266. Tom Campbell Transcript

Tom Campbell – BATGAP Interview (# 266)

November 16, 2014

{BATGAP theme music plays}

Rick:      Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Tom Campbell. I’ve been getting a lot of requests to interview Tom, in fact, even after I had him scheduled I kept getting emails saying, “You’ve got to interview Tom Campbell,” and I kept saying, “He’s scheduled.” So there’s been a lot of anticipation for this interview.

Let me read this little bio of Tom and then we’ll take it from there. So in February of 2003, Tom published the My Big Toe trilogy (MBT), which represents the results and conclusions of his scientific exploration of the nature of existence. This overarching model of reality, mind, and consciousness, explains the paranormal as well as the normal, places spirituality within a scientific context, solves a host of scientific paradoxes, and provides direction for those wishing to personally experience an expanded awareness of All That Is.

The MBT reality model explains metaphysics, spirituality, love, and human purpose at the most fundamental level, provides a complete theory of consciousness, and solves the outstanding fundamental physics problems of our time, deriving both relativity theory and quantum mechanics form first principles –something traditional physics cannot yet do. As a logic-based work of science, MBT has no basis in belief, dogma, or any unusual assumptions.

And maybe as a first question, our friend Larry that we were just speaking to before recording, Tom, asked a question. He said, “I’m curious if the information that Tom teaches was learned from out-of-body work that he did at the Monroe Institute.”  And I might add a little addendum to that question which is, to what is extent is everything which you are going to be talking about with us today is derived from some intuitive spiritual insight that you got from some kind of spiritual practice, or awakening or some such thing, and to what extent have you just worked it out logically and come up with a theory that feels good to you, but has yet to be verified experientially or experimentally?

Tom:     Okay, the short answer is it’s both of those. To answer Larry, no, it wasn’t something I came up with while working at Monroe Institute – what’s now Monroe Institute anyway or working with Bob. Basically I developed MBT theory over probably 35 years of thinking about it. One of the things that made it easier for me to do, as I had thoughts, it was a logical process leading, but an experiential process doing the research, if you will.

So I’m a physicist, and what we physicists do is try to make models of things, try to understand how things work, so that’s just my nature. So once I got involved with Bob Monroe, I wanted to understand how it worked, why it worked, what were the limitations, what was going on – kind of, what’s the bigger picture here?

And I found that after oh, 5 or 6 years with Bob, I could go out of body, I could get into the larger consciousness system very easily, on demand, whenever I wanted to. And I could do it in such a way that I was able to do experiments there. In other words, it was repeatable, I could end up in the same situations, in the same places, in the same way, so that I could carry on experiments and see what did affect what, you know? Eliminate variables so there was only the one variable I would study and try to change that variable and see how it changed the facts, and so on.

So I did that in order to do the research end, you know, because otherwise you just have theory. If it is all intellectual, then you think it maybe works this way, but you don’t really know until you get in and try it. So it was a combination of doing research in the nonphysical and of logically trying to explain it, because being a physicist I needed to logically explain it, because otherwise I couldn’t explain it to anyone else. If you can’t put it in rational, logical terms, if you can only put it in poetry, you know, in poetical terms. It’s really hard to explain it to other people; they may or may not get it, depending on how they interpret your poetry. It’s much harder to explain in detail so that people.

So anyway I wanted to do it logically, so the logic part of me just noodled it out, thought about it, you know: well what does this mean? What are the possibilities? And then I’d go do research on which of those possibilities was more likely. I had a whole series of aha moments as we went [along], as I figured bits and pieces of the story out, about 35 years later I was ready to write the books. And I wrote the books because a friend I was talking to asked me the question, he said, “Well Tom, how does this reality work? What’s going on here? What’s the whole thing?” And four or five hours later I realized that I needed to write it down to produce clarity in my thinking, because things are verbal tend to be fuzzy, we kind of talk around things. But if you have to write it down in good prose, then it has to be a lot more precise, focused, has to make sense.

So I started writing down and my first cut at this was eight and a half pages, and I passed that around and mostly had eyes rolling, and they had no idea what it was I was talking about. I then attempted to explain it, so I wrote more as an explanation to the questions and the things that people didn’t understand, and I passed that around and I got more questions.

And so the books actually developed by me writing down the things I thought were important – the main issues – and answering peoples’ questions about it as I went [along]. So then one day I said, “Gee, I might have enough material here for a book!” And it just kept right on going, and then it was, “Whoa! I got way too much material for a book. This is going to have to be several books, or one big fat book.” So that’s kind of where it came from. So it’s a combination of both: an ability to do research in the larger consciousness system, and a logical process that just was representative of the way physicists think. You know, what’s the logic behind this, how does this work? Make a model.

Rick:      So most physicists will come up with a theory and then they’ll use a particle accelerator to test it, or they’ll travel to Africa to see if the sun’s gravity can bend starlight, you know, during the solar eclipse or something; they use some kind of external apparatus to test their theory. But what you seem to be saying is that you used the apparatus of your own nervous system as an experimental tool to research the ideas you were coming up with.

Tom:     Yes, right. Instead of using a telescope, I used my consciousness, that’s the instrument with which we can connect to the larger consciousness system. But once you do that, you have all the same sorts of things to do that the scientist has with his telescope, you know, looking for photons to be bent around a gravitational force, it’s the same sort of thing. You have to eliminate variables, you have to do your experiments over and over again to make sure that you’re not just getting anomalous results, you have to understand your errors, you know, where you might be getting errors in your results. And then hopefully you can do them from different perspectives; you not only get the light bending from the viewpoint that’s out there for good, but you may need to do two or three other experiments that corroborate that, rather than just the one thing. The rest of it is all just basic science.

Rick:      So as with particle accelerators and trips to solar eclipses, would you say that the corroboration that you’ve achieved through your own repeated experience could be replicated by other people as well, and perhaps actually has been, so that it is not just some subjective thing that you alone are cooking up?

Tom:     Yes, that is true. It could be, can be, and has been, as you say. My conclusions, when you look at the very top level of the conclusions I come to about what reality is and how it works, you’ll find a lot of agreement going back to what, about four or five-thousand years ago, where most of it was written down.

And of course your program is called Buddha at the Gas Pump, so we have people besides me, many people, for thousands of years have used their consciousness as a tool in this sense, and come back with models of how reality works, and it is interesting how well they overlap. The differences tend to be in the metaphors used to describe them, and the cultural overlays that generally have to be a part of what you say. Because what you say has to communicate to the people of your time, and the way you do that is different at different times. So that’s the main difference.

What I bring to this is a logical process that is not poetry; this is the way I think it works, and [I]look out into the world and here are the reasons why it works this way. But it is more of a logical process, and I do that because I’m basically coming at it from both a physics perspective and a consciousness researcher perspective.

Rick:      So would you say that what you have come up with is not necessarily original because yogis and mystics have been experiencing these things for thousands of years, but your original contribution is to put it in contemporary scientific language, so you’re serving as a sort of bridge or interface between traditional mystical experiences and the scientific world?

Tom:     Yes, that would be a good way to put it. When you do that, when you have it as a logical process, then you can go a lot further. You see, poetry has its limitations; it’s descriptive. And what we’ve had before is descriptions of the larger reality, and descriptions of the mechanics of how things work, but we’ve not really had theory, we’ve not really had a way of …, “Why does it have to work that way? Okay, that’s the way it works, but why? Where did that come from? Why is it like that?” – and you know, that kind of specificity that you get from a scientific viewpoint.

So that kind of leads you to probably a little different perspective, but yes, basically the same sort of things. You know, we’ve had Buddha talking about how the physical reality was illusion, well I talk about the physical reality is a virtual reality. That’s the same thing, but it’s in different words.

The virtual reality has process behind it, it’s not just a statement of fact that reality is illusion. But when you say it’s virtual, then you understand that it’s data, and that it’s computed, and so on, so it leads to another different set of metaphors in terms of science, in terms of technology, in terms of rational process. Rather than just describing what is, it says what is and why is that way, and where does it come from, and why does it have to be that way, you know, why didn’t it turn out to be some other way? There’s reasons why it is that way.

Rick:      Okay, so we sort of established the foundation for where you’re coming from and how you derived the things that you say, now let’s get into what those things actually are. I mean, so far we’ve heard the phrase “My Big TOE,” and obviously you’re an encyclopedic kind of guy; I have like four- or five-days’ worth of your recordings on my hard drive, which I haven’t had a chance to listen to all of them, obviously. And your books are huge – aren’t they like three 700-page volumes or something?

Tom:     No, altogether, all three books together I think are something like 850 pages or something, if you don’t count things that are repetitive. Like each book will have a table of contents that has the whole table of contents for the three books, so that’s kind of repetitive in the books. But if you just take the unique pages, there are about 850 pages in all three books.

Rick:      So there’s a lot of material and we have maybe 2 hours. So let’s try to give people the 2-hour version of what it is you’ve got to offer, and I’ll do my best to ask some intelligent questions every now and then.

Tom:     Okay, now besides those books, they do the fundamental theory, but there’s also like 220 videos on YouTube.

Rick:      Yeah, that’s where my four days’ worth of stuff came from.

Tom:     And that tends to do more the science. I didn’t want to be too science-heavy in my written book because it really wasn’t a book for scientists; it was a book for lay people, it was a book for everybody to read, so I didn’t want to get too technical in it. So the science is kind of there, but it’s not explained in a lot of details; it’s just kind of stated.

Rick:      Why did you call it ‘My Big TOE?’

Tom:     Well, you know, I was looking for some kind of a snappy, memorable title like you do for books, and it isn’t ‘TOE;’ it is a ‘Theory Of Everything.’ And actually, it’s more of a theory of everything than what science calls “theory of everything.” That’s the TOE, T-O-E, Theory of Everything.

Now in science, they’ve been talking about TOEs since Einstein tried to unite quantum mechanics and relativity, and that was going to be the TOE. And the reason scientists did that was because these two big pillars of science, modern pillars of science – relativity and quantum mechanics – they have basic assumptions underlying them that conflict with each other. And not only that, they both only work in their own realm, so they’re not general; they’re kind of specific. So scientists thought, “Well, there must be some bigger understanding that derives both of these, and both of these are just subsets, kind of like partial answers to the whole thing.”

So off went Einstein and others to try to find this TOE, Theory of Everything, from which they could derive all of physics, and they failed; they did not do that. But mine is, I call it Big TOE because it not only says how quantum mechanics and relativity connect with each other and derives both of those, as Einstein’s TOE wanted to do, but it also is a theory of consciousness. Actually, it’s primarily a theory of consciousness from which the physics gets derived, from the theory of consciousness.

So now it’s talking about the subjective world – consciousness is subjective; it is a subjective world – and the objective world. So it’s the mind and the matter, the normal – which is the physical normal, and the paranormal – which is beyond physical normal. So it’s not just a little TOE in physics but it’s a big TOE for basically everything, including consciousness and the subjective world.

And I put ‘My’ there, because I wanted to remind people that these are my experiences, okay, my model, my research that did it, and that everybody else needs to do their own. It’s not ‘mine’ because I have such pride in the authorship like, “Oh, this is my big TOE,” but it’s mine in that reality is personal, it’s subjective. And you can’t take my big TOE; you have to generate your own big TOE. You have to grow your own through your own experience, because if it’s not your experience, it’s not your truth.

