THE WAY OF BEING

A CONCEPTUAL OUTLINE

Anil Mitra © January 2017 — October 2017

Latest update — October 14, 2017

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Brief version
The brief version is for action, inspiration, sharing,
It is in-process and preliminary to the present document.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword

Preface

The nature of the book

Using and approaching the book

Resources

Originality and contribution

Prologue

The Way of Being

Introduction

History of The Way

Aims of The Way

Means

Tradition and its limits

Perfect worldview

The essence of the view

Ideas: The conceptual basis of The Way

Metaphysics

Agency

Epilogue

Resources

Glossary

Index

Living the way

Guides

Online

Sources

Developing the way

Site

Blog and faq

Personal documents

THE WAY OF BEING

A CONCEPTUAL OUTLINE

Foreword

An advertisement by the author or publisher and/ or an endorsement by an authority.

Preface

The preface is about the book.

The nature of the book

Aim—to communicate, share, and contribute A Way of Being

Versions: an ongoing process

Based in a comprehensive picture of human experience, reason, knowledge, and endeavor

Based in reflexive process, primarily the author’s, over the above

Essential novelty of meaning as relation between ideas, action, and the world

Using and approaching the book

Readers should be prepared to reeducate their intuition, systems of meaning and formal understanding, and attitude to the world

The best use of the book may combine (a) understanding and living-acting, interactively—i.e., the parts on ideas and the way and (b) adaptation and further the means and aim

Suggested general background—interest in broad experience, human knowledge and endeavor

Suggested reading—my sources and influences

Resources

The suggestions in the previous section

Resources, including glossary, index, living the way, and developing the way

Originality and contribution

While I have gained much from the sources—many even forgotten—I think the work has some new thoughts and perhaps contribution, especially in metaphysics and human destiny

Prologue

A prologue, in this work, will be a way to relate the content to personal interest. It personalizes the content—showing it as a story or narrative.

The history of the universal metaphysics and its use in destiny (the way) is one story. It has a general history, e.g. metaphysics and the principle of plenitude. It has a personal history in two parts—the lead in and the development

The Way of Being

Introduction

The introduction is a way into the content—personal, historical, and preliminary. It complements the prologue if there is one. The prologue could be personal and historical and the introduction preliminary. Alternately, the prologue may be anecdotal and the introduction more formal, though less formal than the main content.

History of The Way

World

The Way

Emergence of the worldview and aim

Search for understanding; paradigms; Being; Ideas and Action

The greatest thing; discovery

Aims of The Way

Aims

Shared discovery and realization of highest Being

Realization

Everyday.

Universal.

Kant’s three questions

From Critique of Pure Reason—What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope?

…may be subsumed under What shall we do?

Means

Introduction

Ideas (discovery) and action (realization) require one another; ideas are incomplete without action; without ideas, process is not action

Ideas

Knowledge

Reason

A note on Immanuel Kant and reason

Kant looked at experience and value and made conclusions about metaphysics (the real), the form of experience (intuition and the categories of thought) and aesthetics and value.

Errors arose because the science of his time was only approximate, conceptually.

However, his method stands as a way to go beyond the superficially empirical.

Action

Ways, practices and ultimate practice

Intrinsic and instrumental

Tradition and its limits

Tradition: the valid in cumulative culture

Worldviews and paradigms

Primal, secular, and supra-secular views

Tradition, culture, and metaphysics—possibility and significance

Perfect worldview

The real

The possible and the actual.

Comments on the real.

A perfect worldview

The worldview incorporates argument

Reason must be part of metaphysics; first because ‘method’ is content; second because the separation is artificial—among other things it exaggerates the significance of the a priori

Practice and its fundamental principles

The essence of the view

The real

Ideas

The real as real; reflex

Agency

Value

Action

Ideas: The conceptual basis of The Way

Metaphysics

Alternate proofs—rational, heuristic, and existential

Existence º non-existence.

Patterns and laws apply only where they are manifest; i.e. to manifest being.

Negative Ockham’s Razor.

The block universe. Symmetry.

Plenitude.

Quantum vacuum?

The remaining sections of Metaphysics.

