17 - Introduction to Section 2

Author: Tom Campbell. Link to original: http://bit.ly/y4Mfk3 (English).
Tags: Campbell, всеобщая теория Submitted by pollynevergirl 20.05.2012. Public material.
Part of "My Big TOE" book by Tom Campbell. We're translating it with author's permission. In this chapter Tom Campbell tells his story of working with Robert Monroe.

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Глава 17. Введение в раздел 2. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by pollynevergirl 20.05.2012


What we call mystical is relative to the extent of our knowledge and understanding. If some process, phenomena, or conceptualization appears to lie beyond our potential ability to explain it within the context of PMR (physical-matter reality), we describe it as mystical. Much of what was considered mystical a thousand years ago is considered science today and much of what is considered mystical today will be clearly understood by a future science.

As our current accumulated objective knowledge reaches its limits and begins to dissolve into the seemingly unknowable, what lies beyond our presumed theoretical reach is defined as mystical. Such presumptions well up from our beliefs about objective reality; thus, what appears to be mystical or unknowable from the view of Western culture simply reflects Western cultural beliefs and the limited understanding of contemporary science. Consequently, it is a double dose of ignorance (cultural beliefs and limited scientific knowledge) that defines what appears to be beyond our serious consideration. Think about that the next time you roll your eyes and snicker because you universally associate the concept of mystical with ignorance (other people's, not yours), foolishness, and unscientific blather.

For an individual, the process is more personal. What may be perceived by an individual to be mystical is relative to the individual's understanding, knowledge, and ignorance. It is our personal beliefs that determine what we consider to be mystical. Whether individuals know little or much about either PMR or NPMR (nonphysical-matter reality), what lies beyond the reach of his or her personal understanding and knowledge may be: 1) interpreted by that individual as mystical, 2) construed by belief to be something that suits the needs of the individual, 3) regarded as a temporary ignorance of something theoretically knowable, or 4) regarded as a permanent ignorance of something theoretically unknowable. An individual's conclusions regarding what lies beyond his objective reach are necessarily belief-based unless, of course, the conclusion is that there can be no conclusions. Nevertheless, most of us embrace a multitude of both culturally given and personally derived belief-based conclusions with a degree of certainty that only a deep bone-level ignorance could sustain.

Belief is a conclusion based upon a mystical premise. Scientists might believe that what is unknown must be contained within the PMR data-set and follow ordinary objective causality, but that belief or article of faith simply expresses a more accepted form of mysticism. Mysticism that supports our cultural beliefs is accepted as obvious fact. By definition, such a belief necessarily appears to be the most reasonable assumption that a rational person (within that culture) can make. This is how ordinary mysticism expressed as cultural and personal belief is transmuted into an unquestioned philosophical foundation. We see that the objective causality of Western materialism must necessarily spring from a foundation of mystical assumption. Voila! Faith becomes science, or at least an integral part of the scientific attitude.

The results of this illogical transformation continue in chain reaction. Next, science becomes truth - or at least the sole judge of truth - and is given the job of defining reality. Thus, from the Western perspective, the world of ideas and concepts bifurcates, with science and truth on the one hand and philosophy and conjecture on the other. Though science is important because it produces a marvelous array of useful physical products, philosophy is marginalized because it produces nothing but useless arguments. In the final act of this farce, we see that science, unable to overcome the barrier of its ancient, no longer useful, faith-based paradigms, becomes imprisoned by the limitations of its core beliefs. As science struggles with its self-induced myopia, philosophy tries in vain to mimic science's illusion of objectivity in order to appear relevant. Does this not remind you of some preposterously convoluted French farce? Ahhh, but wait...the action isn't over - there is a surprise ending! However, you will have to take this journey with me and My Big TOE from here to the end of Section 6 - if you want to discover how this drama plays out.

• No doubt about it, I am putting you off. Why? Because, if I told you the ending now, before thoroughly discussing some of your current beliefs and paradigms, you would not, could not, "get it." I know that you are experienced and brilliant, but that is not the point. Seeing the Big Picture requires more than intellectual capacity. It also requires transcending ingrained belief systems. That is something that many people are not willing or able to do - at least not quickly or easily, if at all. That is why a trilogy is required instead of a technical paper.

Academic papers provide a media for communicating something of value only if one is working within the accepted cultural and scientific belief systems. Consequently, significant new knowledge is typically generated by meticulously taking countless tiny steps of ever expanding detail toward some specific goal. Digging out details requires a totally different mental process than discovering Big Picture paradigms. Today, almost all scientists remain focused on prying details from a reality exclusively circumscribed by traditional scientific belief. Fact is: You will never be able to see the Big Picture as long as you focus on individual politically correct pixels.

