Anil Mitra, Copyright © June 30, 2015
The greatest MOTIVE has always been the beauty in the worlds of nature, ideas, people, and culture. The wonder I feel is impulse to cultivate and sustain the loveliness, to any ultimate beyond the immediate.
The PURPOSE OF THE SYSTEM OF IDEAS of this essay, in the essay, is not to stand by itself but to be in interaction with realization.
PRELIMINARY. Science is valid in its domain. However, its empirical limits may be severe: the realm outside the empirical domain may be limitless in variety and magnitude. Religion includes an attempt to speak of the whole but so far is primarily allegorical in regard to detail.
THE MAIN DEVELOPMENT. The conceptual content of the essay shows (a) a way to talk of this larger domain in realistic and positive terms, (b) development of the way in showing the variety and magnitude and developing some aspects of it; while proof is given that the larger domain is limitless in variety and magnitude, some doubt remains (it is critical however that the developments do not contradict the valid elements of the tradition including science), and (c) developing a direct experiential (experimental) approach to the ultimate realization that is shown conceptually.
ATTITUDE. From doubt, one perspective on the aim of action is to optimize outcomes. From the limitlessness of the larger realm, realization of the ultimate is the greatest potential and must be one of our greatest opportunities and values. It is essential that some resources be devoted to this. That an ultimate magnitude and value is to be realized may be considered an existential action principle.
WHere to go from here? Readers may get what they want of this skeletal account in terms of their interests as discussed below.
GENERAL interest in the development and main implications of the new metaphysics (development: chapters being, universe, natural law, the void, the fundamental principle, and realism; implications: chapters cosmology, the way of being, and path).
An interest in the IDEAS (the essay from experience through cosmology). Because the ideas are pivotal to the aim, I hope they will be of at least practical interest to readers who do not define themselves as intellectual or academic.
It will be seen that the VEHICLES of knowledge and realization are the individual and psyche; civilization (and culture and society); nature as ground; and openness to the universal and its conception and realization.
(Human) CIVILIZATION will be understood to be the web of (human) cultures across time and continents.
A number of TOPICS from the history of thought arise naturally in the development. Where the historical development is incomplete, the universal metaphysics enhances completeness and definitiveness. Some topics are experience and the real world, meaning, being, universe, cause and creation, first cause, possibility, what it means to be beyond space and time, natural law, the void, efficient and final causes, the fundamental problem of metaphysics, theory of objects, general cosmology and the stable cosmologies, and the way of being. It is important that the terms ‘experience’ and so on are used in specific ways as defined in the formal development from the chapters experience through template.
The THEMES are topics whose development emerges naturally over the course of this work. The following themes are selected for significance: metaphysics; theory of knowledge; logic and science; identity, space, and time; mind and matter; the aim of being; on certainty, meaning, and the aims of knowledge; ways of thought; secular and trans-secular world views; the way of the ordinary—a way out of the secular / trans-secular divide; the ordinary is extra-ordinary.
THEME—METAPHYSICS. Metaphysics is the main theme for the ideas. The metaphysics of the essay is the universal metaphysics—the universe is the realization of all possibility. The metaphysics is demonstrated and the selection of fundamental concepts is crucial to the demonstration. Since it is it is in the concept of the impossible that it is never realized the range of being admitted and required by the metaphysics cannot be exceeded by any other system. This is counterintuitive and therefore it is important to see and it is shown in the essay that provided ‘possibility’ is properly understood, this metaphysics is and must be internally (logically) and externally (factually including scientifically) consistent. The primary purpose of the metaphysics, in the development, is foundation for knowledge and realization of ultimate being as such and in the immediate (over and above other purposes that may be read in the metaphysics and uses for which it may be deployed).
THEME—CATEGORIES in metaphysics. A system of METAPHYSICAL CATEGORIES is a system of concepts that efficiently describes all of reality at the greatest level of detail that is susceptible to precise treatment relative to appropriate precision which may range according to purpose from good enough, to very precise, to PURE or perfectly precise (this leaves freedom because the degree of precision is not specified; note that good enough and very precise are vague when, e.g., for any degree of numerical precision, prediction can become imprecise at sufficiently long times from initial conditions—i.e. because they are relative to purposes). In the present treatment we will see different levels—the pure level for which the categories are being, all / some / no being, and so on; and the practical which includes much more. A system of categories for the pure part of the present metaphysics would include experience, being, meaning, world, universe, domain, void, and realism.
THEME—SECULAR AND TRANS-SECULAR WORLD VIEWS. Jointly the secular as REDUCTIONIST-ELITIST the trans-secular as FUNDAMENTALIST-EXCLUSIVE are limiting in all realms. However, even when their approaches are open they are beset by constraints of styles of thought and attitudes toward the possible and the potential. They are particularly limited in relation to what is, for them, unrealized potential from the power of the idea of being (i.e., they seem to have not as yet seen or recognized the metaphysics of this work). Open, initially neutral, and critical thought and action—metaphysics—is an approach to the ultimate as such and the ultimate in the immediate.