And that’s why I put the ‘my’ on it, to kind of emphasize that point, that this is a theory, this is a way of looking at things, a perspective, and it’s not “believe this,” “this is the truth;” that’s not it at all. Don’t believe this, go have your own experience, find your own truth. So that’s why I call it ‘My Big TOE,’ and besides, I thought maybe that would catch somebody’s eye – “My Big TOE…what’s that about? Is the guy writing about his foot?”

Rick:      Makes for a nice cover graphic. Well that leads to an interesting question. One is, would you say that consciousness alone could be that which could reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics, because only consciousness in its pure state is fundamental enough, and would you say, also, that everyone, as you were just saying, has to do their own experimentation because if you are just conceptualizing this stuff, it has no practical significance for you; you actually have to do the direct exploration in the field of consciousness in order for any of this to be a practical living reality?

Tom:     Yes, yes, that is the case entirely.

Rick:      Yes to both parts?

Tom:     Yes, both parts. Consciousness is a fundamental thing, and it’s from an understanding of consciousness – that’s where we start, is with consciousness. Once you understand consciousness, you can derive the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and the fundamentals of relativity.

You see, quantum mechanics is based on one major idea, it’s got a lot of math that works out logical consequences, but the major idea is that if you treat particles as probability distributions, then you can compute correct answers to experiments. And they have no idea why that should be the case, that’s very frustrating for them. That’s why they say, “Shut up and calculate,” because why should particles be best represented as probability distributions?

And with relativity you have this concept that if ‘c’ is a constant, that means it is invariant under the motion of its source …

Rick:      Speed of light?

Tom:     Speed of light, yeah. The speed of light is a constant, then relativity falls out as almost just an algebra problem; it’s just based on that fundamental idea. Once you get that idea, then special relativity just falls out of that concept, and then general relativity falls out of special relativity. So those are the two defining concepts of both of those, and both of those facts of reality, that speed of light is a constant – I call it ‘c,’ that’s kind of the typical variable for it – that speed of light is a constant and that the particles are probability distributions, can be derived from a theory of consciousness.

So once you understand that, then the rest of it is taking the math and working out the logical conclusions of what does that mean that sees a constant, or that particles are probability distributions, and those logical conclusions define the science of relativity and the science of quantum mechanics. So yes, consciousness is the source and once you understand consciousness then you don’t have to “shut up and calculate;” you can understand quantum mechanics too! And you can understand relativity, how it works that way.

Rick:      Okay, so to make sure I understand this and to help the listeners understand, so you just said that ‘c,’ the speed of light being a constant, and particles being a probability distribution, are both derivable from consciousness being a fundamental reality, is that correct?

Tom:     That’s right.

Rick:      Okay, and elaborate a little bit on why that is so, because I don’t quite understand it.

Tom:     Well, we start with consciousness okay, and I do in my books and in some of my talks, I talk about consciousness and where consciousness comes from, you know, what are the origins and beginnings, and then it evolves, and it develops into what we think of as consciousness now. And then we end up with virtual realities, which is a schoolhouse for consciousness to learn to lower its entropy, which is the same as spiritual growth, which is the same as consciousness evolution, evolving the quality of one’s consciousness.

Rick:      And entropy means disorder.

Tom:     Entropy is a measure of disorder, right. So that’s kind of a long chain which I’ve just said in 3 or 4 sentences, but it probably would take 3 or 4 hours to do that in detail.

Rick:      And when you say ‘consciousness,’ obviously you’re not talking about the byproduct of some neuro-anatomical process; you’re talking about something that is fundamental to the universe, a field out of which everything arises, rather than just the epiphenomenon of brain functioning?

Tom:     Exactly, but it’s more than fundamental to the universe; the universe is a subset of it.

Rick:      Okay, good.

Tom:     So the reason I had to skip all those steps or kind of run through them, is that that then gets us to the point of where this physical reality, our universe, our physical universe, you know, why does it have to exist? Where does it come from? What’s its purpose? And it has a purpose as a schoolhouse, a place for consciousness to evolve.

And of course if you were a consciousness, you need to evolve, because the game is ‘evolve or die,’ that’s the nature of living things. You either more on and continue to learn, continue to grow, or you start dissipating; kind of staying still. Not evolving and not de-evolving in the long term is unstable, that’s not a good place. You have to do one or the other because if you stop growing and you want to stay stagnant, well you will begin to disintegrate, you begin to come apart, your entropy will just naturally start to grow if you’re not constantly working to lower it. That’s the way things work, you see?

Rick:      Yeah, that distinguishes living systems from nonliving systems, right? I mean, Volkswagens left to themselves just deteriorate into rust, eventually, but living systems continually eat negative entropy, so to speak, and maintain greater and greater orderliness.

Tom:     Yeah, greater and greater orderliness, right, but you have to do that at the cost of effort. If there is no effort made to continue to eat entropy and make orderliness, then the entropy takes over, you start to disintegrate, so things have to have a process that keeps working to survive.

So the conscious system is no different than that, it needs to evolve, it needs to lower its entropy, which is increasing the quality of its consciousness. And I might say to make a little more of what I said in the background make sense, is now this consciousness is a digital information system, it’s just about information. And it’s digital in the sense that it’s just code, it’s discreet. At the base in our mind we think of code and discreet as 1s and 0s that make up the information, and that’s what I mean. It doesn’t have to be 1s and 0s, that’s just a metaphor of one way of looking at the problem. But anyhow, it is discreet in the way that the computation, the digital computation is discreet compared to analog computation, which has to do with wheels, and hands and gears and other sorts of things, it’s not discreet; it’s an analog version. So it’s a digital information system because consciousness is just information.

Rick:      Okay, let me ask you a couple of questions on that one. Firstly, does consciousness evolve or is it really that its expressions evolve and that consciousness, being absolute, can’t change or evolve, but rather the vehicles through which consciousness is channeled or expressed or lived, those evolve? Maybe I’ll leave you [with] that question before I ask anything else.

Tom:     Okay, that’s a bit of a word game in a sense, that we’re using words to break out consciousness into separate things – its expression from its fundamentals – and I don’t know that you can really break them out. I guess in an analysis game you can pull things apart like that and think about it in those ways and talk about them, but it’s really a whole thing, you know?

What is the larger consciousness system? Well it has its potential, and it has, I guess, capacity. It’s not infinite; it’s a finite system, and it defines itself by what it does and what it is and what it knows. Its information is how it is defined. If you took away its expression, then there wouldn’t be anything there other than potential.

So it’s kind of hard for me to slice that in two and say, “You have the potential and then you have what the potential creates,” and then talk about those separately, they seem to me to be all part of the one thing. But if we do that, just for the sake of talking, then I would agree with you: the potential is kind of always there, in the background, the fundamental, and the expression, as you say, would be the state that it’s in now.

You know, now it’s different than it was when I just said “now” before, you see, it’s constantly changing, so the state is always evolving. It can de-evolve as well, so it is always in the state of flux. So we can bring it out in those terms, but I don’t know that we actually gain much by doing so. I just see the whole thing, the larger consciousness system, it’s a real thing, therefore it’s a finite thing, it’s not perfect, it has to continue to work on lowering its entropy to survive, and it does that.

Now we can talk about, “Well what’s its environment like? What’s on the outside of this larger consciousness system? What kind of environmental issues does it have to deal with?” And we get to that and the answer is: just don’t know. And the reason we don’t know isn’t really a failure of ours, it’s just that there are some things you just can’t know. There are limitations to knowledge.

In some of my talks I talk about an analogy where a bacterium in your stomach doesn’t understand sunshine and rain and farmers and all the things that bring us foods, refrigerators and processing and so on, but that doesn’t mean that food isn’t important to it! I mean that’s what that bacteria does, it works on food. So the very thing that is most central to its function comes from someplace it can never understand. It just doesn’t have the ability to understand those things. Doesn’t make them unimportant; it just makes them beyond understanding, and we’re in that same sort of thing.

We are consciousness, we are pieces of this larger consciousness system, we cannot see outside the system. We can’t stand on the edge of the system and look out because we are it, you see? It’s just like a camera can’t look at itself – I mean, yes, in a mirror and all that kind of thing, but you know what I mean. The camera doesn’t take a picture of itself because the camera is the thing; it takes pictures of other things, but not of itself.

So it’s the same sort of thing, if you are consciousness then you don’t – at least like us, if we’re pieces of the system, then we can explore the system, but we can’t explore outside of this system because we are pieces of this system, so we’re trapped here.

So I don’t really know anything about that “environment” which the larger consciousness system might be in, but in my books I do some hand-waving and making up some stuff, you know, and float a couple of ideas here and there of things that might be or might not be. But it’s all conjecture and none of it should be taken particularly seriously.

Rick:      Okay, let me ask you a few questions based on that. You mentioned something about consciousness having to keep its own entropy in check, and here I’m going to throw in some equating of consciousness with the unified field or the vacuum state or something, but at that level of creation, is there any entropy? In its most fundamental state, isn’t it a field of perfect order, which is not entropic at all?

Second thing is, you know there are all these scriptures which say that the individual doesn’t realize consciousness; consciousness realizes itself. Because as you said, it’s like the wave can’t realize the entire ocean as a wave – well you didn’t say that, but this is the analogy that you’re alluding to – that the wave can’t take into its individual form the entire ocean, but the wave can kind of settle down and realize its essential nature as the entire ocean. At which point the ocean actually realizes itself; it’s not the wave realizing itself. So, two things in there, see what you say to that.

Tom:     Alright, tell me the first one again.

Rick:      First one is about entropy. You alluded to consciousness kind of having to keep its own entropy from getting out of control or something, but it is my understanding that at that level – and I’m obviously not a physicist – but it’s my understanding that at the most ground state of natural law that there is no entropy; that it’s a field of perfect orderliness, infinite correlation and so on.

Tom:     I would not agree with that idea that at the ground state you have perfect order, and the larger consciousness system is not a perfect system; it has lots of entropy that it needs to convert from higher entropy to lower entropy. That’s what I mean by ‘raising the quality of your consciousness,’ that’s basically lowering the entropy of that data system that is yours.

And think of the data system, the entropy in a data system has to do with content. If you have useful, ordered content, then you can do something with that, it has meaning, and it has function. The opposite of that would be randomness; [in] randomness there is no content, because nothing is ordered and everything is random, and there’s no function there at all. It doesn’t do anything, it just is.

So if you’re an information system, what you want to do is to increase your content, and you want that content to be as meaningful and as significant as possible, because the more meaningful and significant it is, then the less entropy it has. The structure you build has more information in it, if you will, if it has more significance and more content to it.

So the system itself, being an information system, has the potential – well, let’s put it this way, it starts pretty much as a blank slate. All it knows is this versus that, it can define two states, it can define change … “I was in this state, now I’m in that state,” or “I can generate this state and that state.” Once you start there, then the rest of it just evolves to lots of this-states and that-states, and now you’ve got lots of 1s and 0s, and you kind of see where I’m going with the metaphor; you end up with information. And that information just evolves because if it de-evolves, now you can no longer tell one state from another and you just have randomness, and there’s no content, there’s no meaning, there’s no awareness.

So we have a system that once gaining awareness, needs to continue to lower its entropy to maintain itself, otherwise it would go back to randomness. So that’s the idea – you don’t start with the perfect system. We kind of think about that in physical process, because we look at physical processes in this virtual reality and we imagine that they get less random, and therefore more perfect as we lower their entropy. And then we think that, “Well the perfect, ultimate state to be in is the state of zero entropy,” and that’s certainly where consciousness is headed and it will get there someday, [but] that’s not the case, it’s not like this. This is a real system that is evolving.

