JOURNEY IN BEING
FULL EDITION
The full edition contains meta-material—i.e. text about the text, and para-material—i.e. material parallel to the text development that I may use in realization and planning. This version is for use (a) as a record of how to format the document (b) developing the document (c) in planning and (d) miscellaneous objectives. Though it is on the Internet it is not primarily for publication. The versions for publication are named and linked below.

ANIL MITRA

DOCUMENT CREATED OCTOBER 9, 2012

ANIL MITRA, © COPYRIGHT 2012—2013

FIRST INTERNET VERSION JUNE 2003
Anil MITRA, PHD © COPYRIGHT JUNE 2003-February 2013

The document has the following special formats: (1) Heading 4 is formatted as if is Heading 2 with light blue font—and functions as Heading 2 for the short version (2) Heading 6 is reformatted regular font, 11 pt, light blue, light blue underline, paragraph 6pt before and after, line spacing exactly 18 point—and functions as Central Title (the purpose of this is to have this style appear in the hyperlinks dialog so that links can be set up easily). To see how this works, r-click the tables of contents and then l-click Toggle Field Codes. (3) Heading 6 which is the list of central topics (4) Central, the central topics (5) General, commentaries under central topics.

Received Edition   |   Précis Edition   |   Précis Edition (Academic Version)   |   Complete Edition   |   Contact   |   Home
Contents
   |   Narrative

The document has two narratives: a précis version within and part of a longer narrative.
The purpose and formatting of the narratives is explained in The Format of the Narrative and its Functions.

Contents: SHORT NARRATIVE

Link to General Contents

 

 

 

Narrative

Preface to the Précis Edition

On Publication of this Work

A Journey in Being

World Views and the Ultimate View of the Narrative

New Meanings in the Narrative

Experience

Meaning

Existence

Being

Universe

The Void

Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

The Meaning of the Principle

Using the Principle

An Interpretation of Scientific law

General Cosmology—Universe, Identity, and Power

Journey, Individual, and Eternity

General and Physical Cosmology—Variety of Being

Civilization as a Vehicle of Realization

Growth, Processes, Aims, and Ways  of Civilization

Civilization, Human Being, and the Universe

Ideal or Ultimate Religion

The Way of Transformation: Analysis and Synthesis of Being

Transformation of the Individual Being

Civilization of the Universe

A Vision For Our World

Charting the Journey—Dimensions

Charting the Journey—Assessment of Progress

Charting the Journey—Wide Perspective Plan

Dedication and Affirmation

The Future of the Narrative

Influences and Sources

 

 

 

Contents

JOURNEY IN BEING

PREFACE

The Format of the Narrative and its Functions

Preface to the Précis Edition

On Publication of this Work

Maturity of the Main Themes

Practical and Necessary Aspects of In-Process work

Suggestions on Reading the Narrative

Definitions and Capitalization in the Narrative

Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION

A Journey in Being

Brevity Empowers Precision, Criticism and Action, Breadth of Framework, and Revisability

A Balance between Brevity and Detail

World Views and the Ultimate View of the Narrative

Secular Thought and Science

Religion and Myth

The Standard Paradigms and their Limits

The Place of Metaphysical World Views

The World View of the Narrative and its Contrast with the Standard Views

Do the Developments of the Narrative Depend on Science and Tradition?

Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

The Principle is the Foundation of the Metaphysics of this Narrative

The Principle is the New

Power

The Metaphysics

New and Ideal Meanings Result from the Metaphysics

Traditional Metaphysics. Criticisms. Initial Response to Criticisms

Consequences for Identity

The Concept of Identity

Identity and Death. Issue of Pain and Suffering

On the Title ‘Journey in Being’

Contents of the Narrative

Development of the Ideas

A Journey of Realization

Reference

New Meanings in the Narrative

A Personal Perspective

BEING

Experience

Comments on this Conception of Experience

Is there Awareness without Consciousness?

More on the Meaning of Experience in this Narrative

Experience is so Basic that it Does Not Need Definition in Terms of Other Ideas

The Nature of Experience with Illustrative Examples

Why the Main Development Begins with Experience but only its Most General Aspects

Perfect Objects

Arguments against the Being of Experience. Counter-arguments

The Solipsist Argument that there is nothing but Experience

A Counter-argument to Solipsism that shows that there are Selves and that there is a Real World

Comments on the Significance of Doubt

Experience is the Theater of the World of the Individual

Meaning

Concepts, Reference, and Meaning

Necessity of Iconic Content for Meaning

Understanding of Meaning requires acknowledgement of its two sides—Idea and Reference

Meaning Derives Stability and Flexibility from Context

New Meanings in this Work. Possibility of Definiteness

The Decomposition to Concept-icon and Reference is Crucial to Understanding and Use of Meaning

Comments on Meaning, Paradox, and Logic

Existence

Does anything exist? Significance of the Question

Is existence a trivial concept?

The problem of negative existence

Preliminary Discussion of Being. Reasons for the Discussion

Being versus Existence. Emptiness of the Distinction

The Grammar of Being

Relation to Phenomenological Thought

Feeling. Know-How

First Comments on Metaphysics

Being

Neutrality of the Concept of Being as a Source of its Power

Power of Experience

Analogy to Algebra

Universe

Justification this Concept of Universe—i.e., Proof that the Universe Exists

A Possible Objection to this Concept of the ‘Universe’. Response

Significance of this Concept of Universe

On Possibility

The Universe and the Void

On Creation. The Universe contains all Creation but is not Created

One Part of the Universe may be implicated in the Creation of Another

Law

A Law is a Pattern. Laws have Being

A Law is a Limit. There are no Universal Laws

The Universe Contains All Laws

The Void

Existence of The Void

The Void contains no Law and therefore has No Limits

On the Number of Voids

A note on Doubts

Power of the Concepts of Being, Universe, and Void

Comments on Knowledge and Method

METAPHYSICS

Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

To what degree does the Principle Expand the Scope of Being?

Does the Fundamental Principle contradict Cumulative Experience?

Something from Nothing

On Education of Common Sense and Intuition

A Loss of the Sense of the Mystical?

Relation to the Principle of Plenitude and Ockham’s Razor

Originality and Power of the Present Demonstration

The Meaning of the Principle

Interpretation from the Analysis of Meaning

A Comment on Facts

Another Form of the Fundamental Principle

The True Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics

Using the Principle

An Interpretation of Scientific law

Scientific Laws are Descriptive Rather than Limiting

On Scientific Law as Necessity in a Limited Domain

Scientific Theories Are Not Universal

Explanation for this conclusion

To Jump off a Cliff

Universal and New Conceptions of Realism and Logic

The Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics in Terms of Logic

On the Nature of Limits

Merging of Science and Logic

The Empirical Character of Science and Logic

Metaphysics, Science, and Necessity

Notes on Probability

Metaphysics so Far

The metaphysics joins the rational and the empirical

The Empirical-Rational Achieve Perfection via Abstraction

For Limited Forms Knowledge is Ever in Process. For Limited Form, eternal process is Ideal

A Sense in which the Universe is Ideal

The Issue of Suffering in Light of the Metaphysics

Infinite Suffering?

The Practical Issue of Pain

Objects and Identity

Whatever Is Logical is Real—i.e. has an Object

Dissolution of Distinctions of Kind and Abstraction. Expansion of the Scope of General Cosmology

Unity of Kinds of Concrete Object

Abstract Objects and Unification with the Concrete

The Abstract is not Essentially Non-spatial or A-causal. Rather, these Features are not Pertinent to the Abstraction

Intuition is an Imperfect Guide to Objecthood

Mathematics and Mathematical Objects

Objects that Straddle the Abstract-Concrete Divide

The Abstract and the Ideal

Identity

Anticipating Applied Metaphysics

REALIZATION

General Cosmology—Universe, Identity, and Power

General Cosmology and its Foundation. Identity

Nature of Identity. Soul

Power. God

The Power of the Universe is Conferred on the Individual

Journey, Individual, and Eternity

Individual identity Merges in Identity

Ideas are Essential but Incomplete

For a Limited Form Realization is a Journey without End

On the Demonstration that Realization is a Journey

For Unlimited Form Realization is Eternity in a Moment

The Absolute and its Nature

For a Limited Form Knowledge of Limitlessness Requires Experiment

As Science, Realization must grow to include Participation and Immersion

General and Physical Cosmology—Variety of Being

Extension and Duration as precursors to Space and Time

Process

Relative Character of Space and time

The Nature of Space and Time

Cosmology in a Phrase

The Variety and Extent of the Universe are Unlimited

Origins and other Cosmological Phenomena

Kinds of Law

Emergence of Cosmological Systems

Ghost Systems. Annihilators

Every Cosmos is an Atom, Every Atom a Cosmos

Structureless Particles Emit Fields of Force?

The only true Fictions are Violations of Realism

Death

Science, Participation, and Immersion

Mechanism, Symmetry, Stability, and Conservation Laws

Determinism

Determinism and the Universal Metaphysics

Cause and Mechanism

Experience and Being

Matter as Exclusive Substance is Untenable

Experience is—the Essence of—Mind

Mechanical Intelligence

Suggestions Regarding Intentionality and Action

Interpretation of Matter and Mind as First and Second Order Being

Rejection of Spinoza’s theory of Attributes

Experience and the notion of Truth

Experience and Being are Coextensive and are the Place of Significance

Consciousness, Life, and Mechanism

METHOD

Metaphysics

The Concept of Metaphysics Reviewed

Criticism of this Concept of Metaphysics. Response

Metaphysics is Logic

The Metaphysics is a Perfect, Unique, and Ultimate Universal Metaphysics

On Form and Substance

Possibility of Metaphysics has been Demonstrated by Constructing The Metaphysics

Doubt and Doubting

Doubt Regarding the Fundamental Principle

The Fundamental Principle is Worth Doubting

The Value of Doubt

The Path to Certainty Requires Doubt

Doubt and Certainty as Duals

Absolute Doubt?

Our Most Certain Endeavors Harbor Uncertainty

These Considerations of Uncertainty are an Occasion for an Existential Attitude

Allocation of Resources

Further Demonstration of the Fundamental Principle

The Goal of Demonstration is to Now Further Investigate Certainty of the Principle

Nature of the Demonstrations of the Principle

An Improved Proof that also shows Existence of the Void

Heuristic Arguments whose Function is to help Remove Doubt

Doubt and Existential Attitude

Remnant Doubt and its Sources

Existential Attitude

A Comment on Humor

Existential Realism

Even Under the Fundamental Principle, Limited Forms have no guarantee of Realization in ‘this’ Life

An Appropriate Existential Attitude will be Potent in Realization

Attitude as Dual to Doubt

Fundamental Principle as Hypothesis

Truth, Assertion, and Declaration

Ideas, and Metaphysics, and their Method

This Section Collects and Formalizes the Method of the Metaphysics So Far

Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning

Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning: Brief Critique

Systems of Concepts and System Meaning: The Metaphysics

System Meaning: Science and Logic

Comprehensive Character of Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning

Experience of ‘All Knowledge’ by Limited Form Requires Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning in Process via Participation and Immersion

Applied Metaphysics

The Metaphysics Implicitly Covers Detail of All Being

The Metaphysics includes Science and Mathematics

The Metaphysics versus Science

Systematic Approach to the Interface between the Metaphysics and Science

An Example: Modern Physical Science

An Example: Human Nature

Interaction (in the examples) with the Metaphysics requires recognition and Transcendence of Substance

Review of Development of Applied Metaphysics

The Metaphysics and Philosophical Thought

Principle of Adequate Specification

A Principle that Encourages and Requires Admission of Ad Hoc and Systematic Elements of Thought in Process

Extension to Practical Cases

Good Enough Criteria

Valuational Criteria of Perfection

Art, Humanities, Philosophy, and History

Method as Content. Method and Content as Coeval

Method and Content as Coextensive?

CIVILIZATION

Dimensions of Being

Civilization as a Vehicle of Realization

Science and Yoga as Disciplines of Realization

Civilization and its Disciplines

Growth, Processes, Aims, and Ways  of Civilization

Civilization, Human Being, and the Universe

Purpose of the Section—Deep Relations between Human Being and Being

The Tension between Human Freedom and Received Nature

The Question of Human Freedom

Morals, Freedom, and Metaphysics

Freedom and Death

A Time to Die

Civilization—Society, Culture, Political-Economic Process, and Religion

Understanding Religion

A Preliminary Ideal Conception of Religion

Ideal or Ultimate Religion

A Broad Conception of Religion

Need for this Conception

The Ideal of Religion

Religion, Realization, and Suffering

Religion, Civilization, and Experiment in Transformation of Being

TRANSFORMATION

Approaches to Transformation

Choice of terms—‘Way’ or ‘Approach’ versus ‘Method’

The Way of Transformation: Analysis and Synthesis of Being

The Way of Transformation is Analysis and Synthesis of Being

Way and Path—and Method and Content for Ideas—are Coeval

Analysis of Ways of Transformation

General Remarks

Practice and Action

Catalysts of Transformation

Consciousness and Continuous Transformation

Catalysts and Continuity

Description of the Ways

Outline

Core Knowledge: Universe, World, Human Being

Core Knowledge: Morals

Practices and Practices-in-action

Catalysts

Sources for the Catalysts

Retreat and Return

Cumulative, Charismatic, and Reflexive Process

Synthesis of Being

Transformation of the Individual Being

Civilization of the Universe

A Vision For Our World

A Delineation of the Vision

Some details of the Vision

Politics and Economics

Culture

Religion

JOURNEY

A Document in Process

Charting the Journey—Dimensions

Planning

On Plans and Commitment

Being

Civilization

Charting the Journey—Assessment of Progress

Being

Civilization

Charting the Journey—Wide Perspective Plan

Being

Civilization

Dedication and Affirmation

The Future of the Narrative

Some in-process Aspects of the Work

Assessment of the Developments so Far

The Ideas

Transformation of the Individual

Civilization

Civilization—Concepts for Implementation

The Individual in Community and the World

All Times and Places

Death

Home, Town, and Country

Cultural Milieu and Community

Travel

Nature, Psyche, and Universe

My Life and Ambition—Priorities

Realization

Everyday

Preparation

Essay

Website

Civilization of the Universe: Being, Artifact, and Technology

Civilization and Being

Artifact and Technology

REFERENCE

Contribution

Influences and Sources

Glossary 

 

 

 

JOURNEY IN BEING

 

  

 

PREFACE TO A RECEIVED TEXT

I have not experienced revelation as instruction or word from an external divine being and have no intent here to consider or argue—pro or con—this conception of revelation.

However, I have sometimes experienced ideas as if possessing their own flow, force, and reality. In as much as this experience is truly the result of influence from some greater being I think it must be that we are part of the greater being of the Universe.

The following brief outline of Journey in Being is a reconstruction rather than what I experienced as original flow. I write it down as the barest of outlines to the essential ideas of the narrative.

 

 

 

Journey in Being is a quest for discovery
And realization of the greatest destiny of Being
And the place of human being in this process.
The vehicles of discovery are individual and group—
Beings and civilization.

Understanding will be enhanced by appreciating that
In the narrative familiar terms have new meaning
And that the ideas form a connected system whose
Meaning is greater than the sum of individual meanings.

Being is that which exists.
The power of ‘Being’ is its neutrality to kinds—
Real or hypothetical—such as space, time, matter,
Mind, spirit, or word-as-world.

Mention of these special kinds is not essential
To the development. Whatever is real
Is in Being even when unnamed.

Experience—awareness—is the core,
Place of knowledge and theatre of our—human—being.
Experience is pure, receptive, or active. These combine
As pure and creative ideas; and action.

The Universe is All Being.
There is one and only one Universe.

Whatever has Being is in the Universe.
The hypothetical being that is not in the Universe
Does not exist—it is nothing but a hypothesis.

‘Being’ discriminates only existence from non-existence.
It does not distinguish kinds of Being.
Whatever is real exists in the one Universe.
There is no other Universe of partially real kinds.

The Universe contains all creation
But is not created.
Any creator is part of the Universe—
The Universe has and can have no external creator.

(It will be seen that the Universe has neither beginning nor end.
The Universe is.)

Knowledge of the natural world is
Coded in ‘laws’ and natural histories.
Natural history may be coded as law,
Legend, myth, or ancient cosmology.

The laws of natural science are
Familiar examples of laws.

A law is a reading of a pattern;
The pattern itself is the immanent Law.
All Laws have Being.
The Universe contains all Laws.

The Void is the absence of Being.
As complement to the Universe,
The Void exists and contains no Law.

All states emerge from the Void,
For the contrary would be a Law of the Void.
It is thus shown that the Void—and so
Being and the Universe—have no limits.

The Universe has no limits.
This demonstrated assertion
Is named the ‘fundamental principle of metaphysics’.

It is crucial to the development that the meaning of
The fundamental principle should be understood.
The principle implies what follows and it is especially
The implications that bring out its meaning.

Realism—i.e., Logic—is the only constraint for concepts
To have objects in the Universe.
Agreement with fact is part of this concept of Realism.

Natural science and experience have domains of validity
But the Universe is greater without limit than those domains.
The Universe is limitlessly greater than our cosmos.

The Universe has neither beginning nor end.
The Universe is.

The Universe has (must have) manifestation and Identity
In acute, diffuse and absent (non-manifest) phases.

That something must come from nothing is a trivial corollary.

The extension, duration, variety, summit, and dissolution
Of manifest phases of Being in the Universe
Are without limit.

The Universe confers these powers on individuals—
For the contrary would entail a limit on the Universe.
Individuals realize the Universe—i.e., All Being:
Its extension, duration, variety, summits, Identity.

Though individual identity may seem a concrete unity
‘Individual’ and ‘group’ are relative terms.

(Every atom is a cosmos, every cosmos an atom.)
However, the individual-group distinction is not relative.

Power is conceived as degree of limitlessness.
The Universe is ultimate power;
The individual realizes this power.

Apparent limits are part of the constitution
Of the forms of Being—
Though temporary, limits are—part of—the form of beings.
Limits are the likely result of origins.

Such, too, is the nature of human limits.

While in limited form realization is endless process—
A Journey in Being.

In unlimited form realization is Aeternitas—
Eternity in a moment—
To which life and death are gateways.

The oneness, connection, and continuity
Of these forms lie in Identity—
In experience, idea and action.

That realization for limited form is endless
Requires that the empirical and symbolic sciences
For such forms remain ever in process and
Be complemented by immersion for their full expression.

Our civilization is the web of human culture
Across time and continents.
Greater Civilization is the matrix of civilizations
Across the Universe.

Individuals foster Civilization;
Civilization nurtures the individual.
Civilization is the hearth of realization;
The individual is the manifestation of realization.

(While in limited form realization is endless process—
A Journey in Being.)

While individual and Civilization are vehicles,
Ideas and action are modes of transformation and realization.

Civilization provides ways of ideation and action—
Disciplines of thought, discovery, and transformation.

The standard forms of the disciplines—
Secular and trans-secular—
Are marked by incompleteness and error
But their core constitutes ground on which to build.

Our apparent limits are Laws or
Expressions of Law
Which also constitute initial ground on which to
Transcend limits on the way to universal realization.

The apparently stable initial ground
Is transient and incomplete,
But knowing and living its transient incompleteness
Is on the way to the ultimate.

Ultimate realization for all beings is given.
However efficiency and enjoyment
Are immensely improbable without commitment.

The thoughts that now follow make explicit a
Basis for a program for realization.
Program design is in the Précis Edition
And detailed in the Complete Edition.

The places of realization are
Nature and society.
Nature is the ground of civilization.

The way of realization lies
In break down and experiential rebuilding of ideas and Being,
Which includes thought, experiment,
And correction.

This break down and rebuilding is appropriately described as
Analysis and synthesis of ideas and Being.

Realization derives inspiration from the disciplines
And the powers of Being and thought
Revealed above. It derives effectuality
From their interaction.

Dimensions or phases of realization are
Transformation of Being—Ideas and Action and
Transformation of Civilization—inhabiting the Universe via
Intrinsic transformation (of Being) and instrument or technology.

Ideas may be experienced as possessed of
Independent flow and necessity—as if revealed.
The ideas above are written with emphasis on
Experience of original flow.

Bare Edition

 

 

PREFACE

 

 

The Format of the Narrative and its Functions

 

 

The document is two narratives in one—a short narrative within and part of a longer one. The long narrative is the entire document. It is arranged in two columns. The text of the left column is a brief statement of the main ideas; the text on the right supplements the main ideas.

The short narrative is the part of the document in light blue font; it appears as distinct segments of the left column. This is the core of the narrative. Readers who find details of this (long) version distracting may read the précis version which reproduces precisely the text of the short narrative.

The left column text in black font is a supplement to the short narrative that is intended for readers with an academic interest or orientation. This material is not merely intellectual. It is critical in making the ideas instrumental in realization of Being—in the endeavors of the individual and civilization. The entire left column, i.e. the non-technical précis and the academic ‘supplement’ may be regarded as a précis version for readers who have or desire an academic orientation.

There is a separate academic précis version that has just this material but it may be most effective for academic readers to use the present document.

In the document hyperlinks are blue and underlined except in tables of contents where underlining is optional.

The material on the right provides explanation, elaborations, and other supplements to the short core. The topics include interaction between the core and the human endeavor—its common, existential and academic aspects. Parts of this material are in process—in the spirit of the idea of the open document. The entire document including the in process elements has been subject to criticism and consequent modification.

 

Preface to the Précis Edition

 

 

The following comments preface the précis text that, as explained above, are a part of this complete edition. As noted above, the précis may be read as a separate précis edition.

This work presents essentials of a universal journey of realization but omits ‘technical’ material. It is a précis of a more Complete Edition of ‘Journey in Being’ that provides flesh and substance—the précis provides understanding, the complete version provides explanation, application and instruments for action. The précis emphasizes the stable core of the journey; the complete edition supplements the core with revisable and in process elements. The aims of the précis are ease and speed of comprehension, criticism, appreciation, and revision. This précis may be read as a stand alone account or as preliminary to the complete edition. The complete edition has further context, explanation, significance, application, charting and accounts of a journey in process, and sources.

The aim of this précis is relatively complete but non technical understanding. Readers who want a quick but skeletal introduction to the narrative may refer to the ‘bare version’.

Readers who wish to follow upon and perhaps to use the narrative in the universal journey are encouraged in that endeavor.

 

 

On Publication of this Work

 

 

Maturity of the Main Themes

The journey of ‘Journey in Being’ remains in process. However, I have decided to publish this work because I am satisfied with the integrity, maturity, and significance of the main themes.

Practical and Necessary Aspects of In-Process work

For this work select printing of in process work may function as complement to a mature core and as ‘open text’, i.e. as connection of the core to action, to the future, and to common endeavor. This motivates the inclusion in the narrative of significant and critical in process material. The in-process work is of two kinds.

1.       A consequence the developments—especially that of a metaphysics that founds a view of the Universe—is that realization of human capacity is and must be a process without end. Therefore, any narrative that aims at knowledge of the Universe must in process. The narrative contains an assessment of progress so far and a reasoned map for further process.

2.       Material at the intersection of the central ideas of the narrative—the universal metaphysics developed in the text—and the world and our understanding of it. This metaphysics and disciplines of knowledge have significant interaction regarding which I have a beginning. I feel that it will be useful to publish this material so that these threads may be available to be pursued by others.

 

Suggestions on Reading the Narrative

 

 

Many ideas of this work may be new to readers. The central ideas as well as details may be unfamiliar. It may therefore be useful to first read the short version which provides an overview of the narrative and focuses on its the central themes.

The short account appears in light blue font in the left column of this document. To assist in reading, this document has two tables of contents: contents for the short version, above, followed by a full table of contents. The short version is also available as a précis version of this essay.

The Introduction to this work discusses its kind, nature, and aims. Especially since the work does fit into any standard category, its understanding will be enhanced by  this information. Readers are advised of the importance of this discussion in the introduction.

 

 

Definitions and Capitalization in the Narrative

 

 

DEFINITIONS are marked by SMALL CAPITALS which are also occasionally used for the first occurrence of significant undefined terms.

Non-standard capitalization, e.g. Being, indicates a specific meaning introduced in the narrative. This is an alert to avoid confusion with other uses. The specific meaning of a term in the narrative may be one of a number of common or specialized meanings or, alternatively, a new or variant meaning. Some concepts have capitalized and lower case forms to distinguish the primary meaning in this narrative (capitalized) from other meanings (lower case) that may be useful in understanding or appreciating the development.

 

 

Acknowledgments

 

 

My main personal acknowledgements begin with my parents. My mother showed me the value of enjoyment and inspiration; many years ago she listened to my teenage reflections with patience and love. My father emphasized the value of discipline and hard work. Though my father aspired to be a strict disciplinarian, the home and place of my childhood was nurturing of my thought.

I have had no dearth of criticism, rational and otherwise, from acquaintances. Criticism, even criticism that is antagonistic or self-serving in intent, has always been a spur to improve my thought.

Perhaps the single greatest personal encouragement for this work came from my friend Joan Elk. Irene and Gail Samuelson provided encouragement and a place to write for a year in the 1980's.

With regard to this work, I have had no personal mentor. However, modern sources of information have been crucial. These sources include books and journals in print, libraries—especially university libraries, the media, the cultural environment including universities, and—since the 1990's—the Internet.

The section Influences and Sources is an acknowledgement of general influence.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

In this work is shown that the Universe and, so, human realization have no limits. The narrative squares this assertion regarding limits with cumulative human experience and science and develops consequences for human being and civilization. The consequences include that ‘ultimate’ realization for limited forms of being is a process without end. The document develops foundation and a map for this process and reports achievement so far.

 

 

A Journey in Being

 

1            

JOURNEY IN BEING aims at grounding in our world and realization of ultimates. Since the ultimate is incompletely known, creation in ideas (e.g., perception, thought, willing, and intending) is essential.

The process is grounded in the present, in experiment, in thought, and in the endeavors and ideas of the range of human cultures which includes modernity and is here called tradition.

The IDEA includes concepts and thought, imagination and reason; it includes what is developed and received and what may be in process and developing. Ideas include willing and aiming at goals and naturally include feeling and emotion.

 

Ideas are innately incomplete. The modes of transformation must be ideas and action.

The ideas of the narrative require and empower the translation to action.

The ‘vehicles’ of transformation are individual and community (civilization) which are developed in the narrative as individual and civilization.

Ideas and action, which develop in interaction, are the modes of transformation and realization. ACTION emphasizes intentional process, i.e. process guided by ideas including goals. A process is not action by virtue of being material; however the embodiment of action (a) may be material and (b) on a materialist account, must be material. It is essential to the development that there is no commitment at outset to or materialism or any other special category such as mind or process.

 

It is essential to empower ideas and action in interaction.

While ideas have intrinsic interest, there is—as just seen—an imperative to action. This does not minimize the significance of ideas. It is in the constitution of action as more than mere material process that it is associated with ideas; and ideas are the place of enjoyment and appreciation of be-ing and action.

In addition to the rational imperative to action above, there is a personal decision to action and to translation-completion of the ideas in action.

This reflects personal tendencies and values but is not idiosyncratic. The use of reflection in action rational and time honored. Here it is required by reflection.

In this the process of the narrative includes but goes beyond traditional thought, especially philosophy.

 

To this end the narrative blends precision and brevity.

Brevity Empowers Precision, Criticism and Action, Breadth of Framework, and Revisability

Brevity empowers precision by encouraging careful statement.

It does this by showing essentials without dilution amid a welter of explanation and over-caution. Select elaboration, however, will bring out precision, meaning, and power of the essentials.

A narrative of the present kind that does not question all things is insufficiently critical. However, one that ever dwells only in the questions postpones realization and even action to a hypothetical time when knowledge has achieved perfection.

The narrative develops naturally at two levels—one directed at action and another at a level of care whose yield may be realized in open ended action and for which precision is thus an essential and intrinsic value.

Brevity empowers understanding, and so empowers appreciation and criticism

Focus on essentials allows emergence of the widest of frameworks precisely because it is uncommitted to specifics. Thus the initial focus on Being and experience does not refer to particular kinds of Being or to in depth analysis of their existential or experiential condition. Over-commitment at outset is avoided. This avoids ‘costly’ mistakes at outset—mistakes that propagate through a work render it fundamentally unsound and if the work can be rescued this may require reworking the entire train of thought. Avoidance of early over commitment allows for and encourages (a) revisability of the framework (b) that details, e.g. of our nature of the cosmology of our cosmos, may be filled in as required and according to emerging learning.

It is important that the avoidance of over commitment includes that there should be no commitment to ever remaining uncommitted. Commitment shall emerge naturally and in process.

Revisability of the essay reflects the essentially in process nature of realization for limited forms of Being as revealed in the developments of the metaphysics that is demonstrated and developed in the divisions Being, Metaphysics, and Realization.

It is important to not confuse my terms with slogans. An example of such possible confusion concerns the term ‘object’. Heideggerian and other thinkers may insist on the priority of ‘being-in-the-world’ over the object orientation of other paradigms from Greek thought to the present time. However, whether such objections are pertinent depends not on the word ‘object’ but on the meaning with which it is used. At an appropriate level the distinction between world as object and world as medium of being dissolves. This thought is developed explicitly in the narrative, especially in the section Objects and Identity.

The division Journey lays out a skeleton program of realization in which first focus is the logic of how such a program should be developed and what elements it should contain. Further detail may be filled out in process. This allows for revisability and effective realization and is a further illustration of the significance of brevity and non over commitment.

A Balance between Brevity and Detail

The focus on brevity does not entail that detail has been avoided altogether. Some features of human being and details of program—especially those important to the journey—are developed later. However, I have avoided too much emphasis on any style of commitment, e.g. a particularly western or eastern approach to human being. I have attempted to avoid putting the stamp of European or Asian or other thought and paradigms of thought on Being and human being. Further, what detail there is has been separated from the essentials by the format of the document.

There is a temptation to which I have yielded in the past—somewhat unawares though rather in the style of some strains of philosophy—to start a train of development by attempting to build in all profundity at the beginning. The present approach is to begin with fundamentals (arrived at by experiment in thought and action, criticism, and of course with sources in the traditions) by which I mean what, at least when pointed out, should be trivial and obvious but nonetheless empowering.

This approach allows for revisability of both essentials and detail on the part of an author and an audience.

 

World Views and the Ultimate View of the Narrative

 

2            

It is a convenient simplification to assert that there are two standard world views today (1) A secular view whose material foundation lies in science and cumulative human experience (2) Religious and related trans-secular views that assert—but do not show—a realm beyond the secular world.

Secular Thought and Science

Science combines conceptual understanding with careful and close agreement with empirical data. We will see that although it is common in the secular view to hold that science more or less defines the extent of the Universe what holds is that science does not at all specify the extent or quantity and variety contents and laws of the region beyond its borders (future science may well make discoveries and develop theories regarding that border). Science allows that that extent, quantity, and variety may lie anywhere in the range of small (e.g., more of the same) to unlimited. This at least implicitly is acknowledged today in cosmologists' talk of the observed or observable universe. The term ‘observable universe’ is used because the velocity of light is held to be the maximum speed at which matter can move and so we cannot observe what is further away than the distance light would have traveled since the beginning of our cosmos (with further allowance of expansion of space which is not motion of matter and therefore not subject to the speed of light as a limit). There is however an assumption involved: that the properties of the unobserved parts of the Universe—including the very large and the very small—have the same properties, including signal speed, as the observed parts (therefore it is better to use the term ‘observed’ than it is to use ‘observable’). Thus science is a careful account of the known Universe but science itself provides no estimate of the extent of its incompleteness. However, because science provides material foundation and paradigm for the secular view it is commonly though often implicitly assumed that what lies beyond the observed is negligible or that it is more of what is seen in science, particularly in modern physical cosmology.

Is there, after all, any estimate of what lies beyond the borders of the known universe according to modern cosmology? The history of science suggests that the region beyond those borders is likely to be significant. In the transition from pre-relativistic and pre-quantum to modern physics our knowledge of the universe (cosmos) showed it to be a place of much greater variety than had been imagined. It is true that Newtonian physics allowed that space and time are infinite; however this infinity was not required by that physics which, in fact, did not give us any way to address the size and age of the cosmos. It is also true that modern cosmology gives us apparently quite definite knowledge of the size and age of the cosmos. However, as seen above, it is an error to conflate knowledge of our cosmos with the being of the Universe. I.e., as argued above, science so far provides us with no information on the region beyond our cosmos just as Newtonian physics provided no information on the region outside observed domain of the earlier era. Thus the argument from history of science that science is likely to reveal a larger domain than that of our cosmos is a suggestive though not a necessary one. That is, as argued above, science is neutral regarding the extra-scientific domain—i.e. the domain outside our cosmos even though it is commonly held to provide quite definite information regarding that domain. In the secular view science is commonly held to be the only way to reason about such matters and therefore, in this view, the word ‘science’ of the previous sentence may be replaced by ‘reason’. This conclusion assumes of course that there is no way to reason about the Universe as a whole except as in modern science. As far as science and reason are concerned this assumption is not known to be true even though it is often regarded as true—tacitly as well as explicitly. A review of the history of both science and reason (including metaphysics and philosophical cosmology) shows that an absence of satisfactory ways of reasoning about the Universe as a whole. It does not follow that we can find no such ways of reasoning and it is a central goal of this account to present one way of such reasoning that does not seem to part of the corpus of the tradition (I have not seen or inferred from extensive reading and cultural immersion).

Religion and Myth

The religious views typically posit a view of the universe that appear fantastic to those ‘outside the faith’ including those of other faiths. However, these apparently fantastic views have positive content: they assert that the secular is incomplete—and even if the assertion is implicit and not well developed reasoned it is nonetheless correct; and they represent an attempt to know the universe in ‘our time’ and live accordingly. There is something right about this even though the details be wrong (one of the aims of this narrative is to see and develop what correction careful thought and discovery may provide for the religious cosmologies). It should be further noted that religions are more than cosmologies and that though there is abuse and potential for abuse in their name there is also much that is good and potential for good.

The Standard Paradigms and their Limits

The standard world views are those of secularism and of religion. Religion posits a world beyond the revealed cosmos of science but does not show it. These two views are not known—by their own criteria—to show, or exhaust the entire universe.

From their own criteria, the one rational position of the standard views regarding knowledge of the entire Universe is to remain agnostic.

The views seem to stand in opposition but this opposition arises only on degraded interpretations.

The Place of Metaphysical World Views

Where does traditional metaphysics—from Thales of Miletus around 600 BC to the present day—fall within the range defined by the two standard world views? There is no single kind of activity that falls under metaphysics in its entire historical range. However, the interest here is not on that range but on that phase of metaphysics in which it attempts to say something about the universe. The traditional metaphysical system of this type lies somewhere between religion and science. Metaphysical systems often attempt comprehensive understanding of the universe. They are on the one hand not fantastic in the ways that myths are; they are typically reasoned (the fantasy of myth refers to literal meaning and is available even if literal content is unavailable, undiscovered, or undiscoverable). Thus from the commonplace observation that water is fairly pervasive in the world Thales argued that the substance of the world is water. Though we cannot take Thales' position literally, the idea of such explanation is of enormous consequence. It is a step away from mythic and religious cosmology in that the explanation is in terms of something that is of the world and that is simpler than what is being explained. Though Thales' did not prove his position he argued it and thus both content and approach are a large step away from mythical accounts and a step in the direction of empiricism and reason—e.g., a step in the direction of science and dependence on discovery over authority and received accounts.

Later metaphysical systems from Greek thought through scholasticism, the idealist systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and later, are more sophisticated than the early substance theories but remain speculative and incompletely empirical (any conceptual understanding built upon specific data is subject to the criticism of being incompletely empirical; this was pointed out by the philosopher David Hume regarding science and notions such as causality; however, while science does project, good science does and should remain open to revision in the face of contradictory data). This is one of the reasons that this kind of metaphysics has fallen out of favor since about the beginning of the twentieth century (other reasons include the idealist bent of the nineteenth century systems and the tendency for political thought based on such systems to have suffered failure in view of thinkers who had earlier turned to metaphysics as basis for political philosophy). We may however assert that speculative metaphysical systems of the universe fall in between the two standard kinds of world view.

