In her book “The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe,” McTaggart (2002) suggests that every thought, behavior, and interaction, no matter how insignificant, leaves an imprint in the cosmic realm. Recent scientific discovery has termed this celestial storehouse “The Field,” or the non-physical space in which all activity, past, present, and potential, exists in a subatomic wave encoding of thought.
The background sea of activity that surrounds us exists because all matter (though appearing solid and immutable) is (according to research reported by McTaggart) actually nothing more than a mass of electrical charges. These charges are constantly interacting with one another at a quantum, or subatomic level, leaving a holographic imprint of both the object and the interaction. Pribram (a neurosurgeon and scientist), explains that our brains make a mathematical Fourier translation of the wave-frequency patterns that we receive from the Field, which in turn constructs the virtual image that we create in space, and the objects that we actually “see” (McTaggart, 2002). Our perception results from an elaborate interaction of our individual thought processes with an amalgam of consciousness which is thus hidden from our view. Some scientists have gone so far to speculate that all higher cognitive processes result from interaction with the Zero Point Field, or “implicate order.”
The concept of Field suggests that companies create a reality that mirrors its dominant values. As conduits to The Field, organizations impact the type of frequencies that we perceive. Our expectations are influenced by our emotions, which are in turn affected by the culture within our workplace. In toxic environments each word of ego’s choosing generates a resident negativity and an uncomfortable presence which is felt but unseen. The concept of morphic fields suggests that feelings and patterns of behavior make up a place’s collective vibration, which in turn impacts its inhabitants. Morphic fields provide a potential explanation for why members of a group so quickly learn behaviors practiced by a majority in their organizations. As Sinetar observes: “Morphic fields possess very little energy of their own, but are able to shape energy that comes from another source” (Sinetar, 1991, p. 62). Dyer describes the pervasive sense of sadness which he felt at Auschwitz and at Anne Frank’s house, both places where intense feelings were still resonant. If residue from negative energy lingers, then very possibly workplaces in which bullying is rampant create a toxic environment. The cumulative effect of accessing an aggregation of bad memories leaves employees on edge, in the uncomfortable place of anticipating the worst.
Inventive thought is absent in organizations that are a garrison of militant activity. In bureaucracy each combatant is heavily armed, mired in defending his individual cubicle fortress against marauders who plot his corporate extinction. As in Newtonian physics where discrete atoms bump into, attract, or repel one other, in bureaucracy, workers are concerned with how they can obtain the most for themselves against the opposing efforts of their peers. They reside in self-made isolation chambers, adjacent to but unable to reach the vast array of riches at their disposal. Correspondingly, Goleman (1996, p. 148) argues that: “Stress makes people stupid.”
In toxic work environments you are prevented from realizing the destiny that resides in your spiritual DNA, and the potential that is your birthright. You are instead happy to settle for the vision of pet tucked neatly into boss purpose. Peck defines pets as individuals whose affection is dependent on being a pet, but who lack the capacity to respect their strength, independence, and individuality. They are required to respect managerial childishness and to applaud poor boss behavior (or at least, to make excuses for it). The compassion, mindfulness, simplicity, generosity, and purposefulness that are essential to mental clarity are hidden by the false security of sycophant status, as Sinetar suggests in Developing a 21st Century Mind: “In order to be like and to be liked by others we use our minds as others use theirs. We forget creative thought processes and our joy” (Sinetar, 1991, p. 62).
Bureaucrats view themselves according to their organization’s definition, one that has been cordoned off from the realm of cosmic intelligence. Within organizations creativity is covered over by “fear, chattering of the mind, ego, false personality, judgment” (DiCarlo, 1996, p. 65). In The Fifth Discipline, Senge explains that organizations learn only through individuals who themselves have appropriate models. In toxic workplaces we see the mimicry of those whose unquestioned acts are repugnant, and not the devotion to fellow man which resides at the core of creation spirituality (DiCarlo, 1996) [the belief that all beings in the universe are a blessing]. Learning is impossible in places where self-absorption is rampant, and in companies where each individual soul has become a mirror image of another’s shortcomings (Matheson, 1999).
DiCarlo, R. (1996). Towards a new worldview: Conversations at the leading edge (p. 149). Erie, PA: Epic Publishing.
Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional intelligence (p. 151). New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Matheson, R. (1999). What dreams may come (p. 175). New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press. McTaggart, L. (2002). The field: The quest for the secret force of the universe. New York, NY: HarperCollinsPublishers.
Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization (p. 289). New York, NY: Doubleday/Currency.
Sinetar, M. (1991). Developing a 21st century mind. New NY: Villard Books.