Tom Campbell: Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Picture

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Tom Campbell: Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Picture

Post by Ted Vollers »

Tom Campbell: Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Picture an interview with Donna Aveni and technical production by Keith Warner, published on July 9, 2013.

Some have said that physicist Tom Campbell's My Big TOE model of reality has scientifically derived God. Tom explains this living entity in his science terms as the executive branch of the LCS (Larger Consciousness System). In regards to the LCS, the concepts of "perfect" and "infinite" are discussed.

Tom's expertise as a large complex systems analyst for NASA, and his expertise in exploring the multidimensional realms of our reality, led him to logically deriving My Big TOE from only two assumptions; Consciousness exists, and it evolves. (An elegant model has few assumptions; most current popular models have 14 or more).

The value of MBT many have found is that it is a "model that explains the data you collect in your subjective experience."

Below are definitions, subjects covered, and quotes from this discussion:

Low entropy is a science term meaning organized and effective. Here, low entropy is in the context of the quality of being.

What is faith? What path best promotes spiritual growth? Does religion fit into the MBT model? What is our purpose? How does this reality work? "Is turning the 'other cheek' always the right thing?" Is to "be" the better part of believe?

Quotes by Tom from this discussion: "Truth is universal", "The Truth isn't owned by an organization", "The reality we live in is a creative process" (explains why artists from all disciplines are so in touch with the larger reality?)

Donna Aveni
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Re: Tom Campbell: Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Pictur

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Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Picture

Donna: What would you say to people who say, “Well, I have faith. Jesus was this, and he meant this, and he did that.” What would your interpretation be? What is your insight into that?

Tom: Faith for the most part is another word for belief. You believe that this is the way it is. My stance on belief is real clear. Belief is mostly a part of the problem. Faith is not open minded skepticism. Faith says, “I can't stand to be skeptical about it. I need to know. So I’m going to have faith that it's this way.” As soon as you believe that it’s, “that way,” you're no longer open-minded. Because you've already come to the conclusion of the way it is. If you're not open minded, then you can’t learn anything new. You just painted yourself in a corner with your beliefs.

Donna: There are a lot of good people out there though that say, “My faith has saved me. My faith is giving me strength. My faith will get me through this.” And I see that as fine, if that is where that person is in to how to cope with things. I don't see anything particularly wrong with it.

Tom: There isn’t that there is anything personally wrong with it. People have beliefs. And they'll tell you that their beliefs, their religion, their dogma, get them through. And that's fine; it does. That's not inaccurate. People can cling to beliefs, and those beliefs can help them get through. But it’s limiting. It's not the best way to live your life. It's not the way that's going to maximize your opportunities for growth. It’s a limited way. We can have a belief. Let's say we believe something that's nice. We believe that it's good to love other people. We believe that it's a good thing to care about others. We believe that we should always be nice and helpful to other people. This is the belief. That's a very civilizing belief. That's good. And people can say, “Well, I had this horrible thing happen to me. But, I had this strong belief that really it's about loving and caring about others. So I made it through.” And, yes that's true. And that belief helped them get through. But it’s still a belief.

How much better would it be, if instead of having the belief, if they had the understanding that being kind, that being good is the fundamental purpose of our being here. That's also civilizing, but it’s for a different reason. Now you actually understand the big picture of what's going on, and your place in it, and how you fit. It's not just the idea, “I believe, so I’ll do this.” Both may end up in the same actions but they're not coming from the same intent. The one that has just the belief may not be able to get past that belief. They may get to a point where the right thing to do is to knock some heads together. The right thing to do is to stop some kind of terrible action. But they can't do that because they believe that you should always be nice. So okay, here's somebody and they're going around doing awful things. And someone has an opportunity to stop them, but they don't because that “wouldn't be nice.” They have to be nice all the time because that's a belief.

Whereas, you need to have the understanding that there are times when you need to stand up and fight. There are times when you need to butt in and say, “No, no more of this.” There times when you need to protect. So that's like the idea of being a pacifist. There is a time when turning the other cheek is the right thing to do. There are times when it's not the right thing to do. You have to not have this small idea that is run out of a belief, because that belief isn’t going to fit all the situations. Belief is very specific. And it's a piece of the pie. And it can be a very helpful piece if you believe nice things. As opposed to, “I believe I should take whatever I want and give as little as I can for it.” That's a belief of using others, of abusing others. That's the way the world works. You’ve got to look out for number one. You’ve got to take as much as you can get, and give as little back as you have to. That’s how you succeed. A lot of people believe that as well. That's not a nice belief. But that belief may end up making people wealthy. They may end up getting higher positions in their companies because they believe that way, because they take advantage of people. They step on people on the way up. They set up situations where their competitors fail. They kind of poison the well, and other people's neighborhoods, because it makes their own well more profitable. So that kind of stuff may actually allow you to succeed in a world such as ours. But it’s not good.

