Our November cover story on the Zero Point Field roused a wide range of comments and questions from our readers. For many the promise of a new way of looking at the world and our place in it came as a revelation, for others it was confirmation of what they had long suspected or believed. A month down the road Ode caught up with Lynne McTaggart who’s book ‘The Field’ was one of the chief sources of inspiration for our story.
‘The Field’ is a best seller. And that says a lot about the levels of interest in the Zero Point Field, the energy field at the border between science and mysticism. Within a year of its publication in the UK, Lynne McTaggart’s ground-breaking work has been translated into four languages and is now being sold in six countries. It’s also managed to climb into Amazon’s top five bestsellers list in both the United States and the United Kingdom. ‘Funnily enough, in the US it’s on the bestsellers list for books on spirituality and healing, while in the UK it’s on the list for best selling books on physics,’ says McTaggart. The difference says as much about the profile of the books readers as about the dichotomy of its contents.
As the author herself puts it, reading The Field is ‘a bit like finding there is such a thing as The Force in Star Wars’. In the book, journalist McTaggart relates her countless interviews with scientists from around the world describing their extraordinary evidence showing that an all-encompassing energy field – the Zero Point Field – connects everything in the universe, including ourselves.
McTaggart hit upon the field while reviewing alternative medical treatments for her foundation What Doctors Don’t Tell You. ‘I kept coming across healing methods that tapped into a deeper energy source, one we all seemed to possess or be in contact with,’ she says, ‘It seemed only logical that there must be more to this than just medical treatments.’
She set out to ask several pioneering scientists about electromagnetism. She ended up delving into the world of quantum physics. ‘The biggest challenge was getting them to explain their theories in language that the rest of us could understand,’ says McTaggart. ‘In many cases it took 20 or 30 interviews to get it right. After the book was published I was thrilled and relieved to receive, so many compliments from other scientists for its accessibility and accuracy.’
But not all scientists were happy with the results. ‘Mainstream science is a very traditional and conservative area geared towards serving industry and not the pursuit of knowledge,’ says McTaggart. ‘The Zero Point Field is the work of frontier scientists, the new Christopher Columbuses and Einsteins. The rest of the scientists are too busy protecting their jobs, they can’t afford to jeapordise their life’s work by entertaining revolutionary new theories. It’s like one giant bed of weeds with a few flowers poking through,’ she adds. As a result, she estimates that it will probably take 25 to 30 years before it becomes accepted into the scientific orthodoxy.
‘Fortunately, as usual, scientists are lagging way behind the rest of society. For most people the dreary view of man as an isolated creature on a lonely planet is simply no longer viable,’ she says.
Has her work on The Field has changed her own views on life? ‘It’s changed the way I look at my life,’ says McTaggart. ‘But I’m still coming to grips with it; I’m a student just like everyone else.’ And it would seem that an growing number of people are joining McTaggart as Field adherents. A two-day conference in the United Kingdom in the spring of 2003 attracted 1,200 delegates. A similar congress in the fall had 700 delegates. In the meantime, McTaggart has been busy developing other means to help people incorporate her book’s revelations into their lives. ‘We’ve set up a website (www.livingthefield.com) and a four year correspondence-based master class, which combines theory with practical exercises to help people learn to work with different characteristics of the field such as up-to-date information on hypnosis and meditation,’ she says. ‘In January we’ll be announcing a series of intensive weekend workshops that will be run as retreats where people can talk with experts and share their experiences.’
Those who sign up for the workshops or master class looking for traditional new age inspiration might be in for something of a shock. ‘Our work is different in that it is all grounded in hard science,’ says McTaggart. ‘For example, we’re currently looking at new scientific explanations for out of body experiences that show what occurs in the brain during such moments.’
At the moment, the workshops are solely being organised in the UK, but there are plans to expand abroad. McTaggart’s future plans will also take her overseas in search for new insights into the Field. ‘I’m starting to look more at how the field has been woven into the cultural heritage of different peoples, such as Australian aboriginals or native North Americans,’ she says. ‘Instinctively, we’ve known about the Field for a long time. Science is finally starting to catch up.’
For more information on Lynne McTaggart and her book ‘The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe’ (Quill, 2003) can be found at www.livingthefield.com. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.