Anil Mitra © May 18, 2019—June 21, 2019
The contents are a summary of the essay;
Black font indicates main statements;
THE WAY OF BEING
The sense of purpose occurs to different degree among individuals and societies.
Effective and human implementation of purpose takes knowledge in a broad sense (particularly as factually and desirably bound to action at the root); in today’s world it may be seen as the sciences, technology, and the humanities (for elaboration of the disciplines see the essential resources, p.14).
Knowledge begins in the immediate world. One approach to life in the immediate may be characterized by the attitude this life is good enough. This is consistent with and desirable basis for the following approaches to the ultimate.
Secular humanism appeals to ‘higher’ human nature for values and science for the real (in primal societies there is a secular side but it is not split from the transsecular). Science and value are empirical—the theories have definite purchase only within the empirical boundary. Yet what lies beyond the empirical may—consistent with science and reflective experience—be limitless.
Further, the common informed understanding of the empirical is limited; and relative to this there is a trans-empirical region—even though there is no true trans-experiential domain.
Myth and religion are or could be study, experience, and action in the trans-secular region—but are subject to corruption. However, even as corrupt, they point to the ultimate and its implication for human life.
Metaphysics, defined later, is another approach to the real; yet it’s history is inadequately informed as to the true nature of the empirical. Modern metaphysics has moved away from study of the ultimate real. Systematic metaphysics is or may be rational over limited empirical elements.
The system is developed below—with focus on the immediate and the ultimate.
As existence, ‘Being’ is capitalized.
A being has Being. The hypothetical being that affects no being does not exist; Being is relational.
As existence and no more than existence, Being is empirical therefore concrete and direct knowledge, abstract and therefore perfectly known, and—obviously and trivially—inclusive of all that exists. Therefore—
Foundation in Being alone would be perfect but trivial; a complement to Being is found below that renders the foundation powerful.
…it is the place of significance—i.e., of significant meaning; its forms are pure and relational—i.e., attitudinal and agentive; the pure form is internally and potentially relational; thus experience is relational; aware beings do not get outside their experience; the place of Being and beings is within experience; the pragmatic beings of common experience—the world—do lie outside the individual’s experience for pragmatic purposes; the hypothetical being that affects no experience is effectively non-existent.
In longer versions of the narrative, p.14, experience is established as a given, and it is shown how a ‘universe’ constructed from experience is also the objective universe.
…it is a being; all beings are parts of the universe.
(‘Part’ is used in the sense in which the whole is a part; in this sense, the universe is a part of itself.)
Since there is no other being—
…and further, the universe cannot be caused by another being. The—manifest—existence of the universe is clearly possible, yet mere possibility cannot be a cause; therefore if there is one, necessity may be seen as cause of the universe (in a non classical sense of ‘cause’).
The universe and the void are examples of faithfully known and knowable beings; though their place is within experience, they lie outside experience for absolute purposes.
Existence of the void crucial in what follows—it is so rich in consequence that the demonstration ought to be doubted. However, existence is consistent in itself and with experience. Therefore existence of the void may be regarded as a universal law or existential principle of action. This is posited as follows—
Existence of the void may be seen as a necessary truth—a universal law—as “existing everywhere” (as explained below); and / or regarded as an existential action principle that when appropriately employed, would entail the best expected outcome.
Given existence of the void, there is no significance to the number of voids except that there is at least one. The void may be seen as universally present with every being. The limits and laws of beings are not the limits and laws of the void.
This concept of possibility may seem paradoxical—as in it is possible that the possible is impossible. However, to say that is to say what can happen cannot happen, which is clearly a misuse of ‘possibility’. Some kinds of real possibility are—universal possibility or possibility in the universe, i.e. the most permissive real possibility; natural possibility or possibility under natural law; and sapient possibility or what may be realized by sapient beings and their designs. Universal possibility is the greatest real possibility; and under it the possible and the realized are the same.
Logical possibility is that which does not violate the laws of logic; it is the greatest conceivable possibility. The real possibilities are bounded by logical possibility. The following hierarchies obtain: logical ³ universal possibility ³ both natural and sapient possibility; and if limited to our empirical cosmos universal ³ natural ³ sapient possibility.
If, in the sense of greatest possibility, a possible being is never emergent from the void, this would constitute a natural law. However, since there are no laws of the void—All possible beings emerge from the void.
Here ‘greater’ is not used in a value related sense, e.g. as ‘better’. Rather, given a state, a greater one is the given state and more.
The greatest possibility is logical possibility, for the logical is a kind of possibility but if (the concept of) a being is not logical it (the concept) is never realized. Logical possibility = universal possibility = the greatest real possibility.
That is—our universe is the one and only universe and the greatest possible. A greater universe cannot be conceived, consistently with reason—i.e., the concept of a greater universe would be inconsistent.
Perhaps there is no greatest possible in the sense that given a state of the universe, there is a greater state. In that case the statement above would be rendered as the italicized phrase in the previous sentence.
Regarding possibility in the universe, logical = universal = natural = sapient possibility.