Beliefs may have some practical value in a small picture. But in a big picture they're limiting. They're very limiting. Whether it's the civilizing belief of, “do good things,” or the antisocial belief of, “It's all about me.” Both of those beliefs will help you make decisions according to your beliefs. They'll give you direction according to your beliefs. But neither one of them is probably going to help you grow up. Because if the reason I help this little old lady cross the street is, “I have a belief that’s a good thing to do.” Well, you helped a little lady across the street, but you don't grow up in it. It doesn't involve you in it because you're not doing it for the right reasons. You're doing it because you have this intellectual belief, not because it's the right thing to do at the being level. If it’s your choice to do it because it is right, that’s different than, you do it because you believe you should. They’re two different things.

It's not that you can't do both. Some people have a belief and they also feel that it's the right thing to do. That means they may have a religious component, but they have a spiritual component too. The two are not incompatible. It's not that if you have these beliefs you can't be a good person. It's not that. Even if you believe in stepping on other people's success, you might still be a good person in some aspects of your personality. It's not black and white. Just in general belief is limited. You’re less limited; you can make wider decisions and better decisions, if you're not basing your decisions on a belief. But rather, if you base your decisions on an understanding of the nature of reality, and what's important, and what our purpose is. If you understand the big picture then you know when it's time to turn the other cheek, when it's time to resist, and when it's time to push back.

Donna: Your most valuable contribution, through your My Big TOE books, is to get people a bigger picture. You’re not telling them to believe anything. You’re telling them to be a little more open-minded and skeptical; to try to look at the bigger picture. It is the bigger picture that you create by having the experience of the Larger Consciousness System. It is not only from the viewpoint of a physicist, and explaining it scientifically, but from the viewpoint of an explorer of the Larger Consciousness System. This is the great value, I think, in your books. And too, on the subject of belief, how often has belief been the cause of someone persecuting another?

Tom: Sure and there’s the old political statement, (I can’t remember who said it, but basically,) “Evil things happen when good men do nothing.[1]” I didn’t quote that exactly right, but we let terrible things happen when good men sit and do nothing. There is a time that you have to just get up and say, “No.” Or you have to oppose or not turn the other cheek. There's a time to fight back. You can't make these rules based on action. It’s not about what you do. It’s why you do it. It's the Intent that's really important. The moral values are attached to the Intent. They’re not attached to the action. So, in some cases turning the other cheek is the moral action, the moral thing to do, but if you're doing it for the right reason. You could do it for the wrong reason, and it wouldn’t be moral and carries no more value. And the same applies to standing up. Sometimes if you say, “No, I won’t allow that.” That's the wrong thing to do. You shouldn't be imposing your view of the world on other people and other times you should. And you say, “It’s very confusing. How do I know which to do, when, and whatever?” There is no morality tagged to action. It's not about the action. It's about the intent. And if your intent is informed by belief, then it’s a pretty much an uninformed intent.

It's just belief applied the same way in every situation. Well it doesn't necessarily fit in every situation. Turn the other cheek is a very wonderful thing to do. That says that you don't flare up your ego because somebody else has flared up their ego; that you are above that. You don't have to throw gasoline on that fire. You can do something more intelligent. That's a very good thing. But in some cases it doesn't work. So you have to work from the Intent. What does the most good for the most people? Where is the low entropy path? What is the right action here in terms of fundamentals, in terms of evolving the quality of your consciousness, in terms of being Love? Not, “acting” like you’re love, but actually, “being” Love at the being level.

That's the point. People want to be given a prescription, “What should I do? Should I turn the other cheek in every instance? I’m a pacifist. That’s just the way I am. I believe in it. If my country gets invaded then somebody else will have to fight. I won't do that. Or if my family gets invaded, I’ll just have to let them take my wife and children because I can't be violent.” Well nonsense, that's what happens when you work from belief. It's not really tied to what's real, what's important. That's the point about belief. So yes, belief can make you a kinder person, can make you a meaner person. So it's not that all belief is ugly and mean. People who get through because of their beliefs, it’s true they're getting value out of those beliefs. People can end up being millionaires because of their beliefs. Because they don't mind walking over people and taking advantages of situations. Then they'll say it was, “their beliefs” that made them successful. And that's probably true too.

But none of that is the way you want to live. None of that is optimal growth. None of that is optimal evolution of your consciousness. That's why I don't say, “Here's what you should do. Listen to me.” I say, “Here are the basic fundamentals of reality. Now go out and apply them, grow, do what you can with them. Always try to get rid of your ego and fear and become Love.” But those are real general things. And people say, “That's nice but tell me what to do.” And that's not a good question; and I don't answer those. I’ll give you the basics, but you have to grow from the inside out. Nobody can tell you what to believe - how to grow. I tell you, “Don't believe anything. Just be open-minded, skeptical. Understand how this really works, and live your life the best way you can. And if you are always open-minded and skeptical, and if you have a desire to evolve the quality of consciousness, you will succeed.”

