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I have been keeping off writing this for some time, in the fervent hope that it is just not true. My personal belief is that this is the biggest load of nonsense ever. However, here goes:
What is Noetic Science?
There seems to be a distinct connection between Noetic Theory and Lost. To begin with, the Intitute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) appears to research on topics such as spontaneous remission, meditation, consciousness, alternative healing practices, spirituality, human potential, psychic abilities and survival of consciousness after bodily death, extra-sensory perception, lucid dreaming, and presentiment. A brief look at the blog from the Noetic Sciences UK website show a wide range of stuff, including mythological and biblical 're-interpretations', time travel, the nature of the soul, subliminal messaging and quantum mechanics. Noetic Science was featured heavily in the Dan Brown Book "The Lost Symbol". Given the "Lost" connections, I sincerely hope that Noetic Sciences are not underpinning what is happening in Lost, for two reasons: firstly, that a lot of what is occurring under the name of science, is in fact pseudoscientific mumbojumbo, and secondly, the use in Dan Brown's book, and the word 'Lost' in the title would really damage the series.
You will notice so far that I have not defined 'noetic science'. There is good reason for this; it is very difficult to determine precisely what is, and is not, 'noetic'. Noesis is a term used to discuss insight or the ability to understand things immediately, probably without conscious awareness, and is derived from the Greek nous or intellect. The Institute of Noetic Sciences was co-founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell on returning from the Apollo 14 mission, on which he experienced an epiphany.
Most of noetic science appears to subscribe to some sort of extended 'collective consciousness' model of the world. This goes far beyond the the normal sociological definition, and even the collective unconscious of Jung, positing that underlying consciousness is the so called a 'Noetic Field'
The noetic field is a sustaining, nurturing, intelligent, unified life field that is universally present. Parallel to the emerging scientific terms–such as David Bohm’s “implicate order” and “non-local causality,” and Edwin Close’s “primary consciousness,” and the creationist’s “agency”–this field can be compared to grace, dharma, nirvana, or heaven.
—Robert D. Waterman, Neogenesis Mystery School Website
Such a field, if it exists, is based on the idea of a morphogenetic field as defined by Rupert Sheldrake. Sheldrake extended the accepted biological notion of a morphogenetic field, where biochemical gradients within the cell direct internal cell processes cuch as cell division and cell specialisation. Sheldrake's notion was that there are similar 'organizing fields' of animal and human behaviour, of social and cultural systems, and of mental activity; all of these fields contain an inherent memory. For example, when a new chemical compound is first created it will crystallize slowly, but when other researchers repeat the experiment they find it occurs more quickly. Sheldrake claimed that a morphic field is created on the first occasion; this guides subsequent attmpts to repeat the process. One of the proposed mechanisms for this is via Akashic Records, a compendium of mystical knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence. There is a connection here with a possible "universal computer" and the "Mind of God" at the Omega Point. To say that Sheldrake's ideas found any favour in the scientific community at all would be a gross overstatement. John Maddox, editor of Nature wrote: "Sheldrake's argument is an exercise in pseudo-science. — Many readers will be left with the impression that Sheldrake has succeeded in finding a place for magic within scientific discussion."
Noetic Science & Consciousness
The more respectable end of the Noetic Science appears to be grounded in the Holonomic Brain Theory as described by Karl Pribram and David Bohm. They suggest a that the brain's cognitive function is guided by a matrix of neurological wave interference patterns. Amoroso's paper on the Noetic Field Theory Quantization of Mind attempts to show how the brain might use quantum mechanics to link the Jungian Collective Unconscious, a Noetic Field and Minkowskian Spacetime. This paper makes use of John Eccles' notion of "psychons" as an element of consciousness. Some authors have even gone as far as suggesting that psychons could be zero energy tachyons (i.e. faster than light particles.) However, it must be pointed out that even those who might otherwise be regarded as being on the 'fringes' of science such as Max Tegmark refute many of the claims of quantum mind theory.
There is also a possible connection with the noosphere of Teilhard de Chardin, original proponent of the Omega Point Theory. De Chardin described a Law of Complextity/Consciousness, the tendency in matter to complexify upon itself and at the same time to increase its level of consciousness. The study of complexity is a growing field, and has given rise to a variety of mathematically-based ideas, such as chaos theory, self-organisation and emergence. Complexity also gives rise to the idea of fractals and self-similarity; they are also elements in the holographic paradigm, all of which would be requirements for any noetic field.
Some Speculation, and a Possible Application to Lost
In terms of Lost, not only is there an obvious connection with Dharma (google "dharma & noetic"), but it is easy to see that there are applications of a morphogenetic field a "biological (and potentially social) equivalent to an electromagnetic field" that operates to shape the exact form of a living thing. The claim that the island has pockets of electromagnetic energy and/or exotic matter would potentially provide the energy for such noetic fields. Their manifestations could be in the form of ghosts (re-animations of the morphogenetic fields of the once-living), the bringing to reality of people, places and objects from memories (using resonance with holonomic brain fields), and the possibilities of time travel via the collective unconscious, using focussed tachyon emissions. Any energy field, such as electromagnetism or any one of the other three universal forces is carried by a particle; for example, electromagnetic radiation is transmitted by photons. As every particle has an antiparticle, it is clear that such an energy pocket could admit to both fields and ghost fields:
The Faddeev-Popov ghosts are sometimes referred to as "good ghosts". The "bad ghosts" represent another, more general meaning of the word "ghost" in theoretical physics: states of negative norm—or fields with the wrong sign of the kinetic term, such as Pauli-Villars ghosts—whose existence allows the probabilities to be negative thus violating unitarity.
Such ideas would therefore support the notion of a world based on a world collective unconscious, generated via electromagnetic resonances, based on pockets of high energy 'normal' matter located underneath the island. These would use 'psychons' or something similar as the particles of the noetic field. However, such a theory would also admit of 'antipsychons', generated by exotic matter, (e.g. antimatter, particles with negative mass, or particles with paradoxical properties such as those with superluminal speeds or negative probabilities). Just as the physical universe appears only to be based on particles rather than antiparticles, the collective unconscious could in theory also be a noosphere (mental world) based on psychons or an antinoosphere based on antipsychons. Note that these would not necessarily be good or bad, merely different. However, like particle-antiparticle collisions would result in annhilition of matter, world-antiworld collisions result in th annhiliation of consciousness.
Jacob would clearly be based around the living, and would have the potential to affect their mental states and their past history. He would also potentailly have the ability to travel back into their memories and change them, much like Desmond does. MiB would have the equivalent role with the dead. However, MiB would be non-corporeal, as his existence would be based on antipsychons. Jacob & MiB could not touch, as this would produce an annihilation event. It is possible that MiB could be the dominant influence to the living in the antinoosphere, with Jacob playing the role of MiB to the antinoosphere dead. MiB's attempt to leave the island would reverse the roles of the noosphere and antinoosphere, with the antinoosphere becoming the dominant mental world, and the noosphere falling away. This may be what is happeneing with the FST & OT.
I am finding all this is very much a stretch of imagination, and really don't want to develop this theory much longer, as if it turns out to have any connection with the final reveal, I shall be very disappointed indeed.
What do others think? Am I doing all this a disservice?