THEME—THE ORDINARY IS THE EXTRA-ORDINARY. In going BEYOND THE ORDINARY—beyond ordinary ordinariness, we will arrive at the extraordinary extra-ordinary. The NEUTRAL experience as experience and being and being MAKE ONLY ONE DISTINCTION—the REAL VERSUS THE UNREAL. The essay therefore begins with experience of and as being.
OSTENSIVE definition is definition by showing or pointing to what is defined. In some fundamental kinds or cases ostensive definition collapses definition and proof that there is such a kind or case. These kinds may be said to be GIVEN. In a sense there is no defining: experience is given and ‘experience’ names the given.
It will be useful to catalog a VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE to illustrate the nature of experience and for possible later use. Some kinds of experience, not all independent from one another, are receptive, active and pure; and feeling, sensing, perception, thought, emotion, choosing, intending, willing, and the experience of body movement, of controlling, and of general doing. It is important that it is not being said here that such kinds do or do not exist as they are or may be conceived.
There are PRINCIPLED ways to making such a catalog approach coherence and completeness—e.g., from a consideration of human being as an organism in a set of environments and that it is effective to consider the organism as one of or on par with the environments, the various activities and needs such as physical and information inputs, processing, and outputs; from the physical modes of being—physical as such, chemical, sound, and light; from the particular type of organism that human being is, especially that an adaptation is adaptability itself and that physiology, free concept formation, language, and socialization are part of this; from neurophysiology; and from the fact that the kinds of experience are not tightly compartmentalized—that they interact. A parallel approach is multi-cultural—the list above is rather western; it may be useful to look at other cultures and ask what they see as the varieties and how and why they arrived at their catalogs. Finally—and this should occur in interaction with the foregoing, there is the question of the PRINCIPLE OF THE PRINCIPLE concerning how these principles are better formulated (of which matters some part is already implicit in what has been said).
That THERE IS EXPERIENCE as such has been established by ostensive definition of a given. Descartes’ famous cogito (argument) aimed at establishment of certainty amounted to this: wondering about the nature of experience and, particularly, doubting experience are experience. Though presented as proof that there is experience, the main function of the argument is to clarify what—and the nature of what—is being called experience.
These considerations of DOUBT reveal experience as a fundamental aspect of being in the world. It subsumes knowledge and by extension, the world. So we are concerned not only to know that there is experience but what it is (that is, we are concerned with meaning which is taken up shortly). Arguing that there is experience requires us to clarify the concept. In this case clarification will (a) reveal the nature of the experience-world relationship and later help (b) show the power in the world and so help show (c) the real power of experience itself. Finally doubt about the concept of experience has led to clarification of the nature of concepts, definition, proof and meaning; which topics are take up and further clarified below. The analysis and synthesis of meaning will be found especially potent in understanding in general.
Descartes’ COGITO ARGUMENT has been criticized for assuming that the doubt of the argument is had by an I. Provided the I conceived appropriately as a relatively AUTONOMOUS LOCUS of experience, WILL, and AGENCY, establishment that there is an I for the already established experience is not difficult.
The term IDEAS will refer to all forms of experience but especially to knowledge and knowing, to designing and planning, and in relation to practice and action. ACTION is process under the guidance of ideas—particularly, intentional ideas.
Where there is apparently structured experience there must be FORM. The metaphysics to be developed posits neither substance nor form as fundamental; however, in a SUBSTANCE ONTOLOGY or cosmos, where there is form there must be substance.
A CONCEPT is the content of an experience (this is different from a HIGHER concept as a unit of meaning; however the latter may be a concept in the sense used here).
A SIGN associated with a concept is not the concept even though this conflation is typically made and often efficient. A DEPICTION of the content of a concept, regardless of degree of abstraction and the medium, may COUNT as the concept as long as the depiction evokes the original concept.
The depiction may count as the referential concept as long as it counts as the original concept and refers to the SAME OBJECT.
CONCEPT MEANING is constituted of a concept and its OBJECTS.
WORD MEANING is a word associated with concept meaning.
A non-conceptual word—i.e., a PURE SIGN—in association with a concept is the most elementary LINGUISTIC MEANING.
Linguistic meaning also obtains by GRAMMATICAL CONVENTION from an arrangement of words depicting features of the structure of an object—in a generalized sense that includes states of affairs. Grammar has necessary—e.g., metaphysical and logical—as well as seemingly merely conventional features.
The assertion about existence above does not make existence dependent on being known. What is the case is that WHAT DOES NOT IN AFFECT OUR WORLD IN ANY WAY IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE PART OF THE WORLD. The metaphysics developed later will show that the object that can have no effect on our world does not exist.
From the foregoing remarks on existence, then, a NECESSARY AND SUFFICIENT CRITERION OF EXISTENCE IS POWER—power as the ability to have an effect (it will turn out that there is no ability to have an effect without actually having an effect). It is interesting that this suggestion was made by Plato. Consequently, the following may be marks of existence but are not necessary for it: matter, mind, process, and intrinsic quality. If something has an effect it would be causal and so causality is necessary for existence. However, it does not follow that physical or material causation is necessary for existence. Later we will see that the void is causal but not material; and though it is irregular and not traditionally recognized, its causal type is universal while the kind of physical causation that we recognize in our cosmos is not universal.