Donna: You have the most advanced experience of how this reality works because you wrote the big TOE from science. And you wrote it from an explorer in consciousness. If you would encapsulate one thing about how this reality works, and how would peoples' lives would be improved by this bigger picture, you would say what?

Tom: How this reality works? Basically I say, “It's a virtual reality. Consciousness is the only thing that's fundamental. You are a piece of consciousness. And your job is to evolve, to lower the entropy of your consciousness, to evolve the quality of that consciousness, to become Love. That's your goal. That's what you should be working for. That's why you're here.”

Donna: And that has nothing to do with the religion. Because where the religion goes wrong is, “You must believe that I believe or you are doomed.” And that is on a very limiting level.

Tom: That's dogma; that's belief. It’s belief, but it’s what we just call dogma - creed. Most of what you find that’s religious is a combination of things. I think it started out many times just with a prophet who had a bigger picture. But then you can't really build organizations on bigger pictures. You build organizations by appealing to people's egos because that's how people are. We're not a bunch of very grown, highly evolved consciousnesses here. We're a bunch of people with egos and lots of fear. And if you want those people to come join you, (and there's power in numbers, not only the power of the collection plate to get money from those others, but there's a lot of political power, and there's a lot of influence,) there's a lot of safety in numbers. If you're one of a hundred people, well, anybody who is a group of a thousand people, they're going to run all over you. But if you have a hundred million people in your group, well now you've got power. You’ve got political power. You’ve got social power. You influence society, politics, everything. You influence basically what people believe and think because you have so many members. There’s a lot of power in members.

How do you get members to come to your group? You have to appeal to those members. You have to give them something they want. And for most of us, what does that mean? It means you have to appeal to their fear; you have to do appeal to their ego; you have to appeal to their beliefs. So you move into an area, like religions did historically as their people expanded, and in that area they do whatever – they’re the heathens. They worship pine trees, or animals, or something. Well, you don't want to just kill them all; you want to convert them all. So you kind of make your religion grow big enough to pull them into. You incorporate some of their festivals into your festivals. So, now you pull a pine tree into your house for Christmas. What does a pine tree in your house have to do with Christmas, right? Well, you were just trying to make it easier for some twenty-thousand other people, who are into pine trees, to come to join your thing and feel good about it, because their pine tree is now a central part of your thing as well.

So, you see we have all this going. How do you do this? You appeal to people's needs, to what they’re used to, to their egos, to their fears. And that helped you build an organization that is larger. And largeness brings you power, brings you wealth, brings you influence. Religions became organizations, as opposed to just a group of people wandering around talking to other people, spreading their word. It became, “an organization” with leaders who were in charge, and others who had to follow. And the more followers you have, the more power and safety you have, etcetera, etcetera. You can see how easily any organization starts to become more about, how you maintain and grow the organization, than about what the message was five hundred years ago early on. And you start changing that message to suit your political and organizational needs. The organization needs a message that has magic in it. Well, you suddenly find magic and miracles in your thing, because that's what draws people in. That's what they like to hear. We look at these things, and that's why open minded skepticism is the only thing that you can use that’s helpful. Because if you said, “Oh, look at all the miracles that Jesus did.” Well, open minded skepticism, you see - maybe so, maybe not so. Maybe it really happened. It doesn't matter. “Why don't you go back in time and see if it really happened?” It doesn't matter. None of that is really important. What does that have to do with your growth?

Donna: It's logical that some of the things that he (Jesus) did such as healing, all these things I do, you can do too. That is letting them know who they really are - their own power. That you can also do this because of who you are; it is not just me.

Tom: Yes, that’s where the skepticism comes in. The skepticism doesn't mean that you throw it out. A skeptic isn't somebody that disbelieves. A disbeliever is just another kind of believer. A skeptic is somebody who realizes they don't have all the information. But they take what information they do have and come up with some probability of these possibilities being true. We talk about healing miracles. We have in our own experience knowledge that you can heal with your mental Intent. It changes the probable future and we know how that works. Knowing that as part of our knowledge base, we hear about a healing going on; it's not a matter of you having to believe it or disbelieve it. You can say, “Yeah, those kinds of things can happen. I can see someone who had a real strong Intent, who was very spiritual, had a high quality conscious, and could probably do things that other people would see as miracles.” But it's just the way reality works. And we can have that idea. And then we say, “Well maybe that the healings occurred is probably an eighty or ninety percent probability that they occurred.” And the probability is that those kinds of things got puffed up over time as the story got retold and retold, and the story got more and more miraculous. You know the fish gets bigger every time the fish story gets told. The first guy that catches the fish says, “It’s this big.” and then he tells the story again. And other people tell it and pretty soon, “It’s that big.” And you know how that is.

