How to Engage My Big TOE
My Big TOE challenges many ideas we hold about the world and ourselves, and it will probably cause you to question some of your favorite assumptions and cultural beliefs. That’s why it’s important to engage My Big TOE with the right attitude.
To advance our understanding of the world, most people would agree, we need to think outside of the box, tread the unbeaten path, and develop a new scientific paradigm. However, when confronted with ideas that challenge their own long-held views, they immediately dismiss them as nonsense. Who likes to have their worldview turned upside down?
Yet questioning our assumptions is exactly what is required when engaging My Big TOE. It asks you to entertain the possibility that reality may be radically different than either materialistic science or organized religion would have you believe.
At the same time, My Big TOE is merely a model, not a claim to absolute truth. It’s a theory created to help us make sense of our human experience. To do so, My Big TOE uses terms and metaphors that may or may not resonate with you.
Thus, you are free to accept or reject both the model and its metaphors. But you are strongly encouraged to do so only after you’ve thoroughly looked into them – keeping the things that work for you and dismissing those that don’t.
My Big TOE is nothing to be believed in. Rather, it’s meant to be an inspiration to see a bigger picture, a tool to help you develop your very own Big Theory of Everything.
Here’s how to go about it.
Apply Open-Minded Skepticism
When coming across new concepts or ideas – whether they seem just a little curious or outright preposterous – neither believing nor disbelieving them is particularly useful. Neither one means knowing for certain. Much better to approach anything in life with the exact opposite of belief and disbelief: open-minded skepticism.
In so doing, it’s essential to always be both open-minded and skeptical at the same time.
- If we’re not open-minded, we’re unlikely to ever learn anything new – we believe we already know everything.
- If we’re not skeptical, on the other hand, we may believe anything – that’s being gullible.
How does open-minded skepticism work? Rather than passing quick judgment based on incomplete information, it’s best to consider any new idea as a possibility – then give that possibility a certain probability of being correct, however small it may be. That probability must be based on our own experience, knowledge and understanding, and constantly re-assessed in light of new information as well as our growth in experience, knowledge and understanding.
Being open-minded means trying to gather as much data as possible in support of the idea, without any bias or filters. Being skeptical, in turn, means critically assessing the validity of these data and looking for any facts to the contrary. Having done both, we must draw the right conclusions and make our model fit the data, not cherry-pick the data that match our existing views and preconceived ideas.
Being thoroughly skeptical is more complex than most people appreciate. It’s easy to be skeptical of religious beliefs or reports of paranormal events, which are often frowned upon in polite society. It’s more difficult – but just as necessary – to be skeptical about things modern culture considers to be the epitome of reason, such as the belief that consciousness is created by the brain.
The person we need to be most skeptical of is ourself. Nobody is free from having beliefs, making unjustified assumptions and jumping to conclusions. And hardly anyone is even aware of all of their beliefs and assumptions, especially if they’re in sync with those of their culture. We must always consider the possibility that we and our culture may have been wrong all along about some fundamental aspects of life.
(Don't) Mind the Computer Metaphors
My Big TOE is full of metaphors. It describes the universe as a virtual reality, life as a video game, and consciousness growth as entropy reduction. Some people find this language awkwardly technical for discussing profoundly human matters such as love, compassion and the meaning of life. But there are good reasons why My Big TOE uses this specific terminology: it explains the interplay between consciousness and the physical world exceedingly well.
However, if the computer and IT metaphors seem too deep or just don’t resonate with you, that’s not a problem. Try to understand some of the key ideas they convey, and trust your intuition about the rest. Most importantly, only accept what you can verify as true for yourself.
For instance, many people appreciate the way My Big TOE derives key insights into human psychology by explaining the links between love, fear, ego and belief. They focus on those parts of the theory dealing with consciousness evolution from fear toward love. It is perfectly possible to use the phrase “lowering one’s entropy” as a metaphor for “getting rid of fear” without having a clue what entropy means in either physics or information theory.
Remember, It's Just a Model
Just like its metaphors are not to be taken literally, the entire My Big TOE model is just that: a model. Tom Campbell is a physicist, and a physicist’s job is to model reality – to come up with logical, rational explanations of how the world works.
A model of reality is very different from reality itself. The map is not the territory, as is often said. We can only ever describe reality so accurately, because our perspective on the whole is necessarily limited.
There is but one truth, however there are many expressions of it
That’s not to say that all models are of equal value. Some are more useful than others, especially when it comes to helping us understand our life’s purpose.
Scientific models are improved as new discoveries are made, new technologies developed and our understanding of the universe deepens. A very good scientific model elegantly explains all known empirical facts, is contradicted by none, and predicts new facts that can be experimentally verified.
Though there are still some ongoing experiments in support of it, My Big TOE meets all the criteria for being a very good model.
My Big TOE surpasses the prevailing orthodoxy of scientific materialism in two crucial ways:
- It explains the fundamentals of our objective experience, such as the supposed weirdness of quantum mechanics and relativity theory in physics.
- And it explains the fundamentals of our subjective experience, including free-will choice-making, personal growth and a host of mystical and paranormal phenomena that a materialist science must dismiss as delusions.
That doesn’t mean that My Big TOE can’t be wrong, mistaken, or limited. There is always a possibility of some conflicting facts in the future. If so, the model must be improved or expanded to cover that fact, and if that cannot be done, then My Big TOE is incomplete and a better model should be sought.
Create Your Own Big TOE
It should be clear by now that My Big TOE is not a theory to be believed in. Rather, it is meant to inspire those coming across it to create their own individual model of reality – their very own Big Theory of Everything (TOE).
More commonly, a Big TOE is simply called a worldview – and everybody has one, whether they’ve given it much thought or not.
Some worldviews are informed mainly by belief (religious, cultural, scientific or other) while others have been shaped by transformational personal experiences. Yet other worldviews are patchy, leaving holes in various places. Some people are not too keen, for example, to contemplate things such as death or ultimate purpose, especially when they’re young. Their Big TOE may in fact be a little TOE as they assume that the physical world is all there is.
Ultimately, it’s not about creating a Big TOE from scratch, but completing it: revising and refining one’s worldview and filling the gaps, always looking for new information and assessing it with open-minded skepticism.
It it is not your experience, then it cannot be your truth. experience is required to convert belief into knowing. Remain both open-minded and skeptical of everything. Be doubly skeptical of your own assessments and conclusions.
The biggest value of any worldview or reality model lies in helping us become better, kinder, more caring and more loving human beings. This, of course, is a view already informed by an understanding of the world according to My Big TOE.
Everybody is on their own path, however, and different views and models are of different value to different people at different stages of their lives and of their personal evolution.
We are where we are, and the goal is to evolve from there. There is no judgment or sense that a more evolved starting point makes someone a better person – or that science, the paranormal, self-help, philosophy, religion, or any other body of knowledge or practice constitutes a preferred, more effective route to a higher quality of consciousness. The path toward positive evolution and personal growth may flow through none, all, or any of these things.
If you are a curious and open-minded person, then My Big TOE provides you with the tools, techniques and resources to make sense of the facts and data points constituting your very own subjective reality.