The Way of Being
The Way of Being
The Way is an ultimate view of the world with consequences for knowledge, action, and destiny.
The view or metaphysics is new and demonstrated.
Then, the worldview is developed and demonstrated in metaphysics. Among the consequences of the demonstration of the metaphysics is that it is an ultimate view of the universe and destiny. It is therefore named the perfect metaphysics. An implication is that there are paths to the ultimate.
Ways and paths to that ultimate destiny are presented in the way of being.
The essay closes with an epilogue in which I envision the way forward from the immediate world.
On reading the worldview, readers will have doubts and questions—How can the view be demonstrated? Is it not trivial? Does it not violate science, reason, and common experience? What are its consequences?
These issues are addressed throughout the essay.
The worldview of the work is new in a way that will seem at odds with many readers’ intuitions. Because the view presents a greater picture than that of the received paradigms the meanings of the terms must be different than their received meanings.
To follow the work may require of readers that they suspend their worldviews and related intuitive pictures at least temporarily. It will require of readers that they use the meanings of the terms used as defined in the work, for meanings are necessarily dependent on the entire world and its picture. It is not suggested that readers reject their world views. However, the work is a synthesis whose sources include a number of received views. It retains what is found valid in the individual views. Therefore to understand and accept the new view will entail modification of readers’ received views.
This chapter is an informal introduction to the worldview of the way. The worldview is a metaphysics that has basis in a fundamental principle.
At the core of the view is a demonstrated principle named the fundamental principle of metaphysics, abbreviated the fundamental principle or just FP—
Perhaps a first reaction will be—What does this mean? It is not a statement of value or ethics. Its meaning is, roughly, that given a possible world, it is realized somewhere and somewhen in the universe.
But what do I mean by possibility? And whatever it may mean, given our received understanding of the world from experience—Is the claim not at least an overreach?
It is convenient to defer such issues.
A preliminary observation is that while the consequences are deep and significant, their inference from the fundamental principle is often seemingly trivial. If this should seem puzzling, a response is that what depth and difficulty there is has gone into (i) the building of a general conceptual apparatus to demonstrate the fundamental principle and (ii) significant revaluation of the meanings of specific concepts in light of the principle and which may also require significant critical and imaginative care.
Now for some particular or ‘special’ consequences of the fundamental principle (general consequences are deferred to the next section, a metaphysics, and the later formal treatment in the chapter on metaphysics). Given the principle and its meaning as developed and demonstrated in metaphysics, the following are particular consequences—
The universe has Identity, form, and variety which are limitless—and particularly limitlessly greater than in the standard scientific and religious cosmologies; the Identity, form, and variety form have peaks of limitless magnitude and variety as well as dissolutions.
All existents participate in universal Identity, form, and variety; the individual inherits and assumes it.
Though realization of the ultimate is given, there are efficient paths to the ultimate; these involve ecstasy and ever freshness as well as pain; pain is unavoidable but is best addressed by engaging in the paths; the means of the paths are the elements of a perfect metaphysics as specified later in this work.
Another consequence of the fundamental principle is—
This section is anticipatory—explanation, demonstration, and elaboration are deferred.
In demonstrating the fundamental principle an abstract metaphysics emerges—it is perfect but abstract knowledge of the ultimate (greatest possible) universe.
The abstract metaphysics shows the ultimate but not the paths. The paths are found in the human traditions—reason, pragmatic knowledge, and rough and allegorical visions of the ultimate. These are approximate but no better is required for the paths; and thus their pragmatism is perfect in relation to realization. The abstract that is perfect as faithful and the pragmatic that is perfect as pragmatic join as perfect according to the dual criteria of perfection. The result is a perfect metaphysics according to dual epistemic criteria. Where we continue to seek improved faithfulness of our local knowledge, the endeavor remains valuable but in a lesser role than conceived in our secular and other traditions.
The perfect metaphysics must remain in process as individual identity moves from, say, cosmos to cosmos.
The perfect metaphysics constitutes the (new) world view of the title of this part of the work.
