The Essence of Dean Brown's Cosmic Laws

William C. Gough (with Dean Brown)


Dean Brown’s passion was physics, the study of Nature. As Dean’s life progressed he concluded that the fundamental structures of the world of matter, the world of the mind, and the world of the abstract were identical and interwoven. He then began his quest for the set of patterns in the universe that were truly invariant. Invariant means that which everyone can agree upon from all possible different viewpoints. They represent patterns in Nature that are observed to be invariant under all transformations. The result of this search was published in his 2002 book, Cosmic Law: Patterns in the Universe, which he jointly authored with his wife Wenden Wiegand (Brown & Wiegand, 2002).

Thus, these laws represent the unchanging organizing principles of the universe. Dean found eight unchanging laws in the universe, which he named ‘Cosmic Law.’ Dean believed that these eight fundamental axioms underlie the evolutionary process in Nature. He concluded that survival is not the sole criterion for evolution, but rather there exists an inherent drive in every living creature, in business, in society, and in the cosmos to do better. Dean defined wisdom as a practical understanding of cosmic law (the dynamic invariants) and the skill in applying the law (intention). Wisdom is what remains after state-dependent, culture-dependent, and time-dependent realities have been subtracted. It is wisdom that shows one how to live a good life.


Before we discuss the LAWS of the cosmos, let’s review the model that Dean felt represented how the cosmos operates (Gough & Dean, 2002; Gough & Shacklett, 1999). Dean believed in a domain of unbounded potential, the Absolute, from which all emanations arise. The Absolute constitutes the source of everything in the physical world. The science of the Absolute has evolved from the ontologies developed by past cultures. These ancient traditions represent a universal wisdom since they have within them aspects that are invariant through time. In addition, such a postulate for a creative source appears necessary in modern science for two reasons: First, the creation of the universe via the ‘big bang’ violates the conservation of energy -- a law at the foundation of modern physics. Second, all life began in non-life; therefore, every living thing could not have evolved from an ancestor. This is true since the universe started from ‘nothing’. Since life started from matter, and all matter came from nothing, i.e., from a non-physical domain, life must have started from "nothing" also. A well-known scientific concept for addressing this issue is Dr. David Bohm's ‘implicate order,’ an order of undivided wholeness (Bohm, 1980).

The model presents the Absolute as unchanging and timeless, but time exists in the physical world time. Some have said that time is God's way of not having everything happen at once. But there is a deeper meaning; we can't have change without time. In fact, time is nothing but change (Barbor, 1999). Time is the mechanism by which Nature creates differences. Without time we would only have the perfect patterns of the Absolute. With time comes imperfections! Nowhere in all Nature are any two things found to be exactly alike. By Nature, Dean means that which gets born; whether it be a galaxy, a planet, a plant or a person. In Nature we perceive patterns but they are always in flux -- everything is vibrating. Science agrees that everything in the universe is vibrating; therefore all forms and patterns must have a wave spectrum associated to them.

The phenomenon of wave resonance depicts the mechanism for the interaction of physical Nature with the non-physical Absolute (Gough & Brown, 2001). Since the Absolute has no time; past, present, and future are one. Modern physics has a similar characteristic. In the fundamental equations of physics, i.e., electromagnetic, relativity and quantum, the backward and forward direction in time are not distinguishable -- there is a symmetry of time. It is only when we consider the physicality of three-dimensional space from the engineering perspective of thermodynamics that time has an arrow. If one accepts relativity theory, light has ‘no time’ since at the speed of light clocks effectively stop, and time has no meaning. It is the manifest world that gives time a meaning; in the Absolute time has no meaning, it is always the Now. Figure 1 is a schematic representation of this model in which a cosmology of multiple (seven) levels or fields of waves, related to each other, not causally, but by reflecting a common pattern. The basic models roots go back into antiquity but the specifics could be said to start a century ago with the work of C.W. Leadbeater, the Theosophist, and from more recent extensions made by Dr. Elmer Green of the Menninger Foundation (Leadbeater, 1902/1975; Green & Green, 1989).

Fig. 1: The Absolute is the source of the physicality of space-time. In the Absolute space and time have no meaning. The left-hand side represents the emergence of form into the physicality of space-time. The right-hand side represents the return over time of everything that is in the physical back to the Absolute. The physicality of space-time is divided into seven levels that constitute a subset of the Absolute. The “dense body” (the physical world of common experience) is shaded and the remainder is not shaded. This indicates that we are normally unaware of most of space-time. Everything in the material world is a multi-level, multi-dimensional object whether it be cells, plants, the Earth or us. The degree to which a living system is consciously aware of the different multi-levels of the universe creates the difference between the mineral, plant, animal, and human "kingdoms.”


