Introduction to The System
|Introduction to The System
Robert Campbell 2005, 2013
We intuitively sense that there must be such a thing as universal wholeness. We all need an integrating framework
to make common sense of the diversity of our phenomenal experience. Undifferentiated universal wholeness must
admit of the separate things that we experience. This necessarily introduces a Rift in Wholeness that requires
discrete levels nested or subsumed within it. This is fundamental to the cosmic order and to the nature of being.
There is one System of order that transcends and subsumes an open ended hierarchy of higher Systems that
elaborate on it. Systems 1, 2, 3, and 4 are introduced accordingly. Although Systems higher than System 4 soon
become beyond the grasp of human intelligence the first four Systems can take us very far and expand the horizons
of science. They define the structural dynamics of the creative process that seeks to mend the Rift in Wholeness.
System 1 and Universal Wholeness:
System 1 transcends the whole of creation, the whole of history, the whole of space and time. It is an expression of
universal wholeness. It can not manifest as a physical thing itself. That would define a boundary to it in space and
time. System 1 must nevertheless specify boundary conditions or there could be no phenomena in experience.
This requires that all phenomena must share both a universal inside and a universal outside. All we can know is the
active interface between them. We can not know the universal inside or the universal outside as separate things in
themselves. We can only know their active relationship at interfaces between them.
Since active interfaces have an active universal Center inside it is convenient to call them Centers, so that we can
speak of Centers 1, 2, 3 and so on associated with Systems 1, 2, 3 and so on. It is also convenient to represent the
universal active Center inside as light that relates across one or more active interfaces to a universal passive
periphery in darkness. Suns relate actively to the passive darkness of interstellar space. The fusion processes that
generate light in the centers of suns are universal but we cannot know them to the exclusion of the passive outside.
We can only observe as they emit energy across the active interface of the sun. This is picked up by the interface
of our retina at the back of our eyes and transmitted by active interface processes of our nervous system that
regenerate the visible reality that we subjectively see outside.
Structural Representation of System 1:
The universal inside or common center is active and it relates to the universal outside or passive periphery across
an active interface between them. This may be represented graphically from two perspectives, one passive and one
active. Between them one can intuitively grasp the structural nature of System 1.
The active universal inside is represented by light, L. The passive universal outside is represented by darkness, D.
Light is thus illustrated relating to darkness across an active interface between them. We see this confirmed in
experience. Life giving energy comes to us from atomic processes within the sun. Energy is captured by plants
within the molecular bonds of sugar to support the biosphere. It is the energy we digest inside our bellies that allows
us to think and mobilize our bodies in response to our environment.
The active perspective in Figure 1 is most important. The passive perspective in Figure 1 simply helps us to better
visualize the active representation in higher Systems.
We are concerned with intuitive insight into the structural dynamics of phenomenal experience. The creative energy
disseminates from the active center, as shown by the white arrow in Figure 1, and there is reflux back toward the
center, as shown by the black arrow. We see the reflux in the transformation of the atmosphere and the geological
evolution of the continents over the past few billion years by plants and invertebrates that have deposited carbon.
Organic life cycles arising from the planet in response to the sun relate back to transform the planet. There is
likewise evidence for reflux of old heavy stars through the galactic center to regenerate stocks of primary hydrogen
for new generations of stars.
A Rift in Universal Wholeness:
The concept of universal wholeness, as represented by System 1, requires an interdependent twoness as a level of
subsumption within it. We cannot conceive of undifferentiated oneness without distinction or attribute of any kind.
Meaning slips away from us. In order for there to be a subjective and objective aspect to things we must be able to
distinguish separate active interfaces as boundary conditions of phenomena. We identify things as separate
interfaces with surfaces of some kind. This requires two active interfaces, one universal and unique and the other
particular, representing many. Manyness can only find reconciliation with oneness in this way.
