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The Wisdom of Tom Campbell Options
jim
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 3:05:03 PM

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I recently finished "My Big TOE" by Thomas Campbell and I highly recommend it! For some, it may answer a lot of questions, or at least open your mind. For me, it did both, and gave me quite a bit to think about. So, I thought that this would be a good place to start a thread with some quotes from the book. Feel free to add your own, or to have a discussion around a quote. The first one makes a comparison of our awareness of our consciousness to the aware of water to a fish that lives two miles down in the middle of a four miles ocean...

"With no light and only a dim awareness, the fish knows nothing of water. Water just is, has always been, and is taken for granted. The fish does not ponder the nature of water, it swims in it. We swim in an ocean of consciousness. We are not aware of the ocean, but only of our local interactions with it."
- Tom Campbell
Rational Inquirer
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 11:41:04 PM
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As far as I have heard, and I have seen his video interviews and read the reviews, Tom Campbell believes in superstitions, especially the superstition that there is some mystical purpose to our existence. It is the irrational, masochistic viewpoint. So, like most of orthodox science, it is a lack of wisdom.

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
terrorgoat
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:02:49 AM

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I''m so glad you posted this Jim. I've listened to his interview and he is fascinating. I'm definitely going to get his book now. Thanks man.

"The only true wisdom exists in knowing that you know nothing."
- The Mighty Socrates (Not the fake Socrates Plato wrote about in "The Republic.")
RogerV
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:50:54 AM
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Rational Inquirer wrote:
As far as I have heard, and I have seen his video interviews and read the reviews, Tom Campbell believes in superstitions, especially the superstition that there is some mystical purpose to our existence. It is the irrational, masochistic viewpoint. So, like most of orthodox science, it is a lack of wisdom.


That's kind of funny - I thought Tom Campbell's fundamental principle that he espouses for super reality is entirely the opposite of mystical superstition.

In respect to Thermodynamics there are statistical and informational approaches to determination of entropy. Information theory is the operative concept here. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases. This is the pervading principle of our observable reality context.

Tom's Big TOE posits that:
Quote:
"Consciousness evolves by lowering its entropy – i.e., by improving the value (useful information content) of its bits"


So a fundamental principal that Tom connotes to the substrate of consciousness (super reality) is a tendency toward lowering entropy - not increasing it. Yet his approach is an informational approach as well.

Hmm, so does that mean Thermodynamics is superstitious mysticism too when it's being addressed through an information theory approach? After all, Thermodynamics implicates a purpose to the observable universe - to increase entropy.
jim
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:36:14 AM

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Rational Inquirer wrote:
As far as I have heard, and I have seen his video interviews and read the reviews, Tom Campbell believes in superstitions, especially the superstition that there is some mystical purpose to our existence. It is the irrational, masochistic viewpoint. So, like most of orthodox science, it is a lack of wisdom.


Nothing could be further from the truth. Tom Campbell doesn't even believe in "belief" (he considers it a weakness), let alone superstitions. And, having read and fully understood the book, I can safely say that he does not espouse any sort of mystical purpose to our existence. In fact, his arguments are far more rational than most of the posts you will find on hard core science forums, or skeptics corners. Read it yourself, but only if you can approach it with "open-minded skepticism." If you can't, I wouldn't bother.
jim
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:37:34 AM

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"The argument between science and belief – a more general version of the argument between science and religion – is a self-energizing, endless loop of non-logic bouncing uselessly in endless debate back and forth from one limiting belief system to another. The illogical excesses of each create the rational necessity for the other."
- Tom Campbell
jim
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:57:30 AM

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On the topic of mysticism, here is an excerpt from My Big TOE, about the misuse of the term. He relates our incomplete knowledge of "all there is" to that of a bacterium in someone's gut:

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

This is a difficult pill for many, especially scientists, to swallow. The concept that there may be a natural practical limit to the extent of our knowledge - a limit beyond which our perception cannot penetrate - is based upon the notion that we are only a very small part of a much greater reality. This humbling thought runs counter to the significance and self-importance we humans place upon ourselves. If our experience is limited to a small part of a larger reality, it is only reasonable to assume that beyond the limit of our possible knowing there may well exist a host of phenomena, interactions, relationships, and ordered happenings upon which our reality and existence profoundly depends, but of which we cannot directly perceive. Allowing the outside theoretical possibility that our beloved PMR [3D physical matter reality] may be a local reality (a subset of something larger) is the first step toward comprehending a bigger picture."

