(My Big TOE book) CHAPTER 24 - Two Concepts

Author: Tom Campbell. Link to original: http://bit.ly/y4Mfk3 (English).
Tags: Campbell, OBE, physics, Tom Campbell Submitted by kostyazen 30.06.2013. Public material.
Очередная глава из книги Тома Кэмпбелла о том, как устроена наша реальность и другие реальности.

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Глава 24 - Две концепции. 20% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by kostyazen 30.06.2013


The previous chapters should have destroyed the illusion of a quick and easy fix, leaving you with your feet firmly planted in the personal as well as the shared nature of reality. With your attitude, perspective, and focus now properly adjusted, let us get back to the job of developing a credible Big Picture Theory Of Everything (Big TOE). The best process that can be employed when exploring new theoretical ground is to: (1) minimize the number of assumptions required, and (2) simplify all remaining assumptions to the most basic level possible. Albert Einstein put it succinctly when he said: “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.”

I think that Dr. Einstein would be proud of us – we are going to derive a comprehensive Big TOE that explains the empirical facts – mind as well as matter, philosophy as well as physics, the normal as well as the paranormal, consciousness as well as concrete – by logical deduction from just two simple assumptions. And only one of those two assumptions is extraordinary.

Theorists can build a complex speculative structure, but the foundation should be as simple and straightforward as possible. The first assumption, referred to as the Fundamental Process of evolution, is readily understandable and is well within our experience. The second, often called the “Absolute” or the “One Source” by philosophers and theologians, may require our spatially limited worldview and our cultural beliefs to stretch beyond their normal patterns. As it turns out, this “One Source” is simply consciousness – primordial consciousness – the fundamental energy that is the medium of reality.

If the concept of primordial consciousness cast into the form of a finite, but practically infinite, monolithic undifferentiated form of potential energy makes you feel uneasy, that is as it should be. You should remain skeptical of any premise and doubly skeptical of any mystical premise – even if logic demands that at least one mystical (beyond objective knowing from the PMR point of view) premise must be at the base of any successful Big TOE.

Things beyond objective knowing, from the PMR point of view, are by definition things that we cannot hold with a firm intellectual grip. If this concept fell within your objective experience, if you could be intellectually and rationally comfortable with it, it would no longer qualify as the mystical or metaphysical foundation upon which we could build a Big TOE capable of logically accounting for our beginnings, for mind as well as matter, for the paranormal as well as the normal.

The Fundamental Process of evolution along with primordial consciousness as a fundamental source of structurable energy are the two basic assumptions on which My Big TOE is based. Everything that follows will be logically derived and explained from these two fundamental assumptions.

I am not asking you to believe in the truth of these assumptions, nor to have faith in their correctness. I am not trying to start a religion here. These are the logical underpinnings of this Big TOE. They are the assumptions, assertions, logical premises upon which the structure of My Big TOE is built. My Big TOE is a model. Its usefulness, and the value of these assumptions, is based exclusively on its ability to explain the data – period! Please reread the previous two sentences enough times to commit them to memory. By the end of Section 6 you will have a much better idea about this reality model’s usefulness, and the potential correctness of these assumptions.

The data, or “empirical facts” in Einstein’s words, are any and all of the carefully evaluated experience or truth that you and others have accumulated about life and the nature of reality. These data come in two types – personal data that are unique to your subjective experience and shared data that represent the objective physical experience of PMR (the realm of PMR science). If your personal data have been objectively evaluated and are un-warped by ego, attachment, belief and fear, they can be used to either corroborate or invalidate this model. For these types of data you are the sole judge, the only possible judge. Because of the personal nature of subjective experience, you can only be the judge for yourself.

Shared data are also important. Physical reality and PMR science must be an integral part of any Big TOE. We, after all, are at this moment interacting in what appears quite convincingly as a physical reality. No one can reasonably deny the importance, or the necessity, of physical experience, even if consciousness is at the core. Physical reality and its science must be a necessary, rational, and derivable part of the Big Picture. Furthermore, it is the interactions that take place in PMR (as defined by our physical experience) that enable one to test and measure the objective results of an increased quality (decreased entropy) of consciousness.

# This is where the metaphysical rubber first meets the road. What I am offering in this chapter is not what I believe to be true. This is not about what I believe about reality. This is about a model of reality based upon my experience and research. If the difference between the two is not crystal clear, I have not communicated as clearly as I need to.

Some may believe there can never be a significant difference between the two – that belief and subjective knowledge are the same. Not so. Results, objectively measurable results can differentiate between the two. If there are no objective measurable results, there can be no solid or scientific conclusions. My Big TOE represents a serious attempt to describe and model the larger reality in which you exist as a digital consciousness. If what you have read thus far seems to be far removed from hard-science, be patient. The merger of physics and metaphysics, which is a logical requirement of any correct Big TOE, requires substantial background development.

