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My Big TOE Trilogy #1

My Big Toe: Book 1 of a Trilogy Unifying of Philosophy, Physics, and Metaphysics: Awakening

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Book 1 of the MY Big TOE trilogy. My Big TOE, written by a nuclear physicist in the language contemporary culture, unifies science and philosophy, physics and metaphysics, mind and matter, purpose and meaning, the normal and the paranormal. The entirety of human experience (mind, body, and spirit) including both our objective and subjective worlds is brought together under one seamless scientific understanding. Book 1: Awakening – Section 1 provides a partial biography of the author that is pertinent to the subsequent creation of this trilogy. This brief look at the author's unique experience and credentials sheds some light upon the origins of this highly unusual work. Section 2 lays out and defines the basic conceptual building blocks needed to construct My Big TOE's conceptual foundation. It discusses the cultural beliefs that trap our thinking into a narrow and limited conceptualization of reality, defines the basics of Big Picture epistemology and ontology; logically infers the nature of time, space, and consciousness as well as describes the basic properties, purpose, and mechanics of our reality. Many of the concepts initiated in Section 2 are more fully explained in Book 2.

288 pages, Paperback

First published February 13, 2003

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About the author

Thomas Campbell

8 books69 followers
Physicist; author of "My Big TOE." TOE is an acronym for Theory of Everything.

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5 stars
173 (47%)
4 stars
84 (23%)
3 stars
63 (17%)
2 stars
26 (7%)
1 star
17 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for Edward Wolfe.
Author 21 books46 followers
January 5, 2015
This could've been great if he'd just been able to say what he wanted to say. But instead of doing that, he decided that he knew the landscape of every reader's mind and proceeded to terraform those minds, then landscape them, then construct a proper nursery where his ideas would have a chance to take root and grow.

I have never read a book where an author talks so much about what he's going to tell you, and does so little actual telling.

If you decide to read this, I recommend starting on chapter 2. The introduction, and preface are 12% of the book. That's the first time he tells you about what he's going to tell you. After the very fascinating background story that begins in chapter two, he goes off track again until about 60% of the book.

I just kept skipping pages, looking for when he was going to get to his actual Theory of Everything. Finally, I saw a sentence where he said, "Now let's get back to the theory." And then he proceeded to ramble off-track again until he said the same thing again. Then he rambled more and more and I kept skipping pages until I saw at the end of a paragraph that he said, Now you've been properly primed and initiated, or something to that effect, "So let us begin!" And then there was a few more pages where he builds up to what he's about to finally tell you about his theory and then.... here it comes.... almost there... getting really, really close now.... any sentence now.... and....

...And it's over. That's the end of the first book.

If you're looking for a theory of everything that explains life in the physical and non-physical realms, and is scientifically sound, I do not recommend this book.

Save your money, time, and aggravation and consider reading Our Ultimate Reality - Life, The Universe, & the Destiny of Mankind. (You can find a free PDF online if the $33 paperback is outside your budget.)

You'll come to the same conclusion as you would if you read all three of Campbell's books, but without beating every square inch of every acre surrounding the bush.

Campbell needs to try reading his own book to discover what a tedious and unsatisfying experience it is. He needs to redo it, starting from where his background story ended, and pick it up from there, making it a personal story of his experiences, and inserting what he learned along the way, how he learned it, and how he confirmed that what he learned was valid and scientific.

I would only recommend that you read this if you're a scientist and you want to imagine things not in directly spoken language, but with everything reduced to an abstract model with acronyms you'll need to memorize to make sense of anything the further and further you find yourself out on a thinning semantic branch.
Profile Image for Devilish.
2 reviews
October 29, 2008
This guy is verbose and over explains everything, just like me. I love it!
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
859 reviews439 followers
March 18, 2013
The ideas, the thoughts are good, but my god, is this book damn tedious. There are numerous ways to present this without making your reader fall asleep every single time he picks up the book. I've read other author's works on similar topics and they did not bore me to death as much as this one did.

However, who am i to say that it's bad? it's Tom Campbell after all. All i'm saying is that his style is not for me. I couldn't even GET TO the ideas over the tediousness of his writing style.. Perhaps there are people who this books speaks better to (like my friend who gave it to me to read), but if you have already read something of the like, chances are that you'll just be bored to death with the over-explaining.
Profile Image for Joseph Knecht.
Author 3 books30 followers
January 24, 2021
A must-read for everyone interested in the big picture view of reality.

