An outline of essentials. A universal map – origins from and equivalence of world to nothingness Essence of emergence of being. Local ontology – nature of the presence of being

ANIL MITRA PHD, COPYRIGHT © 2001 AND February 2013




An outline of essentials

What I wrote upon return

Introduction – what this map is about

The state of My World

A Universal Map

Foundations of the Map

The World: Approach from the abstract and the general


Relation to the concepts of the Absolute, of Substance


The accidental nature of the individual

Accident or magnificent, regardless, you are real


What, then, is the relationship between the absolute and our world?

On Space, Time and Causation

The universe


Using quantum dynamics and physical cosmology



A classic map

The Nature of Being: approach from the immediate

Comment on the immediate

The Nature of Death / on Immortality

The Creative Principle

The Dynamics of Being and of the Real

Other Approaches

What I wrote at the lake

Points incorporated by the map and the metaphysics of presence

A Map of My World: My Immediate World



Ideas and understanding


A local ontology

On religion

Is Finite Being an Incarnation or an Expression?

Is the universe infinite?

The Fundamental Tenet of Religion

A Map of My World: The universe, the larger world


The Variety in Nature


Comment on Group Selection





Document Status February 11, 2013



An outline of essentials

This map is the beginning of an outline of essentials

Other characterizations below

What I wrote upon return

[written later but preliminary]

Wednesday 11.28.01

A map of my world is a map of the world. How so – that sounds self-indulgent! When an author writes a book entitled, say, “The Nature of Reality” he writes from his own awareness. Let’s not quibble about the merging of his awareness with the cosmic, in the everyday worldview he writes from his own awareness. Of course, his awareness includes his experience of the world and what he has learnt of the world from the various traditions of experience and learning – oral, written. However, it remains true that, in a sense, “The Nature of Reality” is a part of the “Map of His World”. Thus, my concept of “A Map of the World” is part of a map of my world. Of course, if individual and cosmos are one then the maps are identical

Introduction – what this map is about

Personal: what is real and important for me?

Universal: a simple map of all being that connects with my personal map; and contains the essence of fundamental metaphysics

Reality and the good life are the same: action in balance with feeling. Feeling includes thought and emotion. Without action, feeling is empty; without feeling, there is no action. The moment insight begins to be codified it is lost; insight is ever a process – and needs balance by action

More than this, there is no ultimate knowledge as knowledge, belief as belief. Knowing arises in relation to the process of adaptation; knowing exists only in continuity with action – and action only in continuity with knowing

The state of My World


The ideas are essentially complete




Onward to Experiments in the Transformation of Being


A Universal Map

This is about basic metaphysics and ontology. We state it in the form of

Foundations of the Map

The World: Approach from the abstract and the general

A foundation of the world is in nothing – nothingness, the void

Nothing – is that a simple or a complex concept. Just as spaces of many dimension challenge the imagination, so does nothing. Nothing goes beyond “no-thing”

Space and time without things and events can be pictured; that picture is not a picture of nothing although it may be a picture of no-thing. It is not implied that space-time without being is possible or meaningful

There is a sense in which void, chaos and “uniform grey” – meaning a world without distinction – are equivalent

There is no principle that is violated in saying that the world is equivalent to nothing

In nothingness there is and can be no causation and no determinism

If nothing remained so – that would be both causation and determinism

Neither causation nor determinism can reign in the final realm of infinity of infinities, eternity of eternities which is equivalent to nothing

Universal causation – and therefore, any thought of universal determinism – must be abandoned in the temporal domain. This is [?] trivially equivalent to: all being º nothing [ B º F ]. Mechanism, causation, determinism are products rather than the generators of original creation; they are also products of “selective perception”

Common origins provide an explanatory principle due to unity. Common origins from no-thing is deeper than origins from something, a substance

The essentially new, that which is not contained in what came before, requires indeterminism and a-causal process… and selection. Evolution – variation and selection are necessary [why and for what] and precede determinism and mechanism – even at the most fundamental/basic level of creation… and of the origin of the universe[s]. Just as a-causal process precedes cause

There is a way for structure to arise from indeterminism, absence of causation. This is described in the previous point and above. This is contrary to what many have written: that, while determinism may be empty since it does not allow choice, indeterminism is also empty because it does not allow form or the creation of form. But, the error of the argument that indeterminism does not allow form or the creation of form has been made manifest. Additionally, while form is consistent with determinism the creation of form is not

There is, was and will be one universe. The universe is that which has no cause – and requires no cause for its understanding. Causation is essentially a part of the universe and the mode of being of the universe. In the absence of the [manifest] universe, in the presence of nothing, there is no cause; and, in the absence of being, cause and determinism, manifestation is necessary. This has truth even in the temporal domain

There is spontaneous eruption of transient elements from nothing. This necessarily involves transient becoming-decaying of elements in occasional relation; here are the primitives of being, of process, of relationship – and so of primal category [if such exists], primal time, primal space

The manifest universe is of transient existence, based in selection of near symmetric, near stable structures – away from absolute symmetry; evolution is possible; near symmetry makes for greater variety. “Regarding transience, what is a moment to God may be an infinity to a finite being”

“Facts”, categories, patterns and Laws are in a process of mutual creation. The bulk of the creation of Law may according to its kind, physical, biological… be strongly focused at a particular epoch

While Law is not symbolic or iconic, law, the human expression of Law is intuitive, iconic, symbolic…

While law is human expression and Law is the form or the form of the dynamics of our [phase of the one] universe, we may think of LAW or LAW as the form, or the possibility of form of all universes or, rather, all phases and epochs of the universe. This leads to the idea of a “Platonic Universe of Ideas behind the real universe.” This idea is an approximation to the concept of a Platonic Manifold that is part of the one

The formation of more-than-merely-transient structures is self-selecting. More than-than-merely-transient means: exists long enough to form combinations

A world with variety will be one with repeated microelements “atoms”, “elementary particles” – atomism is necessary! [Why and for what?] [ Note on June 6, 2003: as noted in Journey in Being, I no longer think that atomism is necessary. In Journey in Being I note that in a continuum, the problem of interaction is solved because every “element” has structure]

The initial elements are seed

More-than-merely-transient means, also, relative but not absolute stability

Relative stability requires near symmetry. Nearer to symmetry implies greater stability, the potential for greater variety, slower becoming and decaying, i.e., slower evolution but with more variety. Variety depends, also, on the initial condition, immediately after the void and upon the creation of causality. In the limit of absolutely symmetric foundational [elementary] structure: the universe would be absolutely stable; the rate of evolution, of change, of coming into or going out of existence and variety would be zero; in an infinite amount of time there would be infinite variety; the world would be perfect, beautiful but frozen. So much metaphor there. And: this is why we like imperfection. But: perhaps I misunderstand time and process: perhaps in the eternity of eternities there is a perfect world of the Gods. Perhaps that is not merely a metaphor