From the little picture perspective of our local objective causality, all one needs to do to make a strong scientific argument is write down the appropriate equations. Math is merely symbolic logic. The limited local logic of the little picture is clearly expressed by little picture mathematics. Within the PMR causality system, if the assumptions are correct and the math is correct, the results will be correct – that is how little picture physics works. The Big Picture, responding to a more general causality, cannot be adequately described in terms of little picture logic. I know that this is a difficult paradigm for many (particularly scientists) to transcend, but it is logical that the Big Picture with its more general causality cannot be fully described from a little picture perspective. In other words, the larger reality (NPMR – consciousness) cannot be fully specified by a limited local logic and knowledge that belongs to a small subset (PMR) of that larger reality. If I could describe My Big TOE in terms of little picture (PMR) mathematics (logic), it could not possibly be more than a little TOE. That is one of the invisible walls that Einstein ran into with his failed Unified Field Theory – he tried to describe the Big Picture exclusively in terms of little picture logic. At least he knew there was a Big Picture even if he did not know it constituted a superset of the little picture.

The traditional belief-blinded little picture perspective will maintain old paradigms and preserve cultural and scientific dogma by simply denying the existence of a larger reality. To be consistent, it must also deny, or concoct excuses for, any scientifically validated data and experience that directly conflict with its beliefs. That is the old tried and true head in the sand, butt in the air trick. I can assure you from firsthand experience that attempting to engage these elevated butts in intelligent conversation is often not productive – low IQ, bad breath, no vision. Fortunately, minds can sometimes be pried open and perspectives can sometimes change with additional experience, knowledge, and understanding.

If the above ideas are fuzzy, hold on – understanding will improve and become clear as you continue. This model, as any model, is constructed mostly of knowledge and experience with a little conjecture or theorizing to bind (integrate) the various discrete data together into a coherent and consistent whole. I approach this model with open-minded skepticism as you should. If I believed in it, it would limit my ability to grow the model in new directions as new data accumulates. If it makes you feel better, I don’t believe any of this stuff either.

I either know it as fact (knowledge), or regard it as the most likely possibility or best hypothesis thus far (based on the scientific data available to me as of this writing). In other words, this trilogy represents the tentative results and conclusions of thirty years of my personal, serious, careful, scientific exploration of the physical and the nonphysical. I have been strongly encouraged to share the results and conclusions of my experience with you. These books are it. What you do with it, get out of it, or take from it is entirely up to you.

Models should always remain tentative to preclude shutting themselves off from the possibility of further evolution. For the sake of argument and to give proper credit to those who believe that belief and knowledge can never be entirely separated, let’s take the opposite view. Even if this trilogy represents my belief, and is an effort to convince you to believe what I believe, the potential it holds for you is undiminished as long as you approach it with open-minded skepticism and resist the compulsion to either believe it or disbelieve it. There is no reasonable, rational, or logical alternative to open- minded skepticism.

My Big TOE, among other things represents a personal map of the reality I have explored and the explanations I have created to make coherent sense out of my individual experiences. Because of the personal nature of experience, your experiences will be somewhat different from mine. However, If your experience is interpreted and gathered scientifically and not created out of belief or fear, then the underlying truth from which both of our experiences spring will be perceived as the same. The underlying truth is absolute (the same for everyone) and is not a function of our experience or our existence (or anyone else’s). That is why my map, though it reflects my individuality, can serve as a valuable guide for you. Though the destination (Big Truth) is the same for everyone, you must take your own journey and find your own way.

A word about truth. Many people think of truth in terms of local and universal truth. Local truth may be relative. It may be in the eye of the beholder. It is sometimes dependent upon the perspective and beliefs of the individual. This is not the truth I am referring to. Universal or absolute truth is the same for everyone – it is timeless and unchangeable. The paths to absolute truth (Big Truth) and the individuals who walk those paths can be so different that the description of the same absolute truth may appear to be very different – particularly to those of less understanding. Individual interpretations are, as they should be, a reflection of that Big Truth within the mind and experience of that individual.

A group of similar (by depth of understanding) but different (by path, culture and personality) truly wise and knowledgeable individuals would view the differences in each other’s descriptions of the same absolute truth as insignificant and trivial. Unfortunately, in their absence, their less knowledgeable followers may actually kill each other over the apparent differences as they vie for relative power and superior correctness within their own and competing organizations.

The actual differences between descriptions of the same absolute truth are – after differing language, cultural, and religious modes of expression are removed – much smaller than you would likely imagine. This is because all spiritual paths converge on the same absolute truths by means of reducing ego and fear, which are the primary generators of confusion and divisiveness.

Models can be a practical representation of an underlying truth or process. The shell model of the atom is not based on a theory of why atoms, like mollusks, should have shells. The shells are simply assumed; the model is useful because it explains some of the data better than any other viewpoint. Believing in the shells is intellectually limiting silliness. What are atomic shells made of and where do they come from are not reasonable questions – atomic shells are only conceptual tools – they are a metaphorical structure describing (modeling) an underlying reality.

My Big TOE is also conceptual. We know that from our limited 3D perspective and local objective causality, a Big TOE that reaches beyond PMR absolutely must have at least one mystical leg to stand on. That mystical leg must be beyond the reach of our objective PMR based logic. As you recall, that same logical requirement was placed upon the understanding our local reality’s beginnings (see Chapter 18 of this book). Causality and rationality require that we enter the metaphysical or mystical realm (from the PMR point of view) whenever we go beyond PMR. The existence of an apparently infinite absolute something seems both mystical and vague from our PMR perspective, nevertheless, that is not a weakness of this model. Quite the contrary, it is a requirement.