Further, even though such systems are not currently regarded well, the suggestive power of metaphysical thought has been useful in science—e.g., the metaphysical ideas of Leibniz have been clarifying in modern physical cosmology. The speculative but still rational ideas of the past may well be useful in the future. It can be argued that what should be in question are our attitudes to such systems: shall we regard them as true and factual or, subject to internal consistency and conceptual integrity, primarily as suggestive.

It should be remarked that the core metaphysics of this narrative is a conceptual system that is thoroughly empirical and justified (proven).

 

These two views are often held to stand in opposition. It is also standard that they exhaust the kinds of world view that are possible.

It is crucial to recognize that the worldview of the narrative—its metaphysics—introduced and developed below is new and that it includes what is valid in the common worldviews and goes immensely beyond them. It is neither included in nor entailed by the standard views.

It is also crucial that the view of the narrative is demonstrated and therefore ultimate in depth or foundation. It is also ultimate in implicitly capturing the variety of the Universe. However, it demonstrates that no limited Being can capture this variety explicitly and therefore discovery and becoming are ever open.

The World View of the Narrative and its Contrast with the Standard Views

The worldview of the narrative contains what is valid in science and religion while revealing a universe that far exceeds what is revealed in both. Its principles of reason go beyond those of science and logic—the received systems—and its revealed universe goes immensely beyond that of modern science and traditional metaphysics. The worldview of the narrative gives no support to the fantasy views of fictional accounts in any particular cosmos but goes far beyond fantasy with respect to the entire Universe. It finds that ‘fact is stranger than fiction’.

It is common in the secular-scientific view to hold that basis of this type of world view—i.e., metaphysics or knowledge of the Universe as it is—must be speculative and contain elements outside experience and therefore be ungrounded; such metaphysics is commonly held impossible due to lack of basis in experience. Here, these apparently reasonable views against metaphysics are shown false. They are false, first, on their own criteria—that the received systems of metaphysics are essentially speculative and contain extra-empirical elements does not imply the truth of the same for all metaphysics—i.e., it does not rule out the possibility of a metaphysics that is based in experience and shown to obtain. The most direct demonstration of the falsity of the anti-metaphysical arguments lies in the demonstration of the Universal Metaphysics.

As science and religion are commonly understood, the Universal Metaphysics is neither science nor religion. However, if the terms are understood ideally—i.e., as best they can, metaphysics includes (what is valid in) science and religion.

Do the Developments of the Narrative Depend on Science and Tradition?

The answer to the question that heads this section depends on the sense in which ‘depend’ is used.

Certainly, there are many ways in which the developments draw inspiration from tradition (which is understood to include science). In development of my thought science, philosophy and other aspects of the tradition have provided metaphor and inspiration and initial base for the metaphysics of the narrative. Then, when the metaphysics was established, the entire range of human experience and tradition became available for mutual interaction with the metaphysics—and this led to (1) clarification of the meaning of the metaphysics (2) improved understanding of its demonstration and method—which led in turn to alternative formulations of the metaphysics and advance and refinement of method and (3) applications at the intersection of the metaphysics and the tradition.

However, the metaphysics is not founded upon science or the tradition. The demonstration and foundation of the metaphysics required thought that goes beyond science-tradition. The method of the metaphysics required rethinking method and going beyond classical method and classical conceptions of method (here, by ‘classical’ I mean what is received in the human tradition to the present time).

Nor does the development assume that science-tradition is itself final or perfectly founded. In fact, what we find is that sciences have domains of application but that science itself is silent—except perhaps just outside those domains—on the extent and content of what lies outside the domains. This silence is both in fact and on the hypothetico-deductive cum empirical method of science. The metaphysics enters where science ‘fears to tread’. It does this via, first, critique of the universality of standard (classical) modern critical thought—which shows gaps in any assumed universality and, second, by exploiting and finding detailed structure of reason in the gaps to which the standard critique has been thought to apply smoothly. The gain in the outcome is that the metaphysics provides a view of the Universe whose combination of magnitude, variety, and foundation are unlimited and unanticipated—i.e. the gaps in size are in fact abysses of unlimited magnitude. This comes with a caveat—while the metaphysics reveals (demonstrates) an immense magnitude and variety, discovery and realization of the magnitude and variety is and must be a process without end (for limited forms of Being). In other words regarding the magnitude and variety of the details, the demonstration of the metaphysics is an existence proof. Still, there is more: unlimited form realizes the magnitude and variety—the Universe—in a single but occasional act of perception-Being and limited form realizes unlimited form.

What is the role of the human tradition in the narrative? The tradition, including science, has revealed much about our world and our ways of thinking about the world. While the thought behind the metaphysics shows limits to the tradition it also makes clear that the tradition has significant domains of validity. We would like to give our tradition its due—we would like to take it ‘seriously but not too seriously’; the metaphysics provides a handle on the tradition that is as if it were from a high perspective (in fact the perspective is already there in the neutrality of science to the domain outside its borders but appears to be generally ignored from what is perhaps a pragmatic but limited perspective). The interactions of tradition with the metaphysics include the following. (1) Insofar the tradition is valid the metaphysics shall not contradict it. This consideration leads to clarification of the metaphysics; to its clear formulation; and to a variety of equivalent formulations of its fundamental principles. (2) While some formulations bring make the significance of the metaphysics clear others are more effective in using it as an instrument to reveal the contents and nature of the universe. (3) The metaphysics pertains to the Universe as a whole; the bulk of the tradition is about ‘our world’ including our cosmos. Thus the tradition provides illustrations of the metaphysics and suggests how the metaphysics may be deployed to develop and outline of understanding for the Universe as a whole. In return the metaphysics illuminates the tradition and provides insight into the nature of science, religion, logic, mathematics and other disciplines. The metaphysics provides framework and the flesh of process; the tradition provides illustration and the flesh of a particular instance—our cosmos.

 

The main narrative develops this world view to which an introduction now follows.

 

 

Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

The Principle is the Foundation of the Metaphysics of this Narrative

This principle is the foundation of the metaphysics of the narrative.

3            

The Universe has no limits—this crucial result, the fundamental principle of metaphysics, is demonstrated later.

The Principle is the New

The principle is a new and pivotal result. In this work it will be called the fundamental principle of metaphysics or, in shortened form, the fundamental principle. The name will be abbreviated FP.

In this work the universe is distinguished from what is called the observed and universe (aided by scientific understanding). The former will be labeled the Universe and the latter will be called the cosmos—cosmological system—or our cosmos.

The UNIVERSE is understood as all that there is over all extension and duration (space and time).

It is crucial to understand the meaning the fundamental principle and especially of the term ‘limit’. Specifically, limitlessness includes that the Universe has no limits to its variety, extension, and duration. A definition of ‘limit’ will be given; however adequate understanding of the term will require exposure to demonstration, analysis and use of the fundamental principle. The meaning of the fundamental principle will emerge in the essay.

Power

POWER will be conceived as degree of limitlessness; it will follow that the Universe has and is ultimate Power.

The Metaphysics

The fundamental principle will be shown to be the basis of a perfect, unique, ultimate, and universal metaphysics which may therefore be called the metaphysics.

New and Ideal Meanings Result from the Metaphysics

This metaphysics requires and permits assignment of new meanings to (its) core concepts. To differentiate the new from the old or traditional meaning, the term that designates the new meaning may be capitalized. Because the metaphysics is ultimate the new meanings may have an ideal character (which however does not place them in some ‘other’ ideal world: there is one Universe).

Traditional Metaphysics. Criticisms. Initial Response to Criticisms

What is metaphysics? Its use in this narrative is specified later as—roughly—knowledge of things as they are. It is important to acknowledge that the idea of metaphysics as defined in the narrative has been criticized intensely in the modern era. There is no general agreement in the modern literature as to precisely what metaphysics is. It will be shown that a version of its original meaning is valid and potent and that this shall therefore be its meaning in this document. It may be seen from the later analysis of Meaning that any debate regarding the concept of metaphysics has a certain futility—what should be done is to specify different areas of activity, name them, and investigate those areas for validity and content. Later it may emerge naturally that some specific areas become recognized as ‘metaphysics’. Regardless of the outcome of this process it remains that, per demonstrations of the narrative, that what is here called metaphysics is a valid—coherent and demonstrated—and immensely significant activity.

What is contentious about metaphysics? The meaning that will be used here is roughly knowledge of things as they are. Other meanings may be significant. However, since they are not used here the present discussion on the contention regarding metaphysics (the narrative will shed light on those other uses). The meaning used here, which lies among the original meanings of metaphysics, has been criticized on a number of counts. On account of projection in knowledge, the meaning of ‘things as they are’ is not clear and the possibility of such knowledge is not given unless projection can be shown to have no distortion—which clearly cannot be possible in all cases. The development here shows that there are perfect objects—experience, Being and others—that may, at least in their general contours, be known perfectly. Thus metaphysical knowledge is given in some cases and its carte blanche rejection is fallacious. What may be (most) unexpected is the power of the ‘contours’ and the degree to which metaphysics may and will be developed.

One reason that metaphysical knowledge has not been admitted is the dichotomy between empirical-perceptual versus rational-conceptual knowledge; the metaphysical systems of the past fail on the empirical count and a merely rational approach to knowledge appears to lack basis in cumulative experience. The Greek systems are frankly speculative on both empirical and rational counts; it is their imaginative and expansive character that makes them useful as illuminating and suggestive of further development. The idealist systems of the modern era draw inspiration from experience but are not fully empirical; they emphasize reason but are not perfectly rational; despite an empirical-rational veneer they remain speculative; again, the strength is illumination and suggestion. The document shows that the distinction of the empirical and the rational is unnecessary—it is based on an ultimately false separation of the empirical and the rational, i.e. of the perceptual and the conceptual—and that there is perfect knowledge of the Universe as a whole if a combination of empirical-rational (perceptual-conceptual) knowledge is admitted. It is not claimed that all knowledge is perfect; part of the project of the development is to discover the magnitude of this realm of perfection (and to use it as an instrument in realization and in evaluating and framing imperfect but pragmatic realms of knowledge). Particularly, we find experience that is beyond projective error and elements of the rational that are experiential. The document finds directions in which perfection is possible and other directions in which perfection is not and cannot be obtained (by limited forms of Being). It further finds that the perfect frames the imperfect in a sense to be developed.

The criticism of metaphysics of the previous paragraph may be stated as follows. Clearly some of our knowledge has essential error due to projective distortion. Therefore, if we look for detailed metaphysical knowledge of the Universe we expect to fail in the attempt. The reason for this expectation is that we cannot expect perfect projective knowledge of all things. The method of the metaphysics of the narrative begins with finding some significant ‘things’ that are so simple that knowledge—experience—of them is not subject to projective distortion. What things? The primary concepts are those of Being, Law, Universe and Void. ‘Being’, for example, is conceived as that which exists. While detailed discovery of what has Being is open, we find that there is Being and that there is experience. Then, ‘Universe’ is defined as All Being and knowing the Universe as Universe does not require knowledge of all detail—knowing the Universe means knowing that there is a whole. Upon this empirical foundation is then built a conceptual superstructure that is rationally derived and shown also to perfect (knowledge). This combination of empirical base and rational structure turns out to give us an unanticipated knowledge of details regarding things in the Universe. This may seem like sleight of hand. However, it is not; the derivation is transparent but the knowledge comes at a price: we may have knowledge that there are a vast variety of forms in the Universe but we know that they are there without knowing them empirically. We do not grasp the details outside present empirical reach. Nonetheless, the developments show that these details that are beyond empirical reach will later be available to empirical reach sequentially, i.e. in-process but not all at one time (as long as we are in limited form). The metaphysics, then, has this limitation. However, (a) this is shown to be an essential limitation and this itself is positive knowledge and, further, not an occasion for regret—‘rational’ regret, if regret is desirable at all, should concern only things that are possible but not achieved. Further (b) even knowledge that something obtains is significant and in consequence the metaphysics shows the Universe to be a place of immense variety and adventure which is open to discovery—which, according to the metaphysics itself, will be discovered. In other words our ignorance may be viewed either as regrettable or as wonderful opportunity (a cup that is 1% or less full versus a cup that is 99% or more fill-able).

Another criticism of metaphysics stems from the failure of what has been called the ‘grand narrative’ that is typified by Hegel’s speculative metaphysical knowledge of the Universe as a knowable Absolute. The criticism of idealism was first made in analytic philosophy—early in that movement, Bertrand Russell came to reject the idealist tradition as speculative even though his early development was in the idealist tradition of the time of his youth. In recent times political systems founded on speculative metaphysics have failed and this led to the criticism of such metaphysics as ‘grand narratives’. It has been consequently assumed though not proved that system (grand or otherwise) is impossible. What emerges in this development is not systematic in intent; rather, what system does arise is a consequence—as will be seen—of very elementary concepts in their most elementary manifestation.

In consequence of the putative failure of original notions of metaphysics—especially as knowledge of Being as Being, but also as knowledge of first causes: the study of the unchanging foundation of the world—modern metaphysics has come to be conceived in new ways—e.g., as the study of experience and as the study of abstract objects. A new set of metaphysical problems has arisen—e.g., the problems of modality, of space and time, of the mental and the physical, of free will, and of material constitution—see Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). I do not wish to deny the importance of these topics. In fact they will be shown to be special topics in metaphysics as conceived here. An author cannot define metaphysics to be his or her conception of it for all purposes. However, the cases are made below that (a) an original meaning—study of Being as Being—is a valid and immensely potent study, (b) the newer meanings of metaphysics in fact fall under this original meaning, and (c) that the newer topics fall under metaphysics as conceived here.

 

The name of the principle may be shortened to fundamental principle or abbreviated FP.

 

 

Consequences for Identity

 

 

From limitlessness (Power), the Universe must have Identity—and its Power and Identity are and must be conferred on all elements and individuals.

The Concept of Identity

One meaning of IDENTITY is sameness or sense of sameness of an object (in capitalized form, Identity is Identity of the Universe). Here the term is used in the related meaning of sense of sameness of person or self.

Identity and Death. Issue of Pain and Suffering

It follows that DEATH, especially as interruption of identity, is real but not absolute and that pain is real and unavoidable. Awareness of death may be catalytic in fullness of living and achievement in this life. The metaphysics may assist in giving meaning (significance) to PAIN (and suffering). Not all pain is avoidable and, certainly, not all instances of pain serve a function (pain has function but does not always and is perhaps incapable of distinguishing the functional from the non-functional); however the metaphysics will show that that pain has significant meaning and the related existential realism—defined and explained later—includes (access of) this meaning.

 

While in limited form realization of Power and Identity must be endless process in variety, extension, and duration.

 

 

There is choice whether to intentionally engage in this process. However, there is no choice but to be in it.

 

 

On the Title ‘Journey in Being’

 

 

As conceived in the narrative, Being is crucial in proving the fundamental principle.

The concepts of Universe, Law, and Void will also be crucial. In this regard the system of concepts is on par with the particular concepts.

 

Being will emerge as essential to understanding the nature of the Universe and the individual.

 

 

‘Journey’ connotes process without definite end—commitments arise and may be revised or abandoned in process.

The primary connotation of a Journey is that it is neutral to goal, destination, or outcome—or to single minded commitment; i.e. goals may arise and drive the process but there is no final commitment to specific directions, goals, or ideals… or to always having or aiming at goals or to not having or aiming at goals.

 

‘Journey in Being’ is an appropriate name for endless realization grounded in the present.

The idea of Being is also significant as container for such a Journey for it does not restrict focus of transformation—e.g. to transformation of self andor context andor environment and world.

 

Contents of the Narrative

 

4            

The contents are Ideas, Journey, and Reference. The ideas occupy a number of divisions that begin with Being. Journey and Reference are each a single division.

 

 

Ideas—the work first develops ideas or concepts as foundation for a journey in Being. The divisions Being through Transformation focus on ideas.

Development of the Ideas

Some comments on metaphysics are appropriate here. A preliminary understanding of metaphysics is knowledge of things as they are; this understanding is refined in the development; however, a primary concern regarding metaphysics is whether it is possible and to what extent it may be developed. The narrative develops and demonstrates possibility of metaphysics as well as an ultimate metaphysics in one ‘fell swoop’.

The division, Being develops the part of metaphysics that may be founded in perceptual experience; Metaphysics extends the metaphysics to the (higher) conceptual domain.

Realization develops consequences for cosmology, universal identity, and individual identity.

Method reviews, criticizes, and further develops the concept of metaphysics and the universal metaphysics of the narrative; and it addresses the question of doubt regarding the universal metaphysics and action under doubt.

There are two further divisions for ideas—Civilization and Transformation. Civilization introduces a concept of civilization and develops it as a place of communal action toward realization. Transformation focuses on action—it develops an approach to realization and reports on experiments in transformation.

 

Journey—the next focus is on realization—taken up in the division Journey. The initial goal of this endeavor is to make some significant beginning from our world toward realization. Its eternal goal is realization.

A Journey of Realization

The division Journey describes and charts a journey of realization—an in process endeavor of realization. Journey has a dual focus—Being and Civilization. These are described in greater detail in the sections The Individual in Community and the World and Civilization of the Universe: Being, Artifact, and Technology, respectively.

 

The final division, Reference, assesses the contribution and identifies main influences of the narrative

Reference

The fist two sections of the division are Contribution and Influences and Sources.

The third section of the division is a Glossary.

Accordingly, the fist two sections of the division are Contribution and Influences and Sources.

The third section of the division is a Glossary.

 

New Meanings in the Narrative

Use of ‘meaning’ in this section is informal. Formal discussion of meaning is taken up later in the narrative.

 

5            

When understanding grows new meaning is acquired.

‘Meaning’ itself has a number of different meanings. The one used in this here is that of reference, especially concept or linguistic meaning, e.g. word, concept and sentence meaning. Meaning is also used in the sense of significance or purpose. These are the two main uses of meaning in this narrative and we shall be careful to write the latter as meaning-in-the-sense-of-significance.

 

The worldview of the narrative (based in the fundamental principle of metaphysics developed in detail later) introduces and requires new (sometimes variant) meaning for its concepts and conceptual system.

 

 

The entire system of meaning is new and stands as a whole.

 

 

This general alert on meaning aims at enhancing clarity and understanding; readers will be alerted to particular meanings as they are introduced.

This is first on account of significance and newness of meanings and then because terms may have multiple common as well as technical meanings.

Clarity of meaning helps enable precision. It also enhances readership, understanding, appreciation, and criticism. Criticism further enables precision and significance.

 

A Personal Perspective

 

6            

I cannot pinpoint precisely when or why I undertook this work. One source is a passion for ideas.

Perhaps I have some ability for ‘ideas’ but it is more than ability that is the source of the insight herein.

 

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do the greatest thing.

In the beginning, this knowledge was felt more than stated. Its translation to explicit awareness expressible in words involved a process. The process involved self-awareness but more. Along the way, discovery and understanding revealed the nature of and therefore a realistic naming of ‘the greatest thing’.

The path has not always been straight and true. I have had a number of academic and non-academic occupations, endeavors and interests. I have tried to cultivate depth and breadth. I have enjoyed and appreciated abandon which has diverted energy but which I think is connected to focus and creation.

With Nietzsche, I think abandon is essential—not just to creativity but to Being.

 

The years and ways led to metaphysics and metaphysics informed my life which became a personal journey in being.

 

 

This work is dedicated to what is important to me: people—especially friends and family, ideas, and Being—nature, travel, and the background Universe.

 

 

BEING

 

 

Experience

 

7            

EXPERIENCE is conscious awareness no matter how primitive the consciousness (this meaning will suffice here; the Complete Edition of the narrative extends and secures the concept of experience).

Comments on this Conception of Experience

The intent of the definition is that experience should be understood as conscious awareness no matter how primitive the consciousness is. Later, the conception of experience is enhanced to say just this and more. However, the conceptual prerequisites to make this enhanced and inclusive definition have not yet been presented—they are developed later in the narrative. Further, in beginning with the definition of experience as conscious experience, we (implicitly) root the concept of experience in our Being. Later when the meaning of experience is extended to an ultimate meaning we will find our Being to be rooted in it.

I am tempted to define experience as awareness—the thought is that at least primitive consciousness or feeling is implicit in the notion of awareness. However, a robot could have ‘mechanical awareness’ without feeling; this points to the possibility of awareness without feeling. However, the ‘awareness’ in ‘mechanical awareness’ is used in a sense that is distinct from the awareness in conscious awareness and that is specified by the term mechanical.

Is there Awareness without Consciousness?

Still, there appear to be cases of human awareness without aware feeling. One example is when something happens in the environment and it is only a few seconds later that we become explicitly aware that the occurrence has registered; it might be said that the first register of the event was awareness without consciousness. Another example is that of brain injured individuals who respond to occurrences in the visual field but report being unaware of any occurrence in their visual field (in one experiment the individual’s corpus callosum was severed as a result of which communication between different parts of the brain was likely eliminated or at least impeded and this might explain the absence of lack of visual experience as resulting from communication among parts of the brain that would normally be conscious but that in injured brain takes an alternate route that does not involve conscious awareness).

These examples suggest but do not demonstrate awareness without feeling—for there is an alternative explanation of the phenomena of the previous paragraphs that explains the alleged lack of conscious awareness as a merely apparent lack.

Note that while experience of something is experience, not all experience is clearly experience of something. We seem to have the facility for pure experience—as in imagination—that has no object (some imagination has possible or potential objects).

It is in the nature of experience and awareness that we can have experience of experience. Human beings do often have such experience of experience but of course it does not follow that we are always aware of our experience (e.g. the illustrations above). It is perhaps precisely this—experience of experience—that enables the conception of consciousness (conscious experience or awareness) and that this, coupled with language, enables talk of consciousness.

However, it is quite likely that some organisms have awareness without awareness of awareness. Such organisms would not have a concept of conscious or experience even they would have experience. For human beings we saw examples above, in one case for normal individuals and in the other for a brain injured person, where there is at least behavioral awareness without clearly aware awareness.

What makes for this? One explanation, already noted, is that this behavioral awareness is not experiential or subjective awareness. This awareness is favored by some thinkers who would deny consciousness or minimize its role or who—perhaps coming from a materialism or physicalism—seek a purely mechanical notion of awareness as alternative or complement to subjective awareness. However the explanation from mechanical awareness does not necessarily hold for there is an alternative explanation—that the ‘behavioral awareness’ is experiential awareness but that the individual did not have awareness of the awareness.

In the past I have tended to the latter explanation and reasonable arguments can be given in its favor; however, not unreasonable arguments can also be given in favor of the ‘mechanical or behavioral awareness’ explanation. More recently I have formulated firmer and clearer arguments in favor of my preferred explanation and found that together with the demonstrated metaphysics of the narrative this explanation may be and has been made secure. The argument is in the later section Experience and Being.

More on the Meaning of Experience in this Narrative

Terms that are similar to the present meaning of experience are consciousness, awareness with subjectivity, feeling. The term ‘experience’ has a number of uses of which some are quite different from the one used here—e.g. a colloquial use as in the sentence ‘The candidate has ten years of teaching experience.’ Another meaning of the term occurs in the sentence ‘The hypothesis is disconfirmed by experience.’ For the latter meaning the narrative will employ the phrase ‘cumulative experience’ or some alternative that is appropriate to the occasion.

In experience we begin with what is most immediate and pervasive to the individual. We begin with experience as such and not with kinds of experience.

Experience is so Basic that it Does Not Need Definition in Terms of Other Ideas

Experience is a given—when I think I know something I may be in error but valid as well as erroneous ‘knowledge’ are both examples of experience.

If we enquire into the nature of experience no explanation of its kind in terms of other kinds is forthcoming. We may seek material explanation, e.g. how experience arises in the brain. This kind of explanation does not show that experience is material in its kind but it does not follow from this that experience is not material in kind. Experience is common to a wider array of mental phenomena—perhaps, if we allow an expanded meaning as above, to all mental phenomena. Therefore, at least on preliminary consideration, experience is not to be understood in terms of something else.

We are accustomed to defining words and concepts in terms of other words or concepts. However, this is neither necessary nor possible for all concepts. The meaning of some concepts must be given by pointing at them or, at least, to examples of them. This kind of definition, i.e. definition by pointing out has been called ostensive definition.

Experience is so basic that it is defined by showing what it is rather than defining it in other terms (conscious awareness an equivalent rather than a different idea).

Experience is a fundamental and named given.

The Nature of Experience with Illustrative Examples

Experience includes the qualitative but is not essentially qualitative for it includes shape, size, and quantity (though perhaps not instrumental quantity).

Examples of experience are qualitative feeling as in the hue of a sunset but also shape and size—the apparent shape and size of the sun—and quantity: how long the sun takes to set. We have experience in recollection, e.g. as in recollection of past sunsets; and experience occurs in perceiving and in thinking. While many experiences appear to be associated with real (external) objects and actions, some experiences are ‘pure’ in that we do not feel them to have direct connection to anything outside the experience. We may wish to say that ‘pure’ experiences are experienced as pure. From the feeling that an experience is ‘pure’ it does not follow that it has no object. If there is an object to pure experience it is not a remembered object but rather the result of some current relation that is interior to the individual—thus it is perhaps the case that there is no such thing as pure experience although there appears to be; more will be said on this later.

We will find experience to be the fundamental characteristic of mind—and more, i.e. that experience is the primary occasion for the concept and naming of mind.

Later, in an expanded meaning of experience we will see an identity of Being and experience.

Why the Main Development Begins with Experience but only its Most General Aspects

Although it would be more efficient—though not more rational—to begin with Being, a beginning with experience is richer in (a) providing for connection between our (human) being and (all) Being (b) a ground for the understanding of Being (via what will emerge as intimate connection between experience and Being).

Some thinkers begin an approach to Being via analysis of what is essential in human being. However, it emerges that it is more effective to postpone such analysis (i.e. beyond experience itself to the details and varieties of experience and to the question of what aspects of experience are essentially or particularly human) till some general understandings of Being and experience have emerged and a need for such analysis arises in particular rather than only in abstract contexts.

Although we begin with experience we do not begin with a detailed listing of its kinds (we have of course noted some kinds and aspects but this is to illustrate experience and, especially, to show the general concept by contrast to particular kinds). To begin with kinds of experience or to begin with what is essential in human experience might allow specifics of human experience to be taken as among the general characteristics of human experience. Such characteristics are of course important but do not want them to color our initial notion of experience. The gain in neutrality is a gain in power of approach. It is also a gain in richness for we may then allow the particularly human to emerge against a background of neutrality.

 

As medium of knowledge and illusion (and error), the fact that there is experience is given.

Perfect Objects

In saying that there is experience it is not said that there is an intended reference. We allow—at this point in the development—that experience may be ‘pure’. Further, if there is an intended reference the experience may or may not in fact refer. These are the abstractions whose consequence is that experience may simply be named.

An object that by abstraction—or perhaps by some other device—is known perfectly is a PERFECT OBJECT.

It is implicit above that the criterion of faithfulness of knowledge is correspondence to the object. In the example it is correspondence of knowledge or experience of experience to experience (not of experience itself to some other object).

It does not follow that we must adhere to this criterion of faithfulness for all purposes. It is frequently implicit in epistemology that faithfulness is the criterion of knowledge. Given this criterion there may be various measures of it—e.g. correspondence itself or, alternately, coherence or utility. What else, we ask, could faithfulness be?

To address this question it is good to go ask what we do with knowledge. One purpose of knowledge is to know: we celebrate knowing the world. In itself however that purpose would justify knowledge as an aesthetic activity but it would not justify the central role that knowledge plays in modern society. The central role is the result of its usefulness—knowledge is an instrument. From the point of view of knowledge as an instrument alternative criteria to representation arise (a) good enough representation (b) material utility of outcome and (c) other utility of outcome (which include the aesthetic but which we leave open for determination in practice).

While ‘good enough’ criteria are good enough in terms of representation they may be perfect from criteria a, b, and c above.

These thoughts will be further developed later in the narrative.

Arguments against the Being of Experience. Counter-arguments

Some thinkers—perhaps motivated by a materialist view of the world or by a scientific attitude—maintain that there can be no such thing as experience (a related position is to minimize the significance of experience rather than to deny it). This position may come from a materialism that posits that matter is the only kind or from a scientific attitude that posits that experience is not observable or at least not publicly observable: a brick is a brick for all who perceive it but my experience is mine and not yours. The basis of the first kind of view constitutes an error of substance thinking in which ‘matter’ and ‘mind’ are held to be essentially distinct (this is shown later). It is in part the basic and all pervasive quality of experience for human being that combined with materialism has led to its minimization in materialist paradigms (there is a natural tendency to not notice what is all pervasive but instead to notice what has discreteness amid the pervasive; however even this ‘noticing’ is experience).

Why should there be an objection to the being of experience from a scientific attitude? The motivation might be that experience harbors distortion. Here we are seeing that not all experience harbors distortion: some of course does but there are important concepts that are true to their objects. Therefore the argument from ‘scientific attitude’ should be that in order to be trusted in science, the particular experience should be shown to be free of projection. Thus there is no reason to object to the use of experience in science or to its being. However, this argument is unnecessary and rather misses the essential point that even when experience is merely subjective it remains that the fact of the experience is objective. However, it seems that some thinkers generalize from the fact that some experience has projection to a habitual distrust of the subjective and from distrust of its reliability to denial of its existence.

 

Experience is the place of the most direct knowledge of self and world.

Of course, experience may be in error. However experience is the place of explicit knowledge including knowledge of error and its possibility and so possibility of its correction.

The Solipsist Argument that there is nothing but Experience

Perhaps the extreme position regarding error is solipsism which, in one of its versions, is the view that experience is the only ‘thing’ that surely exists and that ‘self’ and ‘world’ (sometimes called the external or real world) are at best illusions. A solipsist might put his/her argument as follows. ‘You think you experience the world but perhaps all you have is experience. You think you experience things including me but it is all experience. It is not even in the alleged head of an alleged you. Of course I might be wrong but to argue that would miss the point. If you want to claim that your experience is experience of a world outside experience you must positively demonstrate the case.’ An argument against this view is as follows.

A Counter-argument to Solipsism that shows that there are Selves and that there is a Real World

It is experienced that experience (i.e. the experience of what is experienced as self or individual) is limited.

Then, the idea that there is only experience is either (a) relabeling of the world (and the selves that it contains) or (b) error (e.g. confusion of range of experience with world and experience of self with experience of the rest of the world). Thus there is self and real world (because the world is not truly external to experience I prefer the term ‘real world’ to ‘external world’). Note that this does not give us any detailed structure of selves and the world—it shows self as a center of experience and world including self as reference or ‘object’; this could be seen as criticism of the argument given here but it would be a criticism of the power of the argument to show the richness of the world but not of the fact of the world; it is thus not a counter to the present argument against solipsism. Further, that the argument does not show richness may be seen as positive for it allows study and emergence of richness especially in possible realms beyond common experience.

Note—the solipsism of the previous paragraph has merged what are called epistemological and metaphysical solipsism.

Comments on the Significance of Doubt

The significance of what may seem to be excessive doubt—as in questioning the facts of experience and real world—may be questioned. The value of such questions is that in answering them we are able to get a securer—and in some cases absolutely secure—grasp on facts which, though unnecessary for many common purposes, is critical to generating a world view that may function as a basis of universal understanding and action.

 

Though not the entire world, experience is the theater of the individual’s world.

Experience is the Theater of the World of the Individual

To continue the metaphor, the theater is more than the play but without the play there is no theater.

At this point it would be more precise to limit the foregoing claim to ‘experience may be seen as the theater…’ However, the development will imbue the foregoing metaphorical content with concreteness.

 

Meaning

 

8            

A CONCEPT is any experiential content. The constituents of referential MEANING are a concept and its REFERENCE (object).

Concepts, Reference, and Meaning

More generally, a concept is any mental content. However, the only mental contents of which we can talk clearly are those we have or infer—or, at least, brush against—in experience. In this meaning, a concept can be a pure experience, a perceptual experience, a feeling, or thought-emotion. In this meaning a concept is different from other uses of concept as, e.g., in unit of meaning which may and will be seen to be a special case of the present meaning. Meaning allows pure experience even though reference is (at least seemingly) empty if we allow ‘no object’ to be a special case of ‘object’.

The question arises whether there is mental content that is not experiential. The suggestion of the previous paragraph is that all mental content is experiential. However to say that would be to ignore the possibility of the unconscious and to assert that events in the peripheral nervous system are not mental. In relation to the issue at hand, the notions of experience and mind have not been adequately developed. Therefore address of the issue is deferred to the later section ‘Experience and Being’.

Other pairs that are roughly equivalent to meaning in its use here are concept-object, sense-reference, intension-extension, and connotation-denotation.

It might seem as though the definition of meaning above implies that existence depends on being conceived. However, what is really said is trivial: the conceived (perceived) identities of the things we perceive in the environment are a function of conception. In a universe of ‘n’ particles there are 2n objects (if we disregard position and so on). Of these, a relatively small number is singled out as being the significant concepts of our environment. There is a duality—an imperfect one—of significant things and concepts. The concern of this paragraph is taken up again below in discussing The problem of negative existence.

 

In order to refer, a concept must have and refer in virtue of some iconic semblance to a referent.

Necessity of Iconic Content for Meaning

The ICONIC suggests the visual image but is not used in a sense that is especially visual; we may know something by, e.g., a memory of its sight, sound, aroma or other sensory character and combinations thereof. A concept may include non iconic signs, e.g. words (some words have an iconic quality). However to refer, a concept must it must have an iconic element which associates with the non-iconic and give the whole concept its iconic aspect. Some words are iconic; others are not. An arrangement of words may be iconic—e.g., as in a sentence. The association of the non-iconic with the iconic gives language its efficiency in thought and communication and some of its ambiguity (dissociation from context is another source of ambiguity).

The reference of the concept, word, or sentence is commonly called the meaning of the concept, word or sentence. However, the full meaning of a concept is given by concept and reference. The meaning of meaning is that of a concept and object.

Understanding of Meaning requires acknowledgement of its two sidesIdea and Reference

The idea of linguistic meaning is often incompletely understood. It consists of in an idea (concept, sign…) and the reference of the idea (‘thing’, ‘function’ as in words such as ‘and’ that have no concrete object, and so on). Ideas and references can be compound therefore a collection of ideas is an idea—a compound idea. Reference may be ‘empty’, i.e. even if the idea seems to refer there may be no actual thing to which it refers; the absence of reference may, in the nature of the case, contingent (no unicorns) or necessary (no square circles). The question of whether pure experience has an object has been mentioned above and will be discussed later.

Thus referential meaning is more inclusive that it seems to be on the surface of language and its use. The full extent of its inclusivity is open but will receive significant closure below.

In common use the idea and the reference are often conflated, e.g. by use of the same word (sign); this is most convenient and efficient for day to day use. However identification of idea and object is a misunderstanding of meaning and conflation of idea and object is a source of error—especially in going beyond common contexts.

Proper deployment of meaning is both conceptual and empirical and, with sufficient openness, encompasses science and metaphysics (and more). This claim will be expounded upon and shown in what follows. Proper deployment of meaning lies—as is seen in the subsequent narrative—at the core of deep method.

 

Meaning is stabilized in context. It derives flexibility from adaptation to change and changeability of context.

Meaning Derives Stability and Flexibility from Context

Any lexicon is self-referential and must depend on—at least—some core of meanings that are understood from or in use in context (that a dictionary may have pictures and examples of use is an example of rather than an exception to this assertion).

