THE WAY OF BEING
A CONCEPTUAL OUTLINE
Anil Mitra © January 2017 — October 2017
Latest update — October 14, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE WAY OF BEING
A CONCEPTUAL OUTLINE
An advertisement by the author or publisher and/ or an endorsement by an authority.
The preface is about 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
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
The suggestions in the previous section
Resources, including glossary, index, living the way, and developing the way
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
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 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.
Emergence of the worldview and aim
Search for understanding; paradigms; Being; Ideas and Action
The greatest thing; discovery
Shared discovery and realization of highest Being
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?
Ideas (discovery) and action (realization) require one another; ideas are incomplete without action; without ideas, process is not action
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.
Ways, practices and ultimate practice
Intrinsic and instrumental
Tradition: the valid in cumulative culture
Worldviews and paradigms
Primal, secular, and supra-secular views
Tradition, culture, and metaphysics—possibility and significance
The possible and the actual.
Comments on the real.
A perfect worldview
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 real as real; reflex
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.
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
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.
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.
§ 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…
Truth of the universal metaphysics.
Residual doubt from the magnitude of the conclusion.
Doubt about internal consistency.
Doubt about external consistency.
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.
Doubt from guarantee of all realization. FP gives vertical
Doubt of value of the metaphysics. E.g., Critical theory on
need for local rather than grand or meta narrative.
Doubt that the metaphysics is not empirical.
Doubt of the proof.
visualizing or intuiting the metaphysics.
What agency is
Transformation of being—self and world
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)
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.
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.
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).
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.
Optional – if there is a prologue.
The end of the TWB story. Closure for readers.
Digital modeling of the early universe
My sources and influences—the preface
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
Further resources for personal and shared process.
Word Press, Sublime
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’.
Topics for development—system of human knowledge
The realizations-resource version—detail but older
Early Universe—modeling the early universe
The way of being-in process—detail
Journey in Being-detail—for global issues and detail
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
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.
Meditation-Pema Chödrön – not on the Internet.
What’s new—through 2010
General bibliography through 1992
Bibliography, math, science through 1987
Research Leadership Bibliography through 1988