THE WAY OF BEING
a BASIS FOR FUTURE LONG AND COMPACT EDITIONS
To an outline
Anil Mitra © June 2015
Comment. This material is particular to this version—the outline with planning and notes. Most of it is temporary.
Comment. See the arrangement.
Divisions, then chapters: review with The way of being-essential.html.
Main material; summary and preview (The way of being-short.html suggests summary material), ambivalences and any resolutions.
Keep essentials; eliminate confusion and diversion; make taut
Ideas—what are ideas?
Comment. Material, especially words, for reconsideration are in red font. Pink font indicates the point up to which the current phase of editing (subsections above) is complete.
Journey, experience (general, cumulative, common), empirical, increment vs. saltation, special metaphysics including religion vs. speculative thought vs. essentially speculative thought (but distinguish speculation from allegory and remark why and how common allegory is important), metaphysics (and any term containing ‘metaphysics’, e.g. practical metaphysics, pure metaphysics, the universal metaphysics, and applied metaphysics… but allow pejorative use as in speculative metaphysics…) as analysis of experience…
All of the above
…and inclusion of the Word style ‘Plan’ from the table of contents.
Place any residual and pertinent material in the section future versions of the essay.
This work demonstrates an ultimate picture of the real and develops consequences for destiny, knowledge, and practice. I believe the content to be significantly original. It must of course draw from other thought and does so in two ways, first as inspiration and ground and, second, to paint a more complete picture of the world. However it is not intended even as an eclectic compilation of prior relevant thought (the resources at the end of the essay include a guide to my sources in prior thought).
The copyright claim at the head of the work is not a claim of originality of ideas. It cannot be, for legal copyright in the United States where I write and publish asserts ownership of expression and does not, under the law, pertain to ideas. ‘Proof’ of originality is in the ideas themselves and therefore its assessment is a task of the community of readers. However, an important reason for the assertion of originality is to inform readers that they are likely to encounter ideas that they have not seen before.
I characterize the originality of the ideas as follows: though various fragments of the main themes have been seen before, here the development is a demonstrated whole. Further the originality is more than piecemeal; it concerns paradigms of depiction of the world. It may seem that other widespread paradigms are overturned. This may well challenge the intuitive and formal sense of the real for many readers; it may imbue the development with a sense of paradox. However, the precise situation is that the worldview of the narrative is demonstrated and that it incorporates what is valid in other major world views (the latter may be designated as secular versus trans-secular or process versus atemporal).
As a consequence readers may face a number of tasks. They will absorb a new sense of the real at intuitive and formal levels. They will defuse the tension with their prior sense and see what part of it subsumes under the new. They will follow the argument as it elaborates the new view and as it develops consequences for destiny, knowledge, and practice.
The introduction is in part a reader’s guide. It provides an overview and orientation to the work. It identifies different reader interests and where in the essay these interests are addressed. It makes suggestions on how to approach understanding the ideas.
The resources section is also in part a guide—it is a guide to entering and being in the way of being.
This introduction tells briefly about the essay, paves the in, and makes suggestions on reading the essay. These functions are an overview, an introduction, and an orientation to the aim and content of the essay.
The overview is in the sections preview, arrangement, themes, and topics sections. The section origin and development of the work is introductory in providing motivations, reasons, and occasions for motivations for writing the essay.
Comment. Revert to Wide angle view or something similar?
The human endeavor
Topics. Immediate to ultimate realms.
Topics. Individual and civilization.
Topics. Ideas and action.
Topics. Empirical and conceptual knowledge.
Comment. Limits are limits of method and content. Include this in the title?
Topics. Item b is new. The received views may be divided as (a) the secular and the trans-secular or, perhaps better, (b) the temporal and the atemporal (process and being or process and absolute); talk of the atemporal and so on is better than talk of the simple-powerful god. The modern opposition ‘atheism versus theism / Christianity / religion’ is an opposition of two vulgar interpretations—i.e. of science versus religion.
Topics. Not whether science is empirical but what is its empirical character? This character is such that science must be more than empirical alone (otherwise it would be perfectly useless even if perfectly true) but that the conceptual side is kept in close contact with the empirical. Implications for worldviews. An essential position about science is (a) science is valid in its empirical domain, (b) what is outside the empirical domain is empirically unknown and it is therefore consistent with science so far that that domain my be quantitatively (e.g. spatiotemporally) and qualitatively (variety of kinds) unlimited, (c) while the knowledge and methodological content of future ‘science’ may be unlimited, current science is limited, as noted above, with regard to content and method as pertaining to the empirical.