This means that there is a fundamental rift in universal wholeness between the universal and the particular aspects
of phenomena. It is this rift in wholeness that gives rise to the nested higher Systems that constitute the creative
process. The creative process endlessly seeks to mend the rift in wholeness. As humans we likewise seek a unified
worldview that we can creatively relate to in order to integrate and make sense of our experience. We all have a
theory of everything that we intuitively relate to. For example if we believe that physical death brings total psychic
annihilation we believe this is true for every sentient creature that has ever lived anywhere in the universe. We do
not believe that we alone are singled out for extinction.
Science also seeks a grand unified Theory of Everything in Big Bang cosmology but it only accepts an objective
perspective believing that all things exist in a preconceived spacetime continuum. The subjective mind that
conceives of it is not acknowledged as a distinct reality inside. There is no universal inside, just a universal
continuum outside that began in a primal burst of existence from nothing. That is the universal vessel in which all
things physically exist outside. Mind, all mind, is an emergent property of physics. This objective perspective places
us outside our own subjective understanding.
The rift in universal wholeness allows for subsumed levels of differentiation in phenomenal experience that
acknowledge both a subjective universal inside and an objective universal outside. This is an approach that has
never been thoroughly explored before.
The Universal Center and System 2:
The only alternative to believing that events take place in a universal common outside in a spacetime continuum is to
also acknowledge a universal center to all phenomena. This is a universal requirement for both a subjective and
objective aspect to all phenomena consistent with System 1 and to a rift in universal wholeness.
System 2 is represented by two active interfaces. Each shares a common universal inside with respect to a common
universal outside, as required by System 1. One interface is universal and one is particular.
The universal interface is unique and designated as Center 1. It is a manifestation of System 1 acknowledging Other
than Self. It transcends the particular interface, designated as Center 2, which represents many of a universal kind.
The universal interface is an archetypal pattern of Universal Being that each particular interface can structurally
relate to in only two possible alternate ways. One is objective and one is subjective.
The Objective Orientation of System 2:
In the objective orientation illustrated in Figure 2 the universal interface is inside the particular interface. Center 1
represents a common subjective center to all particular interfaces represented by Center 2. Together they relate
objectively outwards to other particular Centers 2. Other particular Centers 2 are perceived in a common outside
designated as darkness D.
In Figure 2 it can be seen that light disseminates from within center 1 (C1) through center 2 (C2) to the universal
outside designated as darkness D. A graduation of patterned energy between them is designated L1. C1 is universal
and unique, while C2 is particular and manifold. C2 represents any number of particular centers in the objective
world. Everything shares a common active center inside and a common universal outside in darkness, consistent
with System 1.
Although particular centers subsume hierarchical levels within them that are distinctions of kind, the only distinction
of kind that is explicit in System 2 is that between the universal and particular aspects of experience in general. This
is a very fundamental characteristic of experience. System 2, like System 1, transcends and subsumes the whole of
space-time. As particular human beings this requires that we seek universal wholeness as a condition of living. We
implicitly need a universal worldview to relate to.
The Subjective Orientation of System 2:
In the alternate mode of System 2, called the subjective orientation, C2 turns around to face C1. It now faces C1 that
was formerly within it and through which it still derives its energies since they share the same universal inside. C2
now objectively faces the universal center of the universe distinct from itself. It is nevertheless a transcending
subjective orientation in which C2 explicitly shares in the archetypal nature of C1 as Universal Being. C2 sees C1 as
System 1 from the subsumed perspective of System 2. This is completely distinct from the objective orientation
where many C2s are open to a common outside that they share. Experiences of this kind are cosmic in nature and
private. They transcend and subsume the whole of creation.
Neither interface can admit of more than one other active interface in this orientation if universal wholeness is to be
preserved. The subjective orientation is One, whereas the objective orientation is Many. The subjective orientation is
a private realization that bridges the rift in universal wholeness from which all creation proceeds.
