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.

Was Joseph Smith the First Hippy?

The Restoration and the Sacred MushroomThe other day, I learned something that blew my mind: Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon faith, may have been America’s first hippy.

Okay, the paper I read didn’t say it in quite that way, but it did make a very convincing case that Joseph Smith experimented with psychedelics (or entheogens) himself and slipped them into his early converts’ sacramental wine. As the paper says:

These early Church members sought direct experience with God and believed that Joseph Smith had the power to grant their desires. Confidence in their Prophet was not misplaced. Between 1830 and 1836, under the supervision of Joseph Smith, many early Mormon converts enjoyed heavenly visions and spiritual raptures. However, after Joseph’s death in 1844, the great visionary period of Church history came to an end.

Of course, it’s a big leap to suggest that the true source of their visions was a psychedelic plant, but the paper goes on to present so much evidence in support of the theory, it would be very hard to dispute. Rather than rewrite what it has to say, I’ll keep this brief and get to my point.

I took a look at the official version of Joseph Smith’s life and was told that as a young man, he heard so many conflicting versions of the story of Jesus, he didn’t know what to think. As he wrote later:

So great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was [ … ] to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong

He goes on to write that he prayed to God and God revealed the truth to him.

In the 1960s, I and many of my contemporaries were in the same boat Smith was in in 1820. Since our verbal prayers went unanswered, we turned to LSD and other psychedelics for answers. Unlike Smith, most of us didn’t keep the source of our revelations to ourselves, but, like Smith, some decided they were more enlightened than others and went on to become Western gurus, eventually trivialising or even denying their early experimentation with psychedelics.

After comparing the official version with the revelations of the paper, I formed my own “vision” of Joseph Smith. An idealistic young man, he bravely experimented with psychedelics at a time when no respectable Christian would. Wanting to share their wonders with others, he formed a church and slipped Datura into the sacramental wine whenever he got the chance. Unfortunately, the adulation of his followers went to his head and he became a self proclaimed prophet.

What if he had spilled the beans and actively promoted the use of entheogens? He probably would have been tarred and feathered. Nearly a century later, Frederick M. Smith, his grandson, openly advocated the use of peyote:

Interestingly, Joseph Smith’s grandson, Frederick M. Smith, president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in Amerindian peyote ceremonies. Shelby M. Barnes reports that President Smith experimented with peyote as early as 1913 and notes that President Smith … widely used [peyote] … [opening his mind] to the mysteries of human ecstasy as an essential element of religion… He was convinced that every human being had the potential to expand the limits of his or her mind.” Like his great grandfather, Joseph Smith Junior, President Frederick M. Smith felt that even the least Saint should have access to the heavenly realms. In 1919, President Smith encouraged others in the RLDS Church to use peyote in a controlled manner and defended peyote ceremonies from Federal intrusion.

That apparently didn’t catch on.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

Personally, I think Joseph Smith and his grandson were on the right track. They used entheogens as sacraments. In the sixties, everyone was dropping acid like it was beer and relatively few got anything of lasting value out of it. I’ll leave it to you to come to your own conclusions. You can click on the image at the top of the page and buy the PDF from the source for two dollars or you can click the picture of Joseph Smith at left and read it for free. Be sure and check out the source material, too. There’s some really interesting stuff there.