The coming into existence of the “elements” is neither causal nor deterministic. However, it is self-selection that results in structure-in-process-and-relationship. Thus, there is an origin of near causation; and there is an origin of phases of near determinism. It is often thought that indeterminism is mere randomness and therefore cannot lead to form and structure. This shows the error

Coming into existence of the world may be interpreted literally. Then we would be interested in the variety of kinds and ways to know. We would not be mere empiricists or mere rationalists or mere pragmatists. Or, coming into existence – since the world is equivalent to nothing – could be a way of understanding the world. This is just as the posited mechanisms of biological evolution can be seen the actual mechanisms or as a way of understanding – or both

The elementary constituents, due to their primal ability to interact, part of the requirement of existence, may combine and recombine. The process includes trial and selection. This leads to increasingly complex structures. Selection leads to the following: structure codes world. This means that a merely or apparently mechanistic universe can lead to intelligence, design, teleology; these are at least local. However, the stamp of mechanism violates the fundamental equivalence of the world and nothing. This in itself is not an argument for other kinds of cause, especially teleologic cause. It simply means that the categories of mechanism, of teleologism, of substance, of process are phases of the world; are not ultimately substantial

The basic mechanism of evolution, of the origin of the essentially new in the temporal domain, is trial and selection. Trial and selection has a number of characterizations: variation and selection, destabilization and equilibrium, indeterminism and determinism. Without further specification, the meanings of the various terms are metaphorical. Talk of determinism in the temporal domain refers to a phase or a mode but not to an ontological character. In a super-temporal view or domain, determinism reigns. Any approach to a finally determinate state is through indeterministic process

Thus being: the existence of being requires it to be in the triadic relation: being-relationship-process. However, this does not follow, here, from the requirement of being or of observation of the world but from the origin in nothing. Requirements of being and observation can corroborate this

The world is made up of distributions of kinds of being. Being can be thought of as in the triadic relation: being-relationship-process. Alternatively, being may be thought of as constituted of the elements in that triad

To understand the world we will understand the kinds and the distributions – and their relations and processes. Causation and determinism [in the phases of their reign] are found in being-process-relationship

There is third way to see being: it is the “integration” of the triad: the cumulative or historical development of being-relationship-process that gives meaning. Alternatively, we can write: being-meaning-action, or structure-relationship-process…

This [concept of] being stands above process, extension, and relationship. The actuality of nothingness, which is equivalent to all being, also stands above process, extension, and relationship. What else dwells in this realm of “standing above process, extension, relationship”?

From the point of view of a mind that consciously sees across from one epoch, one moment of universal-existence to another far removed: universal causation and determinism at a super-temporal level. The metaphysics of presence shows the possibility of this kind of mind

Being may be regarded as the historical cumulation over beings-meanings-actions, or, rather [being-meaning-action]’s. There is now an interesting point regarding determinism and causation. The full particular history of being from nothing is neither causal nor deterministic – although phases of history may approximate to determinism and may be capable of causal explanation. But when we look at all history over all being, as being cycles through phases of being and non-being [nothing] we may see at this level a non-temporal determinism and causation: all possibilities are visited; and having been visited once, they will be visited again. This is the matter of the “myth” of the eternal return. In this sense, everything is given, determined. Causation requires reference to the metaphysics of presence below

To know, speculate, hypothesize the nature of primal being we look to proximate being, to “our presence in the world”


From the Metaphysics of Presence [§§ 8, 9 of notes 2001,] the essence of mind is present in original creation. The genesis of thought – especially new ideas – is similar to the genesis of being. The origin of a new idea is an elementary “spark” that is cultivated and guided by the existing matrix of [stable] thought patterns

Being == One == Zero == Blank Mind == Creation

Relation to the concepts of the Absolute, of Substance

The first general idea of the Absolute is that of substance whose necessary mechanisms produce the world. The absolute º nothing

Substance: undifferentiated or minimally differentiated, enduring, not transmutable in its intrinsic nature but variable in its forms and transformations and manifestations. Necessary: from the nature of that un-differentiation, that non-specification. Nothingness º the essential substance

This is at once the first cause and no cause - and this eliminates any paradox of original causation…these are realms in which causation cannot be pinned down to its immediate and contingent manifestations; similar and temporal paradoxes are removed in that it is apparent that it is atemporal and the origin of time


These concepts are related to the “noumenon,” the thing-in-itself. There is something contradictory about the concept of the thing-in-itself. The contradiction is not that what is known is not “in-itself” and therefore even if the thing-in-itself exists it is not knowable. The reason that this is not a contradiction is that being in-itself does not imply un-knowability; it does imply, though, that mere apprehension of a thing does not mean that the apprehended-thing is a thing-in-itself. The apprehended thing may be a “thing-in-itself” coincidentally; but the “in-itself-hood” may be required to be known by other means. That this other means is yet “another picture” does not imply that we can not get out of the loop of apprehended-ness

The contradictory aspect is as follows. On an atomic view the assignment of Thinghood to some collection is to some degree conventional because there is always some circumstance in which the “thing” ceases to be a thing. Therefore the only absolute things are [1] atoms or monads and [2] the absolute or the all; all other things are “relative.” Further, it is not clear that there are atoms. At least the fundamental building blocks of science [mind, matter] are not clearly fundamental. There may however be a logic of atomism based in the possibility of existence from nothing-hood; such an atomism would be Logical in nature; but the Logic would not stem from given logic or logical systems but from Possibility. At the same time, the relative Thinghood of things does not make them ephemeral [to mortal men.] The Thinghood of things, though relative to an absolute universe-scape, is highly real in a practical way

To understand the noumenon, the thing-in-itself – start with this absolute based in nothing; timeless, it contains the seeds of time; spaceless, it contains the seeds of space

The noumena include the absolute, the one, and the no-thing behind the world. The absolute is equivalent to [the] no-thing. In this sense the world is equivalent to and has origin in the absolute, in the no-thing

The accidental nature of the individual

There is a profusion of philosophies and scientific viewpoints that give accidental status to the existence of the individual. The individual is an ontological accident. This point clearly needs to be separated from the psychology of the individual – one day feeling potent, another day feeling insignificant… separated from the phenomenon of the “powerful” who feel lonely and depressed, the “insignificant” who feel euphoria from an “accident” of brain chemistry. It is not that there is no relationship between true and felt power. One assumes that there is a healthy state where felt power corresponds to real power

But what is real power?