Evolving is open-ended. Evolution doesn’t have an end. It doesn’t get to a point where it says, “Okay, I’m done, I’m perfect, nothing else to do.” There’s always something else to do because evolution builds on itself. Whatever it is now, things will change. And in an information system where information is constantly being changed and shared, and new things are made out of that information, when you get a lot of pieces of information together then you get creative ideas and new things happen – in a space like that where there is constant creation and newness being generated, there is also constantly having entropy generated. You have things where the functions that are created are destructive functions, and you have to keep working at it otherwise it will disintegrate.

So the consciousness system will never be a zero-entropy state, because it is a real thing that’s evolving. And actually, in our experience here in the physical reality, we find the same thing: you can never get to a zero-entropy state, you can only approach it. It’s just like you can never go faster than the speed of light, you can only approach it. In math we call that ‘asymptotic’ – you can only get asymptotic to the answer, but you can’t ever get there.

In mathematics you can never get to infinity, you can only approach it, you see, and it’s like that. You can’t really get to a zero-entropy state here, you can only approach it, because there are always things going on in your system that are creating more energy, and you are always making an effort to reduce entropy. And you have lots and lots and lots of individuated units of consciousness that are interacting, doing all sorts of things, creating good things and bad things all the time, so it’s just a live system that is evolving.

So it doesn’t start at some kind of a zero-entropy perfect system and then for some reason creates high-entropy virtual realities or something, it’s not like that. It’s just a real, finite system trying to stay alive and continuing to exist.

Rick:      Alright, well I guess where I’m coming from is the notion that once we talk about systems and states and all that, we’ve stepped well into the relative creation and we’ve gone past the four fundamental forces, and whatever are the levels of manifestation there may be in physical terms. And there’s all sort of entropy and all sorts of pairs of opposites, and all sorts of diversity and what not, but if we could reverse that process and get right back down to the real nitty-gritty, before all that emerges, then wouldn’t we there have arrived at a state of perfect orderliness or freedom from entropy?

And a lot of the great saints, Ramana Maharishi and people like that, once upon their realization they say nothing ever happened, the universe actually never arose. They sort of reside in a place prior to the manifestation of the universe, and prior to the emergence of any sort of entropy or disorder.

Tom:     Well, if you think of the universe, our physical universe, as all there is, then you might tend to have that viewpoint. If you think of our physical universe as a virtual reality game generated for a purpose, then that viewpoint isn’t quite so obvious; it’s generated in a bigger system. So if you can take our physical universe and yes, you can back it up, back it up to the point where it didn’t exist. Well you can take a simulation – you can take the World of Warcraft and back it up and back it up to before the ‘run’ button was hit, before it generated anything, and before that you might say, “Well there was nothing.” And you may define ‘nothing’ as perfect process because anything that is a thing, well you know processes aren’t perfect, so the only way you get perfect processes is for there to be nothing, no-thing, the null, the void, right? That’s the perfect thing because there’s nothing is there. Well that’s more word games, I think, it’s more semantics – I should put it that way, it’s more semantics. And I think that comes from a sense of this physical reality being all there is, being reality.

Because indeed that’s true of our physical reality – you can back it up and back it up to the point that the ‘run’ button hadn’t been pushed yet …

Rick:      And it’s no longer physical.

Tom:     It’s no longer physical, it didn’t exist. And at that point it was just potential. Everything was simply potential, and that’s the concept of “the void” that holds all potential but no thing.

Rick:      And just because we’re incapable of perceiving it that way doesn’t mean that ultimately it isn’t that way. And I don’t have quantum level perception or anything, you know, we’re macro-organisms locked into a certain perceptual realm, but that doesn’t mean that’s the ultimate reality certainly. I guess what I’m getting at is that enlightened people, by definition, may be those who have learned to reside at the level prior to manifestation, and yet function in the world of manifestation, simultaneously, to sort of straddle both realms, as it were.

Tom:     Right, and what I would say is that that is true and that does work that way, but what you’re doing is you are learning to live in the larger system. See this virtual reality is just a subset, a small subset of the larger system, and eventually you get to go beyond this virtual reality. Now if you think this virtual reality, this physical universe is all there is, now you feel like you stepped beyond all that is into the great void or something, and that’s the terminology, that’s the poetry you use to describe that experience.

Basically what you’ve done is you’ve let go of the physical, you no longer just attach to the physical, but you realize yourself as consciousness. You become a citizen of the larger consciousness system, if you will, rather than just a citizen of the physical universe. And as a citizen of the larger consciousness system you can see the physical universe, its origins, where it came from, how it is that it’s an illusion. And all that stuff now makes sense to you because you can see it from that perspective; well you’re just looking at it from a larger perspective within consciousness.

And again, it’s the descriptive poetry that comes out as, “It’s all potential, it’s the void,” that sort of thing, and, “It’s the zero-entropy perfect place from which the Source arises,” and all and all. But that’s just poetical description for this concept that you are now outside of the physical universe, you’re not there. But now you can be a part of it, you can still function here, but your consciousness is aware at a higher level of organization, if you will, at a lower entropy. You have transcended the physical virtual reality and now you are a part of the larger consciousness system, and you can live that way.

You know, people, sometimes they ask me, they say, “Do you still meditate?” And I’ll say, “Well, not actually in any kind of formal sense; I live in a mediation state, that’s my life, you know? I don’t go and meditate; I never stop, in that sense.” So just living, just being here, interacting, is part of my meditation. I’m not sure if I’m making sense to your readers or not.

Rick:      No, I think you are.

Tom:     But the point is that it’s not something that you go and experience for a while, it’s something you become. And when you live in the larger consciousness system that’s the way your whole life is, you kind of see this physical system for what it is – I’m virtual reality training here, and we’re here to interact with each other trying to learn to lower our entropy and make good choices and help the whole system survive and evolve.

It’s like playing World of Warcraft, right? You’ve got a point there, things you’re trying to do, and that’s the way it is here. We have a purpose, there are reasons for us being here, and there are reasons why it is the way it is, and that’s ours to deal with. And if we deal with that from an awareness of the larger system, then it’s a totally different game. We’re not entangled in this universe anymore; I don’t know how to say it but…

Rick:      “In the world but not of it,” as Jesus said.

Tom:     Yeah, that’s exactly right, in the world but not of it would be a good way to say it, but that’s just being a part of this larger consciousness system. And you can actually work at that system, because there are functions that we would call nonphysical that service this virtual reality, you know? The server that does World of Warcraft has other services [it has] to have to keep it going, have to keep servicing it and functioning it. And you can work in those functions, you can see how it works, you can be a part of the structure, you can be part of the server that’s creating the virtual reality as well as being in the virtual reality.

So yes, you’re in it but not of it anymore, and that is true. But when you try to explain that to people descriptively and poetically, then I think you get a lot of these words that you’re talking about, you know, [like] it’s the “perfect process,” it’s “before the world began,” it’s “the plenum in the void, “it’s the “everything is potential.” And we start saying those things, but once you have a bigger picture than that, you can see that that actually is structured as well, that’s part of a larger thing – this larger consciousness system. And you are now aware at that level of consciousness, as well as aware here, at this level of consciousness.

A lot of these are different ways of looking at the same thing, and I don’t want to leave the impression that there is necessarily a right way and wrong way to look at these things. For the individual, there is a productive way and a nonproductive way of looking at these things, and whatever is productive for you, that’s the way you ought to be looking at them now. And as you grow up that will change and you will look at them differently, you know, as you move on down your path, your perspectives will change.

So there isn’t a – “this is the way it is, and you need to take my metaphors,” no, I’m not coming from there. I’m just saying this is a perspective way of looking at the problem, and if this helps you, if it’s a perspective you can use, then good. But if you already have a perspective you like, that’s good too. Don’t get attached to your perspective as being “the” truth; get attached to your perspective as a way post on a longer journey, and that is a better way of looking at it.

Rick:      That’s great. As I listen to you, I don’t hear anything that clashes with traditional spiritual traditions and the descriptions by saints and sages throughout the ages, it’s just you’re using different terminology. And those people, essentially, had acquired the ability to experience a vast range of creation, from gross to subtle to transcendent, and to live actively with that expanded range, and that’s what I hear you saying here.

Tom:     Yeah, I’ve never really run into any fundamental conflicts with the spiritual lessons and poetry of the past, and even of the present. What I have found though is that I understand it better; I understand it because my metaphors work good for me. I’m a physicist, you know, I’m a left-brain guy, I like logical process, I like things to make sense.

So if I really feel like I understand the larger reality, then I need to be able to take that understanding and derive quantum mechanics from it, I need to be able to take my metaphysics and derive relativity from it. And if I can’t do that, then I must not really understand it because that’s kind of a lower level of causality, is this virtual reality. And if you are at the higher level of causality, you ought to be able to understand why the things at the lower level of causality are the way they are.

So if you really understand it, then you ought to be able to derive physics from your understanding of consciousness, and if you can’t, you don’t really understand it as well as you think, so that’s the way I come at it. So that’s an important thing for me, because as a physicist I want it all to flow together, I want to be able to see the whole big picture. Now if I’m just talking about metaphysics and people growing up and becoming love, and lowering their entropy and growth, well that’s what’s really important and you don’t have to do any physics ever, or do anything paranormal ever, or do any of that sort of thing ever to succeed at what you’re here for. So in that sense, all this stuff is extraneous, isn’t really that important.

See, it’s mainly important to me because it’s part of the way I verify that my understanding has some merit to it, in that it enables me to logically deduce other things that I know. So I know that relativity and quantum mechanics exist, so I want to be able to deduce it from what I know, and if I can do that it gives me some warm feeling that my consciousness theory has merit to it. That doesn’t mean my consciousness theory is perfect or even that it is right, it just means that it’s good enough that I can deduce physics from it, you know? And there may be other points about it and things that I miss and so on, so it’s not that it’s complete, but it at least allows me to do those kinds of things.

So that’s why it’s important to me, but it’s not – I get that a lot from people saying, “Well, do I have to learn to go out of body in order to grow up, in order to become love?” And I go, “No, no, no, you don’t have to do any of that stuff. All you have to do is get rid of fear, let go of the ego, become love. That’s the point, that’s why you’re here, everything else is optional, that’s the key thing.”

So you don’t have to do physics, you don’t have to do out of body, you don’t have to understand my model or anybody else’s model, you don’t have to understand anything. It’s not an intellectual process, it’s a being process. If you can be love, if you can let go of that fear, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing, and now you’ve done it and you’ve done it all. You’ve done everything important; you’ve done everything important if you’ve done that.

Rick:      Yep, that’s what The Beatles said, right, “All you need is love.”

Tom:     That’s it.

Rick:      Have you had much interaction with other physicists who deal with consciousness? You know, John Hagelin, Menas Kafatos, Peter Russell, that guy in Hawaii whose name I forget at the moment, have you had much collaboration or discussion with them?

Tom:     None. I haven’t had any discussion or collaboration with them yet. When I first started this back when I published this in 2003, in February, and within probably six months of that I sent copies of My Big TOE out to such people. Not only [to] the people working in consciousness, but the people working in virtual reality and intelligence, artificial intelligence, that kind of thing – because this is a theory of consciousness as well as physics – and to some physics people and whatever.

And after sending out about 50 books or so, I got absolutely zero back, and that taught me a lesson. The lesson is that you don’t start at the top. These guys are busy, they don’t have the time to sit down and read an 800-page book, they don’t even have the time to dial up a video. They are at the top of their game, they’re completely busy with that game, and they’re invested in their own theories and what they’re doing, and that’s not the place to start. The place to start is at the bottom.

