Impressions in the course of the reading

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Jeremy
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Impressions in the course of the reading

Post by Jeremy »

I am just at the beginning, about half way through the first book. I am enjoying the read. I am also full of anticipation because this general topic is what I have been pondering for years, with readings in Seth, physics, philosophy of consciousness, Advaita teachings, Stanley Sobottka's Course in Consciousness (online), and on and on. Many of you are familiar with the search which never ends, but often never quite builds into sustained growth and wisdom.

Tom anticipates many readers' (and my own) tendency to want the whole bottom line as quickly as possible. I am greedy for what I think will give me the instant satisfaction of certainty, even though that certainty be not earned. Tom is to be applauded for all the pages he devotes to stressing to us that in order to find confidence in our knowledge we have to work for it; otherwise it would only be just another belief that we will toss away when the next book comes along to entice us.

I encourgage readers to NOT skim past these cautionary chapters. The WAY we proceed will determine our success in finding satisfying answers.

I really like the casual, conversational style. It speaks to me. I feel like Tom is rather like a mentor. It feels personal. I feel like I could talk with him with satisfaction and challenge.

So far, so good! I'll keep you posted.

Jeremy
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Post by twcjr »

Jeremy,

You seem to have gotten off to a great start. A Serious approach and Good attitude exudes from your initial comments. You ended with: "I will keep you posted" ... no need to wait until you’re finished. You initial post indicates that you are an excellent writer. Perhaps your experiences, as you take the Big TOE journey, would be welcome and informative to those who would like to compare notes or who are trying to figure out what might be in store for them if they decide to take their own Big TOE journey. I am thinking of a running commentary -- say at the end of each section -- like you have already done for section 1. What do you think?

Tom
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Post by Jeremie »

I am the same "Jeremy" that posted above and given reply by Tom. However, I lost my password AND changed email, so I could not recover access to that identity. So now I am "Jeremie". Either spelling will suffice.

Now... Wow! It has been 4 years since I posted my message! Where did the time fly? Tom, many thanks for your reply so long ago, and I regret that I did not at least continue my participation here. But I am back now.

I continued to read the books, though without completing them, then went off into a huge detour along the same general lines. I read more in the Seth material, studied the field of academic philosophy of consciousness, re-acquainted myself a bit with Robert Monroe's writings, attempted some of the methods for achieving out-of-body experience (without success), studied the teachings of Advaita Vedanta (all is consciousness) without becoming committed to it as a religios belief, studied other spiritual paths with the intent of overcoming limited vision, etc. And with all this, I almost lost track of MBT altogether... and then... POP!... there it was on the bookshelf saying to me: "Time to return to the curriculum of open-minded skepticim of MBT!"

So, I am now re-reading MBT from the beginning and am halfway through the 2nd book, and am understanding 99% of it perfectly. It all sounds quite plausible. I am willing to try it as a promising hypothesis and see where it leads without, hopefully, making it into a belief system as candy for my ego.

This time, I do intend to stay with it and also to report my progress. Stay tuned!

And thank you, Tom!!!!! This is such a gift you have extended to us!

Jeremy
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Post by twcjr »

Jeremy,

Good to have you back posting again. Keep plugging away -- that is the only way to succeed. Having read and studied much before reading MBT will just make what you read that much more understandable as it wraps everything up under one logical understanding.

Tom
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Post by Jeremie »

Tom, I have now completed my careful cover-to-cover reading of all three volumes of My Big TOE--four years almost exactly from my first beginning of the reading.

One major thought/feeling that washes over me is near-overwhelming gratitude that such material has been made available; that I was fortunate enough to have been blessed by my encounter with it; that I could accept this theory as credible and significant. This theory, and my acceptance of it as credible, makes my path much more clear.

Over many years, I have struggled with questions related to the authority of the scientific establishment as well as the authority of other belief-based institutions and traditions. I had become comfortable with the value of the scientific method in the exploration of physical reality; it is clearly doing a pretty good job with that. But I could not understand the extreme reluctance of the scientific establishment to fully and fairly recognize and support the study of psi phenomena, choosing rather to either ignore it or to discredit such study as necessarily foolish. That such study must be individual ("subjective") was clear to me, but that science should treat it with disdain has been infuriating. There are two meanings of subjectivity/objectivity and scientists simply refused to make the distinction in too many cases.