Topics. Further critique of modern worldviews. / Begin the critique of worldviews with common experience. / It is an aspect of a limited form that even when its total system of awareness—including knowledge—of the world seems full and complete that that system outside of which awareness never gets never bears the warrant of its fullness and completeness because there always may be something outside it. Typically, however, when it seems complete it is because it sees only what it sees. / Is there an outside and what is its quality and quantity? The history of knowledge suggests that there is a near outside which has some continuity with what is already known. However, as a first estimate at what lies beyond, logic says that it is anywhere between being nothing and being without limit (except that valid fact and logic—if such exist—may not be contradicted). / What lies beyond and can we know it or, at least, of it? And if we can, how can we get such knowledge? Since knowledge is in the world, incomplete knowledge of the world suggests incomplete knowledge of knowledge including the ways or hows and extent as well as limits of knowledge. What this suggests is that if there is any ultimate knowledge, it occurs in some but not all directions. Reflection suggests that it shall lie in the direction of the simple and the abstract and that the greater the part of the world to be included in valid knowledge, the greater should be the abstraction. / Of course the fact that ignorance could go either way—there is something or there is not—does not imply that we do or can know; and the fact that there may be directions of completeness but not universal completeness is, so far as what there is, is only a suggestion. But this sets up the contours of the problem that we now set out to address.
Topics. Not whether the objects of speculative metaphysics and religion (especially God) exist but what is their nature?
Topics. Is the spiritual nothing but an inner sense or is it a sense of something real and transcendent (use Hick’s terms). If the former is there effective transcendence and how might that happen in a material universe. If the latter, is that consistent with the current cosmologies?
Comment. Include method and content in title?
Topics. Of method (a) see the above, (b) that the Kantian limits (critical realism) pertain to detailed categories but not to the ultimate simples that are at once the ground of the universal metaphysics and the ultimate metaphysical real (but then any element of being may undertake this role).
Topics. The artificiality of the distinction of content and method for content is knowledge of the world but knowledge and so its methods are in the world.
The worldview of the essay
Topics. It is consistent with all our current knowledge that subject to factual agreement in the causal empirical domain and logic in the universal domain that the universe is the realization of all possibility which is realism.
Topics. From the foregoing the objects of speculative metaphysics and religion are best understood not in remote terms but as processes of which we are a part.
Topics. It will be seen that the (new) worldview of the essay has a number of apparent intrinsic inconsistencies and conflicts with science. This obviously poses a problem for its formal and intuitive acceptance (even though I give proof). The essay defuses the formal problems and suggest ways for readers to achieve an intuitive acceptance that meshes with rather than (completely) rejects the old.
Consequences for ideas and realization
Everyday and universal process
Comment. A possible section.
Aim of the way of being
Topics. Aim of the way.
Topics. Individual. Discover, seek, and realize (or contribute to search and realization) what is of greatest significance to self, civilization, and universe.
A work should show its inspiration and sources (1) as acknowledgment and (b) to show the work as part of a process of ideas and being. The latter is particularly important to this essay which seeks to engage both individual and civilization in the stream of being and the universe. The intellectual and other sources for this essay are stated in the final part resources for the way.
Divisions of the essay
Topics. Preface and introduction; the main development: two parts; and resources and a template, both in an appendix.
Organization of chapters
Topics. The main material.
Topics. Optionally, a summary-preview section (1) of main ideas and conclusions and (2) of ambivalences and any resolutions by developments of later chapters.
Comment. In the main development some of the themes may be implicit.
Topics. On themes.
Knowledge—content and method
Topics. That method and content are not essentially different levels; that method is not a priori—absolutely or relatively to content. That method and content emerge together. That a question of method is what is method and what is its nature (just as rationality must and philosophy ask What is rationality? And What is philosophy?).
What constitutes a good explanation?
(1) The complex from the simple. The extreme of this case is no assumptions at all. One might think that ‘input º output’ therefore without assumption there can be no explanation. But clearly, the whole idea of explanation (predictive) is to get more from less and this is what has been done. (2) Transparency. For example, the process (of getting the output or consequence from the input or given / premise) should be in one or more steps each of which as plain to see (no magic) and should bear the warrant of its own obvious truth (e.g. as in inference, mechanism and so on).
Science and hypothesis
The aim is to show that science never quite gets out of hypothesis and this is not despite but a source of the beauty, power, and utility of science. Further, this shows that for many purposes search for certainty is generally though not invariably misdirected and that the hypothetical is often more than adequate even though we have come to value—or rather to overvalue—certainty. It will be sufficient for our purpose to consider (a) science as itself, (b) physics, (c) biology, and (d) the modern philosophical and scientific understanding of mind (I do not use the term ‘psychology’ because modern academic psychology has a tendency to minimize the experiential character of mind that is of concern here).