From the equivalence of the world to no-thing, the individual is no more accidental than the entire world, the entire cosmos

There is no power in material things or the material universe. [This refers to Power, not to Watts or something of that nature.]

The Power in things is assigned. Rather, it has a dual status of being assigned and being real that coincide in the healthy person. This generalizes to agency – replace “person” by “agent,” “being,” “mind…”

Power = Agency

[Power = “healthy” agency.]

Accident or magnificent, regardless, you are real

… and always potential in the womb of being, the absolute, the state of no-Thinghood


1.                  1.                  You are real

2.                  2.                  You are a product of the state of no-Thinghood, of the absolute, of Being

3.                  3.                  You are eternally potential within Being – which as no-thing is unchanging

Note that in any corner of “the” universe there is the potential of eruption of a universe from an infinitesimal part that is no-thing

What, then, is the relationship between the absolute and our world?

4.                  1.         The structure of our world [including culture, human nature, values, art – but also the natural universe...] is not “necessary”

5.                  4.                  But from the general character of the absolute [no-Thinghood, determinism, indeterminism, structure-variation... emergence], we can understand general features [the principles apply at multi-levels] and conceive change/or accept change based in absolute principles

Is there a role for combinatorial growth?

For the absolute the origin of the world is not an effort or an action?

On Space, Time and Causation

The nature of cause, space, time [space-time] and relationship. Space and time themselves are not real. Relationships are real and space-time is a [mental] grid that is employed in description. Here, a comment on the reality of, say, causation and theories. Both causation and scientific theories are arrived at by induction. We dealt with Hume’s and Popper’s treatment in Hume’s brilliant error where we saw that Hume’s mistake was to think of science as necessary truth rather than the process of discovering nature’s patterns: as a process it is ongoing and no stage is regarded as final. We may have to be satisfied with the contingency of the predictive ability and the beauty of explanation from science. However, although science is tentative and even if we can find no better foundation of knowledge than representationalism, we are of the world and we assert the existence of patterns and their discernment. Of course, we may be unable to provide an “external” foundation for that discernment but, being of the world, we also realize that the demand for external foundation is unrealistic even if the hope is not. These thoughts apply to causation, theory, and understanding in the realm of our world. But, above, we have been talking about causation in the realm of the entire world: the cosmos and not merely the “physical” cosmos. We saw that there can be no universal causation in the temporal sense that includes The Creation. In fact, although causation my reign in certain realms or epochs that is part of actual the pattern of that realm or epoch and, while it may reign well, its reign is not absolute. For a universe may originate in my eyelash; and that that has not been seen and does not fit with “the pattern” does not mean that it has not happened or could not. We also saw that there can be and is causation in a super-temporal sense. This causation is absolute and necessary though not all-pervasive and is not subject to Hume’s argument: it is not the projection or induction of a mind; and, as far it is dependent on mind [presence] it is still necessary since mind [presence] is the heart of being

The universe

There is one universe but there may be causally isolated domains and distinct realms corresponding to different fundamental constituents, different fundamental laws, and different historical branchings

The entire universe is equivalent to nothing. In the manifest phase, it is possible for a spontaneous eruption of an intrusive universe; what is the likelihood?

Suppose we have a complete physical theory of one realm of one causal domain. This does not at once or at all give us a complete science of that domain. If we knew the fundamental physical theory of our universe, we would not thereby be able to predict or understand chemistry, the course of life on earth, the history of humankind or a given society. Complexity and history would remain partially refractory to the physical theory of our universe

Is it possible to write down one “fundamental theory” for the eruption of a universe from nothing; or the possibilities of fundamental constituents and laws of all realms and causal domains? Practically the variety is, likely, an order infinity that means that there is no capturing the essence of reality other than actuality: the actuality of the one universe. Can we say anything theoretically? There must be a Gödelian argument to show that such a kind of completeness cannot be reduced to an algorithm


What are necessary elements of dynamics of an “abstract” universe? Consider elements from [1] The abstract and the general: near symmetry, seeding and repeated structures, the origin of causation, interaction and relation [force-space-time], variety and hierarchy, and [2] The immediate: as below

Using a principle of locality

The foundation of particle, and string / m-theory

Every point of gradient in the universal continuum has it own time. These times are correlated through the dynamics

Using quantum dynamics and physical cosmology

This section, Using quantum dynamics, is not an essential part of this development

The most basic state, the ground state, is the vacuum state which is not void, not nothing, certainly not no-thing. The universe will visit the base state

Between the void and the base state is the a-causal realm before physics and law: likely before 10-43 seconds, the Planck time. It is a “time” of history – history in the sense of something that does not follow a linear, predictable pattern something that is not predicted in the temporal domain but may be understood in retrospect. Something that we often mistake for a pattern and attempt to base design upon it. In the extreme: there is no prediction, no pattern, just pure happening. Again, in the super temporal understanding or realm, where there is democracy among and inevitability of all worlds [literary license: I mean all possibilities], there is that meaning and that sense in which determinism reigns as does causation as more than a projection of a mind

As noted elsewhere, quantum dynamics lends support to the variation + selection paradigm in the causal epochs. Classical dynamics is largely a “variation” paradigm?


Time exists in the quantum vacuum. I.e. there is process; a grid for process would be very irregular. Thus there are “epochs” of time

There is perhaps no co-ordination of process in the a-causal realm before physics and law. In this sense, time has origins


Language, logic, mathematics. Propositions and propositional calculus. Groups…

Linguistic domain…

These are some possibilities for the symbolic representation of the original or near original dynamics

Local and differential dynamics; local and discrete dynamics; co-foundation

A classic map

The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides a classic map. I would modify that map:

§                     §                     According to the metaphysics of presence

§                     §                     According to the principles of Journey in Being; especially the integration of Knowing and Acting

§                     §                     “Psychology” would be replaced by “mind” or “psyche”

§                     §                     The sciences physical through social would be one section

§                     §                     Art, technology, religion would be one

§                     §                     Humanities and the symbolic sciences would be combined as philosophy; the union of the natural and the symbolic would be emphasized

§                     §                     Emphasis on “written record” is arbitrary. History would not, therefore, be the story that it is regarded to be. History, and the story would be written as one

The Nature of Being: approach from the immediate

In the previous section “The World”, I approached the “Map” from the high vantage point. Here we look to the immediate. But, details are developed elsewhere

We see that


The essence of the ultimate can be seen and is in all beings. Every being contains that essence


We saw that mind is at the core of being; value or ethics. However, not mind-as-I-know-it nor ethics-as-we-have-it. Rather that appears as a primitive in the “elements of being” described above. That primitive, I called “presence”

Presence corresponds, in the quanta of being, what at the level of our being – animal, human – is the subjective [relation]; but presence also has objective existence. It is not other than matter