A Big TOE that contains no mystical (from PMR view) assumptions must necessarily be incorrect or incomplete and can logically never amount to more than a little TOE focused solely upon PMR. A little TOE restricted to PMR objective causality can never, even theoretically, grow up to be a Big TOE because it has, by definition, shut itself off from the solution space required to span the data. As we have shown, little TOEs can have nothing logical to say about our beginnings or our relationship to the circumstances of those beginnings.

We shall see that we are inextricably bound up with, and an extension of, our beginnings. A higher-level objective causality (of which PMR’s objective causality and physics is a constrained subset) demands that we be solidly connected to what came before us. As a very young child is connected to, dependent upon, and extrapolated from its parents, we are connected to, dependent upon, and extrapolated from our beginnings. The inclusion of an assumption that is beyond the objective causal logic of PMR is an essential and necessary ingredient of a successful Big TOE.

With believers of all sorts dismissing every datum that conflicts with their dogma, self-limiting, self-inflicted belief-based blindness becomes a common social disease. So common, in fact, it defines the normal and therefore the rational view within any given culture. The point is: One should not necessarily expect the normal or traditionally rational view to shed light on new paradigms. When it comes to evaluating new scientific paradigms, one must look forward for answers and only glance backward long enough to make sure the new properly contains the old as a special case.

The only issues are whether or not this apparently infinite absolute something that I have chosen as my one mystical (from the PMR point of view only) assumption produces the desired results, and whether or not it is the simplest, most basic and fundamental place to begin our beginning. We will more precisely develop its characteristics and properties as we proceed.

The most important question is: can these two assumptions (the existence of consciousness and the process of evolution) deliver the goods? Can they provide a logical foundation broad enough and solid enough to support a comprehensive model of reality? Can a comprehensive, honest, and straightforward Big TOE, reflecting the elegant simplicity of our reality, be built upon them? Is the model based upon these assumptions both general and accurate? Does it make sense and fit all the data? Is it useful, practical and predictive? Does it produce objective measurable results? These are the proper criteria for judging the correctness and usefulness of the two given assumptions. As these two concepts are more fully developed throughout the next three sections, you will understand them and their implications more clearly and precisely. After you have completed Section 6, you will be in a much better position to judge the efficacy and value of the My Big TOE reality model.

This model is results oriented as are all models. An important question is how well does it fit the present knowledge-base including physics (all science). An equally important question is how well does it fit your personal data and the personal data of others? Consciousness has both public and personal components; consequently, both questions must be answered fully. However, though you may not see it this way now, you will probably come to the conclusion that it is the personal side that contains the most value and significance to you as an individual – even if you are a scientist. Make out of it (interpret it) and get from it (use it) whatever you can. The My Big TOE reality model will help you understand your life, your purpose, all of the reality you experience, how that reality works, and how you might interact most profitably with it.

Each reader brings to the table his or her personal data – their carefully evaluated experience. Most people will approach this model from one of four initial conditions. (1) They have no data to either support or contradict the model. (2) Their data supports the model. (3) Their data contradicts the model. And (4) their data supports and contradicts the model.

Let me address each initial condition separately: (1) If you do not have scientific or trustworthy personal or public data with which to assess the model, you should nevertheless find its exploration a thought provoking journey through a hypothetical landscape of very unusual yet coherent and reasonable conjecture. With no trustworthy data of your own, everything necessarily appears to be conjecture; however, this Big TOE offers a set of potentially useful maps that may help guide you toward the further evolution of your being and a better understanding of the world around you. Perhaps an intellectual or logical appreciation of the model will help you effectively evaluate and understand future data that you will no doubt discover now that your mind is open to the possibilities.

(2) If this model fits your data, it will provide a rational structure for your experience; a context wherein the whole of your experience makes good sense. You can either enhance your pre-existing Big TOE, or grow a new Big TOE. Either choice may potentially redirect and refocus your path of growth, development, and evolution.

(3) If your data clearly and directly conflict with this model, you should continue on in order to understand your own conceptual model more clearly so you will be better able to protect yourself from the confusion of some of the delusional fools you must share this planet with.

(4) If you find that some of your data support the model, yet some of your data contradict the model, you are most likely going to be confused. In this case, you need to pay close attention to understanding the limitations of your beliefs, reevaluate the data in conflict, make plans to collect additional data, and above all, stick to your guns until you have developed clear evidence and experience to the contrary. No one else’s data or experience can be profitably substituted for yours.

The following advice is to all readers, irrespective of what their initial conditions are. (1) Always keep your mind wide open and remain skeptical – two traits common to all great scientists and explorers. (2) Do not leap to conclusions that are familiar, convenient, or easy because of belief or faith; instead, rely only on your personal experience data. (3) While contemplating your Big TOE, develop some ideas about what additional data you might need to collect and how you might go about collecting them. (4) Begin a program to collect the data you need to develop the knowledge and understanding you want to have.