The place to start is with John Doe and Alice Doe and talk to people, and not to teach them physics, but to just give them the idea that love is the answer, all you need is love, you know? God is love – you can pull this from a lot of traditions. At any case, that’s where you start, and when that becomes a large enough of a crowd, it will attract the attention of these folks. Then they will read the 800 pages because now it somehow is impacting what they’re doing, and the scientists will pay attention because it’s impacting what they’re doing, and those guys will be drug along. Either they’ll join or they’ll be drug kicking and screaming into the future. So I decided that that’s not the place to go.

Now I’m open to it, and in March I’m going to be presenting at an IAC – Institute of … I don’t remember now, but it’s a group in consciousness studies. And it’s having a meeting in Portugal, I think in March or sometime. It’s in my calendar. But anyway, so I’ll go there, and I’ll address a lot of these people have been researching, who attend this conference, and hopefully that will at least introduce my ideas to them.

But no, I have not collaborated with any of the other people in the field. I think that’s probably not the way it goes. I think when they want to talk to me, they’ll call me. I won’t call them, you know, because that’s the way it is. When you are the upstart it’s, “Don’t call me,” you know, “I’ll call you if I need you,” and they are the people who have the visibility and are important, and I’m not. So that’s good. I’m open, I’m available, but I don’t think the time is ready for that yet. I’m still new and not much on the map.

Rick:      Well, I’d like to see you come to the Science & Nonduality Conference in San Jose next October and get up on a stage with a couple of those physicists that I just mentioned. I think you’d be very warmly received, and you could give them a nutshell version of what you’re doing, rather than lay an 800-page poem on them. I’ll talk to you about that.

Tom:     Yeah, okay, that would be fine. I’d be very glad to do that.

Rick:      I have plenty of questions in the back of my head and I’m sure that we have yet to unfold a large portion of what you would like to talk about, so give me the next lead. Based on what we’ve said so far, fill in the next gap in what you would like to present.

Tom:     Well you know, I come to these interviews not with an agenda.

Rick:      Well try to give people an overview though, you know, so ‘Tom Campbell in two hours.’

Tom:     Right, well one of the things we should talk about then, we’ve talked some about theory and some about process, and the kind of big picture metaphysical stuff. We’ve talked some about science, but we haven’t talked about the question: “What difference does it make to me? I’m just a person out here living my life, trying to get along the best I can. The world seems to be a pretty harsh place and what should I be doing? What is my purpose and how does this affect me? What does your theory say about me and my life, and what I’m doing and how I’m doing it?”

That’s an important part of it – we have to not get lost in the theory and all the big picture things, because for most people that’s nice to think about but it’s not news they can apply to their daily life. It’s like, “Okay, have all these big thoughts now. Then I’ll turn off the TV or turn off my monitor and I’ll go deal with the world.” And the dealing with the world has to be a part of this; you have to have traction as well. So didn’t get to that part.

Rick:      Alright, let’s talk about that. I totally agree, I mean, I think that all this spiritual stuff or even scientific stuff, if we want to put it in those terms, has to have very direct relevance to your personal life, or else it’s just fancy.

Tom:     Right, exactly.

Rick:      On every level – your happiness, your behavior, your ethics, your health – it should have an impact on all this stuff.

Tom:     It does, it has to have a very big impact. If it doesn’t, then I call it mind candy, you know? And it’s fun to chew on but it doesn’t really put any money in your pocket, it doesn’t really help you get by in the world, and it should, if it’s real. If you really understand consciousness and the larger consciousness system, it says something very profound about each person, and why they’re here, and what they should be doing, and the nature of their existence, and why is the world the way it is?

You know I get a lot of that, people saying, “I look around me and I see the news and watch TV and the world is really a horrible place. How could this be a learning ground for evolving the quality of consciousness when there hardly is any quality in consciousness? What’s going on here?”

So there are those kinds of questions that people have that I think has to be, like you say, relevancy to the individual. And not just to some individuals, but to every individual.

Rick:      And the ‘world being a horrible place’ gives me a nice place to stick a question or a point in, which is that I’m of the opinion that all these terrible problems that beset us, have as their ultimate solution, the infusion of consciousness into the world through individual human beings. And that if that infusion were really complete and profound enough, all these intractable problems would begin to disintegrate.

Tom:     I agree with that completely, that’s a good summary. But go a little further and say that this very harsh, you might even say terrible, environment that we exist in here in our physical reality, here on planet Earth, and the people that seem to have to interact with, and we have lots of fear, we have lots of greed, we have lots of ego, we have all of this negative high-entropy stuff that’s in our environment all the time, well what we see here is a very accurate representation of what we are. This is what we create! This is the level of our consciousness!

You’re looking at the collective quality of humanity’s consciousness when you watch the news; this is who we are. And we have created this by being who we are. And you are absolutely right, when we grow up, when we increase the quality of our consciousness enough, all the problems will just go away, they will fix themselves. And that happens as we learn to become love, as we learn to cooperate, as we learn to work together.

Becoming love, cooperating, working together and compassion, all these things are ways of lowering entropy, they are ways of building, they are ways of helping. Whereas things like fear, greed, ego, these are all things that tear apart, these are all things that put barriers between us, and these are all things moving towards higher entropy.

So yes, when we grow up it won’t matter what form of government we have, if the people grow up, that government will adjust itself to reflect those people! And if those people are loving, kind people, they’ll have a loving, kind government. If those people are greedy, egotistical, self-serving, fearful people, they will have a self-serving, greedy government – and same with economic systems and same with anything else.

So we can go out and try to fix symptoms, like change the government, you know, change the economic system, do this, do that, get out this leader, put in another leader, but that’s all symptomatic solutions. Now symptomatic solutions aren’t necessarily bad. You know, law is a symptomatic solution; criminal law – I’m talking about – is a symptomatic solution. If people weren’t self-serving, greedy, egotistical and fearful, you wouldn’t need criminal law, because everybody would relate to each other with caring and love and compassion. We need criminal law to get us by in the meantime because we’re not like that, so treating the symptom gives us a more civilized environment in which to grow in.

So treating symptoms aren’t necessarily bad ideas, but realize you’re just treating symptoms, you’re not helping the cause go away. And if all you do is treat symptoms; you will treat those symptoms forever. You know medicine does the same thing, if you have medicine that just treats symptoms, then you just go back with more and more symptoms. And once you get rid of this symptom another one will pop up, because you’re expressing yourself in this reality.

And you can put in the kindest, gentlest head of state ever and figure that’s going to solve the problem but look what happens 50 years later – it’s right back to the way it was. That guy has been disposed of, you know? He didn’t reflect the people; the people create structures and institutions that represent themselves, that are of the quality they are of. And the only way to fix these problems fundamentally, is for every individual to grow up and become love, decrease their entropy.

Rick:      Brilliant, I just love everything you just said. I wasn’t on camera, but I was giving you these thumbs up and nodding my head. Great stuff. And an analogy I often like to use is you know, if you’re flying over a forest in an airplane and it looks all grey and withered and dry, it’s because all the trees individually are unhealthy. And so what are you going to do? You can’t spray-paint the forest or something; you have to somehow attend to each tree. And then when each tree actually begins to flourish from within itself, then you fly over again and you see a green forest, but it really has to be on the level of each individual tree.

Tom:     Absolutely! We are all individuated units of consciousness and we are part of the larger consciousness system. And our evolution, as we evolve individually, the larger consciousness system evolves, because we are part of it. So we decrease the entropy of our consciousness a little bit, then the whole system then decreases its entropy a little bit. So you see, we’re the larger consciousness system’s strategy, or one of its strategies for survival, for evolving, for growing, and it’s all individual.

You can’t affect changes from without; change has to come from within, and we’re all individuals and each individual must change himself. You can’t go out and force anybody else to change themselves! It has to be done from the inside-out, cannot be imposed from the outside-in, and it’s an individual, person to person thing, and it has to be self-motivated.

Rick:      Yeah, but what’s implied by what you just said is that if you are changing yourself, you’re also changing the field. And if the field changes then it becomes more conducive to other people catching that and beginning to undergo changes themselves. And that seems to be what’s happening in the world today, there’s this kind of mass awakening taking place and all kinds of people are just sort of beginning to wake up, sometimes quite dramatically and unexpectedly without any kind of spiritual practice or interest in such things at all. They just all of a sudden have this dramatic … so there’s something in the water, so to speak.

Tom:     Yeah, and the way that works is that in this system of individuated units of consciousness, all of these chunks of consciousness are netted; we’re all connected with each other. You see, we all communicate, we share information, we share data. And we’re sharing it through the consciousness system, not just physically – here through talking and signs and that kind of thing; we share data. That’s what created Carl Jung’s archetypes.

Cultures have certain things that they share with their culture. If you join an organization, you start to become more and more like the people and the goals and the ideas in that organization, it’s because we communicate. And we know this on the negative side, it’s called mob-psychology. You get a bunch of angry, upset people together, and their behavior degenerates to the lowest common denominator among them. That’s because they’re passing around this information. They’re making each other more angry and less aware.

And it works in the opposite way. Get a bunch of people who are highly evolved in their consciousness, who are very loving and caring, and it does the same thing, it helps pull up, because we’re all netted together. So we have this influence, and yes, if we clean up our act and we become more love and less fear, then those around us have a little better environment for them to grow up in, it helps tug them up a little bit. And if we’re full of ego and fear and all about us, we pull people down around us, down to our level.

So that’s just the way it works, we have to do this altogether, but we do it individually. You can give somebody a better environment for them to grow, but they have to do the growing themselves, from within.

Rick:      So we started this section of the interview by you introducing the notion that this has to have practical significance in peoples’ day to day lives, and you were speaking about love and kindness and compassion and all that stuff. I guess the question is: which is the cart, and which is the horse? Or to use another example, you pull any leg of a table and all the other legs come along, but which is the easiest leg to pull? Where do you get the most leverage? Are love and kindness and compassion just symptoms, and you’re not just going to begin displaying them by trying to impose them on yourself behaviorally? Or are those viable legs to pull, so to speak, and you can actually raise your consciousness by willfully being more loving, compassionate, and so on?

Tom:     Any way that you can get there is a good way to get there, but there are some ways that are easier than others. And it depends on the culture and how you approach life and how you approach reality, as to which ways are best for you. The point is though, the growth that has to take place, has to take place at what I call ‘the being level.’

I separate the being level from the intellectual level. If it’s at the intellectual level [and] it stays at the intellectual level, well then it’s just so much theory and so much talk and so much good ideas, but if it doesn’t ever make it into your being level – the being level being a representation of who you are – it has to get there, that’s where the growth takes place. If it stays in the intellectual level, then it’s just an idea.

The difference here is … let’s say you see a little old lady having trouble getting across a very busy street, and she can’t walk very fast, she’s afraid she’s going to get stuck half-way out and so on. You can have two approaches to this: you can say, “Well I could help her, and if I helped her, all these people would think I was a really good guy, and then I could go tell my people at work about how I helped this little old lady, and it would be a really good thing for me to do. I should help her because that would be helpful to her and I’d feel really good about me too.” And [then] you’re helping her because you think it’s a good idea. Well that’s civilizing, it’s helpful, it helps the little old lady get across the street – that is a good thing to do.

