Thomas Campbell, William Blake and John Lennon: A Strange Symbiosis

Tom Campbell

Well, I’ve finally finished listening to all 18 segments of a Thomas Campbell lecture. I still like him, but don’t feel like I’ve learned anything new. I think he would agree that it is not his intention to teach anything new: his intention is to get his listeners to explore consciousness in their own way, through personal experimentation and exploration.

William Blake

At the same time I was listening to Tom Campbell, a quote from Wm. Blake kept popping into my head, but I couldn’t remember all of the words. Finally, I paused the video and googled the few words I could remember: “or be enslaved by another man’s.” This is the result I got:

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

My curiosity sated, I went back to listening to Thomas Campbell. He did have a lot of interesting things to say and it was fascinating to see how he had come to so many realisations using the language and symbolism of physics. To me it was a demonstration of the truth of the old adage, “Many paths lead to the same goal.”

Towards the end of the video I had just about convinced myself that I had nothing else to say about Tom Campbell’s Big Toe other than to point out that he points out that he deliberately gave his book the title, My Big Toe instead of The Big Toe. The reason he did it was to emphasise that he was not advocating following his path, but encouraging others to follow their own. Then, as if by magic, very near the conclusion of his presentation, during the Q&A session, he said this:

“You must develop your personal big picture from your personal experience.”

Let’s compare this with what Wm. Blake wrote, 200 years ago:

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

Jacob's Ladder, by Wm Blake

Wm. Blake was a visionary artist. Tom Campbell is a physicist. They occupy different mythological landscapes but find common ground in the same ultimate reality. If you wade through Blake’s poetry, you find that behind the darkness in the struggle between good and evil is light and love. After wading through Campbell’s presentation, I discovered his ultimate message was the same:

Question: “You say that by eliminating fear and ego and lowering entropy you become love?”

Answer: “Yes. Consciousness is love. Spirituality is love.”

So there you have it. How many times does it have to be said, by how many teachers, before we get it? As Thomas Campbell and William Blake say: ultimately we have to create our own system and follow our own path. Why? As Campbell says with a shrug: “That’s just the way the system works.”

Just one more thing before I go. I’m a big advocate of brainwave entrainment, because it is an easy and relatively safe way to experience altered states of consciousness. Tom Campbell learned to leave his body partly by using brainwave entrainment technology. He happened to use Robert Monroe’s Hemisync program. In fact, I think he helped develop it. Does he advocate Hemisync? He was asked this question towards the end of the lecture. Basically, he does advocate learning and practising meditation, but using brainwave entrainment or learning to leave the body are optional. When asked, “Does entering other realms lower entropy?” his reply was short and to the point: “It does not. It’s not important.”

As John Lennon said: “All you need is love.”

What Is Metabolic Snapback and What Has It Got to Do with the Bigger Picture?

Ever since I discovered Tom Campbell a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been contemplating his big TOE, but haven’t had the opportunity to listen to more. That’s okay: I like to see where the germinating seeds of a new way of looking at things take me before I go back and follow the source’s train of thought. This seems to give my imagination scope for exploration before the other side of my brain gets bogged down in details. The concept of a digital universe was more than enough to let my imagination run riot and I’ve been applying it to everything I’ve run across this week.

The first thing that came up was a comment from my friend James Walker ( I met James in Sydney when I attended a series of workshops he was giving on an extraordinary energetic healing technique. James is a student (if that’s the right word) of A Course in Miracles, which is a book that takes non-dualism to new levels, if that’s possible. It’s completely uncompromising in its approach, relentlessly reminding the student that all phenomena is illusory.

Because Thomas Campbell is a physicist and an astral explorer, at first glance it seems as if he is caught up in quite a few illusory universes. However, I think his ultimate point is that consciousness itself is the only reality. He does, however, acknowledge the relative reality of evolution as a means by which consciousness experiences itself. This is not unlike the Hindu concept of “lila” – a kind of cosmic game.

Campbell talks about entropy being the dissipation of energy and the reduction of entropy as being the goal of evolution. The greater the reduction of entropy, he says, the closer we get towards the Truth. What is the Truth? He seems to agree with my favourite sage, Walt Whitman, who says, “A kelson of creation is love.” On the way to this all embracing, all inclusive cosmic consciousness, though, we fight our way upstream against a current of duality. In Campbell’s view, this is represented by positive and negative currents of energy. The obvious parallel with this is the Taoist concept of Yin and Yang.

The basic idea of Yin and Yang is not to favour one or the other, but to achieve balance. Harmony, peace of mind and health are all achieved through balancing the natural forces or energies of nature. And this, at last, brings me to the subject of this post.