You can always change your mind no matter which of the above four initial conditions you start with. Whether the My Big TOE trilogy appears to you as belief, knowledge, conjecture, or fact, or however you perceive the relative proportions of each, is entirely and only a function of your perspective – your belief, your knowledge, your experience. If you are “normal,” you strongly believe (consciously or subconsciously) that your perspective and judgment is nearly flawless. Take care not to limit yourself. Maintaining an attitude of open-minded skepticism will maximize the probability that you will not inadvertently or purposefully cut yourself off from the solution-set that contains the truth. *

Now that you have been properly initialized and calibrated, let us get back to work. Let’s start with the most difficult concept first, the one that appears mystical from the PMR point of view. This concept assumes the existence of an apparently (not necessarily actually) infinite absolute something: A Oneness that is uniform, plain, and without differentiation. This apparently infinite source of our larger reality has no discernable boundaries, edges, or limits (as a perfectly calm ocean would appear to you if you were floating in the middle of it). This undifferentiated something would seem to be, and has often been called “All That Is,” “The One,” “The Void,” “The Primordial Big Dude,” and other similar philosophical descriptions. It represents the fundamental core of existence. It is a familiar concept to various religious and spiritual conceptualizations. An absolute no-thing, pervasive, yet existing beyond our space and time. It is simultaneously everything (in potential) and nothing (no-thing, no differentiation or boundaries).

Unfortunately, this is how we 3D creatures must express this concept. It is not an especially satisfying concept in light of our need to seem objective. It sounds mystical like curved space-time sounds mystical to those uninitiated in the mathematical basis of the general theory of relativity. From the larger perspective of a wider (beyond PMR) experience, it is as real as moon rocks. “Mystical” in this context means beyond our personal and collective ability to make an explanation within the context of PMR. Thus, to explain something (such as reality) that is a superset of PMR, one must not be afraid to explore the metaphysical, nor to offer serious scientific consideration to the seemingly mystical. That is the only doorway to a larger perspective, to peeking over the cultural-scientific-causality blindfold.

If exploring the conceptual mountains and swamps of metaphysical and mystical thought is at this point still discomfortingly unfamiliar or believed to be unproductive or just plain dumb, continue reading. Later in Section 3 (Chapters 13 and 14 of Book 2) and Section 5 (Chapter 2, Book 3) we will discuss a few issues of science and philosophy that may enlarge your perspective to the point that you feel more intellectually comfortable with being part of a bigger picture. Unfortunately, there are many who reflexively shake their heads and roll their eyes upon hearing the words mysticism and metaphysics: those individuals should reconsider the limitations of their basic assumptions and beliefs.

Each of us needs to continually make an effort to maintain an open mind, suspend our limiting beliefs, and raise our intellectual courage to the point that we can honestly explore new and uncertain territory: Vigilance and unending effort are the nonnegotiable price of intellectual freedom. A mind that is not free is simply a self-referential belief machine that continuously spins off useless and unprofitable thought energy. Belief and fear are the only ties that can bind a mind, while unconditional love and open-minded skepticism set it free. A body may be enslaved by others, while a mind can only be enslaved by itself.

Open yourself to the possibilities and remain skeptical. Even if this journey takes you right back to the point at which you started, your time will have been well spent. Big Picture thinking will have taken place, concepts defined, possibilities raised, new perspectives viewed, old conclusions re-evaluated, and goofy ideas debunked.

Like Flatlanders, you must step through your mind, with a careful scientific evaluation of your subjective experience to understand what is beyond PMR. This simultaneously ancient and modern metaphysical concept of the infinite absolute unbounded oneness is a very useful idea, even if it is disconcertingly fuzzy. It is naturally impossible to get a firm intellectual grip on this idea because our PMR perspective is necessarily limited. It is a big concept, one that appears to fly in the face of two of our most sacred cultural dogmas, causality and objectivity. There is no point in struggling. Even if you were brilliant, (actually, I am sure you are – it is all the others I am referring to) it would still be a fuzzy concept. Do not despair; it is our nature as 3D beings in space-time to be removed from an objective sense of infinite absolute oneness.

I did not say that this absolute oneness exists everywhere. Space in this concept doesn’t exist yet. Location, even relative location is not yet defined – everywhere, in this context, has no meaning. I also did not say that this primordial consciousness was all knowing, omniscient, self- aware, or even vaguely intelligent – it is not. At this point, this rudimentary form of consciousness is not capable of forming or holding a single coherent thought. Imagine an immense unstructured, but structurable form of digital potential (the potential to be more profitably organized) energy.

You will soon discover that this seemingly infinite Absolute Unbounded Oneness (AUO) is not infinite. Nor is it absolute, unbounded, or a oneness – but only appears to be an infinite absolute unbounded oneness from a limited point of view within PMR. Although the name Absolute Unbounded Oneness is a descriptive misnomer, I use it because many readers will find the concept to be comfortably familiar. It would appear to be a better communications strategy to begin with a familiar concept and expand the basis upon which it rests, rather than the alternative (begin with an unfamiliar concept and then attempt to explain it in more common terms).

# The third logical possibility, to begin with an unfamiliar concept and explain it in terms of other even more unfamiliar concepts, is reserved for sophisticated university professors, physicians, and other specialists who are trying to set themselves apart, emphasize their superior knowledge, and mightily impress lesser beings such as you and me.

