A while ago, we shared a sneak peek of the main feature in our Winter 2018/19 issue: an interview with the physicist, author and consciousness pioneer Tom Campbell. Today, we are pleased to share the full article. In this feature, Tom shared his beliefs on the profound truths behind the nature of reality: how everything is not as it seems!
We talk to Tom Campbell
Are we living in a virtual reality?
by Alison McEvoy
Tom Campbell is a professional physicist, author and a seasoned, scientific researcher of human consciousness. He has spent the last thirty years exploring the frontiers of reality, mind, consciousness and physic phenomena. I spoke with Tom recently, to find out more.
MEET TOM – CONSCIOUSNESS PIONEER
Tom began his life as a physicist for NASA. Around the same time, he was also chosen to assist Bob Monroe in his internationally-renowned research into out-of-body experiences (OBE). Tom recalls that he and Bob would spend fifteen to twenty hours together each week, practically exploring the realms of consciousness:
“[Bob Monroe taught me] how to go out-of-body, how I could put myself in an altered state of consciousness that would allow me to experience these other realities that Bob experienced. That enabled me to do physics, to do research and analysis there in a non-physical state, because I didn’t know what it was – a hallucination, a mental state, your imagination – what was it? I’m a scientist and I wanted to find out exactly what it was.”
Thirty years of testing and research in this non-physical state later, Tom published his Theory Of Everything (TOE), a trilogy of books aptly named ‘My Big Toe’. He presents his experience of the true nature of consciousness and not only that, but also answers to many of physics’ outstanding paradoxes.
His research brought him to the brink of a new scientific paradigm. Under the view of traditional physics, Tom’s experiments performed “miracles….they do things that should be impossible…[but] this tells us that our understanding of how reality works isn’t complete. Otherwise we would understand why and that these things are possible.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE – A VIRTUAL REALITY
The consciousness data he gathered through his experiments and experiences, pointed to our reality being a virtual reality, a simulation. This hypothesis makes all that currently lies at the murky edges of science become clear, explicable and part of a complete vision and understanding of reality. Tom envisions that by “[piling] up evidence on the side of this being a virtual reality,” science will soon have to “get over three hundred years of belief in a materialistic reality.”
According to Tom’s research we are part of a greater source, what some might call ‘God’ or ‘The Universe’, which he calls “The larger consciousness system”(LCS). This system divided itself up into “individuated units of consciousness (IUOC)”. We, IUOC’s, ‘log on’ to a physical form, the body, our “avatar”, in order for our consciousness to be able to experience ‘life’ which is really a simulation of events projected by the computer of our consciousness. Our consciousness is the real player.
WHY ARE WE ‘HERE’?
There is a profound purpose in this digital view of reality. It lies specifically in the essence of what consciousness is – an information system.
As an information system, our consciousness is here to evolve through the experience and decision-making processes of the avatar it logs on to. Evolution for an information system means to create more information, in an orderly way, and to raise the quality of this information which is synonymous with raising the quality of our consciousness.
Consciousness has free will and so we have a choice to fulfil this purpose, or not. The way in which we interact with one another, make choices, express ourselves and what we do with the consequences of those choices is the manner in which we accomplish our mission. If the consequences of our choices lead to a joyful, rewarding life then this is feedback that we are on track in raising the quality of our consciousness.
The way to fulfilling this mission happens also to be the way in which a kinder and gentler society is born:
“Caring, co-operating, working together – you can produce so much more that way…. As we care, have compassion, co-operate, we increase our consciousness and evolve…[This is] a love based system.”
ENLIGHTENMENT IN A VIRTUAL REALITY
As consciousness evolves, it becomes less fearful and more loving. Not the kind of love that is an exchange of need-fulfilment (‘I’ll fulfil your needs if you promise to fulfil mine’) but unconditional love. This love wants to serve, to give to others and the support the whole.
“Enlightenment is not a final destination. We’re in a process of evolving. Evolving is open-ended. There’s always something more that you can learn or do to help out, more that you can co-operate and give. Once you become love, it’s about helping others, it’s not about you. So you’re never really done.”
When people experience spiritual ecstasy, or bliss, Tom explains that they withdraw from their sense-data experience to an at-oneness with the larger consciousness system. They become a “point of consciousness floating in the void – what I call ‘the point consciousness state’.” When one is able to reside ‘there’ for extended periods, one comes back feeling at peace, relaxed and connected to the bigger picture. When one can remain there, they are called ‘enlightened’. They have transcended this reality, realise they are part of a whole, have become love and live in a ‘bigger’ decision-space.
The system wants us to experience the consciousness that we are, to know who we are, so that we can engage more lovingly and purposefully in this simulation.
SOUL MATES IN A VIRTUAL REALITY
“I happen to have been told when I was fourteen, who I was going to marry … and it all worked out like that, so you might think that that was one of those relationships that was destined to occur and yes, we were nudged together so that we ended up meeting and falling in love, so it exists. I’m a good example of it, but it happens only in the margins, with people who have been around the circuit enough times that they can do planning about their next life-time.”
He adds: “At the beginning you just need experiences. You get in, you get out, you get back in again… Eventually there’s a little more planning … and eventually you get a lot of planning, because there’s very specific things that you want to do and you have the ability to do them.””
On relationships in general, Tom says that “the winning strategy in the virtual reality we’re playing in is to get rid of your fear, grow up, care about other people. That’s why we’re here, that’s what our point is, that’s what makes good relationships.”
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IN A VIRTUAL REALITY
There are many kinds of avatars, Tom explains. Dogs, bees, ants, humans, are all avatars of varying kinds. If the avatars that are human go on to make artificially intelligent robots, then they too become avatars in this simulation. For Tom, it is a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’:
“One day we will have silicone based avatars, emulating humans…[and] they will have the same purpose as us.”
Right now we have artificial intelligence robots that are “expert systems”, meaning they can store a huge amount of data, have high speed processing but ultimately are working from computational procedures which have been pre-programmed by human beings. They don’t have free will or variable outcomes. “Conscious computers” will be altogether different. They will have free will, be able to make choices and have variable outcomes which cannot be predicted by human programmers. They will engage in this simulated universe, interact, make choices, encounter consequences and raise the quality of their information and consciousness along the way, aiming, just as we are, to become a “kinder, more compassionate and caring entity.”
SCIENCE MEETS DAILY LIFE
Tom is intent on proving to the scientific community that this is a virtual reality. He is supported by antiquity as his hypothesis is not new, and he’s not the only one talking about it these days either. Many other scientists are finding it plausible and probable, and indeed sages of old such as the Buddha also held essentially the same truth, that this world is an illusion;
“People understood this idea, it’s not new, but it’s never been in the mainstream before. Now, with these experiments, there is science and logic behind it. It’s not belief based, it’s experience based. Instead of it being a puddle of enlightenment, a little eddy off the mainstream, this time it’s got all that it needs to become mainstream and affect everyone.”
“In one way this is all about science and the nature of reality, but in another way the important part is about people becoming love. The science end is only important because if we can convince the physicists that this is a virtual reality – and it’s getting easier and easier because their experiments are telling them that – when the physicists say this is a virtual reality they won’t want to take it any further, but for everyone else, all their questions come up and once these concepts get into the mainstream and the mainstream gets the idea that we are here to grow up, to become love…we’d live in a lot kinder, gentler world…and I hope to be part of getting us there.”
Tom and his team have recently launched a new and exciting crowdfunding campaign which will get many people as possible involved in proving the hypothesis: ‘can the theory that physical reality is a simulation (i.e. virtual reality) be tested through scientific experiment?’ You can join over a thousand of their backers and become part of cutting edge twenty-first century science and a chance to be present during the experiments and potentially make scientific history.
How will Tom prove his theory?
- With 5 relatively simple experiments and a scientific paper describing the results
- The results will provide evidence for or against the hypothesis that our physical matter reality is computed virtual reality
- The 5 experiments are all modifications of the classic double split experimental
- Experiment 1 will probe the role of the observer to find out if the virtual reality and all its interaction exists only in the minds of the players
- Experiment 2B and 5B perform actions considered impossible by Quantum mechanics, but easily explained from a virtual reality perspective