“Morphic field” is a term introduced by Rupert Sheldrake. He proposes that there is a field within and around a “morphic unit” which organizes its characteristic structure and pattern of activity. According to Sheldrake, the “morphic field” underlies the formation and behaviour of “holons” and “morphic units“, and can be set up by the repetition of similar acts or thoughts. The hypothesis is that a particular form belonging to a certain group, which has already established its (collective) “morphic field”, will tune into that “morphic field“. The particular form will read the collective information through the process of “morphic resonance“, using it to guide its own development. This development of the particular form will then provide, again through “morphic resonance“, a feedback to the “morphic field” of that group, thus strengthening it with its own experience, resulting in new information being added (i.e. stored in the database). Sheldrake regards the “morphic fields” as a universal database for both organic (living) and abstract (mental) forms.
That a mode of transmission of shared informational patterns and archetypes might exist did gain some tacit acceptance when it was proposed as the theory of the collective unconscious by renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung. According to Sheldrake, the theory of “morphic fields” might provide an explanation for Jung’s concept as well. Also, he agrees that the concept of akashic records, term from Vedas representing the “library” of all the experiences and memories of human minds (souls) through their physical lifetime, can be related to “morphic fields“, since one’s past (an akashic record) is a mental form, consisting of thoughts as simpler mental forms (all processed by the same brain), and a group of similar or related mental forms also have their associated (collective) “morphic field“. (Sheldrake’s view on memory-traces is that they are non-local, and not located in the brain.)
Essential to Sheldrake’s model is the hypothesis of morphic resonance. This is a feedback mechanism between the field and the corresponding forms of morphic units. The greater the degree of similarity, the greater the resonance, leading to habituation or persistence of particular forms. So, the existence of a morphic field makes the existence of a new similar form easier.
Sheldrake proposes that the process of morphic resonance leads to stable morphic fields, which are significantly easier to tune into (like a path).