This trilogy is not sophisticated – you have probably noticed that by now – the only big word I know is “bifurcate” (to split in two) and I have used that one already in Chapter 17 of this book. So, I’m done – that’s as impressive as I get. Sorry Mom.

Because we are using humor to delineate a few common communication styles, I would be remiss if I did not also mention lawyers and politicians who explain simple and familiar ideas in the most complex and convoluted terms possible in order to create the illusion that they have special knowledge that is critically important.

The point is: There are many communication strategies, each designed to meet specific personal needs and purposes, and these strategies determine not only what you say and how you say it, but also what you hear and understand.

Your purpose and needs dictate your communication strategy whether you are transmitting or receiving. Think about that. Does your personal communication strategy open you up, or close you down with regard to receiving and understanding a concept like AUO?

It always takes at least two to communicate – each through selective send and receive filters of their own making. Receivers (listeners, watchers, or readers) appear to be in a solely passive role, but that is not so. They, knowingly or not, actively put a spin on every datum that they receive in order to make the interpretation of that experience-datum fit satisfactorily within their current worldview. No doubt about it, the internal spin doctor is there to make you feel confident and secure in your knowledge and beliefs about how the world and the people in it work.

This subject will be taken up again from an entirely different perspective in a discussion of ego in Chapter 8, Book 2. I encourage you to make an effort to become aware of the particular implementation of interpretive listening that necessarily colors and filters your end of any attempted communication.

I will eventually paint a detailed high resolution Big Picture for your consideration, but if your beliefs distort it or filter it out, your awareness will never get the opportunity to evaluate its general significance or assess its personal value.

You will have to rely on open-minded skepticism to deal with transmission spin that you suspect might be placed on the signal you receive. *

The word “infinite,” used as a practical descriptor of this absolute oneness, does not refer to size in space. It refers to something we 3D humans don’t experience directly – perhaps the concept of an apparently infinite potential merged with the concept of a totally blank mind will get you as close as you are going to get. Neither space nor time has been invented yet. I will get to those clever and necessary inventions later, but first this seemingly boundless something must evolve.

The concept of an apparently infinite Absolute Unbounded Oneness (AUO) is only half the ingredients we need to grow a new Big TOE. The remaining ingredient is what I call the “Fundamental Process.” The Fundamental Process is the basic process of evolution. It is the repetitive pattern of trial and error, of spontaneous change and choice, of random events and encouraged behavior that enables evolution to result in progress. Progress is defined as change within an entity or group of entities that is in some way immediately beneficial or profitable to that entity. Profitable change leaves the entity or its group, or both, in a comparatively better, stronger, more functional, capable, and successful position relative to its internal and external environments.

An entity is a well defined, self-contained (bounded) interactive system. It can be an atom, molecule, rock, technology, computer, worm, monkey, human, organization, city, nation, planet, or an aware individual nonphysical consciousness. The interaction of an entity with its internal and external environments is constrained by what those environments will support, encourage, or discourage. Thus, constraints that reflect the demands of the internal and external environments define the criteria for profitability and are the source of evolutionary pressure that pushes every evolving entity forward. When I describe evolution as an imperative, as a force that moves an entity along its evolutionary path, as a pressure, or a driver of change, remember that I am talking about a self-initiating natural process that represents how a self-modifying system or entity interacts with its internal and external environments. We will go over these concepts again in more detail.

The Fundamental Process, as it is applied to a complex entity, moves that entity toward those internal and external states of being that are the most immediately profitable. This motion is the result of external and internal pressures. Changes (evolutionary motion) that result from external pressures can be viewed as the cumulative results of the dynamic interactions between an individual entity and everything else, which in aggregate constitutes its external (outside) environment. Evolutionary motion that results from internal pressures can be viewed as the cumulative results of the choices that an individual entity makes relative to all available internal configurations and potential states of being.

People genetically engineering better people would be one example of evolutionary motion produced by internal pressures. Fear, ego, love, purpose, stress, pleasure, growth, contentment, ambition, self-improvement, satisfaction, confidence, self-esteem, and social interaction are a few of the internal constraints creating evolutionary pressure. Internal physical environments (internal to your body) may also pressure subsystems (internal organs) and specific tissues to modify themselves in order to gain individual or system efficiencies.

Consciousness primarily evolves by responding to internal pressures; simple biological systems primarily evolve by responding to external pressures. Internal and external evolutionary pressures may interact with, and influence, each other.

As individuals strive for maximum profitability, groups of interdependent entities may evolve together interactively to form a larger system or ecosystem. Interrelated systems interact with each other to form larger systems (such as earth’s biological ecosystem and the solar system). Nothing stands alone – all are interrelated from the perspective of the largest level of organization. This applies to all evolving systems and systems of systems – animal, vegetable, mineral, technological, or organizational – and to subsets of systems (including your brain, stomach, or a networked computer), and to subsets of subsets of systems (including your blood and bone cells, or a microprocessor), and so on and so forth (cell parts and transistors followed by their supporting molecular and atomic layers).

