the Way of Being
© Anil Mitra April 22, 2019—May 20, 2019
Immediate plan for essay—
Human beings have a sense of purpose toward greater things in the seen world and beyond; there is a sense of freedom of perception, conception, and creation of such purpose(s); and, correspondingly, a sense of freedom of choice of some alternative paths of action.
To what extent are these real? To what extent are they human fictions? If real, is purpose limited to individuals and societies—or is it universal?
To answer these questions and to follow the paths of action that may be implicated by their answers is made effective by knowledge interwoven with action.
One traditional approach is the secular—it is based in the experiential, empirical, and scientific. It often takes it for granted that the empirical picture defines the universe. The error is not even circular—it simply assumes what it takes as true; its complete lack of subtlety is significantly what makes it ‘rationally’ persuasive.
Another is the religious approach to the trans-secular—it is to posit a higher world, often in concrete terms, and often as dogma. In any case even reasonable posits cannot be taken as true.
The essay is presented as an original work (of course deriving from the history of ideas and experience in the world).
At the core of The Way is a worldview—a perfect metaphysics.
The perfect metaphysics is abbreviated PFM or the metaphysics.
The metaphysics is derived from a demonstrated principle: the universe is the greatest possible—named the fundamental principle of metaphysics (or of Being).
The name of the principle is abbreviated as FP or just the fundamental principle.
The perfect metaphysics goes limitlessly beyond our standard worldviews.
The narrative flow is to motivate and derive the worldview and its foundation; to explain the meaning of the view; and to derive consequences.
Conclusions include (i) the universe has ultimate peaks of being and identity, (ii) individuals merge and participate in the peaks, and (iii) there are effective paths to the ultimate.
Further, the peaks are limitless in magnitude and variety; all peaks suffer dissolution; death is real but not absolute; participation begins in this world and continues fully beyond death; the effective paths are within discoverable grasp; and there is existential imperative to engage in discovery of paths or ways and in realization.
No detail for now.
The personal origins are in my life, thought, endeavors, learning, experience, and reflection.
The general origins are the world and human cultures—both via learning and experience.
The worldview of the essay may be a formal and intuitive challenge for readers educated in one or more standard worldviews.
To absorb the new view it will be effective for readers to follow the logic of the development and to attend to the meanings of terms as defined.
Meanings of concepts are not concrete givens but depend on worldview; only if and when the worldview is complete are meanings possibly final. The outcome will not be wholesale rejection of old views but an absorption of their ‘valid’ elements into the new.
The constructive development will not resolve all issues of acceptance of the new world view for doubt may remain.
The narrative addresses doubt. This includes demonstration; empirical and logical foundation of the metaphysics and consequently that the metaphysics is consistent with experience, science, and logic.
Motivation to develop metaphysics—knowledge and action—has been given.
Motivation of the form of the metaphysics is not given before the development of the metaphysics. It is effective to defer this motivation to the section On the significance of Being and related concepts for though a pre-motivation has value it would be cumbersome and less effective. The motivation may of course be read at any time.
The concepts of being and Being may be elaborated—a being is that which exists where ‘to exist’ or ‘to be’ is understood in its most neutral and therefore general sense (e.g. in some region of sameness and difference which are precursors to space-time-Being); Being is existence. The concept of Being is further neutral to entity vs interaction vs process; to gender and number; to substance—e.g. mind or idea vs matter; to kind of concept—e.g., description, factual, or trope.
It might be natural to introduce the fundamental and centering concept of ‘experience’ here but it is effective to defer it to after The perfect metaphysics.
The concept of the universe may be elaborated—the universe is All Being or all beings.
Therefore the universe is a being; there is one universe; relative to the universe, there is no other being; the cause of the universe, if there is one, is and cannot be another being.
‘All Being’ is not yet clear in its meaning—is it all Being at a particular time or over all time? A problem here is that we ought not to regard time as given; rather ‘sameness’ and ‘difference’ are more fundamental and general measures of ‘extension’—i.e., of what in the particular case is spatiotemporal extension. All Being, then, is to be regarded as Being over all sameness and difference.
I.e., there are no beings in the void; it is the complement of every being relative to itself; existence and non existence of the void are equivalent and so the void may be taken to exist.
The being that neither affects nor is affected by beings does not exist.
I.e., the measure of Being is cause and effect, causation, or interaction; Being is the measure of Being. In this use ‘cause’ is not restricted to classical causation that is usually thought of as continuous in space and time and limited to material, mechanistic, traceable, and understandable.
A pattern of behavior followed by all beings of a part or constituent being of the universe—e.g. a cosmos such as our empirical cosmos—is a natural law or, simply, a law; laws are beings; therefore there are no laws of the void.
A possible being that did not emerge from the void would be a law of the void; therefore all possible beings emerge from the void; the kind of possibility in question must be the greatest—consistent—possibility.
This is the fundamental principle of metaphysics; note that this ‘greatest possible universe’ is not to be interpreted as the ‘best’ (as in Leibniz’ this is the best of all possible worlds); however the true interpretation follows from the derivation of the principle—
Are they truly different in kind?
In summary, the so far recognized real kinds of possibility are given by the acronym PNSU; the reason that the acronym begins with ‘p’ (for the psychological) is the special place of experience or consciousness seen earlier—and the order s-n-u reflects the order of growth of individuals as well as a hierarchy of structure in the universe; some details of the kinds of possibility are (i) for the psychological—sentient or perceptive-motive and intelligent or conceptive-agentive (where the concept emphasizes the free concept but also includes the percept), (ii) for the natural—physical and living, (iii) for the social—groups, culture, and civilization, and (iv) for the universal—the greatest possibility and the realm of the unknown (relative to a given being—individual—or culture).
The universe is the realization of logical—all consistent—possibility.
—this is an instrumental restatement of the fundamental principle of metaphysics (or of Being).
This notion of consistency may include internal (logic in the usual sense) and external (factual) consistency.
This form, by definition, avoids internal paradox (but leaves the question of the forms of logic, especially those beyond the predicate logics and logics of possibility and necessity).
The universe has identity.
The universe and its identity are limitless in
variety of Being and extension; which Identity itself has limitless peaks and
variety and oneness—and dissolutions (Vedanta); individuals inherit this
power of the universe (and void)—death is real but not absolute; and there
are paths to the implied realization,
1. Extension is sameness, difference, and there absence; which are precursors to space-time-Being as follows. Time and properties arise from sameness with change; and space arises from difference with change; and thus arises space-time-Being as one.
2. As an example of the limitless variety, the universe manifests as limitless arrays of cosmoses, similar and dissimilar with respect to natural law; which are essentially experiential in nature (link to interpretation).
3. That is an implied realization and that there are paths to it will be made clear shortly (the perfect metaphysics below).
4. The paths are open to discovery and one aim is to transform via knowledge, the immensely improbable into the feasible, and (i) living in the immediate and the ultimate constitute a joint ethical imperative, (ii) paths and lives are ever fresh of experience and vistas, and ecstasy-full, all grounded in the unchanging (see the block universe and identity), (iii) but ennui, pain (suffering), and the reality of death are unavoidable and not to be avoided—for the optimum approach to pain and discouragement is, so far as possible, to work through it, first by addressing it, and second by employing it—working through it on the way to the ultimate; and death serves existential functions—as reminder that every life is an opportunity for and on the way to realization; every life is essentially precious.
5. Also, given any non-sentient state of being or universe (non-sentient in terms of magnitude but not of ‘kind’), there is a greater sentient-agent (designed and built) state: the designed states of the universe are of the greatest significance (but this is no external design—rather, it is participatory).
6. Finally, there is a principle of sufficient reason—PSR—but it is unlike that of Leibniz; Leibniz principle had it that all existents have causal reasons; here the reason appears as necessity: necessity is the cause of the universe and its constituents but this is ‘cause’ in a quite different sense than material causation which is contiguous in time and space and therefore visibly explanatory. How can necessity be seen as explanatory? Of course the derivation is explanatory but it is also desirable to see it as explanatory without the derivation. Assume, then, that there is an explanation of the Being—existence—of our empirical cosmos. It cannot be another being, for that being would then require an explanation. If, then, there is an explanation—is not founding in another being; therefore consider, tentatively, a weak explanation: possibility; obviously our cosmos is possible. However, that it is possible allows that it might not have come into being as well as that its coming into being was an accident—i.e. just possible. This line of explanation, therefore leads to the conclusion that if it is to be explanatory then that the cosmos might not have come into being is impossible. I.e. the explanation of the Being of our cosmos is necessity; this is a strong explanation. But necessity presumes no previous state; therefore by symmetry, for the explanation from necessity to explain only the necessity of our cosmos, would make it inadmissible. That is, starting from the assumption that there is an explanation, necessity must be the foundation or the universe as the greatest possible.
That ‘perfect’ applies to the metaphysics developed here is shown—it is neither a false claim nor, I hope, self-deception or hubris. For simplicity and to avoid too much self promotion it is also referred to as the metaphysics.
The means of living well, of realization is a perfect metaphysics—PFM—which arises as follows.
The abstract ultimate above—though it implies detail, the abstraction for the present purpose is the issue of finding and executing detail—may be joined to pragmatic knowledge of the world and action in the world which includes reason of various orders (about the world, about action, about reason itself…); the abstract illuminates and extends the pragmatic while the pragmatic illustrates and serves as instrument toward the ultimate; and their oneness may be seen via a dual epistemology in which each arm is perfect: the abstract which as seen constitutes perfectly objective knowledge and the pragmatic as the best available instrument toward the ultimate revealed by the abstract (which does not displace traditional epistemology but revises our understanding of its place and significance). This perfect metaphysics is identical to reason appropriately understood to include not just ‘knowledge’ but also value, feeling, action, and self-reference (and so: no reference to something other than or outside itself—just as and flowing from and to the observation that the universe refers to nothing outside itself). A source for this notion of reason is a system of human knowledge and action (link).
Summary—The perfect metaphysics
(The) perfect metaphysics arises in the join of the abstract ultimate to the valid pragmatism in received tradition. The abstract illuminates and guides the pragmatic; the pragmatic illustrates and is instrumental toward the abstract. Together the two form a perfect instrument of the revealed ideal. They constitute a dual metaphysics with dual epistemology; which in shunning purism, achieves the aim of purism perfectly.
It was implied above that the many identities merge into and as one Identity. How may this be understood? That the manifest universe is equivalent to the void implies an absolute indeterminism—given a state, its proximal emergents are unpredictable; yet this is also an absolute determinism—all possible states are among its ultimate emergents. Imagine, now, the universe as a block (but neither the whole nor the growing block universes of the current speculative literature); it is in the merging-emerging world lines or tubes of this block that one identity reappears over and over, that it merges with others, that all merge in the One; that the One dissolves. Relative to the One, the universe is deterministic; but relative to the individuals and their cosmoses, the universe presents as determinism mixed with indeterminism; thus their freedom to know, create, know, choose, have purpose, and build toward purpose including the ultimate (but the ultimate itself seems to need no purpose).
The thoughts in the previous paragraph will now be amplified. It was said that the universe absolutely indeterministic and absolutely deterministic and while that is not paradoxical in terms of the stated meanings it leaves the question of determinism obscure. Perhaps the most illuminating definition of determinism is that a part determines the whole; temporal determinism is a particular case. If the part is the universe (all Being over all sameness and difference) then the universe is deterministic. What if the part is this cosmos at a particular point in time and the whole is also the cosmos? If (a) the cosmos is taken as given by general relativity and quantum field theory and (b) those theories are deterministic then the cosmos is temporally deterministic; however #b is not certain and #a is not known to be true and is most likely untrue. Finally, what if the part is the empirical cosmos and the whole is the universe? In this case while there is likely some causal connection between the empirical cosmos and the near trans-empirical, the connection between the former and the entire universe is near vanishing. From the perspective of the cosmos in the universe, indeterminism reigns. That is, in general determinism is determined by perspective.
This paragraph considers some heuristics that may help intuit the merging of consciousnesses. Some related questions for contemplation are—Are the consciousnesses of two different individuals distinct? Can society be regarded as a conscious organism that includes but is also over and above the consciousnesses of its individuals? There is a preliminary objection to be considered—the two individuals or the society have no unity of consciousness and are therefore not conscious organisms. It is removed by observing that if unity of consciousness means that there is but one center of consciousness in the individual, then the unity is an illusion. To see two or more individuals as a single individual, it would be necessary to admit linguistic and other external kinds of communication as on some kind of par with nerve transmission. Finally, consider that if two individuals are part of the One, do not death and trans-death also have some continuity of consciousness of an identity?
Summary—block universe and identity
The universe, seen as a block, reveals (i) that determinism is relative to perspective; from the perspective of the block, the universe is deterministic; (ii) from the perspective of the cosmos, the universe is a mix; outside the cosmos there is indeterminism which gives us the immense freedom of the perfect metaphysics; inside the cosmos there is ‘residual’ and perhaps ‘imported’ indeterminism (against a background that is significantly determined), which entails the freedoms of the cosmos and the world; and (iii) how individual identities join and merge in the ultimate.
So far, it would seem that the universe is highly indeterministic (read, perhaps, random or chaotic) with stable forms arising just out of necessity. But is that all there is to it? Is the universe a ‘soup’ of stable cosmoses in a ‘stock’ of transient forms in interaction with the void? In some ways, yes; and thus the universe supports bizarre worlds such as Bertrand Russell’s notion that our world may have come into Being five minutes ago complete with local and cosmological fossil records and our individual memories; bizarre worlds such as SSV and the solipsist world as one limited individual’s experience; bizarre phenomena such as Russell’s teapot; bizarre cosmologies such as the immense range of mythic and legendary cosmologies (of which some are more bizarre than others, while some are not bizarre at all once SSV is lifted—even though they are perhaps wanting foundation: but note here has been give a foundation to the Vedantic equivalence of Self and Universal Identity, i.e. of Atman and Brahman). Or is there some way to define standard worlds and discriminate between them and the bizarre? There is; while mechanism, even if probabilistic, may be at the foundation of the dynamics of our cosmos, it cannot be at the foundation of the origin of the cosmos and its dynamics; here the variation and selection of Darwinism is a natural place to look; in the context of the evolution of life it shows how the appearance of design does not require design but is explained on the basis of variations that show no preference for form (adaptation) but that adaptation arises because the few adaptive variations are preferentially selected; now if the variations are to give rise to what is truly new, they must at least occasionally be indeterministic; and further note, that while the base is not one that requires design—the outcome includes creatures capable of design which, at least on a material and substance view, requires that the material foundation, if that is what the foundation is, must also be capable of indeterminism-determinism in which there is potential design that manifests as actual design (participatory rather than external). Now while the details of the kind of Being involved will be different the Darwinian paradigm is adaptable to all origins: origin of a cosmos from the void or from other cosmoses; abiogenesis; organisms capable of design; and origins of ideas in creativity. It is important that the Darwinian mechanism is not necessary or the only possible one—by FP, one step origins must occur—but it provides (a) explanation of stable forms and (b) explanations, at least probabilistic, for why there may be a preponderance in the universe of form over transience and then a preponderance, even if it is not seen, of sentient-agent design resulting the Ultimate.
The significance of the notion of bizarre worlds includes (i) that while they seem bizarre, they are possible worlds or interpretations, (ii) considering them gives us insight into the nature of the paradoxes that they seem indistinguishable from realistic interpretations and more or less stable worlds, (iii) they help establish the truth and nature of stable and standard interpretations and thus of the real.
Thus, for example, if internal contradictions are removed from any mythic or religious cosmology—e.g. the dogmatic cosmologies of the Abrahamic Religions—it becomes possible and therefore actual. However, that the cosmology is bizarre shows that the bizarre world has barely any significance.
Summary—significant vs bizarre worlds
A bizarre world or context is one that is seemingly at high odds with our common or standard views of the world but that are (i) logically possible interpretations of experience and therefore (iii) logically indistinguishable from the standard views.
The value of conceiving bizarre worlds is as follows. (1) The bizarre world is logically possible and therefore occurs in the universe. (2) It may be used—indeed, if we would be rational, it forces us—to revaluate our standard views. (3) We thereby arrived at more general interpretations of experience and correct the standard interpretations. (4) We find conditions for stable vs bizarre world from distinctions made on the basis of pragmatic knowledge such as cosmology of formation based in pragmatic paradigms such as adaptive systems (of which Darwinian evolution is a particular case).
Since experience has been moved to this place the discussion of bizarre worlds needs to be reorganized.
Experience is subjective awareness or consciousness in its pure, attitudinal, and active forms; since even pure experience—consciousness—involves internal relations, all experience is relational; the individual never gets outside their experience yet within their experience lie pragmatic existents (pragmatic beings) such as self (I, me), other (you, they), and world; and with abstraction that omits sufficient detail, e.g. as experience as experience and Being as Being, the pragmatic object is rendered as a perfectly known (abstract) object; the conceptual force of Being is just this together with its generality of application; but a possible weakness is the limit to the abstract—which is defused by admitting the abstract and the pragmatic side by side (later they are interwoven into a perfect metaphysics which is also ultimate and universal); experience is the place of all significance in the sense of meaning as in ‘the meaning of life’—a world without experience would be a world without significance (of course it could be significant to external beings); the being that affects no experience is non existent in significance (from the fundamental principle it is non existent for it is possible and therefore necessary to have some effect in some experience); shortly, the concept of experience will be broadened such that all being is essentially experiential; an understanding of experience and Being may be obtained via the dilemma or paradox of solipsism—the idea that the universe is nothing but the experience of what would be an individual mind; which, if the individual in question is taken to be an ordinary individual is a ‘bizarre world interpretation’ which is possible but immensely unlikely as later seen; leaving three other interpretations (i) world as field of experience—FOE—the most general view in which individuals and environment are experiential with variations in brightness and focus and of which particular cases are: the universe as identity (later: link), and the following are special cases; (ii) the standard secular view—SSV—of individuals (selves and others) in a material environment in which individuals are bright and focal centers of experience while the environment is relatively dull and non-focal, which is untenable on a substance view (because of non-interaction of substances), but which is logically possible if bizarre and an interpretation of our world which is bizarre on a view of our world as a formed or substance world; and (iii) and extended secular view—ESSV—in which individuals are bright and focal centers of experience while the environment is relatively dull and non-focal; which is non-bizarre and valid interpretation of our world and of the universe.
Solipsism presents a dilemma—the world as
what is thought to be one individual’s experience is claimed to be
indistinguishable from the standard view.
Comment. Such dilemmas and paradoxes are useful not just as an interesting paradox but because their resolution leads to improved understanding of (a) the world and (b) of reason.
Experience is consciousness understood as relational; it is the place of all meaning; the hypothetical being that affects no experience is effectively non-existent; from the fundamental principle it is non existent for it is possible and therefore necessary to have some effect in some experience; it is a valid interpretation of the universe that it is experiential—and matter finds a place in this system though perhaps as a pragmatic category.
Knowledge is a concept—a conceptual system—and its perfect objects (where perfection is employed in the dual sense discussed in The perfect metaphysics). Regarding meaning as a concept and its objects, there is no distinction between concept meaning and knowledge. Knowledge is meaning.
A simple linguistic concept is a word or sigh associated with a simple concept; the meaning of the word is the word-concept-object; the concept is necessary for without it no object can be identified; the perfect metaphysics shows conditions for sufficiency. In linguistic compounds, e.g. sentences, further meaning obtains from the structure of the compound—in part by structures design to capture patterns (the structure is partly defined by convention which may have non literal significance); the adequacy of meaning is guaranteed by the pure and pragmatic sides of the metaphysics. Thus knowledge expressed linguistically is linguistic meaning.
Linguistically expressed knowledge and meaning is effective and efficient in representation and communication; but it is of course contingently deficient in so far as the language itself falls short on concepts and the metaphysics of compounds (e.g. sentences). Linguistic knowledge may be essentially contingent in being finitarily constructed and therefore the ‘quantity’ of knowledge being countable and the quality discrete. Intuitive knowledge is not pressed as superior but the complement of the intuitive and linguistic is; and the former may be superior for some purposes.
Logic is the requirement on knowledge and language constructs for possible realization; it is an internal constraint on structure of concepts (word-concepts, sentence-concepts).
Hypothetical knowledge may be erroneous (i) in not being realizable in any world—the condition for such realizability is logic; which is truth preserving; and whose kinds depend on the forms of expression (sentences, sentences with quantification, and more but not extending to logic with further knowledge content e.g. quantum and temporal logics); and (ii) in not corresponding to the world.
In the literal case the latter leads to the sciences, abstract and concrete. The concrete sciences include the natural (physical, biological, and psychological) and the social (social science, anthropology, economics, political).
The abstract sciences (metaphysics where the concepts are sufficiently abstract and general; and for particular forms—mathematics, linguistics, computer science) begin as empirical but with discovery of structural patterns are better expressed in axiomatic form and thus suited for (re) application and containers of certainty. However, as putative containers of certainty further problems arise—issues of truth, completeness, certainty, and provability.
Knowledge is a concept and its objects. Hypothetical knowledge can be wrong from inconsistency—internally or externally, i.e. logically or factually. As facts are patterns, the latter includes science; where the facts are more than simple, logic must be satisfied. The familiar patterns and theories of science and experience capture the real and may approximate. But now abstraction from these ‘descriptions’ is possible such that precision is obtained. Where the abstraction is general, i.e. as for beings, Being, the universe, the void, and so on, the result is metaphysics—which with sufficient abstraction is perfect and powerful. Where particular, in capturing forms, abstraction leads to abstract sciences, especially mathematics.
Comment. This section remains to be developed. Being by identifying sources, listing some kinds ad hoc but to be made systematic, and principles, principles of principles, and principles of principles of principles.
The concept of Being is ultimate in neutrality, generality, and abstraction. It distinguishes only the existing from the non-existing. But what does it mean to not exist? Given a concept, it may have an object or not; the two cases are designated ‘existing’ and ‘not-existing’. But from the fundamental principle this marks all actual existents—i.e. ‘everything real’.
Thus ‘Being’ is trivial, yet powerful. However, it does not say much about any thing (except that it is an existent). From ‘Being’ we do not know how to identify existents (we do in the case of the abstract, the pragmatic, and the concept of power but these came after introduction of Being). Especially, from Being, we do not know the important kinds of Being—e.g. matter (does it designate anything more than a pragmatic kind), or our Being (which Heidegger called ‘Dasein’ and which he regarded as the kind of Being that can ask and begin to answer the question of the nature of Being in general and also of itself and other kinds found in the world).
Comment. What is the principle of the principles?
1. The system.
2. The kinds.
Being and the related concepts constitute a system of categories.
The substance approach to foundations has a long history. A substance is a particular kind of Being that is claimed to be real and foundational. Examples are matter, mind, spirit, ideas, Gods, words, tropes and others. In monism a single substance is specified whereas in dualism more than one substance is specified. A problem of dualism is that if substances are pure they cannot interact; but if they are not pure they cannot be foundational.
Essence is related to substance—it is the nature of a thing independently of its existence.
In the substance approach to foundations, a kind of Being is specified as real and foundational for all the constitution of all Being and knowledge. This may be erroneous in that the substance as real and as essence is a dual posit—that there are reals and essences and that the particular substance is real and an essence. Plato, Aristotle, and Martin Heidegger are among thinkers who emphasized the foundational value of Being over substance.
The conceptual force of ‘Being’ is (i) neutrality—in not specifying more than existence in advance the nature of the real and so on is converted into a question that we are always in the process of answering (unless and until adequately answered), (ii) generality in that it covers all kinds, (iii) immediacy—over the remoteness of substance: founding of the world in the world, (iv) definiteness—via the neutrality.
Criticisms of the concept of Being are (i) abstractness, (ii) non-specificity, (iii) abandonment of the practical value of the known kinds associated, e.g., with the sciences, and (iv) that ‘Being’ has its own history of conceptual associates, e.g. the ineffable, the ultimate, the essences and others.
Responses to the criticisms are (i) the abstraction is the abstraction of immediacy rather than that of remoteness, (ii) and the non-specificity is an aspect of the conceptual force of Being, (iii) the known kinds need not be abandoned—indeed, Being and the pragmatic kinds have been interwoven into the powerful PFM, and (iv) here, Being was defined so as to exclude the historical associations.
Experience is found to be the essence of Being. First, that which has no mark in experience at all is effectively non-existent and may be taken to be non-existent. Second, to speak of beings without speaking also of experience of the beings is to speak of beings that can never have effect on experiential beings, or value, or significance.
If a Heideggerian were to argue that just experience misses the point, the response would be that ‘experiential Being’ includes Dasein.
The concept of the universe—all Being—rather than all matter or empirical universe is effective in eliminating never ending sophistry regarding the need of a material universe to have or not need to have a non material foundation.
The concept of the void—no Being—is critical in pointing to necessity as foundation.
Given that knowledge of fact and law typically begin as hypothetical the concept of possibility is of foundational importance and precursor to concept and linguistic meaning, and unity of language, logic, metaphysics, and the sciences (fact and pattern, concrete and abstract) under one umbrella which could be named ‘Logic’.
But the universe may be seen as a system of facts and from that perspective what could possibility mean beyond what is actual? The answer is in the section Block universe and identity.
The demonstrations in the narrative might be interpreted as new modes of proof. They are not. What is involved is (a) careful analysis and tailoring of the concepts and system of concepts, (b) careful use of standard reasoning, and (c) critical rejection of standard either / ors in critical philosophy.
What is the aim of beings? Can we say there is an aim—one aim? It depends on how we formulate the relation between beings and Being—between beings and the universe.
We can say that the aim of beings lies within Being. We cannot say that it does not reach the boundary of Being. That much we can say without the perfect metaphysics. However, from the metaphysics we necessarily reach that boundary. If we necessarily reach the boundary, then surely we want an effective and enjoyable way; a way of ecstasy. And since pain is unavoidable, a necessary part of Being, we want good ways to address the issue of pain (as discussed earlier, we would simultaneously address pain where it arises, moving through it rather than around). Further, in the approach to the ultimate, beings merge. Now given that in finiteness, we do not have full knowledge or means relative to the ultimate—
For, the immediate and the ultimate are interwoven and to be effective, the immediate needs to be valued. However, to ignore the ultimate will also devalue the immediate. Joint attention to the immediate and the ultimate is most effective.
The means are given in the metaphysics and variously named reason (with action) and the perfect metaphysics (an interwoven abstract and pragmatic system—outlined in system of human knowledge and action).
Psyche—yoga with meditation (note that while there are systems of yoga, it must be essentially experimental and informed by knowledge and action—the system of human knowledge and action interwoven with personal and cultural experience); in this sense, yoga includes all modes of knowledge and valuation of essential knowledge, especially (i) what is essential to being in this world and the ultimate (over and above detail and sophistication toward proximate purposes) and (ii) cultural systems of knowledge, including the modern cognitive system.
Nature—as real and real inspiration; as occasion for deep and extended reflection; as way of inhabiting body and world; and as ‘Beyul’ as nature inspired discovery of the real Atman as Brahman.
Society and civilization—the strengths of unity: of shared discovery, of the joint Being of civilizations moving through the universe from cosmos to cosmos to the ultimate, of the instrumental side—e.g. science and technology used in fabricating joint Being.
The universal—as captured in by ‘universe as greatest possibility’ in the perfect metaphysics; as intuited in meditation; as experienced in Beyul; as striven for in the joint Being of civilization and its technological enhancements; and as horizon, unknown, and mystery.
The essential path is the discovered path—and not the prescribe path (the prescriptions are support but ought not to be crutches or ends).
Individuals will experience many impediments; these should be attended to but should not become the end (the optimal approach to pain, even if not always ‘effective’) is where possible to work with it and through it toward the ultimate.
Ritual ought to be sustaining toward the end and knowledge of the end; it ought not to be an end in itself; shared ritual may be especially sustaining.
While paths and ritual ought to arise and be locally tempered, the next section presents a minimal structure
Universal—according to the dimensions above. See universal template.
Everyday—activities according to the universal integrated with the immediate and needs for sustenance. See everyday template.
Ritual—everyday activities, dedication and affirmation.