Consistency of the principle, existential stance and optimal resource allocation

On the nature of the void

The following are equivalent

§        No void

§        One void

§        Any number of voids

The following are equivalent

§        Nothing created the universe

§        The void created the universe

§        Any state of Being or Being created the universe

§        Any state of Being created every state of Being

§        The universe created itself

§        The category of creation does not pertain to the universe

The following are equivalent

§        Nothing is outside the universe

§        The void is outside the universe

Perspectives on the fundamental principle and its proof

I Law and anti-law

Law and anti-law apply to the manifest

[Law is what obtains, anti-law is what does not]

Therefore there is no universal law or anti-law of the void

[FP is not a law]

II Origins

How shall we explain the origin of our cosmos and its laws? Another system of laws would also be contingent.

An ultimate explanation must be necessary.

By symmetry it could not depend on any particular state and so it must be from equivalence of all states—i.e. from FP.

Thus an ultimate explanation must also explain FP as the existence of all states.

The block universe

While the temporal view allows indeterminism and freedom of will, the block perspective suggests determinism.

The block perspective suggests determinism where the temporal view allows indeterminism and freedom of will.

However, the block view requires temporal determinism only if world lines do not branch.

If world lines branch, the block perspective is still deterministic but the individual temporal perspective is indeterminist—and remember that indeterminism allows partial determinism and so structure. It is at the intersection between structure and indeterminism that new structure occurs by variation and selection—which is the probable mode of formation but is not required by FP.

It might seem that, though when the individual ‘repeats’ there are alternate histories, there is a given number therefore determinism—but in any history the individual does not see this and nor can they given the limitlessly many.

The universe is neither ‘really’ block nor temporal. Both modes of description give the truth in their reigns of relevance.

Universal metaphysics: related systems

Modal realism

See David Lewis (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) and other material on modal logic and realism. Alvin Plantinga’s (Wikipedia) work is of interest.

Does not have proof.

Is related to FP but not the same. Has the apparent paradoxes of FP. Has paradoxes that do not apply to FP.

Principle of Plenitude

There are many versions, e.g. those of Epicurus, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Giordano Bruno, Spinoza, and Kant.

All are without proof. Kant held the principle but not the possibility of proof or empirical verification.

Most are

§        Limited, e.g. require an infinite amount of time which is given on FP,

§        Unclear or ill defined, e.g. in the meaning of possibility, Being…

Universal metaphysics: and responses criticisms

1.     Truth of the universal metaphysics.
Response
: a proof is given. Doubt is taken up below.

2.     Residual doubt from the magnitude of the conclusion.
Response: the metaphysics is reasonable from a number of perspectives—intuition of the proof, and others in Universal metaphysics: related systems.

3.     Doubt about internal consistency.
Response: the fundamental principle is logic.

4.     Doubt about external consistency.
Response: the universal metaphysics is consistent with what is valid in all tradition.

5.     Doubt from the strangeness. E.g., the existence of phantasmal beings and realities—cosmoses in transient contact with the void; creator and annihilator cosmoses; strange and un-strange Gods.
Response: strangeness is not a valid objection but of course promotes doubt. To alleviate strangeness note (1) proof and heuristics, (2) in fact FP requires the stability of cosmoses like ours, (3) many ‘strange’ phenomena are unstable, and (4) FP gives meaning where there would be none.

6.     Doubt from guarantee of all realization. FP gives vertical foundation.
Response. The lateral remains open to discovery, realization requires intelligence and action.

7.     Doubt of value of the metaphysics. E.g., Critical theory on need for local rather than grand or meta narrative.
Response: we do not posit or seek the grand—they are the outcome.

8.     Doubt that the metaphysics is not empirical.
Response: it is empirical. It is also reflexive with regard to the nature of the empirical in intension and extension.

9.     Doubt of the proof.
Response: the metaphysics is consistent; shown reasonable; may be adopted as a productive and optimal existential attitude.

10. Difficulty visualizing or intuiting the metaphysics.
Response: the difficulty is due to (a) the range of doubt which may be overcome, (b) newness which may be overcome by familiarization with the theory and its consequences, (c) new use of word meaning, including meaning itself, which may be overcome by holding received meaning in abeyance while absorbing new meanings.
Exercise in visualization will enhance confidence and familiarity.

Agency

    What agency is

Purpose

Transformation of being—self and world

Principles

Psychology

Study of the real (being and experience); modes of experience (bound-free, icon-symbol, receptive-active-internal and self-world, structure-feeling or content/concept-intensity/quality, cognition-emotion)

Main topics

Agency and psychology (function, identity and personality, dynamics), practical agency

Personality and change

Personality and its functions

Personality is an individual’s pattern of psychological function including sense of self and choice, behavior, and communication.

