THE WAY OF BEING
Anil Mitra © April 2017 — June 2017
Latest update — June 21, 2017
The text employs METAPHYSICAL LANGUAGE key words and METALANGUAGE or SPECIAL ORDINARY LANGUAGE terms.
Parts marked with a double dagger†† are essential to a short version.
Comment. Though the content of the prologue is fine I want to rewrite it as a narrative.
It seems characteristic of human being that we divide our efforts between trying to live well within our limits and overcoming our limits. We sometimes think we have definite limits, yet we are not sure what they are. It is an issue that we do not quite grasp—we do not seem to know what our limits are or what the limits of possibility of the universe are.
If we had a grasp of those two questions we wouldn’t be then transported to our limit boundary but we would perhaps be able to orient ourselves in the world. We might have a concept of the ultimate limit beyond the borders of empirical science; when we puzzled about the meaning of our lives we might be do more than posit an ultimate force or resort to (just) ‘meaning is what you assign or put in to it’.
The Way of Being develops and centers on a world view, the ‘universal metaphysics’, that shows the outer boundary of the limits of what is to be achieved. That view begins as a framework which it is shown is never finally filled in but is always open to a process of being filled in.
The answers here must be incomplete; they are elaborated in the main text.
What is the outer boundary of our Being? Answer. We will find that the universe is the realization of all possibility.
What is all possibility? Answer. The concept and measure of all possibility are developed in the essay. The concepts of Being, experience, and reason are central to the development.
What are some examples of what is to be achieved or realized? Answer. The universe has identity; its identity and manifestation have no limit as to kind, extent, and duration; individual identity ultimately identical to universal identity which is achieved via process and communication (communion), in which individuals are expressions of universal disposition from which they come and to which they return.
How is this achieved? It is achieved amid ordinary life. We already have the potential for this awareness. This essay develops some ways. It draws from tradition. And it builds on tradition, exploring two necessary complements: inner and outer being which we might call awareness and manifestation. What the sages have called ‘ultimate’ is this inner awareness in its fullness; which is not the ultimate but on the way; which, however, gives meaning to and illuminates the way.
But is this not an absurd contradiction of common experience? Answer. No. (1) For the universal metaphysics ‘all possibility is realized’ requires our cosmos and our experience of the real. (2) If we think of that experience as a kind of normal experience the universal metaphysics places it in and relates it to the larger context. For example, except for the logically necessary and impossible, what is normally experienced as necessary and impossible are but contingent (e.g. very probable or improbable).
Would not final realization of a universal ultimate be the end to all meaning? Answer. No, for there is no final realization. There are peaks but then dissolution. And, while there is repetition, there is eternal newness. And while there are peaks there is also pain and challenge—and ignorance and illumination. The challenge and reward of meaning is eternal.
What does tradition teach us? The first traditions are the primal in which we do not yet have the luxury of separating the ‘secular’ and ‘trans-secular’; each infuses the other. Despite its difficulties it is a kind of paradise relative to the insecurities of the secular – trans-secular divide. The trans-secular religious presents us with a picture of this life and beyond which may be naïve or sophisticated but whose real meaning is symbolic. The sophisticated rational-emotive side blends with metaphysics. The secular emphasizes the mundane including rational-empirical science.
What are the limitations of the standard secular and trans-secular traditions? The essential limit is that for theoretical or circumstantial reasons the conventional limits are seen as ultimate. For example, where vision might be infinite and limitless, even rationally so, as we will show, we are presented from religion and theology with a dogma or speculation cast as logic (the symbolic is present but silent which mutes potential). The secular vision extols the practical and the empirical relative to which the default and sometimes dogmatic view is that its limits are the limits of being and universe.
What does the universal metaphysics show? It shows us a full rational-feeling-empirical view of the universe beyond secular and trans-secular dreams and approaches to negotiate the universe so revealed.
The first part is a very brief statement of aim for the Way of Being.
A rough division of the content of the Ideas is that Being sets up the main concepts, Metaphysics develops the fundamental theory, Cosmology develops and explores consequences, and Agency is about the nature and role of agents in the universe. Along the way there is a focus on (i) what is conceptually useful to understanding and (ii) what is applicable to Becoming.
The part on Becoming discusses the Aim, showing that the aim of the way is the aim of Being. Then The Way takes up the question of attitude and explicit approaches to realization. The main topics in this part are the everyday and universal process templates to realization. Finally The Path looks to past, present, and future for personal and universal process.
We intend to plunge in rather than to talk around what we will do.
This begins here.
The AIM of THE WAY OF BEING (TWB) is a SHARED ENDEAVOR for Being, especially for the INDIVIDUAL and CIVILIZATION throughout the universe.
The endeavor is LIVING WELL and the HIGHEST DISCOVERY and HIGHEST REALIZATION in the IMMEDIATE WORLD and the ULTIMATE WORLD.
The MEANS of discovery and realization are IDEAS, PRACTICE, and ACTION in interaction.
Why Being? In searching beyond our world and what we know, we begin with the thought that our common views of the way the world is are rough and incomplete. The way Being is used here makes it an excellent vehicle for a picture of the world to emerge with experience and reflection rather than imposed at the outset. But it is valid to ask whether any concept or system of concepts can be adequate to this aim. It is in the spirit of the present meaning of Being that this will emerge with the narrative rather than be presumed at the beginning.
The following section introduces fundamental concepts of Being, ALL Being—the universe, a being—PART, and the void—NULL being or part.
The terms are in the order in which they occur in the text.
PART, NULL, ALL, PART, NULL, GIVENS, CONCRETE, PRAGMATIC, ABSTRACT, CORRESPONDENCE, PERFECT, SAMENESS, DIFFERENCE, UNIVERSE, IS, EXISTENCE, VERB TO BE, BEING, BEING, BE-ING, BECOMING, INTERACTION, POWER, THE VOID, NULL BEING, POTENTIAL, REMANIFEST, NONBEING, EXPERIENCE, SUBJECTIVE AWARENESS,
NIHILISM, REAL WORLD, EXTERNAL WORLD, CONSCIOUSNESS, SOLIPSISM, SKEPTICISM, DOUBT, SUBJECT, EXPERIENCER, OBJECT, EXPERIENCED,
Small capitals in subsequent paragraphs in this section identify basic and derived GIVENS. Regarded in CONCRETE detail, knowledge of the givens is PRAGMATIC. If sufficiently ABSTRACT, knowledge in the sense of CORRESPONDENCE is PERFECT. To begin, the treatment is sufficiently abstract to permit such perfection; that is, sufficient concrete detail omitted. Later, when an abstract framework is set up, the concrete will be brought back in.
1. For knowledge of what is real, it is effective to begin with a concept that is neutral or abstract to kind or substance such as mind or matter and to error of perception and conception, inclusive in ability to ‘contain’ the real and only the real. Here, Being is defined to fill that role—as a NEUTRAL CONTAINER CONCEPT.
1.1. SAMENESS and DIFFERENCE are fundamental givens.
1.2. The UNIVERSE is all of that which IS there—has EXISTENCE—over all sameness, difference, and their absence.
It is crucial that the ‘universe’ is often used in a range of different senses. One common but different sense is that of our empirical cosmos (and there are scientists, other academics, and non-academics that insist that this is ‘the universe’). A more inclusive one is the multiverse in which each ‘universe’ has its own set of fundamental constants. But this too is limited—why should the laws be at all like ours? There is no reason to think that the universe is quantum mechanical or relativistic as we understand those terms, even though they are clearly excellent local empirical-conceptual approximations. Are abstract objects part of the universe (present sense)? As we will see the one universe contains all abstract and concrete objects and what is more it unifies them. That is, we will find, as suggested in the prologue that the universe is the universe of all possibility. What about mathematical objects? These are to be included because they are among the abstract. But certainly not all particular (not concrete) objects need be mathematical in any formal sense—there may well be realms not amenable to mathematics as we know it. How about logical objects? Though we will need to specify the meaning of logic carefully, we will find the greatest possible and the logical universes to be identical.
Above ‘is’ has two uses; in lower case it is the ‘is’ of definition; in small caps it is a generic form of the VERB TO BE—indifferent to distinction: to sameness and difference and, for later reference, to tense, process, location, relation, interaction, quality, number, and so on.
1.4. A BEING is the universe or part of it.
Thus a being as a being has no special characteristics that define special kinds of Being. Special kinds are of essential interest but it is essential to defer their introduction.
1.5. What beings possess in virtue of existing is BEING (capitalized).
1.5.1. The idea of Being empowers realism in the sense of that which exists. It does so via its NEUTRALITY and so function as a symbol for the question of what is known.
In virtue of abstraction Being is indifferent to the distinctions above. In the sufficiently abstract, there is Being; there are beings; beings are not Being but have Being; at greater abstraction beings and Being are not distinct; with sufficient abstraction there is only experience.
The abstract conceptions of Being and a being introduces an algebraic character to the study of Being and universe. It empowers the means of answer to the question of what has Being, which is a fundamental problem if not the fundamental problem of metaphysics. The idea of Being is instrumental in addressing this question of Being. Is substance the answer? Substance is an abstract posit—it may ‘exist’ but it is not a final answer. If something never has an effect existence neither obtains nor fails to obtain but is without meaning. This is one motive to the concept of power introduced below.
Thus Being derives from the generic verb to be above a neutrality as extreme as possible while still referring at all—while referring to the distinction between existence and non-existence. On the other hand, a being, while not as neutral is still neutral to entity, process, relation but does distinguish this being from that one. To emphasize entity we will write BE-ING and for process we write BECOMING. We also recognize INTERACTION.
Power is an effective as an approach to the question of What has Being?
As cause and effect are interactions (which require relation), the universe—all Being—is neither created nor caused. It lies outside the ideas of relation, cause, and effect.
1.6.2. RELATIVE POWER is ability to have an effect on a particular being or group of beings or a cosmos (defined later). The system of power for a group (or cosmos) may be defined as the RELATIVE UNIVERSE for that group.
1.6.3. A being that has power relative to the entire universe has ABSOLUTE POWER. Later we see that every being has interaction with the entire universe. Therefore there is one relative universe and it is the absolute universe. There will be no essential need for the terms ‘relative universe’ and ‘absolute universe’.
1.7. POTENTIAL is not outside the universe—it has Being; as potential of a prior Being to REMANIFEST, NONBEING has Being.
1.8. THE VOID is the NULL BEING or absence of Being.
1.9. Summary—the basic concepts are sameness, difference, universe, beings, Being, power, and the void (null but not nonbeing). All these concepts except the void are seen to have objects—i.e. they exist or have Being. The existence and nature of the void will be demonstrated and developed in Metaphysics.
The power of the framework under development derives from (1) the inclusiveness or universality of the concepts and (2) their abstraction which permits precision as well as formation of a framework for the world (defined below).
In its first meaning here, EXPERIENCE will be SUBJECTIVE AWARENESS. There is a NIHILISM that denies that there is experience. However, it is a fundamental named given for to doubt experience is experience. It has an ontological priority over matter as its seat or mind as its place. To see this is to reject any—nihilist—materialism that negates experience or its powers. There is experience of experience; and there is experience as-if of a REAL WORLD (also metaphorically called the EXTERNAL WORLD). While CONSCIOUSNESS is experience, the term experience suggests an experiencer and an experienced.
It is conceivable that there is nothing in the world but experience—in a naïve form this is SOLIPSISM. However, if we map experience we find that the names for its aspects and regions are roughly the names we use for the as-if real world. But we could also see that world as a field of experience with individuals as concentrations of experience. We ascribe reality to the former because it is effective: what is called ‘I’ has powers but only limited powers of knowing and acting. We ascribe reality to the latter as an abstract description (made concrete later). With appropriate interpretations, the two descriptions are equivalent. What this says is not that there is more than one description of the real but that equivalent equally good descriptions or conceptions are part of the real.
of nihilism and of solipsism have been used to clarify and establish the nature
of experience. DOUBT
is key in arguing that there are experience, SUBJECT (EXPERIENCER), and OBJECT (EXPERIENCED, the
The WORLD is the universe-as-experienced-by-the-individual or culture; we have just seen that at root, world and universe are the same.
Kinds of experience include (1) BOUND EXPERIENCE—PERCEPTION-FEELING,
as if of an object felt real, (2) FREE EXPERIENCE—CONCEPTION-EMOTION (note that conception has two senses in
this narrative—here it is free conception but it is also general mental
content), creative play of experience that includes imagination, LANGUAGE, and reason
and which show abstract-pragmatic reality to the felt-real, (3) ACTIVE EXPERIENCE
We can define a CONCRETE OBJECT as the object of a percept (or bound citta). Earlier, we considered abstractions from concrete objects. We could regard these as abstract objects, metaphorically speaking. However, we can also define ABSTRACT OBJECTS as the objects of free concepts (free citta).
We will later see that abstract objects are real; that abstract objects lie in the one universe that the distinction between the abstract and the concrete lies only in the means of knowing them and is not intrinsic; and we will develop a symmetric and unified theory of abstract and concrete objects; and the variety of all objects far exceeds expectation.