-Tom Campbell (pg. 118)

I agree with his assessment that the assumption that human science has a handle on "all there is" is the height of ignorance.
Rational Inquirer
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:27:55 PM
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I agree that skeptics' forums are not very rational (the motto of orthodoxy is "Never let the truth get in the way of the official story"), and that we are probably part of a larger reality, but just as irrational and unrealistic is Tom Campbell who very much has a mystical, superstitious view because he says we have a mission and there is reincarnation. It is the usual callous, masochistic nonsense that we should be as miserable as possible and that misery is a great thing. It's very pc, too, n we see it in the guilty-pleasures movement, the blame-the-victim mentality, the puritanical movement, the everything-happens-for-a-reason mantra. And if you know anything about the original Puritans, you'll know they were extemely violent and tyranical. He contends ego causes negative emotions, but the reality is that negative emotions are normal and unavoidable--they exist because positive ones do and vice versa, and are a normal part of the nervous system just as much as positive ones. He also denies nature, saying everything is experience, and he even denies victimization. It's all not only an inability to face reality, but is as callous as you can get-- in fact, I consider it abuse, and it's totally unacceptable. He says ego, fears, n beliefs get in the way of truth--he should practice what he preaches. I do not need to read his book because I know what he says, I don't have time for it, and I don't have money to waste.

The misery is imposed on us by ETs, who also promote the idea that all evil is justified. People are brainwashed into believing misery is a good thing, n they want to believe it, too, because it affords them some comfort, but it's a false comfort, n it's a detrimental belief. A rational n normal person has concern for his well-being, does not rationalize evil, n is not callous or abusive.

And I find it disturbing there are so many people who have no concern about the amorality of such simulations. I imagine they like the idea of playing God--it must be an ego trip. And as I said before, such simulations will be outlawed in spite of what Peter Jenkins says.

And just as irrational, too, is the idea that we can't know anything, which is paradoxical as we can easily say that the idea itself is uncertain, it is totally impracticable, n in order for certainty or knowledge to exist there must also be uncertainty or ignorance n vice versa.

And TD's 2nd law is questioned by many.

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
jim
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:21:40 PM

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So, Rational Inquirer, I will make a couple comments and feel free to respond but after that I do not intend to carry on a debate about this any further. You seem to have a lot of anger and have condemned someone's theory without even reading it (maybe based on sound bites or hearsay), and I prefer to engage in discourse that is more positive and open-minded. Others on this forum are free to react, of course, as I do not censor, except for the Pandora and "Abercrummy" spammers. I would, however, suggest that it might be interesting for you to take your arguments over to Tom's forum here. I would like to see that exchange. Let us know if you do that and what the forum thread is.

- You claim that having a mission and reincarnation is nonsense (your assertion of it being masochistic completely baffles me). Yet there is no way for you to really know the truth about whether or not we have such a mission. Nor whether or not reincarnation is true. Therefore, an assertion of nonsense is closed-minded. In fact, there is more evidence for reincarnation than there is against it. The "mission" that you refer to is simply to "improve quality of consciousness." I fail to see how that would be a bad thing.

- Ego is the source of a great deal of negative emotion. It is an aspect of the mind that protects against fears by building up a comfort zone. I have seen that in many people and have no doubt that their is a lot of truth in that idea. I'm not sure that all negative emotion comes from ego however, nor if that was Tom's point. I'm sure it depends on how you categorize it. Consider that the more "enlightened" zen masters become, the more they eliminate the ego and reject negative emotions. Your comment about ETs seems to imply that you recognize that misery is unnecessary and detrimental, which is along the lines of Tom's theory as well.

- Nobody says we can't know anything, just that there are some things that we are presently not equipped to know. Think of hunter gatherers - do you think they would comprehend quantum mechanics? Considering that many humans think that all animals are "beneath them" and are not equipped to understand what we do, and that the same would apply to pre-modern humans, then logically you must agree that this assertion would apply to any species and any point in evolution except for humans here and now. Being a rational person, you probably realize how blind that thinking is.

- Much of this forum is about simulations and, as far as I know, no one has ever made a clear logical or scientific argument against the possibility of simulations. I don't even see how it would be possible. Who exactly would "outlaw" simulations (simulation Nazis)? Sounds pretty tyrannical to me. I believe in freedoms, including the freedom to run whatever simulation you want. By definition, living in a virtual reality implies that everything that you know, including nature, is only as real as your consciousness makes it. "Real" and "virtual" begin to lose their meanings.
Rational Inquirer
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:22:50 PM
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Mr. Elvidge,

A 2-hour interview, among other things, is certainly not a sound bite or hearsay. My position doesn't have to do with anger, it has to do with repugnance at what is morally n logically reprehensible in the extreme. It's not close-minded coming from a person who is so open-minded, just more consistently rational. I can see the wheat from the chaff on both sides. And there are people who say, in effect, that they are masochistic, when they talk about the reason for the simulation; such people would not be affected by the atrocities, diseases, natural disasters, abject poverty, etc. that go on in the world, and would rationalize them, n rationalization is making something bad look good or attempting to. They are wearing rose-coloured glasses as Campbell himself warns against, but he's wearing them, too. Reincarnation says evil is done or exploited for a good cause--that's another way of saying the end justifies the means. The "mission" refers to something specific, n if we have a mission we would need to know what it is in order to accomplish it, but we don't because there isn't any. It is a religious superstition-- attributing a supernatural cause to evil, much like when people blamed crop failures on displeased gods having their revenge when it was actually microbes, and people attributing it to "God's plan" (an inadvertent reference to the simulation program, one might say). And u don't improve the quality of consciousness thru evil. Evil begets evil. Wm. Bramley would agree with me on these points except that he does believe in reincarnation, but not the immorality and pseudomorality of it, n certainly Campbell would not agree with Bramley on reincarnation theory. Also, what u say about evidence n reincarnation is the inverse of what is the case. Here is the evidence:

1. the "inter-life" period is never remembered other than under hypnosis where it can easily be due to artificial generation since the person in these sessions believes in reincarnation to begin with
2. the "inter-life" period is identical to the NDE except for the reincarnation component n most NDExperiencers deny reincarnation so if the NDE consists of a real experience it contradicts reincarnation and if it is false than so is reincarnation because of the striking similarity to the "interlife" period or at least makes it very suspect
3. the ZPF (zero-point field), n/or the simulation program that records the memories (as u suggest yourself), is the explanation for the illusion of reincarnation, and it is the Akashic Record of the esoteric, and so contains all the memories, and in an altered state such as hypnosis, dreams, and early childhood (where the brain is only beginning to develop n is permanently in alpha mode) actual past lives can be remembered and are remembered by people as if they were their own (The Field, Lynne McTaggart, p. 138); the dogmatic skeptical explanation that all past life memories are acquired through other means is weak, as in most cases the person had no knowledge of that past person, and the idea that they only or mostly remember famous people is a complete myth as such cases are rare.
4. many in the spiritualist movement, particularly the British or Anglo-American brand, of the 18 and early 1900s, and still some today, rejected reincarnation n believed souls evolve in the afterlife
5. when a psychic reads a past life in someone it is only because the subject has a certain subconscious recall through the ZPF which is accessed by the psychic; any similarity or meaningfulness to the subject is only because he would tend to connect to those past lives which are meaningful to him but which he did not experience--the same is true under hypnosis; under hypnosis a person can artificially see a whole string of lives as inter-related and meaningful to him/her
6. wounds, birthmarks, and phobias or other feelings, with patients often being helped by past life therapy, are only related to the subject because the past life, which wasn't experienced by him/her, is unconsciously recalled through mixed signals from the ZPF and causes these physical manifestations or feelings;
7. nothing in reincarnationism makes sense, and it is full of contradictions (e.g., everything is part of karma yet if u murder someone ur interfering with his karma, n there is always retribution but there's also grace to escape it), and also generates other superstitions ( e.g., that if ur murdered ur reincarnated with a clean slate, n the 1 that leads to child abuse as in India)
8. there is no satisfactory explanation of how it could be possible for a soul to incarnate and even if it were possible, which is doubtful, it would be interfering with the soul and life of that person; there is a case where this has happened and the person's native personality was submerged (it was dramatized on The Veil, hosted by Boris Karloff).
9. the purpose of metempsychosis, as it is sometimes called, is to improve oneself spiritually but this is contradicted by the fact that civilizations involved in the UFO phenomenon are demonic or at least unenlightened, and it seems that this is the norm for advanced civilizations; as well there has been little or no improvement in people in general and any improvements in society can be attributed to other causes, such as normal cultural evolution
10. people having organ transplants start having memories of the donour's life who they did not know, knew nothing about, and never met, which is more evidence that a person can recall a past life that he did not experience (cell memory theory); a woman on vacation in Mexico had a troubling dream about being killed, and it was later learned that another woman, who she did not know and was unaware of, who had stayed in that very hotel room had been murdered, and her body was found buried on the beach according to information from the dream, which is yet more evidence that someone can have memories of a past life that he or she didn't experience
11. in "Aaron's Crossing; an Inspiring True Ghost Story" by L.A. Dewey, the spirit relates that there is no reincarnation.

What Oscar Levant said about happiness is amusing and funny and does have some truth ("Happiness isn't something we experience, it's something we remember"), but it applies totally to past lives. And (the illusion of) reincarnation is probably the only paranormal phenomenon that is or might be explained by simulation.

It's not all simulations that would be outlawed, n the government would outlaw them (simulations of universes n anything similar) because of the amorality of it, so it's certainly not Nazis who would outlaw them. It is shocking and opprobrious to say that such simulations should be done. I think if there were a survey among the general population most people would agree with me on this point.

There are, indeed, people who say we can't know anything, that we can't be certain of anything, you n A.R. Wilson to name 2.

Also, Campbell uses false information to support the simulation: e.g., the constancy of the speed of light (it is not constant) and the expansion of the Universe (which is based on misinterpretation of data), as being explained by simulation. As for having a discusion on his forum, I'm not interested. And maybe I shouldn't even be on this forum.

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
jim
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 8:51:50 AM

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Folks, I am going to create a new thread with quotes from Tom Campbell's "My Big TOE." While I appreciate the alternative points of view on this thread, I think that it will be difficult for people who first come to it, to wade through the debate about Tom's philosophy just to get to the nuggets of wisdom. Feel free to continue the debate on the philosophy here and check out the quotes on the other one.
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