In the subjective orientation of System 2 one particular interface C2 can only share phenomenal experience with the
universal interface C1 at the latter’s discretion. All active communication is one way, from the universal C1 to one
particular C2. This must be so as a condition of universal wholeness. The two are coalesced as One but are two.
Each perceives the other objectively outside but share subjective experience at the discretion of C1.
Normal organic feedback to the particular human being’s consciousness is totally suspended. The particular human
being can entertain no independent thoughts, forms, ideas, or actions apart from C1. This bridges the Rift in
Universal Wholeness. The particular center C2 realizes that the universal center C1 is the living manifestation of
truth, unity, harmony, love, compassion, justice, mercy, and cosmic order. Universal values are the ultimate reality
manifest in Universal Being.
In the passive illustration it is clear that C1 and C2 are mutually distinct as separate centers, yet they must relate to
one another as one. They are an elaboration of System 1. In the active mode the two centers are shown mutually
perceived as one by the double headed Z arrow. They both share the same inside, L0, and the same peripheral
darkness, D, outside. It will be said that they are coalesced as one, although they are two. They must relate both as
two and as one. C2 shares in the Universal Being of C1 at the discretion of C1. This is illustrated by the relational
wholes R1 and R2.
System 3 Generated by Two Sets of Three Centers:
System 3 is generated by two sets of three independent yet mutually related active interfaces or centers. The nature
of the three active interfaces is identified by a universal hierarchy that specifies their step-like progression from a
universal center or inside to a universal periphery or outside. There are only four possible ways that three centers
can relate to one another with respect to a universal inside and outside consistent with Systems 1 and 2. Each way is
called a term.
The Systems coexist and are not derived one from another in a temporal sequence. They are illustrated in the
passive perspective in Figure 4. Terms 1 and 3 are objective. Terms 2 and 4 are subjective. Note that objective and
subjective begin to compound within themselves. The four terms are shown separately in the active perspective in
Two Coherent Alternating Modes of System 3:
In the objective mode in the bottom half of Figure 6 the Photon(1), Electron(2) and Proton(3) in each atom have
mutually closed spherical surfaces that define spherical inner space with respect to linear outer space defined by the
transmission of light. The universal Term 2 is confined within and tunnels through the mutually closed triad of
particular Centers to intimately links them up in pairs. The universal terms cannot exist as separate things with
boundaries in space and time. Term 2 invests all particulate forms with an inside that relates to an outside
This universally invests each particular Center in the triad of Term 4 with subjective and objective characteristics with
respect to the other two particular Centers. The top half of Figure 6 shows the formless and timeless quantum
energy equivalents of each physical atom. Atoms are synchronously projected as a series of still frames linked up by
light. All relative motion occurs as quantum jumps in position between space frames through the agency of the
timeless and boundless Void.
The Void is a master memory bank for Systems 3 and higher. Each particular Term 3 has eternal or timeless
characteristics since it simultaneously reconciles the internal and external aspects of electrons(2) and protons(3) as
constituents of photon(1) energy for each primary hydrogen atom. Collectively the quantum photon energy packets
of all atoms constitute the boundless Void from which successive space frames are recalled in a cosmic movie.
Routine and Form coalesce as elements of technique that constitute the Idea.
Figure 6 shows how the universal and particular Terms cohere in alternating modes.
System 3 prescribes the organization of the physical universe. Systems 4 and higher prescribe the organization of
biologically living systems nested within the physical creation where conditions permit.