We have seen that experience and so consciousness,
Can we regard subject or object as fundamental? That is, we are enquiring into the PROBLEMS OF MIND AND MATTER.
The treatment is not at a point where it can make a commitment to SUBSTANCE or otherwise but we can analyze some possibilities regarding substance.
On MATERIALISM, a MONISM, there is only ‘matter’ or object. STRICT MATERIALISM invokes the further idea that mind—experience, consciousness—are no part of matter.
On strict materialism the occurrence of experience is MAGIC. Therefore
emergence at some level of complexity is magic; an ANALOGY to emergence from matter to a
material system is a disanalogy because there is no emergence of substance.
Therefore the condition of strictness must be jettisoned if materialism is to
be satisfactory. Now experience (mind) has three possible sources—internal to
the organism, external, and magic. We eliminate magic for obvious reasons and
the external because it does not directly pertain to FUNCTION. Therefore the ELEMENTS of the
experiential must be among the known or unknown elements of the object
(matter) and from the nature of experience its elements must be relations
among those material elements. That is, there is an
Given substance, is this a monism or DUALISM? Two kinds of apparent SUBSTANCE DUALISM seem possible. First, experiential phenomena are the result of something non-object (non-matter) like that interacts with matter to make the organism. But this is essentially the above case of monism. In a second situation, some minds migrate to our immediate world from elsewhere but unless this is the monistic case then, since the form of mind must be material, it would be an other kind of matter different from the local but this does not seem to make sense for it represents something without power or at most ‘spirits’ or ‘ghosts’. These are of course possibilities; later we will see an extension of these ideas as real and as significant to a complete view of our Being—what we are—and destiny.
Later, we find that there can be multiple experiential kinds, each an as-if monism, each minimally interacting with the others and each, perhaps, associated with a distinct cosmos but in the most common cases, in a given cosmos, the situation in a stable phase of a cosmos is likely close to monism. Entire systems of this kind will be found in give and take with a transient background that is also in give and take with the void.
MEANING, for which
MEANING is a concept as mental content (citta) and its object
(indifferent to sing. vs pl.). When sufficiently abstract reference may be PERFECT CORRESPONDENCE
To illustrate, consider the concept of ‘universe’. If it refers to the universe in all its detail, it is not atomistic. However, if it refers to all existence distinguishing it only from non-existence. It is a conceptual atom. And it is this atom that is part of the perfect correspondence in which the concept ‘universe’ refers to the actual universe. Is it superfluous to have a concept ‘universe’ and the thing universe? No, for without the concept an object cannot be identified: imagine, for example, if someone yells ‘sher’ while you are in the forest. You have no reaction. However, if they had yelled ‘tiger’ you might have panicked. That’s because you associate the word ‘tiger’ with a conceptual picture of a tiger. Now ‘sher’ is the Hindi word for tiger but you do not make the connection: the concept is essential even though it is not always efficient to be explicit about it. That is the concept is essential if a pure sign such as ‘tiger’ or ‘sher’ are to have meaning. There’s a further consideration. Under the concept of ‘universe’ you can entertain square-circles and then, realizing that that is a contradiction you can tell that the real universe does not have any. This clarifies that you can if you wish include ‘square circles’ in ‘universe’ but it makes no material difference and therefore you are also free to omit ‘square circles’ from ‘universe’. This approach to meaning also clarifies what a non existent object is. If ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is defined as the person in the Arthur Conan Doyle writings describing a literary British detective, then Sherlock Holmes does (did) not exist.
LINGUISTIC MEANING associates signs with concept-objects; pure signs have no intrinsic meaning; structure contributes to compound sign, e.g. sentence, meaning. This concept of meaning is essential to its possibility, clarity, adequacy, and definiteness. Without the concept, reference is impossible; even seemingly well formed compound reference may be indefinite, empty, or paradoxical. This is crucial later in defining Logic; its neglect results in many SEMANTIC and logical paradoxes.
USE–the milieu of language—is the first source or DETERMINER of ORDINARY LANGUAGE meaning; it may be stabilized and conventionalized in the common LEXICA and prescribed-semi-logical SYNTAX (pl.). But the ordinary is far from ordinary and so the single-multiple milieu, conventional-realist, fluid-stable, atomic-diffuse, unique-multiple and family nature of ordinary language meaning. Also, the meaning of a compound sign is usually more than the sum of the parts and might have little to do with the parts. We have no option but to begin in the immediate and so we use ordinary language to build up a METAPHYSICAL LANGUAGE system—terms introduced in ‘SMALL CAPITALS’. One aim of a metaphysical (formal) language is to overcome the difficulties of ordinary language—e.g. as in mathematics (the formal case). Here, we should not wish to be as strictly formal as in logics and mathematics there is, I find, significant achievement. I do not know what the ultimate achievement or improvements may be. A number of special METALANGUAGE or SPECIAL ORDINARY LANGUAGE terms may be used to supplement ordinary description of the metaphysical language.
Via abstraction there is, in discussing experience and meaning, the beginning of a METAPHYSICS—a METAPHYSICAL SYSTEM—of precise reference (the atomic frame). This is crucial to meaning and precision. It is essential for understanding that it be followed and not confused with ordinary or other special meaning such as in science or other metaphysical systems.
Because the present work is not, say, mathematics it is likely impossible to not have nuances of meaning and play. But I hope that the introduction of metaphysical language introduces reasonable general consistency, careful consistency where it is needed—the ‘pure’ metaphysics, allows play, disallows variant interpretations but allows play with those interpretations.
In introducing terms here, it will no longer be necessary to say, for example, ‘here, reason is establishment of truth’. We will simply say ‘reason is establishment of truth’ and we will not add the reminder that ‘it is not to be associated with other uses’.
The meaning of terms is and should be related to historical and modern uses but is as defined here. For the defined terms of the narrative, the metaphysical language and so on, an attempt at precision and context independence is made. The system of terms also has meaning that is revealed in the metaphysics and so on. It is crucial that the reader recognize this and not impose imported meaning. This quite valid for I endeavor to be internally and externally consistent and I do not impose my meaning on extra-narrative use. However, I do claim a valid and potent system that should at minimum be informative for extra-narrative—for the measure of a system of meaning should be primarily what it captures and secondarily the historical uses.
The section on reason is elevated to a higher level because of its detail.
REASON is establishment of TRUTH. Some related terms are ARGUMENT, logic, science, and RATIONALITY.
Reason is the means of reliable knowledge and action.
So as not to see reason as sterile, it is important to see that reason does not exclude any element of citta. To see that reason is rich and human, note that though it may be used with a sterile set of presumptions, it may be used only to exclude what is absurd and so to allow all richness of vision. We will chisel a view that is maximally rich, yet may be used with precision.
This will require that we do not alter the strict meaning of logic, especially in its modern use as deductive logic, in its domain of applicability. Yet we must also see logic in its larger context as synergic with all aspects of experience. Where it is necessary to specify what meaning we use, we will do so.
The word FACT is sometimes used to refer to something that is postulated to have occurred or be correct.
If the fact did occur, then we say it is TRUE or has
For the present purpose we will think of fact as true fact. To indicate that something is a fact that may be true we will call it a hypothesized or HYPOTHETICAL FACT.
A fact may be a SIMPLE FACT or a COMPOUND FACT. But it seems that ‘simple’ is relative. If a fact is elementary or not decomposable into to other facts it is an ATOMIC FACT.
It is not clear that there are atomic facts but if there are it would give absolute meaning, at least in some cases, to the notions of simple and compound facts.
The discussion of simple and compound facts is continued below. We will see that there are some atomic facts but by abstraction rather than by non-decomposability.
Begin in the present; no absolute a priori
BEGIN IN THE PRESENT—where we are; begin with ordinary language which may be investigated later.
There is NO ABSOLUTE A PRIORI
To not seek immediate perfection is EMPOWERMENT OF FOUNDATION.
Reason and content are not distinct
For reason is in the world and is therefore also content. Further, ground level content provides the examples upon which reason is discovered experimentally. And still further, therefore reason can also study itself—empirically and symbolically. I.e. there is such a thing as ‘meta-reason’ but because reason refers to no other arbiter of things, any meta-reason is part of reason.
Reason does not exclude the affective
This follows from the discussion of experience and meaning.
Principles of reason
Perhaps the main practical principle is, rather than some Leibnizian formula, reason is established iteratively in practice.
But principles are already being established as in the foregoing sections—and in what follows.
An essential principle to be established is the identity of metaphysics and reason—see the chapter on metaphysics. We have seen why process and content should be inseparable—i.e. incompletely separable. However, once the universal metaphysics has been established the nature and truth of this will become clear.
Comment. My essay on argument lists a number of principles. However, a clear notion of what reason is and reflection on how it is possible—together with received principle—is the best approach to principles.
Reflexivity is a general principle.
Reflexivity, in general, is the powerful and creative-critical open interactivity of any one part of experience with any other.
Examples are process of reason and content; intuition and formal reason—and intuition of reason and reasoning about intuition; thought and action—‘mind’ and ‘body’; cognition and emotion; individual, community, and culture; elements of content—e.g. the disciplines; discipline and practice.
The TWO PILLARS OF REASON are (1) observation—to establish fact directly and (2) inference—i.e. from given facts to conclude.
Reason does not stand above knowledge content or action and realization.
Since Being and experience are in the world reason is a kind of content.
Reason maps action.
Here, neither absolute a priori nor final reason is assumed, except where shown. Reason remains a fluid center in communication with all content.
Reason is not merely formal and cognitive—e.g., logic and science. It also involves, as noted, other elements of citta: appropriate and necessary use of heuristics, emotion, value, intuition, imagination, experiment, and action—all in reflexive interaction. But note that an image of action is captured in reason and that in the universal metaphysics it is a perfect image:
An ultimate metaphysical framework will be developed that is precise by abstraction. This will frame and interact with the rich, pragmatic, case that permits citta and imprecision, and includes TRADITION—what is valid in the tradition of human cultures, imagination and criticism, experiment and action. The latter will be found to be the perfect instrument for the former.
The criteria of truth will be perfect correspondence for the logical atomic framework and pragmatic for tradition. Though pragmatic, tradition as defined here, is the perfect instrument in realization within the framework
That is, in an ideal and active sense, metaphysics, reason, argument, and Logic are identical. We say METAPHYSICS IS REASON or REASON IS METAPHYSICS and mean that if we begin with limited accounts then a full account of metaphysics or reason is not possible without a full account of both.
Reason is a main thread weaving the Way together. It is so, not because reason or reasoning generates all things but because it is in efficient communication with all things.
This section treats the ELEMENTS OF REASON—to ESTABLISH FACT and INFER FACT from fact.
When discrimination is imperfect, facts are uncertain or imprecise.
But pure or PRECISE FACTS are possible, e.g. that there is a universe,
which from abstraction is perfect and atomic. Though TRIVIAL in following from DEFINITION and the
A NECESSARY TRUTH is one that must be true. From universe as all Being, that there is precisely one universe is a NECESSARY FACT, if tautological—since there is ‘always’ either a manifest or void universe.
Are there any necessary non tautological non analytic facts? Following W. V. QUINE, “It is raining” is contingent. But “It is raining on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 8:46:23 AM in my backyard”, on tenseless us of ‘is’ and factual truth of the statement in double quotes, is an eternal fact. That is, prior to Saturday, May 20 it could not be said to be true. On the other hand now that it is past the given date and time I know that it is an eternal fact. It is a necessary fact, a necessary truth.
Given that there is, by simple observation and earlier Cartesian type analysis, a manifest universe, this is a necessary truth. But can we say it is a necessary truth without the observation? No—not unless we find some other way of demonstrating it as a fact. In Metaphysics the fact will be demonstrated and so shown necessary, while not eternally, but limitlessly in that the non-manifest case will be also limitless but non-eternal.
INFERENCE is to arrive at a CONCLUSION with a certain CONFIDENCE from a PREMISE of a specified confidence. ‘If the premises are true, the conclusions are true’. Note that because they may be compound, ‘conclusion’ and ‘premise’ include ‘conclusions’ and ‘premises’.
NECESSARY INFERENCE is possible only when the conclusions are essentially contained in the premises (by TAUTOLOGY) or independently true, e.g. as fact. A necessary inference is a LOGICAL CONSEQUENCE. The main means of necessary inference is DEDUCTION; which follows semantically from the containment of conclusion in premise; for example the transitivity of implication can be modeled by inclusion for sets: (a ® b).(b ® c) ® (a ® c) says, with appropriate interpretation, (A Ê B).(B Ê C) ® (A Ê C). However syntactic representation is desirable when we want logic to be independent of models. First order logic, too, has a set theoretic interpretation.
If, indeed, the conclusion follows from the premise, the inference is VALID.
If the facts or premises are true and the inference valid, then the conclusions are true and the reason or argument is SOUND.
When the conclusion is not contained in the premise, it is
at most PROBABLE
and the inference is the inference of INDUCTION of which particular cases are HYPOTHETICAL INFERENCE,
projected conclusions begin as hypotheses and via repeated and widespread
METHOD is CONTENT; in reason,
Reason is everything (see metaphysics is reason).
