Tom Bearden

Consciousness is time

Tom Bearden

Tom Bearden
Thomas Bearden

Tom Bearden, a Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army (Retired). President and Chief Executive Officer, CTEC, Inc. MS Nuclear Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, is a deep, precise thinker who knows his fundamentals. He discussed the cold war, his interpretation of UFOs, and his ideas about human perception. “Consciousness is time, specifically time delay,” Bearden said.

At particular points in time, the physical and mental worlds are identical. Humans, as products and reflections of the universe, are thus holographic miniature universes themselves. However, in some sense, what we are inside our mind and what is outside are the same! “Think a bit,” he said profoundly, “a detector can detect only an internal change to itself, nothing else.”

The principle of uncertainty

Ken Wilber says it this way, referring to the point Bearden is making and also the principle of uncertainty:

“To measure anything requires some sort of tool or instrument. Yet the electron weighs so little that any conceivable device, even one as ‘light’ as a photon, would cause the electron to change positions in the very act of trying to measure it! This was not a technical problem, but, so to speak, a problem sewn into the very fabric of the universe. These physicists had reached the annihilating edge, the assumption that one could dualistically dabble with the universe without affecting it, was found to be untenable. In some mysterious fashion, the subject and the object were intimately united. And the myriad of theories that had assumed otherwise were now in shambles.”

The photon

Bearden also discussed the photon, which he said is a particle that makes a right-angle turn out of our three-dimensional world. It is three-dimensional, due to its orthorotation (spin). But from its vantage point, it “sees” our realm only as two-dimensional because it can do something (travel at the speed of light) that things in our physical world can’t do. Further, different moments in time are separated by photon interactions, the implication being that photons interface between dimensions.

Tom Bearden

Like Arthur Young, Bearden was pointing to a relationship between light energy and consciousness. Just as photons escape this dimension, (because they travel at the speed of light), so does our mind because it too can transcend the present, but it can also reflect on the past or today, consider the future, and also observe or even act on the progression of time—this ongoing NOW—as physical time proceeds.

The realm of our consciousness

In reflecting on Bearden’s ideas thirty years later, it also occurs to this observer that Bearden could have just as easily said that photons are four-dimensional objects that view our world as three-dimensional. One way or another, his point is that photons operate in a dimension one greater than our physical world and this realm is isomorphic (coalescent) with the realm of our consciousness.

Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr


Bearden then developed what he called the law of multiocularity. A derivation from the work of Aristotle. This “law” helps explain the classic enigma in quantum physics whereby elementary particles (electron, proton, neutron, and photon) act sometimes like waves and sometimes like particles. They are both monocular (particle) and multiocular (wave) because opposites can and do exist simultaneously. This logic also allows a photon to have no mass and infinite mass at the same time. This is similar to physicist Niels Bohr’s principle of complementarity. Where he states that an elementary particle can act like both wave and a particle.

A Jungian model

Bearden’s explanation of UFOs was based on a Jungian model of mind in that he combined the concept of the collective unconscious with current events: namely, the cold war with the USSR. Since he has been in the military for many years and is involved with NASA and Air Defense, he is sensitive to the potential for thermonuclear war.

Just as psychological pressures can cause archetypal images in a sleeping person to “pop out” into a dream. Bearden suggests that the UFO phenomenon may be a psychophysical materialization from the collective psyche. Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster are also materializations from our collective psyche. Although in a Heisenbergian sense they are still not completely “determined” (that is, physical), the more we look for them, the more we are apt to create them.

Transcending the speed of light
Transcending the speed of light

How is it possible for consciousness to exist in the physical universe? This is the classic mind-body problem that has eluded philosophers for many generations. Now it appears that answers are within reach. The depth of Marc Seifer’s scholarship and the clarity of his thinking make this book a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the frontiers of consciousness research.

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