That EXPERIENCE IS IN AND OF THE WORLD IS SIGNIFICANT (a) in showing the very real nature of experience (brought out more in what follows), (b) in showing, importantly for the nature and relations of knowledge and world, that world and knowledge (and metaphysics and epistemology, and the empirical and the so called a priori) are of the same single realm.
ENTIRETY is the whole world in all its degrees of pervasion from null to full by space, time, and any other dimension (so far as such dimensions obtain).
Being is that which occurs as ANY COLLECTION of regions of entirety.
There is precisely ONE UNIVERSE.
Any GOD is part of the universe. No god is creator of all being.
The FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION ABOUT GOD relative to my mind is not whether god exists but what god is or may be and the meaning of ‘god’ is, in turn, part of the process of being rather than a given meaning or fact. God is a concept and an object searching for one another.
A DOMAIN is part of or the whole universe.
ONE DOMAIN may be part of or IMPLICATED IN CREATION or causation of another.
However, from the metaphysics to be developed, best explanation of most form and structure will be seen to occur via INCREMENTAL SELF ADAPTATION—and may be taken ultimately to emerge from the void.
A COSMOS is a closed causal domain.
PHYSICAL POSSIBILITY is defined by satisfaction physical law (and is particularly pertinent in our cosmos).
COSMOLOGICAL POSSIBILITY seems to be a restraint specific to a cosmos, e.g. total energy and other boundary issues, over and above the physical. It is conceivable, however, that cosmological and physical possibility intertwine to form one.
ONLY CONCEPTS in relation to objects can SATISFY or violate logic. Logic does not pertain to the world as such.
Logical possibility pertains to concepts: LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE CONCEPTS CANNOT HAVE OBJECTS; alternatively, the object of a logically impossible concept is the null object
In a universe MAXIMALLY PERMISSIVE with respect to being, universal possibility is logical possibility.
SAMENESS is (sense of) sameness of an object.
DIFFERENCE is the most elementary PATTERN. It is primitive to structure, process, FORM, and sentience.
Sameness with difference refers to IDENTITY of PERSON or OBJECT and marks TIME or DURATION.
Difference without identity marks SPACE or (spatial) EXTENSION.
EXTENSIONALITY refers to modes of difference—with or without sameness.
There is at least one void.
The void has neither space, nor time, nor law, nor pattern (nor thing, nor POSITIVE kind).
The void is especially significant. I realized its importance in two crucial insights.
The FIRST INSIGHT concerning the void is that the equivalence of the universe and the void—if it could be demonstrated—would lever an ultimate metaphysics, especially one that would be absolute in transcending while including time and perhaps in going beyond all a priori elements.
The SECOND INSIGHT was that to see that to show the equivalence, I should especially focus on the void and its properties. Particularly important to this was that natural laws have being and that the void exists and contains no laws.
APPRAISING METAPHYSICS. The CRITICISMS and RESPONSES below constitute an appraisal of metaphysics, particularly metaphysics as knowledge of being. The main criticisms and discussions are from (a) experience (knowledge) is not the object, (b) the tacit assumption that perfect faithfulness is the universal criterion of knowledge (the metaphysical framework of the essay is perfect in this sense), (c) criticism from science, (d) the claims of what is called special metaphysics (concerning special objects, e.g. those of the established religions—which is not the concern of the framework developed), (e) the critique of what has been called the ‘grand narrative’, and (f) the criticism of systematic metaphysics, especially from the perspective of a history of failed systems from the past.
CRITICISM—EXPERIENCE IS NOT THE OBJECT. Response. Though it is not the object, in the case of the objects of the metaphysics to be developed, experience is PERFECTLY FAITHFUL. In other cases, a significant range of knowledge from tradition, perfect faithfulness will be shown impossible and so not to be desired; this range will, however, be PERFECTLY SUITED AS A LOCAL INSTRUMENT at the border of the immediate and the ultimate.
CRITICISM—THE QUESTION OF PERFECT FAITHFULNESS. Response. PERFECT FAITHFULNESS and certainty have often in the history of ideas been taken as tacit criteria. This criterion is appropriate sometimes but not universally.