We will see no ultimate reason to distinguish reason, metaphysics, and rational action (in practice there are of course differences).
An idea such as rational yoga—in theory, practice, and action—will also be part of reason. We will not necessarily make an explicit point of this.
Knowledge is also a social and cultural phenomenon—i.e.,
Reason includes content and principle in interaction with action and culture; and it maps all of the foregoing.
The concept of possibility is crucial to rational study of Being and the universe.
The idea of possibility is of something that could be. One obvious measure is that something has been or is. But otherwise ‘could be’ is not definite. For the concept of possibility to be an instrument of rational study it needs careful definition. It needs to be recognized that while an intuition of what is possible is experiential, the intuition collapses a range of criteria of the possible. That range should be fleshed out and made precise.
The study will be concerned with relations between the possible and the actual. A range of kinds of possibility are taken up here and it is shown that the greatest kind is logical possibility. In Metaphysics it is shown that logical possibility is the same as the actual for the universe and that the different kinds of possibility mesh consistently—and that is a truth rather than an artifact of definition. The range of the possible and the actual are elaborated here, in Metaphysics, and in Cosmology.
2.1. The CONSTITUTION of a being or a CONTEXT is what, if altered, is cessation of the being as that being.
The cessation is perhaps ‘transformation to’ another being, manifest or null—i.e. at least temporary cessation of manifest existence.
2.2. A conceived STATE is POSSIBLE for a being if it is allowed by or does not violate the constitution of the being.
2.3. States not allowed by the constitution of the being are IMPOSSIBLE for the being.
A thought on classical vs. quantum logic. In the classical case the being is in one and only one state. It has been suggested that in the quantum case the object may participate in more than one state. But it is not clear to me whether this is a truth or an artifact of an error or approximation in the conception of quantum states.
More precisely for a being B, these are RELATIVE POSSIBILITY and RELATIVE NECESSITY or B POSSIBILITY and B NECESSITY.
2.5. An ACTUAL state of a being is possible.
It is B possible.
The set of actual states is included in—is a subset of—the set of possible states.
2.6. UNIVERSAL POSSIBILITY, UNIVERSAL ACTUALITY, and the GREATEST POSSIBILITY are identical.
2.7. An EPOCH is a phase of sameness and difference over which the being does not mutate and which is causally connected; for the phase, it is causally isolated from the rest of the universe.
2.8. A COSMOS is a being or domain whose constitution is regarded as immutable over a limited epoch—the epoch of the cosmos.
2.11. A LAW, LAW OF NATURE, or NATURAL LAW is a READING of a generic pattern for a being (in our experience, a cosmos).
The capitalized term ‘LAW’ refers to the pattern itself but what follows will use just the term law and not distinguish it from Law.
Laws pertain especially to cosmoses. Laws may also pertain to other kinds such as life and society. The term ‘law’ is generally not applied to lesser entities or individuals.
The constitution of a cosmos may be expressed in terms of its natural laws (this is possible though not typical for other kinds of Being, e.g. individuals) and the extent of its epoch.
If the cosmos is entirely given by natural law—i.e. if the known natural laws are complete over the cosmos, then cosmological possibility is natural possibility in the context of the cosmos and its epoch. We may also consider natural possibility for other and more inclusive systems—cosmological or merely transient.
2.13. NON-SENTIENT POSSIBILITY and SENTIENT POSSIBILITY are the possibilities of sentience as subject and agent.
Sentient possibility includes capacity for thought and feeling and possibilities for sentience driven action and creation.
A limited case of sentience and biology that is HUMAN POSSIBILITY.
2.13.1. For completeness, we may also consider SOCIAL POSSIBILITY, CULTURAL POSSIBILITY, SYMBOLIC POSSIBILITY, LINGUISTIC POSSIBILITY, ECONOMIC POSSIBILITY, and POLITICAL POSSIBILITY.
Practically, for some of these cases of this and recent sections, the notion of feasibility is also pertinent.
Of discussion of possibility so far the most important aspects are the actual, the concept of possibility—possibility in general; and natural, universal, greatest, and sentient possibility.
2.15. Now consider LOGICAL POSSIBILITY—whatever is allowed by logic.
The universe of logical possibility is includes the ‘universes’ all the foregoing kinds of possibility. Any set of possibilities is a subset of the (set of) logical possibilities.
The logically impossible concept is never and cannot be realized; therefore all possibility lies within the logical.
If a concept violates logic it cannot and does not exist in any world; this is equivalent to saying it exists outside the greatest possible universe; or saying it exists outside the universe if the universe is the greatest possible (which will be shown). In other words ‘illogical states’ could be allowed because there are none. Provided it is done consistently, logical possibility can be interpreted either to include or not include the illogical states.
2.16.1. The logical possibilities for the universe are far greater than the physical or cosmological possibilities for our empirical cosmos—in terms of extension (‘space’, ‘time’, other: that is, sameness and difference, and their absence) and kind. These are without limit—LIMITLESS—for which the term ‘infinite’ is inadequate.
2.17. Logical possibility is the most LIBERAL—a state cannot be obtain but not be logical. Note that the interpretation of logic here must include that given fact cannot be violated which brings the concepts of logic and reason (with citta as ‘whole being’) into alignment. That is, here logic is LOGIC as reason.
In what follows we will distinguish logic—inference only—and Logic—fact and inference—only when necessary for clarity.
If a concept—a proposed state of affairs—violates a system natural law but not logic, it may exist outside the realm of the natural law; the existence of such realms is logically possible; they are possible under different natural laws. As noted we can entertain that illogical states exist.
To appreciate the immensity of the logically possible, which is conceptually obvious, consider the following consequences, from the section Some consequences, of allowing, as will be proved, that the logically possible exists:
2.18. Our LOGICS are cases of logic. They are approximate in two ways—in being incomplete and where not known to be consistent.
Logical possibility lies in the free concept; lesser possibility lies also in the relation between the free concept and the fact object or percept. That concepts can step outside or violate logic (and fact) arises from freedom of concept formation.
2.19. Logic is a limit on thought for REALIZABILITY; it is not a limit on the world—‘God cannot violate true logic’ is not a limit on God because it is in the meaning of logic that it is not a limit.
2.21. The concept of the GREATEST POSSIBLE UNIVERSE (GPU) is that of the universe defined by Logical possibility.
If the concept of the
2.22. If the universe is the greatest possible, then given any definite possibility or actuality, there is (1) a greater definite possibility and actuality, (2) a greater definite sentient possibility actuality.
Let us look at the relationships among the various kinds of possibility.
Comment. In the following, > is É, >= is Ê, and we could write >> as ÉÉ. Find ways to render É and Ê on all platforms.
For possibility—with the word possibility omitted in each case and so, for example, ‘logical’ should be read ‘logical possibility’.
From some common paradigms we expect
We will find that the universe
The terms are in the order in which they occur in the text.
WOLFF, SPECIAL METAPHYSICS,
In philosophy the term ‘metaphysics’ is used to refer to an historical through modern subject that has some continuity as well as some discontinuity. There are common themes, yet there is no perfect consensus on what metaphysics is. Why?
In the following I will discuss the meaning and possibility of metaphysics, for they are dependent on each other. The discussion will have a neutral side—whether there is a reasonable consensus on the nature of metaphysics; and a committed side—what I take metaphysics to be and why.
1. Among non-philosophers it is often equated to superstition or religion or topics such as healing with crystals. However these are quite different conceptions of metaphysics and have little to do with ‘philosophical metaphysics’. Yet these different meanings do affect the attitudes of many non-academics and academics, especially outside philosophy. So, even if it is made clear that the sense of metaphysics is the philosophical sense one can expect negative reactions to the term ‘metaphysics’ that stem from such uses. Because of such reactions I have considered neutral alternatives to the term ‘metaphysics’.
2. One philosophical use of metaphysics is knowledge of Being as it is. It is quite correct to question whether this is possible at all. One traditional division of metaphysics is what Immanuel KANT and Christian WOLFF called SPECIAL METAPHYSICS. It includes the study of special beings such as material bodies and souls. The tradition of idealism in the continent and Britain and America till about the beginning of the twentieth century might be called rational speculation—i.e. rational systems that while they did not necessarily contradict experience were not entailed by it. It is not surprising that the LOGICAL ATOMISM of the early twentieth century took exception to all these matters (yet logical atomism is now seen as metaphysical which suggests that it is the meaning rather than the existence of metaphysics that should be in question). At this point it should be asked whether metaphysics is possible. One answer is that the material of Being, which may be called metaphysical knowledge of the world, is already an elementary empirical, rational and necessary metaphysics; and that elementary beginning will be developed into a powerful system in the present chapter. Thus it can be said that there is definitely one necessary and powerful system that may be labeled ‘metaphysics’. Still it is necessary to take care to not admit mere speculation or, at least, to label it speculation where it is admitted. That is, while Immanuel Kant pre-eminently raised the question of the possibility of metaphysics as knowledge of being in itself and independent of experience, we show here that there is such knowledge via experience yet true (emphatically we do not argue that all knowledge is like that; in fact science is not; much of our common experience is not; and this is vital to the system to be developed).
3. Let us compare modern science and the modern ‘secular’ world view with the idea of metaphysical knowledge of the world. How are modern theories of science arrived at? Consider the example of relativity. In the late nineteenth century it seemed to many thinkers that physics was essentially complete—even though Newtonian Mechanics and Maxwell’s electromagnetism were known by some scientists to be fundamentally inconsistent. It was fundamentally this inconsistency that led to the relativistic reformulation of mechanics. To do so, it was necessary to modify concepts of space and time. Though Einstein presented this as a reasoned consequence of the principle of relativity and the constancy of the speed of light, it is in fact speculative. We do not regard it as speculative because of its consistency and manifold experimental verification (non falsification). The essential difference between a speculative metaphysics and speculative science tends to be (a) the elementary concepts of science are suggested by experiment and measurement and (b) science maintains close contact with experiment. So what is the difference between a rational metaphysical system and science? It is one of immediate applicability. But why would we want a metaphysical system if we have science? Consider the issues—the final foundation of our science, e.g. the source of gravitation; and the reach of science, e.g. what came before the big bang, what lies outside the scientific-empirical cosmos (including the multiverse in so far as it is empirical), and what is the connection between consciousness and matter. Here are some possible inroads for metaphysical system. Thinkers with a positivist orientation will object. However, (1) as long as exaggerated claims are not made thinking about the universe in any terms is just what it is (and may have future value), and (2) in this essay I develop a positive metaphysics.
4. But the secular view sometimes goes beyond empirical science. It is a very common default if implicit worldview that our science has shown near ‘everything’. However, there is no basis for this. What science has done is to define an empirical ‘universe’ that we, conventionally andor tacitly, conflate with the universe and then conclude that science has shown near everything. That is pure speculation without basis—it is metaphysics at its worst, precisely because it seems to be rational. Here then is one value of metaphysics. Almost every human being and culture has at least a tacit metaphysics. Therefore one value of metaphysics is to bring the tacit out into the open and evaluate it. Here, I must point out again that the metaphysics under development in this essay provides a wider view than the scientific or normally experiential, one that is empirical-rational and that contains science and experience where they are valid. The metaphysics of the essay does not deny science but it does deny that science is anywhere near the whole story—and that we have any sound basis of knowing science to be anywhere near the whole story.
5. In looking at what is recognized as pre-modern and modern metaphysics there is no clear and unified subject. What we find is a loosely related assortment of topics. Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) lists some problems as follows—divided into an old or pre-modern and a new metaphysics. Problems of the ‘old’ metaphysics—(1) Being As Such, First Causes, Unchanging Things, (2) Categories of Being and Universals, and (3) Substance. Problems ‘new’ metaphysics—(4) Modality—i.e. necessary vs. contingent beings and essential vs. contingent properties, (5) Space and Time, (6) Persistence and Constitution, (7) Causation, Freedom and Determinism, and (8) The Mental and Physical. An issue not mentioned is that of ‘abstract objects’ and this is pertinent because some modern philosophers see metaphysics as the study of abstract objects. The differences between the old and the new metaphysics seem to be (a) a new attitude in which saying that there are no ‘metaphysical objects’ is a metaphysical proposition (a source of the more neutral modern attitude toward metaphysics) and (b) a concern with categories of being, rather different than the older categories, that are occasioned by modern developments in philosophy and science.
6. But what is common in all these endeavors? It does not seem easy to say.
7. Here another remark is appropriate. It is the nature of disciplines of knowledge that their definition is not just harder than definition of physical objects but also somewhat different in nature. Why? In part it has to do with the fact that physical objects are (seem) given to us while the disciplines are created by us (this is true of other social artifacts as well). Therefore, as we have seen, the definition of an academic subject will evolve with history. This is especially true of philosophy and its disciplines including metaphysics today in a way that it is not so true of physics (for example). Physics has a fairly definite subject matter in a way that would not have been true more than about four to five hundred years ago when physics and philosophy had not yet separated (and such separation occurs when a discipline acquires definiteness). On the other hand a special concern of philosophy has been investigation at the edge of what is definitely known (because of this some philosophers and metaphysicians argue that their discipline is not about knowledge of the world but about such things as the nature of knowledge of the world). But definitely there is a area of investigation outside science—first, the edge and second in that knowledge itself is part of the world. Definitely this may have a speculative element and where that is the case it should be acknowledged. Still, once again, recall that this essay develops positive metaphysics.
