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That's a nice summary, Michael! A couple of points:

Tom Campbell states categorically that there are "no shortcuts". Experience is the only teacher. We can speed up the process by co-operating with it (eg via meditation and learning about the Big Picture).

Aso, you may be interested to know that Brian Whitworth has apparently purchased the My Big Toe trilogy. Not sure what he makes of it, though!

Micheal- you do a fantastic job of bringing these two (VR and spiritual traditions) together.

While Brian Whitworth may not agree with your modeling, I think he would agree that many or all of the interesting attempts to explain QM make such models possible--(as opposed to the earlier Newtonian thinking that made such models impossible)--

And that is a point we maybe able to agree on...

I have some problems with Thomas Campbell's theory. One is his view of consciousness as fundamentally connected to entropy. He suggests low entropy (things with low entropy, if I have understood it correctly, are complex things with a lot of energy in them) produces "higher" or more clear consciousness. He then claims that the most fundamental consciousness is kind of fuzzy or unclear, presumably because it has so high entropy. However, to me the opposite seems true. The more we get to the "bottom" of consciousness, the clearer and "higher" it seems to get.

Another problem I have is that he describes the fundamental consciousness as evolving along with the rest of the universe (the universe being all of creation, not only our physical universe). It seems this would imply consciousness has a beginning in time, which seems contrary to what experiencers of the absolute describe. I also find it more satisfying to view consciousness as something absolute, a fundamental entity in some sense. Something that doesn't change. And this seems also to be what people describe in mystical experiences.

"The reality cells [which comprise Universal Oneness] can oscillate ..."


Though I haven't read it, Whitworth's view reminds me a link Radin left on his blog "Entangled Minds" just recently. The link was to Donald Hoffman's website. He's a cognitive scientist with a interest in the psychology of perception. His "Interface Theory of Perception" seems very similar to Whitworth's view. He claims that our percepotion of the physical world is a "species-specific user interface." Conjoin this with his claim that consciousness and its contents are all that exists, and hte physical world itself becomes a VR simulation tailored to our species's specific needs.

His website at UC, Irvine is:
Scroll down a bit and you'll see his papers "Physics from Consciousness"; User Interface Theory of Perception"; and "Quantum Cognitive Science"

"I also find it more satisfying to view consciousness as something absolute, a fundamental entity in some sense. Something that doesn't change. And this seems also to be what people describe in mystical experiences." –Larry Boy

Consciousness organises, but it is still consciousness. I am Ben, and even though I grow older and wiser(?), I am still Ben. If I had access to the entire Akashic database of my life (and other events not experienced in life) and could run back and forth over them or freeze frame them like a video recorder, time might indeed seem unreal. Particularly if I could also foresee the future.

But bear in mind that the future is only in probabilities, since free will is what fixes the actual choice from among the calculated options. Some of the Experiencers you mention who say time is unreal also (oddly!) predict the future. Note that they’re frequently wrong!

I’m not insisting that this is correct or true – but it seems to be the ‘My Big Toe’ answer to your objections.

“I also find it more satisfying to view consciousness as something absolute, a fundamental entity in some sense. Something that doesn't change. And this seems also to be what people describe in mystical experiences.”

My research and thinking deeply about such things while lying in bed when I first awake and wait for these thoughts to come to me have reveled to me that consciousness is not the absolute but the “temporal” creation of phenomena. The absolute is awareness i.e. infinite awareness. This awareness was perceived by the Buddha as emptiness and misconceived by the masses as nothingness.

A better term I think to help describe this Infinite Awareness would be stillness. Consciousness is a flow of thoughts; awareness is stillness. Stillness is the timeless now. The past, present, and future with all of its drama are in the realm of consciousness, the memories of consciousness, the imagination of consciousness or the perception of consciousness.

But stillness and consciousness are two sides of the same coin as this Infinite Awareness that is perceived as stillness has infinite potential and the “necessity” to create. The big bang is proof of that as we are as living souls (plural). God is both stillness and dynamic, how can this be? The paradox again. To solve this paradox the mystic Meister Eckhart taught that there is a Godhead that is stillness like a barren desert and a God that is dynamic and this God does the creating of unique souls.

Now I think it is the gods that do much of this creating at least within the confines of our universe but that is another post.

From my point of view awareness is primary and consciousness is secondary. Kind of. Our awareness could also be thought of as the spirit within us. As our consciousness expands through an evolution of consciousness process our awaking to our inner or that infinite awareness expands. This is an interesting topic for me as I have been writing about it for years and just this morning more thoughts came to about the relationship of consciousness, awareness and observation.