Everything within a system evolves together, layer upon layer, within one big web of interaction. All systems exist, survive, and thrive by virtue of a local ecology that defines how their various interdependent internal groupings interrelate. Consciousness, the earth and everything that exists on it, governments, and the Internet all evolve their own supporting ecologies. To understand the dynamics of these systems, one must first understand each system’s local ecology. To understand their significance, one must first understand each systems larger ecology.

In Section 5, where we discuss evolution as a process fractal, you will find the same basic evolutionary process turns up again and again at every level of reality – physical and nonphysical. You will see it is the Fundamental Process that drives the smallest sub-atomic particle to populate the states available to it and it is the same Fundamental Process that leads to Our System (OS) spinning off multiple probable realities containing multiple universes within nonphysical-matter reality (NPMR).

# Another short aside is now necessary to define two important terms that we are going to use repeatedly.

The term “Our System” (OS) is used often in this section as a high-level descriptor of the larger “place” we live in (OS is discussed in more detail in Chapters 7 through 9, Book 3). OS is defined to be PMR (our physical universe) plus the subset of NPMRN that is interactive with PMR. Here, the notation NPMRN simply represents a specific subset of NPMR.

If this terminology seems confusing, don’t be concerned; it will become clear later. In the meantime, all you need to know is that OS is our home-base reality – the reality system in which we primarily interact. OS is composed of interactive elements that are both physical (such as sentient beings, information, energy, physical matter, organizations, PMR physics, all physical forms, and assorted critters) and nonphysical (such as sentient beings, information, energy, nonphysical matter, organizations, NPMR physics, all thought forms, and assorted critters).

The second concept to be discussed is that of entropy. It is my guess that most readers are not particularly brushed up on the meaning and significance of entropy – a word I use throughout this trilogy. Actually, I slipped in the first use of the word “entropy” toward the end of Chapter 21 – I hoped you wouldn’t mind a few isolated instances of physics-speak. However, from now on, you are going to hear more about entropy; accordingly, it is time for me to be more helpful. This aside will theoretically save you the trouble of looking up the word “entropy” and give you a good idea what entropy is all about without becoming too precise or technical. *

## I say “theoretically” because almost nobody actually takes the time and trouble to look something up these days. We are always in a hurry despite how much time we have. We have a strong need to press on with or without the necessary information. Fuzzy understanding seems to always be preferred over delay or loss of continuity – detours are fundamentally annoying beyond the extra trouble they cause.

Before I get back to the task of defining entropy, let’s wander a little farther down this particular rabbit hole and see what we can learn about how we personally relate to information, and how we are affected by a changing Western culture that is in the process of redefining itself through a revolution in electronics and information technology. The cultural metamorphosis accompanying our transition from the industrial age to the information age is as much about who and what we are as it is about what we do and how we do it. As our tools and relationships change, we and our reality change with them.

From radio to TV to video games to computers, the evolution of consumer electronics has modified how humans think and interact. Most of us, like kids watching Sesame Street, need constant stimulation and constant input or our attention wanders and boredom quickly sets in. To the electronic generation, thoughtful pauses become superfluous interruptions, and serious reflection becomes nearly impossible. Under a “use it or lose it” evolutionary mandate, depth and quality of thought are quickly becoming unnecessary and obsolete.

In pursuit of short-term goals in our professional lives and continual entertainment and stimulation in our personal lives, our attention spans grow shorter as superficiality dominates our mental processes.

I understand – we are all in the same boat – it is a Western cultural thing. This is how electronic entertainment and communications technology have affected our minds and thus our perception of reality. Our limited reality is slowly getting broader and shallower. The ecology of our minds is changing from a local lake to a global swamp.

To come full circle along the chain of cause and effect, you should note that the quality and significance of what the commercial media and book vendors produce for us to read is generally so unchallenging and superficial that missing a few words here and there does not make a significant difference. Guess and keep going is a time saving strategy that will always appear to work reasonably well because whatever we miss, by definition, is unknown and not worth the effort.

Our experience tells us that what we miss can be easily surmised from the context of what we get. Finding the most productive and efficient ratio of get-to-miss allows us to process the huge amount of largely inconsequential information that continually bombards us. In the information age, skimming instead of reading is a survival tactic. The calculated skipping and missing of random, difficult, or prickly pieces of content eventually becomes a well justified sampling technique that ultimately grows to exclude much more than irrelevant details. **

### In a practical sense, anything that we define as irrelevant quickly becomes that way. You do not miss what you are unaware of; consequently, all that lies beyond your vision appears to be irrelevant to you. That is why the uneducated care little for education and are unaware of what they are missing. The uneducated do not know or appreciate the deeper significance of being uneducated. A fact of life: The implications and consequences of your self-imposed limitations can only be seen and appreciated by someone else who does not share them.

If you wish to expand the paradigms that make up your worldview, the most salient question becomes: Who ya gonna call? (See Chapter 23 of this book.) Predicating the validation of a broader viewpoint upon the consensus of the people you respect and associate with is a particularly risky business because you like people who are like you – people who are likely to share your basic beliefs and limitations.

Among these people you feel solid, confident and self- assured. They confirm the soundness of your understanding and the correctness of your vision. You do the same for them. They define your community or social set at all levels of social organization.