Neil Slade wrote an amusing newsletter this week about how, after being on a high after his brain radar netted him an immaculate $1200 mountain bike for $50, his voice recorder was stolen from his car. He talked about how after 40 years of “clicking forward” into the blissful and highly intuitive realms of the higher brain, he still found himself clicking backwards and how he has learned to accept this as part of the deal.  For some reason, the words “metabolic snapback” kept coming into my mind as I read his post. I knew I had read those words before, but wasn’t sure where, so I googled them.

The two top search results were from a site I visited about ten years ago. A guy named Todd Murphy was selling a “Shakti helmet” that basically used weak electromagnetic currents to stimulate little used parts of the brain. As flakey as it sounds,  if you spend a little time on the site, you’ll discover, as I did, that it is based on sound research. The helmet was way too expensive for me, though: hence the 10 year absence. There are now improved versions of the device, but they are also too expensive for me, so it looks like I’ll miss out on enlightenment this time around – at least electromagnetically induced enlightenment.

The author of the Shakti helmet site has some special pages for users telling them what to expect when they use it regularly. One of these things is a phenomenon he calls metabolic snapback. They should expect to experience very pleasant sensations, sometimes followed by unpleasant or neutral sensations. These are caused, in his opinion, by the activities of the amygdala and the hippocampus, both of which have  positive and negative functions.

Like TDA Lingo, Neil Slade and an increasing number of neuroscientists, Murphy recognises the dualistic nature of the amygdala, which earlier generations of researchers firmly believed was entirely negative, having only to do with the fight or flight mechanism. In an interesting twist, Murphy says that it is the left amygdala that is associated with feelings of euphoria or rapture, while the right is associated with negative emotions. As those of you who are familiar with TDA Lingo or Neil Slade know, they talk about both amygdala (amygdalae?) working in conjunction with one another, clicking forward into “frontal lobes bliss” or backwards into “reptilian fear and anger.”

Personally, I don’t care which theory is correct. The important thing is that we are not slaves to our instincts and the triune brain and split brain models both work well as tools for brain self control. However, they do have their limitations: namely, they are physical models of reality. Mercifully, Thomas Campbell gives us another way to look at the brain – as a digital processor. He also emphasises that the point is not to favour one side of the brain over another, but to use the whole brain. When the whole brain is activated, we have access to the Bigger Picture.

Metabolic snapback seems to me to be the brain’s attempt to normalise things. This is fine up to a point, but since we are habitually locked up in the smaller world of our limited perceptions, we need to keep tweaking the system. This, I believe, can only be done by continually questioning our belief systems, whatever they may be. Ramana Maharishi recommended asking yourself, “Who Am I?” Some say the literal translation should be, “What am I?” but that’s a detail. The point is to question our perception of “reality.” What the ultimate answer is, I can’t say with authority, but I can say that this questioning opens up worlds of possibility while at the same time removing annoyingly limiting beliefs.

This continual short-circuiting of our habitual mode of thinking will have its ups and downs, perhaps due to metabolic snapback, but ironically, instead of leading to greater entropy, leads to a reduction of entropy. Why? All you have to do is observe your thought processes and it becomes obvious that an unfocused mind is dissipating energy like mad. Meditation, self enquiry, prayer and other forms of mental discipline focus and quiet the mind. Speaking of which, I’ll close now and let my mind settle down.

Thanks to those who have offered comments. It’s nice to know I’m not blogging to myself.

What Is the Brain – physical, chemical, electrical, holographic or digital?

What is the Brain? That’s the question I asked myself when I started this website.

I started with the physical brain and found two seemingly opposing, but equally appealing models. One, the Triune Brain, was an evolutionary brain composed of a rudimentary reptilian brain, a mammalian brain and a primate brain with a fourth brain, the frontal lobes being in the early or mid-stages of development. Then there was the split brain theory. That’s the brain that is split down the middle, with the intuitive brain on the right side and the logical brain on the left.

I haven’t discussed it yet, but the chemical brain is the one that the shamans and other consciousness explorers tinker with using a variety of substances like peyote, LSD, DMT, ayahuasca and other psychedelics (or entheogens, if you like).

The electrical brain is the one you tap into when you listen to brainwave entrainment tracks. This brain is all about electrical activity and frequencies. Most of the time we’re only fully conscious when we’re operating in the beta frequency band. However, with practice, we can become conscious while dreaming or even while in deep sleep. Some people have even been able to find ways to exit their bodies by tapping into the right frequencies. This seems implausible until you dig a little deeper and I’ll get to that soon, so bear with me.

Holographic Universe

The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot (Amazon affiliate link)

Confused by all the unanswered questions about the brain, a brilliant neurophysiologist came up with the theory of the holographic brain. I’ve written a little bit about that, so rather than repeat myself, you can read about it here.

