Rubert Sheldrake's book, A New Science of Life, is seminal science for the coming millennium. His hypothesis is that the cause of all form is fields. Matter assumes form when it resonates in tune with a particular field. Fields are derived from a body's own past actions and from the actions of ancestors. Fields act across space and time. There are two kinds of fields: morphogenetic fields and motor fields. Morphogenetic fields determine forms and motor fields determine behaviors. Fields operate similar to the way architectural plans determine the ultimate form for a house; the materials although necessary for the end product could be used to produce houses of different forms. Materials in this same analogy would refer to physical being. The form would refer to the fields. Morphogenesis occurs throughout nature.
Sheldrake mentions four possible "metaphysical" conclusions that can be reached consonant with formative causation (modified materialism, conscious self, creative universe, and transcendent reality). I would opt for the last of these, transcendent reality which "affirms the causal efficacy of the conscious self, and the existence of a hierarchy of creative agencies immanent within nature, and the reality of a transcendent source of the universe. We participate in this transcendent source to the extent that we are in resonance with it. This transcendent reality is body (physical universe), mind (morphogenesis), and soul (principle of life).