8. That is, for the disciplines, any good definition of an academic discipline overlaps creation.
9. Therefore, for the purposes of this essay, given that such a system has been developed, I tentatively choose to regard metaphysics as true knowledge of Being. The first justification or that is that the essay develops a powerful metaphysical system in just this sense.
10. But there is more. The perfect universal metaphysics (the title will be justified) to be developed shows that the universe is the realization of all possibility and is consequently a framework for all true knowledge. That is all science and endeavor is framed by the metaphysics.
11. But what of the various topics mentioned earlier under metaphysics. These too are framed. Is there a first cause? The metaphysics enables an answer (a beginning is already seen in the section on Being). That is the metaphysics enables answers to the entire range of historical-modern metaphysical problems.
12. There is still more. The metaphysics shows that in fact there is no real distinction to the abstract and the concrete—our distinctions are essentially based on the two main ways of knowing—perception (empirical including feeling) for the concrete, and higher conception for the abstract. That is, there is a sense in which all knowledge is and can be framed by metaphysics. There is an interesting discussion of such points under ‘methodology of metaphysics’ in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article linked above (The Methodology of Metaphysics—Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
In summary ‘what metaphysics is’ is complex. However, I shall use this meaning. It is valid to do so provided it is made clear that it carves out only a relatively traditional meaning and does not reject other meanings. But it should also be noted that the general issue of ‘what is metaphysics’ is about nomenclature and issues of priority (read ‘turf’) which ought to be irrelevant. Concepts come before names or at least in interaction with names—the tendency to focus first and primarily on words violates the nature of meaning.
There are many conceptions and activities of ‘philosophical metaphysics’. This is one. It is here justified as fundamental in human knowledge and an ultimate metaphysics is developed—this meaning is not just another meaning.
Other uses of ‘metaphysics’ are not intended to be minimized but it is important that in reading this work, attention be paid to its meanings. Some meanings that will be at least partially subsumed under the present meaning of metaphysics are—metaphysics as the study of experience, as study of abstract objects, a reason or logic, and others.
The present conception of metaphysics has been criticized on numerous counts. One is that it is not even possible. However, when the concepts so far—Being and so on—are regarded with sufficient abstraction, knowledge is precise and will emerge as ultimate if abstract knowledge of our universe as ultimate in extension, e.g. space-time and their absence, and variety of being.
This abstract metaphysics is ideally useful—in showing us the nature of the place in which we live. To render it practical it will be consistently synthesized with the practical knowledge and practice of human tradition, including the modern, and their means.
Another criticism is that it contradicts and minimizes our experience and common paradigms. In fact it does not but even justifies them where they are valid and more—it illuminates them and gives them context. And far from being minimizing, the metaphysics of the narrative and its worldview necessarily have roots in everyday life as much as in the ultimate and bridges the two.
As noted above, the main justification is post-justification. The metaphysics of the essay is a metaphysics that is perfect for ultimate knowledge and realization and that while necessarily incomplete as a static achievement and therefore not in need of static completion, shows itself to be process complete-able.
It is important to see that while the idea of ‘given meaning’ is practically needed for communication, there is a contrary need for open and fluid meaning when going beyond given contexts. Discussions such as ‘What is metaphysics?” depend crucially on an adequate meaning of concept and linguistic meaning.
The main method is reason. Language is means of expression, communication, and part of the method. Note that appeal to content, experience, experiment, and action are part of reason; and that what is valid in tradition is part of this and so on. From Experience, meaning, and reason, sand Introduction to reason, and the later section on Reason in light of the metaphysics, these are very broad.
We develop a sense in which metaphysics and reason are
identical. Abstraction, for example as in Being,
universe, and the void and further developed in the present
chapter and later in Abstract and
concrete objects, is crucial to the development. That abstract
and concrete objects are not distinct—as seen later—suggests, as argued by
That is, ultimately, method and reason are not gods to which universe-as-content is subject. The universe is its content and process and all that may lie in between (such as relationship, quality, dynamics, agency and so on). Put another way, as we have seen, method is content and low level content provides the first ground for experiments in method (reason). This unity will be seen more flat and well knit with the developments that follow.
3.1. If the universe is in a void or unmanifest state, there are no laws (since laws have Being). Therefore, all logically possible states emerge from that void state for the contrary would be a law (this proof is also plausible).
3.2. But a being and the void are just the being, so a void is present with all beings—i.e., voids exist. But there is no difference between voids existing and there being precisely one eternal void—the void—that generates all Being including other voids.
3.3. That is—The universe is the realization of all logical possibility. This is the FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF METAPHYSICS (also, the fundamental principle or FP). From earlier discussion this is equivalent to saying that the universe is the greatest possible universe.
3.5. The remainder of this chapter on metaphysics explores and develops the explicit meaning—the metaphysics it entails and its conceptual meaning, objections and responses, the depth and vastness of ‘material’ consequences, and human significance.
3.6. The, next chapter on cosmology explores the implicit meaning of the principle—i.e. starting with FP and the metaphysics and then via synthesis of the metaphysics and tradition—coded as a system of categories, it explores consequences systematically and in detail, for general cosmological depth and variety, origins of form and levels of Being, origins of physical cosmology, and agency.
From the fundamental principle, while the limits are set by the logic of necessity (deductive logic and necessary fact), filling out the interior is the task of reason as set out earlier. That is, since the strict logic is part of reason the task is that of reason. But the exploration of reason is part of the undertaking since we have so far explored only its generalities—recall also that reason is part of content.
The void exists—and as noted, an infinity of voids is equivalent to a single void. It is EQUIVALENT—may be thought to generate—to every possible and actual state of every being, including that of the universe.
There is no substance in the traditional sense because, clearly, every
being is equally foundational. However, because of its generative role the
void may be thought of as the
The void is not the quantum vacuum but has similarities to it. The void generates this cosmos and its vacuum state.
It will be useful to state some consequences immediately—so as to show that a metaphysics of ‘the greatest possible universe’ is not just rational but worthwhile developing. The metaphysics is then spelled out in a universal metaphysics. Objections and responses are desirable to consider but taken up later in some objections and responses, when it is clear that the metaphysics is worthy of criticism.
The principle used below is that from the nature of logical possibility, many consequences are trivial. Of course, buried in the heart of logic, which exceeds what we know of our cosmos, there are many consequences that are non trivial in the sense of ‘difficult’.
3.15. The universe has IDENTITY. Individual identity shares in universal identity.
3.15.1. The individual is an expression of potential or disposition, comes from and returns to the universal; has access to this knowledge which is entire in abstract principle if limited in detail; has ultimate realization as an inevitable imperative; and while eternal rebirth has validity—that is not karma (here) and, in any case, that ‘karma’ is at most a fragment of meaningful reality, perhaps symbolic in its usefulness.
3.17.1. The whole is limitless with regard to variety and extension (sameness and difference and their absence—to be identified as time, space, and their absence). It is limitless with regard to peak and dissolution.
3.17.3. Every cosmos has its ‘laws of nature’; while they may be the same among some cosmoses, there is limitless variety of the laws, from slight to great differences; thus there is no universal law (though universal, Logic is not law); thus the correct view of laws is that they are compound facts on particular domains.
3.17.4. A question to be addressed is not whether this obtains but what its significance is, what are the kinds and frequencies of the various kinds of cosmoses—and a related question of mechanisms of formation-sustenance-dissolution, and the place of sentient Being amid this eternity.
3.18. Sentient Being is the place of significance. And as we have seen, given any being or cosmos, there is a greater sentient being and creation by a sentient being.
If you wish you may think ‘God’ but the truth is that we participate in and are the ultimate.
Regarding the issue of all possibilities, how can apparently contradictory possibilities be realized? True contradictions of course are not realized. However, amid the array of cosmoses there are limitless earths and near earths and in the latter there are alternate histories that were they but one history would be contradictory.
The metaphysics under development, is an ultimate capture of the ultimate universe—i.e. of the universe as ultimate.
We take up consequences again in the fundamental question of metaphysics.
3.20. The PURE METAPHYSICS is the metaphysical framework consequent on the fundamental principle that the universe is the realization of all possibility.
Details of the pure metaphysics are already treated above, especially in the section Some consequences, and continue immediately below and in Cosmology and other chapters below. Beginning with Tradition and pragmatics, the pure metaphysics is joined to tradition.
3.21. Because the fundamental principle was derived from abstract versions of Being and universe perfectly known according to correspondence criteria, the pure metaphysics is perfect according to those criteria.
Pure metaphysics is an example of PURE KNOWLEDGE—knowledge that is perfect by correspondence criteria. Pure knowledge is possible when the concepts are sufficiently abstract or elementary and perhaps otherwise. It has been an ideal of all knowledge. Here we will the employ powerful abstract case—all possibilities are realized—for its power. Supplemented by pragmatic knowledge it is a perfect instrument of realization; this will be seen below.
In earlier writing I have called the pure metaphysics the universal metaphysics or the metaphysics. I will introduce and use extended meanings of these terms below.
While this entails the freedoms we are discussing, it also entails limits which—even if relative or contingent—may be experienced as rather absolute (e.g., the apple always falls). The implicit meaning is the filling out of detail which has already underway and is taken up in detail in the chapter on cosmology.
3.23. The pure metaphysics may be defined as what logic allows. Observe is that this is a permissive rather than restrictive point of view. Importantly, noting that our logics are not complete, this is an alternate and more inclusive definition of logic. When enhanced by earlier observations regarding the idea of logic we find an equivalence of metaphysics and Logic.
The fundamental principle implies the experience of limits as we see them, e.g. in our lives and cosmos.
Whatever the limits of our knowledge, there is no immediate breaking out of them—even though that is ultimately given.
Therefore ‘our’ tradition, i.e. the tradition of whatever civilization we find ourselves part, is the only and ideal instrument in negotiating the ultimate—shown in and supplemented by the pure metaphysics.
3.26.1. Of course, its particular form depends on the ‘cosmos’ under consideration (e.g. our cosmos, or what is becoming today recognized as the multiverse, and or but which is easily seen not only to be immensely minute relative to the universe but also small relative to cosmological possibilities).
Our tradition is the first in an unending sequence of ‘pragmatic metaphysics’. It is at least pragmatic in an ordinary sense. In itself its criteria are pragmatic which subsumes approximate correspondence and elements of COHERENCE CRITERIA. In and of its own criteria, the pragmatic criterion is just GOOD ENOUGH (here)—it is not ‘being functional in all contexts’ and does not entail correspondence or coherence; this criterion of PRAGMATIC KNOWLEDGE will be seen perfect for the purpose or the realization revealed by the pure metaphysics. However it is pragmatic and perfect relative to realization of the pure metaphysics—there is no better general instrument and no general need for one. Instead of calling it pragmatic metaphysics we call it PRAGMATICS.
3.27. The join of the universal metaphysics and tradition provide a PERFECT METAPHYSICS (PERFECT UNIVERSAL METAPHYSICS OF THE ULTIMATE) of realization; and within that perfection, the pure metaphysics and tradition each plays a perfect role—the pure according to correspondence criteria and tradition according to pragmatic criteria.
3.27.1. This perfect metaphysics is also called the UNIVERSAL METAPHYSICS or simply THE METAPHYSICS (this extends the earlier meanings of ‘the universal metaphysics’ and ‘the metaphysics’).
3.28. This also defines a PERFECT DUAL EPISTEMOLOGY. Note again, that the normal problems of epistemology remain for local purposes. The value of pragmatic knowledge remains. However, the pure alters the significance of tradition. The latter is no longer our final instrument for our final knowledge. It is a drop in the universe. Of course it is, for us, a very large drop—our local and temporary ‘universe’.
3.29. The pure and the pragmatic form a joint system: the pure will frame, clarify, extend, and be fleshed by the pragmatic; the pure illuminates and gives justification to the pragmatic; the pragmatic is illustrative and, as noted earlier, taken to a limit of reason, it includes the pure; their criteria are PERFECTLY ADAPTED: each to its ends and both jointly to the metaphysics and The Way.
3.30. The pure part of the metaphysics is perfect according to correspondence criteria and the pragmatic according to PRAGMATIC CRITERIA. Since the join is perfect in ultimate realization the perfect metaphysics is perfect according to ULTIMATE CRITERIA. These are of course ultimate relative to ultimate aims—local precision does not become a disvalue (but of course its value is revalued by the ultimate: it remains of local significance but lesser ultimate significance).
Here, then, we find the metaphysics as (1) Identity of universal actuality and Logical possibility, (2) In process, (3) A join of logic and science. In abstract objects the metaphysics is seen to include systems of mathematics as abstract sciences.