This is not the absurd and traditional caricature of pan-psychism that finds “little minds”, rather like ours, at the core of being – any more than materialism would be the idea that there are little Empire State Buildings at the core of matter. Also, note that materialism ought to be called pan-materialism. The materialists are sophisticated with regard to matter but [deliberately?] primitive with regard to the understanding of mind

So: mind is part of Mind; being part of Being

Good and evil [though not good-and-evil-as-we-have-immediate-and-enculturated-experience-of-it] is at the core of being, at the core of the elements of being. Fact and value are not distinct

Comment on the immediate

Although the suffix -as-I-know-it seems to make things complex it is simplifying. First, we do not become committed to mind-as-I-know-it, matter-as-I-know-it… as ontologies. Second, it clears the way for universal understanding through abstraction and the transcendental analytic. The transcendental analytic is, in one essence, argument from effect to cause, from circumstance to foundation… The abstraction cancels the loss from the accidents of history. As far as interpretation, one can think of the results of transcendental argument as fact or explanatory principle. The transcendental analytic sounds esoteric and is often presented as such “Kant’s introduction of a first truly philosophical mode of argument.” But, that kind of argument pervades our every moment to moment existence under the guise of intelligibility and discovery

But, if I step back from the “-as-I-know-it” as something fixed; we can see the identity of mind and matter even in the proximate realm

The Nature of Death / on Immortality

The foundation of the universe, of all being in “nothing” immediately calls into question the nature of death. What is death? The various biological, medical and legal definitions of death, though necessary and practical, are not to the point. What is the concept of death? Absolute cessation of being?

The foundation of being in nothing: being is connected to, merged with, part of Being. Death is cessation, but not final cessation. While death is cessation, here and now it is also a door to the ultimate. But, not the only door. There is no need to imagine cycles and hypercycles of birth and death. Hypercycles? They are the cycling of being, through Being, through BEING, through BEING. And, also, the achievement of greater perspectives: individual life, the perspective over multiple lives, over all being

Now consider the fact of an individual’s existence – your existence. You are here, alive, sentient and existing as such. You were born. If you always existed despite the appearance to the contrary, birth is not associated with coming to be, to exist. Therefore, assume that you did not exist at some time before your birth. You came into existence from a place where you did not exist. The fact of your existence shows that your coming into existence from non-existence is possible in this universe. Therefore, it is possible again. One could argue that the universe has changed slightly and therefore it does not follow that your coming to be is possible again. That seems to be splitting hairs, the universe has not truly changed that much. But, it can be argued, an individual is unique and so coming into existence again is, at least, unlikely. That assumes, however, that the universe itself is a unique event in some sense – it will cease to exist or be subject to an eternal frozen fate at some time in the future. But, the idea of the universe being a unique event itself is subject to the same argument regarding the individual. If the universe will die, it can be born. If it can be born, it can be born once more. If it can be born once more, you can be once more

Death and suicide are conceptual in nature. From the point of view of the real, i.e. not from the usual cultural vantage point, the concepts of death and suicide as commonly held are laden with delusion

Death is not absolute; death is the door to the infinite

The universe is equivalent to nothing. That is not merely logical: the universe could have come into being from nothing. You are part of that which came into being from nothing. The probability that you will come into being in some specific manifestation is more than zero. Therefore, the probability that you will manifest again in the infinite number of future manifestations is “one,” i.e., your future [and past] manifestations are certain; and certain over and over again. There is always the potential for a universe to manifest that has no contact with this universe. But it will always have the potential to interact with this universe. It will not be a truly distinct universe. There is one universe but there may be infinitely many causally separate “universes.” Causal separation at one time does not imply causal separation in eternity

The argument so far produces a result that is not interesting. All individuals will manifest again, and again… In this manifestation one is not aware of other manifestations. I know people who claim to have lived before but have never met anyone who claims to be aware of past lives. The claim is of the form “because I instantly recognized something – a place, a person – I must have known it before.” I tend to view with suspicion claims of actual knowledge of past existence by human beings. I cannot “rationally” discount those claims and there may be some prejudice involved – they are uneducated, I find them uninteresting… Perhaps I find my own thoughts on “immortality” more real, more interesting. The realm of the possible is more interesting – because I can do something with the possible. Regardless of the truth, assume that human beings do not have awareness of past lives. Then, the result so far is not interesting because the argument merely shows the eternal rebirth of the same being – or a similar being who knows nothing, truly, of eternity and possibility. Even if one were aware, the result would be quite boring – rather like having only one cinema and seeing it again and again. Eternal rebirth would not be quite as boring as that – there could be an infinite number of you and you could meet: think of the possibilities. And if you have been able to create some novel, grand ideas or machines in one life think of what might be possible with an infinite number of you. It might be interesting, it might be quite dull

What will make the eternal cycle interesting, exciting? The possibility that the individual could come back in different forms – including some forms of which we are not currently aware. As a being that can see or even integrates past and future existences – a “higher” form and the limit: the individual manifests as all being. It does not seem at all impossible but it does not follow in the clockwork way that eternal rebirth follows. Since all being is equivalent to nothing, there is some reason to the claim that a frog is the equivalents of tiger or a human of a dolphin or of a star, but that reason applies only to actual beings and not to ones imagined to be possible

For that argument we have to turn to an alternative approach in the following section The Dynamics of Being and of the Real. That section will show a much more interesting, exciting form of higher being, of the immortal – one of which no actual being has guarantee. That is, indeed, more exciting for anything that is guaranteed is, in the end, dull. That is not totally true. Familiarity can be good. But the actuality in the present case is a middle ground. Even if “destiny” is guaranteed its security, time, place, manner of achievement are uncertain, require effort, labor, application of the full faculties of the whole organism

First, however, note that it is important to consider the form of immortality. Eternal rebirth of a rather ignorant being [human being is quite limited so far especially in the perceptual realm – of course the limit is not absolute because we do not know the true boundaries of human being] is not true immortality. The form of immortal is: that which is and truly knows that it is immortal

There is a similar issue regarding “God.” There are circles in which it is considered to be in bad taste to discuss God: it is a personal issue – certainly not one that has any academic value… discussing God would be a pollution of academic or of rational values. But what is it that we are not to discuss? It is an idea – and to say it is an idea is not a commitment to existence or non-existence of a corresponding object. For example, God is the god of some religion. That may be a rather confused concept because the canons of religion are not logical treatises; but we can tolerate contradiction – a confused concept is a concept. We can focus on some relatively clear aspect of the God of [a] religion. I will not do that here because the God of religion is tied up in historical accident – that does not mean that the idea is devoid of power – and politics of various kinds

In the 11th century, St. Anselm said “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” must exist in fact as well as in thought, for if it existed only in thought and not in fact, something greater than it could be conceived, namely the same thing existing in fact. God necessarily exists, because the idea of God is the idea of that than which nothing greater can be conceived. This is the argument later known as the ontological proof. This is an argument that uses the form of the idea. However, we cannot jump from the argument from form to the form of the scripture. There is, however, a real problem with arguments from form and that includes the kind of argument given here. There are in fact, two problems. First, the meaning of terms of comparison is unclear – what does “greater” mean? Second, linguistic designation need not imply existence. Consider “that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” Assume it exists only in thought. Now “something greater than it, the same thing existing in fact” – is that a concept? It is not clear that it is

The Creative Principle

Human being is of the universe. The creative “principle” [not to be reified] behind creation and evolution is, in human being, conscious. Is this the limit to that creative principle?