Big Truth, like wisdom, is not something you can teach or learn from a book. It must be comprehended by individuals within the context of their experience. Each of us comes to an understanding of reality through our interpretation of our physical and mental experiences

If you have enough direct experience and a deep understanding of what is being modeled, the model becomes superfluous. With no direct experience, the model enables an understanding that is otherwise impossible to attain

If our experience is limited to a small part of a larger reality, it is only reasonable to assume that beyond the limit of our possible knowing there may well exist a host of phenomena, interactions, relationships, and ordered happenings upon which our reality and existence profoundly depends, but of which we cannot directly perceive

By the logic of causality, beginnings are illogical. The logic of causality requires (because we do exist) the initial existence from which we are derived to erupt spontaneously from nothing. Clearly, the notion of objective causality must violate its own logic in order to get started.

The quality of your being expresses the correctness of your understanding.

Your intellect can only take you so far in your exploration of Big Truth; it can direct your search but cannot cause you to learn anything of deeper significance. On the other hand, your intellect can cause you to squander every opportunity to know Big Truth

By now, you may be wondering if there is such a thing as good belief. I can best answer that question with another question. Is there such a thing as good ignorance — is there any situation where ignorance is better, more valuable, than knowledge? If there is, then wherever and whenever ignorance is best, that is where you will find a good belief.

Some individuals believe that their belief systems are perfect — that their only problem is an imperfect implementation of those beliefs. No way! You are who you are. You absolutely reflect your actual beliefs completely and accurately. The quality of your being necessarily reflects the quality, the correctness, of your beliefs and understanding

No group, regardless of how small or large, can possibly create and bestow experience-based understanding, integrity, and personal growth (the basis of wisdom) upon an individual. The individual must accomplish that. However, there are some things that groups and organizations can create and bestow — power, influence, wealth, and prestige come immediately to mind. These attributes, delegated primarily to the group's leadership, are created by recruiting and maintaining large numbers of members or supporters. The group's members find mutual support, approval, status, political power, and security.

The subset does not have what it takes to understand the superset. To understand the superset, one must first become a member of it.

Because improving the quality of your consciousness (spiritual growth) is not, and cannot be, an intellectual achievement, it makes little difference how you intellectually approach the initiation of such improvements.

A mind that is not free is simply a self-referential belief machine that continuously spins off useless and unprofitable thought energy. Belief and fear are the only ties that can bind a mind, while unconditional love and open minded skepticism set it free. A body may be enslaved by others, while a mind can only be enslaved by itself.

Your ability to take intelligent action depends upon the depth of your vision and the quality of your understanding. The smaller your perspective and understanding, the more likely you are to inadvertently shoot yourself in the foot. Low quality consciousness does not see the Big Picture and makes short-sighted decisions for near term gain. To a being of low quality, feel-good appears more important than do-good which appears more important than be-good.

The idea of an isotropic space begins with the definition of light speed as the primary constraining constant.

Time, or equivalently, frequency is a fundamental attribute of AUM, whereas the notion of space is derived from time by specifying a constant velocity of propagation of information. That is why the citizens of space-time must live with c as the celestial speed limit. Time is fundamental; space is derived from time by specifying the constraint c.

When you believe that you know, but do not, you cut yourself off from the possibility of ever knowing. The knowledge that lies outside the possibilities allowed by your core beliefs is beyond your intellectual reach — entirely invisible to your self-limited vision

Human cultures are little more than communities of shared belief where common belief-blindness leads to erroneous conclusions that are universally held as obvious truth.
Profile Image for Zarathustra Goertzel.
403 reviews32 followers
November 4, 2020
Part I is a brief autobiography of how the author discovered that reality is bigger than he'd imagined and subsequently began to study and do experiments on the nature of reality.

Part II discusses the nature of belief, knowledge, and pseudo-knowledge before painting the broad strokes of His Big Picture Theory of Everything.

Unlike many reviewers, I find most content seems reasonable to include, aside from critiques of normal people and how they're so bad at maintaining Open-Minded Skepticism. :-p

The two tenets of his Big TOE are:

1) Evolutionary Process :- that which is profitable populates universe.