What we confuse with awareness is our observation of the variation or dualism in the manifested world of phenomena. If that variation did not exist there would be no souls to express this “stillness”. All of creation is relative for a reason.

We say we are aware of the beauty of the Grand Canyon when in reality we are observing the Grand Canyon with our flow of thoughts (consciousness) based on past experiences and this caused us to appreciate its natural beauty (duality). Example: we have just compared the ugliness of garbage dump with the beauty of the Grand Canyon. If someone who was blind then could see and his or her first view of the world was the Grand Canyon what would be his or her response? We are not in a state of awareness per say but we are observing and comparing two different phenomena. I.e. relative world.

When we put a person on the witness stand to serve as a witness they relate what they observed not their awareness of the underlying reality of that crime. Not sure that made any sense. Observing is the witnessing of phenomena, awareness is seeing or awaking to the infinite perfection of that phenomenon or phenomena. We live and have our Being in a relative phenomenal world for a reason.

When we are aware, not observing but aware, we are aware of the underlying reality of the Grand Canyon or that crime we witnessed. When we are aware we see the underlying reality or origin of our suffering as ignorance as the Buddha did when he awaken to the underlying reality of suffering.

As we expand or grow or awaken to our innate awareness we begin to see the underlying reality of phenomena or appearances; this is why Jesus stated judge not by appearances. Most call these phenomena illusions but I think it is a mistake to do so but I have no better word or concept at this time other than temporal or cosmic manifestations as a substitute for illusions.

William, I agree with you. Probably.

And Ben, my point was that I find it odd that the source of consciousness, or what William calls Infinite Awareness, would be a finite entity that is evolving. Campbell talks about information processing, I think he said in one of his lectures something to the effect that this Infinite Awareness, to use William's term, must be finite because it is impossible to process infinite information.

However, I think this is where it may blind you to use human technology as a metaphor for explaining the world. I think it doesn't even make sense to talk about awareness as something that has any kind of spatial location. In other words, it seems to transcend the infinite/finite category altogether. Awareness just is.

Saying that the Infinite Awareness is finite and is evolving seems to me to imply that it must have a beginning in time and space, like a big bang or something. And that isn't quite satisfactory to me.

"Saying that the Infinite Awareness is finite and is evolving seems to me to imply that it must have a beginning in time and space, like a big bang or something. And that isn't quite satisfactory to me." -Larry

I see your point, Larry. Tom Campbell's model is constructed on two fundamental constants: Consciousness and the Evolutionary urge. He thinks you need both to account for Reality. These constants are coeval. I think you and William are saying that there is only one original constant -Conscious Awareness. If you do that, you have to account for evolution as a kind of afterthought. In Tom Campbell's model, time arises naturally as a technology used by the evolutionary constant to allow change.


I looked it up, and Roger is right. The word here (according to strict usage) should not be "comprise."

I'm too lazy to fix it, though.

BTW, a preview of the first book in Campbell's trilogy is available on Google Books.

I found this excerpt from the acknowledgments pretty funny:

"Last, and certainly least, I wish to barely mention Kathy Cyphert and Peggy Rochine, who, along with many others too numerous to name, contributed absolutely nothing to this effort but wanted to see their names mentioned in it just the same."

“If you do that, you have to account for evolution as a kind of afterthought”

This is an interesting comment and one that deserves much attention. There appears to be two aspects or sides to this infinite awareness. Stillness and dynamic. That paradox again. Of course it only looks like a paradox because we lack perfect understanding into the mind of this infinite awareness. The stillness is all and all and the dynamic side or aspect of Absolute has the “urge or necessity” to express itself and in that expression that most call creation is the evolutionary aspect of the soul’s journey.

Built right in to the expression or creation process so to speak.

Urge or necessity is not the right concept but this stillness or infinite awareness has this infinite vitality and intelligence; it must express its potential. This makes it a necessity to create itself in infinite variation of expressions. Maybe like being able to interact with its own potential in an infinite variety of ways.

I cannot put my thoughts on this subject into words with any clarity, as much as I would like to. This is the best I can do at this time. Evolution is not an afterthought, previous thought, design, or even a plan but the evolution of the soul is a natural outcome of that expression. Stated another way the journey back to Oneness or as gods is automatic as “less than oneness must return to oneness”. Not sure that made any sense.