Likely not. This does not imply that the ultimate is not accessible to human being

The universe may become a conscious designer

What does this say about mechanism vs. teleology?

In that ultimate state, what next? It is the realization of the state that is significant rather than the state

Beyond the ultimate, there is again, the a-causal realm. There is no design or designing in that realm. Nor is there mechanism or teleology

Should we call that ultimate state, God? Or, should we say that god as the creative principle permeates all being. Or that god and God are equivalent though not identical? And, why use “god” at all?

There is a role for the ultimate. It may design a reduction not quite to the a-causal realm but to a near place from which evolution to a higher phase of being is more likely, the ultimate of that phase beyond the previous ultimate. These relative ultimates may or may not be capped; if capped, that defines the Ultimate

Note on June 6, 2003: nothingness requires no imposed creative principle; it that is not nothingness which is required to be given or fixed even if it is a given zero

The Dynamics of Being and of the Real

This is the approach to understanding the concept of limits and the actual limits of [human] being. From: an understanding of knowledge as actually and conceptually bound with action; from experiment with knowledge and with [one’s] being; from the testing of possibility; from an understanding of the temporal and spatial boundaries of being… we come to approach the understanding and knowledge of the limited reality of limits

Other Approaches

The two above are sufficient to provide a foundation of a map of the world

It is not necessary for a separate approach from “mind”, from “matter”, from “physics”, from “biology”, from “culture, society”, from “ethics”, from categories and substances… these are of course interesting, provide elaborations


What I wrote at the lake


Saturday 10.13.01

This is about what is real for me and what is important – and places I might travel. If you are thinking geography in its literal sense then you should be interpreting ‘map’ also metaphorically

I want this to be simple, from the heart. I was thinking first of myself in my immediate world – my feelings, what I want as a human being with a desire for love, comfort, hardship as it comes my way or in the service of some ideal… as I walk at work and in the forest. This comes first – and since it comes from the heart, it is real: I can use explanation but this is alien to proof. But, my immediate world is in, is integral with, is of, is connected to, is the larger world which is also my world. That, too, will be part of the map

I am wanting to put down the simple picture, the intuition, that is the dynamic world of how I live and act – a world of intuition, feeling, imagination, words – many elements all a little too complex for any rationality based only in abstract symbols. Sometimes these elements control the center… and at other times the center is the primary influence and the elements include the unconsciousness which has many meanings

[Sometimes we use the word ‘conscious’ when ‘verbal’ ought to be used. And, so, when feeling enters it seems to have an unconscious origin.]

Some elements of the map:

§                     §                     Visible – forest / trees / pine needles

§                     §                     Dynamic – relates change in being to cause and cause to being… and world: at least on an intuitive level

§                     §                     Cycles through – the primitive elements of myself / the ultimate

§                     §                     Recognizes, holds the identity: Atman = Brahman

§                     §                     All modes of thought, feeling, perception, experience, intention, action, including the unconscious and the sub-conscious

And, finally,

§                     §                     The metaphysics of “presence”


The essence of all being is in every being. Every being contains the essence of all being. This is implied by the metaphysics of presence and by the principle that all being taken cumulatively is equivalent to nothing. All beings participate in the ultimate. The ultimate can be seen and read in every being. Existence requires delusion


Points incorporated by the map and the metaphysics of presence

The following points have been incorporated and may be eliminated. They are maintained for possible future use

§                     §                     Abandonment of universal causation and, therefore, obviously of any thought of determinism

§                     §                     Therefore, all being º nothing [ B º F ]. This is trivial in view of the absence of universal determinism, causation and mechanism. That is, mechanism, causation, determinism are products rather than the generators of original creation

§                     §                     “Transient” existence based in selection of repeated near stable, near symmetric structures [near symmetry makes history and evolution possible]. Regarding transience, what is a moment to God may be an ¥ to a finite being

§                     §                     There is a way for structure to arise from indeterminism, absence of causation. This is described in the previous point and above. This is contrary to what many have written: that, while determinism may be empty since it does not allow choice, indeterminism is also empty because it does not allow form or the creation of form. But, the error of the argument that indeterminism does not allow form or the creation of form has been made manifest. Additionally, while form is consistent with determinism the creation of form is not

§                     §                     Mind is at the core of being. Value at the core of existence. But, not in the forms of mind-as-we-have-it or value-as-we-have-it

§                     §                     From the point of view of a mind that consciously sees across from one epoch, one moment of universal-existence to another far removed: universal causation and determinism at a super-temporal level. The metaphysics of presence shows the possibility of this kind of mind

§                     §                     The dynamics of being and the real

§                     §                     The nature of cause, space, time [space-time] and relationship. Space and time themselves are not real. Relationships are real and space-time is a [mental] grid that is employed in description. Here, a comment on the reality of, say, causation and theories. Both causation and scientific theories are arrived at by induction. We dealt with Hume’s and Popper’s treatment in Hume’s brilliant error where we saw that Hume’s mistake was to think of science as necessary truth rather than the process of discovering nature’s patterns: as a process it is ongoing and no stage is regarded as final. We may have to be satisfied with the contingency of the predictive ability and the beauty of explanation from science. However, although science is tentative and even if we can find no better foundation of knowledge than representationalism, we are of the world and we assert the existence of patterns and their discernment. Of course, we may be unable to provide an “external” foundation for that discernment but, being of the world, we also realize that the demand for external foundation is unrealistic even if the hope is not. These thoughts apply to causation, theory, and understanding in the realm of our world. But, above, we have been talking about causation in the realm of the entire world: the cosmos and not merely the “physical” cosmos. We saw that there can be no universal causation in the temporal sense that includes The Creation. In fact, although causation my reign in certain realms or epochs that is part of actual the pattern of that realm or epoch and, while it may reign well, its reign is not absolute. For a universe may originate in my eyelash; and that that has not been seen and does not fit with “the pattern” does not mean that it has not happened or could not. We also saw that there can be and is causation in a super-temporal sense. This causation is absolute and necessary though not all-pervasive and is not subject to Hume’s argument: it is not the projection or induction of a mind; and, as far it is dependent on mind [presence] it is still necessary since mind [presence] is the heart of being