My Big Toe

My Big Toe, by Thomas Campbell (Amazon affiliate link)

About a week ago, a reader suggested I look at a talk given by Tom Campbell, author of My Big TOE. I had never heard of him before, but after listening to the first 9 segments of his presentation on Youtube, it made all the effort I’ve put into this site worthwhile. Tom Campbell’s “TOE” (Theory Of Everything) is that we have digital brains and live in a digital universe. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to watch the other 9 segments, but the first 9 have given me more than enough food for thought for the past week. I’m just going to share a few of my thoughts with you here.

The expression, “the brain is like a computer” has always annoyed me because it’s got it backwards. A computer is a pale reflection of the brain and tragically inferior, so I was a little put off at first when Tom Campbell suggested that we live in a digital universe, but soon he converted me to his way of thinking.

Back in about 1983 I took a short course called “Introduction to Computer Programming.” I remember very little about it, but I do remember learning that computers use a binary numerical system composed of ones and zeroes. Of course, all the computer code in the world is useless unless it is converted into electrical signals and that’s exactly what a computer does. From memory, zeroes are negative and ones are positive. Put together in sequence, they make up the logic of the system, the pixels on the screen, the sounds we hear through our headphones, the letters I am typing here, etc., etc. The word “bit” is short for “binary digit” and as we all know, the more “bits” you’ve got, the more computing power you have.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an assignment about salt lamps and how they work. The theory is this: carbon dioxide is composed of positive and negative ions. As Wikipedia says:

An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge.

Salt lamps are said to work by producing more negative ions than positive ones, thus cancelling out the debilitating effects of the excess of positive ions in the stale air of an office or other polluted environment. Be that as it may, the connection between bits being organised into bytes, megabytes, etc. in order to compute information and the fact that electrical activity organises information in the phenomenal world is compelling, to say the least.

Take it a bit further, to the quantum level and, as too many quantum physicists have pointed out, light waves exhibit the properties of a particle only when they are observed. When they are not observed, they have both wavelike qualities and particle-likee qualities, with the potential to “become something” if they are observed. This is the kind of thing Campbell talks about and when you listen to him, it seems laughingly obvious that we do live in a digital universe.

Journeys Out of the Body

Journeys Out of the Body (Amazon affiliate link)

I wasn’t quite ready for it, though, when he said that the subjective universe was  infinitely larger than the objective universe. Then it all became clear when he mentioned in the fifth segment of the series that he had studied with Robert Monroe, author of Journeys Out of the Body, and had visited alternative realities hundreds of times and had verified the reality of his experiences. This was no idle boast, either. It was his job as a physicist to both explore out of body experiences and devise ways to verify and replicate them. You can read his story on his website, MY BIG TOE. Click the link and you will be digitally taken to his “About the Author” page.

After listening to Tom Campbell speak, any lingering ideas you may have that this world is the only “real world” will vanish. He is just too logical and, more importantly, has too much experience at exploring alternative realities to dismiss. Personally, I was MOST impressed by the fact that he is aware that his Big TOE is a metaphor only. Every theory and every belief system we have is a metaphor, including quantum physics. If a practising physicist understands this, I reckon he must be on to something.

Brainwave Entrainment Software

I’m sure I’ll be writing more about Tom Campbell’s Big TOE. In fact, it’s hard for me to stop now. However, I’m going to dust off my Neuroprogrammer brainwave entrainment software and let Tom explain himself to you. I’ve embedded his entire Youtube presentation below. It’s over an hour long, but you can always listen to it in segments as I’m doing. It takes awhile for him to warm up, so give him some time. You’ll be glad you did.

ps: What is the brain? It’s all of the above: physical, chemical, electrical, holographic and digital. Or none of the above. Use your own metaphor.

Working in Cambodia

Note: this is a draft copy of the introduction to my new book-in-progress, Working in Cambodia

Bob Dylan's definition of successAs I sit here in my home office, comfortably sheltered from the storm raging outside, I can’t help but gloat a little. By the standards of my home country, the United States, I’ve been a loser since 1969 when I dropped out of college and traveled overland to India. My most burning ambition throughout my life has been to live as self-sufficiently as I could and to avoid a 9 to 5 life as much as possible. With some hiccoughs along the way, I have pretty much succeeded in my endeavors.

My life unraveled in 2004 when, after returning from an emergency trip to the U.S. to look after my dying father, my wife of 20 years announced she wanted a divorce. After two years of going through that and living with my daughter while she finished high school, I cast my fate to the winds and started looking for a new place to call home.

