Recommended reading: ‘Field of Compassion’ by Judy Cannato

Reviewed by Nancy Sylvester, IHM and Executive Director of the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialog.

In the Circles** you may remember hearing the term “morphogenic field.” Biologist Rupert Sheldrake developed this hypothesis, which asserts that there are non-visible fields of values, attitudes, behaviors which surround living systems and accelerate the learning of those patterns in subsequent generations. This experience became palpable throughout the Circle experience as each succeeding Circle seemed to be asking questions and moving forward more rapidly than the previous Circle.

Judy Cannato, a Circle participant, writes brilliantly about this concept in her newest book, “Field of Compassion.” Weaving the insights of physicists, cosmologists, theologians, psychologists and mystics she proposes a fresh approach for believers in the 21st century.

She articulates how there is a morphic resonance between the morphogenic fields of the Universe story, the Christian story, and the image of the Kingdom of God. All share a common resonance.  Each is fundamentally a story that speaks to the primacy of connectedness.  In each narrative we are reminded that unity precedes diversity and that diversity seeks unity in the never-ending flow of communion.

Cannato reflects on the new consciousness which is emerging and is so needed today. She speaks about the new human who manifests the Field of Compassion. As in her other books, Cannato integrates her grasp of science with her own reflection and experience. She also offers us certain practices that assist us in moving toward this new consciousness and furthering our journey into the higher stages of development.

This book is a great contribution to deepening our understanding of how to move toward the transformation of consciousness.

Judy Cannato, “Field of Compassion: How the New Cosmology is Transforming Spiritual Life.” Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2010.   Visit:

**”Circle” is the name given to each group who participates in circles of contemplation which are part of the Engaging Impasse process. To learn more about this experience visit


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