Sketches of a universal psychoid fi eld
Chapter 12 provided a sort of phenomenology of living processes, simply a description, supported by the work of leading scientists, of what life and its patterns of interaction are about. It leads us to a metaphysical question, however; for we have had to say that every organism and its every component manifest the psychoid quality of responsiveness. While we may not blanch from claiming that every cell, every tissue and every organ is psychoid in that sense, it is probably the case that few of our contemporaries are willing to grant a psychoid nature to molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. But if these “building blocks” of life are lifeless and devoid of psychoid responsiveness, life and consciousness must come from somewhere else, some Cartesian “soul.” Our description of the psychoid nature of reality, therefore, must go further and truly become a universal psychoid fi eld, like electromagnetism and gravity. Psychoid responsiveness must go “all the way down” to the most inorganic-seeming of entities. Anything less, and we make living processes an exception to universal physical principles. In our view, Jung’s psychoid argument implies that everything that is, every particle of reality, is responsive in the psychoid sense. Otherwise no matter how many molecules we heap together-even if we fi nd a way to strike them with lightning-they will never spring to life and never become psychoid, much less aware. To demonstrate the inevitability of the psychoid principle, we have to show that the West’s metaphysical assumption that matter is dead, inert, and incapable of responsiveness does not accurately describe the reality we experience. Ultimately, we need a new description of reality, a new metaphysics. But fi rst let us consider some of the evidence that matter may not be as insentient as we have assumed.