All the higher Systems have Terms with closed triadic relationships as well as timeless and formless Terms. Only
triadic relationships are mutually closed and exhibit surfaces. There are a variety of ways this happens in the higher
The System 4 Hierarchy:
The four active interfaces are an elaboration of the three active interfaces that generate System 3. Knowledge is
distinguished from Idea in System 4, since a monolithic Idea does not allow of diverse phenomena distinct from
physical matter. The distinction thus derives from the same Rift in Universal Wholeness that gives rise to Systems 2
and 3 from System 1. Each higher System must elaborate on the nature of Universal Wholeness. This generates the
The System 4 hierarchy is as follows:
(C1)IDEA → (C2)KNOWLEDGE → (C3)ROUTINE → (C4)FORM
It is noteworthy, even remarkable, that these four words structurally define coherent meaning within each of the nine
Terms of System 4 as they dynamically relate to one another in the evolving matrix of interactions through the 12
We can see that the hierarchy applies to any human activity. There is always an Idea that gives direction to our
learned Knowledge that in turn directs a Routine of visceral and muscular activity that results in an altered Form of
the body in concert with the Form of the physical environment. The hierarchy is universal and is designated by Term
9 of System 4. If we focus on the neurological and muscular processes that animate us we can see that the four
words in the universal hierarchy have biological correlates as follows:
C1 – Host (Idea):
The Host human being is an archetypal energy pattern that is clothed in molecules in common with the whole
universe. We have evolved over hundreds of millions of years as people housed within a physical body. We animate
our bodies according to subsumed electronic ideas in our nervous system that we entertain and that we may commit
our actions to.
C2 – Organs (Knowledge):
Knowledge is invested in our body’s infrastructure. It is implicit in the complement of Organs that make us up and that
have evolved over a history of learning, including our evolutionary history as a species and the species that
historically preceded us. The vertebrate lineage from reptiles to humans has a similar quadruped body plan of similar
Organs that is archetypal in character and that allows us to benefit from an evolutionary history of learning.
Knowledge implicit in our central and peripheral nervous systems allows us to meaningfully integrate our experience
including our personal history of learning and the synaptic connections that have developed. Knowledge embraces
how Organs are organized to interrelate.
C3 – Cells (Routine):
Cells are the factories that constitute Organs and that manufacture our molecular forms through highly recursive
biochemical Routines that are catalyzed by complex legions of protein enzymes that catalyze even themselves. They
increase reaction rates by millions of times and are indispensable to the function of every living cell. Because
enzymes remain chemically unaltered and employ phosphate ions as the energy currency of exchange, each Cell is
a highly organized energy pattern that clothes itself in molecules according to its needs.
C4 – Molecular Form:
The physical universe is constructed of 92 naturally occurring atomic elements that chemically combine into inorganic
and organic molecules of potentially endless variety in biological systems. Atoms and molecules have closed surfaces
generated by System 3. They have opaque surfaces that allow us to see, feel, and interact with physical Forms
through the physical Form of our own body. As the archetypal Host of our body we have an archetypal capacity to
animate the molecular Forms of our body as we wish in response to our physical circumstance. We can thus
reinterpret the universal hierarchy as it biologically relates to human behavior as follows:
Host(C1) → Organs(C2) → Cells(C3) → Molecular Form(C4)The above four Centers define the meaning implicit within each of the nine Terms.
Idea(1) → Knowledge(2) → Routine(3) → Form(4)
The Transform Sequence of the Three Particular Sets:
Six of the Terms are particular and three Sets of Particular Centers follow through a repeating Six Step Term
Sequence I, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7 one Step apart in the following order:
Step 1.-T1 - Perception of need in relation to response capacity.
Step 2.-T4 - Ordered sensory input alternately from the environment or simulated.
Step 3.-T2 - Creation of idea as a potential action response or creative concept.
Step 4.-T8 - Balanced response to sensory stimuli as a motor output to muscles.
Step 5.-T5 - Action sequence of muscular activity with proprioceptive feedback.
Step 6.-T7 - Sequence encoded as a unit memory for recall to T1 and another sequence.
Because the three Sets follow one Step apart Terms 8, 7, and 4 alternate with Terms 1, 2 and 5. Term 7 is a memory
term since the inverse of the number 7 is 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7 repeating. There are Expressive and Regenerative modes
for most of the Terms. In the Regenerative mode Centers 1 and 2 exchange places.