A Map of My World: My Immediate World


My immediate world is the world I live in and what has importance, meaning to me. Meaning can be clarified, enhanced; but I was born with the capacity for meaning. That requires no justification. It would be nice to show that meaning and the ability for meaning are not accidental and alien. The metaphysics of presence and its logic show just that; that is nice but not necessary for me to have and find meaning. The usual distinctions need to be made: meaning-as-I-experience-it and Meaning; the historical [non-linear, contingent, lacking in predictability] or temporal origin of meaning vs. meaning at a super-temporal level

Meaning is both created and given. The logic behind that that statement is the logic of the Metaphysics of Presence

Meaning is created by the universe. It is jointly created by individuals and the world; individuals, minds, the world are in the universe

The appearance of meaning is meaning. This has a deep and a cheap interpretation

My world, in a casual sense, is my immediate world – the world I live and what has importance, meaning to me; and my knowing and knowledge of that world and the ability to know that makes negotiation, participation in the construction of meaning and of my own being possible

Here is what has significance for me – it is an answer to the question of who I am:


Strikethrough text has been absorbed elsewhere

This refers to the people in my life – work, too. But, it also includes the special love of being, sharing, caring together and wanting that. “Gazing out on to the world together”

Hate exists and is allowed. Sometimes cultivated

Love is cultivated more than hate

What is love? Love comes before the question. Love is the feeling of love

Love can be destructive and fickle but does not intend to be

Music, art…


I suppose I could include nature in “love”

Being in nature is important. Keeping rhythm with nature in all the ways – the significance and beauty, big and small; sensory adjustment and attunement; mental map of land and trail; knowledge; familiarity; living beings and their cycles and habits; seasons and weather; terrain; physical attunement balance, endurance…

And enduring

Ideas and understanding


A job for money but, also:

Contributing, caring

Being part of society, attuning socially – in some ways more important than “tea parties” or “ragers”… but not more important than the day-to-day of home

I chose my work and kind of work for reasons

The idea of work generalizes to “action”

A local ontology

§                     §                     I am not, here, seeking a local ontology but one may be useful:

§                     §                     The given

§                     §                     The Gita: action

§                     §                     Ontological psychology

§                     §                     Freud

§                     §                     Cognition and

§                     §                     Feeling – walking meditation

§                     §                     Science – rather hateful as the foundation of and ontology

§                     §                     Certain kinds of anthropology and social theory

§                     §                     Any metaphysics of being… [and therefore religion]

The logic of the metaphysics of presence binds local and universal ontology

On religion


Is Finite Being an Incarnation or an Expression?

Incarnation feeds into futile substance ontology... expression implies no such ontology and avoids the mind/body or matter/spirit distinctions

Is the universe infinite?

What is possible from the origins in no-thing? There is no end to what is possible and, therefore, what is, has been or will be is unending. It is without limit and in that sense, at least, infinite

The Fundamental Tenet of Religion

The realization of the infinite in the finite is possible; Tat Tvam Asi – you are that [ultimate being]; Arjuna – through action we enter the infinite; Wittgenstein, Tractacus, 6.4311, “… If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, the he lives eternally who lives in the present.” The Fundamental Truths are Few and Simple

What then is ethics? A perspective: a mix of the needs from the finite and infinite nature: possibilities and limits. That is the principle. The result can be imperfect

How to understand the practice of religion with its corruption and paradox. Like all institutions it is multileveled and multifunctional despite being frequently cast as mono-functional. I am not promoting anything but understanding, trying to prevent intolerance of imperfection from getting in the way of ideals. In the motion of civilization and of hu-manity there are movements. I am not promoting corruption or corruption of values; burning things down is sometimes the only way. Similar comments could be made of other institutions

Anyway, who or what is not corrupt? That is more like “do not let my nature get in its own way” rather than dishonesty... Should all imperfect things be abandoned? Why does the universe have asymmetry? All things are “corrupt” – is that nihilist and misanthropic… or is it fundamentally freeing? That depends on the intention; as a condemnation it is nihilist. As a statement that “mortal man” can reach the ultimate, it is liberating

A Map of My World: The universe, the larger world


In a sense, ‘universe’ and ‘larger world’ are metaphorical: everything is my world; we live in the same, one world

What of the environment of my being – say the natural world of this planet, the environment of the evolution of all life [that, in itself, is not ac commitment to Darwinian evolution] and the growth of my being… and the social and cultural environments? That is, at most the primary environment and that, too, on one system of interpretation

And, so, somehow, I return to the old formula with renewed vision:


The preliminary of nature is “what is”! Nature includes the physical and the biological. What of the social? Well, the social has two “faces.” The first is that of a system or group of organisms that live in interaction where the interaction is dependent on innate behavior. One could be more careful about whether the organisms may be of different species whether the behavior is coupled and adaptive/symbiotic or random but that is not to the point being made. The first face of society is dependent on biology. The second face of society is where the interaction depends on learned behavior. In this case, clearly, the organisms have the potential to change the structure of interaction. That includes, as a special case, organisms that can design and plan change. The first aspect of society is clearly part of nature

So far the idea of nature has been rather intuitive. Clearly, though, the idea of nature seems to be “what is” and “what has not been intentionally modified by agents”. What are agents? The are beings [in this case living beings] that can design and act. Thus, the idea of nature is the part or aspect of the world that is unchanged by human or other species that can plan and carry out a plan

The meaning of nature remains vague. Imagine a pristine mountain lake uninhabited by man. That is thought of as nature. Or, think of the underlying nature of things: that is the world as described in physics and biology – the natural sciences. That is a more philosophical, more neutral, view of nature – one that is amenable to reason. Being amenable to reason is not an intrinsic virtue but it is true that the understanding of nature as the physical and biological covers a vast domain. In philosophical circles, nature very often refers to what is covered by the natural sciences. If a western philosopher talks of the philosophy of nature they may be talking about “the discipline that investigates substantive issues regarding the actual features of nature as a reality.” The idea is that we can tinker with society but not with nature. I like that concept

But, I want to leave the idea of nature as somewhat more open: “that which has not intentionally modified through agency”