In general, the contexts of our Being are neither definite nor discrete. Therefore meaning generally has play with regard to both concept or sense and object or reference. Thus there is indefiniteness to many of our basic common, philosophical, and scientific terms such as the words ‘Being’, ‘matter’, ‘mind’, ‘life’, ‘energy’ and others. We have, for example, an idea of the nature of ‘life’—the concept and the objects and we can imagine other life forms. However, we will not know its full extent (the range of life forms) while our knowledge is restricted to a limited region of the Universe and the concept may be indefinite as long as our empirical knowledge is incomplete. There are tendencies to extend the meaning of ‘life’ somewhat arbitrarily accompanied by partial analogy and claims such as ‘words are our servants, not our masters’. In fact words are instruments and neither servants nor masters. We may extend the meaning of the term ‘life’ but the real question is which of the characteristics of life-as-we-know-it carry over. The extension of meaning may be comforting but misleading if we think that the characteristics carry over automatically. In between the range of the given and the arbitrary there is discovery in which the extension of the term ‘life’ may be instrumental and more than mere analogy.

The indefiniteness of meanings in science may be questioned however recall that while the idea of energy carries over from Newtonian to modern physics the precise meaning changes.

Such considerations do not in themselves enable the meaning of the term ‘life’ to be fixed but they do help eliminate confusions that arise from conflation of sense and reference and from conflation of imagination and empirical knowledge. This is immensely empowering for we are, having kept sense and reference, not perpetually plagued by vagueness that arises simply from an absence or minimization of conceptual bookkeeping.

I have not thus far mentioned indefiniteness that arises from erroneous observation; however, essential error—i.e. error that is intrinsic to our instruments of knowledge—may perhaps be incorporated as part of context.

New Meanings in this Work. Possibility of Definiteness

Practically every significant concept in this work—when I have and when I have not attempted to imbue the concepts with new meaning—has benefited in clarity, power and scope from the careful separation of sense and reference.

That indefiniteness in meaning—which includes indefiniteness in knowledge—is typical does not imply that definiteness and precision never obtain. One of the goals in this document to the development of a metaphysics is to discover or show ranges of significant meaning (concepts and their reference) that are known perfectly.

 

The decomposition into concept-icon and reference is essential to meaning and understanding meaning and its use as a methodical instrument—especially the method of analysis and synthesis of meaning and Being whose development begins here and is continued later in the narrative. This method is of direct importance in the elucidation of meaning and meanings. It is also important to resolution of many confusions of meaning and resulting paradoxes.

The Decomposition to Concept-icon and Reference is Crucial to Understanding and Use of Meaning

The phrase ‘concept-icon’ means neither an icon as a concept nor icon and concept. It signifies that the concept must have or contain an iconic aspect. In stricter sense of ‘concept’ it would mean that for experiential content to be conceptual it must have iconic content. It is not clear that such a stricture is necessary for even the most abstract sign has the potential for iconic content. Later we will see that even if an abstract sign is accorded abstract meaning there will be concrete content.

Meaning is not merely lexical. It already incorporates concepts and the empirical. Analysis of meaning will therefore emerge as a powerful aspect of ‘method’. An example was given in the analysis of experience above. Later analysis and synthesis of meaning will emerge as an encompassing method for knowledge. This method will generalize to analysis and synthesis of Being. The generalization of method will be from ideas to action and transformation of Being.

Comments on Meaning, Paradox, and Logic

The paradox of ‘negative existence’ discussed below is one example of a paradox whose source is confusion due to inadequate attention to the nature of meaning. The famous liar paradox and Russell’s paradox may be illuminated by consideration of meaning (i.e. in terms of a concept which naïvely has an object but in fact does not). This does not negate the significance of the paradoxes but it does suggest that there may be an analysis in terms of meaning that is positive and proactive rather than negative and reactive in the way of Russell’s type theory and Zermelo Fraenkel set theory (ZFC or Zermelo Fraenkel set theory with choice axiom).

The significance of these comments and possibility of proactive development of set theory and logic execution will become much clearer in the later discussion of objects.

 

Existence

 

9            

EXISTENCE is most effectively defined via the analysis of meaning: the phrase ‘X EXISTS’ shall mean that there is a ‘thing’ that corresponds to the concept X (this means that knowledge is conceptual; it does not mean that existence requires being conceived or known).

In common use, X may be used to refer to both concept and referent.

Note that meaning of the concept of existence and the very common word-idea that something ‘is’, a (present, singular) form of the verb TO BE have significant overlap… for to exist is to be. I.e., deep ideas are already built into language and this is of course good but may also be deceiving as to clarity of understanding.

Alternatively, it may be said that—at least in some directions—the search for depth is misleading: the deep is to be found in the transparent, on the surface of what is common, immanent in the immediate.

In some thought this observation has unfortunately led to a philosophy that all understanding lies on the surface of things.

It is also significant that the word ‘is’ has a number of uses. In the use just mentioned it indicates existence. In another use it indicates definition (e.g. a straight line is a line with fixed direction).

 

The analysis of experience and meaning enables clarification of the nature of problems of existence and their resolution.

Does anything exist? Significance of the Question

Our common sense informs us ‘Of course things exist;’ and continues, perhaps, ‘why spend time questioning what is obvious?’

One purpose to such considerations is clarification of the nature of concepts. Regarding existence, if we wish to go beyond day to day practical matters clarification and precision are essential. What is perhaps esoteric relative to common concerns is practical in the long run and in wide ranging matters.

The discussion of experience has shown that there is experience, there are selves, and there is a real world.

What else is there in the world? Our common experience reveals an immense variety. However, the philosophical point to a careful answer—as will emerge in what follows—is that it empowers precision which in turn empowers real understanding and real power.

In asking ‘Does anything exist?’ we will find that the essential question is ‘What exists?’

And we find that there is a question behind this question. The second question is “What is the meaning of the question ‘What exists?’?” To answer this question as well as to see its significance we may recall the analysis of meaning. In terms of that analysis ‘What exists?’ means ‘Which of our concepts correspond to something in the world?’ This makes the sense of the first question (What exists?) definite.

However, there are some issues with the second question that require address. First, on account of the projective nature of our concepts, given a concept that we think corresponds to something in the world it may be the case that there is nothing to which it corresponds precisely (in fact the very meaning of precision is not clear in this regard). There are two lines along which this concern may be addressed. First, the apparent limit is a good thing for in day-to-day concerns the nature of our situation in the world is that we ‘need’ to know enough but not too much: the world is a welter of happening but not all the welter pertains to survival or quality of living. In day to day concerns although my projective knowing of a something, e.g. a tree, has imperfections, my knowledge is nonetheless good enough for many purposes—e.g. avoiding the tree as I walk, climbing the tree and so on; and where this knowledge is insufficient, e.g. how trees thrive, there may be improved knowledge as in folk knowledge and in science (and it is not clear that we shall ever arrive at or need perfection in practical matters). The second line of address is to note that projection does not imply imperfection; its real implication is that in general we cannot claim perfection—unless we can find some way to demonstrate it; and, since there are clear cases of imperfection, such demonstration will not be universal but will obtain only for certain concepts and objects. We have already seen that, from the consideration of experience, there is experience, there are selves, and there is a real world. What else may there be?

Can we say, for example, that ‘existence exists’? There is—as we have seen—existence, i.e. there are existing things (experience and so on); therefore it is in the meaning of existence, i.e. by its definition, that existence exists. The assertion may be puzzling for we tend to associate existence with ‘things’; the matter will be clarified (implicitly) in the later section on Objects and Identity. The question of the ‘existence of existence’ is not particularly important. However the approach to answering it is crucial. What is that approach? First, we went back to the meaning of existence and the meaning of meaning; we then noted that existence satisfies the meaning of existence; and, then, if we choose to think on it we will see that in all cases so far—i.e. experience, real world, selves, and existence itself—what enables the existence claim despite projection is the fact that we are contemplating very general notions—notions that are so general that though there is projection there is no projective distortion (in the practical case there is such distortion but the degree of precision is ‘good enough’). Thus a degree of abstraction is built into the perfect objects we have uncovered so far: the concept abstracts what lies beyond the distortions of projection. In finding further ‘perfect’ objects we will need to verify or search out concept-objects that are similarly abstract (we will also be concerned that the concepts sought are significant to the purpose of fundamental as well as universal understanding).

The narrative devotes careful attention to and forms precise conclusions regarding existence—and nature—of a significant range of ‘things’ regarding which we have precise knowledge. It will emerge that this range is far greater than might have been expected. Further this ideal range frames the practical range. In the end we find directions of complete and precise knowledge and other directions of ever openness.

Is existence a trivial concept?

Since ‘everything’ exists, existence has been called trivial and therefore hardly worthy of analysis. However, it is precisely this triviality that will be found empowering (one goal of study is to understand the non-trivial and non-obvious and contentious in terms of the trivial, obvious, and non contentious). Further, in terms of our understanding of existence and meaning ‘everything exists’ is far from being known to be true: in common parlance ‘everything exists’ is not literal but, in terms of our analysis, is a truncated form of ‘everything that is thought to exist does exist’.

The previous paragraph addressed the question of the triviality of existence. From similar motivation, some thinkers have denied that existence is a concept. In the mental content meaning of concept, existence is obviously a concept. The denial of concept-hood must therefore pertain to existence as a higher concept. The present analysis shows that existence is a concept and that though it is trivial in not making distinctions it is also immensely powerful in its intrinsic and instrumental senses.

Surely some concepts are trivial and hardly worthy of serious consideration. However, one of the goals of understanding and—at least some—knowledge is to reduce what are non-trivial and not obvious to the trivial and obvious. The goal of the narrative with regard to foundation is that the fundamental concepts shall be trivial in that their existence and nature shall be transparent and obvious but that individually andor as a system they shall found a potent understanding for all Being.

The problem of negative existence

Consider the assertion ‘Unicorns do not exist.’ If the assertion is true, the word ‘unicorn’ and thus the assertion would seem to have no meaning. This has been called the problem of negative existence. The earlier analysis of meaning provides a trivial resolution: ‘Unicorns do not exist’ means that there are no unicorn objects corresponding to the unicorn idea. In fact what is essential in the problem of negative existence is also present in the ‘positive’ case. What does ‘tigers exist’ mean? Unless I have some understanding of the concept ‘tiger’ the assertion has no meaning. It is our familiarity with the idea of a tiger that allows me to think that ‘tigers exist’ has meaning simply because there are tigers. However, the analysis of meaning should remind us that without any iconic association of the word ‘tiger’ the phrase ‘tigers exist’ has no meaning. The phrases ‘X exists’ and ‘X does not exist’ are placed on the same level; they are both meaningless without a concept X; and it is the concept X that gives meaning to the phrases.

Note that while the definition of meaning earlier does not make existence contingent on being perceived, the discussion of this section underlines the significance of defining meaning in terms of ‘idea’ and ‘reference’.

Careful analysis of meaning and of existence provides a trivial resolution of an otherwise non-trivial problem.

One resolution of the problem of negative existence, suggested in the literature, is to regard ‘existence’ as a higher order concept; this we now see as unnecessary.

Another—related—resolution is to regard ‘unicorn’ as a mental object. This is unnecessary. It is also amusing—for it would mean that ‘tiger’ has a double existence as an idea and as a thing (which has been pointed out by other writers).

 

‘X exists’ indicates present tense. Here we shall also use a tense-less sense in which ‘X exists’ means ‘X has existence over some ranges of locations and times’. (Space and time will be treated later. More generally, the domain of existence shall be any coordinate of difference.)

 

 

BEING is that which exists.

Preliminary Discussion of Being. Reasons for the Discussion

This discussion of Being is preliminary. The purpose of the preliminary discussion is to address issues of the meaning of Being in advance of the later section on Being so that the discussion in that section shall be un-littered with a welter of detail.

Being versus Existence. Emptiness of the Distinction

Being has been distinguished from existence in two ways. (1) Being has been thought of as that which exists-in-itself (and not in relation to other things). The fundamental principle implies that this distinction is empty (since we have not yet demonstrated the principle we must wait for that demonstration or for some other understanding before we accept the claim that the distinction is empty). In any case, differences among existing things have to do with the things themselves rather than senses of being and existing. (2) Over and above the distinction Being-in-itself and Being-in-relation, existence has been regarded as Being-as-known. Now it is clear that one meaning of Being-as-known is as a special case of Being-in-relation. Further, the foregoing analysis of he meaning of existence shows that Being-as-known is necessary to the knower but does not mark a different mode of Being.

The Grammar of Being

At the level of generality of discussion it does not matter whether Being is thought of as noun, verb, adjective (entity, process, property…) and so on.

This is what emerges as significant: it is that Being does not refer to specific things but that it designates existence (and may designate existence somewhere and somewhen rather than at some specific place or time); thus we may say that an existing entity (andor process…) is a case of Being or, alternatively, an existing entity has Being.

We may of course occasionally think of Being as a thing. The later discussion of objects will show that this is in fact not in error and that any error would be to conflate this most general of ‘things’ with a more specific kind of thing.

Relation to Phenomenological Thought

This is good enough for a delimited set of purposes; it is what is studied by some phenomenological thinkers including existentialists who argue that thing and phenomenon are the identical; and the argument has its domain of validity and human appeal; however that domain is not the Universe and, further, whether identity of phenomenon and thing is appealing is a psychological matter not a metaphysical or epistemological one. The position in this narrative—argued, not ad hoc—is that there is a large and significant arena of equality of phenomenon and thing but there is also are also immensely important and even exciting arenas of good enough equality and not good enough equality and this is exciting because it is true as well as revelation of opportunity—which, as will emerge, is occasion for immense adventure. The problem—identified above—with the idea of existence as Being-as-known is that the thought that there is invariably some being behind Being-as-known is false and the distinction is then a distinction between something that we know imperfectly and something that does not generally exist.

Feeling. Know-How

Since ideas do not exclude emotion and since they are not essentially associated with ‘mind’ in any limited sense, it follows that the interwoven nature of ideas and action includes not merely ‘intellect’ but also ever present feeling and occasionally intense feeling (and thus emotion) but also practical knowledge—know-how—that resides in the body-environment e.g. the neuromuscular alteration that accompanies skill and joyful as well as joyless living.

 

First Comments on Metaphysics

 

10         

Conceiving METAPHYSICS as precise knowledge of things as they are, significant parts of the developments so far—the concepts and givenness of experience, existence, and Being—are metaphysical knowledge.

This is a preliminary definition of metaphysics. The meaning of ‘precise knowledge of things as they are’ has begun to emerge but will continue to be clarified.

We have found that there is experience, that there is Being, that there are selves, and that there is a richly varied real world. Taking Being (what is there or what exists) as fundamental, experience, selves, and the real world and its richness are examples of Being.

 

So far, this knowledge is not of the Universe as a whole. So far, it shows few ‘things’ that we know to have Being.

 

 

The development will fill in these lacunae. It finds directions of perfection and other directions in which, for limited forms of Being, knowledge will ever remain in process.

Given that the claim will be demonstrated, there can be no greater ideal regarding knowledge than perfection where it may obtain and openness in the other directions.

 

Development will proceed self-consciously with metaphysics and method emerging together.

When development is complete, results will be integrated in a panoramic section on Ideas, and Metaphysics, and their Method. The methods of course have origin in extant notions of method and are extended to the practical knowledge in Applied Metaphysics and to action in The Way of Transformation.

 

Being

 

11         

BEING names that which is (exists).

Neutrality of the Concept of Being as a Source of its Power

Being is neutral to substance, e.g. materialism, idealism, spirit, and even to the question of substance.

As noted above the concept of Being is neutral to entity-hood, process-hood, and quality-hood. It is further indifferent to the distinctions simple versus complex or elementary versus compound. Since we wish to take advantage of the neutrality of the idea, it is desirable that it should not distinguish kinds of entity (things, processes, interactions, and qualities which are all concrete entities) or concrete from abstract entities (the term abstract is being used here in a different sense than earlier). A possible problem with not making the distinction between abstract and concrete entities is that we may thereby admit fictions as real. Later, in discussing objects, we will see that Being does not in fact distinguish the abstract from the concrete and the absence of the distinction does not result in the admission of fiction as real.

These neutralities are a source of the power of the concept of Being.

This takes a step back from the distinctions of self and world. Development could have begun here. There is no loss in beginning with experience which provides ‘flesh’ to the abstraction of Being.

 

Being and world are known in experience (awareness) which is theater and core of our being.

Refer to the earlier discussion of experience for definition and analysis of experience.

Power of Experience

We have seen that (a) though often minimized in substance materialism, experience is given and fundamental; (b) experience is the medium in which we know—and ultimately justify knowledge of—a rich and robust world; and (c) experience is the place of meaning-in-the-sense-of-significance and of our significant ‘Being’.

Experience is neutral to mode of knowledge—as we shall see—to perception and the empirical versus conception and the rational, to discovery versus justification, to perfect versus imperfect knowledge; to pure experience versus experience of things versus experience in action or will; to knowledge of body including emotion versus knowledge of world including cognition; and to primitive experience versus central-focal-acute consciousness.

Thus far in the narrative it has not been said that experience is the only place of knowledge or that its only kind is knowledge.

As noted already, we will later introduce and justify an expansion of the scope (range of reference) of experience from which will emerge identity of Being and experience.

 

As such, experience is so immediate its Being needs and has no proof—i.e., proof or foundation in terms of the Being of something else.

I.e. the existence of experience does not need demonstration in terms of the existence of something else.

This suggests—and it will be seen—that Being and experience are essentially and fundamentally interwoven. This goes back at least to Adi Samkara in India and René Descartes in the West.

The ‘distance’ between experience and Being is zero.

 

The power of the concept of Being is neutrality. The power of experience is immediacy and centering (of our Being in the world). It is important that no commitment be made at outset to the nature of Being (beyond existence) or to kinds of experience (especially human experience).

I.e. the powers of the concepts include neutrality and immediacy, respectively.

These powers are discussed in detail above and extended in what follows.

Analogy to Algebra

The simplification of algebra is the result, first, of given a symbol, e.g. ‘x’, to the unknown which would otherwise be written as a long verbal circumlocution. Use of the symbol results in (a) perspicuity, (b) therefore ease of manipulation, and (c) generality—i.e. a single result applies to all problems that have its form.

The use of ‘Being’ is analogous to the use of the unknown variable ‘x’ in algebra. The introduction of symbols to stand for unknown quantities made for simplicity where manipulations of sentences and clauses had been limiting to the complexity of problems that could be addressed. In situations with more than one variable the introduction of simplicity became essential. ‘Being’ may be thought of naming the unknowns of the world. It is of course more than one variable and in this narrative we find some ‘solutions’ to the ‘equation:’ ‘What has Being?’

However, algebra gives us more than perspicuity, ease of manipulation, and generality or ‘portability’. Early in the development of the concept of number equations such as 2x + 1 = 0 were thought to not have solutions. Such equations were among the motivations to introduce the idea of fractional and negative numbers: the solution to the equation is x = - ½. Later, complex numbers were introduced (for quadratic equations) and it was then shown that every polynomial equation of degree n in a single variable has n ‘roots’ (which may include repeated roots). The simplification due to ‘algebra’ begins with naming the unknown. However, the process of expanding the nature of the unknowns to new kinds of algebraic quantities and to showing how to treat different algebraic quantities on the same basis (where possible, e.g. whole, fractional, negative, and complex numbers) is not only empowering but also simplifying because, e.g., the complex number field is closed under solutions to polynomials whereas the real numbers are not. Later, further operations suggested introduction of new ‘higher’ algebraic kinds.

The case of Being has similarities to this second source of power and simplification in algebra. We are used to distinguishing ‘one’ from ‘many’ and the language structures ‘he goes’ and ‘they go’. We are used to distinguishing predicates or terms that describe things (a rod), qualities (an iron rod or a red rod), processes (a melting rod) and so on. It is convenient to bring all these under a single umbrella and label them ‘concrete’ in contrast to such abstracta as number. The distinction between concreta and abstracta is celebrated in modern thought but it is not clear from such thought that, while such ‘objects’ are held to be different in nature, that their Being is different. Later, the concrete and the abstract will be unified: ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ refer to kinds of objects that, though they have distinctions, lie in the one Universe.

 

Universe

 

12         

The UNIVERSE is All Being.

This section introduces the universal and cosmological.

Justification this Concept of Universei.e., Proof that the Universe Exists

Since there is Being, there is also All Being.

A Possible Objection to this Concept of the ‘Universe’. Response

The problems of all objects or of all sets do not arise in regarding All Being for, e.g., the conception of Being does not admit of arbitrary concepts of representational form. In fact the ‘Being’ of such concepts is precisely though implicitly in question in the formulation of the concept of Being. Part of the development is to make this question precise and to provide a ‘universal’ and rational answer. This task is taken up in the section Universal and New Conceptions of Realism and Logic.

Significance of this Concept of Universe

Universe as All Being is empowering (a) in avoiding the indefiniteness of materialism, idealism and so on, and (b) in assuring that all being is included and therefore in enabling the development of the theory of being (metaphysics) that emerges below.

On Possibility

What is possibility? Something is POSSIBLE relative to a context either if it does occur in the context or, when it does not occur, its occurrence would not change the constitution of the context. E.g., an occurrence is physically possible if its occurrence is consistent with the laws of physics (perhaps with restriction to some specific location, e.g. our cosmos or this Earth). Occurrence is logically possible if the occurrence does not violate any logical principle (restricting the location or conditions would be more restrictive than ‘pure’ logical possibility).

Given that the Universe is All Being over all extension and duration what is possibility relative to the Universe as context? There is no other occurrence (or larger context). Therefore to be possible the occurrence must be actual. Relative to the Universe, possibility and actuality are identical. The question of whether this enlarges the scope of the actual or diminishes the scope of the possible or both is open till later when it will be seen from the fundamental principle of metaphysics that the scope of the actual is maximal, i.e. the actual is the logically possible (subsequent developments will show that the meaning of the ‘logically possible’ is not altogether clear and will provide clarification).

The Universe and the Void

Universe and Void is a fundamental pair of concepts. The Void is the (true) complement of the Universe.

Their dual consideration admits a dynamic—as emerges—between All Being and Absence of Being.

Since the Void is the absence of Being the Laws of science do not apply to or in it; it is deeper than the quantum vacuum. Dually, the Universe contains all laws and is more inclusive than any limited observed, empirical, or ‘observable’ universe (limits to observability from the laws of physics—but not logic—are themselves empirical). The Universe is also fundamental in that its complement is the Void.

 

Creation is a form of Being.

On Creation. The Universe contains all Creation but is not Created

By CREATION I understand something external to what is created.

 

The Universe contains all Creation

 

 

But is not created.

One Part of the Universe may be implicated in the Creation of Another

One part of the Universe may be implicated in the creation of another.

 

Law

 

13         

A pattern or LAW has Being.

A Law is a Pattern. Laws have Being

A pattern of patterns is a pattern.

A law is a reading of a pattern. The pattern itself is the Law. That a Law has Being is an example of the empowerment afforded by Being. In a materialist (or other substance) view the status of laws is inevitably possessed of  vagueness.

An object is a pattern.

Facts and Laws are not essentially distinct.

 

(A Law is a limit—it allows

A Law is a Limit. There are no Universal Laws

It will be seen that while a Law is a limit on some domain, there are no Universal Laws.

 

Some patterns, not others).

 

 

The Universe contains all Laws.

The Universe Contains All Laws

(Since Laws have Being and the Universe is All Being).

(Facts, Laws, and Objects are not essentially distinct).

 

The Void

 

14         

The VOID is the absence of Being.

Here it is proved that ‘everything comes from nothing and, therefore from anything’.

That something comes—must come—from nothing is a special case of the assertion that everything comes from anything.

 

There is a Void. A simple argument for this lies in the meanings of ‘meaning’ and of ‘existence’.

Existence of The Void

An argument may be given as follows. Given a domain (part) of the Universe, i.e. a part of the Universe, its complement which is the part of the Universe outside the domain must also exist. Then, since the Void is the complement of the Universe, it must exist. The general conclusion about existence of complements is clearly valid when the domain is not the Universe. However, it is not clear that it holds when the domain is the Universe itself. Therefore a demonstration that does not depend on the existence of complements is given later (and it will follow from that demonstration that the Void exists; further doubts will arise and be considered and addressed following the later demonstration).

A Void may be similarly associated with every part of the Universe.

 

The Void contains no Law and so has no limits.

The Void contains no Law and therefore has No Limits

Since Laws have Being the Void contains no Laws or limits.

On the Number of Voids

Therefore, except that there is at least one, the number of Voids has no significance.

We may say with equal validity that there precisely is one Void, there are a thousand Voids, that there is an unlimited number of Voids, or that there is a Void attached to every ‘particle’ of Being.

A note on Doubts

The conclusion regarding the Void and limits may be doubted and, since the conclusion is pivotal to the development, this doubt is especially important. Reasons for doubt and address of doubt are taken up later.

 

Therefore the Universe—all objects, patterns, and Laws—emerges from the Void.

Power of the Concepts of Being, Universe, and Void

These developments continue to provide illustration of the power in using Being as fundamental and understanding the Universe and Void (nothingness) in terms of Being.

The power of the ideas of Universe and Void has clearly begun to emerge (the Universe is all Being, it is not created, and entails the identity of actuality and possibility… the Void is without limit; and therefore any element of Being including the Universe itself is without limit).

The power of the developing metaphysics is seen and will continue to be seen to lie in the power of the particular concepts selected for neutrality (Being) and comprehensive character (Being, All Being, Absence of Being and, secondarily, in placing human being in that ‘context’ by using experience most neutrally and therefore without prejudice).

Comments on Knowledge and Method

Knowledge and method constitute a pivotal pair of concepts. Here we see method arising together with knowledge rather than before knowledge or being received from tradition or authority.

The concept of Being has empirical foundation on account of its ‘abstract’ simplicity; consequently Universe, Law, and Void are well founded. Then, the conclusion regarding limits follows. Notions of logic are implicit in the derivation; logic will receive foundation that also follows from an abstract notion of the concept of logic.

There is no final a priori.

This is natural since knowledge is in the world; i.e. it, too, is an ‘object’.

Later, these considerations on knowledge and method will be extended to transformation (and action) and ways of transformation—i.e. to becoming, which is part of Being, and its ways or method.

Later, these considerations on knowledge and method will be extended to transformation (and action) and ways of transformation.

 

METAPHYSICS

 

 

Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

 

15         

The Void is ever present with every part of the Universe;

That is, since the Void and the Universe are the Universe.

 

Therefore the Universe has no limits.

This completes demonstration of the fundamental principle.

To what degree does the Principle Expand the Scope of Being?

The actual expands its scope to that of the maximally possible.

Herein resides the foundation of general cosmology; this will be made explicit in General CosmologyUniverse, Identity, and Power and subsequent sections. The fundamental principle of metaphysics is a basic principle of general cosmology.

It is clear that the fundamental principle implies that the variety, extent, and duration of the Universe are without limit (simple infinity is inadequate to this limitlessness). The Universe is incomparably greater than our observed cosmos.

The power of the fundamental principle will continue to emerge.

Does the Fundamental Principle contradict Cumulative Experience?

It is immediately apparent that the principle might appear to contradict science (especially the laws of physics) and cumulative experience. This is because we find some laws but not others to obtain in our observed cosmos; however the principle implies that there is no universal law—and, further, that every Law applies in some cosmos—stable or transient (a potential problem with these assertions implying ‘too much’ is taken up in the section Universal and New Conceptions of Realism and Logic). The contradiction is at most apparent. The laws that we sometimes think of as universal, e.g. the theories of modern physics, are not at all known to apply to the entire universe. Certainly they have some application in our cosmos and we tend, mistakenly, to think that our cosmos is the universe. The pervasion of scientific law in our lives and the thought that the cosmos is the universe may lead us to conclude that the laws—or some future extension andor modification of them—are universal. However the observed pervasion is no more than an observed pervasion and the equation of our cosmos to the universe has no warrantee. The apparent contradiction is no more than apparent.

However, to say that there is no contradiction has only begun to scratch at the surface of the mesh between the fundamental principle and science. As seen above, the fundamental principle requires that every Law should obtain some ‘where and when’ in the Universe. It does not require that our Laws obtain here but it does require that they obtain somewhere. The occurrence here of our Laws is a priori contingent but given that they obtain the fact is necessary (in what will be seen to be a very trivial but significant sense). In fact if the Universe has no limits our Laws must obtain in cosmological systems without limit (later it will be seen that this assertion is subject to the requirements of logical consistency but that that requirement is not a limit).

We may be tempted to think that our cumulative experience that the world is (appears to be) some way contradicts and not others the freedom implied by the fundamental principle. However, while there is no a priori necessity to our Laws being as they are, the cosmos has to be in some way and there is therefore no contradiction between our cumulative experience and the freedom implied by the fundamental principle.

Something from Nothing

The fundamental principle explains how, if there were nothing, i.e. if the Universe was in the Void state, something—i.e., a manifest state—would have to emerge: if no-thing emerged, the Universe would have a limit.

The question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ has been regarded as important and puzzling—even mystical. Heidegger called it the fundamental problem of metaphysics. In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 6.44, Wittgenstein remarked ‘Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.’ Certainly nothing in common sense or cumulative experience suggests why ‘something from nothing’ should be necessary; and, science, explains some aspects of the behavior of an already existing world but not how the world came into being or why it must have come into being (there are some explanations from the quantum vacuum but these explain the necessity of the vacuum in terms of given laws but not how the vacuum or the laws came into Being).

Thus the fundamental principle empowers a trivial solution to an otherwise significant and at least apparently insoluble problem.

In fact the solution is trivial in light of the fundamental principle which implies (as we have seen and as shall continue to emerge) much more.

On Education of Common Sense and Intuition

We have seen that the fundamental principle and its consequences such as ‘something from nothing’ do not lie within common or ordinary common sense or intuition.

Intuition and common sense are fluid and is re-educated when we encounter something true but new, especially in paradigm or world view changes such as those occasioned by new metaphysical systems (even if a system is not true but accepted the common sense may be re-educated although the new common sense may harbor error) and new scientific theories in physics and biology.

On reflection much of common sense pertains to common experience; intuition pertains to the natural and social worlds in which we live. It is not part of regular common experience that we see something emerging from nothing. From this observation we are tempted to generalize to impossibility of something from nothing. This generalization is encouraged by the following factors—(a) the expectation of some material benefit without work toward it is an unsound basis for provision for the future (b) the conservation laws of physics. However, these factors are not known to be universal. Therefore reflective common sense should find that although it is not common sense to expect exception to ‘everything requires input’ it also not common sense to regard the practical and local scientific principle as universal.

Then, from the fundamental principle we now find that in the universal realm ‘something from nothing’ is the rule. Once we absorb this into our conceptual framework we have re-educated our common sense which now finds a local realm of conservation in balance with a universal realm in which every state is equivalent to every other state.

The education of common sense and intuition occurs in stages.

The following reference is to an optional section:

The discussion in the section To Jump off a Cliff is pertinent to the discussion of the education of intuition.

A Loss of the Sense of the Mystical?

I can imagine that one might feel a sense of loss at the loss of the challenges of the limits of our world or cosmos, and the loss of what Wittgenstein called mystical.

How can we respond to this sense of loss? A materialist thinker might respond ‘the Universe does not care about your sense of loss: if something from nothing is true it's true and that should be all there is to the matter’. From the fundamental principle it is not clear that the universe at large does not care for any sense of loss but it remains the case that ‘if it's true, it's true’.

There is a positive response to the loss of this mystical challenge. It is that the fundamental principle implies so much and, as will see, discovery of it is an endless challenge (for limited forms of Being) and not in any way less mystical than ‘that the world is’.

Relation to the Principle of Plenitude and Ockham’s Razor

The fundamental principle is equivalent to what has been called the principle of plenitude (provided that the principle of plenitude is interpreted in its fullest meaning). There is a variety of ways of stating the principle of plenitude. One way is the assertion that anything that is possible occurs; the meaning of this statement is not clear because it is not clear what possibility means in this context; further the truth of the principle is not at all evident. We might expect that something that is possible will occur given infinite time. However, although it is possible that a real number selected at random shall have the value π (3.14159…), the probability of this occurrence is zero. It has been observed that this principle is the opposite of principle of parsimony of William of Ockham (Ockham’s Razor): if the existence of something is logically independent of our best knowledge then according to Ockham’s Razor we ought not to postulate its existence; according to the principle of plenitude we ought to postulate its existence. It is interesting that—and I am not aware of this having been noted in the literature—that Ockham’s Razor applied to what does not exist is equivalent to the application of the principle of plenitude to what does exist. These issues are of course made moot by the demonstration of the fundamental principle.

In the history of thought, varying degrees of confidence have been associated with the principle of plenitude; however it has not been demonstrated.

Originality and Power of the Present Demonstration

The present conception and demonstration of the fundamental principle appear to be new.

This newness of the fundamental principle of metaphysics and that of the conceptual apparatus set up to understand and demonstrate it is immensely empowering.

 

This is the fundamental principle of metaphysics,

 

 

Also called the fundamental principle (FP).

 

 

The Meaning of the Principle

 

16         

The meaning of the fundamental principle includes that

 

 

But for the freedom of concepts (i.e., assertions or propositions) to have conflict—e.g. disagree—with facts or one another, every concept is realized.

Interpretation from the Analysis of Meaning

The statement of the fundamental principle is that the Universe has no limits. How can this be understood in terms of the earlier analysis of meaning? Consider a concept of some object. If the object does not obtain, the Universe has a limit. However, concepts have an apparent freedom that is not the limitlessness referred to in the fundamental principle. I can form a concept that is self contradictory—e.g., an apple that is simultaneously all green and not all green; or one that contradicts another concept—first concept: this apple is all green; second concept: the same apple is not all green, or one that contradicts a fact—concept: this apple is all green, fact or percept: a not all green apple). This freedom to form contradictory concepts is a part of the freedom of concept formation and therefore and the fact that such (contradictory) concepts do not obtain is not a limitation on Being or the Universe.

A Comment on Facts

A FACT is something that obtains. Instrumentally a fact must be something that is known to obtain. Thus, at least instrumentally or pragmatically, a fact is a concept. When knowledge is perfect this conceptual character of facts remains but now transcends the pragmatic.

Another Form of the Fundamental Principle

This (‘But for the freedom of concepts—i.e., assertions or propositions—to have conflict—e.g. disagree—with facts or one another, every concept is realized’) is another form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP).

 

When the fundamental principle is thus expressed in terms of concepts its form is one of factual and conceptual realism.

 

 

That there will and must be phases of ‘something rather than nothing’, i.e. phases of manifest Being, is a trivial corollary.

Standard paradigms explain the structure of a cosmos but not why manifest cosmos or Universe rather than nothingness. Why there is something rather than nothing has been called the fundamental problem of metaphysics (as noted earlier, by Heidegger)—‘Why there is something rather than nothing’ remains a mystery on the standard accounts.

However, ‘something from nothing’ is a trivial consequence of the fundamental principle.

The True Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics

Although we know that there is Being we know very little so far as a precise answer to the question ‘What has Being?’ It will emerge that answering this question reveals the precise and detailed nature of Being and Universe; its answering implicitly contains the entire development of knowledge including metaphysics. Therefore the fundamental problem of metaphysics should be ‘What has Being?’

 

Using the Principle

A summary of this section is as follows.

That except for conflict among concepts or between concepts and facts, every concept must be realized implies, trivially, the realization of non-manifest phases of the Universe (the Void) and from the Void a variety of manifest phases whose extent, duration, and variety is without limit. The conclusion is trivial but its interpretation is not.

In addition to the trivial conclusions there must also be—for example—realizations of deep results in discovered and yet undiscovered mathematics.

17         

The fundamental principle has many implications that are momentous but relatively trivial to see or prove.

Therefore it will not be necessary to provide explicit proof for such implications.

 

‘Something rather than nothing’ is a first example. Other examples are that the variety of the Universe is far greater than that of our cosmos and that the Universe has Identity and ultimate power that are conferred on the individual.

 

 

Any difficulty regarding such conclusions is in their interpretation—their significance, squaring them with common sense, science (fact), and logic (which includes mutual consistency); and questions of how they may be realized in action.

There may of course be doubt regarding the fundamental principle itself. However, the principle is internally consistent and consistent with science and fact; it is therefore not absurd; and therefore action under the principle may fall under ‘existential attitude’ and ‘fundamental principle as hypothesis for action’, discussed in the Complete Edition of the essay.

It is natural that there should be hesitation regarding the fundamental principle for—at least on first countenance—it is perhaps entirely unexpected and may engender a sense of incredulity. Sources of such a reaction include the following.

1.       The principle seems to be contrary to experience of the world—i.e., to common experience and science. This objection has been addressed above.

2.       The content and implications of the principle are not contained or seen in cumulative experience. There are two responses to this concern. First, from the discussions of Being and the proof of the principle it is at least implicit in experience of the world. Second, in deploying and applying the principle it may become part of an individual’s experience.

3.       Doubts regarding the robustness of the proof of the principle. This doubt is addressed in a number of ways in the ensuing narrative.

 

The fundamental principle harbors many further conclusions that are significant for which difficulties in intuition, demonstration, interpretation, and realization are anticipated. The range of application, revealed below, is that of the human endeavor. This reveals an opportunity for an immense and significant program of program of development.

 

 

An Interpretation of Scientific law

 

18         

Every valid law or theory of science or realm of experience of the world has interpretation as a compound fact

Scientific Laws are Descriptive Rather than Limiting

Scientific laws and facts are not limits; they describe how a domain is—not how domains must be.

Note that this interpretation of SCIENCE—theory as fact—is an alternate to the so far not unconfirmed universal hypothesis interpretation formulated, e.g. by Karl Popper. The two interpretations are equivalent if either (a) theories approach universality or (b) restriction in made to the valid domains of theories; in the latter case the ‘universal hypothesis’ interpretation has meaning but no significance for domain and ‘universe’ are identical. However, the fundamental principle negates the universality for sufficiently detailed empirically based conceptual theories and therefore favors the compound fact interpretation.

 

Regarding some limited domain

On Scientific Law as Necessity in a Limited Domain

Some Laws of science are experienced as necessary. If the domain to which the Laws pertain is sufficiently limited they are in fact necessary (what is contingent with regard to one universe of discourse may be necessary for another). However, such domains are not simply limited in space-time; they may be further limited to observed phenomena—to data—and ranges of phenomena, e.g. speeds should be small compared to the speed of light; any application of Laws beyond such domains is not known from science to be more than probable. Such probability may be high when the extension is in the region just beyond what is observed; for further extension the expected application decreases; for the entire Universe there is no application of ‘our’ Laws—the probability of their universality is zero.

Scientific ‘necessity’ is very high (conditional) probability; we experience these necessities as limits that we may call ‘NORMAL’ (or as-if) rather than universal limits; the condition in the high conditional probability is restriction to the domain of normality. By the fundamental principle Normal domains must be limited.

 

But implies nothing about the existence or non-existence, magnitude, or nature of what is external to the domain.

Scientific Theories Are Not Universal

This may be expressed by saying that scientific theories are not universal.

Explanation for this conclusion

The conclusion holds for all valid laws and theories taken as a whole.

The use of the phrase ‘external to the domain’ is general. It may refer to what is external to some spatiotemporal domain. However, the domain need not be connected. Further, as noted, it may be limited to certain sizes, energies and other characteristics of objects and to certain magnitudes of spatiotemporal measure (e.g. not too large or too small).

Most scientific theories are limited by difficulty or by nature to kinds or phases of Being. For example, while life is today thought to be material in constitution, many of the phenomena of life and life forms are beyond our power to predict from physics and chemistry. Biology on the other hand is restricted by its definition to the study of life (if we considered matter and psyche to forms of life then physics and psychology would be divisions of biology but they would not be reducible to biology-as-we-know-it).

To Jump off a Cliff

Optional section.

A friend said ‘if you think science and experience have a limited domain of validity you should jump off a cliff and expect to not hit the rocks below’.

Wittgenstein’s response might have been, simply, that from the truth of one fact the truth of another does not follow; he would mean that because all objects have been seen to fall does not mean that this has always happened or will always happen. If pressed he might add with irritation that we should not base behavior on an exception to the rule (his irritation would stem from being asked to state the obvious). Hume would have concurred as would any reasonable person.

The modification from FP would not contradict the advice of the previous paragraph. FP implies unlimited exception to the rule of gravity but not under Normal behavior in our cosmos. It suggests, however, that we look for or wait until we find ways of exception in normal time ranges (from now). The issue of jumping off a cliff is not of great conceptual or practical significance but the reasoning about it is. All avenues of search into the real must continue if we wish to be instrumental in finding paths to realization from our limited form.

 

This interpretation is superior to the interpretation of law as universal hypothesis and shows explicitly the absence of conflict among science-experience and the fundamental principle.

The weakness of the hypothesis interpretation of science is that no limited hypothesis can be universal and it is clear that there is no universal law to which our concepts must be subject beyond the requirements of Realism (Logic).

The strength of the present interpretation is that it makes no hypothesis beyond the domain of observation. However, it does not imply that science and its laws are mere observation or summaries of observation. It is still the case on this interpretation that the laws reveal real structure and symmetry. Further, when the domain of application is extended further structure—new laws—may be found but this does not affect the validity of the old laws in their domain of application.

 

Universal and New Conceptions of Realism and Logic

The conceptions of Realism and Logic developed here are new, related to but a final boundary of logic, and are of ultimate significance.

 

19         

If every concept of a system asserts a fact

Here ‘concept’ means ‘proposition’ but the analysis may have extensions.

 

Conflict among concepts and between concepts and facts may the system non factual.

It has been seen that conflict between a concept and a fact is a case of conflict among concepts.

 

The logics—classical and modern—help prevent such conflict.

A logic does not pertain to all forms of concept (proposition).

Prevention of such conflict is not normally seen as defining the logics.

 

The logics have limited domains of validity.

The logics are not limits.

20         

Conceive REALISM (LOGIC) as the constraints for

Alternatively reconceive Logic as the constraints for Logic to have reference.

Realism is preferable to Logic for general significance and appeal. However, Logic invokes symbolic power; Realism does not do so explicitly.

 

Concepts to have reference.

A system of concepts in referential form is a concept in referential form (the form does not imply actual reference).

 

Valid facts, sciences, and logics are part of Realism (Logic).

I.e. what is valid in fact, science, and logics.

The logics could be seen as part of science.

Thus Logic or Realism is factual (and empirical science) and conceptual (and includes traditional logic). If we regard a fact as an agreement among percepts, then a fact can be seen (trivially) as an aspect of logic (the traditional notion of logic would then be this notion minus facts). That is, empirical and conceptual Realism fall under the same umbrella that may be called formal Realism or formal Logic.

To formal Realism another component called ‘existential Realism (or Logic)’ will be later appended.

 

Realism (Logic) is not a limit on the Universe.

The object of Realism (Logic) is not the Universe as such; the object is propositions or assertions about the Universe or parts of it. Realism (Logic) is not even a limit on assertions that may be formed but is instrumental in labeling assertions ‘true’ or ‘false’.

Logic is ultimate expression of freedom.

Though related to the logics and science, Realism (Logic) is vastly greater.

21         

The object of Realism (Logic) is the limitless

Realism (Logic) is permissive in the ultimate—Logic is not restrictive or limiting.

 

Universe in all its detail.

It is the LOGOS understood as the Universe in all its detail.

Relative to the Universe the possible is the actual; the actual is the Logical.

The Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics in Terms of Logic

This (‘The object of Realism—Logic—is the limitless Universe in all its detail’) is yet another form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics.

 

This assertion incorporates science and logic but its

 

 

Revealed Universe is greater than theirs without limit.

I.e. greater than the revealed universe of the sciences and logics.

On the Nature of Limits

We are now in a position to understand the concept of ‘limit’ used here. We have seen that facts, scientific laws, and Logic do not have the character of the Universe having to be some way and not other ways. That a cosmos is some way (e.g. our cosmos—the observed cosmos of the big-bang cosmology—is roughly 14 billion years old and the furthest observed objects as of 2012 are about 46 billion light years away making the observed size about 90 billion light years across which, due to expansion of space itself, is greater than the otherwise expected size of 14 billion light years) is not a limit on the Universe—for every cosmos must be some way and not other ways. As of 2012 there is no agreement on whether our cosmos is finite; however, neither, finiteness nor non-finiteness in time and space of a cosmos is a limit (from some perspectives finiteness is a limit; however, finiteness has nothing to do with the present sense of limit). The essence of the idea of limit lies in the assertion is that a LIMIT is a restriction on facts over and above what is entailed by Logic. The reference of this notion of limit, i.e. what falls under it, is one that will continue to emerge with understanding and transformation of Being.

22         

That the Universe is the object of Realism (Logic) has immediate and immense implications.

E.g., below starting with objects and identity (Logic is permissive).

Merging of Science and Logic

The logics and Logic could be seen as part of science (the converse interpretation has been seen to hold—i.e. the traditional distinction between logic as necessary and science as empirical breaks down in light of the fundamental principle; more will be said on this later).

The Empirical Character of Science and Logic

It is interesting that in the early modern era, philosophers, e.g. Francis Bacon, sought a logic of science similar to the logic of deduction. This notion of science was rejected by David Hume in the eighteenth century and scientific law as one possible fit to data—and revisable—became widely accepted among in the twentieth century. Now, under the influence of the fundamental principle of metaphysics we begin to see a reverse movement: Logic becomes empirical (though not in the same way as science). What are the logics? They are restrictions on relations among valid—true—propositions (in deduction from a given proposition, some propositions follow but others do not). How are these relations arrived at? Because of their seeming necessity—and perhaps their shrouding in antiquity and that they rule language rather than things—they are often regarded as bearing the stamp of necessity. However, either by accident or by experiment they are empirical even though they may be necessary in limited cases. They are not necessary in all cases; the study of logical system is a valid experimental endeavor in terms of experiment with concepts and conceptual systems—i.e. logic is essentially empirical but necessary in some cases and revisable in others. Where logic appears to be necessary it is so because it is already built in to the structure of language and perhaps of thought by empirical including selective process.

Metaphysics, Science, and Necessity

The similarity between science and logic goes further. It has just been seen that logic is always empirical even if necessary in some cases (as noted such necessity is relative to, e.g., already existing linguistic structure). On the other hand we have become used to thought that science is not necessary because it fits one of a number of possible schemes to facts (the connection may be indirect, e.g. via laws and is not entirely arbitrary in that acceptable theories should be internally consistent and should satisfy at least intuitive criteria of simplicity, symmetry including conservation laws and are likely to emerge as compelling once the ‘right’ form is found). However, the metaphysics of this narrative is emerging and will emerge as both necessary and empirical. That it is empirical is the result of its being founded in experienced entities: Being, the Universe, Void, Logos and a few others. That it is necessary is the result of the level of abstraction of the concepts: they concepts do not suffer projective distortion. From the kind of abstraction used in the formation of these concepts they are empirical as well as necessary in a non-relative sense.

Seen along these lines, the metaphysics of this narrative is science (the idea of metaphysics as science is not at all new even though it does not have current favor) even though it is necessary. Thus science, if it includes the metaphysics, is empirical but has necessary and revisable aspects.

Thus it is that both science and Logic have necessary as well as revisable aspects which are all discovered empirically. This further confirms the earlier argument that science and Logic merge when we admit percepts as concepts.

Notes on Probability

The ‘limits’ of being in our cosmos—e.g. the physical laws—have been described above as highly probable. They may appear to be but are not necessary.

Science and its methods so far do not give us any estimate of the probabilities involved. The metaphysics suggests that they are certain while remaining in the Normal regime that is our cosmos and certainly untrue in most of the region outside it and immensely improbable in general. The metaphysics gives us necessities—certain and certainly not—and suggests but gives us no estimate of probabilities.

Later we will see that it is reasonable from science and the metaphysics to assert that origins shall probably but not necessarily be incremental transitions from relatively stable to other relatively stable states. Again, however, no estimate of probability is (thus far) forthcoming. And while science, reason, and metaphysics suggest that incremental transition is probable, the metaphysic shows that it is not certain. It is however certain from the metaphysics that some origins will be incremental and others will not—some of these others will involve large steps and in some cases a rich and structured cosmos will emerge in a single step from the Void.

Another aspect of probability worthy of note here concerns conditional probability. We may illustrate the aspect of conditional probability of interest here in terms of an example. A bag contains nine black and one white balls. What is the probability of picking the white ball? Probability theory tells us the more or less common sense answer that the probability is one in ten (0.1). However, there is nothing in the physical world that should absolutely prevent the balls from changing their color a moment after they are put in the bag but before a ball is picked from the bag; this is of course unlikely but not impossible. Therefore the probability of one in ten is conditional on the balls not changing etc. The situation may be idealized by defining the bag balls abstractly rather than physically and then the probability is an absolute probability of one in ten. The moral is that in the ‘real world’ probability is invariably conditional and it is only in the abstract case that we have absolute probabilities.

The metaphysics shows, however, that the foregoing conclusion is not absolute. It is absolutely certain that there is Being. It is absolutely certain from the metaphysics that the abstract mathematical representation of the bag with ten balls problem has a realization in the Universe (this will be seen in the section Objects and Identity).

The foregoing moral should therefore be revised—the metaphysics implies certain necessities but other seeming necessities are in fact conditional. What of the necessities of mathematics and logic? The answer is that those seeming necessities of symbolic systems that are in fact necessities are already contained in the metaphysics.

 

Any difficulty is in the interpretation of implications.

The logics could be seen as part of science.

 

But Realism (Logic) harbors immensely more,

E.g. in terms of dynamics, variety, and structure.

 

Beyond the intellect of limited forms.

Limited form can know and partake of the unlimited.

 

Metaphysics so Far

 

23         

Knowledge of the Universe so far combines the empirical with the rational.

The metaphysics joins the rational and the empirical

What is empirical concerns knowledge of things; what is rational concerns knowledge of logic or relations among knowledge of things.

 

This knowledge by abstraction is perfect, complete in foundation and far exceeds expectation.

The Empirical-Rational Achieve Perfection via Abstraction

In what follows one of the developments is to use this perfect knowledge as a framework for practical knowledge—i.e., useful but imperfect knowledge.

 

However, while beings are in limited form, this knowledge is ever in process. Given the case, this in process aspect cannot be other than ideal.

For Limited Forms Knowledge is Ever in Process. For Limited Form, eternal process is Ideal

Perfect knowledge is given; it is in the nature of limited form that knowledge must remain in process.

 

The Universe is revealed as a place of ever fresh adventure.

A Sense in which the Universe is Ideal

For limited form the Universe is and can be no ‘better’ that ever-fresh.

The Issue of Suffering in Light of the Metaphysics

Pain is—of course—unavoidable; however, the metaphysics gives meaning-in-the-sense-of-significance to pain—pain is part of the process of overcoming.

In a religion that claims an all powerful and caring God it is difficult if not impossible to understand why such pain should occur. In the metaphysics pain is a fact regarding which no judgment need be made—the Universe is ultimate power but is only occasionally all powerful. The pain in itself is not made more tolerable but no false hope or understanding is given (we can of course understand the function of pain from an evolutionary point of view: pain is connected to survival and the physiological mechanism of pain does not distinguish cases of pain that do from those that do not help the individual survive: however the presence of non-discriminatory pain is an enabling factor in the survival of individuals in many instances and of continuity of the). Further pain is time limited and, at least in growth, it sometimes provides an opportunity to be on the way to meaning—i.e., growth of meaning-in-the-sense-of understanding my place in the Universe is a process. The metaphysics adds to the evolutionary account that death is not permanent and that the individual will have further chances for positive life. I.e. while the intersection of science and the metaphysics do not solve the problem of pain in a way that we might want, they give it what is indeed its best interpretation; they do not mislead us about the ‘intent’ of the Universe. When we understand this it becomes natural to change what we want to fit realism.

What is the significance of pain for those who do not understand their pain?

There are two aspects of this concern—the aspect of an organism that does not understand its pain and the aspect of others who have some understanding of pain and care for others, as in a parent caring for a child, and a human caring for an animal.

Let us consider the first the organism that does not understand its pain. Much of the significance of pain stated above applies in this case as well—even though the organism does not understand the pain or does so but partially. In the animal case—human and other—adult animals may provide comfort (this is often seen for domestic as well as wild animals); and human adults can help children through issues of meaning. Although pain hurts it—the hurt—is also functional and an opportunity for growth even though it is not always so.

Now consider the second aspect of the issue of pain and its significance. While a child may be unable to ‘understand’ his or her pain, adults can provide relief and consolation and the sincerity of the adult is best enhanced by a realistic understanding of pain as provided by their humanity and aided by science and the metaphysics. For an infant, parents can provide human warmth and palliative measures. For a child, parents can also provide simple understanding and hope appropriate to the child’s stage of development. Society may provide similar support for all its members; such support has economic limitations and the best use of resources is enhanced by understanding nature and role of relief and palliation.

Infinite Suffering?

The fundamental principle implies that suffering and pain have no limit. If this is true it would also seem true that pleasure has no limit. However, unlimited pleasure does not resolve the issue of pain—limited or unlimited.

One response to the problem of pain is ‘take the good with the bad’.

Are there other, perhaps more constructive responses? Some responses are given in the discussions above and below. However, the specific interest in this discussion is that of infinite pain.

The following arguments do not rule out infinite pain but suggest limitations to the possibility.

The conditions of our creation or origins (evolution) suggest limits to pain and pleasure. The finiteness of our lives are a curtain on all pain and pleasure. These arguments are practical rather than necessary. Is there a necessary argument that addresses the issue of infinite and everlasting pain?

The fundamental principle implies that no manifest Being is without limit—that limitlessness lies in the cycle of Being and non-Being or, perhaps more precisely, in cycles of manifestation and dissolution. Even Aeternitas—all knowledge and all Being in a moment—is not the Universe. Thus our identity cycles in and out of Being. Is there a possibility of recurrent pain? The fundamental principle implies that there is except that such cycles cannot be the rule and the exclusion of pleasure cannot be the rule.

What is the significance of recurrent pain of manifest forms. In our form we seem to not remember our other manifestations. Some persons claim to do so but it is not clear that there is any true remembering. Therefore pain that has this kind of recurrence is without significance to the recurrent forms (e.g., us) except of course that we may worry about it—have paranoia regarding it.

When we merge in higher form the recurrent pain takes on significance; however what is recurrent from our point of view is not recurrent from the higher vantage point.

The Practical Issue of Pain

The problem is not at all trivial. The existential side concerns the best address of the issue; the metaphysics sheds light on this concern. The practical side concerns minimization; here there are resource constraints—but we do not know precisely what they are.

A pessimist point of view—all is pain and suffering and death; assuming the worst stands us in good stead.

The optimist—there is a place of no pain; assuming the best is empowering.

The realist—life is what it is; its logic is that truth is the best approach and most empowering. Truth should be interpreted carefully; perhaps it is sometimes most truthful to be silent.

Regarding pain, there is sometimes no immediate address but to live through it: this may be instructive in number of ways—life and ideals remain important even in suffering; exposure is better than avoidance. Secondly we would understand and defuse pain. Third we may address and resolve pain. Finally, meditation may transform (our relationship to) pain.

 

Objects and Identity

 

24         

From FP every concept within Realism (Logic) has an OBJECT.

Whatever Is Logical is Reali.e. has an Object

This assertion founds the theory of objects developed here. I.e., the proper approach to objects is via the fundamental principle rather than a (deep) analysis of the idea of object and its disjunction into, say, idea and thing (e.g., phenomenon and noumenon). Regarding the object of which there is no concept at all we cannot even talk (the assertion that there is an object I cannot conceive at all contains an obvious contradiction).

As long as it remains within Realism (Logic), the entire human tradition of knowledge has an object.

 

This dissolves distinctions of kind and abstraction—unifies all kinds and abstracta in Realism, i.e. in the one Universe.

Dissolution of Distinctions of Kind and Abstraction. Expansion of the Scope of General Cosmology

Thus the scope of General Cosmology (below) is immensely expanded.

Unity of Kinds of Concrete Object

Kind refers to the distinctions of entity versus process, interaction, property, trope and simple versus complex versus compound… and abstraction distinguishes the concrete versus ‘abstract objects’ such as number, value, and concept.

Abstract Objects and Unification with the Concrete

The origin of the idea of an abstract object may be illustrated by the idea of number. Two oranges are a concrete object but what is the number two? (There could of course be objection to calling two oranges an object but this is no more an abstraction than calling a certain collection of elementary particles and forces an orange.) We may think of the term ‘two’ as a nominal device. However, the development of mathematical systems of power, scope, and consistency suggests that mathematical objects—e.g. number—exist and that ‘two’ is more than merely nominal.

A similar consideration arises in relation to properties. A red apple is a concrete object. Some thinkers hold that redness is a name but not something that has existence; others, however, hold that properties exist and that the kind of thing that they are is a Universal (and not a particular thing). However, provided that the concept of an abstract object is not in violation of Logic, it must have an object in the one Universe. The abstract resides in the same Universe as the concrete. The abstract objects do not reside in some Ideal or Platonic universe. And, certainly, the abstract objects are not mental objects (concepts are of course objects but their objecthood is not different than that of other objects and the term ‘mental object’ applied to a concept in order to explain how an abstract notion could exist has no significance).

The Abstract is not Essentially Non-spatial or A-causal. Rather, these Features are not Pertinent to the Abstraction

The abstract objects are often thought to be non causal and non-spatial but their precise nature is generally thought problematic. Here we see the abstract / concrete divide as roughly defined according to whether the object is known via perceptual versus non-perceptual concept. The abstract are not essentially non spatial (or non causal) but spatiality and causality may be without significance to the abstracted concept and its object.

Intuition is an Imperfect Guide to Objecthood

‘Object’ may refer to something thing- or process- or interaction-like. It may also refer to multiple things regarded as a single thing, to all things with a certain property, to certain aspects of things. The latter, in combination with our understanding of Realism (Logic) shows, again, the arbitrariness of the concrete-abstract distinction. Our form perceives the concrete, conceives the abstract (and may be mistaken in both cases). However what is percept for human being may be concept for another form (or another human being); and what is concept may be percept for another—perhaps higher—form. That something is abstract (or concrete) to us—or to any limited form—does not make it absolutely or universally abstract; our senses of the concrete and abstract give some sense but not absolute meaning and significance to the terms ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’.

Mathematics and Mathematical Objects

Thus all abstract objects, and therefore Mathematical objects are in the one Universe; they are not fictions or conventions—but may be studied as such; they do not lie in some special Platonic universe—but may be approximately understood as such; they are not essentially abstract in the sense of not-in-any-way-concrete—but may be understood as such; they are not mental objects—and such understanding is a caricature. Finally, the Mathematical objects are not concepts in themselves though we have (perhaps incomplete or approximate or inconsistent) concepts or conceptions of them. Thus there are Mathematical objects; and there are mathematical concepts; and the extent of Mathematical objects that are amenable to study via mathematical concepts is very much dependent on the intelligence of the mathematician—human or other. The essential point is that Mathematical objects exist in the one Universe; this existence is entailed by the fundamental principle even if recognition of the objects constitutes a problem for a limited intellect. We can now conceive mathematics as the study of objects whose form and structure is such that it is amenable to some combination of the intuition and symbolic capability of the mathematician—human or other; and, now, Mathematics will be the mathematics of the collection of all intellectual powers, i.e., of the greatest and unlimited intellectual power.

It is perhaps the case that the Universe is simultaneously Mathematician and Mathematical Objects at least in some manifestations.

Objects that Straddle the Abstract-Concrete Divide

Many objects straddle the abstract-concrete divide (a) in their nature, (b) in our early understanding, and (c) over history as one or other approach to study is more effective.

Property is an example of an object that straddles the divide, e.g. in that redness may be thought of as a ‘Universal, or as an instance or collection of instances of a concept.

When we ask what is the concept of ‘concept’ the fundamental principle informs us that concepts must reside somewhere in the one Universe; however in earlier understanding we may have been tempted to think of concepts as abstract or even mental objects.

An example of a type that changes over history is that of number which began as concrete, became formulated as abstract and today—with the advent of computer study—may be seen as hybrid. How can number itself change from concrete to abstract? It is occurs because the meaning of ‘number’ changes in the history of culture and mathematics: the word does not change while its meaning changes.

The Abstract and the Ideal

The idea of the abstract is related to the idea of the ideal. One meaning of the ideal has the ideal stand above the real as something to be attained—an idea worthy of realization. We now see the ideal as something that exists in this (one) Universe; examples given already are cosmos versus Universe, mathematics versus Mathematics, logic versus Logic; and we will see other distinctions such as religion versus Religion, science versus Science.

 

IDENTITY is (sense of) sameness of self or object. Identity is an aspect of objecthood; self is an aspect of certain objects—Individuals or persons.

Identity

As sameness ‘identity’ does not require perfect or absolute sameness. Identity is perhaps the essential aspect of objecthood.

Here, the emphasized use of the term is that of personal identity, i.e. sameness or sense of sameness of self. This entails a degree of wholeness and self-knowledge.

 

Practical objects are included as concept-objects according to ‘good enough’ instrumental andor value criteria.

Anticipating Applied Metaphysics

This resulting study may be called APPLIED METAPHYSICS whose further foundation is discussed later under method. Applied Metaphysics straddles the entire human tradition of knowledge and understanding.

 

REALIZATION

This division develops consequences of the metaphysics for identity of the Universe and the individual, for the variety of Being (and therefore of experience), and for the nature and necessity of a journey in ultimate realization.

 

 

General Cosmology—Universe, Identity, and Power

General Cosmology is commonly identified with but includes and is far greater than modern physical cosmology.

 

25         

The Universe has Identity in acute, diffuse, and non-manifest phases.

General Cosmology and its Foundation. Identity

General cosmology is the cosmology implied by implied by the fundamental principle: within Realism (Logic) every concept has an object. Modern physical cosmology is a small if not infinitesimal part of general cosmology. It has been seen in discussing Realism that there is no conflict between general and physical cosmology. The approach to general cosmology applies to physical cosmology. The latter has, of course, specialized methods appropriate to the special context that are therefore not generally applicable.

The method or foundation of cosmology begins with the fundamental principle as enhanced in study of Realism (Logic) and extended in the study of objects, above. The first main problem is that of interpretation of obvious consequences of these principles. The obvious consequences are suggested by our cumulative experience and knowledge, especially physical cosmology which, together with the principles, affords some interpretation. The second main problem is development of Realism (Logic) / theory of objects which will perhaps be a field that shall challenge the limits of limited (e.g. human) intelligence and is of course already begun in the development of logics, mathematics, science and other studies and which are now seen as closed in depth but endlessly open in variety (to limited intelligence).

 

This Identity has continuity across the non-manifest.

Nature of Identity. Soul

The continuity has similarity to ideas of soul.

How is continuity across the non-manifest possible? It is required by FP but we would like an explanation. A possible explanation is that the link between temporal regions is in a vaster non-temporal background (temporality is further discussed in the section General and Physical CosmologyVariety of Being).

 

The Universe is ultimate POWER (power is defined as degree of limitlessness).

Power. God

Power is degree of limitlessness. The Universe is ultimate power. The power of the Universe is that there is no state that it does not access (subject of course to Realism or Logic). The Universe must therefore have Being and Identity in manifest (acute and diffuse) and non-manifest phases; it must have limitless variety, extent (extension and duration and any other coordinate of difference), summit, and dissolution…

God—the concept—cannot be other than some identification with or within the Universe.

‘God’ may be implicated in the creation of a part of the Universe. However, the Universe is not created. The Universe just is.

 

It is in the nature of the limitlessness of the Universe that its Power is conferred on the individual.

The Power of the Universe is Conferred on the Individual

Else the Universe would be limited.

The assertion is subject to an exception—if the power is conferred on multiple individuals limitlessness is subject to conditions of coexistence. However, in acute manifestation the identity of the multiple individuals is Identity which has no coexistent.

 

Journey, Individual, and Eternity

 

26         

All individuals inherit (realize) the ultimate—the Universe and its Power.

Individual identity Merges in Identity

Realization would be subject to conditions of coexistence of individuals but for the fact of merging of identity in Identity.

 

For limited form, ideas—knowledge, understanding—must be essentially incomplete. For limited form, realization is given as an endless journey in interwoven ideas and action—unlimited in variety, magnitude (summit to dissolution), and extension-duration of Being.

Ideas are Essential but Incomplete

Ideas are essential to effectiveness and appreciation but are essentially incomplete without action which is required to result—and must occasionally result—in essential transformation of Being.

For a Limited Form Realization is a Journey without End

… And summits and dissolution of Being, which are also of unlimited variety and magnitude.

 

Demonstration—there is no limit to realization since a limit would be on the Universe. However, the concept—definition—of limited form is that it does not know-realize All Being in an instant.

On the Demonstration that Realization is a Journey

It is not clear that human being is essentially limited. However, we do not know that our form is unlimited and it is therefore conservatively appropriate to not assume that we are unlimited.

As noted earlier proofs of many general consequences of FP are trivial. In this case—since the givenness of the journey is so fundamental—I thought that a demonstration might be useful beyond being an illustration of demonstration.

 

For unlimited form realization is a single acute act of Being and perception.

For Unlimited Form Realization is Eternity in a Moment

This single act is Aeternitas—eternity in a moment.

It is now possible and appropriate to give some address to the extent of the limitlessness of the Universe.

The Absolute and its Nature

From the identification of metaphysics and Logic the limitlessness is absolute in some sense. However, the nature and extent of this limitlessness is not clear; it is not clear without investigation what this absolute is.

For a Limited Form Knowledge of Limitlessness Requires Experiment

From the conclusion regarding realization and explicit knowledge for a limited form a further conclusion may be drawn: discovery of the nature and extent of the limitlessness must have an experiential-experimental side—i.e. experience is not merely passive or merely flow: experiences are sought to confirm or disconfirm possibilities or apparent possibilities of Being. However, as noted earlier and emphasized subsequently this side includes but is not limited to the traditional experimentation of science.

As Science, Realization must grow to include Participation and Immersion

It must grow to include essential transformation of (limited) Being and the means of such transformation (and knowing) must include participation and immersion.

The limitlessness of the Universe is further explored below, especially in the following discussion of General and Physical Cosmology.

 

General and Physical Cosmology—Variety of Being

This section is about general and physical cosmology and their mutual study.

 

27         

DURATION is difference as change in the same object (the concept of sameness as an aspect of identity is developed in the Complete Edition: Objects and Identity); EXTENSION is difference coordinated to distinct objects. Duration and extension are precursors to space and time (these ideas are developed further in the Complete Edition: General and Physical CosmologyVariety of Being).

Extension and Duration as precursors to Space and Time

Duration is a conceptual precursor to time and extension to space.

The ideas of space and time are not prominent in the central theme of the narrative—i.e., a journey of realization (they are of course significant as coordinates of variety). However, space and time are placed here in the narrative to show the natural progression of conceptual development from sameness and distinction to identity to space and time.

Here, ‘change in the same object’ may be replaced by ‘change or sense of change for a given object’ and ‘distinction’ may be replaced by ‘sense of distinction’.

Process

Process is required by the fundamental principle; process is possible only in the presence of distinction and therefore of duration.

Relative Character of Space and time

Duration and extension are immanent in Being and therefore any space and time must be RELATIVE rather than ABSOLUTE—i.e. their existence is part of that of Being rather than separate from and independent of Being; however local regions may has as-if absolute space and time.

The Nature of Space and Time

In regions where identity is vague, extension and duration (and their perception or measurement) are vague. Because sameness and difference are interwoven, so are extension and duration or space and time. A given region may have multiple space-times and, e.g., signal speeds. Since sameness and distinction are dual, so are space and time; there are no further coordinates of difference except perhaps for Being versus non-Being.

 

The variety and extent of the Universe are unlimited.

Cosmology in a Phrase

That the variety, extension, and duration of Being in the Universe are unlimited will emerge as ‘cosmology in a phrase’. The fundamental principle is the core of the metaphysics and foundation of cosmology.

The Variety and Extent of the Universe are Unlimited

This begins explicit study of general cosmology and some of its simple relations to physical cosmologies.

 ‘Variety’ means variety of Being in… ‘Extent’ means extension, duration, and any other coordinate of distinction.

Origins and other Cosmological Phenomena

The fundamental principle implies that every cosmos could have originated from the Void—or any other state—in a single step. However, it is reasonable to think that this is relatively rare—i.e. even though FP implies that its occurrences are without limit, ‘normal’ origins occur far more often (in some probabilistic sense). Typical becoming from the Void is hardly that of a single step from nothingness to determinate structure; rather we expect some combination of lesser and larger increments—indeterministic transitions from relatively stable state to relatively stable state. Why are we not affected by such necessary becoming everyday. First, of course we are more than affected—we are such becoming; secondly, it occurs amid our cosmos (see ghosts below); third, such becoming must have sensible interaction with ‘our world’ to be known.

We may also enquire into the stability of our world. We do not know that it has absolute stability; rather there is some degree of stability. (Absolute stability requires perfect or frozen symmetry which is static and never comes into existence but if existing never decays.) This is no doubt because in the normal circumstances of becoming from the Void—or other state—those states endure which have relatively high degrees of symmetry and therefore of stability. There is a far less stable background that is interacting with us; however, it is an aspect of normal becoming versus ‘cosmological’ transients that those transients should, under normal circumstances and for times commensurate with the age of the cosmos or a fraction thereof, have little sensible effect.

Now reflect on the normally tenuous process of becoming. It is easy to reflect that there are multiple simultaneous becomings; and that given one, it may be seed for others which may then be mutually sustaining. Here (and in ghosts) lies a possible source of the ‘uncertainties’ and probabilities of quantum theory; and of a source of multiple histories. And since process and extension are implicated as part of this becoming here, too, lies a possible source of unification of quantum-wave matter and extension-duration (space-time).

How old is our cosmos? How long will it last? Current big-bang cosmology sets the present age of the cosmos at roughly 14 billion years. There is however no clear consensus regarding the destiny of the cosmos since there are a number of alternative qualitative models (freeze, crunch, bounce…). There are models based in the equations of general relativity in which the future of the cosmos is finite in time but the perception of time will change so that inhabitants will experience that finite time as unending. Such considerations do not address the question of what is outside the cosmos, what came before, and what will come after. Two lines of thought from modern physical cosmology focus on (a) multiverses and (b) the role of the quantum vacuum. However, neither of these approaches answers the question the original origin (and quantum vacuum must posit the vacuum which is far from being a true Void). The universal metaphysics of this narrative is the only approach—albeit a very general one—that sheds real insight on the ultimate origins, fate, and outside; it shows that—its methods show—that it is the unique metaphysics of the one Universe. At the most general level the metaphysics suggests that origins, fate, and outside may be indistinguishable (space and time not universal, intertwined). Secondly, the metaphysics shows that the manifest phases of the Universe may be considered as coming from the Void but that there is neither origin nor creation of the Universe as a whole; and that it is not clear what the meaning of age, future history, and extent of the Universe means. However, we do know that the Universe is without limit.

 

Cosmologies, Laws, and cosmological systems have no limit to their variety, number, and extent. They are relatively stable against a void and transient background.

What is the meaning of ‘number’ in this context?

Kinds of Law

Laws and knowledge laws may (a) transition ‘laterally’ to new kinds in which case the laws need not contain the present laws as specialized forms (there may be overlap); the variety is without limit and universal law at specific levels is not expected (and though it has been one of our ideals, such universal law is barred by the principle of limitlessness) (b) grow ‘vertically’ to encompass the new kinds; in this case universality may be approached at the expense of specificity; the limit of this process is—or lies within—the Universal Metaphysics defined below.

Emergence of Cosmological Systems

The multiplicity of cosmological systems emerges against a transient background itself emergent from the Void (analogous to the quantum vacuum).

Ghost Systems. Annihilators

There are ghost systems passing through ours even now with barely a whisper (to us).

We may imagine Logically consistent and therefore real annihilator systems that annihilate a cosmos; however, every cosmos is in effect also its own self-annihilator; stability however requires that self-annihilation is normally rare.

Every Cosmos is an Atom, Every Atom a Cosmos

From FP, every cosmos is an atom; every atom a cosmos; there are no finally indivisible particles; e.g., the indivisibility of leptons and quarks according to the standard theory is an artifact of symmetry and therefore stability to some but not all disturbances.

Structureless Particles Emit Fields of Force?

It is significant to reflect on that the idea that a particle without structure should emanate a field of force or emit a particle that mediates force. The very idea that a structureless particle or body should have a gravitational field seems dissatisfying in the sense that it seems to lack mechanism and explanation (the idea of a field would be similarly dissatisfying if a field had no form). For explanatory or mechanistic purposes, we expect divisibility and therefore unlimited divisibility. A counter position, of course, is that there is no requirement on ‘nature’ that it invariably be mechanistic or have explanation. In the end it is FP that informs us of unlimited divisibility but also of the necessity of as-if and local indivisibility.

The only true Fictions are Violations of Realism

Imagine a novel, a biblical scripture, a work of art, a piece of music; provided they have referential interpretation and lie within the bounds of Realism (Logic) they are realized in the Universe; and if it does not lie outside Realism, their occurrence is repeated without limit; or, perhaps, Realism may disallow unlimited repetition for some concepts (a novel is a concept)—repetition may be finite or limited according to case.

There is a cosmos with an ‘Earth’ on which ‘Jesus Christ’ caused to be made wine from water; and at another time he multiplied loaves of bread and fish. There is (within Realism—i.e., Logic) an otherwise limitless collection of such cosmological systems. No support is given by this conclusion to these occurrences having happened on this Earth.

Death

Death—as interruption of identity—is real but not absolute; with sufficient vision we might see beyond death.

Science, Participation, and Immersion

For limited forms of intelligence, a successful SCIENCE of the future must grow to emphasize immersion and participation—transformation must accompany ideas and instrumental change. This is no abandonment or refutation of scientific method as understood today. Immersion and participation and current methodology are complementary; in the pragmatic realm they are already though often implicitly integrated.

 

Mechanism is, roughly, structure and regularity of behavior that permits understanding and predictability.

Mechanism, Symmetry, Stability, and Conservation Laws

Mechanism is the result of sufficient symmetry and therefore stability that allows emergence of structure and predictability.

Mechanism may appear to the rule but is not the rule. Mechanism is prerequisite for acute perception and is therefore prerequisite for appearance of rule of mechanism.

The meaning and range of mechanism are far greater than in the classical interpretation of mechanism. An early notion of mechanism was the ‘clockwork universe’ of Newtonian Mechanics as celebrated by Pierre Simon Laplace (1729-1847): in that system given the universe moves as would a well made clock: given initial conditions—positions and velocities of all particles—the evolution of the Universe is then determined. Quantum mechanics and evolution by variation and selection—and far more—lie within an expanded notion mechanism. What is outside mechanism, e.g. showing no sign of regularity, at one level may have mechanism at another level.

The production of stable cosmological systems normally requires symmetry, conservation, and symmetry breaking (perfect symmetry is frozen—it can neither come into being nor decay). Emergence of life normally requires the possibility of complexity of an appropriate kind, incrementally via variation and selection (and thus does not require ‘special creation’).

Hyper and hypo conservative cosmologies are unstable and sterile, respectively; such considerations suggest conservation as a precondition for structure. This suggests that the conservation laws of physics of our cosmos are not universal but may be artifacts of the possibility of structure see (conservation laws and symmetry.html).

Disorder and order are duals except perhaps in cosmological phases where the dominance of some particular force—e.g., gravity—is ordering. Thus the law of increase of entropy (disorder) may be an artifact of the era of the cosmos in which we live—one that permits emergence of structure but in which the structuring ‘force’ is not so strong as to allow only the most perfect but therefore also trivial structure (and hence the ‘price’ of entropy production which is after all also the occasion for fecundity).

What are the aspects of structure that allow life and other complex forms? In this brief discussion let us look to something other than narrow regions of fundamental constants that allow such structure—for the limited character of such regions an artifact of the particular physics that obtains and of restriction of focus to the same. A long range, relatively weak, always attractive force (gravity) holds our cosmos together as a cosmos. Is it possible that gravity was once also repulsive and that the parts with repulsion broke off? Perhaps but that would seem to require major modifications in understanding gravity. There are three remarkable facts about gravity and mass (1) They are universal—even zero rest mass particles have mass (2) There is no negative mass (3) Gravitational and inertial mass are not a priori conceptually identical but are empirically the same—at least to within one part in 1012. Thus there are significant conceptual differences between gravity and the other (known) three fundamental forces. Perhaps gravity and inertia are the result of the mutual existence of all matter (and perhaps radiation) in our cosmos and, consequently, it may be the case that there was no original unification of gravity with the other forces (this does not imply that no unification could come about); this would be the case if gravity is cumulative in origin while the other forces are local in origin. Viewed this way there is perhaps no original unification of the fundamental forces and if this is true there is no need to seek understanding in terms of unification; however search for unification may help in verification or otherwise of original unity. Note that while the thought regarding lack of original unification is speculative, it is equally speculative to insist on original unification; it is efficient, when looking to future science, to keep open all options that there are no reasons to rule out. While we may think in terms of Ockham’s Razor in admitting hypotheses we should think in the contrary direction in ruling out possible hypotheses.

The electromagnetic and strong forces have a number ‘functions’ which include the presence of radiant energy, and of molecular (including organic) and nuclear (star driving) energy. It is also significant that the elementary particles have behaviors (quantum) that may be essential to the emergence and creativity of life but that are relatively non-manifest at the dimensions of organisms. This fosters the aspects of our form that make them classical (deterministic in behavior and form) and also allows immense variation as expression of the microscopic substrate (DNA). Search for universal kinds of symmetry and dynamics that are the womb of such phenomena is a potentially exciting and fruitful endeavor.

Symmetry enhances the emergence of structure. Perfect symmetry is frozen; somewhere ‘near’ symmetry is optimal for structure to emerge. This however, is not necessarily a new assertion that is essentially over and above the comments on conservation for there is at least some relation between conservation and symmetry.

However, the fundamental principle requires no mechanism and rejects universal mechanism—whether deterministic or otherwise.

Determinism

The idea of mechanism is related to predictability. It is related to determinism which is roughly the idea that there is no freedom in the Universe. Classical physics is deterministic in that given the positions and velocities of all particles in the Universe at one instant of time, the future evolution of the Universe is determined. If determinism holds of the Universe it must also hold for human beings. In a determinist view, therefore, we have no freedom of choice or creativity which includes the freedom to create essentially new ideas.

The world appears to have novelty in evolution and in human behavior: we appear to be able to make choices and we appear to be creative—i.e., to conceive novel ideas and make novel artifacts. If, under determinism, all is determined by what is given at one instant then creativity is indeterministic for creativity is coming up with what is not contained in what has been given. I hold, and will give arguments shortly, that the appearance of freedom of choice and creativity are not illusions—i.e. that we are not deterministic organisms and that, since we are part of the Universe, the Universe is indeterministic. I further suppose that human freedom (indeterminism) of the type being discussed is the result of the indeterminist properties of Being (the Universe) becoming part of the organism via evolution.

There are others who hold that (a) the Universe is deterministic (b) human behavior is determined or (c) both b and a and, usually, that b is the result of c. Such determinists may argue that we are determined by biology. Determinists do not deny the appearance of freedom and creativity and must therefore hold that freedom and creativity are illusions.

On an intuitive level it seems to me that determinism is harder to argue. Certainly there seems to be novelty in biology, certainly quantum mechanics suggests indeterminism (wave function evolution is deterministic but matter itself appears to be describable probabilistically at best) and many of those physicists who hold that quantum mechanics is deterministic believe that future physics will be indeterministic. If there is in fact true novelty, the world must be indeterministic; and it certainly seems that the world is indeterministic for about four billion years ago there was no life, and—regarding human creativity—no language.

Why, then, do some thinkers argue for determinism? I can only guess; and my guesses will of course derive from other thinkers. In the first place, indeterminism and ‘chance’ are ugly words to some people and suggest a chaotic world with no order. However, a little reflection shows that a deterministic world has no order other than has always been there; an indeterministic world allows novel order to arise, e.g. by variation and selection—i.e. by indeterministic transition from relatively stable-near symmetric-structure to new relatively stable-near symmetric-structure (the thought that indeterminism is the rule of disorder is fallacious). Further reasons for allegiance to determinism may result from centuries—the 16th through 19th—of deterministic science and longer periods of determinism in religion. Early education often presents determinist paradigms and some persons invest some sense of self in such paradigms.

I must admit here that determinists may argue that it is the indeterminists who come arguing from psychological predispositions and paradigmatic commitments.

No doubt all human beings have psychological and paradigmatic dispositions. These have little to do with the formal logic of the situation (I say ‘formal’ logic because the fact of dispositions may have some bearing on the matter; however, I shall not here follow up on this possibility).

What in fact is the case?

Determinism and the Universal Metaphysics

Let us conceive determinism as the idea that the entire Universe is determined by a part of it. In temporal determinism the part is any slice of the Universe at some point in time. The more general definition is desirable because we do not know from common experience and science and we do know from the Universal Metaphysics that temporality is not the rule in the entire Universe.

My source for the (essentially atemporal but conditionally temporal) notions of indeterminism and determinism of the previous paragraph are the suggestion of William James in The Dilemma of Determinism, 1884 (in the Unitarian Review).

In a limited view, e.g. classical mechanics and certain classical paradigms of (human) being such as the biologism of Freud, determinism reigns. In a more comprehensive view, e.g. one that encompasses newer physics and more liberal ideas of human nature, indeterministic elements are admitted. Such views are persuasive because they are necessary to true novelty but they are not necessarily true for we may have the illusion of novelty. Such views are further persuasive from science but as we have seen while science so far is highly suggestive its suggestions are not necessary.

It seems then that indeterminism holds but traditional thought provides no ‘knockdown’ argument for or against indeterminism.

However, the Universal Metaphysics has bearing on the issue. From the Universal Metaphysics there must be regimes of determinism as well as indeterminism. Our regime or cosmos is determinist for some purposes but must, per the metaphysics, be indeterminist for other purposes. It is inherent in the concepts of determinism and indeterminism that the whole is indeterministic if any part of it is. Therefore the Universal Metaphysics implies that the Universe is indeterministic.

Let us follow this up in a little more detail.

In our normal descriptions of our cosmos the future is conditioned by the past; if physics is not entirely determinist then the future is conditioned but not determined by the past. The Universal Metaphysics confirms the latter—conditioning with out determination. The Universal Metaphysics requires normal regimes but also says that beyond the normal regions there is absolute freedom (there is no state does not emerge). In the large scale view, from a given state, there is no preferred state—i.e. any state may emerge. In this sense the Universe is and must be ABSOLUTELY INDETERMINISTIC—from a given state any state may follow.

However, it is also true that from a given state every state will follow. In this sense the Universe is also ABSOLUTELY DETERMINISTIC.

Is this paradoxical? It is not for, in these senses, the Universe is both absolutely deterministic and indeterministic and each—of course—Logically implies the other.

It is interesting and significant that on the most restrictive views the Universe is deterministic; when we relax some constraints—which are artificial and paradigmatic rather than inherent—the Universe thus seen is indeterministic; and when all constraint is relaxed the Universe is both absolutely determinist and absolutely indeterminist. How is this possible?

The determinism of the most restrictive ‘universe’ is that of its utter lack of freedom. The determinism of the least restrictive ‘universe’, which per FP is the Universe, is that ‘everything occurs’ (which is both determinism and indeterminism). And the indeterminism of the in-between restriction is that of some things are determined but others are not.

Cause and Mechanism

I will not go into a detailed discussion for a full treatment of these topics would require more space (and time) than I am prepared to commit. However, may be said that it is clear that since determinism, causation, and mechanism are related the foregoing discussion will have implications for causation and mechanism.

We may anticipate that in a most restricted universe (e.g. a universe of discourse) causation and mechanism will obtain; that in a less restricted universe there may be some mix of causation and mechanism on the one hand and freedom from these categories on the other hand; and that the Universe at large will be marked, not only by a mix as in the case of partial restriction, but also, with appropriate interpretation, equivalences of mechanism and non-mechanism and of causation and absence of causation.

 

Experience and Being

What is the relation between Experience and Being?

This is the general form of the issues of mind and matter.

28         

If matter is an exclusive substance, mind is impossible and must therefore be material.

Matter as Exclusive Substance is Untenable

A SUBSTANCE is here understood as a uniform and unchanging stuff (or kind) that is the source or deterministic generator of All Being (the stuff need not be ‘material’ but could, e.g., be symbolic or linguistic as in the ‘word’ as the source of Being; and stuff need not be remote or abstract as in, e.g., water or personal gods as substance). A substance is understood as exclusive if it admits no other kind.

 

Experience is essence of mind; its primitive form is effect; higher forms are built of the primitive.

Experience isthe Essence ofMind

Experience is the occasion for the term ‘mind’ as distinct from mere ‘mechanical intelligence’. Other aspects of mind have been labeled its essence—among its list of essential aspects. These include attitude and action. These however are experience together with some additional feature. And it is somewhat arbitrary whether we attach the label mind to mechanical intelligence. Experience is what differentiates significant Being from mechanical being; and intelligence, attitude (believing, intending, knowing connection, goal thinking), and action are among the forms of experience.

If we allow primitive experience, i.e. if we allow effect in addition to what is experienced as experience, then all mental content is experience.

Mechanical Intelligence

We should now correct comments above on mechanical intelligence. All intelligence—from FP—must involve mind; mechanical intelligence is simply mind of a different degree (there is mind in an electronic computer but the mind associated with the instance of binary states and transitions in matter is a low degree of mind—experience—and therefore, if there is any ‘consciousness’ associated with binary computation it is unlikely to be acute and focal or intrinsically self-referential). The mental aspect of binary or digital state computation is minimal in relation to the mechanical.

Suggestions Regarding Intentionality and Action

Here are two suggestions about intentionality and action.

It was noted above that attitude and action have been regarded as among the features that define or mark mind. In the literature of philosophy ‘intentionality’ has been used as an alternative to ‘attitude’; this remark is pertinent here because ‘attitude’ is used in a different sense in this work.

The first suggestion regarding intentionality and action is noted above: they are not essential in showing what mind is; rather they are experience with certain other features.

For intentionality the other features have been said to be ‘the ability of minds to be about or stand for things’ (or about properties or states of affairs). The second suggestion is that intentionality may be understood in terms of the analysis of meaning given earlier in the essay. The meaning of a word was analyzed as a sign that is more or less abstract but that has associations which include some iconic element that makes it possible for the word (concept) to represent some object (thing, property, state of affairs…) It was noted earlier that without the iconic component or association it is impossible for a concept to refer to anything and that it is the iconic component that makes for reference. The second suggestion is that it is precisely the iconic association that constitutes the essential ingredient of about-ness or standing for while it is the abstract (sign) component of meaning that masks the about-ness and therefore apparently needing analysis.

 

The metaphysics makes substance untenable, thus enables the interpretation: MATTER as FIRST and MIND as SECOND ORDER BEING.

Interpretation of Matter and Mind as First and Second Order Being

In detail—in relinquishing the untenable idea of (matter as) substance, the metaphysics enables the interpretation: matter and mind as first and second order being, respectively.

The distinction between first and second order Being vanishes because the metaphysics requires unlimited divisibility (see the section Every Cosmos is an Atom, Every Atom a Cosmos) Being and experience are identical (at root). Pure experience is inner effect (and affect). Both may have spontaneous origin but not under all orders of mechanism.

Rejection of Spinoza’s theory of Attributes

Since ‘third order’ Being has no significance, Spinoza’s theory of attributes stands meaningless.

Experience and the notion of Truth

An experience falls under Realism (Logic) if it purports to represent, i.e. if it has referential form. If an experience has referential form, Realism (Logic) distinguishes faithful (TRUE) from non-faithful (FALSE) representation. It is important in evaluating this assertion to recognize that it includes the traditional ideas of logic and science.

 

From FP, experience and Being are coextensive and are the place of significance.

Experience and Being are Coextensive and are the Place of Significance

In detail—from the fundamental principle, range of experience at its peak is that of Being and experience is the place of occurrence of meaning-in-the-sense-of-significance.

When the concept of ‘idea’ is interpreted with sufficient generality it merges with action. The directed processes of Being are interactions within the realm of idea-action.

 

Consciousness, Life, and Mechanism

The discussion of this section is open ended with respect to the meaning of ‘mechanism’.

29         

On Earth we find life to be organizations of matter; we normally associate mindconsciousness and primitive experience—with life.

We may distinguish consciousness (e.g. acute, focal even self-referential consciousness) form primitive experience or, in a less standard use, identify the former as higher and the latter as lower or primitive consciousness.

 

What are the general relations among these aspects of Being and mechanism?

The question is significant in contemplating and planning exploration. It also has significance, especially in absence of an overarching metaphysics—e.g. if we did not want to use the metaphysics of the narrative—to reflection on the notions of life after death, consciousness and its embodiments, and the idea of leaving behind a legacy.

 

Adequate address of the question will require simultaneous ideal generalization of all pertinent concepts.

Otherwise we may give an impression of depth but be essentially empty.

Simultaneous generalization may be arrived at iteratively.

 

Under mechanism (1) Life has material form (2) All experience has material embodiment, and (3) Higher experience or consciousness associates with life.

Outside mechanism, in the transient realm, we may anticipate exceptions to the speculation to the left.

Though lacking in stability, the transient realm is transitional between different levels and regions of mechanism.

 

METHOD

This division reviews, criticizes, and further develops the concept of metaphysics and the universal metaphysics of the narrative and its method. It and it addresses the question of doubt regarding the universal metaphysics and action under doubt.

 

 

Metaphysics

 

30         

Metaphysics is Realism (Logic).

The Concept of Metaphysics Reviewed

METAPHYSICS is understood as knowledge of Being as Being—i.e. knowledge of ‘things as they are’.

Criticism of this Concept of Metaphysics. Response

In this narrative we use the term metaphysics in the sense of knowledge of Being as it is. This idea is close to an original conception that occurs in the writing of Aristotle who refers to a science of being as being but does not use any Greek equivalent of the term ‘metaphysics’—the term itself occurs in the writings of commentators. The conception of metaphysics as knowledge of Being has been widely criticized in modern western thought and is today regarded by many thinkers as particularly naïve. While the criticisms are regarded as having invalidated this conception of metaphysics no systematic or principled alternative has arisen. There is no modern consensus on metaphysics and there is no sense that it has or even can be given an explicit, definite, and coherent definition. Therefore a number of activities have arisen that have some affinity with older ideas and that are regarded as metaphysics. These activities include, for example, metaphysics as the study of the universe of experience or of abstract objects or as a set of topics that have a metaphysical component—e.g., the problems of space and time and of free will.

The reasons for the criticism of naïveté have been elaborated and addressed in the earlier section Traditional Metaphysics. Criticisms. Initial Response to Criticisms.  It was seen earlier that the modern criticisms do not hold. It was argued that we would present metaphysics as knowledge of Being. This has now been done. Therefore while the modern studies are important the older notion is restituted in systematic and principled form. The method of the present development validates the meaning given here which is close to an original meaning in western philosophy. Further the array of problems currently considered to be metaphysics may be seen to fall under metaphysics as understood in this essay. It is therefore reasonable to forward this understanding of metaphysics as the significant meaning of the term metaphysics.

Metaphysics is Logic

The metaphysics is the only metaphysics in the sense of metaphysics as knowledge of Being—we have seen that the metaphysics is perfect, unique, and ultimate universal metaphysics. This claim has been demonstrated on the understanding that we are concerned with general metaphysics at a not too detailed level of description. Further, the metaphysics has been shown to be Logic. Therefore metaphysics and Logic are identical.

Metaphysics as knowledge of Being is the first conception and understanding of what metaphysics is. It is then found that logic, though different in concept, is instrumentally the same as logic. This finding has inadequacies that are corrected by defining Logic as the requirement on concepts that they have reference. The definition may appear at odds with logic but, given the fundamental principle, it is shown to be sound. Then, Logic as metaphysics is instrumental in the development and application of the metaphysics: the instrumental character of Logic begins with incorporation of the logics and sciences under Logic.

 

The narrative so far provides demonstration of a perfect, unique, and ultimate UNIVERSAL METAPHYSICS.

The Metaphysics is a Perfect, Unique, and Ultimate Universal Metaphysics

This has been shown by construction and is now reviewed in what follows.

The metaphysics is Perfect—an actual metaphysics must be PERFECT, i.e. even though projection is not and need not be eliminated projective distortion can be eliminated.

(It is important that so far the elimination of this distortion obtains only for the basic concepts and that its significance extends at least implicitly, via Realism (Logic), to the Universe).

The metaphysics is Unique—as knowledge of Being, there can be only one metaphysics of any region or object.

The metaphysics is ULTIMATE. (1) It is ultimate with regard to foundation or depth: the foundation is without substance or regress—every object may be seen as the substance of all objects and every object is its own FORM or substance or foundation of Being—every object is placed on the same status and the metaphysical status of concepts is distinguished only by Realism (Logic). That every object can be regarded as its own form makes the notion of form metaphysically uninteresting even though cosmologically interesting. That every object can be regarded as the substance of all objects depends on a non-standard meaning of substance that is a trivialization of the notion of substance from the point of view of metaphysics even though not from local points of view, e.g. for our cosmos. (2) The metaphysics is ultimate with regard to breadth—it implicitly captures the variety of the Universe which it shows to be ultimate and without limit.

The metaphysics is Universal—it is metaphysical knowledge of the Universe and. Further, it shows that what lies in the Universe is far greater than the concrete. This was seen in Objects and Identity where it was further seen (a) that there is a real sense in which the concrete are not as concrete as we might think for their concreteness depends significantly on their intuitive concreteness to our form and (b) the abstractness of abstract objects is similarly relative to our intuition and that the abstract objects reside in the one Universe just as much as the concrete. These comments are a partial recasting of a fundamental conclusion of the section on objects and identity—the conclusion that there is no fundamental distinction between the concrete and the abstract.

On Form and Substance

It is interesting to inquire further into the notions of Form and substance—to see what we may conclude regarding these classical notions from the metaphysics. The interest will be (a) clarification of the notions and (b) that this clarification is an example of the power of the metaphysics.

The meaning of substance so far in this narrative is that of ultimately simple—e.g. unchanging, uniform—universal source or cause (it has been allowed that this substance need not be some kind of ‘stuff’ or process whether physical or ideal / mental in nature). There is a second meaning of substance due to Aristotle who asked what is the ‘substance’ of an particular or genus, e.g. that of a horse or of horses. Plato asked a similar question, i.e. what the source of the Form of the genus is.

Plato’s answer was that there is an ideal world of Forms that is the source of the less than ideal forms of genii of our world. It appears that Plato was asking what the source or cause of the being of genii may be and that Aristotle’s notion of Substance in the second sense was also that of source or cause of individual or genus.

We could—at least hypothetically, in the case of life—attempt to identify the substance of a genus with its DNA. Thus in a cosmos such as ours the notions of Form and substance have explanatory uses and today we would perhaps be inclined to Aristotle’s explanation.

However, Plato’s notion is no less useful if we think of Form of an individual or genus as the symmetries that make for stability (and via imperfect symmetry and therefore less than absolute stability that also make for change). In these interpretations Plato’s notion of Form may be seen as ‘immanent cause’ and Aristotle’s Substance as one kind of material cause. From the point of view of the metaphysics, however, such ideas have limited application. From the metaphysics every object may be seen as the Substance of all objects including itself; and every object may be seen as its own Form.

The analysis of form, substance, and foundation in the previous paragraphs trivializes the concepts and makes them metaphysically though not pragmatically, scientifically, or locally superfluous.

That is, perfect knowledge is obtained in the direction depth. Knowledge and Being are ever open in the direction of variety (regarding which there is implicit perfection).

 

We may therefore call it the metaphysics.

 

 

Trivially, from demonstration of the metaphysics, metaphysics is actual and possible.

Possibility of Metaphysics has been Demonstrated by Constructing The Metaphysics

It is important to recognize that this is no claim to explicit empirical knowledge of every detail in the Universe. Rather it is an explicit claim of knowledge of the Universe as a whole and in some of its general features which includes implicit knowledge of detail. Explicit knowledge for a limited knower requires endless process.

The method of demonstration and construction has been remarked upon during the process. The method so far is adequate to its task of developing and demonstration of the metaphysics. The elements of the method are drawn together in the section Ideas, and Metaphysics, and their Method.

 

Doubt and Doubting

 

31         

Doubt arises over ‘ever presence’ of the Void and so over FP.

Doubt Regarding the Fundamental Principle

We have seen occasion for doubt in the earlier demonstration of the principle.

The Fundamental Principle is Worth Doubting

The fundamental principle is of course internally and externally consistent.

Internal consistency and external consistency refer to conceptual or Logical Realism and empirical or factual and scientific Realism, respectively. It has been seen that it is proper to combine the two under the label of formal Realism. With an extension of Logic from concept-concept relations to include percept-concept relations, this formal Realism is also an extended Logical Realism.

From consistency, the fundamental principle is worthy of rational consideration and therefore of rational doubt.

From the significance of the principle (which we have seen and continue to see) it is worthy of significant doubt.

The Value of Doubt

Doubt has historically been an important component of ‘method’ in arriving at greater certainty by questioning what is taken for granted. This importance is emphasized. As an element of method, doubt may be included under criticism and therefore under reflexivity.

 

The path to certainty requires us to admit and investigate doubt.

The Path to Certainty Requires Doubt

In detail—in knowledge, admitting and investigating doubt are among first essentials to allaying doubt—i.e. to being on the road to what certainty may be possible.

Doubt and Certainty as Duals

I.e. DOUBT and CERTAINTY appear as duals. Doubt is essential in metaphysics where the goal is more than practical for metaphysics is knowledge of the world as it is.

Absolute Doubt?

Even though we have no absolute certainty regarding significant ideas and action, it now appears that doubt is being raised to the position of an absolute.

There is something paradoxical about absolute doubt for should we not under the reign of absolute doubt also have doubt regarding (absolute) doubt.

This paradox is formal in nature—the idea of absolute doubt is applied somewhat indiscriminately—but raises the question of the nature and function of doubt.

If the function of knowledge has to do with quality of life and action and the functioning of doubt has to do with quality of knowledge should not doubt directly serve life?

If so, there are times to hold significant doubt—i.e. doubt that does not stem from absurdity or inconsistency—in abeyance. There are occasions to act as-if certain.

 

Our most certain—but significant—endeavors harbor uncertainty.

Our Most Certain Endeavors Harbor Uncertainty

The uncertainty is well known though not always acknowledged.

We admit the ‘risk’ of acting under uncertainty. With regard to knowledge we may say that the goal of its processes are not just knowing or knowledge but also and essentially include action. There are realms of complete separability of knowledge and action. At root, however, knowledge and action are inseparable (more will be said on this). In all cases, however, knowledge remains incomplete without action.

The most certain endeavors include, e.g., established empirical science but especially established logic and mathematics (except for some elementary regions of logic and mathematics). However, we allow such uncertainty since the goals of understanding include action as well as knowledge.

 

This uncertainty is occasion for an EXISTENTIAL ATTITUDE that encourages outcomes of greatest ideal value.

These Considerations of Uncertainty are an Occasion for an Existential Attitude

This attitude, reflective and emotive, may be called existential Logic or Realism.

This existential attitude is not nihilist. It provides a meaning for FAITH. The Universal Metaphysics empowers an optimistic attitude (it seems that personal nihilism versus optimism is more a function of person and circumstance than of essence of knowledge and Being).

Allocation of Resources

An existential attitude encourages reflection reflective in allocating energies to action under uncertainty regarding an outcome that is of (immense) value and necessarily emotive (passionate) in its approach to goals (that it is passionate does not imply that it is non rational or irrational; to think so would be a so-common either-or error).

The balance between resources allocated to secure versus insecure outcomes of differing values may be seen as one of optimizing expected outcome.

 

Further Demonstration of the Fundamental Principle

The Goal of Demonstration is to Now Further Investigate Certainty of the Principle

32         

It is useful to consider alternative demonstrations of FP.

Nature of the Demonstrations of the Principle

All demonstrations of the principle (here) have some kinship to the idea that a Law is not something that merely ‘applies’ or describes to things but is part of thing-hood in the large and, therefore, there are no Laws of ‘non-Being’.

 

An improved proof. If the Universe were in a void state there would be no Laws and so every state would emerge. However the void state is present with the manifest Universe which is therefore limitless.

An Improved Proof that also shows Existence of the Void

This is an improvement over the earlier demonstration. The purpose of this form of the proof is to avoid positing the existence of an actual Void as though it were itself a manifest state.

 

A heuristic alternative. As absence of Being, there is no distinction between existence and non-existence of the Void which may therefore be taken to exist.

Heuristic Arguments whose Function is to help Remove Doubt

Since the assertion applies at the point of doubt for the first demonstration (earlier) its power is to remove that doubt. However the absence of distinction appears to be logical rather than ‘material’. Therefore, the effect of this ‘demonstration’ is perhaps a movement in the direction rather than achievement of absolute certainty.

 

A second heuristic alternative. Apply Ockham’s Razor to the question ‘What does not have Being?’ The minimal hypothesis is that no (Realistic or Logical) concept lacks an object.

This is a heuristic or plausible argument whose function is to give further force to the fundamental principle. However, it is not a necessary argument (demonstration).

 

Doubt and Existential Attitude

 

33         

Because doubt about existence of the Void remains, need for an existential component to Realism (Logic) remains.

Remnant Doubt and its Sources

This remnant of doubt has two sources. The first source is that I have not convinced myself that the Void exists or is ‘present with the Universe’ even though the demonstrations show no glaring fallacy. Second, doubt is especially important on account of the immense significance of the metaphysics.

Existential Attitude

The second source of doubt is not only rational. For a conceptual conclusion of this magnitude there must be what may be called EXISTENTIAL DOUBT.

A Comment on Humor

Humor is pertinent to cultivation of (good) existential attitude. Humor is discussed in the later section Civilization, Human Being, and the Universe.

Existential Realism

Realism (Logic) is thus formal—conceptual and empirical—and existential.

 

Even if FP is certain, there is no guarantee of realization to any particular limited form.

Even Under the Fundamental Principle, Limited Forms have no guarantee of Realization in ‘this’ Life

For a given limited form the guarantee of realization may require transformation to other different limited forms with continuity of identity.

 

An appropriate existential attitude will be potent in realization.

An Appropriate Existential Attitude will be Potent in Realization

An appropriate existential attitude will be potent in realization.

 

In absence of certainty, the dual of doubt is attitude.

Attitude as Dual to Doubt

I.e. the dual of doubt is appropriate existential attitude rather than (search for) certainty.

The dual of doubt is an appropriate existential attitude which is in general open to context but includes degrees of certainty in special situations. This attitude is in part a response to rational and existential doubt.

This is a modification of the earlier assertion that doubt and certainty are duals.

Absence of certainty is (may be seen as) a value.

Certainty would not be a value if it were guaranteed.

 

Fundamental Principle as Hypothesis

 

 

An alternative to certainty is to regard thought-action based on the limitlessness of the Universe as an experiment.

In absence of (certain) demonstration of the principle, the experiment has risk and potential for outcomes of immense value—as noted earlier devotion of some resources to this experiment ‘optimizes expected outcome’. Naturally, this optimization is rough and ready; we are borrowing terminology from a field (optimization theory and related disciplines) whose techniques are hardly applicable. What we are doing is to simply point out that there is immense gain from regarding life as an experiment (some of the time) in which we spend some energy on realization of the ultimate (in interaction with energies spent on the day to day and on what we value in ‘this world’).

This point of view is somewhat instrumental for there is a sense in which realization is the point of Be-ing.

 

Truth, Assertion, and Declaration

A standard function of an assertion is to tell truth. This section explores and affirms an alternative function of assertion in making truth. This function includes but is greater than assertion in its standard meaning. Further it is not any combination of the standard ‘illocutionary’ kinds mentioned below for it recognizes the scope of knowledge and language as going beyond any view of it that separates knowledge and world.

In the 1970’s there was a debate between John Searle and Jacques Derrida regarding J. L. Austin's theory of the illocutionary act. Derrida appreciated Austin’s recognition that language is more than denotation but deplored that Austin did not go far enough.

Here we find other directions in which there are standard accounts of the nature of knowledge and language but that the reality content of knowledge and language may go beyond our grasp and may perhaps, in part since knowledge and language are known in knowledge and via language, be essentially beyond our grasp.

34         

What attitude is productive of the greatest outcome? Is it to treat FP as hypothesis or as fact?

 

 

We assert the truth of a state of state of affairs. Some social states are conventionally true by declaration, e.g. ‘I crown you king’.

Given some propositional content, its assertion is a statement that the content holds true of the world (the word or content fits the world). There are four other standard types of ‘illocutionary act’, i.e. the direction (e.g., command, in which world fits word), the commission (world fits word), the expression (null fit), and the declaration (two way fit).

 

However I do not make universal gravitation true by declaration.

I think I cannot make universal gravitation true by declaration. However, that is not the point here. It is in the nature of my experience of the physical world that it is not made by declaration (some thinkers hold otherwise—they hold that the very way we see the entire world is at least in part an artifact of culture and further that there is no ‘real’ way that the world, physical or other, is).

Some social states of affairs are true by declaration. We think, however, that physical truths are not made true by declaration. As noted this is not universally held true. According to cultural relativists there is a declarative aspect to physical truth. However, since such persons hold that science is relative to culture they must further hold that there are no truths of science and therefore no ‘truths’ to be made true either by scientific method or by cultural convention or declaration.

We can however conceive of a God of the Universe (such a God would not be outside the Universe but would be the Universe or part of it and could not make the Universe in that the Universe is not ‘made’ but is) who makes the physical truths of a cosmos by declaration (this is a stretch of imagination for we think that even omnipotence would have to engage in construction).

Nonetheless FP implies that even human being has such (normally unrealized) power.

 

Can the—greatest realization of—FP be made future true, by present declaration?

What is the boundary between such declaration and assertion?

However, the declaration (as illocution) is not creative. An institution is created in social process. A declaration marks its invocation or an instance of its invocation. Thus the fit is world fits word but also word fits world. The moment it is declared it may also be asserted (with truth). What is asked here is as follows. Suppose an assertion is not known to be true but its assertion as-if true (which is different from stating it as a hypothesis) makes it true now or in the future, e.g. by initiating effort and perhaps further by regarding this effort as an intrinsic part of declaration, (thus the assertion itself is not a declaration). This may have the psychological function of affirmation andor the reality function of creation. What then is the type of illocution? It is not one of the standard five. However, like declaration it is a two way fit. Unlike declaration the linguistic act is creative (if you are God) or for limited form may result in creation. It is not epistemically valid to conflate affirmation-assertion with assertion but there seems to be some moral value to it. If I call it assertion can I be held epistemically accountable? To ask this is to ask also regarding the nature and function of knowledge and whether the best definition of knowledge is that we have knowledge when we know or, equivalently, whether knowing is an ultimate value that holds over creating (perhaps because we have a world view in which we can know things that we cannot create).

 

Ideas, and Metaphysics, and their Method

This Section Collects and Formalizes the Method of the Metaphysics So Far

The idea of method and methods used here have been introduced and justified in the development. It will be useful to encapsulate and enhance what has emerged so far.

It is characteristic of ‘method’ that it is perfect in some directions and at most guiding in other directions. These ‘other’ directions will require imagination, experiment, criticism, and action tailored to the context.

Method will be reviewed in two places—here in relation to metaphysics and knowledge and later in relation to method for transformation.

Regarding knowledge, there are two sections—the present section and the next on Applied Metaphysics. Method for transformation will be called ‘ways’ or ‘approaches’ and discussed in Approaches to Transformation and subsequent sections. Approaches to transformation will be an extension of method discussed here and will be used in (a journey of) realization.

35         

Development of the metaphysics begins with analysis of and synthesis of meaning.

Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning

Analysis of meaning is empirical—experiential—and conceptual. Synthesis of meaning is conceptual and experimental and via experiment it is also empirical.

Stages of this development include analysis of meaning itself; iterative selection and analysis of concepts; abstraction and naming of the concepts (givens and derived from givens) that suffer no projective distortion. Synthesis is implicit in clarification of the nature of meaning, in selection of the concepts, and in adjustment and abstractive—often maximal—broadening of the meanings of concepts via new experience and seeking such experience which is necessary to an experimental attitude.

Regarding concepts that are derived from givens, it is necessary to show how the derivation itself has a given component; this was done in developing the concept of Logic.

A more complete list of fundamental concepts includes meaning, experience, Being, sameness and difference, Identity, extension and duration, Universe, Law, domain, Void, Logic, and object.

While the individual objects—especially Being and Universe—are important, the system of concepts is especially important in its coming together in powerful articulation.

Selection and evaluation of the concepts is also important. This selection is naturally a process of trial and error in interaction with the developing theory and in interaction with experience and the thought of others. This multifaceted process of horizontal interaction among ideas and vertical interaction between content and approach (method, criticism, imagination) may be called REFLEXIVE.

That method and metaphysics (content) emerge together is an aspect of reflexivity.

Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning: Brief Critique

Analysis of meaning has been proposed by some thinkers as a way of discovery. A famous example concerns the planet Venus which sometimes appears as the morning star and at others as the evening star which were not originally known to refer to the same object—later recognized to be the planet Venus. The Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa (On the Astronomical Records and Babylonian Chronology, 1581 BC) shows that the Babylonians understood the two were a single object. Some philosophers have regarded this identification as based on analysis of meaning. This claim has been rightly criticized—the discovery of the identity of the evening and the morning star is a discovery of astronomy and not the result of analysis of the original meanings of the terms. This does not impact the idea of discovery as analysis and synthesis of meaning for the process of discovery—of astronomy in this example—is part of analysis and synthesis of meaning: i.e. the creation of meaning depends on more than what we think of as analysis of received meaning. Whereas analysis is uncovering what is already known though pehaps implicit, discovery is one form of synthesis of meaning.

 

From concepts to system—analysis-synthesis of Law and Void enable deduction—synthesis—of FP.

Systems of Concepts and System Meaning: The Metaphysics

The nature and selection systems of concepts and system meaning are discussed above. This section records some consequences.

Reflect, first, on the metaphysics. The first concept is Being, chosen for its inclusiveness and neutrality and that it lies outside projective distortion (and as a result of which the fundamental concepts of Universe, Law, and Void also lie outside projective distortion). We then consider the Universe which is All Being. The significance of Universe as All Being begins with ‘All’ and ‘Being’; it is not the physical universe, not the observed universe, not the observable universe; from the inclusivity of ‘All’ and the neutrality of ‘Being’ there is nothing outside the Universe; therefore it has no creator or creation; and it is in the nature of the Universe that it may be far greater than our cosmos (i.e. its being greater than our cosmos—an assertion that it is greater—contradicts neither cumulative experience, nor modern physical science and cosmology, nor logic). In consequence the ideas of Being and Universe are not subject to limitations of the notions of mind or matter or material / observed / observable Universe.

The next concept is Law; Laws have Being (from neutrality and further, if Laws did not have Being they would not exist even as laws for Laws / laws must be somewhere if only as mere conceived correlations) and all Laws are in the Universe (which is All Being). The final of the fundamental concept mentioned above is the Void or absence of Being. From the neutrality of Being and Universe, we derive the most powerful argument for the existence of the Void which is also an argument that the Void may be far greater than the quantum vacuum (just as the Universe may be far greater than our cosmos).

Now from the properties and existence of the Void we derive its limitlessness and so the limitlessness of the Universe (and this, the fundamental principle, has been well developed in the foregoing; here we see, in particular, that the Universe is far greater than our cosmos understood as the observed universe so far and that Void and therefore the Universe are far greater than the quantum vacuum as understood so far).

What is the system sequel? It now goes beyond the fundamental essentially perceptual conceptions of the previous paragraphs of this section. Here we go back to the analysis of meaning and express the fundamental principle in terms of concepts and reference and this, via abstraction of the principle and notions of logic, entails a new immensely powerful notion of Logic and the expression of FP in terms of Logic: the Universe is the object of Logic (the tie in to experience has just the motivation of this development as well as the motivation that consideration of experience ties human being to and places human being in relation to world as seen in the abstraction of the metaphysics). While the logics are empirical in a way described earlier, Logic abstracts the essence of the logics and is therefore beyond distortion. The price for this is of course that the logics are implicit in Logic. This is the beginning of the first phase of a powerful and comprehensive development.

The next phase, of which we have seen examples, is the extension of the metaphysics to realms in which there is projective distortion or—in the language of phenomenology, in which human being and world are not separated—and is taken up in the next section Applied Metaphysics and further extended in ideal and practical cases in the sections beginning Approaches to Transformation.

System Meaning: Science and Logic

Abstraction from traditional and modern ideas of logic and science enabled synthesis of a second form of the fundamental principle: the Universe is the object of Realism (Logic).

Insofar as the sciences and logics are approximations to it, Realism (Logic) is far from empty. However, vast regions of Realism (Logic) await discovery (while the discoverer is in limited form this must be eternal process).

 

Brief assessment—the method is Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning.

Comprehensive Character of Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning

I.e. the method of the metaphysics is analysis and synthesis of ideas and meaning.

This—analysis and synthesis of meaning—is conceptual in nature. Further, analysis includes already built in cumulative experience and synthesis of meaning (of concepts) adds imagination, experiment, and discovery.

Concepts are defined so as to be perfectly known via abstraction and selected so as to form an articulated metaphysics.

While the development begins with fairly standard notions of method, the conclusions—for method and content—go beyond the origin; further, this going beyond is expanded and completed in the later discussion of method in connection with transformation.

The later expansion will be ‘analysis and synthesis of Being’. The method of the narrative goes beyond received method in its necessity and range of application. However, not all dreams of method are achieved. It is seen that what is not achieved cannot be achieved (specific / local methods are exceptions but likely trivial even though not insignificant). The method of the narrative is seen to be closed in some directions (depth) and necessarily open in others (breadth) and therefore this openness is not a limit on method but is in the nature of Being.

While metaphysics and epistemology are considered distinct disciplines it is obvious that they are connected; this obviousness can now be articulated. Epistemology clearly may entail metaphysics to the extent that metaphysics is possible; and metaphysics may entail epistemology because knowledge is an object (about objects) and therefore comes under metaphysics. Here, this becomes explicit. Further, what is possible—that epistemology and metaphysics may join in mutual entailment is now seen to obtain. We see the process of development—so far and in what follows—interacting with the development. The ‘vertical’ interaction is standard: epistemology is expected to allow and disallow, to motivate and counter-motivate metaphysics. However, the development reverses the standard vertical direction and further admits a horizontal interaction in which epistemology and metaphysics—method and content—become part of one larger subject—the metaphysics.

Here we do not emphasize epistemology. The development of epistemology is therefore according to the need of the metaphysics and its use. Still a powerful epistemology is explicit and present and extended in the subsequent sections concerning method, approaches, and ways.

 

From FP, a limited form experiences all knowledge only in process via participation and immersion.

Experience of ‘All Knowledge’ by Limited Form Requires Analysis and Synthesis of Meaning in Process via Participation and Immersion

Further detail of the process of analysis and synthesis is found in the division Transformation.

 

Applied Metaphysics

 

36         

Conceive Applied Metaphysics as extension of the above method to practical / imperfect knowledge.

The goal of this section is to develop this extension and to evaluate its domain of application. The approach will be to establish some preliminaries and to talk around the issue before making a summation.

 

A first, perfect extension: by FP all concepts are realized—this extension, since it asserts realization of concepts without connecting the concepts explicitly to their objects, falls short of all empirical knowledge. It is so far known to be empirical only for the perfect objects.

The Metaphysics Implicitly Covers Detail of All Being

Applied Metaphysics was introduced earlier where it was noted that the applied study straddles the entire human tradition of knowledge and understanding. The metaphysics frames the study and shows that within Realism (Logic) every concept (proposition) is realized.

No concept that does not fall under Realism is realized.

Analysis-synthesis of meaning may be seen to include methods for science and mathematics.

 

Analysis-synthesis of meaning may be seen to include methods for science and mathematics.

The Metaphysics includes Science and Mathematics

The aim of the discussion in this section is to show that the inclusion of content is implicit but the inclusion of method is—trivially—explicit.

From the time of Aristotle to the present we are used to thinking of metaphysics and the sciences as distinct. Aristotle and Heidegger emphasized that metaphysics is not one of the particular sciences; Aristotle thought of metaphysics as the science of being as being; Heidegger thought of mind and matter as high level concepts and sought the most basic of existing things which he named being and, specifically, Dasein. Some modern analytic metaphysicians think of science as the study of concrete things and metaphysics as the study of abstract things, e.g. concepts such as sets and number that are basic to science—that are not the subject of science but are among its tools. Here we not found that science is metaphysics but that the study of science lies within metaphysics. Therefore—and this is crucial—in this narrative metaphysics has developed as a discipline that is not other than science, not exclusive of science: while the specific general metaphysics does not directly treat, say, matter at the level of detail in physical science, what is studied in the science of matter is implicitly within metaphysics.

While the content of science is implicit in the metaphysics the method of science is explicitly an example of the method of the metaphysics—analysis and synthesis of meaning as developed explicitly includes the hypothesis-and-deduction method of science and trial and error ways of development of systems of logic and mathematics. The initial givens of the disciplines fall under analysis; experiment, trial and error and correction fall under synthesis; the givens are then modified and while the new givens fall under analysis their sources include earlier analyses and syntheses.

The Metaphysics versus Science

It should of course be emphasized that since the sciences are ever incomplete, the precision of knowledge of what is actual under metaphysics may be impossible under a limited science—e.g. the theoretical physics of our cosmos.

For science the named givens (the basic concepts of a scientific theory) are not known perfectly and so the theories of science, when regarded as universal, are invariably hypothetical. However, the theories may also be seen as compound facts over limited domains.

Systematic Approach to the Interface between the Metaphysics and Science

Examples of the interaction have been seen, especially in cosmology and in the trajectory of individual identity. The examples show the nature of validity of our normal knowledge and how it is modified when scope of vision is expanded beyond the normal.

Is there a systematic approach to developing such interaction? Let us begin by considering some examples of the interaction.

An Example: Modern Physical Science

First, consider Newtonian Mechanics in which space, time, and particles are givens. In modern physics these givens of the earlier view become variables. In the general cosmology discussed above the admission of what is variable and how much it is variable is extended. In the standard model of particle physics, leptons and quarks are indivisible. However, the metaphysics shows that there can be no final indivisible particle; today physicists have serious reason to think that these particles might have structure.

An Example: Human Nature

As a second example consider human ‘nature’. There is a strong tradition of regarding human nature as biologically determined. However, it appears necessary even on a scientific account to regard human nature as a balance of determinate and free elements. This does not contradict biological ‘determinism’ for the biological elements are material at root and matter itself is not deterministic and this is the view of most biologists and physicists today (by about the 1930's, vitalism had fallen out of favor with most biologists—the reasons are many: they include the success of materialism in science, the lack of any need for a vital force or fluid, and the synthesis of organic substances from inorganic compounds). Thus human nature can have elements of freedom and be biologically ‘determined’ at the same time. The metaphysics shows that such freedom is necessary and further expands its scope.

Interaction (in the examples) with the Metaphysics requires recognition and Transcendence of Substance

What is common to the foregoing examples may be put as follows. The inherited view posits some substance or given, either absolute or in combination with a contra-view (here the meaning of substance is that some local and perhaps even locally approximate truth has been at least implicitly taken to be absolute). The metaphysics emphasizes the balance of substance and contra-substance and expands the range of what obtains to the ultimate.

The way of interaction of metaphysics and special disciplines is inspection of given and substance views, perhaps in balance with contra-views, and asking whether the substance view or some particular view is in some way a contradiction of the metaphysics. If there is a contradiction, the view must be modified (including sufficient ‘expansion’) so that the contradiction no longer obtains and, further, that the expansion itself does not entail contradiction (violation of Realism / Logic). If these conditions are satisfied, the normal (substance) view has some range of validity. In the extended or universal case what is allowed by Realism must obtain in local regions whose number is limited only by Realism.

It seems that the range of behavior revealed by the metaphysics is sometimes present in the views thus far extant in recorded thought.

An aspect of what has just been said is an assertion that there are contexts (regimes of normal behavior) whose limits are part of the constitution of the context. Though tautologous this is nonetheless significant because it is the limitation of the universal case that results in and reveals the tautology.

Review of Development of Applied Metaphysics

In the development of Applied Metaphysics there is an interaction between the metaphysics and common knowledge (the tradition). (1) Metaphysics is deployed suggestively and common knowledge correctively—e.g. there are cosmological systems without limit to their variety and number; common knowledge is then deployed correctively: the description of the Universe cannot violate what we know to be true in our cosmos and (2) Common knowledge may be suggestive and the metaphysics is then corrective—science specifies the nature of space, time, matter in our cosmos while philosophical thought (whether by scientists or philosophers) suggests reflections on the absolute versus relative and universal versus non-universal nature of space and time; the metaphysics is then corrective: there can be no absolute and universal space and time or universal matter. Common critical thinking includes the range of traditional content (disciplines) and method (logic and science) but more. What is this ‘more’? It includes reflection on the nature of these instruments that is both evaluative and imaginative. The metaphysics shows the ‘ultimate’ nature of logic and science and binds them into Logic. Literature and art are sources of ‘fiction’; the metaphysics then allows some ‘fiction’ (the criteria being those of Realism or Logic); and while the metaphysics shows the nature of Logic, received knowledge provides examples and suggests ways of further development. In the common arena we use science in interaction with the general (other) processes of civilization; the metaphysics shows that science and general process must merge via participation and immersion.

The Metaphysics and Philosophical Thought

Philosophical thought has reflections on the nature of mind. There are traditions of substance thinking in philosophy of mind (there are also contra substance and substance neutral traditions in the study of mind). In the section Experience and Being thinking of matter as exclusive substance was found untenable (though not universal this thought occurs in the history and recent literature on philosophy of mind and consciousness). The metaphysics confirms this non-tenability. Leibniz inquired into the nature of the experience of a particle of Being—what is its experience (if any)? His thoughts regarding monads are found rather strange today (his monads are independent of one another but coordinated by God); still the thought regarding monads combined with the difficulty of substance and the metaphysics shows that the elements of Being must possess experience even though the experience at the elementary level is (immensely) primitive compared to ours (and distant and perhaps unfamiliar to us) and even compared to that of primitive animals and even plants. Reflection along these lines enables development of a theory of mind and matter as components in an understanding of Being.

Principle of Adequate Specification

One of the principles of development is what may be called adequate specification. If, either at a higher or lower conceptual level, we specify too much—especially at outset—then iterative correction becomes difficult, revision becomes awkward because we are bound and committed to too much specificity. From both directions, i.e. the metaphysics and detailed knowledge, what we choose to work with should have adequate specification. What degree is adequate? This too is a matter of experiment.

A Principle that Encourages and Requires Admission of Ad Hoc and Systematic Elements of Thought in Process

We should not refrain from what is or seems ad hoc. However, the entire process is one of interaction of what is empirical, what is conceptual (meaning which is crucial has both elements) and the metaphysical framework. In the process of development what begins as ad hoc may become systematic. The development of the metaphysics itself is an example of process from the ad hoc to the systematic—in the beginning its elements were some combination of tentative-ad hoc and system received from reflection, intuition, and previous exposure. We need refrain from neither the ad hoc nor the systematic provided we do not commit to points of view or positions prematurely. In an axiomatic system definitions and axioms come at the beginning. However in the development of axiomatic systems, the specification of a system is the result of cumulative experience and comes roughly in the ‘middle’—after we know enough to become specific but soon enough that the system may be useful, and that need for improvement may show up in use.

Of course the requirement that we admit these elements is not a compulsion; it is a statement that such admission is necessary to progress which proceeds by imagination (e.g. ad hoc) and is subject to the corrective factors of experiment, criticism, review, and iteration.

Some components of a general theory of objects may be extended to practical cases.

 

The general theory of objects may be extended to practical cases. In general the knowledge is good enough (for common situations—i.e., in the Normal context). In some cases the knowledge is perfect according to some value (this may include the good enough case). In some cases the extension is (1) empirical (2) is such it is inherent in the nature of Being that knowledge cannot be made more precise without changing the conditions of existence of the context, and (3) in this sense the knowledge is perfect.

Extension to Practical Cases

Although knowledge of objects in general is not perfect, it is framed by the metaphysics.

From the metaphysics—i.e. from the unlimited nature of the Universe, the conceptual theories of a detailed empirical science can never be universal but, for limited form must be ever in process and in conjunction with participation and immersion (for unlimited form universal knowledge is an act of perception and Being).

Good Enough Criteria

These ‘theories in process’ are ‘good enough’ in some sense. The theories of physics, even when not perfect in precision or universality are immensely useful. The older Newtonian physics remains useful for many purposes. In its own time and way it illuminated our understanding of the Universe even though this understanding had incompleteness and distortion. Today’s theories are improvements over the older physics for practical purposes as well as understanding of the Universe. These theories, too, are incomplete and possessed of distortion. This is to be expected from various difficulties of the theories, it is likely from the history of scientific revolutions, and it is shown by the metaphysics. Since there are currently no successor theories detailed knowledge of their shortcomings is not yet available; however, the metaphysics shows some general and large scale limits.

The theories of physics are good enough for some purposes. It is conceivable that they may approach the limit of precision inherent in their context—our cosmos. This is inherent in the idea of the Normal context—see An Interpretation of Scientific law: patterns of a Normal regime are conditions of its existence as a domain with structure and limits; which conditions what obtains and what may be known. However, the idea of limit of precision is relative for a Normal regime can be Normal only within certain ranges parameters (if it were Normal for all ranges that would violate FP).

Knowledge may approach the limit of precision for the knowledge context (e.g. a cosmos).

Valuational Criteria of Perfection

The good enough theories are not perfect with regard to precision.

If we demand more, we find them imperfect. If we do not demand more for now, we may find them perfect-in-transition (to successor theories). If we reach the limit of the context we have perfection within the context (outside the context may, at least practically, be a place where we cannot exist in our present forms).

Perfection can be a matter of perspective.

The Universal Metaphysics is perfect for the perfect objects but is subject to a number of possible limitations (a) the variety of Being is achieved only in process for a limited form (b) limits arising from doubts regarding the principle (c) knowledge of practical objects.

The possible limitation (a) is inherent in the nature of Being and is therefore not a limit and (b) is inherent in the nature of practical Being—the Normal regimes or domains.

It remains to address (b) above. This concern has already been addressed: FP contradicts neither science, nor logic, nor reason, nor educated practical sense. Further while the doubt concerns proof, similar doubt attends all our affairs. From the point of view that there is no better universal understanding, FP is perfect.

Method is a mix of the perfect and the pragmatic.

Art, Humanities, Philosophy, and History

Since meaning is not invariably representational (the case of empty reference is admitted), other endeavors (art, humanities) may be understood in terms of analysis and synthesis of meaning (which for art is especially iconic). This extension is does not, e.g., make art particularly ‘methodical’ but it does provide a way to interpret schools of art and ways in which subjective and objective rendering change in art.

Further, insofar as the non-scientific disciplines are representational—explicitly or implicitly, they depict the real subject to Realism (Logic). Then, analysis-synthesis provides an approach to assessment and improvement of Realism.

The ‘non-scientific’ disciplines—e.g. art, literature, humanities, philosophy, and history—are, as activities, essential—important—to realization.

Method as Content. Method and Content as Coeval

We tend to think of method as remote in its origin and apparently itself above method. However we now see method and content as coeval. This is natural and necessary as there is no external authority and with knowledge as object method is content.

In necessarily interactive emergence of content and method we may also see the ultimate dissolution of the practical distinction between discovery and justification (made earlier). The concept of reflexivity as conceived earlier similarly emerges as encompassing with regard to the necessary and creative aspects of approach.

Method and Content as Coextensive?

Can there be content without method? This is worthy of reflection. At root the question probably goes back to a question of whether experience is ever dissociated from structure. Why? Method is the idea that an approach will apply. We can have confidence of application only if there is structure. Conversely, for Leibniz’ pure monads there is experience but no structure; however, FP shows that such monads are impossible (Leibniz admits this tacitly in finding them to be coordinated by god).

This seems to imply that in the universal case (no law) there is no method. There is some method however for the fact that there is no universal law has significant implications. However, this ‘method’ does not extend to discovery in specific contexts.

 

CIVILIZATION

Dimensions of Being

A discussion of the dimensions of Being will provide partial motivation and understanding for the idea of civilization.

What are the dimensions of Being? What does the phrase ‘dimensions of Being’ mean? It could mean a number of things. Here we think of it as referring to fundamental realms of Being encountered, say, in a comprehensive science of the Universe.

One account of the dimensions is to recognize them as the ‘worlds’ of nature, society, psyche, and the realm of being-as-being—i.e., of pure Being. If there is a realm of real spirit it is already part of pure Being.

There is another way to regard the dimensions of Being if we start with the idea of atom and aggregate or individual and group. This distinction leads to the idea of individual as locus of ideas and action and civilization as group or cradle of individuals. The distinctions nature-society-psyche-and pure Being cut across the distinction of individual and civilization.

 

Civilization as a Vehicle of Realization

 

37         

Civilization and individual are VEHICLES and ideas and action are MODES of realization. The individual fosters civilization—the individual is a focal point of Being and transformation or becoming; civilization nurtures the individual.

The first meaning of civilization is that of the threads of human community and culture across continents and through time.

Civilization and the individual are vehicles of realization. The relationship is mutual: civilization and nature nurture the individual… and the individual fosters civilization which is grounded in nature.

By CIVILIZATION I understand the collective movement of human being, i.e. of human INDIVIDUALS (other uses of the term civilization have had a pejorative character).

 

In its internal and external endeavors civilization provides disciplines or means.

The means are means of realization.

 

SCIENCE’ and ‘YOGA’ will stand for the instrumental and intrinsic disciplines of Being-becoming, respectively.

Science and Yoga as Disciplines of Realization

We will experiment with the words Yoga and Science: they will stand for the intrinsic and instrumental disciplines of Being-becoming, respectively.

In these meanings, the emphasis of science and yoga may be different, but science and yoga ultimately merge.

Science and Yoga are not distinct.

The western idea of Yoga is a limited if well developed fraction of the systems of Yoga of India—and similar practices elsewhere. However, the use of Yoga here is not limited to either source—Indian or western—but is suggested by the fact that one idea behind the eastern use is that of yoking to the ultimate and further by the fact that the traditional Yogas work on the individual (Being), i.e. they are not primarily instrumental.

Thus many disciplines fall under Yoga as used here that would not otherwise be considered Yogas. Examples are Shamanism, the traditional Yogas, meditation, Christian Mysticism, Sufi practices, and psychoanalysis. This list is a beginning. What is important is that we start with some disciplines—perhaps systematically cataloged—and use them and their parts as well as imagination in an experimental-conceptual investigation of Being. This will emerge below as the analysis and synthesis of Being.

 

The matrix of civilizations across the Universe is Civilization.

By CIVILIZATION, I understand the matrix of individual beings and communities across the Universe. This Civilization is a matrix of ‘intelligent’ form(s) and metaphors for it are those of islands separated at the surface but connected at the deep and peaks seemingly separate amid swelling shrouds of mist and cloud.

 

Civilization and its Disciplines

 

38         

A DISCIPLINE systematizes knowledge or practice in some area or endeavor.

This begins the first part of the discussion of the processes of civilization. The second part will begin with ‘The way of the Journey’ below.

 

Disciplines provide methods for known kinds of problem or context.

Generally, a METHOD is a tool that has been found to be effective in cumulative experience and perhaps enhanced and justified in reason; methods do not ‘guarantee’ success. The term method is very general and there are cases of method as suggestive, cases as guide, and cases where method is perfect. We have seen and continue to find such cases.

 

Disciplines, too, emerge and develop… some approaches to their development were seen above.

Examples are scientific method, empirical-conceptual study of logics and mathematical systems; schools of art; the overarching method of the metaphysics.

 

All this and more fall under the earlier general analysis of method.

 

 

Growth, Processes, Aims, and Ways  of Civilization

 

39         

Are there ways (method), goal, and significance for the entire endeavor—process—of Civilization?

We may tend to think that there are no universal methods and aims for Civilization.

 

The metaphysics shows an ultimate goal (realization) and frames the endeavor and its significance (in this account metaphysics refers to a system of understanding of Being developed explicitly from the fundamental principle in the Complete Edition of the narrative)

The framework begins in analysis and synthesis of meaning and extended and is elaborated below as analysis and synthesis of Being.

Breadth (variety) is ever open while in limited form. Here there is no ultimate ‘method’ except imagination, action, criticism, and correction (which are and will be seen to be elements of analysis and synthesis of Being). This absence of ultimate method constitutes an existential value—introduced and justified above—which may also be necessary on account of (1) the normal limits of form and death and (2) doubt regarding the fundamental principle.

 

…From disciplines to civilization and from civilizations to Civilization and the ultimate.

The metaphysics shows senses of perfection to the limited disciplines.

 

In the universal, however, there is only imagination, action, experiment, criticism, and attitude—i.e. existential attitude in the face of doubt and absence of resolve.

In emergence from the Void, there is no possibility of universal method (except of course to remain in process). In the universal what Method we have is found and deployed after the fact. Growth and process always have an element of contact with ‘blind’ process.

Growth always stands to gain from contact with blind process.

 

Civilization, Human Being, and the Universe

Purpose of the SectionDeep Relations between Human Being and Being

This section concerns essential or deep relations between human being and Being, i.e. between human being and the Universe. It is obvious that the subject shall be immensely broad in scope. However, the scope and selection of concepts here emphasizes what seems useful to the universal aspects of a journey of realization. The section is kept brief for the further reasons that the standard accounts are in need of improvement and supplement by universalization and to immersion and participation and that a not too long treatment will facilitate future development whereas a too long treatment will retard development by forcing readers—including the author—to read laboriously through material of limited value in an attempt to glean what is valuable. In this document there is no particular need for details on the human organism or further details on psyche; a document that provides further detail on life, human being and psyche is Journey in Being-resource. Additional resources are listed in the Archive.

40         

For the journey, it is essential to recognize, accommodate, and deploy the tension between human freedom and received human nature (and situation).

The Tension between Human Freedom and Received Nature

In detail—for the journey, two aspects of HUMAN BEING are essential—creative freedom in being and ideas in tension with received aspects of our nature and situation.

This tension is the source of two opposing errors of thought (1) that human being is fully determined (2) that human being is perfectly free and expression of this freedom is a simple and effortless choice that follows from effortless philosophy.

The truth is that individuals are born into and live in circumstances that are at most partially under their normal control. Expression of freedom—knowledge of what may be realized and actualization of realization—constitutes is the greatest challenge and endeavor for limited forms of Being.

Freedom is essentially creative; ‘creative’ is attached to ‘freedom’—above—to emphasize the point.

This view of human nature stands in contrast to the two extreme views of human nature as (a) entirely determined and (b) perfectly free in choice of self and life. The tension is essential in providing occasion and challenge. The occasion is freedom; the source of challenge is that the freedom is of course not absolute—there are degrees of determinism, rationality and resoluteness of will which are at most partial and there are conflicts due to multivalent value and abuse, e.g. of indulgence,  regarding freedom.

The tension between freedom and the received may result in conflict. Limited intelligence includes limited knowledge and limited ability to predict outcomes. Humor is a capacity to deal with this and related conflicts. Laughter is an expression of humor; joking is a mechanism of humor that is often used to avoid (good) humor; laughter and joking contribute to humor but are not humor itself. Abandon is an aspect of humor.

The Question of Human Freedom

It is important to ask whether human beings truly have freedom. The question is important to creativity, to the possibility of a true existential attitude, to morality and free will, and to the entire endeavor of realization for human being and human civilization. The fundamental question from a direction of the immanent, i.e. what is embedded in our lives, is ‘Do we truly create?’

Before entertaining the question it is important to recapitulate the earlier discussion that freedom—what is significant here is not what the existentialists and some liberal thinkers have called an act of freedom—requires cumulative understanding and determination (perhaps interspersed with abandon and humor that help discard chains of habit, fear, and limited understanding).

We certainly seem to create but the seeming may be illusory; there are occasions of such illusion but it does not follow that all apparent creation is illusory.

A simple example will suffice to address the question of real versus illusory freedom. 4 billion years ago there was no language. The source of language must have included human creation of what is new or infusion from outside.

As far as we know there is no infusion from the outside (that the occasion for language is our environment shows only that the creation is the result of human creativity in interaction with creatively inert aspects of the environment). An infusion is no explanation for what is infused is not creativity itself (because then we would be creative—the fact of creativity is not contingent upon the origin of creativity) but every single act of creation. If we critique human freedom and explain apparent human freedom by such infusion we are supplanting what is in question by an explanation that is far more complex than the explained (and still admits freedom of some source which negates the part of the critique concerns the possibility of freedom).

Now let us look arguments from the biological and material substrates. Such arguments generally go as follows. (1) Behavior is biologically determined therefore our freedom is an illusion and (2) We—mind and biology—are matter therefore we cannot have freedom unless, somehow, matter can found such freedom. If life / matter are without potential for creation (i.e. if deterministic), we—their product—cannot be creative. Life, however, involves creation—first of life itself and second of new forms; further the argument from biology is invariably of the form—much of our behavior is biologically determined therefore all behavior is determined. The thinker who argues against freedom from biology is generalizing from cases of biological determination to biological determinism. A counter to this could be to claim that most behavior is determined and what is left over is trivial and minimal. The arguments against freedom are a recurring theme (it is amusing to note that to the extent that we are biologically determined then our thinking regarding biological determinism may be programmed but that the programming may be non unique—i.e., some individuals may be programmed to think that we are not free and others may be programmed in other ways).

What of the material substrate? Reasoning backward we conclude that if we are entirely material the material substrate must also contain potential for creation. Let us reflect on what physics may tell us. Classical physics is deterministic. Physicists appear to not agree whether quantum theory is deterministic (the wave function equation is deterministic but harbors probabilities—i.e., although the wave function evolves deterministically it is not clear that it is ‘real’ but, rather, the reality may be that of other objects whose evolution the wave function describes as probabilistic). Therefore human creativity implies that if current physics does not then some future fundamental theory will harbor creative potential (be indeterministic); however, present physics provides no support for or argument against freedom and creativity.

In the end we must, at present, turn for the question of creativity to arguments from immanence or to the universal metaphysics and FP. It was argued above that freedom is immanent; we have just seen that this argument is not invalidated from biology or physics. We turn to FP for corroboration. The most general arguments (FP) and the most particular arguments (reflection on cumulative experience and human history) reveal that we are necessarily creative; that the Universe and our cosmos are a balance of structure and creation: creation results in structure via indeterminism and selection of stable states; structure supports further creation.

Morals, Freedom, and Metaphysics

MORALS may be regarded as tendencies that further quality and continuity of Being. Organisms have what may be thought of as innate morals in tendencies to protect the young and cooperate with their kind (even though this is not universal). For organisms with freedom of the human type, there is also freedom to override innate tendencies. This is a source of adaptive power. However the freedom to override the innate requires that we shall also create, from freedom, reinforcements to the logic of what is innate. Freedom is therefore an origin of explicit morals (moral aphorisms, moral codes, ethics and theories of ethics or meta-ethics). Because rationality and its application have bounds, there can be no final system of human morals and ethics (even though there are more or less universal aspects of human morals). From FP this non-finality concerns civilization in limited form. While in limited form, immersion and participation—not to the exclusion of reason, empirical and experimental study—are not merely essential but in some degree the only way. A final ethical system—one adequate to determining behavior moral thought for all situations and contexts—would be tantamount to an assertion that we do not have freedom.

The universal metaphysics provides a framework for understanding morals and an ultimate morality—not to be absolutely above ‘mundane’ morals but to stand above and to mesh with it. The metaphysics suggests that some cherished human morals are locally but not universally adaptive. What might the last assertion mean? One meaning is that while such morals enhance our lives, our societies, they may be counter-productive of ultimate realization. This presents a challenge to the individual and society—it has no easy answer. It presents conflicts.

Freedom and Death

Secular thought tends, from its materialist side, to regard death as final. The metaphysics shows that death is not at all final.

However, there is a certain finality to death. It is the finality of shedding form to see light again as or in a more inclusive form (if in our present form we do not see beyond death, then there is no acutely conscious trans-death connection between such forms; therefore connection requires merging in higher form).

What can we learn from death?

A preliminary thought is that we do not know that we do not see beyond death. This assertion does not derive from reports of individuals recalling past lives. Reports of individuals recalling details of past lives—situations, particulars, languages spoken—may be regarded as dubious, if not in veracity then in significance. The point to trans-death is the realization of connection and higher form; recalling German from a past life may be useful but is not particularly revealing of significant realization. An important question concerns knowledge of death and beyond—do we not see beyond or is it that we do not normally see… or is it that we do not see with sufficient acuity or that we are not sufficiently familiar with what we see to recognize what is seen or that it is seeing? This suggests lines of meditation, self-examination, and questioning others. In this endeavor, the reports of individuals having awareness of previous human lives are not entirely dubious—the reports may contain suggestions.

A second opportunity provided by death as transition is to prepare for it. Here the Tibetan Book of the Dead may have good suggestions. The Egyptian Book of the Dead (‘rw nw prt m hrw’ or, e.g., ‘Book of emerging forth into the Light’) may also be useful. Here is another opportunity for meditation and self-examination.

A third opportunity is the use of knowledge of death in this life. Clearly death presents itself as some limitation on freedom, some horizon of our hopes and ambitions in this life. Even if not absolute, death is clearly an end. This is another opportunity for self-examination and meditation. Meditation on death and other aspects of our transience may reveal at root that we are in fact connected to the Universe—we are the Universe—and via this connection see that our transience reveals our permanence (I am not making claims of originality regarding the details in these reflections). A second way in which death may be a teacher is in using it to revaluate our lives and ambitions. In youth we may have a feeling of an infinite future; we have open projects. Later, death informs us of our limited Being; this shows us choices; where to put our affections and energies; what we may do with open ended projects; how we may bring such projects to completion… It is not merely that death may be a spur to completion but it is also a spur to reflect on the meaning of completion. Youth finds encouragement in openness; death encourages realization of what was begun earlier.

Death, which we first see as limiting and (personally) tragic, is—also—a catalyst to freedom and meaning.

A Time to Die

In contemplating the idea of becoming one-self, i.e. truest realization, it seems important to address death. What does it mean to address the issue of death? The first concern is the question of the nature of death. This has been considered above and elsewhere in this narrative (of course consideration does not bring discussion to a close for otherwise there would be no need for future thought and, further, there is no finality to existential concerns—only illumination—for it is in the nature of the existential that every individual, every generation, every culture shall address and live it).

In today’s world we tend to shy away from talking about death. Perhaps we are given in to fear, perhaps it is considered impolite, perhaps in the rush to be active or perhaps amid the glitter of a consumer society we do not have time for it, and perhaps in the throws of the details and conflicts of the day to day we do not have time to think on death (‘I will meditate on it at some perfect occasion in the future when I am not facing the challenge of simply not moving backwards—when I am not drowning in Being’). Still, addressing death is crucial to living. Why? It is in the nature of human being to have some understanding of the finality of death even when death is not imminent or acutely present in awareness and therefore we live in its shadow (I consider this a fact and therefore neither morbid nor celebratory). There is some natural fear of or apprehension of death; to live in its shadow, then, is to not live in light. Therefore it may be useful to see death clearly—see what it is. What is the nature of the finality of death? Here there may be disagreement; I hold—for the metaphysics shows—that death is not an absolute finality but it is the end of a clear and explicit future, the end of certain hopes and ambitions, the end of love as we know it (these statements are relative to awareness and psyche); others hold to absolute finality. Still others regard the non-finality as apparent; I have some intimation of this but do not hold rigidly to the intimation. In all cases, death has a function, even if relatively final, as the end of all meaning that we know. Therefore, approached appropriately, understanding death may catalyze the illumination of meaning in every here and now.

If the finality of death is one reason to meditate on it, non-finality is the other main reason. There are various speculations, and claims of intuition and insight regarding death; I call them ‘claims’ because I have not and am perhaps unable to evaluate such claims. However, the metaphysics shows and illuminates the non-finality of death and may be a framework for further understanding including evaluation of the intuitions and so on. Even those who hold death to be absolute may reflect on the possibility that their thinking—or intuition—is in error. As noted above we may meditate on non-finality in various ways. The main point is that the non-finality of death provides a gateway to the ultimate (realization) and thus the second and complementary function of the address of death.

Thus a cultivated, i.e. nurtured, understanding of and meditation on death is important in here-now as well as to eternal life.

Practically, a decision or intent to live fully includes a decision on how and when to die (in contrast to the extant and widespread though perhaps implicit belief that we should ‘hang on and let nature take its course’; which is in error anyway because our bodies, lives, reflections, emotions, thoughts and will are part of nature). Some people may regard a decision to die as giving into fear or as selfish; however, ‘hanging’ on may also be fear driven and selfish. It is not what we do but the attitude with which it is done that is or is not selfish and fear controlled.

What shall one do when life is no longer enjoyed and one is no longer useful? A difficulty with the decision is that we may be unsure of when enjoyment is lost; and even if we are no longer able to contribute our perseverance may be a good example; and our continued living may contribute to the lives of those who know us. The answer to the question must be personal. The significance of the question, however, transcends the personal.

‘Today is a good day to die’ is a quote attributed to the Sioux leader Crazy Horse. He was, it is said, exhorting his warriors into battle (at the battle of the Little Bighorn as recorded in Black Elk Speaks, 1932, by John G. Neihardt). I cannot interpret Crazy Horse; however, I speak for myself in asserting that a possible (not new) significance of the phrase ‘today is a good day…’ is that life should be lived with the attitude that if we should learn that we are to die today there would be no regret. It is probably difficult to live that way but it is worth consideration and perhaps worth an attempt. One meaning of the phrase would then be as exhortation to living life according to ideals so that there is no time when we should regret not having lived ideally—not having given our best thought, commitment, and action.

Depending on how we live and think, ‘today is a good day for this form to cease’ is the same as ‘this form is part of eternal Form’.

 

Understanding and transformation of civilization must be integrated with participation-immersion and illuminated by the metaphysics.

CivilizationSociety, Culture, Political-Economic Process, and Religion

Civilization emphasizes society, community, culture (and realization of Being which is taken up in the division Transformation).

The social studies and sciences of importance here are sociology, economics, political science and political philosophy.

SOCIOLOGY: the delineation and study of human groups and human individuals in group contexts.

ECONOMICS: the study and dynamics of natural and social resources emphasizing those resources contained in and created by society.

POLITICAL THEORY: study of dynamics of group decision making including relations among individuals and groups; application to group process.

RELIGION: because of the significance of religion it is considered in detail separately below.

 

As an institution, religion is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. No simple statement of the form ‘this institution is X’ is adequate to capture of all dimensions of the institution.

There are various sources of temptation to capture the essence of an institution in a simple phrase.

These include tendencies to purist (no shades of grey) thinking, to ego-tonic thought and emotion, and to idealism—both positive and negative that stem from virtues and abuses of institutions. A merely empirical as well as a merely conceptual approach to religion is likely to succumb to minimizing the institution. Meaning requires openness to concept and object, to analysis and synthesis in process.

 

A preliminary conception of religion that captures an ideal is just this: religion is an attempt to know ‘truth’—i.e., to understand the Universe in ‘our time’ and to live accordingly.

Understanding Religion

The concepts of religion and Religion may be differentiated. The former refers to the actual religions; the latter is an ideal conditioned by understanding of the Universe as a whole and of human relations to the Universe and may draw on the religions for its concept but is not limited by their actual, perceived, or putative limits and boundaries.

Science as understood and practiced today does not address the range of concerns of Religion. Modern secularism addresses this range but inadequately. The world religions address the concerns but are archaic in their understanding and have typically become corrupted in a variety of ways.

If there were no transcendent alternative there would hardly be any point to the foregoing reflection; we would ever reside in the quagmire of the mere-ness of our being.

The idea of Religion is misunderstood if it is thought to refer to another (e.g. non-material) plane and if it is thought that it should be separate from the secular world (to say that would be to say that the secular world should focus only on a fraction of the truth, i.e. that universal truth has no place in the secular world). Separation of church and state is understandable; separation of Religion and science violates logic and truth—it reflects ignorance, the replacement of conception and truth by preconception and—effectively—prejudice.

Clearly, many ‘religions’ include debasements of any adequate conception of the idea of religion. And many of our philosophical, psychological, and anthropological studies of religion are based on inadequate concepts of religion (which includes absence of any concept of religion which is therefore empirical study about nothing); on detailed but incomplete data that is often biased in its selection; and on assumed superiority of modern secularism and ‘scientific method’; and often on the application of modern science—physical, psychoanalytic—to show incompleteness in domains beyond the purchase of the particular sciences. The result of this is inadequacy is that the range of modern disciplines that includes science and religion provides a limited and limiting view of human being and the world.

The word ‘spiritual’ has valid application and meaning. It intersects the meaning of religion, Religion, and Yoga. This is of course in disagreement with those who set spirituality and religion in opposition but I think the opposition concerns only certain aspects of and attitudes to religion and spirituality. Similarly, science and religion are not in opposition. I do not emphasize the idea of the spiritual because it is already inherent in the idea of Being and its cultivation and is present implicitly in the analysis of Being and explicitly in the discussion of transformation in the next division of this document.

A Preliminary Ideal Conception of Religion

A preliminary ideal concept of religion is as an attempt to understand the Universe in our time—i.e. in the time of Being of the individual or culture—and to live accordingly. This first ideal conception is already present in actual religions, if only hidden by trivialization and debasement.

This conception has dual emphasis on Realism and ideals.

 

Ideal or Ultimate Religion

 

41         

An ultimate and powerful conception of RELIGION is use of all dimensions of being in understanding and realizing All Being. It is this idea, not the word ‘religion’ that is significant.

A Broad Conception of Religion

The conception presented—to the left—is clearly suggested by the universal metaphysics; it is inclusive of rather than separate from science and social process. One kind for this notion of Religion is manifest as a process—a journey—that is unlimited in Be-ing, i.e. variety, extension, and duration of Being. Another kind concerns unlimited form—realization in a moment.

In ideal this conception Religion may call upon cumulative, shared and recorded history and accounts of insight and becoming; and it may also recognize individuals with special ability andor achievement in these endeavors.

Need for this Conception

There is an endeavor, revealed by reflection on the standard and confirmed in its definiteness and immense scope by the metaphysics that is the realization by Being in all its dimensions (e.g. nature and psyche), modes, and vehicles of All Being but that is absent from the standard paradigms.

The Ideal of Religion

An ultimate and powerful conception is the one presented to the left—deployment of all dimensions of being in understanding and realizing All Being and living accordingly.

 

The process of Religion as conceived here is identical to the process of Civilization conceived ideally. The ways of transformation (below), especially catalysts, occasion finite—more than just incremental—and embodied step change; reason and memory occasion continuity.

Religion, Realization, and Suffering

In Ideal Religion derived from cumulative experience (and the Universal Metaphysics) there is no guarantee of realization in our present form. There is no final avoidance of or promise of deliverance from pain and suffering.

However, realization is given to all beings in some future form (with continuity of consciousness). The Ideal may shed light on the way and gives meaning and significance to the process (in this form—this life). It enables understanding of pain and its significance; it enables those who are in a position to understand pain to give comfort to those who cannot understand it (young children, animals) and hope to those who do not have understanding but are capable of it (older children and other persons).

Religion, Civilization, and Experiment in Transformation of Being

Experiments are conceived and planned as described below. However, they are and cannot be fully conceived; execution of an experiment is a risk. Memory, review, feeling, and reason provide continuity between what would otherwise be isolated and impermanent experimental outcomes. The thread of the process is a journey

 

This ideal recognizes and fills vast realms not recognized in or touched by the standard paradigms. The ideal is a shell to be given substance in individual, group, cumulative, and charismatic endeavor and reflection.

 

 

For limited form, the ideals of this conception occasion endless process; the metaphysics shows that the individual—limited form—touches the ultimate in process.

 

 

TRANSFORMATION

 

 

Approaches to Transformation

An earlier title to this section was Transformation and Method. However the metaphysics has revealed closure in depth (the question of substance) but ever openness in variety. Therefore while there is a place for a methodical approach there is no overarching method. The new title of the section is intended to reflect a balance between method on one hand and imagination, experiment, abandon, and dissolution on the other.

 

42         

The Way of the Journey is:

Choice of terms‘Way’ or ‘Approach’ versus ‘Method’

I prefer the term ‘way’ to ‘method’ regarding transformation of Being; ‘way’ is more suggestive and includes but is less formal than ‘method’.

 

Analysis and Synthesis of Being—of received ways and forging of ways at the front of ways-in-process.

Some ways are mentioned in the earlier discussion of Yoga where it was explained why a detailed list is not necessary and is indeed not desirable—the approach uses these ways and their elements but must be imaginative and experimental (there may be a time for a detailed and systematic list). The attitude is that the received ways, though often presented with authority and though they are indeed accomplished, are still very much early in the way.

 

Of and in the disciplines and the metaphysics under mutual illumination, guidance, and inspiration in the journey.

I.e. the disciplines and their inner and outer methods provide example and inspiration for the metaphysics which guides the disciplines, the metaphysics itself, and the journey.

(Inner methods lie within the current scope of a discipline; outer methods concern the development of the discipline. The distinction is not absolute in that the development of a discipline is—can be seen as—a discipline. The term ‘discipline’—which is here intended to include area of endeavor—is not limiting for ‘discipline’ applies to narrow as well as broad activities. For a given discipline inner methods will generally be more defined and ‘methodical’.)

The way is ultimately imaginative, experiential, experimental (seeking and designing experience), and critical.

 

The essential aspect of synthesis is experiment—action that modifies Being.

Modification is change and includes addition and subtraction as special cases.

A trivial example is ‘change a body part’. Since the catalysts (below) and practices (below and above) and experiments in general may make relatively deep changes (neural alteration), the example is not so trivial after all.

Preliminary analysis suggests aspects that may be changed. Experiment is action that is intended to modify Being. After experiment, we observe what is changed; we may connect cause (action) with effect (change). This can be done for other aspects revealed in analysis. We cannot always act upon a single ‘aspect’ of Being (self, person, or individual in the case of individuals and Civilization in the case of community). However, by trial and error we can reveal connections between complex action and complex change; we may attempt simple cases—the objective includes learning; we will not restrict focus to simple cases—the objective is transformation-toward-realization. We may have in mind a limited goal (in some way toward the ultimate goal of realization); we will move back and forth, according to ad hoc as well as what systematic-rational criteria and imagination may arise). From the process we learn, not only these causal connections but what may be possible. We begin to experience and see possibilities of Being perhaps not seen before. There is a level one step up at which we connect what is changeable so far to ideals—to what we want to change—and in the connecting we revaluate what is changeable and ideals. We are then on the path of realization. This is illuminated by the overarching goal of realization and the overarching understanding of Being (the metaphysics) and the process becomes woven into larger Being—the fabric of Being—and it becomes dynamic. The process could be named a Dynamic of Being. It is dynamic analysis and synthesis of Being.

The (analysis and) synthesis of ideas and meaning is a special case of the foregoing.

 

The Way of Transformation: Analysis and Synthesis of Being

A special section that is intended to appear in the brief version. The material is given detailed treatment in longer versions. It may, however, be retained in longer versions.

43         

The way—method—of understanding Being above was seen to be an implicit analysis and synthesis of ideas and meaning.

I prefer the term ‘way’ to ‘method’ regarding transformation of Being; ‘way’ is more suggestive and includes but is less formal than ‘method’.

 

Similarly the way of transformation is analysis and synthesis of Being. Just as in knowledge, so in action and transformation: the way and the process arise together in interaction. We receive from the tradition but there is no ‘way’ that is an absolute given in that it is received rather than discovered or uncovered.

The Way of Transformation is Analysis and Synthesis of Being

The way of transformation is in uncovering the elements of Being and then in reconstructing Being—in analysis and synthesis of Being.

Though suggested by analogy with meaning, this way is arises in and from experience and reason. The elements of Being are what are available for synthesis and are seen in analysis.

The role of tradition and of teachers or mentors is significant. However, no aspect of the way is beyond discovery or found in final authority.

Way and Pathand Method and Content for Ideasare Coeval

That way (method) and content are coeval is implicit in the metaphysics; this has been noted earlier for ideas.

 

We may arrive at analysis of Being by study of tradition—analysis and experiment with its ways—and by imagination, criticism and experiment which include discovery of the metaphysics of the narrative and illumination by it.

 

 

Ideas and action—learning: imagination, action and experiment, criticism, review, correction, and charting or planning—are essential modes of becoming (synthesis). The vehicles and foci of transformation (synthesis) are individual (being) and Civilization. An outline of synthesis focusing on individual and civilization follows below.

 

 

Analysis of Ways of Transformation

 

44         

Analysis of ways reveals knowledge, morals, practices, and method:

General Remarks

Not every system of realization, science, spirituality or religion contains all aspects of these ways.

Method includes analysis of ways: i.e., the ways should—in general—and may have self-analysis as a component.

It is important, however, that there is no ‘outside’ to ultimate process; the way of the ways is the way.

 

PRACTICES and PRACTICE IN ACTION; and the instruments of exploration and technology;

Practice and Action

The practices of Yoga are a set of examples.

 

Catalysts of transformation; and

Catalysts of Transformation

The CATALYSTS are approaches to ‘shaking’ the individual—psyche and body—out of routine and into limits of perception and Being. Crises contain catalytic elements. The power of ‘shaking’ is that it may result in finite or more than merely incremental transformation. A limit of the catalyst in isolation is that its (e.g. neural) changes tend to impermanence.

 

Learning: imagination, action and experiment, criticism, review, correction, and charting or planning.

Consciousness and Continuous Transformation

Incremental reason and LEARNING is effective. Together with consciousness it provides illuminated continuity for the discontinuous transformations of catalytic action.

The continuous and the Catalysts of Transformation complement one another; they constitute a whole in which transformation may be finite and permanent.

Catalysts and Continuity

The catalyst was preferred before the ‘age of reason’. Are we still in an age of reason? Secular thought remains wedded to reason; fundamentalist thought has opposition to what secular thought sees as reason but has its own scholars who introduce ad hoc brands of reason. Secularism and fundamentalism find catalytic outlets in abandon, in drugs, in art, in physical activity. The sum of our modern activities incomplete with respect to the entirety of the Universe as revealed by the metaphysics and the way.

What is absent is the join of (a) catalyst and risk and (b) reason and the extent revealed by the metaphysics and what-certainty-there-is.

 

Description of the Ways

Outline

The main elements are knowledge, morals, practices, retreat, and reflex (explanation follows).

 

Core knowledge;

Core Knowledge: Universe, World, Human Being

Core knowledge includes metaphysics—the nature of Being; and cosmology—what is there in the Universe and its history and destiny. There is special emphasis on our world and human being—its nature and destiny; and relations among human being, world and universe. Considerations of ‘destiny’ include that there may be no special or known destiny.

Understanding of death is important as is deployment of this understanding.

Core Knowledge: Morals

Morals arise because human beings have freedom and choice. The elements of morals are (1) Values in relation to the Universe—the value of realization (2) Morals in relation to behavior in the world—to the world and environment, to other life, to human being, and (3) Attitude.

 

Practices and practices-in-action; catalysts;

Practices and Practices-in-action

Practices and practices-in-action which are more or less detailed prescriptions—concrete and or in principle—for behavior aimed at ideals (morals) and realization. The principles and areas to which the practices apply include seeing, acting, and understanding—i.e. ways for individual approach to truth and realization: day-to-day, group, and the universal including belief.

Catalysts

Catalysts which may be thought of as related to but distinct from practices (a modern emphasis) and alternatively as intersecting the practices (pre-rational emphasis; note that these labels ‘modern’ and ‘pre-rational’ are secular and modern and that the narrative takes no general position on this issue). Specifically a catalyst is anything that puts the individual into some alteration (psyche and or body) that results in special abilities for action—human, physical, and of the psyche. The catalysts, I think, are essential to real transformation (a complement to the easy ‘laziness’ of modernity). There result is not invariably continuous or repeatable. They should therefore be balanced by reason and memory. Reason and memory further provide impetus to and illumination of risk and catalyst.

Sources for the Catalysts

Dynamics of transformation, catalysts and catalytic states.

Journey in Beingdetailed version of 2010.

 

Retreat and return

Retreat and Return

Retreat and return—for the individual who undertakes his or her own path of realization (here retreat does not have the connotation of stepping backward or out of the world but stepping away so as to meditate, reflect, see, renew, and—generally—to return). Retreat and return may be from self andor group interest. According to the metaphysics of this narrative retreat does not and need not imply return (not returning does not imply abandonment for retreat may be a group endeavor and, further, the outcome of retreat may be joining andor forming a higher community). Retreat may be the beginning of a journey into what is unknown in the sense of what is beyond cumulative experience so far (for the particular individual and civilization).

 

Cumulative learning; charisma; self-consciousness or reflexivity for the ways.

Cumulative, Charismatic, and Reflexive Process

An element of the ways that deserves special emphasis is cumulative learning; such learning may derive from individuals with or thought to have special powers and charisma; and the learning may be recorded.

In undertaking analysis of method the ways become ‘self-conscious’—i.e., the ways become reflexive.

 

Synthesis of Being

 

45         

Ideas and action—imagination, criticism, and experiment—are essential MODES of becoming. The VEHICLES and foci of transformation are individual (being) and Civilization. Descriptions of the elements follow:

Being fosters civilization, civilization cradles and fosters Being.

Projects follow below; their level of detail will be worked out in process.

Experiment and closure are aspects of projects; as an in-process document, the detailed action maps—beginning with The Individual in Community and the World—may be modified in-process and will reflect and report results.

 

Ideas;

The metaphysics; method; system of human knowledge.

The ideas are relatively mature. See the Archive of documents.

 

Being (individual)—transformation; and

Spiritual practice—i.e. practice that recognizes the whole and responsibility to the whole; catalytic experiment; learning (this is detailed in the next section Transformation of the Individual Being).

 

Civilization (community)—organic and technological growth.

Details of these items are provided in the subsequent sections.

 

Transformation of the Individual Being

This is the first of two sections that develop synthesis in greater detail: the focus of these two sections is on action and transformation. The focus of this section is the individual; that of the next is the group in collective endeavor (community, civilization). However, the essential interdependence of individual and group requires that each of the section emphasize the interaction. This section therefore includes a focus on the individual in community; the next section includes focus on civilization as groups of individuals.

46         

Synthesis I—Transformation of individual human being.

Transformation of Being. Emphasizes the Individual and grounding in this world—in Community.

The modes of Being emphasize NATURE which includes organism (especially PSYCHE) and environment, SOCIETY (group—community and civilization and culture). Individuals are points of Being; societies—civilizations—are collections of such points.

 

All times and places—Yoga practice and action; death and crisis.

Examples. MEDITATION as seeing truth by emptiness and focus. Meditation on death as final and as transient. Perceiving what may otherwise be conceived—e.g., magnitude, variety, and Identity of the Universe; other lives. Physical practices, extremes, and catalysts (discussion of nature, below).

 

Here and now—home, town, and country: ideas and experiments, health, routine.

‘Country’ emphasizes nature in and near home and town.

 

Cultural milieu and community—care and sharing; charisma and initiative; moral behavior, honesty; and abandon.

The foci here are community interactions and learning from community.

Activity will include travel and touring—nature, special and spiritual places; culture—interaction, sharing, and learning—intellectual and spiritual.

 

Nature, psyche, and Universe—gateway to ultimate, immersion, inspiration, and catalysts such as fasting, isolation, meditation, and exertion that pushes any apparent limit to capacity.

Nature is ideal for experiment with catalysts—e.g., fasting, isolation, exertion.

Nature is the place of Beyul (discussed below).

Immersion and action are essential and catalytic in spiritual and practical process.

 

Civilization of the Universe

Civilization of the Universe includes transformation of community.

47         

Synthesis II—Civilization of the Universe: Transformation of communities (of individuals).

The Transformation of Being here emphasizes Civilization and technology or artifact.

 

Organic—Civilization as matrix—individual transformation, sharing; communication and charisma.

A metaphor for Civilization that is useful to repeat is that of islands connected in the deep.

The organic phase emphasizes shared endeavor via participation, immersion, and in a research and transformation community. This may be realized by establishing or joining such a community.

 

Artifact—or artifactual Being. Ideas regarding artifact—artificial intelligence and life; ontology, cosmology, cognitive science.

Note that artifact includes technology and ideas include conceptual and mathematical understanding.

The phase of artifact (technology) emphasizes concepts, design, and construction—for artifacts as independent, adjunct and symbiotic; hardware andor software; designed, tinkering or ad hoc, and evolving; shared endeavor and research community. Establish or join such a community.

 

A Vision For Our World

The vision of this section has two components that correspond to two interacting purposes. The first component is as an outline of the process of realization for our civilization as it is today; this emphasizes concrete and practical as well as ideal concerns. The second component concerns the relation between our civilization and Being—between civilization and Civilization.

This vision is at two levels: that of our civilization in its internal and external (Civilization) processes. Its modes are those of ideas and action—especially and essentially participation and immersion.

48         

A vision for our world—the aim of the vision is participation, especially but not exclusively in light of the metaphysics as framework. So as to remain light, dynamic, and responsive to process these comments are kept brief. The following are significant:

A Delineation of the Vision

A premise—based in the metaphysics—of the vision is that detailed specific elements—ideas and artifact—of the world in transition should emerge dynamically and include conscious immersion and participation in the world. The premise includes that detailed specification of the elements of civilization in transition—political, economic, cultural, moral, and spiritual (religious) ideals—would make for a static and burdensome rather than a dynamic and light system.

In the ideal the good of the whole and the parts coincide—this will be taken as a metaphysical ideal to be treated as a hypothesis for experiment in the world (the world does not have full metaphysical freedom in its normal behavior).

Ideals should interact with immersion and will be recognized as Ideals (and written) as they emerge. The great political-economic theories and ideals of religion and philosophy are of immense value but it would be premature to attempt a recapitulation of received ideas or to attempt a pre-formulation. What emerges will use received ideas; what emerges is envisioned as including conscious thought and as including distributed interaction of ideas and action-immersion; this approach is justified by the metaphysics (realization is endless in variety and time).

Competition, cooperation and difference are positive; conflict—i.e., destructive competition—is not part of the good.

Morals—concepts, participation and immersion—are significant.

Some details of the Vision

OUR WORLD, especially the places I have lived, as points of commitment, focus, access, and example.

 

Political-moral-economic principles and action—participation and immersion.

Politics and Economics

Central-distributed decision; exploration-development and conservation; ideas; participation and immersion.

 

Culture—humanities, ethics and history; science, art, technology, and symbol—participation and immersion.

Culture

See System of human knowledge.

 

Religion—Being in all its dimensions in realization of All Being.

Religion

Significant terms are ‘Religion’, ‘Civilization’, ‘Journey’, ‘Yoga’.

The metaphysics shows that there is no eternal deliverance from normal limits including pain and suffering. However pain can be given meaning or lived through while sustaining meaning; and the metaphysical ideal helps sustain fullness of being here and now.

 

JOURNEY

The subject of this division is the journey of realization presented in concrete form. The division assesses progress so far and develops a program for the journey that is informed by principles developed above.

In its beginning the journey is, particularly, a personal journey. It has grown into an attempt at realization and sharing of and contribution to a ‘universal journey in being’.

A Document in Process

This division is a map for the journey laid out so far. What are the elements of a map or program and program development? These are developed in earlier divisions. The elements include and are centered on the Universal Metaphysics and, from the completeness of the metaphysics, give the program a principled—rather than ad hoc—comprehensiveness with respect to the Dimensions of Being. From the metaphysics this comprehensiveness is covering—i.e., complete but, while form is limited, must remain in process (for individual and civilization). It follows that this work and the program for the journey should be well defined in contour and yet in process.

For this work balance between being definitive and in process was discussed in the introduction, especially in the section A Balance between Brevity and Detail: it is achieved by having a relatively permanent core that frames revisable elaborations. The document is structured from one of its design criteria to do just that.

The program achieves balance by beginning with short sections from Charting the JourneyDimensions through The Future of the Narrative and then continuing with templates for details. The templates begin with Assessment of the Developments so Far (names of some of the template sections are similar to those of the shorter sections).

The map—as noted—emphasizes comprehensiveness: no stone shall remain unturned. From the point of view concreteness it is perhaps too detailed and yet insufficiently concrete. This situation is somewhat inevitable for real concreteness for so open a project must arise in the interaction of pre-conceiving or planning and doing or acting. I intend that rewriting of the program shall be in process. The revisability and revision of this work reflects the essentially in process nature of realization.

Since the design is from a universal perspective the form of the program is general. It is by design appropriate for use by others—individuals and civilization. I encourage this and would be encouraged in turn if its use should be profitable. Such use should of course be based in the principles laid out here in interaction with the user's experience and principles; therefore use will likely be a deployment of parts of the program tailored to the ‘users’ own process. This may further contribute to the transformation of Being and Civilization of the Universe. It will be rewarding if this work achieves such contribution in some measure.

The journey and narratives are open. However, we often regard what is open as closed: texts and individuals are often seen as discrete. There is of course reality and value to the discreteness. An individual has discreteness by nature and is a focal point of Being—and becoming and discovering. A discrete text when well executed provides definitive information, e.g. a body of knowledge that serves as foundation for further development.

Yet, in fact, text and individual are also continuous with the world; texts with text, individuals with humanity and the world, and text with world. There is also value to continuity and to recognizing continuity. In the long run that is what stands out—the cumulative endeavor, the thread of narrative, the matrix of civilization. To these ends the present text emphasizes discreteness in its short version and continuity in its long version and in sharing and cooperative endeavor. The discussions of the narrative have laid out some principles of open endeavor and open narrative.

Objects are discrete as well as continuous. We could describe the object that appears discrete at a particular time as an object in time; the object in time would manifest from the Universe, follow some trajectory, and diffuse back into the Universe. There is a phrase that sums up the balance between permanence and impermanence as one of perspective—‘to see a river as a mountain and a mountain as a river’.

 

Charting the Journey—Dimensions

Defining the dimensions is simple—focus will be on the elements of Being laid out earlier which emphasize vehicles (individual Being and civilization) and modes (ideas and action) of transformation. Transformation will emphasize Being itself and an instrumental approach. The instrumental approach—technology—requires cooperation and is therefore placed under discussion of civilization.

The process is informed by and informs Method (which includes Analysis and Synthesis of Being). Reflection on the elements of the journey-in-process is more important than having a checklist of elements.

This section reviews the main dimensions of a journey. The next section Assessment of Progress states and assesses progress so far. The dimensions and assessment ground the plans in the section Wide Perspective Plan. The narrative then continues (in the Complete Edition) with a detailed program in the sections The Individual in Community and the World and Civilization of the Universe: Being, Artifact, and Technology.

Planning

The division Transformation includes a comprehensive approach to deployment of ideas and action. Material pertinent to deployment of ideas and action is especially in the sections Approaches to Transformation, The Way of Transformation: Analysis and Synthesis of Being, Analysis of Ways of Transformation, Description of the Ways, and Synthesis of Being.

On Plans and Commitment

Cumulative experience with this open ended project suggests that planning is important but should not be too detailed. Therefore, while perseverance is important, I find it good to balance it with retreat as well as abandon; and, therefore, while commitment is good and precise and detailed planning is also good, it is essential to review, revise and jettison specific goals and plans—i.e. appropriate plans, pathways, goals, degrees of commitment should be allowed to emerge in process, conditioned by reason, experience, and intuition; and degrees of detail should have dependence on how close objectives are or appear to be.

49         

A Universal Journey of Realizationthough personal in its beginning, the journey—this journey—aims at shared realization of and contribution to a ‘universal journey in being’. This section is a brief account of this journey in process.

 

 

Being

Ideas—ideas are never complete; a text can always be improved; planning is part of ideas and ideation. However, in this narrative relative maturity of ideas is manifest. Further, since ideas are innately incomplete modes of Being, focus must now turn to transformation.

Transformation of Being focuses on Individual Being as such and in relation to community and civilization—ideas are an incomplete part of transformation. Essential transformation is in-process and at an early stage in comparison to the ideas. However, we shall recall that ‘In the life of the spirit, we are always at the beginning.’

The quote ‘In the life of the spirit…’ to the left is from The Book of Runes, Ralph Blum, 1982. Its meaning may be taken—here—to be that we are ever in process. From the metaphysics this is and has been seen to be true for limited forms.

 

Civilization

Civilization and Being—focuses on human civilization and on Civilization of the Universe… Involvement, which begins with this work and its motives, is defined by ideas, personal action, sharing, and as a program above and in what follows.

Artifact and technology—a secondary focus will be on use and development of technologies appropriate to (a) transformation of Being and (b) civilization of the Universe.

 

 

Charting the Journey—Assessment of Progress

This section is repeated below. This is the ‘short version. It may be retained in some long versions. The short and long versions should be synchronized.

 

Being

Ideas—as noted, relative maturity of ideas has been achieved. Two aspects maturity are (1) As developed the ideas are innately reflexive—i.e. they include self-assessment (2) This self-assessment shows completeness of foundation and breadth.

Transformation—since transformation is in-process it will be useful to assess work so far. Assessment of progress may identify successful directions of transformation and therefore suggest areas of activity; and it may help clarify what has worked so far and so help hone principles of action. Here is a brief assessment of ‘work’ so far (a) Discovery and development of a dynamic of transformation (the framework of the metaphysics) (b) Yoga in action, self transformation, self healing, and focus (c) Nature as inspiration for understanding and transformation of self (therefore of community)—‘Beyul’ (Tibetan for secret or hidden land) as map of Being.

 

 

Civilization

Civilization—significant of background work has been done in developing the concept of Civilization, in investigating social sciences, and on the nature of science and implications for social science and their use. The progress regarding transformation has origin in and has been informally implemented in small scale group settings. Some details of study and progress are given in this document, especially Civilization and Transformation, and in the document Journey in being-detail.html). The next section Charting the JourneyWide Perspective Plan maps for large scale sharing and implementation for civilization.

Artifact and technology—disciplines of interest are social science, history, cosmology, and cognitive science; my preparatory reading, study, and reflection in these disciplines has been broad. have been broad. I anticipate that my experience in design, computation, and programming will be useful in design of artifactual Being (e.g. artificial intelligence). The next section Charting the JourneyWide Perspective Plan maps implementation for artifact and technology.

 

 

Charting the Journey—Wide Perspective Plan

Develop concrete sources and perhaps introduce a section on sources—information, inspiration, networking, confirmation and other support. Review sources in the document.

A longer framework for plans appears below in the sections The Individual in Community and the World and Civilization of the Universe: Being, Artifact, and Technology.

50         

Being

Plans for transformation of individual Being are as follows.

Use and modify the system of the document System of human knowledge. In the modification include method—analysis and synthesis of meaning and Being (which naturally includes extension of science to include participation and immersion).

 

Ideas—topics for study and research

(1) Foundation and development of the metaphysics

(2) Study of ways—tradition, analysis and synthesis of Being  (which include experiment: ideas cannot be developed in isolation from action) with focus on catalysts of Being in interaction with emotion-cognition

(3) Study of artificial Being—stand alone, evolutionary, and symbiotic; general study of technology for civilization (our world) and Civilization (population of the Universe); specific study of cognitive science, AI, A-Life: symbolic, computer implementation, and designs; reflection and research on the ‘computation’ model, its significance, enhancements (quantum, distributed), and alternatives; and study and development of dynamic text—automation of production, presentation, storage and representation of text and concepts, revision, and use of text—i.e. interaction of text and object or world

(4) Theoretical and experimental study of transformations (experiments) with organisms, individuals, selves, and dissolution of self—psycho-biology

(5) Application—i.e. interaction of the metaphysics with academic disciplines and human endeavor, especially metaphysical thought of the past—e.g. the thought of Leibniz and the speculative systems, Logic, mathematics, the sciences with focus on fundamental physics, physical cosmology, and evolutionary biology, and science and philosophy for (of) society

(6) Analysis and synthesis of the realms harbored in the womb of Realism (Logic) as conceived in the narrative

(7) Meta-study, i.e. review of all aspects of the process, especially analysis and synthesis of ideas and Being—including formulation in these terms. This ‘study’ will include review of plans and the planning process (in light of the metaphysics and the nature and structures of the journey). Such study is implicit in the previous items but deserves separate mention.

Share existing and ongoing developments. Versions to publish—(1) Micro—a sequence of about twenty statements, unfolding from what is most central to the journey: Journey in Being-micro.html (2) Essential (a) General (items in light blue font from the entire left column): Journey in Being-brief.html (b) Academic (the entire left column): Journey in Being-brief-academic.html (d) Motivational overview, e.g., Lessons for a Journey (3) Detailed in-process (a) Full (the entire content of this document): Journey in Being-full.html (b) Selective (omit details such as those beginning with the section Assessment of the Developments So Far): Journey in Being.html (this document).

The ideas are relatively mature and work on them will therefore be taken up again in connection with and after work on ‘Transformation’, below.

 

Transformation and action

(1) Ways, i.e. analysis and synthesis of Being… and implementation

(2) Yoga, meditation in practice and in action and living

(3) Place—a place of normal living, transient or stable, shall be a place conducive to truth and realization; it will be shared with others who share and support these aims… who share in the support of spirit

(4) Travel—culture, especially spiritual places-institutions-persons

(5) Nature as a gateway to insight and Universe (Beyul) and as place for physical being, immersion in Being—porosity and transience of boundaries, and experiment with self and catalysts

(6) Analysis and synthesis in light of experiment and learning.

2013

51         

Civilization

Plans for transformation of Civilization are as follows.

 

 

Civilization and Being

(1) Our civilization: dimensions including A Vision for our world; participation and immersion; and integration with transformation

(2) Shared endeavor, research group—establish or join a research and transformation community (for a transformation community see TranscommunityDesign.html; for a preliminary TransCommunity design see the Excel Workbook Transcommunity.xls or its HTML version Transcommunity.html); publishing the developments; integration with artifact and technology

(3) Civilization of the Universe: sharing a common endeavor (above); metaphysics; retreat and return.

2013—in parallel with ‘Transformation’ above.

For a transformation community see TranscommunityDesign.html. For a preliminary plan see the Excel Workbook Transcommunity.xls or its HTML version Transcommunity.html.