The universe has identity; its Being and Identity are limitless; individual identities merge with one another and universal with identity; death is real but not absolute—the reality of death informs us powerfully to give this life meaning on its own terms and in relation to ultimate life.
In greater detail—the universe has identity; the Being and Identity of the universe are limitless, especially with regard to experience, extension, variety, and peaks and dissolutions; the peaks of the universe are similarly limitless; individual identities merge with one another and the universal Identity; death is real but not absolute—its reality informs us powerfully to give this life meaning on its own terms and in relation to ultimate life. On a secular world view, death would press upon us an individual meaning—to find the greatest meaning we can and give expression to it in this one life.
This merging is thought impossible under the standard secular view; true but not understood under ordinary views of karma from Hinduism and Buddhism; and understood but not demonstrated in Vedantic Hinduism. It is understood under world as field of experience (FOE)—identity, which seems fixed over human lives is fluid over the limitlessly greater phases of the universe; and it is now demonstrated; and the demonstration gives rise to a much greater understanding, picture, and instrumentality.
Tradition is what is at least pragmatically valid, i.e. as if perfect for some purposes, in the history of human cultures. The join of the perfectly faithful abstract metaphysics and pragmatic tradition is perfect illumination and instrument of realization of the ultimate (use of the term ‘perfect’ is justified below).
These terms will be used as equivalent.
In greater detail—this knowledge is perfectly faithful. Tradition is what is at least pragmatically valid or contingently limited—i.e. as if faithful for some purposes—in all cultures over history. The perfect—now—illuminates and guides the pragmatic; the pragmatic illustrates the perfect; the perfect shows our pragmatic knowledge essentially limited but also that there are greater realms of the pragmatic on the way to the ultimate—and that there can be no better; therefore the pragmatic is perfect as instrument and in its approach to the faithful (traditional epistemology retains local but has no absolute importance). The two constitute a perfect metaphysics with perfect dual epistemology. Within the perfect knowing and realization (action, becoming) are essentially in interaction. This is perfect metaphysics, reason, or logos (‘logos’ is used roughly in its sense in early Greek Philosophy).
The justification of the identification with reason is that the perfectly faithful shows an ideal of both universe and method; tradition in action, content and method, is not perfect in a conventional sense but it is the best available and no better is needed. It is understood that readers will employ and develop their own reason, beginning with reason as presented here.
Realization of universal identity is a given for all beings; it is made effective by intelligent action and therefore…
The instrument of realization is the logos. In use, distinctions are significant. We recognize dimensions of Being or logos. The essential distinction is experience vs experienced—psyche vs world. The ‘dimensions’ of the world are nature (the elemental or physical, the complex which includes the living which is also marked by psyche) the social and civilization, and the universal (and unknown). Some modern distinctions within the social are social groups, politics, economics and resources, culture (including language, generation and transmission of knowledge and practice, especially technology).
The Vedanta of Indian Philosophy speaks of ultimate identity; yoga, understood broadly and experimentally, is its means; the view of the universe of universal and individual identity and their relationship (and their identity) derives from Vedanta. Buddha speaks of enjoyment of the path, a middle way between pain and ecstasy; pain must be attended to via local means but its ultimate address is in understanding of and being on the way to the ultimate (which in Buddhism is to be achieved in an immediate life, for original Buddhism eschews ultimates beyond human experience). The earlier discussion of enjoyment, ecstasy, and pain derives from Buddhism.
See A future for The Way of Being, p.14, for traditions to explore.
Appropriate templates are everyday and universal.
Principles of development and use are (i) they should cover the dimensions of Being, (ii) they are grounded in the immediate and pointed at the ultimate, (iii) they are flexible, adaptable to a range of individual and cultural types, and circumstances, (iv) the everyday will be a flexible, alterable routine, (v) the universal will be a program over periods up to a life and beyond.
Here are outlines for the templates. Everyday template—rise before the sun, review with meditative reflection, realization, tasks, experimental yoga, exercise, evening. Universal template: ideas relation, knowing; becoming (i) Pure Being, community (ii) nature with psyche (iii) civilization and society (iv) artifact (v) universal, unknown; Being universal.
Exploration of other traditions, e.g. the Tao, and the idealist metaphysics of Hegel, Heidegger, and Sri Aurobindo may be worthwhile. There is a sense in which ideas alone are trivial; rendering them in life, Being, and action is essential—what makes the ideas ‘true’. The perfect metaphysics of The Way renders the metaphysical systems of such authors trivial even where true—the perfect metaphysics goes beyond the systems to the ultimate; but it is demonstration that is crucial for it obviates the need and occasion for metaphysical contortion—and it enables paths to the ultimate.
Some further traditions worthy of exploration are the Siberian and North and South American Shamanism.
The Abrahamic Religions have some excellent insights and messages; however their cosmology and principles of thought are not close to the logos as understood in The Way (the Christian concept of logos is different from its conception here). There may be some affinity with the Aeternitas of Thomas Aquinas.
Resources for The Way may be found at http://www.horizons-2000.org/0.%202019-site/, particularly http://www.horizons-2000.org/0.%202019-site/essential%20resources.html for this essay (the addresses may be copied and pasted to an Internet browser address bar).