But there’s another way to approach it, and that is if you see the little old lady, and because of the compassion and connection you have with her in her plight, you immediately go to help her just because it’s who you are and it’s the right thing to do. Alright, now we can look at those two things: one was an intellectual decision, not a being level decision, and the second was a being level decision; it was an expression of who you are as opposed to who you think you should be, or how you think you should act. Now they were both helpful to the little old lady because in either case she gets crossed the street, but if the intellectual effort turns into an understanding at the being level, then the intellect has been a big help – that’s a leg you can pull on.

If the intellectual effort just stays intellectual, then all you’re doing is acting rather than being. Then you will be a more civilized person and you’ll help more little old ladies, but you’re not going to grow the quality of your consciousness by acting.

But the acting, wanting, now the difference between those is if you really want to grow and lower your entropy, if you really want to become love and get rid of your fear, then the acting will probably move over into being because that’s your desire, that’s where you want to go, that’s your goal. If on the other hand you’re acting because you think it’s the thing to do, because you think you’ll get extra points for being helpful or you’ll earn a gold star on your merit badge and so on, and you’re just acting [but] you don’t really have a deep desire to grow up; you have a deep desire to impress other people, get your merit badge and that kind of thing, then it probably won’t convert. So the difference is: are you really committed to growing up or are you committed to having a good image?

If you’re committed to growing up, then I think pulling that intellectual leg will help, because with that commitment one will move into the other, because you really want to do that growth. If you don’t, if you’re just trying to create a good image and appear to be grown up, and appear to be helpful, and appear to be compassionate because it’s good for business or you know, whatever … makes your ego feel good about itself, then you’re not going to capitalize on that. So it depends on the individual, what they’re ready for and what they really want to do. And I call that ‘intent,’ depends on their intent, why are they helping that little old lady to cross the street? If the intent is right then growth will happen.

Rick:      That’s great. So I guess the next question would be: how do we enliven and intensify that intent? A lot of spiritual teachers have said that the desire for God is itself the way to Him, and that the more intense that desire, the more readily, quickly, fully, God will be realized. And so what can we do to kind of fan the flames of our intent and make it as ardent and as sincere as possible?

Tom:     Okay, well I have a very short little system for that that I think will help a lot of people, and kind of change the way they look at life. Right now, well let me back up to the beginning. The way life works for us is that stuff happens, and we have to deal with it, that’s just the way life works – we go through life and stuff happens. Sometimes it’s good stuff and sometimes it’s bad stuff, but it happens, and when it happens we have to deal with it. So if that’s a good model of life, how do we approach that? Well most of us approach that by trying to manipulate the stuff that happens to be the stuff that we want to happen.

We want good things to happen so we manipulate as best we can – other people, other events, our children, our spouses, our boss, you name it. Everything in our life we try to manipulate it so it comes out good for us. So we’re concerned, we place most of our focus and energy on, “How can I manipulate everything that’s coming toward me, that’s going to happen, so that when it gets to me it happens good; it breaks good not breaks bad?” That’s where we focus.

What we should be focusing on is not on what happens and how to manipulate it to be good, we should accept, mostly, things happen because they happen. And I don’t mean that you should never plan for anything, that’s not my point, but if we focus instead on the intent, the quality of how am I going to deal with it? Let it happen but deal with it in the right way. Deal with it with caring, deal with it with love, deal with it because you’re trying to help other, deal with it without fear, you see? Now if you do that, if you focus on how you deal with it, now you will grow up, you will begin to evolve the quality of your consciousness.

As long as you are focused on “How can I make it right? How can I program my life to end up being a good one?” – you’ve got your focus on the wrong part of the problem. Move your focus to: “Stuff happens; how do I deal with it?” Like I said, doesn’t mean you can’t plan. Obviously you have to get a job so you can pay your mortgage and pay off your car payment, because you need a house to live in and you need a car to get to work, so you have a job to pay those two things off, so there’s that kind of planning that has to go on.

I don’t mean you just sit and forget everything, and just take everything and go live in a cave and deal with what comes in the cave entrance. It doesn’t have to be that drastic. I’m just saying, focus your attention from being almost 100% focused on manipulating the future to the present, to focused on “How am I dealing with it? Why am I dealing with it this way? What is my point here? What’s my intent for this and why is it?” If you do that, then just that shift in focus will probably be all you need to help you see things in a better light.

Now you can go to other ways of saying the same thing. People will tell you to “live in the moment,” “be here now,” “focus on what’s happening now and then deal with that in the correct way,” and it’s a similar way of saying that same thing – being present, being focused on what you’re doing and more, why you’re doing it. That’s your intent, why are you doing it?

And particularly focus if you feel something that’s negative, if you feel anxiety, if you feel hurt, if you feel anger, if you feel any of those things … if you feel insignificant, if you feel whatever, any negative kind of feeling, that is ego. And the ego is there because of a fear. Trace the fear back, trace that ego back to the fear: “What causes me to feel angry, be upset? Why am I upset?” And you’ll find that there is a fear there, is why you’re upset.

Once you realize what the fear is, then you need to have courage to outgrow that fear. First you have to accept the fear, you have to look it right in the eye and say, “Yes, that’s my fear,” and you may or may not know where it comes from. It might be helpful for you to find out where it comes from and it may not make any difference; but that’s your fear, now what are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue to run and hide or will you just face it and let it go?

And you will find, most everybody will find, that all the fears that push us around, make us do and say and feel the things we do and say and feel, are paper tigers. Once you face the fear, accept it, and try to just let it go, nothing terrible happens; it’s belief! We believe that terrible things will happen, so we’re trapped, so we’re trapped in that belief. So if you have the courage to face that fear, you can face it down and find that life goes on, and you’re a lot happier and a lot lighter, and you feel a lot better.

And if you just make that a practice of every time you feel upset, every time you feel annoyed, every time you’re unhappy about something – you have any of these negatives, go find the fear that’s feeding it and try to just let it go, just be with it. And if you can do that, it’s hard at first, don’t try to tackle every problem and every fear all at once. Just pick one, deal with that, when you succeed, deal with the next one.

And you will find that much to most peoples’ chagrin, they find that they are driven by fear in almost every facet of their life. Almost all the decisions they make, feelings they have, things that they say and do are driven by their fears. And they don’t realize that until they start looking for these fears, and then it’s like, “Oh my God! Look, everything I do is because of fear.”

And once you start to clean that out, you become much happier, much more successful, much more caring, and it just makes all the difference in the world. So that’s a simple thing to do: focus on why do I feel this negative thing, trace it back to its roots, and then pull those roots up and let it go. Easy to say, not as easy to do, but it can be done if you have an intent to succeed at it, you will succeed at it.

Rick:      So I guess in a nutshell what you’re saying is to culture a more self-reflective, introspective way of dealing with the world, rather than just sort of reacting blindly to circumstances as they come along. To have your vision both in and out at the same time and, “Why is this happening? Why am I reacting to it this way? Is this just a kneejerk response, or can I get to the root I’m tending to react this way, and perhaps not react this way if I have a little bit of self-reflection and nip it in the bud?” Am I correct in [this] summarizing?

Tom:     Yeah, the key there is you have to have the desire to grow up. You have to have the want, the desire, the intent to increase the quality of your consciousness, to evolve, to grow past the fear.

Rick:      I think one of the pillars of Buddhism is right intent.

Tom:     Yeah, intent is the motivator in this larger consciousness system. Intent does another thing that I might add, that we haven’t mentioned yet, that intent also can modify future probability.

Rick:      How so?

Tom:     Well in a virtual reality – this is a probabilistic virtual reality; it’s not a deterministic virtual reality, it’s a probabilistic virtual reality – and there is this database, if you will, of possible things that could happen next and the probability that they will. That’s just part of the mechanism of generating this virtual reality. You can modify that probability that they will part the probability of something happening with your intent. That’s part of the feedback here, and that’s an interesting thing because then people can use this to help themselves grow.

Everybody has heard of the placebo effect, well how does a placebo effect work? Well it works because people think, they intend to get better because they believe this medicine is going to help them, and that intent actually changes the probability of them getting better, it lowers the probability of them staying ill. That’s how mental healing works, you know, that’s how we effect this reality.

That’s part of the way we create this reality, through our intentions we manifest those things that meet those intentions. So if our intentions are very self-serving, if our intentions are trying to grab as much as we can grab and that sort of thing, if they are fear-based, then we create a fear-based environment. You know, we don’t get to make this reality entirely because there are lots of people here and we’re interacting, but we do get to make it to some degree. We do get to influence it, let’s put it that way, and we can modify those probabilities with our intent.

So intent is the prime mover. Intent is what moves data. If I want to communicate with you telepathically, it’s my intent that accomplishes that; I send the data to you. If I want to have a conversation with you from the nonphysical, it’s my intent. Any your intent needs to be open to that, your intent needs to be the receiver, so it’s that kind of thing. Intent is what moves information, and this is an information system. So we can modify probability, we can connect with other people, we can grow up, all of it – like you say – the fundamental pillar there is intent; what do you really want to do here, you know, what’s your motivation?

Rick:      Would intent also be very much related to perspective? Like let’s say – this example just came to mind – let’s say two people are sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon. And one is just marveling at the beauty of it and having this awe-inspiring experience, and the other person is depressed and miserable and the whole thing just looks meaningless to them, and they feel like jumping off.

There is such a variance among all of us individuals in this world in terms of how we perceive the very same situations. Does that relate at all to what you were just saying?

Tom:     It’s not the same as intent; what that is is interpretation. We get data – this is another way that we create our reality, it’s a separate way – we get data. Here we are these individuated units of consciousness playing in a virtual reality game, we have data-streams and we have to interpret that data. We just get the sense data, then we interpret it, and of course we have internal data too – our imagination creates data, we get sense data, we think and create data. We take all this data and we interpret it.

One person will look at that Grand Canyon and say, “Wow! What a marvelous work of nature. It feels good just to sit here and be a part of this magnificent thing.” And the other person sees the same sight but interprets it very differently. They see that thing and they say, “Yeah, it’s grand and wonderful, but I’m not really a part of that. I’m small and miserable, I’m not grand and wonderful, I can’t connect with anything grand and wonderful because I just don’t relate to that. I’ve never been any place that was grand and wonderful; I’m always small and miserable and unhappy, and da-da-da-da-da.”

So the interpretation is different. One embraces it, the other rejects it, but they see the same thing, but that’s the way they’re interpreting their data. [To] one the thing is a wonderful thing to behold, [to] the other it’s just pointing out a consistent failure in their life [that] they don’t amount to anything. Something grand and wonderful just makes them feel smaller and more failed. So it’s just a way of interpreting the data, and that then brings up a subject we haven’t mentioned yet called ‘decision space.’

The person who is sitting there marveling at the wonder has a much larger decision space. Decision space is all of those choices that you have, that you know you have, that you can make. You have choices. Now he can choose to feel good, he can choose to feel bad, he can choose all sorts of things, there are lots of choices in front of him. The person who is very unhappy and miserable has a very small decision space. They can’t choose to be happy; they can’t choose all that; all they can choose is just from this narrow set of ‘bad, worse, and worse yet,’ you know? That’s all of their decision space they have to choose from, they’re limited in what they can see, the choices that they can make.

That’s like if somebody comes and they say something rude to you, you have choices: you can choose to be angry, you can choose to say something rude back, you can choose to smile and say, “Excuse me,” or, “Go away” – you have lots of choices you can make! Well people who are angry and upset, their decision space gets very narrow; all they can do is spit back, they don’t have the choices to do any of those other things because their decision space is so narrow.

