Tom Campbell

Page Navigation

Page Navigation

Tom Campbell worked as a physicist in technology development and complex-system risk analysis for both government and industry. In addition, he championed for more than 50 years the scientific, drug-free research into altered states of consciousness. This unique combination enabled him to develop My Big TOE, a scientific model of reality based on the insight that consciousness – not matter – is fundamental to all existence.

Professional Physicist

After obtaining degrees in mathematics and physics, Tom specialized in nuclear physics during his Ph.D. work at the University of Virginia. His 37-year professional career includes 12 years in technical intelligence, 15 years at Missile Defense Agency, and 10 years as a consultant in the general area of large-systems risk and vulnerability analysis for various high-tech companies, including two years with NASA.

Tom earned his B.S. degree (with honors) in 1966 with majors in both mathematics and physics from a small, but nationally distinguished, private liberal arts college. While an undergraduate, Tom became the president of his fraternity and chief Justice of the college’s student court. In 1968, Tom received a master’s degree in physics from Purdue University. After this, he commenced work on a Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia, with a specialization in experimental nuclear physics. He completed all coursework, passed all examinations and completed his Ph.D. thesis research, exploring excited states of the NA21 nucleus. Nevertheless, Tom chose to leave the university before receiving his doctorate.

Tom started his career as an analyst with US Army technical intelligence for a decade before moving into the research and development of technology supporting defensive missile systems. He excelled as a working scientist, a professional physicist dedicated to pushing back the frontiers of cutting-edge technology, large-system simulation, technology development and integration, and complex system vulnerability and risk analysis.

For 20 years, he worked at the heart of developing US missile defense systems with Department of Defense contractors under the national missile defense program. He most recently worked as a consultant for NASA within the Ares I program (follow-on to the Shuttle) assessing and solving problems of risk and vulnerability to ensure mission and crew survivability and success.

Consciousness Research Pioneer​

In the early 1970s, in parallel to his full-time day job, Tom began researching altered states of consciousness with Robert A. Monroe, the author of “Journeys out of the Body”. A successful and wealthy businessman, Bob Monroe had for years been having spontaneous, involuntary out-of-body experiences. To find out if these experiences could be deliberately induced in a controlled way, Bob set up a laboratory for the study of consciousness at his estate south of Charlottesville, Virginia (USA). The lab eventually became “The Monroe Institute” and is known today as a leading research and training organization for the experiential exploration of consciousness.

Tom, his friend Dennis Mennerich (an engineer) and a few others were instrumental in getting Bob’s lab up and running. These early, drug-free consciousness pioneers helped design experiments, developed the technology for reaching specific altered states (binaural beats), and were the main subjects of study all at the same time. Tom is the “TC (physicist)” described in Bob’s second book, “Far Journeys”. Tom has been scientifically exploring and experimenting with the properties, boundaries, and abilities of consciousness ever since. These include out-of-body experiences, remote viewing, and the ability of conscious intent to modify the physical world.

Developing binaural beats

During their time with Bob Monroe, Tom and Dennis were instrumental in developing binaural beats, an audio tool to help consciousness explorers disconnect from the physical world through meditation. The binaural beats’ finely calibrated stereo sounds help the listener to settle into a stable state of theta brainwaves. This makes it easier for them to reach what Tom calls point-consciousness – a meditation state in which the explorer stops processing their physical sense data and becomes open to accessing other data from the Larger Consciousness System.

Tom talks about his work with Bob Monroe

Mastering the Out-of-Body Experience

Tom and Dennis negotiated an arrangement with Bob, who was looking for “the right sort of scientists” to help him set up the equipment in his laboratory for the study of consciousness. Their deal was that they would work in Bob’s nascent lab (about 15 to 20 hours per week, in the evenings and on weekends) if Bob would teach them to experience the larger reality as he did. Being hardcore science-types with exceptionally high standards for evidence made Tom and Dennis challenging subjects, but Bob agreed and they began a 23-year-long relationship with Bob that lasted until his passing in 1995.

Tom entered a training curriculum with Bob to scientifically explore and personally experience the larger reality. During this time, he became not only an adept consciousness explorer but also the main theoretician at what today is the Monroe Institute (TMI). His job it was to understand, in scientific terms, the nature of reality. This involved exploring non-physical realms of existence, exercises in remote viewing

It was clear there was more to reality than what traditional science had measured and that current science was defining only a part of our overall reality. It became Tom’s job to develop a single unified model that explained the data collected at TMI as well as the data collected by traditional science. One overarching scientific understanding that could derive from first principles an accurate and comprehensive physics as well as an accurate and comprehensive metaphysics including the origins, mechanics, point and purpose of both our local reality (physical universe) and the larger reality (the Larger Consciousness System).

Tom served as a Member of the Board of Directors of TMI for ten years. During this time, he continued the research begun earlier at TMI on his own.

Tom began collecting, pulling together, and formalizing the results of his consciousness research, focusing experimentation on the remaining problems, and writing down what he had experimentally determined to be fundamental characteristics of the larger reality thus far. Tom has been a serious explorer of the frontiers of reality, mind, consciousness, and psychic phenomena for the last fifty years and continuing. Using his acquired mastery of the out-of-body experience as a research tool, Tom focused his work toward discovering the outer boundaries, inner workings, and causal dynamics of the larger reality (which he calls the Larger Consciousness System).