Through my past ponderings of the Seth material, transpersonal psychology, Advaita Vedanta teachings, and my own critical assessment of implications in the philosophy of consciousness, I had already fully accepted as near-certain the primacy of consciousness in overall reality. The bare fact of physicality does not explain our experience of it; physical reality itself does not imply experience; does not imply consciousness. Consciousness is the one thing we can be certain of. There is no way that consciousness can emerge from bare physicality as science has been in the habit of characterizing it. Perhaps, then, consciousness, experience, has deeper roots and physicality is simply the object of awareness, not its cause. This leads also to the possibility that I am not ultimately who I think I am when I am considering myself to be a physical body or even an ego shaped by my specific experiences and my usual identifications with my circumstances, personality, name, fears, desires, relationships in this physical reality. All these aspects result largely from choices, memory, ignorance, and some surprising laws of perception. But how can there be memory and perception, for example, without some more fundamental structure? Can a perceptual world arise from formless, unstructured consciousness? If so, how?

There is so very much I had not considered that now fall into place with this Big TOE. It never occurred to me to posit systems of individualized digital consciousness subject to the evolutionary pressures to reduce entropy. I was even beginning to doubt that consciousness was really individualized at all; but rather that all individualization is mere delusion--this view encouraged by the ancient Hindu teachings of Advaita Vedanta.

There is only consciousness. But there is apparent form, structure, organization, process. It never made sense to me that both statements could harmonize. So I was heading toward the conclusion that structure and process was in illusion: that our perceptual world was not real in any significant sense. The appearance of form is simply a mystery, says Advaita Vedanta; "Divine entertainment", hallucination. Case closed.

Clearly, I was gradually falling prey to various belief traps that had almost ensnared my capacity to continue to be open-minded. I felt I deeply needed resolution; beliefs that I could "count on" to keep fears at bay. This is, I believe, the very recipe for ensnarement into belief traps. I still have quite a bit of sorting to do to fully extract myself from the belief traps my big toe is caught in.

Ultimately, the theory presented in MBT is a theory I very much welcome. Even seriously considering it means that I am going to have to face certain fears in a new way. It seems that one of my strategies to deal with my fears has been to constantly immerse myself in intellectual seeking, along with immersion in ideas as a presumed means for overcoming doubt. Now I see clearly that I need the kinds of EXPERIENCES that will inform my knowledge, not just ideas, testimonials and beliefs. Yet my own fears could prevent me from allowing those experiences, in a circular sort of Catch 22. I will have to grow some real courage in order to face my fears of death and aloneness. This is going to be tough, but I guess this is what is meant, Tom, when you talk about the choices that grow the quality of our consciousness.

Tom, I want you to know that your books hit home with me in every conceivable way. Your building of credibility in the exposition of your wisdom, the wit and humor to ease the reader through fears and objections; your delicate pointing out of ego-traps; your careful planting of seeds leading to a fuller, later discussion; your careful, gradual handling of conceptually challenging topics; all your discussions aimed at encouraging wisdom--all of these carefully crafted arts really work for me! They were just what I needed! If it matters to you, and it seems clear that it does, you can rest assured that at least in my case all your loving effort paid off handsomely.

But the real work still lies ahead. There is a tendency to cave into my fears and to simply block out all this and head back to some quick belief-trap fix. Yet, in this moment and in front of all you witnesses, I accept Jesus as my sav… oops, you see how it goes? :-)

More seriously, I now will spend a few more weeks re-reading parts of the book, and journaling the implications. I have begun, once again, the meditation practice as suggested. I will be reflecting deeply on the many implications of this theory in my individual experience. And I will, no doubt, record an account of this process here on this board from time to time.

Thanks again, Tom!

Jeremy
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Post by twcjr »

Jeremy: "If it matters to you, and it seems clear that it does, you can rest assured that at least in my case all your loving effort paid off handsomely. "

Thank you Jeremy, yes it matters. The primary energy behind the effort and expense that culminated in the publication of MBT was to offer something of value to those struggling to find a bigger picture; to those interested in improving the quality of their consciousness; to those wanting to more fully explore and evolve the natural power of aware consciousness. It seemed that these were ideas that could do much good in the world if widely disseminated and understood — at least that was my hope.

A book is supposed to be crafted to suit a target audience. MBT's target audience was not an audience at all, but each individual reader (thus its chummy conversational tone) -- for it is only at the level of individual consciousness that value can be added. I count every individual that gains something of major significance from MBT as an exciting success — comments such as yours are more than enough payback for the effort required. It’s satisfying whenever a plan actually works.

Glad MBT resonated with you — also glad that you realize that this is just the beginning of your search, not an ending. I am (and no doubt other forum readers are) looking forward to your future posts.

Tom C
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