The astrophysicist Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
I think he was right. But Sagan, who died in 1996 did not come up with a theory about how we got here. Well, let me say, it took longer than I thought, but someone finally has. A scientist has published a theory that purports to explain everything: the origin of physical reality, paranormal and psi phenomena, the “spooky action at a distance” and “participating observer” effects found in quantum physics.
Perhaps most important, his theory purports to explain how you and I got here and why. The scientist is named Thomas W. Campbell. He is a NASA physicist who has laid out his theory in meticulous detail in a 824 page book called MY BIG TOE. “TOE” is an acronym for “Theory of Everything.” If you want the details, read Campbell’s book. If you want a 30,000 foot overview, I’ll do my best now to give you one now.
Albert Einstein said, “The aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.” Thomas Campbell’s theory is based on two: 1) What he calls “The Fundamental Process” of evolution, and second, that here is a single source of all that is, which he calls, “Primordial Consciousness.” 2) The Fundamental Process is that all things and all systems are actively in the process of change, whether they are animal, vegetable, mineral, technological, or organizational. Inanimate physical objects seek the minimum, i.e., lowest possible, energy states. Animate objects, such as live organisms, seek procreative potential, survival, and growth. That seeking action is “The Fundamental Process,” according to Campbell.
Concerning Primordial Consciousness, Campbell says—and it makes sense to me—that everything we can see, touch and feel, as well as everything we cannot see, comes from a single source, and that source is Primordial Consciousness, which it seems to me is the ground of being most people call God.
So, how did we humans come about? In an effort to grow and evolve, and perhaps to amuse itself, Primordial Consciousness created units of consciousness, what you and I would call souls, to advance the Fundamental Process. To cut down on the number of syllables, I’m going to call Primordial Consciousness the Source during the rest of this talk. The Source did this so the units could interact with Source and with each other as a way for the Source and the units to evolve.
Here’s one way to think about what took place. Picture the Source or Consciousness as a bed sheet. A couple of children make puppets in the sheet by forming it around their hands and placing rubber bands around their wrists to keep the bubbles in the sheet in place. It’s still all one sheet, but the children now have puppets they can use to interact with one another.
If this theory has validity, and it makes sense to me, it means we are all connected with each other, and we are connected everything else, because at the fundamental level we are parts of, and at one with, the Source—bed sheet. This explains the “spooky action at a distance” phenomenon in quantum physics—that subatomic particles separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior. This is so because they are each part of a single mind, and when it comes to mind, distance, space, and time are not factors. At the level of mind, those things do not exist. This also explains the “participating observer” since the observer’s mind and the Infinite Mind, or Source, are one. What the observer thinks ought to happen, happens.
Assuming the one-mind theory is accurate, we are and remain fully integrated pieces of the larger mind with access to the capabilities and capacities of that mind. Our individual potential is the potential of the entire Infinite Mind, or Source. To what extent we achieve that potential through self-improvement or self-actualization is up to us. Once created, Souls persist within the Source indefinitely and have the opportunity to evolve to the limits of the Infinite Mind, each by developing and following its own path.
Let me say that again in a different way. If we evolve the quality of our being sufficiently, we will return to the Source and become a new Source—connected, but individuated. That’s our destiny.
So, where do we souls here on earth stand in that process? Here in a nutshell is what Campbell has to say about that. Our origin and our evolution began in non-physical reality. Time passed, and the pace of our evolution slowed down. After a while, we units of consciousness had things pretty well figured out. The living was easy. We didn’t need food and shelter. There, challenges were few.
Since most of us have a lazy streak, not having challenges may have been all right with us. But the problem for the Source, which is in the business of advancing the Fundamental Process, was that without challenges there’s no impetus to grow, and the Source wants to grow. So what did the Source do? Why, create physical reality, of course, because physical reality poses all kinds of challenges.