Let me take a wild guess. As I look into my crystal ball, I see that you and your best friends are aware of almost everything that is truly important for you to know. Furthermore, it appears that you and your closest associates have an excellent understanding (probably better than most) of the truth that lies beneath the surface of most events and actions. Did I guess correctly? You are not alone. Almost everyone on every side of every issue (including wackos and fanatics of all sorts) feel exactly the same way.

“Hey, I’m doing well the way I am – what’s the big deal over a little minor ignorance? Serious ignorance? Lots of it? Much important truth lies beyond my vision? Bullpucky! That’s impossible! You must be talking about someone else. The people I hold in low esteem are like that, but not me, I know what’s really going on.” ***

## Looking up unfamiliar words, concepts, or events is accurately assessed as an impractical exercise by busy people who are focused outwardly on entertainment and practical information. We focus on what we value. Don’t blame the media guys; they produce whatever we are willing to pay for. We value what is quick, convenient, entertaining, easy, practical, and feels good or pays well. What else is there? For most of us, that is a difficult question, the honest answer to which is either the null set or an exceedingly short list.

Time management, a concept born in the Industrial Age, goes critical in the Information Age. If we are not sleeping, we are very, very busy and in hot pursuit of whatever is happening next. Most of us only value the present moment as a bridge to the future. Because we live on the run, we have a tendency to confuse life, meaning, and purpose with motion. The fact is, the choices we make (that ultimately define us) all occur in the present.

Talk about detours! This aside containing an aside that contains yet another aside is forcing you to think in multiple layers. I need to quit and get back on track before we both get lost and decide to go watch TV instead. **

# Entropy is a physics term that you learn about when studying thermodynamics – which is why it is probably not on your list of everyday words to use. Nevertheless, because of its dramatic implications, it is reasonably well-known in many technical and philosophical circles.

PMR systems naturally dissipate their energy. If no new energy is put into a system, the energy that is available to do work within that system will eventually waste away. Everything, such as a new battery, has a shelf-life. Constrained energy (such as a flashlight battery or full tank of gasoline in your car), which is energy in a form that can do work, is either used up doing that work or eventually dissipates away (as its shelf life is exceeded). In either case, all the original highly organized and structured molecules and atoms making up the gasoline and automobile and the new battery and flashlight have been converted (after doing work or dissipating) to a new, less organized and less structured collection of atoms and molecules (including fumes, vapor, light, heat, worn off brake and tire particles, and metal flakes in the oil) that no longer can do as much work as the original configuration. We say that energy has been used up when actually it has only changed into a less structured, less usable form such as heat that is diffused throughout the system.

Any closed physical system must eventually run out of useable gas or batteries and become no longer able to do work because gas evaporates and both chemically degenerate over time even if they are not purposely consumed to produce light or provide transportation. We say that the entropy of the closed system has increased. “Closed” means that nothing is added or taken away – all the same particles and same total energy remain within the system before and after. Though the total energy must remain constant, it continuously, spontaneously, and slowly changes form over time (naturally degenerates as it grows older) as well as occasionally changes form (turn on the flashlight or ignite the gasoline) rather quickly. Eventually, one way or another, the available-for-use full potential of a new battery or fresh tank of gasoline becomes a comparatively useless collection of uniformly distributed vapor, radiation, and heat.

The change in entropy is a measure of how much energy is now (as compared to earlier) no longer available to do work. Equivalently, entropy is a measure of the disorder within our hypothetical system (less organization and less structure among the atoms and molecules in our closed system). More entropy means more disorder and less energy that is available to do work. Conversely, less entropy means less disorder (more order and structure within the system) and that more of the system’s energy is available to do work.

The second law of thermodynamics states that the average entropy of the PMR universe (initially assumed to be a closed system) must increase with time. This means that all matter and energy in the universe will eventually move toward a state of inert uniformity – absolutely nothing left of our entire universe but hydrogen ions and elementary particles.

Don’t sweat it, you still have time to finish My Big TOE and grow one of your own before you decompose. A universe that is as massively chunky as ours takes a long time to disintegrate. Look on the bright side: 1) the physical universe may not be a closed system and 2) the sun will expand and vaporize our entire planet long before the universe decays into a homogeneous soup of simple particles. *

You will get more detailed information about these concepts later. For the purposes of this section, you need only to understand that all things and systems of things are in an active process of change – animal, vegetable, mineral, technological, and organizational – and that the Fundamental Process is the basis for that change. All things evolve toward greater profitability.

Profitability is defined by the degree of immediate success an entity has in dealing with the evolutionary pressures created by the constraints within their internal and external environments. This is true if the entity is an individual or a complex system of interrelated dissimilar individuals.

Non-living and non-growing things (such as uranium atoms, organic molecules, the house you live in, and the rocks in your back yard) generally evolve toward minimum energy states. When non-growing entities make a natural, spontaneous, or evolutionary change of state, the lowest available energy state is defined as the most profitable next-state to occupy. Most of the physical matter, on and in our planet, falls into this category. Thus, physical matter gradually follows a path to ever lower energy states, increasing its entropy as it evolves. To inanimate matter, natural spontaneous change due to interaction with its internal and external environments (evolution), disintegration, and increasing entropy are all related and moving together in the same general direction.

