18 - In the Beginning... Causality and Mysticism

Author: Tom Campbell. Link to original: http://bit.ly/y4Mfk3 (English).
Tags: Campbell, всеобщая теория Submitted by pollynevergirl 21.05.2012. 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 18. В начале... Причинность и мистицизм.. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by pollynevergirl 21.05.2012


Beginnings are always difficult. Wherever one starts, there is always the question: "What was before that?" This question comes from our sense of objective causality - that everything must be preceded by its cause. Must everything have a cause? If "no," then one leaps immediately to invoking mystical beginnings. If "yes," then the beginning is a logical impossibility. There can, by definition, be no beginning if everything must have a cause. By the logic of causality, beginnings are illogical. The logic of causality requires (because we d o exist) the initial existence from which we are derived to erupt spontaneously from nothing. Clearly, the notion of objective causality must violate its own logic in order to get started.

The other alternative - there is no beginning, existence is somehow infinite and perpetual, is itself a mystical assertion that comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Such an unbounded mysticism offers its supporters no possibility of either answers or clues. Beginning with a premise that our ignorance of beginnings is total and perpetual is not a particularly clever way to begin an analysis of beginnings. Easy perhaps, but not useful. This logical alternative provides a trivial solution that leaves n o foundation u p o n which to build a reality.

Thus, the logical result of invoking an objective causality is a mystical beginning. Likewise, the logical result of denying an objective causality (our beginning began without prior cause) is also a mystical beginning. Although the logic of our objective causality would seem to indicate that our beginning must be mystical, that is not necessarily so. It depends on the reality in which such a beginning is taking place, and the reality from which we are viewing it. Causality is system specific - the logic of causality (the logic of PMR physics for example) holds within a given causal system. T h e logic of causality only requires that a given system's beginning appears to be mystical from a point of view that lies within that system. The logic of causality can say nothing about the beginnings of its own system because those beginnings lie outside that system - beyond the reach of its own causal logic. Beginnings belong to the next higher level of causality and arc beyond the purview or scope of a subsystem's own causal logic. Imagine a hierarchy of causal systems, each being a subset of the next. Thus, mysticism may be removed from our own beginning if we can obtain the perspective of the superset to which we belong.

I am not saying that o u r objective causality should be tossed out. The logic of our objective causality has been, and remains, the philosophical foundation of our science. It has motivated us to ask: “How does this work?" or "What caused that?" It has led to the technology' and understanding that is now begging us to take the next step beyond the purely material. I am not putting down the logic of our objective causality. I am a scientist - I live and work by it. I am simply putting it into the proper perspective. I am pointing out its logical limitations, the boundary of its meaningful application, the fact that it requires its beginning to violate its own logic.

Thus our beginning, from the point of view of our objective causality, must be indefinable, or equivalently, mystical. If you do not logically equate "indefinable" with "mystical," that is fine. Given that the subject is the creation of our reality (our beginnings), the terms "necessarily undefined" and "unknowable" quickly morph into "mystical" in the minds of many - thus I use the word "mystical" to generally describe the unknowable. By the time you reach the end of this trilogy, the veil of mysticism will be logically removed from our beginnings and you will clearly understand the roots of our existence and how and why those roots came into being.

Once we realize the causal logic that gives us science also limits our understanding of the larger reality (and its beginning), we are free to begin exploring the larger truth. Without this realization, our perspective and capacity to understand is trapped in a conceptual prison (a belief trap) of our own making.

The erroneous belief in a universal causality (as opposed to a local causality) is used repetitively to make those who would dare rationally tackle the questions of beginnings appear to be ignorant and incorrect. The repeatedly and iteratively asked question "What was before that?" inevitably must end with a confession of complete ignorance existing at the foundation of an otherwise rational discourse. The position is taken that logical arguments built upon a foundation of ignorance are highly suspect and can be dispensed with immediately as foolish or unsubstantiated conjecture.

Our physical space-time causality is local and simply does not apply to "what was before that" - otherwise we would either be stuck with n o beginning, or we would have spontaneously popped out of nothing. Either of those alternatives lead to mystical beliefs that are not scientifically or logically productive - neither makes good sense, nor provides a rational foundation from which to build a scientific Big Picture Theory Of Everything. A major paradigm shift described within this section provides another alternative (necessarily mystical from the PMR point of view) that is not belief-based, that does make good sense, and that is scientifically and logically productive.

Our beginnings appear mystical to us because of the limitations of our logic and because of the limitations that our belief-based perspectives impose upon our minds. If you raise science, as well as your vision and understanding, to the next higher level of causality - to the supersystem that contains PMR as a subsystem - the ever-present mysticism will recede to the o u t e r edges of your newly acquired knowledge.

If your picture (worldview or understanding of reality) is significantly bigger than your neighbor's picture, your neighbor may see you as a mystic. Indeed, you will always appear to be a mystic from a viewpoint that is greatly limited in its understanding regardless of how rational, complete, o r scientific your understanding is. A mystic appears to be animated by unknowable interactions that lie beyond rational understanding. Perhaps your dog thinks that you are a powerful irrational mystic. If your neighbor also finds you to be a particularly good, loving, wise, productive, successful, and capable person, he should try to understand what you seem to understand. If, on the other hand, you appear arrogant, condescending, manipulating, or begin proselytizing and asking for donations, he would do well to keep his door locked and avoid you.

The quality of your being expresses the correctness of your understanding. Think about that a moment. What does the quality of your being say about the correctness of your understanding?