Even karma is not a thought or afterthought or design but a natural outcome of the expression process and the progression of the soul. Anything “less” than Oneness has a longing for Oneness; therefore seeks its oneness to overcome its inner need for Oneness. Not sure that made any sense. Now karma looks like a feedback loop to guide a soul to this perfection but it is only an outcome if a thought or experience that is not in alignment with the love and divine intelligence of this all and all.

It is convenient to put “God” in human terms as a designer or planner but I think those analogies fail us. My point being there is only one thought in the creation or expression process and we call it the big bang. No afterthoughts needed as perfection only knows perfection.

“In Tom Campbell's model, time arises naturally as a technology used by the evolutionary constant to allow change.”

This is also true in the evolution of the soul as time is nothing more than the sequence of expressions from a spark of awareness to absolute awareness. Infinite awareness has no need for time or to measure time. Just Isness.

Many suggest that time does not exist in these other worlds but that is a lack of understanding of the reality of these worlds. Time may have less of a meaning but as long as there are a series of experiences or thoughts time exists. I suspect in a Hades reality time moves at a very slow pace. The more loving and the closer the soul moves towards Oneness time slows down to the speed of a snail. As gods time is a no issue.

After reading the first few chapters of Campbell's trilogy on Google Books, I was sufficiently intrigued to order the book from Amazon. Campbell's entertaining prose style alone should make the book worth reading.

I found another online review of the trilogy here:

The second paragraph of his preface is a good read and so true. We miss the most in life looking for endpoints and not enjoying the process in the journey. What makes a country great in the eyes of the materialist can also be its downfall.

The spiritual guru I read a lot states life is in the process not the results.

This lack of understanding in the world of business has devastated the wealth of this country. A results-only oriented society will self-destruct from its own stress and weight.

Being process oriented actually max’s the results contrary to popular business and leadership lore. I suspect that spiritual laws also apply to all aspects of life even organizations.

So Life's a journey, not a destination? Didn't Aerosmith already point that out?


That is music?????

I only heard Dr Hora get upset once on tape and it was over when asked a question about this kind of music.

He went into a rant and rave and everyone in the room was stunned.

From his point of view this type of music is part of that sea of mental garage.

I had to shut it down could not stand to listen to it. Screaming and more screaming.

Age thing I think. :-)

Sorry William, I didn't mean to hurt your ears, lol. I still think that the song has pretty good lyrics.

Aerosmith - Amazing (written by Steven Tyler and Richie Supa)

I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin’ insane
Tryin’ to walk through
The pain
When I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah, I thought I could leave but couldn’t get out the door
I was so sick and tired
Of a livin’ a lie
I was wishin’ that I
Would die

It’s Amazing
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
It’s Amazing
When the moment arrives that you know you’ll be alright
It’s Amazing
And I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight

That one last shot’s a Permanent Vacation
And how high can you fly with broken wings?
Life’s a journey not a destination
And I just can’t tell just what tomorrow brings

You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn’t listen to all that righteous talk
I was out on the street,
Just a tryin’ to survive

"I was out on the street,
Just a tryin’ to survive"

sounds like they survived well.

a friend of mine from the past used to be their sound guy.

were they big in the 80's

we were woodworking friends

lots of stories there :-)

Michael sounds like the jigsaw might be falling into place a little more.

Independently I often speculated life as this VR model because it makes a level of sense.

Here's a question: Summerland. IE: another virtual environment where we interact with structured blocks of information. Is it better or worse than the purely non physical / pure transcedent states?

F.W.H.M (if that communication is real) mentions in, I believe Road to Immortality, that Summerland is inferior in a sense to both Eidos (the non-physical world) and, at one point, even Earth (as he suggests more advanced people usually opt out of Summerland to work in an administrative sense in Eidos, or return to Earth).

Why? Well Summerland seems to pose no real challenge, and doesn't embody what he mentions as "conflict and creation".

But maybe it's narrow to think of one plane as better than the next. In one sense Earth is superior because of the challenges we must face and potential for personal growth / storylines, drama, etc.

And Summerland is better because of relative freedom of expression / love / and the experience of Earth in a "hyper reality" sense.

And then "Eidos" is a kind of "real life" where you are not operating with informational VR structures, allowing a new level of freedom which is also better.

My take:

There's no way to describe any of these regions as better than the next. I think there are limits present in each one, and a true balanced existence enjoys time spent in both dense physical bodies, etheric physical bodies, and non-physical incarnations.

Spending all your time in Summerland would be a bad idea because by nature this is a place of resting, I would assume. Where you can spend time with friends and loved ones and enjoy the "pleasures of the Heavens" without worrying about challenge / conflict.