Some criticisms of the principle are (i) ‘possibility’ is a vague concept and may be susceptible to logical contradiction, (ii) the view is not new—it is a form of the principle of plenitude and closely related to David Lewis’ modal realism, (iii) it would appear to contradict science and reflective common experience, (iv) it could hardly be demonstrated for its reach seems ultimately beyond the empirical and the rational, (v) it seems to be trivial and therefore inconsequential.
Let us respond to the criticisms in the order in which they are stated.
Consider the assertion—It is possible that the possible is impossible. The assertion is grammatical but self-contradictory—i.e., a naïve use of ‘possibility’ may entail contradiction. A precise and non-contradictory concept of possibility is needed. Later a number of kinds of possibility are defined. For now the issue of logical contradiction may be resolved by reformulating the principle—
Is the principle new?
It is a form of the principle of plenitude and seems closely related to David Lewis’ modal ontology; however unlike modal ontology and earlier statements of plenitude, it is definite, more powerful, demonstrated, and a centerpiece of a new world view. That is, the meaning of the principle as developed in this work is significantly enhanced; the metaphysical system and its many of its demonstrated consequences are new—and where they are not new, demonstration heretofore lacking is given; and therefore the principle is effectively new.
Does the principle contradict logic and science?
As it is stated above in an instrumental form of the principle, the principle cannot contradict logic.
Does it contradict science or common experience? As science is a critical outgrowth from common experience, it is sufficient to address the question regarding science. Science and its theories or models are about the empirical universe; let us take that as fact and premise. Then, trivially, the principle does not contradict science. But then the principle appears to be the trivial restatement of a fact. However it is not a restatement at all, for the universe outside the empirical is unknown and as far as we know is subject only to logic. While it is common to project current models of science beyond the empirical, the projection is circular because it assumes that the models of the empirical are models of the whole.
Yet, though the trans-empirical may be vast and unlimited—logic being the only known restriction—the universe may end at the boundary of the empirical and its models. However, we demonstrate the principle and thus show that the universe beyond the empirical is the realization of the logical and which is permissive and non-trivial rather than restrictive. The permissiveness as developed here will be demonstrated and constructive rather than merely imagined and perhaps possible.
Two further objections arise—(a) Is not the trans-empirical also given by fact (even though not fact known to us) and does this not trivialize the use of logic in reference to it? The issue is subtle and is deferred to the section Indeterminism and the block universe. (b) How can reference to the entire universe possibly be empirical? The response is that while the details may be unknown, the fact that there is a universe is an empirical given; this response is amplified later with a system of such givens as well as justification.
Can such a principle be demonstrated?
Yes, for it is demonstrated in Metaphysics.
However, the point to the question is the intuition of at least a deep conceptual difficulty in such demonstration. It would seem to lie entirely outside the scope of what we know and what we can show.
It is natural to think that ‘the universe is the realization of logical possibility’ cannot be demonstrated for it does not fall under any science and there appears to be no factual premise that would make it an inference.
Further doubt might arise when, as shown later, it is seen that the principle entails that something must come from nothing.
But what is being said in an assertion such as ‘there is no way such a principle can be demonstrated’ is ‘we do not see from our standard models of proof how such a principle can be shown to be true’.
Will the demonstration require new methods of proof? Rather than new methods it will employ insight into the how of existing methods, extension of the methods, careful definition and use of concepts, and recognition and then elimination of systematic prejudices in our standard paradigmatic systems of understanding.
As stated, the principle will be demonstrated. Further, the demonstration is not an essentially new model of proof. Rather, it follows from a careful review of fundamental concepts, their meaning, and entailments. These founding concepts include Being, the universe, the void, possibility, and logic. Note the inclusion of logic—it is required only to carefully understand it but not remodel it (as it will turn out some remodeling or enhancement of the understanding and scope of logic will be entailed).