Our mythology tends to grow up and become bigger than life. And I have a certain amount of experience with that too - with fish stories. So you can say, “Well, I can also see that there maybe a little bit of “fish story” stuff going on here, as well some of these miracles, and etcetera. And I can see where people had their ego invested in this. That they might make up some of these stores just because it would be good marketing.” So I see all of those things are true. But I don't really worry about it, or care a whole lot about, what really was true because that really isn’t important to me. What's important to me isn’t the stuff that happens to me, or even the stuff that happened to others. What's important is how I react to what happens to me. If what happens to me is a story, (somebody tells me the story of Buddha, or Jesus, or Mohammad, or something else,) and I get the story of what they say. It's not, do I believe it or not believe it. That's for children. Children have this propensity to believe it or not believe it. Because they know so little, their world tends to be black and white. They guess based on who told them. Somebody they trust told them they believe it. Somebody they don’t trust tells them and they don't believe it - that sort of thing.

Donna: Going back a moment to organized religions; I see a value in a community getting together within whatever their little church is. I see value in interacting within this community - helping each other. I think there is some religions like that which don't try to perpetrate their beliefs on others, and they are kind to each other. They support each other. And I think that aspect of a religion can be very good. It's when it has grown, as you say, outside into big organizations where there’s a lot of control, and there's a lot of, “My religion is better than your religion” that it has gotten out of hand.

Tom: Sure, often religions have spiritual components as well as religious components. And I separate those two. To call something spiritual is different than calling something religious. If the religion has dogmas, and certain rituals they do, and other things; there may or may not be any spiritual content to that. It just depends on how each person interprets it. One member of that religion may interpret that in spiritual terms, and they may find growth in it. Other people may just memorize it as dogma, and lord it over others, and think they're superior. They think their dogma is better than somebody else's dogma. Then it has no spiritual component. So the spirituality, or lack thereof, tends to be in the in the mind, and in the consciousness, of the beholder.

When we talk about religions, it's a mixed bag of dogma, of history, of power, of organization. And there's some spiritual content to it as well. But what each member gets out of it depends on the member and what they’re looking for. Are they looking for a spiritual content? Or are they are looking for social content? “Oh, I go to church because that's what all my friends do. That's what my parents did. And I do that too because it's my habit. And of course, it’s the right thing to do. And I’m going to raise my children and take them to church too.” Why? “Well, because that's just the right thing to do.” Well, there is very little spiritual content that. It's just a social habitat. That’s where they meet and talk with their friends. And the church goes bowling on Tuesday nights, and goes skating on Wednesday nights, and has a singles party on Friday nights, and it's a social club. There’s nothing wrong with social clubs. Social clubs are fine. The church fills many, many needs.

Back in older times churches had their own armies. They also had people who fought and killed each other. They had their own warriors. So there are all sorts of things that religion can become. Religion just is. You expect religion and humanity to be full of fear and full of ego. People want to group together because of their fear. There is value of security in numbers, and wealth in numbers, and power in numbers. They've learned that. An organization was kind of a human invention. Where you create human organization, social organizations, and people join it. And the organization’s power has to do with how many members and how influential they are. But that doesn't have a whole lot to do with growing the quality of your consciousness and becoming Love. It can have something to do with it if those two married – if they married organizationally. But they’re really two separate things. They're not a solution they’re a mixture.

Donna: You have many people who have read you’re My Big TOE and resonate with it. And their lives have been changed by it. You have any people from Catholic religion, Protestant religion, the Jewish faith, and every imaginable religion out there that have been able to gain further insight. My Big TOE does not conflict with their religion. Can you comment on how it's helped people, and does not contradict what they believe, but simply adds to it?

Tom: Sure the reason, it doesn't conflict with what they believe, is that I don’t ask people to believe anything. I ask people not to believe anything. I don't come with dogma. I don't come with, “Here’s the way you have to think about things.” I come with a structure basically. Here’s a way of looking at reality. It’s a model. I tell people,”Don't believe the model. The model is not reality. The model is just a model. It’s a bunch of metaphors that help you put ideas and constructs, (abstract thoughts) into a structure; so that you can understand how things fit together.” That's what the model does. The model should explain the data that you collect in your own experience. That's really what My Big TOE is. It’s a model of reality, and it covers the objective as well as the subjective. So your subjective experience can be explained and understood in terms of this model.
And it doesn't matter what religion you are, or whether you’re atheist and have no religion. My Big TOE has appealed to all religions and no religion. I have many people who have gotten a lot out of the My Big TOE theory who were atheists before - who were Catholics before. And maybe I shouldn’t say, “before.” Maybe they're still atheists, still Catholics, still Jews, still members of Islam, or Buddhists - that's not the point. This is not an, “ist.” They’re not Big Toe-ists. They’re just people who can put their personal and their subjective experiences into a meaningful context. And there is no dogma.