 

Artifact and Technology

(1) Use of technology in and for Civilization

(2) Artificial Being—stand alone, design and evolution, symbiotic—build (hardware-software), experiment, learn; dynamic text—i.e. automation of text and ideas… and text that is interactive with ideas and life via computer implementation (software, intelligent editing, remote interaction)

(3) Experiments with organisms—especially the individual experimenting with him or herself—psycho-biology

(4) Shared endeavor, research group—establish or join a research and transformation community (for a transformation community see TranscommunityDesign.html; for a preliminary TransCommunity design see the Excel Workbook Transcommunity.xls or its HTML version Transcommunity.html).

Dates: 2013-2014: after sufficient effort has been applied to ‘Transformation’ above—and perhaps only after sufficient progress has occurred.

For a transformation community see TranscommunityDesign.html. For a preliminary TransCommunity design see the Excel Workbook Transcommunity.xls or its HTML version Transcommunity.html.

 

Dedication and Affirmation

 

52         

‘I dedicate my life to The Way of Being—
To its discovery, to living and growing in The Way;
To shedding the bonds of limited self—
That I may see the way so clearly
That in living it, especially in difficulty,
Force merges with flow…
Which will exemplify the way—
Truth, power, and care.
May I always live and share The Way

Adapted from the AA 3rd step prayer.

The dedication and affirmation is repeated below.

 

The Future of the Narrative

The future—this place is held for reports and narratives of the journey (ideas, plans and planning, transformations, and goals) as it unfolds.

The main elements for the future are (a) Sharing the narrative is essential to sharing the journey—the journey and narrative shall be open; the sharing will be with individuals and groups in the context of civilization (b) Reports on progress in transformation, ideas, and goals (plans).

Some in-process Aspects of the Work

Reports on transformation: Ideas and Being—Individual and Civilization.

1.       Just as I seek to share the journey—in fact and perhaps in legacy—so I also seek to share authorship of this text so that it may be (a spark to) an open text.

2.       Reports on ideas-in-process, especially research in transformation.

3.       Reports on source material: introduce a section that is concrete with regard to sources—information, inspiration, networking, confirmation and other support; focus will be on (a) future use and (b) other material that may be useful for readers. The current section on sources, Influences and Sources, is not detailed or concrete but is a basis for concrete development.

4.       Reports on update of plans for the journey—naturally part of the next two items. Include (import) plans for this document.

5.       Review and rewrite the main ideas—the Précis Edition.

6.       Review, improve, and edit this document.

 

Assessment of the Developments so Far

What follows in the remainder of this division (Journey) is a detailed framework for assessment for assessment and planning.

Details are in the sections The Individual in Community and the World and Civilization of the Universe: Being, Artifact, and Technology. The areas of activity are in the left column, the activities are in the right column. The source for the areas of activity is the reflection of and leading up to the section Description of the Ways and sources for the activities are the entire division Transformation (and the human tradition of endeavor, especially the elements of the tradition noted in the division).

53         

It will be useful to assess the developments so far. The areas of assessment are:

The following framework may be filled out with detail from the concrete information in the earlier section Assessment of Progress.

 

Ideas

The Ideas

As manifest above. Significance of the ideas includes (a) Perfect, unique, ultimate, universal metaphysics (b) Implication for the major disciplines and endeavors (the disciplines—especially logic, metaphysics, science, mathematics; endeavors—especially politics, religion, and real spiritual attainment).

The present document suggests numerous lines of study and investigation in the main ideas, the new conceptions of a number of disciplines, and at the intersection of these developments and human knowledge. The brief outline in System of human knowledge will assist in systematic definition of a program of study and research.

 

Transformation of Being

Transformation of the Individual

Discovery and development of a dynamic of transformation (the framework of the metaphysics).

Yoga in action, self transformation, self healing, and focus.

Nature as inspiration for understanding and transformation of self (therefore of community)—‘BEYUL’ (Tibetan for secret or hidden land) as map of Being.

 

Civilization

Civilization

The concept of Civilization has been introduced earlier.

The following are significant to the transformation and growth of Civilization:

Discovery and development of a dynamic of transformation (the framework of the metaphysics).

Concept of ideas as essentially incomplete and requiring action for completion.

Concept of science requiring participation and immersion for completion.

Yoga-in-practice in work with community; approaches to interpersonal dynamics.

CivilizationConcepts for Implementation

A community for research and transformation. Some details are provided below. Initial planning is available as on the Internet as an Excel Workbook Transcommunity.xls and its HTML version Transcommunity.html.

Definition of spiritual, political, and economic agenda. Immersion and participation.

Artifact and technology—above and below.

 

The Individual in Community and the World

The progression in this section is roughly from ‘everywhere’ to local to universal (the difference between everywhere and the universal is that the former emphasizes detail). Where dates are pertinent the latest beginning date is stated.

Community is an explicit focus of the next section Civilization, Artifact, and Technology. Its inclusion here is as reminder that community and world are and must be at least implicitly present in the constitution and interactions of and support for individuals.

 

All Times and Places

The activities of this section are always appropriate for consideration and the individual items may be deployed routinely andor as appropriate or needed.

‘All Times and Places’ or ‘Everywhere and Everywhen’ is local and universal; however it begins in the local—in the immediate present.

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Reflect, experiment

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Attitude, care, expression and caring

Dedication and affirmation

‘I dedicate my life to The Way of Being—
To its discovery, to living and growing in The Way;
To shedding the bonds of limited self—
That I may see the way so clearly
That in living it, especially in difficulty,
Force merges with flow…
Which will exemplify the way—
Truth, power, and care.
May I always live and share The Way

Adapted from the AA 3rd step prayer.

(What is the way of Being? It lies in the realm whose extremes are the Void and the Universe, mechanism and transience; in acceptance of these realms; in the balance between our home—civilization—and the ultimate.)

Place or home—a place of spirituality, i.e. conducive to relating well to the world, to being in myself, to realization…

Relations to others—taking responsibility for my attitude and attitudes (including resentments: I can be assertive but the optimal point of intervention is my own attitude and actions; and: there is a time to avoid and move away rather than to be assertive)

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Physical and meditative Yoga—center, emptiness-vision, focus, review

Presence through ego and physical distraction

The following illustrations have more detail than in the discussion of Transformation above

MEDITATION as seeing truth by emptiness and focus; meditation as ‘emptying’ mind is essential practice and may be achieved by single focus which is simultaneously focusing and emptying; meditative focus on needs for action including revision and selectivity in plans

Physical practices, extremes, and catalysts (discussion of nature, below)

Meditation on transience and wholeness

Meditation on death as final and as transient; death as final—as catalyst to completion of commitments… and for acceptance; meditation on death as transient—previous lives, after death—gate to the limitless. Perceiving what otherwise requires higher conception—e.g., magnitude, variety, and Identity of the Universe; other lives

Dedication and affirmation

Meditative review—repeated from above—pragmatic and ideal; daily and universal practice

 

Catalysts

Practice

Nature and physical action

 

Retreat and return

Dialog—
conversation and learning

 

Method—analysis of ways

Review

 

Death

…and Illness

Practical and spiritual preparation

Review discussion of death in the narrative; Tibetan and Egyptian Books of the Dead

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Horizon / gateway

Telescope ambition

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Advance directive

Self awareness
Care / share

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Meditate on death; relation between transience & wholeness

 

Catalysts

Acceptance

Death as crisis and so transforming

‘Near’ death

 

Retreat and return

Meditate on and prepare for after death

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

Home, Town, and Country

Summary: ideas (writing) and experiments, health (exercise and diet), routine—

‘Country’ emphasizes nature in and near home and town

The contents of the section All Times and Places applies to this and subsequent sections

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Write, communicate, question (others and self), listen

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Contribute

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Routine tasks, diet

 

Catalysts

Truth, reflection

Nature and physical action or exercise—general and therapeutic

 

Retreat and return

The place of return?

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

Cultural Milieu and Community

 

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Model universe

Milieu of metaphysics

Process

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Deriving value and sharing metaphysics and implied value

Care and sharing

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Initiative, risk, charisma; community interactions—causal and public speaking

Moral behavior

Abandon

 

Catalysts

Exposure to anxiety

Public speaking—formal and informal

Inspiration

Charisma

 

Retreat and return

Travel. Travel deserves separate treatment—it is considered separately, below

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

Travel

Travel—summary. Tour—nature, special and spiritual places, culture—interaction, sharing, and learning—intellectual and spiritual

Walking, bicycle, public transportation, and automobile

Individual and shared

Continents, Oceans, extremes

2013…

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

‘Journey’ metaphor

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Open mindedness and sharing

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Being in the moment

 

Catalysts

Risk

 

Retreat and return

Exploration, discovery of spiritual sources in culture

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

Nature, Psyche, and Universe

Characterization—nature as gateway to the ultimate, immersion, inspiration, and catalyst; gateway to ultimate in psyche

2013…

Emphasis on nature as map of psyche and gateway to knowledge of self and universe—i.e., of inner and outer ‘realms’ (Beyul)

Summary

Catalysts—e.g., fasting, isolation, exertion

The concept of Beyul (discussed above)

Immersion and action are essential and catalytic in spiritual and practical process

Originally, there were two further sub-sections:

Psyche—a primary focus of these elements but more than adequately treated as part of other elements

Universe—also more than adequately treated, this section served as a reminder of the ultimate aim of the journey

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Gateway and ground

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Dedication

Listening, seeing, and attempting to feel with hills, mountains, snows, sunsets, trees, animals… I understand that I might never feel what a deer feels as it stands on a hillside at sunset and that whatever I project may be mere projection. (It cannot be totally mere projection for I know that the deer feels; and I know too when it hears and when it runs and when it exercises caution.) However, I do know that I will never feel the deer-feeling if I do not try. This trying may of course be supplemented by interaction and reflection

In Werner Herzog’s film Grizzly Man, he shows his subject Timothy Treadwell as empathizing with grizzly bears. Herzog shows a shot of a bear with apparently blank expression and comments that the bears quite certainly have no feelings with or for us (except perhaps as food). I want to know how Herzog knows this (taking any reasonable definition of knowledge he neither knows this absence nor presence of bear empathy and not because of some absolute impossibility but because he simply does not have enough experience to know). If anthropomorphism is projecting human form in other forms then non-anthropomorphism would be to make no judgment regarding the bear. Herzog’s comment is an example of the rationalist who wants to appear a strict rationalist and by conflating lack of (his or her) knowledge with knowledge of lack; thus Herzog is not only wrongly anthropomorphic; he is also being immensely self-centered—‘Herzog-o-morphic’.

I want this experience—the experience of animal emotion even if only a ‘copy’ of it—even though I do not know it to be possible (from my normal perspective; FP shows that it must occur).

‘If you feel what an animal or a tree or a rock feels, you know God’. There… I will try that thought and see if it—or some variation of it—fits

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Presence and awareness

Climbing, cross-country, exploration

 

Catalysts

Fasting, isolation, inaction

Exertion, exposure

 

Retreat and return

Extended immersion, discovery of Beyul

Travel

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

My Life and Ambition—Priorities

This section contains repetition.

Legend—Important | Immediate
MDR = Meditate-dedicate-review, I/E = Ideas/experiments

Home | Daily Links | Design

 

Realization

TransformBeing-Civilization-program. Place-nature-sharing and support of values, aims, and spirit… 6 mo, travel. CDL-reciprocity. Immersion. Spirituality-begins ‘I assume responsibility for myself’

 

Everyday

AMMDR | I/E-write / experiment | Exercise—therapeutic, aerobic, strength. Day bike ride, walk

PM—Network for place, journey | I/E | MRD

 

Preparation

Min-max—space-property-books, time-action, expense-savings ® Mobility-essentials: box rest, CDL-reciprocity ® Home-Craiglist-Weaverville-community ® store-move

HealthMD, DDS Gordon Lewis-INS-MEX?

Work—engineering fundamentals, programming; program of dev in essays

Tour-Nature—Pare-org gear | ENDURA, adventurecycle.org etc | fitness | types of bikes | bike-tour-motor-trailer, tires, gear

 

Essay

Share existing and ongoing developments. Versions to publish—(1) Micro—a sequence of about twenty statements, unfolding from what is most central to the journey: Journey in Being-micro.html (2) Essential (a) General (items in light blue font from the entire left column): Journey in Being-brief.html (b) Academic (the entire left column): Journey in Being-brief-academic.html (d) Motivational overview, e.g., Lessons for a Journey (3) Detailed in-process (a) Full (the entire content of this document): Journey in Being-full.html (b) Selective (omit details such as those beginning with the section Assessment of the Developments So Far): Journey in Being.html (this document).

Format accordingly—tables, frames; special styles for automation

Columns—6, 40, 54%

Sources—see Archive

Automation—JavaScript; collapsible text; see html and java

Publish—and share

 

Website

Design—attractive simple home, eliminate too personal and distracting links, provide an explanation in the blank space

Alternate site— simple home

Contact—redo—on home and essay pp

Contents—About | Author | Journey | Bite: ‘Something from nothing’… | Slide show

Document org—simple, use libraries and shortcuts

 

Civilization of the Universe: Being, Artifact, and Technology

The first consideration in this section is an intrinsic focus on Being—on civilization as civilization—i.e. on individual transformation in interaction with transformation of community.

The second focus is supplementary. I see it as an instrumental supplement to the intrinsic.

Description of these foci as intrinsic and supplementary corresponds to my present inclination which is the concern with Being. It may turn out however, that what I now see as supplement shall be primary. Further, as observed earlier there is at root—i.e. in their widest interpretations—no distinction between the intrinsic and the instrumental. In any case, it would be a mistake to suppress one mode of transformation in favor of the other.

 

 

Civilization and Being

2013—2014…

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Matrix of community and communication

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Perception and theory

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Meditate on past and future lives

 

Catalysts

Communication and charisma

Shared endeavor—a universally oriented spiritual community

Shared endeavor, research group—a research and transformation community. Establish or join such a community

 

Retreat and return

Individual transformation; sharing

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

Artifact and Technology

2013—2014…

 

Metaphysics, cosmology, and human being

Ontology, cosmology, AI/ALife, robotics, cognitive science; hardware andor software; dynamic text—i.e. automation of text and ideas; text that is interactive with ideas and life via computer implementation (software, intelligent editing, remote interaction)

 

Attitude or mindfulness, values, and morals

Deploy as independent, as adjunct, and as symbiotic

 

Practice and practice-in-action

Research, Design, and Development—conceptual, experimental, and ad hoc; design for evolution

Experiments with organisms—psycho-biology

 

Catalysts

Use and deploy

Shared endeavor, research group—a research and transformation community. Establish or join such a community

 

Retreat and return

Build, experiment, and learn

 

Method—analysis of ways

 

 

REFERENCE

 

 

Contribution

 

54         

The central achievements of the narrative are the universal metaphysics, the universality of ultimate realization, and method for the metaphysics and realization.

Other achievements lie in (a) developments in specific topics such as civilization—its critique and place in realization; meaning; nature of science and its laws and theories; ideal conception of Logic; theory of objects—unification of the concrete and the abstract and the kinds within the concrete and the abstract; cosmology, variety, and identity; problems of mind and matter; doubt, certainty, and existential attitude; conception of Religion and analysis of its elements; and (b) interaction of these topics with the metaphysics and theory of realization.

 

The ultimate and universal character of the metaphysics provides new and in some ways ultimate interpretations of core human disciplines.

The core disciplines include Logic, Mathematics, Science and the Sciences, Metaphysics, Method—as analysis and synthesis of meaning and Being… its perfection for metaphysics in the direction of depth but openness in variety… and that it is coeval with ‘content’; aspects of the humanities and arts; Values; and Yoga interpreted as the transformation of Being and its ways and the values of meshing this life, this world with realization of the ultimate.

 

There are numerous implications for and potential interactions with the disciplines of human knowledge and human endeavors—i.e., for research and action.

 

 

In the main narrative I have not collected together the possibilities for research as a program. However, a collection of topics may be found under the index entry ‘Program of study, research, and transformation’

 

 

Influences and Sources

 

55         

I would like to place on record some influences and sources for this work. The world (cumulative experience, reflection) and the tradition are sources. Breadth and depth are crucial, especially in interaction—each requires the other.

This section identifies influences on my thought. It does not distinguish greater or lesser or influence by agreement or disagreement. It is not intended as a bibliography or a complete or even partial list of sources. The intents are (a) acknowledgment and continuity and (b) that readers may however use the information as a guide to their own study. The listing is limited to main disciplines and individuals and is a small fraction of the total influence.

 

General influences are defined by the world and cultures in which I have lived. Though diffuse and often in the background these influences are immensely significant. Significant events, spiritual (religious) leaders, and statesmen have been among my inspirations. Music, literature (particularly poetry), and drama including film have been especially inspiring. Good drama makes me want to live and share; fantasy is a source of imagination which when uncritical may be improved by critical filtering. Nature has been immensely inspiring—I have received so much from nature (1) as gateway to the universal and (2) inspiration for my ideas and thought. The core foundational ideas for this work and earlier thought have been conceived in nature. I have learned of the idea nature as map of inner and outer worlds from Tibetan Buddhism and cumulative personal experience in nature (environments less touched by human intervention—that in some interpretations of ‘civilization’ are its antithesis).

General influence begins with the cultures of the East and West—the places I have lived. We absorb much in the way of implicit knowing by immersion; and I have had access to educational and knowledge resources as well. Language and Being were not created by these cultures—their origin is far more remote (Being has no origin). My parents were influential, especially on who I am. I owe much to friends and acquaintances—to those who nurtured my interests as well as to those who may have sparked passion by arousing fear and anger. I think I owe quite a bit to the accident of circumstance. I have a tenacity to follow up on ideals, to continue their development through trial and celebration; this tenacity amazes me; I do not quite know its source. I really enjoy the physicality and mentality of my being. Art, especially poetry and music have been inspiring (I am listening to a Vedic Hymn as I write). I think that nature as inspiration and portal to the Universe is my greatest debt and influence.

Even though religions may be abused and archaic, I think the idea that we may and should try to know the truth of the Universe in our time is an essential idea. The idea that an individual—e.g. a Shaman—can have essential insight is significant. This stands in opposition to the slow, rational, incremental development of science. It does not follow, however, that the principle of one is right and that the principle of the other is wrong. There does however seem to be some putative opposition but the two are implicitly and explicitly complementary. The Universal Metaphysics shows the rationality of both approaches and their join and the how of these ‘rationalities’ combine in rationality.

Ian Baker (b. 1957) wrote The Heart of the World (2004) which has been a detailed source for the concept and experience of Beyul, from Tibetan Buddhism, or hidden lands as sources for the ‘inner realms within which our own deepest nature lies hidden’.

 

Philosophical thought has been a significant influence. The main influences include ideas on the nature of the Universe from Indian Philosophy. From the thought of the West I have learned much about language and meaning; the nature of Being; and logic, mathematics, science, religion, and epistemology (the study of knowledge). Philosophical ethics—with its frequent striving to be rational—seems often unhelpful in actual situations which seem to not fit neatly into any one rational framework; it is nonetheless suggestive; however it must build, at least implicitly, on some foundation in Being—e.g. in tradition, emotion, day-to-day interaction, and in the moral systems and codes of the past. In my simple reflections on action under uncertainty I have learned much from philosophy but I have also learned about the importance and nature of multivalent thinking from an education in engineering, from economic thought, and finally in living with feeling and reflection.

Some details on the influence from philosophy—The main influences are some ideas of Atman and Brahman from Indian Philosophy and the philosophy of Being in the thought of Plato and Heidegger. Descartes is a source for the relation between Being and experience. Leibniz posited the ‘monad’ as an element or atom of mind as an answer to the question what is it like for an indivisible and structureless particle to have an interaction (can it be like anything and if so what?); that there is a problem with the idea of a monad is clear; that there is a problem with Leibniz' explanation of interactions ‘they are coordinated by the mind of God’ is clear; however the fact of asking the question is fundamental and apparently new with Leibniz—behind his thought is the problem that without subjectivity of the monad—i.e. of the most primitive element of Being—subjectivity (experience) is a paradox; and the question has been one starting point for my thought on the nature of experience.

Nietzsche is exemplary in careful thought at the intersection of human values and reason (this conclusion does not require that we agree with all his conclusions or ideas or that Nietzsche’s irrational side be ignored; however, it remains that Nietzsche’s positive thought is exemplary in the way asserted).

Kant is highly suggestive regarding our ability to know (we now know that he got the details quite wrong). Hans Vaihinger subscribed to a philosophy of ‘as-if’ to which I do not subscribe (it is a useful description of the way we are in relation to the world) but which I have found useful in describing in some of our in process and local ways of understanding. Hume, Popper, and Hempel are sources on the nature of science (and their views that the theories of science are not necessary conclusions from data and are revisable are starting points for my thought regarding an alternative, more robust, and realistic interpretation of scientific theory as compound fact).

Leibniz and Wittgenstein remarked the equivalence of metaphysics and logic; and Wittgenstein made useful clarifications on the nature of meaning; and there is a relation here between language contexts—the universe of language—and the Universe as conceived in the narrative: neither has an outside, what meaning and Being there are arise within. Frege, Russell, Gödel, and others are remarkable in the transformation of logic from its limited Aristotelian form to its modern open ended vibrancy—which encourages reflection not only on the robust formulation of logics but also open reflection on the nature of logic.

I have enjoyed reading the work of Ernst Mayr from whom I have learned much about biology and philosophy of science.

I have learned about philosophy language (types of speech act that Searle derived from J. L. Austin) and philosophy of mind from John Searle (this does not imply agreement with Searle’s or J. L. Austin’s analyses of ‘illocutionary acts’).

Descartes, Heidegger and many other thinkers, especially in phenomenology, struggled with the relation between subject and object and whether that relation is a valid way of our being and knowing relations to the world (that includes our being and knowing); their thoughts are useful in understanding what is meaningful in our lives and in our ‘epistemic’ relations; they may be useful in further development of my thoughts on human being and meaning; however, in this narrative I have found levels of description (justified by FP) that stand above (but certainly do not exclude or minimize) these issues.

I have benefited from Herbert Simon’s reflections on Human Problem Solving (1972, with Allan Newell).

I owe much to these thinkers. However, many ideas noted in the previous paragraph occurred to me independently and or appear in this document in new form. Many thinkers contributed much to my thought-in-transition—i.e. thought that I found useful at a time, which contributed to my understanding, which showed problems that required resolution, and which I then outgrew (e.g. by finding or discovering a transcending point of view that included what I had found useful and that solved or dissolved the problems). I owe much to perseverance which is partly personal but also inspired by the words and deeds of others.

Authors—Veda Vyasa (date and authenticity unclear), Plato (424/423 BC-348/347 BC), Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC), Adi Samkara (788-820), Johannes Scotus Eriugena (815-877), René Descartes (1596-1650), Baruch Spinoza, Baruch (1632-1677), Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Hans Vaihinger (1852-1933), Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), Karl Popper (1902-1994), Ernst Mayr (1904-2005), Carl G. Hempel (1905-1997), Kurt Friedrich Gödel (1906-1978), Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001), John Searle (1932-).

The majority of the foregoing thinkers are philosophers. However, they include the name of one biologist, one logician, and one economist. I have noted a tendency of writers in modern political philosophy to be critical of economic thought for its morbidity. However, the morbidity is in the individual or society who chooses to go along with economic conclusions without further deployment of humanity and judgment; it may lie with the economist but also with the philosopher and the layperson.

The variety of exposure has contributed in a more or less obvious way to breadth. The importance of breadth and interaction of ideas is often neglected in our modern school and university education (I hope it is clear that the present work has depended immensely on both breadth and attempted depth of reading and reflection). The modern emphasis on specialization does not lead to the depth that may result to focus on breadth as well as fundamentals. I have learnt much regarding fundamentals and therefore depth from the writers whose names appear above. Breadth, too, teaches depth and one way in which it does this is by cross-criticism. Cross-criticism is a strait-jacket from which we may escape by ever seeking what is fundamental.

 

Science has served as inspiration and paradigm in many ways, especially in interacting with the metaphysics.

Some details regarding science as inspiration for this work—science provided a first partially explicit model of metaphysics. Second, it provided an occasion for a developing intellect. Finally it has remained illuminating for the developments in this document by providing examples of method and content of knowledge. I have learned especially much from modern fundamental physics and cosmology and from the details and essential concepts of evolutionary biology (I make no claim to expertise in these disciplines).

It would be diversionary and probably impossible to list all the scientists (or mathematicians or logicians) who have excited my imagination and contributed at least indirectly to my thought. However, the outstanding individuals are Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Charles Darwin (1809-1882), James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Ernst Mayr (1904-2005), and the creators and developers of quantum mechanics and modern physical cosmology.

 

Glossary

For convenience of reference, terms are listed alphabetically. It is useful to have a list of the terms in their order of appearance in the text. This order is—Experience, Abstraction, Given, Concept, Meaning, Existence, Being, Universe, Law, Void, Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics, Normal, Realism—conceptual, factual, and existential, Logic, Limit, Limitlessness, Object, Identity, Death, Duration, Extension, Science, Power, Substance, Metaphysics, Applied Metaphysics, Civilization, Individual, Science, Yoga, Method, Reflexive, Analysis and Synthesis of Being… and of Ideas, Religion, Practices, Practice In Action, Catalysts, Learning, and Beyul.

 

 

Abstraction

Abstraction has a number of meanings. The main use in this narrative is that of concepts that specify only what—i.e. the collection of aspects of an otherwise more detailed concept that—is not subject to projective distortion.

 

Analysis and Synthesis of Being

Includes analysis and synthesis of ideas; and the entire method that emerges in this document, i.e. the methods of the metaphysics and transformation. While ‘analysis and synthesis of Being’ may sound like a slogan it encapsulates the methodology—inspired and justified, first, by micro-analysis of fundamental concepts of the metaphysics, second, by the metaphysics itself.

 

Applied Metaphysics

Extension of the metaphysics and its metaphysics to practical and imperfect knowledge. All Being falls under metaphysics and therefore under Applied Metaphysics; however, this knowledge is conceptual and not (generally) empirical (in the pure metaphysics it is empirical via abstraction). This is not a true limitation since FP implies that full empirical knowledge is an ever in process endeavor (for limited form). From practical and value points of view this knowledge (Applied Metaphysics) is perfect even though not empirically perfect.

 

Being

Essentially, that which exists; like existence, Being does not refer to examples of Being but includes them (if regarded as entity-like) or is a property that marks existence (if property-like); Being has been distinguished from existence but the distinction is empty. The present notion of Being is the root notion—it is therefore distinct from many other notions which tend to be the present notion together with restriction or refinement; such notions may be useful but are not part of the root meaning used here; we choose the term Being because it includes but does not make restriction to what is valid in these other notions and so derives illustrative power from what is valid in prior thought. One aspect of the power of Being is that it does not distinguish substance from non substance, and it does not cater to the notions of mind and matter and spirit and their distinctions: it includes what is valid in them (and it is therefore that we do not emphasize matter, mind and spirit in this narrative). The approach from Being is neutral; it is an overarching framework that allows what may be valid in special categories to emerge from our experience of the world as we encounter the world and its aspects.

 

Beyul

Places that are inspirations for knowledge of and transformation to the real.

 

Catalysts

Special practices that ‘shock’ the individual into knowledge and realization and receptivity to the same.

 

Civilization

The ‘cradle’ of the individual; that which is fostered by the individual initiative; the connection between human being across time; generalized as the matrix—metaphorical Islands connected at the deep—of Being and individual across the expanse of the Universe. There is a distinction between civilization (human civilization in the world and through time) and Civilization as the matrix of civilizations across the Universe.

 

Concept

Any experiential or mental content; includes the ‘higher’ concepts, e.g. units of meaning or defined by similarity and difference.

 

Death

In secular thought death is usually regarded as absolute. Death is clearly an interruption in identity. The Universal Metaphysics shows that death is not absolute: in death, identity is interrupted but not extinguished. There is a parallel with the Universe in its phasing through manifest and non-manifest states. The metaphysics requires continuity through these transitions. Whatever is sustained or remembered or has eternal trace may be called soul.

 

Duration

Measured or marked by difference in the same object; precursor of time; transition through duration is process; the fundamental principle requires process.

 

Existence

A given; the core idea is the everyday idea ‘to be’; often considered trivial, its triviality is the source of its power; sometimes analyzed as paradoxical (the paradox of negative existence), analysis of meaning provides a trivial resolution of this paradox.

 

Experience

Conscious awareness, the theater of our lives; the significance of experience is far greater than we sometimes suppose under the influence of a rigid and strict materialism. Experience is one of two prime cases of our sense of the presence of Being (the other is roughly what we call matter; the two are not distinct) and it is the place of our knowledge of and encounter with Being.

 

Extension

Measured or marked by identification of distinct objects; precursor of space; duration requires extension; therefore the fundamental principle requires extension (indirectly in this reasoning; from other reasoning, FP directly requires extension); in-distinction in identity (or its perception) requires in-distinction of duration and extension and their perception.

 

Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

The fundamental principle of metaphysics is the central result of the metaphysics that founds all further elaboration and application and that reveals the ultimate nature of Being and Universe. This principle, shortened as fundamental principle and abbreviated FP, asserts that the Universe has no limits. At first glance the meaning of the principle (especially the meaning of the phrase ‘has no limits’) is not evident and when the meaning is made clear the principle is likely to appear counterintuitive and laden with contradiction. However, the principle is demonstrated and in the text apparent paradoxes have been anticipated and resolved. In this work the resolution of the paradoxes is essential (1) to make clear that the principle does not contradict cumulative experience, science, and logic and (2) in that resolution of the paradoxes clarifies the nature of the principle and brings out its implications.

 

Given

Ideas (of things) so basic that we neither need nor choose to define them in terms of other ideas. The ideas of science are practically basic—at any time we leave the basic ideas essentially undefined and unfounded; and this appears to be necessary for progress even though it is metaphysically unsatisfactory. The ideas of metaphysics are known perfectly as a result of abstraction and so we do not need definition in terms of other ideas.

 

Identity

Sameness and sense of sameness; identity is an aspect of objecthood and needs no further fundamental analysis; the concept of identity is fundamental to the Universe, the individual, and the concepts of duration (time), extension (space), and extent (coordination) in general.

 

Individual

E.g., individual human being; center of experience; inheritor of the Power of All Being.

 

Law

A law is our reading of a pattern; the Law is the pattern; a pattern is exclusive—some arrangements do and others do not obtain; a Law is not a limit—Laws do not reflect limits.

 

Learning

The aspect of practice that weaves together the incremental results of careful investigation and attempts at transformation and the catalytic.

 

Limit

A state that is possible but that never obtains (precisely a Logical concept that has incomplete realization—which includes, of course, no realization) would constitute a limit. Our normal concept of limit is that some states that are logical do not obtain. This normal concept is distinct from the present concept of limit but a capitalized form, ‘Limit’, has not been introduced even though there is an argument to do so. The Universal Metaphysics shows that there are no Logical states that do not obtain. Thus there are apparent limits but no actual limits.

 

Limitlessness

Something is limitless if and only if there is no Logical state (of concrete or abstract objecthood) that is inaccessible to it and not accessed by it. The Universe is limitless. All entities inherit this limitlessness except for conditions of coexistence. Thus nothing is truly limited; limits pertain to domains under restricted conceptions of them. These conceptions are not trivial for they correspond to the conditions of existence of the domains. Forms of Being are either limited or unlimited; a limited form is not eternally limited; an unlimited form is not eternally unlimited in every moment of its Being. Therefore limitlessness and non-limitlessness are phases of Being (the whole is without limit; the ‘parts’ are limited). The word ‘unlimited’ is similar to but exceeds the infinity of all infinities except the greatest; it is not clear that the phrase ‘greatest infinity’ has meaning and therefore in the general metaphysics the term ‘unlimited’ is preferred to the term ‘infinite’. If there are infinite entities—and the metaphysics seems to allow and therefore require this—they may still be limited; therefore, while there are finite Beings, the contrast to unlimited Being is limited Being.

 

Logic

The concept of Logic is distinguished from logic and the logics; Logic is a formal term for Realism; Logic generalizes the logics, science, and (perhaps in the outlying region) existential attitude.

 

Meaning

A concept and its reference; includes the case of empty reference; we often conflate concept and reference—this is practically efficient; however the distinction between concept and reference is essential to full analysis of meaning that is ultimately the method of analysis and synthesis of (ideas and) Being and includes metaphysics and science.

 

Metaphysics

Knowledge of Being as Being, i.e. of ‘things as they are’; widely regarded as naïve; this thought is the result of truncated analysis in modern thought—there is no demonstration of naïveté but only lack of demonstration of validity and a history of failure that do not constitute necessary failure; the development of this document includes demonstration of a universal metaphysics (and therefore of metaphysics as possible and actual and non naïve).

 

Method

This glossary entry is the first of three topics—method, reflexivity, and analysis and synthesis of Being—on the idea of method and provides occasion for further study and research. Methods begin as approaches to problem resolution discovered in experiment and reflection; often no more than suggestive, probably never algorithmic except for trivial problems; the essential method of the metaphysics is analysis and synthesis of Being and ideas; this method is no guarantee of realization in limited form on occasion that is limited; however, no guarantee is necessary and therefore any desirability of guarantee is (an) illusion. An important aspect of method is that it is often presented as lying above or before content. However, method and content emerge together; this is an aspect of discovery and process; it is also ‘logical’ in that when knowledge is the object. Analysis and synthesis of meaning extends in the case of action or becoming (a case of Being) to analysis and synthesis of Being.

 

Normal

There appear to be limits; this is a condition of our stable existence; it is not characteristic of existence in general; and it may blind us to limitless other modes of existence—stable and transient; the apparent local limits—the ones that appear so real to us—are examples of the ‘Normal’. They are examples in that any relatively stable entity or cosmos will have limits that are the condition of their stable existence.

 

Object

Every concept within Realism has an object. This leads to an immensely systematic and enlarged notion of object that encompasses all valid kinds and straddles the concrete-abstract divide.

 

Power

Degree of power is degree of lack of limitlessness.

 

Practice in Action

Incorporated into and enhanced by ‘everyday’ behavior.

 

Practices

‘Practices’ that conduce to knowledge and realization of truth; practice is an ongoing endeavor; there are no final masters even though there are charismatic, illuminated, and insightful teachers and other exemplary persons. The insistence on master-hood is a disease of ego.

 

Realism

The requirement on concepts that they have the possibility of reference and, in light of the fundamental principle that they do in fact refer. Conceptual realism is Logical; factual realism is Normal and Scientific; existential realism is the response of our ‘Being’ as limited forms to the limits of our capabilities in ideas and (transformation of) Being.

 

Reflexivity

Reflexivity begins as the cross interaction of ideas—horizontally for example between different aspects of content and vertically for example as interaction between content and method. It is significant that whereas discovery and justification are often regarded as essentially distinct aspects of method, there is no final distinction of justification and discovery—for justification is always in discovery and discovery, once it occurs, is ever open to question; the foregoing comments are encapsulated in the Universal Metaphysics.

 

Religion

Empirically, an ideal interpretation of Religion is that of attempt to discover the truth of Being in ‘this’ life. Reflection enhances and the metaphysics founds this to Religion as the process and attempt via all dimensions of Being to realize All Being (which for limited form is endless process and for unlimited form is universal Being and Knowing in eternity as an instant).

 

Science

Incremental understanding of the immediate world via conceptual understanding (hypothesis) and empirical verification (non-disconfirmation). An alternative interpretation is that of scientific theory as compound fact. The approach to universality does not distinguish these interpretations. The metaphysics disallows the former and validates the latter (history of science and simple reflection suggest that the former may be non-valid). The metaphysics requires that the approach to the universal and to universal understanding (‘Science’) for a limited Being include participation and immersion. ‘Science’ is also used to refer to the instrumental aspect of transformation of Being.

 

Science

Instrumental aspect of becoming or transformation of Being—e.g. transformation of environment; see earlier remarks on science.

 

Substance

Substrate that generates the universe; attractive because it implies power and simplicity of explanation; voided by the Void which is ultimately simple—the simplicity of the Void is conceptual; the narrative provides another denotation of ‘substance’ and a variety of related connotations.