What is done in the development is to consider the concepts in their most inclusive form and abstracted from the empirical so that what remains is both empirical and precise. If now, the proof of the fundamental principle should be trivial it is the result of the commonplace that sometimes difficult problems become conceptually simpler with generalizing what is to be proved. Further, while generalization makes for a simpler approach to proof, the abstraction makes for certainty of proof since the abstract will be finitary and therefore proof may and will be by examination.
Given that the abstraction makes Being sufficiently precise for certainty, what is about Being that makes it foundational?
For simplicity let us recognize two kinds of foundation. In the first, foundation is sought in some kind of entity or substance thought sufficient to explain the world—e.g. matter, mind, interaction, or process. The question arises whether the founding entity is itself founded. One possibility is to admit no foundation—i.e. infinite regress. Another is to argue that it is a reasonable and tried and tested posit. In the end, however, it remains a reasonable posit at best and not a certain one.
The second is to found the world in the world itself. That is, we do not seek to explain the world in something else. Rather we appeal to what is given. But what, if anything, is given? Existence is given—that there is existence is beyond doubt even if we cannot assign existence to any of our concepts a priori. The idea then is to found the world in the idea of existence but to leave the question of what exists as an open question (which as we will find does have some powerful and definite answers). Here, the concept of Being is the concept of existence.
Two concerns about Being are as follows.
The first is that while its power will be found to be in its generality, perhaps this generality will make it too non-specific to be useful. It will be found that (a) real and detailed information can be extracted from Being and related concepts and (b) where further detail is needed, supplement from science and ordinary reflective experience is available. That is the ‘paradigm’ developed here is not one of Being vs substance but Being integrated with substance (and the integration will be a weave into a coherent whole rather than a mere juxtaposition).
A second concern is how the history of the concept of Being fits into the present abstract concept; and the related concern of how human being is accommodated by the present concept of Being. The answer to these concerns is twofold. In beginning with abstraction and generality, the concept of Being as used here includes and is a framework for the historical and the human with their richness. Then, along the way in the development, we take up implicitly and explicitly, the issue of kinds of Being which will include the historical and the human. Again, the approach from Being will not be either or but integrative of the abstract and perfect with the concrete and the pragmatic.
Is the principle trivial?
The principle is clearly conceptually non-trivial for thus far in the history of thought it is a speculation without proof or even an idea of how proof might be possible.
However, the statement and proof of the principle are trivial.
And perhaps its consequences—factual, scientific, philosophical, and existential—are trivial. However, the development will show the consequences to be ultimate in nature.
That is, in the present case the trivial is also profound.
If it should seem that we are then getting too much out of a trivial input, recognize that the triviality emerges only after a non-trivial choice of a satisfactory system of concepts and defining them with sufficient but non-trivial abstraction.
The prologue recounts the origins of The Way and its worldview in my experience and thought. The early sections of the prologue emphasize my direct experience. Origins in the work of others are noted in the later section The emergence as dialog. A source in culture is discussed in A return to purpose.
However, the boundary between my direct experience and what I learned from others and from culture is permeable. The personal and the trans-personal are peppered throughout the prologue
The story of this work begins with a passion to know the universe and to accordingly live and be in the universe. That passion manifests as a drive to know the limits of my being—of human being… of Being as such—which I came to see as part of and later identical to the question of the limits of the universe.
The first manifestation of my passion was as a child—a thrill at the world, especially nature, which has remained and sustained me throughout my life.
However, the passion to know the world did not entail a rejection of culture. I found beauty and depth in human thought and its history. My path to going beyond culture was not in rejection but—in part—by and through culture. The approach to truth is soft—it is neither rigid adherence nor rejection but pursuit of understanding to the point that foundations are revealed as bare and can then be analyzed and, if found relative, may then be extended further and perhaps to the non relative. It was via such process, undertaken experimentally with regard to concepts, that I arrived at the founding system of concepts noted earlier.
A youthful phase was the scientific picture which I ultimately found limited (i) on its own empirical terms as a full picture of the universe and (ii) as a picture of (human) being, identity, and place in the universe. The history of scientific revolutions, the thought of David Hume, and reflections on the limits of the empirical were among my sources in forming these conclusions.
It ought to be observed here, as noted earlier, that one of the main limits of our use of science is the idea that models—theories—of the empirical universe are models of the entire universe. I return to this point later but the present implication is—will be found to be—that metaphysics as knowledge of the real may satisfy criteria even more stringent than those of science. This will be found to be the case for the metaphysics of this work.
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason provided a temporary answer to the skeptical position that knowledge of the real is impossible. Kant’s argument begins with the question that given that the concept is not the object, how knowledge is possible at all. His answer is that the world has certain categorial forms and it must be that the forms of our concept—the categories of understanding—must preform or conform to the categories of the real. This is Kant’s transcendental argument—instead of arguing that our minds can discover the real and therefore have knowledge, Kant starts with the presumption of knowledge and then asks and concludes what our minds and nature must be like. Considering that mind is of and evolved with nature, the explanation is reasonable. However, from that viewpoint it is necessary only that understanding conform roughly to the real. To how this pertains to Kant’s argument, it is convenient to look at Schopenhauer’s rendering of the categories—space, time, and cause. Kant was persuaded of the precise correspondence of understanding to the real because (a) in his time Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian time and dynamics were widely regarded, in virtue of their vast success, to be absolute truth. It was a time when Euclid and Newton reigned and exceptions and challenges were not on the horizon. They were criticized on their own count by Hume but Kant had responded to Hume’s criticism—and the response was broadly regarded as successful.
But we then discovered in the relativistic and quantum revolutions that classical geometry and Newtonian dynamics are not absolute and final truth.
Still, Kant’s insight remains useful, I was to later find it possible to go beyond skepticism without reference to historical—Aristotelian, Kantian, and other—substance style forms or categories of concept and object or mind and world. I arrived at the founding concepts or categories noted earlier.
These studies informed me of metaphysics—i.e., of the possibility of real knowledge beyond the scientific.
The religions attempt to answer to these concerns—that is, to know and accordingly be in the universe—but as do many in the modern era, I found religion limited and dogmatic. Yet, I admired the beauty and positive revelations and passions of religion. But religion never was and never became an answer to my quest to know and be. Still, passion, where it is passion for truth, sharing, and realization, is an ideal to which I aspire.
I turned to metaphysics—not the grand speculative systems but metaphysics as knowledge of the real—but found idealism, materialism, evolutionism, process, humanism, and more to all be wanting. Later, I saw that to posit a particular kind, i.e. substance, as basis of the real is speculative in a limiting way. Later, I would turn to Being as the foundation of the world—of existence—in itself (this insight is due in part to Heidegger and to a suggestion by Anthony Flew and others that search for understanding ought perhaps to be on the surface of things rather than in layers deeper than things). How this is possible and powerful is part of the development in this work.
From physics I knew that for the universe to come from nothing is not a violation of conservation of energy for the energy of the matter field is positive but that of the gravitational field negative and the two can sum to zero.
This suggested the insight that the universe may be equivalent to the absence of being, i.e. to the void (‘nothingness’). I also had the intuition that if the equivalence of the void and the world could be shown, it might be the foundation of a metaphysics that went beyond the scientific, religious, and speculative metaphysical pictures of the world.
But I sought proof and intuition and insight are not proof.
I am looking for a way to see that the universe and the void are equivalent—in some sense the same. But I do not want to refer to physics and I am looking for proof rather than the heuristics of the matter and gravitational field.
It is fall 1999—I am hiking in the Trinity Mountains of northwestern California.
I am reflecting on the real and its reasons—and whether there are reasons. I want to know the reasons for they may be a key to the real.
My passion for metaphysics is intrinsic—to know the world—and instrumental—to be in the world. There is a question in the background—what can I do with my life; what will humankind do; what is the greatest we can do? The ground to that question is the question of the nature of the world in ultimate terms.
As I hike, it is a warm day and, atypically, I feel as though I glide as I hike uphill. I see a hawk amid the trees—it is there, it stays, and is gone. I feel effortless oneness with the great forest and the world.