Next, in Eidos, I would imagine you may become disconnected from humanity if you spend all your existence here.

And Earth, of course, is a miserable place which seems to serve a great purpose. Where do most stories and song come from? I imagine right here on Earth. In a sense this IS a big video game with advancing plot-lines and crazy characters. But, this is not a place to spend eternity reincarnating or one would be consumed by the darkness, where one would forget that it is a "virtual" (or temporary) plane.

Maybe there is a fourth option, a hybrid between Earth and Summerland, another VR environment if you will, where it's a little more balanced. A little less physical suffering, a little less boring and more grandiose, but just as many chances for conflict / challenge and creation, as F.W.H.M describes it and says that the soul needs.

Just an idea,

“Why? Well Summerland seems to pose no real challenge, and doesn't embody what he mentions as "conflict and creation".”

It does appear that the progress of soul development is in the struggle. Brunton in one of his books even suggested that so called enlightened Hindus in their next life would reincarnate to the united states and progress more because of the struggle and freedoms in our type of system. Now because Brunton says so does not make it so but he did spend his entire adult life seeking and writing about the mysteries of life.

And he lived what he wrote as it appears that he was able to achieve some type of enlightenment in his senior years.

“Maybe there is a fourth option, a hybrid between Earth and Summerland, another VR environment if you will, where it's a little more balanced”

If there is I don’t remember reading about such a place. There may be other worlds that offer such a place but the data seems to be mixed if souls are able to opt out to these other worlds with planets like earth.

My research is inconclusive about earth souls having the ability to reincarnate to other worlds other than planet earth. My study does indicate that souls in these lower worlds can sometimes visit these higher dimensions to see the greater joy, creativity, and love that exist in these worlds. But it may only be souls on the cusp of being able to move up so to speak into these higher vibration levels of existence.

Maybe it gives them an incentive so to speak to take on a difficult life on earth to have greater opportunities to advance in love and divine intelligence. But only opportunities there are no guarantees. The only guarantee seems to be something many spirits call the law of progress that all souls progress but at different rates. I.e. variation in everything even soul progression.

Well I don't know if reincarnation is necessary through the birthing process when you consider the etheric physical bodies. The body seems a necessary vessel to impose limitations and operate in restricted environments. If we can reproduce this effect in other worlds then perhaps we can custom design our environments or choose places which are less suffocating than Earth but not as "happy without problems" as this supposed Summerland place.

I'm suggesting that moving "up" the ladder isn't always the right direction to be moving. Sure, one can reach greater and greater levels of unity while going "up" the trans-dimensional atlas, but a masterpiece symphony is filled with both sorrow and joy, victory AND struggle (for where else would victory come from?).

Certainly it would be better to have the freedom to move freely between any plane you wish. Perhaps one epoch you decide to be in the highest, grandest planes (or a realm of Gods), and perhaps on anothe epoch you decide to pay visit to the Viking afterlife where everybody is engaged in perpetual war and blood-shed. I think physical bodies and "less than pleasant" abodes exist for a purpose and it's narrow minded to believe that going "up" is always "good". I think "good" and "bad" become very irrelevent in the act of creation.

I think reincarnating poses a lot of problems. The mere act of becoming an amnesiac, being sent through the ringer, and having to re-learn everything about yourself, figure these spiritual principles out again, etc. I'd say is very dangerous. What if you reincarnate, you fail to become spiritual and you lead a life of cruelty, and you end up stuck in the abyss / darkness of your own mind after you die? Not good, I wouldn't gamble that.

So I'm supposing there may be alternative options available.

“I think reincarnating poses a lot of problems. The mere act of becoming an amnesiac, being sent through the ringer, and having to re-learn everything about yourself, figure these spiritual principles out again, etc. I'd say is very dangerous.”

I don’t think we have to re-learn everything. My research indicates once we have an understanding of a spiritual law or principle we do not need to re-learn it. Our consciousness does not revert but it can stumble in a lifetime.

I work with small children and have grandchildren and I can see some of them bring lots of intelligence with them. Some even consider that much that a child learns as remembering from a past life rather than new learning.

I know of a little 2 year old that knew some fractions and had never been taught fractions.

I also think we look at reincarnation from the other side in a different light than on this side. Hope so.

Following up to my earlier comment, I have now received my copy of Campbell's "My Big TOE." Unfortunately it turns out that the most interesting part was the autobiographical section I read online. When the book delves into Campbell's theory, it becomes (in my opinion) intolerably verbose, mind-numbingly repetitive, and ultimately unreadable. I put it down after 250 tedious pages.

