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 (yourhiddenpotential.com). 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.