This blog was authored by Waldemar Schmidt, PhD, MD (brief bio below). 

You are likely curious about the claim in my title. What follows puts my contention into perspective. 

I have always been interested in human beings. Practicing academic medicine for 30+ years has provided me with the opportunity to engage in prolonged observation of patients, faculty, students, friends, family and acquaintances. They are such a varied lot of sizes, shapes, abilities, intentions, actions, and consequences. They are far more complicated than multiple genders alone! They also share ways whereby they show remarkable capacities to adapt to the realities of existence. In addition, they seem almost predictably unpredictable. This inner interest of mine, combined with a fortunate admission to medical school and some research time resulted in cementing my fascination in “the human condition.” 

Two observations occurred repeatedly in my work: 1) Humans are becoming increasingly confused and disoriented existentially; and 2) Despite my training and experience, I did not satisfactorily understand the workings of the human mind.  Ending my practice provided the time to address this illiteracy. Fortuitously there was the internet, so I could work from home and comfort – no return to monastic scholasticism required! My decision to dive deeply into human psychology was principally based on (a) the idea that psychology is the basic science component of psychiatry, (b) psychiatry appeared confused about the role of psychopharmacology, and (c) because I needed to apprehend form of “normal mental function” before confronting “mental dysfunction.”

A seminal moment occurred for me with the discovery of The Tree of Knowledge. This shepherded me to Henriques’ Unified Theory of Psychology , which I found could deliver coherent and consistent accounts in a way that rationally illuminated the hitherto cryptic (at least to me) human mind. The key elements of the Unified Theory work like puzzle pieces to divulge the functional structure of the mind by revealing the interacting elements of the mind itself. For instance, Behavioral Investment Theory clarifies the core purposes and control processes involved in human behavior. The Justification Hypothesis (now referred to as Justification Systems Theory) illustrates that very human penchant and necessity to find and explain to others why we adopt certain thoughts and conducts. The Influence Matrix describes both the intrapsychic structure of human relational investment processes and allows us to comprehend overt interpersonal interactions.

OK, I know your question at this point: What does all this have to do with the other theory to which I alluded and what is the association between psychology and the big bang? Patience please, I’m getting there.

The Unified Theory does two other very important things pertinent to understanding the human condition. That is, it permits time-travel because it provides perspectives which are forward and backward in time. Looking forward through time, it explicates the origins, needs for, and functions of the over-arching concept of “Culture” (as opposed to the myriad and diverse human “cultures”). As well, the Unified Theory explains Culture as an evolving rather than static structure. In fact, it highlights that what is happening now that is contributing our confusion is an emergence of the “digital world,” which is changing everything. The unified theory captures this transition into a “digital meta-Culture” via a futuristic sounding notion called “the fifth joint point.”

The other direction of importance is backwards in time. The Unified Theory places human beings in a context of an evolving wave of energy and information which started at the big bang. That is, human beings are perceived as having arisen from animal life, which arose from matter, which arose from the condensation of energy, whose presence came from the big bang!

The Unified Theory’s pan-temporal insight illustrates the origins, as well as the resolution of, our increasing experiential confusion and disorientation. For example, at a previous time we were convinced we were in all ways the center of the universe. Now, however, we understand we reside on an infinitesimal globe within an immense volume of matter and space whose diameter exceeds 27.6 billion light years (i.e., 13.8 bill years ago x 2). And, we have no idea what exists beyond that limit!

Previously, we have been persuaded of supernatural entities which cared for and about each one of us personally. Presently, we apprehend that cosmic events occur impersonally and apparently without regards to our existence. Further, we comprehend substantial evidence which reveals our species arose, over time, from preceding entities which were not quite exactly like us. These changes destabilize the assumptions which lie at the very foundations of our existential adaptations and undermine those perceptions which enable our survival within and resilience to the vagaries of existence! No surprise, then, the blossoming existential angst.

With preceding foundational explanations of existence disputed, if not destroyed, how shall we humans meet our fundamental and compelling need to justify, explain, and provide a perspective of our place in the impersonal reality that is our current scientific understanding? This is exactly where the theory alluded to above comes to the rescue - in the form of The Unified Theory of Psychology! 

Huh?  Psychology rationalizes the universe? 

Source: Gregg Henriques/wiki

Upon closer examination one realizes the Unified Theory is not singularly about psychology – in a very capacious sense it explains much, much more. In fact, it is about all that which has and does exist. And it does so without necessarily refuting other modern explications of territories of actuality, such as cosmology, chemistry and physics, animal behavior, and the emergence of the human mind and its most byzantine creation, Culture. 

It is for these sorts of reasons that I have come to see that the Unified Theory of Psychology and The Tree of Knowledge concept may be appreciated by an alias: The Consilient Comprehensive Existential Metatheory.

It is consilient in the sense of the definition of consilience: The concurrence of multiple inductions drawn from different data sets; the agreement, co-operation, or overlap of academic disciplines. It is comprehensive and existential because it is inclusive of all that which exists, either in actuality or in thought. And it is a metatheory for the reason that it is a theory about theories. In short, The Unified Theory of Psychology (aka: The Consilient Comprehensive Existential Metatheory) provides a consistent, coherent, stable, and inclusive metaphysical and pan-temporal justification of Homo sapiens sapiens. By whatever name it goes by, it addresses much more than psychology! It is, in actuality, a coherent knowledge system.   

That’s why the big bang is a psychological event – or, more stringently - why the big bang has psychological consequences. Meanwhile, I’ll be in this corner over here trying to sort out “the human condition” and various forms of human “mental dysfunction.”

Waldemar A Schmidt, PhD, MD, is Professor Emeritus at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.  He, his anatomist wife and their dog live outside of Oregon City, the original “capital” of the Pacific Northwest Territory.  They reside in a house within a Douglas fir forest, where Waldemar continues his earnest study of psychology, the human condition, and “mental dysfunctions.”