My advice is to skip the book and read Ben Iscatus's review, which hits all the highlights:

Just to add another thought on "My Big TOE": It seems to me that Campbell is simply wrong in equating evolution with progress. He makes numerous statements to the effect that evolution makes things better, or makes better things. But evolution is not the same thing as progress. Evolution is about adapting to one's environment. A trilobite swimming the Cambrian seas was just as well adapted to its environment as is a lobster today.

At one point Campbell says that a nerd with technology skills enjoys more mastery over reality than a tough guy with muscles -- another example of evolution as progress. Again, though, this is not necessarily true. The nerd will do better in some situations, but the tough guy will do better in others. Confronted with a murderer in a dark alley, which one of the two (nerd or tough guy) is more likely to survive?

Since the idea of evolution is fundamental to his theory, and since (in my opinion) he gets it wrong, I'm inclined to doubt the validity of the rest of his argument.

Incidentally I was also turned off by his detailed reminiscences of various weird OBEs in other dimensions, especially one in which the extradimensional beings looked into Campbell's future and gasped in awe at what they foresaw. The unstated implication (I think) is that they saw that Campbell would come up with a Theory of Everything that would revolutionize the world, and they gasped because they'd had no idea of how important he was. Color me skeptical of this story, and of the book as a whole, or at least what I read of it.

“The first Constant is Primordial Consciousness, the primary stuff of Reality, which he calls AUO (Absolute Unbounded Oneness). In its primordial state, AUO has a dim, disorganised awareness. AUO is not conceived to be Infinite (hence, may not be the ultimate Being); but so far as we are concerned, it might as well be.

Note that AUO is not omniscient or omnipotent, but for us it is simply All-that-is. So it is not inherently perfect. This is the first surprise for spiritual seekers, who normally understand Godhead to be Infinite and Perfect. But it does offer a solution to the mystic’s most head-scratching problem: if we all partake of the One Consciousness, then why on Earth do we exist, why does Life evolve and why do we have this urge to improve ourselves? How can perfection self-improve? And why would it expect us to do so?

Suggesting that AUO, like us, is evolving solves this conundrum. It also requires the introduction of the second Constant: the Fundamental Process, which is the urge to evolve. For Consciousness, evolution means decreasing its entropy, in other words increasing its quality, becoming brighter by becoming more organised. We humans are supposed to recognise a more organised consciousness as happier, more love-like (less ego-dominated, less fear-haunted)”. A Review of My Big Toe by Thomas Campbell

Ben Iscatus
15 June 2009

From my point of view this is the meat of his thinking. As far as evolution I see an evolution of consciousness process. I think he might mean an evolution of consciousness process rather than an evolution of species process. Maybe there is a cause and effect relationship there or even a one and the same relationship.

I just don’t appear to have that much interest in the evolution of species process.

”In its primordial state, AUO has a dim, disorganised awareness.”

Really absolute unbounded oneness is in a primordial state and has a dim disorganized awareness.

From my point of view Tom Campbell fails to understand that the origin of our unawareness is a necessity for Oneness to express its creative potential so he writes that this AUO must evolve in consciousness as we souls evolve in consciousness. I at this time disagree with this aspect of this writings.

“Suggesting that AUO, like us, is evolving solves this conundrum”

Well if he means a god with a small g then indeed this god is still evolving in consciousness and awareness and expanding its God-like creative powers. But to suggest that his AUO has a dim disorganized awareness is from my point of view is way off track.

Maybe what he is saying that after the big bang this AUO has a dim disorganized awareness, now I think that may be somewhat of a valid concept. And his Fundamental Process is what the advanced spirits call the law of progress.

“How can perfection self-improve?”

It cannot self improve but in its perfect state of awareness it is just stillness complete stillness like a barren desert.

Now the Godhead is not just stillness i.e. pure perfect infinite awareness; but dynamic and this universe or universes are a reflection or manifestation or creation of that dynamic aspect of this Infinite Oneness. Two sides of the same coin so to speak.

This Godhead has no choice but to express itself indeed a necessity to express itself as this unbounded but evolving unawareness. We are living proof of that unawareness or limited awareness. If God created us with perfect awareness there would be no dynamic aspect to all that is. Just stillness, which cannot be defined only realized.

No drama, no reality TV shows to watch like America’s got talent or American idol.

He tries very hard to stay away from the word God as it has soooooooo much religious and atheist baggage. Would love to write more but this post is already way too long.

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