2) Absolute Unbounded Manifold :- idealist awareness that dances the evolutionary process.

Contrary to the name, the author stresses that the AUM need not actually be infinite, just relatively infinite compared to us. Moreover, we can't know the actual beginning of existence (though we can speculate as to how it may be possible).

Anyway, I find it good fun :-)
106 reviews25 followers
August 3, 2014
First one down, two more to go. This challenging book has changed my worldview, and in turn my life, more than any other book. TOE stands for Theory of Everything. Thomas Campbell is a physicist and consciousness researcher who relates some of his personal journey ("skin in the game," as Nassim Taleb would say approvingly) in improving the quality of his consciousness, namely, evolving toward love. Using the most basic and fundamental concepts of science, Campbell asks the reader to be an open-minded skeptic while sharing his contrarian explanation for how all phenomena can be unified, from the Big Bang to love.

For any literal-minded, logical, left-brained types who struggle to understand how it is that we wake up in the world every day to *this* experience, have to deal with so many different kinds of problems, and sometimes experience existential angst, Campbell's first book provides the reader with clues for how to value experience and improve the quality of our consciousness. There is no dogma here, and no egotistical "advice"--just ancient wisdom for understanding the ocean of consciousness we are floating around in, put into common computing terms for the modern readership. While reading, I had to create a separate spreadsheet just to keep track of the quotes and ideas that really picked my lock and set my literal, logical mind free.

After reading this book, I now have good reason to think any thoughts I am capable of thinking, stray from my routine for any reason, never feel trapped or un-free in my decision making, feel genuine belonging at all times, and not fear the *game over* of death. This book took me forever to read because I found the ideas dangerous to my sense of understanding of my world. However, nothing ceased to exist (except some of my ego), and my life and the outside world go on just as they always have. A blown mind heals, I find.

Always a skeptic, however, Campbell says: "An individual's quality cannot be increased one single iota by any belief, or by accumulating information about anything, or by doing good deeds that are not properly motivated, or by talking to others or reading books."

One must live it. I highly recommend this to any reader who is ready for a worthwhile challenge. Well worth the investment.
Author 1 book16 followers
August 13, 2017
A tough read. It took me a while. There's a lot to learn and to unlearn here. 1/3 of the trilogy is done for now. I'm sure I'll be going back with highlighter in hand the second time around. Enlightening, daunting, frustrating, exhilarating....
The kind of stuff I tend to gravitate to and kind of how I tend to grapple with things when I'm trying to write myself. Reading and writing should always be about discovery. And entertaining enough to keep you going. And this part of the Big Toe is just that...and more. Give it a try. It can only wake you up...at worst.
348 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2012
I gave this book three stars because it is not well written on a number of levels. Having said that, I would encourage anyone/everyone to read this book because Campbell has some great science to back up a philosophy about the Ultimate Questions. If it did nothing more than to stir the neurons in your brain in a different direction - and it probably will - this book would be worth the several levels of tediousness it is written in. There is still a lot of excitement in the ideas Campbell offers. And what is more, he offers hope for the human race and for our world. REad it. I am not competent to do more than say "read it."
Profile Image for dr_set.
218 reviews1 follower
March 30, 2021
If the author would have written all the book as auto-biographical recount of his own path like he does at the beginning of the book, this would have been a marvelous experience.

He decided instead to spent most of his time announcing what would come further along on the books (3 of them, not just this one), and to remind us over and over again to have an open mind, which should not be necessary if you consider that I'm reading your book to begin with and that indicates that I'm opened to that type of novel views of reality.

A very tedious read that left me with a few interesting ideas about the nature of reality and "God" or "AUM" as the author prefers to call him.
Profile Image for Andy.
94 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2013
This time I'm listening to the audiobook. It's even better 10 years later and I love Tom's comforting voice.
Profile Image for Maher.
7 reviews1 follower
October 3, 2017
Tom Campbell's Big Toe (Big Theory of Everything, not the one on his foot) is quite fascinating and I've been enjoying his lectures on YouTube for a few years now. I finally got around to reading his first book in the trilogy, in which he describes his beginnings as a young physicist collaborating with Robert Monroe and developing consciousness research protocols.