All of the Particular Terms except T8E have a Regenerative Mode that simulates an anticipated action as well as an
Expressive Mode that is conditioned from past experience. The Particular T8E is always Expressive and acts as a
pivot for transformations between Expressive and Regenerative sequences. A total of 12 Steps are thus required for
all three Sets to complete 7 expressive and 5 regenerative Term transformations in their respective sequences. In
each Step, Expressive and Regenerative Particular Terms from the three Sets interact to span and integrate past
and future. The 12 Steps are divided into three 4 Step Cycles by the Universal Sets that transform sequences
spanning 4 Particular Steps.
Each such Particular Set Term Sequence follows a 12 Step path through the nervous system, synapse by synapse.
The nervous system has evolved in just this way. There can be many parallel Particular Sequences active at once
through parallel neural pathways since the nervous system is structured with the same number of synaptic junctions
in each pathway. The Universal Sets integrate all Particular pathways into a coherently organized and meaningful
The Primary Universal Set and Its Transform Sequence:
Term 9 is the Universal Hierarchy UT9. The Universal Set begins each Cycle in the Term 9 position where it stays for
Steps 1 and 2. The four active interfaces (centers) of UT9 prescribe the 4 Step Cycles. UT9 has universal access to
T7R Host memories of the Quantum Sensorium called the Void. It identifies them as relevant Ideas(1) for recall in
Step 1. In Step 2 the recall is Known(2). Then it transforms mid Cycle to a Regenerative UT8R term concerned with
universally balancing available energy resources to fuel a priority of Routine(3) action needs in all the various
Particular pathways. It budgets energy expenditures committed to an integrated plan of change in body Form(4) in
Each Cycle ends after four Steps when the Primary Universal Set transforms from UT8R back to UT9 to begin the
next Cycle. The Term 8 Regenerative mode UT8R always belongs to the Primary Universal Set because it specifies
the context as the Host species. The Primary and Secondary Universal Terms cohere together. The Secondary Set
relates to specific Host human beings.
The Secondary Universal Set and Its Transform Sequence:
The Secondary Universal Set begins each Cycle as Term 3. UT3 is concerned with the Transference of Idea into
Form, via the coalescence of Knowledge with Routine. As UT9 identifies relevant Host Ideas(1) as memories in the
Void in Step 1, UT3 integrates them as a coherent action plan that can translate Idea(1) into Form(4). In Step 2 of
each Cycle UT3 transforms to UT6 which is the Corporeal Body of a specific Host human being. UT6 does not
transform in Step 3, but the Primary Universal Set transforms to UT8R which coheres with it. This works like the
coherence in the Space Frame side of System 3. In this case it budgets energy resources to an integrated action
plan entertained by the UT6 Host. In Step 4 UT6 transforms to a universal UT2E expressive idea term, where UT8R
coheres with it again. This explicitly commits resources to an integrated planned idea entertained by the Host. At the
end of each Cycle both Universal Sets transform back to their original positions to begin a new Cycle. Because there
are three synchronous Particular Sets all twelve Particular Terms are represented in each Cycle but in different Sets.
The Four Repeating Steps of Each Cycle:
The two Universal Sets are in yellow circles. The three Particular Sets are in red, green and blue.