Sihanoukville was just beginning to blossom when I arrived here. Property prices were soaring and even as I was in the midst of building our home, someone offered to buy it for twice what it had cost me so far. I laughingly declined, believing the offer was far too low. By the time I finished my house, though, I desperately wished I had sold it. That was in early 2008. The crash of the American housing market led to a corresponding fall in the value of an expat’s home in Cambodia. While the 50 grand I spent on my house and land had seemed cheap in comparison to U.S. prices before, it wasn’t such a deal after the crash.

I had been counting on the sale of the house for our income after my money ran out, thinking I would build another one and sell that. My backup plan was to teach English as a second language as I had done for a time in Australia, but when I went job hunting, I learned that the best I could do was get $3 an hour and a one day work week – if I was lucky. One of the worst days and best days of my life was when I had to sell our car just in order to feed my family. It was the worst day for the obvious reason. It was the best day because I actually found a buyer. The $1500 I got for the car gave me the breathing space I needed to come up with another plan and restored my faith in the good intentions of the universe.

“So why are you gloating?” I hear you ask. Good question. It’s because, in the three years since that day, I’ve managed to carve out a reasonably comfortable living for myself and my Cambodian family of eight and I am doing what I have wanted to do all my life – write. I can’t take all the credit since serendipity has played a big part in my “success” and I should also point out that by 20th century American standards, my success is no success at all. But by today’s American standards I seem to be wildly successful, with regular gigs at a Western rate of pay, a fully paid off home and even enough left over to be contemplating my first visit back to Australia in five years. Not bad for a lifetime loser, if I do say so myself.

Working in Cambodia tells you how I did it. With a few asides for slices of Cambodian life, some of which you won’t believe, it is a how-to manual for budding freelancers. If you’re the kind of person who falls for those MAKE A SIX FIGURE INCOME ONLINE claims, don’t waste your money on this book: it’s more of a HOW TO MAKE ENOUGH TO SURVIVE ONLINE guide.

Throughout the book I’ll be teaching some of the tricks of the trade and offering  some free tools, such as:

> Where to find gigs

> How to bid for jobs

> How to write copy your clients will love

> SEO secrets

> Writing shortcuts

> FREE software applications

> FREE article submission services that work as well as the paid ones

What I won’t do is give you writing lessons, but don’t worry; if writing isn’t your thing, most of what’s in there is applicable to any online freelance work. Whatever your talents may be, you can make them work for you online. I make my living writing for website owners and SEO gurus and have learned a great deal from them. Over the course of my new career, I’ve learned what makes a few of them successful and, more importantly, why so many fail. I may not be able to teach you how to MAKE A SIX FIGURE INCOME online, but I CAN teach you how not to go broke in the process of trying.

I’ll be keeping you posted with my progress, so stick with me. It may take awhile to finish, because I’m a very busy writer, I’m happy to say.

Sympathy for the Illuminati

With deepest apologies to the Rolling Stones and for my terrible poetry:

Blake's Lucifer

Lucifer - William Blake

Please allow us to introduce ourselves, we are men of wealth and fame.
Although you think you know us, you do not know our name.
You used to call me Lucifer and that’s just fine with me,
But we are legion now, so call us by our new name, the Illuminati.

A long, long time ago, I was just like you, struggling to make ends meet,
Selling gold in London town on a little backend street.
Then one day it dawned on me, no one knew how much was in my vault.
I started lending money. You were dumb enough to take it: it really wasn’t my fault.

I was doing pretty well, more than getting by,
But greedy as I am, I needed more, just to keep me high.
Then one rainy morning, fate stepped in and lent me a hand,
A great and powerful leader needed money for his scam.

He asked me for a loan and I asked him for how much.
“As much as you can give me, I really need a bunch.
Yeah, I know it costs a lot to wage a war,
but when I win I’ll give you back much more.”

We struck a deal, the war took place and the King was in my debt.
Then I hatched a plan to rule the world, making a safe bet.
Why not lend some more, this time to the enemy,
And when the war is over, the winner surely will be me?

I needed help in my endeavours, but that was easily done.
The lights of greed and power are brighter than the sun.
I sent out a clarion call and I sounded my great horn.
Then before I knew it, the Illuminati were born.

We set a date and made the world our goal.
This war would last forever and we would have it all.
We would bankrupt nations and bring them to their knees.
With everyone indebted, we could then do as we please.

You saw through our ruse and stopped our victory train.
Now our days are numbered, but spare us your disdain.
We wanted to stay well hidden, creatures of fear and awe,
Lest when you saw our fragile bodies, you laughed at what you saw.

Let us tell you one thing more before we go,
It’s something you really need to know.
You are the real Illuminati,
That’s a fact we never wanted you to see.