CRITICISM—THE CLAIMS OF SCIENCE. Two special criticisms from science are (i) science now occupies the role of knowledge of being and (ii) science shows that metaphysical knowledge beyond its borders is impossible (note that the term ‘special criticisms’ is used because general criticism from science is tacit in the criticisms above). Response to criticism i. So far as it is empirical, science cannot claim to cover the entire extra-empirical domain (it cannot even claim to know the extent of that domain). A question of metaphysics, therefore, is whether there can be any knowledge of that domain. A generic answer is that we do know experience as experience, being as being, and especially universe as universe; therefore such knowledge is obviously possible; we have already seen this knowledge to be non trivial and starting in the chapter on the fundamental principle we will begin to see that it is immensely potent. A detailed answer now follows. Response to criticism ii. One view is that while scientific facts (data) can be confirmed, theories explain facts but because they intend to go beyond facts so far can only be disconfirmed (we trust scientific theories not because they follow logically from data—they do not—but because they capture some local pattern very well which is evidenced by testing and application; but they do not necessarily capture universal patterns which is evidenced by the history of scientific revolutions). However, if a scientific theory were regarded merely, but still powerfully, as a local pattern it would be factual but not universal. On the other hand because of the abstraction (as contrasted to detail rather than concreteness) of the fundamental concepts here, the metaphysics is universal and can be and is (will be) confirmed as universal and potent.
CRITICISM—THE CLAIMS OF epistemology. Response. The response is a very abbreviated version of the response in essentials of the way of being. In the modern period the turn away from authority in knowledge was prompted by the rise of rationality which then critiqued itself resulting in widespread belief in the possibility of empirically based knowledge but impossibility of metaphysics outside that boundary. The essentials of the response are (1) epistemology is a branch of metaphysics as it is developed here; and (2) here metaphysics is a mosaic of kinds of knowledge—perfect for the framework, good enough for the rest—which is necessary in consequence of the universe as revealed in the metaphysics where the necessity is that better cannot be done but that the mosaic is optimal with regard to the depiction of the universe and realization of the aim of the way of being.
CRITICISM—SPECIAL METAPHYSICS. Response. The metaphysics of the essay is NOT A SPECIAL METAPHYSICS. As will be seen, the metaphysics may be deployed to develop and evaluate special objects; such evaluation in the universe as realization of all possibility must be for significance rather than absolute truth.
CRITICISM—CRITICAL THEORY AND THE META NARRATIVE SYSTEM. Response. TRUTH, significance, and RELEVANCE should be evaluated case by case. The criticism from critical theory is itself a form of grand narrative.
CRITICISM—SYSTEM. Response. In fact, the world exhibits SIMILARITY and DIFFERENCE. Therefore SOME SYSTEM IS NATURAL. Where it is natural, it brings coherence and efficiency of understanding. To have some system does not disallow but may enhance the study of the variety. System requires criticism, of course, and the outcome will be case by case acceptance or rejection.
GENERAL RESPONSE to criticism—THE METAPHYSICS OF THIS ESSAY. The FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS of the metaphysics arose in a search for what is fundamental in our place in the universe and each concept has been established as perfectly known in experience. The SYSTEM of the metaphysics of the essay developed naturally—it was neither forced nor imposed.
The PROOF is simple: if there is a state that does not emerge from the void that would be a law of the void. Thus every state must emerge from the void (and consequently from every state of being).
Under the fundamental principle ALL STATES OF BEING ARE EQUIVALENT. Any state may emerge from any state (same or other). This apparently clear VIOLATION OF OUR SENSE OF PHYSICAL CAUSATION AS LOCAL INTERACTION AND TRANSMISSION calls for address and is taken up later.
LOGIC AND SCIENCE constitute a continuum. Logic occupies the universal end of this continuum; science occupies what remains and possessed of patterning.
Since the universe is the realization of all possibility, logics and sciences are ever under discovery. The fundamental principle forces a reconceptualization and suggests using new words: SCIENCE for science and LOGIC for logic. However the capitalized forms will not be used hereafter for they will be combined below as realism.
A void may be regarded as being attached to every domain. Except that THERE IS AT LEAST ONE void, there is no particular relevance to the number of voids.
The POWER OF THE VOID IS WITHOUT LIMIT. It can create and destroy all objects particularly, atoms, cosmoses, arrays of cosmoses, men and women and gods.
Earlier, in the essay, it was said that there is no universal causation in the common sense. It is necessary to be clear that this refers to causation understood as efficient physical causation. However, the attachment of the void to every domain or particle implies that there is a universal efficient causation over and above every other kind or example, e.g. the physical causation of our cosmos. THIS UNIVERSAL CAUSATION has no regularities. Yet it is universal though not physical. It is clear that physical causation is not universal. Why then does the universal type not show up? Some answers are (a) we have not been observing for very long and (b) maybe it has and is. The real answer, I think, is that cosmological causation is a special case of the universal and irregular but no non-interaction type causation.
THE VOID IS NOT THE QUANTUM VACUUM for the latter has a law or laws; the void has greater power than the quantum vacuum; still, there is an analogy between the void and the vacuum state (awaiting development).
The AIM of this experiment in thought is to evaluate the relation between partial determinism in our local history and the vast openness of the universe—briefly, the aim is to understand the relation between determinism and openness (absolute indeterminism).
The universe RECURS through phases—phases from limited to ultimate possibility; which is ultimate possibility. But the recurrence is not mere repetition or determined repetition because possibility is ever open and so being must be EVER FRESH (for limited being; it would be deterministic in the eyes of limitless being).
While in LIMITED FORM, approach to the ultimate must be ever in process and ever fresh.