The result of this research unites the worlds of objective and subjective experience under one scientific explanation, thus achieving the goal of generating one unified, comprehensive theory of everything (TOE) that bridges metaphysics and physics with one scientific understanding.

Author of My Big TOE

In February 2003, Tom published the My Big TOE book trilogy, which represents the results of his 30-year scientific exploration of the nature of reality up to that point.

Thanks to his research into consciousness, Tom understood that consciousness is the fundamental reality, the only thing that ultimately exists. Consciousness is the superset of which the physical world is only a subset.

Thanks to his education and work as a physicist, Tom was able to explain how consciousness can be modeled as an evolving, self-modifying information system, and how the physical world necessarily emerges from that Larger Consciousness System like a virtual reality.

Originally conceived only as a theory of consciousness, Tom soon realized that the idea of the physical universe being like a virtual reality also logically explains the supposed “weirdness” of quantum mechanics and relativity. My Big TOE derives both theories from first principles.

Crucially, My Big TOE also logically derives the purpose of our human existence. We are pieces of an evolving Larger Consciousness System. By participating in the virtual reality game called life, we seek to evolve our individual quality of consciousness, thus driving forward the evolution of the entire system.

Consciousness Exploration Trainer

Since 2008, Tom has been sharing the My Big TOE model at lectures and workshops around the world. Because he asks people not to believe what he says but to find out for themselves, Tom teaches participants both the theory and the basic techniques they can use to explore the Larger Consciousness System.

My Big TOE rationally explains why paranormal phenomena are a natural artifact of a reality in which consciousness is fundamental. This has provided great relief to many people who have had out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences or precognitive dreams, or experienced other paranormal phenomena that are typically discounted in modern society. Through My Big TOE they have been reassured that nothing is wrong with them. They have learned how to see meaning in these experiences and harness them for personal growth.

More generally, the My Big TOE model logically explains why learning to get rid of our fear, ego and beliefs is the very purpose of our lives, and how we can best work towards this goal. In this regard, Tom’s insights into the nature of reality echo those of mystics and sages from all cultures throughout history.

In all these ways, Tom has had a great impact on countless individuals around the world. My Big TOE has helped them to see a bigger picture, to improve their personal relationships and to lead happier and more meaningful lives.

YouTube Personality​

In the two decades following the publication of the books, the My Big TOE model has reached an ever-growing audience. Tom’s YouTube channel now has more than 70,000 subscribers. This is in large part thanks to the relentless efforts of both Tom as well as Donna Aveni and Keith Warner of MBT Events in producing a constant stream of videos for Tom’s YouTube channel.

Quantum Physics Theorist​

With a growing number of physicists coming to the conclusion that reality is information-based, Tom found the time was finally ripe for science to replace the prevailing paradigm of materialism with a new scientific paradigm that provides a better understanding of the relation between mind and matter. In 2016, Tom devised a series of quantum physics experiments which, if they work as predicted, should leave little room for doubt that consciousness is fundamental to reality.

Share this page:


Explore This Section Further

What Does My Big TOE Achieve?

As the first-ever scientific model of reality based on the insight that consciousness is the fundamental reality, My Big TOE solves numerous puzzles and paradoxes that science, philosophy and religion could not rationally explain.

How to Engage My Big TOE?

My Big TOE will challenge your most deeply held assumptions and beliefs. This is why it’s important to approach it with the right attitude. Always remain skeptical but open-minded – reality may be stranger than you ever thought.

Why Those Computer Metaphors?

If the idea of the universe being a virtual reality doesn’t resonate with you, try not to let that put you off. There are many reasons why computer metaphors are particularly useful for describing how the physical world relates to consciousness.

Thomas Warren Campbell, Jr. was born on 9 December 1944 in Hagerstown, Maryland, USA. A father of two sons and two daughters, and grandfather to eight grandchildren, Tom lives with his wife Pamela in the Southeast region of the United States.

Watch More About Tom's Life

Early childhood experiences

Dennis Mennerich: meeting Tom and Bob

Why Tom is not "Dr. Campbell"

Read Relevant Chapters from the My Big TOE Trilogy

On meditation
On meeting Bob Monroe

Listen to the Explorer Tapes from the Monroe Institute

Some 32 recordings of reports by Tom and others about their consciousness explorations with Bob Monroe have been preserved and are available to the public. Tom’s reports are featured in episodes #3, 9, 12, 16 and 24 (look for the acronym TC in the episode descriptions). The first episode starts with a general introduction by Bob.

Bob Monroe

The Monroe Institute

Today, the Monroe Institute (TMI) is a leading institution for the experiential exploration of human consciousness, welcoming program participants from all over the world. Tom is still in touch with TMI and has been giving some of his own workshops there during the past years.

Book idea: Primal Man, Primal Woman

Since 2013, Tom has been meaning to write another book to help bring about a process for shifting need-based relationships to love-based relationships. The key idea is to look at gender with no cultural belief overlays. When stripped back of our fears and belief systems, what remains of men and women? What are the differences and commonalities?

Tom has written a draft outline of the book but hasn’t found the time yet to make progress on this project.

How to create love-based relationships

In the video below, Tom shares his basic ideas of how intimate relationships can be shifted from need-based to love-based. Although he uses male-female relationships as examples, the same ideas can be applied to same-sex relationships.