I've found the first section of the book, the biographical part, to be quite enjoyable and well written. The second part of the book, which touches upon the basic foundations of his theory and the mathematics behind it, could have, as others have already commented, been more engaging in spite of the highly interesting subject matter it deals with. Then again, an attempt to make the theory more palatable would likely lend itself to anthropomorphizing a theory that is grounded in abstract probability states of linear non physical base existence (the absolute unbound oneness / manifold) which would make things seem more relatable but paradoxically further obfuscate any meaning.

It's difficult to rate this book and I have a lot of conflicted feelings about my experience with it. There are several strong points and aspects that I did appreciate, but there are also a lot of things that could have been omitted.

The Positives:
- An enjoyable subjective narrative in the first section
- A highly interesting and solid theory that encourages you to think and wonder
- Some good pointers on practical meditation techniques
- A constant reminder to remain open-minded and skeptical throughout the book
- A good section discussing the limitations of belief-traps and the difference between knowledge derived from first hand experience (widsom) and second-hand knowledge accepted as belief (pseudo-knowledge / ignorance)
- Tom's sense of humor

The Negatives:
- Sometimes tedious writing - especially the sections on space-time and time quantas
- An extremely abstract and long-winded postulate on the base potential of larger reality from which physical and non-physical matter subsets are derived
- A LOT of repetition that starts with the preface and continues throughout the book
- Too much fluff (although helpful in reinforcing certain concepts), it feels like the book ended just when it was starting to discuss the more interesting connections and workings of his theory in detail (these will hopefully be elaborated upon in books 2 and 3...)
- Tom's sense of humor

Tom's theory and ideas can be intriguing, useful and applicable (though I've derived most of my general understanding from his lectures, not this book) if approached with an open and critical mindset. I wish some of the fluff would have been made obsolete and it just wasn't so tedious to read in the later chapters. Tom added in a lot of humor which is a nice gesture and some of it comes across as quirky and somewhat funny. In other parts, however, I find his jokes to be a little inappropriate; especially when discussing complex theorems and suddenly adding in a lengthy segue into a rather tired joke - it doesn't help.

Tom is a great speaker and lecturer and trying to read this book in his voice certainly makes it more digestible. I will continue onwards to the second book of the trilogy, but I feel like I need a break before I do so and read a book or two with stronger literary merit.

Overall, I suggest Tom's Big Toe and concepts to everyone with an open and skeptical mind; however, this book might be better suited for those already familiar with his work, who wish to gain deeper understanding and insight into the deductive reasoning and scientific models on which his theory is based.

This first book in the trilogy presents great content with increasing mediocrity.
July 20, 2019
Probably the most important, life changing book that I have ever read.

Over a period of months I had developed my own Theory of Everything linking consciousness to reality and the universe. This was developed from quantum mechanics and my ideas were backed up by the work of leading theorists in the field of Physics. There explanations of course we're always based around numerous complex equations which were beyond me.

I continued developing my theories and moved on into understanding consciousness and how the world we interact with is in fact a giant virtual reality.

Then I discovered Tom Campbell's Big TOE and it meshed exactly with my own thoughts without the need for PHD level equations. Now reading his works he has given my tools to take my ideas even further.

I won't even try to explain these theories. I suggest first that you read some of his presentations that you can download from his web site. Then if interested and you truly have an open mind read the books.
2 reviews
April 19, 2019
As others have said, this book changed my life by changing my perspective or frame. I read this book about 10 years ago but didn’t fully comprehend it. I am rereading it as part of a book club and we are digesting and discussing it weekly for 10 weeks or about 80 pages a week.

What has really helped my understanding are the YouTube videos of Tom’s talks. The best I found that distills his book is Tom Campbell - The Monroe Institute lecture. In 2 hours he goes through the science and theory behind Big TOE and establishes that we are conscious beings living in a virtual reality. After weeks I am still getting my head around that. Truly mind blowing!!

Reading (or rereading) the book with this understanding is even more powerful.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Aco.
40 reviews5 followers
January 20, 2022
Not finished yet... It was a promising book but now I'm just confused.

Not sure what is the ratio between the real content and the rambling about what he's going to tell me only if I'd have an open mind.
Maybe 30%/70% in favor to the latter.