Perhaps the currently accepted account of science and method is the hypothesis and disconfirmation model of Karl Popper in which hypothetical conceptual systems are proposed to explain data—especially anomalous data upon which previous systems failed and as long as new data is what is predicted, the hypothesis remains in favor as the current theory regarding the kind of data in question (physical, biological and so on). Now this model has the following issue. It takes for granted that the aim of science is universality. Naturally, then, it is to be expected that at any point in history (at least until the whole universe is known and explained) the current theories will encounter limits. On the other hand if the intent of a system is to explain a fixed realm of phenomena then many theories can be regarded as fact.
In physics, for example, the big-bang theory of the empirical cosmos is close to being regarded as fact regarding that cosmos. But what is the origin of that cosmos? Some physicists and other thinkers dismiss this question with the assertion that the cosmos marked the beginning of time (of course not all are thus dismissive and others do consider, for example, our cosmos to be one among many). This is not correct. It may have marked the beginning of its time but we do not know empirically or otherwise (so far) that there was nothing before or outside it. What lies beyond? Perhaps nothing; but if something, that something may behave according to the known laws in which case the known laws would seem to be without explanation. On the other hand the rest of the universe could satisfy similar laws (e.g. the same laws but with different fundamental constants) or quite different laws or, perhaps, no universal law at all. This is why physics must be regarded as hypothetical even though it is predictive and explanatory in its domain.
Regarding biology, perhaps life is a one time phenomenon on earth. Regarding life on earth it is pretty clear that evolution over the last roughly 4 billion years is a fact and it is a further fact that although the story is not yet complete the main explanatory model—the new evolutionary synthesis—is true as far as it goes. Further, what is perhaps the main limit to evolutionary explanation concerns the beginning of life which is not just biological but lies at the interacting interface of physics, chemistry and biology which ‘meet’ under the conditions of geology (and perhaps exogeology and cosmology). It is not expected, then, that neo-Darwinism should explain origins. However, it does not follow that some extra-scientific or material element is needed even though we may never find the precise origin (the difficulty would be in part due to its singular rather than non scientific nature of the origin). But if the laws of physics are open that leaves open some question as to the nature of life. In what way are the laws of physics open? First that we may find new lower level fundamental laws within our cosmos and second that the laws beyond may be vastly different. This suggests, at least, that even though neo-Darwinism is all that is needed at present, life and sentience may be more than mere matter-as-we-understand-it. That is not to suggest that there is a ‘spiritual’ component but, rather, that perhaps our understanding of matter is so incomplete that there may be immense surprises as to the nature of life and mind and their abilities (and that both the scientific proscription against such speculation and most of our speculations about these matters are impotent regarding what may be real).
Some thinkers might argue that, yes, immense surprises of extent and kind are possible but surely, from our modern scientific world view, they are in the range from extremely unlikely to impossible. I have already pointed out the deficiency in this argument: science is potent in its domain but regarding the size and variety of the entire universe it is impotent; that is, the assessment of improbability is conditional on the rest of the universe being an appendix to what we have already seen. It seems potent because its picture of the universe is derived from science and is then used to argue that ‘surely science is almost complete’. The argument as we have seen is invalid. On science’s own ground we have no estimate of the size-variety of the universe. The region outside the view from science may be anywhere from nothing to limitless. As we will see later the world view of the essay shows limitlessness.
What of life elsewhere in the cosmos? It is currently estimated that there are 5 x 1022 habitable planets. Even if we regard origins of life (self replicating molecules) on earth as ‘singular’ (with regard to explanation and probability) then, if there is no life elsewhere in the cosmos, the probability of life here would be so low as to be prohibitive. Therefore, it seems, there must be life elsewhere in the cosmos. The estimate of the number of earth like planets is 1011. If earth is typical, it seems likely that advanced life and civilization has most likely developed elsewhere in the cosmos. Why then have they not communicated with us or colonized our solar system? There are various scenarios but the upshot is that intelligent life elsewhere is probable. The question that now arises is now did it evolve and the most probable answer must be the Darwinian one. But is it possible that there is some alternate mechanism? It seems unlikely but ‘seems’ is not good enough. However, I cannot imagine an alternate explanation / mechanism (as I write elsewhere in this essay ‘god’ is not an explanation because god itself is unexplained). And an alternate mechanism is unnecessary. It is very likely, then, that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos but very unlikely that it did not originate by physical mechanisms (for the origin of replicators—e.g., replicating molecules) and subsequently by Darwinian variation and selection. Still, the earlier comments on incompleteness of our understanding of matter are pertinent in two ways (1) this incompleteness may well be pertinent in our cosmos and (2) if the universe beyond the cosmos is limitless (and we will provide some demonstration that it is) then it is inevitable that there must be life in the universe whose powers of physical-mental power are far beyond ours and perhaps even beyond our imagination. This, by the way, highlights the point that ‘limitlessness’ and the limits of our cosmos are consistent.