Because My Big TOE must go beyond traditional belief systems to introduce an entirely new understanding of reality, much of this trilogy must necessarily be spent broadening your perspective. Have patience and resist the urge to come to what appear to be obvious conclusions before you have consumed the entire trilogy. Transcending old paradigms and belief systems is as inherently difficult a process to facilitate as it is to undergo. •

Will My Big TOE come to the rescue and re-energize this languishing drama of stultified science and marginalized philosophy by dissolving the Gordian knot of limiting belief that condemns both to little more than picking the bones of the past (simply taking the next logical step or digging ever deeper into the detail of yesterday's discoveries)? Can My Big TOE successfully raise science to the next plateau of understanding while simultaneously returning philosophy to its rightful place leading the parade of h u m a n progress with meaningful and useful insight? Stay tuned!

What I hope to accomplish in this section is to develop the basic concepts necessary to support a rational theory of existence - a conceptualization that provides the foundation for a reasonable Big Picture Theory Of Everything (Big TOE). In the process, I hope to push your mystical edge (where knowledge meets ignorance) back to a point where the residual unknown has no potential significance and is of no practical interest.

A TOE that does not reach beyond PMR is only a little TOE (Little picture Theory Of Everything) confined to PMR and limited to a local causality. Can you imagine the elements and limitations of a Tiny TOE from the perspective of bacteria living in your intestines? Would a seemingly complete and comprehensive (from the view of the bacteria) Tiny T O E be concerned with the nuclear fusion taking place within o u r sun or the density and composition of our atmosphere? No, of course not; these things have no direct significance to the bacteria in your intestines.

Although all things that live upon the earth depend on the sun's energy and the composition and density of earth's atmosphere, the bacteria in your intestine cannot directly experience either - their Tiny TOE needs only to describe everything that is potentially knowable by the bacteria.

To a given awareness, the practical definition of the word "everything" means: everything knowable, important, meaningful, or significant that can directly interact with that awareness.

Thus, what constitutes a comprehensive and complete Big T O E is relative to your perspective, knowledge, and limitations. That Tiny T O E would seem complete from the view of the bacteria, even if it neglected to include the money in your bank account, the light bulb in your refrigerator, or the car in your garage. However, these items may indirectly have a p r o f o u n d effect on the current intestinal environment.

Money, refrigerators, light bulbs, and automobiles are too far removed (far beyond the practical, functional, or theoretical scope of a bacterium's Tiny TOE) to be comprehended by the bacteria, or to be of any direct importance to them. To the bacteria in the intestine, the source of digested food descending from the stomach would seem mystical. The economic, social, and physical circumstances and processes that indirectly result in a particular food being deposited in the stomach would be beyond mystical. The causal mechanisms that drive and order these apparently mystical events and processes arc necessarily invisible to even the most brilliant intestinal bacteria. The forces and relationships that govern the growing of wheat as well as the making and marketing of bread falls beyond a bacterium's theoretical ability to imagine, and therefore forever lies beyond the largest reality it can possibly comprehend . Do not be too surprised to find Homo sapiens in a similar situation.

This is a difficult pill for many, especially scientists, to swallow. The concept that there may be a natural practical limit to the extent of our knowledge - a limit beyond which our perception cannot penetrate - is based upon the notion that we are only a very small part of a much greater reality. This humbling thought runs counter to the significance and self-importance we humans place upon ourselves. If our experience is limited to a small part of a larger reality, it is only reasonable to assume that beyond the limit of our possible knowing there may well exist a host of phenomena, interactions, relationships, and ordered happenings upon which our reality and existence profoundly depends, but of which we cannot directly perceive. Allowing the outside theoretical possibility that our beloved PMR may be a local reality (a subset of something larger) is the first step toward comprehending a bigger picture.

This possibility breaks the conventional paradigm of PMR being all there is and replaces it with a more expansive paradigm that forms a logical superset - the limited little picture concept is fully contained within a more general bigger picture concept. If the larger and more general paradigm provides a better and more concise understanding of the available data as well as produces valuable new knowledge, approaches, and processes, then the more general conceptualization is also a more accurate, productive, and truer representation of the whole. An improved reality paradigm is o n e that broadens and deepens the available solution space relative to existing data and problems in a way that is practical and useful.

It is as easy to understand the limitations of a bacterium's perspective as it is difficult to understand the limitations of our own perspective. That is natural enough. We cannot be aware of what is beyond our awareness. However, we can be open to learning new things, and in the process, expand the scope of o u r awareness - and therefore our reality - to its outer limits.

At the top level, where any Big Picture must first be clearly drawn, My Big TOE will attempt to encompass everything known and knowable. What lies beyond My Big TOE will remain practically unknowable (forever mystical) because of the inherent limits of our vision. Nevertheless, both the mystical and the beyond mystical will be explored as we have some fun with logical extrapolations that reach well beyond our capacity to comprehend.

• "Encompass everything knowable? Derive physics from metaphysics? Explain the paranormal scientifically? No way! Even at the most general theoretical level that's completely impossible - what's the catch? Is this guy nuts or what?"