The universe is realization CONSTRAINED only by realism (a constraint is not a limit; it is the requirement on freely formed concepts for them to have objects).
Many implications of realism, though significant, are TRIVIAL AS DEDUCTION. There is no proof needed other than to check for realism, i.e. satisfaction of logic and local non violation of local science. There will of course be difficult proofs.
The fundamental principle solves what has been called the fundamental problem of metaphysics: WHY THERE IS BEING at all rather than nothing. Under realism, the universe must exist in both manifest and non manifest states.
The metaphysics so far shows what may be realized; and it may be joined with tradition as an instrument of action. Though necessarily imperfect with regard to precision, completeness, and certainty this is the best expected or desired of tradition. In the join, some significant general features of tradition—local metaphysics—are capable of perfect precision. This join could be called PRACTICAL METAPHYSICS which would be another term for the entire system of knowledge to which is attached the foregoing positive interpretation of its potency (the fact of limitlessness means of course eternal failure and pain together with success and enjoyment: being is a mosaic; and this is the general meaning of the negative; this existential meaning will be enhanced in stable cosmologies). This entire system may also be called the universal metaphysics or the metaphysics provided that the two meanings are not confused.
The PRIMARY CONCEPTS of the metaphysics are experience, significance, meaning, existence, real world, being, universe, domain, possibility, identity, person, natural law, the void, limitlessness, realism, object, death, the way and aim of being, commitment, and tradition.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONCEPTS includes the following. Experience is important as the place of our being and knowing and so of our relationship to the universe (including ourselves and identities). Experience as experience is known perfectly. Being is important for its inclusiveness and neutrality—because it includes all things that can have an effect (not necessarily as standard physical causation), particularly entity, process, relationship, laws, abstractions fall under it; and because it is neutral to such kinds as matter and mind it avoids errors and prejudicial commitments associated with them. Being is fundamental, especially since as being as such it is known perfectly in experience. The universe as all being is important as including all objects and kinds and avoiding indefiniteness and vagueness associated with the notions of empirical or physical universe. Laws are fundamental as a notion of pervasive pattern: laws are limits—there are no universal laws if and only if there are no universal limits to possibility. The void is important as having no laws and therefore no limits to power (which is conferred upon all things because the contrary would be a limit). The SYSTEM OF CONCEPTS mentioned so far stand as a system in the necessary emergence of the universal metaphysics; and the necessities of that emergence stand together as REALISM. Thus as far as the metaphysics is concerned the nature of realism includes the principles of science and logic and stands as saying that, for the metaphysics, there is NO A PRIORI to experience.
Some SECONDARY CONCEPTS of the metaphysics are difference, time or duration, space or extension, extensionality, the distinction being-as-being versus being-in-relationship or—approximately matter versus mind, ideas, action, nature, spirit, variety, the ultimate, abstract versus concrete objects, form, limited form, cosmos and physical law, adaptation, pain, joy, intelligence, care, eternal process, the secular and the trans-secular, science, the abstract and the concrete sciences, Brahman, Aeternitas, freedom of will, life, psyche, civilization, mechanics of becoming, the elements of being and becoming, phases of becoming and life, knowledge, discipline, practice, ways and catalysts, design, artifact, daily practice, meditation, review, ethics and value, pure being, and narrative and expressive mode.
We conclude: (a) all objects are in the one universe, (b) all except the completely abstract have some degree of concreteness and it would seem that there are no completely abstract objects, (c) there is no essential distinction between the abstract and the concrete, (d) the difference is better sought in the nature of the concept (without which: no object)—the CONCRETE are more effectively studied empirically or perceptually; the ABSTRACT are better understood in terms of (higher) concepts (rationally), and (e) that, partially or wholly, an abstract object seems to not be located in space or time or that it seems to lack causation is the result of these features being omitted in the abstraction. This is here called the THEORY OF OBJECTS.
The abstract objects that are selected with (and perhaps for) form are the PLATONIC FORMS.
It shows the possibility that (human) beings can INHABIT abstract objects (we do inhabit them and not only from the metaphysics… but how and to what significance?)
Here is one significance: MEMORY across death and COSMIC DISSOLUTION may be preserved in abstract objects or DISPOSITIONS or FORMS.
From realism (FP) logic, science, and MATHEMATICS are brought under a UNITY; unless inconsistent they must all refer to objects in the universe (perhaps found by but not essentially interpretation). Consequently UNDECIDABILITY and INCOMPLETENESS may not be ruled out for any science within realism (interpretation of the reasons for incompleteness may be different). The mathematics (plural) are the sciences of ABSTRACT FORM and the natural sciences are the sciences of CONCRETE form; the two merge as logic at the universal end of a continuum as constraint on thought rather than law of the real.
Among the theoretical disciplines logic (as suggested earlier) the new conception of logic is a key to study of the universe. Another essential is MATHEMATICS (of course the boundary between logic and mathematics is thin; they are the abstract sciences). But logic, mathematics, and science are brought under realism which also includes direct experiment with being.