Truth is universal. The truth isn’t owned by a religion or by an organization. The truth can't be owned. I don’t own the truth either. My Big TOE doesn’t own the truth. I don't say, “This is the truth. This is the way, and you must follow it.” I just offer a model. “Here’s a model. If this model works for you then use it. You'll find it less encumbered than most models, because it doesn’t really require you to believe anything in particular. It just requires you to be open-minded and skeptical.” That's really the requirement. Just be skeptical of everything I say, and everything anybody else says. Be skeptical, be open-minded, and look at your experience. Look at where you’ve been, where you're going, and see what's important to you - what works and what doesn't. And you'll find that what works is caring. That what gets you in trouble, and causes you misery, is fear and ego. You'll just find that as part of your experience, because that's just truth; that's the way it is. And it doesn’t matter what religion you are or whether you're atheist or not. That's just truth. That's the way it will be. So as you as you work at this, and you say, “Well, okay, let's give it a try.” You will find that the things that I tell you will be validated by your experience. And if they're not, then let it go. It's not if it doesn’t work for you then you've made a big error, and you're having a problem because you don't agree with me. If it doesn't work for you, do something else. Don't work at something that doesn't work for you. If the metaphors and descriptions I’m using don't resonate with you, then this is not a good model for you. Go find a model that fits where you are right now. And maybe you’ll outgrow that model. Maybe my model will become better for you later on, and maybe never. That doesn't matter. It’s just you should go grow. Be all that you can be. And just your own experience will tell you that to get rid of your fear you’ll be happier. Life will work better for you. You’ll see that your fear and your ego is what make everything difficult.

It's just simple. It's very experiential. Take these ideas and explore; try them out; see where it leads you. If it leads you to a better place, then keep going. If it leads you to a worse place, or doesn't do anything for you, then leave it alone. Go find your solutions some other place, some other way. So that's why I don't have any conflict with religion. All religions are fine. I don’t support them, or wish they’d all go away. They just are. And they serve as a good entry point to a lot of people. Millions and millions of people get something good out of their religion. And there are also millions of people who get some things that aren’t so good out of their region. But that's not the fault of the religion. That's just the way the people are. It's not that the religion is evil. It’s that the people aren't getting out of it what's helpful. They’re focusing on the dogma. They’re focusing on the ego part, or the fear part. “My God’s bigger than your God.” And, “I'm right and you're wrong.” “Kill the infidels.” That's not the part of religion that that gives back. That’s the part that resonates with ego, with fear.

Donna: Speaking of God, in one of our interviews you said, “For those who ask, wouldn’t it be great if science derived God?” “Those” should be careful what they wish for. How has your My Big TOE scientifically derived God?

Tom: I've had people say that My Big TOE derives God, and it does for them. It won't necessarily do that for everybody. It depends on what your image of god is. If your image of God is a little old man with a long white beard playing his pet people, and manipulating them, and he has heaven for the people who believe in him, and hell for the people who don't etcetera. My model isn’t going to derive that kind of a God. So, if that’s your idea of God; it won't go there. But people who have a very open-ended idea of God, more of a spiritual idea; they find that the Larger Consciousness System is God to them. In my books, in the way I write it, the Larger Consciousness System is just a natural system. It’s not a deity. I don’t present it that way. It is just a natural system. It’s an information system that has evolved the way it is. And it's not perfect. It’s not infinite. It has boundaries. It has limitations. But it's everything that we can know about, because we are pieces of it - pieces of consciousness. So we can’t get outside of the system to look at it from a different perspective. We have to see it from inside. So we’re inside the system. We can maybe hypothesize about what's outside the system, but we don't really know. In a real sense, in a practical sense, it is everything there is to us. Even though we know that there might be other stuff beyond that. We just know that we can't know anything about it. So we just leave that alone; because otherwise it's just conjecture. Conjecture tends to get you in trouble. Pretty soon you believe your own conjectures and then you’re chasing ghosts.

Donna: Most people's belief with this system, which you correlate to the Larger Consciousness System as God, would have trouble believing that it's not perfect, and that it's finite. But when you say that you mean, it is perfect, and it is infinite, (in as much as we can understand that); you're talking about as it appears to us.