The earlier identification of metaphysics and Logic is now an identification of metaphysics and reason (understood to include the range from Logic to citta).
Here ‘history of ideas’ is study up to the present, emphasizing philosophy, science, and the study of religion.
In philosophy it includes metaphysics and epistemology. It is especially concerned with the nature of knowledge and its possibility for precision and meaning.
In science, it is concerned with issues of precision and predictability and with the significance of science for worldviews. It is also concerned with the empirical boundary—which it regards as the boundary of what has been seen and not the boundary of the universe which may, even according to science, stretch infinitely beyond.
The concern for religion is (a) the meaning of the seen world, (b) reason applied to what might lie beyond, and (c) the significance, symbolism, and any rational content of scripture, practice, and dogma, (d) the secular expression of such concerns in art, literature, music, psychological studies and more.
The main positions here are two—(1) the world and the destiny of (human) Being is far greater than generally seen in the history of ideas, but (2) while occasions great enhancements to the history of ideas, it modifies rather than vitiates their significance.
The question of why there is something at all rather than just nothingness has been seen as intractable.
Certainly science, the common store of experience, and metaphysics so far do not provide and answer though there are speculations and partial reasons. This question has been called the fundamental question—or problem—of metaphysics (MARTIN HEIDEGGER, Introduction to Metaphysics, based on a 1935 lecture course, in an English translation, © 2000, Gregory Fried and Richard Polt).
Clearly, this is a fundamental problem for metaphysics. After all, if our interest is Being, one of our concerns will be why there is or should be Being? We just want to know, e.g. because we want to know why we are here, because the answer might be a source of meaning, because the answering might illuminate many other problems, because if proved the proof might be a source of method in metaphysics. Above all, however, not knowing why there is Being means that our knowledge of Being—our metaphysics is incomplete. And we see that all of these reasons are addressed here.
It is also a fundamental problem for science. Consider the equations of any fundamental branch of physics. They may refer to space and time, have representations of matter-radiation, e.g. particles and fields. What is the source of these entities? What is the source of the laws? As physics digs deeper, some of these questions for some entities may be answered. But they are answered, invariably it seems, in terms of other posited entities (observed or hypothesized to explain what is observed). In the end, though we see or infer the lowest level entities we do not know their why? Perhaps physics does not need to know the why? But it does for the why is not idle but would take physics deeper. And in any case we are curious about our world which is one of the sources of science. Thus the fundamental question of metaphysics is fundamental for science and so the recent interest in it, e.g. as in Why Does the World Exist? (2013) by JIM HOLT.
Clearly the fundamental principle resolves the problem. It shows that given the universe in a void or non-manifest state, manifest Being must emerge. But let us think about why the problem has been considered a problem.
Why should the problem have been considered intractable? Suppose we were to show that either modern physics or some particular metaphysics entails the existence of something. We would then have to show how the physics or metaphysics obtained. I.e. a relative answer is inadequate.
On the other hand we might argue that our experience shows that we exist and therefore manifest Being is a necessary. But the argument is contingent on observation (in some senses, true facts may be seen as necessary—it will never be true that I did not spill my coffee this morning—but the necessity we want here does not depend on fact).
A satisfactory answer must be a necessary answer (and of course non-relative).
But how could we have a necessary answer? It would have to be that the manifest and the non-manifest are necessarily equivalent—given one the other must also exist.
We now ask—But why should the ‘something’ be any particular something, e.g. just our observed cosmos? If nothingness, the void, were just slightly other than nothingness we can see how it might give rise to this cosmos but not another. But that is not what is in question. To be something from nothing the nothing must be perfect—i.e. symmetric in any sense. Thus if it gave rise to our cosmos, i.e. one possibility, of necessity it would have to give rise to every possibility.
That is, an adequate proof would prove the necessity of the existence of all possibilities.
And that is precisely what the fundamental principle / universal metaphysics does but science and metaphysics so far do not do.
Thus the problem of something from nothing can no longer be considered a problem.
Can we extract a proof of the fundamental principle from the argument concerning a satisfactory answer?
Well it exhibits a symmetry between Being and non Being. It is an ultimate unifier. It sets all Being on an equal footing.
If we are ever to know why we are here it must be the fundamental principle and its equivalents.
Is there another candidate for the fundamental problem of metaphysics?
One possibility is why there is experience rather than inertness or experience rather than nothingness? The answer is the same as for why there is something. But it is also worth asking whether experience is essential to Being. Is it possible that the universe should be without experience? Clearly, in view of FP, not. But what if we ignore FP for this purpose? That seems to be an open question—but it is worth reflecting on whether it is meaningful. Also, can there be an atom or elementary being that has no experience? Of course there can. Mammals have experience, lower organisms have lower grades, and material particles have none. But it is reasonable to argue that all experience must have form and that some elementary forms must have experience (emergence being rather magic-like). Can we say that all elementary forms must have (potential) experience? I address this after the next section.
A new fundamental problem—What has Being?
A new fundamental problem of metaphysics is—What has Being?
Here ‘has’ is atemporal.
Why is this a or the fundamental problem? This is because an answer tells us not only whether substance or relation or process or entity or sentences or tropes have Being, it also tells us which parts of Reason have Being.
What has Being? Is an open and fundamental problem. Here we provide a significant but very partial answer.
An approach to the question is not to enquire of substance but of power. What things in the universe affect us or me? Only if there is an effect (atemporal, neutral ‘is’) is there Being. Another speculation would lead us outside the universe and so outside Being. We know from Logic that such a speculation would have to be irrational, i.e. non-Logical.
So then, What has Being? Much of what is said here, above and below, is an implicit answer.
Clearly power is a measure: without power existence is without meaning. I.e., while there are local substances, substance does not determine Being. Or, every Being is its own substance and the substance of the universe. Do ideas have Being? The pragmatic object of the concept of an electron? Sentences? TROPES (“ontologically unstructured, i.e. simple, abstract particulars”—Tropes—Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)? Power establishes Being for all such as may affect us even by existing in or entering into our minds. There are no absolute grades of the real.
On the other hand there are relative levels, categories, and modalities. Regarding modalities, from the realization of all possibilities, all beings are necessary relative to the universe but not relative to a cosmos; such beings are implicitly but not manifestly eternal; and the universe is a necessary and eternal being. Enquiring into these issues is an aspect of the new fundamental question.
If an object has no interactions—effects present, past, or future—it is substantially indeterminate and its existence or not is irrelevant to us. We can imagine or ‘speak’ such an object but we do not speak of.
‘My universe’ (our universe) is the universe of interactions.
But does an object need to be perceived to exist? The obvious answer, though not certain so far, is ‘no’. But there is a difference between being explicitly perceived and influencing my conscious awareness in some indirect way such that while there is an effect on my consciousness, I do not assign the particular effect to an object.
Let us call ‘my significant universe’ (our significant universe) the universe-of-Being-that-has-an-effect-on-our-conscious-content.
In a sense that is our effective universe.
1. Is it proper to think of the universe as a universe of interactions even if that excludes other indeterminate objects and so other indeterminate and existentially moot universes?
2. Is it proper to think of the universe as the significant universe even if the latter excludes some things in the universe of interactions?
A pragmatic answer to both questions is that it is proper. But this leaves us with perhaps some intellectual discomfort.
It is a consequence of the fundamental principle of metaphysics that there are no non interacting objects and that all objects in the universe are significant.
There is one universe that is (a) all Being, (b) the universe of interactions, and (c) the significant universe.
But metaphysics is not
possible—in the first place because we do not have knowledge of the
object and in the second place because of the speculative nature of
metaphysics, especially what Kant called ‘special metaphysics’. Response.
We have seen that we do have pure correspondence knowledge of what now
emerges of an abstract core to the metaphysics. We will further show that
while knowledge of the interior of the abstract framework is pragmatic,
pragmatism is all that is possible there but also precisely what is needed in
filling out and realizing the ultimate—it is perfect in its own way. That is,
the pure and the pragmatic together will constitute a perfect dual but
unified ultimate metaphysics of knowledge and for realization—and that is
associated with a
‘All possibilities’ is a self-contradictory notion. Response. The burden of consistency was earlier shifted to logic. Modern logic addresses contradictions inherent in careless use of language. Probably not all problems of language are yet uncovered. The burden of explicit consistency is an in process endeavor. The universal metaphysics is SELF-CONSISTENT and EXTERNALLY CONSISTENT.
It is possible that Earth
should not have existed—therefore its existence is contradictory (this is
a trivial example of how all possibilities may be contradictory). Response.
Since this Earth exists, it is not possible. There is no contradiction. In
But is not multiple earths just repetitious? Response. Yes but it is repetitious as part of a limitlessly greater variety and adventure.
Does not the realization of all possibilities include immense pain and suffering? Response. Yes, but that is not an objection. Whereas pain might be a criticism of an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God, it is not a criticism of the fundamental principle. In the ‘significant universe’ pleasure and pain are commingled in proportion and pain has some meaning and can be employed to positive purpose.
If all is possible why is the Earth the way it is? Response. See the earlier discussion of necessary fact. Further, it is necessary that some place be the way Earth is. We call this a NORMAL occurrence. What, in the normal, is not universally necessary but seems locally necessary is but HIGH PROBABILITY (ALMOST CERTAIN) in the local; this could be called NORMAL NECESSITY; NORMAL IMPOSSIBILITY may be defined similarly. For example, a natural law of our cosmos is a NORMAL LAW; our form is a NORMAL FORM. Similarly our experience of our world is a NORMAL WORLD.
The universal metaphysics and its implications contradict science, experience, and common sense. Response. We have just seen examples of how apparent contradiction of expectation is not a true contradiction. A full response, however, is to observe (a) that the metaphysics requires our world as a normal world and therefore is not merely consistent with but requires our science, experience, and common sense where valid, and (b) it provides a reinterpretation of the normal world placing it in a larger context.
There is and should be doubt about the proof of the fundamental principle. Response. This is addressed in the next section.
The concern with the ultimate denies the significance of the immediate. To ignore limits is to ignore the concerns of everyday life. It is grandiose and narcissistic. Response. It is true that in thinking of the ideas in this essay, I have been very much concerned with the ultimate. However (a) it is in part because the universal metaphysics provides a new vision of the ultimate, (b) a personal motivation was to find what the individual and society may achieve, (c) the concern here is very much with the immediate-in-itself as well as how appreciation of the immediate and the ultimate are both enhanced by the mutual concern, and (d) a practical concern is living well in this life as being on the way to ultimate realization, and (e) the very real difficulties of living well and so on are recognized as an essential part of becoming.
The essence of the proof is the proof of the fundamental principle. It is principled to doubt the proof from the nature of the proof, the magnitude of the implications, and the apparent contradiction of experience. The latter concern is addressed above; it remains to address the first two. The magnitude of the implications are not an actual doubt but reasons that doubt should be taken seriously. What remains is the nature of the proof. What kind of doubt may be had regarding the proof?
Triviality of the proof in fact and in non originality
The proof seems trivial. Response. Well, it is not trivial for its recognition is absent in the literature or at least rare enough that I have not seen it in extensive reading.
In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein comes tangentially close to the idea of the proof in equating metaphysics and logic. That would perhaps make the proof trivial and non-original. However, Wittgenstein neither claims nor demonstrates the fundamental principle, i.e. the universal metaphysics. What he says is that given the universe as a collection of atomic facts, all the facts—metaphysics—are just the compound facts and to determine the truth of any asserted fact is a matter of logic. The present metaphysics is not a metaphysics of atomic fact and is neutral to the issue of whether facts are ultimately atomic. It does give priority to logic as and in determining the boundary of what obtains—it says that logic is the only limit on conception for realization (this is not a limit on the universe).
The principle of plenitude, in one of its forms, is that anything that is possible it will occur. This is an ancient idea that has recurred in many forms; were it to be the fundamental principle and were it to have been proven it would show the fundamental principle proven and non-original. However, it is not the fundamental principle. It’s deficiencies relative to that principle are (a) it is stated without proof as perhaps reasonable, (b) perhaps because stated without proof it is not taken seriously or well understood for its usual applications have been trivial and taken from normal cosmology or to support traditional religion, and (c) where there arguments they are deficient. Immanuel Kant asserted that given an infinite amount of time, whatever is possible will occur. In the first place this is not true. A possible event may have zero probability. What Kant might have said is that given limitless realization all possibilities will occur. But the reason that we see the need for limitless realization is precisely because of the proof. Also, there is no hint that possibility itself needs to be explored. Here, the earlier exploration of the nature of possibility was occasioned by the proof, and in turn, this led to the present exploration of the possibilities. In summary, the principle of plenitude is an idea and not a rational metaphysics.
Returning to the question of triviality, it is only after the proof is given that it becomes manifestly trivial. Triviality however is not an argument.