The Variety in Nature

We see what appears to be great variety: the number and kinds of things. This observation is pre-scientific. It also has objectivity: nature could have just a few things but it has many and the variety is great. Suppose matter underlies it all. It follows that there has to be something behind the first view of matter as inert, homogeneous. There must be some source of the variety and detail. That could mean very many kinds of basic thing in a small number of combinations; or very few basic things in many combinations. In the latter case, the basic things will be very small – elementary particles. Additionally, the basic elements will have to combine, recombine to form the apparent variety – the elements of matter will be dynamic rather than inert. Aristotle made similar observations and is so sometimes called the father of biology – his observations on variety having been based on the variety of life and the need for a corresponding microscopic world; no doubt, the earlier atomists may have had similar thoughts


Society is living forms in interaction

I leave open questions of whether the interaction should be random or structured, but it is more than by chance; the origin may well have been by chance but the actual interaction is going to be “in place” – stable for at least a period of time, perhaps tans-generational. I also leave open the question of whether there is some mutual benefit or adaptation or whether the interaction is somehow genetically based even though it is difficult to see how would not at all be genetically based – even with learning, the ability to learn is genetic though the actual learning may not be so. Perhaps if another species teaches [through, say conditioning: but then the ability to be conditioned is genetic] the given species the behavior, or through “pathology” there could be non-genetically based interaction that constituted “society”

Usually, when we talk of society, we talk of human society. But, there is, perhaps, a more reasonable approach to a distinction. There are societies where the interaction is based on innate behaviors alone. And there are societies where the behaviors may include intelligence / learning and so the individuals may alter or affect social arrangements and behavior by design. Of course, reason or rationality need not be perfect for there to be design and, therefore design is one of the factors. Others include “selective forces.” Some people think of only the kind of societies where intelligent behavior is a necessary ingredient of social behavior to be society. For them society is associated with culture – see Kinds of Knowledge

Culture is on the way to language, logic, mathematics; knowledge; humanities and the disciplines; art, literature, music, drama…

Is not all society part of nature? In a sense, yes. Especially if we hold that social phenomena can be reduced / explained in terms of the simpler biological and physical levels – more on the question of reduction below under mind. However, even if reduction is possible in principle, talking about social phenomena in their own terms is much simpler – a better way if not the only way – and more meaningful to individuals

Comment on Group Selection

Thinking about society and groups brings up the question of group selection

The problem with group selection is conceptual. It is the individual that is the keeper of the genetic code. Nowhere is there a gene or double helix for the group. So even if something seems like group selection it must be individual selection – possibly the selection of a lot of individuals all at once. Suppose, for example, the brown eyes kill off all the blue eyes. Oh well, each brown eye had the genetic potential to kill and that is the selection that already occurred. Additionally they had the genetic potential to organize which was also individual

Or, so it seems. There could be a number of arguments against that

The idea of no group selection is biologically wrong. For what is speciation? Of course groups can be vehicles of selection

The rejection of group selection is based on the fact that the individual carries genes [true] and that; therefore, group characteristics are reducible to individual characteristics [false]. Although the individual carries genes, the group can also be seen as carrying genes

An argument can be made that groups are selected on the basis of characters that are not reducible to individual characters. There is upward and downward causation among the levels

Here is the abstract of Re-Introducing Group Selection To The Human Behavioral Sciences by David Sloan Wilson and Elliott Sober

“In both biology and the human sciences, social groups are sometimes treated as adaptive units whose organization cannot be reduced to individual interactions. This group-level view is opposed by a more individualistic view that treats social organization as a byproduct of self-interest. According to biologists, group-level adaptations can evolve only by a process of natural selection at the group level. During the 1960’s and 70’s most biologists rejected group selection as an important evolutionary force but a positive literature began to grow during the 70’s and is rapidly expanding today. We review this recent literature and its implications for human evolutionary biology. We show that the rejection of group selection was based on a misplaced emphasis on genes as “replicators” which is in fact irrelevant to the question of whether groups can be like individuals in their functional organization. The fundamental question is whether social groups and other higher-level entities can be “vehicles” of selection. When this elementary fact is recognized, group selection emerges as an important force in nature and ostensible alternatives, such as kin selection and reciprocity, reappear as special cases of group selection. The result is a unified theory of natural selection that operates on a nested hierarchy of units

The vehicle-based theory makes it clear that group selection is an important force to consider in human evolution. Humans can facultatively span the full range from self-interested individuals to “organs” of group-level “organisms.” Human behavior not only reflects the balance between levels of selection but it can also alter the balance through the construction of social structures that have the effect of reducing fitness differences within groups, concentrating natural selection [and functional organization] at the group level. These social structures and the cognitive abilities that produce them allow group selection to be important even among large groups of unrelated individuals”


Without mind, there is no agency

It is interesting that mind is the basis of the distinction between nature / society or nature / not nature, yet mind is often thought to not be part of nature

What is mind? Signs of mind are intelligence, agency, consciousness, intensionality, design, caring, will, action – without mind there is just “blind mechanism”… From one perspective, there is no mind without awareness. In this meaning awareness does not equate to full consciousness but to some, at least, dim version of it, some near progenitor of it. Roughly speaking, in this perspective, then, to be mental is to be conscious. I think it is better to say “be mental” than “have mind.” But it is fine to talk of mind. Keep in mind that awareness is of something; of course as focused awareness turns to reverie, to generalized awareness… and it is tempting to suppose that there may be awareness without an object of awareness. I suppose that is possible, especially as a transient state between one vague and soft image and the next. A good question, except as a theoretical point: how would one know that one was aware without an object of awareness? Would one not have to be aware of being aware?

Another thought on mind: mind is the internalization of evolution, of the processes of adaptation into the organism itself. Mind enables the organism to adapt – mind is or includes adaptability

The source / expression of meaning; true bearer of meaning

Mind-as-I-know-it is the immediate paradigm. But, we soon go beyond that. How: metaphysics of presence; transcendental analytic…

Is mind part of nature? Why might one argue that mind is not part of nature? Mind is found only in special places – associated with living organisms, mind is complex, mind is hidden from view, and mind is a name for a complex process – not an entity. Another reason may be the prejudice of the naturalists and natural scientists, and the domination of the modern world view by natural science. Here we come back to the idea that “mind is not observable.” Although positivism is rather dead as philosophy, positivistic and merely empiricist science are well and alive as implicit paradigms