So what are these eight mega-laws of the cosmos? Dean divided the eight Laws into two groups. The first four Laws are laws of form, static, grounded in the timeless Absolute. They are the eternal invariants. The second four Laws are laws of process. They are dynamic and operate in Nature. They deal with flow and with life in its most elemental essentials. The second set of four Laws of Nature are isomorphic to the first set of four Laws of the Absolute, i.e., ‘as above, so below.’


LAW I: The first Law is the Law of Nothingness. Dean considered this the greatest Law of all! Empires, galaxies, love affairs, languages, people come and go, leaving not a trace. There is a lot of comfort in this – whatever we mess up, is erased and forgotten. In the long run, nobody knows or cares. Time heals, then forgives and finally forgets, forgets all.

The Nothingness is where we encounter the domain of eternal form. It is in the Nothingness where we can achieve ‘effortless effort,’ and ‘actionless action,’ and ‘purposeless purpose.’ The Nothingness is a Vedic concept, from which derives Plato’s field of ideals, Jung’s archetypes, and DeChardin’s noosphere. Timeless forms of aesthetics, ethics, logic, mathematics, and humanity reside here. Meditation returns us to this source of rejuvenation and creativity. When we are centered in this quite empty place, our perceptions are clearest, our hang-ups are diminished, and true essences come into focus. The quiet center of Nothingness is the place of infinite potential.

LAW II: The second Law is the Law of the Progression of Contraries. This Law underlies the existence of paradox. For example, we have the interplay of Male and Female, Good and Evil, light and darkness, chaos and order, finite and infinite, knowledge and wisdom, love and romance, etc. Each attribute should be in harmony and in balance with its complement. Dean considered love as the substrate that holds the universe together. A feeling that applies to the whole world – ‘Love thy neighbor.’ Romance is in the moment, where you are caught up in the experience of cosmic beauty and ‘rightness.’

LAW III: The third Law is the Law of Concealment. Without concealment there would be no enlightenment, no learning, no process, no evolution.  All would be known, static.  Dead.  It is at the heart of the life force to have a passion for the hidden, the occult, for all of us, children, storytellers and scientists alike. It is the business of art and science to tease truth from our mother, Nature. It is her business to reveal herself gradually, so as not to overwhelm, but to progressive revelation.

The ultimate wisdom hides herself. The concealed generates both energy and drive for the evolution process -- our curiosity. Have you ever had an experience where everything appears clear to you at once? Then the fog closes in and everything becomes fuzzy again. Even when it remains clear to you, it cannot be communicated to someone else if they don’t already know! Ultimately everyone has to discover for himself.

Concealment results in imperfection in the physical world. Dean stated that the power of forgiveness is based upon the fact that imperfection represents a cosmic principle of God. Therefore, we need to accept and love the inherent imperfection in everything and everybody. Imperfection is eternally with us. Not in all of nature are any two things alike. Ancient societies have honored the importance of imperfection. For example, the sacred rugs of Persia are always made with a deliberate imperfection in recognition of the inherent imperfection that god has created into Nature (Dean, May, 2002).

LAW IV: The fourth Law is the Law of Revelation. Revelation comes through grace alone as the words of the ever-popular hymn “Amazing Grace” illustrates. By grace, eventually that which was concealed will be revealed. However, there exists a family of different subtle depths of perception. They result from different degrees of intention and cognition. For example, the testimony of several people who witness a car wreck will be different – sometimes in very substantial ways. Who is right? There will never be complete agreement among them, no matter how much new data is collected.

The progression toward Truth is always incomplete. Therefore, how can we know that we are on the right path? We know that we are on the right track if the revelation is progressively more beautiful – beauty is truth, truth is beauty. We have all had at one time or another a breakthrough in our perception. It occurs when we flash upon the deep meaning of an expression or an event and it becomes an ‘aha’ experience. No amount of wishful thinking or logic or persuasion can bring you to this ‘aha’. It just comes when it comes, and it brings with it certainty. Sometimes it comes after a serious personal crisis such as a heart attack. The doors of perception are cleansed and things appear as they really are.

Dean knew that the Law of Revelation placed a limitation of our ‘scientific understanding’ of the reality of Nature. The underlying issue is that all our scientific instruments that we use to ‘measure’ our world have limitations. They can only measure real numbers that are rational. Real numbers that are irrational can only be approximated and imaginary numbers are not measurable at all. The rational numbers are an infinitesimal part of the total real numbers, and say nothing about the ‘imaginary spaces.’ In physics this is known as the ‘measurement problem.’ The deeper implication of this limitation is that all measurements are tentative. Between any two measured points an infinite number of possibilities may occur. Every theory, every model, every ontology, is always superseded by a more refined one. The more we know, the less we know – science unfolds by progressive revelations. Yet each individual through direct experience can explore undiscovered realities of the Absolute. These realities are beyond our space and time but often have been described by mathematics – they are realities that the limited physical instruments of science can never measure (Gough & Dean, May 2001).