Well, as your consciousness grows your decision space grows, as your consciousness shrinks, your decision space shrinks. And our free-will is just the freedom to choose any one of those things in the decision space. Any decision we make, and how we react, and how we think, and how we interpret – these are all our choices, and the free-will is to choose from those things that are in our decision space. So that’s the difference – it’s a choice, it’s an interpretation. It’s a small consciousness with a small world living in a small space, or it’s an expanded consciousness in a bigger world living in a bigger space.

Rick:      So if our consciousness becomes vast, oceanic, unbounded, do we have kind of an infinite decision space?

Tom:     Not infinite but very large. We get a very large decision space.

Rick:      And yet ironically, you hear people talk who are living in that kind of state, that everything is kind of on automatic. They just spontaneously act in accordance with the “will of God,” if they put it that way, and there isn’t a lot of individual deliberation and choosing going on; they’re more just like going with the flow so profoundly that they’re hardly making decisions.

Tom:     Right, absolutely, they are making decisions but they’re making them all at the being level, not at the intellectual level. So they’re not aware of making them because you’re aware of what you do in your intellect, that’s your awareness. But when you work from the being level, you help that little old lady just because she needs help. You don’t think about anything else; you just do it. It’s not a choice … “Well, let’s see, should I do this? How busy am I? I’ve got a meeting in a little while; do I have the time…?” – your intellect isn’t working; it’s just something you have to do because it’s the right thing to do. So that’s true, they are making decisions, but they’re making them at the being level.

Now there’s an interesting thing about this – the fear and the being level and decisions – and that is we talk about this “subconscious,” we have this subconscious mind. And in the subconscious we have lots of fears and other kinds of things that cause us to react badly, you know, get angry or something because [this thing] has triggered one of our trigger points, and all the subconscious stuff going on. Once you have a larger consciousness and a larger decision space, the subconscious disappears.

You don’t have a subconscious; it’s just you at the being level, and you interact at the being level. You’re not thinking about, “What should I do? How will that make me appear? What will that do for my image?” – you just do because you do, and you don’t have to think about it because it’s not an intellectual [decision]; you live at the being level. And when you live at the being level you’re aware of everything, you don’t have these things that come up and suddenly make you angry because you’ve got buttons that get pushed. You don’t have any buttons that get pushed; all the buttons are gone. You’re aware of all of you – that part of you that’s instinctual, that part of you that is a member of a culture, that part of you that helps little old ladies – all of that, you’re aware of all of it and you just be it, and it is all at one with you; it’s not fighting over these choices.

So the subconscious is basically an artifact of fear, it’s an artifact of ego. You get rid of the fear and ego, and the subconscious goes away. Now when Freud looked at people and decided that a subconscious was a component of consciousness, that’s because all the people he looked at were normal people who were all full of fear and ego! That’s why he came to that decision because yes, all the people seemed to have that, but it’s a dysfunctional part of our consciousness that’s there because of fear and our ego. So these people you talk about, yes, they’re making decisions, they’re making a lot of decisions, but they don’t have to think about it because they’re not acting; they’re just being.

Rick:      There’s a Vedic saying from somewhere or other that says, “Brahmin is the charioteer,” which is basically what you’re saying – that the “being” space is actually holding the reigns of the chariot and guiding it this way and that, without the individuality being in the way.

Tom:     Yeah and you know, you can have an intellect, you can have thinking, and you can have that at the being level. Being level doesn’t have to be ‘out of it,’ it’s not like you’re an airhead that just drifts through life and people have to tell you to sit down and eat, and take you to the bathroom, you know; it’s not like that at all. You’re completely aware, you can think but it’s thinking without serving ego, you see, you’re not serving fear.

So the intellect that I’m kind of bad-mouthing here, that is the intellectual level, it’s not a bad level. Thinking is fine and you can think in the service of love but thinking in the service of fear is what most of us do, and that’s what we then call ego.

Rick:      Yeah, so what you’re saying essentially is that all these faculties we have –intellect, mind, senses, and so on – they can either out of alignment or in alignment with the being level. If they’re in alignment then they still function, but they function in the service of evolution.

Tom:     They function without fear.

Rick:      A fellow in the U.K. sent me some kind of scientific questions. I wonder if you want to take a few minutes to address some of these, might be fun.

Tom:     Sure.

Rick:      So I’ll just start running through them and we’ll see how it goes. He said, “You might address his opinion of the high priesthood of science just “making stuff up” to fit the equations.

There’s a half-a-dozen questions here so if you want to just comment briefly on each one, then I’ll run through them.

Tom:     Okay, yes, the way science works now is that we have this belief in materialism. And we call it material reductionism because it reduces materialism down to particles; everything is built up out of particles. Well when you have this theory, you have your science based on this philosophical premise, what happens is you make your science fit your theory. Let me give you an example.

Rick:      He mentioned the Higgs-Boson as a possible example.

Tom:     Yeah, we talk about particles, Higgs-Boson and things, but let’s just take something simple like an electron. Because electrons flow in wires, we get to talk to each other on Skype, you see, so electrons are really part of our everyday business and everyday life, yet there is no such thing really as an electron, as a particle. What happens and the way science works is they see an effect, now they see an effect of something like a charge moving through space – let’s say that’s the electron – they’re seeing an effect of that, then they make a model up to describe it. Now the model then is, it’s a little ball of mass with a charge, a negative charge, and then that’s our electron. But you see, they just made that up! The effect is real; the electron is a model to explain the effect.

We don’t realize that this electron that we made up is just a model; it may or may not be correct. It’s a model to explain the effect, so we make it up because it suits us, why? Because in a materialistic world – well it has to be a little ball of mass, right, it’s a little chunk of mass. If it exists it has to be a chunk of mass!

Rick:      Well physicists don’t really believe that anymore, do they?

Tom:     No, but that’s the thing, physicists now have realized that this model is wrong. There are no electrons; there are probability distributions, but they still talk about the world in Newtonian terms. So if you talk to a physicist you would find that he was kind of schizophrenic in the sense that he would tell you, “Nah, we really don’t believe those electrons are real chunks of mass with charge anymore, we think they are points with the attributes of charge and mass,” and there’s a difference there.

But then in the next breath he would basically be telling you that, “Yes of course, particle theory is right, yes, electron is a particle and particles make up the world,” and da-da-da-da-da. And you say, “But I thought you just said it wasn’t really a particle?”

“Oh well it’s a quantum particle and you see, quantum particles aren’t really particles, but we call them quantum particles because it makes us feel better to call it a particle. It’s actually a probability distribution but nobody really understands that, so we just ignore it and call it weird science and you know, shut up and calculate and go on.” And so you find him to be very mixed – he wants to cling to his materialistic viewpoint because that’s what he feels intuitively the world is, but his science is telling him that it’s not like that. That materialistic viewpoint is wrong and rather than saying, “Well you know our assumption here must be wrong,” they say, “Well that’s just weird science and nobody will ever know, but um, let’s go on.” That’s the way it is.

So yes, science makes things up. In particle theory they come up with an equation that doesn’t work – they’ve come up with their equation based on a materialistic world and it just doesn’t work – so they come up with a fudge factor. So they multiply it or add some number to it or do something else to make it work, and then they call this term that they had to add to it to make it work something like ‘dark matter,’ or ‘dark energy,’ or ‘magic stuff,’ you know, things that nobody can see, nobody can tell, it’s never been sensed, but we need them to make our equation work. So we make this up and give it a name and they must exist, otherwise our equation doesn’t work. Nobody questions the fact that the equation might be based on a wrong paradigm to begin with. So I think that’s probably what he’s talking about.

We scientists make models and then we believe that our models are true. We believe that electrons exist and that the Higgs particles exist and all this, but if you button them down to it they’ll tell you, “Well, they’re not really particles like we think of particles, but yeah, they’re particles.” So it’s just the way science is now, they’re in a transition so they’re a little goofy on those points.

Rick:      You know how, I guess it was the Ptolemaic worldview where they thought that the Earth was at the center of things, and they had to derive all these really complicated theories as to why the planets seemed to go the way they did. And they had all these loops that went retrograde and all this strange stuff was happening in order to explain how the planets moved.

Tom:     Yeah, epicycles.

Rick:      Yeah, so then when we put the sun at the center of things, then all the planetary motions made sense. So in terms of where science is at now, using that as a metaphor, do you feel that science, or a large percentage of science is sort of still concocting elaborate theories to explain planetary motions? They haven’t put the sun, metaphorically speaking, at the center of things?

Tom:     Yeah, that is correct, that is a good way to put it. The problem was that their paradigm is wrong. Their fundamental belief was that the Earth must be at the center, and if you start with that belief, it then makes everything else have to be very complicated to try to force if to fit that belief, and we do that a lot in science. We have a lot of things that we are forcing the science [in order] to maintain our belief in materialism and it just doesn’t work.

But the problem that the scientists are having now that 20, 30 years ago, 50 years ago wasn’t a problem; they could pretend that electrons were just little chunks of mass and that sort of thing, but all their experiments these days keep pointing them in a different direction. The double-slit experiment goes all the way back to the early 1900s – big arrow pointing them away from materialism, because materialism can’t answer that problem, [of] how that works. So they’ve been ignoring it.

Back in the early 1900s Bohr said, “Well we could follow this from a sense of reality’s probability,” or somebody said, “We could just claim that they were all just particles, just different particles that aren’t really massy,” and you know, whatever. And when the vote was taken, everybody felt better with ‘particles.’ They’ve been in denial for almost 100 years now, but the experiments keep pushing them and pushing them and pushing them.

And now, today, there’s literally hundreds and hundreds of scientists, physicists, who agree that reality is a virtual reality. It’s just information. Now they haven’t yet taken the logical conclusions that that leads to; they’ve kind of not wanted to go there. There are a couple of logical conclusions that you have to ask right away: “Well, if it’s just information, where does the information come from? How does the information get there?” And then you say, “Well, it’s calculated.” Well if it’s calculated, what’s the algorithm? Who is calculating it? Who is the programmer? You see, you can’t have a virtual reality create itself; it has to be created elsewhere.

The World of Warcraft, which is the world that the little elves run around in, with the rivers and lakes and trees and rocks that are in World of Warcraft, couldn’t create itself; it had to be created someplace else, and where it was created has to be outside of that reality. The server that creates World of Warcraft can’t be inside the World of Warcraft world; it has to be outside. And the consciousness that animates those World of Warcraft characters, World of Warcraft avatars – which is the player sitting at their desktop computer – they have to exist outside of that virtual reality. That’s just the way it has to work, you can’t have it any other way. The virtual reality cannot compute itself.

So anyway, they haven’t gone to those logical consequences yet, but they are being driven very hardly toward the idea that reality is just information. It’s informational, but then the logical consequence of that is that it is a simulation, logical consequence of that is that the simulation, you know, where does it come from? And the consciousness theory that I generate gives those answers: where does it come from? Why is it a simulation? And how does it get done? And where does it come from, and so on. And what are the algorithms? It kind of answers all that stuff.

So science is being driven there, they just have been in denial for a long time. They are still denying, but they’re being drug kicking and screaming by their own experiments to admit that reality is virtual.

Rick:      Yeah, somebody or other said that science progresses by a series of funerals – soon as the old ones die off.