I am in a state of psychic oneness with the world and in a flash of meaning I know an answer to my question which I write metaphorically as—
Though not literal I intuit the metaphor as partaking of the real—it is an insight that I will later I translate into a metaphysics with the void at the center of concepts founding the universe as the greatest possible.
It is an insight from my feeling of oneness with the forest and the world and the greatness of that One. But it is still an insight and not a proven or even well articulated principle.
I have continued to look for proof. I asked questions such as the following. How can I prove the equivalence of the void and the universe? What do I mean by equivalence? I have been focusing on the universe, seeking to see and show how it is equivalent to the void. I have not gotten beyond intuition and insight. I have continued to refer to physics for proof—quantum fields and the quantum vacuum but am aware of two limitations to that direction (i) it is suggestive of something from nothing but the quantum vacuum is far from being the void, and (ii) quantum theory, as for all physics so far, is a theory of the nature and behavior of existing ‘object’ but not a theory of origins.
In the fall of 2002, I have been hiking in the mountains once more. It is a place of insight and reflection on personal, human, and universal issues. I have felt once again that deep connection with the world via nature. I have felt oneness. But the issue of proof remains unresolved. I am out of the mountains and have traveled to Reno, Nevada where I have indulged in the casinos, the desert, and other enjoyment. I am now returning home and plan to stop at my favorite bakery on Highway 299 in Weaverville for coffee and a donut. A year before I had come here with a favorite girl friend. This morning I am alone, content, and at peace. As I approach Weaverville in early morning light among surrounding hills, I have another insight. I stop at the bakery. Over coffee I see that the insight is trivial in its nature but profound in its consequences. The insight is this—
The primitive insight and consequent train of thought went thus—focus on the void and its properties; the void is the absence of all things (later I would say ‘all Being’); there are no laws of nature in the void (later: because laws have Being); therefore from the void all possible things would emerge (for to not emerge would be a law in the void). But, I thought, all things should emerge except those whose conception violates logic. This seemingly trivial enhancement would later emerge as the fundamental of principle of metaphysics that the one universe is the greatest universe in that it is the realization of logical possibility.
This principle became the foundation of a system of metaphysics. It was not an imposed system; rather the system emerged from a demonstrated founding principle that required no further foundation. And—repeating earlier conclusions—this is made possible by finding a sufficiently inclusive and precise system of founding concepts.
This work develops the system of metaphysics—the perfect metaphysics—and its consequences.
The development is part of a conversation.
I appreciated that what I was learning was a dialog or conversation among—my direct experience of and action in the world, human accounts of the world, and reflection on those elements.
I saw the world in terms of nature, psyche, society (and culture and civilization), and the universe.
Among philosophers I have learned much from Democritus (for reasoning about atomism), Plato (especially for thoughts on knowledge, Being, and power), Aristotle (for logic, Being, and the categories of Being), Epicurus (the principle of plenitude), Adi Samkara (the eighth century Indian Philosopher—for thought on the ultimate or Brahman, the individual or Atman, and their relationship), Johannes Scotus Eriugena (the universe as all that exists and all that does not over all time and space), Thomas Aquinas (on Aeternitas), William of Ockham (his famous Razor), René Descartes (on certainty; certainty of the existence of consciousness), John Locke (empiricism), GW Leibniz (rationalism, possibility and necessity, the monadology, and the principle of sufficient reason), David Hume (skepticism regarding our categories of thought), Immanuel Kant (response to Hume as discussed earlier; rational categorial scheme), Arthur Schopenhauer (also discussed above, for simplification of the Kantian categories), Friedrich Nietzsche (critical attitude toward knowledge and culture, the freshness of outlook), Alfred North Whitehead (process metaphysics, the nature of experiential entities, summation of some ideas of Plato), Bertrand Russell (paradox, role of language in paradox and resolution), Ludwig Wittgenstein (fact and logic, metaphysics as logic, language and use), Martin Heidegger (Being and the need to outgrow substance ontology), Karl Popper (scientific method), WVO Quine (logic as empirical, insight into Gödel’s theorems), and John Searle (grounded and rational approach to consciousness in a material world).