The laws of Nature deal with flow, and with life in its most elemental essentials. Nature is a process of ever-flowing im-balance. There are four stages. We are conceived and born, we attain the crest of our careers, we descend into old age, and we die and reform, preparing for rebirth.

LAW V: The fifth Law is the Law of Emanation, the Law of Becoming. Its essence is birth, creating, causing, and emergence – meaning emerging from the complexities of Natural processes. The basic idea is to birth something from the abstract Absolute realm into the tangible world of the relative. The emphasis is upon bringing forth, emanating, and manifesting.

From time to time we all have a ‘primal urge.’ We are born with these impulses and carry them throughout our lifetime. One has the impulse to be a lawyer, another a nurse, another a musician, another a scholar, another a mechanic. The word urge comes from the Greek ‘erg,’ meaning energy. Other primal urges include sex, ego identity, altruism, survival, hunger, and friendship. These are all creative energies that promote emergence, emanation, the bringing forth of Life in general, and of your personality, of your unique individuality in particular.

Everything that now exists in manifestation was once just a fresh-formed idea, weightless and without energy. Words are the ultimate reality. The magic word ‘abracadabra’ means ‘I create as I speak’ in Aramaic. Not only does Nature manifest itself from the Absolute, you and I create by the same process. We cast a spell to invoke magic. We are one, one with everything. To approach the universe, understand it, play with it – produce effects through your pure center. Life becomes active and joyful. Just be centered, then you become nothing/everything – you are in the ‘emptiness’ of the Absolute, the domain of infinite potential.

LAW VI: The sixth Law is the Law of Sustenance. Everything that is living at this moment is living by the grace and the nourishment of Providence! Our food, our air and water, our care and attention – all are undeserved gifts from an abundant and loving Nature. We are truly too poor and helpless to manage anything by ourselves. We are too innocent to take care of even our most humble affairs. The future is an infinite path, unwinding slowly ahead of us, and we are just beginning to creep along its way. The only sensible course is one of absolute trust, just as the newborn trusts its mother. This leads us to a great cosmic principle, Expect Nothing. Why should we trust Nature? Providence is abundant. The Universe has an unlimited bank account reserved in your name, particularly to be used for your enjoyment. But to draw on it you must write the check!

This brings us to the topic of love. In a treatise on Cosmic Law, love enters under the Law of Sustenance. Love sustains. ‘God is Love.’ Love is unconditional. It cannot be defined. It can only be experienced. It is the ultimate nourishment. Love is the demonstration of supply increasing demand and demand increasing supply – if love for one increases, then love for all increases.

LAW VII: Law seven is the Law of Dissolution. Everything that has a beginning has an end -- ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That which has form will return to the formless. Graceful de-construction is a blessing. It is necessary to clear our ‘history’ and wash the slate clean. Successes as well as failures, equally, become limitations to further growth and evolution. Plan for the end of an enterprise before beginning it. As the Sufi’s say die before you die. Compose a good life, and then compose a good death. One of the most satisfying feelings is the sense of having attained full closure on a project or a lifetime. If we were completely deprived of the sense of completion, life would become pointless and sour. Completion of life is the time to turn over all the karma, good and bad alike, to the Universe.

LAW VIII: The eighth law is the Law of Return. Dean believed in reincarnation – that we are impelled into the Absolute, from which rebirth emanates. He considered this the most creative part of your spiritual journey, where you re-member yourself back into another existence, another rebirth. In the domain of the Absolute, time does not exist, only Spirit. Since we are in Eternity, rebirth can be emanated into manifestation at any time and culture, past, present, or future, according to our choice. Here is where we choose our parents, our bodies, and our lifetime’s mission. It is also where we fold our previous lifetimes’ experience back into fresh new innocence, with the memories we choose to bring with us. Some of these things are eternal and carry forth from lifetime to lifetime. There is a transcendence of love over death – for sweethearts, for family, for friends.

Reincarnation research implies the possible existence of a spirit world as Dean Brown put forth in developing Cosmic Law. Dean has good company regarding a belief in reincarnation: Plato, Virgil, and Pythagoras among others. Modern physics and cosmology often hypothesize the possibility of realities outside of our physical space-time. Dean, as a quantum physicist, was well aware of these theories. He also understood the impressive research of Dr. Ian Stevenson, a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, who over his lifetime compiled thousands of cases involving children who remembered past lives in detail. These cases sometimes included the physical appearance of wounds that were consistent from lifetime to lifetime (Stevenson, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1996).