I know the idea of encompassing or bounding "everything known and knowable" sounds unlikely at this point - as does the rest - but it is not as far fetched as you may think. My Big TOE is not presented at such a high level of generality, nor is it so off the wall as to hold little direct scientific or practical value to the real world. No catch, no megalomania, no hypothetical wackiness, no goofy beliefs - just straightforward science that better describes the measured data and provides a wealth of practical results and new understanding that can be applied personally and professionally by scientists and nonscientists alike. By the end of this trilogy you will be able to assess the accuracy of these seemingly impossible, unsubstantiated statements. Until then, open minded skepticism is the only approach that retains the possibility of success for either of us. •

Let us begin to explore the outer limits of our reality and see how far we can push back the boundary. We are generally somewhat smarter than bacteria and are theoretically limited only by the capacity of our minds. Unfortunately, we are limited by much more - beliefs, pseudo-knowledge, preconceived notions, attitudes, fears, desires, needs, and cultural biases. For this reason, we must talk about some of these first.

The biggest picture must cover everything - everything objective, everything subjective, everything normal, and everything paranormal. Mind and matter, consciousness and concrete, all the true data and the facts of existence (the personal as well as the scientific) must be accounted for, compatible with, and contained within this single Big TOE - if it is a comprehensive and correct Big TOE. If it is only a little TOE, or incorrect Big TOE, it will not support or explain all the data. It is your job to assess the extent to which this Big TOE explains your experience and knowledge. However, before reaching conclusions, it is important to understand the difference between knowledge and belief. In the chapter after next we will thoroughly explore that subject. To set the stage for that challenging epistemological adventure, we must first take a look at our collective beginning. It is always a good idea to start at the beginning.

Let's get started on this strange journey. Oh yes, it will need to be strange or it could not possibly be a correct Big TOE. Trust me, unless you have invested many years of experience in this area, what you are about to read will greatly challenge the elasticity of your mind. To make things worse, my insistence that this Big TOE is primarily derived from and based upon carefully evaluated scientific data, rather than theoretical conjecture, will require your sense of my credibility to stretch even further than your mind. Unfortunately, a reader with a simultaneously stretched mind and stretched sense of credibility puts me on thin ice from the beginning, but that is the way it has to be. Such is the nature of this topic, the facts of my experience, and the results of my research. Something less strange or more widely credible would be easier to convey, find a wider audience, and be m o r e acceptable to almost everyone, but it would not be correct.

People generally believe that they know almost everything that is knowable, that the final few things to be figured out will constitute small steps compared to the distance already come. For example, scientists toward the end of the nineteenth century often lamented the obvious fact that everything important (in science and technology) had been discovered. Little more than a century later, that claim is laughable. By definition, it is clear that you cannot be aware of what you do not know. Yet, we almost always let our egos trick us into believing that we are much less ignorant than we actually are. It is often said there is nothing as outrageous or strange as the truth. T h e truth of that statement, clearly demonstrated by modern physics, demands an open minded approach.

Hopefully My Big T0E will stimulate you to consider some important things in an entirely new and beneficial way. Take from it whatever you can. The picture and perspective may be very big and initially the credibility (for those who do not know me) may be very thin, but if you feel your way through it with your intuition as well as think your way through it with your intellect (all the while collecting and applying the data of your experience), it might just make some sense to you.

Appreciating and understanding the Big Picture is always the first step in focusing and directing the effective investment of the resources you have at your command. The point and purpose of this work is to offer an expanded view of reality and of your relationship to that reality that is useful and helpful to you in a direct and practical way. In My Big TOE, you will find a reality model that provides a unique perspective which can be profitably applied to your professional and personal life.

One final caution. Section 2 lays down the conceptual foundation for much of the rest of the trilogy without explaining how these concepts link tip later to complete a meaningful pattern. It may be difficult to get a firm grip on some of this material because it is predominately abstract and may be relatively distant from your common everyday experience. Understanding and validation will accrue slowly as you digest the next four sections and bring your own explorations of Big Truth to bear on the conclusions drawn.

Though there are many abstract tunnels to explore in Section 2, there is precious little light to be seen at the end of any of them initially. Nevertheless, a logical approach requires many of the conceptual building blocks to be defined and set out before Big TOE construction can be initiated. Delay final judgments until these concepts are more fully developed and applied in subsequent sections. If you can hang tough, the method to the madness should become fully apparent by the time you finish Book 3.

If My Big TOE entices those who are open minded and intrepid explorers to explore the far reaches of their reality on their own, I would be delighted. To be optimally effective, my discovery must lead to your discovery. I must not only help you to objectively understand the nature of your reality, but must also help you discover it in personal terms. In the end, if these books have no effect other than to cause you to reassess your beliefs, concepts, knowledge, and attitudes, regardless of what the outcome of that assessment is, my effort will have been worthwhile. Have at it. Good luck on your journey - may you find value of lasting significance.