Explanation in the case of metaphysics
Metaphysics seeks as far as possible to explain the whole world (the universe and everything in it—including the question of what those things and their kinds including metaphysics (knowledge) are in terms that are self-evident with regard to truth. Here we would seem not only to go into terra incognita but into what is under the scientific paradigm and the history of failures in metaphysics regarded as forbidden territory.
But let us not be daunted by the proscription and see where we can get. Ask How can we get there? There would be two parts to an answer—(1) Careful analysis of the proscription to check again for its validity, and (2) Search for a source of metaphysics as knowledge of the world. In fact the two points are related for if the proscription is perfectly valid there can be no metaphysics (unless science itself counts as metaphysics) and if there is metaphysics the proscription must be wanting. However, the proscription cannot be universally wanting because clearly there seem to be some things we do or cannot know—at least perfectly.
The question regarding science is already addressed in item 2 and the first of the topics in the section preview > received worldviews and some of their limits above. From this we conclude that the universe may be far larger than shown in science itself (not only in terms of space and time but also in kind of object). ‘May be’ does not constitute proof but does show that if we do find (by observation or reason) knowledge beyond modern science then, so long as what is valid in science and reason are not contradicted, that there should be no objection from science and reason.
Can we find such knowledge—and, if so, how? Let us look at experience (various questions already arise—is there such a thing and what is it? These are addressed in the formal development; here we take experience itself for granted. Now when I have experience that seems to be experience of an object we may question whether there is an object and whether its properties are as I experience them. This is a first problem that must be faced. One way of facing it has been to say, as is done by some phenomenologists, that knowledge is (at least essentially as good as) the object. We will not take this tack (even though it may be valid for some purposes). Consider the following table that evaluates when there is or may be metaphysical knowledge. The carte blanche answer would seem to be ‘no’ so instead of carte blanche we consider a range of possibilities. Not all experience is even a candidate for being knowledge—i.e. of the world but the following table pertains only to such experience.
The following table is a preliminary assessment of whether there is metaphysical knowledge, i.e. knowledge of objects as they are. Some critiques are a carte blanche ‘yes’ and others an outright ‘no’. Here, however the assessment is conditional. The table recognizes two parameters (a) and (b) of the table. After the table I deal with a third parameter, the question of the concept of knowledge—i.e., what knowledge is.
Table. Assessment of the possibility of metaphysics.
The assessment in the table is what is allowed though not required by science and reason. Now the question that arises is that of the two ‘perhaps’ entries is second going to be yes (there is metaphysical knowledge) or n and if the answer is yes then what part of experience constitutes such knowledge and what are the consequences. This is the main problem of the fist division—on ideas—of the essay.
Now the answer will depend on what we consider knowledge to be and what criteria we choose for validity. Thus if speculation is knowledge obviously any guess is knowledge but equally obviously we cannot take mere speculation seriously (we must take speculation seriously in that scientific hypotheses are speculations and a scientific theory never gets altogether out of the speculative stage—see item 7 next).
On the other hand if we require that knowledge be perfect representation we might expect that there is no metaphysical knowledge. This turns out to be very wrong. In the first part of the division on ideas we show that we have experience of experience, of being, of a universe, of natural laws and that this knowledge is perfect. On the other hand if we require of knowledge that it be ‘good enough’ for, say, many practical purposes, then much of science and common experience constitutes knowledge.
We will find a powerful but abstract metaphysics for the perfect case. The good enough case is also powerful but imperfect. What is interesting is that the perfect case shows that we can never get better than the good enough case (and therefore never need to) and that the good enough case is sufficient to realizing ultimates revealed in the perfect case.
Certainty and doubt
Ways of thought
The secular and the trans-secular
The way of the ordinary
Categories and the unity of experience
Identity, space, and time
Mind and matter
Logic, mathematics, and science
The aim of being
The void or nothingness
The way of being
Topics. Use The way of being-short.html for subtopics.
Topics. The motive has always been the beauty of the world—universe, nature, ideas and culture, and people and in the active process of its cultivation, discovery, and creation.
Topics. Place in the movement of civilization and being?
Comment. The section ‘background’ from The way of being-short.html is omitted. Consider inclusion of some of its material.
Topics. Openness of early life; naturalism and reservations.
Topics. Science and secularism; limits; alternative essentially substance paradigms; dissatisfaction.
Comment. Note that just as method is part of content, so substance paradigm refers not only to the so called objective world but also the pervasion of (restrictive) paradigms of thought.
Topics. What it took to overcome substance—being, unity of all being expressed as equivalence of universe and the void, inspiration and proof.