Here is an interesting story about Dean. Philosophy was Dean’s great love. He considered philosophy to be his most important field of study. He would talk about the work of C. S. Peirce, his favorite philosopher, with deep respect. Dr. Walter Semkiw, M.D. was doing reincarnation research to demonstrate that facial features, personality traits and even linguistic writing style remain consistent from lifetime to lifetime. Dr. Semkiw would hypothesize a past-life match, often with the assistance of the famous medium, Kevin Ryerson, and then check it out using historical documentation. He did this for Dr. Dean Brown and provided evidence that he was the reincarnation of C. S. Peirce! Compare the pictures published in Semkiw’s book, and you will be impressed by the similarities between the facial features of Dean and Peirce (Semkiw, 2003).


I have known Dean Brown for over two decades. He frequently spoke at our Foundation for Mind-Being Research meetings and contributed editorials to the FMBR Newsletter. Dean and I would get-together at either his home or mine and talk science and philosophy for hour upon hour. I treasured these discussions, we spent hundreds of hours together and I taped many of our dialogues. Together Dean and I wrote two papers that discussed the mysteries of the Absolute.

In writing the Essence of Dean’s Cosmic Law I used Dean’s words directly from his book and other wittings. There are no quotes around the excerpts since there are too many, and some have been edited, combined, or condensed. However, I believe they accurately reflect Dean’s insights. If any do not I hope Dean will forgive me. I encourage each of you to go to the original source of Dean’s writings and enjoy the full wisdom of this inspiring man.


Brown, Dean, Wenden Wiegand, (2002). Cosmic Law: Patterns in the Universe, Alamo, CA: Self Published, Available on the web at:

Brown, Dean, (2002, May). “Importance of Imperfection,” FMBR Newsletter, Available on the web at:

Barbour, Julian, (1999). The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics, NY: Oxford University Press.

Bohm, David, (1980). Wholeness and the Implicate Order, London/Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Gough, William C. (2006, January). “Reincarnation,” FMBR Newsletter, Available on the web at:

Gough, William C. & Dean Brown, (2001, May). “Measurement & Reality,” FMBR Newsletter. Available on the web at:

Gough, William C. & Dean Brown, (2001). "Resonance, Coherence, and Us," Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing, Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, Sept. 1-3, 2001.
Available on the web without illustrations at”

Gough, William C. & Dean Brown, (2002). "Domain of Unbounded Potential: The Science of the Absolute," Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing, Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, Aug 31 - Sept. 2, 2002. Available on the web without illustrations at:

Gough, W.C. & R.L. Shacklett, (1999). "What Science Can and Can't Say About Spirits," Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing, Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, Sept. 4-6, 1999. (Also published as a three part series in The Journal of Religion and Psychical Research, July & October 2000, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp.124-132 & No. 4, pp.208-217, and January 2001, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp.48-57). Available on the web without illustrations at:

Green, E. and A. Green, Beyond Biofeedback, (1989). Ft.Wayne, IN: Knoll Publishing Co., pp.30-31.

Leadbeater, C.W., (1975/1902). Man Visible and Invisible, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Book, p.11 (First published 1902).

Semkiw, Walter, (2003). Return of the Revolutionaries: The Case for Reincarnation and Soul Groups Reunited, Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company.

Stevenson, Ian, (1975,1977, 1980, 1983). Cases of the Reincarnation Type: Vol. I India, Vol. II Sri Lanka, Vol. III Lebanon and Turkey, Vol. IV Thailand and Burma, Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Stevenson, Ian, (1996). Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, Vol. I & II, Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.


Bill Gough has over thirty years of management experience in scientific research and development in energy, physics and basic science programs. He obtained his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton University and did advanced work at Harvard University. Since 1988 he has pursued full time his study of the science of consciousness. In 1980 he co-founded the Foundation for Mind-Being Research (FMBR) and has assisted in the evolution of consciousness studies in an effort to bring this new field into wider recognition as a bona fide science. Prior to this, he was Fusion Power Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute, and later the Director, DOE Stanford Site Office responsible for the high energy physics and synchrotron radiation research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. His published works appear in Scientific American, the Environmental Engineer's Handbook, and other books/journals.
He has recently written two papers with Dr. George Miley, University of Illinois, on the application of the Fusion Torch concept to close the materials cycle from use to reuse, and for the production of hydrogen from water. These papers were presented at meetings of the American Nuclear Society in 2008. For background on the Fusion Torch and its implications read Bill’s 2008 paper “A Route to Ecological Sustainability” available on the FMBR web site at:

Updated Jan 20, 2009.