As a human activity, MATHEMATICS has empirical beginnings, became AXIOMATIZED (as study of forms of the world), but has now become—largely—a collection of DEDUCTIVE SYSTEMS that are perhaps suggested by structures in the world and in imagination but in themselves purely deductive (according to rules and from undefined constructs and axioms).
The IDEAL and REAL conceptions of mathematics are DUAL and REINFORCING rather than conflictual.
It is not surprising that the ideal approach should be effective or that many deductive systems should be UNDECIDABLE and INCOMPLETE.
For any language (deductive system), incompleteness and undecidability result when the EXPRESSIVE POWER is GREATER THAN its REPRESENTATIONAL POWER.
The GENERAL PRINCIPLE of cosmology is the fundamental principle of metaphysics.
Our EMPIRICAL COSMOS is but one example of one kind of form; it is not typical. There is an infinite number of infinitely varied cosmoses; a background void; and a continuum from transience to stability in between. Every cosmos is an atom, every atom is a cosmos. The variety of physical type law far exceeds our currently known laws even with variation of the fundamental constants.
The universe has NO ULTIMATE BOUNDARY in space or time.
The abstract forms may approach the eternal. Here resides MEMORY across individual death and cosmological dissolution. The ultimate form may be called BRAHMAN or AETERNITAS.
The PEAKS of form are not blind in general. They must include intelligence and commitment applied to form. The greatest significance occurs in experience.
However, while in limited form the approach to the ultimate is eternal process which from the fundamental principle must contain EVER FRESHNESS.
There are AS IF SUBSTANCE cosmoses. Some of these, perhaps ours, will be as if one substance cosmoses. Generally, however, a domain may have infinitely many as if substances. At root however, the as if substances will interact and there is NO AT LARGE SUBSTANCE. The void may function as substance for some purposes but is not substance.
The POPULATION the universe by cosmological systems should be dominated by a product of frequency of formation and longevity. We therefore anticipate that MOST COSMOSES ARE STABLE ones formed by incremental adaptation.
There is no doubt that there is FREEDOM OF WILL. But this freedom does not mean total control. It allows that expression of freedom is often a struggle to discover and know what is desirable and feasible and to move (act / discover) incrementally toward it. The argument from materialism and determinism is false because that is not in the character of even what is called the material substrate; those who argue from such materialism, e.g. that social offenders have no choice in their acts, should recognize that, if their argument is true, they too have no choice in their judgment or the processes leading to it. It may well be, however, that virtue is a high expression of individual freedom while antisocial behavior is the result of an absence of freedom of will (and other factors) in the particular individual (this should have no particular bearing on any philosophy of punishment based in prevention of such individual behavior and general dissuasion rather than retribution or justice).
From the cosmology the cosmoses and NATURAL LAWS in the universe are limitless in count and variety; they are local in time and space; the greatest part of their population arises, first in adaptive process and perhaps second via intelligence that is continuous with and enhancing of adaptation to heights of form equal to and significance greater than ‘blind’ process.
The magnitude (variety, extension, duration) of SIGNIFICANT AND CONSCIOUS FORM is WITHOUT LIMIT.
The elements below follow from reflection on the world in light of the metaphysics.
THE WAY OF BEING is the use of all dimensions of being in knowing the range of being and realizing its highest immediate and ultimate forms—especially in negotiating the weave of the intermediate-ultimate.
These follow from the origin of this work, the nature of human process (as part of a universal-general and an adaptive-stable and sentient cosmology).
This follows from the nature of adaptive process and intelligent being; and from the fact that given any level of structure, there is a significant form created by intelligence that is greater in its level (and of course vice versa but this is not relevant to the point being made except that sometimes intelligence should seek to change the change-worthy, live in the process of the unchanging, and have the wisdom to know the difference).
The ELEMENTS of being are divided according to DIMENSION and place, and PROCESS and time.
INTELLIGENT COMMITMENT and APPLICATION over time is essential to becoming in the light of the ultimate.
The nature of identity, space, and time.
The DIMENSIONS of the way are nature, psyche, civilization and artifact (and technology), and universal process.
Nature—primal being and its two primal aspect of being-as-being and being-in-relationship—is primitive to higher forms.
Thinking in terms that predate modern science, direct experience of nature is superficial in the sense that there is clearly more than what we see (nature has form is what we see but we do not see how forms come about or perpetuate); this is one source of the idea of an inner power or spirit. Myth arises in creating stories about what lies beyond direct vision; and sometimes myth may be functional in ways not intended. Modern science shares some elements with myth but where myth is adaptively correcting, science has evolved ways of self-correction regarding representation (but may be globally sub-adaptive). Thus the atomic theory of science may be the scientific response to the primal occasion for spirit (quantum theory might be the ‘spirit of matter’ and the theories of relativity a response to primal cosmology). Thus it is that living forms and inheritance, which may have been regarded as a manifestation of spirit, are now seen in science as a manifestation at the meso-level (in between micro and macro) of the micro-level.
Psyche—the significant aspect of the higher forms: embodied sentient intelligence (it may be thought that there is such a thing as pure not embodied psyche; however, consider that any intelligent psyche must have form and feeling: that form and its support are the body).
Civilization—civilization begins with groups, community and community enterprise. I see civilization as group endeavor at the highest level (and avoid pejorative connotations). Thus some features of civilization are (1) The highest level of group endeavor—civilization is the web of communities across time and continents; and Civilization is the matrix of civilizations across and populating the universe; (2) Civilization nurtures the individual and the individual fosters civilization; and (3) Thus far, civilization is not consciously intelligent in itself but part of its functioning is to multiply intelligence.
Artifact and technology—the instrumental or extrinsic aspects of psyche and civilization
Elements of process
The ELEMENTS OF PROCESS are means (ideas and action), mechanics (above), ways and catalysts, disciplines and practices (intrinsic and external), and modes (intrinsic and external—i.e. pertaining to self or being of the individual, to group, and environment).
The means follow from the nature of sentient being—(a) representation and change, i.e. (b) intelligence and form, i.e. (c) ‘mind’ and ‘body’.
The mechanics constitute efficient means and are as explained above.
The ways and catalysts correspond roughly to a division of change or transformation as: (a) continuous / rational-feeling / attitude versus (b) discrete / risk-chance-consolidation / deep-embodied. The ‘versus’ is conceptual—obviously their efficient occurrence is interactive and parallel.
Disciplines and practices are the above as inherited from tradition.
The modes refer to the dimensions of change, especially psyche versus civilization and artifact.
An aim: seamless join (as in metaphysics-cosmology) of the immediate and the ultimate:
LIVING and PRACTICE for living in the present and ULTIMATE-IN-THE-PRESENT.
TOWARD THE UNIVERSAL: perception, knowledge, practice, and process
Going BEYOND THE IMMEDIATE in this and universal life, beginning in everyday process, and toward eternal process. The process takes aware, intelligent commitment; it occurs cumulatively in small steps and trails—and by significant transformation.
These follow from the elements and dimensions arranged according to the present phase of my process.
RISE before the sun—begin with dedication of my life and the day to the way of being, to focus on essence; and affirmation of commitment.
Dedication. I dedicate my life to The Way of Being: / Its discovery, revelation, and realization— / To live and grow in all worlds as one [immediate—ultimate, inner—outer, natural—social, and incremental—significant] / To shed the bondage of limited self— / So that I may see The Way so clearly / That living it, even through difficulty / Is flow over force… / And so to show and share its truth, power, and care.
Affirmation. I commit my being, thought, speech, and action to the way; to a positive attitude; to the good and care of the world and all persons, especially to seeing but not taking imagined or real fears and resentments as affronts to security and sense of self. I pray for these things, especially for the good and understanding of those I may resent.
REVIEW and meditate on realization and other priorities and means (priorities); using time and space effectively.
REALIZATION—work, care and meditation (below); action and experiment; ideas; and writing—in process journal (field notes), essays, and publishing (networked and printed).
REGULAR and occasional tasks— morning: do daily morning tasks; do weekly, monthly, and longer term tasks on pre-selected but flexible assigned days (e.g. day before waste pickup).
YOGA-THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE-MEDITATE: focus and focal issues; quieting—spaciousness of being; death as spur and transition; pain and resentment—their defusion in relinquishing ego to being; meditation-in-action.
Meditation-in-action includes practice of meditation that is continuous with living. It is an essential part of realization. Some PRACTICAL TOOLS:
Meditate and act on my ambitions and final goals. Accept pain and joy. My future must be a straight line with no deviations from the universal.
Meditate on—own my strength, power, pain, and weakness: I am their active core and source—and so of their transformation as energy.
Be assertive in discovery, cultivation, and expression of my power and goals; seek and encourage active receptivity.
Be assertive about and transform or be silent and remove myself from negative influence and judgmentalism.
Meditate on my truth; not let apprehension prevent speech or action when they are good or ego force them when they are not. Consciously expose myself to and act on my fears, selected for importance.
Healthy living—routine, sleep, food and fluids; avoid toxic substances and influences.
EXERCISE—posture, general (aerobic, flexibility, hiking fitness and strength), and yogic.
EVENING—realization / renewal; review the next day, plans (and special events); realization if energy-time; evening tasks and preparation for the next day etc; meditate; sleep early.
Some TOPICS FOR STUDY and development. The following is a summary of topics for development. See the Resources, especially resource development 2015, for details. See detailed plan for study and action for greater detail.
METAPHYSICS—especially process and symbolic; SCIENCES—science as such; concrete and abstract sciences including mathematics and logic; CIVILIZATION, WAYS AND CATALYSTS (note placement of ways… near civilization), ARTIFACT and ART; INSTITUTIONS, PERSONS, PLACES.
As the resources are for readers they are omitted from this personal manual.