Topics. Background: the metaphysics; the immediate and the ultimate; individual and individual nature—understanding and the ultimate (future) are concomitant; and individual and civilization. See The way of being-short.html for more.
Comment. The outline is a template for future versions.
The metaphysics of the essay shows that it must be part of a process. Particularly, the material is capable of enhancement in many ways. Also, I hope to later incorporate pertinent descriptions and outcomes of engagement with realization. The ways in which this may occur are implicit in Part I. Ideas and explicit in Part II. The way. The final and supplementary part, Resources for the way, suggests some details for development.
I hope to share the way with others and that this essay will encourage readers to seek and share their own ways.
The nature of the text
Topics. While drawing inspiration from and critically appraising tradition, the essential content and method is presentation of a system of ideas that is new in its structure and in some of the ideas. The character of these ideas is a core of ultimate and demonstrated understanding of being and the universe.
Topics. I assert the novel and ultimate character of the ideas (a) because one of my intentions in publication is to make a contribution and (b) to inform readers of the nature of the text. Particularly, while the essay uses prior ideas to build upon and for completeness, it is intended as a novel presentation and is not a survey or compendium of prior ideas.
Comment. The following point should be emphasized in the preview, perhaps in its subsections ‘Going beyond’ and ‘The worldview of the essay’. Here it should be but mentioned for its relevance to the nature of the text and what might be difficult if not anticipated.
Topics. The reader should understand that (a) the new view may be difficult to absorb on account of its seeming to violate classical-modern views of the universe and classical features such as causation and what counts as being and real (b) but there is no actual violation for the foregoing features are valid in certain ways (the classical universe as the empirical universe) or in valid domains—e.g. common material causation obtains in the empirical universe while being altered / suspended / generalized in the universe at large (and giving an explanation of the classical but unexplained in ultimately simple terms).
Topics. There is continuity and break with tradition—the continuity arises from the inspiration, the break arises necessarily from the essential novelty of content and method.
Topics. It is not just the individual ideas that have newness but since the power of a system derives also from its articulation, so it is also the system as a whole that is new.
On reading the essay
Topics. The newness of content is not essentially factual. Nor is it merely conceptual—it is paradigmatic and the latter involves formal and intuitive understanding. Therefore efficient reading is at two levels—absorption of the main ideas in interaction with detailed reading.
Topics. Organization and features of the essay that enhance the above process.
Topics. On meanings of experience—experience in this essay; cumulative experience; common experience.
The meaning of experience in this essay
Topics. On the meaning of experience in this essay—awareness, consciousness; the varieties including pure experience vs. experience of and their difference and similarity; active vs. passive; the variety of experience.
Topics. Doubt regarding the fact and content of experience. Sources of doubt.
Topics. Remarks on critical doubt and its significance.
Experience as such
Topics. Reason to consider experience—doubt regarding experience.
Topics. There is experience. It is the central fact. Absurdity of rejection. Naming and proof.
There is a real world
Comment. Though we will take up the real world later, we would rather discuss meaning first and some development regarding the idea of the real world will give that development greater meaning.
Topics. The terms ‘real world’ vs. ‘external world’.
Topics. There is a real world.
Topics. Experience as relation. Significance of experience.
Topics. Ideas and action.
Topics. Experience, form, and substance under practical substance ontology and the universal metaphysics.
Topics. Comment on ‘fifty theories of meaning’.
Topics. Meaning here will primarily be referential concept and linguistic meaning.
Concept and reference
Comment. Distinguish kinds of concept.
Topics. Referential meaning.
Topics. The focus on referential meaning is because that is what is needed here; it is not to deny other kinds of language use.
Concept and language meaning
Concept as necessary to meaning
Topics. The necessity.
Topics. Unless a cosmos (‘universe’)—real or of discourse—is specified, the concept is not sufficient to meaning.
Effectiveness of linguistic meaning
Use, stability and fluidity of meaning
Literal and other kinds of meaning
Possibility of precise meaning and examples
Analysis and synthesis of meaning
Uses of ‘is’
Issues concerning existence
Existence of the real world
Experience and significance
Are there objects that have no effect?
Is the concept of self metaphorical?
Entirety and the world
Topics. Why this does not assume later material.
Topics. Space-time are of the world, immanent—not absolute or independent.
Topics. Space-time is not universal.
Topics. There are no further dimensions of extensionality.
Topics. A gradation of characterization from absent to precise space-time is a priori possible and the metaphysics to be developed will imply that this gradation obtains.
On the nature of being
Being in terms of entirety
Being and power
Topics. To say that the void is there is not as large a stretch as it may seem but in developing the metaphysics of the essay we will bypass the issues of power and there-ness for the void.
Topics. Vagueness in common use of ‘universe’ leads to confusion and errors of thought (as for other primary concepts here). Need a term for ‘all being’ or ‘entirety’. Will not use terms like ‘parallel universe’ or ‘multiple universe’ but may use alternative terms such as ‘parallel domains’, ‘multiple domains’, multiple cosmoses, ‘the universal background’, ‘the continuum from absence to formlessness to form’.
Concept and definition
Topics. If meaning resides in a network of concepts how is it that we can even define terms such as ‘being’ and universe? It is because (a) though the concepts are presented linearly the origin and evolution of their form in this essay has been an interactive process subject to criteria of completeness and inner and external consistency, (b) abstraction at a level at which perfection with regard to the foregoing criteria is possible, and, consequently, (c) a perfect and ultimate metaphysics, also at an abstract level, that shows that criteria of perfection at the concrete level are impossible and undesirable but that there is a dynamic (‘seamless’) mesh of the abstract and the concrete and their differing criteria (‘perfect precision’ for the abstract and ‘good enough’ in the case of the concrete) that is ultimate on the way to and ascension to the ultimate.
Topics. Entirety, has being, one, no other, no outside.
The universe is neither created nor caused
Topics. Idea of cause and creation as interaction.
No external God or first cause
Topics. All and any gods and ‘first causes’ part of the universe.
Topics. The fundamental question regarding god or gods is (a) not whether there is god or are gods—but what they are in terms of concept-object and (b) whether they are fixed and eternal but an entity-process of which we are a part and perhaps (c) perhaps the issue of simplicity of form with potency—and not just at the level of universe where any particle of being has ultimate power but also at local levels.
Topics. Preview of conclusions from the universal metaphysics: there is no first cause or need for such where cause is understood in any sense of material connection whether local or remote. However any element of being and the void in particular may be regarded as first cause (god) and the source of all things. This is the first cause god of (especially) scholastic / Aristotelian metaphysics which is not a cause in any material remote or local connective cause but cause beyond explanation other than it happens and is required by the fundamental principle, i.e. the ultimate power of all elements of being. This ‘cause’ lies outside common / normal / material causal thought but does not contradict such thought in its valid domain; it is structurally but not functionally or formally ultimately simple (or complex).
Domains and their properties
Topics. Part of or the whole universe. Have being—except perhaps for the null or ‘empty’ domain.
Topics. Preview—in terms of power we will find that the null domain or void has power and so being.
Creation and generalized causation by domains
Topics. Cosmos and cosmoses.
Our cosmos is not the universe
Topics. In concept.
Topics. Preview: in fact
Relative sizes of the cosmos and the universe
Topics. Is ‘size’ the appropriate term?
Topics. In concept the universe can be anywhere from the empirical cosmos to the unlimited.
Topics. Preview: the universe is unlimited (in extension or quantity and variety or quality and power).
Topics. The motivation is that the idea of the possibility is that which may obtain (in some sense) and which therefore also entails that which cannot obtain. These ideas are typically held vaguely but if understood precisely they map the realm outside which there can be no being. This is therefore preliminary to a precise understanding of the universe. Part of this precise understanding must be the concept of possibility and, then, the kinds of possibility; and from the kinds to see which kinds are entailed by common experience, science, philosophy, and the logic of special metaphysics (and religion). We find that the ultimate possibility is realism whose first approximation is logic and simple fact (but not contingent inference from fact). This sets the stage for exploration of what our basic conceptual system may entail for what is actual—i.e. what may obtain is preliminary for what does obtain. The actual exploration of what obtains has begun in considering experience, being, and universe, continues with natural law and the void (which is crucial) and culminates in metaphysics.
The concept of possibility
Physical and cosmological possibility
Possibility in terms of logic and fact
Topics. Distinction between fact and science.
Possibility for the universe
Physical versus logical possibility
The tension between logic and science
Reconceptualization of logic and science
Some potential contradictions
Topics. Seemingly an aside, the functions of this section are (a) the development so far is ripe to take up these important topics, (b) showing the integration of experience and the world, (c) setting the stage for discussion of the important topic of natural law, (d) setting the stage for the crucial place of identity, space, and time—and their nature and the question of their ubiquity versus non-ubiquity—in the universal metaphysics and in realization.
Sameness and difference
Topics. The essential level and fact at which experience and being have no distinction.
Identity and time
Space and otherness
Extensionality and its kinds—space and time
Topics. Is not fixed by these general considerations. It would seem that it is not fixed by any considerations at all. However, it is conceivable that some spatial dimensionalities are optimal or unique for stability and complexity.
Topics. What would multiple dimensions of time be? This is not the same as having multiple times as a result of having multiple fundamental kinds in a cosmos—and the question arises whether such are possible and if possible whether they permit coherent and stable forms.
Immanence of space and time
Space and time are not absolute
Space and time are not universal
Degrees of vagueness and interwoven-ness
Must space and time obtain?
Topics. Though there is nothing inherent in their nature that implies that they must obtain, they are the form of our being and since form requires extension they are constitutive to our being. This does not imply that only concrete (spatiotemporal) objects can generate our being or be the repository of its universal memory.
Topics. Preview. There must be spatiotemporality against a (the) universal absent to transient-chaotic-minimally-formless background. The void can be and is a repository of universal memory (just as it is ‘universal and first cause’ but the reason we say there is no first cause is that every element and phase of being has the same property and so ‘first cause’ has no significant meaning except as the void is the simplest such element or phase).
Topics. Law, predictive explanation (theory), and pattern.
Topics. Preview. The later section ‘On natural law’ in the chapter on cosmology.
Properties of laws
Topics. Significance of the discussion ‘On natural law’ in the chapter on cosmology.
Topics. Post-view. In a possibilist world as discussed in the introduction / preface, the void can be empty yet causal.
Topics. Repeat of preview in chapter universe of conclusions from the universal metaphysics: there is no first cause or need for such where cause is understood in any sense of material connection whether local or remote. However any element of being and the void in particular may be regarded as first cause (god) and the source of all things. This is the first cause god of (especially) scholastic / Aristotelian metaphysics which is not a cause in any material remote or local connective cause but cause beyond explanation other than it happens and is required by the fundamental principle, i.e. the ultimate power of all elements of being. This ‘cause’ lies outside common / normal / material causal thought but does not contradict such thought in its valid domain; it is structurally but not functionally or formally ultimately simple (or complex).
The concept of the void
Properties of the void
Significance of the void
Topics. I use and justify use of an older meaning. This does not negate other meanings or doubt regarding the use of ‘metaphysics’ in modern thought. However, that doubt does not negate the present meaning / use. The use of ‘use’ and ‘family resemblance’ is proper but the two are not identical and their conflation, perhaps unthinking or careless, has led to much confusion; perhaps we need different names for different activities and need not labor with ‘the’ meaning of ‘metaphysics’ (which is probably as much political and confused as it is semantic). Here, then, the older meaning, renewed and revived, is the most potent understanding of the universe (not by definition but as a consequence of it).
What is metaphysics?
In this essay metaphysics is knowledge of being as being
Topics. The criticisms and responses that follow (a) received—classical through modern and (b) reflective and reflexive (as in rationality critiquing rationality, as in knowledge being part of being ® so method part of content ® so method of method, i.e. criticism of method part of the total process of being).
The criticism that experience is not the object
Comment. Was Criticism A
The question of perfect faithfulness
Comment. Was B
Objections from the claims of science
Comment. Was C
The claims of epistemology
Comment. Was D
Criticisms regarding special metaphysics
Comment. Was E
Objections from: critical theory and the meta narrative system
Comment. Was F
Criticisms of systematic metaphysics
Topics. As overweening (related to the grand narrative criticism from critical theory).
Topics. As forced. That, in contrast to logic and mathematics, axiomatization and so on lack sufficient openness to address the indefiniteness, multidimensionality, layering, and openness of our experience of the real.
Topics. Was G
Appraisal of the present sense of metaphysics
Comment. Was ‘Justification of the present sense of metaphysics’ and came after the next topic.
Appraisal of the metaphysical system of this essay
Comment. Was ‘general response to criticism: The metaphysical system of this essay’.
The fundamental principle and its proof
Comment. Change this and other material so that the proof is not from the void—but motivate the proof from the void.
Comment. Add alternative proofs and heuristic arguments.
Comment. Combine the sections on logic and science.
Clarifying the statement of the principle: concepts
Constraints on the concepts
Logic and science
Continuum from science to logic
Logic or science?
Further properties of the void
Topics. (Repeat of earlier previews but now no longer preview): there is no first cause or need for such where cause is understood in any sense of material connection whether local or remote. However any element of being and the void in particular may be regarded as first cause (god) and the source of all things. This is the first cause god of (especially) scholastic / Aristotelian metaphysics which is not a cause in any material remote or local connective cause but cause beyond explanation other than it happens and is required by the fundamental principle, i.e. the ultimate power of all elements of being. This ‘cause’ lies outside common / normal / material causal thought but does not contradict such thought in its valid domain; it is structurally but not functionally or formally ultimately simple (or complex).
Topics. Realism has obtains its main significance outside the phenomenal (and causal) domain.
The limitless phases of the universe
The fundamental principle in terms of realism
Topics. This defines realism.