It is a really frustrating read after the part of his life experience (except for the meditation part).
I loved Robert Monroe's books and when he mentioned that he worked with him it got me excited, but then nothing happened.

Will keep reading and skipping pages on pages where the author telling me what my mindset needs to be in order to read his book...
Profile Image for Clancy Birrell.
58 reviews
March 2, 2021
The Big TOE the world needs.
A surprise book from a physicist who worked with Robert Monroe on his experiments with Astral Travel. I am thoroughly enjoying and improving the quality of my consciousness through this trilogy. I'm very much looking forward to the insights that the 2nd volume will bring.
It's worth your time. It is somewhat difficult material and you will need to invest some brain power to get the most from this series. But it's more than worth it for the ultimate prize of improving the quality of your consciousness and reduced entropy.
Profile Image for Felix Delong.
197 reviews7 followers
December 27, 2022
I kinda liked it, most of the ideas resonated with me, and most of them were conclusions I came up with myself - hence it kinda seemed like "nothing new" to me... also it is just way too long. I might just finally enforce the rule that I will not read non-fiction above 450 pages. Try it again if you can't get your point across in less than 450 pages.
Profile Image for Logan Streondj.
Author 2 books11 followers
October 28, 2020
There is a lot of fluff in the forward, then there is a good story of the authors personal experience followed by a lot of fluff mostly geared for ultra sceptical people who would have probably put down the book way earlier. So honestly can probably skip the part after his personal story.
7 reviews
September 25, 2021
I slogged through

This was a very difficult read. The author has tried to tell me something I think I already know, but he makes it into an unreadable theory that goes beyond imagination. I started skimming by the last fifty pages. SMH
Profile Image for Irma Walter.
141 reviews4 followers
November 12, 2021
Mindbending. Had to muster all my long gone school education to follow. I got an audio file with it. Campbell reads a bit fast, but reading and listening at the same time was beneficial. I think without the audio I would have given up.
Profile Image for Mustafa.
46 reviews
May 9, 2017
Interesting enough to make to read the next in the trilogy.
Profile Image for Andrew.
136 reviews
May 17, 2021
I’ll have to come back to this one in the future (not only to finish the other two books).
Profile Image for Roxanne.
263 reviews
October 7, 2016
The phrasing is careful, and at times dense. But, the subject was so fresh and fascinating that I could forgive a lot.

The idea of a Oneness isn't new, but I'm used to enjoying my metaphysics served up with a big side of woo-woo. Not so common is a book like this, written by a no-nonsense, left-brained nerd like Campbell.

There are two more pieces of the story, which he promises we'll like even more. Fair enough : I've got Book 2 warming on the Kindle.
Profile Image for T.W. Fendley.
Author 17 books67 followers
February 8, 2017
Very provocative -- lots to consider here. Not the best book to listen to on audio since you do need time to digest the concepts as they're introduced. Will need to get the print version, too.

Love Campbell's sense of humor.
Profile Image for Shaunt.
140 reviews10 followers
February 2, 2016
To be taken with a grain of salt...

It's a so-called scientific book on metaphysics. As entertaining and fascinating as the topic is, what a bunch of horse shit. In the first section alone, ex-nuclear-physicist Thomas Campbell confidently claims to have developed the ability to communicate telepathically. He denounces drug-induced out-of-body-experiences, yet spends eight hours a day zapping his brain with electrodes for a "natural" trip.

I wonder what sci-fi i have to look forward to in books 2&3, because at this point it's just that.

Profile Image for Pamela.
67 reviews4 followers
July 8, 2015
Thomas Campbell's personal story is thrilling to read. And then there's the second half of the book... Good thing I'm used to working with engineers! Gives me some tolerance for the lengthy explanations. Still, I'm on to the second book in the trilogy. The ideas are simply too profound and exciting to throw out due to presentation.
July 22, 2016
Amazing theory that integrates science and spirituality at a very deep level

I liked this book a lot it's the best and deepest theory the integrates science and spirituality with an amazing level of detail and in depth
Profile Image for Edward N.
8 reviews
October 17, 2021
Finally, a TOE with consciousness

Tom Campbell is the first I have seen who includes consciousness in a theory of everything. This book gives a lot to think about.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews

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