Chart of Term Transformations in Three Cycles:
Step Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set U1 Set U2 Cycle
1 T8E T7R T4E T9 T3 #1
2 T5E T1R T2E T9 T6
3 T7E T4R T8E T8R T6
4 T1E T2R T5R T8R T2E
5 T4E T8E T7R T9 T3 #2
6 T2E T5E T1R T9 T6
7 T8E T7E T4R T8R T6
8 T5R T1E T2R T8R T2E
9 T7R T4E T8E T9 T3 #3
10 T1R T2E T5E T9 T6
11 T4R T8E T7E T8R T6
12 T2R T5R T1E T8R T2E
New sensory input from the environment comes via T4E in Set 3 in Step 1. Sensory input T4E in one Set of Step 1
of each Cycle is always coupled to memory recall T7R to begin a related simulation sequence. Memory recall must
always be linked directly to sensory input in order for our thoughts, feelings, and actions to be relevant to ongoing
circumstantial input. This must also be reconciled with the previous action sequence T8E (simultaneous motor
instructions to muscles) in order for there to be a smooth transition from Step to Step. The regenerative terms at
the spinal level are accommodated by gamma motor neurons that project to muscle spindles. A gamma motor
simulation in T1R is followed by a muscle spindle simulation in T4R in Step 3 that generates proprioceptive
feedback about body position in space. The regenerative simulation anticipates a suitable future result that is
reconciled with the alternate T4E term in Step 1 of each Cycle.
Term 1— Perception of the Field (Particular): The separate centers coalesce in
pairs, idea C1 with knowledge C2, and routine C3 with form C4.(5) Perceived need
thus relates to resource capacity to respond.
Term 2— Creation of Idea (Particular): C1, C2 and C3 form double identities as a
known potential to enact idea in routine. Form C4 is fed back from the environment
through routine C3 to find identity as a superimposed idea on the closed triadic
relationship between C1, C2 and C3.
Term 3— Transference of Idea (Universal-Secondary): C2 and C3 are coalesced.
Knowledge(2) contains idea(1). Routine(3) contains form(4). Idea(1) is thus
transferred to form(4) through the coalescence of knowledge and routine.
Term 4— Mental Work (Particular): C1 and C2 coalesce within C3 separate from
C4. Thus Idea and knowledge together relate through routine with external form.
Alternating countercurrent identities with either idea or knowledge are
superimposed, thus sensory input alternates with proprioceptive simulated feedback.
Term 5— Physical Work (Particular): Idea C1 directs knowledge C2 from within,
which in turn directs routine C3, which finds a physical identity in form C4. A
countercurrent propriocption feeds back from form(4), via C3 and C2 to idea(1).
Term 6— Corporeal Body (Universal-Secondary): Idea C1, knowledge C2, & routine
C3 find mutual double identities within the context of common form C4. Each triad
member also projects independently through form, C4, lending it specific bounds.
Term 7— Memory Resources (Particular): Routine C3 is coalesced with form C4 as
a quantized element of technique within knowledge C2, and idea C1. T7 eternally
reconciles inside and outside as a timeless element of memory.
Term 8— Creative Feedback (Particular): Countercurrent identities balance form C4
with idea C1 through routine C3, all within the context of knowledge C2. An output
responds to balance input, and vice versa, along with resource renewal.
Term 9— Renewed Perception of the Field (Universal-Primary): Idea C1 gives
direction to knowledge C2 which gives direction to routine C3 which gives direction
to form C4. This is the universal discretionary hierarchy of System 4.
The Passive Representation of the Nine System 4 Terms:
Descriptions of System 4 Terms and How They Work:
The descriptions opposite the passive representation of the nine Terms in Figure 8 are very brief and general. It is
the active representations that generate the meaning implicit in each term and there are many subtleties involved. For
System 4 Terms.a more complete description of each Term see the article
For a more complete description of how the Terms interact to integrate human experience see the two articles on the
Human Nervous System. Part 1 shows how it works at the spinal level.
Part 2 shows how the cerebellum integrates sensory inputs with cerebral function and motor outputs synapse by
For a description of how the Universal Sets integrate human experience see the various cell articles especially
Universal Integration of Human Experience.
It is a challenge to intuitively grasp how all this works as it does and why it must in order to be consistent with
phenomenal experience as presented to us both subjectively and objectively. Once grasped however, many doors
begin to open to unexplored vistas of wonder.
The Active Representation of the Nine System 4 Terms: