THE WAY OF BEING
Outline and Template for
Anil Mitra © February 20, 2019—June 25, 2019
Updated Tuesday June 25, 2019 @ 08:36:57
As a template this document would have minimal content and comment. Content is included when it is an improvement over earlier exposition. This content may be eliminated when its essence is exported to the essays.
Absence of † and †† does not imply lack of general importance.
This section is essential orientation to the essay.
my journey.html (for an introduction search ‘destiny’).
“What is The Way of Being?”
Comment. An approach to destiny
Comment. For all essays
An account of The Way
The main sections; review topics from planning in document and database design.html.
Comment. The particular essay.
Comment. The main influences.
Comment. Also a source for the way in history.
This work has general and intellectual interest. It aims to be a contribution to human life and the history of ideas.
Though I derive from on others’ works, this essay has much that I think is new.
The worldview of the essay is new. Its view of what is achievable for human being derives from human traditions. However, the argument for the view and its elaboration and application are new.
Meaning is unavoidably context dependent. Since the worldview of The Way is new, the meanings of important terms are and must be new and distinct from received meaning; therefore readers should pay attention to definitions and explanations of terms. Of course the meanings are related to the received and this will color the intuition. However, it should not be allowed to cloud the rational part of understanding even though it may supplement it. In this way readers may build up a new, emergent, system of formal and intuitive meaning that incorporates what is valid in the received.
Alternate. “General readers”, “The general reader”, “All readers”
The worldview of the essay shows (i) the universe is ultimate in its achievement (the sense of ‘ultimate’ is explained in the essay) and (ii) that individuals participate in this achievement.
Though the entire work is useful, it may be sufficient to read Prologue, the second main division—The Way, and Epilogue. This will be enough to start on an individual path—your path. The Path has two templates to guide realization.
Alternate. “Thinkers—intellectual and academic”
My experience is that most people, including—perhaps especially—philosophers and scientists, will have difficulty with the worldview of the essay. The reason for this is likely ontological commitment to and intuitive immersion in some version of a scientific world view with possible secular or religious overlay. However, the worldview of the essay is consistent with and incorporates what is valid in received science, reason, and worldviews. However, it goes so far beyond the received that its intension may seem alien while its extension will hardly be appreciated from the bare statement of principle.
An antidote to the difficulty will be to read the prologue for orientation and preparation of the intuition, to skim the main divisions—The world and The Way—and then carefully study the conceptual development in The world.
Alternate. Discovery and exploration of the real
The sense of discovery includes exploration of the real, open secular and transsecular (‘spiritual’) search and realization.
This essay is for readers whose attitude to philosophy, science, and religion is open.
These readers might endeavor to read the entire essay. Depending on their background they may have difficulty with The Way; they may read at least the summary associated with the table of contents.
The final section of the essay has resources for all readers.
Alternate. “Prologue—a concern with destiny”
The prologue is informal and personal ground for The Way.
“What shall we do?” vs human knowledge and action
Comment. See my journey.html.
The problem—“What shall we do with the opportunity that is our lives?”
Summary—To be ever in a process of knowing and realizing truth; ever ready to reach the ultimate and, in an instant, to return to ground.
Knowledge and action—discovery and realization; deferred to Knowledge, reason, and action.
The concept of tradition in this essay.
Why knowledge, metaphysics, and philosophy? What are they?
Problem of realism—where? At the beginning of ‘experience and Being’? What is realism? If it means ‘exists independently of mind’ then note that while that seems perfectly clear, on analysis of Being and experience it is not—so reflect on this.
The fundamental principle—an informal preview
Aim—to present the fundamental principle; its central importance to destiny and human knowledge… and to the narrative. Detail, care, and analysis are deferred to the main narrative.
A brief version to point out that there are resolutions. Formal address of doubt is deferred to Objections to the fundamental principle and resolutions.
Comment. Science is empirical; the limits of a model—a theory—are not given to be the limits of the world (which is often assumed). Note that this does not imply that the models and paradigms have no trans-empirical purchase but that that purchase may be limited, especially in the any far trans region (the fundamental principle of metaphysics will imply that there is a limitless trans region with models of limitless variety).
The fallacy of the paradigm
Comment. The limit of science may be seen to fall under the ‘fallacy of the paradigm’ or ‘the fallacy of paradigmatic thought’. This fallacy is as follows. Given a paradigm that is sufficient to given empirical circumstances—especially the empirical cosmos—to assume, therefore, that it is paradigmatic to the universe. Thus, for example, we find quantum field theory and general relativity are remarkably predictive in their empirical domains; and that the quasi classical combination of the two is similarly predictive in its empirical domain; however this does not at all imply that these theories are even incomplete theories of the universe. All that we can perhaps say is that we know no better theory so far. Other examples are perhaps more paradigmatically paradigmatic. Take for example universal causation (in its spatiotemporal contiguous sense), or vitalism. While (contiguous) causation is empirical so far and has greater explanatory power and sense than, say, action-at-a=distance, all we can say is that it is sufficient so far. And while vitalism may seem absurd, all that we can say is that materialism (or physicalism) and the theory of evolution are so far seen as sufficient to the empirical—i.e. to experimental and field biology.
Ultimate truth is but one selection imperative.
In culture there are multiple imperatives.
These include the range of institutions.
They include the standard; the act of adulthood is one; but there is no one version of adulthood even though there may be a norm.
Thus, though we find culture lacking from some perspectives, the perspectives too are institutional.
And therein lies opportunity.
See my journey.html.
From my journey.html “the ‘opposition’ of science and religion in their standard interpretations leaves modern human being in a bind, i.e. isolated in the narrow region that remains when science is reductive and religion is rejected as mere static dogma”.
It may seem that the double bind is due to lack of imagination and critical thought or ability to see beyond culture to the real but on reflection it is a will to meaning that is absent. Why is this absent? It is the result of being trapped in cultural perspectives of even liberal humanism or liberal religion—
I have tried to find one true and best description of the world for all purposes. It is no surprise that I have not been able to stabilize any system at any level of generality. Here, however, is one working structure.
A model structure follows.
An experiential map
Some places in the map: experience itself and experiential mapping or ‘representation’ of the world.
Existents (‘objects’) whose details that are subject to ‘distortion’ are omitted. This is abstraction and results in abstract objects that are in effect perfectly known. These are not the ‘abstract objects’ of the modern literature in metaphysics and philosophy for they are not non-concrete. They might better be called ‘abstracted objects’. Some important abstract objects are experience, Being, beings, universe, possibility, logic, and the void.
Existents that are pragmatically known sufficiently well to some purposes. This includes traditions of human culture from the dawn of history to the present day, subject to assessment of what is ‘valid’—i.e., sufficiently pragmatic in them. Included are (i) (of course) the abstract—i.e., abstracted objects and (ii) system of human knowledge, reason, and action.html—tradition assessed and arranged for pragmatic value.
A metaphysical map
The division of discussion of ‘The world’ into Being, experience, meaning, metaphysics, … reason is more than a convenient organization.
One flow of development of understanding of the world begins with what we think of as the immediate connection to it—i.e., experience. This approach finds there is a sense in which one never gets outside experience and therefore begins with it; that Being precedes experience is because (a) Being is a ground or foundation level abstract framework for the beginning with experience, (b) it anticipates that we do effectively get outside experience as mere subjectivity, and (c) there is a ground level identity of Being and experience (both appropriately understood).
Alternate. …and worldview
‘Region’ is not used in the sense of ‘connected region’ and so except where noted there is no distinction between ‘region’ and ‘regions’.
The word ‘is’ is used as an abstract from all forms of the verb to be to designate being as or in some region of sameness, difference and absence (not just regions of spacetime).
This abstract form of the verb to be is absent from English (there is no one word for the inclusive ‘is’). This deficiency can be overcome in standard English but it might be better to have both concrete and abstracted forms rather than only concrete forms (and often too many of them). For this and other reasons the empirical study of language divorced from metaphysics is deficient.
The word extension will designate the totality of sameness, difference, and their absence (which includes spacetime) within Being. Note that ‘extension’ has another use in connection with Meaning.
The concepts of Being and beings
The word-concept Being refers to the property in virtue of which ‘is’ applies; thus Being is existence.
There is and can be no further measure of Being but Being itself but there may measures implied by or contained in the meaning of Being.
A being is that which has Being or existence.
The measure of Being and beings is power—the ability to participate in cause and effect, i.e. in causation but not necessarily standard causation of the mechanistic or deterministic type that is contiguous over extension (the totality of sameness, difference, and their absence within Being).
Thus Being is of itself fundamentally relational. This is further and more fully confirmed in Being is relational.
The conceptual force of Being
Comment. Since ‘power’ was used to talk of measure of Being, ‘force’ is used in relation to explanatory power. Thus ‘the conceptual force of Being’ means ‘the explanatory power or force of Being’. I will abbreviate that to ‘the force of Being’.
That there are beings or existents and that there is Being, there can be no doubt.
Is there matter? We are inclined from ordinary experience and science to say that there is. For, we might say that matter is that which is tangible in ordinary experience; and that matter is the object of the fundamental theories of physics. But the question is not whether there is something there. Rather, it is whether the something corresponds precisely to our description in our fundamental theories, for if it is then any error—no matter how small—translates into total error regarding the real. And now if we use ‘the tangible’ to designate the object of physics and to argue that the idea of the locally tangible obtains for all sentient beings over the entire universe may similarly translate to total error (and we will see that this case obtains later).
The conceptual force of Being includes (i) that it avoids such errors of substance, e.g. matter, mind or monism or dualism; and (ii) that whereas a commitment to substance blocks emergence of knowledge of the real, the concept of Being permits and encourages that emergence (and will be found to actually leverage emergence of knowledge of the real).
The present force of Being is that it is ontologically neutral; or that it lacks ontological commitments.
While knowledge is in general questionable as to its meaning, possibility at all and possibility of faithfulness, knowledge of Being is perfectly faithful via abstraction.
This process of abstraction is vital to the development and will be used to develop a faithful ‘pure metaphysics’ with metaphysics to be defined as knowledge of the real. By itself the pure metaphysics shows an ultimate real but is of limited use by itself in that shows the ultimate and its accessibility but not means of access. However, there will be shown to be a pragmatic metaphysics and its synthesis with the pure metaphysics to form a perfect metaphysics. The perfect metaphysics is a single metaphysics with pure and pragmatic sides and correspondingly a dual but perfect epistemology. The perfect metaphysics shows the ultimate and means of access. This does not eliminate need for received metaphysics or epistemology but modifies their significance and may complement their study.
Experience is subjective awareness or consciousness.
So far in the text there is no clearly other or more fundamental ontological kind. Therefore intensional definition (meaning in terms of sufficient and necessary conditions for use) would be prejudicial until perhaps later.
What is called for, at least to illustrate and to begin, is synonyms (above); ostensive and partial extensional definition by example (the smell of a rose, the feeling of thinking, and so on), and characterization (positive—‘what it is like’, first person, marked by qualities as in the smell of a rose…: and negative—what it is not—an object as object, the putative non subjective aware access to a world outside experience, not third person…
Differentiated from experience-of (but includes it so far as it real), cumulative experience.
There is experience
Experience tentatively names an ontological kind.
This is the case because the denial of experience occurs, at least in part, in experience. Thus an illusion is experience. To assert that experience is an illusion is to show that there is experience. That is if there is no experience of any other existent or kind, there is experience of experience. This is the essence of Descartes’ cogito.
Were this kind to not be, there would be no feeling of Being; there would be inertness but no experience of it.
The hypothetical existent that affects no experience at al is (at least effectively) non-existent and it is justified to regard it as non existent.
The place of significant meaning can be only in experience (which may refer beyond itself).
If we consider experience we find there is experience. It seems that there is more—for there is experience of self or first person, experiential others, all located in a world. In line with it seeming that there is more we perhaps ought to say “there is experience as if of self and so on” but we do not say that for “experience as if of” is “experience of”.
However, that does not imply that the world is real. One might think they (e.g. the brain) generate their experience but perhaps that experience is all there is (this is a form of what is called solipsism).
To address the skeptical challenge of solipsism may be undertaken to identify the nature of the real (which may be questioned on other accounts as well).
To do this, first consider a map of experience without subscribing to it being real or not.
Within experience we find experience itself—pure, attitudinal, and active—and a place called the world. Experience is found to be relational for even the pure case is seen as constituted of inner relations. That there is a world is the base of a standard map: the world contains selves—experiential persons—the I and others (you, them); and the environment (universe).
This is a high level or general map of academic and trans-academic psychology; its purpose is to enable a conceptual hold on the real and its variety. For detail see Psychology.
The realism of this standard map is analyzed below in terms of two interpretations and their possibilities of meaning.
Problem of realism
What is realism? If it means ‘exists independently of mind’ then note that while that seems perfectly clear, on analysis of Being and experience it is not clear—so reflect on this.
Two interpretations of the above standard map of experience are—a substance interpretation that regards the putative existents within experience as real (they need not be entities alone but may include processes, relations or interactions, and abstracta) and a neutral interpretation (which, since it allows all logically possible instances, including the substance and neutral, is ultimately neutral)
SSV—the conventional map as real; its untenability
FOE—interpretation as (a) ESSV—a tenable facsimile of SSV as a special case of FOE and (b) general FOE as one mind universe. That other than generality they are not distinct. That if the mind is conventional limited mind it must be ESSV. That apart from generality ESSV and one mind universe are not distinct. Is there no distinction at all? Yes—flimsy one mind universe is not faithful to the map which as map is true and therefore there is a robustness criterion that must apply to one mind universe. Both SSV and ESSV are robust but not the only robust universes (but substance criteria rule out SSV); the Atman-Brahman universe (not a substance universe) may also be robust.
Particularly the neutral is non-substance or, more precisely and more neutrally, it avoids commitment to substance vs non substance or ontological kind at all except that which emerges as (logically) necessary.
It is in the meaning of (our) experience that we can take SSV as real for pragmatic purposes. To maintain ontological precision, SSV must be recognized as ESSV; this does not change the pragmatic picture; and it allows that the particular ESSV conforms to FOE and may be part of a larger picture.
The fundamental principle and analysis of experience imply that the universe is a FOE (using the fundamental principle does not violate neutrality, first because it makes no assumptions, and second because it places no limit on the kinds of worlds in the universe). It allows—multiple—ESSV worlds as robust worlds. Also multiple substance worlds are possible, therefore exist, and may be stable. While some substances may be labeled ‘matter’ and others ‘mind’, mind is not fully able to be dissociated from the idea of matter for the form of mental content is the body or part of one (i.e. it is not metaphysically possible for mind to not associate with some body but such body need not be of our kind). Substance need not be the only stable case. The above and more are possible and therefore real; and occur against a void-transient background.
Challenges to realism
Alternate. “Further skeptical challenges to realism”
Comment. Because this is a good place for it.
Challenge—The world was created five minutes ago, complete with geological record and memories so as to make it seem that the world is the standard world. Resolution—this is possible as is the possibility that the world will be destroyed five minutes from now and the possibility that the world is in a perpetual state of having been first cause created a second ago and last cause destroyed a second from now; therefore these are all real; but they are not stable; therefore per FP cosmology, insignificant in number and occupation of the block; and while they are part of what is existentially meaningful they are their pragmatic meaning is at most small. Summary of resolution—the resolution is not do deny the general possibility of the skeptical position but to assess its significance generally and for robust worlds.
Challenge—Russell’s teapot. Resolution—possible but until discovered ‘that which affects no being and experience is non-existent’.
Challenge—nothing is outside experience. Resolution—below.
Is anything outside experience?
Though I, as a limited being, have a concept ‘the world’ within my experience, that concept is an abstract. The question is whether anything is outside some experience.
In FOE there is a place called ‘self’ the experiencer, ‘world’ the experienced which includes experience and doubles as the experience.
So it seems that nothing is outside experience. This is analyzable in greater detail. For example, I have an image of ‘the mountain’. But what is ‘the mountain’? For me, what counts as the mountain is (i) further experience—the image and its various parts, the image under various conditions, walking to it and up it, touching it; (ii) reports and cumulative experience, to which I ascribe reality but in fact are real-within-my experience. Pragmatically, at least, these are objects (in the generalized sense of objects as referents of concepts).
What we will find from the perfect metaphysics is that on the pure abstract side we do know existents, while on the pragmatic side there is need to different from ‘as if existent’ from ‘existent’ and yet we also know pragmatically that there is a reality to the existents (yet, so far as pragmatic, the reality is relational and may be transient).
That is, in the pure abstract as well as the pragmatic concrete, there are objects even though they remain in experience.
More on experience
Discussion above anticipates conclusions from the fundamental principle and it will therefore not be necessary to reassess experience, its map, and realism.
However, discussion so far omits detail which is taken up in Psychology.
This follows (i) from ESSV and more generally from FOE, (ii) since the hypothetical object that has no power does not exist, (iii) since the hypothetical existent that affects no experience is effectively non-existent, (iv) there is no meaningful distinction between existence and effective existence.
However, there is more. Since effectively all Being registers in experience and if not is non existent (it is not said that experience causes Being but that this is in the nature of experience and of Being) Being is (effectively) experiential relation.
The conceptual force of Being continues to emerge and is now conjoined to experience to bring this force ‘down’ from the abstract to the concrete-to-sentient-sapient beings.
The section is effectively part of a discussion of Being and experience, but is a separate section for its general importance and level of detail.
That Being is effectively experiential relation crucially sets the stage for exploration, conception, and analysis of meaning.
Though linguistic and significant meaning are quite different, they could be placed in the same section because there is a root affinity of the concepts and their analysis. They are however placed in separate sections to emphasize their distinction and independent importance.
The material in this section through Linguistic conceptual meaning is about referential meaning which is sufficiently general for the purpose of the essay. But referential meaning is not a significant limit in that (i) concept meaning may be recovered by omitting the object and (ii) referential concept meaning may be employed to talk about general concept meaning. The term ‘concept meaning’ is not a limitation because ‘concept’ is here employed a general sense as mental content and which includes concepts as, e.g., units of meaning.
Necessity and sufficiency of intensional existent (concept) and referent (object)
The object may be necessary vs possible vs impossible (logical…); real (existence, contingently if just possible or necessarily) vs null (non-existence, contingently if possible and necessarily if impossible)
Intension and extension
Comment. There is another use of extension in connection with Being: the totality of sameness, difference, and their absence (which includes spacetime) within Being.
Meaning and metaphysics
From the very nature of meaning, it is not and ought not to be merely a free standing system (an impression imparted by education, prescriptivism, and some dictionaries). Rather meaning and metaphysics are essentially interwoven and (i) richness and (ii) moving forward (from existing and received contests) are impoverished by not recognizing this
Concept as symbol or sign and icon
Simple, compound, and structured signs (sentences)
Meaning resides in simple sign-icons (semantics) and structure of signs (semantics of grammar)… but these meanings are generally context dependent
Necessity and sufficiency of intension (concept) and extension (object—note that a collection of objects is an object or existent).
That is, without word-icon association, words do not have meaning. The association is sufficient to meaning but not to its completeness (for which the extension, definite or implied, is also necessary).
Alternate. “The meaning of linguistic compounds”
The recognition of various kinds of object (thing, relation, interaction, process, quality); kinds of word (noun, preposition, verb as action-process-interaction, adverb as general qualifier), various kinds of behavior in the world and their linguistic representation by convention (e.g. man hits ball or subject noun-verb-object noun or more generally the subject predicate form) leads to compounds (e.g. sentences) being capable by their form of having meaning over and above the meanings of the individual words.
The meaning of the compound is not always capable of analysis as above but is determined by use.
The foregoing analysis is sufficient only to a common set of kinds of behavior. Science and mathematics require formalization, excision, supplement, and further kinds of compound.
It does not follow that our entire linguistic system—common and formal—is complete with regard to the real.
Alternate. “Efficiency of linguistic meaning”
Efficiency of representation: sign or symbol over icon alone; explicitness of sign systems; and in defined symbolic systems logic, science, and mathematics this leads to greater and in some cases perfect certainty… but note that this explicitness comes at the cost of impoverishment relative to intuition
Efficiency of communication
Issue of perfection
Alternate. “Issue of perfection, completeness, and finality”
Cannot be known to be and likely will not be perfect or complete or final without a perfect or complete or final metaphysics (perhaps contextual)
But note that the perfect (pure-pragmatic) metaphysics to be developed will be perfect in a certain sense and for some ultimate though not all purposes
Stability versus flow
Alternate. “Stability vs flow of meaning”
For definiteness of representation and communication, some stability is needed.
Because of changing contexts over time (and place?), fluidity is also needed.
Definiteness is also limited by the complexity and difficulty of such a task as well as pragmatic need for workable systems (even in formal situations)
Stabilizing influences are prescription (in grammar and semantics), use, psychology, and logic (including science and experiment)
Flux is influenced by need from changing contexts, drive to progress and change, creativity..
Analysis and synthesis of meaning
Some thinkers have argued that analysis of meaning may result in new knowledge. This may be true so far as the nature of meaning is concerned but the intent of the argument is to show that analysis reveals new content.
Since such analysis does not further the extension of meaning and therefore does not create knowledge; rather it may make explicit knowledge that is already implicit in the (system of) meaning. This of course may be useful preparation for advance of knowledge.
When it is recognized that synthesis of meaning (i) includes analysis and (ii) requires the elements of knowledge discovery or creation it is then seen that synthesis of meaning and advance of knowledge are identical
Linguistic meaning is conceptual meaning associated with a system of signs that make for efficient representation, analysis,
There are questions about our lives that we do not seem to have complete answers to:
These are questions that may fall under ‘the meaning of life’.
Overlap of significant and linguistic meaning
The place of meaning is experience
Knowledge of the real
All perfect knowledge.
We saw that with sufficient abstraction, knowledge can be effectively perfectly faithful to the object.
Pragmatic knowledge, even where faithfulness has no meaning, may be perfect in the sense of good enough for ultimate purposes revealed by abstract knowledge (as developed below).
Objections and resolutions
Alternate. “Metaphysics—objections and resolutions”
Objections—possibility, possible triviality, relevance, other conceptions, speculative and occult metaphysics…
Resolutions—it is already seen as possible…
Includes experience and Being.
How the perfect metaphysics defuses the problem of realism from both pure and pragmatic sides—and thus must include cosmology even though cosmology may be distinct from a pure perspective
The neutrality noted earlier, makes Being potentially an ideal concept around which to build metaphysics.
The development that follows shows the potential to be real.
A system of concepts centered on Being
The conception of Being in this essay was arrived at by trial and error. The building up of a system of concepts for metaphysics was similarly arrived at by trial and error. Of course the ideas were already present in received thought. However, it is crucial that (a) the concepts are re-conceived here—i.e. there meanings are variations on received meaning; (b) the concepts stand together as a system—the perfect metaphysics that will emerge below—of new and in some senses ultimate explanatory power regarding the entire universe; and therefore (c) the meanings and system while not exclusive of others are of definite and deep significance that partakes of ultimacy.
Some of the essential concepts are sameness, difference, and their absence; experience, beings and Being; meaning, concept and object; possibility—logical and natural (the natural is an example of contextual possibility); universe, the void (together with beings, these constitute derivates from Being: all Being, absence of Being or beings, and some Being); limitlessness of the universe (i.e. the fundamental principle of metaphysics that the universe is the realization of greatest or logical possibility); knowledge—the concept and the extension—pure, pragmatic (which includes the valid in received knowledge), and the join of the pure and pragmatic; the perfect metaphysics and (its inclusion of) reason; identity and merging of individual identity with ultimate Identity of the universe; and that there are feasible paths to the ultimate.
Two kinds of error in knowledge claims—empirical (between concept and object) and conceptual (between concept and concept)… leading to fact (with science) and logic… and thus to a uniform basis for science and logic in terms of (i) their nature and (ii) both being empirical (understood appropriately) when Being is seen as relational
What facts are
The form of fact—bare proposition; subject predicate form; other forms…
On logic and logics
The logics and the forms of fact (of assertions)
That logic can subsume fact
Presumes logical possibility
Pattern, natural law, and Law; Laws (laws) have Being
The universe has Being
There is one universe
All Being is ‘in’ the universe; the universe has no ‘outside’
All significant meaning and its questions and achievements lie within the universe and not in some unfathomable realm.
No creation; one universe etc
The block (the concept leads naturally to the block which is not one of the blocks of physics—the whole or the emerging / quantum relativistic)
Alternate. “Existence of the void”
The void exists
Existence and non-existence are equivalent (for this one ‘object’)
Argument from the properties of the void
The void exists together with every being as its self-complement.
The number of voids
Except that there is at least one, the number of voids is at least one.
The number of voids has no significance—a void exists together with every being as its self-complement—except that there is at least one. Note that this will follow from the fundamental principle.
The fundamental principle
Demonstration from properties of the void†
From progress of science
From assuming an explanation of existence of the world†
East and West.
From significant meaning
From Ockham’s Razor applied to what does not exist
On the heuristics
While they are not proofs they give meaning to the principle and its proof.
Also see Alternate foundations.
Objections and resolutions
“The fundamental principle—objections and resolutions”
Necessity as cause of the universe†
A principle of sufficient reason
The fundamental question of metaphysics†
The fundamental principle is the essential driver of the metaphysics to follow. Already it is clear that the principle is of ultimate power. The extent of this power emerges in what follows.
The consequences may be seen as the ‘meaning’ of the metaphysics as follows.
2. The implicit meaning lies in the extension of consequences—the cosmology and other topics below.
Creation and origins of the universe†
From its concept, if a creator is external to it, the universe has and can have no creator or creation.
Does self-creation have meaning? First, if given some primitive manifestation that manifest may be an agent of creation; however, that would not be self-creation. Second, we might see it as emerging from the void. However, the void is part of the universe and so that is certainly not external creation and from necessity as cause, it is not self creation in any classical sense of creation.
One part of the universe may be involved in the creation of another part.
With perfect dual epistemology.
Alters significance of traditional epistemology but does not eliminate its need.
Description with brief illustration.
Identity is sense of sameness of existent—general and of self.
God, Brahman, the Divine
There is no God the creator of the universe. While there may be local gods, I prefer to not use the term ‘God’ as its connotations are detrimental to essential meaning, e.g. as they lead to the double bind discussed earlier.
However, the universe has Identity as do its peaks of Being in which we—our identities—merge and participate; and which we become—in the fullest sense compatible with our form.
It is not clear that the absolute has any greater meaning as a given state of being over process.
Whatever absolute there may be; and whatever intuition we may have of it; its discovery, I suspect, is a process—for our form it is a process whose germ and concept may lie within us.
Yet it is definitely a process.
Paths to the ultimate†
Existence of paths to the ultimate.
See the source above for death (1) As real but not absolute, (2) Used as a catalyst to full living in this life and toward the ultimate—i.e., givenness of death as two opportunities—to assess our Being in the immediate and the ultimate and as gateway to the ultimate; particularly, regardless whether we are finite or eternal, death informs us of the preciousness of life.
Realization of significant meaning
The following repeats an earlier statement—All significant meaning and its questions and achievements lie within the universe and not in some unfathomable realm.
Whatever ultimate significant meaning there is lies within our grasp even if not in ‘this life’ as understood in common secular and religious cosmologies.
While immediate meaning—meaning in this world, this life—will ever be in between exploration and realization, meaning in the ultimate is discovery and realization of peaks of Being. While that meaning can be understood in the abstract and approximated in ‘this life’ its full realization requires transcendence of life-death and this world.
Full realization of significant meaning is (part of) realization of the ultimate.
For we are already (the creation) of necessity—i.e., we are already of the real (and debate on whether we are the absolute or potential real are unnecessary; what is significant is that we should not take ourselves as any static real for the real is not static).
No higher philosophy, science, or religion is needed to know this—but it may seem higher due to practical but not exclusive needs (they may seem necessary and as if given)—
This theme is further developed in We are always at the beginning.
Feasible paths to the ultimate†
There are feasible paths to the ultimate
And to closure in significant meaning.
Engagement, ecstasy, and pain†
Though proper to consider abstract objects here, it is convenient to defer their consideration to Cosmology.
Naïvely, we know the universe in some of its features and some of the existents in it.
However, it was seen that there is a sense in which we never get out of experience.
For similar and other reasons, the possibility of knowledge at all has been questioned on various occasions in the history of thought. To question the possibility of knowledge is at least implicitly to question its nature—and to question whether there is such a thing.
At that point criticism itself becomes circular. For if some hypothetical thing has no nature, what is there to criticize? Yet, there is value to the criticism—as methodological radical skepticism to clarify what knowledge might be and perhaps is, to set out criteria as to what counts as knowledge, and to determine what of our putative knowledge counts for the real thing.
It is an enormously difficult problem. Still, at ground level, whatever knowledge is, it would seem that we must have some of it for our knowledge based efforts do yield some success beyond the mere random.
But we can begin to see that the difficulty might not be altogether insurmountable. For surely there must be some concept of knowledge to argue that we have no knowledge. However, if the selected concept or concepts of knowledge imply that there is no knowledge then surely the concepts must be erroneous or inadequate in some way.
This is one reason to consider pragmatism. Pragmatism—or pragmaticism, a term due to Charles Sanders Peirce—is subtle but has a simple interpretation something is knowledge if it is about the world and if it is good enough for practical or pragmatic purposes. This makes knowledge claims relative and not universal.
However, we saw above that practical knowledge claims are perfect according to a criterion that they are the best available and perhaps even the best possible in service of an ultimate goal revealed by the pure and abstract metaphysics.
On the other hand, that pure metaphysics is ultimately potent as we have seen and effectively perfectly faithful to its objects via abstraction.
The combination of the pure and the pragmatic, each perfect in its own way, result in the perfect metaphysics, also perfect in its own dual way, and which incorporates the sufficiently pragmatic in the human tradition.
This ought not to eliminate interest in the traditions of epistemology, especially for their local interest. However, it does reassign their context as local where the context has pretended to the universal, and it does imply that while the search for classical perfection in knowledge is not without value, that search ought to be in balance with action and use—and not just for practical reasons but also for reasons of the nature of knowledge as part of Being.
Knowledge and action
At root, therefore, there is no existent that could be called knowledge-in-and-of-itself (it has also been seen that, though it does not have universal purchase, how for both ideal and pragmatic purposes there is such an existent).
In other words knowledge is ever and therefore must be bound to action and attitude as one. When we call for knowledge to be applied we have forgotten that that is the essence of knowledge; that the case of separability and separation of knowledge and action is in a certain (of course crucial) ideal-pragmatic sense which includes that knowledge is ever empirical while it is also rational (for those characteristics are joined at root). The call for application, important though it is, has tended to forget that knowledge is already applied and that ‘knowledge’ that is not immediately applied will be ultimately applied or seen as not knowledge and forgotten.
Human knowledge and action—a map
This section is concerned with knowledge has a sufficient degree of separation from immediate action and instantaneous empirical rooting that it may be regarded as knowledge-as-knowledge (yet the empirical-action connection is always there at least in the background). Such relatively pure knowledge may of course model the embedded kind which is what is being done here.
Discussion of Reason is deferred even though the system should and does have an account of reason.
Lessons for The Way of Being is the source for this material; it has preliminary development that is an improvement over the preliminaries here; the material should be updated there;
Knowledge claims—hypotheses—may be in error because assertions (concepts) (i) do not correspond faithfully to the world or (ii) the assertions are compound and cannot all be simultaneously true (e.g., because of contradiction) regardless of reference.
The former defines science (the recognized ‘concrete sciences’—physical, biological-psychological, and social); the latter defines logic (science presumes logic but logic does not intrinsically presume science).
The claims are formally linguistic but also conceptual.
They include and define patterns, laws, and theories.
The expression of the theories is linguistic.
Among the linguistic forms are some patterns that are found to occur in many contexts—e.g. as in counting and quantity and in shapes and sizes of geographic and geological and other forms. While initially empirical, these are found (i) to have structure that is independent of the application, (ii) which structure is abstraction from particular concrete and empirical situations, (iii) capable of abstract formulation via primitive terms and axioms and thence to defined terms (concepts) and results (e.g. theorems), and (iv) so to constitute abstract systems of which examples are mathematics, linguistics, and computer science. Systems of rules for language and logic may be considered to be among such abstract systems.
Are these abstract systems sciences? One requirement for a science is that it be empirical—about the world. The systems may be considered to be about the world (i) in that they are about an abstract of the world, (ii) as formal structures defined by signs and rules, they are about a model world, and (iii) tentatively, in the Platonic view that they are about an ideal world (rather than this world) and therefore we set this possibility aside for now and return to it later. Another requirement, a consequence of the first, is that since we cannot expect the formulation of a conceptual system to succeed at first in capturing the world or aspect of the world, the systems must be regarded as hypothetical and subject to trial application (testing) and correction. Is this the case?
In mathematics at least we have come to expect a higher degree of certainty than in the concrete sciences. This has come about by focusing on item (ii) of the previous paragraph rather than item (i). However, in so doing, the resulting feeling of certainty and the intuition behind it are so strong that there is a feeling that mathematical systems are not just formal systems but also about the real. Certainty, such as it is, comes about because (a) the formal systems can be examined to a degree that the world cannot—the formal systems are linear (rather than multi-dimensional) and discrete and (b) by referring the formal systems to—by formulating them in terms of—basic systems held certain.
Let us consider two examples of reference (i) a particular one—that of metric geometry and (ii) a generic one—the basis of mathematics in set theory.
Is Euclidean Geometry consistent? If an axiomatic system has a model that can be exhaustively searched it may be examined for consistency; such a model would have to be not just finite but not too large to be examined, given available resources—i.e. it would have to be effectively finite (not effectively infinite). But Euclidean Geometry does not have a finite model. Still we think Euclidean Geometry is consistent because (a) it seems transparent and no contradictions have been discovered in over two thousand years and (b) it can be written as a formal sub theory of real numbers and is therefore at least as consistent as the axioms for real numbers. Thus we do not expect absolute consistency for Euclidean Geometry; but we do have a relative consistency proof which is buttressed by the intuition from (i) above. What of Non Euclidean Geometry? These geometries are as consistent as Euclid’s because the fifth axiom is—has been shown to be—independent of the first four axioms.
Most of mathematics can be founded on a consistent set theory. After Bertrand Russell found his famous paradox showing naïve set theory inconsistent, a number of axiom systems for set theory were formulated in an attempt to develop a sufficiently powerful but consistent theory. The system that is in most common use is the Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (ZF) (usually with the axiom of choice—ZFC—but sometimes without it and sometimes with its negation). The consistency of ZFC cannot be proved within ZFC (unless it is inconsistent), However, (a) ZFC is thought consistent, (b) it is believed that if it were inconsistent, it would have been discovered by now, (c) it is immune to the classic paradoxes of naïve set theory, and (d) there are sub-theories of ZFC that can be proven consistent.
It must be concluded that while mathematics is ‘practically’ certain there is no absolute proof of certainty.
Further we can conclude that mathematics is empirical in two ways (i) in the origin mathematics was empirical but modern formal mathematics as a collection of axiomatic systems has abandoned this approach in favor of power—the wide class of structures and knowledge of the same—and at least relative certainty (ii) in the issue of relative certainty contact is maintained with the world at least in abstraction.
Additionally there is a parallel between the development of mathematics and the concrete sciences formulation of systems is inductive, development of systems is deductive, and the outcome of deduction is tested against the world—the concrete world in one case and an abstract of the world in another.
But not all systems in mathematics are directly about the world; many are formed by abstraction and generalization and synthesis. How can mathematics be said to be universally about the world? That is, is the strong Platonic intuition of some mathematics valid?
The answer is simple—from FP all consistent systems must have real objects (even if inaccessibility means that mathematics cannot be directly empirical and formalization and the gain in certainty means that it is at most indirectly).
FP considerably simplifies the foregoing considerations—(i) logic is the requirement that a concept be capable of being about the world or that a compound assertion be capable of being true and (ii) if logical, then the assertion is a true assertion which if appropriately compound is a science—either concrete or abstract.
We conclude tentatively, that there are abstract and concrete sciences. As stated the abstract include mathematics, linguistics, and computer science; the concrete are the physical, biological, psychological, and social.
But the notion of concrete is relative to the human cognitive system. All assertions are just assertions with some degree of abstraction lying on what might be called a concrete – abstract continuum.
Regarding pragmatic truth (i) such truths are perfectly faithful in some world and (ii) they may be brought under the above umbrella for this world.
A limitation of the axiomatic approach is that given an axiomatic system with an effectively finite number of primitives and axioms, the number of assertions and therefore theorems must be at most countable. That is, if the axioms model an object whose compound structure is more than countable in complexity, the axiom system may be incomplete. Thus there is a role for intuition—and experiment—not just in driving proof but as a partner to axiomatic proof. The putative abstract-concrete divide is not absolute and, just as in history, common development and interaction ought to remain an important source of both ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ sciences (the quotes are now justified).
Is logic a science? We have seen that logic is about relations among concepts that are necessary for the system of concepts to be possibly about the world—or about some possible world. That is, logic is not about the world as an object. However, truth functional logic is about the relationship between concepts and the world—between concepts and objects, which are, of course, in the world—in that it is a requirement on concepts for them to have objects in some world. In other words, logic is about the world for the world remains within experience as concept-object; but the same is true for science since all knowledge is relationship within the experiential field that we may identify as concept-object. Thus, in so far as logic is discovered, what is discovered is about the world even if it seems remotely so. Logic is a science; and its methods must be both abstract and empirical (just as we have seen that while mathematics benefits from emphasizing abstract roots it loses if it completely shuts off empirical rooting). But it is also true of the abstract and concrete sciences that they are about concept-object relations within experience. Logic and the sciences are about relations within experience and while their whole is about faithful relations, the distinctions among them are distinctions among kinds of faithful relations,
Knowledge is about the world.
While knowledge is about the world and the question of truth, in practice because the world is effectively infinite, one view of the best we can do is (i) eliminate as much error as we can and (ii) supplement this with intuition of the world.
Knowledge claims may fail (i) to be faithful to the world and (ii) fail intrinsically to be capable of faithfulness. The former defines science (including fact), the latter defines logic.
The standard divisions of science are the physical, the biological-psychological, and the social.
In the development of science, certain abstract disciplines arise, e.g. mathematics, linguistics, and computer science.
—For these abstract disciplines the prima facie approach today is the abstract axiomatic which gives power and greater but not absolute certainty than the standard sciences.
However, the abstract disciplines must be at root and may also be regarded as sciences. Thus the sciences are the concrete and the abstract.
Truth functional logic may also be seen to be a science that partakes of both the abstract and the concrete.
More precisely, the truth functional logics, present and future, are sciences or divisions of the science of (truth functional) logic.
Thus, allowing the terms ‘logic’ and ‘science’ a most general meaning—
Logic and the sciences (abstract and concrete0 may be seen as either logic or science.
See the discussion of ethics for the value of knowledge. Note, especially, that ethics informs us on the nature and criteria for knowledge—What is knowledge in light of different general imperatives and what criteria are appropriate to those imperatives?
As noted elsewhere, though there may be ethical imperatives to pragmatic vs perfection criteria (and their union for the perfect metaphysics), this ought not to exclude the study of the nature and criteria of knowledge from intrinsic and traditional perspectives which, however, ought to also be critiqued from the perfect metaphysics and other viewpoints.
The significant human ability to introduce reflection, communication, and choice into cycles of cognition-emotion and action results in richer personal thought, feeling, and behavior; and richer cultural arrangement.
This ability can override instincts for survival. This is double edged as it permits both harm and creation and pursuit of new values.
Morals arise because reflection alone is insufficient (and may be casually or willfully destructive) for prevention of harm and cultivation of what emerges as valuable.
Morals are communal guides or rules for right behavior and good outcomes; they may have arisen as practical matters conditioned by selection forces but are simultaneously also an expression of reflection.
Thus ethics as a system of reasoning about right action and good outcomes and states of being is continuous with morality (even though there may be opposition).
The realms of ethics
What are the realms of ethics?
1. In the beginning, perhaps morals began as simple patterns (‘rules’) of mutual reinforcement of good behavior in primal societies (including negative reinforcement of what is not good). Language has already begun to emerge along with the ability for concept formation reason in iconic-linguistic (symbolic) terms. Morals become conceptualized; it becomes possible to reason about them; this is perhaps a slow process. A result is that it emerges that—in practice—moral behavior is not determined by rules (alone) but by concepts of ‘right action’ and ‘good states of being or outcomes’, reasoning about them by emerging principles in particular situations. Among those activities, western philosophy identified divisions ethics—meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.
2. Meta-ethics begins as the determination of the emerging concepts, principles, and distinctions above; it grows to include questions about the nature of the concepts and principles—the how of application of the concepts and its justification which begins as immanent in the notions of the right and the good and so on—of deontology vs ethics of consequence—of ethics itself; of the nature of the application in particular situations and to what extent that is sufficient—which is the question of the interaction of the situations and therefore of the interaction of ethics with other disciplines such as economics and politics. Though there is a distinction between ethics and moral systems, those systems may be examined for their nature and their value; in general this will entail neither wholesale adoption nor rejection; this is an activity falls under meta-ethics.
3. Normative ethics is the determination of what to do in ethical contexts (the situations). While meta-ethics is concerned with the nature of ethics, the concept of ethical value (e.g. the good and the right), normative ethics is about what to do.
4. Applied ethics is application of ethics in actual situations. The situations may be individual, professional (e.g. bioethics), and general or global (e.g. political ethics).
5. Aesthetics. What constitutes ‘richness of personal and cultural life’ over and above survival and contentment? A generic and intrinsic but perhaps subjective measure is beauty. Aesthetics covers both the subjective and possible objective sides of this concern; and from its nature it may be seen as part of ethics. Perhaps beauty is related to survival and contentment—but does it not seem rather costly when considered in relation to survival? Perhaps beauty is a drive to ‘survival’ of higher forms of greater and ultimately more robust being—not intrinsically but sometimes locally ‘costly’? Such topics also fall under aesthetics (‘evolutionary aesthetics’, ‘meta-aesthetics’…). A generic term is aesthetics.
6. The term ‘ethics’ is sufficient to the foregoing variety (the term axiology is used for the theory of value and is seen to comprise ethics and aesthetics; however as it is seen above this is covered by a reasoned interpretation of ethics).
The concern here is the ethics and aesthetics of realization—which does not determine but has implications for ‘local’ ethics and aesthetics.
The ethics of realization is that (i) realization of the ultimate is perhaps the highest ethical value but not to the exclusion of other values (ii) other values remain important.
Therefore the main ethical concern of realization is to balance effort, aspiration, and resources between activity in and toward the immediate and the ultimate.
It is a preliminary ethical imperative to understand the perfect metaphysics and its implications as discussed here and to attempt to see and overcome the double bind that arises from dogmatic attitudes to religion and science.
When the metaphysics is understood and intuited, an imperative of shared discovery and realization will become clear.
‘Local ethics’ refers to the ethics of our empirical world, be those ethics secular or religious.
Ethics of realization and local ethics do not determine but are overlapping and mutually informing.
Particularly, a focus on realization should not detract from ordinary ethics—the ethics of knowledge, politics, economics, medicine, technology...
However, since modern secular ethics tends to be local (e.g., humanistic) and since traditional and religious moral systems tend to be rigid—especially with regard to societal and cultural change, it is imperative to emphasize that ethics of realization sufficiently and appropriately inform local ethics and moral systems.
This would also emphasize the interactivity necessary relative to mere compartmentalization of local issues. The term holism may be used for this interactivity but it should be recognized that use of the word ‘holism’ neither implies nor denies an ideological holism.
Immanuel Kant emphasized that ‘good will’ is the only intrinsic ethical value. However, ethics of realization further reveals and emphasizes a need for holism in local ethics and therefore that while deontological, consequential, virtue ethics (and others) merit consideration the actual normative modes may be situation dependent and emergent.
Alternate. The section may have been titled ‘Holism in ethics’ or ‘Holism and ethics’ but that might be misleading because of the various connotations of ‘holism’ and ‘ethical holism’.
To get at the issue of the question let us think in terms of an example. We recognize roles of ethics in politics—politicians are expected to follow ethical standards that are normally agreed to be independent of the political imperatives; the principles of ethics have implications for choice over and above moral behavior, for example the good of social and other choices made in politics have an ethical dimension; and the principles of ethics have implications for the kind of political system adopted over and above its political effectiveness. Thus while democracy may be evaluated in terms of efficiency, it may also be seen as ethically good in giving all citizens a voice.
Thus ethics infuses or perhaps should infuse not only particular behavior—especially behavior deemed to explicitly lie in a moral or aesthetic dimension—but does or should affect and infuse human action and choice in all its aspects and at all levels.
The issue of the section is not only that ethics does and should have such infusion but also (1) whether and to what extent ethics and other aspects of individual and social choice and behavior are an essential whole or a whole because they interact, (2) how choice and action occur under essential vs interactive holism—and what the place of traditional morals and ethics is under such holism, (3) recognizing the difficulty of explicit ethical holism, how is ethical outcome and behavior to be determined in contexts less than the whole, and (4) to what extent is holist ethical endeavor implicit and what principles and attitudes, moral-ethical-and-reflective, attitudes encourage it.
Cosmology is the study of the variety and extension of Being.
The distinction from metaphysics is not categorial but one of principle vs detail, illustration, and application; of abstraction and necessity vs concrete instance and a possibility-necessity continuum.
General cosmology is cosmology without further special principles.
Variety, extension, and peaks of Being
General vs efficient formation
General formation requires no ‘mechanism’ such as contiguous cause.
Efficient formation (see Cosmology of form and formation) is causal though not deterministic—e.g., variation and selection; reasons for its efficiency—numerical, stability, and robustness.
The block model here is neither the ‘growing block universe’ nor the ‘block universe as given over all time’ of the literature. The latter two assume time and have further ontological commitments.
The block here is a description; it is closer to the ‘given block’ but omits its commitments. Its ontology is part of the ontology of the perfect metaphysics.
The model—see, e.g., the source above—has the following features (i) it is based in a void-transient-stable structure model (and is pre-quantum and suggests the quantum as a residual of the transient in the structured); the term ‘block’ does not suggest a literal cube or shape but is metaphorical for ‘given’ (ii) in a classical model world lines would not intersect (except at possible cases such as Norton’s dome); however the model is absolutely indeterminist and therefore also absolutely determinist; particularly structure arises out of and creatively in a globally indeterminist universe; (iii) world lines are wildly intersecting and represent different histories; (iv) due to limited but real causal isolation facts are relative to locale (but truth is not); as is logic but not in the sense that two locales can have different propositional logics but rather in that some locales may have further truth functional logics beyond the propositional and the predicate; relative to the universe all facts are given and logic is superfluous except in that it results in simplification, and (v) it explains and supports intersection of the same identity and the same and different identities; and the coalescing of identities in more conclusive identities up to Identity.
Form and formation
Formation vs dynamics
They are distinct
What is their mesh?
Includes Identity and mind (i.e. projections named ‘mind’ and ‘matter’)
Identity has already been defined in Identity.
Efficient origins of dynamics
A generic dynamics of Being
…in formed worlds
…inclusive of identity and form
Comment. Study fundamental physics.
Our cosmos and similar cosmoses; origin of space-time-Being (‘matter’)-dynamics; quantum indeterminism as a residue-in-form of original indeterminism
In combination with metaphysics and efficient origins, implications for cosmological forms.
Why a separate section? Why not under ‘experience’ or ‘cosmology’?—Because it is detailed and because it should derive from the metaphysics)? Why ‘trans-academic’ psychology?
From A first map of experience a wide angle view of psychology is—experience itself and selves—experiential persons—the I and others (you, them); and the environment (universe).
The subject matter is—psychology functional and of person. Remarks on academic psychology. Details of functional psychology: pure – attitude – action; map: memory—original vs emergent, bound vs free, inner vs outer…; integration and object binding; development and learning. Details of personality psychology—get from appropriate documents.
Though reason could be discussed at a number of places it is effective to do so here.
Comment. Include discussion of methodological skepticism; see canonical dilemmas.html.
Issue of reason and proof.
Comment. Development of the extension of the concept of reason
Alternate. “A system or map of human knowledge, reason, and action”
Though continuous with metaphysics and cosmology, it is effective organization for ‘Knowledge, reason, and action’ to have a separate section. It bridges knowledge and action.
Comment. It is understood that any system of knowledge must derive from a metaphysics. Therefore (i) the system inherits any incomplete and speculative characteristic of the assumed metaphysics, and (ii) since no system of metaphysics is universally accepted, there may be many ‘systematic’ maps of knowledge of which none is definitive. Here, however, the perfect metaphysics is regarded as demonstrated and this lends definitive character to the system presented. However, since the completeness of the metaphysics is in principle, the system to presented is not (to be seen as) complete.
Comment. The system includes tradition conceived as what is valid in the history of human thought and culture up to the present. Discussion of Reason is deferred even though the system should and does have an account of reason.
The system has seven sections—the document linked above has details—(1) Humanities (which include philosophy, tradition, and religion), (2) General and abstract sciences, (3) Concrete sciences, (4) History, (5) Art, (6) Technology, and (7) Transformation of Being.
The following are from this system, adapted to instrumental development of The Way.
From the source for the system above.
Philosophy—process of bridging with the unknown; disciplines—metaphysics, logic (and epistemology), and ethics; attention to language, concepts, and meaning (via meaning, philosophy is about the world… via synthesis of meaning, it is about discovery); special branches—critique of disciplines and human endeavors.
Science, logic, and their unity
The realm of Being is Being or, equivalently, experience.
Experience is of experience itself and the world.
Thus the realms of Being or the universe are psyche and world.
The world divides into elementary or nature, of the group or social, and the inclusive or universal.
Thus a somewhat conventional set of basic realms of the world are those of psyche, nature, society, and the universal—which form the acronym PNSU.
The universal includes worlds—our world and worlds similar and dissimilar to ours—and the void in communication with the entire manifest universe, known and unknown.
The natural includes the elementary and the living (and therefore also psyche, at least as object).
The elementary includes the microscopic which manifests as the macroscopic including life. The microscopic is essential to the macroscopic forms, especially those of life. The macroscopic are emergent forms of organization ranging from relatively simple to complex.
From a substance perspective—formed worlds are approximately substance worlds—the emergent are phenomenally and relatively simple and new but not new of substance. In the universal perspective, there may be new as-if substances (but in the universal there are no true and ultimate substances).
The general sciences are metaphysics and method.
How is logic a science? Is it?
How is mathematics a science?
The concrete sciences are the natural and the social.
Comment. As these sub-sections are instrumental, the natural and social sciences headings are raised one level.
Physical, biological, physical anthropology, psychology
The physical include physics, astronomy, chemistry, and earth sciences including geology and geography
Sociology, anthropology (cultural), cultural studies (language, representation, and communication; knowledge, its growth, its institutions and research, storage, transmission and networking and education), economics and politics.
Politics and economics
Alternate. “Political economics”
Politics is a whole. It is sometimes seen in terms of its institutions—particularly governments, their forms, and their formal bases of power and authority (e.g. democracy).
As a whole it should be viewed as such—it is the mutual decision making and influence (persuasion, force, consensus etc) in interaction with action.
Political philosophy tends to superpose itself on this system. We then get models and ideologies taken as reals and ideals. Individuals, groups, and nations invert symbol and real in their thinking—the symbol becomes cause (or banner) for the real.
Of course, the system will do what it does.
The question being considered here is What ought to the approach of political philosophy?
That there is an inherited system of political philosophy, categorization of forms of government, and analysis cannot be denied or avoided.
However, we should also and emphatically seek (i) to understand the whole system and its various parts and dynamics, (ii) name and describe those parts and dynamics—perhaps using older terms but seeking to redefine the individual political objects and forces and to see them as a whole.
When that is done terms like ‘liberalism’, ‘democracy’, ‘conservatism’ and so on will not be objects in superposes system of thought but part of the dynamic.
(One source of immersion politics.)
The meanings of the terms tend to become fixed as symbols of power and ideology; the approach here will seek to escape this so that they become symbols of the real (it being understood that political philosophy already captures some but not the whole real and perhaps also that power-ideology-symbology is perhaps unavoidable—but that the aim is to improve upon the real and to avoid the destructive use of symbols and approach constructive use.
… and economic geography
Comment. May include technology.
Our world is the world of human affairs in its present, historical, and future related aspects; its geographical, political, and social divisions; and the setting of all this on Earth and the entire universe.
Comment. Incorporate to ‘the system’ above?
Comment. Though some previous versions cover some of the content, the section is new. The use of ‘the world’ in the essay is related to ‘our world’ but takes a general rather than human perspective. Thus ‘the world’ refers to the universe, its beings, and their relations.
Comment. Geography and resources are important—I have not emphasized them before. Economic geography and cities (vs open and sparsely populated, rural, and primitive areas).
Opportunities and problems
This section will be about distribution and dynamics of power in the world. It will seek to understand, to build models or theories for understanding and prediction, and to be informative in decision making.
Its main example and application will be the modern world. It will identify the main centers, their status, the dynamics, and trends and prognosis for the future.
Some continua—intrinsic vs instrumental, general vs particular
Add meditation on death—plan my death and death celebration; death celebration in general; death is life.
Intuition and reason
Alternate. “Some particular means”
Meditation and intuition
Blocks and resolution
Alternate. “Summary—realization integrated”
Is this useful? Change title?
Comment. The importance of shared canon and ritual in sustaining worldview and practice—as a supplement to or token of action.
We may now conclude
The foundation of (the) metaphysics is in Being—i.e. in what is there.
No further foundation is necessary for there is no reference beyond Being (there cannot be further foundation for there is no beyond; while this is true it need no pertain to knowledge generally; however, it applies to the present development, for it begins with Being.
Human being and society emerges from the soil of Being; we are not defined by a priori ideology, paradigm, or philosophy (for to think so would put the cart before the horse); and if we have no clear original purpose, it does not follow that we cannot acquire one; we can and do have a clear, definite, and universal purpose as seen in and from the metaphysics.
That is, the foundation (in this development) is in the immediate seen via the lens of Being so that the immediate is not distinguished from the ultimate.
If we were to make that distinction, the immediate would then be a substance.
There are no ultimate substances.
It is made explicit in the development that the foundation of Being is in Being—i.e. in the entire world.
While this is not obvious in advance, the developments in the essay have made it obvious and transparent.
Alternate. “Looking forward”
See Paths to the ultimate vs in the ultimate—“for we are already of the real”.
“We are always at the beginning” is metaphorical; it reminds us that we seek ever freshness, never the final peak of achievement.
We are always at a beginning not just the beginning.
We are not the thou art that (‘tat tvam asi’ of Vedanta)—but you are already that… and in, of, and a piece of that (“and debate on whether we are the absolute or potential real are unnecessary; what is significant is that we should not take ourselves as any static real for the real is not static”).
And as noted earlier, and no philosophy or higher insight is needed to know this lack in explicit knowledge (‘ig-norance’) is the result of
Alternate. “The future of the narrative”
The main source is the way-outline.html.
Current essay versions
Alternate. “Significant themes and subjects amplified”
This document, the website and essays.