The Source spoke the Big Bang into being to counter stagnated growth and to speed up and to step up the action. Physical reality, this reality, provides a way for us to retain the underlying wisdom achieved during a sojourn into the physical realm, and yet to start over every so often without the baggage of accumulated erroneous beliefs. It’s obvious the misinformation we often take on in this realm can inhibit our growth. For example, one of the erroneous beliefs inhibiting the growth of many today is that physical reality is all there is. Belief in Scientific Materialism has a lot of people stuck and treading water.
At the risk of repeating myself, let me elaborate on the rationale behind the existence of non-physical individuated units of consciousness (souls) and separate physical vehicles for those units—bodies. The phenomenon of birth, death and rebirth [reincarnation] is a major benefit provided by physical reality when it comes to soul growth. By the way, if you think reincarnation doesn’t happen, you might benefit from reading my book, REINCARNATION: Good News for Open-Minded Christians & Other Truth-Seekers. I cite a number of documented cases, but you need not take my word for it. Researches at University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies have more than case histories 2500 in their files.
Anyhow, because we come and we go and almost always do not remember our past lives, we are able to start over every so often with a relatively clean slate. The benefit from the point of view of the Source is that learning takes place faster than it would otherwise. Being able to make a new start without the erroneous beliefs of a previous life, but with the wisdom gained, enables us to increase the quality of our consciousness while continuing to exercise free will. The idea for each of us, as you recall, is to grow and evolve our consciousness until we advance a point we that we actually return to the Source and become a new Source—connected, but individuated.
I have to say, at the rate we are going, it is going to take an awfully long time because, when you stop and think about it, what we are involved in is still a very slow process. I’m reminded of the movie, Groundhog Day where the protagonist has to relive February 2nd over and over until he finally takes all the right actions. It took him quite a number of times even though he woke up each morning remembering what had happened the previous day.
One problem is that now, in the early twenty-first century, the vast majority of us now incarnate not realize or recognize the game we are in. We are like avatars in a computer simulation that don’t know we’re in a game—much less do we know the rules. Personally, I’d like to advance sooner, rather than later. That’s why I have written a book, which is about to be published, that’s designed to speed up the process for us all, and at the same time, to help each one of us avoid a lot of pain and grief in this life.
It’s called “How to Win the Game of Life: Five Steps to Victory.” When it first comes out on Amazon in a day or so, the Kindle edition will be free. I’ll send a link to Jan, so that she can forward it to all of you and you can download it free of charge. I’ll give you a taste of what the book contains now.
Step One is to “Seek Harmony in All that You Do.”
This has to do with Karma because the purpose of Karma is to attain harmony. Karma is cause and effect. If throw a rock into a pond, you disturb the harmony of the pond. You were the cause, and the effect was the splash. The ripples flow out, and they flow back, until harmony is restored. In the same way, disharmonious karmic actions go out into the universe and come back upon you, lifetime after lifetime until harmony is restored.
Karma is not punishment—it’s a learning tool. You and I will continue to meet situations similar to those that created the Karma until we begin making the right choices. We are each like the character in the movie Groundhog Day who is forced to experience the same day over and over until he reacts to each situation with harmony and with love rather than with cynicism. Once the quality of his consciousness has evolved to a level that produces right action, he not only gets the girl, he is finally able to move on to February 3rd. To my way of thinking, that movie is an allegory for the game of life.
Step Two is to “Be Generous and Follow the Golden Rule.”
Inherent in The Law of Karma is that the more you give, the more you will receive. What you send out into the world will return to you. Therefore, the more you assist others, the more you assist yourself. This is not some theoretical, do-gooder idea. It will work in your day-to-day life provided your intension or motive is to express unconditional love without seeking anything in return. You see, what you intend—your motivation—is frequently more important than what you actually do.
Let me say this. When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he wasn’t talking about changing how you feel about them, he was talking about changing your actions toward them. He was talking about the Golden Rule—treating them as you would have them treat you—although once you change your actions, a change in feelings often will follow. The love Jesus was advocating is a verb, not a noun. It means accepting people as they are without judgment or expectations—the full acceptance of others without attempting to change them, except perhaps by positive example.
Step Three is to “Be Truthful to Yourself and to Others.”
The beliefs we hold can be comforting. They give us the feeling we have things figured out—and not having things figured out creates at the least creates uneasiness and at most creates fear. Unfortunately, what we think is true isn’t always, and yet those of us who have strong beliefs usually are not easily swayed.
There are triggers to look out for that will help you recognize the truth when it comes knocking at your door. In Matthew 7:3, Jesus says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Jesus knew the traits we respond to in others, are those we also have, both positive and negative.
As Jesus also said, “The truth will set you free.” Unfortunately, we are often in denial about the truth. For example, when our beliefs and our actions are incompatible, we will typically attempt to reduce our discomfort by changing either our actions, or our beliefs. Let’s say, for example, you are a smoker and you know smoking is bad for you. As a result, you will either become a non smoker, or you will deny or rationalize the health threat of smoking.
If you believe something to be, it becomes truth for you. Therefore, be careful what you accept as true for it will influence all aspects of your life and your future.
Step Four is to “Have a Challenge and Pursue it.”
Step One, as you recall, is to seek harmony in all we do because the reality we inhabit is constructed of opposites—yin and yang, good and evil, and so forth. What this means is that without the tension this creates everything would fall apart. As a natural consequence of this, that which is totally successful tends to destroy itself. Most of us know this subconsciously, which is why we do not allow our relationships, or careers to become totally successful. We realize that if we achieve that pinnacle, we greatly increase the potential for self-destruction.
For example, consider a married couple that struggles through adversities, such as getting the husband through medical school, sickness, and a badly-timed pregnancy, financial problems, and family troubles and finally reaches a point in their life together when everything is going well. What sometimes happens then? They get divorced. I’ve seen this. Haven’t you?
Or the business person that reaches the top of his or her profession and has a midlife crisis, and crashes and burns.
The reality is that unless a person continues to be challenged, he or she will stagnate, and there can be no growth without at least some discontent. We all have an urge built in that pushes us to strive for more awareness and to grow. Suffice it to say, you ought never allow ourselves to reach a level of self-satisfaction where there is no new challenge. Perhaps you are retired. My suggestion is to find a new challenge in you haven’t done so already.
We all need to have a challenge and to actively be in pursuit of it.
And finally, Step Five is to “Follow Your Bliss.”
This is the advice the mythologist, writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell repeatedly told his students at Sarah Lawrence College. Whether you are just starting out, or at a turning point, it seems to me it’s what you ought to do in order to reach your full potential in this lifetime.
Each one of us has a guiding principle within that metaphysicians call Dharma, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “statute” or “law.” Dharma is the law that orders the universe. It is what we each have to give or to share with others It’s what we are really good and are meant to use to serve others. We are not fulfilling our Dharma if we are primarily after acclaim or money.
I once had Dharma explained to me this way by an accomplished metaphysician whom I respect. She said, “Dharma is your soul’s urge. When you are responding to your Dharma, you feel at peace. Someday, after you grow old and look back at life, you will regard the time you spent putting your Dharma to work as the golden years. This is because people who are using their Dharma are passionate about what they do, as though it were a flame burning in them. They lose track of time. They’re in the flow. And something else. Each person applies his or her Dharma in a way that is unique. It is as though each of us is one piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and we fit together to make up a whole.”
So, if you are not doing so already, as soon as you have the opportunity, start putting your Dharma to work to serve others.
In closing, let me say, I believe life is the dream of God, and that you and I are characters in that dream, and we each have roles to play. I believe that before you arrived on this earth, you vowed to accomplish a goal. You can either make good on that, or not. If you fall short, you will view the consequences when the time comes for your life to be replayed before you in the afterlife. Yes, I think it’s true—everyone gets a life review. It’s part of how we learn from one life to the next. Perhaps, you will have won the game and be allowed to advance. If not, take heart. It will not be the end of the world. You will most certainly be given another opportunity to get it right—just like the character in Groundhog Day.