles of all nature.
I am very grateful to Peter Hesse’s global vision and for his generosity in supporting this research, which will I hope help to strengthen a growth of understanding of unity in diversity – the principle on which his practical and educational work is based.
Rupert Sheldrake, PhD
September 20, 2018