Typically, growing things (things that are in a state of becoming) can naturally and spontaneously – for at least some limited period of time – decrease their entropy. In contrast, the entropy of non-growing things always naturally increases. In PMR, the growing things ultimately depend on the non-growing things, thus fulfilling the grim prediction of the second law of thermodynamics. We will discover that in mind-space where AUO exists as dim consciousness, there are no physical things and everything has the potential to grow. In mind-space, seeking the lowest energy state is never a goal. Quite the contrary, for a consciousness system the most profitable next-state is one that enables that system to minimize its entropy. In other words, evolutionary change within a consciousness system is profitable for that system if it causes the entropy of the system to decrease.

There is a natural tendency for an entity to make those choices, or to exploit or succumb to those changes that move that entity toward its evolutionary goals. That is, toward a more profitable configuration or mutually beneficial arrangement – toward a lower energy state for physical matter (higher entropy) or a lower entropy state (higher usable energy) for consciousness. The Fundamental Process explores all the opportunities and possibilities for change, then inextricably and statistically moves each entity, each collection of similar entities (such as a species or a field full of rocks), or each collection of collections of diverse entities (community or ecosystem) toward its immediate goals by continuing to evolve the winners. The Fundamental Process of evolution is a recursive process that builds layer upon layer of interdependent organization and structure: a process that repeats and folds back upon itself at many different scales and levels of interaction.

Again, let me caution you to not be confused by the use of verbs in a sentence that has the Fundamental Process as the subject. That particular language construction is simply convenient and more succinctly expressive in describing the dynamics of evolutionary change. The Fundamental Process is a simple natural process – not an active sentient growth manager that can execute action verbs toward the achievement of some preconceived goal.

Each evolving entity moves into all the possibilities open to it that it can afford to occupy. It continues to invest in the winners by succeeding within those possibilities that provide the most value or profitability – not by deliberate intellectual choice-making – but by trying everything available and allowing whatever works (holds immediate value for the entity) to progress forward while letting whatever does not work (the losers) flounder. This is a natural selection activity from the inside executed by the evolving entity, not an intellectual activity or a directed response from the outside executed by the Fundamental Process. The only external forcing function is the external environment in which the entity exists.

From now on, when you read that the Fundamental Process does this or that, or makes this or that happen, or I use any action verb to describe an evolutionary effect, you will know what I mean, right?

This same Fundamental Process, when it is applied to earth-based biological systems, produces the evolution you learned about in school. The Fundamental Process applied to consciousness produces different results, because consciousness and its environments are different, but it is the exact same idea, the exact same process raised to a more general understanding.

For that matter, the Fundamental Process also drives change in organizations and technologies. All sorts of technologies have evolved – from the complex nest building of many insects, birds, and mammals to the transportation, medical, agricultural, communication, networking, and computer technology developed by humans during the preceding century.

The evolution of technology follows a similar Fundamental Process. It expands into the available states (needs, uses, applications) progressing the winners and dropping the losers. The evolutionary pressure, defined by the criteria for profitability, flows from the constraints of usefulness, feasibility, marketing, economics, and business. Here, profitability can be literal as well as figurative. Technological evolution (the evolution of a technical entity) is like the evolution of any entity. As technology evolves, it produces an increased richness and complexity of potential future states that creates more evolutionary opportunities for new or improved technologies. As evolution progresses, the pace of change accelerates.

Technological evolutionary pressure comes from the external economic environments of raw materials, marketing, supply, distribution, demand, and price, as well as the internal environments of feasibility, design, engineering, parts availability, manufacturing, quality, pricing, and finance. Mutations and new technical entities may seem to spring into being quickly and discontinuously, yet all are built upon the knowledge-base or genetic pool of earlier technical entities. The Fundamental Process works basically the same way with all types of entities – physical, nonphysical, human, insects, bacteria, molecules, rivers, mountains, rocks, organizations, nations, consciousness, automobiles, or computers. The differences in evolutionary patterns among animals, organizations, consciousness, and technology are not due to differences in the evolutionary process, but rather to the variety of entities and to the variety of environments and constraints that define the criteria for their profitability.

It is the Fundamental Process that encourages life and other types of evolvable systems or entities (including technological, organizational, social, and so on) to flow into any niche or configuration that can profitably sustain them. For consciousness, living things, organizations, and technology, dynamic repetitive implementation of the Fundamental Process of evolution represents the natural statistical inclination of an entity, organism, species, or a complex interconnected population of entities to grow into and become whatever is most profitable from each organism’s point of view. Simpler entities sometimes band together cooperatively to form more complex entities and systems that are more powerful and thus more profitable for all participants.

Groups of entities may develop mutually beneficial relationships and dependencies because they share an interactive synergetic environment. Eventually, after much integration, the view of the whole becomes more significant than the view of each part – they become one complex thing – a system that evolves as its parts evolve. Next comes systems of systems, and so on as complexity, specialization, and higher orders of organization (decreasing entropy) become profitable. Consciousness, alligators, governments, planet earth, and the Internet all evolve the same way. Exactly what constitutes living and conscious and how such systems are uniquely defined will be described later in this section.

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