Among philosopher-scientists, I have learned from Isaac Newton (scientific system, space and time, dynamics as relation between force, matter, and motion), Albert Einstein (critique and profound revision of the Newtonian picture), Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg (revision of the classical picture of matter in the small), Richard Feynman (quantum electrodynamics—the first quantum field theory), Charles Darwin (a mechanism for evolution which is fundamentally new paradigm of process, not of function and dynamics, but of the origin of function and dynamics—and therefore of Becoming), and Ernst Mayr (contribution to the New Evolutionary synthesis, philosophy and elucidation of Darwinism), Sigmund Freud (for his willingness to be as scientific as possible about matters of psychology not easily disclosed to science; note—I am aware that not all count him as a scientist).
The names of the main influences above on this work are in bold text. The list is quite incomplete—see main influences for a more complete list. Yet—no list of names can be entirely adequate for I am ever absorbing thought from the written and spoken word, exposure by immersion and reading and art to a multitude of cultures, experience from the world, and understanding from my own reflections.
I have sought a synthesis of knowledge, reason, and action, drawing from the various cultural traditions including the modern, bound together by the perfect metaphysics. Among the main topics of the synthesis are (i) The humanities, tradition, and religion; (ii) Abstract sciences and method, (iii) Concrete sciences, (iv) History, (v) Art, (vi) Technology, and (vii) The transformation of Being.
Philosophy, science, and mathematics are among my early interests. The work has a source in that interest and other activities from the previous sections.
I began writing toward the work around 1985; I did not know then what the outcome might be. I sought and wrote on paradigms to understand our place in the universe. Some of those paradigms are listed in the earlier section, Origins. The earliest version of the work appeared in 2003, titled Journey in Being. Since then the work has gone through many versions (see essays); its title template is now The Way of Being; the core remains the same—it is the fundamental principle; the understanding of the principle, the treatment, conclusions, application, and use toward realization have evolved.
The aim of the work is to share and ignite passion for discovery and realization of the ultimate from our world—for while the secular world is weak in passion and unfocused in direction; the world of religion has passion enough but lacks truth of vision.
The development—my development—has not been in rejection of this world and human understanding of it. In going ‘beyond’ I have gone by, through, and with this world.
This suggests two human imperatives—
1. To seek to know and live well in the world, and
2. To seek to know and live well in the ultimate.
We have seen that and how our science and religion provides beginnings—but only beginnings.
The idea of purpose has been degraded and diluted in our secular society; it is degraded because we tend to think that our world is the world; it is diluted because we tend to think we know what is essential and therefore the sharp freshness of the true unknown is no more. One of the aims of my ‘journey’ has been to restore purpose and to join my personal endeavor to the human endeavor. It was seen above that though we have an abstract of the entire universe, the limitless details remain to be experienced. We may return to mystery even in absolute knowledge.
Human beings have a sense of purpose. Is that sense real—it is of course a real sense but the question is whether the content of the sense is illusory in some way? In what ways and to what extent is the human sense of purpose illusory? Is there purpose in the universe? Does the universe have purpose despite the materialist injunction that there is nothing but mechanism?
One human tradition is humanist and scientific. The world is as seen in science—the big bang cosmos seen via the cosmic microwave background and understood via modern physics; the evolution of life and psyche; and that mind must be material at root. According to humanism which accepts the account from science, all value and purpose is defined by our being and is not otherwise intrinsic to the universe at large.
What is the known truth of the scientific-humanist account? Science is empirical and is at least pragmatically true within a limited empirical domain. But a common interpretation subscribed to by many humanists and scientists is that the theories or models of science define the universe. However, as empirical we cannot know that to be the case. Outside the empirical domain we cannot know the theories to obtain. For example if a consistent model—the big-bang cosmology—has the age and extent of the ‘universe’ as 13.8 billion years and 80 billion light years, respectively; and that there is no ‘before’, ‘after’, or ‘outside’ to the model. However, it does not follow that the real universe has those parameters, or that there is no ‘before’ or ‘outside’ to the universe. It is consistent with science for the universe to be vastly larger than and different from the empirical cosmos.