I hold mind to be part of nature. We do not by our designs affect our minds – I am talking of mind and not content of mind; it’s like a vessel that fills with water: filling it up changes the content but not the vessel – the way we affect culture. Of course we could apply selective pressure to develop more intelligent animals and we can cultivate our own minds but we can also apply selective pressure to develop stronger animals and we can cultivate our muscles. We may one day be able to design and build intelligent organisms but we may also one day be able to design and build organisms with all kinds of physical and biological properties. Mind is not, in the regard under consideration, essentially different than [other] biological aspects of the organism. How does mind compare to physical objects in this regard? We can design and build physical objects but this is not changing the physics it is using it – is that not true? Can we change physics – that would amount to changing the properties of the fundamental particles and their interactions, would it not? Yes it would and therefore man cannot change fundamental physics! Surely, that is true. Let’s think. Is the evolution of physical law over? Was [is] physical law given once and for all time and universes? Did physical law come into existence as part of the coming into existence of the universe? That is not too improbable just as a thought. But if we think that the universe came into existence from nothing then as transient possibilities emerged in relationship; which relationship in its tentative form constituted tentative proto-law then, law, also, came into being. Must that law that came into being always be the same? No. Is there some level of interpretation at which it must be the same? That would be a law regarding the formation of law. What is law in this regard? It is pattern. Therefore, law of law or principle of principle, is the pattern patterning pattern, is the form forming form. Here the possibility regarding infinite regress is not so interesting. What is interesting is that no one phase of being can exhaust all possibility of being. Therefore, there is no ultimate law of law. Therefore, our law is not given law. Therefore, although in our causal domain it is mostly given it too must be in slight evolution and that evolution must depend, as it did in the beginning and will in the end, on the distribution of particles and fields. We can affect that slightly, and intelligently. So we can affect law even though we do not know precisely how. What is the universal potential for an effect upon law by intelligence – an open question that requires the understanding of the possibility and origin of intelligence? In the metaphysics of presence, proto-intelligence is present at the beginning

Is mind reducible to the physical and or biological? This is an interesting point. I have developed arguments that show that there must be something in the elementary objects of physics that correspond to the mental. They are not mental as we know mind just as the elementary objects are not material as we know gross matter. Thus body-mind at the gross level may correspond to, say, particle-field at the elementary level. Metaphorically, the electron feels the proton through the electrical force of interaction. Body, mind are, then, complementary ways of talking about the same one thing. The physical and the mental need not even be distinct; it can be that the physical description is more convenient for some phenomena while the mental mode of talk is better adapted to talking about other phenomena. Thus mind / body are not separate things or even kinds. And at the elementary level the identity is or will be obvious as in particle / field. The identity elementary nature of mind / body is obvious, i.e. it is clear that the “atoms” of matter and mind are the same but I am not certain that those atoms are particle / field. But particle / field is a good candidate because of its dual nature: particle ® field and field ® particle; note that this has nothing to do with the philosophy of dualism. Thomas Nagel argues that mind / matter are insufficient, and that there needs to be a third, more comprehensive, category

There will likely be other elements to the development such as something new physics. This necessary on account of mind [and evolution] to come up with the new. Therefore physics needs to have some indeterministic element. But it will not have to do with whether there are elements of mind at the fundamental level. The distinction physical / mental is false

Mind is on the way to the universal

This does not mean that the physical or the biological are not

There is nothing that is unknowable. This follows from the philosophy of presence: mind though not mind-as-we-know-it-from-immediate-experience is at the core of the elements. This brings into question at a level above that of culture [and below that level, too], “what is knowledge?” Note that unknowable does not mean unknown or difficult to know. There is support from physics: every entity can interact with every entity

Still, “nothing is unknowable” is a tall claim. What did I eat for breakfast on January 2, 1981? How many elementary particles are there in the universe? What is the nature of the origin of the universe? Can I know these things? What of the common statement, “the more I know, the more I know I don’t know.” First, not knowing and not being able to know are not the same. Second, who cares what I ate for breakfast on a particular day about 20 years ago? Who cares how many particles there are in the universe, precisely? Someone taking my medical history might be interested in what kinds of food and how much I typically ate. So, there is a connection with value. There is a sense of knowledge – Knowledge – which is distinct from mere bits of data. I know my friend Robert. That does not mean that I know his every thought, how many hairs he has. I do know roughly, his style of thinking, his personality. And I get to know that better, the more I interact with him. Why would I need to be able to precisely predict his every act or his response to any given stimulus? The consideration of the number of atoms in the universe is similar. No one wants to know the exact number. Additionally, there is a question, what is the universe? That question is not a mere matter of fact, it is also somewhat conceptual. Well let us say the observed universe. An estimate can be given. What about dark matter, what about the fact that what has been observed changes? The amount of dark matter may be unknown, but that is different from being unknowable. And the fact that what has been observed changes is irrelevant in that it is not a piece of knowledge but relevant in that it is tied up with the question “what is the universe?” Now consider the origin of the universe. Addressing this question will also require us to address the question “what is the universe?” Based in modern physics [general relativity, quantum dynamics, theoretical and observational astronomy], estimates can be made of the rough history of the universe back to 10-43 seconds – the Planck time. How can I be sure? There are a number of ways of addressing that. The way theory and observation works in astronomy is somewhat circular but that somewhat circularity is not devoid of checks at all. For example one of the predictions of “big-bang” is a cosmic microwave background radiation of about 3 K. Penzias and Wilson looked and they saw. General features of the early universe have been emerging over the last 75 years or so. And as theoretical physics and so on improve [unified theory…] and observational concepts and techniques improve, what is known improves. But, still its only guesswork. There are some precise points of knowledge such as that certain kinds of universes, under certain kinds of theory must have had a singular [“big bang”] origin. Although not completely known, not completely unknown; inroads are being made; the confidence of the knowledge is going up. The claim I am making is that it is not unknowable. But what of before 10-43 seconds? It is likely that with the development of theoretical physics [string theory] inroads will be made there. At this point I can go back the original philosophy of being:

U = F

and some of the associated thinking. There is one universe. What we are in is one causal phase [domain-epoch]. All states of being are accessible…

In any search for ultimate knowledge [not data] there is an accommodation of fact, concept and value. This is the way to growth; I say: It is the way for any species on the way to the ultimate


… or universal

A category for the unknown or ultimate is necessary

The ultimate: presence, F. Here, F = nothing


Why talk of a hierarchy such as that being discussed here – nature, society, mind, and universe? It is convenient and is on the way to a classification of kinds of being – detailed “geography” as needed will come late or is elsewhere. I discussed this classification at length in a number of places, especially Evolution and Design where I pointed out, among other uses, that the progression natural – societal – mental – universal is an approximate progression of individual growth



Document Status February 11, 2013

It is interesting to note how my ideas have evolved. Almost every idea in this document that was received in a literal way has found its way into Journey in Being and is there improved as to content, expression and proof. Of especial note is the fact that the present document begins the transition from a basis in physics to a basis in logic and what is before physics [of today]

There may be some details of interest for other documents, especially in the relation of the thought of Journey in Being to the metaphysics of presence [I do not use the term metaphysics of presence in its classical meaning of substance ontology but in the meaning defined in The Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics

No further action for Journey in Being necessary