The proof is not founded in fact
Another argument is that the proof is not founded in fact; and that every proof ultimately rests on assumption or axiom. Response. However, we have already seen that the Being of the universe, beings, Being itself and so on are given as necessary-facts-from-observation-by-abstraction. Therefore they are empirical and precise. This is a remarkable exception to the traditional notion that all philosophy—and science—must be either relative in being non-terminating or non-relative but founded in axiom-assumption. It is worth emphasizing that this reiterates a interpretation of logic (Logic) in its traditional sense enhanced by necessary fact (or reason in its traditional sense enhanced by fact). But note that while the necessary facts begin as facts-necessary-after-establishment, this restriction is no longer metaphysically necessary once the proof of the metaphysics is accepted.
The proof is a kind of ontological argument
Yet another argument is that the proof is that, like the ontological argument for the existence of God, it is a proof by appeal to pure logic and so, by analogy with the ontological proof, it must fail. However, this rather repeats the previous objection where we saw a necessary empirical foundation from which logic was able to build. Note, also, that this shows that while some ontological arguments may fail, others may succeed.
Still we have an obligation to support the proof. We may do this by providing alternate lines of proof and heuristic arguments to appeal to intuition.
The purpose to heuristic arguments is to assuage doubt from intuition; heuristics are not presented as alternate proofs.
Existence of the void is equivalent to non-existence.
Any system of laws of nature apply only to the manifest.
Ockham’s razor applied to what does not exist.
The principle of plenitude—as discussed above.
From this point on, proofs are given only where not obvious.
While proof is critical we also need:
1. Significant meaning—occurs in sentience, sentient organism can exceed knowledge and creation of any ‘inert’ possibility, perhaps the highest significance as in the aim of the way is living-well-in-this-world-on-the-way-to-and-from-the-ultimate.
2. What is worthwhile—what is value and what particulars are of value.
3. Mechanism and likelihood—to make distinctions of feasibility and means in the region of limitless possibility.
4. Practice, action, and reason—as supplement to knowledge… on the way to the ultimate. Note that action is already a part of reason as seen earlier.
What shall we do if we do not accept the proof of the fundamental principle?
We should of course continue to seek proof. In addition to symbolic proof, there is proof in action—as follows in discussing ‘existential attitude’.
It is important that the fundamental principle is consistent with all we know and—as we have seen—it must be. Therefore, to assume it would not be absurd in the way that so much of traditional mythology and religion is absurd when taken literally.
3.31. What should or may we do if we do not accept the proof of the fundamental principle? Given its internal and external consistency and value, we can adopt an EXISTENTIAL ATTITUDE—that the implications of the universal metaphysics and the fundamental principle are so great in value and magnitude that there is value in adopting it as a stance and in devoting energies to it in parallel with other traditional pursuits, secular and mundane and more.
3.32. If we assign the infinite value to the limitless potential under the universal metaphysics, then an optimal approach to ‘this life’ is to devote sufficient energies to the immediate while reserving energy also for the infinite potential.
3.33.7. Relative to human Being, the concrete objects are roughly the perceived and the abstract are conceived for which a degree of concreteness, e.g. spatiotemporality—defined later, is not included in the abstract.
3.33.9. This constitutes a unification of the abstract and concrete; they are not essentially different. The difference is one of filtering rather one of nature. The distinction is conventional. The abstract can be causal unless causation is filtered out. The abstract and the concrete lie on a continuum.
3.33.10. The abstract lend themselves to conceptual or rational study and symbolic representation. The concrete to perceptual or empirical study and iconic representation. Language straddles the iconic-symbolic divide.
3.33.13. DEATH, real but not absolute, is reminder that this life is no less significant than the ultimate and so to live well; the ultimate abstract is a RECEPTACLE of DISPOSITION to emerging-merging-reemerging identity of substantial beings…
Local science as locally valid but otherwise shed like snakeskin in
transcending a cosmos; religions as allegorically
real and socially significant but premature if taken literally; which
Metaphysics is Logic interpreted as reason
As reason, Logic has the following extensions to logic-as-necessary-inference:
1. Inclusion of hypothetical or inductive inference that is less or other than necessary,
2. Inclusion of fact or premise and determination of fact,
3. Extension of necessary inference and definite fact to the pure metaphysics.
A final extension is to the perfect metaphysics of the world:
Extension of the foregoing to the perfect metaphysics which though a UNITARY
METAPHYSICS, is dual—the pure and the pragmatic—with regard to
The full metaphysics and its rationale
Under the universal metaphysics, there is no essential
distinction between the
In this and the next sections on logic, mathematics,
science, and religion, each topic establishes the general case and then its
enhancement or restriction under
The valid comparison of LOGIC, MATHEMATICS and
We have seen various interpretations of logic beginning with necessary inference that occurs because the conclusion is implicit in the premise.
In its beginnings mathematics is empirical and interwoven with what passes for early science.
However, we learn over history that some patterns are general and can be seen to have a formal character. They can be expressed in abstract or symbolic terms as axiomatic systems. If the universe is the greatest possible, then any mathematical system that is logically consistent has objects in the universe which may be seen as abstract.
Today, mathematics does not use the empirical approach even though it has objects—for locating those objects would be difficult; and what is more the symbolic approach gives mathematics a necessity that it would not have if empirical. This necessity is not at all obvious over history—i.e., its necessity is after the fact; and there is an entire study of that necessity. It begins with the idea of definite proof but we know from experience that that is not enough and so we have the metamathematical disciplines of proof theory and model theory.
Comment. The following is repetitive.
But beings have constitutions and perhaps other facts—or states of affairs.
More precisely: a
We say facts can be correct because claimed facts can be incorrect (usually, fact will mean ‘correct fact’). How is a fact validated? Observation, measurement, corroboration, and argument (below) are among the means.
There are also COMPOUND FACTS, e.g. the natural laws. The laws of nature
are usually regarded as tentatively universal; but they may also be seen as
local facts; which view is less problematic. But then: the SCIENTIFIC METHOD is
available for validation: the law is hypothesized and as local may be
validated (e.g. a very limited epoch); which does not rule out law as UNIVERSAL
Metaphysical language, logic, mathematics, and science will be the study of the variety implied by the fundamental principle and harbored in the universal metaphysics.
While we have already begun this, the concern here is the difficult, the detailed, and the esoteric but not to the exclusion of the exoteric.
Tradition as understood in this essay is important. It may be enhanced in interaction with the present developments.
Our naïve idea of religion is informed by naïve religion.
What shall we do regarding the limitlessness beyond the empirical? A common pragmatic and secular default is that there is no such realm.
However, we have seen that there is and it is very worthwhile contemplating, attempting to map, and travel. We are giving tools.
Among our tools are what might be called philosophical religion, symbolic religion, reason, and the pure metaphysics.
Intuition and imagination are essential but are part of logic in its extended sense of reason.
of the idea of Being so far includes avoiding paradigmatic prejudice. As the
pure and the
The terms are in the order in which they occur in the text.
GENERAL PRINCIPLE OF
OF BEING AND REASON, EFFECTIVE FOUNDATION,
This chapter considers ‘general cosmology’. Typically, modern default secular cosmology is modern empirically driven physical cosmology; the universal metaphysics shows this to be extremely limited. In comparison, general cosmology is limitlessly broader in variety and deeper regarding the elements of beings.
The functions of the chapter are (1) cosmology as an application of the metaphysics, (2) part foundation for Agency, the next chapter, and Becoming (Realization), the next part, and (3) to suggest foundations for physical cosmology from metaphysical considerations.
5. It includes study of special cases, particularly our EMPIRICAL COSMOS.
5.2. Particular cosmologies are defined by aspects of the universal metaphysics. COSMOLOGY OF FORM is concerned with enduring forms whose stability is a function of symmetry and that result from processes of adaptation. PHYSICAL COSMOLOGY is defined by laws of physics but not necessarily the specific laws of out empirical cosmos. We will also be concerned with the COSMOLOGY OF SENTIENCE which is its inevitable as well as chosen and engineered destiny—as far as these occur.
Our interest is to explore consequences systematically and in detail, for general cosmological depth and variety, origins of form and levels of Being, origins of physical cosmology, and agency.
5.3. The GENERAL PRINCIPLE OF COSMOLOGY is the universal metaphysics.
To study variety without error requires a concept that captures it precisely.
An effective approach is to critique common unitive principles, such as ‘SUBSTANCE THEORY’. Examples are Plato’s forms, Aristotle’s primary substances or objects-themselves and secondary substances or kinds of objects, Hume’s impressions and ideas, and the modern idea of the physical. These can be thought of as ontological or generative.
We saw that there is no substance of fixed finite simplicity, yet the void can play the role of ultimate substance of ultimate simplicity. We take up substance approximations below; this is useful though incomplete and imprecise.
A metaphysically satisfactory and unitive approach to variety is via categories. But how can this be done precisely at all? It is to start with Being and to see if and how the abstract precision can be inherited by not quite as abstract but still a little concrete ‘categories’.
Introduction to the Categories
Traditionally, the categories are a catalog of the highest genera. The systems of Aristotle, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Whitehead are well known.
1. Here, the CATEGORIES OF BEING AND REASON are assigned the aim of an effective foundation for metaphysics. EFFECTIVE FOUNDATION aims at a metaphysics of maximal power.
2. The foundation is the universal metaphysics (cum tradition).
3. The focus is to find basis for form (ontology), formation (process, generation), and dynamics (e.g., for prediction). Note that dynamics might have been bracketed under formation.
4. As genera and for completeness, Being will be a category. As they are real and interwoven with Being, experience and reason will be categorial. Note that our tendency to minimize the reality of ideas is a categorial error that minimizes Being and universe. Inclusion, means that the categories include their own principles and shall be founded rather than ad hoc or relative.
5. The universal metaphysics and reason are the highest level paradigm. Abstract science, especially mathematics, are an intermediate level. Tradition, especially natural sciences of matter, life, and mind, shall provide paradigms at a lower level. Recalling that reason includes citta and the functions of art and literature, these are an adequate tentative initial vertical and horizontal range for the categories.
Categories at the level of Being
Being and reason; form and formation are given by the universal metaphysics; the paradigm is Logic; causation is Logic; process is absolutely indeterministic and absolutely deterministic.
Experiencer-experience-experienced (subject-content-object), mind-world-matter and substance metaphors or approximations.
We have seen that on strict monism, experience (e.g. consciousness) and experienced (world, matter, experience itself) must constitute a single substance. Therefore, experience is interaction, a form of power. This is paradigmatic for any stable single substance cosmos.
However, in the general stable case, there may be many substances, each either a single matter like substance or a experience-experienced substance. Generally the substances need not but may interact.
In the fully general case there may be matter-like Being, experience-experienced like Being, and mostly experience like Being with simple form. All these may interact.
It is an evident principle that experience-experienced (mind-body) should be studied each on its own terms and on mutually informing rather than reductive terms.
Indeterminism yields many transients of which few are stable, have well formation and symmetry, and aware reason. Being potent and long lived these populations dominate the significant universe. The paradigm is indeterministic increment and selection; sources of the paradigm are evolutionary biology and reflection on necessity for origin of novel form. Stable beings, stable cosmos, and stable physical laws are outcomes rather than initial causes. However, once established, given any form, sentient beings are and are agents of higher forms.
elementary pattern is
The paradigms for identity, space, time, and dynamics are (a) primitives of sameness and difference in general and in experience and (b) modern physics—classical, quantum, and relativistic.
Two sources of identity and dynamics are ‘Logic’ at the most general level and the stable formation from numerous trials. This would explain (1) stable second order dynamics, (2) residual indeterminism cum structure, and (3) why the long range interaction in our stable cosmos, gravity, is solely attractive.
So far in this section, identity is material or physical (object) identity. But the concept of identity above also allows for the self-identity of beings—individuals and the universe. This ‘side’ of identity is inclusive of object identity. The beginnings of its description and theory are earlier in sections on experience and meaning, reason (and reason and the metaphysics); it is developed further, below, in discussing agency (psyche, agency, and dynamics and practical dynamics of agency). The development is employed in the part on becoming.
AGENCY is the power of sentient beings to see and conceive alternate futures, to value some of those futures, and to select to act toward the valued futures, especially those of high value. Therefore it requires also the concept and understanding of value and ordering of value. Agency requires indeterminism with structure—the structure is necessary for the seeing etc. and indeterminism is necessary for the existence of alternate futures. In being agentive, the agent is involved in creating a future. However, to be agentive is only to say that there is at least a small effect and not that the agent can ‘do anything’ or violate physical law.
Yet, in the larger realm of Being and stable formation, agency is about effecting significant change. We have seen that there are no limits to form except Logic, and that given any form there is a higher form and creation of sentient Being.
The first paradigm for agency is human psychology, i.e. our normal experience of the world.
The following are a tentative set of elements and dimensions for use in agency. The paradigm is a traditional organization of our cosmos into nature, society (civilization), psyche, and the universal. Psyche could be placed under nature but it is convenient here to keep it separate because nature will emphasize the INSTRUMENTAL or external while psyche emphasizes the INTRINSIC or inner.
The ELEMENTS of a Way of Being are primitive basis of a MECHANICS OF THE WAY OF BEING—of realization. From ‘difference’, there arose a tentative IDENTITY-RELATION-PROCESS MECHANICS. The following are tentative.
ELEMENTS OF IDENTITY—DIMENSIONS OF GROWTH: NATURE (roughly,
ELEMENTS OF RELATION include the natural—FORCE, FIELD, FLOW, CHEMICAL; of civilization
expression; of psyche—
ELEMENTS OF PROCESS include the natural—MOTION, FUNCTION, EVOLUTION; of civilization
CIVILIZATION or POPULATION
The following continues the discussion from Identity, space, time, and dynamics of which the first paragraph is repeated for convenience.
Comment. Edit the following at the source.
Experience—pure and engaged—is relationship, place of
The ‘universes’ of significance and destiny are fields of experience
and agency; and sentient agents (beings) are their concentrations. Assertions
and reasoning for sentience follow; those for agency are similar. All peaks
of form are accessible to sentient form. We might expect that all
actuality >> sentient actuality; but from
5.8. Only in sentience are there PAIN, SUFFERING and joy and agency; so in and only in sentience are there pain, its sometime temporal non-overcoming, its universal cycles of release and overcoming into JOY (bliss, calm abiding) and dissolution.
5.9. The Bhagavad Gita’s fourfold YOGA and MEDITATION-VISION QUEST are identity with the real—present-as-ultimate (in a broad sense practice includes science, reason, philosophy, and their methods). As expansion of awareness, meditation is concurrent to discovery and realization of the real. It may begin with a range of techniques as a good foundation: Shamata, Vipasana, Beyul, Tantra.
See the practical references.
5.10. The universe has identity. Identity and manifestation have no limits—especially to variety, peak, extension, duration; cycle endlessly—without simple and universal periodicity—in acute, diffuse, and non-manifest phases in relatively remote epochs; universal CAUSATION is at most weak; causal connectivity is at most local (in creation-destruction, time has causal direction); beyond ours, there are cosmoses, natural laws, physical and living forms without end or limit; these occur meshed to a void-transient background; only some occurrences have mechanism; every atom is a cosmos, every cosmos an atom; individuals and civilizations inherit these powers—while in limited form realization is eternal endeavor…
5.11. Is there a cosmos in a electron? What is the region far beyond the empirical? Our physics suggests that the electron is truly elementary. However, that physics must break down at some scale and not only because of a Planck length limit but also because of FP. The region far beyond the empirical is not just remote in largeness or ‘there and then’ but also in smallness or ‘here and now’.
5.11.1. There are ghosts and ghost cosmoses passing through our cosmos and every cosmos, sometimes with barely a whisper—but there must at least be a whisper somewhere and when. Meanwhile normal reality continues on sometimes with and sometimes without a smile at the limitless.
5.12. General cosmology does not follow a strict substance metaphysics—i.e. one of fixed kinds and no emergence of or interaction among kinds. In monism, experience and Being are coupled through and through; in dualism their interaction is inexplicable. In general cosmology kinds and forms may occur independently but must at times merge, emerge, and export—kinds-forms are not substances and are organic to Being.
5.12.1. Our cosmos normally approximates monism. The constitution of beings is normal—only normally inviolable (see possibility): beings have no absolute real limits or impossibilities.
5.13. If the metaphysics and cosmology read as fantasy—as if entering a strange land—their truth is cast in Logic. Where access is improbable, cosmology of form, next, seeks the probable. Then The Way seeks access to the ultimate (via intelligent commitment that enhances enjoyment and likelihood), transforming it as needed to the probable.
It is effective to defer discussion of ‘God’ till the next section.
5.14.1. The universal way of origin of FORM is that of INDETERMINISM for NOVELTY; and DETERMINISM for stable form. The universal metaphysics allows single steps according to ‘Logic’. However, we are interested in a mechanism that would generate relatively stable, enduring, and numerically dominant populations.
The mechanisms of biological evolution suggests a general incremental
mechanism: indeterminist variation, then selection of adaptive states and a
rough optimum step size: if larger, the probability of non viable organisms
is high; if smaller, larger steps achieve more (this too is allowed and
5.15. Possibilities that are likely—and of significant population, stable and enduring, are ROBUST—e.g., ‘physically’. If also capable of meaning, they are SIGNIFICANTLY ROBUST.
Generally, function and form are in rough proportion; in a SINGULAR
EVENT increase in function is far beyond such proportion.
5.17.1. What can we say of the GOD OF MONOTHEISM? The intelligent, omniscient-omnipotent-omnibenevolent God? The rather arbitrary justice and anger and cruelty of that God?
126.96.36.199. Once the logical contradictions are removed, existence is guaranteed by FP. Absurdity is no bar. One type of absurdity is the arbitrariness. Another is improbability—but note that improbability relative to the empirical cosmos is not absolute improbability. It is possible that there is an intervening God from a ‘another cosmos not subject to our physics’. Also note that absurdity and contradiction are ‘literal’ and do not rule out symbolic and related significance.
188.8.131.52. Is this God likely or robust? Here there are opposing tendencies. From ordinary probability and normal formation the ABRAHAMIC MONOTHEISTIC GOD is unlikely. However, perhaps singularity counters that tendency. It is important to look into ‘simplicity of form does not imply simplicity of function’.
5.17.2. The ATMAN-BRAHMAN of INDIAN PHILOSOPHY (Hinduism) and other philosophical conceptions of PANTHEISTIC GOD and PANENTHEISTIC GOD seem far more robust than the Abrahamic God. Atman-Brahman in a general sense has a role in this work, especially with regard to agency and is developed in the narrative.
What are the levels of Being—e.g. primitive, human, and higher Being?
Is there a highest? Here is a range.
To say that is not to exclude other Earth Beings. Perhaps there are human beings that have sufficient empathy to know more (such empathy has been a project of mine, especially in the ‘wild’.)
The aim of this section is to show conceptual basis from general cosmology for an indeterminate space-time, relational-experiential cosmology. Some general principles are in the sections on general cosmology and cosmology and origins of form. This section looks at some specifics for a cosmos of our type.
Origins of physical cosmology. Vacuum transients arise in hierarchies of scale from the void. All possible worlds occur; an efficient mechanism is informed by modern cosmology—small near quantum transients combining as large scale near determinate-symmetric-stable hyper-dense state with some near classical behaviors. A DYNAMICS—change in semi-determinate relational identity depends on duration of interaction or ‘force’ across extension, and on inertia to change. Experience as interaction is integral to the dynamics. Essential issues: represent semi-determinate identity; whether this entails process indeterminism; account for dual origin of force-inertia. Aim: improve-particularize-quantify. In realms of opaque measure and difficult analysis, e.g. beyond the empirical cosmos, simulation guided by cosmology may show a way: see a tentative digital modeling of the early universe whose principle is LAYERING from the void and random to mechanism.
Comment. Has been combined with earlier treatment of agency.
Comment. Since the first section is a stem, the key words should be reworked.
The terms are in the order in which they occur in the text.
This section aims at a satisfactory account of agency and its dynamics. Practical dynamics of agency is about effective agency for transformation and realization.
Comment. In short editions this section will be at most minimal.
The following repeats the earlier section on the category of agency.
Comment. Edit the following at the source.
In this essay, agency employs The Way of Being toward its aim.
Comment. At this time for this document the treatment in the following is adequate:
See, especially, the discussion of citta in previous two sections,
Comment. For more complete treatment see:
Outline of concepts, the longer version of this document, and
Sources for agency, repeated from the practical dynamics of agency are as follows:
These provide basis and classification for and may be used together with traditional means.
6.1. The dynamics emphasizes the inner—the psyche. It emphasizes that experience – ‘my subjective flimsy awareness’ is indeed real and the place where the really real plays out. No, we do not control all aspects in our human form and so in that form we must adjust so as to have optimal control; that is the play both forcing and flowing and combining optimally. And flowing into the ultimate when for an eternal instant we are the universe. The play between the manifest and the hidden.
6.2. The dynamics emphasizes the instrumental—the powers of nature, technology-in-the-service-of-populating-the-universe, art as transforming the inner, politics and economics; and the continuities of these with the inner: immersion-science, immersion politics-and-economy.
What follows is a catalog to suggest ways and combinations—as a source to guide concrete ways. For details, see a system of human knowledge
1. Metaphysics (and philosophy), symbols and signs.
2. Abstract sciences—of language, logic, mathematics, computer and information science.
3. Concrete sciences—of nature, mind, human being (anthropology) and society.
5. Art (and art as representation on the border between metaphysics and artifact)—literature, drama, music, painting, sculpture, architecture…
6. Engineering. Technology. Nature and development: scope and history, organization of work. Elements of technology: materials, energy, tools and machines, measurement and control, industry and production… Fields of technology: agriculture and food, major industries, transportation, information processing – communication – networking, urban, military, earth and space exploration.
7. Humanities and the study of systems of knowledge and the tradition(s).
8. Transformation of Being. The concept of religion as knowledge and negotiation of the entire universe by the entire individual in all its faculties and modes of being (potential, un-named and perhaps un-thought forms). Nature and varieties of religions of the world—hunter gatherer and agriculture based societies, throughout pre-history and history. Ways and varieties of religion and spirituality. Catalytic awareness and transformation—mystic, yogic including vision-quest, nature and culture immersion (including Beyul as nature immersion in quest of self), modern—e.g. dream as inspiration, psychoanalysis as depth analysis, isolation-deprivation-exertion as source of vision, metaphysical insight, immersive approaches to metaphysics, science, economics, and politics.
The content of The Way is a journal edited for general use. This is more so in this part.
The Way of Being is an approach to realization with a foundation in Ideas. It joins the metaphysics to traditional, reflective and experimental practice to form a transformation discipline. Once the ideas are absorbed, the task is to begin or renew the process. Ideas and action are an essential continuity—a contrast to our modern emphasis. In thought we conceive ultimate ends; in acting we engage with realization; continuity of idea and action embeds the real in the psyche—and engages the individual with the real.
This second part of the essay is on realization of highest forms in immediate and ultimate worlds—even or especially in the midst of insecurity and uncertainty.
First there is a review of the way and its aim. The aim of the way is presented as a UNIVERSAL AIM OF BEING and as an ethic.
The main chapter is the one on ‘Templates’—there are two templates, the first on everyday process and the second on universal process. The aim is to present templates that may be modified and filled in by readers. The reasoning behind the templates is in the Ideas and so introduction to the chapter points out the most pertinent sections.
The templates are followed by a chapter on ‘Path’. After a review of the idea of a path, I attempt to estimate what I have achieved and then present my thoughts for the future. Perhaps these may serve as examples.
AIM OF BEING, AIM
7. Here the AIM OF BEING is seen to be the aim of The Way of Being.
The aim was stated as:
The endeavor is
We can now see that
7.5. Even if the proof of the fundamental principle is not accepted, it is self and empirically consistent; and there is an imperative to the realizations that it entails. Even though the ultimate remain unrealized, there is value to attempts to realize—the potential, the inspiration, and what is learned on the way.
7.7. Given that intelligent commitment enhances realization and enjoyment, what energies should we devote to the aim? The oneness of the universe implies the worth of devoting resources to the aim as ‘duty’ and joy. Quantitative choice, individual and social, may recognize that resource allocation is already integral to our secular and transsecular institutions. ETHICS are driven by citta, specifically ‘heart’, channeled by thought or ‘mind’, and encoded in culture. ‘Rational ethics’ stems from citta—mind and heart—there is no ethics without reason, emotion, and value.
Comment. See earlier section on Attitude. Combine?
Though we should
We therefore adopt universal metaphysics as an
Comment. Religions, systems of practice; theology, philosophy, and metaphysics. A primary value is the symbolic. See conceptual outline for sources. This document is not a detailed pre-programmed guide in the way traditional religion sometimes presents itself.
7.11. There is a range of ways—secular, suprasecular, and primal. The primal refers to ways before the secular split. I have not found such ways to be complete with regard to the ultimate. Yet, even where there is dogma, I have found parts of the traditions useful and inspiring. However, they are not essential to the practices that will follow.
Comment. For the briefer versions of the document, readers who would prefer it are encouraged to make selective use of traditions of their choice.
7.12. Types of catalytic state—dream, hypnotic, meditative vision—world-self-unconscious, hallucinatory vision, enhanced body dynamic; brain states; Catalytic use—focusing dreams etc.; cultivation and integration in awareness over time; sensitivity to, cultivation of opportunity
Comment. See dynamics, catalysts and catalytic states for further details.
Comment. For paths see the next section.
OF BEING involves heart—mind or
Among its means are:
7.15. Let us now consider the ‘MEANING OF LIFE’ and ‘SPIRITUALITY’.
7.15.1. Let us consider the idea that their linguistic meaning are LIVING THE TRUTH or living what is true. This seems to be in opposition to the idea that the meaning of life is the individual’s choice—what they put in to it. However, there is no contradiction. Truth can be interpreted individually, universally, or even for a phase of life.
7.15.2. The idea is that truth in the present sense—rather different than the earlier use in relation to fact—is an adaptable ideal. Meaning is found in SEEING-DISCOVERING-CREATING-SHARING-PRACTICING-LIVING-BECOMING-THE-TRUTH.
The aim here is not to provide a detailed system that is a way to inner equanimity, identity with or realization in this world and beyond… The templates are intended for modification, amplification, and adaptation. To that end, some resources are listed below.
In the order in which they occur: Introduction to reason, A universal metaphysics, The methods of metaphysics, A universal metaphysics, Attitude, Abstract and concrete objects, Reason in light of the metaphysics, Principles and methods of cosmology, The Categories of Being and Reason: Principles of form, formation, and dynamics, Categories of Identity, Space, Time, and Dynamics, Categories of Elements and Dimensions of identity and the world, Agency, Practical dynamics of agency, and the supplementary document Resources.
See the resources.
This brief template is adaptable to a range of ways and phases of life. It requires complement by a practice. Dedication and meditation infuse and are practice for life. It is crucial that while some system of practice emphasize personal perfection, process should not wait until the perfect is achieved.
Everyday process template
Comment. In this version, the table template is repeated below as non-table text.
The everyday template is adaptable to a range of ways and phases of life. It requires complement by a practice—see, e.g., Some meditations, and Resources. Dedication and meditation infuse and are practice for life. It is crucial that while some system of practice emphasize personal perfection, process should not wait until the perfect is achieved. The explanations enable selection, modification, substitution and elaboration. Links are available in the details of the document.
8.1. Rise before the sun. Explanation. Rising at 4am or earlier gives me a sense of the special-ness of the world and my enterprise. Then there is a whole day of light after essential project work is done.
8.1.1. Dedication. I dedicate my life to The Way of Being—to shared discovery (ideas) and realization (action and choice); to shedding the bonds of limited self and culture and so to see the way so clearly that even in difficulty life is flow over force (opening to the real in individuals and the world); to realizing the ultimate in this world and beyond (inner-intrinsic and instrumental ways in the dimensions and elements of the real). Explanation. In a static world view the idea, e.g. in meditation, is sufficient to the best identity with Being and is best in interaction with shared action. In the dynamic view of The Way ideas and action are essential to realization. Meditation to overcoming the limits of self, especially closedness to others and the real, may be catalytic.
8.1.2. Shared affirmation. That pure unlimited consciousness that is all Being alone is supreme reality. That is the universe—its life and breath—that am I. So I am and embody the self-transcending universe that is all Being and has no other. Explanation. Ritual reminder of truth. I experiment with alternatives and supplements.
The Dedication is a modification of the third step of twelve step programs. The affirmation is a modification of a quotation of ABHINAVA GUPTA from Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, 2 ed. (2013), by Christopher Wallis.
8.2. Review and meditate on realization and immediate priorities and means. Explanation. The meditation need not be ‘formal’. The extent of the review depends on need. An accumulated burden of personal expectation and planning is occasion for extensive review. A change of ‘scene’—a visit to my favorite town or a week spent in my favorite mountains—are really conducive to review of my life and my projects.
8.3. Realization. Work and care. Ideas, writing, networking with the young and the established; shared action, transmission, experiment: everyday process and universal process. Days for renewal. Other activities, e.g. languages, art.
8.4. Tasks. Daily (MORNING); meals; select andor regular days for long term tasks.
8.5. Experimental yoga, general—relation to the real, postural. Explanation. ‘Experimental’ includes building upon established practice and uses of practice. Experimental meditation, focus on spaciousness, freeing from ego-fixation, ultimate in-itself-and-the-present, continuity of meditation-action-Being. See the detailed conceptual outline for a range of meditations from centering to being-in-the-universe. See the references for yoga and meditation.
8.6. Exercise. Aerobic: in nature; and photography. Explanation. Having gotten up early, even in winter there is time for as much as four hours of this activity. I like to get some good aerobic exercise—but it is best for me when I combine this with other activity. I often ride my bicycle in local farm and backcountry roads. The marshes, slews, farmlands, skies, and an immense range of birds where I live are amazing.
8.7. Evening. Rest, renewal, meditation, realization, and community. Evening tasks, preparation and dedication of the next day and the future. Sleep early. Explanation. If I have energy and time, I work on projects—especially The Way. I like to meet people at a local coffee house—especially for conversation. I like to do preparation for the next day that saves precious high energy morning time. If I feel it right I like to do a twenty minute meditation. I may watch a DVD. I am winding down.
Also see conceptual outline: vajrayana practice.
Purpose of the yoga-meditations
many purposes support a single main purpose—the identity of
Two aims or foci are (a) Being—in identity—meditating, seeing, vision; and (b) Becoming—within that identity—contemplating, acting.
Some yoga-meditations to work on
Gates to Buddhist Practice (see
the references): Parts
III. Refuge and Bodhicitta, IV. Foundational nature, faith, death…), and V.
Guru yoga, the great perfection, nature of mind.
Everyday life as spiritual practice
A typical but very flexible set of activities. Dedicate-affirm-relax-focus (see below) tailored to: (i) Rise (ii) Review—the day… and life-death-Brahman-birth (iii) Realization projects (iv) Yoga-meditation (v) Food-chores (vi) Exercise-nature-meditate-photography (v) Evening—realize, network, prepare.
Contemplating and overcoming the ‘poisons of the mind’
Add, improve, and order*
Contemplating the four thoughts of Chagdud Tulku’s Vajrayana (see the references)
Shamatha, cutting, vipasana
Dedication to the way
Dedication—I dedicate my life to the Way of Being: to shared discovery of ideas and realization in action; to shedding the bonds of limited (dualist) self so that I may see the way so clearly that even in difficulty life is flow over force; to realizing the ultimate in this life and beyond.
Affirming identity of Atman and Brahman
Affirmation—That pure unlimited consciousness that is all being is supreme reality. That is the universe—its life and breath—and that alone am I. And so I am and embody the self-transcending universe that is all Being and has no other.
Visualizing and conceiving Atman is Brahman
Ideas to action to learning to ideas; and planning
The actions and dimensions of Being in this template are sufficiently complete. The details show a program of my design; here they are illustrative and suggestive.
Universal process template
Comment. In this version, the table template is repeated below as non-table text.
9. Universal process template. A template for general action. It covers the dimensions of Being—its use will be selective. Explanation. Arranged according to action, dimension, and detail. At level 2 (e.g., 10.1.) the action is bold and the dimension is in italics. Level 3 (e.g., 10.1.1.) spells out minimal details (for topics for the details, see online resources). Links are available in the template in the document body.
9.2.1. (Detail) For understanding, begin with the ideas. Explanation. Ideas are the first place of Being, significance, and action; and are instrumental in realization. For further information see the chapter resources above and the document resources.
9.3. (Action) Becoming (with phases of human life)—(dimension) Nature and Psyche.
9.3.1. (Detail) Nature as ground for the real of real and renewal e.g. as in Beyul: quest for the real as in Tibetan Buddhism. These focus on nature as gateway. Explanation. Nature is inspiration on multiple counts—an essential place and image of Being, catalyst to meditation and ideas. Wildlife exemplifies Being. What are the animals be-ing? We are seeking paths to the real and nature is one (even when idealized).
9.4. (Action) Becoming (with phases of human life)—(dimension) Civilization—with society and culture. Explanation. Civilization is vehicle for and path to the real.
9.4.1. (Detail) Civilization and shared immersion (a shared immersion approach to transformation, community populating the universe), cultural economics and politics (a model that includes Marxian and Schumpeterian political economy).
9.5. (Action) Becoming (with phases of human life)—(dimension) Artifact. Explanation. Artifact has potential as Being, reservoir of our Being, auxiliary in our search for intrinsic and instrumental Being (e.g. the spread of ideas and civilization).
9.6. (Action) Becoming (with phases of human life)—(dimension) Universal. Explanation. The path to Being. Where secular and transsecular paradigms visualize completeness or impossibility of completeness, there is neither completeness nor impossibility. This action is on the way to the ultimate.
9.6.1. (Detail) Catalysts (on catalytic transformation), ways (on religion as a source for transformation), in everyday process, and renewal, knowledge, technology, developed-deployed in transforming Being-civilization.
10. Being is ever on the path, sometimes consciously, to design and affect DESTINY. Individuals and civilizations peak at stages of ultimate realization; in death and decay they dissolve into and transact with the receptacle of eternal Being. The greatest cultivation of the present occasion of Being is essential: in the singular case, this life as the only life, it is the occasion; in the eternal case, the alternative is as if condemned to eternal death.
10.1. Everyday process is a (personal), flexible, adaptable routine for living in the immediate as ultimate. Universal process is an adaptable process for living in the immediate for and with openness to the ultimate. An approach is to select from these templates; they are adaptable to a range of situations and phases of life and civilization—and deploy dynamics and agency. RENEWAL, critical to practice, is reflected in the templates.
10.3. An evaluation of The Way of Being—the ideas are relatively complete but always under review. The ultimate is given to all Being but normally only felt, seen, or potential in ‘this life’—transformation is ongoing.
10.4. My outline plan is (a) follow the broad picture from TWB and (b) specifically to follow the two templates.
Also see traditional knowledge and practice.
Epilogue—The way forward
The epilogue looks forward to realization and its ways based in the knowledge and practice of The Way of Being.
What if we doubt the proof of the universal metaphysics? Because the metaphysics is self-consistent and externally consistent, and frames all possible experience, to live under it is existentially optimal.
The immediate and ultimate are interwoven. A derived ethic is that living well is living for this world and the ultimate.
The intrinsic-experiential—the true nature of Being—includes the instrumental. It is the way to the ultimate.
Comment. Expand the set of references and other resources. The aim is primarily to help user process and not academic.
In the notes I explain how I have found these books useful.
Practical instruction on a range of uses of meditation; readers can use this book as a base for exploration of the real; shows that there is no ultimate way—the way is always experimental. The main focus is on Shamatha—calm abiding.
Tulku’s Tibetan account of other worlds will strike modern readers as fantastic. However, the practical psychology of overcoming the ‘bonds of self’ and relating to the real is excellent. Focuses on dual use of Vipasana (insight) and Shamatha. Also see the related conceptual outline: vajrayana practice.
Tantra is a way of relating to the real (and not about exotic sex). The Kashmir ‘Non Dual’ Saiva Tantra of this book, which has similarities to Dzogchen, shows how ritual and other traditional practices may lead to the real. The book has some nice affirmations.
The following topics emphasize depth and breadth, ideas and practice: metaphysics, philosophy and narrative mode; design and planning; science and sciences, abstract and concrete; ethics; catalysts and ways; civilization; and art and artifact—see traditional knowledge and practice in this document and the separate document study topics.
are some main thinkers that influenced my thought in rational and visionary
(the Vedanta), Rene DESCARTES, David HUME, Immanuel KANT,
My website The Way of Being, online references for the section universal process template: nature as ground for the real, Beyul: quest for the real, civilization and shared immersion, cultural economics and politics, artifactual being, catalysts, ways, and study topics.
Comment. The following are absolute hyperlinks for the above—The Way of Being site; A longer version of The Way; The Way: sources and details; Ground of the real; Beyul: Quest for the Real; Civilization; Shared immersion; Cultural economics-politics-ethics; Artifactual Being; Catalysts; Ways; Study topics. Older versions of The Way have sources and glossary. The following have plans Study topics, Finally, here is: a digital model of the early universe.
5. The nature of Being; the universe as the greatest possible. Resolution of fundamental problems—Human Identity and Source of Being. Being (void), not substance, as absolute foundation. Nature of matter-mind as Being-relation in near substance cosmology; necessary general realization of this; therefore there is no categorial mind-body issue; so mind is organic and from adaptation, intense feeling arises with cognitive freedom. The variety of forms of mind-matter is unlimited but there are no further attributes.
6. Cosmology—transient origin of stable cosmoses from the void. Indeterminism as essential in itself and to equilibrium between form-change and mechanism-chance. Foundation of creative-critical thought and measured freedom of will. The nature of object identity. Implication for the interwoven nature of space-time-matter and dynamics of change. Spacetime is the only measure of difference.
7. The entire rational system of concepts has an object. This entails dual reconceptualization of logic and science. There is no essential distinction between concrete and abstract objects—the abstract are real and in the one universe; there is no other Platonic universe; and insofar as the abstract are acausal, atemporal, and non-spatial, it is because those features omitted in abstraction. The concrete-abstract distinction is not real but lies in the main mode in which they are known. The concrete are empirical; the abstract are known conceptually, in symbolic, often axiomatic terms; and from this greater simplicity, are known with greater definition and certainty. Natural laws have Being; the void has no laws.
9. Treatment of all essential metaphysics begins (began) with the simplest cognition—difference. We then saw measure of difference as spacetime and no more. Modes of Being are experience-experienced; no more. Kinds of knowing are concrete-abstract; no more. Modes of instrumentality, perfect and pragmatic and no more, are sufficient to ultimate realization. The realm of the will-be-accessed-by-identity is the limitless infinitesimal to the limitless ultimate; no less.