Proof under realism
The fundamental problem of metaphysics
Comment. Change to ‘Doubts’; mention existential attitude and place the relevant material in the later chapter ‘Attitude and doubt’.
Important postscript on realism
Comment. Change to ‘The nature and significance of realism’?
Extension to tradition
Topics. Practical universal metaphysics—extension of the pure metaphysics to tradition.
Comment. Was ‘Extension of the metaphysics’.
Comment. The following subsections are new.
Bringing tradition under into the fold
Comment. See Universe > concept and definition for how to state this.
The universal metaphysics
Comment. This is the first place that ‘universal metaphysics’ is formally mentioned—parts of it are treated earlier.
Topics. Now we consolidate the extension
Comment. This section is new. However its material should overlap that of the section Importance of the theory below. Should the two sections be combined?
Topics. The universal metaphysics enables a unified treatment of abstract and concrete objects which are regarded as distinct in modern metaphysical thought (and though the term ‘abstract object’ is new the idea is not so new as in, e.g. the reality of universals or forms, which when thought to exist, were regarded as different from the particulars and instances). Thus the treatment here is a powerful and simplifying enhancement. As such it shows all objects to be on the same plane giving simultaneously a simplifying and maximal enhancement of experience and cosmology. As seen from the topics that follow it shows the power of the metaphysics, the nature of the object, the unity of the world and the disciplines, the nature of the disciplines, and the reality and nature of (what would have been called) form.
Topics. For the present work it brings it enhances cosmology, shows that we can and do inhabit abstract objects as in the preservation of memory in the void (and suggests novel lesser possibilities), and enhances understanding of realization and the unity of our ultimate nature with that of the ‘real’.
Theory of objects
Importance of the theory
Comment. See relevance above.
Comment. Unity of the world? Being?
Mathematics, logic, and science
The nature of mathematics
Metaphor and art
Topics. Cosmology and its principles.
Topics. What is cosmology?
Comment. Topic: … and principles (this might be under General considerations below). Bring that section up?
Topics. General cosmology and the general form of manifest being.
An aside on supertasks
Space and time
Mind and matter
Nature, spirit and the real
Comment. Title and concept?
Topics. Stable cosmologies and their probable form. Relation to physical cosmology.
Comment. Order of the following topics?
Realization and the significant meaning of pain
Freedom of will
Physical law and the structure of our cosmos
On natural law
Cosmology of identity, life, and civilization
Topics. Cosmologies of life, mind, civilization, and technology and their mechanics, dimensions. Levels and dominance of significance and intelligent commitment. Death, memory, dispositions, pain and joy.
Sufficiently formed domains
Comment. What is this about? Place it under Stable cosmologies or keep it here?
Topics. Why doubt? Doubt and certainty (discussed in the themes). We only doubt where there is no absurdity (except of course that we can doubt that something asserted to be absurd is in fact so).
Functions of doubt
Attitude in face of doubt
Doubt and its functions
Critical, radical, and philosophical doubt
Essential or existential doubt
Comment. Change title to Attitude in the face of doubt?
Comment. This part has two chapters. The essentials and short versions have (a) a preliminary chapter Attitude and doubt which is now in the previous part (b) final resources sections that are now in the appendix.
Comment. Aligned with the essentials version.
The way of being
Dimensions and places
Artifact and technology
The ultimate in the immediate
Reflexive thought and action
Ways and catalysts
Disciplines and practices
Comment. This section to be omitted from the short version.
The ultimate in the present
Everyday practice of thought, presence, and action
Conceptual background for the phases of becoming
Becoming and action
Tension between the immediate and the ultimate
Comment. This section will be omitted from the short version.
Dedication and affirmation
Practical tools for action and meditation
Exercise and physical yoga
Evening and sleep
Table for being and becoming
Comment. Glossary, bibliography, and index may go in or after this part.
Comment. This part may be regarded as appendix.
This chapter begins with a system of resources that evolved in the way. The final section is on resource development.
Comment. In essentials, this was mechanics, placed before knowledge.; however, essentials is now changed to be consistent with this. To include the ways and catalysts, traditional sources, and the mechanics.
Comment. Knowledge for development. Publication and sharing.
Narrative mode and philosophy
Design and planning
Science and the sciences
Foundations of ethics and value
Ways and catalysts
Artifact and art
Publication and sharing
Writing a final version
Issues for reflection
Everyday process and practice
Dedication and affirmation
Practical tools for action and meditation
Exercise and physical yoga
Evening and sleep
Table for a system of pure being, ideas, and action
Following are some resources, primarily knowledge for study and development. Details are in a detailed plan for study and action.
Narrative mode and philosophy
Design and planning
Science and the sciences
Foundations of ethics and value
Ways and catalysts
Artifact and art
Institutions, persons, and places
Publication and sharing