Resource development 2015
Summary of knowledge for development
THE METAPHYSICS, metaphysics, foundation and development, language, logic, mereology, adequacy and minimal arrangement of the dimensions, processes, and phases of being and becoming. Some DETAILS: begin with some case studies—e.g., Process and Reality (1929), A.N. Whitehead; Space, Time, and Deity (1920), S. Alexander; the Symbolic Metaphysics of Edward N. Zalta, e.g. at The Metaphysics Research Lab (Zalta’s interesting conception of abstract objects may be useful and suggestive even though it is quite different from the concept of the abstract object in this essay). The metaphysics of natural law is a useful topic that might well go under science below.
Narrative mode and philosophy
Design and planning
Science and the sciences
SCIENCE and the SCIENCES—abstract and concrete in relation to realism and possibility: logics as a first approximation. SCIENCE AS SCIENCE, as defined by principles—descriptive, elementary, and adaptive with focus on origins, form, and adaptive systems.
ABSTRACT SCIENCES and sciences of symbolic systems—logic, mathematics and set theory and its foundations, linguistics and grammar, topics such as self-representation, computation and finite mathematics. Some DETAILS. LOGIC: (a) concepts of logic and realism (b) formalism for maximal capture realism and possibilism without paradox, (c) specific topics—propositional and first order predicate calculus, and (d) mathematical logic—proof theory, model theory, set theory, and recursion theory (and relations to theory of computation and category theory); (e) reading: W.V. Quine [Philosophy of Logic, 1986; Methods of Logic, 1982; Mathematical Logic, 1981; Set Theory and its Logic, 1969]. Related topics: the AXIOMATIC theories of sets and MEREOLOGY. FURTHER TOPICS IN MATHEMATICS for the metaphysics: number theory, number systems, transfinite numbers, analysis; algebraic structures; geometries—including non-Euclidean, convex, discrete, topology, homotopy theory, Morse theory; statistics and decision sciences; theoretical computer science.
CONCRETE SCIENCES. PHYSICAL SCIENCES and the interface of metaphysics, quantum theory and relativity; physical cosmology; geosciences. BIOLOGY, evolution, and ADAPTIVE SYSTEMS—general theory and application in biology and cosmology. PSYCHOLOGY and social sciences with focus on immersion.
Foundations of ethics and value
Foundations of ETHICS and VALUE with special focus on implications of the metaphysics and the way of being.
Ways and catalysts
Select focus on TRANS-SECULAR and INTRINSIC MODES of being and transformation—principles of special metaphysics and religion, yoga, Tantra… PRINCIPLES, DISCIPLINES, and PRACTICE (select and focus). It is CRITICAL that the goal for ways and catalysts is experiment with incremental and step-wise realization. STUDY EMPHASIS is therefore supportive rather than definitive and multi-fold—(1) The MEANING OF RELIGION (understood in terms of the theory of meaning); (2) The CLASSICAL ways and catalysts emphasizing practice and use-in-action—some TOPICS: life ways of Buddhism (especially Tibetan) and Hinduism (especially the Gita and Kashmir Saivism); catalysts of physical, isolation (vision quest), death awareness, sacred places, and acting; and (3) UNCONVENTIONAL AND HETERODOX ways and sources. Later—perhaps rewrite the Gita (sources currently not available on the Internet 1, 2, 3). Special focus on CATALYSTS—dreams, hypnosis, meditative states; altered states and CATALYTIC FACTORS.
CIVILIZATION. (1) Concepts of civilization (understood in terms of the theory of meaning); civilization as process and nurture—the concepts of human and universal civilization and history; physics, cosmology, sociology, psychology, for universal civilization; immersion in natural, social and cultural, psychic and universal process; shared endeavor; see TRANSCOMMUNITYDESIGN; artifactual and technological enhancement—support, synthetic, and stand alone. (2) IMMERSION CULTURE—knowledge, sciences of matter, life, society, mind, politics and economics; (3) In relation to the section cosmology > cosmology of life and identity > civilization what is the dynamic of process, realization, problem, opportunity; and (4) Items below—artifact, ways and catalysts, institutions, places, contacts.
Artifact and art
ARTIFACT. Review (1) The AIMS—support in realization and creation of AWARE AND AUTONOMOUS systems (and why, in terms of the metaphysics the latter is one sufficient approach), (2) The concept of ARTIFICIAL BEING (understood in terms of the theory of meaning), (3) Concepts of the same (e.g. SCENARIOS), (4) Theoretical and computational approaches, (5) Practical approaches. ART including literature and drama and its relevance to metaphysics and realization.
Other topics in a SYSTEM OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE, selected for significance to the aims and ways; art.
INSTITUTIONS, PERSONS, AND PLACES. (1) For the above, (2) Support and sharing, (3) Contacts, (4) Place—nature and culture.
Plans for the main document
I will write the FINAL VERSION during and after transformation of being. I plan to use this document as a basis and so ongoing reflection on content and refinement will be important.
In the resource development chapter, the main document suggests writing a PROLOGUE. The discussion ‘essentials of the approach’ is a beginning. Develop templates for PHASES, their DETAILS, and DAILY PRACTICE.
The MAIN ISSUES for reflection and writing are the fundamentals of realization and actual achievement.