What is possible under a picture that is consistent with science? Within the empirical there must be agreement with science. Outside the empirical the only certain constraint can be logic. We can say that the picture is the picture provided by logic except that the facts of our cosmos must constitute a premise; this is of course a possible picture and while possibility does not constitute proof, it removes the objection that ‘that is just not possible’ and thus opens the way to looking for proof. We might say that the constraint is logic which we interpret as the facts of the empirical cosmos (as premise) and logic as deductive inference.
We have claimed and will find that the universe is the greatest possible—i.e. it is the realization of logic in the above sense.
Now there ought to be no prohibition about speculation for the trans-empirical region provided we do not confuse the speculation with fact (it may be seen that scientific hypotheses begin as speculations and thus far from being irrational, proper speculation is part of any method for the growth of knowledge). The traditional religions fall short on two accounts—(1) their stories are limited with regard to the possible and (2) the stories are often myths taken dogmatically rather than speculatively.
In this work the perfect metaphysics to be developed (i) complements science in the trans-empirical region and (ii) unlike traditional religions the metaphysics is reasoned or rational ultimate knowledge of an ultimate universe.
I imagine some readers will think—But reason is so limiting of the human spirit! We will find that reason and rationality give the greatest possible to cognitive, feeling, and spiritual sides of human aspiration and purpose.
Other readers will wonder how it might be possible to go beyond science and how ultimate foundation free of further premises is possible at all (it is not but our existence constitutes a fact and is therefore an example of a given that requires no further premise).
An aim of the work is to join reason, inherited cultural traditions, and the skeleton or abstract metaphysics of the void to form a metaphysics that will be named the perfect metaphysics.
Metaphysics is here defined as knowledge of the real. That metaphysics in this sense is possible is shown be constructing a metaphysics.
The sections of Metaphysics may be seen as constituting two parts—
1. The early sections through The perfect metaphysics construct a metaphysics that perfectly describes the universe which is shown ultimate. The senses of the terms perfect, universe, and ultimacy are defined.
2. The remaining sections beginning with Review and revaluation of pre-metaphysics develop consequences of the perfect metaphysics.
Knowledge and meaning
The abstract-perfect and pragmatic cases.
Knowledge defines meaning—even expressive meaning.
Fact, logic, and science
Alternate. A more complete title is Fact, logic, and the abstract and concrete sciences—as one
All, part, and null
The universe, beings, and the void
Possibility, necessity, and their kinds
What is possibility?
The kinds include logical, scientific, sentient, sapient, and agent possibility.
Existence of the void
The fundamental principle of metaphysixs
The possibility of metaphysics
Cosmology of BrahmAtma, identity, and the formed (‘physical’) cosmoses-transients-void
Realization of the ultimate necessarily occurs for the Atman(s)
There are feasible ways
The ways are one
These consequences of the perfect metaphysics are of fundamental importance but not directly to the central issue of realization
What is cosmology?
Cosmology of form and formation
Concept of block universe here.
Facts as relative to beings.
For the block being there is only Being but no facts, logic, or science.
It is appropriate to treat a final consequence of the perfect metaphysics, The Way of Being, in a separate chapter.
This life, politics, economics, religion…
The Way of Being
As the prologue shows a beginning to the way in nature and the world, so the epilogue shows continuation in
Psyche—seeing and knowing the identity of self and universe.
Nature—as connection to and revealing of the ultimate; as immersion in the immediate.
Society—sharing the way—the ideas or intrinsic aspect of realization and metaphysics-logic-the abstract and concrete sciences-technology as instrumental aspects.
The universe and the universal—reflection on, envisaging, and moving out into the realm beyond the immediate empirical. The ultimate and the real are known in the abstract; the aim is realization in the concrete.