Issues of personality are kind and degree of freedom; kind and degree of malleability, adaptability, and consistency; dimensions of personality—delineated, e.g., by type or function

Further issues of change are effect of social and natural environment on development and change; and deployment of personality in change via, e.g., self, therapies, ways and catalysts

Approaches to description of personality

Bottom-up: the functions and their integration.

Top-down: the self (identity)-and-the-real; fluidity vs. fixity as in child-adult; self vs. world focus as in introversion vs. extraversion; sensitive-nervous vs. secure-confident; compassionate vs. analytical-detached; acute vs. dull

Personality: integration, growth, and change

Integration of function occurs in degrees of synergy and adaptation

Development involves biology (neuro-endocrinal), environment, behavior modeling and communal reinforcement vs. independence, stability vs. destabilization in growth and function

Factors of growth include malleability, communal ways and reflection on them, practice of being-maintenance, renewal, cathartic events and practices

Personality factors and integration—type theories

Here are just some examples

1.     Jungian type theory—perceiving functions sensing and intuition, judging functions—thinking and feeling, integration of perceiving vs. judging, relating—extraversion vs. introversion

2.     The ‘big five’—openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism

3.     Ayurveda—an example of a simple Asian ‘theory’—Vata type—quick thinking, thin, fast moving; Pitta—fiery with an oily skin; Kapha—solid body with a calm temperament.

Personality factors and integration—functional and integrated theories

4.     Psychoanalytic theories, e.g. with Freud the dynamic components of personality are id, ego, and superego

5.     In social cognitive theories, behavior is explained as a function of cognitions of the world, especially of other people; emotion and its patterns are implicit; the theories may be enhanced to explicitly include emotion.

6.     In humanistic theories, free will is a major component: human beings have a degree of self determination. E.g. Abraham Maslow posited factors of awareness, reality-problem centeredness, acceptance of what cannot be changed and spontaneity, and an unhostile sense of humor and democratic attitude. According to Maslow, these factors are found positively expressed in self-actualized individuals.

Personality factors and integration—behaviorist theories

Such theories eschew theory, e.g. type and dynamic, in favor of input-output models.

Practical agency

Agency and yoga

Yoga will refer to integration of true-being whether Hindu-Indian, Buddhist in its many forms, or traditional or modern western approaches, or experiment and reason.

Yoga and meditation. Shamatha, Vipasana, and Transformative meditation (which is meditation in the service of transformation to the highest level of Being).

Vajrayana practice

A tentative summary from Chagdud Tulku’s 2001 rev. ed. Gates to Buddhist Practice:

1.     Seeing our ignorance—recognition that we are trapped in our heart-mind ignorance.

2.     Beginning to overcome duality of self-other—working with the three poisons—attachment-desire, anger-aversion, ignorance, and two more: pride and jealousy.

3.     The lama and the four thoughts as foundation for practice. (1) Precious human birth, (2) Impermanence, (3) Karma, and (4) Ocean of suffering. Foundation begins with contemplating the thoughts in shamatha and vipasana.

4.     Refuge—three jewels or outer sources Buddha (enlightened teacher), the dharma (path), and sangha (community that maintains unbroken practice). Inner sources: lama, yidam (meditation deity), and dakini (the feminine principle of wisdom, source of enlightened activity).

5.     Bodhicitta—three components: arousing compassion for the suffering of  beings; wishing bodhicitta: aspiring to enlightenment to benefit all beings; and engaging bodhicitta: engaging in the path of liberation to  accomplish that goal.

6.     Introduction to Vajrayana—faith, prayer, and preparation for death.

7.     The Vajrayana Path—guru yoga, introduction to the great perfection—to be taught esoterically by a guru or lama based on the ordinary (four thoughts) and extraordinary preliminaries (refuge and Bodhicitta) above, the foundation of the perfection in meditation and action.

8.     The aim—more than intellectual understanding, the aim is stable mind-heart awareness of true being. “What we are working toward is an unalterable realization, like  space itself, which by its very nature never changes.” The aim is relaxation—the true nature of mind, e.g. in the spaces between thoughts—and awareness brought to all action and activity.

9.     The exoteric path—to discover whether the true esoteric is not exoteric and the true path the most direct.

Epilogue

Optional – if there is a prologue.

The end of the TWB story. Closure for readers.

Resources

Glossary

Index

Not optional.

Living the way

Guides

Everyday template

Universal template

Online

Website and essays

Blog and FAQ topics

Digital modeling of the early universe

Useful links

Sources

Influences

My sources and influences—the preface

Personal documents

Literature

The incompletes bibliographies

Writers

The site and essays (personal documents) have a number of lists. The following are from Journey in Being:

Veda Vyasa (date and authenticity unclear), Plato (424/423 BC-348/347 BC), Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC), Adi Samkara (788-820), Johannes Scotus Eriugena (815-877), René Descartes (1596-1650), Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Hans Vaihinger (1852-1933), Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), Karl Popper (1902-1994), Ernst Mayr (1904-2005), Carl G. Hempel (1905-1997), Kurt Friedrich Gödel (1906-1978), Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001), John Searle (1932-), Richard K. Nelson (1941-).

Most will be familiar to the informed reader; Richard Nelson’s Make Prayers to the Raven, 1983, is a relatively unfiltered and uninterpreted source on primal worldviews.

The entire document. Universal metaphysics, cosmology, and theory of agency as resource

Meaning and its power

The nature of metaphysics and ontology

An ultimate metaphysics for an ultimate universe

The problems of metaphysics, cosmology, and agency—defining the problems; categories and resolutions

The metaphysics as an instrument of the highest realization

Developing the way

Further resources for personal and shared process.

Site

Blog and faq

Word Press, Sublime

Topics

What is the way and its aim?

Who will be interested in it?

What can this book do for you?

What is the immediate and the ultimate interest to individuals?

A personal history and motivation

What is the interest to civilization, Being, and the universe?

History of the way and related endeavors in civilization

What are the least and greatest universes consistent with experience—and science?

Is there anything beyond the empirical universe? What can we know about it—e.g., its extent, duration, and variety of Being? How can we know this? What light does this book shed on these issues?

What are the common paradigms and their limits?

What are the various roles of skepticism, criticism, and imagination in knowledge and realization?

Is metaphysics possible? Must we not specify what metaphysics is before answering this question? Is metaphysics some specific discipline? What is the significance of the various conceptions and posited fundamental issues of philosophical metaphysics?

How does the universal metaphysics overcome this?

How can individuals and civilization know and approach the ultimate?

Questions of consistency and doubt regarding the metaphysics

Why Being and related concepts?

What are the main concepts? See text and glossary.

What does the universal metaphysics reveal about realization?

How does it incorporate the common paradigms?

What are the means of realization of the aims?

What are the accomplishments and status of the path so far?

What background material is needed?

What are the difficulties in understanding the way?

Is there a guide to use?

Yes, see sections on ‘Guide’.

Personal documents

Topics for development—system of human knowledge

Study topics

System of human knowledge

General

Study topics

System of human knowledge

The way of being-Aug2015-pocket manual-print

Template

The realizations-resource version—detail but older

Early Universe—modeling the early universe

The way of being-in process—detail

Argument

Argument—incorporated to conceptual outline-essential

Skepticism—incorporated to conceptual outline-essential

Journey in Being-detail—for global issues and detail

Secondary

The way of being—earlier main version

Journey in Being-detail—for global issues; interesting detail but old; also in argument just above

The way of being-Sep2016-mini-pocket manual—lists some keywords

The way of being-Sep2016-mini-pocket manual-reserve—same as above – with detail

Concepts-main—an outline but does not list concepts in detail

Blogs

Cosmology

The simulation hypothesis

Foundations of physical cosmology

Foundations of physical cosmology-detail—general relativity, quantum mechanics, and quantum field theory

Religion and practice

Buddhist Psychology—brief personal statement and plan

Gates to Buddhist Practice – an Outline – not on the Internet; will eliminate

Gates to Buddhist Practice – not on the Internet.

Tantra-outline

Meditation-Pema Chödrön – not on the Internet.

Yoga

Archive

Archive

Topic files

Site-map—through 2010

What’s new—through 2010

Resource

The Way of Being—Website

The sacred and the spiritual

History of Western Philosophy

Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness

Evolution and Design

Dreams and Dreaming

The bibliographies

General bibliography through 1992

Bibliography, math, science through 1987

Research Leadership Bibliography through 1988