‘Opinion’ is a pretty heavyweight number, when you really get down to thinking about it. Just about everything we know – information in general – all boils to ‘opinion’, however you may want to couch it. It’s kinda ‘all-encompassing’ as it were, but could there be a consensus that unifies the field?

Swami Siva Kalki – Mike Wilson, in an earlier incarnation – had this thing about ‘opinion’ and even formulated an ‘Opinion Theory’ for which he was trying to find an elusive mathematical formula that would result in cracking the Unified Field.

The premise that everything we know of is ‘opinion’ – all information, including ‘God’ or the concept of it, was the fundamental ‘truth’ of Siva Kalki’s postulation. He related this to Maxwell’s equations on electromagnetism and how it could be the unifying force that would apply to all physical situations at all times. What was missing, however, was the mathematics to clinch his theory.

He had some very intriguing syllogisms on ‘opinion’ and I have been trying like hell to remember how they went, but so far attempts at retrieval from the memory bank, except for some bits and pieces, have proved to be futile. Perhaps by the time I get through this – hopefully!

Gödel’s ‘Incompleteness Theorems’ also played a major part in Siva Kalki’s formulation of his ‘Opinion Theory’ and the concept of ‘if the system can prove it is consistent, then it is inconsistent’ was right up his street. ‘Truth’ was also an interesting concept for him, as questioning the validity of the basis of any theorem or hypothesis as ‘true’ – relating it to Gödel’s view – only made him certain that ‘truth’ was relative and added to his ‘opinion’ of ‘maya’ which he saw as the Buddha described it.

When I first met Mike in the early seventies he was just getting into ‘swami’ mode – not yet Siva Kalki, but secluded in his Horton Place home and away from the hectic social life that he had scrambled out of – not long after Brian Jones of Stones’ fame had been his house-guest. Tired of the rat-race, of deep-sea diving, of film making and of Hollywood and all that sham and glam that he had recently emerged from, he was sublimely content living in his bedroom – mostly in bed. I was on an extended visit from the US of A and had brought with me a substantial collection of music – mostly 60’s rock, R and B and some of the early jazz-rock and spin-off classics by folk like Tomita and the Swingle Singers that had caught my fancy. And given our common taste in music amongst other subjects, we spent days on end tripping out on the music and on all manner of subjects that included Tarot, Mysticism, Religion, Philosophy and Psychedelics – mostly dealing with altered states of consciousness, in between periods of mundane chatter and uncontrollable fits of laughter. His sense of humour was as acute as those other qualities he had in abundance.

The JVP’s initial foray into revolution, combined with the repression that Sirimavo brought about, hastened my departure back to LA. I left my collection of music with Mike and not too long after, he took off with another friend, the artist Aja Schmidling (later to become Bikkhu Sumedha), leaving the life of the householder and headed for Vallimallai on the other side of Vedihitikanda in Kataragama, where they lived in a cave for some time.

To make a saga brief and fast-forwarding a few years – after all manner of spiritual and other adventures, Swami returned to Colombo (one of his many forays back and forth from Kataragama and the hill country) and, with the help of a manic mate, got himself set up in urban splendor (relative to his caves and kuttis, that is), where friends and seekers of spiritual counsel would meet him. It was around this time – the latter part of the seventies, that I believe he started on ‘Opinion’.

As Richard Boyle (a mutual friend), wrote in his excellent and incisive essay, ‘The Enigmatic Mr. Wilson’: “Despite humble origins and only a basic education, Wilson became something of a polymath in his adult life. His learning extended in many directions, embracing on the one hand an exhaustive knowledge of human spirituality, comparative religion and universal tradition, while on the other, an impressive understanding of the sciences. Indeed during the last twenty years of his life the formulation of a Unified Field Theory became his magnificent obsession.

In the abstract to his unpublished paper A New Approach to Field Unification he explains: ‘This model seeks to demonstrate that the four fundamental forces of nature and their fields can be successfully unified by the correct application of Maxwell’s four electromagnetic equations. It seeks to demonstrate how Maxwell’s equations can be validly extended to describe the functions in other field; .seeks to demonstrate how these four equations are in fact laws which may be seen working in all physical situations; and how every physical situation can be completely described by means of these equations alone. It seeks to demonstrate that Maxwell wrote the four fundamental laws of Nature – the Unified Field Equations without realizing it.’” (Richard is in the process of publishing his book on a period in the life of Swami Siva Kalki and hopefully this should see the light of day in the very near future).

Unfortunately for his close friends, Swami Siva Kalki left the material universe behind in 1995 and so his views on ‘Opinion’ never did get the exposure he hoped they would. I’m not entirely sure of how far he got, or if he saw the futility of the exercise, given that it was just an ‘opinion’ anyway. So there it lies, waiting for some bright spark to pick it up and extend it to its potential.

What’s yours?

Oh yeah, those syllogisms – I’m going to try to dig them up and if I do, I’ll lay them on you.