Tom: In a practical sense as it appears to us. I say as an analogy; if you're in an inner tube floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, or Pacific Ocean, and there you are a thousand miles away from any land. And you’re in this little inner tube, not on a great big ship, and you’re bobbing up and down on the waves. At that point the ocean appears to you, and for all practical purposes is, infinite. It seems like it's an infinite ocean because there is no way you could paddle your way to land - in any case. As far as you will go, as long as your life will still exist, (which probably won't be but so many weeks,) you can’t see anything else other than what you can see in all directions. It’s just ocean. You feel like the ocean is infinite. And in a practical sense to you, it is. You can’t get beyond it. It’s impossible. Because you, in your little inner tube, are not going to go a thousand miles before you die of thirst, or whatever else happens to you. So it's an infinite ocean then. But we know it's not an infinite ocean. We know the ocean has boundaries, and there is land. It’s just unreachable by that poor little guy in the inner tube.

So we’re kind of like that with the Larger Consciousness System. We know it's a finite system because it's real. It's a real system. And anything real has to be finite. Infinity is an abstraction. Infinity doesn't exist. Infinity is bigger than biggest. It can't really exist. In mathematics you can approach infinity but you can never get there, because it doesn’t really exist. It's not a real thing; it's an idea. It’s concept, but it's not a real thing. So you can’t say, “This is infinite. The universe is infinite.” Well, we know it's not infinite. It's big, but we know we can only see so far. It’s not infinite at all. And scientists will even tell you what the size is; what the diameter is of the universe. Well, that’s limited by light speed and other things. What's on the other side of the universe then if it's finite? Nobody knows. Nobody has that information. And it's not that useful even to speculate about it. You just have to learn to live gracefully with uncertainty. That's why I say that it’s finite, because it’s real. Consciousness is a real thing. If it’s real, it can't be infinite.

Donna: And would you apply, “perfect” to that as well.

Tom: Yes, it's not a perfect system. Any system that’s real is not perfect. It has its limitations. It has things it can’t necessarily keep up with. Its part of a larger process, and processes are never perfect. There's always an exception somewhere. There’s always something different that happens that wasn't planned for. There's always kind of a fly in the ointment somewhere - if you will. Processes don't have to be perfect in order to work. They just have to work most of the time. That's the way it is in all of our processes.

Look at the law. What would life be like if there were no laws? We wouldn't want to live there would we? That’s chaos if there are no laws. What happens is we go back to the original law which we call, “the law the jungle.” Whoever has the biggest fist, the most power, is the one who dictates what others do. That's the law of the jungle. It’s the law of power. And nobody wants to live in a place like that unless, of course, they think they're the one with the biggest power. You know that doesn't last long. Anyway, if there was no law we would all be in anarchy, and revert to the law of the jungle. But is the law perfect? Of course the law is not perfect. But does the law work? Yes, the law works. It works where it works; it fails where it fails. But in general, it works a lot more than it fails. So, we're all happy to have it, because it helps keep all of us safe, it draws boundaries of things it can do, and not do, expectations and so-on. The laws are different from culture to culture but that's okay. We have rules - cultural rules. We have laws because they help us live together in our society. It helps us get along. It helps us be constructive rather than destructive. And the law of the jungle is just too limiting for us. We can't work. We can’t have civilization with that sort of law. So is the law perfect - of course not.

The Larger Consciousness System is the same way. For the most part it works really, really well. But don't think that it’s perfect; that you can't have things that go wrong; that you can’t have transgressions in the law that aren’t caught. Sometimes people violate the law and they get away with it. Well, sometimes things happen in the Larger Consciousness System; things that aren’t planned. Maybe there are even laws against them happening but they happen anyway. It's just the way it is in a big system. Perfect is like infinite. There really is no such thing as perfect. Perfect is an ideal that doesn't exist, that you can imagine, but isn't real. Is your body perfect? No, your body gets along real well. All the cells communicate. The brain that controls the nervous system, (which makes all the pieces move,) and the skin cells, and the blood cells, and the oxygen transfer with the hemoglobin; all of that works real well most of the time. But it's not a perfect system. Sometimes there are issues. Sometimes there are problems. It’s the same with any system.

Donna: It is as perfect as our limited ability to conceive of perfect.

Tom: Yes, it is just like the ocean. It’s like the Larger Consciousness System. And when I say that, “we’re a part of the Larger Consciousness System,” I mean you, and I, and all the other Individual Units, (which is the raccoons, the dogs, the monkeys, as well all of this consciousness) are part of the Larger Consciousness System. So, we’re it; and it's us. But besides that, there's also parts of this Larger Consciousness System that is the executive component. And with computers we’d say the operating system, the part that keeps the rest of it more productive. Look at this executive function of the Larger Consciousness System. It is the source of the rules, the source of the structure, and the source of our virtual reality. It is the source that decided to compute this virtual reality, and set up these simulations; so that we, Individuated Units of Consciousness, would have a better learning lab. That’s the executive’s function. And that appears to us to be both infinite and perfect. Because like the ocean, it is so much bigger than we are as being little pieces of it. It seems so large we can't really comprehend the largeness of it. So we say, “that's infinite.” But now we're using the word, “infinite” as a metaphor. It is a metaphor that means, “bigger than we can ever imagine,” not as a technical term. As long as we use the word, “infinite” and, “perfect” as metaphors. Which means it's seems infinite to us. It seems perfect to us. Then fine. It’s infinite and perfect as those words are metaphors.

Now when we start thinking, “Oh no, it’s really infinite.” That’s silliness because nothing can be infinite. If it were infinite, and could grow just one more cell, then it would be bigger than infinite. Well no, infinite is a bigger number. It really wasn't infinite in the first place. There really is no such thing as infinite. It's just an abstract concept. “Perfect,” is pretty much an abstract concept. If you have a very simple system, let’s say you have to two sticks and two balls and you say, “I want to arrange these in a way that takes up the least amount of volume.” So you want the sticks to be really close together, not at right angles which would produce more area. And you could say, “Now, that's perfect.” In a very simple system you may come to that conclusion. But if you start looking at it in detail, it's probably not perfect. If you look right down at the atomic or molecular level, how do you describe that area? And what do you mean “minimum area?” Those little molecules, of those sticks and balls, are vibrating in and out. You can’t even define the area that it takes up.

If we look at it simplistically, on a big scale, we might see that we have a perfect solution to a problem. But that's a very simple problem with very few dimensions and very few interactions in it. Once you talk about consciousness, and just on this planet there is seven seven-plus billions of us that can interact and interact with our environment, now it becomes so complex. That to think of us seven billion, plus the other hundreds of billions of other Individuated Units of Consciousness in the animal world, to think that all of that as somehow being perfect. Well yeah, if it's just a metaphor. But if you're talking about “perfect” not a metaphor but as an exact thing, it doesn't make any sense.

So there is no perfect, and there is no infinite at all, as long as you're talking about real systems. The consciousness system is a real system. We’re real. Consciousness is real. So, it's not perfect, and it's not infinite. In that way it’s kind of different. I think most religions when they talk about their, “infinite perfect God”; they’re not talking in terms of precise absolutes. They're talking really in terms of metaphors. It seems infinite and it appears to be perfect, and sure, I’ll agree with that. This executive function of the Larger Consciousness System would seem like that to us. We would seem so small and insignificant next to it, and we would seem so imperfect next to it, that we would get that sense of it being infinite and perfect. That's what's I think is really the difference. People get wound up around those words, “Oh no, it really is infinite.” And they don’t realize that even what they're saying is illogical. To say that something is indeed infinite is an illogical statement. There is no thing that's infinite in any way.

Donna: I think that explains it very well. If we are, as you say, part of this Larger Consciousness System, we are actually a part of it. And as some believe, we are a part of God. We are probably the imperfect part of this Larger Consciousness System. And the executive is much more of perfection then we can even imagine. Looking at it as an entire system, we are certainly the less perfect part of it.

Tom: And people then would say, “Why is there a less perfect part?” Why doesn’t the part that's more grown up and whatever just make everything like itself?” There's no advantage in that. It's just taken itself and made itself bigger. Where's the advantage? All right now what? What has it bought with that? What's the advantage to the system of just saying, “I’m going to get rid of everything that's imperfect, (imperfect in a metaphorical way.) I’m going to get rid of all that bad stuff, and it will just be me - cut all that other stuff out. And that will be, “Well that's just where I was when I started this.” That's very limiting. That's not the point. The point is this thing isn't perfect in the sense that it’s still evolving. It's evolving too. It's becoming, “more.”

It's a matter of capacity. It’s got all of this capacity - all of this these ones and zeros, (to take your capacity down to ones and zeros.) And the executive part only fills up a certain amount of that. It just makes itself bigger to be redundant, and fills all the rest of it up with redundant copies of itself. It doesn't add anything new to the process. It just takes what you have, and fills up all the capacity with what you have by being redundant. That redundancy isn't growth. There’s no growth in redundancy. Okay, you've written a story. Now you make a hundred Xerox copies of it. You haven't written a hundred stories. It’s just one story, and there's nothing new created. There's no creativity; there's no advancement. There’s no growth out of just duplicating what you already have. Where there's growth is taking something that hasn't been made up yet and writing a new story. That's where the growth is. So it's not just, “Why doesn’t this executive part just duplicate itself all over, all of its capacity, and then it’s all done. It’s all perfect. Isn’t that what it wants to be “all perfect?” No, that's not the point. The point is in the creation, in the growing, in the becoming Love. That's where the evolution comes from. That’s how it evolves. How it grows into something else, something other than what it is, becomes bigger and greater, and more than it was. That’s evolution. Evolution didn’t evolve a fish and then make duplicate copies. And now there's nothing in the world but fish – just this one kind of fish. There's just a goldfish and that's all. There’s one sterile, not a male and a female even, just one goldfish. And now there’s seven billion goldfish in the world.

Well, what a great leap forward that was! That doesn't get you anywhere. That’s not the point. Evolution doesn't work that way. Evolution is about change. Evolution is about becoming; about becoming more than what you were. So you go from single cell, to multi-cell, to jellyfish, to fish, to reptiles, and so on up. You end up with people, critters, and all sorts of insects, trees, and plants. Well that's what this Larger Consciousness System is doing. It’s in a state of evolution. It’s a real thing, and it's evolving. It's becoming “more.” Just duplicating itself and saying, “it’s done” is of no value. It’s still changing, evolving, and growing. And we’re part of that evolutionary process. All of the capacity doesn't need to be used up through duplication. It needs to be used up through creation, through growth, through becoming. And that's what we're doing. We're becoming Love. We’re growing up. And as we do, the whole system is becoming and growing up with us. As we learn to make these choices, we’re moving the energy, the value, the purpose of this thing to a higher level than it is now. So, it's not that it's perfect, but our growth is help making it more perfect, making it greater than it is. It's evolving and we’re part of that evolution.

It's not a matter of, “It’s perfect. Get rid of all the imperfect parts and we’re done. Why wouldn’t it just do that?” Well, then it’s just, “it,” by itself and it's done. What happens to systems that have no more potential for growth? They start to come apart. If you're not evolving, you’re probably de-evolving. You can’t just sit still and be stable. We know that. If you stop growing you start to come apart. If you say, “I’m done. I don’t want to learn anything else.” You don't just stay right where you were. You started to come apart. You start to dissipate. You're entropy starts drifting upward because you're no longer in a growth process. We have to continually be adding, growing, and evolving. That's what keeps us going - keeps us alive. When we stop growing we get stagnant. And when we get stagnant we don't care. And when we don’t care things start to fall apart. And then we still don't care, and pretty soon we are de-evolved. We disappear. It’s the same with the Larger Consciousness System. It has to keep evolving, growing, and becoming. It has to still be creative. It can't just say “I’m done. I'm pretty perfect right now. So, I’m just going to stay here. I’m just not going to do any more. I’m going to fill up all my ones and zeros with my own wonderful, sublime, perfection. And then I’m done. I’m going to retire and go move to the beach.” That's the beginning of de-evolution. That's when it starts to dissipate and fall apart, and entropy starts to go up. You have to continually be in a creative process of growing. Otherwise you end up in an uncreative process of dissolution.

So, that's why we are in this system. And yes, there is an executive part of it that tends to be the operating system that set the rules, and develops virtual realities. But it's growing with our growth. We're creating. We're developing. And it's not just us, but all of individuated consciousness is evolving. And as we evolve, we evolve to something greater than what it is now. We’re creating another thing. So that's why I say, “If it was perfect, it would be done.” See, this concept that you can have a real system that’s perfect and just sits there, not if it's a complex aware consciousness system. That's about change and growth.

Even if it's just a rock it doesn't just sit there. Little molecules of it fly off and eventually, if you wait long enough, the rock will be nothing but little particles. All through the universe probably, but at least all through the planet even rocks just dissipate if they don't do anything; if you watch long enough. Everything has vapor pressure. Even steel, rocks, and dirt have vapor pressure. What that means is that molecules will, just by chance, get enough energy to separate from the whole and fly off. Everything sublimates. We can see that with an ice cube. If you leave an ice cube in the freezer long enough, the ice cube will get smaller, and smaller, and smaller until it just disappears. What happened to the ice cube? The water molecules, one, two, or three at a time, just happen to get enough energy to fly off. And we never see water, but the ice actually sublimates into vapor and the ice cube just disappears. Everything has a vapor pressure. Steel will do that too. Take a bunch of steel and set it someplace. If you were to wait long enough the steel would work just like the ice cube. It would just eventually disappear.

So things that aren’t growing, things are just static, just sitting there, “Oh, I’m perfect. I just sit here. I’m static.” That's not something that can continue. That’s something that starts to decay. We don't want a perfect system that's “done”; that’s just sitting there “done.” That's not the goal. That wasn't the goal of the multi celled thing to sit there and make seven hundred billion goldfish. That wasn't the answer that evolution found profitable. What it found profitable was to keep growing, changing, doing different things, and creating. And the consciousness system is the same way.

[1] "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
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