Tom:     Well you know, that’s probably the case. Scientists also have this problem with things not being materialistic. You see, back in the bad old days when Galileo was under house arrest for coming up with ideas that didn’t support the beliefs at the time, and other people would get into trouble because they didn’t support the beliefs at the time, scientists feel that they were instrumental in breaking out of that mold of a stranglehold of belief that couldn’t be challenged. So they now feel that if they go back to this airy concept of ‘virtual reality’ and in ‘other,’ and ‘other’ isn’t in this reality frame, suddenly they feel like they’re stepping back into the ‘other.’

“What is ‘other?’”

“Well it’s something that’s in some other reality, and it’s our creator, it’s where the virtual reality comes from,” – [and] now it’s like stepping backwards into where they came from and that scares them. They have fear about losing control of rationality if they go to a place that they don’t understand, and if they admit that that place that they don’t understand is more fundamental than this place that we have, because it’s the creator and we’re the created piece of it.

So that’s kind of where their back is against the wall; they don’t want to go there. And they don’t want to say ‘virtual reality’ out loud, because that’s where it logically takes them. And so that’s kind of their problem but the point is, they have a belief trap now that keeps them limited. They can’t see a bigger picture until they change paradigms, until they escape that belief trap. And until they escape it, they’re stuck in this little picture that doesn’t work anymore, that doesn’t explain their experiments.

So experiments are pushing them to take that step they’re resisting mightily because they don’t understand, they won’t be in control of it, it is outside of the physical process, which is they say is all there is – it’s just this physical process …reality is material. You see, the problem that they have with this is that it’s a scary thing to do, so it’s not just that they’re being pig-headed; they are frightened of going backwards to a point where the nonphysical was the driver, where the high priests weren’t scientists, where the high priests were theologians, and they don’t want to go back there.

That’s where they escaped [from] and they don’t want to go back, and they’re afraid of it because they can’t manipulate it and don’t own it. They own the physical world, you see, but they don’t own this ‘other,’ and that’s scary.

Rick:      I would suggest that the reason they shouldn’t be afraid though, is that we’re not talking about going back to a time when beliefs without any experiential foundation are being rammed down their throats; we’re talking about actually exploring all this stuff experientially and doubting everything, you know, not believing things because some book says so, or some priest says so or something, but actually nailing all this down experientially.

And I would just add that if people find this whole discussion of paradigms and people clinging to their paradigms at all interesting, be sure to read Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolution, it’s like the classic on this whole topic.

Tom:     Yes.

Rick:      Okay here’s another question from this guy in the U.K. He said, “Tom’s approach seems similar to Bernardo Kastrup’s, regarding the ‘most parsimonious explanation,’” – parsimonious meaning simplest – “stance of his theory, in that it attempts to explain from the fewest assumptions. It may be interesting to draw out some conversation about everything ‘being in consciousness’ versus ‘everything is consciousness,’ and the similarities between their philosophies.”

Tom:     Okay, everything being in consciousness …

Rick:      For me, I don’t see those two phrases as being contradictory: ‘everything being in conscious’ and ‘everything is consciousness;’ it’s just sort of a different way of looking at the things. But if consciousness is really infinite, unbounded – and maybe you didn’t agree that it is – but you know, some world views would have it and some people experience it such, that everything is consciousness interacting within itself. That the camera, the computer, everything we’re seeing here is just consciousness appearing to take forms, but actually it’s this whole self-interactive dynamics that takes place constantly, giving rise to the appearance of physical creation. Go with that.

Tom:     Yeah, I’m not quite sure what he means by that. I’d like to answer his question but I’m not quite sure what he means. Now there is often a confusion where people say that the physical world is a product of consciousness, and somehow they see that this physical world is made, like it’s made up, like consciousness makes it somehow, you know, [and that] mass and matter is a product of consciousness. But it’s not that; it’s that consciousness has created this virtual reality, and this virtual reality has the appearance of being physical and solid.

Rick:      But it’s virtual, so it’s not physical and solid.

Tom:     Yeah, it’s not physical and solid; it’s just virtual, but it appears to be physical and solid to us, just as the World of Warcraft map appears to be physical to the elf. He can’t walk through trees, he has to swim if he’s in the water or he’ll drown, you know, [if] he falls off cliffs he gets hurt. It appears physical to him, he can’t’ flap his arms and fly, he’s got this rule set he has to abide by and so do we, here.

It’s created, the data is created within a larger consciousness system, but it’s not that the consciousness creates physical stuff. There is no physical stuff, physical stuff doesn’t really exist. It’s just a data stream that you get, that you interpret as this physical stuff, just like you do when you’re playing World of Warcraft – you get a data stream and you interpret it as the physical stuff in the World of Warcraft map.

Rick:      I interviewed Bernardo and we kind of had a debate about this point of ‘everything is conscious.’ And you know, Bernardo is fond of saying, “Well there’s nothing that it’s like to be a rock, or to be a log or something.” And I think my suggestion was, for what it’s worth, that with greater complexity of form comes greater ability to reflect consciousness, that consciousness permeates the rock as much as it does our nervous system. And there is no rock, because you’re saying it’s just a virtual reality within consciousness. You know where I’m going [with this]?

Tom:     Yeah, and I would disagree with you there on that. I would say that there is no consciousness in a rock any more than there is consciousness in a physical body; our physical body doesn’t have consciousness in it either. You know, the idea that the subtle lives in the body and the body is this … no, it’s just a virtual body, it’s just information.

Consciousness is the creator, yes, but it’s not that the things are conscious. The rocks aren’t conscious, the body isn’t conscious. Consciousness is conscious but consciousness exists outside of this physical reality. So it’s not like the things, the physical things here are conscious; they’re not. They’re just data, they’re information. So where I draw the line, and it’s my own definition of consciousness, is I say that in order to be called conscious, you have to have a finite decision space, you have to have choices. In other words, you have to have at least two choices and a free-will to pick ‘A’ from ‘B,’ or ‘B’ instead of ‘A.’

That’s kind of the minimum set of being conscious: you need a finite decision space, something [that’s] a non-zero, you have decisions to make and you make choices. That’s what I define as conscious, and therefore a rock would not be conscious because a rock doesn’t have any free-will choices to make. A rock just does what a rock has to do, it moves to lower states of potential by eroding, or rolling down hill, or something else, you know, it does that. So I make that distinction but now that’s just my definition, so I say consciousness is anything that makes choices – has free-will and makes choices.

Now is a bug conscious? Well I suspect many of them are, yes. Cats and dogs and horses and pigs? – surely! Mosquitoes and things? – probably. You just have to determine the difference between what is hardwired – what’s programmed and what’s actually making choices. And I just saw something on the Internet – just read the title, hadn’t read the article yet – about how people did some research and said that fruit flies were making conscious free-will choices.

And I have seen a bumblebee make a free-will choice; I saw it stalk a person one time. I think that probably a lot of bugs make decisions! Now [it’s] on a very small level, it’s not consciousness like human consciousness, but consciousness is on a long continuum and people aren’t necessarily at the top of it, but we have the most impact on our environment of any other critter, because of our consciousness and our opposable thumbs, and tool-making abilities and other things.

But in any case, I would say that rocks are not conscious. Now can a rock be associated with information? Sure. You know people call it psychometry, right, where you take an article, something maybe old or somebody owned it, and you hold that article and you kind of go into that article and find … “Oh yes, a little old lady with black hair owned this back in Roman times,” etcetera, etcetera – psychometry. Well it’s not that that’s bogus, but what they’re doing is they are associating that article to the database. We have databases – I mentioned the ‘probable future’ database but then there are the ‘historical’ databases too – and you go to the database and you find an association with that article, and you get all that information. It doesn’t mean that the bracelet or the rock has memory of its own, or has conscious[ness] of its own, but it can be associated with things and objects and places and times, it can.

Rick:      It just serves as a trigger.

Tom:     Yes, it serves as a trigger. So it’s not that the thing is conscious, and these are the memories of the rock, or the memories of the bricks, but there are connections to things and those connections do exist in the database.

Rick:      Well what I would say is that obviously a rock isn’t conscious; I mean a rock doesn’t have the nervous system to be conscious. And when you start mentioning amoebas and mosquitoes and start going up the evolutionary chain, you get more and more sophisticated nervous systems which obviously are conscious to greater and greater degrees, in the way we would define being conscious.

Tom:     Right, you get bigger and bigger decision spaces, more and more things they have the free-will to decide [on].

Rick:      Right, but if you look at a rock microscopically, you see tremendous intelligence in its structure, its orderliness on every level – atomic and molecular and crystalline structures and so on, and it’s this kind of marvelous organization that permeates and makes up the rock. And you have to ask, “Well where did that come from? What is orchestrating that marvelous display of intelligence?”

Tom:     That is a display of intelligence but not the rock’s intelligence.

Rick:      Right, right; some larger intelligence.

Tom:     That’s part of the rule set. This virtual reality was not programmed like the World of Warcraft’s virtual reality, which is programmed. People sat down, programmers sat down and programmed every tree, planned it with quote marks, you know? They put every tree, every blade of grass, every critter, everything that is on that set had to be programmed.

Our reality is not programmed; our virtual reality evolved. It started with a rule set and some initial conditions, the ‘run’ button was pushed. And it started evolving the probabilities of what would happen, and random draws from those probability distributions – probabilistic reality – and it evolves to be what it is -and it’s not just our planet but the whole universe – evolved.

And I call that the “Big Digital Bang,” because you start with the initial conditions of high temperature, high pressure, plasma in a tight little ball, and some rule sets like you know, gravitation and other things, and you push the button and you just let happen whatever happens. And eventually you end up with a universe and suns, and planets around suns, and then lives, and then you end up with people talking on Skype!

Eventually all of this evolves, so it’s an evolved reality and the rocks, with all that intricate structure, represent the rule set. It’s the way they evolved through all this evolutionary process, it’s the way those minerals came together under the pressure and under the conditions that were here on this planet, say, or someplace else that they come in, like a meteorite. And it’s the chemistry and the physics, they all go together.

Molecules just don’t wad up in a ball, you know, they form orderly structures, that’s what makes the rock. If it was all random, you wouldn’t have a rock; you’d just have random molecules flying around. But because they’re all ordered in a certain way, they go together sort of like Legos, you know, there are only certain ways you can put them together. You don’t just take a whole pile of Legos, put them in a pile and make something; you’ve got to actually make a structure out of them, well that’s the rule set of how things can exchange energy and that ends up with a rock.

And that rock, with its magnificent structure, that structure is a representation of the rule set, which is a representation of the Mind, if you will, that created the rule set and created the computer in which it ran, and that sort of stuff. Because the rule set creates the structure that way, because that’s how rocks hold together – some other structure would fall apart into dust, they wouldn’t make it – that’s a low-entropy structure. When it finally erodes and goes into dust particles, it’s a high-entropy structure. And so now all the rock particles are now randomly around in the environment, and that’s a very high-entropy version of that rock, whereas the low-entropy version is the pretty rock with all the crystalline in it.

So it does talk about intelligence, it does talk about meaning and process and lowering entropy, but it’s not the rock’s. It’s not that the rock is conscious, but the rock is an artifact of the conscious[ness] that created the virtual reality that then evolved the rock. So in that sense you’re right, there is obviously something intelligent going on there, some process, but it’s just the rule set.

Rick:      What fascinates me is – to use your phrase – “The Mind that created the rule set.” I saw a bumper sticker that said, “If you’re not in awe, you’re not paying attention.” When you consider what an unbelievably miraculous thing the formation of the universe was and continues to be, I mean if the Big Bang theory is a viable theory, or whether or not it is, just the way stars are formed, and heavier elements are formed within the stars, and eventually this has given rise to biological life and just the whole evolutionary process, it’s obviously not little billiard balls banging into each other randomly. There’s some kind of guidance or some kind of orchestration that’s taking place that is indicative of unfathomably great intelligence, as I see it.

Tom:     Well that’s the rule set. If you let this thing go under that rule set, then this is what you get. What you see here in this universe is the logical result of the rule set working on the initial conditions.

Rick:      And who set up the rule set and the initial conditions?

Tom:     Right, well the rule set of course is created by the larger consciousness system, because it needed a good virtual reality as a schoolhouse for individuated units of itself to go experience in, so that they could lower their entropy and evolve, because that’s what the system needs to do, is lower its entropy and evolve, so that’s the thing.

Rick:      Yeah, and maybe also – and we’ve just actually come full circle because we were talking about that point in the beginning – but maybe also not only to lower their entropy and evolve, but also because in evolving and in arriving at the state of enlightenment which we’ve been eluding to, in which you are actually living the larger consciousness system, as you put it, in the midst of a human life, there’s something greater to that than there is in just abstract, unbounded, unmanifest, without having gone through this whole process, to create such a life form who could be a living embodiment of that Divine intelligence.

Tom:     I’ve had any number of people, people who describe themselves as ‘very religious,’ with their own description, tell me that they really like My Big TOE, and they really like this philosophy. And at first I was really surprised, I thought, “Well I thought the religious people aren’t going to like me because I didn’t support their dogmas,” and it’s not the case.

There are many people who consider themselves to be very religious, very spiritual, and they’re not really hung up on dogma at all; they have a bigger picture. And in their mind, the larger consciousness system is ‘God,’ they make that connection. And they see it in the fact that I say ‘imperfect,’ ‘finite,’ ‘just trying to survive,’ ‘lowering its entropy’ – that doesn’t bother them, they’re not hung up on those kinds of details.

Rick:      Yeah, it’s a theory to be investigated.

Tom:     That’s their concept of God, is the Source. And the larger consciousness system is the Source, the Source of everything that we can know. It’s the Source, and things that are outside of itself that we can’t know because we are part of its insides, all you can say is, “Don’t know,” you know, conjecture again. You can’t really go there.

Rick:      Well you know I think that what you’re doing and what you said about those religious people, it is really significant. Because what’s happening is that there is a kind of coming together of the ancient traditional, mystical world views – not the dogmatic, authoritarian, religious mindset, that’s not going to be there coming along very soon – but just the deeper religious perspectives and the cutting edge of science, especially physics. And that’s the kind of thing you see at that conference I mentioned – the Science & Nonduality Conference – where you have all these quote on quote “spiritual people,” and all these scientific people, and there’s a tremendous amount of common ground and exciting collaboration. And they’re realizing that they’re both just talking about the same thing in different languages.

Tom:     Yeah, well I like the idea that you could start with consciousness and derive all the rest. You know, it’s all one big understanding, it’s not like, “Well we got all these piece-parts. We got this science piece, we got the metaphysical piece, we got the paranormal stuff going on that nobody understands – we got all these piece-parts.” But the thing that’s neat is if you can pull all those together under one model. And I say, ‘one understanding,’ but I don’t want to leave the impression that that’s the understanding.

This is a model, and unlike many scientists, I do not confuse the model of reality with reality. It is just a model and it’s a model that helps make sense of things, but it isn’t a model to take in intellectually and understand intellectually. It’s a model about being. It’s a model about who you are and not a model about what you can talk about.

Rick:      Yeah, very good. Well that might be a good point to wrap it up. I haven’t asked all the questions from this guy in the U.K., and I’m sure that you and I can go on for another two hours.

Tom:     At. Least.

Rick:      Because we both love to do this stuff, but at least this gives people a taste of what you’re doing. I’m sure people want to get the book and look at some of your YouTube videos. You mentioned to me that the Calgary talks were a good one to start with, if you just wanted to start to listen. So I listened to those and those were interesting, and there’s tons of stuff on YouTube.

Is there anything you want to say in conclusion to people who may be new to you, hadn’t known of you, that you would like them to know or follow-up on or something?

Tom:     Well if they’ve heard something here that peaks their interest, I would encourage them to go find out whether this guy knows what he’s talking about or not, or whether or not it makes any sense. It’s not about belief. I do not want you to believe what I say; I want you to take what I say with skepticism but with open-minded skepticism, that’s an important thing.

If you have open-minded skepticism, which means believe nothing, be skeptical of everything, but be open-minded of all those possibilities that might make sense, and then investigate them for yourself. So that’s really where it’s coming from. This is not a theory for you to believe or not to believe, you know? I didn’t put this out there for people to believe it; I put it out there as a model because this will give you a model of the nature of reality, of your place in it, where you belong, what you should be doing about it, you know, this kind of thing, and you find your place in this larger picture.

And if that’s interesting to you then I’d like to add that it’s not about selling books either. If you want to read the books for free, they’re on Google Books. Right after I published them I put them all, all three, on Google Books, and you can read them there for free. And I didn’t hold any of it back. You know, Google gives you an ability to give them like 50% or 75% or so many percentage of blank pages and that stuff, but it’s a 100%. You get all the books there, or you can buy them any place you normally buy books. You can buy them on Amazon, or I’ve got an international distributor that will ship them to any library or bookstore – if they don’t have them you can always order them.

The videos are on YouTube. You can find them …

Rick:      Well I’ll link to your video channel. I’ll link to your YouTube channel, I’ll link to your Amazon books, and I’ll link to the Google Books thing from your page on BATGAP.com.

Tom:     Good, good, you’ll have the links. And you’ll find a lot of things there, some of them, believe it or not, are short, but not many of them. Some of them are like 10- or 15-minute little segments, but many of them are long. All the workshops I do, every time I do an event someplace, if I can capture it – which means the cameras all work, and the mics all work, and nothing runs out of batteries – if I can capture it, I put it up on YouTube for everybody to who couldn’t make it to get it for free, so they are all there.

And that means when I do a 3-day workshop, you get a 3-day workshop on video, which is like 17, 18 hours’ worth of video, and don’t let that put you off. If you want to do it 10 minutes at a time, that’s probably a good way to do it. Mostly, listening to my videos is like drinking from a fire hose; you get more information than you can digest very quickly, and 15, 20 minutes at a time is probably a smart way to do it.

But one of the better overall, kind of general ones, is the ones I did in Calgary. In Calgary (YouTubes), there’s a Friday a Saturday and a Sunday. And Friday is just an overview, it’s like 2-and-a half hours and it just skirts over the top to tell everybody what I’m going to talk about the next two days. Then on Saturday it’s the theory: how does it work, how do you fit into it, why does it work that way, what are all the mechanics and science involved in My Big TOE?

And then on Sunday, we do experiential stuff. I talk about how to get in the larger consciousness system and what you’ll experience there, and what to do, what not to do. We talk about meditation and then we do some remote viewing and healing. I explain how do you heal people with your mind, and how do you remote view. And then I actually have some remote viewing targets for people to practice on, and so on. So that’s the experiential part of it.

Rick:      Wanda and Melvin, right?

Tom:     Right, where I make the point where it can’t be your truth unless it’s your experience. That’s why I give you some ways that you can go have experience. Using your mind to heal, to affect health, and remote viewing, are two of the easiest things to learn to do, and anybody with a little stick-to-it-iveness can learn to do these things reasonably well. That’s where you begin to make it your own truth. Not that you hear me talk about it and say, “Oh, this guy says it can work like that;” you get to go do it and find out if it works like that for yourself. That’s why I offer that Sunday, it’s kind of the on-ramp to experiencing this reality yourself, from the inside, rather than reading how somebody else experienced it.

So anyway, that’s it, but it’s 3 days and it’s probably 17- or 18-hours’ worth of video. Hopefully you can go back and wind up to the time where you quit last, or maybe your browser will hold it, so you don’t have to keep doing that. But in any case, take it in small chunks and if you like that one, there’s another 220 more for you to go. And I pick all different kinds of subjects, they’re not all about the same thing, but that will keep you busy for a very long time. I think you will find that them at least interesting, probably challenging.

Probably most people find it difficult to get their mind wrapped around it because the concepts are very unusual and it’s completely different than anything else you’ll read, anywhere else, by anyone else. So it’s kind of unique, but that uniqueness is in how it is presented, it’s in the metaphors that I use, not necessarily in the results that I come to. A lot of the results that I come to, or I should say all the results that I come to, are very much in line with results that have been dug out of the larger consciousness system for thousands and thousands of years. But it also comes up with some new things that have never been done before, you know, a few experiments and things that haven’t yet been done, and maybe someday they will, for verification.

So it’s got some new and some old, and just another way of looking at the world. It’s a model, and I urge you, don’t confuse the model of reality, which is what MBT is, with reality. It’s just a model of reality; it’s a way of looking at it that will make sense to you, hopefully. If it doesn’t make sense to you, well then it’s probably not a good model for you, you ought to go find another model that does make sense to you. And realize that these models, in time, will change. What makes sense to you will change as you grow and learn. So just go find out. That’s my hope, that people that hear this will be interested enough to go find out and make it theirs, rather than just finding out about mine.

Rick:      That’s great, and I think that a lot of people who listen to this show have that attitude, that they want to know this for themselves, you know, as an experience, and they’re not just shopping around for a new belief or something.

Tom:     Right, that’s useless. A new belief won’t get you anywhere.

Rick:      Right, so I really appreciate your angle on it all. So it’s been great talking to you, Tom. I’ve really enjoyed this, and we’ll be in touch. I would like to see you speak at that conference and I’ll let you know how to do that, if you want.

Tom:     I’d be delighted to speak at that conference. I’m looking to do those kinds of things. I don’t purposely keep a low profile, but I need to wait for invitations. You can’t just barge into a conference and say, “Hey everybody, listen to me!” That doesn’t work; you need to be invited. And eventually I think I’ll get there, to where those invitations will start coming, but for now I’m just trying to help people see a bigger picture and spreading that word around, and eventually it will all come together.

Rick:      Oh yeah. Well the organizers of it are friends of mine, so I’ll get in touch with them and suggest they invite you. Alright, so let me make some general wrap up points. I’ve been speaking with Tom Campbell, as you know. This is an ongoing series, this Buddha at the Gas Pump show, so there are about 260 other interviews at this point that you can watch. They’re all archived at www.BATGAP.com B-A-T-G-A-P.

Each interview has its own page and there are several different ways in which all those pages are categorized. If you look under the ‘Past Interviews’ menu, you’ll see them [in] ‘Alphabetical,’ ‘Categorical,’ ‘Chronological,’ and so on. There are a number of other things to check out, with each interview there’s a separate section in the ‘Forum’ – a discussion group. So there will be a section for Tom and get in there and discuss what we’ve been talking about.

There’ a place to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted, so do that if you like. There is a ‘Donate’ button, which I rely upon people clicking, if they feel motivated to do so. There is an audio podcast of this whole thing, so if you don’t want to sit in front of your computer, you can listen to it as an audio podcast, and you’ll see a link to that with every interview.

So those are just some of the main points, so go to www.Batgap.com and as I mentioned, I’ll have links there to Tom’s website, YouTube page, books and so on. So check it all out, thanks again Tom.

Tom:     Thank you, Rick. It’s been my pleasure. It’s always fun talking with you.

Rick:      And I’ll see everybody next week.

Tom:     Okay, bye.

Rick:      Bye.


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